Unit 16 : Fantasy Excercise Solution
(The Romance of a Busy Broker)

Working with words

A. Match the following words with their definitions.

a. snappy
irritable and inclined to speak sharply

b. discretion
the ability to behave without causing embarrassment or attracting too much attention

c. radiant
showing great happiness, love or health

d. irresolute
not able to decide what to do

e. brusque
using very few words and sounding rude

f. fitful
a quiet period between times of activity

g. harlequin
a humorous character in some traditional plays

h. lull
happening only for short periods

i. janitress
a lady whose job is to take care of a building such as a school or a block of flats

j. speck
a very small spot

B. Consult a dictionary or search over the internet and write definitions of the following terminologies used in the stock market.


a.Liquidity: Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset can be bought and sold at stable prices.

b.IPO: An initial public offering (IPO) is the first time a company issues a share to the public. This is when a private company decides to go ‘public’

c.NEPSE:NEPSE stands for Nepal Stock Exchange. It is the only stock exchange in Nepal which imparts free marketability and liquidity to the government and corporate securities by facilitating transactions in its trading floor through members, market intermediaries, such as a broker, market makers, etc.

d.Index: An index is a statistical measure that shows changes taking place in the stock market

e. Portfolio:A portfolio is a collection of financial investments like stocks bonds, commodities, cash, and cash equivalents, including closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds.

f.Dividend: The dividend is a sum of money paid regularly (typically annually) by a company to its shareholders out of its profits. 

g.Turn over: Turnover is a measure of stock liquidity that is calculated by dividing the total number of shares traded during some period by the average number of shares outstanding for the same period. 

h.Margin: Margin is the money borrowed from a broker to purchase an investment and is the difference between the total value of an investment and the loan amount.

C.Based on the pronunciation, find the odd word from the following groups.


a. see

b. saved

c. hare

d. saw

e. book

f. past

g. sale

h. bowl

i. torn

j. sure


A. Write ‘T’ for true statements, ‘F’ for false ones or ‘NG’ if the information is not given in the text.

a. Harvey Maxwell was a stock broker. T
b. He was not happy with his clerk, Pitcher. NG
c. Miss Leslie had been married to Maxell for a year. F
d. Maxwell had hired a machine to work in his office. NG
e. He had instructed Pitcher to get a new stenographer. T
f. Miss Leslie was amazed by Maxwell’s proposal. T
g. She thought that he had probably gone mad. F
h. She realized that he had been absent-minded due to his business. T

B.Answer the following questions.

a.How did Maxwell enter his office?

Ans.: Maxwell entered his office briskly with his young lady stenographer. He snappily wished good morning to Pitcher – a clerk and dashed at his desk as though he were intending to leap over it. After this, he plunged into the great heap of letters and telegrams waiting there for him.

b.Describe the physical appearance of the young lady. 

Ans.: The young lady was beautiful wearing a grey and plain dress with bright eyes and peachblow like cheeks.

The young lady had been Maxwell’s stenographer for a year. She was beautiful in a way that was decidedly unstenographic. She forewent the pomp of the alluring pompadour. She wore no chains, bracelets or lockets. She had not the air of being about to accept an invitation to luncheon. Her dress was grey and plain, but it fitted her figure with fidelity and discretion. In her neat black turban hat was the gold-green wing of a macaw. She was softly and shyly radiant. Her eyes were dreamily bright, her cheeks genuine peachblow, her expression a happy one, tinged with reminiscence. 

c.What changes did Pitcher notice in the young lady? 

Ans.: Pitcher noticed that the young lady, instead of going straight into the adjoining room, where her desk was, lingered, slightly irresolute, in the outer office. Once she moved over by Maxwell’s desk, near enough for him to be aware of her presence.

d.What was Pitcher’s reply to the young lady concerning a new stenographer? 

Ans.: When the young lady asked Pitcher about a new stenographer, Pitcher replied that Maxwell had told the Pitcher to get another stenographer. And, Pitcher too had notified the agency earlier day to send over a few samples the next morning. And, though it was 9.45 o’clock, none of the candidates had come till the time.

e. What proposal did Maxwell make with Miss Leslie ? 

Ans: Maxwell made a marriage proposal with Miss Leslie.

f. How did she react to his proposal?

Ans.: When Maxwell proposed Miss Leslie for the marriage, she acted very queerly and overcame with amazement; then tears flowed from her wondering eyes; and then she smiled sunnily through them, and one of her arms slid tenderly about the broker’s neck. Though she was frightened at first, she realizes that this was all due to her husband’s hectic life. And, at last, Leslie reminds her husband Maxwell that they had married last evening at 8 o’clock.

Critical thinking

a.What message does the writer want to give by presenting Maxwell as an extremely absent-minded person ? 

Ans.: An absent-minded person is one who is lost in thoughts and unaware of one’s surroundings or actions. The writer represents Maxwell as a busy broker who always checks and works on telegrams, telephones and his business. Leslie in the text quietly declares that Maxwell was getting more and more absent-minded and forgetful as days passed. As the day progresses, the speed of business grows faster, and Maxwell is working like a machine. He is lost in the world of finance-stocks, bonds, loans, shares and securities at the end of the text, Maxwell proposes to his wife to marry him which signifies his absent-mindedness because they were already married a day ago in a nearby church.

The writer tries to tell us how a person can immerse himself so much into his business that he leaves little room for any other aspects of his life. Also, he denotes, Harvey as a robot and all the people who work for him as machines. In short, the writer’s satirizes the hectic life of modern-day people who are so immensely engaged in the work that they even lose their common sense and significant events of their life. In fact, the human being has turned into a robot at the present time.

b.Imagine you are Miss Leslie. Write how you were troubled emotionally when your own husband came to you and made a marriage proposal. 

Ans.: I am Miss Leslie. I used to work as a stenographer in the broker office of my husband Harvey Maxwell. The next day, after my marriage, I was feeling romantic to work in my own husband’s office. During the lunch time, my husband came near to me and he proposed me to marry with him. At first glance, I was shocked. I acted very queerly and overcame with amazement; then tears flowed from my wondering eyes; and then I smiled sunnily through them, and one of my arms slid tenderly about my husband’s neck. Though I was frightened at first, I soon realized that this was all due to my husband’s hectic life. And, a last, I reminded my husband Maxwell that we had already married last evening at 8 o’clock.


Summarize the following part of “The Romance of a Busy Broker”. Consider the following points while writing the summary.


She looked up at him with a smile. A soft pink crept over her cheek, and her eyes were kind and frank. Maxwell leaned one elbow on her desk. He still clutched fluttering papers with both hands and the pen was above his ear.

“Miss Leslie,” he began hurriedly, “I have but a moment to spare. I want to say something in that moment. Will you be my wife? I haven’t had time to make love to you in the ordinary way, but I really do love you. Talk quick, please–those fellows are clubbing the stuffing out of Union Pacific.”

“Oh, what are you talking about?” exclaimed the young lady. She rose to her feet and gazed upon him, round-eyed.

“Don’t you understand?” said Maxwell, restively. “I want you to marry me. I love you, Miss Leslie. I wanted to tell you, and I snatched a minute when things had slackened up a bit. They’re calling me for the phone now. Tell ’em to wait a minute, Pitcher. Won’t you, Miss Leslie?”

The stenographer acted very queerly. At first she seemed overcome with amazement; then tears flowed from her wondering eyes; and then she smiled sunnily through them, and one of her slid tenderly about the broker’s neck.arms head for the time. I was frightened at first. Don’t you remember. Harvey? We were married last “I know now,” she said, softly. “It’s this old business that has driven everything else out of your evening at 8 o’clock in the Little Church around the Corner.”

Summary Notes

Main Idea: Maxwell forgot his own marriage with Miss Leslie. 

Key Points

  1. Miss smiled when she saw Maxwell.
  2. Maxwell proposed Leslie to marry with him.
  3. Leslie was shocked at this.
  4. She realized that her husband’s hectic life made him forget.
  5. She reminded Maxwell that they were married last evening.


When stenographer – the lady looked at him with a smile, Maxwell – the broker leaned one elbow on her desk and hurriedly proposed her to be his wife. The stenographer was shocked at this and the tears flowed from her wondering eyes and she soon realized that this was all due to the old business that has driven everything else out of Maxwell’s head. She slid one of her arms about the broker’s neck and reminded him that they were married last evening.


A. Study the following sentences and underline the relative clauses.

a. I snatched a minute when things had slackened a minute.
b. Instead of going straight into the adjoining room, where her desk was, she lingered slightly irresolute in the outer office.
c. She was beautiful in a way that was decidedly stenographic.

B. Fill in the blanks with suitable relative pronouns: who, which, that, whom, whose, where, why, how, what or when.

a. There is a lady whose wallet has been stolen.
b. Do you know the man who sold these glasses?
c. The knife which you cut the bread with is very sharp.
d. Why do you blame him for everything that goes wrong?
e. A cemetery is a place where dead bodies are buried.
f. This school is for those children whose mother tongue is not Nepali.
g. I don’t know the name of the person whom I spoke over the telephone.
h. I came to Kathmandu on the day when the devastating earthquake took place.
i. In the application form she wrote when she needed a good payment.
j. The pilot explained why he made force landing on the road.

C. Join the following pairs of sentences using who, which, that, whose, whom, where, when or what.

a. The building was destroyed in the fire. It has now been rebuilt.

The building which was destroyed in the fire, has now been rebuilt.

b. A new cricket stadium is being made in Chitwan. It can accommodate one hundred thousand people.

A new cricket stadium which is being made in Chitwan, can accommodate one hundred thousand people.

c. Shanghai is the most populated city in the world. I stayed there for five years.

Shanghai, where I stayed there for five years, is the most populated city in the world.

d. This is the man. I gave some money to him this morning.

This is the man whom I gave some money this morning.

e. Do know the man? His son was awarded in the school yesterday.

Do you know the man whose son was awarded in the school yesterday?

f. His step-mother was not very kind to him. He had been staying with her.

His step-mother, with whom he had been staying, was not very kind to him.

g. He can never forget Nakkhu Jail. He had spent 14 years there.

He can never forget Nakkhu Jail where he had spent 14 years.

h. He showed me his new tab. He had paid a hundred thousand rupees for it.

He showed me his new tab for which he had paid a hundred thousand rupees.

i. Nelson Mandela joined ANC in 1930s. He was a student then.

Nelson Mandela joined ANC in 1930s when he was a student.

j. She forgot to buy the things. Her mother had told to buy them.

She forgot to buy the things which her mother had told her to buy.