March 15, 2014

10th English Supp. Reader - Stapeltons of Merripit House

Read the passage given below. Then answer the questions that follow it.
As I walked home slowly, deep in thought, I heard someone running behind me. A voice called out to me. I turned expecting to see Dr Mortimer, but to my surprise it was a stranger. He was a small, slim, clean-shaven man, somewhere between thirty or forty years of age. A tin box for botanical specimens hung over his shoulder.

1. Who is the narrator? Who called out to him?
2. From where was the narrator returning? Why had he gone there?
3. Why did the stranger carry a tin box on his shoulder?
4. How did the stranger come to know the narrator’s name?
5. What does the narrator mean by ‘home’? To whose ‘home’ was he going?

Answers:

1. The narrator is Dr Watson. Mr Stapleton called out to him.
2. Dr Watson was returning after visiting the Grimpen postmaster. He had gone there to find if the telegram to Barrymore had been handed into his own hands.
3. Stapleton, being a naturalist, carried the tin box to collect specimens of plants and insects.
4. Stapleton had been visiting Dr Mortimer and as Dr Watson was passing by, Dr Mortimer told Stapleton who he was.
5. The narrator means ‘Baskerville Hall’, which was the ‘home’of Sir Henry Baskerville.

Important questions from the chapter

1. What did Watson discover when he visited the Grimpen post master?
A: As Barrymore appeared sad and mysterious, Dr.Watson was suspicious about him. To find out if he was the bearded man in the cab in Regent Street, Dr.Watson wanted to ask the Grimpen postmaster, whether Barrymore had been given the telegram personally.

He discovered that the telegram had been given to Mrs. Barrymore. She had told the postmaster’s boy James, that Barrymore was in the loft and promised to give it to Barrymore soon. So Watson couldn’t be sure if Barrymore was in London at that time.

2. What explanation does Stapleton give Watson for having settled in a ‘gloomy’ place like Devonshire?

A: Stapleton explained to Dr.Watson that he once had a school which lost its reputation as three boys died in an epidemic and he lost all his capital.
His taste for Botany and Zoology had brought him to the moor in Devonshire. He said that his sister also loved nature. Moreover, he said that they had interesting neighbours in Devonshire.

3. Why did Miss Stapleton ask Dr Watson to return to London as soon as she met him?
A: Miss Stapleton mistook Dr.Watson for Sir Henry. She told him that she couldn’t explain why but warned him to go back to London immediately and never to return to the moor. She urged him to take it as a warning.

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