tries an o-level -Question
Q1.Who was James Roderick Evans? Why was he put in
the Oxford Prison?
ANS: Evans was a
smart young man who had a number of amazing skills to fool anyone and escape
any prison. He had a gang of friends who used to make money by imitating other
people. Because of his smartness in breaking prisons, Evans was sent to the
Oxford prison that was thought to be the most secure prison in England.
Q2.How was Evan’s presence in the
prison felt by the authorities?
though Evans was a prisoner, the whole of the prison seemed to have loved to
have him there. He being a smart, tricky, intelligent and the most popular
inmate of the prison, even the authorities admired his skills but were worried
only about the possibility of his escape. He had many good friends among the
prisoners and even the Governor himself
was concerned for him and at times
behaved to be Evans’ fan.
did the Governor apply for an examination for Evans?
was a prisoner in the Oxford Prison. He had convinced the authorities that he
was genuinely interested in learning German and was tutored for a while. When
the tutor announced that Evans was prepared for an O’Level
exam, the Governor of the prison applied to the Examination Board for his exam.
was Mc Leery? What is his role in the story?
ANS: Rev. Mc Leery was a parson at St. Mary Mags,
a monastery. He was supposed to invigilate Evan’s examination at the Oxford
Prison. He was about to leave his residence for the prison when two of Evans’
friends entered his room and tied and gagged him until Evans had escaped from
was Evans particular about keeping his hat on his head during his exam?
ANS: Evans wore a bobble hat at the time
of his examination. When he was asked to remove that, Evans pleaded to let stay
it because he believed it was his lucky charm. In fact he had hidden some of
the makeup materials in his hat which was the reason he didn’t want to remove
did the Governor think of frisking Mc Leery?
Leery was the invigilator of the examination and he was to sit inside Evan’s
cell while the latter wrote the exam. The Governor had made sure that Evans had
been thoroughly frisked and there was nothing to fear about that. But when he
thought about the possibility of Mc Leery carrying a
paper-knife or that sort, he feared Evans would make use of that and escape by
holding the parson his hostage.
Q7. Why did Mc Leery’s expressions change when he was frisked?
ANS: While frisking Mc Leery, the prison officers found out a semi-inflated
rubber tube in his bag. When he was asked of this Mc Leery’s amiable appearance suddenly changed and he turned
shy and embarrassed for having made to admit that he was suffering from piles.
In fact this was only an excuse to stop the authorities from asking further
questions and to allow him to carry the rubber tube that had some blood inside
for the escape drama.
Q8.What was the intention behind the call from the
ANS: It was one of Evans’
friends who made the call from the Examination Board. This call was primarily
meant for confirming the beginning time of the exam in order to calculate the
end of the exam. The equally important reason behind this call was to misguide
the Governor into Hotel Golden Lion to arrest Evans from there and thereby to
make the escape altogether safer.
Q9.The Governor’s pride in his little knowledge in
German was of great help for Evans to escape. Explain.
ANS: The Governor had acquired a
little bit of German earlier and was proud of that. On seeing the correction
sheet and faintly recognizing the hidden message that would help him to trace
the escaped Evans, he became over enthusiastic and
decided to track the prisoner with the assistance of another officer. Later
when he trapped Evans so ‘smartly,’ the Governor forgot all caution and went
high in the sky of his pride and that gave Evans a great opportunity to escape.
Q10.What had ‘Mc Leery’
brought with him to the prison to help Evans’ escape?
ANS: Evans’ friend dressed
up like Mc Leery had brought some very useful
articles for Evans’ escape. He had worn an extra clerical collar and a clerical
front. In his bag he had carried a semi inflated rubber tube filled with blood.
He had also carried a paper scissors even though it was frisked by the prison
Evans ask for a blanket while writing the exam?
ANS: As part of his escape
plan, Evans had to dress up him as Mc Leery, the
invigilator. To cut his long hair and to dress up, Evans wanted a hiding.
Moreover, he had hidden part of the invigilator’s costume under the blanket.
Q.12.How did Stephens feel when he was asked to
accompany Mc Leery out of the prison?
ANS: Stephens was a new officer at
the Oxford Prison and was naturally apprehensive about his duties. He was
already glad that he was in charge of the invigilator and the examinee. When he
was asked by the Governor to accompany the invigilator out of the prison, Stephens
felt greatly flattered and proud of himself.
Q.13.When did the Governor realize that the
invigilator was fake?
ANS: The Governor had
initially assumed that it was Evans who had run out of the prison after hitting
the invigilator. But later, when he made call to the Radcliffe Hospital where
detective Carter had admitted the invigilator, he was informed that the
hospital had not admitted the invigilator. More confused, the Governor searched
for the parson at Mary Mags , his residence and confirmed that the parson who had to
come as the invigilator had been tied and gagged in his room and the one came
as the invigilator was Evan’s accomplice.
Q14.Why did Evans want the Governor arrest him at
Hotel Golden Lion?
ANS: Evans’ plan had been
one very intelligently crafted. He wanted to make sure that his plan had to
amaze everyone and the very smart Governor also had to be overtaken. To do this
he wanted the Governor arrest him with his ‘own smartness’ and feel ‘elated,
proud and over confident and consequently less careful about keeping Evans
under high security.
Q15.Evans was ‘visibly shaken’ when he saw the
Governor in his room in the hotel. Why was he shaken?
ANS: It was part of the escape plan
that the Governor had to come to the Golden Lion Hotel to arrest Evans from there
and take him to the prison. The purpose was to make the Governor believe that
he was really intelligent and efficient and thereby let his confidence go
loose. It was because of this that Evans pretended that he was really caught.
Q16.Why is the Governor called ‘good for a giggle
ANS: The Governor was in a
way intelligent and smart. Though a little late, he was successful in tracing
Evans in the Hotel Golden Lion and in arresting him. But little did he know
that it was Evans who wanted the Governor to arrest him. Evans raised the
Governor’s confidence level sky high and let him fall from such a height of
pride. When he caught Evans, the Governor thought that he was the most
intelligent prison governor in the world and drove to the prison dreaming of
the praises and ranks he would be given for his efficiency as a Governor. But
in the prison he would know how he was made fool by Evans and the world would
only giggle at him.
Q.17.Do you think that the Governor was really
intelligent? Support your answer with instances.
ANS: The Governor was a very
intelligent officer but his overconfidence was his weak point. The instances of
his intelligence can be seen at various places of the story. He didn’t believe
that Evans was genuinely interested in learning German when he noticed that
Evans didn’t understand the basic German expression, “Guten
Gluck.” He was doubtful when the call came from the Examination Board and made
a return call to confirm if the call really came from the Board. It was his
intelligence that thought of frisking the invigilator and found the rubber
tube. It was he who discovered the secret message regarding the assault on the
invigilator superimposed at the back of the question paper. Soon he found out
that the real McLeery had never come to the prison
and that it was Evans who had escaped from the prison as the injured
invigilator. The Governor deserves praises for tracing Evan to Hotel Golden
Lion at Chipping Norton and arresting him.
Q.18.How far was Stephens helpful for Evans’ escape?
ANS: Stephens was a newly
recruited officer in the prison. He was very particular about showing his
efficiency in front of the higher authorities and was especially glad that he
was in charge of Evans’ examination which was a risky job indeed. Evans
complained of Stephens’ breathing and got him naturally out of the cell. Once
out of the cell, Stephens kept peeping into the cell but soon found it
childish. To show that he was very confident and efficient, he left the cell
door to come after short intervals. The short intervals soon became longer and
very longer giving time for Evans to dress himself up inside the cell. Stephens
was taken to the highest joy when he received the fake call from the Governor
to take the invigilator out of the prison. He in his pride took the invigilator
out of the prison and made way for Evans’ escape in a wonderful way.
Q19.How did Evans escape from Detective Carter?
ANS: Disguised as the
invigilator, hit by the escaped Evans, Evans misguided detective Carter in the
pretext of helping the officer to find the escaped Evans. When they reached
Radcliff Hospital, Evans pretended to be most critical and told the detective
to admit him in the hospital. Carted wanted to drive the wounded invigilator
into the hospital but Evans advised him to call the ambulance and drop him on
the roadside to be picked by the ambulance so that the detective could continue
his chase after Evans the escaped.
Q20.Can you imagine what had happened when the
Governor reached the prison?
ANS: While driving to the
prison the Governor thought that he was the most efficient and intelligent
prison governor in the world. He was very confident, overwhelmed with
gratification and was therefore least cautious. But there was the worst news
awaiting him in the prison that Evans and his friends had escaped by fooling
and disgracing him. He would also realize that he too was one among the idiots
like Stephens and Jackson.
Q.21.What kind of a person Evans was?
Ans. Evans was a young,
clever prisoner. He had escaped thrice from the prison for which he was known
‘Evans the Break’. He was not a violent short of a person. He was quite a
pleasant person and was a star at the Christmas concert.
Q.22. What were the
precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination?
Ans. For smooth conduct examination various precautionary measures were
taken. All sharp instruments like razor nail scissors were removed. The
Governor, senior prison officer Jackson and officer Stephen were put on duty. A
special invigilator was arranged. A microphone was fitted in the prison cell
where the examination was to be conducted.
Q.23. Why was the sigh of relief short lived after the
Ans. After conducting the examination the governor heaved a sigh of
relief. But their relief was short lived as they found Evans had escaped from
the prison injuring McLeery. Later truth came to
light that Evans had stayed as injured McLeery.
Q.24.What helped the prison officers track Evans?
Ans. The German question paper helped. A photocopied sheet had been
superimposed over last page of the question paper with the plan and instruction
which helped track Evans.
Q.25.What did the Governor do to find out about the
Ans. The governor immediately dialed the
Examination Board Office; but could not contact as the line was engaged. He
applied his own knowledge of German which he had studied up to sixth standard
and was convinced that it was about the agreement of adjectives. Then he heard
the invigilator announcing the correction which sounded genuine.
Q.26.Do you agree that between crime and punishment it
is mainly a battle of wits?
Ans. Yes, it is a battle
of wits between crime and punishment. If the government and law enforcing
officials are vigilant crime can be detected and criminals can be booked. But
criminals like Evans can hoodwink the authorities and escape punishment as long
as the officials are slow and lack alertness and wit.
Q.27 Attempt a brief character sketch of ‘Evans the
Ans. ‘Evans the Break’
comes across to us as a highly clever, manipulative and shrewd individual. A
non-violent kleptomaniac by birth, he was a jail-bird having being put in
prison several times and escaping as many as three times. He was an amusing
chap, good at imitations and a star at the Christmas concert. He had an unkempt
physical appearance but a cheerful smile which he used for the prison officers.A cunning and resourceful person, Evans is able to
use his presence of mind time and again, to his utmost advantage. He makes a
request to Mr. Jackson to allow him to put on his
bobble hat, but complains to the invigilator against Stephens whose presence
disturbs his concentration. He is polite when he makes special requests to shut
his convenience or rather when he plans to put his plan into action. He is
quick to disguise himself as parson McLeery and spill
blood on himself to appear injured. He is a clever manipulator and uses this
quality to win the confidence of the police officers. Evans enjoys the faith,
support and active cooperation of his team of dedicated comrades. They are
meticulous in their planning and work out the minutest
details in order to carry out their plans without any mishap. Even in the worst
circumstances, Evans does not lose his cool. He has the last laugh when he is
able to fool the police officers and the Governor and escapes for the fourth
Q.28. Who, do you think, has the last laugh- The
Governor or Evans? How?
Ans: It is Evans who has the last laugh in the story. The two persons,
i.e. driver and the silent prison officer turn out to be the accomplices of
Evans. The Governor became complacent as he thought he had nabbed the prisoner
and will soon put him in prison. But Evans escapes once again.
Q.29. What did Stephens see,
when he peeped through the hole of the cell of Evans after leaving McLeery at the main gate of the prison?
Ans. Stephens thought of
looking at Evans once again after leaving McLeery at
the main gate. He saw a terrible sight. He saw a man with short hair presumably
McLeery in a pool of blood sprawling back in Evan’s
Q.30 How did McLerry want to help the police?
Ans. The injured McLeery said that he knew
where Evans was. He wanted to accompany the police in finding Evans. He
insisted that he did not need to be hospitalized as he was all right. He showed
the question paper to the Governor to impress upon him that Evans had befooled
Q.31 What important clues
were hidden in the German Question paper?
Ans. There was a photocopied
sheet hidden in the German question paper. It was very cleverly pasted on the
last blank sheet of the question paper. It had instructions written in German.
It read: follow the plan. The vital point in time was three minutes before the
end of the examination. He was not to hit the person hard and overdo the scot
accent. He was to move the Headington round about and
then make way to Newbury.
Q.32. Where was the real McLeery?
Ans. The real Rev. McLeery was gagged and tied
in his room since 8:15 am. The two men visited McLeery
in the morning. They gagged him and tied him in his study. Since 8:15 in the
morning, the real McLeery had been in his own house.
It was Evans accomplice who had come as McLeery to
the examination centre.
Q.33. What was the
significance of the two phone calls the Governor received after a quarter of an
hour of the start of the examination?
Ans. The first phone call was
made by the Assistant Secretary of the Examination Board. It was regarding a
correction slip for the German paper that Evans was writing. The word ‘Golden
Lion’ was to be used in place of ‘Golden Lowe’. The second call came from the
Magistrate’s Court. They needed a prison van and a couple of prison officers
for a remand case.
Q.34. How did the prison machinery swing into action?
What did they overlook?
Ans. Prison officers started shouting orders as soon as they discovered
that Evans had escaped. Sirens were blown. Puzzled prisoners pushed their way
along and doors were banged and bolted. Phones were ringing everywhere. Jackson
and Stephens supported McLeery on either side and
brought him to the prison yard. The identity of the injured ‘McLeery’ remained unchecked.
What did the Governor think of Evans and his plan
after ringing up Detective Chief Inspector Bell?
Ans. The Governor admired clever
Evans and his beautifully laid plan. He also commented on Evans’ carelessness
in leaving behind the question paper. He said that all criminals got caught
because they left important clues behind. He was sure that they would soon be
able to catch Evans and put him in prison once again.
Q.36. What two purposes did
the correction slip serve? Which of them did Evans consider more important?
Ans. The correction slip revealed the name of the hotel and its
location. He had to go to ‘Golden Lion’. It also contained the exact time the
exam started. For Evans, it was an important thing that the phone rang just
before the exam finished. Thus he was able to get the prison officers out of
the way for a couple of minutes.
What did Evans’ own hair look like? How then did he
Ans. Evans’ hair was long and wavy while McLeery
had closely clipped hair, almost next to the scalp. Jackson had removed Evans’
scissors, so he had to remove his hair off with razor. After that he kept his
head covered with a bobble hat to prevent being noticed.
Q.38. How did the Governor of
Oxford Prison locate the hiding place of Evans?
Ans. The Governor told Evans
that he had used the same method as Evans had done. The six figure reference
313/271 was formed by two hints- Index number 313 and centre number 271. If one
takes an Ordinance Survey Map for Oxfords hire, this number lands are bang in
the middle of Chipping Norton.
Q.39. What request did the
Secretary of the Examination Board receive from the Governor of Oxford Prison?
Ans. The Governor of Oxford
Prison’s request was to create an examination centre in the prison for one
candidate named James Roderick Evans who wanted to appear in O Level German
Examination to be held on June 8.
Q.40. What enquiry did the
Secretary of the Examination Board make about Evans?
Ans. The Secretary of the
Examination wanted cursory details about the examinee regarding his nature. He
wanted to know if Evans was a violent sort of a person. He was told that there
was no record of violence.
Q.41. Who met Evans on the eve of the examination?
What does this brief interview reveal?
Jackson and Mr. Stephens visited Evans on the morning
of the Examination. They visited him to ensure that he did not have any weapon
with him. Evans was called Evans the Break as he had escaped from Prison three
Q.42. What puzzled Mr. Jackson about the contents in McLeery’s
Ans. Jackson saw a smallish semi-inflated rubber ring. Even a young
child might have to struggle into it. Jackson questioned McLeery
about it. He replied that he suffered from piles.
Why did the Governor doubt the phone call from the
Examination board for the correction in the paper? What did he do?
Ans. The Governor doubted the phone call from the Examination board for
the correction in the paper because he thought it might be a fake call. He
tried to verify the call. He held the incoming call and from the other line
called the Examination Board. Since the number was busy he assumed the call was
a genuine one.
Q.44. How did Stephens keep
an eye on Evans? What did he notice on looking through the peep-hole in Evans’
Ans. Stephens peeped after every one minute. He found Evans sitting with
his pen between his lips. He sat staring straight in front at the door. McLeery sat on his chair reading the ‘Church Times’. His
right index finger was hooked beneath the narrow clerical collar. The fingers
of the left hand were slowly stroking the short black board.
Q.45. What request did Evans
make about half an hour before the end of the examination? What did Stephens
think about it?
Ans. Evans requested to
have a blanket put round his shoulders. A minute later, Stephens was surprised
to see a grey blanket draped round Evans’ shoulders. Stephens was misled into
believing that Evans was feeling cold.
Q.47. How did Evans manage
his final escape?
Ans. Evans was handcuffed and made to sit in the prison van. But the
Governor was complacent and it was Evans’ accomplices inside the van. As the
van turned to the Oxford Road, the silent prison officer who was Evans’ friend
unlocked the handcuffs. Evan suggested that they go towards Newbury. Evans had
his final escape.
Q.48. Give an account of the blunders committed by the
prison authorities which helped Evans in escaping from
Ans. Prison authorities
made many blunders. It was only because of these mistakes that Evans could
escape from the prison. The hatching of the escape plan started with the German
tutor’s entry. The German teacher who had been coming to take Evans’ classes
was Evan’s accomplice. Everyone assumed that he was a teacher from the
technical college. The invigilator’s identify was also not verified.On
the Examination day, Jackson’s not getting Evans’ ‘bobble-hat’ removed was a
blunder. If Stephens had not shifted from the cell, the escape would not have
been possible. Jackson should have searched McLeery
thoroughly and seen the rubber ring closely. The prison staff blindly believed
that the injured was the invigilator, though it was Evans playing a trick on
them. When Evans was arrested, the Governor was complacent and sent him in a
prison van, leaving Evans in the hands of his own accomplices. He thus, lost
Evans who made his final escape.