The Stolen Bacillus (Abridged from ‘The Stolen Bacillus’ by
Herbert George Wells)
About the passage
A. Read to understand
the following questions.
How had the pale-faced man gained access to
the Bacteriologist and his laboratory?
pale-faced man forged the letter of introduction and gained access to the Bacteriologist
and his laboratory.
Why did the pale-faced man call the
pale faced man called the anarchists fool because he thought if a bottled
cholera when released into a supply of drinking water causes terrible death and
can devastate a city, then why they use bomb which are difficult to place and
have chances to be caught.
What did the Bacteriologist say he was
‘obliged’ to do?
said he was ‘obliged’ to do because he was legally as well as morally bound to take
care of living bacteria.
What possibility did he make his visitor
aware of regarding the ‘bottled cholera’?
bacteriologist made his visitor aware regarding the bottled cholera that if it
is released into water supply, it will increase and multiply and will cause
mysterious, untraceable, painful and terrible death.
How did the tube containing the bacteria
break? What was the man planning to do with the contents of the tube before it
Ans. In the
speeding cab, he accidentally broke the tube containing the bacteria when his
hand hit the door of the cab. The man was planning to poison the water of
London and devastate the city.
What did the Bacteriologist reveal to his
wife about the contents of the stolen tube? What did he think would be a
revealed to his wife that the tube stolen by the anarchist did not contain
cholera, but a strange new species of bacteria which can cause blue patches or
can turn animals blue. The bother for him was that he has to go through all the
trouble and expense of preparing it all over again.
B. Read to infer
What was the ‘disturbing thought’ that
struck the Bacteriologist?
disturbing thought was that the visitor must have stolen the bacillus.
Why do you think the man had come to visit
Ans. The man
had come to visit the bacteriologist to see and steal any of his new invention,
discovery or bacillus which could help him to ruin the city.
Explain the line, ‘Well! I suppose I shall
be the first.’
line means that the anarchist thought himself to be the first person to die of
What did the man wish ‘to make sure’? What
did he intend to do?
Ans. He had
only to make sure of the water supply, and break the little tube in reservoir.
He intended to poison the water of London and devastate the city.
Why did the man feel that ‘there was no
further need to escape the Bacteriologist’?
Ans. The man
felt so because he had consumed the bacillus and thought that he would die soon
so no one would be able to imprison him.
Why was the Bacteriologist amused at the
actions of the anarchist?
bacteriologist got amused on the action of the anarchist because the stolen
tube did not contain cholera, but a strange new microbe which he had been studying. It can
only cause the blue patches or can turn the species blue if consumed.
What do you think would have happened to
Ans. I think
the anarchist would have developed some blue patches or got some allergies or
might nothing happen to him as the bacillus was prepared for animals only.
What do you think of the actions of the
Bacteriologist in the story? Did he act responsibly or irresponsibly? Give
Ans. He acted
responsibly as when he came to know that the vial of bacteria is missing, he ran
out in a panic and chased him.