the midnight visitor
Gloomy: nearly dark
Ex:It was a gloomy day. The room was quite gloomy.
Chuckled: laughed quietly
Ex: She chuckled at the new comer.The students chuckled at the new teacher.
Passably: just well enough.
Ex: Ausable spoke French and German passably. She speaks passably good Telugu.
Wheezed: spoke breathing noisily and heavily
Ex: His old father wheezed all night. “I have a chest infection” the patient wheezed.
Missiles: weapons directed by remote control or automatically.
Ex: Our scientists have invented some new nuclear missiles.
Fowler is surprised to see a secret agent Ausable who is too fat to be a secret agent. Ausable tells him that he was going to get an important paper for which many men have risked their lives. When both of them reach Ausable’s room,
Fowler is scared to see a man standing in the room.Max who is tall and thin man and is holding an automatic pistol in his hand . He had entered his room by using a key to take the report concerning a new missile. Ausable ,sensing the danger, fabricated a story about the non-existent balcony which Max believed to be true. Ausable complained that it was due to the balcony that somebody had entered his room the second time. After sometime there was knocking at the door. Ausable again befooled Max by saying that it was the police who wanted to come inside to provide him protection. Max wanted to run away to avoid the police and jumps to his death into that non-existent balcony.
short questions & answers
Ans. 1) True 2) False 3) False 4)True 5) False
Who was Ausable? Where was he staying?
Ans: Ausable was a clever secret agent. He was staying on the sixth and top floor in a French Hotel.
Who was Max? Why did he enter Ausable’s hotel room?
Ans: Max was another secret agent. He entered Ausable’s hotel room to get that report by force.
What did Ausable tell Fowler about the report?
Ans: Ausable told Fowler that he would see an important report concerning some new missiles.
Who knocked at Ausable’s room in the hotel?
Ans.Henry,a waiter of the hotel knocked at his room in the hotel.
How is Ausable different from other secret agents?
Ans: Ausable is a secret agent but he is very fat and not much tall. His accent is also not proper. He appears to be completely different from other secret agents.
Who is Fowler and what is his first authentic thrill of the day?
Ans: Fowler is a young and romantic writer. His first authentic thrill of the day is quite clear.He outwitted Ausable in a simple way.
How has Max got in?
Ans: Max has got in by using a passkey in Ausable’s absence.
How does Ausable say he got in?
Ans: Ausable says Max has got in his room through an ordinary window. It was in the balcony.
text book questions & answers
1. “Ausable did not fit any description of a secret agent Fowler had ever read.” What do secret agents in books and films look like, in your opinion?
Answer: Secret agents in fiction are projected like ideal men, ‘Tall dark and handsome’. They are usually well built and keep have beautiful women for company. They would always smoke pipe or cigar and do death defying stunts. James Bond is a very famous character by Ian Fleming. Movies based on James Bond show hi-tech gizmos whch assist the detective in countering villains. There are some exceptions as well. There is a character named Feluda which was created by Satyajit Ray, the famous Bangla Filmmaker. Feluda was typical bhadralok by appearance.
2. How does Ausable manage to make Max believe that there is a balcony attached to his room? Look back at his detailed description of it. What makes it a convincing story?
Answer: Ausable creates a detailed description of how his office was part a bigger apartment and how the next room had direct connection with the balcony. His statement that somebody else also broke into his office through that balcony made it a convincing story.
3. Looking back at the story, when do you think Ausable thought up his plan for getting rid of Max? Do you think he had worked out his plan in detail right from the beginning? Or did he make up a plan taking advantage of events as they happened?
Answer: Ausable is very clever the way a detective should be. He made the plan to get rid of Max from the very beginning which is evident from the story of the imaginary balcony. He knew the waiter would come to deliver his drinks. He planned carefully to create an imaginary policeman which would have compelled Max to jump on the non-existent balcony.
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