"I was thinking", said Mr Treaves, "not so much of the points of law raised, although they were interesting, very interesting. If the verdict would have gone the other way, there would have been good grounds for appeal, I think. But I won't go into that now. I was thinking, as I said, not of the points of law, but of the, well, of the people in the case."
Everybody looked rather astonished. They had considered the people in the case only as regarding their credibility or otherwise as witnesses. No-one had even hazarded a speculation whether the prisoner had been guilty or innocent, as the court had pronounced him to be.
"Human beings, you know", said mr Treaves thoughtfully. "Human beings. All kinds and sorts and sizes and shapes of them. Some with brains and a good many more without. They had come from all over the place: Lancashire. Scotland. That restaurant proprietor from Italy. And that schoolteacher woman from somewhere out middle west. All caught up and enmeshed in the thing and finally all brought together in a court of law in London on a grey November day, each one contributing his little part, the whole thing culminating in a trial for murder." He paused, and gently beat a delicate tattoo on his knee. "I like a good detective story myself, but you know, they begin in the wrong place. They begin with the murder. But the murder is the end. The story begins long before that, years sometimes, with all the causes and events that bring certain people towards a certain place, at a certain time on a certain day. (...) All converging towards a given spot - and then, when the time comes, over the top! Zero hour. Yes. All of them, converging towards zero."
He repeated, "Towards zero."
Agatha Christie, Towards Zero