Distant Education College of Jilin University
27.The Midnight Visitor
1. Guide
Questions
2. Summary of The Lesson
3. Analysis and Explanation
4. Reading Comprehension
5. Questions For Discussion
Extensive Reading II
Guide Questions
1. Who is the main character of the story?
2. What was Ausable?
3. Why did Fowler feel disappointed when he saw
Ausable had only a small room in the hole?
4.What’s the meaning of the sentence when Ausable said
“ he only gets an ordinary telephone call making an
appointment in his room?”
5. Who was the midnight visitor?
6. Why did Ausable mention the balcony?
7. Why did Max come to Ausable’s room?
8. What do you think happened to Max?
Answer:
1. Ausable.
Answer:
2. A spy.
Answer:
3. Because it did not look like the
dwelling-place of a secret agent as
described in novels and moves.
Answer:
4. He might have been emphasizing to
Fowler that the work of a spy was not
very fantastic and romantic.
Answer:
5. Max another spy.
Answer:
6. Ausable knew the waiter would come
to knock at the door. He mentioned the
non-existent balcony because he knew
Max would want to escape through the
window if a policeman came.
Answer:
7. For a report concerning some new
missiles.
Answer
8. Max dropped straight down to the
ground from the sixth floor and most
probably fell to his death.
Questions for Discussion
1. What’s your impression of Ausable?
Answer:Ausable was rather common-place in
appearance. He was very fat and had an apparent New
England accent. He was mild and friendly, too. However,
he was both resourceful and gallant. He was quickwitted and had perfect self-control when faced with
danger.
Questions for Discussion
2. How did Austable make sure Max did not know
what was outside the window?
Answer:When Ausable mentioned the balcony in his
room, Max felt very surprised to hear it. And he said
if he had knewn it early, he would have come to the
room from it.
Reading Comprehension
1. Multiple-choice Questions
2. True/False Questions
Multiple-choice Questions
1. Which of the following is not mentioned in
the text?
A)
Ausable’s poor living conditions.
B)
Ausable’s figure.
C) An ordinary phone call.
D) Ausabl’s speaking manner.
Multiple-choice Questions
1. Which of the following is not mentioned in the
text?
D
A)
Ausable’s poor living conditions.
B)
Ausable’s figure
C)
An ordinary phone call.
D)
Ausabl’s speaking manner.
Multiple-choice Questions
2. Ausable was __________ when faced with Max
holding a pistol in his hand.
A) excited
B) calm
C) worried
D) confident
Multiple-choice Questions
2. Ausable was ____B______ when faced with Max
holding a pistol in his hand.
A) excited
B) calm
C) worried
D) confident
Multiple-choice Questions
3. The statement “I’m going to raise the devil with the
management this time” (L . 33-L . 34) could be most
suitably replaced by __________ .
A) I’m going to talk with the people in charge of the hotel
about the balcony
B) I’m going to put forward the problem of the balcony to
the people in charge of the hotel
C) I’m going to remind the people in charge of the hotel
about the balcony
D) I’m going to demand that the people in change of the
hotel solve the problem of the balcony.
Multiple-choice Questions
3. The statement “I’m going to raise the devil with the
management this time” (L . 33-L . 34) could be most
suitably replaced by _____D_____ .
A) I’m going to talk with the people in charge of the hotel
about the balcony
B) I’m going to put forward the problem of the balcony
to the people in charge of the hotel
C) I’m going to remind the people in charge of the hotel
about the balcony
D) I’m going to demand that the people in change of the
hotel solve the problem of the balcony.
Multiple-choice Questions
4.Max learned from Ausable’s complaint about his
balcony that_________
A) Ausable was very angry with the hotel manager
B) The balcony hadn’t been blocked off and he
could get into the room through it next time
C) He could use the balcony if necessary
D) Ausable thought that he got into his room by
using the balcony
Multiple-choice Questions
4. Max learned from Ausable’s complaint about his
balcony that____C_____
A) Ausable was very angry with the hotel manag
B) The balcony hadn’t been blocked off and he could
get into the room through it next time
C) He could use the balcony if necessary
D) Ausable thought that he got into his room by
using the balcony
Multiple-choice Questions
5. The story could be described as
_________.
A) horrifying
B) exciting
C) depressing
D) thrilling
Multiple-choice Questions
5. The story could be described as
____D_____.
A) horrifying
B) exciting
C) depressing
D) thrilling
True/False Questions
1. To Fowler, Ausable didn’t look like a man of action.
(T)
2. Ausable wasn’t frightened by Max because
that man didn’t look dangerous.
(F)
3. Ausable thought that Max got into his room by using
the balcony.
(F)
4. Fowler was so frightened that he didn’t know what
might happen next while Ausable spoke with Max .
(T)
True/False Questions
5. Ausable looked calm and confident while facing
Max’s gun because he was certain that the police would
(F)
come soon..
6. It was a waiter who entered the room.
(T)
7. Henry was the name of a policeman.
(F)
8. Max was not as experienced a spy as Ausable.
(T)
27.The Midnight Visitor
Fowler didn’t believe Ausable was a
secret agent because of Ausable’s
unromantic appearance. Then something
happened at midnight which changed
Fowler’s view.
Ausable did not fit the description of any secret agent Fowler
had ever read about. Following him down the musty corridor of the
gloomy French hotel where Ausable had a room, Fowler felt
disappointed. It was a small room, on the sixth and top floor, and
scarcely a setting for a romantic figure.
Ausable was , for one thing, fat . Very fat. And then there was his
accent. Though he spoke French and German passably, he had
never altogether lost the New England accent he had brought to
Paris from Boston twenty years ago.
“You are disappointed ,”Ausable said wheezily over his shoulder.
“You were told that I was a secret agent , a spy, dealing in espionage
danger.” You wished to meet me because you are a writer , young
and romantic . You expected mysterious figures in the night, the
crack of pistols, drugs in the wine.
“Instead, you have spent a dull evening in a French music hall
with a sloppy fat man who , instead of having messages slipped into
his hand by dark-eyed beauties, gets only an ordinary telephone
call making an appointment in his room. You have been bored!”
The fat man chuckled to himself as he unlocked the door of his
room and stood aside to let his frustrated guest enter.
“You are disillusioned, ” Ausable told him. “But take cheer, my
young friend. Presently you will see a paper , a quite important
paper for which several men and women have risked their lives,
come to me in the next-to-last step of its journey into official hands.
Some day soon that paper may well affect the course of history. In
that thought is drama, is there not ?” As he spoke ,Ausable closed
the door behind him. Then he switched on the light.
And as the light came on, Fowler had his first authentic thrill
of the day. For halfway across the room ,a small automatic pistol
in his hand, stood a man.
Ausable blinked a few times.
“Max ,” he wheezed ,“You gave me quite a start . I thought you
were in Berlin. What are you doing in my room?”
Max was slender, not tall, and with a face that suggested the
look of a fox. Except for the gun, he did not look very dangerous..
“The report,” he murmured. “The report that is being brought
to you tonight concerning some new missiles . I thought I would
take it from you . It will be safer in my hands than in yours.”
Ausable moved to an armchair and sat down heavily . “I’m going
to raise the devil with the management this time; I am angry ,” he
said grimly. “This is the second time in a month that somebody has
gotten into my room off that damned balcony!” Fowler’s eyes went to
the single window of the room. It was an ordinary window, against
which now the night was pressing blackly.
“Balcony?”Max asked curiously. “No ,I had a passkey. I did not
know about the balcony. It might have saved me some trouble I had
known about it . ”
“It ’s not my balcony,” explained Ausable angrily. “It belongs to the
next apartment.”He glanced explanatorily at Fowler. “You see,”he
said,“ this room used to be part of a large unit , and the
next room — through that door there — used to be the living
room. It had the balcony, which extends under my windows
now. You can get onto it from the empty room next door, and
somebody did, last month .The management promised to block
it off .But they haven’t .”
Max glanced at Fowler, who was standing stiffly a few feet
from Ausable, and waved the gun with a commanding gesture.
“Please sit down,” he said . “We have a wait of half an hour , I
think.”
“Thirty-one minutes.”Ausble said moodily. “The
appointment was for twelve-thirty. I wish I knew how you
learned about the report, Max . ”
The little spy smiled evilly. “And we wish we knew how your people
got the report. But, no harm has been done. I will get it back tonight.
What is that ?Who is at the door?”
Fowler jumped at the sudden knocking at the door. Ausable just
smiled , “That will be the police, ”he said, “I thought that such an
important paper as the one we are waiting for should have a little extra
protection. I told them to check on me to make sure everything was all
right. ”
Max bit his lip nervously. The knocking was repeated.
“What will you do now , Max? ” Ausable asked. “If I do not answer
the door, they will enter anyway. The door is unlocked . And they will
not hesitate to shoot. ”
Max’s face was black with anger as he backed swiftly toward
the window; with his hand behind him , he opened the window
and put his leg out into the night .“Send them away!” he
warned .“I will wait on the balcony . Send them away or I’ll
shoot and take my chances!”
The knocking at the door became louder and a voice was
raised. “Mr .Ausable ! Mr . Ausable! ”
Keeping his body twisted so that his gun still covered the fat
man and his guest, the man at the window grasped the frame
with his free hand to support himself as he rested his weight on
one thigh. Then he swung his other leg up and over the window
sill.
The doorknob turned . Swiftly Max pushed with his left hand
to free himself and drop to the balcony. And then as he dropped,
he screamed once, shrilly.
The door opened and a waiter stood there with a tray, a
bottle and two glasses. “Here is the drink you ordered , sir.” He
set the tray on the table, deftly uncorked the bottle, and left the
room.
White faced and shaking, Fowler stared after him.
“But…but …what about… the police? ” he stammered.
“There never were any police.” Ausable sighed. “Only
Henry,whom I was expecting. ”
“But what about the man on the balcony… ?”Fowler began.
“No,”said Ausable, “he won’t return .”
Ausable did not fit the description of any secret agent :
Ausable did not look like a secret as described in a
novel .
Scarcely a setting for a romantic figure :
hardly the right place for an important secret
agent to live .
for one --- then --- :
for one thing ---for another --- “首先------其次------”。
I like her . For one thing she was kind . And then she was an
orphan .
我喜欢她,首先她很善良,其次她是一个孤儿。
You were told that I was a secret agent , a spy , dealing in
espionage danger .
有人告诉你我是一个特工,一个间谍,在从事危险的间谍
活动。
deal in : 经营;从事 ( manage, be engaged in )
This import and export corporation deals in general
merchandise , paper , lights , etc .
这家进出口公司经营日用百货,纸张,灯具等。
Instead , you have spent a dull in a French music hall with a
sloppy fat man who, instead of having messages sliped into his
hand by dark-eyed beauties,get only an ordinary telephone
making an appointment in his room .
而你却在一个法国音乐厅里与一个邋遢的胖子度过了一个无聊的
夜晚,根本没有黑眼睛的美女给他传递情况,他只接了一个约定
在他房间会面的普通电话。
make an appointment : 安排一次约会。
Presently you will see a paper , a quite important
paper for which several man and womem have
rised their lives, come to me in the next-to-last stop
of its journey into official hands: Right now you
will see a paper come to me before reaching its final
official receivers .It is quite important for several
men and women have risked their lives for it .这句
中a quite important paper 作a paper的同位语 ,
come to me ---作a paper宾语的补足语。
may well : be very likely to
You may well not recognize him after such a
long separation .
分开了这么长时间你很可能认不出他来。
In that thought is drama, is there not ?:
The thought that the paper may well affect
the course of history is dramatic , isn’t it ?
Fowler had his first authentic thrill of the day :
For the first time that day Fowler was really
startled.
You gave me quite a start : You gave me a
great surprise.
and with a face that suggested the look of a fox .面孔长得象狐狸。
suggest : 使人想起,使人联想到,暗示。启发。 ( remind, hint))
(1)The sight suggests my childhood .
这情景使我想起自已的童年。
(2)A cottage that suggests a garden stands among trees .
像花园一样的小屋掩映在树林中。
(3)This suggests a clue to the incident .
这件事件提供了一条线索。
-- against which now the night was pressing
blackly ;
it was dark night outside the window.
It might have saved me some trouble had I known about it :
如果我早知有阳台的话 这会省去些麻烦。
This is a adverbial clause of condition contrary to the past. We
must put “were, had ,should” at the beginning of the sentence if
we want to omit “if ” , we can’t do so without them .
( 1 ) Were I in your position , I should go with them. 如果我处于
你
的地位,我就同你一起去。
(2)Had you not helped me , I should have failed . 如果没有
你的帮助,我是会失败的。
(3)Should it rain tomorrow , what would you do ? 假如明天
下午的话,你们怎么办?
Fowler jumped at the sudden knocking at the door .
福勒被突如其来的敲门声吓了一跳。
jump (at) : (因喜悦、吃惊、紧张)跃起、跳动、
剧跳。
I jumped at my aunt’s unexpected visit .
婶婶的意外来访使我高兴地跳起来。
check on : exam if something is true
We’ll check on everybody whether it’s true
or not.
我们要向每个人核查此是了解真或假。
Send them away or I ‘ll shoot and take my chances.
打发他们走,否则我就 开枪,准备冒险。
( 1 ) or : other wise 可用于表示威胁。
she told him he had better return the car or she would call the
police . 让他最好把汽车还回来,否则她会叫警察.
( 2 ) take one’s chances : take a risk.
They took their chances to save him. 他们准备冒险去救他。
His gun still covered the fat man : he kept his
gun aimed at the fat man .
Then he swung his other leg up and over the window sill
然后他把另一条腿也越过窗户伸到窗台外。
Swing:悬挂、使旋转。
(1) Swing a basket of seed from a hook.
把一篮子种子挂在钩子上。
(2) Swing the gun towards the enemy and five.
调转枪口朝敌人开火。
frustrate[ ]v. make
someone or something fail 使受挫折
He was frustrated in an attempt to cross
the river.
他试图渡河但没有成功
chuckle[  ] v Low and
quite laugh with closed mouth 暗笑
Father always chuckles when he
reads the funny paper.
爸爸看到报纸上的连环画总是轻声笑。
be black with angry:怒气冲天
When he heard the news ,he was black
with angry他听到这个消息后怒气冲天。
take cheer (from sth.) :
(因某事)振做起来
moodily[ : ]ad.gloomy;
bad-tempered 不快的,易怒的
disillusion[ : ]v.
set free from mistaken beliefes 使幻想
破灭
It is time that she was disillusioned.
现在该是他醒悟的时候 了。
stiffly[  ] ad. firm,not easily
bent or folded
直挺挺地
concerning prep. in respect of
Please inform me concerning the matter.关
于这件事请告诉我。
•Outline of The Text
•Comment on the story
Comment
The author vividly presents us a quick-witted spy. Although
Ausable’ s appearance did not fit the description of any secret
agents, he was without doubt a good spy. This story is an
excellent example of intrigue and suspense. Still we know
espionage activities are primarily carried out by individual
nations to gain data on other nations. One of the most notorious
espionage institutions in the world is the Central Intelligence
Agency ( CIA )Of the U.S.A ,which was established in
1947.Although espionage is not illegal under international law,
every country has laws against other nations spying on them.
Outline of The Text
When Fowler, the young writer, met Austable, he didn’t
think Austable fit the description of a secret agent he’d ever
read about.
As Fowler followed this spy down the musty corridor of a
gloomy hotel to a small room, he got a great shock. For halfway
across the room stood a man with a small automatic pistol in
his hand. The man said to Ausable he came to take an
important report that was being brought to Ausable. Instead of
mentioning the report, Austable began to complain angrily
about the management of the hotel .He said that was the second
time in a month that somebody had got into his room off that
balcony which extended under his window.
Just then there was a knock at the door. Austable told the man
that would be the policeman he had called for extra protection.
As the knocking became louder ,the man got quite nervous and
frightened but warned he would wait on the balcony and take a
risk. So when the door knob turned , he swiftly dropped out of
the window. After the door opened, a waiter came in with the
drink Ausable had ordered. While Foeler was worried about the
man hiding on the balcony, Ausable told him calmly that the
would never return.