Short Questions and Answers
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 trackled dangerous situations. He was disappointed when he saw Ausable as he didn’t look like what Fowler thought a secret agent should look like.
2. Describe Fowler’s reaction after entering Ausable’s hotel room?
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 himself cool and calm fooled Max by using his brain to invent stories.
3. “Ausable shows great presence of mind in a situation of danger and surprise. Do you agree with the statement? If yes, why?
Answer: Yes, I agree with the 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.
4. Why did Max’s face turn black with anger? What did he want Ausable to do?
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 of the door, which Ausable identified as the police. He wanted Ausable to send the police away.
5. Why did Ausable frame the story of the balcony?
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 (created) this story.
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.
7. Who actually had knocked at the door of Ausable’s room? Why did he come there?
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. So, in this way, he was doing his duty of serving customer of his hotel.
Long Questions and Answers
1. What information Ausable did give about the imaginary balcony? Why did he do so?
Answer: Ausable created a detailed description of how his room was part of 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 and when the waiter knocked at the door, Ausable again befooled Max by saying that it was police who wanted to come inside to provide protection. Max wanted to run away to avoid the police and jumps to his death into that non-existent balcony.
2. Ausable was a clever secret agent. Do you agree with the statement? Justify your answer.
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 (noticeable) 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 (coming) danger in the form of Max, a rival secret agent. So, it proves that Ausable who befooled Max by a false story and made him to jump out of the window, only to crash the ground, was a clever secret agent.
3. Why did Max scream shrilly when he dropped to the balcony?
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. He befooled Max by describing it because he wanted to make an impression on Fowler who doubted on him as a secret agent and wanted to prove his worth. 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 6th floor, Max would certainly have been died by falling from such a height.
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 panicked and done something fishy, then Max probably would have killed him. But Ausable kept his cool. Apart from this story, there can be some real life examples also.
We are always told to focus when we are appearing for exams or not to panic in a different situation because such things hamper our thinking ability. We are not able to take proper decisions at this time. When we are in problems or in a situation which looks dangerous, we often lose hopes and don’t even try to recover from the situation. Our minds does not function properly at the very moment. But to find solution to overcome with that we have to calm our nerves and cool our mind. If we keep our mind cool and focus, then only can we find ways to get out of crunch situations.
5. Presence of mind is basically mental preparedness or the ability to think and act wisely in a dangerous or surprising station. How would you react to the situation if you see a small child being knocked down by a speeding motorcycle or car, which speeds away after hitting the child?
Answer: First aid should be given to the child at once. public help may also be asked, if necessary. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, the child may be shifted to hospital. Simultaneously, we should try to note the license plate number of the offending vehicle, so that the police may be intimated to arrest the criminal. If the child is conscious and can talk coherently, we should try to find out the name and telephone number of any of its family members to inform them about the mishap.
People keep themselves away from these situations because they don’t want to be in danger as they are afraid of police investigations, trials and other problems. They believe that it is not their duty to help someone who is hit by a bike or car, as this will be a police case and they might be falling in danger.
But it is our duty as a human being to help someone in need and give them a medical help if there is someone who gets hit by a bike or car. To save someone’s life is an angelic act.