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I Circle the right letter.

1 In the passage the narrator is remembering … .

a) a camping holiday

b) picnics he had had

c) the time when he was homeless

2 The park he mentions must be situated in … .

a) London

b) a large American city

c) the countryside somewhere in the U.S.

3 His presence in the park can be explained by the fact that he … .

a) wanted to practice rock-climbing

b) was going through a personal crisis

c) longed to get away from the city life for a couple of days

4 The narrator, in fact, spent most of his time … .

a) studying nature

b) sitting or walking around

c) talking to the people he met

5 Looking back, the narrator feels that period was one of … .

a) complete happiness

b) personal enrichment

c) total loneliness and anguish

II Find the answers in the text.

1 What were, in the narrator’s opinion, the disadvantages of being in

the city? (Find two examples.)

a) ____________________________________________________

b) ____________________________________________________

2 What adjectives does the narrator use to describe his own physical

appearance? (Find two examples.)

a) _______________________

b) _______________________

III Reread Paragraph One and decide which is the right answer to

each question.

1 “I loafed in the sunshine…” means … .

a) I had fun

b) I ate bread

c) I did nothing in particular

2 Here, “… a practiced eye …” means … .

a) a detective

b) an optician

c) an observant person

3 “… this burden of self-consciousness …” means … .

a) the unbearable knowledge of who he was

b) the understanding that he was better off than other people

c) the embarrassment of carrying his possessions around with him

IV Match these phrasal verbs with their meanings.

Line Number

Phrasal Verb

Meaning Match

Line 4

to look for


to appear to be someone else

Line 7

to pass for


to begin with a definite purpose; to undertake

Line 8

to allow for


to come to an end

Line 8

to walk out


to help deal successfully with a difficult situation

Line 14

to hold on to


to leave a place

Line 26

to carry through


to provide opportunity for

Line 27

to run out


to seek

Line 27

to set out


to stick to smth



by Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith (1921 – 1995) – an American novelist and short-story writer, most widely known for her psychological thrillers.

(Published in 1979, this story is about too many kids, not enough

money and cramped quarters. It is not hard to imagine where it eventually goes: a child dies after swallowing broken glass and

sleeping tablets left on the floor by a neglectful mother and drunk father. )

Francy’s face was still bandaged, and the bandage was damp and stained with egg. The hospital had said to leave the bandage on and not touch it. Eddie, Laura and Mrs Crabbe sat at the kitchen table, and it turned into quite a lecture.

“… You realize, don’t you, that you both are using little Frances as an outlet for your bad temper. Some people might bang their fists against a wall or quarrel with each other, but you and your husband are apt to whack baby Frances. Isn’t that true?” She smiled a phony friendly smile, looking from one to the other of them.

(10) Eddie scowled and smashed a book of matches in his fingers. Laura squirmed and was silent. Laura knew what the woman meant. Before Francy had been born, they had used to smack Stevie maybe a little too often. They damn well hadn’t wanted a third baby, especially in an apartment the size of this one, just as the woman was saying now. And Francy was the fourth. <…>

“A larger apartment, maybe? Bigger rooms. That would ease the strain on your nerves a lot …”

Eddie was obliged to speak about the economic situation. “Yeah, I earn fine … Riveter-welder. Skilled. But we got expenses, y’ know. I wouldn’t (20) wanta go looking for a bigger place. Not just now.”

Mrs Crabbe lifted her eyes and stared around her. “That’s a nice TV. You bought that?”

“Yeah, and we’re still paying on it. That’s one of the things,” Eddie said.

Laura was tense. There was also Eddie’s hundred-and-fifty dollar wristwatch they were paying on, and luckily Eddie wasn’t wearing it now; he was wearing his cheap one, because he didn’t wear the good one to work.

“And the sofa and the armchairs, aren’t they new? You bought them?”

(30) The sofa and the armchairs were covered with beige plush that had a floral pattern of pale pink and blue. Hardly three months in the house, and the kids had already spotted the seats with chocolate milk and orange juice. Laura found it impossible to keep the kids off the furniture. She was always yelling at them to play on the floor. But the point was the sofa and the armchairs weren’t paid for yet, and that was what Mrs Crabbe was getting at, not people’s comfort or the way the house looked, oh, no … . <…>

Now there was a speech from the old bag about the cost of installment-plan buying. Always pay the whole sum, because if you (40) couldn’t do that, you couldn’t afford whatever it was, see? Laura smouldered, as angry as Eddie, but the important thing with these meddlers was to appear to agree with everything they said. Then they might not come back.

“ … If this keeps up with little Frances, the law will have to step in, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that. That would mean taking Frances to live somewhere else.”

The idea was quite pleasant to Laura.


a book of matches – a set of matches fastened together inside a paper

cover; картонные спички

wanta = (very informal) want to

the old bag – a disagreeable elderly woman; старая кошёлка

installment-plan buying – the arrangement of paying by installments

(i.e. equal payments for something, spread over an agreed period of time); покупки в рассрочку

see? – short for “Do you see?”, i.e. “Do you understand?”


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