1. What possibilities do the children suggest to explain the mysterious yell heard one night by Digory?
They suggest that Uncle Andrew keeps a mad wife shut up in there (like Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre), that he may be a coiner, or that he may be a pirate hiding from his old shipmates, like a character from Treasure Island.
2. Why is Digory crying when Polly first meets him?
He is upset and sad, mostly because he is concerned about his mother's terminal illness, but also because his father is in India and he has had to leave his home in the country (where he had a pony and a river in his garden) and come to live with his mad uncle.
3. What surprises the children when they open the door and leave the tunnel?
At first, they are surprised to see that the room is not empty, as they expected, as it is fully furnished and a fire is burning in the grate. Next, they are surprised to discover that they have not reached the empty house that they intended to explore, but have got into Uncle Andrew's secret study.
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