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In the novel The Mystery of the Blue Train, Mrs Jane Harfield was an elderly woman, who lived at Little Crampton, St. Mary Mead, Kent (not the same St. Mary Mead associated with Jane Marple.) Mrs Harfield had the reputation of being a difficult person and no companion had ever succeed in staying with her for very long. Katherine Grey had however successful negotiated the task successfully for ten years, so much so that "perfect peace had reigned". As the narrative observes, "Snake-charmers, they say, are born, not made."

After Jane Harfield died, she left a large sum of money to Katherine in her will--no one was sure how much, but according to Katherine, Mrs Harfield was one of the original shareholders of "Mortaulds". This gave her an income of about eight to ten thousand pounds a year forty years ago and she spent perhaps only about four hundred pounds a year. All the income over the years had been accumulating at compound interest. With her new found wealth, Katherine was determined to "see the world", thus initiating the sequence of events that would form the main plot of the book.

Mrs Harfield had some distant relatives of her husband, Samuel and Mary Anne Harfield. After Jane's death, Mary Anne wrote to Katherine, saying that Jane's mind had been failing, and that the will would not hold good in court. However, this was not true, as Dr Harrison says that Jane's intellect was as good as anyone else's.

Name[]

Throughout the book the character is named either Emma or Jane.

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