In this article, students can access NCERT Solutions for Chapter 3 of Class 10 English subject (Supplementary Textbook). The NCERT solutions have been provided after a detailed analysis of the marking scheme of CBSE by the English subject expert. Chapter 3 of the Footprints Without Feet textbook is a story of two secret agents Ausable and Max and their tiff regarding a secret report. Class 10th students can study the answers provided here to score well in school as well as Class 10th board exams.
NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English: Footprints Without Feet - Chapter 3 (The Midnight Visitor)
Ques: How is Ausable different from other secret agents?
Answer: 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.
Ques: Who is Fowler and what is his first authentic thrill of the day?
Answer: 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.
Ques: How has Max got in?
Answer: Max had got into the room using a passkey or master key.
Ques: How does Ausable say he got in?
Answer: 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.
Ques: ‘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?)
Answer: Secret agents in fiction are projected like ideal men, ‘Tall dark and handsome’. They are usually well-built and keep beautiful women for the 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 that 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.
Ques: 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?
Answer: Ausable creates a detailed description of how his office was part of 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.
Ques: 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: 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.
Ques: 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: 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.