The Enemy, Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, English CBSE Class 12 NCERT Vistas Chapter 4


(Explanation and Meaning of difficult words)

Author – Pearl S Buck

The house of Dr Sadao Hoki was constructed on the beach in Japan. When he was a child, he used to often play on the beach.

Beach means the sandy land along the edge of a sea. Some beaches are very wide while others are not. Almost every beach has rocks.



The house was of low height and square in shape. It was constructed on rocks of the beach. The beach had many pine trees. The beach was narrow.



Word Meaning
Bare feet Not wearing anything in feet


South Seas is referred to Pacific Ocean.

When Sadao was a boy, he used to climb pine trees. He used to climb without wearing anything in his feet. In the islands of South Seas he had seen men climbing coconut trees. He had learnt the trick of climbing by watching these men.



Word Meaning
Yonder There, In the direction shown
Stepping stones Something that helps in success


His father used to often take Sadao to these island. He always used to say to the brave boy (Sadao) that those islands situated there, are beginning of successful future for Japan.



Sadao asked his father, where they would go from there. His father told him that nobody knows about future. Future does not have any limit. We make our own future. Hence future depends on our efforts.



Word Meaning
Taken into his mind Understood and remembered
Spent infinite pains Spent lot of time


Sadao had understood and remembered it. He always remembered and did what his father had said. His father never played with him or cracked jokes. But he spent lot of time with Sadao. His father had only one kid – Sadao.


Word Meaning
Chief Main, Major
Concern Worry


His father had a major concern about education of Sadao. So he had sent Sadao to America to thoroughly study surgery and medicine. Sadao had gone to America at the age of 22.



Sadao came back to Japan at the age of 30. Sadao became famous as a surgeon and as a scientist. This had happened while his father was alive.



Word Meaning
Render Make, Result into
Abroad Foreign country
Troops Soldiers, Military


Sadao was trying to complete his research on a method that will make any wound fully clean. Because of this reason, during World War II, Sadao was not sent to other countries with soldiers.



Sadao also knew that the old General of Japan might need to be operated anytime. Though it was a minor possibility. Sadao was kept in Japan for such possibility. Presently the general was given medicines for his treatment.

The General was chief of Army in Japan.



Now clouds were rising from sea. Past some days were warm during night time, which was not expected. Because of this, there was dense fog from cold waves of sea. Meaning that the fog was in the sea.


Word Meaning
Outlines Outer edges
Shore Edge of sea
Creeping Moving slowly
Wreathe Encircle


Because of mist, Sadao could not clearly see edges of the small island. This island was near the shore. The mist would slowly come up to the beach and below his house. It will encircle all the pine trees at the beach.




Word Meaning
Wrapped Covered


In few moments the fog will cover his house also. Then he will go to his room. His wife, Hana and his two kids would be waiting for him.



Word Meaning
Haori Jacket of Japanese style
Kimono Japanese dress
Affectionately Lovingly, With love


At that moment door of his house was opened. His wife came out. She was wearing a blue coloured haori over her kimono. She came near to Sadao. She held his arms, smiled but did not say anything.



Sadao met Hana in America. They did not fall in love immediately. Sadao wanted to be sure that she was from Japan. His father would not have accepted Hana if she were not a Japanese.

Pure in race means that parents and ancestors of Hana were from Japan.




Word Meaning
Wondered Thought
By most casual way Coincidentally


Many times Sadao thought he would not have married anybody other than Hana. Luckily he had met Hana at the house of his American professor. It was purely a matter of chance and coincidence.


The professor and his wife were kind people. They were always eager to help students from foreign countries. The students did not like their nature but had to accept their help.


Word Meaning
Nearly not gone Did not want to go but went
Voluble Talkative


Many times Sadao had told Hana that he did not want to go to the house of professor that night. Name of the professor was Harley. Rooms in their house were very small. Food they served was not tasty. And wife of professor used to talk a lot.



But Sadao had gone to house of professor that night. He met Hana there. Hana was a new student. He liked Hana and he wanted to fall in love with her.




Word Meaning
Years enough Many years
Heedlessly Carelessly, Without thinking


Now Hana put her hand around arm of Sadao. He was very happy to feel her arm around his arm. Although they were married many years ago and had two children, they liked each other. Because they did not marry in America without thinking.



Word Meaning
beforehand Prior, Before


They completed their study and came back to japan. His father met Hana. Their marriage was arranged in traditional Japanese way. Sadao and Hanna had talked everything about their marriage before coming to Japan.



They were leading a happy life. Hana put her cheek on his arm.


Word Meaning
Flung Thrown
Breaker Wave that breaks on shore


At that moment they saw a black object coming out of the fog. It was a man. It appeared that that he was thrown out of the ocean by a wave breaking at the shore. He was standing on his feet.




Word Meaning
Staggered Walk unsteadily
Curled Moving in spirals or circles


He walked unsteadily. Due to mist, they could only see outline of his body. His arms were above his head. Then he was hidden behind the moving mist.



Word Meaning
Leaned Bent


Hana asked in loud voice who was that. They both bent over railing of veranda. Now they saw him again. They saw that  the man was walking on his knees and hands. The man fell down and was lying on the beach.


Word Meaning
Washed from boat Thrown from boat


Sadao made a guess that he was a fisherman. Probably he was thrown out of his boat. Sadao ran down the steps. Hana also came behind him.



Word Meaning
Bare Without houses etc
Surf Sea
Badly torn Severely wounded


Two miles away, on either side of their house were villages of fishermen. But around his house there were no other houses. It was the only house. The sea near their house had lot of sharp rocks. Still the man managed to come through these rocks. He must be severely wounded.



Word Meaning
Indeed Certainly
Stain Mark, Smudge


When they went near the man, they saw that he was really badly wounded. On one side of him, there was a red mark in the sand. The blood was coming from his body and sand had soaked it.


Word Meaning
Make haste To hurry
Rags Torn
Garments Clothes


Sadao said in a surprising manner that the man was injured. He hurriedly went to the person who was not moving. His face was buried in the sand. A cap was on his head. The cap and his head were wet because of sea water. His clothes were torn.





Sadao stopped near the man. Hana also stopped near Sadao. Sadao turned face of the man up. Hana said in a low voice that he was a white man.

‘White man’ means a person from America, Canada, Australia, Europe and many more countries. Colour of skin of people from these countries is white.



Word Meaning
Tortured Injured, Tired


The wet cap got removed from his head. They could see his yellow hair. These hair were long because they had not been cut since many weeks. His face looked young and it was injured. He had a yellow beard. The beard was rough, not trimmed. The man was unconscious so did not feel anything.



Sadao thought about the wound. His started searching for the wound using his finger. ‘Expert fingers’ means that Sadao was a trained surgeon. When he touched the wound, fresh blood started flowing. Sadao saw a wound at the lower back of the man. It was from a bullet and the wound had opened again.


Word Meaning
Flesh Tissue, Meat
Tended Treated, Taken care of
Bad chance Unfortunately


His tissues had become black and some powder was deposited on the wound. The man had suffered wound from a bullet some days ago. The wound was not treated. He was not taken care of. Unfortunately, a rock had hit the wound again.


Word Meaning
Solemn Pious, Sincere
Screened Came alround, Hid


Hana said in her soft, pious and sincere voice that the man was bleeding. The mist was allround them now. And that time of day nobody used to come to that side.



Word Meaning
Beachcombers Persons walking on beach
Considered day at an end Had gone home


All fishermen had gone to their homes. Occasional walkers on the beach had also gone home.




Word Meaning
Muttered Spoke unclearly
Will Desire
Stanch Stop flow of blood


Sadao told in unclear voice what would they do with that man. But his trained hands were not affected by his thoughts. They were trying to stop flow of blood from his body.



Word Meaning
Moss Type of grass
Strewed Scattered, Spread
Moaned Voice of pain, Groan
Stupor Unconsciousness


Sadao put sea grass on the wound. This grass was scattered on the beach. Even in his unconsciousness, the man groaned with pain. But he did not wake up.



Word Meaning
Dusted Removed dust


Sadao told to himself that they should throw that person again into the sea. It will be best action. Now bleeding from the wound had stopped. Sadao got up and he removed sand from his hands.



Word Meaning
Undoubtedly Certainly
Steadily Firmly


Hana said firmly that that would certainly be the best thing to do. But she was continuously looking at the man. The man was not moving at all.



Word Meaning
Shelter To hide, To protect
Turn over Hand over to police


Sadao said that if they tried to hide and protect the white man, they will be arrested. If they handed over the man to police as a prisoner, he will surely die.


Word Meaning
Curious Strange
Repulsion Hate, To move away
Inert Not able to move, Still


Hana said that they should put him back into the sea. It will be most action to take. But Sadao and Hana stood at their place. They were looking at the man who could not move. They were filled with a strange hate towards the man.


Word Meaning
Battered Damaged


Hana asked who was he? Sadao replied that the man appears to be an American. He picked up the damaged cap of the man.


Word Meaning
Almost gone Almost erased
Faint Dim, Unclear


Some letters were written on his cap. These letters had become very dim. He read the words – ‘US Navy’. The man was a sailor from a warship of America. He was prisoner of war.

Those serving in US Navy are called ‘sailor’.

‘Prisoner of war’ means a soldier arrested by opposite country during a war.



Word Meaning
Wounded Injured
Resolution Determination, Decisive


Hana said that the man had escaped from the prison. That is why he was wounded. Sadao added that the man was wounded at his back. They looked at each other. Then Hana asked in a decisive voice if they can put him back into the sea.



Sadao told Hana if he can put him back into the sea, can she also do it. Hana replied in negative. She said he should do it alone.



Sadao hesitated. He said that he had strange feelings. If the man was not injured he could have handed him over to the police without any difficulty.



Sado continued.

He did not care for the man. The man was his enemy. Sadao said that all American are his enemy. The man was just a common person. But he is wounded. So we cannot throw him back into the sea.



Hana said that in that case we would have to take him to our home, Sadao asked what will servants think about it.



Hana said that they must tell servants that he would be given to the police. And we must actually do it. We must think of our children. You should think of your position. If we do not hand him over as prisoner war, we will be in danger.



Word Meaning
Fowl A type of bird


Sadao agreed with Hana. He said that he would not think of doing anything else. So they both had agreed to hand over the man to police. They lifted the man. He was very light. He was like a bird who had not taken food for long time. Such bird would have weight of only its feathers and its bones.



Sadao and Hana started carrying the man to their house. His arms were hanging down. They carried him through the side door of the house and then through passage of the house to an empty bedroom.



Word Meaning
Deeply matted floor Floor with thick carpet


That was the bedroom of father of Sadao. His father had died. Now nobody used that bedroom. The floor had thick carpet. They laid the man on the floor.



Word Meaning
Please To make happy, Wish


In this bedroom everything was Japanese because that was the desire of his father. He never used a chair or slept on a bed that was made in foreign.



Hana took out a soft quilt from the cupboard of the room. It had design of flowers on it. Its lining was of pure white silk. She spoke in a low voice that the man was very dirty. She was sad because the quilt will become dirty.



Word Meaning
Bear Tolerate


Sadao agreed with his wife Hana and said that the man needed to be cleaned. He asked Hana to bring some hot water. He will clean the man. Hana said she cannot tolerate that Sadao should touch the man.



Hana said the she will need to inform servants that a white man was at their house. She said she will inform to Yumi. Hana thought that Yumi could be away from their children for some time. She can come to the bedroom and wash the man.



Sadao thought about it for some time and then agreed. He suggested that Hana should inform Yumi and he will inform other servants.



Word Meaning
Utter Severe
Pallor Yellow colour
Stoop To bend
Faint Slow, Dim


Sadao saw that the face of the unconscious man was completely yellow. So Sadao bent over him and felt his pulse. The pulse was slow but he could feel it. Then Sadao put his hand on the chest of the man. The heart was also beating.



Sadao said that if the man was not operated, he would die. He considered if the man would die during operation. Hana got afraid and shouted that Sadao should not try to save him. What will they do if the man lived? Sadao asked her what they will do if the man died. (Sadao is talking about death of the man during operation)


Word Meaning
Gazing Looking, Staring
Vitality Strength


Sadao stood there and stared at the man who was not moving. The man must have extraordinary strength. Otherwise he would have died by this time. But the man was young. His age was perhaps less than 25.



Hana asked if the man could die during operation. Sadao said yes, he could.


Hana had did not believe Sadao. (Because Sadao was a good surgeon ). She did not say anything. Sadao said that they needed to do something to this man. And first of all, he needs to be cleaned.



Sadao quickly went out of the room. Hana also came out. She did not want to be with the white man alone.


Word Meaning
Menace Danger, Threat


This man was the first American she had seen after leaving America. He was not related to anybody she had known in America. He was an enemy and a danger. Weather alive or dead.


Word Meaning
Nursery Children’s room


Hana went to children’s room and called Yumi. But children heard voice of their mother. Hana had to go into the bedroom. She smiled at her children. She played with them for some time. Her younger child, a boy, was only three months old.


Hana took the baby in her lap and asked Yumi to come with her. Yumi told her that she would first put the baby to sleep. He is about to sleep.


They went to the next bedroom. The baby was in the lap of Hana. Yumi spread two quilts on the floor so that baby can sleep on it. She put the baby on the quilt. And put another quilt over the baby.



The Hana silently and quickly went to kitchen. By this time Sadao had told both servants about the man. Servants were frightened. The old gardener also worked as a servant of the house. The gardener was pulling hair of his mustache.



Word Meaning
Ought not Must not
Bluntly Directly. Straight
Revenge Punish, Retaliate


The gardener told Hana directly that Sadao should not give treatment to the white man. The white man must die. First a bullet had hit him. Then in the sea he was hit by rocks. Sadao should not treat that person. Otherwise sea will punish us. Gardener is telling that a curse may fall on family.



Word Meaning
Courteously Politely, Respectfully
Superstitious Believe in superpowers or omens


Hana politely told the gardener that she would inform Sadao about his feelings. Actually she was also frightened. But she did not believe in super powers. While the old gardener had faith in superpowers.


Word Meaning
Fetch To go and bring

Hana thought that would it be correct to help an enemy. But she asked Yumi to bring hot water to the room. In that room the white man was lying.


Word Meaning
Slid Removed
Partition Door


Hana opened the door and went into the room. Sadao was not in the room. Yumi came in the room after Hana and put down the wooden bucket. Then Yumi went near the white man.


Word Meaning
Stubbornness Determination to refuse


When Yumi saw the man, she became determined to refuse orders of Hana. Yumi told Hana that she had never cleaned a white man. And that she did not want to clean such a dirty white man.



Word Meaning
Severely Loudly
Command Order
Fierce Fearful
Unreasonably Very much


Hana shouted at Yumi and told her to obey the orders given by her master. There was a fearful look of refusal on the face of Yumi. Hana felt very much afraid.



Hana was afraid because servants could report to the police. They could also report what had not happened. (Means they could do some wrong reporting which could be bad for Sadao and Hana.)



Word Meaning
Dignity Respect


So Hana told Yumi with respect that she should understand the situation. They wanted the white man to become conscious. Then they will hand him over to police.



Yumi told Hana that she would not do any work of white man. She said that she was a poor person and that was not her work. Hana politely asked Yumi to go back to her work.


Yumi immediately left the room. So now Hana was alone in the room with white man. She would have been afraid of being alone in the room. But the refusal by Yumi kept her in the room.



In her low voice she said Yumi was stupid. After all he is a man. He is wounded and helpless.



Word Meaning
Conviction Belief
Impulsively Without thinking
Untied Opened
Rug Blanket, Rough cloth


Hana believed that she was superior to Yumi. Without thinking anymore, she bent (sat on the floor) and opened the knots of the cloth that covered the man.




Word Meaning
Bare Without cloth, Naked


When chest of the man could be seen, she dipped a towel into hot water. The towel and water were brought by Yumi. Hana carefully washed the face of the man.



Word Meaning
Exposure Open to sun
Blond Fair


The skin of the man had become rough because he had been in the sun for long time. But colour of the skin was fair. Hana thought that he must have been very fair during his childhood.


She was thinking these thoughts while she was cleaning the man. Though she did not like the man because he was not a child now. But she cleaned her upper body.


Word Meaning
Ebbing Increasing
Anxious Worried
Rose Got up
Wipe Clean by rubbing


She did not have the courage to turn the man over. She thought where was Sadao. Now she became angry. She was again worried. She got up. She cleaned her own hand with a wrong towel. (Means she had used a dirty towel)


To prevent the man from becoming cold, she put a quilt over him. Then she softly called out Sadao. He was about to enter the room when she had called him. His hand was on the door. Now he opened the door of the room.


Hana saw that Sadao had brought emergency bag of a surgeon. He was wearing the coat of a surgeon. (Means he had done preparations for operation.) Hana asked in a loud voice if he had decided to do an operation.


Word Meaning
Tokonoma alcove Recess in a wall


Sadao replied in short by saying yes. Now his back was towards Hana. He spread the sterilized towel in the recess of wall. He put all the instruments required for surgery on that towel.



Word Meaning
Linen Towel, Cloth
Covering Carpet


Sadao asked Hana to bring towels. She brought towels from the shelf. Now she was worried. She wanted to put some old mats on the floor. So that blood would not spoil god carpet of the floor.



Word Meaning
Strips Long and narrow pieces
Delicate Easy to damage, Soft
Shrub Small plant
Armful As much as one can hold in arms


She went to back veranda. Gardener used to keep long pieces of matting there. He was using these pieces to cover delicate soft plants during cold nights. She took an armful of these strips.



Word Meaning
Packing Bandage,
Ruined Spoiled


When she reached the room, she realized that bringing these strips was useless. The blood from the wound had already spread on the mating of the floor. The matting under the man was spoiled.



Word Meaning
Commanded Ordered


She shouted because the mat had been spoiled. Sadao replied that the mat had been spoiled. It seemed that Sadao was not worried about mat. He ordered Hana to help him to turn the man.



Hana did not say anything. She obeyed him. Sadao started cleaning back of the man. Hana told Yumi had refused to clean the man.



Word Meaning
Swift Quick
Concise Short


Sadao asked Hana if she had cleaned the man. Hana replied yes. He did not stop his quick and short movements while he was talking.



Word Meaning
Absorption Concentration


Sadao did not listen to Hana. But Hana was used to this type of concentration of Sadao. She thought that Sadao was not bothered who was the patient. He always wanted to do his work excellently.



Word Meaning
Impatiently Quickly, Without patience


Sadao told Hana that she will need to give anesthesia if required. Hana replied that she had never done that. Sadao told her that it was very easy.




Word Meaning
Peered Observed carefully, Examined
Fastened Tied, Wearing


Sadao removed the moss packing. The blood started coming out quickly now. He was wearing a light on his forehead. He carefully observed into the wound. He calmly said that the bullet was still in the wound.


Word Meaning
Superficial From surface

Sadao told that he was not certain about depth of the wound caused by rock. If the wound was not deep, he would be able to take out the bullet. But the bleeding was not from surface of the body. It was from deep within the body. The man had lost lot of blood.



Word Meaning
Chocked Difficulty in breathing
Colour of Sulphur Yellow
Faint Unconscious


At that time, Hana started feeling some difficulty in breathing. Sadao looked at her. Her face had become yellow. He asked Hana not get unconscious.



Word Meaning
Exploring Searching


Sadao did not remove the instrument with which he was searching for bullet in the body of white man. He said that if he stopped  the person will surely die.



Word Meaning
Leaped up Got up with a jerk, Jumped up
Retching Vomiting

Hana put her hands on her mouth. She got up and ran out of the room. Sadao could hear that she was vomiting in the garden. He continued his work.



Word Meaning
Distress Trouble, Pain
Under the knife Being operated


Sadao thought it was better that she vomited. He forgot that Hana had never seen an operation. Hana was in trouble and he was not able to go to her. So he became impatient. He also became irritated by the white man, who was being operated and was motionless.



Word Meaning
Unconsciously Without realising
Ruthlessly Mercilessly, Without mercy
Swiftly Quickly
Paid no heeds Did not pay attention


Sadao thought there was no reason in this world for this man to live. He did not realise that  this thought had made him merciless. So he worked quickly. The man groaned in his dream. (because he was unconscious.) But Sadao did not any attention to him.



Word Meaning
Muttered Spoke unclearly


Sadao spoke unclearly to himself. He told to the white man to groan if he liked. But remember that I am not doing this surgery for my happiness. In fact I do not know why I am doing it. That moment Hana entered the room.



Word Meaning
Stir To move


Hana asked Sadao where the medicine for anesthesia was. Sadao indicted with his chin. He said to Hana that it was good that she was back. This man has started moving.



Hana had a bottle and some cotton in her hand. She asked Sadao how should she give anesthesia to the white man.



Word Meaning
Saturate Soak
Intricate details Complicated details


Sadao told her to soak cotton in the liquid. The liquid was in the bottle. And then keep the cotton near to white man’s  nose. He continued to do the complicated operation. He further said that when the man starts breathing badly, she should move the cotton away.



Word Meaning
Crouched Sat
Piteously Causing mercy


Hana sat close to the face of the man. The man appeared to be sleeping. She noticed that his face was thin. She felt pity at him. His lips were twisted. She realized that the man was in pains. But the man may not know about it.



Word Meaning
Flicker Intermittently, Not continuously
Word of mouth Verbally
Contradicted Opposed, Refuted


She had heard many stories about sufferings of prisoners. These were rumours and came irregularly. She started thinking if those stories were true. These were told verbally. These stories were opposite to each other. ( means many of rumours were opposite to each other)



The newspapers had always reported that people were happy to receive Japanese armies. People were happy to achieve freedom.


Word Meaning
Remembered Recalled
Cruelly Without mercy


Sometimes she recalled behaviour of General Takima. At his home he used to beat his wife mercilessly. And no one talked about this cruelty. because of his victory in the war of Manchuria.



She thought that if a man was cruel to his wife, he would be cruel to every other person also. (She is having a doubt that Japanese armies were welcomed wherever it had gone. She thinks that they had tortured people)



Hana hoped that this white man was not tortured. She observed some red marks on his neck and under the ear. Hana looked at Sadao and asked about those red marks.


Sadao did not give any answer. At that moment edge of his instrument touched something hard in the body of the man. It was very close to kidney. It could be dangerous. He concentrated on it. He did not think of anything else.


Word Meaning
Every atom of body Every part of body
Anatomy Science of structure of body


He was happy at that moment. He softly searched with his fingers. He knew every part of the body of a human being. His American professor had taught them about the human body.



Word Meaning
Cardinal Main, Major
Sin Fault, Immorality
Thundered Spoke loudly


The professor used to loudly tell the class that not knowing human body was a major fault. He used to tell this repeatedly every year. If you operate a person without knowing complete anatomy, then you may kill the patient. And it can be called a murder. You should know about body as if you have yourself made it.


Sadao told himself in a low voice that the bullet was not near the kidney. Sadao had the habit of talking to himself while doing operation. He used to fully concentrate on operation. He always addressed his patients as ‘my friend’. He addressed the white man also as ‘my friend’. Sadao forgot that this man was his enemy.



Word Meaning
Cleanest Accurate
Precise Exact
Incision Cut made by surgeon
Quivered Trembled


The Sadao made an accurate and exact cut. The bullet was out of the body of white man. The man trembled. He was still unconscious.



Word Meaning
Gut Stomach


But the man spoke some words in English. He said that they have removed his stomach. Hana shouted but Sadao asked her to remain silent.



Word Meaning
Profound Deep, Great, Acute
Faint Dim
Feeble Week


Now the man was deeply quite. The silence was so deep that Sadao took his wrist to feel the pulse. Though Sadao did not like to touch the American. The pulse was very faint and week. But it was sufficient for the man remain alive.



Sadao thought that he did not want this man to remain alive. He asked Hana to stop giving anesthesia.


Word Meaning
Paused Stopped
Vial Small bottle that has medicine
Hypodermic Syringe
Thrust Pushed


Sadao quickly turned as if he had never stopped. He took out a small bottle. This bottle had some liquid medicine. He filled a syringe and injected the medicine in left arm of the patient.



Word Meaning
Fluttered Flickered, Vibrated
Thrust Pushed

He put down the needle. He again felt the pulse of the man. The pulse vibrated and then it became better. He said to Hana that the man would remain alive. Then Sadao took a deep breath.



Word Meaning
Terrified Afraid
Perceived Understood, Realised
Compelled Forced, Felt the urge


After sometime, the young man woke up. He was very weak. He realized that he was with a Japanese family. He had terror in his blue eyes. (meanns he was afraid). Hana felt it was necessary to say sorry to him.



Word Meaning
Summon Gather
Fearful Frightening


Servants did not want to enter in room, so Hana herself gave him some food. When Hana came in the room for the first time, the white man thought that she may harm him. So he was trying to gather his strength to prepare himself for something some frightening incident.



Word Meaning
Gasped Surprised

Hana softly requested him not to be afraid. He asked her how she could speak English. Hana replied that she had been in America for a long time.


Word Meaning
Knelt Sit on knees
Unwillingly Without desire


Hana realized that the man wanted to say something. He was very weak so could not speak. Hana sat on her knees. She fed him using a porcelain spoon. Man did not want to eat but he ate.



Hana did not like the man. But she still wanted to console him. She said that he would be strong very soon.


On the third day after the operation, Sadao found that man was sitting. Because of effort he made to sit, his face had become white. (Meaning that he was very weak.) Sadao ordered him in a loud voice to lie down.



Sadao slowly pushed the man to lie down. He examined the wound. Sadao told the man if he tried to do such acts, he might die.


In a low voice, the man asked Sadao what they would do with him. Will you hand me over to police? The man now appeared to be of 17years age. (So he is also addressed as boy)



Sadao did not answer immediately. He completed examination of wound. He put the quilt over the man. Sadao told that he did not know what he should do.



I should hand over you to police because you are prisoner of war. Then he noticed that the man was trying to speak. Sadao put his hand on the mouth of the man. He told him not to speak anything. Sadao told him that the man should tell his name only when somebody asked. Otherwise he should remain silent.


Word Meaning
Mouth a bitter line To be angry with someone


They looked at each other. They young man closed his eyes. He turned his face towards wall and said OK. One could make out from his face that white man was angry with Sadao. (Because Sadao told him that he may hand over him to police)



At the door of the room Hana was waiting for Sadao to come out. He could feel that she was in a problem. Hana informed Sadao that Yumi and other servants had told her that they would not work there. Because Sadao and Hana were hiding that man.


Yumi told that Hana and Sadao had lived in America for a long time. We have forgotten about our own country. They think that we are Americans.



Sadao told that it was not true. He also considers Americans as enemies. But I am a  trained surgeon. I cannot  allow a person to die, if I can help.



Word Meaning
Household Activities of house
Dragged Continued


Hana said that servants are not understanding this. Sadao agreed that they would not understand. None of them said anything more. Somehow, all works of house was getting done. Meaning that servants were staying and doing work.



Word Meaning
Courtesy Politeness
Eyes were cold upon Did not respect


The servants were now carefully observing everything. They continued to be polite. But now they did not have respect for the couple (Sadao and Hana) who were paying them salary.




Word Meaning
Moss A type of grass


The gardener told to other servants that it was very clear what the master (Sadao) needs to do. Throughout his life gardener had taken care of flowers. He was very expert in taking care  of moss also.


Word Meaning
Sweeping Cleaning by broom
Marred Disturbed


The gardener had made very good garden of moss for father of Sadao. He used to clean the green grass regularly. No leaf or needle of pine remained on the surface of the grass to disturb beauty of the garden. The author wants to say the he was an expert gardener.



Word Meaning
Pinching Plucking


Now servants are talking among themselves.

The gardener said that son of his old master (Sadao) knows what he should do. He plucked a bud from a plant. He further questioned why Sadao stopped the blood of the man. The man was about to die. Sadao should have allowed the man to die.



Word Meaning
Contemptuously With disrespect


The cook said that young mater (Sadao) is very proud of his skill. He thinks that he could save any life. While saying these words, the cook was showing her disrespect to Sadao.



Word Meaning
Split Cut in long direction
Fowl A type of bird
Fluttering Vibrating, Moving quickly
Wistaria Type of creeper
Vine Creeper, Climber


The cook now had cut neck of a bird. The bird was vibrating it feathers. The blood of the bird was going to roots of creeper wistaria. The gardener believed that blood was the best fertilizer for plants. He had asked the cook to put all the blood into plants.



Word Meaning
Fate Destiny
Condemned Declared, Punished
Traitor Who works against his country

Yumi said that they should think about the children. What will happen to children if their father is declared a traitor?



Word Meaning
Hide Conceal
On purpose Intentionally


Hana was arranging flowers. She was near to servants. The servants did not want to hide their thoughts from Hana. So they had spoken loudly. Hana also understood that they were intentionally speaking loudly so that she could hear their talk.



Word Meaning
In most of her being By her feelings


Hana knew by her own feelings that the servants were correct in their thinking. But she could not understand her own  behaviour. 



Word Meaning
Sentimental Emotional
Impulsively Suddenly


Emotionally she did not like the prisoner. She considered him a prisoner. She did not like him when he suddenly told her that his name was Tom.



Word Meaning
Hurt To insult
Assuage To calm, To reduce
Indeed Really


She had bowed to him from some distance. Japanese bow to show their respect to somebody. She could see that he felt insulted. She did not want to calm him down. He was really a problem for the house.


Word Meaning
Pulled out Removed by pulling
Fortnight Two weeks


Sadao used to carefully examine wound of the man every day. The last stitches had been removed. The young man will be completely OK within next two weeks.



Sadao went to his office and started typing a letter to the Chief officer of police. He wanted to report the complete incident. On 21st February an escaped prisoner was thrown on the beach in front of my house.



Sadao typed only that much. He opened secret drawer of his table. He put that incomplete letter into the drawer.


Two things happened on the 7th day after that. In the morning all the servants left the house of Sadao. They had tied their belongings in large cotton cloths of square shape.



Word Meaning
Dismayed Annoyed
Pride Dignity


When Hana got up in the morning she found that the house was not cleaned. The food was not ready. She understood its meaning. She was annoyed and afraid. But she did not express her anger. She wanted to maintain her dignity.



Hana held her head with grace. She maintained calmness. When servants came before her in the kitchen, she paid their salary. She thanked for their services and help. The servants were crying. Hana did not cry.



The cook and the gardener had been working in the house since childhood days of Sadao. Yumi had cried because of her affection towards children.



Word Meaning
Grieving Sad
Send for Call


Yumi was so sad that she came back running to Hana. She requested Hana to call her back to the house if the baby ( the younger child) remembers her. She was going to her house. Hana knew where her house was.



Hana smiled at Yumi and thanked her. Hana was determined not to call Yumi even if her child cried a lot.



Hana made breakfast. Sadao took care of children. They did not talk about servants. They only talked that the servants had left their house. Hana took breakfast to the prisioner. Then she came back to Sadao.


Hana asked Sadao why they were not understanding what they should do about the prisoner. Even the servants knew what was to be done. Why are we different from other people of Japan?


Word Meaning
Brusquely Rudely, Impolitely


Sadao did not give any answer to Hana. After some time he went into the room of prisoner. He rudely told the man that he should stand up on his feet that day. He advised the prisoner to walk only for five minutes.



Sadao further told that the prisoner should try to walk for 10 minutes next day. It would be good for the prisoner to become strong as soon as possible.



Word Meaning
Flicker Glimpse,
Evidently Obviously, Apparently


Sadao could see that the young person was a bit afraid and his face was still yellow. The boy said yes in a low voice. Obviously the boy wanted to say something more. He thanked Sadao for saving his life.



Word Meaning
Coldly Without emotions
Unmistakable Without mistake


Sadao replied without any emotion that the boy should not thank him so soon. Sadao could again observe that the boy was afraid. He was afraid the same way an animal would be afraid of. (Author wants to say that boy was afraid and helpless). Marks of injury on his neck had become of dark red colour. Sadao thought why he had scars there. But he did not ask.


Word Meaning
Unaccustomed Not having habit


In the afternoon of that day, the second thing happened. Hana did not have the habit of working. It was difficult for her to do all the work. A messenger came to their house. He was wearing complete official uniform.



Her hand started trembling. She found it difficult to breath. (Author want to say that she was terrified). She thought that servants had already informed police about presence of an American in their house.



Word Meaning
Gasping Breathing from mouth
Utter Speak


Hana ran to meet Sadao. She was breathing from her mouth. She could not speak anything. By that time the messenger had come to the garden. He was standing in the garden. Hana was afraid. She indicated towards the messenger.



Sadao was in his office. He was reading a book. He looked up. The other door of his office was towards the garden. He had kept this door open to allow the sunshine to come in his office.


Sadao asked the messenger what the matter was. Then he saw the uniform of the messenger. And he got up from his chair. The messenger told that the General of the Army was suffering from pain. Sadao needs to come to the palace to treat him.


Hana had a sigh of relief. She said  if that was the only reason. ( She had thought that the army person had come to arrest them) Messenger was surprised and asked if that was not the enough reason for Sadao to come to palace. Hana agreed with the messenger and said sorry to him.


Word Meaning
Fright Fear


Hana was sitting in the kitchen. Sadao came to kitchen to say goodbye to her. The children were sleeping. Hana was sitting in the kitchen to take some rest. She was not tired because of work. She was tired because of her fears.


Word Meaning
Get rid of Remove, Expel
For your sake For you, To give you relief


Hana told Sadao that she thought the messenger had come to arrest him. Sado looked at her. He was worried about her. He told Hana in a painful voice that it was necessary to remove the prisoner from the house. He wanted to do this to provide relief to Hana.



The general spoke in a very weak voice. Certainly I understand everything. That is because I completed graduation from Princeton University. (It is a university in America). Very few people from Japan have done that.



Word Meaning
Excellency A word of great respect


Sadao told the General that he was not bothered about the man. But after doing a successful operation ..

(Sadao had told General everything about the white man)



Word Meaning
Indispensable That cannot be replaced, Important


The General told that now he is feeling that nobody can replace Sadao. Obviously you can save life of anyone. You are very skillful surgeon. You have told me that I can tolerate one more similar heart attack.



Sadao told that General can tolerate only one more such heart attack. The General replied that in such situation he will not allow anything to happen to Sadao. General was worried about himself.



Word Meaning
Condemned Punished


The pale coloured face of the General did not show any expression. Which means he was thinking. The General closed his eyes and told that Sadao cannot be arrested. Suppose you are given death punishment. And next day I need to have an operation.



Sadao said that there were other surgeons in Japan. The General said that he did not believe any other surgeon. They are trained in Germany. They think that an operation is successful even if the patient dies during operation.



Word Meaning
Sighed Breathed
Ruthlessness Determination to succeed anyhow
Sentimentality Emotions


The General took a deep breath and said that he did not believe in the opinion of other surgeons. It is sad that we are not able combine determination of Germany and emotions of America.



Word Meaning
Turn over Hand over to police
Execution Kill


General continues.

Then you could have handed over the prisoner for punishment. And I could be confident that you would not kill me when I was unconscious.



After saying those words, the General laughed. His sense of humour was unusual. He asked Sadao if he could combine aspects of these two foreign countries.



Sadao smiled and said that he was not sure about it. He further said that for the benefit of General, he was ready to make an attempt. General denied by saying that he did not want anybody to experiment on him.


General started feeling weak. He felt that taking care of his health in such time was a burden. This was the time when victories of Japanese forces in the south pacific region brought more responsibilities on him.


The General said it was a bad luck that the man reached Sadao’s house through the sea. Sadao said that he also felt that it was his bad luck.


Word Meaning
Quietly Secretly
Assassin Killer


General said that it would be better if the man was killed quietly. He should not be killed by Sadao but by someone who does not know that person. He said that he has his personal killers.



The General further spoke. Suppose I send two killers to your house this night. Or I can send them any night. Sadao should not know when they will come.



It is hot these days. So Sadao can keep the door of white man’s room towards the garden open. It will be a natural act.



Sadao agreed and said that it would look so natural. In fact the door is always kept open.



Word Meaning
Capable Competent, Efficient


The General said it was good. He further said that those killers are very competent killers. The do their work quietly. They know the trick to make a person bleed internally. ( Blood does not come out of the body). If Sadao wants, the General will instruct killers to remove the body.



Sadao thought for a moment about Hana. He told General that that would be the best. (To get the body removed)



Sadao left the palace of the General and went home. He was thinking about the plan General had told him. He was convinced that through that plan everything would be settled. He will not face any trouble.



Word Meaning
Timid Afraid
Absolute state Autocratic, One person hold all powers
Essential Necessary


Sadao thought that he would not tell anything about that plan to Hana. She will get afraid at the mention of killers getting into the house. But such persons are essential in an autocratic country. (At that time Japan was autocratic. All powers were with General). Through these assassins rulers killed those persons who dared to oppose them.



Word Meaning
Reason Logic


Sadao decided that he will think logically. He will not allow any other thought to come to his mind. He went into the room where the American was sleeping on the bed.



When Sadao opened the door, he was surprised. He noticed that the prisoner was out of his bed. He was getting ready to go to the garden.



Word Meaning
Gaily Happily


Sadao asked prisoner with great surprise that who had given him the permission to go out of the room. Tom happily replied that he did not have the habit of seeking permission.



Word Meaning
Stiff Rigid, Not soft
Forgot all else Forgot every other thing


Oh God, I am feeling quite strong again. Tom said. Tom asked if the muscles on that side will always be rigid. Sadao was surprised by the question. He forgot every other thing.



Word Meaning
Gazed Examined carefully

Sadao said in a whispered voice that he thought he had taken care about it. He carefully examined the scar that was healing. He said that if exercise does not help then it will be cured by massage.



Word Meaning
Bother To trouble
Gaunt Weak
Stubbly Unshaven
Blond Golden colour


The young man said that that muscle will not give him much trouble. He had not shaved his golden coloured beard. So he was looking very weak.




Tom told Sadao that he wanted to say something to him. It is because of Sadao that he was alive. Otherwise he would not have lived. Sadao bowed his head. He did not speak anything. ( Sadao remembered that assassins will come to kill Tom)


Word Meaning
Gripping Holding
Knuckles Joints of finger


Tom said that he was certainly aware of that. He was holding a chair with his big hands. The joints of his fingers were white. He further said that if all the Japanese were like Sadao, there would not have been a war.


Sadao said  probably that was true. He advised Tom to return to his bed. Sadao helped Tom to get back into his bed. The he said good night and went out of the room.



Word Meaning
Time and time again Again & again
Rustling of footsteps Soft sound of footsteps
Twig Thin branch of a tree
Displaced Shifted
Burden Load


Sadao could not sleep properly that night. Many times he woke up in the night. He thought he heard sound of footsteps, sound of breaking of a branch of a tree or sound of shifting of stones in the garden. A noise that would be made if men were carrying a load. This all was his imagination.



Next morning, he went to the guest room before Hana. He had thought if the American was not in the room, he would tell Hana about his discussion with general.



Word Meaning
Shaggy Dirty


When Sadao opened the door he immediately saw a dirty blond head on the pillow. Meaning that Tom was in the room. Tom looked sleeping peacefully. Sadao could hear the breathing of Tom. He closed the door silently.



Word Meaning
Old refrain Earlier dialogue


Sadao told Hana that Tom was sleeping. Sadao further told that Tom is getting better. Hana once again asked the same question that what they would do with Tom. Sadao promised Hana that he would certainly decide within two days.




Word Meaning
Bough Thick branch of tree


Sadao was thinking that second night those killers would come and get rid of Tom. The night was windy. There were sounds of a breaking of branch of tree. The wind made a whistling sound as it moved past the door of guest room.



Because of such sounds Hana also woke up. She suggested to Sadao that they should go out and close the partition (door) of the guest room. Tom was sleeping in that bed room. Sadao replied that Tom could close the door himself. Next morning the American was in his room.



Word Meaning
Eves Edges of roof
Leaped Jumped
Leaped to his feet Stood up


Sadao thought on third night that assassins would surely come. That night it was raining. There was no wind. There were sounds of water dropping from edges of roof. Water was also flowing in the garden. Sadao was having a better sleep. ( He did not sleep well last two nights) There was a sound of something breaking. He woke up and stood up.



Word Meaning
Wail Cry, Weep


Hana shouted what was that. The baby woke up because she had shouted. The baby began to weep. Hana wanted to go out to see what had happened. But Sadao stopped her. He did not allow her to go. Hana loudly asked Sadao what was wrong with him. He only said not to go. (Sadao was thinking that assassin had come)



Because Sadao was afraid, Hana also became afraid. She could not got out. She just stood in the room. Nobody spoke anything. Finally they both went to the bed. The baby was sleeping between them.



Word Meaning
Gay Happy


In the morning Sadao opened the door of the guest room. Tom was still in the room. He looked happy. He had already taken a bath. He was standing in his room. He had taken a razor the previous day. He had shaved his beard. Today his face looked less yellow. He happily said that he was feeling better.



Word Meaning
Kimono A Japanese dress
Weary Tired, Sleepy


Sadao wrapped his kimono around his sleepy and tired body. He suddenly realized that he did not want to spend one more night waiting for the assassins to arrive. He was not bothered about life of the young person. The wait was putting lot of strain (tension)  on him.



Word Meaning
Shore Edge of sea
Coast Edge of sea


Sadao agreed with the man and told him that he was well now. Sadao further told him that he had become so strong that he can sail a boat. Sadao now told him about his plan. Sadao will give a boat to the man.The boat will be placed near the sea shore. The boat will have some extra food and clothes. Tom should row that boat to the small island that is not very far from the beach.




Word Meaning
Fortify Arrangements for protection


The island is very near to the coast so there are no soldiers on that island. It is not protected. Nobody lives on that island. This island gets submerged into water during storms. But in this season storms do not come.


Word Meaning
Fathom Equal to six feet


Tom can live there for some time. When a boat from Korea comes near the island he can take that boat for his further journey. Sadao told that Korean boats come very near to that island because water is quite deep there.



Word Meaning
Stared Looked, Gazed
Comprehend To understand
Comprehension Understanding


Tom looked at Sadao. He was trying to understand what Sadao had told. Then he asked did he need to go. Sadao politely said yes. Sadao explained that he cannot keep Tom hidden in his house for more time. The man nodded as if he had understood everything. He said OK.


Word Meaning
Stout Strong
Pawnshop Small shop


Sadao did not meet Tom during that day. When evening came, Sadao pulled his strong boat near the shore. He put some food, water and two quilts in it. He had purchased these items during the daytime from a small shop.



There were high waves in the sea. So Sadao had tied the boat to a pole. It was a no moon night. Sadao did all these without a light.



After completing these works he came back to his house. He acted as if had come back from his normal work. So Hana did not know about the arrangements Sadao had made.


Word Meaning
Supper Dinner


Hana served dinner for Sadao. Though she was modern, she did not eat with her husband. Hana told Sadao that Yumi had come to the house. Yumi cried a lot for the baby. Yumi misses the baby so much. Sadao told Hana that servants would come back to the house after the American is gone.



Sadao went to the guest room before going to his own bedroom. He carefully checked pulse and temperature of the American. He also checked his wound and heartbeat.


Word Meaning
Eyes burnt Eyes were shining


His pulse was irregular. Probably it was because of anxiety of leaving the house. His lips were yellow and he was silent. His eyes were bright and shining. The scars on his body were of red colour.


Word Meaning
Inconvenient Difficult, Troublesome


Tom told Sadao that he had realized that Sadao was saving his life once again. Sadao said it was not true. It had become difficult to keep Tom at his house for more time.


Sadao thought a lot about giving a flashlight to Tom. Finally he decided to give it to him. The flashlight was his own. He was using it when he had to go out to see a patient.


Sadao advised Tom to give two flashes if he falls short of food before catching a Korean boat. He advised that he should not give flashes in the night otherwise he will be noticed. He should give flash in the evening. (Sun drops over the horizon means evening)



Sadao advised Tom that he should give one flash if he is alright at the island. He told Tom that he would be able to catch fish at the island. But he should eat these without cooking. Because if he ignited a fire for cooking, it will be noticed. The young man said OK.



Sadao gave his own Japanese clothes to Tom. Sadao also put a black cloth on Tom’s head to conceal his blond hair. Sadao then said that Tom could now go.


The American did not speak anything. He shook hands with Sadao. He walked to cross the floor and he took steps to go in the garden. It was dark in the garden.



Twice there was a flash of the light. Tom was trying to find his way. Sadao thought that nobody would suspect anything. After sometime there was flash at the shore. Sadao closed the door. He had a good sleep that night.


The General confirmed that Sadao told him the person had escaped. (Sadao has informed general that the person ran away from his house). Seven days ago the General was operated. Sadao was called from his home in the night.



Upto 12 hours from completion of operation, Sadao was not sure if the General would be alive. His gall bladder had a problem. But after some time the General started breathing heavily. He was feeling hungry so he asked for food.



Sadao did not have the courage to ask General about the killers. He knew that they had not come. Servants had returned to the house. Yumi had cleaned the whole house. She burnt Sulphur in the guest room. This was to remove smell of the American from the guest room.



Word Meaning
Gardener was cross Gardener was angry
Chrysanthemum Type of flower


Nobody said anything. Meaning that nobody talked about the white man. Only the gardener was angry. He could not grow chrysanthemums in time.



After one week General had improved his health. So Sadao thought the he should inform General about the prisoner.



Word Meaning
Signifying Meaning


Sadao told that the prisoner had escaped. After saying this he coughed a bit. This meant that he wanted to say something more but he did not want to disturb the General. The old General suddenly opened his eyes.



The General asked Sadao if he had promised to get the prisoner killed. Sadao said yes.



Word Meaning
Amazement Surprise
Murmured Whispered

The old man’s voice was full of surprise. He said that even he remembered it. But I was sick. I had been thinking only about myself. I forgot my promise. Sadao told in a very low voice that he was surprised when assassins did not come.



Word Meaning
Patriotism Love for own country
Dereliction of duty Neglect of duty

General told Sadao that he was certainly careless in that matter. But please understand that it was not because of lack of love for my country. It was not because I neglected my duty. If this matter is brought up again at any time, you should remember that.



Word Meaning
Comprehended Realised
In the palm of his hand Under his control
Swear To promise
Zeal Passion


Sadao replied to the General that he would remember this. Sadao suddenly realized that the General was now under his control. Hence Sadao himself was safe. Sadao promised to the General that he would always remember this. He promised his loyalty to the General. Sadao promised this by the passion of the General towards enemies.



General told Sadao that he will get a reward because he was a good person. The General whispered this sentence and then closed his eyes to sleep.



Word Meaning
Prick of light Flash of light
Dusk Evening


That evening, Sadao looked at the dark sea in evening. He waited till the Sun started setting. He did not see any flashlight. Sadao considered this as a reward. Now no one was on the island. The prisoner had gone safely and certainly. Because Sadao had advised him to travel only in Korean fishing boat.



He stood in the veranda of his house for some time. He was looking at the sea from where the young person had come some nights before.



Word Meaning
Dull Boring


Without any cause, he started remembering other white persons known to him. He recalled the professor, at whose house he had met Hana. The professor was a boring person. His wife wanted to be a kind person. But actually she was foolish and talked a lot.



Word Meaning
Insistent Adamant, Firm
Slatternly Careless, Dirty
Landlady Lady owner of house


Sadao remember his previous teacher of anatomy. The teacher was very firm that one should understand anatomy before using knife for operation. He remembered his fat and careless lady owner of his rented house in America.



Word Meaning
Prejudice Bias, Unfavourable opinion
Bitter Unhappy


Because Sadao was Japanese, he had great difficulty in finding a house to live in America. The Americans had an unfavourable opinion about Japanese. (Meaning Americans did not like Japanese.) Sadao thought that Japanese were better than Americans. So it was tough to live in America.



Word Meaning
Despised Disliked, Hated
Ignorant Rude, Impolite
Consented Agreed
Miserable Poor, Not good


Sadao hated the rude and dirty land lady. She had finally agreed to rent her poor house to Sadao.



Word Meaning
Grateful Thankful
Nursed Took care
Influenza A type of disease


Sadao had tried be thankful to the landlady. During last year of his stay Sadao suffered from influenza. (Cold, cough and fever) She had taken care of him during his sickness. But even while she was kind to him, Sadao disliked her.


Word Meaning
Haggard Sick, Weak

Now Sadao remembered the young and sick face of his prisoner. Sadao disliked him. Sadao thought it was very strange that he could not kill the prisoner.


Important Links
The Enemy – Textbook Q&A The Enemy – Extra Q&A
Tiger King – Explanation Should Wizard Hit … – Explanation
Tiger King – Textbook Q&A Should Wizard Hit … – Textbook Q&A
Tiger King – Extra Q&A Should Wizard Hit … – Extra Q&A
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1 Comment

Sheetal · September 3, 2020 at 11:55 am

Execellent explation…☺

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