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Short story - The Box2
THEBOX - A short story Part2
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WhenMick got ajob delivering a box toa reception at the Hill Park Hotel, he got more than thefifty pounds that he expected .....
The rain drops falling on the windowmade it harder and harder to see what was happening; and instead oftrying to look through the window, Sophie looked at it, and watched thered, blue and white light break into a thousand dancing and tricklingspots.
Eventuallythe traffic began to move on,and a moment later, Opie's Corner, with its lights and its police cars,had disappeared into the night behind them.
"Come on," said Mick. "Next stop!"
They got off at the foot of BlendenRoad, and began walking up the last hundred yards towards the Hotel.
"Geethis box is heavy!" exclaimed Mick.
"He must have thought you had a car!"answered Sophie.
"No, he asked how old I was!"
"We're early, you know!"
"Too bad! What are we supposed to do?Just hanground waiting?"
"I don't know, do I? You made thearrangements!"
It was indeed just a quarterto ten asthey turned off Blenden Road and through the gates of the Hill ParkHotel. It was an old manor house that had once stood well outside thetown, but was now surrounded by suburban streets. It still stood,however, in spacious grounds.
Inside the gates, the drivewaycurved off to the left, through a group of trees; they could see thelights of the hotel in front of them, across the grass; but under thetrees it was very dark. Drops of water were falling heavily off the wetbranches.
"I don't like this!" said Sophie."Someone could jump out from behind one of those trees!"
"Oh get real!" answered Mick. "This is aposhhotel! You've been watching too much telly!"
"I don't like it, Mick! I think there'ssomething in that box!"
"Well of course there is! It's asurprise for Mr. Ansell, straight from Tescos !"
"Yeah, I know. But it's all rather suspicious,isn't it? Why couldn't your Mr. Charnwood get the box deliverednormally?"
"Well I s'pose they couldn't find anyfirmthat delivers at this time of night! And anyway, what d'you think's inthe box? Ten pounds of special-offer ecstasy tabs,or what?"
"Maybe it's a box of their best semtexthen, for terrorists !"
At that moment, a car came in throughthe gates behind them, its lights sweeping across the green grass as itturned towards them.
Then, as it reached them, it brakedhard and stopped, one of the doors opened, and a man jumped out.
"Police!" he said. He was not inuniform. "What's that you've got there? Where are you going?"
"We're delivering it to the hotel!" saidSophie.
"Is it yours?"
"No," Mick answered. "We're deliveringit to Mr. Ansell's party. It's a surprise."
"And who's Mr. Ansell?"
"We don't know," said Sophie. "We'venever met him."
"Come on!" said the other policeman, avery large man. "Get in the back of the car, you two!"
"Do as I say, please! We'll drive you tothe door. And give me that box will you!"
Mick and Sophie climbed into the backseat; thirty seconds later, the car pulled up outsidethe hotel entrance.
"Wait in the car," said the shorter ofthe two policemen. The big policeman said nothing as they sat andwaited; but the wait was not long.
In less than a minute, the shortpoliceman was back in the car.
"Right, you two," he said. "They don'tknow anyone by the name of Ansell there. And there's no-one with thatname at the dinner party. So we'd better go down to the stationwith this!"
"Cor!"exclaimed Mick. "And what about the fifty quid I was going to get?"
"Fifty quid?" asked the smallerpoliceman.
"Yes, for bringing the box from Tesco's."
"Well, we'll see about that later," saidthe policeman. "Where d'you live, young lad?"
"Larkway St." said Mick, "Just nearOpie's Corner."
"Oh, there, I know," said the policeman."Well we'll drop you off there now, and you can come in and see us atthe station tomorrow morning, O.K."
As they approached Opie's corner, Micksaw that the police cars with their blue flashing lights were stillthere. At that moment, the car stopped.
"We'll set you down here," said thedriver. "We've got to go back to the hotel, I've just remembered!"
"And here's thirty quid," said the otherpoliceman.
"What's that for?" asked Mick.
"You'll find out when you come down tothe station tomorrow."
"The main one, of course; in the towncentre."
"Oh well," said Mick, as the police cardrove off. "Maybe there was something strange in that box!"
"I told you so," said Sophie.
"Anyway, let's go to Gigi's!"
Next morning after breakfast, Mick wentto the police station. The officer on dutywas most interested in his story; especially since no policemen on dutythe night before had gone anywhere near the Hill Park Hotel.
trickle:to flow(move) very slowly - eventually: at last, finally - Gee!- Oh! - hang round:wait - grounds:land,gardens - driveway:accessroad - posh:chic,luxurious - suspicious:strange - tabs:tablets - semtex:a type of explosive - tobrake:to slowdown - pull up:stop - station:policestation (not railwaystation!) - Cor!:Oh! - lad:boy, youngman - on duty:on service.
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THE BOX, part 2 - Worksheet
Note: as with part 1, there are a few very small differences between this printed version of the story, and the audio version.
Replace themissing prepositionsin this extract from the story.
Instead of trying to look _______ the window, Sophie looked _______ it,and watched the red, blue and white light break _______ a thousanddancing and trickling spots.
Eventually the traffic began to move_____, and a moment later, Opie's Corner, _______ its lights and itspolice cars, had disappeared _______ the night _______ them.
"Come ____," said Mick. "Next stop!"
They got _______ _______ the foot ofBlenden Road, and began walking _______ the last hundred yards _______the Hotel.
"Gee this box is heavy!" exclaimed Mick.
It was just a quarter to ten as theyturned _______ Blenden Road and _______ the gates of the Hill ParkHotel. It was an old manor house that had once stood well __________the town, but was now surrounded ____ suburban streets. It still stood,however, _____ spacious grounds.
Inside the gates, the driveway curved_______ to the left, _______ a group of trees; they could see thelights of the hotel _______ front of them, _______ the grass; but_______ the trees it was very dark. Drops of water were falling heavily_______ the wet branches.
"I don't like this!" said Sophie."Someone could jump ____ ____ _______ one of those trees!"
Forteachers:using this story in class :Introductoryexercise: Before taking the second part of this story withyour class, begin by asking students to tell the story collectively.Here are a lot ofquick questions, to elicit answers that will tell the story.
Whoare the heroes of the story?
Whydid Mick get in touch withMr. Charnwood?
Whatdid Mr. Charnwood ask himto do?
Whydid Mick accept?
Whatwas the weather like on theday of the story?
Whatdid Mick and Sophie find atTesco's?
Whatdid they do after leavingTesco's?
Whydid the bus slow stop byOpie's corner?
Thereare a number of points to pay attention to in this part of the story:
b) prepositional verbs,
c) modal verbs,
In line 10, notethe indirect question: He asked how oldI was.
Havestudents re-express some of the direct questions in the text on thesame model,
i.e.: (two lines below)Whatare we supposed to do becomesHeasked what we were supposed to do.
Thepoint to remember is the word order.
Follow-upexercises.Thoughthis episode ends the story, it still leavesroom for further developments, as the last paragraph leaves everythingwideopen. Have students explain what really happened,in their own words.Maximum length: 300 words.
Role Play AfterMick went to the policestation, the policemen asked him and Sophie to come in and answer somequestions. Sophie's Mum and Dad came along too. Imagine theinterrogationsession that took place.
Or visit the Linguapress guideto working with written documents:
Readingcomprehension in the English class
(Version française : Petiteméthodologie de la compréhension écrite)
Thisteachingresourceis ©copyright Linguapress 1996-2016.
Revised 2015 . Originally published in Freeway, the Intermediate levelEnglishnewsmagazine.
Republication on other websites or in print is not authorised
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