Detailed explanation of “The Midnight Visitor”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
This is a story two smart secret agents who try to outsmart each other. Ausable, a secret agent, is expecting to get a very important report about some new missiles. Another secret agent, Max, threatens him with a pistol, demanding the report. However, Austable traps him with his convincing stories and eliminates Max using his presence of mind.
Ausable was a secret agent in an organization. He does not look like one at all .He was a fat man with a strange accent. He was an American and could speak German and French fluently. Fowler was disappointed to see Ausable as he could not find any characteristics of a secret agent in him as he had read.
Fowler had imagined Austable as a mysterious figure with a crack of pistols and drugs in wine. Instead he met a dull fat man in an unromantic location. Ausable guessed Fowler’s disappointment. Ausable and Fowler spent the evening in a French music hall. Fowler was feeling bored. Ausable informed him that he would soon receive an important paper. The paper might affect the course of history. It had also made many men and women risk their lives. He had got a telephone call making an appointment in his room.
When both Ausable and Fowler entered Ausable’s room and switched on the light after closing the door, they saw a man with a pistol standing half way across the room. Fowler was thrilled. Ausable was surprised to see Max (another secret agent belonging to another agent’s organization) in his room. Ausable was surprised to see Max in France as according to the information he had, Max was supposed to be in Berlin. Max was thin but not very tall. He appeared clever and cunning like a fox. On being asked, Max informed him that he had come there at the odd hour to take from him the prospective report about some new missiles.
Ausable sat on an armchair in a serious and angry mood. He started saying that it was the second time in a month that somebody had got into his room through a balcony. Max here clarifies that he did not enter Ausable explained that the balcony belonged to the next apartment which used to be the living room. He further tells him that his room and the next apartment were earlier a larger unit. Now, the unit has been divided, but the balcony still exists. The management had done nothing to block the balcony.
Max asked Fowler to sit down, rather than stand stiffly for half an hour till the report arrived. Ausable was at a loss to find how Max had learnt about the incoming report. Max asked Ausable how his people had got that report. Just then, there was a knock at the door. Fowler jumped at it. Ausable informed Max that it was the police whom he had called for extra protection. This information makes Max nervous. As the knocking was repeated loudly , Max threatened Austable to ask the police to go away or he would shoot him. Ausable told Max that the Police would enter the room any way and shoot if he did not open the door.
Max got infuriated and started backing swiftly towards the window. He opened the window with one hand behind. He wanted to escape through the balcony. He informed Ausable that he would wait in the balcony. He would shoot and take his chances if Ausable did not send the Police away. The knocking became louder Somebody called Ausabie repeatedly. Max dropped to the balcony, screamed loudly and died.
A waiter entered the room with a bottle and two glasses set on a tray, the drink ordered by Ausable. Fowler was shocked now he wanted to know where was the police and how Max would get arrested. Ausable explained that he was waiting for the waiter and not for the Police. Fowler was still worried that Max would return with a pistol but Ausable reassured him that Max would not return because there was no balcony and Max had jumped to his death as the room was on the sixth floor.
|musty||smelling of mould/ fungus||menacing||dangerous|
|gloomy||cheerless||missiles||weapons directed by remote control or automatically|
|let down||disappointed||raise the devil||make a strong protest|
|romantic adventure||exciting happening||grimly||seriously|
|accent||a distinctive way in which people in a particular area, Country or social group pronounce words||nuisance||causing annoyance|
|passably||just well enough to be understood||pressing blackly||showing total darkness|
|wheezily||with a whistling sound||inflection||change of tone|
|envisioned||imagined||block it off||close it|
|sloppy||(here) carelessly dressed||check on||meet|
|slipped||passed secretly||backed swiftly||went back quickly|
|Prosaic||routine/ordinary||shrilly||piercingly /in a high pitch|
|chuckled||laughed quietly without opening the mouth||deftly||neatly and skilfully|
|disillusioned||disappointed||uncorked||removed the top cover|
|take cheer||be happy||white-faced||pale from fear|
|affect the course of history||change the way things happened or will happen||slender||gracefully thin|
|authentic thrill||a real feeling of excitement||crafty, pointed countenance||cunning look|
|wheezed||spoke breathing noisily and heavily|