Ausable was a secret agent. He was staying in a French hotel. A young and romantic writer named Fowler came to meet him. Fowler was disappointed to see Ausable. He was a sloppy fat fellow. His room was at the top and sixth floor of that musty and gloomy hotel. When they both entered the room and Ausable switched on they found that a man was standing in the center of the room. He hand a pistol in his hand. It was the first thrill of the day for Fowler.
The name of the man with a gun was Max.
He said that he had come there to snatch the report from Ausable which he was expecting to receive. Ausable remained silent and cool. He seemed to be angry with the management of the hotel. He cocked-up a story about the balcony. He told him that there was a balcony just below the window of his room and last month an unknown person had entered the room through that balcony.
Max told Ausable that he had used a master key to enter the door. He wished that he should have entered through the balcony way. It would have been much easier. There was still half an hour for the report to arrive.
There was a sudden knocking at the door. Ausable smiled. He said it must be the police because he himself had called them for the protection of such an important report.
Max was nervous. He jumped through the window to the balcony. But there was no balcony as Ausable had told. He fell down to the ground from the sixth floor and was killed.
Then the door opened. The waiter entered the room with a tray a bottle of wine and two glasses. Ausable had ordered for them. The waiter left. Fowler did not know anything about the balcony. He feared that Max would return soon. But Ausable told him the fact that he would never return. Thus, Fowler was much impressed by his cleverness and presence of mind.
Detailed Summary (2)
1. Fowler Meets Secret Agent Ausable: Fowler was a young romantic writer. He came to meet a secret agent, Ausable, in his office. Actually, he had come to gather necessary material for his book on secret agents. Like all people, Fowler had also formed quite a romantic picture of the secret agent as represented in books and films. Ausable didn’t fit any description of a secret agent Fowler had ever read or imagined. Fowler felt let down. Ausable’s office was in a small room, on the sixth and top floor. He was a sloppy fat man. He had an American accent. Ausable himself felt that Fowler was disappointed after meeting him.
2. Important Paper in Ausable’s Custody: Ausable told Fowler that he had a very important ‘paper’ in his custody. Someday that paper might well affect the course of history. Then, Ausable switched on the light. Fowler had his first authentic thrill of the day. He saw a man with a small automatic pistol in his hand.
3 Max Enters with a Pistol: Ausable was stunned to see Max in his room with a P’ pistol He had thought he was in Berlin. Max was slender, crafty and had the face of a fox. There was nothing menacing about Max except his pistol. Max demanded the important report concerning some new missiles that were in the custody of Ausable. He wanted to take it from Ausable.
4. Ausable Cooks up a Story about Balcony: On the spur of the moment, Ausable cooked up a story. He told Fowler and Max that his balcony below the window had become a big nuisance. It was the second time in a month that somebody had got into his room from there. Max showed his ignorance about the balcony and told that he entered through a passkey. Ausable told Max that the balcony actually belonged to the other apartment. It extended under his window.
5. Knocking at the Door: Max was standing erect not far from Ausable. He was waving his pistol with a commanding gesture. Soon, he heard a knocking at the door. Ausable cooked up another story at once. He told Max that it should be the police. He had a very important paper with him. It needed a little extra protection. He had told the police to check on him to make sure that everything was all right. Fowler jumped aside. Max bit his lip nervously. Ausable threatened Max that the police would enter soon as the door was unlocked. They would not hesitate to shoot.
6. Nervous Max Jumps Out of the Window: Max was nervous. He asked Ausable to send the police away or he would not hesitate to shoot. The knocking at the door became louder. Max kept his body twisted and pointed his gun at Ausable and Fowler. He put another leg over the windowsill. Then in desperation, he jumped out. As he dropped, he screamed once, shrilly.
7. Waiter Appears: The door opened and a waiter stood there with a tray, a bottle and two glasses. Actually, it was not the police but it was the waiter whom Ausable had already ordered. Fowler was still white-faced. He asked about the man who jumped out on the balcony. Ausable assured Fowler that Max would not return as there was no balcony below the window.
Main Points of the Story
|1. What is the story "The Midnight Visitor" about?|
|2. Who is the main character in the story "The Midnight Visitor"?|
|3. What is the significance of the title "The Midnight Visitor"?|
|4. How does the encounter with the visitor impact Mike's life?|
|5. What moral lesson can be learned from the story "The Midnight Visitor"?|