1. Pescud is short and not the stuff heroes are made of. Yet he wins Jessie. What do you think were the main reasons that went in his favor?
CBSE 2011 (Term II)]
Ans. Pescud was short and ordinary looking, and not the stuff heroes are made of. But the fact is that it was not his physical appearance that had impressed Jessie. She had liked his honesty and the space he had given her and Colonel Allyn to just give him one chance. He had said. “If I couldn’t make a hit with the little lady, I’d clear out, and not bother any more.” More than his physical looks, it was his personality which had been in his favor. Like a perfect salesman, he had been successful in impressing the Colonel. He had understood that the Colonel could be easily flattered if he listened to his stories, anecdotes, and humorous occurrences. All these things went in his favour and he was able to win Jessic.
2. Give a short sketch of Colonel Allyn.
Ans. Colonel Allyn was a tall old man, with a smooth face and white hair, and looked as proud as Julius Caeser. Although he wore shabby clothes, his personality was such that the writer feels that in his presence, the place seemed to light up. On the one hand, he seemed to be very strict but talking to Pescud surprisingly, he (Colonel) took a great liking to him. He was very fond of telling stories to or listening to them. This is evident from the following statement made by him — “The relating of anecdotes and humorous occurrences has always seemed to me, Mr. Pescud, to be a particularly agreeable way of promoting and perpetuating amenities between friends.” Thus he can be said to be a friendly person with a strict and proud look.
3. Pescud appeared unassuming and none of his friends could ever associate him with any act of adventure. The writer could not get over Pescud’s story. He writes a letter to a common friend, James also invested in real estate. Cameroon, marveling at the “surprise packet” – called Pescud. Write this letter for him.
I have been busy with my business so I could not write. But there is something interesting I want to share with you. Do you remember we had a friend, John A. Pescud? Last summer while I was traveling to Pittsburgh for some business work, I happened to meet him on the train. He is working as a salesman for a plate-glass company, and I met him after a gap of two years. Do you remember how ordinary-looking he used to be? Not only that, he used to be so dull and unadventurous. During my acquaintance with him earlier, I had never known his views on life, romance, literature, and ethics. During our meetings earlier, we used to just discuss matters of local topics and then part.
This time when I talked to him, I found him to be such a surprise packet. I was shocked to hear from him about his ‘Adventurous’. proposal to a girl, his courageous encounter with her father, and ultimately his marriage to her which took place a year ago. And do you know who is the girl is whom he has married? She belongs to a royal family and her father is a lineal descendant of belted earls. There is so much difference in their status —she is a princess whereas Pescud is just an ordinary American! Isn’t it amazing that a person like him who is no hero, turned out to be such a ‘surprise packet’? I’ll tell you more about him when we meet.
How is everybody else at your home? Do reply soon.
4. As Jessie write a letter to a friend on how you met Pescud and why you decided to marry him. (about 125 words) [CBSE 2011 (Term II)]
Dear friend, Sumedha
I am going to tell you about my chance meeting with Pescud.
While I was returning from Illinois, where I had gone to see my aunt, I noticed a man who followed me on each station that I got down at — whether it was Cincinnati or Shelbyville, Frankford or Lexington, and lastly Virginia — my city. He didn’t know that I had noticed him. After three days, while I was walking in the front yard, down next to the paling fence, he came to me and asked about some Mr. Hinkle’s address. I knew he did it just to start a conversation with me. I could instantly sense the feeling of deep affection he had for me. When I told him that he had come quite a long distance from Pittsburg, he said that he could have gone a thousand miles farther. Then he honestly told me about his liking for me and without imposing himself on me, he told me that he wanted me to develop a liking for him. I am amazed at his grit and perseverance, and the kind of attention he gave me. Nobody has ever talked to me like that. I am quite impressed by his earnestness and the honesty with which he told my father about his background and the business
he was pushing. I have really developed a liking for him and have decided to marry him. I am sure that you will also appreciate my choice after you meet him. Rest in the next letter.
5. Discuss the significance of the title, ‘Bestseller’. What role does this play in the life of John Pescud?
Bestsellers are known to spin imaginative yarns bordering on fantasy and melodrama. The story revolves around the incrediable romance between a beautiful maiden from the most affluent royal family and a hero who is ordinary in terms of looks and family background but extraordinary in terms of his bravery and determination to win the lady. He has a heart to ‘do and dare’. Pescud’s story is no different. He sees him on a train. It is love at first sight. He follows her from Cincinnati to Louisville, forgetting the fact that he was on a business tour. When he comes to know that Jessie hailed from a royal family, like a bestseller hero, he is not disheartened. He proposes and wins the lady despite the gulf of differences in their family backgrounds. Pescud’s story has all the elements of a best seller—remance, struggle, obstacles, suspense and finally the victory.
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