Оповідання Роалда Дала Ягня на забій. Перевірка засвоєння матеріалу по біографії Роалда Дала

Lamb to the Slaughter    (after Roald Dahl)

The room was warm and clean , the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight. Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from work.

   When the clock said ten minutes to five, she began to listen, and a few moments later ,  punctually as always, she heard the tyres on the gravel outside, and the car door slamming, the footsteps passing the window, the key turning in the lock. She laid aside her sewing, stood up, and went forward to kiss him as he came in. Then she walked over and made the drinks, strongish one for him, a weak one for herself. For her , this was always a blissful time of day. She knew he didn’t want to speak much until the first drink was finished, and she, on her side, was content to sit quietly, enjoying his company after the long hours alone in the house.

    ‘’Tired, darling?’’

    ‘’Yes’’, he said. ‘’I’m tired’’. And as he spoke, he did an unusual thing. He lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow . He paused and went slowly over to fetch himself another.

     ‘’Darling, shall I get your slippers?’’   ‘’No. ‘’ ‘’Would you like me to get you some cheese? I haven’t made any supper because it’s Thursday.’’  ‘’No, ‘’ he said.

    ‘’If you are too tired to eat out, ‘’she went on, ‘’it’s still not too late. There’s plenty of meat and stuff in the freezer. ‘’Her eyes waited on him for an answer, a smile, a little nod, but he made no sign. ‘’Anyway, ‘’she went on, ‘’I’ll get you some cheese and crackers first. ‘’

    ‘’I don’t want, ‘’he said. ‘’Sit down. Just for a minute, sit down. Listen, I’ve got something to tell you. This is going to be a shock to you, I’m afraid. But I’ve thought about it a good deal and I’ve decided the only thing to do is tell you right away. I hope you won’t blame me too much. ‘’And he told her. It didn’t take long, four or five minutes at most, and she sat very still through it all, watching him with a kind of dazed horror as he went farther and farther away from her with each word. Her first instinct was not to believe any of it, to reject it all. She thought if she went about her business and acted as though she hadn’t been listening, then later, when she sort of woke up again, she might find none of it had ever happened.

    ‘’I’ll get the supper, ‘’she managed to whisper, and this time he didn’t stop her. When she walked across the room, she couldn’t feel her feet touching the floor. Everything was automatic now – down the steps to the cellar, the light switch, the deep freeze, the hand inside the cabinet taking hold of the first object it met. She lifted it out and looked at it. It was wrapped in paper, so she took off the paper and looked at it again. A leg of lamb. All right then, they would have lamb for supper. She carried it upstairs, and as she went through the living room, she saw him standing over by the window with his back to her, and she stopped.

    ‘’For God’s sake, ‘’he said, hearing her but not turning round. ‘’Don’t make supper for me. I’m going out.’’                      At this point, Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him, and without any pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of his head. He crashed to the carpet. The violence of the crash, the noise, the small table overturning, helped bring her out of the shock. All right , she told herself.  So I’ve killed him.

     It was extraordinary, now, how clear her mind became all of a sudden. She began thinking very fast. As the wife of a detective, she knew quite well what the penalty would be. It made no difference to her . On the other hand, what about the child? What were the laws about murders with unborn children? Did they kill them both? Or  did they wait until the tenth month? What did they do? Mary Maloney didn’t  know.  And she   certainly was not prepared to take a chance. She carried the meat into the kitchen, placed it in a pan, turned the oven on high, and shoved it inside. Then she washed her hands and ran upstairs to the bedroom. She sat down before the mirror,  tidied her hair,  touched up her lips and face. She tried a smile. Then she ran downstairs, took her coat, went out the back door, down the garden, into the street. It was six o’clock yet, and the lights were still on in the grocery shop.’’ Hullo, Sam,” she said brightly, smiling at the man behind the counter. ‘’I want some potatoes, please, Sam. Patrick’s decided he’s tired and doesn’t want to eat out tonight. We usually go out Thursdays, you know, and now he’s caught me without any vegetables in the house.’’

    ‘’Then how about meat, Mrs. Maloney?’’  ‘’No, I’ve got meat, thanks. I got a nice leg of lamb from the freezer.’’ And when it was all wrapped and she had paid, she put on her brightest smile and said, ‘’Thank you’’. And now she told herself as she hurried back, all she was doing now, she was returning home to her husband , and he was waiting for his supper. That’s the way she told herself. Do everything right and natural. She entered the kitchen by the back door, put the parcel down on the table and went through into the living room; and when she saw him lying there on the floor, it really was rather a shock. All the old love  and longing for him welled up inside her, and she knelt beside him, and began to cry. It was easy. No acting was necessary. A few minutes later she got up and went to the phone. She knew the number of the police station. The car came quickly, and when she opened the front door, two policemen walked in. She knew them both and she fell right into Jack Noonan’s arms, weeping. Briefly she told out her story about going out to the grocer and coming back  to find him on the floor. Soon other men began to come into the house. She told them how she’d put the meat in the oven and slipped out to the grocer for vegetables. After a while , the photographer and the doctor departed, and the two other men took the corpse away. The two detectives remained, and so did the two policemen. They were looking for the weapon. She knew that there were other policemen in the garden around the house. It began to get late, nearly nine o’clock. The four men searching the rooms seemed to be growing weary, a trifle exasperated. ’’Jack, ‘’she said, the next time  Sergeant Noonan went by. ‘’Would you mind giving me a drink?It might make me feel better.’’ He handed her the glass of whiskey. ‘’Why don’t you have one yourself? You must be awfully tired. Please do. You’ve been very good to me. ‘’ ‘’Well, ‘’ he answered, ‘’it’s not strictly allowed, but I might take just a drop to keep me going. ‘’

     One by one the others came in and were persuaded to take a little nip of whiskey. Sergeant Noonan wandered into the kitchen, came out quickly, and said, ‘’Look, Mrs. Maloney. You know that oven of yours is still on, and the meat is still inside.’’ ‘‘Oh dear me!’’ she cried. ‘’ So it is!’’She looked at the sergeant with her large, dark, tearful eyes. ‘’Jack Noonan,’’ she said,’’ here you all are good friends of dear Patrick, and helping to catch the man who killed him. You must be terribly hungry by now. Why don’t you eat up that lamb that’s in the oven .It’ll be cooked just right by now. ‘’

     ‘’Wouldn’t dream of it, ‘’ sergeant Noonan said.  ‘’ Please, ‘’ she begged. ‘’Please eat it. Personally I couldn’t touch a thing, certainly  not what’s been in the house when he was here. But it’s all right for you. It’d be a favour to me if you’d eat it up. Then you can go on with  your work again afterwards.’’ There was a good deal of hesitating among the four policemen, but they were clearly hungry, and in the end they were persuaded to go  into the kitchen and help themselves. The woman stayed where she was, listening to them through the open door, and she could hear them speaking among themselves, their voices thick and sloppy because their mouths were full of meat. ‘’That’s a hell of a big club the guy must have used to hit poor Patrick,’’ one of them said.’’ Whoever done it, they ‘re not going to be carrying a thing like that around with them longer than they need. ‘’One of them belched. ‘’Personally , I think it’s right here on the premises .’’ ‘’Probably right under our very noses. What do you think, Jack?’’ And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle . 

Read the text and fill in the gaps with the appropriate word  from the box

Francis Scott Fitzgerald is one of the most outstanding American writers of the 1____ generation. 

They are empty people, they can’t  fight against the corruption of the 2___.

They try to fill their spiritual emptiness with all kinds of 3___.

The writer was born into a family of a 4___.

The family inherited much 5___from Fitzgerald’s grandmother who was very wealthy.

Francis6___ Princeton, a university for rich Americans.

There he tried to 7___ the most fashionable clubs. Money gave him 8___, previleges and style. He left the university without a degree because of 9___.

He began his  literary career at 10___ writing essays to The magazine “The Tiger”.

At the age of 21 he fell in 11___ with  Zelda Laure, the daughter of a wealthy lawyer.

Two years 12___ he published his first his first novel ” The Side of the Paradise”.

The book was a success and made him rich and 13___.

Only after that Zelda 14___ to marry him.