Parsons and Markwardt both were laborers and both loved in Westbury. They worked in the firm run by some capitalist owner. They led hand to mouth life apparently when on one-day unfortunate bloody disaster occurred. There was a chemical explosion in which hundred and eight human lives were lost and over fifty people were rendered blind. At the time of explosion Parsons and Markwardt were in C-shop. Due to explosion the place was filled with dangerous poisonous gases. All the people in C-shop ran for their lives Parsons escaped unhurt probably and Markwardt hauled back on Parsons rushed out of C-shop and later was blinded by the effect of poisonous gases. For many years this disaster was not even mentioned in newspapers and the disaster was forgotten by the people.
Parsons was fortunate; he was not all hurt in the explosion. He worked hard and became a successful insurance salesman and led a prosperous complacent life. Markwardt became blind beggar and walked in the streets with the help of battered cane and thumped his way before him. He became a shaggy thick necked person. His coat was greasy. He wore a black pouch slung over his shoulders which he carried cigarette lighters and sold them to passers by for one buck.
Fourteen long years passed when by chance accidentally Markwardt collide with Parsons and he offered a lighter for sale to Parsons and also begged for help. Parsons gave two half dollar coins to Markwardt, which he readily pocketed. By chance Markwardt asked Markwardt about the cause of his blindness. Markwrdt mentioned the Westbury chemical explosion and C-shop. Then Parsons recognized Markwardt. Parsons pitied the plight of Markwardt. Markwardt recollected all past events and in a painful voice uttered “You got away but i am blind! Do you hear? I’m …”
People overhead blind Markwardt in the street and turned and started looking the two persons. Parsons felt slightly awkward and remarked “Well – do not make such a row about it Markwardt – so Am I!”
- Shaggy —————– With long hair
- Splayed —————- turned outwards
- Reminisce ————– to recollect the memory about the past events.
- Futile —————– useless
- Boorish —————- rude
- Haul ——————- to pull with difficulty
- Wearily —————- in a tired way
QUESTION AND ANSWERS
Q.1 What is the difference in the description between the blind beggar and the insurance salesman?
Ans. There was an obvious difference in the exterior of the blind beggar and the insurance salesman. The blind beggar was shaggy, thick-necked and dirty. He wore black pouch slung over his shoulder. In that pouch, he kept something (cigarette lighters) to sell. He assumed the role of a professional beggar. The insurance salesman was young, handsome, neat and clean and smartly dressed. He wore a clean and tidy gray suit and gray hat. He also kept Malacca stick with, as he was blind too.
Q.2 What did Mr. Parsons feel when he heard the blind man approach and why?
Ans. Mr. Parsons felt immense sympathy for the blind because he knew that pain and misery of being as he himself got blind in an accident at his work.
Q.3 Why was blind beggar always eager to narrate his tale of how he lost his sight?
Ans. He always ready to narrate his story because he looked more a professional beggar who always told his tragic stories to get money from people, arousing people’s pity for him and extracting money from them.
Q.4 Do you think Mr. Parsons is blind? If yes, then how did you recognize who the beggar was?
Ans. Yes, Mr. Parson he told that he was blind too. Besides, he also kept a stick with him like other blind people. Mr. Parsons recognized the beggar’s identity when he mentioned the name of Westbury. Mr. Parsons even remembered the name of the blind man as Markwardt. It was Markwardt who had trampled him to escape hurriedly from the place.
Q.5 What is the moral of the story?
Ans. The moral of the story is that a man who has the will can do great deeds even he is handicapped.