Chapter Questions and Assignments
Created by Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Haileybury, ON
Chapter One – “ Dawn is Dangerous “
1. Who is telling the story?
2. Where does the story take place?
3. Find Cumberland County in an atlas.
4. Why are they leaving the house when it is still dark?
5. Where were Tom, Peter and their father headed that evening?
6. What is a beck?
7. What two things did Sir Philip Morton do that caused problems?
8. What assignment was Peter given after they reached the common land?
9. Why was dawn so dangerous, according to Peter?
10. How is Peter able to warn the men of an impending attack?
11. Explain how Peter narrowly escapes death.
12. What does Peter say at the end of the story, foreshadowing that he and his family may be in trouble?
Vocabulary: pike, peat, precipice, beadle, granite, inherited, livery, strode, rampart, shied Enrichment: Research the story of Romulus and Remus from ancient Rome. Find information about the story of Jericho (it is a biblical story).
Chapter Two – “Escape”
1. At what time of day did school begin for Peter?
2. Describe Nathaniel.
3. Why was Peter convinced that the old people envied his journey to school?
4. Why did George Bell go looking for Peter?
5. When did Peter realize that he was in serious trouble?
6. Why does Mr. Brownrigg insist that his son cannot remain at home?
7. Why is Peter happy about leaving home?
Vocabulary: envied, defied, Latin, stale, constable, flogging, canter, mutton, moor
Chapter Three – “Peril at Penrith”
1. What type of games did Peter and his friends play at the Stronghold when they were younger?
2. What is a peel?
3. How far was is from the Stronghold to Penrith?
4. Penrith had very narrow streets that led to a very large and spacious square in the centre of town. Why had the town been designed this
5. Who did Peter meet unexpectedly at the market?
6. What news did Peter receive about Sir Philip Morton?
7. What happened when Peter asked the travelling merchants if they needed a boy to help them?
8. How did Peter decide to take his mind off his homesickness?
9. Who was Peter shocked to see coming through the archway?
10. Where did Peter choose to hide?
Vocabulary: cluster, tarn, litter, squires, crag, swarthy, remedies, dubiously, skewer, insolent, magistrate, despair
Chapter Four – “There’s Safety in Coffins”
1. Describe Peter’s very first stage appearance.
2. What does Peter plan to do when he discovers that Sir Philip has set a watch or guard at all roads leading out of Penrith?
3. How is the second part of his plan foiled?
Vocabulary: discontent, trodden, pall, charity, doublets, mourners, poverty, chevied Enrichment: Pretend that you are Sir Philip Morton. In an attempt to capture Peter Brownrigg, design a wanted poster. Consider offering a reward.
On your poster, give a description of Peter and caution anyone who might assist in his escape that they, too, will face punishment from the law of the
Chapter Five – “Someone Was Watching”
1. Why were they unable to reach Kendal that night?
2. How did the group of actors react when they discovered Peter?
3. Why did William Desmond ask Peter if he could sing?
4. Explain what happened when the men on horseback discovered Peter hiding in the wagon.
5. How did the Desmonds react when Peter was discovered?
6. What happened to Christopher (Kit) Marlowe?
Vocabulary: suffocated, troupe, thimbleful, stammer, interjected, tethered, bracken, vagabond, motto, emphatically Enrichment: Find out who Christopher Marlowe was and list some of his works.
Chapter Six – “Rivals on the Road”
1. What does Kit Kirkstone say that he would like to do?
2. Why does Peter think that Kit is lying about his name?
3. What is the significance of the title of this chapter?
4. Locate Lancaster in an atlas.
5. What address did Peter notice on Kit’s envelope?
Vocabulary: gizzard, dagger, retorted, vacancies, mocking, sluicing, curtsy, contradict, farthing, meddle, inquisitive Enrichment: Shakespeare’s works are renowned for their use of puns. Explain what a pun is and then create some of your own.
Chapter Seven – “Who is Kit Kirkstone?”
1. What did the acting company have to secure in each town before they could perform?
2. Why did Peter say that Kit Kirkstone had spoiled things for him?
3. Give evidence that Kit often remained aloof from the other boys.
4. What is a cockfight?
5. Locate Abingdon in an atlas.
6. What reasons did half the company give for wanting to finish the tour in Abingdon?
7. Explain the Poor Law.
8. What company did the Desmonds intend to join in London?
9. On what condition did Kit Kirkstone accept employment with Mr. and Mrs. Desmond in London? Vocabulary: prejudiced, denounce, aloof, anxieties, barbarous, plague, gist, doleful, destitute, parapet, pillion, pauper, cobbles, foul
Enrichment: What is a Justice of the Peace? What is their role? Do you know of one in your community? Do they still exist in England?
Chapter Eight – “The Man from Stratford”
1. What amazing discovery did Peter make about Kit Kirkstone?
2. What clues were there in the preceding chapters that indicated Kit might have been a girl.
3. What did Kit believe would happen if Mr. Desmond discovered her true identity?
4. Why does Kit call Peter an idiot?
5. Explain why Kit and Peter decided to go on alone to London without the Desmonds.
6. Who was the man from Stratford?
Vocabulary: mercy, stammered, dabbed, daft, witty, malignant, scorn, miscellaneous, burly, congestion, ford, lisped, minor
Chapter Nine – “Re-enter Danger!”
1. Why was Shakespeare able to feast Peter and Kit that evening?
2. Who did Shakespeare refer to as pirates?
3. What is an understudy and do they still have them in today’s modern theatre?
4. Whose eyes did Peter find himself looking into when he lifted his head.
5. Do you think this is a good way to end the chapter?
Vocabulary: receding, apprentice, mimic, garret, hampered, cue
Enrichment: Pretend you are Peter and write a response to your mother’s letter.
Chapter Ten – “Sir Philip is the Man”
1. Why did Peter think that his voice might reveal his true identity?
2. What is Peter presented with at the end of his performance?
3. Whose disappearance has upset Burbage?
4. Who saves Kit from a thrashing?
5. What does Will Shakespeare tell Kit and Peter when they are alone?
6. Why had Kit run away from her home?
Vocabulary: inspired, tweaked, subsided, groom, abated, misspent, quaint
Enrichment: Research marriage customs in other cultures and countries. Do you think that there is a good or appropriate age for a couple to marry?
Why or why not?
Chapter Eleven – “The House of the Yellow Gentleman”
1. What is Kit’s real name?
2. Describe Katherine’s feelings about Sir Philip Morton.
3. Who is the yellow gentleman and why does Peter give him that name?
4. Explain how Katherine and Peter intend to get the script back from the yellow gentleman.
5. Why does Peter need half a dozen daggers?
Vocabulary: estate, bosoms, eclipsed, heather, fortnight, flattered, bumpkin, console, ransacked Enrichment: Research Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. When were they built? Who were the architects? Are they still in existence
Chapter Twelve – “Treason on Thames-Side”
1. Whose name does Peter hear being discussed by the yellow gentleman?
2. How did Katherine help distract the men?
3. What was Peter excited to see half hidden under a stack of letters?
4. How does Peter avoid suspicion when the yellow gentleman sees the boat tied below the window?
5. Kit suspects treason. Give evidence supporting her claims.
Vocabulary: painter (refers to boat), exultation, precariously, scaffold, interposed, tranquil, fetch, sculled
Enrichment: What is the penalty for treason in your country? Research the laws in other countries for treason. How would you deal with treasonous
acts if you were given that responsibility?
Chapter Thirteen – “The Clue of the Sonnet”
1. Explain how Sir Francis Bacon deciphered the code of the sonnet.
2. What was the significance of this message?
Vocabulary: modesty, embrace, farthing, crestfallen, manuscript, deposition, damsel, tumult, quill Enrichment: Write your very own sonnet to a friend or family member who is celebrating a special occasion.
Chapter Fourteen – “Secret Agents”
1. Why was Peter convinced that it was no miracle Queen Elizabeth had escaped her enemies?
2. Who was Robert Cecil?
3. If you were Kit, how might you have convinced Tom Boyd that you should be allowed to accompany him to Cumberland?
4. What warning does Mrs. Brownrigg offer to Boyd and the two apprentices?
5. Where does Peter suggest they could live?
Vocabulary: ferret, scotch, vouch, greensward, berth, tapestry
Enrichment: How would the story be different if Kit Kirkstone had been a boy rather than a girl?
Chapter Fifteen – “The Lonely Tower”
1. Where did they decide to leave or stable their horses?
2. What is a perspective glass?
3. Why did Tom refer to watching with the phrase, "This game is like fishing"?
4. What evidence did Tom find that someone had been at the peel tower recently?
5. How was Peter able to determine that the men who arrived at the peel tower with Sir Philip Morton were there for the first time?
6. What was one of the men carrying on his fist?
7. At the end of the chapter, predict what may have happened to Tom.
Vocabulary: wisp, novelty, dispirited, aback, prophesied, confirmation, abrupt, treble, muddle Enrichment: Write a few paragraphs of dialogue between Peter and Kit upon their discovery that Tom has not returned from the peel tower.
Chapter Sixteen – “The Heart of the Secret”
1. What did Peter instruct Kit to do if he wasn’t out of the tower in twenty minutes?
2. What was the "patch of water" at the bottom of the stairs?
3. When does Peter realize the two men in the tower are talking about Tom?
4. What incredible plot does Peter overhear while listening to the men?
5. Why does Kit suddenly try to warn Peter?
6. Describe what happens to Peter at the end of the chapter.
Vocabulary: fellside, deluded, taut, conspiracy, disgruntled, underscored, bodice, hindered, haven Enrichment: In chapter sixteen, the reader learns the significance or meaning of the title of the novel, Cue for Treason. Write out the speech in
which this cue can be found. Explain it to your classmates.
Chapter Seventeen – “Held for Questioning”
1. Describe Peter’s situation at the beginning of the chapter.
2. What does Peter discover when he attempts to run away from Duncan?
3. Why does Duncan offer a drink of wine to Peter?
4. How does Peter manage to free himself?
5. What does Peter do to Anthony Duncan?
6. How does the wind keep Peter a prisoner?
Vocabulary: smarted, hovel, pewter, sycamore, sham, tethered, hearth, squeamish Enrichment: How might the story have been different if it was told from Kit’s point of view?
Chapter Eighteen – “Striding Edge”
1. What does Peter do to Anthony Duncan before leaving the islet?
2. What thought keeps Peter going during his swim?
3. Describe the final scene in which Peter escapes his two pursuers.
Vocabulary: squall, cavalry, trough, consolation, confederates, fetter, anarchy, toiled, sodden, abyss, scree Enrichment: Which character in the story would you most like to meet? Explain why to the class.
Chapter Nineteen – “Besieged”
1. How does Snap react at the sight of Peter?
2. Why is Peter anxious to share the news of the plot to assassinate the queen?
3. Who comes to the house looking for Peter?
4. Describe what Peter and Kit intend to do after their escape through the narrow window. Vocabulary: bedraggled, plying, ransacked, incriminate, strenuous, nudged, bide, adversary, rapiers, gesticulating, bung, adders Enrichment: There is a political saying, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Research the origin of this statement and tell
whether you agree or disagree with it. A book of quotations makes a good starting place for your research.
Chapter Twenty – “Then Who is Loyal?”
1. What was the first place that Kit and Peter arrived at as they fled?
2. What led Kit to suspect that the magistrate was allied with Sir Philip?
3. What was their plan of action once they had discovered that there was no one in authority that they could trust? Vocabulary: besiegers, caldron (also spelt cauldron), dale, tyrant, skittish, gelding, sentinel, poise, trice, ruse, centaur Enrichment: What is a glossary? See if you can locate one in another book. Create your own glossary for this novel.
Chapter Twenty-One – “The Road Lay Open”
1. What problem does Kit suddenly realize they have?
2. What does Peter think of Kit’s suggestion that they sell one of the horses?
3. What fortunate discovery does Kit make?
4. What route does Peter suggest they take to London to avoid detection?
Vocabulary: knoll, tattoo, cuirass, halberd, reserve, placid
Chapter Twenty-Two – “Virgin Mine”
1. Why did they ask the wool merchants for directions to the next town?
2. What was the Wool Pack?
3. Describe the incident when Peter and Kit encountered the four men.
4. Who interrupts the four attackers?
Vocabulary: amiably, ravenous, gape, yarn, veer, bogs, chasms, spouse, unkempt, inaudible, colliery, mutton, morass, floundered, gamely, wrangle
Enrichment: Research the following equestrian terms: smith, lame, saddle-galled, cast shoe
Chapter Twenty-Three – “Terrible with Banners”
1. What does Peter mean when he states that he never thought they would owe their lives to Sir Philip?
2. Whom do they meet in the Yorkshire woods?
3. How did the actors manage to apprehend Sir Philip and his men?
4. What bad piece of news does Desmond relay to Peter and Kit about the performance of the play in London? Vocabulary: dwindling, furlong, ramparts, visage, conjure, hordes, ramshackle, bolt, mime, custody, appalled Enrichment: Do you think that Peter’s chance encounter with the Desmonds was realistic? Explain.
Chapter Twenty-Four – “A Cue Was Missed”
1. Why is Peter no longer telling the story?
2. Predict what is meant by the title, "A Cue Was Missed".
3. Who is John Somers?
Vocabulary: tapestries, minstrel, hubbub, sconces, attired, ermine, skulking, salvo, stalwart Enrichment: Who is the protagonist in the story? Justify your choice. Who is the antagonist in the story? Justify your choice.
Chapter Twenty-Five – “After the Play”
1. Why are Kit and Peter introduced to Queen Elizabeth I?
2. Provide evidence that Kit and Peter like one another.
3. What happens to Sir Philip?
4. What happens to Kit and Peter?
Vocabulary: spirited, tottered, sovereign, dawdle, gallivanting, cambric, nursery, tactlessly, boon, shrewd, prophet
Enrichment: What is an obituary? Write one for Sir Philip Morton.