Topic outline

    • The Strategist (Adapted from ‘The Strategist’ by Burt Saki)

      About the passage

      Read to understand

      A. Answer these questions with reference to the context.

      1. ‘We’ll have to go back I suppose.’

      1. Who spoke these words?

      Ans. The elder Wrotsley spoke these words.


      1. Who does ‘we’ refer to?

      Ans. ‘We’ refers to all the boys in the team.


      1. Where would they have to go? Why?

      Ans. They would have to go back to the library to decide on another word for the girls to guess.


      2. ‘Nonsense, there are too many of us.’

      1. Who said this?

      Ans. The other girls said this.


      1. What was this said in response to?

      Ans. This was said in response to Agnes’ suggestion that the girls should take their turn to go out.


      1. Who offered a solution to the problem?

      Ans. Agnes offered a solution.


      1. What was the solution to ‘too many of us’?

      Ans. The solution to the problem was that four girls would go to the library and Agnes would be one of them.


      B. Match the following to complete the sentences.



      1) Mrs Jallatt threw a party

      a) put extra goodies on her supper table. 6

      2) The young guests were too

      b) so he offered to take out peaches from the boys’ pockets. 8

      3) The boys formed one group,

      c) for young people only. 1

      4) Dolores didn’t like the game

      d) about the word to choose, in the library. 5

      5) The boys held their discussions

      e) suggested by the elder Wrotsley. 4

      6) Mrs Jallat did not

      f) the girls, another group. 3

      7) Agnes ate the whole peach

      g) well mannered to contradict Mrs. Jallat. 2

      8) Rollo pretended to know a few conjuring tricks,

      h) and did not share any with Dolores. 7



      C. Answer these questions.

      1. Did the young guests enjoy the guessing game? Give a reasoned answer.

      Ans. The children did not enjoy the game because it was unexciting. The boys didn’t know how to play the game properly. They tried to cheat, which annoyed the girls. They felt relieved and eagerly stopped the game when Mrs Jallatt announced refreshments.


      2. Everyone panicked when they thought Dolores was going to recite ‘Locksley Hill’. Why?

      Ans. Dolores needed very little encouragement to start reciting Locksley Hall, a very long poem. She may have recited the poem in a poor manner. On one occasion, her audience actually left the room when she said the first line. But since they would be expected to behave with courtesy and good manners, and so would have to listen to her boring recitation they panicked at the thought that she would be asked to recite.


      3. Why do you think Rollo offered to take out ‘fruit’ from some of them?

      Ans. Rollo had seen the Wrotsley brothers take more than their share of peaches so he offered to take fruit out of some of them.


      4. Why did Rollo wink at the Wrotsley boys?

      Ans. Rollo winked at the Wrotsley boys because he had found a way to get the girls engrossed in searching for chocolates that were not there.


      5. Rollo didn’t really enjoy the party. Do you agree or disagree? Justify your response.

      Ans. Rollo probably did not enjoy the party because he found the games boring and was looking for an excuse to leave the party. He didn’t get along with the Wrotsley brothers, and particularly disliked their cousin who was also present at the party. Jack, who he considered to be his supporter, did not attend the party.


      Discuss and write

      1. Do you think it was good manners for the Wrotsleys to take more than their share? Why? What would you do if you saw them taking the peaches?

      Ans. No, it showed a very selfish, inconsiderate attitude.


      2. The words ‘superior’ and ‘strategist’ refer to two people in the story. Who are they? Do you think these are negative or positive descriptions? Justify your answer.

      Ans. Dolores is referred to as superior because she expressed a negative opinion about the game the boys suggested. Rollo is the strategist in the story because he suggested a way to fool the girls during the guessing game, played a ‘conjuring’ trick on the Wrotsley boys, and fooled Agnes into thinking that there were chocolates hidden in the library.