The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding Question Answers Meanings Summary Class 6 Wind Chimes

Get here solutions and summary of ‘The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding’, a lesson given in class 6 English textbook Wind Chimes. Click here for other chapters of class 6 Wind Chimes


Summary

The great detective Hercule Poirot is recruited by an unnamed prince and Mr Jesmond, an English diplomat, to sort out a sensitive issue. The prince, who is about to be married soon, falls for the charms of an attractive young lady and hands over a precious wedding jewel—a ruby called the Heart of Fire—to wear for an evening. She obviously gives him the slip. The only clues they have are the words the prince had heard the woman speak: ‘King’s Lacey, December 21’, which is the name of the old manor house where Desmond Lee-Wortley, a man with known interests in the international jewel market, will be spending Christmas. Although highly upset at having to leave London during Christmas, Poirot gives in eventually and arrives at King’s Lacey, under the pretext of desiring to savour an old-fashioned English Christmas

On Christmas Eve, Poirot is told about the other members of their party by Mrs Lacey, his elderly hostess at the house. Joining them will be her husband, Colonel Horace Lacey; Sarah, a granddaughter by their deceased son; Colin, a teenage grandson by their daughter; Michael, a friend of Colin’s at school; Bridget who is of the same age as Colin and Michael and is a great niece of Mrs Lacey’s; Diana, a young cousin of Mrs Lacey’s and a widow; and David Welwyn who is a family friend. There is also Desmond Lee-Wortley—a rakish rich man, whom the elder Laceys highly disapprove of, but who has completely charmed Sarah—and his sister, Rebecca, who is quite ill.

On Christmas Eve, the family enjoys carols and decorating the Christmas tree. Poirot brings Jesmond up to speed on his observations. He has his eye on Sarah, who seems besotted with Desmond, and Rebecca, who is a complete blind spot. Michael and Bridget plan a Boxing Day prank to test Poirot. Bridget is to pretend to be dead in the snow, with fake blood on her and footprints around her. Before retiring, Poirot finds on his pillow, a scrawled note which read, ‘Don’t eat none of the plum pudding. One who wishes you well.’ Poirot is highly intrigued.

During Christmas dinner, Poirot is extra careful while having the pudding. The pudding has tokens for guests and he ends up with the bachelor’s button. Colonel Lacey is irritated, however, when a stray glass bauble turns up inside his share of the pudding. The red jewel instantly has Poirot’s attention and he requests to examine it, soon realising it to be the real ruby. Pretending that it is a bauble, he quietly pockets it. He goes over to thank Mrs Ross, the cook and learns that everyone in the household stirs the pudding and makes a wish before she cooks it. In addition, Mrs Ross also makes puddings for both Christmas and New Year, but this time, they had the New Year one at Christmas because Anne had broken the special Christmas pudding mould. Later, he is again alerted by Desmond’s uncharacteristic niceness in bringing him some coffee. Assuming it might be drugged, he surreptitiously switches cups with David. While he pretends to be asleep, in the middle of the night, a woman duly breaks into his room, smelling of Sarah’s perfume, but has to leave empty-handed.

On Boxing Day morning, the prank is underway. Michael leads Poirot to Bridget’s body as it lies in the snow. But Poirot, to everyone’s horror, reports that Bridget has no pulse. This is confirmed by Desmond, who also finds the Christmas pudding ‘bauble’ in her hands. Poirot observes that the footprints seem to match Desmond’s soles. Desmond becomes defensive and with the ‘bauble’ in hand, rushes out under the pretext of calling the police.

When the rest return inside, Mrs Ross informs them that Desmond had driven off to the police station because the phone was not working. Poirot, then reveals his great setup. Firstly, he tells them that Bridget is not dead. He had overheard Michael and Bridget planning and had later recruited her to tie a tourniquet to slow down her pulse and to make prints of Desmond’s shoes in the snow to send him into a panic. Desmond, he says, had conspired with Sarah to rob the prince and then arrived at Kings Lacey because the nearby airfield gave the two of them an easy escape route. Sarah is quite dumbfounded and protests her innocence.

Her anguish does not last long though, as the real partner-in-crime, Desmond’s pretend-sister, Rebecca, rushes down in a temper, at being deserted by him. She confesses everything quickly enough—including the fact that she had broken into Poirot’s room wearing Sarah’s perfume, to throw him off—confident that she will get to leave unopposed because the prince wanted to avoid scandal over anything else. She had dropped the ruby in the New Year’s pudding, thinking Poirot would be out of their way by then. That is why Desmond had tried to drug Poirot as well, and why he had panicked to see the bauble in Bridget’s hand. Poirot had simply hidden the real ruby in plain sight on the Christmas tree.

Poirot finally gets to know that it was Anne who had left him the note, having overheard the criminals planning some malice towards him. She had thought that they would try to poison him, when discussing the location of the ruby, Rebecca had said ‘In the pudding.’

Poirot leaves Kings Lacey, promising Anne a posh vanity box and admitting he has warmed up to the idea of Christmas, especially if it were to involve Mrs Ross making the pudding!


Comprehension

Answers:

1. The pudding was on fire and Poirot had to make a wish before the flames died out.

2. Mrs Ross made two large pies and two small ones. The pies were for Christmas and New Year.

3. The one meant for New Year was used for Christmas Day as the mould for the original Christmas pie broke.

4. Michael came looking for Poirot in the morning because he had found Bridget lying in the snow outside.

5. Rebecca was pretending to be sick and hence not at the dinner where the ruby turned up on the Colonel’s plate.

6. Rebecca wore Sarah’s perfume to mislead Poirot. 7. Rebecca and Desmond were a criminal duo. They were partners in crime

7. Rebecca and Desmond were a criminal duo. They were partners in crime.


Answers:

  1. a. Sarah says this to Poirot.
    b. ‘It’ stands for the bachelor’s button in the pudding.
    c. The Heart of Fire was also found in the pudding.
  2. a. Mrs Ross is the speaker.
    b. The old custom being referred to here is one of all members of the house stirring the Christmas
    pudding whilst making a wish each.
    c. Everyone, including Michael, Bridget, Sarah, Diana, Desmond and David, participated.
  3. a. Sarah says this to Michael.
    b. The stunt refers to Bridget lying in the snow.
    c. It was really a stunt because Bridget was only playing at being dead. However, it was not a
    trivial, but a very deliberate one orchestrated by Poirot.

Answers:

1. He thought he was being drugged so that he would sleep through the night.

2. Poirot might be making a snarky comment implying that he was one step ahead of Desmond in their cat and mouse game.

3. Poirot was pretending that a joke had turned too real, and that Bridget was really dead.

4. Poirot realised that by planting the Heart of Fire in the hands of a Bridget playing dead, he could make the thief/thieves panic and expose herself/himself/themselves of her/his/their own accord.

5. Poirot slipped the real Heart of Fire into his pocket at the dinner table. Later at night, he switched the cup of coffee Desmond brought him with David’s.

6. Rebecca is Desmond’s partner in crime and the one who had nicked the ruby away from the prince. Sarah is the granddaughter of the Laceys, and the one whom Desmond has charmed to gain access to Kings Lacey.

7. Anne thought that Poirot’s pudding would be poisoned. Poirot still rewarded her in recognition of her good intent and great presence of mind.

8. The first definite action on Poirot’s part was recruiting Bridget to collaborate with him to turn her Boxing Day prank with Michael into a setup to force the thief/thieves to expose herself/himself/ themselves. Bridget was to lie down as if she were dead with a paste replica of the Heart of Fire clutched in her hand to send the thief/ves into panic. Before that, however, events transpired at the Christmas dinner. Having already received Anne’s note about the pudding, Poirot was extra careful while tasting it. However, the Heart of Fire turned up in the pudding, although no one but Poirot and Desmond recognised it as real. This had happened because the New Year pudding, where Desmond and Rebecca had hidden the ruby, to bide time till Poirot had left, had been served. Poirot later escapes Desmond’s attempt to drug him, while Rebecca’s (whom Poirot then thinks is Sarah on account of Rebecca having used the latter’s perfume) late night raid of his room yields nothing. Next morning, Desmond duly loses his nerve at the sight of Bridget and the fake jewel. He escapes with the bauble under the pretext of calling the police. Sarah is soon cleared of suspicion, as Rebecca seeing red over Desmond’s betrayal, blurts out every small detail of their heist. Of course, she also gets away scot-free on account of the prince wanting to avoid scandal. Poirot then reveals the location of the Heart of Fire: he had hidden it in plain sight with the glass decorations on the Christmas tree.

9. Desmond had chosen Kings Lacey because of its proximity to an airfield. That would provide him (and Rebecca) with an easy escape route as soon as they extracted the ruby from the New Year pudding.

10. Three accidents were essential in Poirot solving the case. The first was Anne overhearing from the bathroom Desmond and Rebecca’s malicious intentions towards Poirot. Her anonymous warning on his pillow put Poirot on guard during the Christmas dinner. The second lucky accident was also a case of overhearing: this time, Poirot getting wind of Michael and Bridget’s plan for a Boxing Day prank. This allowed the detective, with Bridget’s help, to manipulate the prank to make it a setup to make the thief/thieves expose herself/himself/themselves. The most fortuitous accident was the one where, due to Anne breaking the Christmas pudding mould, the New Year pudding was served on Christmas Eve. Since the New Year pudding was where Desmond and Rebecca had hidden the Heart of Fire, Poirot not only caught the thieves, but also recovered the jewel with relative ease.


Vocabulary

Answers:

  1. an idea or phrase that has been used so much that it is not effective or does not have any meaning any longer
  2. a road which is closed at one end, so that there is only one way in and out; an unhelpful situation in which you cannot make any more progress
  3. the feeling that what is happening now has happened before in exactly the same way
  4. an embarrassing mistake in a social situation
  5. to cook something in a little hot oil or fat
  6. in relation to or in comparison with something or someone
  7. if people do something en masse, they do it together
  8. said to someone before they start eating a meal, to tell them you hope they enjoy their food.

Grammar

Answers:

1. P, 2. S, 3. P, 4. S, 5. C, 6. P, 7. C, 8. S


Answers:

  1. The teacher told Gurmeet to call her parents and to visit a doctor at once.
  2. The doctor told the patient to take her/his medicine regularly.
  3. Shahnaz assured Mummy that she would be very careful with her sari.
  4. Rahul apologised to Ms Benedict and said that it was his mistake.
  5. The tourist requested the receptionist if he could have a single room for the next day.
  6. Tanmay informed the security officer that the thief had run away

Answers:

1. Malavika said, ‘I may meet them there.’

2. Aziz said, ‘My washing machine has still not been fixed.’

3. The captain said to his teammates, ‘Do not give up and follow my instructions.’

4. I replied, ‘I have been trying to reach her since yesterday.’

5. Arun said to Mala, ‘I wish I lived in Kolkata.’ 6. The teacher said to the students, ‘Are you all free for the picnic tomorrow?’


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