no- 14


How is Ausable
different from other secret agents?

Ans. Ausable is quite different from
other secret agents. He lived in a room of a French hotel which had a musty
corridor. The room was quite small and was situated on the sixth and the top
floor. Moreover, he was a very fat person and his accent was quite different.
He spoke French as well as German. Moreover, he had never altogether lost the
American accent that he had brought to Paris from Boston twenty years ago.


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

Ans. Fowler is the young writer who came
to Ausable.

The first authentic thrill of the day
was when he entered into the room of Ausable and the lights were turned on, he
found a man holding a small automatic pistol on his hand.


no- 15


How has Max got in?

Ans. Max got inside the room of Ausable
through a passkey. If he would have known about the balcony, he would have
reached more easily.


How does Ausable say
he got in?

Ans. According to Ausable, he thought
that Max got inside through the balcony. But he said that he entered through
the passkey and if he knew about the balcony earlier, it would have been easier for him.


about it

no- 18


“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?)

Ans. Generally, it is seen that the spies, detectives and secret
agents are portrayed as gentlemen. They are observed to be always holding a
cigar or smoke pipe and smoke. James Bond is a character made by Ian Fleming.
He is seen to be having various advanced technology gadgets. Feluda is one such
character made by Satyajit Ray.



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. Ausable provided a neat and detailed description of the
balcony. He told that it wasn’t his balcony rather it belonged to the next
apartment. The balcony extends under his window. All these details forced Max
to believe in him.

Moreover, he added that it was the second time in a month that
somebody had got into his room through the balcony. This made the story a
convincing one.


Looking back at the
story, when do you think Ausable thought up his plan for getting rid of Max? Do
you think he had made up a plan taking advantage of events as they happened?


Ans. No, I don’t think that Ausable had made a plan for getting
rid of Max. He was a great spy and this idea came instantly.


Yes, he made that plan at that moment and the situation was on
his favour. There was a knock on the door and Ausable considered the person
outside to be the police. He also told that if he would not respond then the
police might get inside and would not hesitate to shot Max.


Talk about it

Page no- 18


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

Ans. In the story “The Midnight Visitor” by
Robert Arthur, Ausable shows great ‘presence of mind’ or the ability to think
quickly and wisely, in a situation of danger and surprise. Some other examples
can be found from the stories of Feluda written by Satyajit Ray and Byomkesh Bakshi
written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay.


Discuss what you
would do in the situation 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.

A child starts to
choke on a piece of food.

An electrical
appliance starts to hiss and gives out sparks.

A bicycle knocks down
a pedestrian.

It rains continuously
for more than twenty-four hours.

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

You may suggest other

Ans. If the following situation arises that:

A small fire starts in your kitchen then
a blanket should be used. If this is a case of short-circuit, then electricity
supplies should be cut-off.

A child starts to choke on a piece of
food then we should thump on his back so that the piece of food should come

An electric appliance starts to hiss and
gives out spark then electricity supplies should be cut-off immediately.

A bicycle knocks a pedestrian then first
aid should be provided to the pedestrian. If the case turns out to be serious,
then the person should be admitted to a hospital.

It rains continuously for more than
twenty-four hours then necessary precautions should be taken in order to
survive during floods.

A member of your family does not return
home at the usual or expected time then we must try to contact him or her. If
it is not possible to contact, then we must enquire others who could know about
that person. If it still doesn’t work, then finally we must inform the police
about it.