Муниципальное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение города Керчи Республики Крым "Специализированная школа № 1 имени Володи Дубинина"

 







WILLIAM SOMERSET MAUGHAM

 WILLIAM SOMERSET MAUGHAM

 

 LESSON 1-2

 

 William Somerset Maugham was born in the British Embassy in Paris on 25th January, 1874. William's father, Robert Ormond Maugham, a wealthy solicitor, worked for the Embassy in France. By the time he was ten, both William's parents were dead and he was sent to live with his uncle, the Rev. Henry Maugham, in Whitstable, Kent.

 After an education at King's School, Canterbury, and Heildelberg University in Germany, Maugham became a medical student at St. Thomas Hospital, London. While training to be a doctor Maugham worked as an obstetric clerk in the slums of Lambeth. He used these experiences to help him write his first novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897).

 The book sold well and he decided to abandon medicine and become a full-time writer. Maugham achieved fame with his play Lady Frederick (1907), a comedy about money and marriage. By 1908 Maugham had four plays running simultaneously in London.

 On the outbreak of the First World War, Maugham, now aged forty, joined a Red Cross ambulance unit in France. While serving on the Western Front he met the 22 year old American, Gerald Haxton. The two men became lovers and lived together for the next thirty years. During the war Maugham was invited by Sir John Wallinger, head of Britain's Military Intelligence (MI6) in France, to act as a secret service agent. Maugham agreed and over the next few years acted as a link between MI6 in London and its agents working in Europe.

 Maugham had sexual relationships with both men and women and in 1915, Syrie Wellcome, the daughter of Dr. Thomas Barnardo, gave birth to his child. Her husband, Henry Wellcome, cited Maugham as co-respondent in divorce proceedings. After the divorce in 1916, Maugham married Syrie but continued to live with Gerald Haxton.

 During the war, Maugham's best-known novel, Of Human Bondage (1915) was published. This was followed by another successful book, The Moon and Sixpence (1919). Maugham also developed a reputation as a fine short-story writer, one story, Rain, which appeared in The Trembling of a Leaf(1921), was also turned into a successful feature film. Popular plays written by Maugham include The Circle (1921), East of Suez (1922), The Constant Wife (1926) and the anti-war play, For Services Rendered (1932).

 In his later years Maugham wrote his autobiography, Summing Up (1938) and works of fiction such as The Razor's Edge (1945), Catalina (1948) and Quartet (1949).

 William Somerset Maugham died in 1965.

 

 

 TASKS TO LESSONS 1-2

 TASK 1. Pick out new words in your vocabulary

 TASK 2. Make a summary of author's Life in Chronological Order

 

 

LESSONS 3-4

 

   Home

 

   The farm lay in a hollow among the Somersetshire hills, an old-fashioned stone house, surrounded by barns and outhouses. Over the doorway the date when it was built had been carved, 1673, and the house, grey and weather-beaten, looked as much a part of the landscape as the trees that surrounded it. An avenue of splendid elms led from the road to the garden. The people who lived here were as stolid, sturdy and unpretentious as the house. Their only boast was that ever since the house was built from father to son they had been   born and died in it. For three hundred years they had farmed the surrounding land.

       George Meadows was now a man of fifty, and his wife was a year or two younger. They were both fine, upstanding people in the prime of life; and their children, two sons and three girls, were handsome and strong. I have never seen a more united family. They were merry, industrious and kindly. Their life was patriarchal. They were happy and they deserved their happiness.

       But the master of the house was not George Meadows; it was his mother. She was a woman of seventy, tall, upright and dignified, with grey hair, and though her face was much wrinkled, her eyes were bright and shrewd. Her word was law in the house and on the farm; but she had humour, and if her rule was despotic it was also kindly. People laughed at her jokes and repeated them.

       One day Mrs. George stopped me on my way home. She was all in a flutter. (Her mother-in-law was the only Mrs. Meadows we knew: George's wife was only known as Mrs. George.)

       "Who do you think is coming here today?" she asked me. "Uncle George Meadows. You know, the one that was in China."

       "Why, I thought he was dead."

       "We all thought he was dead."

       I had heard the story of Uncle George Meadows a dozen times, and it had amused me because it was like an old ballad: it was touching to come across it in real life. For Uncle George Meadows and Tom had both courted Mrs. Meadows when she was Emily Green, fifty years and more ago, and when she married Tom, George had gone away to sea.

       They heard of him on the China coast. For twenty years now and then he sent them presents; then there was no more news of him. When Tom Meadows died his widow wrote and told him, but received no answer, and at last they came to the conclusion that he must be dead. But two or three days ago to their astonishment they had received a letter from the matron of the sailors' home at Portsmouth saying that for the last ten years George Meadows, crippled with rheumatism, had been living there and feeling that he had not much longer to live, wanted to see once more the house in which he was born. Albert Meadows, his great nephew, had gone over to Portsmouth in the car to fetch him and he was to arrive that afternoon.

       "Just fancy," said Mrs. George, "he's not been here for more than fifty years. He's never even seen my George, who's fifty-one next birthday."

       "And what does Mrs. Meadows think of it?" I asked.

       "Well, you know what she is. She sits there and smiles to herself. All she says is, 'He was a good-looking young fellow when he left, but not so steady as his brother.' That's why she chose my George's father. 'But he's probably quietened down by now,' she says."

       Mrs. George asked me to look in and see him. With the simplicity of a country woman who had never been further from her home than London, she thought that because we had both been in China we must have something in common. Of course I went to see him. I found the whole family assembled when I arrived; they were sitting in the great old kitchen, with its stone floor, Mrs. Meadows in her usual chair by the fire, very upright, and I was amused to see that she had put on her best silk dress, while her son and his wife sat at the table with their children. On the other side of the fireplace sat an old man. He was very thin and his skin hung on his bones like an old suit much too large for him; his face was wrinkled and yellow and he had lost nearly all his teeth.

       I shook hands with him.

       "Well, I'm glad to see you've got here safely, Mr. Meadows," I said.

       "Captain," he corrected.

       "He walked here," Albert, his great nephew, told me. "When he got to the gate he made me stop the car and said he wanted to walk."

       "And mind you, I've not been out of my bed for two years. They carried me down and put me in the car. I thought I'd never walk again, but when I saw those elm-trees, I felt I could walk. I walked down that drive fifty-two years ago when I went away and now I've walked back again."

       "Silly, I call it," said Mrs. Meadows.

       "It's done me good. I feel better and stronger than I have felt for ten years. I'll see you out yet, Emily!"

       "Don't be too sure," she answered.

       I suppose no one had called Mrs. Meadows by her first name for a generation. It gave me a little shock, as though the old man were taking a liberty with her. She looked at him with a shrewd smile in her eyes and he, talking to her, grinned with his toothless gums. It was strange to look at them, these two old people who had not seen one another for half a century, and to think that all that long time ago he had loved her and she had loved another. I wondered if they remembered what they had felt then and what they had said to one another. I wondered if it seemed to him strange now that because of that old woman he had left the home of his fathers, and lived an exile's life.

       "Have you ever been married, Captain Meadows?" I asked.

       "Not me," he answered with a grin. "I know too much about women for that."

       "That's what you say," retorted Mrs. Meadows. "If the truth was known I shouldn't be surprised to hear that you had half-a-dozen black wives in your day."

       "They're not black in China, Emily, you ought to know better than that, they're yellow."

       "Perhaps that's why you've got so yellow yourself. When I saw you, I said to myself, why, he's got jaundice."

       "I said I'd never marry anyone but you, Emily, and I never have."

       He said it very simply, as a man might say, "I said I'd walk twenty miles and I've done it." There was a trace of satisfaction in his speech.

       "Well, you might have regretted it if you had," she answered.

       I talked a little with the old man about China.

       "There's not a port in China that I don't know better than you know your coat pocket. Where a ship can go I've been. I could keep you sitting here all day long for six months and not tell you half the things I've seen in my day."

       "Well, one thing you've not done, George, as far as I can see," said Mrs. Meadows, the smile still in her blue eyes, "and that's to make a fortune."

       "I am not a man to save money. Make it and spend it; that's my motto. But one thing I can say for myself: if I had the chance of going through my life again, I'd take it. And not many men can say that."

       "No, indeed," I said.

       I looked at him with admiration and respect. He was a toothless, crippled, penniless old man, but he had made a success of his life, for he had enjoyed it. When I left him he asked me to come and see him again next day. If I was interested in China he would tell me all the stories I wanted to hear.

       Next morning I thought I would go and ask if the old man would like to see me. I walked down the beautiful avenue of elm-trees and when I came to the garden saw Mrs. Meadows picking flowers. I said good morning and she raised herself. She had a huge armful of white flowers. I glanced at the house and I saw that the blinds were drawn: I was surprised, for Mrs. Meadows liked the sunshine.

       "Time enough to live in the dark when you're buried," she always said.

       "How's Captain Meadows?" I asked her.

       "He always was a harum-scarum fellow," she answered. "When Lizzie brought him a cup of tea this morning she found he was dead."

       "Dead?"

       "Yes. Died in his sleep. I was just picking these flowers to put in the room. Well, I'm glad he died in that old house. It always means a lot to the Meadows to do that."

       They had had a good deal of difficulty in persuading him to go to bed. He had talked to them of all the things that had happened to him in his long life. He was happy to be back in his old home. He was proud that he had walked up the drive without assistance, and he boasted that he would live for another twenty years. But fate had been kind: death had written the full stop in the right place.

       Mrs. Meadows smelt the white flowers that she held in her arms.

       "Well, I'm glad he came back," she said. "After I married Tom Meadows and George went away, the fact is I was never quite sure that I'd married the right one."

 

   TASKS TO THE LESSONS 3-4

 Task 1. Read and translate the text.

 Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.

 Task 3. Compose three sentences with as many new words as possible.

 Task 4. Make a summary of the text

 

LESSONS 5-6

 

 A Friend In Need

 

 For thirty years now I have been studying my fellow-men. I do not know very much about them. I suppose it is on, the face that for the most part we judge the persons we meet. We draw our conclusions from the shape of the jaw, the look in the eyes, the shape of the mouth. I shrug my shoulders when people tell me that their first impressions of a person are always right. For my own part I find that the longer I know people the more they puzzle me: my oldest friends are just those of whom I can say that I don't know anything about them.

        These thoughts have occurred to me because I read in this morning's paper that Edward Hyde Burton had died at Kobe. He was a merchant and he had been in Japan for many years. I knew him very little, but he interested me because once he gave me a great surprise. If I had not heard the story from his own lips I should never have believed that he was capable of such an action. It was the more startling because both his appearance and his manner gave the impression of a very different man. He was a tiny little fellow, very slender, with white hair, a red face much wrinkled, and blue eyes. I suppose he was about sixty when I knew him. He was always neatly and quietly dressed in accordance with his age and station.

        Though his offices were in Kobe Burton often came down to Yokohama. I happened on one occasion to be spending a few days there, waiting for a ship, and I was introduced to him at the British Club. We played bridge together. He played a good game and a generous one. He did not talk very much, either then or later when we were having drinks, but what he said was sensible. He had a quiet, dry humour. He seemed to be popular at the club and afterwards, when he had gone, they described him as one of the best. It happened that we were both staying at the Grand Hotel and next day he asked me to dine with him. I met his wife, fat, elderly and smiling, and his two daughters. It was evidently a united and loving family. I think the chief thing that struck me about Burton was his kindliness. There was something very pleasing in his mild blue eyes. His voice was gentle; you could not imagine that he could raise it in anger; his smile was kind. Here was a man who attracted you because you felt in him a real love for his fellows. He had charm. But there was nothing sentimental about him: he liked his game of cards and his cocktail, he could tell a good and spicy story, and in his youth he had been something of an athlete. He was a rich man and he had made every penny himself. I suppose one thing that made you like him was that he was so small and frail; he aroused your instincts of protection. You felt that he would not hurt a fly.

        One afternoon I was sitting in the lounge of the Grand Hotel. From the windows you had an excellent view of the harbour with its crowded traffic. There were great liners; merchant ships of all nations, junks and boats sailing in and out. It was a busy scene and yet, I do not know why, restful to the spirit. 

        Burton came into the lounge presently and caught sight of me. He seated himself in the chair next to mine.

        "What do you say to a little drink?" 

        He clapped his hands for a boy and ordered two drinks. As the boy brought them a man passed along the street outside and seeing me waved his hand.

        "Do you know Turner?" said Burton as I nodded a greeting.

        "I've met him at the club. I'm told he's a remittance man."

        "Yes, I believe he is. We have a good many here."

        "He plays bridge well."

 

        "They generally do. There was a fellow here last year, a namesake of mine, who was the best bridge player I ever met. I suppose you never came across him in London. Lenny Burton he called himself."

        "No. I don't believe I remember the name."

        "He was quite a remarkable player. He seemed to have an instinct about the cards. It was uncanny. I used to play with him a lot. He was in Kobe for some time."

        Burton sipped his gin.

        "It's rather a funny story,", he said. "He wasn't a bad chap. I liked him. He was always well-dressed and he was handsome in a way, with curly hair and pink-and-white cheeks. Women thought a lot of him. There was no harm in him, you know, he was only wild. Of course he drank too much. Fellows like him always do. A bit of money used to come in for him once a quarter and he made a bit more by card-playing. He won a good deal of mine, I know that."

        Burton gave a kindly little chuckle.

        "I suppose that is why he came to me when he went broke, that and the fact that he was a namesake of mine. He came to see me in my office one day and asked me for a job. I was rather surprised. He told me that there was no more money coming from home and he wanted to work. I asked him how old he was.

        "Thirty five,' he said.

        '"And what have you been doing before?' I asked him.

        '"Well, nothing very much,' he said.

        "I couldn't help laughing.

        "'I'm afraid I can't do anything for you just now,' I said. 'Come back and see me in another thirty-five years, and I'll see what I can do.'

        "He didn't move. He went rather pale. He hesitated for a moment and then he told me that he had had bad luck at cards for some time. He hadn't a penny. He'd pawned everything he had. He couldn't pay his hotel bill and they wouldn't give him any more credit. He was down and out. If he couldn't get a job he'd have to commit suicide.

        "I looked at him for a bit. I could see now that he was all to pieces. He'd been drinking more than usual and he looked fifty.

        '"Well, isn't there anything you can do except play cards?' I asked him.

        "'I can swim,' he said.

        "'Swim!'

        "I could hardly believe my ears; it seemed such a silly answer.

        "'I swam for my university.'

 

        "'I was a pretty good swimmer myself when I was a young man,' I said.

        "Suddenly I had an idea.

        Pausing in his story, Burton turned to me.

        "Do you know Kobe?" he asked.

        "No," I said, "I passed through it once, but I only spent a night there."

        "Then you don't know the Shioya Club. When I was a young man I swam from there round the beacon and landed at the creek of Tarumi. It's over three miles and it's rather difficult on account of the currents round the beacon. Well, I told my young namesake about it and I said to him that if he'd do it I'd give him a job.

        "I could see he was rather taken aback.

        '"You say you're a swimmer,' I said.

        '"I'm not in very good condition,' he answered.

        "I didn't say anything. I shrugged my shoulders. He looked at me for a moment and then he nodded.

        '"All right,' he said. 'When do you want me to do it?'

        "I looked at my watch. It was just after ten.

        "The swim shouldn't take you much over an hour and a quarter. I'll drive round to the creek at half-past twelve and meet you. I'll take you back to the club to dress and then we'll have lunch together.'

        "'Done,' he said.

        "We shook hands. I wished him good luck and he left me. I had a lot of work to do that morning and I only just managed to get to the creek at half past twelve. I waited for him there, but in vain."

        "Did he get frightened at the last moment?" I asked.

        "'No, he didn't. He started swimming. But of course he'd ruined his health by drink. The currents round the beacon were more than he could manage.' We didn't get the body for about three days."

        I didn't say anything for a moment or two. I was a little shocked. Then I asked Burton a question.

        "When you offered him the job, did you know that he'd be drowned?"

        He gave a little mild chuckle and he looked at me with those kind blue eyes of his. He rubbed his chin with his hand.

        "Well, I hadn't got a vacancy in my office at the moment."

    TASKS TO LESSONS 5-6

 Task 1. Read and translate the text.

 Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.

 Task 3. Compose three sentences with as many new words as possible.

 Task 4. Make a summary of the text.

 

LESSONS 7-8

 

The End Of The Flight

 

I shook hands with the skipper and he wished me luck. Then I went down to the lower deck crowded with passengers, and made my way to the ladder. Looking over the ship's side I saw that my luggage was already in the boat. It was full of gesticulating natives. I got in and a place was made for me. We were about three miles from the shore and a fresh breeze was blowing. As we drew near I saw a lot of coconut trees and among them the brown roofs of the village. A Chinese who spoke English pointed out to me a white bungalow as the 

 residence of the district officer. Though he did not know it, it was with him that I was going to stay. I had a letter of introduction to him in my pocket.

       I felt somewhat lonely when I landed and my bags were put beside me on the beach. This was a far off place, this little town on the north coast of Borneo, and I felt a trifle shy at the thought of presenting myself to a total stranger with the announcement that I was going to sleep under his roof, eat his food and drink his whisky, till another boat came in to take me to the place where I was going.

       But everything turned out all right. The moment I reached the bungalow and sent in my letter he came out, a sturdy, ruddy, cheerful man, of thirty five perhaps, and greeted me with heartiness. While he held my hand he shouted to a boy to bring drinks and to another to look after my luggage. He cut short my apologies.

       "Good God, man, you have no idea how glad I am to see you. Don't think I'm doing anything for you in putting you up. The boot's on the other leg. And stay as long as you like. Stay a year."

       I laughed. He put away his day's work, saying that he had nothing to do that could not wait till tomorrow, and threw himself into a long chair. We talked and drank and talked. Towards evening, when it was no longer hot we went for a long walk in the jungle and came back wet to the skin. We took a bath, and then we dined. I was tired out and though it was clear that my host was willing to go on talking straight through the night I was obliged to beg him to allow me to go to bed.

       "All right, I'll just come along to your room and see that everything's all right."

       It was a large room with verandahs on two sides of it and a huge bed protected by mosquito netting.

       "The bed is rather hard. Do you mind?"

       "Not a bit. I shall sleep without rocking tonight."

       My host looked at the bed thoughtfully.

       "It was a Dutchman who slept in it last. Do you want to hear a funny story?"

       I wanted chiefly to go to bed, but he was my host, and then I know that it is hard to have an amusing story to tell and find no listener.

       "He came on the boat that brought you here. He came into my office and asked me where he could find a place to stay for some time. I told him that if he hadn't anywhere to go I didn't mind putting him up. He jumped at the invitation. I told him to send for his luggage.

       ''This is an I've got,' he said.

       "He held out a little shiny black bag. It seemed a bit scanty, but it was no business of mine, so I told him to go to the bungalow and I would come as soon as I was through with my work. While I was speaking the door of my office was opened and my clerk came in. The Dutchman had his back to the door and it may be that my clerk opened it a bit suddenly. Anyhow, the Dutchman gave a shout, he jumped about two feet into the air and whipped out a revolver.

       '"What the hell are you doing?' I said.

       "When he saw it was the clerk, he collapsed. He leaned against the desk, breathing hard, and upon my word he was shaking as though he'd got fever.

       "'I beg your pardon,' he said. 'It's my nerves. My nerves are terrible.'

       "'It looks like it,' I said.

       "I was rather short with him. To tell you the truth I was sorry that I had asked him to stop with me. He didn't look as though he'd been drinking a lot and I wondered if he was some fellow the police were after.

       '"You'd better go and lie down,' I said.

       "He went, and when I got back to my bungalow I found him sitting quite quietly, but very upright, on the verandah. He'd had a bath and shaved and put on clean things and he looked much better.

       '"Why are you sitting in the middle of the place like that?' I asked him. 'You'll be much more comfortable in one of the long chairs.'

       "'I prefer to sit up,' he said.

       "Queer, I thought. But if a man in this heat prefers to sit up rather than lie down it's his own business. He wasn't much to look at, tall and heavily built, with a square head and close-cut hair. I think he was about forty. The thing that chiefly struck me about him was his expression. There was a look in his eyes, blue eyes they were and rather small, that I could not understand, and his face gave you the feeling that he was going to cry. He had a way of looking quickly over his left shoulder as though he thought he heard something. By God, he was nervous. But we had a couple of drinks and he began to talk. He spoke English very well; except for a slight accent you'd never have known that he was a foreigner, and I have to admit he was a good talker. He'd been everywhere and he'd read a great deal. It was a pleasure to listen to him.

       "We had three or four whiskies in the afternoon and a lot of gin later on, so that when dinner came we were rather gay and I'd come to the conclusion that he was a damned good fellow. Of course we had a lot of whisky at dinner and I happened to have a bottle of Benedictine, so we had some liqueurs afterwards. I think we both got very drunk.

       "And at last he told me why he had come. It was a strange story."

       My host stopped and looked at me with his mouth slightly open as though, remembering it now, he was struck again with its strangeness.

       "He came from Sumatra, the Dutchman, and he'd done something to an Achinese and the Achinese had sworn to kill him. At first he thought nothing of it, but the fellow tried two or three times and it began to be rather a nuisance, so he decided to go away for a bit. He went over to Batavia and made up his mind to have a good time. But when he'd been there a week he saw the fellow hiding behind a wall. By God, he'd followed him. It looked as though he meant business. The Dutchman began to think it was getting beyond a joke and he thought the best thing he could do was to go off to Soerabaya. Well, he was strolling about the town one day, when he happened to turn round and saw the Achinese walking quite quietly just behind him. It gave him a turn. It would give anyone a turn.

       "The Dutchman went straight back to his hotel, packed his things and took the next boat to Singapore. Of course he put up at the hotel where all the Dutch stay, and one day when he was having a drink in the courtyard in front of the hotel, the Achinese walked in, looked at him for a minute, and walked out again. The Dutchman told me he was just paralysed. The fellow could have stuck his dagger into him there and then and he wouldn't have been able to move a hand to defend himself. The Dutchman knew that the Achinese was just awaiting his time, that damned fellow was going to kill him, he saw it in his eyes; and he went all to pieces."

       "But why didn't he go to the police?" I asked.

       "I don't know. I suppose he didn't want the police to know anything about this thing."

       "But what had he done to the man?"

       "I don't know that either. He wouldn't tell me. But by the look he gave me when I asked him, I suppose it was something pretty bad. I have an idea he knew he deserved whatever the Achinese could do."

       My host lit a cigarette.

       "Go on," I said.

       "The skipper of the boat that runs between Singapore and Kuching lives in that hotel between trips and the boat was starting at dawn. The Dutchman thought it an excellent chance to get away from the Achinese; he left his luggage at the hotel and walked down to the ship with the skipper, as if he were just going to see him off, and stayed on the boat when she sailed. His nerves were in a terrible state by then. He didn't care about anything but getting rid of the Achinese. He felt pretty safe at Kuching. He got a room at a hotel and bought himself a couple of suits and some shirts in the Chinese shops. But he told me he couldn't sleep. He dreamt of that man and half a dozen times he awakened just as he thought a dagger was being drawn across his throat. By God, I felt quite sorry for him. He just shook as he talked to me and his voice was hoarse with terror. That was the meaning of the look I had noticed. You remember, I told you he had a funny look on his face and I couldn't tell what it meant. Well, it was fear.

       "And one day when he was in the club at Kuching he looked out of the window and saw the Achinese sitting there. Their eyes met. The Dutchman collapsed and fainted. When he came to himself, his first idea was to get out. This boat that brought you was the only one that gave him a chance to get away quickly. He got on her. He was quite sure the man was not on board."

       "But what made him come here?"

       "Well, the boat stops at a dozen places on the coast and the Achinese couldn't guess that the Dutchman had chosen this one. He only made up his mind to get off when he saw there was only one boat to take the passengers ashore, and there weren't more than a dozen people in it.

       '"I'm safe here for a bit at all events,' he said, 'and if I can only be quiet for a while I shall get my nerve back.'

       " 'Stay as long as you like,' I said. 'You're all right here, at all events till the boat comes here next month, and if you like we'll watch the people who come off.'

       "He thanked me again and again. I could see what a relief it was to him.

       "It was pretty late and I told him it was time to go to bed. I took him to his room to see that everything was all right. He bolted the shutters, though I told him there was no risk, and when I left him I heard him lock the door I had just gone out of.

       "Next morning when the boy brought me my tea I asked him if he'd called the Dutchman. He said he was just going to. I heard him knock and knock again. Funny, I thought. The boy hammered on the door, but there was no answer. I felt a little nervous, so I got up. I knocked too. We made enough noise to rouse the dead, but the Dutchman slept on. Then I broke down the door. I pulled apart the mosquito curtains that were round the bed. He was lying there on his back with his eyes wide open. He was as dead as mutton.

       "A dagger lay across his throat, and say I'm a liar if you like, but I swear to God it's true, there wasn't a wound about him anywhere. The room was empty."

       "Funny, wasn't it?"

       "Well, that all depends on your idea of humour," I replied.

       My host looked at me quickly.

       "You don't mind sleeping in that bed, do you?"

       "N-no. But I would have preferred to hear the story tomorrow morning."

 

 TASKS TO LESSONS 7-8

 

 Task 1. Read and translate the text.

 Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.

 Task 3. Compose three sentences with as many new words as possible.

 Task 4. Make a summary of the text.