NCERT English - Class 9

Beehive (Prose)

Chapter 11: If I Were You

Thinking about the Text

Question I:
Answer these questions.

1. “At last a sympathetic audience.”

  1. Who says this?
  2. Why does he say it?
  3. is he sarcastic or serious?>
  1. Gerrard says this.
  2. He says this because the intruder becomes sympathetic towards him.
  3. He is, no doubt, sarcastic.

2. Why does the intruder choose Gerrard as the man whose identity he wants to take on?


The intruder chose Gerrard as the man whose identity he wants to take on because he is a kind of a mystery man. He phones his orders and sometimes goes away suddenly and come back just the same.

3. “I said it with bullets.”

  1. Who says this?
  2. What does it mean?
  3. Is it the truth? What is the speaker’s reason for saying this?
  1. Gerrard says this.
  2. It means that he is not an ordinary person. He is very dangerous.
  3. NO, he wants that the intruder should change his idea of killing him.

4. What is Gerrard’s profession? Quote the parts of the play that support your answer.


Gerrard is a dramatist. He says, “Sorry I can’t let you have the props in time for rehearsal…

5. “You’ll soon stop being smart.”

  1. Who says this?
  2. Why does the speaker say it?
  3. What according to the speaker will stop Gerrard from being smart?
  1. The intruder says this.
  2. He says it because Gerrard does not seem afraid of his gun even.
  3. According to the speaker, the bullet will stop Gerrard from being smart.

6. “They can’t hang me twice.”

  1. Who says this?
  2. Why does the speaker say it?
  1. The intruder says this.
  2. The speaker says it because he wants to murder Gerrard. And he has already murdered someone. So the police cannot hang him twice.
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7. “A mystery I propose to explain.” What is the mystery the speaker proposes to explain?


The speaker wants that the intruder should explain what mystery is associated with him. The mystery is about Gerrard’s placing his orders on telephone. And he goes out suddenly and returns in the same way.

Question 8:

“This is your big surprise.”

  1. Where has this been said in the play?
  2. What is the surprise?
  1. Gerrard speaks this line. He tells the intruder that if he is not hanged for his murder, he will certainly be hanged being Vincent Charles Gerrard. At this time he utters these words.
  2. The big surprise is that Gerrard will not be killed by him. He is right in saying this.

Thinking about language

Question I:
Consult your dictionary and choose the correct word from the pairs given in brackets.

  1. The (site, cite) of the accident was (ghastly/ghostly).
  2. Our college (principle/principal) is very strict.
  3. I studied (continuously/continually) for eight hours.
  4. The fog had an adverse (affect/effect) on the traffic.
  5. Cezanne, the famous French painter, was a brilliant (artist/artiste).
  6. The book that you gave me yesterday is an extraordinary (collage/college) of science fiction and mystery.
  7. Our school will (host/hoist) an exhibition on cruelty to animals and wildlife conservation.
  8. Screw the lid tightly onto the top of the bottle and (shake/shape) well before using the contents.
  1. site, ghastly
  2. principal
  3. continuously
  4. effect
  5. artist
  6. collage
  7. host
  8. shake

Question II:
Irony is when we say one thing but mean another, usually the opposite of what we say. When someone makes a mistake and you say, “Oh ! that was clever !” that is irony. You’re saying ‘clever’ to mean ‘not clever’.

Expressions we often use in an ironic fashion are:

  • Oh, wasn’t that clever!/Oh that was clever!
  • You have been a great help, I must say!
  • You’ve got yourself into a lovely mess, haven’t you?
  • Oh, very funny !/How funny!

We use a slightly different tone of voice when we use these words ironically. Read the play carefully and find the words and expressions Gerrard uses in an ironic way. Then say what these expressions really mean. Two examples have been given below.

Write down three more such expressions along with what they really mean.

What the author says What he means
Why, this is a surprise, Mr— er— He pretends that the intruder is a social visitor whom he is welcoming. In this way he hides his fear.
At last a
He pretends that the intruder wants to listen to him, whereas actually the intruder wants to find out information for his own use.

What the author says What he means
1. At last a sympathetic audience! Gerrard means that his company is not a sympathetic audience because the intruder has got a gun in his hand.
2. You have been so modest. Gerrard means that the intruder has been immodest in not having told anything about himself.
3. With you figuring so largely in it, that is understandable Gerrard means that it is not understandable how anything about him is ‘surprising’.

Dictionary use

Look up the dictionary entries for the words sympathy, familiarity, comfort, care, and surprise. Use the information given in the dictionary and complete the table. [Add in table format, only the answer]

Noun Adjective Adverb Verb Meaning







Question 1:

Imagine you are Gerrard. Tell your friend what happened when the Intruder broke into your house.

[Clues: Describe (i) the Intruder—his appearance, the way he spoke, his plan, his movements, etc., (ii) how you outwitted him.


Yesterday I was standing near the telephone and an intruder entered my cottage. He had a gun in his hand and he tried to threaten me. He intended to kill me and shouted at me. The intruder forced me to tell everything about me. But I did not tell him the reality and misguided him. I told him that he would not gain anything after murdering me. I told him that I was to safeguard myself from the police. So I posted a man on the road. When we tried to come out of the cottage I locked him inside a cupboard and called the police. Eventually, the police arrested him.

Question 2:

Enact the play in the class. Pay special attention to words given in italics before a dialogue. These words will tell you whether the dialogue has to be said in a happy, sarcastic or ironic tone and how the characters move and what they do as they speak. Read these carefully before you enact the play.


For self attempt.


Question I:

Which of the words below describe Gerrard and which describe the Intruder?

smart  humorous   clever
beautiful   cool   confident
flashy   witty   nonchalant


Gerrard was smart, humorous, confident, witty and clever. He was cool. When the intruder broke into his cottage, he did not lose his patience and confidence. He cooked up a story, convinced the intruder and got rid of him. He showed his intelligence and presence of mind. He was nonchalant also. The intruder was smart, beautiful, flashy, clever and confident. He collected much information about Gerrard and planned his visit meticulously. He wore flashy clothes. He had the ability to make someone afraid of him. Moreover he was witty and answered Gerrard’s questions intelligently and sarcastically.

Question II:

Convert the play into a story (150-200 words). Your story should be as exciting and as witty as the play. Provide a suitable title to it. ‘Intelligence is powerful than strength’.


Gerrard is a dramatist who lives in a cottage. A very few people come to visit him. He rarely goes out. If he goes out, he comes back suddenly. Once an intruder enters his cottage who has a gun in his hands. Gerrard receives him with a warm welcome. The intruder asks many questions to him about his personal life. He answers his queries intelligently and thoughtfully. The intruder tells him that he wants to take on his identity because he is being chased by police as he has murdered a cop. But Gerrard tells him that he will not be benefited by killing him as he is also wanted. And he expects the police there tonight to arrest him. So, he asks him to run with him in the car. But when they are about to cross the door, Gerrard pushes him into the cupboard and slams it. Then he calls the police and gets him arrested.