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The Elevator Summary, Explanation | ICSE Class 10 English

 

 

ICSE Class 10 English The Elevator Summary and Lesson Explanation with difficult word meanings

The Elevator – Are you looking for Summary and Explanation for ICSE Class 10 English Short Stories The Elevator from Treasure Chest (A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories) book. Get notes, summary of the lesson followed by line by line explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words.

 

The Elevator ICSE Class 10 English 

By Stephen Leacock

 

The Elevator Introduction

This is a story of a twelve-year old boy named Martin. Martin is a worrisome and fearful boy who is bullied at school. He is scared of elevators and develops fear of a fat, old woman who stares at him when they are together in the elevator.

 

Theme of the Lesson

The theme of the story is that one day we have to face our fears, so we must stop running away from them. If we want to overcome our fear, we have to face it.

 

The Elevator Summary

A twelve year old boy named Martin, along with his father, moves into a flat in an old building. The elevator in the building is old too. Martin fears lifts because they might fall down and this one makes him nervous. Perhaps the dim lights and dirty walls of the elevator or the creaky sound made by it when it moves slowly, the way the door closes with a loud noise and opens only for a short while or the fact that it was too small, could be the probable reasons for his nervousness. There is an option of using the stairs but they aren’t any better. The area is dark – neither there are any windows nor there are any lights. One day on his way home from school, Martin takes the stairs but as he climbs the steps made of cement, he hears the echo sound of his footsteps which seems as if someone is following him closely. He gets scared and when he reaches his flat on the seventeenth floor, he is out of breath.

Martin’s father worked from home and he enquired about the reason behind Martin’s condition. He scolds Martin for not taking the lift, that he is a coward, thin, weak and bad at sports. Martin decides to take the lift in future just like he has accepted being harassed by students at school.

However, he does not overcome the fear of elevators. If he is alone, he feels that the elevator will stop and he will get trapped. If he has co-passengers, then he dislikes standing so close to others and pretends not to look at them and stares in the air.

One day when Martin is going down the elevator, it stops at the fourteenth floor and a fat woman gets in. She is wearing a green coat which makes her appear fatter. She has an unattractive face, blue tiny sharp eyes. She is so huge that Martin shrinks and stands in a corner. She turns around and looks at him. Martin looks at her and notices that she has fat cheeks, the chin has merged with the neck. She stares at him hard with her tiny blue eyes.

Martin looks away to the other side but the woman keeps on looking at him. He wonders what is the purpose behind her continuous staring at him. 

The old woman does not do anything else except staring at him. As the lift reaches the ground, Martin wants to escape out but he waits for her to exit. Then he runs out and runs till he reaches school. He thinks of her throughout the day and wonders if she lives in his building. He reasons that she isn’t familiar if she is a resident and if she is a visitor, then exiting at 7.30 in the morning is an early time for a visitor to leave.

After school, Martin is nervous to go in the lift because he might encounter the woman again. He is ashamed of being scared of an old woman. He gets into the elevator and hopes that he reaches his floor without a halt. However, the lift stops at the third floor and the same fat woman enters. Martin speaks in a squeaky voice that the lift is going up. She nods in agreement and presses number eighteen, the top floor of the building. The elevator shakes as it goes up and the woman starts staring at Martin. Martin wonders that in the morning she had entered at the fourteenth floor and now she entered at the third and got off at the eighteenth floor. This is an unusual pattern. He wants to get off the lift at the next floor but he can not reach the button panel without touching the woman and so, he refrains from doing it. He gets off the elevator by squeezing past her and thinks that now she knows that he lives on the seventeenth floor.

Martin asks his father if he has seen a strange woman in the lift. His father is watching the television and gives a casual reply that he hadn’t noticed anything. Martin thinks that perhaps he should not talk about her to his father but he wants to share this with someone. He adds that he encountered her twice, she kept looking at him. The father scolds him for being worrisome, that now he is scared of a poor old woman. He advices Martin to grow up. Martin avoids crying in front of his dad. He goes to his room and cries, sleeps a little. Martin’s father is aware that he has been weeping.

The next morning as Martin takes the elevator, the woman is there inside, as if waiting for him. Martin freezes, steps back and the woman smiles at him as the door of the lift closes. Martin runs down the stairs, trips, falls and hurts his legs. His father is annoyed with him and so, he does not speak with him on the way to the hospital. Martin gets crutches to walk as his leg is fractured. On the way back, Martin is satisfied that now he is out of danger for a few days as he will be on bed rest and so, he will not encounter the woman. Even now, he is with his father, so if the woman appears, the father will see her and realize the cause for Martin’s botheration. However, the father gets off at the ninth floor with an excuse that he has to visit Mrs. Ullman. Martin’s request of accompanying him is not entertained by him. The father scolds Martin for being scared. Martin is not able to stop the lift because of the crutches which make it difficult for him to walk. The lift stops on the tenth floor where the fat woman is waiting. She gets in, wishes him ‘hello’, laughs and presses the stop button on the panel. The story ends here and the reader is left to imagine what happens next. 

 

The Elevator Summary in Hindi

मार्टिन नाम का एक बारह वर्षीय लड़का अपने पिता के साथ एक पुरानी इमारत के एक फ्लैट में रहता है। बिल्डिंग में लिफ्ट भी पुरानी है। मार्टिन को लिफ्टों से डर लगता है क्योंकि वे नीचे गिर सकती हैं और इससे वह घबरा जाता है। शायद लिफ्ट की मंद रोशनी और गंदी दीवारें या जब यह धीरे-धीरे चलती है तो इससे होने वाली चरमराती आवाज, जिस तरह दरवाजा तेज आवाज के साथ बंद हो जाता है और केवल थोड़ी देर के लिए खुलता है या यह तथ्य कि लिफ्ट बहुत छोटी है, उसकी घबराहट के संभावित कारण हो सकते हैं। सीढ़ियों का उपयोग करने का विकल्प है लेकिन वे लिफ्ट से बेहतर नहीं हैं। क्षेत्र में अंधेरा है – न तो कोई खिड़कियाँ हैं और न ही कोई रोशनी है। एक दिन स्कूल से घर जाते समय, मार्टिन सीढ़ियाँ चढ़ता है लेकिन जैसे ही वह सीमेंट से बनी सीढ़ियों पर चढ़ता है, उसे अपने कदमों की प्रतिध्वनि सुनाई देती है, जिससे ऐसा लगता है जैसे कोई उसका करीब से पीछा कर रहा हो। वह डर जाता है और जब वह सत्रहवीं मंजिल पर अपने फ्लैट पर पहुंचता है, तो उसकी सांसें फूल जाती हैं।

मार्टिन के पिता घर से काम करते थे और वह मार्टिन की हालत के पीछे का कारण पूछते हैं। वह मार्टिन को लिफ्ट न लेने के लिए डांटता है, कि वह डरपोक, पतला, कमजोर और खेल में बुरा है। मार्टिन ने भविष्य में लिफ्ट लेने का फैसला किया, जैसे उसने स्कूल में छात्रों द्वारा परेशान किए जाने को स्वीकार किया है।

हालाँकि, वह लिफ्ट के डर पर काबू नहीं पा पाता। अगर वह अकेला है तो उसे लगता है कि लिफ्ट रुक जाएगी और वह फंस जाएगा। यदि उसके साथ सह-यात्री हैं, तो उसे दूसरों के इतने करीब खड़ा होना और उनकी ओर न देखने का दिखावा करना और हवा में घूरना पसंद नहीं है।

एक दिन जब मार्टिन लिफ्ट से नीचे जा रहा था, वह चौदहवीं मंजिल पर रुकती है और एक मोटी महिला उसमें चढ़ती है। उसने हरे रंग का कोट पहना हुआ है जिससे वह और मोटी दिखाई देती है। उसका चेहरा अनाकर्षक, नीली छोटी-छोटी तीखी आँखें हैं। वह इतनी बड़ी है कि मार्टिन सिकुड़कर एक कोने में खड़ा हो जाता है। वह मुड़ती है और उसकी ओर देखती है। मार्टिन उसकी ओर देखता है और देखता है कि उसके मोटे गाल हैं, ठुड्डी गर्दन से मिल गई है। वह अपनी छोटी-छोटी नीली आँखों से उसे घूरकर देखती है।

मार्टिन दूसरी ओर देखता है लेकिन महिला उसे देखती रहती है। वह सोचता है कि उसके लगातार उसे घूरने के पीछे क्या उद्देश्य है।

बुढ़िया उसे घूरने के अलावा और कुछ नहीं करती। जैसे ही लिफ्ट जमीन पर पहुंचती है, मार्टिन बाहर भागना चाहता है लेकिन वह उसके बाहर निकलने का इंतजार करता है। फिर वह बाहर भागता है और स्कूल पहुंचने तक दौड़ता रहता है। वह दिन भर उसके बारे में सोचता रहता है और सोचता है कि क्या वह उसकी बिल्डिंग में रहती है। उसका तर्क है कि यदि वह वहां की निवासी है तो वह परिचित नहीं है और यदि वह एक आगंतुक है, तो सुबह 7.30 बजे बाहर निकलना किसी आगंतुक के निकलने का शुरुआती समय है।

स्कूल के बाद मार्टिन लिफ्ट में जाने से घबराता है क्योंकि हो सकता है कि उसका सामना दोबारा उस महिला से हो जाए। उसे एक बूढ़ी औरत से डरने में शर्म आती है। वह लिफ्ट में चढ़ जाता है और उम्मीद करता है कि वह बिना रुके अपनी मंजिल तक पहुंच जाएगा। हालाँकि, लिफ्ट तीसरी मंजिल पर रुकती है और वही मोटी औरत प्रवेश करती है। मार्टिन कर्कश आवाज में बोलता है कि लिफ्ट ऊपर जा रही है। वह सहमति में सिर हिलाती है और इमारत की सबसे ऊपरी मंजिल, अठारह नंबर दबाती है। ऊपर जाते समय लिफ्ट हिलती है और महिला मार्टिन को घूरने लगती है। मार्टिन को आश्चर्य होता है कि सुबह वह चौदहवीं मंजिल पर दाखिल हुई थी और अब वह तीसरी मंजिल पर प्रवेश कर गई और अठारहवीं मंजिल पर उतर गई। यह एक असामान्य पैटर्न है।  वह अगली मंजिल पर लिफ्ट से उतरना चाहता है लेकिन वह महिला को छुए बिना बटन पैनल तक नहीं पहुंच सकता और इसलिए, वह ऐसा करने से बचता है। वह लिफ्ट से उसके पास से निकल जाता है और सोचता है कि अब उसे पता चल गया है कि वह सत्रहवीं मंजिल पर रहता है।

मार्टिन अपने पिता से पूछता है कि क्या उसने लिफ्ट में किसी अजीब महिला को देखा है। उसके पिता टेलीविजन देख रहे हैं और लापरवाही से जवाब देते हैं कि उन्होंने कुछ भी नोटिस नहीं किया है। मार्टिन सोचता है कि शायद उसे उसके बारे में अपने पिता से बात नहीं करनी चाहिए लेकिन वह यह बात किसी के साथ साझा करना चाहता है। वह आगे कहते हैं कि उनका उनसे दो बार सामना हुआ, वह उसे देखती रहीं। पिता उसे चिंतित होने के लिए डांटते हैं कि अब उसे एक बेचारी बुढ़िया से डर लगता है। वह मार्टिन को बड़ा होने की सलाह देता है। मार्टिन अपने पिता के सामने रोने से बचता है। वह अपने कमरे में जाकर रोता है, थोड़ा सोता है। मार्टिन के पिता को पता है कि वह रो रहा है।

अगली सुबह जैसे ही मार्टिन लिफ्ट लेता है, महिला वहां पर है, मानो उसका इंतजार कर रही हो। मार्टिन ठिठक जाता है, पीछे हट जाता है और लिफ्ट का दरवाज़ा बंद होते ही वो महिला उसे देखकर मुस्कुराता है। मार्टिन सीढ़ियों से नीचे भागता है, लड़खड़ाता है, गिरता है और उसके पैरों में चोट लग जाती है। उसके पिता उससे नाराज़ हैं इसलिए अस्पताल जाते समय वह उससे बात नहीं करता। पैर में फ्रैक्चर होने के कारण मार्टिन को चलने के लिए बैसाखी का सहारा लेना पड़ता है। वापस जाते समय, मार्टिन संतुष्ट है कि अब वह कुछ दिनों के लिए खतरे से बाहर है क्योंकि वह बिस्तर पर आराम करेगा और इसलिए, उसका सामना उस महिला से नहीं होगा। अब भी, वह अपने पिता के साथ है, इसलिए यदि महिला सामने आती है, तो पिता उसे देखेंगे और मार्टिन की परेशानी का कारण समझेंगे। हालाँकि, पिता यह बहाना बनाकर नौवीं मंजिल पर उतर जाता है कि उसे श्रीमती उल्मन से मिलने जाना है। मार्टिन के साथ चलने के अनुरोध पर उसने विचार नहीं किया। डरने के कारण पिता ने मार्टिन को डांटा। बैसाखी के कारण मार्टिन लिफ्ट को रोकने में सक्षम नहीं है जिससे उसके लिए चलना मुश्किल हो जाता है।  लिफ्ट चल पड़ती है और दसवीं मंज़िल पर वही औरत लिफ्ट का इंतज़ार कर रही होती है। वह तुरंत लिफ्ट में घुस जाती है और मार्टिन बहार निकलने में देर कर देता है।  लिफ्ट का दरवाज़ा बंद होता है।  महिला मार्टिन को हेलो बोलती है, हंसती है और लिफ्ट को रोक देती है। कहानी ख़तम होने पे हम सोच में पड़ जाते हैं की अब आगे क्या होगा।    

 

The Elevator Lesson Explanation

Passage:
It was an old building with an old elevator – a very small elevator, which could carry only three people. Martin, a thin twelve-year-old, felt nervous in it from the first day he and his father moved into the apartment. Of course he was always uncomfortable in elevators, afraid that they would fall, but this one was especially unpleasant. Perhaps this was because of the poor lighting and the dirty walls. Perhaps it was because of the door, which never stayed open long enough, and slammed shut with a loud clanging noise. Perhaps it was the way the elevator shuddered each time it left a floor, as if it was exhausted. Maybe it was simply too small. It seemed crowded even with only two people in it.

Word meanings:
Elevator: a lift
Slammed: closed hard with a bang
Clanging noise:  a loud, echoing sound as produced by two heavy pieces of metal striking together
Shuddered: shook hard
Exhausted: tired

Explanation:
Martin was a twelve year old boy. He lived with his father. Recently, they had shifted into a flat which was in an old building. The elevator was old too. It was very small and could carry only three people at a time. Martin had always felt uncomfortable in elevators and this one made him nervous. He feared that it would fall and this old elevator was very unpleasant. Maybe it was due to the dim lights, the dirty walls, the door which opened for a very short while and closed with a loud noise, the way the elevator shivered every time it crossed a floor or maybe because it was too small. With two people in it, the elevator appeared crowded.

Passage:
The stairs were no better. Martin tried them one day after school. There were no windows and the lights were not working. Martin’s footsteps echoed behind him on the cement, as though there was another person climbing, getting closer. By the time he reached his home on the seventeenth floor, he was gasping for breath.

Word meanings:
Echoed: a sound or sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener
Gasping: panting, a sudden loud intake of breath

Explanation:
The building had stairs to go up and down the floors but they weren’t any better than the elevator. One day after school, Martin tried the stairs to reach his flat. The stairway had no windows and the lights were not working too. So the stairway was dark. As he walked on the stairs made of cement, his footsteps echoed and it seemed that someone was following him closely. So, Martin got nervous and by the time he reached the flat on the seventeenth floor, he was taking deep loud breaths.

Passage:
Martin’s father worked at home. He wanted to know why Martin was out of breath. “Why didn’t you take the elevator?” he asked, frowning at Martin. You’re not only skinny and weak and bad at sports, his face seemed to say, but you are also a coward. After that, Martin always took the elevator. He would have to get used to it, he told himself, just like he got used to being bullied at school.

Word meanings:
Skinny: thin
Frowning: looked angrily
Bullied: frightened by someone

Explanation:
Martin’s father worked at home and saw the boy was panting. Upon knowing the reason, he scolded Martin for not taking the lift. He added that Martin was thin, weak, bad at sports and also lacked courage. Martin took the lift from that day onwards. He wanted to get used to it just like he had gotten used to being bullied at school.

Passage:
But he didn’t get used to it. He was always afraid that it would stop suddenly and he would be trapped inside it for hours by himself. But it wasn’t much better when there were other passengers. He didn’t like to be close to them. He also disliked the way people tried hard not to look at one another, staring at nothing.

Word meanings:
Trapped: caught, confused from where there is no escape

Explanation:
However, Martin did not get used to the lift. He was scared that it would stop in between and he would get trapped in it. Even when there were other people in the lift, he felt scared. He disliked standing close to other people in the lift, and the way they tried not to look at one another and stared in the air, at nothing.

Passage:
One morning the elevator stopped at the fourteenth floor, and a fat lady got on. She was wearing an old green coat that ballooned around her. As she waddled into the elevator, Martin was sure he felt it sink under her weight. She was so big that her coat brushed against him, and he had to squeeze himself into a corner. There was no room for anybody else. The door closed quickly behind her, and instead of facing it, she turned around and stared at Martin.

Word meanings:
Ballooned: made her size bigger
Waddled: walked with short steps, moving with weight of the body from one side to the other
Squeeze: shrink

Explanation:
One morning when Martin was travelling in the lift, it stopped at the fourteenth floor. A fat lady got in. Her old green coloured coat made her appear more huge. As she walked with small steps, Martin felt that the coat was sinking under her body. The coat touched Martin and he shrunk and stood in a corner of the lift. There was no space in the lift for anyone else. As the door of the lift closed, the woman turned around from it and looked at Martin. (All other people used to avoid looking at each other but she was the opposite).

Passage:
He looked at her for a moment. She had large fleshy cheeks and no chin, just a huge mass of neck. Her blue eyes were tiny but sharp. They seemed to be boring into Martin’s face.

Word meanings:
Boring: looking deeply

Explanation:
Martin looked at the woman. She had large, fat cheeks, the chin was missing because due to the fats, it had combined with the neck. She had tiny blue coloured eyes which were sharp. It seemed that she was looking deep inside Martin.

Passage:
Martin looked away, but the woman didn’t turn around. Was she still looking at him? He glanced at her quickly, then looked away again. She was still watching him. He wanted to close his eyes, he wanted to turn around and stare into the corner, but how could he? The elevator creaked down to twelve, then eleven. The piggy eyes were still looking at him. She had to be crazy. Why else would she stare at him like this? What was she going to do next?

Word meanings:
Glanced: looked carefully
Piggy: small and unattractive

Explanation:
Martin turned his face but she kept on looking at him. He was not aware if she was looking at him and so, he took a short look at her and then turned his face again. She was looking at him. The boy felt awkward, he wanted to close his eyes, turn and look into the corner but he could not do it because the woman would then find out that he was feeling awkward. The lift made noises as it moved down. The small, unattractive eyes of the woman looked at him. He thought perhaps she was mad that she was looking at him. He wondered what would be her next activity.

Passage:
She did nothing. She only watched him, breathing loudly, until the elevator reached the first floor at last. Martin wanted to run past her to get out, but there was no room. He could only wait as she turned and moved slowly out into the lobby. Then he ran. He didn’t care what she thought. He ran nearly all the way to school.

Word meanings:
there was no room: there was no space for him to go

Explanation:
The woman did not do anything else. She only watched Martin, took loud breaths till the lift reached the ground. Martin wanted to cross her and run away but there was no space so he had to wait for her to get out of the lift. Then he ran and ran till he reached his school.

Passage:
He thought about her all day. Did she live in the building? He had never seen her before, and the building was not very big. Maybe she was visiting somebody? But 7.30 in the morning was too early for visiting.

Explanation:
The entire day, Martin kept on thinking about the woman. He thought whether she lived in the same building but he had not seen her before and the building was not too big that people living in it were strangers to him. It could be that she was visiting someone but leaving as early as 7.30 in the morning was too early for visitors.

Passage:
Martin felt nervous when he got back to the building after school. But why should he be afraid of an old lady? He felt ashamed of himself. He pressed the button and stepped into the elevator, hoping that it would not stop, but it stopped on the third floor. Martin watched the door slide open, revealing a green coat, a piggish face and blue eyes which were already staring at him as if she knew he would be there.

Explanation:
On his way back home, Martin was nervous of encountering the same woman. He felt ashamed of himself of being scared of an old woman. He pressed the button, entered the lift and hoped it would not stop on the way but it stopped on the third floor and the same fat woman entered it. As the door opened, he saw the green coat, piggy face and blue eyes of the woman who was already staring at Martin, as if she had known that he was in there!

Passage:
It wasn’t possible. It was like a nightmare. But there she was. “Going up!” said Martin, his voice little more than a squeak. She nodded, and stepped on. The door slammed. He watched her pudgy hand move towards the buttons. She pressed, not fourteen, but eighteen, the top floor. The elevator trembled and began to go up. The fat lady watched him.

Word meanings:
Nightmare: frightening dream
Squeak: a short high pitched cry or sound
Pudgy: fat

Explanation:
Martin thought that it was next to impossible that the woman boarded the lift when he was in it. It was like a bad dream for him. But it was real. Martin said in a low voice that the lift was going up, he hoped that she would get off, as she would have to go down. But she nodded her head in acceptance and stepped into the lift. The door shut and she pressed number eighteen, the top floor on the button panel. It was the top floor of the building. The lift shivered as it went up slowly. The fat woman kept on looking at Martin.

Passage:
This morning she got on at the fourteenth floor, so why did she get on at the third floor today and go up to eighteen? The elevator seemed to be moving more slowly than usual. Martin wanted to press seven, so that he could get out and walk up the stairs, but he couldn’t reach the buttons without touching her, and he didn’t want to do that.

Explanation:
Martin wondered that in the morning she had boarded the lift from the fourteenth floor but now she got in at the third and went to eighteenth. It seemed that the elevator was moving slower than it usually did. Martin wanted to press seven on the button panel so that he could get out of the lift and go up by stairs. However, this was not possible because the woman was in the way

Passage:
When the elevator stopped on his floor, she hardly moved out of his way. He had to squeeze past her, rubbing against her horrible scratchy coat. He was afraid the door would close before he could get out. She turned and watched him as the door slammed shut. “Now she knows I live on seventeen,” he thought. 

Word meanings:
Scratchy: having a rough, uncomfortable texture

Explanation:
When the lift reached Martin’s destination – the seventeenth floor, she did not give him way. He had to shrink himself and cross her. He brushed against her rough coat. He was afraid that the lift’s door might close before he could get out. The woman turned and watched Martin go out of the lift. He thought that now she knew that he lived on the seventeenth floor.

Passage:
“Have you ever noticed a strange lady in the elevator?” he asked his father that evening.

“Can’t say I have,” he replied, not looking away from the television.

Martin knew he was probably making a mistake, but he had to tell somebody about the woman, “She was in the elevator with me twice. She just kept staring at me. She never stopped looking at me for a minute.”

“What are you so worried about now?” his father said, turning impatiently away from the television. “What am I going to do with you, Martin? Honestly, now you’re afraid of some poor old lady.”

“I’m not afraid.”
“You’re afraid,” said his father. “When are you going to grow up and act like a man? Are you going to be timid all your life?”

Word meanings:
Impatiently: anxiously, restlessly

Explanation:
Martin asked his father if he had seen a strange woman in the lift. He was watching the TV and said that he did not remember. Martin knew that sharing this information with his father could be a mistake but he wanted to tell someone. He added that he had seen her twice, that she would keep on looking at him. His father turned away from the TV and asked what was Martin worried about. What was it that bothered him that made him scared of an old woman. He said that Martin was afraid, Martin denied. The father scolded him and asked him to grow up.

Passage:
Martin didn’t want to cry in front of his father, so he waited until he got to his room. His father probably knew he was crying anyway. He slept very little.
In the morning, when the elevator door opened, the fat lady was waiting for him. Martin stood there, unable to move, then backed away. As she saw him, her expression changed. She smiled as the door slammed.

Explanation:
Martin felt like crying but avoided in front of his father. He waited to go to his room and the father knew that he was crying inside the room. Martin slept very less. The next morning when the lift opened, the woman was there inside it. Martin stood at the door, he couldn’t move, took a step back. The woman saw him and her facial expression changed. She smiled at Martin as the lift’s door closed. 

Passage:
Martin started running down the stairs. The stairs were dark and he fell. His father was silent on the way to hospital, disappointed and angry with him for being a coward and a fool. Martin had broken his leg and needed to walk on crutches. He could not use the stairs now. Was that why the fat lady had smiled? Did she know what would happen?

Word meanings:
Crutches: a long stick with a crosspiece at the top, used as a support under the armpit by a person with an injury or disability.

Explanation:
Martin ran down the stairs. As the area was dark and he was running, he fell and injured his leg. His father did not speak on their way to the hospital. He was disappointed with Martin for being coward and foolish. Martin used crutches to walk. He could not climb the stairs. Martin still thought about the fat woman. Perhaps, Martin thought that she had smiled because she had known that he was about to fall off the stairs and get hurt.

Passage:
At least his father was with him in the elevator on the way back from the hospital. There was no room for the fat lady to get in, and if she did, his father would see her and maybe he would understand. When he got home, he could stay in the apartment for a few days. The doctor said that he had to rest as much as possible. Martin felt quite safe from the fat lady now.

Explanation:
On the way home from the hospital, Martin felt secure that his father was with him in the lift. If the woman came, he would also see her and understand Martin’s problem. The next few days Martin would be on bed rest as advised by the doctor, and would not use the lift. So, he was safe from her.

Passage:
“Oh, I almost forgot,” his father reached out and pressed number nine.
“What are you doing?” asked Martin, trying not to sound afraid.
“I promised to visit Mrs. Ullman,” said his father, looking at his watch as he stepped out of the elevator.
“Let me go with you. I want to visit her too!” Martin pleaded, struggling to move on his crutches.
But the door was already closing. “Afraid to be in the elevator alone?” said his father. “Grow up, Martin”. The door slammed shut.

Explanation:
Martin’s father pressed number nine on the button panel of the lift. He said that he had forgotten about meeting Mrs. Ullman who lived on the ninth floor. Martin asked what he was doing. The father looked at his watch and said that he had promised to meet Mrs. Ullman and stepped out of the lift. Martin requested him to take him along and that he too wanted to meet her. He struggled to walk with the crutches. The door of the lift was already closing and the father asked Martin if he was scared of being alone in the lift. He advised Martin to grow up and then the lift closed.

Passage:
Martin hobbled to the buttons and pressed nine, but it didn’t do any good. The elevator stopped at ten, where the fat lady was waiting for him. She moved in quickly, and he was too slow to get past her in time to get out. The door closed and the elevator began to move.

“Hello, Martin,” she said, and laughed, and pushed the Stop button.

Word meanings:
Hobbled: limped, walked with difficulty

Explanation:
Martin walked with difficulty with the crutches and pressed number nine but he was late. The lift had started off for the tenth floor. It stopped at the tenth floor where the same fat woman was waiting. She was quick to get inside the lift and Martin was slow so he could not get out of the lift in time. The door of the lift closed and it started to go up. The woman said hello to Martin, laughed and stopped the lift. Perhaps she had some evil plan in store.

 

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