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Ф 27
Кафедра теории и практики английского языка канд. филол. наук, доцент Г.Э. Жумалиева,
и межкультурной коммуникации доцент Г.А. Вишневская

Рекомендовано к изданию Ученым Советом КРСУ

А.Г. Фатнева Допущено Министерством образования и науки

Кыргызской Республики в качестве учебного пособия
для студентов высших учебных заведений



ПО ДОМАШНЕМУ ЧТЕНИЮ СТУДЕНТОВ 3 КУРСА. – Бишкек: Изд-во КРСУ, 2011. – 64 с.

ISBN 978-9967-05-707-4
Учебное пособие по развитию навыков работы с домашним
чтением предназначено для студентов третьего курса, изучающих
английский язык. Состоит из пяти разделов, в основе которых лежат
рассказы О.Генри. Пособие содержит задания, направленные на
развитие навыков чтения и говорения, а также обогащение лексического

Ф 4602020102-10 УДК 811.111

ББК 81.2 Англ
ISBN 978-9967-05-707-4
© КРСУ, 2011

Бишкек 2011


How to use this book………………………………………………….4


Chapter 1 It is generally acknowledged that the more students read, the

After twenty years…………………………………………………….7 better they become at English. Reading affects students’ speaking and
listening skills: when students read, they become better listeners and
Chapter 2 speakers. However, to be useful for students, reading needs to be
The love-philtre of Ikey Schoenstein………………………………..14 organized in a specific way.
First of all, if we are talking about understanding the meaning of
Chapter 3 a text, reading should be a silent activity. Reading aloud involves
The gift of the magi………………………………………………….25 speaking and might be a good way to practice students’ pronunciation
and intonation. However, if a teacher expects students to answer
Chapter 4 comprehension questions after reading a text, she should not ask them
The green door……………………………………………………….38 to read aloud.
Another important thing a teacher should keep in her mind is
Chapter 5 that students do not choose the text they read. Teachers do it. That’s
The romance of a busy broker……………………………………….52 why it is necessary to prepare student for reading, raise their interest,
and activate their background knowledge. By doing so, teachers create
Bibliography…………………………………………………………63 a need for reading a text and help students understand it.
As students are not fluent readers, they need to read a text more
than once to fully grasp the meaning. That’s why teachers need to give
students a chance to read the text several times; each time with a new
specific task. The first task should be aimed at understanding the gist

3 4
of a text, and it should let students practice skimming reading. The gist. The aim here is to make some predictions about the content of a
second task should be aimed at understanding the details of a text. At text and then check these predictions by skim reading the text. Second
this point students get an opportunity to practice scanning reading and reading tasks are aimed at understanding the details of a text. This
intensive reading. section should be completed by students individually at home.
Finally, in real life we usually discuss what we have read; the However, it is necessary to discuss it at the next lesson in the
same should be done in the classroom. There should be some follow classroom.
up activities after students have read a text. Such activities allow After reading section is aimed at personalizing the process of
teachers to integrate reading with other skills and let students make a working with a text. It enables students to move beyond the limits of
personal response and apply what they have learned. the story. Students may be encouraged to talk about their own
The approach to teaching reading described above has reactions to the story, reflect on possible solutions to problems raised
determined the structure of this book. It contains five chapters each in the story or to evaluate characters’ actions. This section again
based on a complete short story. All the stories are written by should be completed in the classroom.
O. Henry, a famous American writer, and they have not been abridged Finally, focus on language offers students a chance to expand
or simplified. Each chapter is divided into five sections which call their vocabulary. The tasks in this section are of different types:
upon different reading and language skills of students. matching, fill-in the gaps, guessing from the context and making
Before reading is the section that should be done in the sentences. There are no Russian equivalents provided here. Students
classroom. It contains tasks which encourage students to start thinking are encouraged to think in English as much as possible and use
about the text they are going to read. Besides, these tasks develop English whenever possible. If they have a problem, they can always
speaking and listening skills, and that’s why they need to be done in refer to a bilingual dictionary on their own. This section can be
pairs or small groups with the following open class discussion. There completed at home and checked at the next lesson.
are no tasks aimed at pre-teaching vocabulary in this section: as
students are going to read each text at home, they will be able to look
any necessary word up in a dictionary.
Reading section consists of two stages: namely, first reading
and second reading. First reading tasks help students understand the

5 6
CHAPTER 1. AFTER TWENTY YEARS 2. How did Bob feel when he saw the man who pretended to be
Before reading
3. How did he feel when he read the note from Jimmy?
Work with a partner and answer the following questions.
4. What do you think happened to Bob after that?
1. When did you finish school? Have you had a school reunion after
that? When was it? What was it like? How did you feel? Why? After reading

2. Do you see yourself in 20 years’ time? What aspects of your life Work with a partner and discuss the following questions.

might change? 1. Who do you sympathize with: Bob or Jimmy? Why?

3. Is there a friend you would like to meet in 20 years’ time? Who is 2. Do you think Jimmy did the right thing? Why? Why not?

it? Why would you like to meet him/her? 3. If you had been in Jimmy’s place, what would you have done?
First reading
4. Do you think such a story could happen in our country? Why?
Read the text and decide if the following statements are true or
Why not?
false. If they are false, explain why.
1. Jimmy and Bob used to be friends. AFTER TWENTY YEARS
2. They were both risky and adventurous.
The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively.
3. Bob made a fortune in the West.
The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for spectators were
4. Bob was a criminal.
few. The time was barely 10 o'clock at night, but chilly gusts of wind
5. Bob didn’t recognize Jimmy because he had become taller.
with a taste of rain in them had well nigh developed the streets.
6. Jimmy didn’t come to the appointed place.
Trying doors as he went, twirling his club with many intricate
7. Jimmy arrested Bob.
and artful movements, turning now and then to cast his watchful eye
Second reading adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, with his stalwart form and
Look through the text again and answer the following questions. slight swagger, made a fine picture of a guardian of the peace. The
1. Do you think Jimmy and Bob were close friends? vicinity was one that kept early hours. Now and then you might see
the lights of a cigar store or of an all-night lunch counter; but the

7 8
majority of the doors belonged to business places that had long since conditions might be or from what distance we might have to come. We
been closed. figured that in twenty years each of us ought to have our destiny
When about midway of a certain block the policeman suddenly worked out and our fortunes made, whatever they were going to be."
slowed his walk. In the doorway of a darkened hardware store a man "It sounds pretty interesting," said the policeman. "Rather a long
leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his mouth. As the policeman walked time between meets, though, it seems to me. Haven't you heard from
up to him the man spoke up quickly. your friend since you left?"
"It's all right, officer," he said, reassuringly. "I'm just waiting for "Well, yes, for a time we corresponded," said the other. "But
a friend. It's an appointment made twenty years ago. Sounds a little after a year or two we lost track of each other. You see, the West is a
funny to you, doesn't it? Well, I'll explain if you'd like to make certain pretty big proposition, and I kept hustling around over it pretty lively.
it's all straight. About that long ago there used to be a restaurant where But I know Jimmy will meet me here if he's alive, for he always was
this store stands – 'Big Joe' Brady's restaurant." the truest, stanchest old chap in the world. He'll never forget. I came
"Until five years ago," said the policeman. "It was torn down a thousand miles to stand in this door tonight, and it's worth it if my
then." old partner turns up."
The man in the doorway struck a match and lit his cigar. The The waiting man pulled out a handsome watch, the lids of it set
light showed a pale, square-jawed face with keen eyes, and a little with small diamonds.
white scar near his right eyebrow. His scarfpin was a large diamond, "Three minutes to ten," he announced. "It was exactly ten
oddly set. o'clock when we parted here at the restaurant door."
"Twenty years ago tonight," said the man, "I dined here at 'Big "Did pretty well out West, didn't you?" asked the policeman.
Joe' Brady's with Jimmy Wells, my best chum, and the finest chap in "You bet! I hope Jimmy has done half as well. He was a kind of
the world. He and I were raised here in New York, just like two plodder, though, good fellow as he was. I've had to compete with
brothers, together. I was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty. The next some of the sharpest wits going to get my pile. A man gets in a
morning I was to start for the West to make my fortune. You couldn't groove in New York. It takes the West to put a razor-edge on him."
have dragged Jimmy out of New York; he thought it was the only The policeman twirled his club and took a step or two.
place on earth. Well, we agreed that night that we would meet here "I'll be on my way. Hope your friend comes around all right.
again exactly twenty years from that date and time, no matter what our Going to call time on him sharp?"

9 10
"I should say not!" said the other. "I'll give him half an hour at "Bully; it has given me everything I asked it for. You've
least. If Jimmy is alive on earth he'll be here by that time. So long, changed lots, Jimmy. I never thought you were so tall by two or three
officer." inches."
"Good-night, sir," said the policeman, passing on along his beat, "Oh, I grew a bit after I was twenty."
trying doors as he went. "Doing well in New York, Jimmy?"
There was now a fine, cold drizzle falling, and the wind had "Moderately. I have a position in one of the city departments.
risen from its uncertain puffs into a steady blow. The few foot Come on, Bob; we'll go around to a place I know of, and have a good
passengers astir in that quarter hurried dismally and silently along with long talk about old times."
coat collars turned high and pocketed hands. And in the door of the The two men started up the street, arm in arm. The man from
hardware store the man who had come a thousand miles to fill an the West, his egotism enlarged by success, was beginning to outline
appointment, uncertain almost to absurdity, with the friend of his the history of his career. The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened
youth, smoked his cigar and waited. with interest.
About twenty minutes he waited, and then a tall man in a long At the corner stood a drug store, brilliant with electric lights.
overcoat, with collar turned up to his ears, hurried across from the When they came into this glare each of them turned simultaneously to
opposite side of the street. He went directly to the waiting man. gaze upon the other's face.
"Is that you, Bob?" he asked, doubtfully. The man from the West stopped suddenly and released his arm.
"Is that you, Jimmy Wells?" cried the man in the door. "You're not Jimmy Wells," he snapped. "Twenty years is a long
"Bless my heart!" exclaimed the new arrival, grasping both the time, but not long enough to change a man's nose from a Roman to a
other's hands with his own. "It's Bob, sure as fate. I was certain I'd find pug."
you here if you were still in existence. Well, well, well! – twenty years "It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one," said the tall
is a long time. The old restaurant's gone, Bob; I wish it had lasted, so man." You've been under arrest for ten minutes, 'Silky' Bob. Chicago
we could have had another dinner there. How has the West treated thinks you may have dropped over our way and wires us she wants to
you, old man?" have a chat with you. Going quietly, are you? That's sensible. Now,
before we go on to the station here's a note I was asked to hand you.
You may read it here at the window. It's from Patrolman Wells."

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The man from the West unfolded the little piece of paper 2. Fill in the gaps with the words from exercise 1.
handed him. His hand was steady when he began to read, but it a) Crowds of journalists gathered in the _______________of the
trembled a little by the time he had finished. The note was rather short. White House.
"Bob: I was at the appointed place on time. When you struck the b) I am not a daredevil at all and I hate ______________________.
match to light your cigar I saw it was the face of the man wanted in c) ________________blew his hat off.
Chicago. Somehow I couldn't do it myself, so I went around and got a d) He is __________________. I know he is the person I can confide
plain clothes man to do the job. JIMMY." in.
e) More police officers out _____________ may help to cut crime.
Focus on language
f) Don’t be naive! You can’t _______________ working hard.
1. Look back at the text and find the words/phrases in bold.
g) Two _____________ came up to me and asked for a cigarette
Look at the context and try to guess what they mean. Then match the
lighter. I could see through them: they were police officers.
words/phrases to their meanings.
h) It is said that the great writer is always the ___________.
a. beat (noun) 1 the area around a particular place
b. gusts of wind 2 a policeman wearing ordinary
clothes, not uniform
c. vicinity 3 to make a lot of money
d. the stanchest old chap in the 4 to be in a difficult situation OF IKEY SCHOENSTEIN
world (AmE) where any mistake may be very
e. a plodder 5 the area which a police officer Before reading
walks around regularly and which he
or she is responsible for 1. Work with a partner and answer the following questions.
f. to get/make my pile (informal) 6 to be unable to change sth that you
have been doing the same way for a 1. What factors attract one person to another? Is it physical beauty,
long time and that has become boring personality, wealth or something else?
g. to be/get/stuck in a groove (BrE) 7 the most faithful friend
2. Is it true that opposites attract or are we attracted to people who
h. to be on a razor edge 8 a sudden strong increase in the
are most like ourselves?
amount and speed of wind that is
blowing 3. Do you know the expression “eternal triangle”? What does it mean?
i. a plain clothes man 9 a person who works slowly and
steadily but without imagination
2. What does the word “philtre” mean? Read the definition.

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3. Ikey was proud of his knowledge of pharmacy.
4. The drug store where Ikey worked was a very modern place that
Philtre (BrE) (AmE philter) noun (literary) a magic drink that
tried to keep pace with all the advances in pharmacy.
is supposed to make people fall in love
5. Ikey and Chunk were friends.
(Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)
6. Ikey and Chunk were rivals.
First reading 7. Chunk might have been a conman.
What do you think this story is about? For each sentence, circle 8. Chunk was a determined person.
Y (Yes) or N (No).
After reading
1. One of the characters carries a torch for somebody. Y/N
1. Work with a partner and make up dialogues:
2. One of the characters invents a love-philter. Y/N a) Chunk is trying to persuade Rosy to elope with him.
3. The story is about an eternal triangle. Y/N b) Chunk is telling Ikey about his secret plan.
4. The best character will be rewarded at the end of the story. Y/N c) Ikey is telling Mr. Riddle about Chunk’s plan.
Read the text and check your ideas. d) Ikey is talking to Chunk after the elopement.

Second reading 2. Work with a partner and discuss the following questions:
1. Read the text for the second time and answer the following a) Who do you sympathize with: Ikey or Chunk? Why?
questions. b) Would you like to have love philtre? Why? Why not?
1. What was Chunk’s plan?
3. Look through the sentences. Who do you think could have
2. What was Ikey’s plan?
said them?
3. Who succeeded? How?
a. “I wish I hadn’t done it”.
2. Look through the text again and decide if the following b. “I wish she was more decisive”.
statements are true or false. If they are false explain why. c. “I wish he would stop paying court to my daughter”.
1. Ikey was a self-confident and decisive person. d. “I wish I could tell her about my feelings”.
2. Ikey was a rather attractive young man.

15 16
Think of some other sentences that the characters of the story Therefore Ikey's corniform, be-spectacled nose and narrow,
could have said. Use wish structure. Think of your own dreams and knowledge-bowed figure was well known in the vicinity of the Blue
regrets. Make some sentences using wish structure. Light, and his advice and notice were much desired.
Ikey roomed and breakfasted at Mrs. Riddle's two squares away.
THE LOVE-PHILTRE OF IKEY SCHOENSTEIN Mrs. Riddle had a daughter named Rosy. The circumlocution has been

The Blue Light Drug Store is downtown, between the Bowery in vain – you must have guessed it – Ikey adored Rosy. She tinctured

and First Avenue, where the distance between the two streets is the all his thoughts; she was the compound extract of all that was

shortest. The Blue Light does not consider that pharmacy is a thing of chemically pure and officinal – the dispensatory contained nothing

bric-a-brac, scent and ice-cream soda. If you ask it for pain-killer it equal to her. But Ikey was timid, and his hopes remained insoluble in

will not give you a bonbon. the menstruum of his backwardness and fears. Behind his counter he

The Blue Light scorns the labour-saving arts of modern was a superior being, calmly conscious of special knowledge and

pharmacy. It macerates its opium and percolates its own laudanum and worth; outside he was a weak-kneed, purblind, motorman-cursed

paregoric. To this day pills are made behind its tall prescription desk – rambler, with ill-fitting clothes stained with chemicals and smelling of

pills rolled out on its own pill-tile, divided with a spatula, rolled with socotrine aloes and valerianate of ammonia.

the finger and thumb, dusted with calcined magnesia and delivered in The fly in Ikey's ointment (thrice welcome, pat trope!) was

little round pasteboard pill-boxes. The store is on a corner about which Chunk McGowan.

coveys of ragged-plumed, hilarious children play and become Mr. McGowan was also striving to catch the bright smiles

candidates for the cough drops and soothing syrups that wait for them tossed about by Rosy. But he was no outfielder as Ikey was; he picked

inside. them off the bat. At the same time he was Ikey's friend and customer,

Ikey Schoenstein was the night clerk of the Blue Light and the and often dropped in at the Blue Light Drug Store to have a bruise

friend of his customers. Thus it is on the East Side, where the heart of painted with iodine or get a cut rubber-plastered after a pleasant

pharmacy is not glace. There, as it should be, the druggist is a evening spent along the Bowery.

counsellor, a confessor, an adviser, an able and willing missionary and One afternoon McGowan drifted in in his silent, easy way, and

mentor whose learning is respected, whose occult wisdom is venerated sat, comely, smooth-faced, hard, indomitable, good-natured, upon a

and whose medicine is often poured, untasted, into the gutter. stool.

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"Ikey," said he, when his friend had fetched his mortar and sat almanac into a roll and fitted it with unprofitable carefulness about his
opposite, grinding gum benzoin to a powder, "get busy with your ear. finger.
It's drugs for me if you've got the line I need." "I wouldn't have this double handicap make a false start to-night
Ikey scanned the countenance of Mr. McGowan for the usual for a million," he said. "I've got a little flat up in Harlem all ready,
evidences of conflict, but found none. with chrysanthemums on the table and a kettle ready to boil. And I've
"Take your coat off," he ordered. "I guess already that you have engaged a pulpit pounder to be ready at his house for us at 9.30. It's
been stuck in the ribs with a knife. I have many times told you those got to come off. And if Rosy don't change her mind again!" – Mr.
Dagoes would do you up." McGowan ceased, a prey to his doubts.
Mr. McGowan smiled. "Not them," he said. "Not any Dagoes. "I don't see then yet," said Ikey, shortly, "what makes it that you
But you've located the diagnosis all right enough – it's under my coat, talk of drugs, or what I can be doing about it."
near the ribs. Say! Ikey – Rosy and me are goin' to run away and get "Old man Riddle don't like me a little bit," went on the uneasy
married tonight." suitor, bent upon marshalling his arguments. "For a week he hasn't let
Ikey's left forefinger was doubled over the edge of the mortar, Rosy step outside the door with me. If it wasn't for losin' a boarder
holding it steady. He gave it a wild rap with the pestle, but felt it not. they'd have bounced me long ago. I'm makin' $20 a week and she'll
Meanwhile Mr. McGowan's smile faded to a look of perplexed gloom. never regret flyin' the coop with Chunk McGowan."
"That is," he continued, "if she keeps in the notion until the time "You will excuse me, Chunk," said Ikey. "I must make a
comes. We've been layin' pipes for the getaway for two weeks. One prescription that is to be called for soon."
day she says she will; the same evenin' she says nixy. We've agreed on "Say," said McGowan, looking up suddenly, "say, Ikey, ain't
to-night, and Rosy's stuck to the affirmative this time for two whole there a drug of some kind – some kind of powders that'll make a girl
days. But it's five hours yet till the time, and I'm afraid she'll stand me like you better if you give 'em to her?"
up when it comes to the scratch." Ikey's lip beneath his nose curled with the scorn of superior
"You said you wanted drugs," remarked Ikey. enlightenment; but before he could answer, McGowan continued:
Mr. McGowan looked ill at ease and harassed – a condition "Tim Lacy told me he got some once from a croaker uptown and
opposed to his usual line of demeanour. He made a patent-medicine fed 'em to his girl in soda water. From the very first dose he was ace-

19 20
high and everybody else looked like thirty cents to her. They was acquaintance would I intrust a powder like that. But for you I shall
married in less than two weeks." make it, and you shall see how it makes Rosy to think of you."
Strong and simple was Chunk McGowan. A better reader of Ikey went behind the prescription desk. There he crushed to a
men than Ikey was could have seen that his tough frame was strung powder two soluble tablets, each containing a quarter of a grain of
upon fine wires. Like a good general who was about to invade the morphia. To them he added a little sugar of milk to increase the bulk,
enemy's territory he was seeking to guard every point against possible and folded the mixture neatly in a white paper. Taken by an adult this
failure. powder would insure several hours of heavy slumber without danger
"I thought," went on Chunk hopefully, "that if I had one of them to the sleeper. This he handed to Chunk McGowan, telling him to
powders to give Rosy when I see her at supper to-night it might brace administer it in a liquid if possible, and received the hearty thanks of
her up and keep her from reneging on the proposition to skip. I guess the backyard
she don't need a mule team to drag her away, but women are better at Lochinvar.
coaching than they are at running bases. If the stuff'll work just for a The subtlety of Ikey's action becomes apparent upon recital of
couple of hours it'll do the trick." his subsequent move. He sent a messenger for Mr. Riddle and
"When is this foolishness of running away to be happening?" disclosed the plans of Mr. McGowan for eloping with Rosy.
asked Ikey. Mr. Riddle was a stout man, brick-dusty of complexion and sudden in
"Nine o'clock," said Mr. McGowan. "Supper's at seven. At eight action.
Rosy goes to bed with a headache. At nine old Parvenzano lets me "Much obliged," he said, briefly, to Ikey. "The lazy Irish loafer!
through to his back yard, where there's a board off Riddle's fence, next My own room's just above Rosy's. I'll just go up there myself after
door. I go under her window and help her down the fire-escape. We've supper and load the shot-gun and wait. If he comes in my back yard
got to make it early on the preacher's account. It's all dead easy if Rosy he'll go away in a ambulance instead of a bridal chaise."
don't balk when the flag drops. Can you fix me one of them powders, With Rosy held in the clutches of Morpheus for a many-hours
Ikey?" deep slumber, and the bloodthirsty parent waiting, armed and
Ikey Schoenstein rubbed his nose slowly. forewarned, Ikey felt that his rival was close, indeed, upon
"Chunk," said he, "it is of drugs of that nature that discomfiture.
pharmaceutists must have much carefulness. To you alone of my

21 22
All night in the Blue Light Drug Store he waited at his duties for Focus on language
chance news of the tragedy, but none came. 1. Look through the text and make a list of all the words that refer to
At eight o'clock in the morning the day clerk arrived and Ikey the topic “Health and medicine”. Look them up in a dictionary.
started hurriedly for Mrs. Riddle's to learn the outcome. And, lo! as he 2. Look back at the text and find the words/phrases in bold. Look at
stepped out of the store who but Chunk McGowan sprang from a the context and try to guess what they mean. Then match the
passing street car and grasped his hand – Chunk McGowan with a words/phrases to their meanings.
victor's smile and flushed with joy. a. a/the fly in the ointment 1. to escape from a place or prison
b. to stand sb up (informal) 2. to be dubious and doubtful
"Pulled it off," said Chunk with Elysium in his grin. "Rosy hit about something
the fire-escape on time to a second, and we was under the wire at the c. ill at ease 3. to break a promise, an
agreement, etc.; to go back on sth.
Reverend's at 9.3O 1/4. She's up at the flat – she cooked eggs this d. to be a prey to doubts (formal) 4. to speak with difficulty,
repeating sounds or words and often
mornin' in a blue kimono – Lord! How lucky I am! You must pace up stopping, before saying things
some day, Ikey, and feed with us. I've got a job down near the bridge, correctly; to stutter
e. to fly the coop (informal, AmE) 5. to be unwilling to do sth or
and that's where I'm heading for now." become involved in sth because it is
"The – the – powder?" stammered Ikey. difficult, dangerous, etc.
f. to renege on sth (formal) 6. to succeed in doing sth difficult
"Oh, that stuff you gave me!" said Chunk, broadening his grin; g. to balk at smth (= baulk BrE) 7. to deliberately not meet sb you
have arranged to meet, especially sb
"well, it was this way. I sat down at the supper table last night at you are having a romantic
Riddle's, and I looked at Rosy, and I says to myself, 'Chunk, if you get relationship with:
h. to elope with sb 8. feeling uncomfortable and
the girl get her on the square – don't try any hocus-pocus with a embarrassed
i. bloodthirsty 9. a person or thing that spoils a
thoroughbred like her.' And I keeps the paper you give me in my
situation or an occasion that is fine
pocket. And then my lamps fall on another party present, who, I says in all other ways
j. to pull smth off (informal) 10. wanting to kill or wound;
to myself, is failin' in a proper affection toward his comin' son-in-law, enjoying seeing or hearing about
so I watches my chance and dumps that powder in old man Riddle's killing and violence
k. to stammer 11. to run away with sb in order to
coffee – see?" marry them secretly

23 24
3. Fill in the gaps with the words from exercise 2. b) Do you know why people give each other presents on Christmas
1. Many parents may __________ at the idea of paying $100 per a Day?
pair of shoes. c) What is the best present you’ve ever received? Tell your partner
2. A: “What’s happened? Why are you so angry?” about it.
B: “I’ve been __________! I waited my girlfriend for more than
2. Do you know who the magi were? Read the definition.
an hour and she didn’t come! ”
3. I do not like formal clothes. I always feel _________ wearing Magi noun (pl) (in the Bible) the three wise men from the East
them. who are said to have brought presents to the baby Jesus
4. A: “We’ve signed the contract!” (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)
B: “Congratulations! I never thought you’d pull it off.” What do you think the story will be about?
5. It’s cruel to make fun of people who ____________.
First reading
6. The prisoners managed to dig the tunnel and when the guards were
Read the text and answer the following questions.
fast asleep they ___________.
1. Where and when is the story set?
7. The trip was all planed. We were setting off the next morning.
2. How many main characters are there in the story? What do you
Then the boss called and said I had to put off my vocation. What
know about them?
8. “You’ve signed the contract and you can’t _____________on it!”, Second reading
said the boss. 1. Look through the text again. Which character speaks the
following lines and what do these lines tell us about their personality?
CHAPTER 3. THE GIFT OF THE MAGI a) And now I think we should have our dinner.
b) Will you buy my hair?
Before reading c) I sold the watch to get the money to buy the combs.
1. Work with a partner and discuss the following questions. d) You've cut off your hair?
a) What is special about Christmas? How do people celebrate it? e) Isn't it perfect, Jim?
f) What could I do with a dollar and eighty-seven cents?

25 26
g) Don't you like me now? Independence Wisdom
h) You won't care, will you? 2. Seven of these themes can be found in the story “The Gift of
2. Put the lines in order and retell the story using Reported Speech. the Magi”. Explain how O. Henry uses each theme you have
After reading
3. Rank the seven themes identified above from 1–7 with
1. A story usually has one main theme and several minor
1 being the main theme in the story and 7 the least important minor
themes. Below is a list of some common general themes in literature
theme. There is not one right answer. Discuss your choice with
around the world. Think of some stories or movies that you are
another student.
familiar with and try to identify some of the themes in them.
4. Look through the following proverbs. Discuss with your
partner what they mean. Are there Russian equivalents for these
Art Identity
Beauty Justice
a) Love is the greatest gift of all.
Bravery Knowledge
b) Money can't buy you love.
Death Law
c) A gift must come from the heart.
Fear Loss
d) Beauty comes from within.
Family Love
e) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Faith Money
Freedom Nature Which of these proverbs best describes the main idea of the
The Future Peace story “The Gift of the Magi”? Why?
Giving Poverty

Growing Up Religion (1) One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty
Heroism Sacrifice cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by
Honesty Truth bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until
Hope War one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such

27 28
close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with
eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been
(2) There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a
little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning
reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling –
sniffles predominating. something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being
(3) While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from owned by Jim.
the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat (5) There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room.
at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very
had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad. In the agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of
vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks.
electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also Della, being slender, had mastered the art.
appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James (6) Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the
Dillingham Young." The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its colour
during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall
$30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, the letters of to its full length.
"Dillingham" looked blurred, as though they were thinking seriously (7) Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham
of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold
Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was
he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Della's hair. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the
Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good. airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day
(4) Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King
powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the
cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard. Tomorrow would be basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed,
Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

29 30
(8) So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her, rippling and It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she that it
shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value – the description
made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she
nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim
while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet. might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as
(9) On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the
With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.
fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street. (17) When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little
(10) Where she stopped the sign read: "Mme. Sofronie. Hair to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the
Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added
panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends – a mammoth
"Sofronie." task.
(11) "Will you buy my hair?" asked Della. (18) Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-
(12) "I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy.
sight at the looks of it." She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.
(13) Down rippled the brown cascade. "Twenty dollars," said (19) "If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes
Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand. a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl.
(14) "Give it to me quick," said Della. But what could I do – oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty-
(15) Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget seven cents?"
the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present. (20) At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on
(16) She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.
one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had (21) Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand
turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered.
chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and
not by meretricious ornamentation – as all good things should do. she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little

31 32
silent prayers about the simplest everyday things, and now she (29) "You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of
whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty." idiocy.
(22) The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He (30) "You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you –
looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two – sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went
and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on
was without gloves. with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love
(23) Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"
scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an (31) Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded
expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some
not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a
sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her million a year – what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit
fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face. would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts,
(24) Della wriggled off the table and went for him. but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated
(25) "Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had later on.
my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through (32) Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it
Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again – you upon the table.
won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. (33) "Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't
Say 'Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo
nice – what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you." that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that
(26) "You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he package you may see why you had me going a while at first."
had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental (34) White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And
labor. then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change
(27) "Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment
well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?" of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.
(28) Jim looked about the room curiously.

33 34
(35) For there lay The Combs – the set of combs, side and back, (42) The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise
that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful men – who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the
combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims – just the shade to wear art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt
in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of
and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful
least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely
should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone. sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a
(36) But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give
able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such
fast, Jim!" as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
(37) And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried,
Focus on language
"Oh, oh!"
1. Look through the text again and find the words or phrases
(38) Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to
for the following definitions. The numbers provided indicate the
him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to
paragraphs where these words and phrases are used.
flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.
(39) "Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. a) to force sb to do smth (v) paragraph 1

You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me b) the fact of being extremely unwilling to spend money, synonym of

your watch. I want to see how it looks on it." meanness (n) paragraph 1

(40) Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put c) to make sth start or happen, usually sth official, synonym of bring
sth about; to cause sth bad to happen (v) paragraph 2
his hands under the back of his head and smiled.
d) a person who lives by asking people for money or food (n)
(41) "Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and
paragraph 3
keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the
e) to persuade sb to do smth by talking to them kindly (v) paragraph 3
watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put
f) not clear; without a clear outline or shape; difficult to remember
the chops on."
clearly (adj.) paragraph 3

35 36
g) not wanting to draw attention to yourself or to your abilities or
status, synonym of modest (adj.) paragraph 3 CHAPTER 4. THE GREEN DOOR

h) seeming attractive, but in fact having no real value (formal) (adj.)

paragraph 16 Before reading

i) secretly; not wanting other people to discover what you are doing 1. Are you an adventurous person? Why? Why not? Tell your

(phrase) paragraph 16 partner.

j) to allow yourself to be very strongly affected by sth, especially an 2. Look through the following questions, discuss them with

emotion (phrase) paragraph 17 your partner and decide if your partner is an adventurous person or

k) extremely large, synonym of huge (adj.) paragraph 17 not. Is your opinion the same as your partner’s?

l) to be carrying sth heavy (v) paragraph 22 a) Would you ever marry someone from another country? Why (not)?

m) not important or worth considering, synonym of trivial (adj.) b) If someone offered you a free bungee jump, would you accept the

paragraph 31 offer? Why (not)?

n) to love and admire sb very much, especially so much that you c) Would you give a lift to a complete stranger? Why (not)?
cannot see their faults (v) paragraph 35 d) If you saw a big crowd of people in the street, would you come up
o) to have a very strong desire for sth, synonym of to long for (v) to find out what was going on? Why (not)?
paragraph 35 e) Which of the following sentences could become your motto? Why?
p) to want sth very much, especially when it is very difficult to get, • Look before you leap.
synonym of to long (literary) (v) paragraph 35 • Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
q) in which nothing interesting, unusual or exciting happens (adj.)
First reading
paragraph 42
The main character of the story is Rudolf Steiner who,
to give up sth that is important or valuable to you in order to get or do
according to O. Henry, was ‘a true follower of Romance and
sth that seems more important for yourself or for another person (v)
Adventure’. What kind of adventure do you think Rudolf will find
paragraph 42
2. Use the words and phrases you have found in the text to behind the green door? Read the text and check your ideas.

make your own sentences. Second reading

37 38
1. Look through the text again and find all the information Suppose you should be walking down Broadway after dinner,
O. Henry provides about Rudolf Steiner. How old was he? What was with ten minutes allotted to the consummation of your cigar while you
his job? What was his lifestyle like? Etc. are choosing between a diverting tragedy and something serious in the
2. What was Rudolf like? Look through the list of adjectives way of vaudeville. Suddenly a hand is laid upon your arm. You turn to
and decide which of them can be used to describe his character. You look into the thrilling eyes of a beautiful woman, wonderful in
can add other adjectives. Explain your choice. diamonds and Russian sables. She thrusts hurriedly into your hand an
• careful • curious • wealthy • shy extremely hot buttered roll, flashes out a tiny pair of scissors, snips off
• generous • adventurous • brave • fatalistic the second button of your overcoat, meaningly ejaculates the one
3. If necessary look through the text again and answer the word, "parallelogram!" and swiftly flies down a cross street, looking
following questions. back fearfully over her shoulder.
a) Why did Rudolf choose to look for “the green door”? That would be pure adventure. Would you accept it? Not you.
b) Was he wise to look for “the green door”? Why (not)? You would flush with embarrassment; you would sheepishly drop the
c) How did the girl feel when Rudolf knocked on the door? Why? roll and continue down Broadway, fumbling feebly for the missing
d) How did Rudolf feel when he discovered that all the doors in the button. This you would do unless you are one of the blessed few in
building were green? Why? whom the pure spirit of adventure is not dead.
e) Do you think he kept his promise and came the next day? True adventurers have never been plentiful. They who are set
down in print as such have been mostly business men with newly
After reading
invented methods. They have been out after the things they wanted –
Work with a partner and discuss the following questions.
golden fleeces, holy grails, lady loves, treasure, crowns and fame. The
1) What do you believe Rudolf was really hoping to find behind "The
true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet
Green Door"? Which aspects of his character make you think that?
unknown fate. A fine example was the Prodigal Son – when he started
2) What would you like to find behind a strange door? Which aspects
back home.
of your character make you say that?
Half-adventurers – brave and splendid figures – have been

THE GREEN DOOR numerous. From the Crusades to the Palisades they have enriched the
arts of history and fiction and the trade of historical fiction. But each

39 40
of them had a prize to win, a goal to kick, an axe to grind, a race to Rudolf Steiner was a true adventurer. Few were the evenings on
run, a new thrust in tierce to deliver, a name to carve, a crow to pick – which he did not go forth from his hall bedchamber in search of the
so they were not followers of true adventure. unexpected and the egregious. The most interesting thing in life
In the big city the twin spirits Romance and Adventure are seemed to him to be what might lie just around the next corner.
always abroad seeking worthy wooers. As we roam the streets they Sometimes his willingness to tempt fate led him into strange paths.
slyly peep at us and challenge us in twenty different guises. Without Twice he had spent the night in a station-house; again and again he
knowing why, we look up suddenly to see in a window a face that had found himself the dupe of ingenious and mercenary tricksters;
seems to belong to our gallery of intimate portraits; in a sleeping his watch and money had been the price of one flattering allurement.
thoroughfare we hear a cry of agony and fear coming from an empty But with undiminished ardor he picked up every glove cast before
and shuttered house; instead of at our familiar curb, a cab-driver him into the merry lists of adventure.
deposits us before a strange door, which one, with a smile, opens for One evening Rudolf was strolling along a cross-town street in
us and bids us enter; a slip of paper, written upon, flutters down to our the older central part of the city. Two streams of people filled the
feet from the high lattices of Chance; we exchange glances of sidewalks – the home-hurrying, and that restless contingent that
instantaneous hate, affection and fear with hurrying strangers in the abandons home for the specious welcome of the thousand-candle-
passing crowds; a sudden douse of rain – and our umbrella may be power table d'hote.
sheltering the daughter of the Full Moon and first cousin of the The young adventurer was of pleasing presence, and moved
Sidereal System; at every corner handkerchiefs drop, fingers beckon, serenely and watchfully. By daylight he was a salesman in a piano
eyes besiege, and the lost, the lonely, the rapturous, the mysterious, the store. He wore his tie drawn through a topaz ring instead of fastened
perilous, changing clues of adventure are slipped into our fingers. But with a stick pin; and once he had written to the editor of a magazine
few of us are willing to hold and follow them. We are grown stiff with that "Junie's Love Test" by Miss Libbey, had been the book that had
the ramrod of convention down our backs. We pass on; and some day most influenced his life.
we come, at the end of a very dull life, to reflect that our romance has During his walk a violent chattering of teeth in a glass case on
been a pallid thing of a marriage or two, a satin rosette kept in a safe- the sidewalk seemed at first to draw his attention (with a qualm), to a
deposit drawer, and a lifelong feud with a steam radiator. restaurant before which it was set; but a second glance revealed the
electric letters of a dentist's sign high above the next door. A giant

41 42
negro, fantastically dressed in a red embroidered coat, yellow trousers Rarely did the arch sprite Adventure need to beckon twice to
and a military cap, discreetly distributed cards to those of the passing Rudolf Steiner, his true follower. But twice it had been done, and the
crowd who consented to take them. quest was on.
This mode of dentistic advertising was a common sight to Rudolf walked slowly back to where the giant negro stood by
Rudolf. Usually he passed the dispenser of the dentist's cards without the case of rattling teeth. This time as he passed he received no card.
reducing his store; but tonight the African slipped one into his hand so In spite of his gaudy and ridiculous garb, the Ethiopian displayed a
deftly that he retained it there smiling a little at the successful feat. natural barbaric dignity as he stood, offering the cards suavely to
When he had travelled a few yards further he glanced at the card some, allowing others to pass unmolested. Every half minute he
indifferently. Surprised, he turned it over and looked again with chanted a harsh, unintelligible phrase akin to the jabber of car
interest. One side of the card was blank; on the other was written in conductors and grand opera. And not only did he withhold a card this
ink three words, "The Green Door." And then Rudolf saw, three steps time, but it seemed to Rudolf that he received from the shining and
in front of him, a man throw down the card the negro had given him as massive black countenance a look of cold, almost contemptuous
he passed. Rudolf picked it up. It was printed with the dentist's name disdain.
and address and the usual schedule of "plate work" and "bridge work" The look stung the adventurer. He read in it a silent accusation
and "crowns," and specious promises of "painless" operations. that he had been found wanting. Whatever the mysterious written
The adventurous piano salesman halted at the corner and words on the cards might mean, the black had selected him twice from
considered. Then he crossed the street, walked down a block, the throng for their recipient; and now seemed to have condemned him
recrossed and joined the upward current of people again. Without as deficient in the wit and spirit to engage the enigma.
seeming to notice the negro as he passed the second time, he carelessly Standing aside from the rush, the young man made a rapid
took the card that was handed him. Ten steps away he inspected it. In estimate of the building in which he conceived that his adventure must
the same handwriting that appeared on the first card "The Green Door" lie. Five stories high it rose. A small restaurant occupied the basement.
was inscribed upon it. Three or four cards were tossed to the pavement The first floor, now closed, seemed to house millinery or furs.
by pedestrians both following and leading him. These fell blank side The second floor, by the winking electric letters, was the dentist's.
up. Rudolf turned them over. Every one bore the printed legend of the Above this a polyglot babel of signs struggled to indicate the abodes of
dental "parlours." palmists, dressmakers, musicians and doctors. Still higher up draped

43 44
curtains and milk bottles white on the window sills proclaimed the That was successful, for he struck her nose with the brim of his derby
regions of domesticity. and she opened her eyes. And then the young man saw that hers,
After concluding his survey Rudolf walked briskly up the high indeed, was the one missing face from his heart's gallery of intimate
flight of stone steps into the house. Up two flights of the carpeted portraits. The frank, grey eyes, the little nose, turning pertly outward;
stairway he continued; and at its top paused. The hallway there was the chestnut hair, curling like the tendrils of a pea vine, seemed the
dimly lighted by two pale jets of gas one – far to his right, the other right end and reward of all his wonderful adventures. But the face was
nearer, to his left. He looked toward the nearer light and saw, within wofully thin and pale.
its wan halo, a green door. For one moment he hesitated; then he The girl looked at him calmly, and then smiled.
seemed to see the contumelious sneer of the African juggler of cards; "Fainted, didn't I?" she asked, weakly. "Well, who wouldn't?
and then he walked straight to the green door and knocked against it. You try going without anything to eat for three days and see!"
Moments like those that passed before his knock was answered "Himmel!" exclaimed Rudolf, jumping up. "Wait till I come
measure the quick breath of true adventure. What might not be behind back."
those green panels! Gamesters at play; cunning rogues baiting their He dashed out the green door and down the stairs. In twenty
traps with subtle skill; beauty in love with courage, and thus planning minutes he was back again, kicking at the door with his toe for her to
to be sought by it; danger, death, love, disappointment, ridicule – any open it. With both arms he hugged an array of wares from the grocery
of these might respond to that temerarious rap. and the restaurant. On the table he laid them – bread and butter, cold
A faint rustle was heard inside, and the door slowly opened. meats, cakes, pies, pickles, oysters, a roasted chicken, a bottle of milk
A girl not yet twenty stood there, white-faced and tottering. She loosed and one of red-hot tea.
the knob and swayed weakly, groping with one hand. Rudolf caught "This is ridiculous," said Rudolf, blusteringly, "to go without
her and laid her on a faded couch that stood against the wall. He closed eating. You must quit making election bets of this kind. Supper is
the door and took a swift glance around the room by the light of a ready." He helped her to a chair at the table and asked: "Is there a cup
flickering gas jet. Neat, but extreme poverty was the story that he read. for the tea?" "On the shelf by the window," she answered. When he
The girl lay still, as if in a faint. Rudolf looked around the room turned again with the cup he saw her, with eyes shining rapturously,
excitedly for a barrel. People must be rolled upon a barrel who – no, beginning upon a huge Dill pickle that she had rooted out from the
no; that was for drowned persons. He began to fan her with his hat. paper bags with a woman's unerring instinct. He took it from her,

45 46
laughingly, and poured the cup full of milk. "Drink that first" he "I am glad of that," said the girl, promptly; and somehow it
ordered, "and then you shall have some tea, and then a chicken wing. pleased the young man to hear that she approved of his bereft
If you are very good you shall have a pickle to-morrow. And now, if condition.
you'll allow me to be your guest we'll have supper." Very suddenly her eyelids dropped and she sighed deeply.
He drew up the other chair. The tea brightened the girl's eyes "I'm awfully sleepy," she said, "and I feel so good."
and brought back some of her colour. She began to eat with a sort of Then Rudolf rose and took his hat. "I'll say good-night. A long
dainty ferocity like some starved wild animal. She seemed to regard night's sleep will be fine for you."
the young man's presence and the aid he had rendered her as a natural He held out his hand, and she took it and said "good-night." But
thing – not as though she undervalued the conventions; but as one her eyes asked a question so eloquently, so frankly and pathetically

whose great stress gave her the right to put aside the artificial for the that he answered it with words.

human. But gradually, with the return of strength and comfort, came "Oh, I'm coming back to-morrow to see how you are getting
along. You can't get rid of me so easily."
also a sense of the little conventions that belong; and she began to tell
Then, at the door, as though the way of his coming had been so
him her little story. It was one of a thousand such as the city yawns at
much less important than the fact that he had come, she asked: "How
every day – the shop girl's story of insufficient wages, further reduced
did you come to knock at my door?"
by "fines" that go to swell the store's profits; of time lost through
He looked at her for a moment, remembering the cards, and felt
illness; and then of lost positions, lost hope, and – the knock of the
a sudden jealous pain. What if they had fallen into other hands as
adventurer upon the green door.
adventurous as his? Quickly he decided that she must never know the
But to Rudolf the history sounded as big as the Iliad or the crisis
truth. He would never let her know that he was aware of the strange
in "Junie's Love Test." expedient to which she had been driven by her great distress.
"To think of you going through all that," he exclaimed. "One of our piano tuners lives in this house," he said.
"It was something fierce," said the girl, solemnly. "I knocked at your door by mistake."
"And you have no relatives or friends in the city?" The last thing he saw in the room before the green door closed
"None whatever." was her smile.
"I am all alone in the world, too," said Rudolf, after a pause. At the head of the stairway he paused and looked curiously
about him. And then he went along the hallway to its other end; and,

47 48
coming back, ascended to the floor above and continued his puzzled 1. Look back at the text and find the words in bold. Look at the

explorations. Every door that he found in the house was painted green. context and try to guess what they mean. Then match the words to

Wondering, he descended to the sidewalk. The fantastic African their meanings.

was still there. Rudolf confronted him with his two cards in his hand. 1. to allot a) an angry and bitter argument between two
"Will you tell me why you gave me these cards and what they people or groups of people that continues

mean?" he asked. over a long period of time

2. to thrust b) (disapproving) only interested in making
In a broad, good-natured grin the negro exhibited a splendid
or getting money
advertisement of his master's profession. 3. a guise c) a person who tricks or cheats people
"Dar it is, boss," he said, pointing down the street. "But I 'spect
4. a feud d) that has not become smaller or weaker
you is a little late for de fust act."
5. dupe (formal) e) (of a person) sad and lonely because you
Looking the way he pointed Rudolf saw above the entrance to a
have lost sth
theatre the blazing electric sign of its new play, "The Green Door." 6. ingenious f) to push sth/sb suddenly or violently in a
"I'm informed dat it's a fust-rate show, sah," said the negro. "De agent particular direction; to move quickly and
what represents it pussented me with a dollar, sah, to distribute a few of his suddenly in a particular direction
cards along with de doctah's. May I offer you one of de doctah's cards, sah?" 7. mercenary g) a way in which sb/sth appears, often in a
At the corner of the block in which he lived Rudolf stopped for way that is different from usual or that hides
a glass of beer and a cigar. When he had come out with his lighted the truth about them/it
8. a trickster h) to give time, money, tasks, etc. to sb/sth
weed he buttoned his coat, pushed back his hat and said, stoutly, to the
lamp post on the corner: as a share of what is available
9. undiminished i) (of people and things) small and delicate
"All the same, I believe it was the hand of Fate that doped out
in a way that people find attractive;
the way for me to find her."
(of movements) careful, often in a way that
Which conclusion, under the circumstances, certainly admits Rudolf
suggests good manners
Steiner to the ranks of the true followers of Romance and Adventure.
10. gaudy j) able to use language and express your
Focus on language opinions well, especially when you are

49 50
speaking in public; (of a look or movement) f) She is such an _________ cook. Every time you come, she cooks
able to express a feeling something absolutely incredible, something you have never tasted
11. unerring k) (disapproving) too brightly colored in a before.
way that lacks taste; synonym of garish g) Don’t tell me she loves him! I will never believe it. She’s
12. dainty l) a person who is tricked or cheated interested in him for purely __________ reasons.
13. bereft (formal) m) always right or accurate h) Despite the fact that they were exhausted, they carried on working
14. eloquent n) (of a person) having a lot of clever new with __________ enthusiasm.
ideas and good at inventing things; i) He was utterly ________ when his wife died. Nothing could
(of an object, a plan, an idea, etc.) very console him.
suitable for a particular purpose and resulting j) He ________ the baby into my arms and ran off.
from clever new ideas k) She blew her nose as _________ as possible.

2. Fill in the gaps with the words from exercise 1. CHAPTER 5. THE ROMANCE OF A BUSY BROKER
a) His speech presented racist ideas under the _______ of
nationalism. Before reading
b) Her face expressed all her feelings more __________ than any 1. Work with a partner and discuss the following questions.
words. a) What are the most important events in a life of a person? Why do
c) Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous plays about a long- you think so?
running ______ between two families. b) Which event in your life will you never forget? Why? Tell your
d) She had an __________ instinct for a good business deal. All of partner about it.
the contracts she signed were lucrative. First reading
e) Our final test was really difficult. Most of my group mates had to 1. What does the word ‘romance’ mean? Is it the same as ‘love’?
stay after the bell rang, but I managed to complete it within the Read the definition and check your ideas.
time ________. romance (noun) an exciting, usually short, relationship between

51 52
two people who are in love with each other: a holiday romance, an 2. Do you know what the phrase ‘agony aunt’ means? Read the
office romance; They had a whirlwind romance. definition and check your ideas.
(Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary) agony aunt (BrE) (AmE advice columnist) (noun) a person who
writes in a newspaper or magazine giving advice in reply to people’s
Who is a broker? Where does he work? What kind of job is it? letters about their personal problems.
2. Look at the title of the story. What do you think it is going to (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)
be about? Read the text and check your ideas.

Second reading 3. Have you ever read agony columns in newspapers or

1. Look through the text again and answer the following questions. magazines? Who usually writes letters to such columns? What kind of
problems do they usually write about?
a) Why did Pitcher look surprised when Harvey Maxwell came to
4. Imagine that Miss Leslie is writing a letter to an agony
work that morning?
column. Refer to the text, describe her problem and ask for advice.
b) Was Miss Leslie a typical stenographer? Why (not)? What did a
typical stenographer look like? 5. Exchange your letter with another student. Imagine that you

c) What was strange about her that morning? are an agony aunt and write a reply giving advice.
d) What did Harvey Maxwell ask Pitcher to do?
e) What did a typical broker’s day look like? What stylistic devices does
O. Henry use to describe it? Use the text to prove your point of view. (1) Pitcher, confidential clerk in the office of Harvey Maxwell,
f) What did Pitcher and the bookkeeper think of Harvey Maxwell? broker, allowed a look of mild interest and surprise to visit his usually
g) What did Harvey Maxwell ask Miss Leslie to do in the afternoon? expressionless countenance when his employer briskly entered at half
h) What made Harvey Maxwell do it? past nine in company with his young lady stenographer. With a snappy
i) What was her reaction to his words? Why?
"Good-morning, Pitcher," Maxwell dashed at his desk as though he
After reading
were intending to leap over it, and then plunged into the great heap of
1. When you have a problem who do you usually address to?
letters and telegrams waiting there for him.
Does it depend anyhow on the problem you have?
(2) The young lady had been Maxwell's stenographer for a year.
She was beautiful in a way that was decidedly unstenographic. She

53 54
forewent the pomp of the alluring pompadour. She wore no chains, (8) "He did," answered Pitcher. "He told me to get another one.
bracelets or lockets. She had not the air of being about to accept an I notified the agency yesterday afternoon to send over a few samples
invitation to luncheon. Her dress was grey and plain, but it fitted her this morning. It's 9.45 o'clock, and not a single picture hat or piece of
figure with fidelity and discretion. In her neat black turban hat was the pineapple chewing gum has showed up yet."
gold-green wing of a macaw. On this morning she was softly and (9) "I will do the work as usual, then," said the young lady, "until
shyly radiant. Her eyes were dreamily bright, her cheeks genuine some one comes to fill the place." And she went to her desk at once
peachblow, her expression a happy one, tinged with reminiscence. and hung the black turban hat with the gold-green macaw wing in its
(3) Pitcher, still mildly curious, noticed a difference in her ways accustomed place.
this morning. Instead of going straight into the adjoining room, where (10) He who has been denied the spectacle of a busy Manhattan
her desk was, she lingered, slightly irresolute, in the outer office. Once broker during a rush of business is handicapped for the profession of
she moved over by Maxwell's desk, near enough for him to be aware anthropology. The poet sings of the "crowded hour of glorious life."
of her presence. The broker's hour is not only crowded, but the minutes and seconds
(4) The machine sitting at that desk was no longer a man; it was are hanging to all the straps and packing both front and rear platforms.
a busy New York broker, moved by buzzing wheels and uncoiling (11) And this day was Harvey Maxwell's busy day. The ticker
springs. began to reel out jerkily its fitful coils of tape; the desk telephone had
(5) "Well – what is it? Anything?" asked Maxwell sharply. His a chronic attack of buzzing. Men began to throng into the office and
opened mail lay like a bank of stage snow on his crowded desk. His call at him over the railing, jovially, sharply, viciously, excitedly.
keen grey eye, impersonal and brusque, flashed upon her half Messenger boys ran in and out with messages and telegrams. The
impatiently. clerks in the office jumped about like sailors during a storm. Even
(6) "Nothing," answered the stenographer, moving away with a Pitcher's face relaxed into something resembling animation.
little smile. (12) On the Exchange there were hurricanes and landslides and
(7) "Mr. Pitcher," she said to the confidential clerk, did snowstorms and glaciers and volcanoes, and those elemental
Mr. Maxwell say anything yesterday about engaging another disturbances were reproduced in miniature in the broker's offices.
stenographer?" Maxwell shoved his chair against the wall and transacted business

55 56
after the manner of a toe dancer. He jumped from ticker to 'phone, man" seemed to get more absent-minded and forgetful every day of
from desk to door with the trained agility of a harlequin. the world.
(13) In the midst of this growing and important stress the broker (20) The rush and pace of business grew fiercer and faster. On
became suddenly aware of a high-rolled fringe of golden hair under a the floor they were pounding half a dozen stocks in which Maxwell's
nodding canopy of velvet and ostrich tips, an imitation sealskin sacque customers were heavy investors. Orders to buy and sell were coming
and a string of beads as large as hickory nuts, ending near the floor and going as swift as the flight of swallows. Some of his own holdings
with a silver heart. There was a self-possessed young lady connected were imperiled, and the man was working like some high-geared,
with these accessories; and Pitcher was there to construe her. delicate, strong machine – strung to full tension, going at full speed,
(14) "Lady from the Stenographer's Agency to see about the accurate, never hesitating, with the proper word and decision and act
position," said Pitcher. ready and prompt as clockwork. Stocks and bonds, loans and
(15) Maxwell turned half around, with his hands full of papers mortgages, margins and securities – here was a world of finance, and
and ticker tape. there was no room in it for the human world or the world of nature.
(16) "What position?" he asked, with a frown. (21) When the luncheon hour drew near there came a slight lull
(17) "Position of stenographer," said Pitcher. "You told me in the uproar.
yesterday to call them up and have one sent over this morning." (22) Maxwell stood by his desk with his hands full of telegrams
(18) "You are losing your mind, Pitcher," said Maxwell. "Why and memoranda, with a fountain pen over his right ear and his hair
should I have given you any such instructions? Miss Leslie has given hanging in disorderly strings over his forehead. His window was open,
perfect satisfaction during the year she has been here. The place is hers for the beloved janitress Spring had turned on a little warmth through
as long as she chooses to retain it. There's no place open here, madam. the waking registers of the earth.
Countermand that order with the agency, Pitcher, and don't bring any (23) And through the window came a wandering – perhaps a lost
more of 'em in here." – odour – a delicate, sweet odour of lilac that fixed the broker for a
(19) The silver heart left the office, swinging and banging itself moment immovable. For this odour belonged to Miss Leslie; it was her
independently against the office furniture as it indignantly departed. own, and hers only.
Pitcher seized a moment to remark to the bookkeeper that the "old

57 58
(24) The odour brought her vividly, almost tangibly before him. eyes; and then she smiled sunnily through them, and one of her arms
The world of finance dwindled suddenly to a speck. And she was in slid tenderly about the broker's neck.
the next room – twenty steps away. (32) "I know now," she said, softly. "It's this old business that
(25) "By George, I'll do it now," said Maxwell, half aloud. "I'll has driven everything else out of your head for the time. I was
ask her now. I wonder I didn't do it long ago." frightened at first. Don't you remember, Harvey? We were married last
(26) He dashed into the inner office with the haste of a short evening at 8 o'clock in the Little Church Around the Corner."
trying to cover. He charged upon the desk of the stenographer.
(27) She looked up at him with a smile. A soft pink crept over Focus on language

her cheek, and her eyes were kind and frank. Maxwell leaned one 1. Look through the text again and find the words or phrases

elbow on her desk. He still clutched fluttering papers with both hands for the following definitions. The numbers provided indicate the

and the pen was above his ear. paragraphs where these words and phrases are used.

(28) "Miss Leslie," he began hurriedly, "I have but a moment to a) trusted with private or secret information (adj.) paragraph 1

spare. I want to say something in that moment. Will you be my wife? b) to decide not to have or do sth that you would like to have or do (v)

I haven't had time to make love to you in the ordinary way, but I really paragraph 2

do love you. Talk quick, please – those fellows are clubbing the c) to be close to doing sth; to be going to do sth very soon (idiom)

stuffing out of Union Pacific." paragraph 2

(29) "Oh, what are you talking about?" exclaimed the young d) giving a warm bright light (adj.) paragraph 2
lady. She rose to her feet and gazed upon him, round-eyed. e) to add a small amount of a particular emotion or quality to sth (v)
(30) "Don't you understand?" said Maxwell, restively. "I want paragraph 2
you to marry me. I love you, Miss Leslie. I wanted to tell you, and f) to go somewhere or be present somewhere in large numbers (v)
I snatched a minute when things had slackened up a bit. They're (literary) paragraph 11
calling me for the 'phone now. Tell 'em to wait a minute, Pitcher. g) violently, cruelly, aggressively (adv.) paragraph 11
Won't you, Miss Leslie?" h) to do business with a person or an organization (v) (formal)
(31) The stenographer acted very queerly. At first she seemed paragraph 12
overcome with amazement; then tears flowed from her wondering

59 60
i) to understand the meaning of a word, a sentence, or an action in a c) She is a _____________ secretary. You can tell her everything
particular way, synonym of interpret (v) (formal) paragraph 13 you want to tell me.
j) to be quick to make use of a short period of time somebody has d) After a while the ship was just a ________ in the distance. We
(phrase) paragraph 19 could hardly see it.
k) to put sth/sb in danger, synonym of to endanger (v) (formal) e) I ________ to leave the room when the telephone rang.
paragraph 20 f) After two weeks she spent in a resort, she was _________ with
l) a legal agreement by which a bank or similar organization lends health.
you money to buy a house, etc., and you pay the money back over a g) No one was prepared to _________ their lunch hour to attend the
particular number of years; the sum of money that you borrow, meeting.
synonym of home loan (n) paragraph 20 h) He had to ____________ his house just to stay afloat.
can be also a verb which means to give a bank, etc. the legal right to i) All students _________ into the hall to see what had happened.
own your house, land, etc. if you do not pay the money back that you j) She gave me a look of surprise ________ with disapproval.
have borrowed from the bank to buy the house or land k) Despite the fact that she was very busy she _________ to tell me
m) to become gradually less or smaller (v) paragraph 24 the great news.
n) a very small spot; a small piece of dirt, etc (n) paragraph 24 l) He worked all night and managed to _________ just an hour’s

o) to take or get sth quickly, especially because you do not have sleep.

much time (v) paragraph 30 m) She walked so fast that the child could not keep up with her. So

p) to gradually become, or to make sth become, slower, less active, she had to _________ her pace a little.

etc. (v) paragraph 30

2. Use some of the words from exercise 1 to complete the

following sentences.
a) Membership of the sports club __________ from 70 to 20.
b) Her words could hardly be ________ as an apology.

61 62

1. Генри О. Четыре миллиона. Сборник рассказов на англ. яз.

[Текст]. – Новосибирск: Сиб. унив. изд-во, 2007. – 217 р. –
(English Fiction Collection).
2. Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary. – Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2000.
3. The green door by O. Henry from The Gift of the Magi and
Other Stories. http://www.rdlthai.com/ellsa_greendoor1.html
4. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry from The Gift of the Magi and
Other Stories. http://www.rdlthai.com/ellsa_giftofmagi1.html

А.Г. Фатнева


Корректор В.В. Мокрынина

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