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The Midnight Visitor Robert Arthur

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1 The Midnight Visitor Robert Arthur
Lesson Eleven The Midnight Visitor Robert Arthur

2 Teaching Procedures Introduction to the background knowledge
The structure of the text Detailed discussion of the text Conclusion of the text Assignment

3 I. Espionage and related terms
1. spy 2. espionage 3. international spy 4. double agent 5. secret agent 6. secret service 7. special agent 8. intelligence 9. intelligence agency 10. counterintelligence agency 11. spy movies 12. detective stories 1. 间谍 2. 侦察、谍报 3. 国际间谍 4. 双重间谍 5. 秘密特工 6. 特工处 7. 特工 8. 情报 9. 间谍机构 10. 反间谍机构 11. 间谍片 12. 侦探故事

4 II. FBI and CIA FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
On July 26 in the year 1908, during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, Attorney General Charles Bonaparte ordered 9 newly hired detectives, 13 civil rights investigators, and 12 accountants to take on investigative assignments in areas such as antitrust, peonage, and land fraud. Ninety-six years later, that small group of 34 investigators has grown into a cadre of over 28,000 employees. The FBI also participated in intelligence collection. Its highly skilled and inventive staff cooperated with engineers, scientists, and cryptographers in other agencies to enable the United States to penetrate and sometimes control the flow of information from the belligerents in the Western Hemisphere.

5 II. FBI and CIA CIA (Central Intelligence Administration)
The United States has carried out intelligence activities since the days of George Washington, but only since World War II have they been coordinated on a government-wide basis. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed New York lawyer and war hero, William J. Donovan, to become first the coordinator of information, then, after the US entered World War II become head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in The OSS—the forerunner to the CIA—had a mandate to collect and analyze strategic information. After World War II, however, the OSS was abolished along with many other war agencies and its functions transferred to the State and War Departments.

6 II. FBI and CIA It did not take long before President Truman recognized the need for a postwar, centralized intelligence organization. Truman reviewed several plans and soon created a small office Central Intelligence Group (CIG) to screen and evaluate the large amount of information and reports flowing into the White House. The Truman administration later decided this new office didn’t meet all their needs plus it was never fully accepted by the military or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). President Truman also feared another Pearl Harbor and that the Russians would attack the US. To make a fully functional intelligence office, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 establishing the CIA.

7 The structure of the text
Part 1 (paras. 1—5): Who Ausable is. & why Fowler wants to see him. Part 2 (paras.6-16): The unexpected visit of Ausable’s adversary Max. Part 3 (paras.17-26): How Ausable outwits Max and makes him jump on the “balcony”.

8 Detailed Discussion of the Text
Ausable was, for one thing, fat… Though he spoke French and German passably, he had never altogether lost the New England accent he had brought to Paris from Boston twenty years ago (para. 2) Ausable was, for one reason, fat… His French and German were not very good, but acceptable. Although he had been in Paris for twenty years, he never lost the American accent.

9 Ausable said wheezily… (para. 3)
Ausable was so fat that he had difficulty breathing.

10 … a sloppy fat man who, instead of having messages slipped into his hand by dark-eyed beauties, gets only an ordinary telephone call making an appointment in his room. (para. 4) … an untidy fat man just has an ordinary phone call agreeing to meet somebody later in his room. There are no other imagined things as a beautiful lady with dark eyes putting a slip of message secretly into his hand.

11 Before long you will see a paper, a quite important paper for which several men and women have risked their lives, come to me in the next-to-last step of its journey into official hands. (para. 5) Soon you will see a document/a report come to me. Several people took chances in order to get it. When I receive the paper, I will place it in the hands of the proper authorities. By then I will have fulfilled my mission.

12 For halfway across the room, a small automatic pistol in his hand, stood a man. (para. 6)
In the middle of the room, there was a man with a small automatic pistol in his hand.

13 I’m going to raise the devil with the management this time. (para. 11)
He was making up a story, which turned out to be a trap for Max. To make Max swallow this bait, Ausable pretended to be angry with the management and explained to Fowler (not to Max) why he was going to complain to the management about the balcony.

14 It might have saved me some trouble had I known about it. (para. 12)
If I had known about it, I would not have spent so much effort.

15 I wish I knew how you learned about the report, … (para. 15)
I want to know how you succeeded in finding out the report, but I have no idea.

16 Keeping his body twisted so that his gun still covered the fat man and his guest, … (para. 22)
He twisted his body in order to point his gun right at the fat man and his guest .

17 Conclusion of the text This is a common story of a secret agent or international spy. What is uncommon is the way the author describes this character. Ausable does not fit the description of secret agents in Hollywood movies or popular literature. But it is precisely this commonness that makes him so uncommon. The author is very clever in portraying him in this way in contrast to the general image because it makes the story fresh, unexpected and dramatic. This story will be good for making character sketches or retelling. It may also be a good idea to ask the students to turn it into a little play and act it out.

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