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English Class 12th ~ Chapter 7. Evans Tries an O-level (Colin Dexter)

                  Evans Tries an O-level 

Evans Tries an o' level

Points to Remember
1. Evans seeks permission to appear on O Level German exam from the jail.
2. Is granted permission as he is young and amiable person.
3. Is called 'Evans the Break' as he has escaped from the jail thrice.
4. Thorough checking is done before and on the day of examination.
5. Evans seeks permission to put on his hat which is a lucky charm for him.
6. On the day of examination his invigilator Reverend Stuart Mcleery arrived on scheduled time.,
7. Mcleery was in long black over coat and a shallow crowned clerical hat.
8. Examination was conducted inside his cell under strict care and vigil of Stephens and Jackson.
9. Evans Mcleery was checked thoroughly before entering the cell.
10. Jackson ensured all safety measures so that Evans may not escape.
11. Exam started a bit late at 9.40 am, the assistant secretary informed that there was a correction slip to be kept in the package.
12. Stephens peeped through the peep hole at the interval of one minute or so.
13. Evans asked for a blanket.
14. After the paper was over, Stephens dropped Mcleery to the main gate.
15. When he peeped in Evan's cell, he was shocked to see Mcleery bleeding there.
16. Mcleery told him he knew the whereabouts of Evans.

17. Jackson rushed to the spot in Newsbury.
18. Evans had impersonated Mcleery.
19. Ultimately, he was spotted at the Golden Lion hotel.
20. The Governor told him that he got his address through the correction slip.
He was arrested and taken in a police van from where he was freed by the police officer.

1. What kind of a person was Evans?
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 sort of a person. He was quite a pleasant person and was a star at the Christmas concert. He was a 'Kleptomaniac' and had broken jail thrice. He was a master planner and was very sociable. He knew how to keep intimate contacts with people. In the words of the Governor, he was a pleasant sort of chap with no record of violence.

2. What were the precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination?
Ans.Value Points : 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.
3. How did the question paper and the correction slip help the prisoner and the governor?

Ans.A photocopied sheet was very cleverly pasted on the question paper and the correction slip. It was to finailze the details of plan of escape and to make the authorities believe that the wounded man was Mcleery, the invigilator himself. On the other hand, these helped the governor to locate the place where Evans was hiding.

4. What was seen by Stephens on opening the peep hole of Evans' cell after seeing off Mcleery?

Ans.After seeing off Mcleery, Stephens had intuition to have look into the cell of Evans. He was shocked to see something very horrible. There he found a man lying in the chair with his head smeared in blood. Based on a preconceived notion, without ensuring the identity of injured man, Stephens took him as Mcleery. He raised hue and cry and called the police.

5. How did Evans manage his final escape?
Ans.Evans was on verge of arrest in the hotel. He was handcuffed and made to sit in prison van. But the people sitting in the van were his compliance who were like hand in glove with him. They opened his handcuff and took the van to Newsbury and facilitated his final escape. Thus, Evans outwitted the governor by dodging and taking a lead over him with his calculated and meticulous steps.
6. How was injured Mcleery able to befool the prison officers?
Ans.Mclerry befriended the invigilator in the jail who supplied him the artificial blood in a rubber ring. Being a fine acter, he poured it over himself and with his handkerchief hid his face from the eyes of the prison officers. He faked unbearable pain and pretended incoherent in utterance so as to conceal his voice. With his superb acting he befooled and confused the prison officers steps.

Long Answer Question

1. What were the precautions taken for the smooth conducting of the examination?
Ans. Evans had already escaped from the jail on three earlier occasions, there was always a fear that he might make another attempt to escape. Therefore all possible precautions were taken The
Governor personally monitored all security arrangements. Recreation Block was heavily guarded from, where he expected the prisoner to make another break. Evans cell was thoroughly
checked by Jackson to ward off the possibility of the presence of material which might hamper the smooth conducting of the examination. His nail scissors, nail-file and razor were taken away and to keep a strict watch on the activities of the cell during the examination, the Governor got it bugged. A police officer Stephens was posted
to keep a constant vigil on his activities. The invigilator was also frisked to make sure that he carried no objectionable material with him.

2. "Between crime and punishment it is mainly a battle of wits". Justify the statement.
Ans. In the story "Evans tries an O-level", the prisoner Evans was able to escape in spite of best precautionary measures. In this story there is a battle of wits between the governor and two officers on one hand and Evans on another. It was fully ensured by prison authorities that Evans should not escape at any cost. He impersonated Mclerry, the invigilator, and stayed inside the cell.
And finding right opportunity he escaped. Thus, Evans had the last laugh as he is mastermind in escaping from prison while the governor is just a good for giggle, gullible governor. The police arrest the criminals and the law enforcing agencies fight cases. But many a times, the criminals got themselves scot free by playing numerous uncanny ways. The punishment often does not match with the gravity and intensity of crime. It varies according to resourcefulness of criminal, his ability to defend himself and how cunningly one is able to manipulate the facts and figures.

Qluestion.1.What kind of person was Evans? Why did he want to sit for the O-level German
examination? (Compartment 2014)
Answer. Evans was a young prisoner who had tried to escape thrice from the prison. For this reason, he was also known as ‘Evans the Break’. He seemed to be quite a pleasant and astute person, but he was basically a kleptomaniac. His desire to sit for the O-level German examination was only a plot to hoodwink the authorities and escape from the prison.
Question.2.What were the contents of the small suitcase that McLeery carried? (Delhi 2012)
Answer. The suitcase that McLeery carried had a sealed question paper envelope, a yellow invigilation form, a special authentication card from the Examination Board, a paper knife, a Bible, the current copy of the Church Times and a small semi-inflated rubber ring.
Question.3.What were the precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination? ‘
(Delhi 2011)
Answer. The prison authorities had taken elaborate precautions to ensure the smooth conduct of the examination. Evans’ cell was thoroughly frisked a night before. All sharp edged objects like razor, scissors, etc., were taken away. Even the suitcase of the invigilator was carefully checked and the prison officers kept a close watch on him (Evans) throughout the process.
Question.4.How did the Governor react to the two phone calls he received in quick succession?
(All India 2011)
Answer. The Governor had a sharp presence of mind and wanted to give Evans no chance to escape. As a part of his multi-step elaborate precautions, he verified the first phone call he received. However, he did not do so with (fie second call as he thought he was being paranoid and that he had taken all possible precautions for the safe conduct of the examination.
Question.5. How did the question paper and the correction slip help the prisoner and the
Governor? (Delhi 2010)
Answer. The purpose of the cleverly superimposed photocopied sheet on the question paper and the correction slip was to finalise the details of the plan of escape. This information had to reach Evans. It was also meant to make the authorities believe that the wounded man was McLeery himself. The question paper and correction slip helped the Governor to locate the place where Evans was hiding. Thus, the two clues helped both the prisoner and the Governor.
Question.6. Why did Evans not take off his hat when Jackson ordered him to do so? (All India 2010)
Answer. Evans knew that the duplicate McLeery, who was to invigilate during the O-level German examination, had short hair. So he cropped his hair to pass off as McLeery later. The “bobble hat was an important part of the plan to conceal Evans” cropped hair.
Question.7. How does McLeery explain the presence of a small semi-inflated rubber ring? What
did it actually contain? (All India 2010)
Answer. McLeery tells Jackson that he is suffering from haemorrhoids (piles) and the ring helps him when he has to sit for a long time. In reality, the ring contained pig blood, which Evans would splatter on his head and escape from the hospital as McLeery who had been injured.
Question.8. What clues did the answer sheet of Evans provide to the Governor? (Delhi 2009)
Answer. The index number 313 and the centre number 271 on the answer sheet proved to be the clues for the Governor. Putting the two together and with the help of the Ordnance Survey Map for Oxfordshire, he managed to catch Evans in the hotel.
Question.9. How did Evans outwit the Governor in the end? (Foreign 2009)
Answer. Evans was recaptured by the Governor and handcuffed by a prison officer. He was given farewell by the Governor, who thought he was sending Evans back to Oxford jail. Ironically, it was not so. The prison officer, who was actually a friend of Evans in disguise, took Evans to the police van and unlocked the handcuffs as soon as the Governor was out of sight. Evans finally escaped to Newbury. Thus, Evans outwitted the Governor and had the last laugh in this case.

Question. 10. Describe the precautions taken by the prison officers to prevent Evans from
escaping. (Delhi 2014)
What precautions were taken by the prison authorities for the smooth conduct of the examination? (Compartment 2014)
Answer. As Evans had tried to escape before, the prison authorities had taken all possible precautions for the smooth conduct of the examination.
Evans’ cell was thoroughly frisked a night before and all sharp-edged objects like razor, nail-file, scissors, etc., were taken away from him. The suitcase of the invigilator McLeery was carefully checked. Also, the Governor had himself decided to supervise the examination by listening in through the microphone connected to Evans’ cell. Prison officer Stephens was deployed to observe Evans from the peep-hole every minute or so. Another prison officer Mr Jackson was in constant contact with the Governor on the phone. Both the gates of the wings of Evans’cell were locked tightly.
Thus the authorities left no stone unturned in ensuring the smooth and safe conduct of the examination.
Question.11.How did the negligence of the prison officers prove to be a boon for Evans? (Foreign 2014)
Answer. The prison authorities had taken multi-step detailed precautions for the safe conduct of the examination. However, some lapses on their part at critical moments proved to be a boon for Evans.
First of all, no one tried to verify the identity of the invigilator McLeery and that turned out to be a key mistake in this case. Similarly, the identities of the van driver and the officer who handcuffed Evans were not verified. All of them later turned out to be Evans’ accomplices. The Detective Superintendent also acted hastily and did not drive the injured McLeery to the hospital. This gave Evans the chance to escape. Finally, the Governor, who had a sharp presence of mind and hawk-eyed vigil, made the greatest blunder. When he nabbed Evans at the hotel, he did not bring him to the jail with himself and sent him with a driver and ‘silent’ prison officer. Thus, Evans escaped yet again.
Question.12.Give a character sketch of the Governor of Oxford Prison based on your
understanding of the story, ‘Evans Tries an O-level’. (All India 2013)
Answer. The Governor of the HM Prison, Oxford, appears to be kind-hearted fellow at the start as he arranges for on O-level exam for a prisoner renowned for his ability to escape. He was, though, quite skeptical of Evans and made every arrangement to make sure that Evans had no means to escape.
He was also very proud and self-conscious. He did not want Evans to disgrace him by escaping from his prison. He had a sharp presence of mind, which was clear from the fact that he cross checked every call that was made to the prison that day.
However, he got over-confident of his arrangements and gave Evans the opportunity to escape.
Also, he was a person who did not mind showering praise on a prisoner. When Evans revealed the secret plan to him, he admired him.
At last, he proved to be just another good-for-a-giggle, gullible Governor when again Evans tricked him and successfully escaped. His overconfidence and self-praise let him down.
Question.13.How was the injured McLeery able to befool the prison officers? (All India 2012)
Answer. Evans acted really well as the ‘injured’ McLeery. The fake blood that was supplied to him by his invigilator friend was pouring down from his head. With a ‘feeble’ hand, he got his handkerchief and held it to his bleeding head. In fact in that process, he was able to hide his face from the eyes of the prison officer. He was in so much pain that he could hardly utter a coherrent word! In this way, he concealed his voice and was able to dodge the officers. The moment he heard the suggestion of bringing in an ambulance, he interrupted and asked them to call the policl; he offered them his help in tracing Evans whom the authorities thought had escaped. This was a part of his plan in which all officers were trapped.
Evans acting as the injured McLeery fooled all the officers and he became successful in making them believe that the injured invigilator was really trying to help them. Thus, by his superb acting of an injured person, he was completely successful in befooling and confusing the prison officers.
Question.14. What purpose did the question paper and the correction slip serve? How did they
help both the criminals and the Governor? (All India 2012)
Answer. The purpose of the photocopied sheet that was superimposed on the question paper and the correction slip was to supply the details of the plan of escape to Evans without uttering a single word. It was a well-thought out meticulous plan. It was also meant to make the authorities believe that the wounded man was McLeery himself. And at that moment, it worked as was thought and the authorities got trapped.
However, there is a wise saying ‘iron cuts iron’. Just like that, if that superimposed question paper and correction slip helped Evans, then the same materials helped the Governor also in locating the place where Evans was hiding.
The six digit number of the correction slip, i.e. the index number and centre number 313/271, helped the Governor. He put these numbers together and with the help of the Ordnance Survey Map of Oxfordshire, he reached the hotel where Evans had decided to hide for the day.

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