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PASSAGES1-15

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In his eagerness for hygiene, Bill had scalded two heat-resistant plates and then immediately plunged them into a basin of cold water to rinse them. As I took the broken pieces from the basin to the dustbin, I explained to him the difference between 'heat-resistant' and 'heat-proof'.

Bill was not quite so talkative. He simply said: 'All right, all right. Now for heaven's sake go and sit down.' Obediently, Caroline and I went back to the television. A quarter of an hour later I in my turn made my way to the kitchen for some apples. The door was shut. I wondered why a thin trickle of water was coming out from beneath it. When I opened the door, Bill was not there. The cold tap was on, and the sink was full of water and dishes and cups. But it was more than full. Bill had left the plug in, and the water was overflowing down the front of the sink and across the floor to the hallway.

Having turned the tap off and pulled the plug out, I began to mop up the water on the floor. Bill reappeared. He asked if anything was wrong. It seemed that he had left the dishes and cups under the cold water tap for a few minutes, so that they would be free of soapy water when he dried them. He was unaware that he had left the plug in the sink, and had gone away and forgotten the lot. I ventured to remark that it was the dishes that needed washing up, not the floor.

Bill has decided not to leave home. He has promised to stay with us for a little while yet. He says he is afraid we would not manage at all well without his help. (548 words)

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