Most memorable of these was Agatha Cristy‘s play, And Then There Were None. (Known at the time by its politically incorrect title, Ten Little Indians.) Today, as I follow the Republican primaries, I am reminded of this marvelous mystery. For each day’s news events are every bit as suspenseful, dramatic, and unpredictable as those in Christy’s 1939 ‘who done it.’
The play’s plot centers around the mysterious deaths of 10 unrelated people who find themselves alone together on Soldier Island from which there is no escape. One by one, each is murdered, presumably at the hand of one among them, and in a sequence that mirrors the poem Ten Little Soldier Boys.The tension mounts as each suspects the murderer to be among the others. The mystery remains unsolved as the last two visitors to the island suffer the same fate–and then there were none.
This puzzling chain of events is finally unravelled in an epilogue, thanks to the inspector who arrives on the island and pieces the clues together. It is not for me to spoil the story by recounting the elaborate explanation; as in any mystery, readers’ enjoyment comes from sorting it out for themselves. But I will take the opportunity of recalling Agatha Christy’s play to apply the Soldier Boy poem as a means of extrapolating about the totally unprecedented sequence of events and surreal atmosphere associated with the Republican Primary.
Ten Republic candidates standing in a line. Palin can’t commit, and then there were nine.
Ten Republican Candidates Seeking the Presidency.
Nine presidential candidates starting at the gate. Perry forgets his script, and then there were eight.
Eight presidential candidates called upon by Heaven. Pawlenty is uninspiring, and so there were seven.
Seven presidential candidates performing all their tricks, Bachman failed her civics lesson, then there were six.
Six presidential candidates trying to stay alive, Huntsman was so principled the number dropped to five.
Five presidential candidates seeking an encore, Paul couldn’t get on stage and so there were four.
Four presidential candidates making policy, Cain’s diversionary tactics puts the number at three.
Three presidential candidates set on wooing you, Santorum doesn’t stand out, oops its now just two.
Mitt and Newt battle it out, just as in the play, when they are eliminated, Obama will have his day!