Questions and answers ..
Q1. What is the news brought by Tom and Alec? How does Mrs. Parker react to it?
Ans: Alec and Tom break the news to Mrs. Parker that two convicts had escaped from the prison. The news leaves Mrs. Parker so flummoxed that she inadvertently drops the tea-cosy in her hand. She was speechless. Alec and Tom assumed that she had got utterly frightened.
Q2. Who was Joe Badger? Give a few examples from the conversation between Joe, Alec and Tom to show that Joe was not liked by the other two.
Ans. Joe Badger was nephew of the village constable. He was taking correspondence course from a school of detectives. Joe is not in the best books of Alec and Tom who tick him off at every available opportunity. Some of their snide towards Joe are, “You’re not quite ninety-nine yourself yet.” “Then why not do it first and boast about it afterwards?” “Don’t be a silly, Joe. You’re too much of a gas-bag to make a decent detective.” “Be careful. I’ve a good mind to knock your block off for this.” These exchanges were clearly derogatory.
Q3. Why did Joe suspect Mrs Parker?
Ans. Joe considered himself to be a great detective. He suspected old lady Mrs. Parker as she lived alone in the vicinity of the prison and dissuaded frequent visitors from calling on her. Moreover, Joe had spotted a luxury Bentley Sports Car parked rather secretively in an old shed. This was not an usual possession for her.
Q4. What was Mrs Parker’s real identity? What was her plan?
Ans. Mrs Parker’s real name was Mrs Felton. Her son Roger Felton was falsely implicated in a forged a cheque and had been sentenced for three years. She had taken the cottage near the prison, so that she could help in him escape. For this, she had kept the car and a suitcase of fine clothes ready for him.
Q5. How does Joe’s foolishness help the criminals escape?
Ans. Joe, smart and intelligent as a detective commits fatal errors. When the convict enters, the other three say he is not the man in the run, but Joe persists in his claim. Another man, disguised as the warden of the jail, hears Joe’s story and asks Joe to take the convict in the car. Joe follows the police car to make sure. Quite naively, he boasts about knowing the police password as he had an uncle as constable. Joe divulges the password, and lets the actual convict get away. Joe’s bravado proves his undoing.
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