NCERT Textbook - Keeping It From Harold Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

Class 9: NCERT Textbook - Keeping It From Harold Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

The document NCERT Textbook - Keeping It From Harold Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course English Class 9.
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 Page 1


CBSE
4 4
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.4    Keeping It From Harold
by P.G. Wodehouse
1. Before you read "Keeping It From Harold", the teacher will encourage you to 
answer or discuss the following.
 What are the different weight categories in Boxing?
 Have you ever heard the song whose lyrics go like...."He floats like a butterfly and 
stings like a bee"? Who does 'he' refer to? He is also know as 'The Greatest' boxer 
of all time. What was his original name? How many times did he win the World 
Heavyweight Belt?
 Find out from your friend if he /she watches WWE and who is his/her favourite 
wrestler. Also find out why he/she likes this wrestler.
 Discuss with your friend as to why these wrestlers have such a large fan following. 
Has the perception of people changed over the century with respect to those who 
fight in the ring?
2. Now read the story
1. "Ma!" Mrs. Bramble looked up, beaming with a kind of amiable fat-headedness. 
A domestic creature, wrapped up in Bill, her husband, and Harold, her son. At the 
present moment only the latter was with her. He sat on the other side of the table, 
his lips gravely pursed and his eyes a trifle cloudy behind their spectacles. Before 
him on the red tablecloth lay an open book. His powerful brain was plainly busy.
2. "Yes, dearie?"
3. "Will you hear me?"
4. Mrs. Bramble took the book.
5. "Yes, mother will hear you, precious."
6. A slight frown, marred the smoothness of Harold Bramble's brow. It jarred upon 
him, this habit of his mother's of referring to herself in the third person, as if she 
were addressing a baby, instead of a young man of ten who had taken the spelling 
and dictation prize last term on his head.
•
•
•
•
fat-headedness : foolishness
28
Page 2


CBSE
4 4
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.4    Keeping It From Harold
by P.G. Wodehouse
1. Before you read "Keeping It From Harold", the teacher will encourage you to 
answer or discuss the following.
 What are the different weight categories in Boxing?
 Have you ever heard the song whose lyrics go like...."He floats like a butterfly and 
stings like a bee"? Who does 'he' refer to? He is also know as 'The Greatest' boxer 
of all time. What was his original name? How many times did he win the World 
Heavyweight Belt?
 Find out from your friend if he /she watches WWE and who is his/her favourite 
wrestler. Also find out why he/she likes this wrestler.
 Discuss with your friend as to why these wrestlers have such a large fan following. 
Has the perception of people changed over the century with respect to those who 
fight in the ring?
2. Now read the story
1. "Ma!" Mrs. Bramble looked up, beaming with a kind of amiable fat-headedness. 
A domestic creature, wrapped up in Bill, her husband, and Harold, her son. At the 
present moment only the latter was with her. He sat on the other side of the table, 
his lips gravely pursed and his eyes a trifle cloudy behind their spectacles. Before 
him on the red tablecloth lay an open book. His powerful brain was plainly busy.
2. "Yes, dearie?"
3. "Will you hear me?"
4. Mrs. Bramble took the book.
5. "Yes, mother will hear you, precious."
6. A slight frown, marred the smoothness of Harold Bramble's brow. It jarred upon 
him, this habit of his mother's of referring to herself in the third person, as if she 
were addressing a baby, instead of a young man of ten who had taken the spelling 
and dictation prize last term on his head.
•
•
•
•
fat-headedness : foolishness
28
CBSE
Fiction
29
7. He cleared his throat and fixed his eyes upon the cut-glass hangings of the 
chandelier.
8. "Be good, sweet maid," he began, with the toneless rapidity affected by youths of 
his age when reciting poetry…..
9. "You do study so hard, dearie, you'll give yourself a headache. Why don't you take 
a nice walk by the river for half an hour, and come back nice and fresh?"
10. The spectacled child considered the 
point for a moment gravely. Then, 
nodding, he arranged his books in 
readiness for his return and went out. 
The front door closed with a decorous 
softness.
11. It was a constant source of amazement 
to Mrs. Bramble that she should have 
brought such a prodigy as Harold into 
the world. Harold was so different from 
ordinary children, so devoted to his books, such a model of behaviour, so 
altogether admirable. The only drawback was that his very  'perfection' had made 
necessary a series of evasions and even deliberate falsehoods on the part of 
herself and her husband, highly distasteful to both. They were lovers of truth, but 
they had realized that there are times when truth must be sacrificed. At any cost, 
the facts concerning Mr. Bramble's profession must be kept from Harold.
12. While he was a baby it had not mattered so much. But when he began to move 
about and take notice, Mrs. Bramble said to Mr. Bramble, "Bill, we must keep it 
from Harold." A little later, when the child had begun to show signs of being about 
to become a model of goodness and intelligence, and had already taken two 
prizes at the Sunday-school, the senior curate of the parish, meeting Mr. Bramble 
one morning, said nervously-for, after all, it was a delicate subject to broach, "Er-
Bramble, I think, on the whole, it would be as well to-er-keep it from Harold."
13. And only the other day, Mrs. Bramble's brother, Major Percy Stokes, dropping in 
for a cup of tea, had said, "I hope you are keeping it from Harold. It is the least you 
can do", and had gone on to make one or two remarks about men of wrath which, 
considering that his cheek-bones were glistening with Mr. Bramble's buttered 
toast, were in poor taste. But Percy was like that. Enemies said that he liked the 
sound of his own voice.
decorous : polite, calm and sensible behaviour
wrath : intense anger
Page 3


CBSE
4 4
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.4    Keeping It From Harold
by P.G. Wodehouse
1. Before you read "Keeping It From Harold", the teacher will encourage you to 
answer or discuss the following.
 What are the different weight categories in Boxing?
 Have you ever heard the song whose lyrics go like...."He floats like a butterfly and 
stings like a bee"? Who does 'he' refer to? He is also know as 'The Greatest' boxer 
of all time. What was his original name? How many times did he win the World 
Heavyweight Belt?
 Find out from your friend if he /she watches WWE and who is his/her favourite 
wrestler. Also find out why he/she likes this wrestler.
 Discuss with your friend as to why these wrestlers have such a large fan following. 
Has the perception of people changed over the century with respect to those who 
fight in the ring?
2. Now read the story
1. "Ma!" Mrs. Bramble looked up, beaming with a kind of amiable fat-headedness. 
A domestic creature, wrapped up in Bill, her husband, and Harold, her son. At the 
present moment only the latter was with her. He sat on the other side of the table, 
his lips gravely pursed and his eyes a trifle cloudy behind their spectacles. Before 
him on the red tablecloth lay an open book. His powerful brain was plainly busy.
2. "Yes, dearie?"
3. "Will you hear me?"
4. Mrs. Bramble took the book.
5. "Yes, mother will hear you, precious."
6. A slight frown, marred the smoothness of Harold Bramble's brow. It jarred upon 
him, this habit of his mother's of referring to herself in the third person, as if she 
were addressing a baby, instead of a young man of ten who had taken the spelling 
and dictation prize last term on his head.
•
•
•
•
fat-headedness : foolishness
28
CBSE
Fiction
29
7. He cleared his throat and fixed his eyes upon the cut-glass hangings of the 
chandelier.
8. "Be good, sweet maid," he began, with the toneless rapidity affected by youths of 
his age when reciting poetry…..
9. "You do study so hard, dearie, you'll give yourself a headache. Why don't you take 
a nice walk by the river for half an hour, and come back nice and fresh?"
10. The spectacled child considered the 
point for a moment gravely. Then, 
nodding, he arranged his books in 
readiness for his return and went out. 
The front door closed with a decorous 
softness.
11. It was a constant source of amazement 
to Mrs. Bramble that she should have 
brought such a prodigy as Harold into 
the world. Harold was so different from 
ordinary children, so devoted to his books, such a model of behaviour, so 
altogether admirable. The only drawback was that his very  'perfection' had made 
necessary a series of evasions and even deliberate falsehoods on the part of 
herself and her husband, highly distasteful to both. They were lovers of truth, but 
they had realized that there are times when truth must be sacrificed. At any cost, 
the facts concerning Mr. Bramble's profession must be kept from Harold.
12. While he was a baby it had not mattered so much. But when he began to move 
about and take notice, Mrs. Bramble said to Mr. Bramble, "Bill, we must keep it 
from Harold." A little later, when the child had begun to show signs of being about 
to become a model of goodness and intelligence, and had already taken two 
prizes at the Sunday-school, the senior curate of the parish, meeting Mr. Bramble 
one morning, said nervously-for, after all, it was a delicate subject to broach, "Er-
Bramble, I think, on the whole, it would be as well to-er-keep it from Harold."
13. And only the other day, Mrs. Bramble's brother, Major Percy Stokes, dropping in 
for a cup of tea, had said, "I hope you are keeping it from Harold. It is the least you 
can do", and had gone on to make one or two remarks about men of wrath which, 
considering that his cheek-bones were glistening with Mr. Bramble's buttered 
toast, were in poor taste. But Percy was like that. Enemies said that he liked the 
sound of his own voice.
decorous : polite, calm and sensible behaviour
wrath : intense anger
CBSE
Fiction
30
14. Certainly he was very persuasive. Mr. Bramble had fallen in with the suggestion 
without  demur. In private life he was the mildest and most obliging of men, and 
always yielded to everybody. The very naming of Harold had caused a sacrifice on 
his part.
15. When it was certain that he was about to become a father, he had expressed a 
desire that the child should be named John, if a boy, after Mr John L. Sullivan, or, 
if a girl, Marie, after Miss Marie Lloyd. But Mrs Bramble saying that Harold was 
such a sweet name, he had withdrawn his suggestions with the utmost good-
humour.
16. Nobody could help liking this excellent man; which made it all the greater pity that 
his walk in life was of such a nature that it simply had to be kept from Harold. 
17. He was a professional boxer. That was the trouble.
18. Before the coming of Harold, he had been proud of being a professional boxer. His 
ability to paste his fellow-man in the eye while apparently meditating an attack on 
his stomach, and vice versa, had filled him with that genial glow of self-satisfaction 
which comes to philanthropists and other benefactors of the species. It had 
seemed to him a thing on which to congratulate himself that of all London's 
teeming millions there was not a man, weighing eight stone four, whom he could 
not overcome in a twenty-round contest. He was delighted to be the possessor of 
a left hook which had won the approval of the newspapers.
19. And then Harold had come into his life, and changed him into a furtive practiser of 
shady deeds. Before, he had gone about the world with a match-box full of press-
notices, which he would extract with a pin and read to casual acquaintances. Now, 
he quailed at the sight of his name in print, so thoroughly had he become imbued 
with the necessity of keeping it from Harold.
20. With an ordinary boy it would have mattered less. But Harold was different. 
Secretly proud of him as they were, both Bill and his wife were a little afraid of their 
wonderful child. The fact was, as Bill himself put it, Harold was showing a bit too 
much class for them. He had formed a corner in brains, as far as the Bramble 
family was concerned. They had come to regard him as being of a superior order.
21. Yet Harold, defying the laws of heredity, had run to intellect as his father had run to 
demur : reluctance / objection
Mr John L. Sullivan : American Boxing legend (1858-1918), lasting the bare-knuckled boxing 
championship, World heavyweight boxing champion from 1882-1892
Miss Marie Lloyd : Music hall artist 1870-1922
philanthropist : people who give donations or care about others
furtive : cautious or secretive                                                                                                     
quailed : showed fear
formed a corner : attained mastery in; gained a monopoly
Page 4


CBSE
4 4
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.4    Keeping It From Harold
by P.G. Wodehouse
1. Before you read "Keeping It From Harold", the teacher will encourage you to 
answer or discuss the following.
 What are the different weight categories in Boxing?
 Have you ever heard the song whose lyrics go like...."He floats like a butterfly and 
stings like a bee"? Who does 'he' refer to? He is also know as 'The Greatest' boxer 
of all time. What was his original name? How many times did he win the World 
Heavyweight Belt?
 Find out from your friend if he /she watches WWE and who is his/her favourite 
wrestler. Also find out why he/she likes this wrestler.
 Discuss with your friend as to why these wrestlers have such a large fan following. 
Has the perception of people changed over the century with respect to those who 
fight in the ring?
2. Now read the story
1. "Ma!" Mrs. Bramble looked up, beaming with a kind of amiable fat-headedness. 
A domestic creature, wrapped up in Bill, her husband, and Harold, her son. At the 
present moment only the latter was with her. He sat on the other side of the table, 
his lips gravely pursed and his eyes a trifle cloudy behind their spectacles. Before 
him on the red tablecloth lay an open book. His powerful brain was plainly busy.
2. "Yes, dearie?"
3. "Will you hear me?"
4. Mrs. Bramble took the book.
5. "Yes, mother will hear you, precious."
6. A slight frown, marred the smoothness of Harold Bramble's brow. It jarred upon 
him, this habit of his mother's of referring to herself in the third person, as if she 
were addressing a baby, instead of a young man of ten who had taken the spelling 
and dictation prize last term on his head.
•
•
•
•
fat-headedness : foolishness
28
CBSE
Fiction
29
7. He cleared his throat and fixed his eyes upon the cut-glass hangings of the 
chandelier.
8. "Be good, sweet maid," he began, with the toneless rapidity affected by youths of 
his age when reciting poetry…..
9. "You do study so hard, dearie, you'll give yourself a headache. Why don't you take 
a nice walk by the river for half an hour, and come back nice and fresh?"
10. The spectacled child considered the 
point for a moment gravely. Then, 
nodding, he arranged his books in 
readiness for his return and went out. 
The front door closed with a decorous 
softness.
11. It was a constant source of amazement 
to Mrs. Bramble that she should have 
brought such a prodigy as Harold into 
the world. Harold was so different from 
ordinary children, so devoted to his books, such a model of behaviour, so 
altogether admirable. The only drawback was that his very  'perfection' had made 
necessary a series of evasions and even deliberate falsehoods on the part of 
herself and her husband, highly distasteful to both. They were lovers of truth, but 
they had realized that there are times when truth must be sacrificed. At any cost, 
the facts concerning Mr. Bramble's profession must be kept from Harold.
12. While he was a baby it had not mattered so much. But when he began to move 
about and take notice, Mrs. Bramble said to Mr. Bramble, "Bill, we must keep it 
from Harold." A little later, when the child had begun to show signs of being about 
to become a model of goodness and intelligence, and had already taken two 
prizes at the Sunday-school, the senior curate of the parish, meeting Mr. Bramble 
one morning, said nervously-for, after all, it was a delicate subject to broach, "Er-
Bramble, I think, on the whole, it would be as well to-er-keep it from Harold."
13. And only the other day, Mrs. Bramble's brother, Major Percy Stokes, dropping in 
for a cup of tea, had said, "I hope you are keeping it from Harold. It is the least you 
can do", and had gone on to make one or two remarks about men of wrath which, 
considering that his cheek-bones were glistening with Mr. Bramble's buttered 
toast, were in poor taste. But Percy was like that. Enemies said that he liked the 
sound of his own voice.
decorous : polite, calm and sensible behaviour
wrath : intense anger
CBSE
Fiction
30
14. Certainly he was very persuasive. Mr. Bramble had fallen in with the suggestion 
without  demur. In private life he was the mildest and most obliging of men, and 
always yielded to everybody. The very naming of Harold had caused a sacrifice on 
his part.
15. When it was certain that he was about to become a father, he had expressed a 
desire that the child should be named John, if a boy, after Mr John L. Sullivan, or, 
if a girl, Marie, after Miss Marie Lloyd. But Mrs Bramble saying that Harold was 
such a sweet name, he had withdrawn his suggestions with the utmost good-
humour.
16. Nobody could help liking this excellent man; which made it all the greater pity that 
his walk in life was of such a nature that it simply had to be kept from Harold. 
17. He was a professional boxer. That was the trouble.
18. Before the coming of Harold, he had been proud of being a professional boxer. His 
ability to paste his fellow-man in the eye while apparently meditating an attack on 
his stomach, and vice versa, had filled him with that genial glow of self-satisfaction 
which comes to philanthropists and other benefactors of the species. It had 
seemed to him a thing on which to congratulate himself that of all London's 
teeming millions there was not a man, weighing eight stone four, whom he could 
not overcome in a twenty-round contest. He was delighted to be the possessor of 
a left hook which had won the approval of the newspapers.
19. And then Harold had come into his life, and changed him into a furtive practiser of 
shady deeds. Before, he had gone about the world with a match-box full of press-
notices, which he would extract with a pin and read to casual acquaintances. Now, 
he quailed at the sight of his name in print, so thoroughly had he become imbued 
with the necessity of keeping it from Harold.
20. With an ordinary boy it would have mattered less. But Harold was different. 
Secretly proud of him as they were, both Bill and his wife were a little afraid of their 
wonderful child. The fact was, as Bill himself put it, Harold was showing a bit too 
much class for them. He had formed a corner in brains, as far as the Bramble 
family was concerned. They had come to regard him as being of a superior order.
21. Yet Harold, defying the laws of heredity, had run to intellect as his father had run to 
demur : reluctance / objection
Mr John L. Sullivan : American Boxing legend (1858-1918), lasting the bare-knuckled boxing 
championship, World heavyweight boxing champion from 1882-1892
Miss Marie Lloyd : Music hall artist 1870-1922
philanthropist : people who give donations or care about others
furtive : cautious or secretive                                                                                                     
quailed : showed fear
formed a corner : attained mastery in; gained a monopoly
CBSE
Fiction
muscle. He had learned to read and write with amazing quickness. He sang in the 
choir.
22. And now, at the age of ten, a pupil at a local private school where they wore mortar 
boards and generally comported themselves like young dons, he had already 
won a prize for spelling and dictation. You simply couldn't take a boy like that aside 
and tell him that the father whom he believed to be a commercial traveller was 
affectionately known to a large section of the inhabitants of London, as "Young 
Porky." There were no two ways about it. You had to keep it from him.
23. So, Harold grew in stature and intelligence, without a suspicion of the real identity 
of the square-jawed man with the irregularly-shaped nose who came and went 
mysteriously in their semi-detached, red-brick home. He was a self-centred child, 
and, accepting the commercial traveller fiction, dismissed the subject from his 
mind and busied himself with things of more moment. And time slipped by.
24. Mrs. Bramble, left alone, resumed work on the sock which she was darning. For 
the first time since Harold had reached years of intelligence she was easy in her 
mind about the future. A week from tonight would see the end of all her anxieties. 
On that day Bill would fight his last fight, the twenty-round contest with that 
American Murphy at the National Sporting Club for which he was now training at 
the White Hart down the road. He had promised that it should be the last. He was 
getting on. He was thirty-one, and he said himself that he would have to be 
chucking the game before it chucked him. His idea was to retire from active work 
and try for a job as instructor at one of these big schools or colleges. He had a 
splendid record for respectability and sobriety and all the other qualities which 
headmasters demanded in those who taught their young gentlemen to box and 
several of his friends who had obtained similar posts described the job in question 
as extremely soft. So that it seemed to Mrs. Bramble that all might now be 
considered well. She smiled happily to herself as she darned her sock.
25. She was interrupted in her meditations by a knock at the front door. She put down 
her sock and listened.
26. Martha, the general, pattered along the passage, and then there came the sound 
of voices speaking in an undertone. Footsteps made themselves heard in the 
passage. The door opened. The head and shoulders of Major Percy Stokes 
insinuated themselves into the room. 
27. The Major cocked a mild blue eye at her.
comported : conducted oneself; behaved
a commercial traveller: firm's representative visiting shops etc to get orders.
moment: importance
the general : (here) the only servant who serves as an all purpose help/maid.
insinuated : suggested something bad indirectly
31
Page 5


CBSE
4 4
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.4    Keeping It From Harold
by P.G. Wodehouse
1. Before you read "Keeping It From Harold", the teacher will encourage you to 
answer or discuss the following.
 What are the different weight categories in Boxing?
 Have you ever heard the song whose lyrics go like...."He floats like a butterfly and 
stings like a bee"? Who does 'he' refer to? He is also know as 'The Greatest' boxer 
of all time. What was his original name? How many times did he win the World 
Heavyweight Belt?
 Find out from your friend if he /she watches WWE and who is his/her favourite 
wrestler. Also find out why he/she likes this wrestler.
 Discuss with your friend as to why these wrestlers have such a large fan following. 
Has the perception of people changed over the century with respect to those who 
fight in the ring?
2. Now read the story
1. "Ma!" Mrs. Bramble looked up, beaming with a kind of amiable fat-headedness. 
A domestic creature, wrapped up in Bill, her husband, and Harold, her son. At the 
present moment only the latter was with her. He sat on the other side of the table, 
his lips gravely pursed and his eyes a trifle cloudy behind their spectacles. Before 
him on the red tablecloth lay an open book. His powerful brain was plainly busy.
2. "Yes, dearie?"
3. "Will you hear me?"
4. Mrs. Bramble took the book.
5. "Yes, mother will hear you, precious."
6. A slight frown, marred the smoothness of Harold Bramble's brow. It jarred upon 
him, this habit of his mother's of referring to herself in the third person, as if she 
were addressing a baby, instead of a young man of ten who had taken the spelling 
and dictation prize last term on his head.
•
•
•
•
fat-headedness : foolishness
28
CBSE
Fiction
29
7. He cleared his throat and fixed his eyes upon the cut-glass hangings of the 
chandelier.
8. "Be good, sweet maid," he began, with the toneless rapidity affected by youths of 
his age when reciting poetry…..
9. "You do study so hard, dearie, you'll give yourself a headache. Why don't you take 
a nice walk by the river for half an hour, and come back nice and fresh?"
10. The spectacled child considered the 
point for a moment gravely. Then, 
nodding, he arranged his books in 
readiness for his return and went out. 
The front door closed with a decorous 
softness.
11. It was a constant source of amazement 
to Mrs. Bramble that she should have 
brought such a prodigy as Harold into 
the world. Harold was so different from 
ordinary children, so devoted to his books, such a model of behaviour, so 
altogether admirable. The only drawback was that his very  'perfection' had made 
necessary a series of evasions and even deliberate falsehoods on the part of 
herself and her husband, highly distasteful to both. They were lovers of truth, but 
they had realized that there are times when truth must be sacrificed. At any cost, 
the facts concerning Mr. Bramble's profession must be kept from Harold.
12. While he was a baby it had not mattered so much. But when he began to move 
about and take notice, Mrs. Bramble said to Mr. Bramble, "Bill, we must keep it 
from Harold." A little later, when the child had begun to show signs of being about 
to become a model of goodness and intelligence, and had already taken two 
prizes at the Sunday-school, the senior curate of the parish, meeting Mr. Bramble 
one morning, said nervously-for, after all, it was a delicate subject to broach, "Er-
Bramble, I think, on the whole, it would be as well to-er-keep it from Harold."
13. And only the other day, Mrs. Bramble's brother, Major Percy Stokes, dropping in 
for a cup of tea, had said, "I hope you are keeping it from Harold. It is the least you 
can do", and had gone on to make one or two remarks about men of wrath which, 
considering that his cheek-bones were glistening with Mr. Bramble's buttered 
toast, were in poor taste. But Percy was like that. Enemies said that he liked the 
sound of his own voice.
decorous : polite, calm and sensible behaviour
wrath : intense anger
CBSE
Fiction
30
14. Certainly he was very persuasive. Mr. Bramble had fallen in with the suggestion 
without  demur. In private life he was the mildest and most obliging of men, and 
always yielded to everybody. The very naming of Harold had caused a sacrifice on 
his part.
15. When it was certain that he was about to become a father, he had expressed a 
desire that the child should be named John, if a boy, after Mr John L. Sullivan, or, 
if a girl, Marie, after Miss Marie Lloyd. But Mrs Bramble saying that Harold was 
such a sweet name, he had withdrawn his suggestions with the utmost good-
humour.
16. Nobody could help liking this excellent man; which made it all the greater pity that 
his walk in life was of such a nature that it simply had to be kept from Harold. 
17. He was a professional boxer. That was the trouble.
18. Before the coming of Harold, he had been proud of being a professional boxer. His 
ability to paste his fellow-man in the eye while apparently meditating an attack on 
his stomach, and vice versa, had filled him with that genial glow of self-satisfaction 
which comes to philanthropists and other benefactors of the species. It had 
seemed to him a thing on which to congratulate himself that of all London's 
teeming millions there was not a man, weighing eight stone four, whom he could 
not overcome in a twenty-round contest. He was delighted to be the possessor of 
a left hook which had won the approval of the newspapers.
19. And then Harold had come into his life, and changed him into a furtive practiser of 
shady deeds. Before, he had gone about the world with a match-box full of press-
notices, which he would extract with a pin and read to casual acquaintances. Now, 
he quailed at the sight of his name in print, so thoroughly had he become imbued 
with the necessity of keeping it from Harold.
20. With an ordinary boy it would have mattered less. But Harold was different. 
Secretly proud of him as they were, both Bill and his wife were a little afraid of their 
wonderful child. The fact was, as Bill himself put it, Harold was showing a bit too 
much class for them. He had formed a corner in brains, as far as the Bramble 
family was concerned. They had come to regard him as being of a superior order.
21. Yet Harold, defying the laws of heredity, had run to intellect as his father had run to 
demur : reluctance / objection
Mr John L. Sullivan : American Boxing legend (1858-1918), lasting the bare-knuckled boxing 
championship, World heavyweight boxing champion from 1882-1892
Miss Marie Lloyd : Music hall artist 1870-1922
philanthropist : people who give donations or care about others
furtive : cautious or secretive                                                                                                     
quailed : showed fear
formed a corner : attained mastery in; gained a monopoly
CBSE
Fiction
muscle. He had learned to read and write with amazing quickness. He sang in the 
choir.
22. And now, at the age of ten, a pupil at a local private school where they wore mortar 
boards and generally comported themselves like young dons, he had already 
won a prize for spelling and dictation. You simply couldn't take a boy like that aside 
and tell him that the father whom he believed to be a commercial traveller was 
affectionately known to a large section of the inhabitants of London, as "Young 
Porky." There were no two ways about it. You had to keep it from him.
23. So, Harold grew in stature and intelligence, without a suspicion of the real identity 
of the square-jawed man with the irregularly-shaped nose who came and went 
mysteriously in their semi-detached, red-brick home. He was a self-centred child, 
and, accepting the commercial traveller fiction, dismissed the subject from his 
mind and busied himself with things of more moment. And time slipped by.
24. Mrs. Bramble, left alone, resumed work on the sock which she was darning. For 
the first time since Harold had reached years of intelligence she was easy in her 
mind about the future. A week from tonight would see the end of all her anxieties. 
On that day Bill would fight his last fight, the twenty-round contest with that 
American Murphy at the National Sporting Club for which he was now training at 
the White Hart down the road. He had promised that it should be the last. He was 
getting on. He was thirty-one, and he said himself that he would have to be 
chucking the game before it chucked him. His idea was to retire from active work 
and try for a job as instructor at one of these big schools or colleges. He had a 
splendid record for respectability and sobriety and all the other qualities which 
headmasters demanded in those who taught their young gentlemen to box and 
several of his friends who had obtained similar posts described the job in question 
as extremely soft. So that it seemed to Mrs. Bramble that all might now be 
considered well. She smiled happily to herself as she darned her sock.
25. She was interrupted in her meditations by a knock at the front door. She put down 
her sock and listened.
26. Martha, the general, pattered along the passage, and then there came the sound 
of voices speaking in an undertone. Footsteps made themselves heard in the 
passage. The door opened. The head and shoulders of Major Percy Stokes 
insinuated themselves into the room. 
27. The Major cocked a mild blue eye at her.
comported : conducted oneself; behaved
a commercial traveller: firm's representative visiting shops etc to get orders.
moment: importance
the general : (here) the only servant who serves as an all purpose help/maid.
insinuated : suggested something bad indirectly
31
CBSE
Fiction
32
28. "Harold anywhere about?"
29. "He's gone out for a nice walk. Whatever brings you here, Percy, so late? "
30. Percy made no answer. He withdrew his head.
31. He then reappeared, this time in his entirety, and remained holding the door open. 
More footsteps in the passage, and through the doorway in a sideways fashion 
suggestive of a diffident crab, came a short, sturdy, red-headed man with a broken 
nose and a propitiatory smile, at the sight of whom Mrs. Bramble, dropping her 
sock, rose as if propelled by powerful machinery, and exclaimed, "Bill!"
32. Mr. Bramble - for it was he - scratched his head, grinned feebly, and looked for 
assistance to the Major.
33. "The scales have fallen from his eyes."
34. "What scales?" demanded Mrs. Bramble, a literal-minded woman. "And what are 
you doing here, Bill, when you ought to be at the White Hart, training?"
35. "That's just what I'm telling you," said Percy. "I been wrestling with Bill, and I been 
vouchsafed the victory."
36. "You!" said Mrs. Bramble, with uncomplimentary astonishment, letting her gaze 
wander over her brother's weedy form.
37. "Jerry Fisher's a hard nut," said Mr. Bramble, apologetically. "He don't like people 
coming round talking to a man he's training, unless he introduces them or they're 
newspaper gents."
38. "After that I kept away. But I wrote the letters and I sent the tracts. Bill, which of the 
tracts was it that snatched you from the primrose path?"
39. "It wasn't so much the letters, Perce. It was what you wrote about Harold. You see, 
Jane---"
40. "Perhaps you'll kindly allow me to get a word in edgeways, you two," said Mrs. 
Bramble, her temper for once becoming ruffled. "You can stop talking for half an 
instant, Percy, if you know how, while Bill tells me what he's doing here when he 
ought to be at the White Hart with Mr. Fisher, doing his bit of training."
41. Mr. Bramble met her eye and blinked awkwardly.
42. " Percy's just been telling you, Jane. He wrote---"
43. "I haven't made head or tail of a word that Percy's said, and I don't expect to.  All I 
propitiatory : appeasing
vouchsafed : guaranteed
weedy : thin or weak 
primrose  path : pursuit of pleasure
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