NCERT Solution for Class 10 English : Footprints Without Feet – Chapter 3 The Midnight Visitor

NCERT solution is a great help to students. Students can check the understanding of the chapter by solving NCERT solution.

Read and Find Out

Question.1. How is Ausable different from other secret agent?
Answer. Ausable was not an alert and smart secret agent as Fowler had expected. He was very fat. He spoke French and German with a slight American accent. He used ordinary telephones to make calls. He lived in a mediocre and dark French hotel. This way he did not fit the description of any secret agent.

Question.2. Who is Fowler and what is his authentic thrill of the day?
Answer. Fowler is a writer. He wants to meet Ausable to cover him up for writing for his publication. His first authentic thrill of the day is quite clear. It is that he outwitted Ausable in a simple way.

Question.3. How has Max got in?
Answer. Max has used a passkey to enter Ausable’s room in his absence. He wants to get a ‘report’ on some new missiles.

Question.4. How does Ausable say he got in?
Answer. Ausable says that Max got in his room through an ordinary window. It was in the balcony. He would complain against it (balcony) to the hotel authorities. It needed to be closed.

Think About It

Question.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. (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. It is easy to recognize a detective whom we see in fictions and movies. He wears a long coat, a hat and dark goggles with usually a cigar in his hand. He is handsome and smart, for e.g. James Bond. But detective Ausable was totally different. He is a fat fellow and does not look mysterious at all. He is also not wearing clothes like a detective of fictions and movies. We can compare him with Vijay, the hero of the TV serial of that name. There is a marked difference between the two.

Question.2. How doesAusable 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 says that he is going to raise devil with the management. He says this in a convincing manner. He tells Max that he is the second fellow who has entered his room through that balcony, in one month. But max says that he has entered the room with the help of a pass key. Max is convinced that there is a balcony. He says that if knew about it, he could have avoided some trouble.

Question.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 as time went along, taking advantage of events as they happened?
Answer. Ausable thought up his plan for getting rid of Max when he came into the room and found Max there, with a pistol in his hand. Ausuable had not made any plan from the beginning. He had a presence of mind. He made plans as time went by taking advantages of the events as they happened.

Talk About It

Question.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. Just like Ausable showed great presence of mind’ or the ability to think quickly and act calmly and wisely in a situation of danger and surprise, we all must stick to our senses and wits and behave in a composed yet clever manner in times of crisis.

I too remember having behaved in such a way some months back while playing in the park one day, one of my friends fell from the swing and was hit hard on his head. He fainted and his head started bleeding. We were five friends playing in the park and there was nobody around us. Everybody was scared and started crying. I sent one of them to that boy’s place to call his parents and rushed to fetch my bag which had a water bottle in it. I sprinkled some water on my friend’s face after which he regained consciousness. By this time, his parents came and they thanked me for acting wisely in such a situation and took him to the doctor timely. My parents were also very impressed with me.

Question.2. Discuss what you would do in the situations described below. Remember that presence of mind comes out of a state of mental preparedness. If you have thought about possible problems or dangers, and about how to act in such situations, you have a better chance of dealing with such situations if they do arise.

  1. A small fire starts in your kitchen.
  2. A child starts to choke on a piece of food.
  3. An electrical appliance starts to hiss and gives out sparks.
  4. A bicycle knocks down a pedestrian.
  5. It rains continuously for more than twenty-four hours.
  6. A member of your family does not return home at the usual or expected time.

You may suggest other such situations.


  • (1) When a small fire starts in the kitchen, try switching off the gas knob, gas cylinder, try to extinguish it with water and call for some help.
  • (2) When a child is choking on food, rub his back in upward and downward motion and take him to a doctor immediately if it doesn’t help.
  • (3) When an electrical appliance is giving some sparks or hissing, switch off the electric supply for the time being and call an electrician.
  • (4) When a bicycle knocks a pedestrian down, if it is not very serious, give him some water, and help him to get a first aid. If it is serious, call an ambulance.
  • (5) When it rains continuously for 24 hours, try staying indoors and unclog the nearby drainage system.
  • (6) When a family member is not returning at usual time, wait for him/her, don’t panic, call him/ her to know his/ her location and wait patiently. If they still don’t show up, contact the police.