English CBSE Class 10 NCERT Footprints Without Feet Chapter 3 The Midnight Visitor Free Solution of Textbook Questions and Answers
THE MIDNIGHT VISITOR
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Q 1. How is Ausable different from other secret agents?
Answer: Ausable was a fat and sloppy person. He lived in a gloomy hotel that had musty corridors. He could passably speak French and German. Though he had lived in Paris for about twenty years his accent was American. He received his message on telephone rather than from black eyed beauties.
In above aspects Ausable was different than other secret agents.
Q 2. Who is Fowler and what is his first authentic thrill of the day?
Answer: Fowler is a writer who had come to meet Ausable.
He experienced his first authentic thrill when he went to the room of Ausable. There he saw a slender person sitting in the room. The man had a pistol in his hand.
Q 3. How has Max got in?
Answer: Max got into the room using a master key to open the lock.
Q 4. How does Ausable say he got in?
Answer: Ausable says that Max got into his room using balcony. He further told that it was the second time in the month that somebody had got into his room through balcony.
Think about it
Q 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? Discuss in groups or in class some stories or movies featuring spies, detectives and secret agents, and compare their appearance with that of Ausable in this story. (You may mention characters from fiction in languages other than English. In English fiction you may have come across Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, or Miss Marple. Have you watched any movies featuring James Bond?)
Answer: Secret agents in books and movies are shown as very handsome looking person. They are well built, expert in shooting and martial arts. They are shown to be a good singer. Sometimes they are shown to be a smoker and one who enjoys drinking alcohol. Sometimes they are shown to be expert in doing stunts.
James Bond is one such famous character. Sherlock Homes is also a famous character. In Indian context, Karamchand is a character created for television. ACP Pradyuman, Daya and Abhijeet are main characters of another TV serial CID. The TV serial Saboot had a female detective KC.
James Bond is projected as a master of all trades. The other characters are closer to real life situations.
Q 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 narrated that during last month somebody else had come to his room through balcony. He had complained to the hotel management but they had not taken care of it. He further tells that the balcony is not attached to his room. He goes on to build a story of his room being part of a big apartment. He makes a pledge to himself that this time he is going to take up this issue with hotel authorities very seriously.
The building up of story, reference to hotel authorities and his confidence during narration made Max believe about existence of balcony.
Q 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 was surprised to see Max in his room. He quickly made a plan to get rid of Max. I think it was an instantaneous plan.
It is basically his presence of mind, ability to collate events, calmness and confidence upon himself that he could easily outsmart Max. Ausable knew that a waiter would soon be coming to the room. He knew that there was no balcony. Max had already expressed his intention to wait till receipt of the report.
Ausable stitched these aspects together. He concocted the presence of Police. Max wanted to hide during the presence of police. So he was trapped to get into balcony and his eventual death.
Talk about it
Q 1. In this story, Ausable shows great ‘presence of mind,’ or the ability to think quickly, and act calmly and wisely, in a situation of danger and surprise. Give examples from your own experience, or narrate a story, which shows someone’s presence of mind.
Answer: Swami Vivekanad was in a foreign country to give his lecture. He took food in a plate and sat opposite a white person. The person said that a pig and swan do not eat food at the same table. Swami Vivekanad replied that he will fly away to another table. He went to another table to have his food.
The famous story of ‘Thirst Crow’ is also about presence of mind.
Q 2. Discuss what you would do in the situations described below. Remember that presence of mind comes out of a state of mental preparedness. If you have thought about possible problems or dangers, and about how to act in such situations, you have a better chance of dealing with such situations if they do arise.
• A small fire starts in your kitchen.
Answer: First is to check if it is from cooking gas cylinder. If yes, then a wet towel is to be put on the gas cylinder and regulator needs to be removed.
It the fire is due to any other reason then electric supply from the main point of the house is to be disconnected. After that water should be poured to douse fire.
• A child starts to choke on a piece of food.
Answer: We should rub the back of the child. We should also pat his back lightly. Even then if choke is not removed than we should stand at the back of the child, put our arms around him through his armpits and then slight lift the child and put him back on the ground with a thump.
Using these methods choke will be definitely removed.
• An electrical appliance starts to hiss and gives out sparks.
Answer: Immediately remove the plug of that appliance. If we are not able to reach up to the plug disconnect electric supply for mains of our house.
• A bicycle knocks down a pedestrian.
Answer: Help him / her get on feet. Enquire about injury. If injury is minor, give first aid to the pedestrian.
If injury appears to be serious take him to a nearby hospital. We may take help of passersby in this effort.
• It rains continuously for more than twenty-four hours.
Answer: Listen to news on TV and on internet about situation of the city. If your locality is likely to be flooded move to safer place. Otherwise it is best to remain indoors.
• A member of your family does not return home at the usual or expected time.
Answer: Try to contact him on his mobile. Then try to contact his work place. Then try to contact his colleagues. If information is not received from any of these places, inform police and seek their help.