NCERT Textbook - The Man Who Knew Too Much Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

Class 9: NCERT Textbook - The Man Who Knew Too Much Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

The document NCERT Textbook - The Man Who Knew Too Much Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course English Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9
 Page 1


CBSE
3 3
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.3    The Man Who Knew Too Much
by Alexander Baron
1. With your partner, discuss and narrate an incident about a person who likes to 
show off.
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Check whether your classmates agree with you.
2. Now, read about the "Professor" who knew too much and find out if he knew 
enough!
1. I first met Private Quelch at the training depot. A man is liable to acquire in his first 
week of Army life - together with his uniform, rifle and equipment- a nickname. 
Anyone who saw Private Quelch, lanky, stooping, frowning through horn-rimmed 
spectacles, understood why he was known as the Professor. Those who had any 
doubts on the subject lost them after five minutes' conversation with him.
2. I remember the first lesson we had in musketry. We stood in an attentive circle 
while a Sergeant, a man as dark and sun-dried as raisins, wearing North-West 
Frontier ribbons, described the mechanism of a service rifle.
3. "The muzzle velocity or speed at which the bullet leaves the rifle", he told us, "is 
well over two thousand feet per second."
4. A voice interrupted. "Two thousand, four hundred and forty feet per second." It 
was the Professor.
5. "That's right," the Sergeant said without enthusiasm, and went on lecturing. When 
he had finished, he put questions to us; and, perhaps in the hope of revenge, he 
•
•
•
•
Private:   soldier without rank
musketry: art of using the infantry soldier's handgun.
N.W. Frontier ribbons: decorations showing service in the N.W. province in British India, today a part 
of modern Pakistan.
22
Page 2


CBSE
3 3
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.3    The Man Who Knew Too Much
by Alexander Baron
1. With your partner, discuss and narrate an incident about a person who likes to 
show off.
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Check whether your classmates agree with you.
2. Now, read about the "Professor" who knew too much and find out if he knew 
enough!
1. I first met Private Quelch at the training depot. A man is liable to acquire in his first 
week of Army life - together with his uniform, rifle and equipment- a nickname. 
Anyone who saw Private Quelch, lanky, stooping, frowning through horn-rimmed 
spectacles, understood why he was known as the Professor. Those who had any 
doubts on the subject lost them after five minutes' conversation with him.
2. I remember the first lesson we had in musketry. We stood in an attentive circle 
while a Sergeant, a man as dark and sun-dried as raisins, wearing North-West 
Frontier ribbons, described the mechanism of a service rifle.
3. "The muzzle velocity or speed at which the bullet leaves the rifle", he told us, "is 
well over two thousand feet per second."
4. A voice interrupted. "Two thousand, four hundred and forty feet per second." It 
was the Professor.
5. "That's right," the Sergeant said without enthusiasm, and went on lecturing. When 
he had finished, he put questions to us; and, perhaps in the hope of revenge, he 
•
•
•
•
Private:   soldier without rank
musketry: art of using the infantry soldier's handgun.
N.W. Frontier ribbons: decorations showing service in the N.W. province in British India, today a part 
of modern Pakistan.
22
CBSE
Fiction
turned with his questions again and again to the Professor. The only result was to 
enhance the Professor's glory. Technical definitions, the parts of the rifle, its use 
and care, he had them all by heart.
6. The Sergeant asked, "You had any training before?"
7. The Professor answered with a phrase that was to become familiar to all of us. 
"No, Sergeant. It's all a matter of intelligent reading."
8. That was our introduction to him. We soon learned more about him. He saw to 
that. He meant to get on, he told us. He had brains. He was sure to get a 
commission, before long. As a first step, he meant to get a stripe.
9. In pursuit of his ambition he worked hard. We had to give him credit for that. He 
borrowed training manuals and stayed up late at nights reading them. He 
badgered the instructors with questions. He drilled with enthusiasm, and on route 
marches he was not only miraculously tireless but infuriated us all with his 
horrible heartiness. "What about a song, chaps?" is not greeted politely at the end 
of thirty miles. His salute at the pay table was a model to behold. When officers 
were in sight he would swing his skinny arms and march to the canteen like a 
Guardsman.
10. And day in and day out, he lectured to us in his droning, remorseless voice on 
every aspect of human knowledge. At first we had a certain respect for him, but 
soon we lived in terror of his approach. We tried to hit back at him with clumsy 
sarcasms and practical jokes. The Professor scarcely noticed; he was too busy 
working for his stripe.
11. Each time one of us made a mistake the Professor would publicly correct him. 
Whenever one of us shone, the Professor outshone him. When, after a hard 
morning's work cleaning out our hut, we listened in silence to the Orderly 
Officer's praise, the Professor would break out with a ringing, dutifully beaming, 
"Thank you, sir!" And how superior, how condescending he was. It was always, 
"Let me show you, fellow," or, "No, you'll ruin your rifle, that way, old man."
12. We used to pride ourselves on aircraft recognition. Once, out for a walk, we heard 
the drone of a plane flying high overhead. None of us could even see it in the glare 
of the sun. Without even a glance upward the Professor announced, "That, of 
course, is a North American Harvard Trainer. It can be unmistakably identified by 
the harsh engine note, due to the high tip speed of the airscrew." 
What could a gang of louts like us do with a man like that?
commission: become an army officer
stripe: V-shaped band to indicate the rank of a soldier.
route marches: training marches of battalions.
Orderly Officer: officer of the day
condescending : to look down on
23
Page 3


CBSE
3 3
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.3    The Man Who Knew Too Much
by Alexander Baron
1. With your partner, discuss and narrate an incident about a person who likes to 
show off.
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Check whether your classmates agree with you.
2. Now, read about the "Professor" who knew too much and find out if he knew 
enough!
1. I first met Private Quelch at the training depot. A man is liable to acquire in his first 
week of Army life - together with his uniform, rifle and equipment- a nickname. 
Anyone who saw Private Quelch, lanky, stooping, frowning through horn-rimmed 
spectacles, understood why he was known as the Professor. Those who had any 
doubts on the subject lost them after five minutes' conversation with him.
2. I remember the first lesson we had in musketry. We stood in an attentive circle 
while a Sergeant, a man as dark and sun-dried as raisins, wearing North-West 
Frontier ribbons, described the mechanism of a service rifle.
3. "The muzzle velocity or speed at which the bullet leaves the rifle", he told us, "is 
well over two thousand feet per second."
4. A voice interrupted. "Two thousand, four hundred and forty feet per second." It 
was the Professor.
5. "That's right," the Sergeant said without enthusiasm, and went on lecturing. When 
he had finished, he put questions to us; and, perhaps in the hope of revenge, he 
•
•
•
•
Private:   soldier without rank
musketry: art of using the infantry soldier's handgun.
N.W. Frontier ribbons: decorations showing service in the N.W. province in British India, today a part 
of modern Pakistan.
22
CBSE
Fiction
turned with his questions again and again to the Professor. The only result was to 
enhance the Professor's glory. Technical definitions, the parts of the rifle, its use 
and care, he had them all by heart.
6. The Sergeant asked, "You had any training before?"
7. The Professor answered with a phrase that was to become familiar to all of us. 
"No, Sergeant. It's all a matter of intelligent reading."
8. That was our introduction to him. We soon learned more about him. He saw to 
that. He meant to get on, he told us. He had brains. He was sure to get a 
commission, before long. As a first step, he meant to get a stripe.
9. In pursuit of his ambition he worked hard. We had to give him credit for that. He 
borrowed training manuals and stayed up late at nights reading them. He 
badgered the instructors with questions. He drilled with enthusiasm, and on route 
marches he was not only miraculously tireless but infuriated us all with his 
horrible heartiness. "What about a song, chaps?" is not greeted politely at the end 
of thirty miles. His salute at the pay table was a model to behold. When officers 
were in sight he would swing his skinny arms and march to the canteen like a 
Guardsman.
10. And day in and day out, he lectured to us in his droning, remorseless voice on 
every aspect of human knowledge. At first we had a certain respect for him, but 
soon we lived in terror of his approach. We tried to hit back at him with clumsy 
sarcasms and practical jokes. The Professor scarcely noticed; he was too busy 
working for his stripe.
11. Each time one of us made a mistake the Professor would publicly correct him. 
Whenever one of us shone, the Professor outshone him. When, after a hard 
morning's work cleaning out our hut, we listened in silence to the Orderly 
Officer's praise, the Professor would break out with a ringing, dutifully beaming, 
"Thank you, sir!" And how superior, how condescending he was. It was always, 
"Let me show you, fellow," or, "No, you'll ruin your rifle, that way, old man."
12. We used to pride ourselves on aircraft recognition. Once, out for a walk, we heard 
the drone of a plane flying high overhead. None of us could even see it in the glare 
of the sun. Without even a glance upward the Professor announced, "That, of 
course, is a North American Harvard Trainer. It can be unmistakably identified by 
the harsh engine note, due to the high tip speed of the airscrew." 
What could a gang of louts like us do with a man like that?
commission: become an army officer
stripe: V-shaped band to indicate the rank of a soldier.
route marches: training marches of battalions.
Orderly Officer: officer of the day
condescending : to look down on
23
CBSE
Fiction
24
13. None of us will ever forget the 
drowsy summer afternoon which 
was such a turning-point in the 
Professor's life.
14. We were sprawling contentedly 
on the warm grass while Corporal 
Turnbull was taking a lesson on 
the hand grenade.
15. Corporal Turnbull was a young 
man, but he was not a man to be trifled with. He had come back from Dunkirk with 
all his equipment correct and accounted for and his kitten in his pocket. He was 
our hero, and we used to tell each other that he was so tough that you could 
hammer nails into him without his noticing it.
16. _"The outside of a grenade, as you can see," Corporal Turnbull was saying, "is 
divided up into a large number of fragments to assist segmentation"
17. "Forty-four"
18. "What's that?" The Corporal looked over his shoulder 
19. "Forty-four segments." The Professor beamed at him.
20. The Corporal said nothing, but his brow tightened. He opened his mouth to 
resume.
21. "And by the way, Corporal." We were all thunder-struck.
22. The Professor was speaking again. "Shouldn't you have started off with the five 
characteristics of the grenade? Our instructor at the other camp always used to, 
you know."
23. In the silence that followed a dark flush stained the tan of Corporal's face. "Here," 
he said at last, "you give this lecture". As if afraid to say any more, he tossed the 
grenade to the Professor. Quite unabashed, Private Quelch climbed to his feet 
and with the aid of a man coming into his birth-right gave us an unexceptionable 
lecture on the grenade.
24. The squad listened in a cowed, horrified kind of silence. Corporal Turnbull stood 
and watched, impassive except for a searching intentness of gaze. When the 
lecture was finished he said, "Thank you, Private Quelch. Fall in with the others 
now." He did not speak again until we had fallen in and were waiting to be 
dismissed. Then he addressed us.
sprawling: lying with arms and legs outstretched.
trifled with : to play with or fool around with, talk or act frivolously with.
unabashed: unashamed.
cowed: subdued
Page 4


CBSE
3 3
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.3    The Man Who Knew Too Much
by Alexander Baron
1. With your partner, discuss and narrate an incident about a person who likes to 
show off.
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Check whether your classmates agree with you.
2. Now, read about the "Professor" who knew too much and find out if he knew 
enough!
1. I first met Private Quelch at the training depot. A man is liable to acquire in his first 
week of Army life - together with his uniform, rifle and equipment- a nickname. 
Anyone who saw Private Quelch, lanky, stooping, frowning through horn-rimmed 
spectacles, understood why he was known as the Professor. Those who had any 
doubts on the subject lost them after five minutes' conversation with him.
2. I remember the first lesson we had in musketry. We stood in an attentive circle 
while a Sergeant, a man as dark and sun-dried as raisins, wearing North-West 
Frontier ribbons, described the mechanism of a service rifle.
3. "The muzzle velocity or speed at which the bullet leaves the rifle", he told us, "is 
well over two thousand feet per second."
4. A voice interrupted. "Two thousand, four hundred and forty feet per second." It 
was the Professor.
5. "That's right," the Sergeant said without enthusiasm, and went on lecturing. When 
he had finished, he put questions to us; and, perhaps in the hope of revenge, he 
•
•
•
•
Private:   soldier without rank
musketry: art of using the infantry soldier's handgun.
N.W. Frontier ribbons: decorations showing service in the N.W. province in British India, today a part 
of modern Pakistan.
22
CBSE
Fiction
turned with his questions again and again to the Professor. The only result was to 
enhance the Professor's glory. Technical definitions, the parts of the rifle, its use 
and care, he had them all by heart.
6. The Sergeant asked, "You had any training before?"
7. The Professor answered with a phrase that was to become familiar to all of us. 
"No, Sergeant. It's all a matter of intelligent reading."
8. That was our introduction to him. We soon learned more about him. He saw to 
that. He meant to get on, he told us. He had brains. He was sure to get a 
commission, before long. As a first step, he meant to get a stripe.
9. In pursuit of his ambition he worked hard. We had to give him credit for that. He 
borrowed training manuals and stayed up late at nights reading them. He 
badgered the instructors with questions. He drilled with enthusiasm, and on route 
marches he was not only miraculously tireless but infuriated us all with his 
horrible heartiness. "What about a song, chaps?" is not greeted politely at the end 
of thirty miles. His salute at the pay table was a model to behold. When officers 
were in sight he would swing his skinny arms and march to the canteen like a 
Guardsman.
10. And day in and day out, he lectured to us in his droning, remorseless voice on 
every aspect of human knowledge. At first we had a certain respect for him, but 
soon we lived in terror of his approach. We tried to hit back at him with clumsy 
sarcasms and practical jokes. The Professor scarcely noticed; he was too busy 
working for his stripe.
11. Each time one of us made a mistake the Professor would publicly correct him. 
Whenever one of us shone, the Professor outshone him. When, after a hard 
morning's work cleaning out our hut, we listened in silence to the Orderly 
Officer's praise, the Professor would break out with a ringing, dutifully beaming, 
"Thank you, sir!" And how superior, how condescending he was. It was always, 
"Let me show you, fellow," or, "No, you'll ruin your rifle, that way, old man."
12. We used to pride ourselves on aircraft recognition. Once, out for a walk, we heard 
the drone of a plane flying high overhead. None of us could even see it in the glare 
of the sun. Without even a glance upward the Professor announced, "That, of 
course, is a North American Harvard Trainer. It can be unmistakably identified by 
the harsh engine note, due to the high tip speed of the airscrew." 
What could a gang of louts like us do with a man like that?
commission: become an army officer
stripe: V-shaped band to indicate the rank of a soldier.
route marches: training marches of battalions.
Orderly Officer: officer of the day
condescending : to look down on
23
CBSE
Fiction
24
13. None of us will ever forget the 
drowsy summer afternoon which 
was such a turning-point in the 
Professor's life.
14. We were sprawling contentedly 
on the warm grass while Corporal 
Turnbull was taking a lesson on 
the hand grenade.
15. Corporal Turnbull was a young 
man, but he was not a man to be trifled with. He had come back from Dunkirk with 
all his equipment correct and accounted for and his kitten in his pocket. He was 
our hero, and we used to tell each other that he was so tough that you could 
hammer nails into him without his noticing it.
16. _"The outside of a grenade, as you can see," Corporal Turnbull was saying, "is 
divided up into a large number of fragments to assist segmentation"
17. "Forty-four"
18. "What's that?" The Corporal looked over his shoulder 
19. "Forty-four segments." The Professor beamed at him.
20. The Corporal said nothing, but his brow tightened. He opened his mouth to 
resume.
21. "And by the way, Corporal." We were all thunder-struck.
22. The Professor was speaking again. "Shouldn't you have started off with the five 
characteristics of the grenade? Our instructor at the other camp always used to, 
you know."
23. In the silence that followed a dark flush stained the tan of Corporal's face. "Here," 
he said at last, "you give this lecture". As if afraid to say any more, he tossed the 
grenade to the Professor. Quite unabashed, Private Quelch climbed to his feet 
and with the aid of a man coming into his birth-right gave us an unexceptionable 
lecture on the grenade.
24. The squad listened in a cowed, horrified kind of silence. Corporal Turnbull stood 
and watched, impassive except for a searching intentness of gaze. When the 
lecture was finished he said, "Thank you, Private Quelch. Fall in with the others 
now." He did not speak again until we had fallen in and were waiting to be 
dismissed. Then he addressed us.
sprawling: lying with arms and legs outstretched.
trifled with : to play with or fool around with, talk or act frivolously with.
unabashed: unashamed.
cowed: subdued
CBSE
Fiction
25
25. "As some of you may have heard," he began deliberately, "the platoon officer has 
asked me to nominate one of you for…." He paused and looked lingeringly up and 
down the ranks as if seeking final confirmation of decision.
26. So this was the great moment! Most of us could not help glancing at Private 
Quelch, who stood rigidly to attention and stared straight in front of him with an 
expression of self-conscious innocence.
27. ______"…..for permanent cookhouse duties, I've decided that Private Quelch is 
just the man for the job."
28. Of course, it was a joke for days afterwards; a joke and joy to all of us.
29. I remember, though........................................................
30. My friend Trower and I were talking about it a few days later. We were returning 
from the canteen to our own hut.
31. Through the open door, we could see the three cooks standing against the wall as 
if at bay; and from within came the monotonous beat of a familiar voice.
32. "Really. I must protest against this abominably unscientific and unhygienic 
method of peeling potatoes. I need to only draw your attention to the sheer waste 
of vitamin values......................."
33. We fled.
About the Author
Alexander Baron (1917-1999) has written many novels, including 'There's no Home', 
' The Human Kind', 'Queen of the East', 'Seeing Life' and The How  Life', film scripts 
and television plays. He started life as an Asstt. Editor of The Tribune and later edited 
'New Theater.' He served during the Second World War.
3. The 'Professor' knew too much. How did he prove himself? Fill up the space with 
suitable examples from the story, using the given clues:
(a) about muzzle velocity:_________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
(b) after a thirty mile walk:  _________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
(c) his salute on payday:  _________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
Page 5


CBSE
3 3
UNIT UNIT
Fiction
F.3    The Man Who Knew Too Much
by Alexander Baron
1. With your partner, discuss and narrate an incident about a person who likes to 
show off.
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Check whether your classmates agree with you.
2. Now, read about the "Professor" who knew too much and find out if he knew 
enough!
1. I first met Private Quelch at the training depot. A man is liable to acquire in his first 
week of Army life - together with his uniform, rifle and equipment- a nickname. 
Anyone who saw Private Quelch, lanky, stooping, frowning through horn-rimmed 
spectacles, understood why he was known as the Professor. Those who had any 
doubts on the subject lost them after five minutes' conversation with him.
2. I remember the first lesson we had in musketry. We stood in an attentive circle 
while a Sergeant, a man as dark and sun-dried as raisins, wearing North-West 
Frontier ribbons, described the mechanism of a service rifle.
3. "The muzzle velocity or speed at which the bullet leaves the rifle", he told us, "is 
well over two thousand feet per second."
4. A voice interrupted. "Two thousand, four hundred and forty feet per second." It 
was the Professor.
5. "That's right," the Sergeant said without enthusiasm, and went on lecturing. When 
he had finished, he put questions to us; and, perhaps in the hope of revenge, he 
•
•
•
•
Private:   soldier without rank
musketry: art of using the infantry soldier's handgun.
N.W. Frontier ribbons: decorations showing service in the N.W. province in British India, today a part 
of modern Pakistan.
22
CBSE
Fiction
turned with his questions again and again to the Professor. The only result was to 
enhance the Professor's glory. Technical definitions, the parts of the rifle, its use 
and care, he had them all by heart.
6. The Sergeant asked, "You had any training before?"
7. The Professor answered with a phrase that was to become familiar to all of us. 
"No, Sergeant. It's all a matter of intelligent reading."
8. That was our introduction to him. We soon learned more about him. He saw to 
that. He meant to get on, he told us. He had brains. He was sure to get a 
commission, before long. As a first step, he meant to get a stripe.
9. In pursuit of his ambition he worked hard. We had to give him credit for that. He 
borrowed training manuals and stayed up late at nights reading them. He 
badgered the instructors with questions. He drilled with enthusiasm, and on route 
marches he was not only miraculously tireless but infuriated us all with his 
horrible heartiness. "What about a song, chaps?" is not greeted politely at the end 
of thirty miles. His salute at the pay table was a model to behold. When officers 
were in sight he would swing his skinny arms and march to the canteen like a 
Guardsman.
10. And day in and day out, he lectured to us in his droning, remorseless voice on 
every aspect of human knowledge. At first we had a certain respect for him, but 
soon we lived in terror of his approach. We tried to hit back at him with clumsy 
sarcasms and practical jokes. The Professor scarcely noticed; he was too busy 
working for his stripe.
11. Each time one of us made a mistake the Professor would publicly correct him. 
Whenever one of us shone, the Professor outshone him. When, after a hard 
morning's work cleaning out our hut, we listened in silence to the Orderly 
Officer's praise, the Professor would break out with a ringing, dutifully beaming, 
"Thank you, sir!" And how superior, how condescending he was. It was always, 
"Let me show you, fellow," or, "No, you'll ruin your rifle, that way, old man."
12. We used to pride ourselves on aircraft recognition. Once, out for a walk, we heard 
the drone of a plane flying high overhead. None of us could even see it in the glare 
of the sun. Without even a glance upward the Professor announced, "That, of 
course, is a North American Harvard Trainer. It can be unmistakably identified by 
the harsh engine note, due to the high tip speed of the airscrew." 
What could a gang of louts like us do with a man like that?
commission: become an army officer
stripe: V-shaped band to indicate the rank of a soldier.
route marches: training marches of battalions.
Orderly Officer: officer of the day
condescending : to look down on
23
CBSE
Fiction
24
13. None of us will ever forget the 
drowsy summer afternoon which 
was such a turning-point in the 
Professor's life.
14. We were sprawling contentedly 
on the warm grass while Corporal 
Turnbull was taking a lesson on 
the hand grenade.
15. Corporal Turnbull was a young 
man, but he was not a man to be trifled with. He had come back from Dunkirk with 
all his equipment correct and accounted for and his kitten in his pocket. He was 
our hero, and we used to tell each other that he was so tough that you could 
hammer nails into him without his noticing it.
16. _"The outside of a grenade, as you can see," Corporal Turnbull was saying, "is 
divided up into a large number of fragments to assist segmentation"
17. "Forty-four"
18. "What's that?" The Corporal looked over his shoulder 
19. "Forty-four segments." The Professor beamed at him.
20. The Corporal said nothing, but his brow tightened. He opened his mouth to 
resume.
21. "And by the way, Corporal." We were all thunder-struck.
22. The Professor was speaking again. "Shouldn't you have started off with the five 
characteristics of the grenade? Our instructor at the other camp always used to, 
you know."
23. In the silence that followed a dark flush stained the tan of Corporal's face. "Here," 
he said at last, "you give this lecture". As if afraid to say any more, he tossed the 
grenade to the Professor. Quite unabashed, Private Quelch climbed to his feet 
and with the aid of a man coming into his birth-right gave us an unexceptionable 
lecture on the grenade.
24. The squad listened in a cowed, horrified kind of silence. Corporal Turnbull stood 
and watched, impassive except for a searching intentness of gaze. When the 
lecture was finished he said, "Thank you, Private Quelch. Fall in with the others 
now." He did not speak again until we had fallen in and were waiting to be 
dismissed. Then he addressed us.
sprawling: lying with arms and legs outstretched.
trifled with : to play with or fool around with, talk or act frivolously with.
unabashed: unashamed.
cowed: subdued
CBSE
Fiction
25
25. "As some of you may have heard," he began deliberately, "the platoon officer has 
asked me to nominate one of you for…." He paused and looked lingeringly up and 
down the ranks as if seeking final confirmation of decision.
26. So this was the great moment! Most of us could not help glancing at Private 
Quelch, who stood rigidly to attention and stared straight in front of him with an 
expression of self-conscious innocence.
27. ______"…..for permanent cookhouse duties, I've decided that Private Quelch is 
just the man for the job."
28. Of course, it was a joke for days afterwards; a joke and joy to all of us.
29. I remember, though........................................................
30. My friend Trower and I were talking about it a few days later. We were returning 
from the canteen to our own hut.
31. Through the open door, we could see the three cooks standing against the wall as 
if at bay; and from within came the monotonous beat of a familiar voice.
32. "Really. I must protest against this abominably unscientific and unhygienic 
method of peeling potatoes. I need to only draw your attention to the sheer waste 
of vitamin values......................."
33. We fled.
About the Author
Alexander Baron (1917-1999) has written many novels, including 'There's no Home', 
' The Human Kind', 'Queen of the East', 'Seeing Life' and The How  Life', film scripts 
and television plays. He started life as an Asstt. Editor of The Tribune and later edited 
'New Theater.' He served during the Second World War.
3. The 'Professor' knew too much. How did he prove himself? Fill up the space with 
suitable examples from the story, using the given clues:
(a) about muzzle velocity:_________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
(b) after a thirty mile walk:  _________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
(c) his salute on payday:  _________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
CBSE
Fiction
26
(d) the loud sound of a high flying invisible aeroplane: ____________________________
__________________________________________________________________
(e) about hand grenades:  _________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
(f) during cook house duties:  ______________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
4. Based on your reading of the story, answer the following questions by choosing 
the correct options.
(a) Private Quelch was nick-named 'Professor' because of _________
(i) his appearance.
(ii) his knowledge.
(iii) his habit of reading.
(iv) his habit of sermonising.
(b) One could hammer nails  into Corporal Turnbull without his noticing it because 
________
(i) he was a strong and sturdy man.
(ii) he was oblivious to his suroundings.
(iii) he was a brave corporal.
(iv) he was used to it.
(c) The author and his friend Trower fled from the scene as ____________
(i) they had to catch a train 
(ii) they could not stand Private Quelch exhibiting his knowledge
(iii) they felt they would have to lend a helping hand.
(iv) they did not want to meet the cooks.
5. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) What is a 'nickname'? Can you suggest another one for Private Quelch?
(b) Private Quelch looked like a 'Professor' when the author first met him at the training 
depot. Why?
(c) What does the dark, sun-dried appearance of the Sergeant suggest about him?
(d) How was Private Quelch's knowledge exposed even further as the Sergeant's classes 
went on?
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