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XI English Chapter 06 The Hostile Witness


Q:1: What was in the case that Charlton put in the cupboard behind the reception desk?
The case, which was put by Charlton, the hotel’s man of all work, contained the weekly wages or pay of factory workers. The exact amount was not stated but it ran into thousands of pounds. 

Q:2: What crime had been committed in Newcastle that afternoon?
A horrible incident had taken place at Newcastle, resulting in the murder of a person. A man named Charlton, employed as a temporary waiter in the White Hart Hotel was responsible for the cold-blooded murder. He killed John Edward Robson, one of the two persons who were carrying in a bag thousands of pounds to a factory for the payment of weekly wages. Charlton got away with the bag of money. Then, he got lift in the car of a motorist, Mr. King and reached the hotel with him, as Mr King wanted to stay at the same hotel. 

Q:3: Why did Detective Sergeant Manning first speak rather coldly to the group of men in the hotel lounge?
Mr. King, one of the guests in White Hart Hotel, had spoken ill of the police. Just as Mr. King remarked that the police was useless, Sergeant Manning entered the hotel. He had heard the remarks and spoken rather coldly to the group of men sitting there. He also suspected that the robber was hiding somewhere in hotels. Due to these reasons, his tone was cold. 

Q:4: Briefly explain why Johnson, Carter and Abbott were suspicious of Mr. King even before the revolver was found in his room?
There were enough reasons for their suspicion. Some of them are as follows:
1. Mr.King remarked that the police was useless.
2. When King was asked for holding over the keys of the room, he was unwilling to give, while Carter and Johnson agreed.
3. The description of the gunman, given by the wounded man, resembled with Mr.King i.e. Medium height and build, fresh complexion, dark moustache, horn-rimmed glasses and grey suit. 

Q:5: At what point in the play does the audience realize that Charlton is lying in order to throw suspicion on King?
Charlton, a cunning fellow, tried to throw suspicion on Mr. King, in order to save his own neck. On reaching the hotel, Mr. King had stayed in the lounge and Charlton had carried his luggage to his bedroom, upstairs. When the Police officer, Manning reached there and wanted to have a search of the rooms, Charlton began his clever play-acting. One by one, he started telling lies. He said that Mr. King had gone upstairs with him. He told another lie by saying that Mr. King had given him a bag for hiding somewhere safely. However, clever assassin could not deceive the intelligent officer, Manning and finally, he was arrested. 

Q:6: Briefly explain what was in Manning's mind when he said, “Your story really interests me, Mr.King?
” When Manning came to know that it was Mr.King who had brought Charlton a lift, his about suspect was no-body but Charlton, as the police had already found an abandoned sport car stolen only a hundred yard from where Mr.King had picked Charlton. 

Q:7: Why was Manning certain of Charlton's guilt after peering closely into his face?
He was certain of Charlton’s guilt after peering closely into his face because he spotted traces of false hair and gum on his upper lip. Charlton, after his return had not freshened up, he had just put on his uniform, so the traces of makeover that he did to commit the crime were still there. 

Q:8: Why did Mr. King not want to give his keys to the detective?
Mr. King did not like people prying into his affairs. Moreover, he thought that the police was wasting time by searching the hotels because he felt that the culprit would not be sitting there and waiting to be arrested, instead he would be in the run. In addition to, he was of the view that they should search for him elsewhere. 

Q:9: Why did Charlton give away the place where the case was deposited for which he had committed the crime?
When Charlton came to know that, the detective was going to search all the rooms he realized that the detective would find the revolver, which he had hidden in King’s room. He quickly decided to throw the suspicion on Mr. King. First, he said that Mr. King fitted the description of the murderer. Then he said that he had not been to Mr. King’s room alone, Mr.King accompanied him. Lastly, he said that the bag, behind the reception, was the property of Mr. King 

Q:10: What reasons did Manning give to Mr. King for not suspecting him of the crime?
Manning told him that if he had done the crime, he could not have possibly reached the hotel in his car, the green Morris Minor, and made a detour to the west. If he had taken the Great North road, he would have run into the police. It needed a really very fast car to escape from the area. Furthermore, when he told the detective that he had given Charlton a lift, he was not under suspicion. Moreover, a look at Charlton’s upper lip, where there were traces of the false moustache, confirmed his suspicion. 

Q:11: How did everything turn against the innocent fellow, Mr. King, in the beginning?
Situation turned totally against Mr. King as the Police Officer came down from King’s room after having a search. He was carrying a pistol in his hand which he had discovered from the bedroom of Mr. King. The position of the poor fellow \ grew more awkward as Charlton tried to throw suspicion on him by telling lies. He said that Mr. King had been to upstairs in his room for a short while. Then he said that Mr. King had given him a bag for hiding at a safe place. The officer, too, gave such impression as if he considered Mr. King to be the murderer. The officer wanted to trap Charlton. That was why, he pretended to suspect M. King. Finally, Charlton was arrested. 

Q:12: How did the intelligent Police officer finally discover that Charlton was the murderer?
How was the murderer finally exposed and arrested?

Sergeant Manning was an intelligent and efficient officer. He kept in view each and every point about the crime. When he came to know that Mr. King had picked Charlton up in his car, he asked Mr. King about the route of his journey and the spot from where he had picked the culprit up. Manning linked all the facts up and found out that Mr. King was innocent and simply trapped by Charlton. Then he had a curious look at Charlton’s face and discovered clear traces of spirit gum and false hair on the upper lip of the murderer. Charlton had used false dark moustache to commit the crime. Manning arrested him without a imoment’s delay and poor Mr. King heaved a sigh of relief. All the time, he had been in severe mental torture as Charlton had wrongfully accused him of murderer and robbery.


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