6 The Wind in the Willows
- He cleaned and he cleaned, until his arms and his back ache[eɪk]d with tiredness[ˈtaɪədnəs].
- And with the spring comes the promise[ˈprɒmɪs] of change, of
sunshine, of new green leaves.
- He had never seen a river before in his life – this wonderful bright
shining thing, which danced its way in and out of the shadows under the
- Soon he saw that it was an eye, and then a face appeared as well. A
brown little face, with whisker[ˈwɪskə(r)]s.
- There is nothing – really nothing – nicer than just mess[mes]ing about in boats.
- At last they turned off the big river into a little side river that
came down to join it. The Rat stopped the boat and they got out on to a
bank of soft green grass under tall willow[ˈwɪləʊ] trees.
- The Mole’s legs flew up above his head, and he found himself lying
on top of the Rat in the bottom of the boat.
- Ratty, my dear friend! I have been so silly[ˈsɪli] and so ungrateful[ʌnˈɡreɪtfl]. I really am very sorry indeed.
- He learnt to swim and to row, and he learnt to love the sound of the
wind when it went whispering its secrets through the trees and the
plants by the river.
- I see that all the boats are out of the water.
- He took them round to the other side of the house, and there they
saw a shiny new gipsy caravan[ˈkærəvæn]. It had yellow and green
sides, and red wheels.
- In the end, of course, the Rat agreed to go, and by the evening they
found themselves on a lonely hillside[ˈhɪlsaɪd] miles from
- The “poop-poop” rang with a shout in their ears, and an enormous,
long , shining motorcar roared past them and disappeared over the
- Weasel[ˈwiːzl]s.. stoat[stəʊt]s… ferret[ˈferɪt]s, and so on. They’re all right in a way. Most of the
time. But, well, you wouldn’t want to turn your back to them in the
dark, and that’s a fact.
- The Mole felt he had to get away from these faces. He turned off the
path and hurried into the thickest part of the wood.
- The the patter[ˈpætə(r)]ing began.At first he thought it was
only falling leaves, but then the noise grew louder and nearer, and the
Mole knew what it was. It was the sound of little feet running – behind
him, in front of him, on all sides of him.
- We’ll just have to start walking, and hope. The trouble is, I don’t
really know where we are, and in the snow everything looks so
- I understand that somebody’s been very careless[ˈkeələs],
leaving a door-scraper[ˈskreɪpə(r)] lying in the middle of the Wild
Wood, for other people to fall over.
- The Mole had thought that they were digging into a snow-bank, but
now he saw that there was a door under the snow.
- Everybody knew that in the animal world the winer was a time for
rest and sleep. Nobody wanted to do anything important or tiring[ˈtaɪərɪŋ].
- We’ll try to teach Toad[təʊd] a lesson. we won’t listen to
any silliness[ˈsɪlinəs]. We’ll bring him back to reason, and turn
him into a sensible Toad at last.
- When they got back to the kitchen, the Rat was walking up and down,
very restless[ˈrestləs]. Unlike the Mole, he didn’t really feel
- Then Toad himself came down the steps in an enormous overcoat[ˈəʊvəkəʊt], hat and driving goggle[ˈɡɒɡl]s.
- You argue so beautifullly, dear Badger[ˈbædʒə(r)], and I can’t
stop myself agreeing with you.
- “Bager and Mole,” he added, perhaps not very sensibly, “have gone
out for a run round. They’ll be out until lunch-time, so you and I will
spend a pleasant morning together.”
- After a few days of this kindness, Toad was as loud and boastful[ˈbəʊstfl] as he had always been.
- Several gold coins left the Toad’s pocket and disappeared into the
- He was wearing an old cotton[ˈkɒtn] dress and a black bonnet[ˈbɒnɪt], and carrying a large basket of washing.
- Toad like the idea of getting a free ride, so when he saw the barge[bɑːdʒ] coming along the canal, he quickly jumped from the
canal bank on to the end of the barge.
- At that moment the land disappeared beneath[bɪˈniːθ] his feet,
and , splash! he found himself in deep water, cold water, fast-moving
- I have to tell you that I feel ashamed[əˈʃeɪmd] – yes,
ashamed, to have a criminal, an escaped prisoner, for my friend. Can’t
you see that none of this is exciting or amusing[əˈmjuːzɪŋ]?
- Toad dropped flat in the road and the bullet passed over his
- I asked Otter to do some spy[spaɪ] work for us. He
pretended to be a gardener and went to the back door of the Hall, asking
- Poor Toad got frightened and ran into the Rat by mistake, who then
nearly knocked the Mole over.
- Up and down went the four friends, shouting and roaring, and their
sticks whistle[ˈwɪsl]d through the air.
- But Toad only shook his head gently, and immediately began a quiet
conversation with Otter, asking in an interested voice about his
7 Tales of Mystery and
- I felt cold and sick[sɪk], and could not think of one
happy thought to chase away my gloom[ɡluːm].
- It was like a mysterious cloud, which seemed to come straight from
the dark lake and the dying trees and the old walls of the house. A
heavy grey cloud, which carried with it disease and fear.
- The only thing that I noticed was a very small crack[kræk]
which started at the top of the building and contined all the way down
into the dark waters of the lake.
- I hurried on, and finally the servant opened a door and took me into
- He frighten[ˈfraɪtn]ed me, and his long wild hair looked like
a ghostly cloud around his head.
- He told me why he had wanted to see me , and how he hoped to feel
better now that I was with him.
- He had one sister, Madeleine[ˈmædlɪn; ˈmædleɪn], the only other person
in his family who was still living, but each day she seemed a little
nearer to death.
- He was quite sure that all things, plants, trees, even stones, were
able to feel.
- He listened to me, indeed, but with a kind of mad seriousness[ˈsɪəriəsnəs] that I found frightening[ˈfraɪtnɪŋ].
- Then with his hands he pulled the door to pieces. The noise of the
dry wood cracking[ˈkrækɪŋ] and breaking could be heard all through
- And now Ethelred, after he had killed the dragon,
turned and saw in front of him a palace[ˈpæləs] of gold with tall
gates of shinning silver[ˈsɪlvə(r)] in the walls.
- A sickly[ˈsɪkli] smile came over his lips, and he spoke in a
low hurried voice.
- We have put her alive into her coffin!
- I turned to see where this strange light was coming from. It was the
moon, a full, blood-red moon, shining through a narrow[ˈnærəʊ]
crack in the walls of the house.
- There was a long shouting sound, like the voice of a thousand
waters, and deep dark lake closed over the broken pieces of the House of
- Slowly I took a knife from my pocket, opened it, and then carefully
cut out one of Pluto[ˈpluːtəʊ]’s eyes from its socket[ˈsɒkɪt].
- The cat’s body had hit my bedroom wall and left its shape there,
because the plaster[ˈplɑːstə(r)] on that wall was new and still
- But my wife caught my arm to stop me, and then anger explode[ɪkˈspləʊd]d in my mind.
- There was a wall in the cellar round the bottom of an old chimney[ˈtʃɪmni], which was no longer used.
- They ran to the wall and started pulling out the brick[brɪk]s as fast as they could. In minutes the wall was down
and there , for all to see, was the body of my dead wife.
- He refused to be trouble[ˈtrʌbl]d by it. Although half the
people of his country had already died from this terrible disease, he
continued to enjoy life to the full.
- It was a huge and extraordinary[ɪkˈstrɔːdnri] castle, built to
Prince Prospero['prɔspərəu]’s own plan.
- It was a wild and wonderful ball[bɔːl], but first let me
tell you about the rooms in which he gave the ball. There were seven
rooms in all. In most castles, of course, the rooms for great parties or
dances join each other end to end.
- Each room turned suddenly round a corner into the next, so if you
were standing in one room it was impossible to see into the other
- Every hour it chime[tʃaɪm]d loud and deep and clear, filling
the castle with its long, gloomy[ˈɡluːmi] sound.
- Now you will remember that everyone at the ball was wearing strange
cloaks and masks, which belong[bɪˈlɒŋ]ed more to the world of
dreams and wild imagination than to everyday life.
- But even in the cruel[ˈkruːəl]lest heart there are some fears
too terrible to laugh at.
- There was a loud cry – and the sword fell upon the black carpet,
followed by the dead body of the fearless[ˈfɪələs] Prince
- I was the kind of boy who liked to give orders, not to take
- When he spoke, he could never speak loudly. In fact, he never spoke
above a whisper.
- Why should he, or anyone, give me advice?
- As well as the wine, we had other, perhaps more dangerous,
- I started to play cards with him often, and for some time I made
sure that he always won.
- He took another long drink of wine and said, “Let’s double the stake[steɪk]s.” Beginners always think they can win back what they
have lost in this way.
- We continued playing, and in less than an hour my winnings[ˈwɪnɪŋz] were four times as big.Glendinning’s
face was now as white as a sheet[ʃiːt].
- Please look very carefully inside his left sleeve[sliːv] and
at the serval little packet[ˈpækɪt]s inside the large pockets of
- I was now known to be a cheat[tʃiːt] at cards and every door
in England would be closed against me.
- I began to feel a burning hope – soon I would break free from this
terrible enemy and never take his orders again.
- After only a few seconds I pushed him against the wall and plunge[plʌndʒ]d my sword into his body again and again.
- Yes! He had a pale, blue eye, the eye of a vulture[ˈvʌltʃə(r)].
Whenever I looked at it, my blood became cold.
- I opened the lantern carefully and a thin ray of light fell onto the
- When my head was in the room, I tried to open the lantern but my thumb[θʌm] slip[slɪp]ped and I made a noise.
- I pulled him to the floor and pulled the heavy bed over him.
- They could see from the way I spoke that all was well.
- It was a low, soft sound, like the sound made by a watch when it is
covered in cotton.
8 The Railway Children
- They are poor now, Mother says, She tries to sound happy, but her
eyes are sad and worried.
- The other said he cried, but Peter said his eyes were red because he
had a cold[kəʊld].
- Is it something to do with the Government?
- There was the railway, with its shining lines, telegraph[ˈtelɪɡrɑːf] wire[ˈwaɪə(r)]s and posts, and signal[ˈsɪɡnəl]s.
- On one side of the big station yard[jɑːd] was a large heap[hiːp] of coal, which the steam trains used for their engines.
There was a white line on the wall behind, near the top of the
- There was a pretty handkerchief[ˈhæŋkətʃɪf; ˈhæŋkətʃiːf] with flowers on it,
from Plyllis. A lovely little silver brooch of Mother’s,
shaped like a rose, which Bobbie had loved for years.
- “There is my present,” said Peter, putting his toy steam engine on
the table. It was full of sweet[swiːt]s.
- She asked the two men all about driving a steam train, and they
showed her the automatic[ˌɔːtəˈmætɪk] brake[breɪk], and the
little clock faces that told them how much steam the engine was
- And only then, as the three children walked home again, did Bobbie
tell the others about her adventures on the engine of the steam
- The girls looked and saw a tree moving slowly downward[ˈdaʊnwəd]s on the opposite side of the railway line!
- A second or two later, everything came crashing down in a big heap
on the railway line below.
- Next, they pushed two of the flags into heaps of stone between the
- There was a carpet on the floor, and flowers above[əˈbʌv]
the pictures on the walls.
- I’ve got a pram[præm] in the back of the shop. It was for
my daughter’s first child, but the child died after six months.
- “I’ll just put some newspaper round them to keep them together,”said
Perks. And he took an old newspaper from the heap.
- There were men working on the railway line, and the children began
by watching them.
- They climbed over stones and through narrow opening[ˈəʊpənɪŋ]s
between trees , and at last they reached the very top of the hill.
- Peter took the end of a candle from his pocket, and his hand was
shaking when he lit it with a match[mætʃ].
- Take care of your mother, my dears. She’s a woman in a million.
- People put their heads out of windows and saw the tall white faced
man and the little girl, with their arms around each other.
- He is looking at the flowers, but he keeps turning towards the
9 The Three Strangers and
- From his hut a young shepherd[ˈʃepəd] boy watches, wide-eyed
and afraid, a secret meeting between a woman and a man who is not her
- Outside, the rain beats down, and the stranger following the footpath[ˈfʊtpɑːθ] across the wild hills stares at the lighted
windows. Should he go on, or can he stop for a while, to find rest and
food and a seat by a warm fire?
- There was no road, just two footpaths which crossed in front of the
- She did not like to spend money unnecessarily, and had worried about
the kind of party to give that evening. “At a sit-still party,” she
thought, “the men’ll get too comfortable and drink the house dry. But at
a dancing-party people get hungry and then they’ll eat all our
- He kept his hat on, low over his face.
- He passed a mug[mʌɡ] of his wife’s home-made mead[miːd] to the newcomer, who drank deeply from it and held it
out for more.
- There was a more cheerful[ˈtʃɪəfl] look about him. He was
several years older, with greying hair and a full, reddish[ˈredɪʃ] face. Under his long wet coat he was wearing a dark
- But we may not make any more – honey[ˈhʌni] sells well, and
we don’t need much mead for ourselves.
- But he’s in our house, my love, and it’s a miserable wet night.
What’s a mug of mead more or less?
- There was a short silence, which the shepherd’s wife broke by
calling for a song. The second mug of mead had made the stranger’s face
even redder and more cheerful than before, and he offered to sing the
- Yes, they’ll find him, We’ll save ourselves all that trouble.
- The little man did not seem at all afraid, and to everyone’s
surprise agreed with great politeness[pəˈlaɪtnəs] to go back to the
- The grass has long been green on the grave[greɪv]s of
Shepherd Fennel and his wife, and the baby whose health was drunk that
night is now an old lady.
- The north one looked out on the eight hundred sheep which were in
the shepherd’s care, and the south window gave a view of three ancient[ˈeɪnʃənt] stones, built in the shape of a doorway.
- They were worn[wɔːn] and weather-beaten，but tonight looked
almost new in the silver light of the moon.
- Ye can have a bit of a sleep in the chair by the stove[stəʊv] but only for a few minutes, mind!Make sure ye stay
awake the rest of the time, and don’t let that fire go out!
- It was clear that he was not a farm worker, because he was wearing a
dark suit, and carried himself like a gentleman.
- The sweetness[ˈswiːtnəs] of your voice should keep him pleasant,
especially when the sweetness of your face is added to it!
- He was a man of heavier['hevɪə] build than the Captain, and
was wearing riding boots.
- He had been too far away to hear their conversation and the lady’s
reluctant[rɪˈlʌktənt] words, so to him they had the appearance of
lovers. But several more years passed before the boy was old enough to
- Don’t you speak to your elder[ˈeldə(r)]s and better[ˈbetə(r)]s like that, young man, or you’ll end up hanging from
a rope at the prison!
- But a terrible surprise was waiting for him tonight, as well as for
the frightened boy hidden in the hut.
- You have dishonour[dɪsˈɒnə(r)]ed her, and for that you shall
- The jealous[ˈdʒeləs] watcher waited for some time, but she
never came.Sometimes he looked at his watch in surprise.
- If my life and future mean anything to you at all, I beg you to do
what I ask.
- He appeared older than his age, and he looked about him restlessly[ˈrestləsli].
- I saw enough to know that something still lies there in a hole
behind the stones.
- Now the villagers are saying that before he died, he confess[kənˈfes]ed a secret to the vicar – a secret that he’d kept
for your Grace, about a crime on Marlbury Downs more than
twenty years ago.
- He went straight to the covered hole, and dug with his hands like an
animal. Then he got up, sigh[saɪ]ed, and went back down the
- At last Mills was able to tell the secret that had lain so heavily on his heart for twenty-two years.
- It has nothing to do with the town, or you.
- But even they are not as bad as the inspector[ɪnˈspektə(r)].For the
three months before his visit I woke up several times every night,
worring about it. It’s so difficult knowing what to teach and what to
- You’re like a woman who thinks she can be a great actress just
beacuase she has a beautiful face, and forgets she has to be able to
- Although I do have good reason to be unpleasant[ʌnˈpleznt] to
you. What a hurry you’ve been in.
- You and I could be husband and wife, going on our honeymoon
together. But instead of that, we’ll say goodbye in half an hour,
perhaps for ever.
- Now – you could marry me, instead of him, although you were in too
much of a hurry to wait for me!
- “But I’ll only be a quarter of an hour,” Charles
said, and Baptista passively[ˈpæsɪvli] accepted
- When she thought of Charles, it was more with fear than with
- They were not good-looking and intelligent or even well-dressed, and
poor Baptista could only look forward to years of hard work with
- So Baptista and David were able to put the past behind them and find
unexpected happiness in their married life.
10 Ethan Frome
- He feels the beauty of the world around him – stars shining in a
moonless sky, the blue shadows of trees on sunlit[ˈsʌnlɪt] snow.He
feels the sad loneliness[ˈləʊnlinəs] of his life, locked in a loveless[ˈlʌvləs] marriage[ˈmærɪdʒ] to Zeena, a
cold, silent woman, whose only interest is her own ill health.
- As the month pass, Ethan feels a new happiness stealing into his
- He was noticeable[ˈnəʊtɪsəbl] figure. His tall, strong body was
badly twist[twɪst]ed, and much shorter on the right side than on
- Just the few steps from his buggy[ˈbʌɡi] to the post office
were clearly difficult for him. His face had a sad, grim[ɡrɪm]
look. It was the face and body of an old man, and I was surprised to
hear that he was only fifty-two.
- His horse ain’t sick, and he needs a dollar or two. That Frome farm
and saw-mill don’t make enough money to keep a cat
- So Ethan Frome agreed to drive me, and every day for a week I sat
beside him in his sleigh[sleɪ] as his thin horse pulled us over
the hard snow to the station.
- That’s my place down there. We’ve had enough of this.
- I followed him insde, and from behind a door on our right I heard a
woman’s voice, a thin, high , whinning[wɪn] voice.
- Below that was the slope[sləʊp] of the Corbury road. On clear nights this was often full of young
people coast[kəʊst]ing down, laughing and shouting as they
- Suddenly, a lively[ˈlaɪvli] young man with thick black hair
jumped into the middle of the floor. He went into the crowd and pulled
out a young girl.
- Denis’s own success with the young women of the
village was well known.
- Ethan used to walk into Starkfield to fetch home his
wife’s cousin, Mattie Silver, on the few evenings when
some chance of amusement brought her to the village.
- Here at his side, living under his roof and eating his bread was
someone who felt the same wonder[ˈwʌndə(r)] as he did.
- “If a poor girl like her has a chance to marry a smart boy like
Denise Eady, I ain’t going to stop her,”she said in her flat[flæt], whining voice. “The doctor says I can’t manage on my
own, so we’ll need to hire a girl.”
- The girl said nothing, but stood still, watching, while Denis Eady
went to untie[ʌnˈtaɪ] the horse. In the shadows, Ethan too
watched and waited, with his heart beating fast. Mattie held his life in
- They continued their walk, with the dark, starry[ˈstɑːri] sky
above them, and the quiet, lonely fields all around. At the entrance to
Ethan’s farmland they passed by the Frome graves.
- Then he looked at his wife’s thin, lined[laɪnd], bloodless[ˈblʌdləs] face. Zeena was thirty-five, only seven years
older than he was, but she was already an old woman.
- The sun shone in on the flowering pot plants by the window, and the
cat sleeping in a chair.
- As a student he had liked being among happy, friendly , young
- He was a large, red-faced and likeable man, an old friend of Ethan’s
- The afternoon had turned into a cold grey evening by the time Ethan
left the builder’s.
- The lamplight shone on the milky[ˈmɪlki] whiteness[ˈwaɪtnəs] of Mattie’s young skin, on her soft lips and
shining dark eyes.
- They ate in embarrass[ɪmˈbærəs]ed silence, then began to talk
about the weather.
- I’ll get some glue[ɡluː] to mend it tomorrow.
- When he came back, Mattie had pushed his chair near the fire, and
had seated herself by the lamp with a bit of sew[səʊ]ing.
- Mattie got up and sat opposite him in Zeena’s rockingchair.
- This was the night when we were going coasting.
- Then he gently took hold of the other end of her piece of sewing[ˈsəʊɪŋ], Mattie’s warmth[wɔːmθ] seemd to flow along
it towards him. Could she feel the answering warmth from his own
- On the way back the rain began again, turning to ice as it fell on
the snow and making the road even more glassy[ˈɡlɑːsi] and
- Ethan looked round the kitchen, which looked cold and unwelcoming in
the wintry[ˈwɪntri] evening light.
- I’m ashamed[əˈʃeɪmd] to have a husband like you, Ethan Frome.
I lost my health taking care of your own mother! Marrying me was the
least that you could do after –
- Ethan looked at his wife with eyes full of hate. It was an angry, bitter[ˈbɪtə(r)] hate. It was a hate which had grown during years of
hard work, hopeless poverty[ˈpɒvəti], and broken dreams.
- He had lost so many chances and forgotten so many of his dreams, all
to please Zeena. But she was now far more discontented[ˌdɪskənˈtentɪd]
than when he had married her.
- He was a poor man, planning to leave his sickly[ˈsɪkli] wife
all alone and without money.And how was he planning to do this heartless[ˈhɑːtləs] thing?By telling lies to two kind people who felt
sorry for him.
- It was little more than a year ago, on a soft afternoon just like
this, with a whisper of spring in the air. And all the days between then
and now came back to him, one by one.
- There was a warm stillness[ˈstɪlnəs] in the wood. In the middle
was a small icy pond[pɒnd], with sweet-smelling trees all
- The steep[stiːp] slope lay empty and white below them. An
idea came to Ethan, to help himself and her through their miserable last
- Look, someone’s left a sled[sled] under the trees.
- Her words were like pieces torn from his heart.
- There was a last moment when the air shot past him like millions of
- Her dark eyes shone with the crazy brightness[ˈbraɪtnəs] that is
sometimes seen in people with disease of the spine[spaɪn].
- There was one day, about a week after the accident, when they
thought Mattie couldn’t live. Well, I say it was a pity she did. People
think that’s an awful thing to say, but they weren’t with her when she
first woke up…
- The way they are now, there’s not much difference between the Fromes
up at the farm and the Fromes down in their graves.
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