AUSABLE did not fit any description of a secret agent Fowler had ever read. Following him down the musty corridor of the gloomy French hotel where Ausable had a room, Fowler felt let down. It was a small room, on the sixth and top floor, and scarcely a setting for a romantic adventure.
Ausable was, for one thing, fat. Very fat. And then there was his accent. Though he spoke French and German passably, he had never altogether lost the American accent he had brought to Paris from Boston twenty years ago.
The lesson "The Midnight Visitor" is an interesting detective story written by Robert Arthur. The story opens with the narrator stating that Fowler felt Ausable didn't fit into the description of a secret agent. Fowler was a young writer who came to meet Ausable. While following him, Fowler felt a mouldy smell in the corridor. Ausable lived in a French hotel, and the hotel corridor seemed to be very dark. While seeing the stinky and gloomy corridor of the French hotel, Fowler felt disappointed.
The narrator then describes Ausable's room. The room was very small, and it was on the sixth and the top floor. The room doesn't fit for setting any romantic adventure. Here the word "romantic adventure" suggests that fanciful or adventurous events occur in the room. Fowler might have imagined Ausable would have encountered several daring activities. But, when he looks around his room, Fowler doesn't think it's a good setting for any exciting stories.
After giving a detailed description of Ausable's room, the narrator describes his appearance. Ausable was a fat man, and he knew both French and German, but he was not excellent in those languages. It means that he can manage both languages. Whenever he spoke French and German languages, there would be an American accent in them. Ausable knew the American accent because he lived in Boston. Also, the narrator states that Ausable brought the American accent from Boston to Paris twenty years ago. It means that Ausable came to Paris twenty years ago, and after coming to Paris, he started speaking French and German. As French is the official language of Paris, some people are used to German too. So while Ausable was in Paris, he started speaking in both languages using an American accent.
Ausable, a fat man
Meanings of the difficult words:
|Description||Something that tells you what something or someone is like|
|Musty||Smelling unpleasantly old and slightly wet|
|Corridor||A long passage in a building, especially with rooms on either side|
|Gloomy||Dark in a way that is unpleasant and makes it difficult to see|
|Accent||The way in which people in a particular area, country, or social group pronounce words|
|Passably||In a way that is satisfactory but not excellent|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Midnight Visitor- Robert Arthur (pp. 14-19). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.