After this introduction, Anil talked about the well-oiled wrestlers who were grunting, lifting and throwing each other about. I didn’t have much to say. Anil walked away. I followed casually.
 
     “Hello again,” he said.
 
     I gave him my most appealing smile. “I want to work for you,” I said.
 
     “But I can’t pay you.”
 
     I thought that over for a minute. Perhaps I had misjudged my man. I asked, “Can you feed me?”
 
     “Can you cook?”
 
     “I can cook,” I lied again.
 
     “If you can cook, then may be I can feed you.”
 
     He took me to his room over the Jumna Sweet Shop and told me I could sleep on the balcony. But the meal I cooked that night must have been terrible because Anil gave it to a stray dog and told me to be off. But I just hung around, smiling in my most appealing way, and he couldn’t help laughing.
Explanation:
 
After introducing themselves, Anil started talking about the well-oiled wrestlers. The well-oiled wrestlers shouted, pulled, and threw each other around. After hearing that, the thief did not have anything to say because he had no experience in wrestling. Anil then walked away, and then the thief followed him.

The thief then tried to make friends with Anil. As a result, he started talking to him. He said "Hello again" to Anil in the notion of being friendly with him. He intended to be with Anil and then steal things from him.

The thief approached Anil with the most appealing smile. Later, he told Anil that he wanted to work for him. But Anil said that he had no money to pay him. The thief had not expected this reply and thought he had misjudged Anil. He believed that Anil had a lot of money. The thief then asked whether Anil could feed him. After hearing that, Anil instantly asked the thief whether he could cook.

The thief then replied that he knew to cook. But in reality, he did not know how to cook. Anil then said he would give him food if the thief cooked food for him. Anil then took the thief to his room. The room was over the Jumna Sweet Shop. Anil told the thief to sleep on the balcony.

Anil asked the thief to prepare the dinner. The food he prepared was horrible because he had given that food to a stray dog. Anil then told the thief to leave the place, but he hung around for a while by smiling appealingly. By seeing that, Anil couldn't stop laughing.
 
dog-g33d564146_1920.jpg
A stray dog
 
Meanings of the difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meanings
1
GruntOf a person to make a short, low sound instead of speaking, usually because of pain
2
Stray dogA pet that no longer has a home or cannot find its home
3
Appealing Attractive or interesting
4
BalconyAn area with a wall or bars around it that is joined to the outside wall of a building on an upper level
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Thief's Story - Ruskin Bond (pp. 08-13). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.