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Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Chapter 2. The Thief’s Story

Chapter 2. The Thief’s Story

The Thief’s Story Summary

The story is about two different people. One is a thief of 15 years of age and the other is a man of approximately 25 years, watching a wrestling match somewhere. The name of the person watching the match is Anil. The thief approaches Anil and starts talking to him because he feels that he had not robbed anyone in the past few days and thought that it would be easy to rob a simple person like Anil. They both start talking and Anil asks the thief his name. The thief introduces himself as Hari Singh. This is not his real name as he changes his name every month to escape his ex employers or police. Then they started talking about the wrestlers and Anil was leaving when Hari called him again and asked him if he could work for Anil. Anil said that he won't be able to pay him but could feed him if he knew how to cook. Hari lied that he knew how to cook. Anil took Hari to his room which was above a sweet shop. Hari cooked a meal which was really bad because Anil did not eat it. Anil asked Hari to leave but he tried to please Anil. Hari smiled in his most attractive way and Anil could not stop laughing looking at him. Anil agreed to teach Hari how to cook, write full sentences and add numbers. Hari was grateful as he knew that there would be no limit to robbing people once he learnt how to read and write.
The narrator used to like working for Anil as he used to make him tea in the morning and then go out to buy the groceries for the day. He also used to steal 1 rupee from the money that was given to him to buy the groceries everyday. Anil knew that he used to steal but did not mind.
Anil used to make money by irregular works. Sometimes he used to borrow money and the other day, when he had money, he would be lending it to other people. Whenever he used to get money, he would go out with his friends to celebrate.
One day, Anil came in with a bundle of notes and told Hari that he had sold a book to a publisher. At night he kept the money safely under the mattress of his bed. Hari realized that he had been working for Anil for more than a month and had not stolen anything apart from the 1 rupee that he kept everyday from the grocery money. Hari had many chances to steal as he had the key to the room as well. But he was surprised with the amount of trust Anil had on him as he had never seen such a trusting person in his life. This trust thing was preventing him from robbing Anil as Hari thought that robbing a careless person like Anil didn't make much difference because he might not even notice that he had been robbed and that took out all the fun from the work. Then he thought of stealing Anil’s money and justified himself that if he didn't steal money from Anil then also he would waste it on his friends and also, Anil didn't pay him for the work that he did.
            Hari then woke up at night and quietly crawled to Anil’s bed. He steals the money and decides to leave the city by Lucknow Express that departed at 10:30. When he reached the station, the train had slowly started moving from the platform. He could have easily caught the train, but he hesitated and he himself did not know the reason for it. Before he had reached the station he counted the money and it was 600 rupees in 50 rupee notes. He could live a lavish life for 2 - 3 weeks with so much money. After the train had left, Hari was all alone at the train station. He was left with no place to sleep at night. The only person he knew was Anil and he had looted him as well. He sat on a bench in a park and as it started to rain, he sat down under the clock tower. Then he realized that the notes had got wet. He realized that learning how to read and write would help him to get a much more respectable and honest job which would pay him much more than these few hundred rupees. Then he decided to go back to Anil’s house.
He reached the room and placed the money back. Next morning, he woke up a bit late and Anil had already made his tea. Aniul gave a 50 rupee note to Hari as he had got paid for some work and he would be paid regularly. Hari took the note in his hand and realized that the note was still wet from the rain last night. Hari realized that Anil had come to know about his misdeed but there was no sadness, anger or guilt in his mind. The narrator smiled in a beautiful way and it was genuine happiness as he knew that he had saved himself from the wrong road.

Q1- Who is the author of the story "The Thief's story"?
A) James Herriot
B) Ruskin Bond
C) Robert Arthur
D) Victor Canning

Q2- What is he a "fairly successful hand" at?
A) wrestling
B) stealing
C) deceiving
D) working hard

Q3- What was his name?
A) Hari
B) Anil
C) Amol
D) Harry

Q4- What was the boy's age?
A) 15
B) 25
C) 20
D) none of the above

Q5- What was Anil's age?
A) 15
B) 25
C) 20
D) none of the above

Q6- How has the narrator described Anil?
A) simple
B) kind
C) easy-going
D) all of the above

Q7- What was Anil doing when the boy met him?
A) cooking
B) watching a match
C) playing
D) writing an article

Q8- How did the narrator attempt at being friends with Anil?
A) flattering him
B) teasing him
C) introducing himself
D) none of the above

Q9- What did the boy ask Anil for?
A) to give him food
B) to employ him
C) to give him money
D) to teach him

Q10- How often did he change his name?
A) every day
B) every week
C) every month
D) every year

Q11- He changed his name in order to stay ahead of _____
A) police
B) employers
C) none of them
D) both of them

Q12- What name did he tell Anil?
A) Anil Singh
B) Hari Lal
C) Hari Singh
D) Anil Lal

Q13- What do you mean by the word "grunting"?
A) make a low inarticulate sound
B) say something which is clearly audible
C) shouting
D) none of the above

Q14- How was the meal he cooked first night?
A) delicious
B) mouth-watering
C) finger-licking good
D) terrible

Q15- How did he infer that about his food?
A) Anil said he liked it
B) Anil couldn't have enough of it
C) Anil was licking his fingers
D) Anil gave it to a stray dog

Q16- What did Anil promise him to teach?
A) write his name
B) cook
C) write full sentences
D) all of the above

Q17- Did Anil really mind his petty ways of earning money?
A) yes
B) no
C) maybe
D) he didn't earn through petty ways

Q18- "a queer way to earn money"..What is the meaning of the word "queer"?
A) strange
B) famous
C) rare
D) illegal

Q19- Who was the most trusting person narrator had ever met ?
A) Anil
B) publisher
C) Anil's friends
D) none of the above

Q20- Who is easier to rob?
A) a careless man
B) a greedy man
C) a trusting man
D) Anil

Q21- What takes all the pleasure out of work?
A) robbing a careless man
B) robbing a greedy man
C) when someone doesn't notice they've been robbed
D) both a and c

Q22- How much money did he steal?
A) 500
B) 600
C) 700
D) 800

Q23- Did he get away on the Lucknow Express?
A) yes
B) no
C) maybe
D) none of the above

Q24- How, according to the narrator, would Anil feel upon finding out?
A) angry
B) fear
C) acceptance
D) sad

Q25- What did he do with the money?
A) ran away with it
B) threw it
C) bought a cycle with it
D) returned it

Q26- Did Anil say anything about the robbery?
A) yes
B) no
C) maybe
D) none of the above

Q27- Why does Hari return the money?
A) he wanted to learn to write
B) he was worried about how Anil would feel
C) he felt bad
D) none of the above

Q28- What do you mean by the word "unlined"?
A) in a line
B) showing no sign of worry or anxiety
C) none of the above

Q29- Who does "I" refer to in the story?
A) Hari
B) Anil
C) a greedy man
D) none of the above

Q30- What was the name of the shop above which Anil lived?
A) Laddu Sweet Shop
B) Rasgulla Sweet Shop
C) Jamun Sweet Shop
D) Jumna Sweet Shop



1. Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story?


In this story, ‘I’ refers to the thief.

2. What is he “a fairly successful hand” at?


He was “a fairly successful hand” at stealing and robbing people.

3. What does he get from Anil in return for his work?


When Hari asked Anil if he could work for him, Anil said that he could not pay him. Finally, the agreement was that if he would cook, then Anil would feed him. However, Anil soon found out that he did not know how to cook. Therefore, he taught him how to cook and later, how to write his name. He promised he would teach him how to write whole sentences and how to add numbers. Apart from this, when Hari went out to buy the day’s supplies, he would make a profit of a rupee a day.

Page No: 10

Read and Find Out

1. How does the thief think Anil will react to the theft?


The thief thought that on discovering the theft, Anil’s face would show a touch of sadness. The sadness would not be for the loss of money, but for the loss of trust.

2. What does he say about the different reactions of people when they are robbed?

In his short career as a thief, he had made a study of men’s faces when they lost their goods. He said that the greedy men showed fear; the rich men showed anger and the poor men showed acceptance.

3. Does Anil realize that he has been robbed?


Yes, Anil had realized that he had been robbed. He knew this probably because all the notes were wet and damp from the rain. However, he did not say anything to the thief and behaved normally.

Page No: 13

Think about It

1. What are Hari Singh’s reactions to the prospect of receiving an education? Do they change over time? (Hint: compare, for example, the thought: “I knew that once I could write like an educated man there would be no limit to what I could achieve” with these later thoughts: ‘Whole sentences, I knew, cloud one day bring me more than a few hundred rupees. It was a simple matter to steal − and sometimes just as simple to be caught. But to be a really big man, a clever and respected man, was something else.”) What makes him return to Anil?


Hari Singh’s reactions to the prospect of receiving an education change over time. When he started living with Anil he wanted to be literate so that he could become a more cunning cheat. Later on there is a change in his heart. He wants to earn respect in life. Probably he is influenced by the calm in Anil’s life. Although, both of them depend on irregular sources of income, but Anil seems to be more satisfied. Hari Singh develops a desire to be part of the civilized society.

2. Why does not Anil hand the thief over to the police? Do you think most people would have done so? In what ways is Anil different from such employers?

Anil does not hand the thief over to the police because he has put the money back at its place. It shows that he realized his fault. He wants to make amends for his ways. He must have felt guilty with himself. Anil wants to give him one more chance and therefore forgives him.
No, in today’s world most people would not have done so. Although it must be done but such sort of patience and compassion are rarely found now a days in this human world.

Talk about It

1. Do you think people like Anil and Hari Singh are found only in fiction, or are there such people in real life?


No, I don’t think that people like Anil and Hari Singh are found only in fiction. There are such people in real life also. Although such people are rare in today’s society. If one is caught stealing, people will first beat him severely. Then he will be handed over to the police. It should be realized that a human being is bound to commit error. One chance for reforming oneself must be given. This is the only way to bring anyone to right path. Punishing severely is not the only solution. Strictness can make them absolute criminal.

2. Do you think it a significant detail in the story that Anil is a struggling writer? Does this explain his behaviour in any way?


Hari Singh’s observation about Anil getting irregular income and Anil’s statement about his sale of a book to a publisher indicates that he is a struggling writer. He lives life according to the flow of money he gets at a given time. When he gets the money he enjoys eating out with his friends. When he is having less money then he even dosen’t accept paying salary to Hari Singh.

Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet

  1. Chapter 1- A Triumph of Surgery
  2. Chapter 2- The Thief's Story
  3. Chapter 3- The Midnight Visitor
  4. Chapter 4- A Question of Trust
  5. Chapter 5- Footprints without Feet
  6. Chapter 6- The Making of a Scientist
  7. Chapter 7- The Necklace
  8. Chapter 8- The Hack Driver
  9. Chapter 9- Bholi
  10. Chapter 10- The Book That Saved the Earth

Class 10 English First Flight
  1. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 1- A Letter to God
  2. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 2- Long Walk to Freedom
  3. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 3- Two Stories About Flying
  4. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 4- From the Diary of Anne Frank
  5. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 5-The Hundred Dresses - I
  6. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 6- The Hundred Dresses - II
  7. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 7- Glimpses of India
  8. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 8- Mijbil the Otter
  9. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 9- Madam Rides the Bus
  10. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 10- The Sermon at Benares
  11. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 11- The Proposal

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