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In the novel Taken at the Flood, Lynn Marchmont is the daughter of Adela and the fiancée of her cousin Rowley Cloade. Being in her twenties, she is a recently demobbed Wren who has just come home from World War II after six years of absence. She lives with her mother in the White House, Warmsley Vale, and is to come live with Rowley to the Long Willows farm after they get married. Although she likes the name of the farm, she does not have any experience in farming.

Not much physical description is given of Lynn, although she is considered pretty by Rowley, David Hunter and Poirot alike. As for her inward characteristics, she is described as lively and practical and seems pensive and self-aware, albeit moderately confident.

"Poirot looked at the girl with interest. A handsome girl, he thought, and intelligent also. Not the type he himself admired. He preferred something softer, more feminine. Lynn Marchmont, he thought, was essentially a modern type – though one might, with equal accuracy, call it an Elizabethan type. Women who thought for themselves, who were free in language, and who admired enterprise and audacity in men."

(the Detective upon meeting Lynn for the first time, in Taken at the Flood, Book II, Chapter Six)

As for Lynn's childhood, she grew up with her mother as her father died when she was only a little girl. Her uncle Gordon had paid for first-class schools and settled a steady income on her mother, allowing them to live comfortably in a fairly big house. Were it not for the war, Lynn "would have been able to take any kind of expensive training she had pleased".

When Lynn returns home after the war, she is quite restless and at a loss regarding her own feelings and wishes. She struggles to slip seamlessly into her old life, which she perceives as bland and devoid of danger, and doubts that the monotonous life of a farmer's wife would suit her. Nevertheless, she fails to understand her own discontentment, as she had indeed been looking forward to coming back to her mother and Rowley while overseas.

"The work had been reasonably interesting, there had been parties, plenty of fun, but there had also been the irksomeness of routine and the feeling of being herded together with her companions which had sometimes made her feel desperately anxious to escape.
It was then, during the long scorching summer out East, that she had thought so longingly of Warmsley Vale and the shabby cool pleasant house, and of dear Mums."

(in Taken at the Flood, Book I, Chapter One)

Spoiler warning: A spoiler is announced! The following section contains details about the plot of Taken at the Flood.

When Lynn returns home, she soon finds her mother quite annoying, as she is too protective and lacking intellectual depth. Adela is very plaintive about her brother Gordon's death; since he died so unexpectedly, he failed to make a will and left all his money to his new wife Rosaleen. Being very unhappy about the situation, Lynn's mother has a lot of bitter things to say. Among other things, she remarks acidly that Rosaleen is definitely not "one of them" and her brother David is quite a horrible young man. Lynn finds these remarks mostly amusing and counters wittily. Inwardly, she shrewdly notes that her family would have never approved of any woman Gordon would have married and is quite sympathetic towards Rosaleen and David.

Lynn and Adela Marchmont in the kitchen of the White House

Lynn (Amanda Douge) and her mother (Jenny Agutter) sorting through bills in the kitchen, in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Taken at the Flood

Then, however, Mrs Marchmont confides in her daughter about her very desperate financial situation, caused both by the war and Gordon's death. Lynn goes through all the bills with her and notes no signs of extravagance – only necessary repairs such as mending the fences or replacing the main water-pipe. She suggests they could ask Rosaleen for help. Mrs Marchmont, however, is not sure if they even have the right to ask such a favour of someone they do not like very much. Besides, it is David who really controls the money, and he seems like somebody who "would never let Rosaleen give away a penny". At that, Lynn feels a quiet flash of anger towards these people who are not able to appreciate the plight of her tired, elderly mother whose health has been broken by volunteer work in the war.

In the afternoon, Lynn visits her fiancé Rowley at his farm, for the first time after her homecoming. They discuss staff shortage caused by the war and Rowley's poor farming propects now that uncle Gordon and Johnnie Vavasour are not there to help anymore. Lynn asks Rowley to describe Rosaleen and David, to which he replies that the widow looks lovely but is probably not very intelligent, and seems even less so as she takes great pains not to appear uneducated.

"'She just stands around looking dumb and letting David run her.'
'David?'
'That's the brother. I should say there's nothing much about sharp practice he doesn't know!' Rowley added: 'He doesn't like any of us much.'
'Why should he?' said Lynn sharply, and added as he looked at her, slightly surprised, 'I mean you don't like him.'
'I certainly don't. You won't either. He's not our sort.'"

(in Taken at the Flood, Book I, Chapter Three)

The couple further talk about their engagement and upcoming wedding, somewhat unenthusiastically. Lynn notices that Rowley seems to mind quite a lot that he was to stay at home while she was off seeing the world in the war which, in her own words, has decidedly broadened her outlook. Rowley, in turn, seems to understand that – just like for all service girls – it is going to be hard for Lynn to settle down at home.

David Hunter and Lynn Marchmont at the party

David (Elliot Cowan) and Lynn at the home-coming party, in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Taken at the Flood

Later that day, Aunt Kathie throws a rather pitiable home-coming party for Lynn. Here, the latter finally meets the young widow and her brother in person. Rosaleen seems easily destabilized by her brother and generally ill at ease, not knowing what to say or how to wear her expensive clothes. Lynn then sits next to David at the table and completely forgets to talk to him as she ponders the definite atmosphere of ill will in the room, arguably emanating from the two strangers.

When the conversation does ensue, they swiftly find themselves enjoying it. Lynn is soon enchanted by David's devil-may-care yet destructive personality. He sardonically recounts to Lynn his own and Rosaleen's lifestories and mocks her family for relying on uncle Gordon in so great an extent. He promises to counter mercilessly any attempts at depriving Rosaleen of her fortune.

"'Your methods will be modern and probably very efficient. But you won't win.'
'What makes you think there is going to be a fight? Haven't we all accepted the inevitable?'
'You all behave beautifully. It is very amusing.'
'Why,' said Lynn, in a low tone, 'do you hate us?'
Something flickered in those dark unfathomable eyes. 'I couldn't possibly make you understand.'"

(in Taken at the Flood, Book I, Chapter Four)

David also calls Rowley an oaf, not understanding why Lynn wishes to marry him. When the supper draws to a close, Rowley asks Lynn what she discussed with Hunter, since they seemed to be getting on very well. Lynn waves him off with a vague "Nothing particular."

Lynn and David soon meet again, near the farm when David is out riding. Thereafter, David resolutely denies his sister's claims that he likes the Wren, calling Lynn "a stuck-up unpleasant girl witout a civil tongue in her head". As he strolls out of the house, however, he realizes that he is deliberately taking the course which might lead him to Lynn.

Later in the day, the two do indeed meet. David ridicules Rowley and the idea of Lynn wanting a calm, sheltered life, claiming that just like himself, she might want trouble. As the romantic tension escalates between them, David sees Frances Cloade coming up to the house, no doubt for a loan. He cruelly explains to Lynn that her own mother has already done so this morning, getting a cheque for five hundred pounds. In fact, all the Cloades except for Rowley have dropped in sometime. Lynn feels sick of the Cloade family's two-faced behaviour and quickly runs back to the farm.

She asks Rowley to give her the sum her mother has received to be repaid. He argues with her in his reasonable manner, saying that he is overdrawn because of the new tractor. If really neccessary, he could sell land or stock; but as it is, there is no harm in Rosaleen's occassionally helping the family as Gordon would have done. Lynn suggests lending her some money, but Rowley counters with a recount of his dire situation. He is short-handed but does not wish to go to Rosaleen, as he would feel bad asking a woman for funds.

"'...sometimes – it's too much for one man.'
Lynn said bitterly: 'Oh, I know! If only Johnnie hadn't been killed –'
He shouted out: 'Leave Johnnie out of it! Don't talk about that!'
She stared at him, astonished. His face was red and congested. He seemed beside himself with rage."

(in Taken at the Flood, Book I, Chapter Seven)

In the end, Lynn leaves the farm empty-handed, silently cross with her fiancé for not understanding.

The White House

The White House where Lynn lives with her mother, in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Taken at the Flood

Since she feels very guilty and does not want to feel obliged to David Hunter, she asks her mother to return the money. Mrs Marchmont, having already cashed in the cheque and paid off her debtors, cannot do that. When Adela hints at the possibility of borrowing money again, Lynn exclaims that David Hunter is right to despise them. Alas, her mother does not care a bit about what David Hunter might think; she explains to Lynn that he might not even be Rosaleen's true brother, but rather her secret lover in disguise. Lynn does not want to believe that and blames "people's foul minds" for inventing such fantastic tales.

On a Tuesday some days later, Lynn goes for a long afternoon walk to shake some of her restlessness. David and Rosaleen have gone to London, things have been a bit tumultuous between her and Rowley (Lynn admitted it was unreasonable to ask him for money, but does not feel satisfied), and apparently, her mother is starting to count on a steady income from Rosaleen. At lunch, she was even contemplating hiring another gardener, as the garden is in bad shape and growing their own vegetables would in fact be an economy. Lynn argued with her and pointed out that even though the newspaper says so, there are no men in the area who would want such job anyway, but to no avail.

On her walk, she meets aunt Kathie outside the post office. Aunt Kathie declares that her latest communications with ghosts fill her with a strong belief that everything will soon be alright. However, she doesn't want to betray any secrets and instructs Lynn not to get her hopes up prematurely. She also expresses concern for her husband's plight, as he has been having "queer nervous fits" lately and she finds him odd. Katherine puts it down to overwork during the war. Lynn only nods, as this curious alteration of moods has not escaped her notice and she put it down to the doctor stimulating himself with drugs to the point of becoming an addict. Lynn wonders if Aunt Kathie also secretly suspects this, since she is "not such a fool as she looks".

Before leaving Warmsley Vale, Lynn catches a glimpse of her uncle Jeremy and notes that he has been looking much older these past three weeks. She then quickens her pace and comes up to the hills and open spaces, where she can think clearly. She meditates about the war, hating herself for being "content to just drift along" which she has never done before.

Was that what, ultimately, war did to you? It was not the physical dangers – the mines at sea, the bombs from the air, the crisp ping of a rifle bullet as you drove over a desert track. No, it was the spiritual danger of learning how much easier life was if you ceased to think...

(in Taken at the Flood, Book I, Chapter Thirteen)

David Hunter and Lynn Marchmont sharing a kiss

David kissing Lynn, in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Taken at the Flood.

She then ponders the more personal aspects of the feeling, and arrives at the core of the issue: Does she really want to marry Rowley? As twilight settles down on the land and the smoke of a train forms a giant question mark in the sky, David comes running through the undergrowth, trying to catch the 9.20 train to London as it is now 9:15. He explains to Lynn that he went to Furrowbank to get some things and mocks everybody who wants to forget and "play safe again", including her. He then kisses her with angry lips, declaring that she belongs to him, and promises he will ring her up when back in London.

Spoilers end here.
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