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Thread: Outwitted I

          
   
  1. #1
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    Outwitted I

    We were all very excited. This holiday was to
    be spent in Dindigul where Grandpa had decided to settle down, because the climate there was
    good for people with weak lungs. His doctor had
    said that the damp sea air of Madras would not
    suit Grandpa any more.
    Dindigul is near a hill station called Kodaikanal, from where fruits and vegetables came to
    market every day by lorry and cart. In Dindigul
    itself one could get excellent bananas and grapes, as well as many varieties of vegetables and
    milk too. So, in every way it was an ideal place
    for Grandpa, who had been advised to eat lots of
    vegetables and drink plenty of milk.
    The house was an old fashioned one with many
    rooms, a large garden, a cowshed, and a well.
    Granny, who had lived in a village, had decided
    to keep a cow, and said she would show us how
    to draw water from the well.
    "I will teach you how to milk a cow, too," she
    said and laughed.
    Our neighbours told us to be veiy careful at
    night, to lock all our doors and windows, because
    99 a gang of burglars had been on the prowl for
    some time. The police had not been able to catch
    them, though they had tried ever so hard.
    The doors in our house had heavy iron bolts
    and the windows had bars. In one room, there
    was an iron safe built into the wall, and the family
    jewels and money were kept in this.
    "How can any burglar break open this safe?"
    Grandpa asked.
    One night, when we were fast asleep, the burglars came! They were not ordinary thieves. They
    came armed with knives and clubs. They did not
    try to open the doors or windows. Instead, they
    made a big hole in the wall and entered the
    house through it.
    Though our neighbours had told us to close all
    the doors and windows leading to each room and
    not to sleep in the outer rooms, Grandpa had not
    followed their advice. So the burglars were able
    to go straight into his room.
    The leader, a huge dark man, with long black
    hair, pulled Grandpa out of bed and asked him
    where the jewellery and money were kept. Grandpa refused to answer. One of the men stabbed him
    and he fell to the ground, bleeding.
    "Come, I'll show you where it is," said Granny
    coolly.
    My father came in just then and tried to grab
    one of the thieves. Granny pushed him away.

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    "Keep quiet," she said. "It is no use. They will
    stab or kill you. Look after your father."
    She took them into the room where the safe
    was and gave them the keys.
    "Take whatever you want, only don't hurt any
    of us," she said.
    The robbers wanted the ornaments she was
    wearing and my mother's too. Both were allowed
    to keep their wedding necklaces.
    "All right, now go out!" she was told.
    My grandmother was a clever woman. The robbers were so busy opening the safe and admiring
    the jewels, they did not notice that when she went
    out, she not only closed the door, but bolted it
    from outside! There was no other way of getting
    out, and the door could not be broken open easily.
    Inside the room, the men yelled, cursed, and
    banged on the door. Granny laughed and said to
    my father, "Run and call the police and a doctor,
    quick! Children, you go to the front yard and
    shout. Tell our neighbours we have caught the
    thieves!"
    We were crying and shivering with fright.
    Granny said, "They can't harm you now. Be
    brave and do as I tell you."
    In those days there were no telephones in that
    area. Father drove to the police station. Our
    neighbours, hearing the commotion, came rushing
    to our house.
    102 Granny and my mother washed and bandaged Grandpa's wound, which was a deep cut. It
    was the first time I had seen so much blood and
    I felt sick and dizzy.
    Soon the police came and the doctor too. The
    robbers were handcuffed and taken away. Everyone was happy that this gang, which had so terrorised the town and surrounding villages, had at
    last been caught.
    "Just imagine an old woman catching them
    when even the police couldn't!" they kept saying.
    Granny was rewarded in cash. She gave the
    money to the hospital where Grandpa had been
    admitted. He was there for a month and came out
    with a big scar, of which he was very proud.
    He told people that he got it defending us
    against the robbers! Granny kept mum, a mischievous grin on her wrinkled face.

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