NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Chapter 3 The Midnight Visitor
the midnight visitor class 10 question answers – Read and Find Out (Page 14)
How is Ausable different from other secret agents?
What great qualities made Ausable a successful secret agent? CBSE 2013
How was Ausable different from other secret agents? CBSE 2011
How is Ausable different from other secret agents? How does he deal with Max? CBSE 2012
Ausable is different from other secret agents in more ways than one. He has a small room in the musty corridor of a gloomy French hotel. It was on the sixth and top floor and it was scarcely the setting for a romantic adventure. He was extremely fat. In spite of living in Paris for over twenty years, he spoke French and German with difficulty and had an American accent. Instead of getting messages passed secretly to him by beautiful girls, he got only a routine telephone call making an appointment. In these ways, he was different from the conventional notion of a secret agent.
He dealt with Max by inventing some stories and convincing Max to act on them, so that he could get rid of Max permanently.
Who is Fowler and what is his first authentic thrill of the day?
Fowler is a writer and he had come to meet Ausable. His first authentic thrill of the day came when he saw a man in Ausable’s room pointing a pistol towards Ausable and himself.
the midnight visitor class 10 question answers – Page 15
How has Max got in?
Max had got into the room using a passkey or master key.
How does Ausable say he got in?
Ausable said that he thought Max had got into the room through the balcony. He said that it was the second time in a month that somebody had got into his room this way.
the midnight visitor class 10 question answers – Think About It (Page 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?)
Secret agents in fiction are projected like ideal men, ‘Tall dark and handsome’. They are usually well-built and keep beautiful women for company. They would smoke a pipe (like Sherlock Holmes) or a cigar and execute death-defying stunts (like James Bond). Movies based on James Bond show hi-tech gadgets which assist the detective in countering villains. However, there are some exceptions to this appearance of a secret agent also. A character named Feluda was created by Satyajit Ray, the famous Bengali filmmaker. Feluda was a tall athletic figure who relied on his superb analytical ability and observation skill.
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?
Ausable creates a detailed description of how his office was part a bigger apartment and how the next room had a direct connection with a balcony. His statement that . somebody else also broke into his office through that balcony earlier made it a convincing story. Ausable’s ability to think quickly and calmly in a situation of panic makes it convincing.
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?
No, I don’t think that he had worked out his plan in detail earlier. He took advantage of events as they happened. Ausable made up a story of the balcony outside the room and as there was a knock at the door, he said that it would be the police. All these made Max desperate. He became restless and without seeing below, jumped out of the window.
the midnight visitor class 10 question answers – Talk About It (Page 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 mind.
This story refers to the play ‘If I Were You’. Gerrard was held hostage by a criminal. However, Gerrard treated the criminal as a guest and trapped him with his confidence. He managed to convince the criminal to run away as the police is behind him. He told the criminal to run through the exit door, which was actually a cupboard door. The criminal exited through the door and was trapped in the cupboard.
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.
- 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 such situations.
- If a blanket is available, it should be put over the fire to shut out the air. If the fire is not due to an electrical problem, water can be thrown on it. If it is due to a short-circuit, electricity must be disconnected immediately from everything in the kitchen before taking any other measure.
- The child’s back must be thumped slowly until the piece of food stuck is vomited out. However, in case it continues, the child should be given trained medical aid immediately.
- Electricity to the appliance should be immediately disconnected. If it is plugged into a socket, the plug must be removed from the socket. Later on the appliance may be got repaired by an authorised person.
- First aid should be given to the pedestrian at once. Public help may also be asked, if necessary. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, the affected person may be shifted to hospital.
- Flooding may be caused by a heavy downpour. So all necessary precautions for saving various possessions should be taken, besides informing the concerned authorities to take preventive action.
- A family member not returning home at the usual time should be enquired for at the place he or she was expected to visit. If he or she was with friends, these friends or the friends’ families should be contacted. If there is no result from these enquiries, as a last resort, the lcical police may be informed.
Class 10 English Chapter 3 The Midnight Visitor Important Questions
Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1. Why had Fowler wanted to meet Ausable?
Answer: Fowler was a writer and he had wanted to meet Ausable, a renowned secret agent. Fowler wanted to know how Ausable tackled dangerous situations. He was disappointed when he saw Ausable, as he didn’t look like what Fowler thought a secret agent should look like.
Question 2. Describe Fowler’s reaction after entering Ausable’s hotel room. [CBSE 2014]
Answer: Initially Ausable got a shock to see Max in his room. But he remained calm. Max also had a pistol with him, so Ausable didn’t try anything fishy. He just kept his cool and fooled Max by using his brain to invent stories.
Question 3. ‘Ausable shows great presence of mind in a situation of danger and surprise.” Do you agree with this statement? If yes, why?
Answer: Yes, I agree with this statement, as Ausable showed great presence of mind when Max pointed a gun at him when he entered the hotel room with Fowler, which surprised and endangered both of them. He remained calm and cool, inventing stories as required to fool Max into jumping to his death.
Question 4. Why did Max’s face turn black with anger? What did he want Ausable to do? [CBSE 2012]
Answer: Max’s face turned black with anger because he felt that his plan of extracting the important document from Ausable was in danger of failing due to the knocking on the door, which Ausable identified as the police. He wanted Ausable to send the police away.
Question 5. Why did Ausable frame the story of the balcony? [CBSE 2012]
Answer: Ausable framed the story of the balcony to counter the use of the pistol by the rival secret agent Max to threaten him. The rival would have been able to get the important report about the new missiles if Ausable had not concocted this story.
Question 6. How does Ausable manage to make Max believe that there is a balcony attached to his room?
Answer: Ausable creates a detailed description of how his office was part of a bigger apartment and how the next door room had a direct connection with the balcony. His statement that somebody else had also broken into his office through that balcony made it a convincing story.
Question 7. Who actually had knocked at the door of Ausable’s room? Why did he come there? [CBSE 2010]
Answer: The waiter in the hotel where Ausable stayed knocked at the door of Ausable’s room. He had brought the drinks which Ausable had ordered when he arrived in the hotel with Fowler.
Question 8. Why did Fowler want to meet Ausable? Why was he disappointed?
Answer: Fowler was a young romantic writer. He had a fine imagination about spying and secret agents. He loved adventure and thrill. So he wanted to meet Ausable who was engaged in collecting sensitive information. He was disappointed after spending a dull evening in a French music hall with a fat, sloppy man as there was nothing mysterious or romantic about him.
Question 9. How can you show that Ausable showed great presence of mind in situation of danger and surprise?
Answer: Ausable showed a great presence of mind when Max pointed gun at him when he entered note room with Fowler. Though his looks were not mysterious but with his presence of mind he cooked up the story of non-existent balcony. Max, though smart, was be fooled by Ausable and even lost his life.
Question 10. Who actually had knocked at the door of Ausable’s room? Why did he come there?
Answer: Henry, the waiter was knocking at the door in hotel. Infact, Ausable had ordered for a bottle of wine and two glasses. When there was a knock at the door he reached as if policeman was at the door. He had come there as Ausable had ordered drinks before coming into the room.
Question 11. What story did Ausable frame about calling the police?
Answer: As soon as there was a knock at the door, Max enquired of it. Ausable told him that he had already informed the police to check if everything was okay at intervals because of the important papers. Ausable told Max that they were on their duty to check.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1. What information did Ausable give about the imaginary balcony? Why did he do so? [CBSE 2013]
Answer: Ausable created a detailed description of how his room was part a bigger apartment and how the next room had a direct connection with a balcony. His statement that somebody else had also broken into his office through that balcony made it a convincing story. Ausable did this to fool Max into thinking that a balcony existed just outside the window, as he knew that soon the waiter bringing the drinks he had ordered would be knocking at the door, which may prompt Max to jump into the imaginary balcony to hide.
Question 2. Ausable was a clever secret agent. Do you agree with the statement? Justify your answer. [CBSE 2012]
Answer: Ausable did not look at all like the conventional image of a secret agent. He was short and very fat. Besides, he spoke French and German which lacked fluency as well as the right accent; the American accent was quite palpable in his speech. However, Ausable had a very sharp and active mind because he invented two stories, one about a non-existent balcony outside his hotel window and another about the police arriving to give extra security to some important documents he was about to receive.
He was an intelligent man and a clever secret agent to be able to invent such stories on the spur of the moment in the face of imminent danger in the form of Max, a rival secret agent.
Question 3. Why did Max scream shrilly when he dropped to the balcony? [CBSE 2011]
Answer: A person screams shrilly when something unexpected happens to him. Here, Max screamed shrilly when he dropped to the ‘balcony’, because actually there was no balcony at all; it was only a figment of Ausable’s imagination. Ausable had described it so vividly, including its history and use, that Max was convinced there was a balcony just outside the window and tried to jump onto it without looking. As the room was on the sixth floor, Max would certainly have been died by falling from such a height.
Question 4. A calm mind can help you tackle direst stress. Explain.
Answer: Certainly, a calm mind can help us to tackle direst stress. If Ausable had panicked and done something fishy, then Max probably would have killed him. But Ausable kept his cool. Apart from this story, there can he some real life examples also. We are always told to focus when we are appearing for exams or not to panic in a difficult situation because such things hamper our thinking ability. We are not able to take proper decisions at this time. If we keep our mind cool and focus, then only can ,we find ways to get out of crunch situations.
Question 5. How is Ausable different from other secret agents?
Answer: Ausable is different from other secret agents in more than one way. He has a small room in the musty corridor of a gloomy French hotel. It was the sixth and topmost floor and it was scarcely the setting for a romantic adventure. Ausable was extremely fat. Inspite of living in Paris for over twenty years, he spoke French and German moderately and had an American accent. Instead of getting messages slipped into his hands by dark-eyed beauties, he got only a telephone call making an appointment. In these ways, he was different from the conventional notion of a spy.
Question 6. What was Ausable’s problem? How did he solve it?
Answer: Ausable was a secret agent in an organisation. He had gone out with Fowler to spend the evening in a French music hall. When they returned to Ausable’s room in the hotel, they found Max standing in the middle of the room. He had a revolver in his hand. Ausable did not lose his calm. With unique presence of mind, he fabricated a story. He said that it was the second time someone had entered his room through the balcony under the window. Max took the concocted story as true.
Instantly, there was a knocking on the door. Max got panic stricken when Ausable remarked that there was the police. He had requested them to provide him extra security. Max was bewildered. He went towards the window and jumped on the non-existing balcony from the sixth floor. Max met with his death. Thus, Ausable’s problem was solved.
Question 7. What impression do you form of Ausable as a secret agent after reading the story “The Mid night Visitor”?
Answer: Ausable was a determined secret agent. He was dedicated to his work. He was agile in action even though he was a sloppy fat man. He was sane and shrewd. Being calm and cool headed by nature he did not lose his presence of mind when he found Max in his room with a revolver. It was midnight. He cooked up a false story of a balcony existing under the window just to befool the intruder.
Instantly they heard a knock at the door. Ausable remarked that the police had come to check on him and to provide him security. Getting nervous, Max rushed towards the window. He dropped to the balcony and fell down dead. He was patient, fearless, courageous, ready-witted and resourceful.
Question 8. How did Max attempt but failed to acquire the secret paper from Ausable?
Answer: Max’s organisation had ordered him to grab the secret report on missiles which the people of Ausable’s organisation had managed to get. He used a passkey and entered Ausable’s hotel room at midnight. He was holding a revolver in his hand since he intended to grab the report at pistol point. Ausable invented the fake story of a balcony extending under his window just to embarrass Max.
He remarked that it was the second time in the month that somebody had got into his room through that’ balcony. Instantly there was a knock at the door. Ausable’s remark that police had arrived to check on him unnerved Max.- To save his life, Max rushed towards the window. In hot haste, Max dropped to the non-existent balcony and met his tragic end. Thus he failed to acquire the secret paper.