NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 3 - The Midnight Visitor

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The story “The Midnight Visitor” is about a secret agent who goes by the name Ausable. He was expecting someone who has an important report with him. Then a writer called Fowler came to meet him and Ausable took him to a room. When they entered the room, both were shocked to find another secret agent, Max who was aiming an automatic pistol at them. He came to threaten Ausable so that he can hand over the secret report to him but the story took a major turn when Ausable fooled Max by making him believe in an imaginary balcony that never existed. In the story, we get to know how Ausable handled the entire situation cautiously.

Question 1:

How is Ausable different from other secret agents ?


Most of the secret agents are mysterious people. They keep pistols with them. But Ausable is quite different from them.He is fat and looks quite ordinary in his appearance.

Question 2:

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


Fowler is a writer. He has come to meet Ausable who is a secret agent. In Ausable’s room, he sees a man with a pistol in his hand. The man threatens to kill Ausable. Fowler thinks that this dangerous situation is his first thrill of the day.

Question 3:

How did Max get in ?


Max had a passkey with him. He unlocked the room with it. Thus he entered the room.

Question 4:

How does Ausable say he got in ?


Ausable says that Max must have entered his room through the balcony outside the window.

Question 5:

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 makes Max believe that there is a balcony below the window of his room. He says that once earlier also a man had entered his room through the balcony. He says that the balcony belongs to the next apartment. It extends under the window of his room. In this way, he gives a vivid description of the balcony. Hearing all this, Max is fully convinced about the story of the balcony.

Question 6:

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 ?


Ausable is an extremely intelligent secret agent. When he enters his room, he finds there a man with a pistol in his hand. But he remains calm. He immediately invents the story of the balcony. He makes Max believe that there is a balcony below the window of his room. Ausable knows that the waiter will knock at the door in a short while. When this happens he says it could be the police. Max gets frightened. He jumps on to the balcony to hide himself. Thus we see how Ausable takes advantage of the events as they happen. He had not made his plan beforehand.