NIOS Class 12 English: Chapter 13 Summary of- ‘the TIGER in the TUNNEL’

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Section 13.1 Summary of - ‘Tembu and His Father in Jungle’

This is story of a young boy named Tembu and his father, who are alone in a hut in the dark and silent night at the jungle. Soon the father leaves Tembu alone and goes out into the jungle. Where does he go and why? Let us find out below.

  • When Tembu opened his eyes in the dark and wondered, his father was ready to leave the hut on his nightly errand.
  • There was no moon that night, and the jungle was deathly silence everywhere which was only broken by sound of cicada՚s cry, the hollow hammering of a woodpecker or the grunt of a wild boar could be heard as he dug up a favourite root.
  • Still forest was so silent because these sounds were rare.
  • Watchman Baldeo was awake in this midnight and he stretched himself slowly unwinding the heavy shawl that covered him.
  • He was shivering because of chill air.
  • It was station for name only which was between heavy jungle where trains only stopped for a few seconds before entering the deep cutting that led to the tunnel. And most trains only slowed down before taking the sharp curve before cutting.
  • Baldeo have to guide the trains by giving signal with manual signal which was stood before the entrance whether tunnel was clear of obstructions or not.
  • He also has to look up for lamp which must have to be burn all the night, and that the overland mail passed through safely.
  • Tembu was sleeping in a huddle at the corner of the hut and he asked his father ‘Shall I come too, Father?’
  • His father said no to him as it was frizzing outside.
  • Tembu usually stay with his mom and small sister in small tribal village which was outside from forest and 3 miles away from station.
  • They had small rice farms which could not provide enough for the family, so Baldeo considered himself lucky to have got the job of Khalasi at this small wayside signal stop.
  • Baldeo was still feeling sleepy but he groped for his lamp in darkness then fumbled about in search of matches.
  • When he had produced a light he left the hut, closed the door behind him and set off along the permanent way.
  • And Tembu had fallen asleep again.

Section 13.2 Summary of - ‘Baldeo՚s Job’

Baldeo goes out in to thick forest at midnight to do his job, but forest is full of dangerous animal let us find out what happen next.

  • Baldeo was in doubt whether the lamp on the signal-post was still alight. He was walking and stumbling with rails or with ballast. He was longing for getting back to his warm corner in the hut by gathering his shawl closer to him.
  • The place looks threatening because of eeriness which was increased by the neighbouring hills which overhung the main line threateningly.
  • Baldeo was afraid by thinking about wild animals as he was entering the cutting with its sheer rock walls towering high above the rails.
  • He had heard many times about famous tunnel tiger՚s story who frequently spot in tunnel, which is a man-eater but he do not believed these stories because he hadn՚t seen or hear a tiger since his arrival at this place a month ago.
  • Panthers are common around the tunnel but only a few days ago the villagers had killed one with their spears and axes.
  • Baldeo also had occasionally heard the sawing of a panther calling to its mate, but they had not come near the tunnel or shed. Baldeo walked confidently because he was tribal and used to the jungle and its ways.
  • He used to carry a small axe which was delicate but deadly when in use just as his fore-fathers. And he was good in wielding axe against wild animals.
  • Ones he had killed a young boar with the axe and the family had feasted on the flesh for three days.
  • The axe-head was of pure steel, thin but ringing true like a bell which was made by his father over a charcoal fire.
  • He never forgets to carry his axe whether he went to the local market seven miles away, or to a tribal dance.
  • Ones official who had come to the station had offered him good money for the axe, but Baldeo refuse his offer.
  • The cutting curved sharply, and in the darkness the black entrance to the tunnel looked up menacingly.
  • The signal-light was out. Baldeo had to haul the lamp down by its chain. If the oil had finished, he would have to return to the hut for more. But the mail train was due in five minutes. He again fumbled for his matches.
  • Suddenly he stood still and listen scaring cry of a barking deer followed by a crashing sound in the undergrowth. Baldeo checked lamp in hurry but there was still a little oil in the lamp, and after an instant՚s hesitation he lit the lamp again and hoisted it into position.
  • After this he walked down the tunnel fast, swinging his own lamp, so that the shadows leapt up and down the soot-stained walls, and having made sure that the line was clear, he returned to the entrance and sat down to wait for the mail train. The train was late.
  • Sitting huddled up and he was felling sleepy; he soon falls asleep and forgot about surroundings.
  • Whereas in the hut, Tembu sat up rubbing the sleep from eyes because of the trembling of the ground told of the approach of the train, and a low, distant rumble.
  • Tembu said ‘Father, it՚s time to light the lamp,’ but then he realizes that his father had been gone some time, he lay down again, but he was wide awake now, waiting for the train to pass, waiting for his father՚s returning footsteps.

Section 13.3 Summary of - ‘Baldeo in Danger’

Baldeo was in dangerous situation. How does he deal with it? Let us find out.

  • Baldeo awake suddenly after hearing a low grunt resound from the top of the cutting.
  • He knows that only a tiger could emit such a sound and he became all alert
  • Baldeo hold his axe tight because there was no any shelter for him.
  • He tries get idea about the direction from which the animal was approaching.
  • There was only silence all-around even the usual jungle noises also stopped.
  • Baldeo gets idea that the tiger had sprung into the cutting by hearing thump and the rattle of small stones.
  • Baldeo listen very carefully to get idea about whether the tiger was coming from tunnel or going in direction of hut, where Tembu was lying unprotected.
  • Within a minute he wonders that the huge body of the tiger trotting steadily towards him. Tiger eyes were shining a brilliant green in the light from the signal lamp.
  • Baldeo thinks that running away is not possible because in the dark the tiger would be more sure-footed than Baldeo and would soon be upon him from behind.
  • Baldeo stood with his back to the signal – post, he was staring at the great brute moving rapidly towards him without doing any movement.
  • The tiger was coming towards Baldeo without any fear because he was used to the ways of men and had been hunting them for years.
  • Tiger run quickly and a snarl struck out with its right paw, expecting to bowl over Baldeo who dared stand in the way.
  • Baldeo was ready for tiger՚s attack a spectacularly agile leap he avoided the paw and brought his axe down on the animal՚s shoulder.
  • The tiger came closer with big roar but again Baldeo drove his axe and now i was caught on the shoulder of tiger and also cut the leg.
  • But the axe stuck in the bone which make situation even worst for Baldeo now he do not have any other weapon.
  • The tiger was roaring with pain and now sprang angrily upon Baldeo, he bring down Baldeo and then tearing at his broken body.
  • Within few minutes Baldeo was conscious only of a searing pain down his back, and then there was blackness and the night closed in on him forever.