How It Happened Questions and  Answers Class 11 Alternative English book seasons AHSEC Assam Board and summary of the chapter along with textual and important notes or solutions. The author is Arthur Conan Doyle.



The story describes a man who is returning home and getting off the train at the station. He meets his chauffeur Perkins who was waiting for him outside the station. He then sees the big new car of polished brass and is excited about the prospect of driving his new Robur car. He tells Perkins that he would like to drive the car to which Perkins kindly responds by saying that the gear system of the new car was slightly different and required some getting used to. The owner is confident that he will be able to manage and they begin their drive home with Perkins in the passenger seat.  The journey starts off fine but the man soon realises that the car is a
little difficult to control. He manages to somehow keep the car on track but they soon arrive at a very perilous part of the journey called Claystall Hill which the author calls "one of the worst hills in England" with three very sharp turns. Perkins behaved very calmly even though his master was struggling to control the car. After managing the first two curves, the man takes the third turn and that's where things go wrong. He was almost reaching his house when the car rams into the post of his own gate and the author remembers being flung away from the car. When he regains his senses, he finds his old friend Stanley standing by him and since everything seemed to be in a dreamy state, he did not question Stanley's sudden presence there with him. He sees a crowd of people gathering around the car and also hears Perkins ask after him. When he responds by saying that he is right there, nobody seems to hear or notice him. Stanley then asks if it was painful and the man replies in the negative and Stanley says that there never is any pain. It is at this moment that the author realises that Stanley died in the Boer War many years ago. He utters these words to Stanley and Stanley smiles saying that even he was dead.

Arthur Conan Doyle carefully builds the plot and presents the narrative from the perspective of a man who is no longer alive and thus the reference to the writing medium at the beginning of the play who is the one who perhaps penned down this narrative.

Textual Questions Answers


I. Answer these questions in one or two words.

1. Who was Perkins?
Ans: The author's chauffeur

2. What is the name of the vehicle mentioned in the story?
Ans: Robur

3. What did Stanley die of?
Ans: Typhoid fever

4. Where did the car crash?
Ans: Gate of the house

5. How many sharp curves did Claystall Hill have?
Ans: Three 

II. Answer these questions in a few words each.

1. What was whirring like a high wind?
The wheels of the car were whirring like a high wind.

2. Why is Perkins said to have been "splendid" in his behaviour?
Perkins is said to have been "splendid" in his behaviour because he was perfectly cool and alert while the author was losing control of the car.

3. What are the brakes of the vehicle known as?
The brakes of the vehicle were described as Notches on a bar.

4. Where did the narrator meet Stanley a few years prior to the incident?
The narrator met Stanley at college a few years prior to the incident.

5. Why did the narrator feel no pain?
The narrator felt no pain as he was already dead.

III. Answer these questions briefly in your own words.

1. Why did the narrator feel that he was 'like a man in a dream'?
The narrator felt like he was in a dream because he was in a daze after his car crashed. He was so shocked that he didn't really know what was happening. He thought he was dreaming, but he was actually dead. He was looking on at the scene from another dimension.

2. Give a brief description of the vehicle mentioned in the story.
The vehicle mentioned in the story was a new thirty horse-power Robur which had a big motor, glaring head-lights and a glitter of polished brass which had a new
the mechanism for the shifting of gears where you had to push the gear lever through a gate to get onto the higher ones.

3. What is the narrator's view about foolishness?
The narrator believed that people sometimes do foolish things, but they don't always have to suffer severe consequences for their actions. The narrator thought that trying to learn something new in the dark was a foolish act, but he comforted himself by convincing himself that it might not lead to serious problems.

4. What did the narrator and Perkins do when they realised that the open gate lay in front of them?
When the narrator and Perkins noticed that the gate was open and directly ahead of them, the narrator quickly turned the steering wheel as hard as he could. Both he and Perkins then threw their bodies inside the car. As a result, the right front wheel of the car collided with the right-hand pillar of the gate.

5. Why was the narrator amazed when the actual status of Stanley dawned upon him?
The narrator was shocked when he finally understood the truth about Stanley. He realized that Stanley had died from typhoid fever during the Boer War a long time ago.

IV. Answer these questions in detail.

1. Comment on the significance of the ending of the story.
The story starts with the narrator getting off a train and going home in his new car with his chauffeur. Unfortunately, they have an accident, and the narrator dies. The twist at the end is that we don't realize the narrator is actually dead until the very end of the story. Throughout the story, the conversations and events seem normal, as if everything is happening in the real world. Only later do we find out that both the narrator and the chauffeur, Perkins, are actually dead. This surprise ending is significant because we follow the narrator's journey from the train station when he was alive until the moment of his death, without realizing it. It's a shocking revelation when we finally understand what happened.

2. Describe the drive undertaken by the narrator from the station to his home.
The narrator drove the car well until they reached Claystall Hill, which he considered one of the worst hills in England. The hill was a mile and a half long, very steep in some places, and had three sharp curves. As they reached the top of the hill, problems began because it was the steepest part. The car's gears got stuck and wouldn't shift when the narrator tried to change them. He was driving at full speed and managed to handle the first two curves, but the third one was difficult to control. The narrator's house was at the bottom of this third curve, on the main London Road. Unfortunately, he crashed into the gate of his house, and then he recalls flying out of the car. This was the moment he died, and it happened during this drive from the train station just a little while ago.