Question 1 : Read the extract below and answer the questions that follow.
[The young clerk is ushering in Dancy, whose face is perceptibly harder than it was three months ago, like that of a man who has lived under great restraint.]
(i) What reply does the clerk give? How is Dancy’s attitude towards civilian life different from the clerk’s?
Answer : When Dancy asked the clerk if he had been in the warm the clerk replied in affirmative.
Dancy’s attitude towards civilian life was that it was boring. He thought that there was no excitement and it was the same story every year. However, the clerk thought otherwise. He thought that civilian life was worth it as he got to witness the most exciting cases.
(ii) What information does Twisden give Dancy and why does he advise Dancy to go to Morocco?
Answer : Twisden informed Dancy that he had interrogated Ricardos and the truth about the robbery was out. It turned out that Dancy was the thief who had stolen the money. He further told him that he could no longer fight his case in the court.
He advised Dancy that all was lost now and his honour could not be restored. Moreover, he would have to go to jail. He sympathised with him and told him to go to Morocco. There was a war going on there and perhaps Dancy would not be traced there.
(iii) What is Colford’s reaction when reality comes to light? How does Margaret offer to help Dancy?
Answer : Colford was in the army with Dancy. It was impossible for him to believe that the real culprit was indeed Dancy. However, he was still loyal to him and condemned Twisden for leaving the case. He was shocked and grew emotional.
Margaret wanted to give away her pearls to De Levis in lieu of his thousand dollars that were stolen, but she was told that money was no longer an issue.
(iv) How does Dancy commit suicide? Why does he call his death another jump? What term does Colford use to describe Dancy’s suicide?
Answer : Inspector Dede was in Dancy’s house with an arrest warrant. Dancy knew that it was all over for him. He locked himself in his room and then shot himself with a pistol.
In his letter to Colford, he called his suicide ‘another jump’ as he was taking another risk whose results he could not infer. The earlier jump that he had taken was into De Levis’ balcony. Colford called Dancy committing ‘Hara-Kiri’, a Japanese term meaning suicide.
(v) When Dancy reaches home soon after, why is Mabel surprised to see him? What plea does she make to the Inspector on the arrival of the police?
Answer : Dancy was distraught as he reached home to confess to his wife that he was the thief who had taken De Levis’ money. Mabel was surprised to see him as he was to be present in the court that day. She thought that she was needed there also. However, Dancy told her the truth. Now, she wanted to save him from the police. She lied to Inspector Dede that she was not sure if her husband was at home. She also pleaded with him, saying that they had been married for only four months. She wanted Dede to give them some time together.