Page no- 70

1. What kind of a person was Evans?

Ans. Evans was one of the prisoners of the Prison named Oxford who was a very cunning fellow. He was named the “Evans the Break” by the prison officers. Evans was a congenital kleptomaniac. He had the record of escaping from jail for three times. Moreover, the Governor of the Oxford Prison referred him to be a ‘pleasant chap’. He was also one of the stars in the Christmas concert.

2.What are the precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination?

Ans. The prison officers checked the cell of Evans. They ordered him to surrender sharp objects like nail file and razor. McLeery’s suitcase was also properly checked and investigated. The cell in which Evans was being kept was locked up. Mr. Stephens was there out of the jail to look after Evans and his actions. He along with Mr. Jackson informed the governor about each events occurring inside the cell.

Page no- 77

3. Will the exam now go as scheduled?

Ans. The German O-Level Examination was supposed to begin at 9.15 a.m. But it had started a bit later than the mentioned time. At 9.20 a.m. Evans reported his objection regarding Mr. Stephen’s staying with them in the cell, where the examination was being conducted. The Governor accepted that and made Stephens move out of the cell. At 9.40 a.m., the correction slip arrived and it was informed to Evans. Then at 10.50 a.m. with the permission of the invigilator, Mr. McLeery, he put a regulation blanket over his shoulders. The prison officer thought that it might be cold inside. At 11.22 a.m., a phone call came from the Governor and asked Mr. Stephens to accompany McLeery. Finally, at 11.25 a.m. the exams were over. Thus, the examination went on as scheduled.

Page no- 81

4. Did the Governor and his staff finally heave a sigh of relief?

Ans. Yes, the Governor and his staff finally heave a sigh of relief. The examination was over and the Governor heard the sound of the door for the last time. Mr. McLeery was accompanied by Mr. Stephens and they were finally relieved that they had been successful in stopping Evans from escaping.

Page no- 84

5.Will the injured McLeery be able to help the prison officers track Evans?

Ans. The injured McLeery was actually Evans. Yes, the injured McLeery was able to help the prison officers track Evans, though he tried to misguide them, but it was the Governor’s intelligence which helped in tracking Evans. He informed the prison officers that he knew where Evans had escaped. He informed the Governor about the photocopied sheet and the text that was written over here. It was written about the Elsfield way. McLeery informed the prison officers to move to Elsfield Way.

Page no- 85

6.Will the clues left behind on the question paper, put Evans back in prison again?

Ans. The correction slip and the question paper provided several clues. The index number and centre number helped him find the exact location. He found that a photocopied sheet had been superimposed over the last very carefully and cleverly. There was a line written on it. It stated that he should follow all the rules that were being mentioned. The last few minutes would be the most important in which he had to do everything. Moreover, he shouldn’t overdo the Scot’s accent as the Reverend Stuart McLeery was a minister after all.

Page no- 86

7.Where did Evans go?

Ans. Evans went to the hotel named Golden Lion. The correction slip mentioned the name and he found it out from the map of Oxfordshire. But there he was caught by the Governor and while he was taken from there to the cell again, a prison van driven by a disguised prison officer took him away and Evans planned to move to Newbury.

Reading with Insight

Page no- 92

1.Reflecting on the story, what did you feel about Evan’s having the last laugh?

Ans. Evans had the last laugh as he was finally successful in escaping from the jail. Even after he was being caught by the Governor, he was rescued by his friends. He along with his friends befooled everyone in the prison. It was a part of his plan. The call for the prison van was actually made by his friends. Yes, Evans had the last laugh. He was finally successful in escaping from the jail.

2.When Stephens comes back to the cell he jumps to a conclusion and the whole machinery blindly goes by his assumption without even checking the identity of the injured ‘McLeery’. Does this show how hasty conjectures can prevent one from seeing the obvious? How is the criminal able to predict such negligence?

Ans. Yes, this shows how hasty conjectures can prevent one from seeing the obvious. After McLeery went out, Evans was found lying in the chair. Stephens thought the same but soon after he realized that it was McLeery and he thought that Evans had done what he was supposed to do. He didn’t even notice that it wasn’t actually McLeery but Evans himself. He informed everyone and they believed in the injured McLeery and did whatever they were asked to do by the injured McLeery. And in the meantime, the injured McLeery escaped to the hotel named Golden Lion. Thus, this shows that the negligence of the prison officers helped Evans in escaping.

3.What could the Governor have done to securely bring back Evans to prison when he caught him at the Golden Lion? Does that final act of foolishness really prove that “he was just another good-for-a-giggle, gullible governor, that was all”?

Ans. The Governor followed the hints and caught Evans in a very clever manner. But after catching he let him go with the prison officer who was actually a friend of Evans. This foolish act of the Governor helped Evans in escaping. He should have taken Evans to the prison himself and not believing in anyone else.

4.While we condemn the crime, we are sympathetic to the criminal. Is this the reason why prison staffs often develop a soft corner for those in custody?

Ans. Yes, sympathy towards Evans was one of the main reasons behind Evan’s escape. Mr. Jackson had a soft corner towards Evans. This made him believe in him. He should not have allowed Evans with the bobble hat, even if after knowing that it was his lucky charm. A criminal especially who is a “congenital kleptomaniac” shouldn’t be believed at all. If he wouldn’t have allowed Evans with the hat, they wouldn’t have to suffer that much.

5.Do you agree that between crime and punishment it is mainly a battle of wits?

Ans. Yes, I agree that crime and punishment is mainly battle of wits. After a crime has taken place, its punishment becomes inevitable. No one can escape from the punishment. But one more factor works in this case and that is wits. The criminal commits crime in a very cool-mind. So, it becomes quite difficult for the police officers to find out the exact thing. In such a case, it becomes necessary for a police officer to be very clever to find out clues and ultimately catch the criminal. Otherwise, it will be really tough to catch the criminal and even after the criminal is being caught, he would befool them and move out. The same happened in the story “Evans Tries an O-Level” by Colin Dexter. The prison officers couldn’t even think that Evans would be able to escape in such tight security. It was because of the carelessness of the prison officers that helped Evans to escape. As they were handling a case of a thief who had escaped for three times, they should have been more cautious.