The Man Who Knew Too Much
Private Quelch was not an ordinary soldier under training. Even though he was in his initial years of training, Private Quelch had the attitude of one who had a great ambition in life. He wanted to become an officer soon and rise to higher ranks in the army. For this he worked, day and night, read books and revised his army lessons.
Even though he knew much more than what a soldier should know, Private Quelch had a weakness; he used to exhibit his knowledge where ever he got a chance. He questioned his instructors, corrected his lecturers and sermonized his fellow soldiers.
His tone was that of condscending.He interrupted the trainers. He replies to the sergeant proudly,”it is a matter or intelligent reading”, when the latter asked him how he got all this knowledge. He used to read enormously. He borrowed training manuals and burnt the midnight oil to learn them.
He was Mr. Show off. He was arrogant. He was self-righteous. He even badgered the instructors with questions.
He had even a great stamina. He would ask his fellow trainees/ soldiers for a walk after a tiring ’30 miles walk’. Once he corrected one of his instructors, Corporal Turnbull, while the latter was giving a lecture on hand grenade and got the most shameful punishment that he could ever get; permanent cook house in-charge. Was that the end of a man who knew too much?
It is indisputable that he was industrious, intelligent and ambitious. As it is said. ” Pride goes before fall’, he dug his own pit. His arrogance led to his own downfall. The lesson teaches us the need of humility and moderation in our thoughts, words and deeds however intelligent we could be. We should never be pompous and snobbish. We should never underestimate or belittle anybody.
Lesson at a glance
- This is an army story. The narrator was under training.
- Among the trainees, Private Quelch was a remarkable man.
- The narrator and the rest of the trainees nicknamed him – Professor.
- Because he knew TOO MUCH about every branch of science he was always the first, the smartest, the fastest, the most noticed, the most discussed and the MOST HATED and envied.
- He questioned and corrected lecturers during their instructions.
- He knew answers more accurately than his instructors. His presence was an embarrassment for the instructors.
- He answered all the questions and left the instructor speechless.
- He was able to recognize a fighter plane miles away without even looking up it.
- He saluted the best salutes and was ready to run another round when everyone else was tired and DEAD.
- He was focussed so he worked hard and read endlessly to understand more.
- This enormous knowledge once brought him troubles. The trouble was brought by Corporal Turnbull.
- As usual Private Quelch questioned Corporal Turnbull during his class. With growing dislike for Quelch, the Corporal asked Quelch to continue the class for him.
- Quelch gave a remarkable class and everyone was left spellbound.
- Having failed to retaliate/avenge thoughtless and condescending Quelch, the Corporal played another card.
- He announced that he was looking for the right person for an important appointment in the army institute. He didn’t tell them what the post was and for which department.
- Thinking that the appointment was very important and prestigious, every eye turned to Quelch, the most knowledgeable and the worthiest for any post!
- Thus the appointment was made. Quelch was unanimously chosen. And the post?
- Permanent Cookhouse In-charge!