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Chapter 3 - The Midnight Visitor

This article will help you to learn about the summary, characters and themes in the story “The Midnight Visitor”.


The story revolves around three characters, two rival spies named Ausable and Max and one mystery writer Fowler. Ausable is a chubby, lethargic, messy and clumsy man while Max is slender and rugged. The story is a short but intriguing insight into the life of a spy which may not be as glamorous as in the movies but still full of danger and suspense.

Ausable meets Fowler, a writer fascinated by spies and secrets. Ausable was expecting a sensitive document to arrive that night and so asks Fowler to follow him through the night. Disappointed at Ausable’s appearance and mannerisms, Fowler agrees to do the same. Suddenly, Ausable gets a phone call regarding someone who had entered his hotel room. Alarmed but not overly worried he beckons Fowler to follow him to his room. The room was on the 6th floor. As they enter the room, they are startled by a pistol-toting individual staring at them. It is Max, the rival spy of Ausable. He asks them to enter and lock the room. He threatens Ausable and warns him to hand over the documents to him as soon as they arrive at his room later that night. Playing rather composed Ausable sits down and complains about the balcony window that he thought Max used to break into his room.

Max claims that he used the master key to get inside and had he known about the balcony he would have used that instead. Ausable reiterates that he had complained to the management about the balcony window several times and has had previous break-ins. Fowler was listening to the conversation intently. Suddenly there is a loud clamour at the door. Ausable suggests that it must be the police that he had arranged to safe keep the documents.

Max gets anxious and asks Ausable to turn them away while he hides in the balcony. He threatens to shoot if he smells any trickery. As soon as Max leaps outside the window he yells out of horror as he crashes to the road below. The room had no balcony after all. Next, the door opens and Fowler sees a waiter holding Ausable’s drinks rather any policeman. Fowler is relieved and impressed by Ausable’s presence of mind. He realizes that looks can truly be deceiving.

Character List 

Fowler, Max and Ausable are the two characters in the movie. Their character sketches are as follows:

Fowler- He is a very young writer. He wrote books related to the romantic aspect of life. Shifting from this genre, he wanted to write a book on the detectives. In his mind, he had formed a picture of a detective like James Bond. According to his imagination, the detective would be young with attractive personality. He assumed a detective to be surrounded by equipment related to the field. For his astonishment when he met Ausable, he felt very devastated.

Ausable- Ausable is the protagonist of the story “The Midnight Visitor” by Robert Arthur. He is a secret agent but his appearance did not match his profession. He was very sharp and had a quick and witty mind to escape any situation with his self-confidence. He was a short and fat man who was quite lazy too. As he was a secret agent, he tricked Max and made him believe that there was a balcony attached to his window even though there was no balcony over there. In this way, he saved his crucial documents from Max.

Max- Max was a slender man, not very tall. His features suggested that he was slightly crafty and cunning like that of a fox. He did not seem very dangerous other than the fact that he was holding a gun. He had come stealthily into A usable is room and wanted the report on the missiles. But, Max was also slightly gullible; he easily fell into the trap set by Ausable. His gullibility probably cost him his life. He was overconfident just because he had a gun pointed at Ausable and Fowler. Max lacked the presence of mind, he was so focused on pointing the gun at both the men that he did not look down for a second to see whether there was a balcony below the window or not. He just blindly believed Ausable. Max proved that he could be easily fooled. This did not make him a very good secret agent.


The story highlights the theme that wisdom is more powerful than other weapons. Ausable’s intelligence is highlighted in the story. It is also based on the theme that one should not judge a person by merely his appearance. Ausable is fat and lazy but he is the most intelligent of all in the story.

For the midnight visitor class 10 question answers, the midnight visitor important questions, the midnight visitor NCERT solutions, refer to the PDF.

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