Thursday, July 23, 2020

A Basketful Of Sea-Trout | Questions, and Answers

Book Cover | English 9th | Tulip Series | jandkncert |

A Basketful Of Sea-Trout | Play 1 | Questions, and Answers |

English | Class 9th | Short Stories |Tulip Series | jandkncert | Free NCERT Solutions |

Play 1 – A Basketful Of Sea-Trout | Tulip Series | Questions, and Answers |
(Neil Grant)




THE HON. LORD FINDHORN (a Scottish judge)

WILLIAM BRODIE OF ALTON (a Scottish landlord)

JEAN LOMOND (a peasant woman).


      [ Table of Contents ]


[The scene of the play is the hall of a small shooting and fishing lodge, the property of Lark Findhorn, in a lonely valley in the West Highlands. It is sparsely furnished: The atmosphere is one of loneliness bordering on the eerie. There are two doors, one, C., leading directly to the outside and another, L., leading to another room used by the owner as a study, Telephone R., Sideboard on R. with a jug and two glasses. LORDFINDHORN is seated L. by the table in C. He wears a dinner jacket. He is an elderly man, obviously a lawyer, with a keen but kindly face. On the other side of the table, not a very large one is his guest, WILLIAM BRODIE, who is also in a dinner jacket. He is a younger man than FINDHORN and belongs to the same class, upper-middle, as his host.




Thinking About the Text

Q1. The atmosphere is eerie and makes even the judge jumpy.

Let us see how the eerie atmosphere is built up.

(i) The wind: Does it moan or does it blow gently?

Ans. The wind moans. Sometimes it rises and sometimes it is dying down making the sound of a moan.

(ii) The lodge: Is it in the heart of a village or is it isolated?

Ans. The lodge is the property of Lark Findhorn. It is located in a lonely valley in the West Highlands, isolated from the village.

(iii) Servants: Do servants live in the lodge or not?

Ans. No, the servants do not live in the lodge. It is a shooting and fishing place situated far away from the village where the atmosphere is very mysterious.

(iv) Glen: Is it silent or is it full of strange sounds?

Ans. The Glen is full of strange sounds. The Judge admits that he has heard strange sounds in the Glen on some nights

(v) Time of the day: Does the action take place at twilight or when there is pitch darkness outside?

Ans. The action takes place when there is a pitch of darkness outside.

Q2. Nellie Salter ‘rejoiced in evil’. How does Mrs. Lomond describe Nellie’s character? If so, why?

Ans. Mrs. Jean Lomond says that Nellie Salter was not a good woman. She was out to ruin men. She planned day and night to do evil. She was enjoying losing the lives of men for her sake. She wanted to see men killing one another for herself. She describes the bad character of Nellie because she had lost his son to her. Her son had felt the prey of her (Nellie) love.

Q3. “I have lost my son.” Why did Mrs. Lomond make this statement?

Ans. Mrs. Lomond made this statement because she had lost her son to Nellie whom he loved and married. Although Nellie is dead, her son still loves her. Mrs. Lmond was afraid that the court might change the word about her son, that is why she said that she had lost her son.

Q4. The judge did not believe that Hector was tracking Nellie. Why?

Ans. The judge did not believe that Hector was tracking Nellie because he thought that Hector was a decent, unimaginative sort of chap and could not dare to kill or harm anyone. Brodie was suspecting Hector’s involvement in Nellie’s murder.

Q5. Why, do you think, Mrs. Lomond committed suicide?

Ans. Mrs. Lomond was afraid that the court might re-arrest her son so to save her son from the clutches of law she committed suicide after leaving a confession letter of murder.

Q6. While leaving-the judge’s lodge the Chief Constable says, “It has been a most interesting experience.” Why does he say so?

Ans. Chief Constable says that because he has solved a mysterious case with the help of the judge and Brodie.

Q7. Why has the play been given the title ‘A Basketful of Sea-Trout?

Ans. The title “A basketful of sea trout” has great significance and appropriation. Mrs. Lomond had been feeling on tenterhooks regarding her son. Though acquitted on not being found guilty, she strangely feared that her son would be re-arrested as the murder was shrouded in mystery. To save her son from being re-arrested Mrs. Lomond visited the judge ‘s lodge one night to confess her crime. She pretended to have come to thank the judge for having freed her son from the gallows. She had brought a basketful of sea trout as evidence of her gratitude. But the weather was not too good to catch fish as she said that she had caught them herself. Later it was confirmed that the lady had died before the fall of night in the afternoon. So, it could only have been her ghost. But strangely enough, at the end of the story, the basketful of sea trout was found under the arch near the door. So, it again created a mystery quite difficult to be untangled. Was the basketful of sea trout real or fake? Had the judge and Brodie seen Mrs. Lomond or the ghost? Had they experienced the whole episode in a dream or, in a sense? So, the basketful of sea trout plays the most important role in creating and solving the mystery. Hence, it is given the same title.


B. Answer these in about 250 words each.


Q1. How did the judge and Brodie deduce that Mrs. Lomond had killed Nellie Salter?

Ans. The play “A Basketful of Sea-Tout” is a mysterious, play. The play has four visible characters and some invisible characters. Brodie and the judge have conversations and discussions about the murder of Nellie Salter. No clear evidence as to who was involved in the murder had been found. Mrs. Lomond ‘s son, a lover of Nellie was arrested for interrogation. But he was later acquitted on not being found guilty by the court. Mrs. Lomond was also suspected but she evaded the issue on a perfect alibi. In the court, she said that on the day of the murder, she had been on the beach from dawn to dusk and had no information about Nellie ‘s movements on that day. The entry of Lomond during the discussion between Brodie and the judge on Nellie’s murder made them clear who is the murderer.


Mrs. Lomond came to the judge’s lodge during a pitch-dark night with a basketful of seatrout as a gift for the favour, she thought, he had shown favour in Hector ‘s acquittal. During her conversation with the judge and Brodie, she gave a detailed description of Nellie’s movements before her murder which was unexpected of her as in the court, she had totally denied having any information about Nellie’s movements on the day of her murder. She unveiled such facts about Nellie’s movements which were quite unknown to anyone else. Nellie is getting ready to meet an airman, her dressing for the occasion, her going up on the hillside, applying paint and powder, looking around on the hills and the lake was heard for the first time. She gave an accurate description of even the slightest movements of Nellie. She could also recall the words that Nellie uttered. The judge and his guest, Brodie was stupefied and surprised how she knew all that. Thus, they concluded that she must have followed Nellie Salter and then killed her.


Q2. Why did Mrs. Lomond come to the judge’s lodge? Give two reasons.

Ans. Mrs. Lomond was a middle-aged peasant woman. She was the mother of Hector Lomond. Hector was accused of Nellie’s murder and arrested by the police. Lomond admits in the court that she has murdered Nellie. She killed Nellie to save her son from her false love. Soon after her confession, Hector was released as innocent. Although she had killed Nellie, still her love and care towards her son perturb her mind. To clarify that her son might not be arrested again she came to the judge’s lodge. She told the whole story about how she murdered Nellie and confessed her crime before Brodie and the judge. This was one of the reasons she came to the judge’s lodge.

          The second reason was to thank the judge who saved her son’s life. She had also brought a basketful of sea-trout for both Brodie and judge as a gift of thanks. In this way to make them sure she was alive although she was dead and came there as a ghost to make sure for herself that her son was safe.



Language Work

What do the following phrases in the lesson mean?

1. The wind is dying down, 2. My cup of tea, 3. Solitary sort of fellow, 4. The untidy end, 5. Take one’s word, 6. Go wrong, 7. A clean sheet, 8. Wide awake, 9. Get in, 10. Break one’s heart


1. The wind is dying down: to become calm or quiet, subside

2. My cup of tea: something that I like

3. Solitary sort of fellow: a person who spends a lot of time alone

4. The untidy end: the death or end which is not clear, suspicious end

5. Take one’s word: to promise, to accept what one says

6. Go wrong: to make a mistake

7. A clean sheet: when people forget your behavour

8. Wide awake: unable to sleep, fully awake

9. Get in: arrive, come, appear

10. Break one’s heart: to make someone sad or unhappy.


Find other words that can be used instead of the word/words in italics without changing the meaning of the sentence. Your word must begin with P.


1. The wind makes a strange sound as it blows through the desert.

Ans. The wind makes a peculiar sound as it blows through the desert.

2. A group of farmers have come to Delhi to visit the Trade-Fair.

Ans. A group of peasants have come to Delhi to visit the Trade-Fair.

3. A judge, who is, honest, has no feelings for or against a criminal.

Ans. A judge, who is, honest has no passion for or against a criminal.

4. He asked me specially to convey his greetings to you.

Ans. He asked me particularly to convey his greetings to you.

5. The Colonel carefully organized the campaign which led to the overthrow of the toe, the enemy.

Ans. The Colonel carefully planned the campaign which led to the overthrow of the toe, enemy.

6. There is a small way through the fields which will take you to the next village.

Ans. There is a small path through the fields which will take you to the next village.

7. The officer thinks he is strong because he can appoint and dismiss clerks.

Ans. The officer thinks he is perfect/powerful because he can appoint and dismiss clerks.

8. The garden is nice. It is neither too hot nor too cold.

Ans. The garden is perfect. It is neither too hot nor too cold.



(i) Does Mrs. Lomond evoke sympathy or horror?

Give a reason for your answer.

Ans. Mrs. Lomond evoked horror in her mind as was afraid of her son might be rearrested by the court. To save her son from the clutches of law she admitted that she had murdered Nellie. She was apprehensive about her son. This haunted her mind and she came to judge’s lodge to clarify the innocence of her child.


(ii) Suppose the spirit of Nellie Salter enters the judge’s lodge. What do you think she will say or do?

Ans. If the spirit of Nellie Salter is supposed to enter the judge’s lodge, she will take her side and tell the whole story of her murder to the judge.

(iii) A person having a rational, scientific outlook does not believe in ghosts and spirits. What incidents in this play would such a person reject, not believe in?

Ans. Such a person would reject the incident that happened in the judge’s lodge when the ghost of Mrs. Lomond enters the lodge just like a real live human being. Even the Brodie and judge failed to identify the ghost. It seemed real to them. They were only aware of the death of Lomond from the colonel. They were astonished to see a basketful of sea trout under the arch.


Suggested Reading

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Doyle



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