March 16, 2014

10th English Comprehension - The Curse of the Baskervilles

Read the passage given below. Then answer the questions that follow it.
“On the night Sir Charles died, Barrymore sent Perkins the groom to get me. I was still awake and reached the hall within an hour. I checked and confirmed all the facts that were mentioned at the inquest. I followed Sir Charles’ footprints down the Alley and reached the Moorgate, where he seems to have waited. I remarked about the change in the shape of footprints from this point onwards. There were no other footprints apart from Barrymore’s on the soft gravel. Then I examined the body, which had not been touched till I came. Sir Charles was lying on his face, his arms stretched out and fingers dug into the ground. His face was so disfigured that I could not recognize him. There were no physical injuries on him. But Barrymore made one false statement at the inquest. He said that there were no traces on the ground around Sir Charles’ body. He did not observe any. But I did-some fresh and clear footprints a little away from the body.”

1. Who is the ‘I’ in the passage?
2. Who is Barrymore?
3. What was the change in the footprints of Sir Charles? Why had they changed from the moorgate onwards?
4. What were the footprints that were found a little away from Sir Charles’ body?
5. According to the inquest, what was the cause for Sir Charles’ death?

Answers:

1. The ‘I’ in the passage is Dr Mortimer.
2. Barrymore is the butler, and the son of the old caretaker of Baskerville Hall.
3. The footprints of Sir Charles changed shape as he appeared to be walking on his toes from the Moorgate onwards. They appeared so as he was running to save his life.
4. The footprints found a little distance away from Sir Charles’ body were those of a gigantic hound.
5. According to the inquest, Sir Charles died of severe heart failure.

Important questions from the chapter:

1. How did Dr.Mortimer’s version of Sir Charles’ death differ from the official account?
A: Dr.Mortimer who knew the legend through Sir Charles saw foot-prints of a huge hound a little distance away from Sir Charles’ body.

He did not reveal these facts to the jury as it would seem ridiculous if a man of science like him believed in such superstitions. He also did not want to add anything else to the already grim reputation of the Baskerville Hall.

2. Barrymore made one false statement at the inquest. What was it? What was the truth?
A: Barrymore reported at the inquest that there were no other foot prints except his and Sir Charles’ at the scene of

3. How did Hugo bring about his death?
A: Hugo carried away a neighboring land-owner’s daughter to his manor and locked her up in a room upstairs. He and his friends sat drinking as usual. Later when he went to give the girl some food and drink, he found that she had escaped. Unable to control his anger, he shouted that he would destroy himself if he could not bring the girl back. He set his hounds behind the girl and followed on his mare.

His friends followed him and found his mare returning without him. Later they found Hugo’s body lying beside the body of the girl and a huge hound plucking on his throat.

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