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Summary of The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie

Summary of Mousetrap Summary by Agatha Christie

The Mousetrap Summary About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, Devon 1890 to Clarissa Margaret Boehmer and a wealthy American stockbroker. She was brought up by both, her mother and sister. In the First World War, she trained and worked as a nurse helping to treat wounded soldiers. She also took education in the field of pharmacy. She recalled her time as a nurse with great fondness, saying, it was one of the most rewarding jobs she ever undertook.

Agatha Christie married an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps – Archibald Christie, in December 1914. The marriage was somewhat turbulent and ended in, divorce in 1928, two years after Archibald had begun an affair. In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. The circumstances were never really resolved and it created widespread ‘ media interest in the disappearance of this famous novelist. She was eventually discovered in Harrogate Hotel ‘ eleven days later. Though, Agatha Christie never said why, it was probably a combination of shock over her mother’s death and the discovery of her husband’s affair.

In 1930, she married her second husband, Max Mallowan. This marriage was happier, though her only child, Rosalind Hicks, came from her first marriage. Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English writer of crime and romantic novels. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, Christie also wrote the world’s longest-running play, a murder mystery, ‘The Mousetrap’, and six romances under the name ‘Mary Westmacott’. In 1971, she was appointed as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature. Agatha Christie went on to write over 40 novels featuring the proud and immaculate Hercule Poirot. Like Conan Doyle, Christie had no great love for her own creation – Poirot seemed to be admired by the public more than the writer herself.

The plot of Agatha Christie’s novels could be described as formulaic. Murders were committed through ingenious methods – often involving poison, of which Agatha Christie had great knowledge. After interrogating all the main suspects, the detective would bring all the participants into some drawing-room before explaining who was the murderer. The psychological suspense of the novels and the fact that, the readers feel they have a good chance of solving the crime, undoubtedly added to the popularity of her books.

During the Second World War, Christie worked in the pharmacy of the University College London, which gave her ideas for some methods of her murders. After the war, her books continued to grow in international popularity. In 1952, her play, The Mousetrap, was debuted at the Ambassador’s Theatre in London and has been performed without a break ever since. Her success led to her being honoured in the New Year’s honour list. In 1971 she was appointed as Dame Commander of the British Empire.

Dame Agatha Christie died on 12 January 1976, at age 85 from natural causes at her home in Winterbrook, Cholsey, Oxfordshire. She is buried in the nearby churchyard of St Mary’s, Cholsey, having chosen the plot for their final resting place with her husband Sir Max, some ten years before she died. The simple funeral service was attended by about 20 newspaper and TV reporters, some having travelled from as far away as South America. Thirty wreaths adorned Dame Agatha’s grave, including one from the cast of her long-running play, The Mousetrap, and one sent ‘on behalf of the multitude of grateful readers’ by the Ulverscroft Large Print Book Publishers.
She was survived by her only child, Rosalind Hicks, and only grandson, Mathew Prichard. Her husband, Max, died in 1978, aged 74.

The Mousetrap Summary About the Play

The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie. It was initially performed as a radio play in 1952 and was broadcasted by the BBC with the title ‘Three Blind Mice’. Queen Mary who was a fan of Agatha, commissioned the radio play in 1947. The forty-five-minute play was based on a short story. The reaction of the audience was very positive, so Agatha elaborated the script with its first performance on October 6, 1952.

The Mousetrap became a stage play. The play opened in London, at ‘The Ambassadors Theatre’, on November 25, 1952. Later the play was transferred to St. Martin’s Theatre in London, on March 23, 1974, and is still running there. Since the play has broken several records for its continuous theatrical run, it is estimated that more than four million people had seen the play by the time its twenty-fifth anniversary was celebrated in 1977.

It is safe to speculate that an additional three to four million people have probably sat in the dark and tried to puzzle out the identity of the murderer. After another twenty years,’The Mousetrap’ continues to benefit from tourists, both/for its artistic merits and for the joy of being part of a theatrical tradition. Christie signed over the royalties from the play to her grandson at its opening in 1952. It is believed that he has become a multimillionaire from the royalties of this one property alone. The play is known for its twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.

The Mousetrap Summary of the Play

The play begins in England, at the Great Hall of Monkswell Manor. Early one winter afternoon, a brutal murder occurs on Culver Street in Paddington. Witnesses heard someone whistling the nursery rhyme, “Three Blind Mice”, just before the victim had screamed. Later that afternoon, in the Great Hall of Monkswell Manor, Mollie and Giles Ralston prepare for the opening of their guest house, worrying about the effects of the severe snowstorm outside and their own inexperience of their new venture. Eventually, their four guests arrive. First to enter is Christopher Wren.

He is hyperactive and unkempt. Giles instantly dislikes Christopher, whereas Mollie has the opposite reaction. Mrs. Boyle and Major Metcalf arrive next, together in a cab from the station. Mrs. Boyle is a complainer, and Metcalf is a friendly, former military man. Miss Casewell arrives next, described as a mannish woman.

She’s the last of the expected guests, but a fifth person arrives unannounced. In a foreign accent, he introduces himself as Mr. Paravicini. His car, he explains, is trapped in a snowdrift, and the storm has the added effect of trapping all the characters in the house as the roads are now unpassable. Mollie is uncomfortable with Mr. Paravicini, but she prepares the house’s final room.

The next afternoon the storm continues to keep the guests trapped at the house. Superintendent Hogben of the Berkshire Police tails and tells Mollie that he’s sending Sergeant Trotter to the house and that the Ralstons need to listen carefully to what he has to say. Trotter arrives on a pair of skis, and Metcalf discovers that the phone is no longer working.

Trotter is there in regard to the murder. Lyon and her husband had mistreated their three foster children, resulting in the death of the youngest child. Sentenced for the crime, the husband died in jail and Maureen served her sentence. Upon her release, she was strangled to death. Trotter explains that police suspect the oldest boy of the abused children, who would now be twenty-two years old, of being the killer.

He further explains that a notebook found at the scene contained the Manor’s address, along with the words: “Three Blind Mice”. A note reading, “This is the First”, was pinned to the woman’s body. Trotter is there to investigate the connection and ensure that the people there are safe. When Trotter asks all the guests about their connections to the case, they all deny any knowledge or connections.

The first Act draws to its conclusion as the evening continues. Giles and Mollie become distrusting of each other, and the guests get increasingly short-tempered. Trotter follows the phone wire to find out if it has been cut. Meanwhile, Mrs. Boyle listens to the radio, alone in a room. Someone unseen whistles the opening notes of “Three Blind Mice.” Mrs. Boyle responds without fear, conversing with the person only she can see. Suddenly, the lights go out. The audience can hear a struggle in the darkness. Just then, Mollie walks into the room and turns on the lights. She finds Mrs. Boyle, dead on the floor. In Act II, Mrs. Boyle has been strangled. Trotter has taken over the house, and he tries to understand what’s happened as the rest of the cast sits together in one room.

Mollie is so badly shaken she offers little help, remembering only a radio playing loudly. Trotter is frustrated and reminds the cast that everyone’s lives are still very much in danger. Each character explains his/her whereabouts at the time of the murder, and Trotter concludes that any of them could have committed the crime. But, though everyone had the opportunity, only one man matches the police description of the suspect: Christopher Wren. Wren denies involvement immediately, claiming to be the victim of a frame-up.

Mollie and Trotter later have a private conversation, which reveals that any of the characters possibly could have committed the crime. Mollie even admits to knowing very little about Giles’s past. Then Mollie speaks privately with Wren, who reveals he’s an army deserter on the run, using a false name. Mollie, too, is running from something in her past. Giles and Wren then become suspicious of each other.

Trotter sits for a moment before calling out for Mollie. He explains that he knows Mollie once worked as a schoolteacher for the deceased foster children. She failed to answer a letter from the youngest boy begging for help. Mollie claims she was sick and unable to read the letter before it was too late. She is still haunted by the kids’ death. Trotter reveals a gun, and points it at Mollie. Trotter is not a policeman, but the oldest of the foster children. He’d faked the phone call himself. He reverts to a childlike state, drops his gun, and begins strangling Mollie. Miss Casewell arrives and calls him by name, revealing that she is his long-lost sister, here to take him to some safe place.

Major Metcalf, who’s arrived with Miss Casewell, then reveals that he’s a policeman himself, working undercover as a result of the “Three Blind Mice” note and that he’s known all along that Trotter is an imposter. The Mousetrap ‘ received lukewarm responses from critics upon its debut. The play, however, achieved massive popularity with audiences and has been staged, without stop, for over sixty years, making it the longest-running show of any kind in history. It’s a prime example of a twist ending, and members of the audience are asked to not reveal the killer to the awaiting audiences on their way out.

The Mousetrap Summary Major Characters

Mollie Ralston
Mollie Ralston is the wife of Giles Ralston. She is a tall, pretty woman in her late twenties. Mollie is the young owner of Monkswell Manor, a Victorian-era estate that has recently been converted into a guest house. In earlier years, she had taught at the school that the Corrigan children attended.

Jimmy Corrigan
Jimmy Corrigan sent her a letter and pleaded with her to help. She fell ill with pneumonia on the very day the letter arrived, she could not see it until weeks later, by the time Jimmy was dead. She is also a suspect in the killing of the other two women who were involved in the tragedy. She went to London secretly, on the day Mrs. Stanning was killed and she is the first one to find the body of Mrs. Boyle.

Giles Ralston
Giles Ralston is Mollie s husband. Giles is the co-host of Monkswell Manor. After three weeks of meeting, they both married. Giles past remains a mystery. He wears a coat, scarf, and hat like those seen on the killer. He made a clandestine trip to London on the day of Mrs. Stanning’s death.

Mrs. Boyle
Mrs. Boyle is a large, middle-aged, stern and generally unpleasant woman. She is a guest at Monkswell Manor. She was a former magistrate and unwittingly sent the Corrigan children to Longridge Farm. At the end of the first act, she is strangled.

Major Metcalf
Major Metcalf is a middle-aged, square-shouldered, military in manner and bearing person. He is a typical retired British military officer. He is a guest at Monkswell Manor.

Miss Casewell
Miss Casewell is a young woman who is masculine in appearance and has a masculine voice. She is another guest at Monkswell Manor. She remains mysteriously aloof from the other guests.

Mr. Paravicini
Mr. Paravicini is a foreign, dark, elderly man with a small flamboyant moustache. He is an unexpected guest at Monkswell Manor. He is there only because his car got stuck in a snowbank during a terrible blizzard.

Defective Sergeant Trotter
Detective Sergeant Trotter is a cheerful, young man posing as a police officer. He is a late-arriving guest at Monkswell Manor. He is trying to establish a relationship between any of the guests and a murder already committed at another location.

The Mousetrap Act Wise Summary of the Play

ACT I, Scene I.

The play opens with a radio account of a woman murdered in London. The scene opens with darkness and the sounds of someone whistling the tune of “Three Blind Mice.” Shouts in the darkness indicate something is amiss, and then we hear police whistles. After that, the lights come up and we hear radio announcer reporting on a recent murder. The scene is the great hall at Monkswell Manor, an old home with a large window in the centre of the stage. There is a fireplace on ont^side and several doors leading to other parts of the house.

The first character to appear on stage is Mollie Ralston. She turns on the lights, turns off the radio and removes • her coat Next Giles Ralston, her husband enters. The first guest to arrive is Christopher Wren. He praises both the style and decor of the house and is enthusiastic. The second guest to arrive is Mrs. Boyle. She is complaining that a taxi did not meet her at the train., Major Metcalf is the third guest to arrive. He is carrying his luggage when he enters the hall. Mrs. Boyle’s complaints about everything, including the lack of servants.

Miss Casewell is the last of the booked guests to arrive. Mr Paravicini tells the Ralstons his car has overturned in a snowdrift. He remarks that the snow has blocked the roads and that the denizens of the house are trapped. Mobile places him in the last remaining room. Uneasy about Paravicini’s manner.
The next afternoon the guest house proves to be snowed in, and the residents are restless. Mollie answers the telephone to Superintendent Hogben. Hogben tells her that he is dispatching Sergeant Trotter to the guest house, and that the Ralstons must listen carefully to what Trotter has to tell them. The Ralstons wonder what they could have done to gamer police attention.

Trotter appears at the door on a pair of skis and Major Metcalf discovers that the phone has stopped working. Trotter explains he has been sent in regard to the murder of Maureen Lyon. The dead woman and her husband had mistreated their three foster children resulting in the death of the youngest. Both adults were imprisoned for their actions; the husband died in gaol, while the wife served her sentence and had been released, only to be found strangled. Police suspect the elder boy of the abused children, who would now be twenty-two, of being the killer.

Trotter reveals that a notebook found at the murder scene contained the address of Monkswell Manor and the words “Three Blind Mice”. A note reading “This is the First” was pinned to the woman’s body. The Police have sent Trotter to find out how the Ralstons’ guesthouse is connected to the murder, and whether the residents are in danger. Both Giles and Mollie deny a connection to the case, though Mollie is not comfortable answering Trotter’s questions and quickly excuses herself. Trotter asks each of the guest to explain why they are at Monkswell Manor and any personal Knowledge of the case.

The Mousetrap Summary Word Meanings:

  1. Alcove – A recess in the wall of a room
  2. Skidding – An unexpected sliding
  3. Complacently – Confidently
  4. Neurotic – Mentally disturbed
  5. Mahogany – Hard reddish-brown timber
  6. Prolific – Plentiful
  7. Assorted – Mixed; varied
  8. Baptized – Administer or enrol to Christianity
  9. Absurd – Illogical
  10. Indignantly – Anger or annoyance
  11. Blizzard – A severe snowstorm with high winds
  12. Amenities – A desirable facility of a place
  13. Equipped – Having the necessary tools etc.
  14. Misapprehension – A failure to understand something
  15. Straddles – Sit or stand with one leg either side off
  16. Stridently – Loud and harsh sound
  17. Exploration – Observation
  18. Four-poster – A bed with a post at each corner supporting a canopy
  19. Twerp – A silly or annoying person
  20. Grins – Smile broadly

ACT I, Scene II.

It is now the next day, and the guests are settling in, having decided what they think of each other. Things get really interesting when Monkswell Manor receives a phone call from the Berkshire Police Department. They are sending over a sergeant, although the phone call ends before Mollie can find out why. While they’re waiting for the sergeant to arrive, Mollie and Mrs. Boyle have a conversation in which we find out that Mrs. Boyle was once a magistrate or courtroom judge.

Paravicini warns Mollie that she should not be too trusting—that people seem to be fine but turn out to be robbers, and even murderers. Mollie announces that the police are coming, which elicits strong reactions from both Major Metcalf and Mr. Paravicini.

While Trotter and Giles tour the house, Major Metcalf confronts Mrs. Boyle, revealing that she was one of the magistrates who had assigned the children to the foster parents. Mrs. Boyle acknowledges this but denies that she has any responsibility for what eventually happened to the children there. As the evening wears on, Giles and Mollie become suspicious of each other while the guests snipe at one another.

Sergeant Trotter traces the phone wire to find out if it has been cut. Mrs. Boyle wanders back into the now-empty room and listens to the radio. The opening notes of “Three Blind Mice” are heard whistled by an unknown party, and Mrs. Boyle responds without alarm, speaking to the person only she can see. Suddenly, the lights go out and a scuffle is heard. Moments later, Mollie walks into the room and turns on the lights, only to find Mrs. Boyle dead on the floor.

The Mousetrap Summary Word Meanings:

  1. Scrambled eggs – A dish of eggs prepared by beating them, then cooking and stirring gently
  2. Marmalade – A preserve made by citrus fruits
  3. Amateurish – Done in an unskillful way
  4. Stubs – Remains of a cigarette
  5. Chilblains – An inflammatory smelling
  6. Refectory – A room used for communal meals
  7. Bonafide – In good faith, real, genuine
  8. Snowdrift – A bank of deep snow driven by wind
  9. In credulous – Unwilling or unable to believe something
  10. Acquainted – To know or be familiar with something
  11. Whereabouts – The place where a person or thing is
  12. Bygone – A thing dating from an earlier time
  13. Melodramatic – Showing much stronger emotions than are necessary or usual for a situation
  14. Strangled – To kill someone by squeezing the throat


The act opens with Trotter questioning everyone as to how and when Mrs. Boyle was murdered. As each one replies in turn, Trotter has some sort of doubts and suspicion.

Ten minutes after Mollie found Mrs. Boyle dead, Sergeant Trotter has taken charge of the household. All the remaining residents are gathered in one room as he attempts to sort out the events of the evening. Mollie Ralston cannot provide him with any useful clues. As each person recounts his or her whereabouts, Trotter takes them to account for weaknesses in their stories. Finally, he declares that everyone in the house had the opportunity to commit the murder since each of them was alone at the time. Giles counters that only one person fits the description of the man the police suspect to be the murderer: Christopher Wren.

Wren insists that it is all a frame-up, and Trotter acknowledges that he lacks any evidence pointing to Wren in particular. Trotter says that while the police suspect the elder boy to be the killer, the relatives, the children’s father, the dead boy’s sister, are suspected to be involved in the murder. Mollie soon finds that Christopher Wren is actually an Army deserter hiding from his past under a false name. Mollie acknowledges that she, too, is running away from her past.

Trotter again calls all the guests, declaring that he now intends to check the details everyone provided him with after Mrs. Boyle’s murder. Trotter’s hope is that while most of the alibis will be verified, one will be proved impossible. Each person is to go to his or her assigned position and stay there until summoned back by Trotter. The household obediently disperses, leaving Trotter alone on the stage.

The Mousetrap Summary Word Meanings:

  • Numbed – Deprived of the power of physical sensation
  • Cathay – Instantly appealing
  • Gesturing –  A movement usually of the limbs
  • Antiquarian –  A person who studies or collects antiques
  • Persecution –  Hostility and ill-treatment
  • Desertion – The action of illegally leaving the Armed forces.
  • Homicidal – A crazed killer running around stabbing everyone
  • Nightmare – A frightening or unpleasant dream
  • Thimble –  A small metal tube
  • Whacking – To hit someone or something noisily
  • Foie gras – The liver of a specially fattened goose
  • Concoct – Make dish by combining various ingredients
  • Incoherently – Expressed in a confusing way
  • Predicament – A difficult or embarrassing situation
  • Inquisition – A period of prolonged and intensive questioning

The Mousetrap Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Mollie: (moving down to the sofa and sitting) Oh! I do so want everything to go well at first. First impressions are so important.
Giles: (Moving down to Right of the sofa) Is everything ready? Nobody’s arrived yet, I suppose?
Mollie: No, thank goodness. I think everything’s in order. Mrs. Barlow’s hooked it early. Afraid of the weather, suppose?
Gilt’s: What a,wisance these daily women are. That leaves everything on your shoulders.
Mollie: And yours! This is a partnership.
(i) This conversation takes place in the opening part of the play- ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie. The scene is of Act I, Scene I. The scene is at Monkswell Manor, a guest house which the couple has purchased. The weather is very cold outside. Mollie’s nose gets frozen, cars and vehicles are stuck in the snow.

(ii) Mollie and Giles are waiting for the guests to arrive at the guest house i.e. the Monkswell Manor, though the signboard which they have got it made shows Monkswell Manor. The couple wants to satisfy their guests since it will be the first impression. It is important because only if the customers or the guests are satisfied, the guest house will run well and fetch more customers.

(iii) In the conversation between Mollie and Giles, we come to know that Mrs. Barlow secretly went to London on the day Mrs. Stanning was killed and is the first to find the body of Mrs. Boyle. When asked by Mollie, if Giles had got the chicken netting, he replied that Mrs. Barlow had hooked it early being afraid of the weather.

(iv) When Mollie and Giles are discussing about, whether everything is in order, Giles realizes that the daily women are nuisance and everything is left on Mollie’s shoulders. Mollie replies that many jobs are even on Giles shoulders and further says that it was a partnership. So, here it is a partnership between the two to make arrangements for the guests, who are to arrive.

(v) The playwright seeks to create a mood, where the readers come to know from the very beginning that it is a murder mystery. The techniques used by the author are very impressive. The opening scene reveals a simple set up. Agatha Christie fashioned one of her most ingenious puzzles. ‘The Mousetrap’ the world’s longest-running play, is something less that human. Music, darkness and the sounds of someone whistling the tune of “Three Blind Mice”, keep the readers bound with the play, in fact, engrossed in the play.

Question 2.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Mrs. Boyle: You’re very young.
Mollit: Young?
Mrs. Boyle: To be running an establishment this kind. You can’t have had much experience.
Mollie: (backing away) There has to be a beginning for everything hasn’t there?
Mrs. Boyle: I see. Quite inexperienced. (She looks around) An old, old house. I hope you haven’t got dry rot.
(She sniffs suspiciously).
Mollie: Certainly not!

(i) State the three complaints that Mrs. Boyle makes.
(ii) What answer does she give when Giles tells her that she is welcome to leave?
(iii) What does this tell you about Mrs. Boyle’s character?
(iv) Who is Mrs. Boyle’s really?
(v) What happens to Mrs. Boyle at the end? Why?
(i) Mrs. Boys is a complainer in nature. Firstly. she complains that no one came to receive her and she had to shari taxi with Maior Metcalf. Secondly, she criticizes Mollie for being too young and feels that young people are not experienced. Thirdly, she thinks that it would have been better if the Manor could get a coat of paint as there could be worms in the oak.

(ii) Mrs. Boyle is a generally unpleasant person who is always dissatisfied. When Giles tells her that she is . welcome to leave, she said that she would not leave before she tried what the place was like. She even stated that Giles should not think that he can turn her out. She further told them to show her bedroom.

(iii) The above extract which has been taken from Act I, Scene I of the play ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie, shows that Mrs. Boyle is a large, middle-aged quarrellous woman. She is bad-tempered. She complains about everything. She disapproves of every effort that Mollie and Giles make.

(iv) Mrs. Boyle is just one of the guests who arrived that night at Monkswell Manor. She is a former magistrate. She unwittingly sent the Corrigan children to Longridge Farm.

(v) In the end, Mrs. Boyle is strangled to death. She listens to the radio alone in a room. Someone whistles the opening notes of “Three Blind Mice”. Mrs. Boyle responds without fear, conversing with the person only she headquarters has been cut.

Question 3.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Trotter: We don’t actually know a thing. All we’ve got so far is that the woman who joined with her husband in ill-treating and starving those children have been killed and that the woman magistrate who was responsible for placing them there has been killed. (He moves down to Right of the sofa.) The telephone wire that links me with police headquarters has been cut…
(i) What is Mollie’s response to this? How is she answered?
(ii) What news does Trotter give Mollie about the children’s father?
(iii) What is Mollie’s ‘surmise’?
(iv) Wiry is Major Metcalf a possible suspect?
(v) How is the mystery solved?
(i) When Trotter says that the telephone wires which linked him to the police headquarters had been cut, Mollie responded that it could be due to snow.
At this, Trotter answered that the lines were cut purposely, just outside by the front door and he had found the place.

(ii) Trotter told Mollie that the children’s father was an Army Sergeant who must have been discharged from the Army by then. It would take time to trace him. He further added that he is sure that the police would take every eventuality into account.

(iii) Mollie’s surmise is that, if the children’s father, came home having suffered terribly and found his wife dead, and his children go through some terrible experience and one of them being dead, he would want revenge.

(iv) Major Metcalf is a possible suspect because he was frightfully upset when Mollie said the police had rung up. According to Mollie, she had seen his face. The murderer may be middle-aged or even old.

(v) The mystery is solved not in a while. Sometimes Christopher is suspected to be the murderer, other times Major Metcalf. Trotter sits and speaks to all the guests, and when he speaks to them he considers each one of them to be the murderer. Finally, Trotter himself is the murderer, which is proved at the end of the play.

Question 4.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Paravicini: A thousand pardons. I am-where am I?
Giles: This is Monkswell Manor Guest House.
Paravicini: But that stupendous good fortune! Madame!
(He moves down to MOLLIE, takes her hand and kisses it.)
(Giles crosses above the armchair centre.)
What an answer to prayer. A guest house-and a charming hostess. My Rolls Royce, alas, has run into a snowdrift. Blinding snow everywhere. I do not know where I am. Perhaps, I think to myself, I shall freeze to death. And then I take a little bag, I stagger through the snow; I see before me big iron gates. A habitation! I am saved. Twice I fall into the snow as I come up your drive, but at last I arrive and immediately-(He looks round.) despair turns to joy.
(Changing his manner) You can let me have a room-yes?

Giles: Oh yes….
Mollie: It’s rather a small one, I’m afraid.
Paravicini: Naturally-naturally-you have other guests.
Mollie: We’ve only just opened this place as a guest house today, and so we’ re-we’re rather new at it.
Paravicini: (leering at Mollie) Charming-charming…
Giles: What about your luggage?
Paravicini: That is of no consequence.
I have locked the car securely.
Giles: But wouldn’t it be better to gqt it in?
Paravicini: No, no. (He moves up to right of Giles.)
I can assure you on such a night as this, there will be no thieves abroad.
And for me, my wants are very simple.
I have all I need-here-in this little bag.
Yes, all that I need.
Mollie: You’d better get thoroughly warm.

(i) Give the reference to the above extract.
(ii) Who is the unexpected guest in the above extract?
(iii) How was Paravicini dressed when he entered the guest house?
(iv) Give a character sketch of Paravicini.
(v) How did Mollie and Giles Ralston treat Paravicini?
(i) The above extract has been taken from Act I Scene 1 from the play “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie. Mollie and Giles Ralston have recently started a guest house. The weather is very bad, snowstorm have made people get stuck.

(ii) The unexpected guest is Paravicini. He is an unexpected guest since the other guests had already booked their rooms in Monkswell Manor. His Rolls Royce has run into a snowdrift. Everywhere blinding snow has surrounded. Paravicini does not know where he is. He saw an iron gate and entered it.

(iii) Mr. Paravicini staggers in the guest house carrying a small bag. He is a foreign and dark, elderly person with a rather flamboyant moustache. He wears a heavy fur lined overcoat.

(iv) The above passage reveals that Mr. Paravicini is a brave person, who survived the snow storm. He is bold but mannered person, as he asks the Ralston’s to pardon him; since he entered the Manor without informing them. He is simple as he says to Mollie that his wants are very less. In short, he is a sophisticated person.

(v) Mollie and Giles Ralston welcome him as they are the owners of the guest house and would like to treat their guests nicely. They offer him a room towards the north, because no other rooms are vacant. They ask Paravicini about his luggage. Paravicini, Mollie and Giles have a humorous conservation. So, in all, Paravicini was treated equally good by the Ralston’s.

Question 5.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Christropher: (sitting at the right end of the sofa) He’s very attractive, don’t you think so? I always think that policemen are very attractive.
Mrs. Boyle: No brains. You can see that at a glance.
Major Metcalf: (into the telephone) Hullo! Hullo!…. (to Mollie) Mrs. Ralston, this telephone is dead-quite dead.
Mollie: It was all right about half an hour ago.
Major Metcalf: The line’s gone with the weight of the snow, I suppose.
Christopher: (laughing hysterically) So we’re quite cut off now. Quite cut off. That’s funny, isn’t it?

(i) About whom are Christopher and Mrs. Boyle speaking?
(ii) How would you describe Christopher?
(iii) Who is Trotter? What is the purpose of his arrival?
(iv) Who is the third guest to arrive?
(v) What impression do you form of Mrs. Boyle?
Major Metcalf: (moving to left of the sofa) I don’t see anything to laugh at.
Mrs. Boyle: No, indeed.
Christopher: Ah, it’s a private joke of my own. Hist, the sleuth is returning.
(Trotter enters from the archway up right, followed by Giles. Trotter moves down centre while Giles crosses to left of
the sofa table.)
Trotter: (taking out his notebook) Now we can get to business, Mr. Ralston. Mrs. Ralston?
(i) The above extract has been taken from Act 1 Scene 2 of the play “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie.
Christopher and Mrs. Boyle are speaking about Trotter. Christopher is highly impressed with Trotter and states that the former is very attractive and further adds that, in fact, policemen are attractive.

(ii) The term which is used to describe Christopher is, mentally unhinged. He seems to be fixated with nursery rhymes. He recites ‘The North Wind Doth Blow’ and sings ‘Little Jack Horner’. He is a wild looking neurotic man.

(iii) Trotter is actually Detective Sergeant Trotter from Berkshire Police. He has arrived at Monkswell Manor to detect about the murder of Mrs. Maureen Lyon. As there are some clues about Monkswell Manor, so Trotter has come to visit to find the actual murderer.

(iv) Major Metcalfe is the third guest to arrive. He is a middle aged square-shouldered person. He is military in manner. He is a typical retired Military officer.

(v) Mrs. Boyle is a person who is always criticizing. In the above passage also she states that Trotter has no brains. According to her, it can be known by just looking at Trotter, that she is a stern and generally unpleasant woman. She is also a guest*it Monkswell Manor.

Question 6.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Mrs. Boyle: (with relief) Oh, it’s you. I can’t find any programme worth listening to. (She moves to the radio and tunes in to the music programme.)
(A hand shows through the open doorway and clicks the light switch. The lights suddenly go out)
Here- what are you doing? Why did you turn out the light?
(The radio is at full volume, and through it are heard gurgles and a scuffle. Mrs. Boyle’s body falls. Mollie enters by the archway up right and stands perplexed.)
Mollie: Why is it all dark? What a noise!
(She switches on the lights at the switch up right and crosses to the radio to turn it down. Then she sees Mrs. Boyle lying strangled in front of the sofa and screams as-the curtain quickly falls.)

(i) Give the reference to the above extract.
(ii) What does Trotter want Giles to do for him?
(iii) What does Mrs Boyle notice when she enters the room?
(iv) Who is the first person to hear the noise?
(v) What does Mollie do when she finds darkness in the room?
(i) The above extract is the end of Scene 2 of Act I of the play “The Mousetrap”, by Agatha Christie. Detective Trotter is at Monkswell Manor for a murder case. He wants to use the telephone, but the wires are cut which were intact a little while before.

(ii) Trotter wants Giles Ralston to find out whether there is an extension of the telephone wire. But he (Trotter) continues to trace the wire to the window. Giles also exits to the stairs, carrying the glove, but looking dazed.

(iii) When Mrs. Boyle enters the room from the library and notices the open window, she shuts the window and closes the curtain, then moves to the window. She frowns at the running music programme on the radio and tunes into a different programme.

(iv) Mollie is the first person to hear the noise. Mrs. Boyle is speaking to someone and asking what the person is doing there and further, Mollie asks why did the person turned out the light.

(v) When Mollie hears the noise, she enters by the archway and stands surprised. She switches on the lights, crosses across to the radio to turn it down. She screams on seeing Mrs. Boyle lying strangled in front of the sofa. The curtain falls down.

Question 7.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Mollie: Yes. I screamed and screamed. And at last-people came.

Trotter: (moving down to left of Mollie) Yes. As you say, people came-a lot of people from different directions-all arriving more or less at once. (He pauses, moves down centre and turns his back to the audience) Now then, when I got out of that window (He points.) to trace the telephone wire, you, Mr Ralston occupy, to try the extension telephone, (moving up centre) Where were you when Mrs. Ralston screamed?

Giles: I was still up in the bedroom. The extension telephone was dead too. I looked out of the window to see if I could see any sign of the wires being cut there, but I couldn’t. Just after I closed the window again, I heard Mollie scream and I rushed down.

Trotter: (leaning on the refectory table) Those simple actions took you rather a long time, didn’t they, Mr. Ralston?

(i) What does the opening scene of Act II tell the viewers?
(ii) What is Mollie’s state of mind?
(iii) Why is Giles Ralston irritated?
(iv) What is Miss Casewell’s observation?
(v) How would you estimate Trotter’s behaviour in the complete incidence?
(i) In the opening scene of Act II, when the curtain rises, Mrs. Boyle’s body has been removed and everyone is assembled in the room. Trotter is on the upstage side of the reflectory table. Mollie is standing at the right end. The others are all sitting.

(ii) Mollie is very much disturbed as she was the first one to see Mrs. Boyle strangled. She says that she can’t think and her head is numbed. She is not sure if she heard a door creak or not. She just came out of the kitchen.

(iii) When Trotter emphasises Mrs. Ralston to try and think, Mollie moves down the armchair and sits. Seeing Mollie in a disturbed state of mind, Giles Ralston angrily says to Trotter to stop bullying Mollie.

(iv) Miss Casewell tells Trotter’s imagination to be senseless. She thinks that it would unlikely be a coincidence, that there should be two people brought there by chance. Both of them must have a share in the Longridge Farm case.

(v) Trotter is right at his own place, as he is the Sergeant to investigate the case. He wants statements from everyone present there. He has to cross question each and everyone, to come to a decision. Though, his behaviour or cross-questioning is not accepted willingly by other people present there.

Question 8.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Giles: “Lovers’ quarrels!” That’s good. (He moves a left of the refectory table.) .
Paravicini: (moving down to the small armchair right) Quite so.
Quite so. I know just how you feel. I have been though all this myself when I was a younger man.

Jeunesse -jeunesse – as the poet says. Not been married long, I imagine?
Giles: (Crossing to the fire) It’s no business of yours, Mr. Paravicini…
Paravicini: (moving down centre) No, no, no business at all.
But I just came in to say that the Sergeant cannot find his skis and I’m afraid he is very annoyed.
Mollie: (moving to right of the sofa table) Christopher!
Giles: What’s that?
Paravicini: (moving to face Giles) He wants to know if you have by any chance moved them, Mr. Ralston.
Giles: No, of course not.

(i) What do you understand by the term ‘Lovers’ quarrels?
(ii) What are Giles and Mollie fighting about? 3
(iii) Why did Paravicini interfere into the matter?
(iv) Why does Trotter need the skis immediately?
(v) What does Paravicini advise Trotter?
(i) The term ‘Lovers’ quarrels is used by Mr. Paravicini in Act II of the play ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie. Mollie and Giles are putting allegations on each other and are fighting for no apt reason. They have been married one year back and they love each other very much. So the above term is used by Mr. Paravicini.

(ii) Giles and Mollie are fighting for no valid reason. Giles and Mollie put allegation on each other for going to London. Giles had found a London bus ticket in Mollie’s gloves and Mollie found an evening paper in Giles overcoat, so they suspected each other of bad relations.

(iii) When Mr. Paravicini enters from the archway up right, he moves between them. He interfered in between, since he understood that both the young people were not saying a little more than they meant. He further said that any one of them was right.

(iv) Mr. Paravicini came to say that Sergeant Trotter needed the skis immediately. He needed them since the snow was still ljang there. Trotter wanted to ski over to the police station at Market Hampton to report on the situation.

(v) When the skis are not found anywhere, Mr. Paravicini advises Mr. Trotter, that now he couldn’t report on the situation. He further said that somebody has seen to it, and did not want Trotter to do that. He is also of the view that there might be some other reason. Mr. Paravicini further suspects that Christopher must have hooked it.

Question 9.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Paravicini: Yes, Sergeant? (He moves to the desk chair.) What can I do for you? Little Bo Policeman has lost his skis and doesn’t know where to find them. Leave them alone, and they’ll come home, dragging a murderer behind them. (He moves down left.)
(Major Metcalf enters through the arch up right.
Giles and Mollie enter up right, with Christopher.)
Major Metcalf: What is all this? (He moves down to the fire.)
Trotter: Sit down, Major, Mrs. Ralston …
(No-one sits. Mollie moves above the armchair centre,
Giles moves to right of the refectory table and Christopher stands between them)
Mollie: Must I come now? It’s very inconvenient.
Trotter: There are more important things than meals, Mrs. Ralston, Mrs. Boyle, for instance, won’t want another meal.
Major Metcalf: That’s a very tactless way of putting things, Sergeant.
Trotter: I’m sorry, but I want co-operation and I intend to get it.
Mr. Ralston, will you go and ask Miss Casewell to come down again?
She went up in her room.
Tell her it will only be for a few minutes.

(i) Why is Miss Casewell upset?
(ii) How does Trotter react to the situation?
(iii) What is Christopher’s reply to Trotter?
(iv) What does Paravicini think about the policeman?
(v) What does Trotter want frifin the guests?
(i) The above extract is taken from Act II of the play ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie. Miss Casewell is one of the guests at Monkswell Manor. She is being interrogated by Sergeant Trotter with reference to the murder of Miss Boyle. This interrogation upsets her.

(ii) When Christopher tells Trotter that the later has upset Miss Casewell, Trotter does not believe. He (Trotter) says that he had seen something he ought to have seen before. He further says that now he may be able to . get to the result.

(iii) Christopher responds to Trotter explaining that Giles and Mollie were in the kitchen. Christopher himself had been helping Major Metcalf to look for Trotter’s skis.
He further added that Paravicini was not seen anywhere.

(iv) Paravicini thinks that the policeman, i.e., Sergeant Trotter had lost his skis, and he does not know where to find them. Paravicini asks the Sergeant, what could he do for the latter. Paravicini even thinks that they’ll come home, dragging a murderer behind them.

(v) Sergeant Trotter wanted co-operation from all the members and he intend to get it. Trotter requests Mr. f Ralston to go and ask Miss Casewell to come down again. He further said that he required only few minutes from Miss Casewell. Trotter said that he had a shrewd suspicion, which would be declared later on.

Question 10.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Trotter: (rising) You’d better not scream, Mrs. Ralston-because if you do I shall fire this revolver… I’d like to talk to ” you a little. (He turns away.) I said I’d like to talk to you a little. Jimmy died. (His manner becomes very simple and childlike.) That nasty cruel woman killed him. They put her in prison. Prison wasn’t bad enough for her. I said I’d kill her one day… I did, toot. In the fog. It was great fun. I hope Jimmy knows. “That’s what I said to myself. Because grown-ups can do anything they like, (gaily) I’m going to kill you in a minute.

Mollie: You’d better not. (She tries very hard to be persuasive.) You’ll never get safely away, you know.

Trotter: (pettishly) Someone’s hidden my skis! I can’t find them. But it doesn’t matter. I don’t realy mind if I get Y away or not. I’m tired.- It’s all been such fun. Watching you all. And pretending to be a policeman.

Mollie: That revolver will make a lot of noise.

Trotter: It will rather. Much better to do it the usual way, and take you by the neck. (He slowly approaches her, – whistling “Three Blind Mice”. The last little mouse in the trap. (He drops the revolver on the sofa, and leans over her with his left hand on her mouth and his right hand on her neck.) (Miss Casewell and Major Metcalf appear in the arch up right.)

(i) What does Trotter admit?
(ii) What does Trotter want Mollie to do?
(iii) Did Trotter enjoy being in disguise?
(iv) How did Miss Casewell recognize Trotter?
(v) Why was Giles Ralston worried?
(i) Trotter admits that he is Georgie-Jimmy’s brother. He further admits that he was not a policeman. He was the one who had cut the telephone wires, he rang up from a call box saying that he was speaking from police head quarters and that Sergeant Trotter was on his way.

(ii) Sergeant Trotter wants Mollie to not scream, and if she does that he would fire the revolver. He wanted to talk to her. He states that Jimmy, his brother had been killed and the woman was put in prison.

(iii) Trotter enjoyed being in disguise. He himself stated this, that it was fun watching all and pretending to be a policeman. He further said that he really did not mind if he would get away or not.

(iv) Miss Casewell and Trotter had been in an animal farm together. In fact, Miss Casewell came to England to find Trotter. She recognized him when he twirled his hair the way he always he used to do.

(v) Giles Ralston was worried when Major Metcalf called for him screaming ‘Ralston! Ralston!’ He was worried about Mollie whether she was alright or not. Giles rushes over to Mollie, takes her in his arms, placing the revolver on the sofa.