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The Midnight Visitor - Supplementary Reader

Footprints Without Feet - A Supplementary Reader Text for 10 the class Lesson -3: The Midnight Visitor - Robert Arthur Glossary, Summary, Qu...

Footprints Without Feet - A Supplementary Reader Text for 10 the class

Lesson -3: The Midnight Visitor - Robert Arthur

Glossary, Summary, Questions and Answers

Glossary - 

1. Musty - lack of fresh air, suffocated.

2. Scarcely - hardly.

3. Passably - enough.

4. Wheezily - spoke heavily.

5. Espionage - spying.

6. Envisioned - future possibility.

7. Sloppy - carelessly dressed.

8. Prosaic - ordinary.

9. Chuckled - laughed.

10. Countenance - expression.

11. Menancing - threatening.

12. Grimly -

13. Stiffly -firmly.

14. Moodily - angrily.

15. Evilly - badly.

16. Sill-shelf.

17. Shrilly - in a high pitch.

18. Missiles - weapons directed by remote control or automatically.

Summary -

READ AND FIND OUT - ( Page. No. 14 )

1. How is Ausible different from other secret agents?

Ans - Secret agents are always supposed to be very alert, active, smart, have an excellent physique, and the capacity to crack any impossible tasks carrying different weapons, but on the contrary, Ausable is a sloppy and fat personality, so doesn't fit into the description of secret agents, in this way different from others.

2. Who is Fowler and what is his first authentic thrill of the day?

Ans - Fowler is a young writer and wants to write some mysterious activities of the secret agents so he came to meet Ausable that night. His first authentic thrill of the day is when he enters a hotel room with Ausable, he finds that a person is standing with a pistol in hand pointing at them.

READ AND FIND OUT - ( Page. No. 15 )

1. How has Max got in?

Ans - Max has entered the room with the help of a passkey, or master key by which any lock can be unlocked.

2. How does Ausable say he got in?

Ans - To confuse and make a smart move to get rid of Max, Ausable says to him that he must have entered his hotel room through the balcony, to make him believe that that room has a balcony to enter secretly.

Think about it -

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?

Ans - In books and films, secret agents or spies are always picturized as very extraordinary personalities like smart, with good physiques, carrying several weapons, master of many skills such as horse riding, driving cars with great speed, wearing jackets, gloves, and goggles, surrounded by beautiful girls, always have a solid plan to escape, extraordinary decision making capacities, and many more soft skills which a common man could ever imagine. 

But in this plot, Ausable does not fit any qualities of a secret agent, as he is a fat and sloppy man, and so the writer Fowler was greatly disappointed when he met Ausable in a hotel lobby.

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?

Ans - Even though Ausable is a sloppy and fat man, he has a sharp brain, and fast decision-making capacity, as soon as he saw Max standing in the middle of the room carrying a pistol in his hand, he started working on a plan to get rid of Max, so he started telling Max that, this is the second time, someone has entered in his room through the balcony, and he is going to complain of it to the hotel management, and he narrated this story to Max so naturally and confidently, that Max believed that that room has a balcony, and with the help of this concrete trap, Ausable was successful to get rid of Max.

3. Looking back at the story, when do you think Ausable thought up his plan to eliminate Max? Do you think he had worked out his plan in detail right from the beginning? Or did he make up a plan to take advantage of events as they happened?

Ans- No, Ausable did not make a plan before, but he immediately made one as soon as he saw Max with a pistol in his room, he made Max believe that the room had a balcony when the waiter knocked on the door to deliver some eatables which he ordered before, he told Max that the police was on the door, and asked Max to hide in the balcony, and made Max to fall down on the ground from the 6th floor, and got rid of Max.

He did not make any plans before, but with the circumstances, he plotted the events very sharply and quickly and got successful results. Actually, that is the extraordinary quality a secret agent must have, and Ausable is the perfect example of a smart spy, as it is supposed to be.

Talk about it -

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 dander and surprise. Give examples from your own experience, or narrate a story showing someone's presence of mind.

Ans - In a bustling market in Varanasi, India, lived a man named Raj. Raj was known for his wit and presence of mind, attributes that often came to his aid in navigating life's challenges. One day, as he strolled through the vibrant market, he found himself entangled in an unexpected situation.

A persistent street vendor insisted on selling him a peculiar-looking artifact, claiming it possessed magical powers to bring good luck. Raj, sensing that the vendor was trying to take advantage of him, needed to find a clever way out of the situation without offending the vendor. 

With a twinkle in his eye, Raj looked at the artifact and exclaimed, "Ah, this is exactly what I've been looking for! However, I need to test its authenticity before making a purchase." The vendor, eager to make a sale, agreed to the proposition.

Raj, with a theatrical flourish, began chanting a series of made-up mantras while waving the artifact in the air. A small crowd gathered, intrigued by the spectacle. Raj continued his performance, adding a touch of humor to the situation.

As the crowd laughed and clapped along, Raj suddenly paused, staring intently at the artifact. With a serious expression, he declared, "The spirits have spoken! This artifact is indeed powerful, but it must be left undisturbed for 24 hours to fully activate its magic.

Seizing the opportunity, Raj explained that he would return the next day to make the purchase. The crowd dispersed, and the vendor, now invested in the story, agreed to the condition.

The following day, Raj discreetly avoided the market, leaving the vendor waiting for a customer who would never return. With a chuckle, Raj had successfully used his presence of mind to diffuse a potentially tricky situation, leaving behind a memorable tale in the lively streets of Varanasi.


2. Discuss what you would do in the situations described below. Remember that the presence of mind comes out of a state of mental preparedness. If you have thought about possible problems or dangers and how to act in such situations, you have a better chance of dealing with them if they arise.

1. A small fire starts in your kitchen.

Ans - If it happens, then the most inflammable commodity in the kitchen is a gas cylinder, so to remove the regulator, close all the knobs of gas, open all the windows, switch off the main electrical switch, and if available, use of fire extinguisher would be effective to combat the fire.

2. A child starts to choke on a piece of food.

Ans - If it happens, patting him on his back slowly or using hot water to drink is advisable, but it would be better to call the doctor.

3. An electrical appliance starts to hiss and gives out sparks.

Ans - If it happens, it is always safe to switch off the main switch, and unless and until the damaged appliance is rectified, never put it on the main switch. In such cases, it is always better to remove affected appliances and give them for repair. For this reason, and for the safety of costly electrical appliances, the use of circuit breakers is highly recommended.

4. A bicycle knocks down a pedestrian.

Ans - If it happens, check him up on how badly he is hurt, if not try to comfort him in the cool shade, offer him some water, and if he is seriously hurt then either take him to the hospital and call his family members.

5. It rains continuously for more than twenty-four hours.

Ans - If it happens, and nowadays because of weather changes, it is happening in many parts of our country, it is advisable not to go out of the home, and if any member of the family is out, call him/her home as early as possible, because many of area gets waterlogged, switch off the main switch, in heavy rain there is always the danger of electric shock. Even the use of mobile phones, computers, and laptops is strictly prohibited.

6. A member of your family does not return home at the usual or expected time.

Ans - If it happens, it is always advisable to call, if unable to contact, then try to contact the place like a working place, a friend's home or his last destination, relatives, or wherever he or she is likely to be. Most of the time, it is observed that he or she might get stuck in a very unusual situation like a traffic jam, or vehicle malfunctioning, so as not to get panicky or over-stressed. but if the time laps for more than 24 hours, it is advisable to contact the police authority.

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