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Vera Elizabeth Claythorne

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Vera Elizabeth Claythorne is one of ten people summoned to Indian Island by Lawrence Wargrave in Agatha Christie's novel 'And Then There Were None,' who have committed murder in a way that the law cannot prove or punish them for. She is a young teacher, secretary, and ex-governess, who takes mostly secretarial jobs since her last job as a governess ended in the death of her charge, she is brought to Indian Island after recieving a fake job offer as a secretary.

Her last job was working as a governess to Cyril Ogilvie Hamilton, the young heir to a wealthy family. While working there, she fell in love with Cyril's uncle Hugo Hamilton. Hugo was unable to marry her however, since he was bankrupt, and Cyril was next in line to inherit the family fortune. This led Vera to grow to hate the boy. When he begger her to allow him to swim out to a dangerous rock at sea, she allowed him to go, hopint that Hugo, could inherit his money and marry her. She swam after him when he swam out, whether out of last minute guilt or to exonerate her in the law's eyes is uncertain. Cyril drowned, and Vera was cleared of any involvement in his death. However, the plan backfired when Hugo, looking at her, realized what she had really done. Since he loved his nephew he was unable to forgive her, and abandoned her.

Sometime later, Hugo encountered Wargrave in a bar, and while drunk, confessed to Wargrave his certainty that Vera had killed Cyril. In this way Vera was the last victim to be collected by Wargrave. Also, since she is the last of the ten to die, Wargrave had apparently marked her as the most guilty of the ten victims.

She manages to shoot Philip Lombard, and believing herself to have defeated the killer, returns to the house. In her slightly unstable frame of mind however, she began to suspect Hugo was in the house. Going up the stairs to her room, she finds a noose suspended from the ceiling with a chair underneath it. At this moment, the full consciousness of her guilt comes upon her. Unwilling to carry on living, she hangs herself while Wargrave watches from the shadows. Her death corresponds with the last line of the 'Ten Little Indians' rhyme, "One little Indian boy left all alone/ He went and hanged himself and then there were none." Wargrave then moves the chair to the wall, so the police cannot suspect her of killing herself and therefore being the true killer.

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