Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders
“Yes, like everyone else would have had an opportunity at that time, but I can’t help thinking that if you’re shaking people’s hands then you would notice if someone jabbed something into you, so he would have had to be distracted when it happened,” replied Knowles.
“When was the coffee served, does anyone know?” asked Smythe.
“Between 9:45 and 9:50 a.m. according to Gerald,” said Barnes, “but I wonder if the Major’s coffee was spilled over his hand – for example – at that time or shortly afterwards?”
“Something else to ask Mrs Harkness tomorrow; something must have distracted him around 9:50 when the beverages were served,” said Knowles.
“What would distract someone sitting on a train?” wondered Smythe.
“Well, if the train suddenly lurched and two people were near each other they might bump into one another if they were standing up, but not sitting down,” suggested Barnes.
“What about pulling out the table from his armrest? If he needed help pulling it out and someone put their hand on his?” Knowles shrugged as his idea faded away even in his own mind.
“What about opening the window? If the Major wanted to open the window and needed help,” said Barnes,”and the murderer helped him? The window was stuck and it needed a bit of pushing?”
“That’s a good suggestion; another question for his wife. Perhaps it was she who helped him?”
“But why wait until she was on the train before jabbing him with curare?” said Smythe.
“Lots of other suspects in the same close quarters,” replied Knowles, “besides she didn’t want him dropping dead before they reached the train; it makes it kind of obvious who did it then.”
“So Seat 15 was Josef Casimir and Linda took his statement,” said Barnes, anxious to proceed as usual.
“Josef was really quiet and left most of the talking to his wife, although he did say that he didn’t see the smoke come into the carriage as he was already in the kitchen/dining car area. He had been in there about five minutes when the others came in. He was talking to Marie Stellen.”
“Was he now?” said Knowles, “I wonder what they were talking about?”
“The upcoming murder and how they were supposed to react.”
“Wouldn’t they have worked that out already, prior to getting on the train?” wondered Knowles.