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Isaac Morris is a character from the 1939 novel And Then There Were None. He is a sleazy and unethical lawyer who plays an important behind-the-scenes part in the story.

Morris is mentioned as being a Jew which, in the anti-Semitism common at the time, meant being crooked and deceitful — which is how he is seen by the other characters.

Role in the story[]

Morris is hired by U. N. Owen to purchase Soldier Island on his behalf. He also arranges the making of the gramophone recording which outlines the "crimes" committed by Owen's guests, telling the makers that it is intended for a play. He also arranges for the island to be "isolated" by telling the locals on the mainland town of Sticklehaven that there is a bet on that a group of people can survive alone on the island for a week.

As instructed by U. N. Owen, Morris also personally meets and persuades Philip Lombard to go to Soldier Island for obscure reasons, offering him 100 guineas. Lombard acts as if he does not need the money and states that he cannot do anything illegal, but it is clear that Morris is not deceived by these comments since he knows full well that Lombard is broke and is a ruthless man who has "sailed pretty near the wind" before. Morris also persuades Lombard to take a gun with him, which adds to the tension on the isolated rock.

When the guests discuss the various reasons why they were invited to the island, Lombard claims at first that, like the others, he was invited by mutual friends of his who also know the Owens. Only later does he admit the truth and his meeting with Morris.

After the ten bodies are later found, the police discover that Morris handled the purchase of the island but died before U. N. Owen's "guests" even got there. Morris was already known to the authorities as they suspected him of being involved in stock share swindles and the drug trade, but was so good at covering his tracks and destroying evidence that getting proof against him was extremely difficult. Thus, when checking out the paperwork involved in the purchase, the police can find no documentation that can lead to U. N. Owen and his real identity — all destroyed by Morris as per Owen's plan.

Assistant Commissioner Sir Thomas Legge and Inspector Maine believe that Morris' death is too much of a coincidence to be accidental and they are right: a hypochondriac, Morris accepted a lethal cocktail of pills from Owen to help treat his largely imagined physical ailments.

In his confession letter, Owen justifies Morris' killing not just in order to cover his tracks but also because Morris had been responsible for the drug addiction and suicide of a young woman through his narcotics activities. The woman was the daughter of a friend of Mr Owen. Owen describes Morris as his "tenth victim", since Owen's own death on the island is bogus and his ultimate suicide is made to look like he is just another victim of an unknown killer.

Portrayals[]

In the 2015 And Then There Were None BBC miniseries, Morris was portrayed by actor Paul Chahidi. His role is essentially the same as the one in the original novel but in this case he is shown as persuading Vera Claythorne to go to the island to work as a secretary in the first episode. It is remained unclear if Morris is killed or not by Mr Owen.

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