Unseen Passage: The Old Lady

The old lady was glad to be back at the block of flats where she lived. Her shopping had tired her and her basket had grown heavier with every step on the way home. In the lift, her thoughts were on lunch and a good rest but when she got out at her own floor, both were forgotten in her sudden discovery that her front door was open. She was thinking that she must reprimand her maid the next morning for such a monstrous piece of negligence, when she remembered that she had gone shopping after her maid had left and she had turned both the keys in their locks. She walked slowly into the hall and at once noticed that all the room doors were opened, yet following her regular practice she had shut them before going out. Looking into the drawing room, she saw a scene of confusion over by her writing desk.

It was as clear as daylight then that burglars had forced an entry in her absence. Her first impulse was to go round all the rooms looking for the thieves, but then she decided that at her age it might be more prudent to have someone with her, so she went to fetch the porter from the basement. By this time her legs were beginning to tremble, so she sat down and accepted a cup of very strong tea, while she telephoned the police. Then her composure regained, she was ready to set-off with the porter’s assistance to search for any intruders who might be still lurking in her flat.

They went through the rooms, being careful to touch nothing, as they did not want to hinder the police in their search for finger-prints. The chaos was inconceivable. She had lived in the flat for thirty years and was a veritable magpie at hoarding and it seemed as though everything she possessed had been tossed out and turned over and over. At least sorting out the things she should have discarded years ago was now being made easier for her. Then a police inspector arrived with a constable and she told them of her discovery of the ransacked flat. The inspector began to look for finger-prints, while the constable checked that the front door locks had not been forced, thereby proving that the burglars had either used skeleton keys or entered through the balcony.

There was no trace of finger-prints, but the inspector found a dirty red bundle that contained jewellery which the old lady said was not hers. So their entry into this flat was apparently not the burglar’s first job that day and they must have been disturbed. The inspector then asked the lady to try to check what was missing by the next day and advised her not to stay alone in the flat for a few nights. The old lady thought that he was a fussy creature, but since the porter agreed with him, she rang up her daughter and asked for her help in what she described as a little spot of bother.

Q. Answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option:

  1. The old lady was glad to be back at her home because
    1. she had finished her shopping.
    2. it was night time.
    3. she was tired.
    4. some guests had arrived at her home.
  2. She decided to scold her maid the next morning because
    1. she had not finished the household chores.
    2. she had left the house in a hurry.
    3. she had left the front door open.
    4. the house had been burgled.
  3. She decided to take someone along with her to look around the rooms because
    1. she was terrified.
    2. she was old and realised she should take someone along.
    3. she felt the burglars might still be there.
    4. All of these.
  4. The burglars entered her flat by
    1. making forced entry.
    2. using duplicate keys.
    3. breaking the door open.
    4. through neighbour’s house.
  5. The inspector advised the old lady not to stay alone in the flat for a few nights because
    1. her maid had left
    2. she was very old
    3. it was not safe
    4. None of these
  6. The word which conveys a similar meaning as ‘disorder’ is
    1. reprimand
    2. chaos
    3. lurking
    4. prudent

Answer

  1. she was tired
  2. she had left the front door open
  3. All of these
  4. using duplicate keys
  5. it was not safe
  6. chaos

Q. Answer the following questions:

  1. She saw a scene of _______________ of over by her writing desk.
  2. It was a clear as daylight then that _______________ had forced an entry in her absence.
  3. The chaos was
  4. Atleast sorting out the things she should have discarded years ago was being made _______________ for her.
  5. So their entry in to this flat was apparently not the burglars’ first job that day and they must have been _______________ .
  6. She rang up her daughter and asked for her help in what she described as a little spot of _______________.

Answers

  1. confusion
  2. burglars
  3. inconceivable
  4. easier
  5. disturbed
  6. bother

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