Evans Tries An O-Level Summary by Colin Dexter

The riveting tale revolves around the life of a thief names James R. Evans who is known to frustrate the law enforces and escape from prisons. He had achieved the feat on three previous occasions so when he was transferred to Oxford prison, the Governor of the prison made sure that he was not getting out of there. It became his obsession and mission.

Evans was a clever thief. Improvising, he expressed an interest to learn a foreign language. He chose German. As part of the corrective regime at Oxford Prison, he was accorded a full-time teacher and reading materials.

Six months and copious amounts of lessons later, it was the examination day to see if Evans could accomplish his degree. His tutor had little hope in his prospects but he remained confident in his ability to come up with a shock.

Taking every precaution possible, prison went in lock down. Evans was ordered to give his exam in his cell only. His cell was checked and removed of anything capable of being used for mischief.

A parson was asked to oversee his exam named Reverend McLeery. Reverend was frisked at entry and escorted to the exam spot. An officer was posted outside the cell at all times to ensure full control of proceedings.

  • Reverend Injured

Before the end of the session, the patrolling guard prank called to take him to the exit. After leaving McLeery to the door the guard returned to a shocking scene in the cell. There was the reverend lying injured.

The Governor realized that Evans must have tricked and disguised himself. The injured reverend was whisked to the emergency room and the search party was dispatched after the absconding Evans.

  • Evan’s Escape Plan

However, the Governor was stressed further when the hospital denied having ever received any patient named McLeery. The Governor realized the plan and searched through the cell for clues. He found an escape plan (handed to him by the injured reverend). He soon learned Evans’ hideout and caught him seemingly unawares.

The gloating Governor ordered an accompanying officer to take the prisoner away. The Governor commanded him to be incarcerated. In the end, this was also part of Evans’ original plan with the officer the same person who was dressed as McLeery.

The actual reverend was tied in his own house. Evans’ friend had worn double clothing to offer a disguise to fool the guards. Therefore, Evans’ plan worked like a charm and he was able to execute his fourth prison escape.

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