Оповідання Роалда Дала Людина з півдня. Тест

It was getting on towards six o’clock so I went to the bar and got the beer and carried it outside and wandered down the garden towards the pool. It was a fine garden with lawns and beds of azaleas and tall coconut palms. I could see  the clusters of big brown nuts hanging down underneath the leaves.

  There were plenty of deck chairs around the swimming pool and there were white tables and huge brightly coloured umbrellas and sunburned men and women sitting around in bathing suits. In the pool itself there were three or four girls and about a dozen boys, all splashing about and making a lot of noise. The girls were English girls from the hotel. The boys were probably naval cadets from the US naval vessel. I went over and sat down under a yellow umbrella .Just then I noticed a small oldish man walking briskly around the edge of the pool. He was immaculately dressed in a white suit and he walked very quickly with little bouncing strides. He stopped beside me and smiled, showing two rows of very small, uneven teeth. I smiled back. ‘’Excuse pleess, but may I sit here? ‘’

  “Certainly, ‘’ I said. He sat down and crossed his legs. “A fine evening, ” he said. “They are all evenings fine here in Jamaica. “I couldn’t tell if the accent were Italian or Spanish, but I felt fairly sure he was some sort of a South American. ” And who , might I ask, are all dese? Dese is no hotel people”. ” I think they are Americans who are learning to be sailors. ” I told him.

   Suddenly one of the American cadets was  standing in front of us and one of the English girls was standing there with him. He had a towel in his hand and  when he sat down he unrolled it and produced a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. He offered the cigarettes to the girl and she refused; then he offered them to me and I took one. The little man got himself a cigar. ” Here, let me give you a light. ” The American boy held up his lighter. “Dat will not work in dis wind. ” “Sure it’ll work. It always works. ” “All-ways?”he said slowly. “Well, well. So you  say dis famous lighter it never fails. Shall we not perhaps make a little bet on whether your lighter lights?” “Sure I’ll bet, ” the boy said.”Why not?” “You like to bet? Then why don’t we have a good big bet on dis ting?””Now wait a minute, ” the boy said. “I can’t do that. But I’ll bet you a quarter or even a dollar. “

   The little man waved his hand. “Listen to me. “We make a bet. Den we go up to my room here in de  hotel  where iss no wind and I bet you you cannot light dis famous lighter ten times running without missing once. I make you a very good bet. I am rich man. Outside de hotel is my car, very fine car. Cadillac. You like to have this Cadillac, yes?” “Sure, I’d like to have a Cadillac. But what do I put up?”The boy was grinning. The little man said, “I never ask you ,my friend , to bet something you cannot afford. Some small thing you can afford to give away, and if you did happen to lose it you  would not feel too bad. Right?” “Such as what?” “Such as , perhaps de little finger on your left hand. ” “My what?” the boy stopped grinning. “I don’t get it . How do you mean you take the finger?”  “I chop it off.” “Jumping  jeepers! That’s a crazy bet. I think I’ll just make it a dollar. “

   The little man leaned back, spread out his hands and gave a tiny shrug of his shoulders, “Well, well. You say it lights but you will not bet. I see you are not betting man. Americans never are.” There was silence then and I could see that the little man had succeeded in disturbing the boy with his absurd proposal. The boy paused for a moment and he glanced  first at the English girl, then at me. “Yes,” he said sharply. “I’ll bet you.”

   The little man led his way back through the garden to the hotel. He was excited now, and that seemed to make him bounce higher than ever on his toes. as he walked along. He took us to where we could see  his pale- green Cadillac parked. We followed him to his room. He unlocked his door and we all trooped into a large pleasant double bedroom. The little man began to make the Martini, but meanwhile he’d rung the bell and a coloured maid came in. He gave her a pound and asked her to fetch some nails, a hammer, and a chopping knife. The man seemed serious about the bet and he seemed serious about the business of cutting of the finger.”Don’t you think this is rather a silly bet?” I said.”I think it’s a fine bet,” the boy  answered. He had already downed one large Martini. ” Before we begin”, the little man said, “I will present to de referee de key of de car.” He produced a car key from his pocket and gave it to me. Then the coloured maid came in again  and brought a small chopper, a hammer and a bag of nails.

   All the three of us were watching the little man at work. We watched him hammer two nails into the table, about six inches apart. He didn’t hammer them home; he allowed a small part of each one to stick up. Anyone would think the son of the bitch had done this before, I told myself. He never hesitates. He knows exactly what he needs and how to arrange it. The little man took a string , then he asked the boy to sit down at the table  and to put his left hand between the two nails. He wound the string around the boy’s wrist, then several times around the wide part of the hand, then he fastened it tight to the nails. He asked the boy to clench his fist and to leave the little finger sticking out.

   “Mister referee, you must say to begin. ” “Are you ready?” I asked the boy. “I’m ready.”  ” And you?” to the little man. “Quite ready,” he said and lifted the chopper up in the air and held it there about two feet above the boy’s finger, ready to chop. “All right,” I said . “Go ahead.”  I counted aloud the times the boy lit the lighter. “One!” “Two!” “Three!” “Four!” Obviously it was one of those lighters that worked. “Eight!” I said and as I said it the door opened. We all turned and  we saw a woman standing in the doorway, rather old, who stood there for  about two seconds then rushed forward, shouting, “Carlos! Carlos! ” She grabbed his fist, took the chopper from him, threw it on the bed ,took hold of the little man by the lapels  of his white suit and began shaking him very vigorously, talking to him fast and loud in some Spanish-sounding language.

  Then she slowed down. “I’m so sorry. I’m terribly sorry that this should happen.” She spoke almost perfect English. “For ten minutes I leave him alone to go and have my hair washed and I come back and he is at it again. He is a menace,” the woman said. “Down where we live he has taken forty-seven fingers from different people, and has lost eleven cars. In the end they threatened to have him put away somewhere. That’s why  I brought him up here. I suppose he bet you a car. He has no car. It’s mine. He hasn’t anything left to bet with. As a matter of fact I myself won it all from him long while ago. It took time, a lot of time, and it was hard work, but I won it all in the end”. She smiled at the boy, then she came over and put out a hand to take the car key which I had put on the table.

Lamb to the Slaughter (after  Roald Dahl )

                    GENERAL        COMPREHENSION

I Cite the evidence to support the following:

  1. The woman loves her husband.
  2. The murder is not premeditated.
  3. Mary Maloney is able to take control of a difficult situation.
  4. The policemen  know the Maloneys very well.
  5. Mary seems to be rather a cunning person  .

II Answer the questions:

  1.What indicates at the beginning of the text that something might be wrong?                                                                    

2. How does the woman kill her husband?                                                          3.Why are the detectives searching the house and the yard?                                                                                                

4. What happens to the frozen leg of lamb?

III Describe the following:

  1. The woman waiting for her husband.
  2. The man’s attitude toward his wife.
  3. The woman’s behaviour after she has killed her husband.
  4. The way Mary persuades the policemen to drink some whiskey.

                     DETAILED     COMPREHENSION

I Match the synonyms.

 1. To lift; 2.To drain; 3. To fetch ; 4. To giggle;  5.To remain; 6. To reject; 7. A nip

a) to empty; b) a swallow; c) to refuse; d) to stay; e) to laugh; f) to raise; g) to bring

II Decide whether  the articles are needed in these word combinations:

  1.  All of sudden  
  2. Take chance 
  3. On other hand                          
  4. One by one                                                                                                          
  5. After while           
  6. At most

III Complete the phrasal verbs with  GO in these sentences:

  1. He went farther and farther … from her with each word.
  2. We usually go … on Thursdays.
  3. ‘’Jack,’’ she said, the next time Sergeant Noonan went …  .
  4. The detectives went … their business.
  5. The search went … .

IV Write Patrick’s explanation to Mary about why he is leaving.