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Theory:

    My hand slid under the mattress, searching for the notes. When I found them, I drew them out without a sound. Anil sighed in his sleep and turned on his side, towards me. I was startled and quickly crawled out of the room.
 
    When I was on the road, I began to run. I had the notes at my waist, held there by the string of my pyjamas. I slowed down to a walk and counted the notes: 600 rupees in fifties! I could live like an oil-rich Arab for a week or two.
 
    When I reached the station I did not stop at the ticket office (I had never bought a ticket in my life) but dashed straight to the platform. The Lucknow Express was just moving out. The train had still to pick up speed and I should have been able to jump into one of the carriages, but I hesitated — for some reason I can’t explain — and I lost the chance to get away.
Explanation:
 
The thief then put his hand under the mattress, searching for Anil's notes under his pillow. When the thief found them, he took that without making any sound. While the thief was doing that, Anil sighed in his sleep and turned on the thief's side. He was directly facing the thief, which scared him a bit. The thief then quickly left the room.
 
After leaving the room, the thief came to the road. When he was on the road, he started running. The thief had the notes on his waist. He holds it using the string in his pyjamas. Then after a while, the thief slowed down and counted the notes. He had twelve notes of 50 rupees each which made it 600 rupees. Then the thief thought that he could live a luxurious life like an oil-rich Arabian sheikh for a week or two using that money.
 
When the thief reached the station, he went to the platform straight away without buying a ticket. The thief had never bought a ticket in his life. He had always travelled without a ticket. When he reached the platform, the Lucknow Express he had to board was just leaving the platform. The train was still slow so that he could have quickly jumped into one of the carriages. But he did not do so. There was a bit of hesitation in him. Even he didn't understand why he had that hesitation inside him, and because of that, he could not board the train.
 
Meanings of the difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meanings
1
Sigh To breathe out slowly and noisily, expressing tiredness, sadness, pleasure
2
Startle Surprised and slightly frightened
3
Crawl To move along on hands and knees or with your body stretched out along a surface
4
WaistThe part of the body above and slightly narrower than the hips
5
String A piece of strong, thin rope made by twisting very thin threads together, used for fastening and tying things
6
Dash To move with haste or rush
7
CarriageAny of the separate parts of a train in which the passengers sit
8
Hesitate To pause before you do or say something, often because you are uncertain or nervous about it
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Footprints without Feet. 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.