The Old Clock Shop Summary, Explanation and Question Answer

By Jyoti Verma

NCERT Class 6 English A Pact with the Sun Book Chapter The Old Clock Shop Summary, Explanation and Question Answers

The Old Clock Shop-  NCERT Class 6 English A Pact With The Sun book Lesson The Old Clock Shop Summary and Detailed explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered.


This lesson expresses how honest and correct ways can win over any situation. With these ways, even robbers can be tackled rightly. The way Mr. Ray not only protected himself but showed the right path to the robbers as well.It conveys the message of peace and good for all.


The Old-Clock Shop Summary

It was Christmas eve and was closing time for shops.  An old-clock shop owner, Ray was still working on a clock. Two men, one in his twenties and one in his fifties entered Ray’s shop. Ray gave them a notepad and a pencil telling them that he was deaf and dumb through his sign language. Ray noticed that the man had a gun in his pocket. He thought that he had come to his shop to rob him. Understanding their dire need of money, Ray told the old man that he exchanged good sum of money with people against their watches or wall clocks. He did this for goodwill and not in want of earning interest or security against the things.
That old man showed his old wrist watch to Ray and Ray in return offered him a fifty dollar note. Both of them knew in their hearts that the watch was not of that high a price.But this made the man happy as he got money without hurting Ray and Ray also escaped from being hurt. Before leaving, the old man wrote to Ray that he would be back soon to get his watch.
The story concluded peacefully, giving a sweet and simple message of  “Peace on earth and goodwill towards all”.


The Old Clock Shop Explanation

Passage – CHRISTMAS Eve had arrived. As last-minute shoppers were going home, a thick, white sheet of snow lay over Salt Lake City, USA. Yet the lights were still burning in the old-clock shop, as Ray, its old, deaf owner, worked on a clock he had sold that day.

Explanation of the above passage – It was Christmas evening and it was the time to close shops at salt lake city in USA.But lights in Ray’s shop were on because he was repairing a clock that he had sold. Ray, the owner of the shop, was old and deaf.

Passage – Having finished his work, Ray stood up and was on his way to the back room when a cold rush of air from the front door hit the back of his neck.

Explanation of the above passage – After finishing his work, when Ray got up a cold wave of air touched his neck from the front door.

Passage – He turned to meet a last-minute shopper, but his old, wise eyes told him that this was not a shopper. He saw two men, one in his twenties, the other closer to fifty. The younger man remained at the door. The older man approached the counter with no sign of friendliness in his eyes. Ray was able to hide his growing fear as he slowly pushed a notepad and a pencil across the counter.

Explanation of the above passage – He turned to see the shopper who came to his shop at the last minute. But as a wise and experienced person, he noticed that they were not shoppers.He saw two men -one was young and the other was middle-aged. The younger man stopped at the door and the middle-aged came to the counter.His eyes were reflecting the cruelty of his heart.But somehow Ray wisely hid his fear and slowly pushed a notepad and a pencil towards them.

Passage – He smiled at the unfriendly face, then pointed to his ears and shook his head from side to side. A quick look of surprise changed the man’s face as he studied the notepad, then turned and said something to his friend.

Explanation of the above passage – The information on the notepad brought a change on man’s face. He smiled and then with his gestures pointing to his ears and shaking his head from one side to another told the other man  that he(The shopkeeper) was deaf.

Passage – Ray used the chance to look closely at the man, paying attention to the shape of a gun and a restless hand in the man’s right coat-pocket. Anger boiled within him, but it was kept down by an inner voice that said, “Be still.” He wrote on the notepad, “May I help you?” For the first time the older man looked directly at Ray and smiled. A cruel, mocking smile. They both understood why he was there, why his friend remained at the door. They looked like men who were down on their luck, and were now ready to try something they would later be sorry about.

Explanation of the above passage – This gave Ray some time to look and examine the man closely, he observed the shape of the gun and his hand movement in his coat’s right pocket. Ray was feeling angry inside but his wisdom asked him to cool down and be still. He asked the man writing on the notepad if he could help him. With this the man looked straight at Ray and smiled. It was a cruel smile as if making fun of something. They understood the reason for their being in the shop and of the one man standing outside at the door. Ray was looking at them as unlucky people who were trying something for which they could repent later.

Passage – The clocks ticked on. Ray calmly wrote another message. “Have you come to pick up a clock or watch?” Then he pointed to the ‘loan’ board filled with hanging clocks and pocket watches. He was not a pawnbroker, but at the same time couldn’t say ‘No’ to the needy people who placed their old watches or clocks before him for anything they could get. He loaned more than he should. They would be there when the owners wanted them back … at the same price he had paid, with no interest.

Explanation of the above passage – Ray knew at heart that these visitors were in need of money. Ray quietly asked writing a message if they had come to take a clock or watch. Understanding their need, Ray also pointed to the Loan Board filled with hanging clocks and pocket watches to tell them that he gave money as loan in exchange for people’s old watches and clocks. He was not a man who gave money to people to take some security in return or earn interest. Rather, Ray did all that to help needy people. It was because of his helping and kind nature.

Passage – Then the older man seemed to feel a little easier, took out his hand from his pocket and quickly looked at the watch on his wrist. “How much will you give me for this?” the man wrote.

Explanation of the above passage – This made the older man feel easy. He looked at his watch on his wrist and asked Ray what price he could offer him for that.

Passage – Ray noticed a little shame in the grey eyes looking at him. The watch was nothing special and yet had great powers. It was something to exchange, a way out of a bad situation. Knowing that great need had brought the man to his shop in the first place, Ray asked, “How much do you need for it?” The reply came back on the notepad: “Whatever it’s worth.”

Explanation of the above passage – Ray felt that the man was a little ashamed. The watch was not of great worth but it was special because with this Ray could turn around a bad situation and come out of  it safely. Understanding that man’s need and helplessness because of which he was into such a bad act Ray asked him what was his need? The man replied to Ray writing on the pad that  he should pay whatever was the worth of the watch.

Passage – Ray reached into his cash-box, pulled out a fifty-dollar note and passed it into the man’s hand. As they shook hands, Ray looked into the man’s eyes; they seemed to say, “Thank you!” They both knew the watch wasn’t worth that much. Before turning to leave, the man wrote, “I will be back to pick it up as soon as I can. Merry Christmas!”

Explanation of the above passage – Ray went to his cash box and took out  a fifty-dollar note . He handed it to the man.It made him happy. The man expressed gratitude. Both of them knew that the watch was not of that high price. Before leaving the man said that he would come back to take his watch as soon as possible and wished Merry Christmas!

Passage – The little story ended on the half hour with the clocks striking all together. The timepieces, which had been looking on silently all the while, rang out the time with such feeling that even Ray thought he could hear them. Their sweet, musical message was filled with hope. The timeless message of ‘Peace on earth, goodwill towards all’ was felt by the three men who stood in the old-clock shop.

Explanation of the above passage – The small story ended on the half hour with the clocks. They all strike that particular time together witnessing the whole incident.Their  musical striking bells produced a music which spread a message of hope and peace. The music was so sweet and impactful that it seemed as if  even deaf ears of Ray were also able to feel it. The sweet and hope filled message of goodwill towards others and peace on earth was felt by everyone. The message of peace and goodwill spreads everywhere as the old clocks chime Merry Christmas.


The Old Clock Shop Question Answers

Q1. What made Ray think the visitor was not really a shopper?
He thought so because of his own experience, their arrival at the last hour of time, no friendliness in his eyes, and the way one man stopped outside the door.

Q2. Why do you think he had come to the shop?
He came to rob money from the shopkeeper.

Q3. How did Ray communicate with him?
Ray was deaf so he communicated with them through gestures and by writing on the notepad.

Q4. What do you think the man said to his friend who waited at the door?
He said to his friend that the shopkeeper was deaf.

Q5. Ray was not a pawnbroker. Why then did he lend money to people in exchange for their old watches and clocks?
Ray was not a man who took security or earned interest in return of items. He lent money to people to help them. He did so because of his kind nature.

Q6. “The watch was nothing special and yet had great powers.” In what sense did it have ‘great powers’?
The  watch was ordinary but was special and great because it had the power to turn a bad situation. The man got money without troubling Ray and Ray escaped from any hurt. In this sense, it had great power.

Q7. Do you think the man would ever come back to pick up the watch?
No, I don’t think so because he got a much higher price for his watch.

Q8. When did “the unfriendly face” of the visitor turn truly friendly?
It turned truly friendly when he received a higher price for his watch.


Also See: Class 6 CBSE English Lessons