The Midnight Visitor: SEBA, TBSE Class 10 English answers and extras

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Get summary, textbook solutions, questions, answers, extras, pdf of the chapter The Midnight Visitor of SEBA (Assam Board), TBSE (Tripura Board) Class 10 English (Second Language/supplementary/Footprints Without Feet). However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.

The Midnight Visitor
Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Introduction to the chapter The Midnight Visitor: The Midnight Visitor is a story about how a detective named Ausable used his intelligence to get rid of his opponent Max in a dangerous circumstance. Ausable was looking for certain critical files in the hotel room.  He was suddenly attacked by his adversary, Max. Max held him at gunpoint and demanded the critical papers. Ausable, on the other hand, managed to get out of the situation by using amazing cleverness.

The scenario frightened Fowler. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, Ausable created a story about a bogus balcony. Max believed the narrative about the non-existent balcony. Ausable created another false police story. Max bought into the idea as well, and instead of eluding the cops, he plunged into the nonexistent fake balcony.

In-text questions from The Midnight Visitor

1. How is Ausable different from other secret agents?

Answer: In terms of look and behaviour, Ausable stands apart from the other secret agents. While secret agents are thought to be athletic, suave, and secretive, Ausable was overweight and spoke with an accent that might be detected. 

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

Answer: In the story The Midnight Visitor, Fowler is a teenage author who fantasises about murder mysteries involving firearms, drugs, and alcohol. His first real excitement of the day comes when he follows Ausable into his room and finds a guy waiting for them with an automatic pistol aimed at them.

3. How has Max got in? 

Answer: Max gained access by opening the door with a passkey. 

4. How does Ausable say he got in?

Answer: Max, according to Ausable, had gotten in through the nearby balcony. He claims that someone used the balcony to gain access to his room last month, leading Max to assume that there is a balcony outside his window when there is none.

Textual exercises from The Midnight Visitor

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? 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.

Answer: Secret spies in novels and movies, in my opinion, have very different appearances. They normally wear a cap or hat on their heads, as well as a heavy coat and gloves on their hands. They are frequently depicted wearing black goggles. They are smart and intelligent individuals. When Fowler, a young writer, met Ausable in the story The Midnight Visitor, he was dissatisfied since Ausable didn’t suit the description of a covert spy. He had a quite different appearance. He was a dull, obese man who spoke French and German fluently but with a heavy American accent.

Many literature and movies depict investigators in very different ways than Ausable has been depicted in this story. To emphasise the contrast, we can go to Sherlock Homes or, for that matter, James Bond.

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3. 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?

Answer: Ausable was a skilled covert spy who was sharp and quick-witted. Despite his surprise at Max’s appearance in his room, he recognised he needed to get him out. Ausable devised a plan to get rid of Max based on the fact that he had already ordered a drink and that the waiter would deliver it in a few minutes. So, between the time he walked into the room and noticed Max and the time he sat down on the sofa, he apparently worked out the overall outline of the plan. He then took advantage of the situation as it developed, expertly dismissing Max with his quick wit and laid-back demeanour.

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 danger and surprise. Give examples from your own experience, or narrate a story, which shows someone’s presence of mind.

Answer: To be done by the students. Below is an example:

In times of crisis, we must all rely on our common sense and intelligence, and act calmly but effectively. I recall behaving in a similar manner a few months ago. One of my friends slipped from the swing and was smacked hard on the head while playing in the park one day. He passed out, and his head began to bleed. We were five friends playing in the park when we noticed that no one else was present. Everyone was terrified and began to cry. I sent one of them to that boy’s residence to contact his parents, and I dashed to my bag, which contained a water bottle. My friend regained consciousness when I splashed some water on his face. His parents arrived at this point and appreciated me for acting properly in such a scenario. My parents were also awed by my effort.

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Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions of The Midnight Visitor

1. Why Fowler wanted to meet Ausable? Why was he dissatisfied after meeting him?

Answer: Fowler was a writer who wished to meet Ausable, a well-known secret agent. Fowler was curious about Ausable’s approach to dangerous situations. When he saw Ausable, he was dissatisfied since he did not resemble what Fowler imagined a secret spy should look like.

2. Describe Fowler’s reaction to walking into Ausable’s hotel room.

Answer: Ausable was taken aback when he discovered Max in his room. But he remained composed. Ausable didn’t try anything shady because Max had a pistol on him. He just kept his cool and tricked Max by inventing stories.

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9. Why did Max scream towards the end of the story The Midnight Visitor?

Answer: When he descended to the ‘balcony,’ Max shouted shrilly, for there was no balcony at all; it was all a fabrication of Ausable’s imagination. Ausable had described it so vividly, including its history and purpose, that Max believed there was a balcony right outside the window and attempted to jump upon it without looking. Max would have killed if he had fallen from such a height, considering the room was on the sixth level.

10. How did Henry help Ausable?

Answer: Ausable had taken a room at a French hotel, where Henry worked as a server. Ausable had reportedly asked for a drink before entering his room. When Ausable entered the room and saw Max with a revolver, he made up a storey about a balcony outside, and when Henry knocked on the door, he convinced Max it was the cops. Max became irritated as a result and jumped to his death through the window into the non-existent balcony. As a result, by coming on time, Henry unwittingly supported Ausable in eliminating the enemy’s covert operative, Max.

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