Институт филологии и искусств



The Last Leaf

Учебно-методическое пособие по домашнему чтению

на английском языке для студентов II-III курсов языковых вузов

институт филологии и искусств - student2.ru

Казань 2012

УДК 821.111 (072)

ББК 83.3 (4) Англ. я 73

С 17

Печатается по решению

Учебно-методической комиссии института филологии и искусств

Протокол № 9 от 6 июля 2012 г.

Заседания кафедры контрастивной лингвистики и лингводидактики

Протокол № 18 от 22 июня 2012 г


к.филол.н., доц. Н.О. Самаркина

к.пед.н., доц. М.Е. Яшина

Научный редактор

д.филол.н., проф. А.Г. Садыкова


д.филол.н., проф. М.И. Солнышкина

к.филол.н., доц. Л.Ф. Шанагараева

The Last Leaf: учебно-методическое пособие по домашнему чтению на английском языке для студентов II-III курсов языковых вузов / Н.О. Самаркина, М.Е. Яшина. – Казань: Казанский федеральный университет, 2012. – 111 с.

Данное учебно-методическое пособие содержит 9 неадаптированных рассказов знаменитого американского писателя XX века О’Генри. Каждый рассказ снабжен упражнениями, направленными на проверку понимания текста, отработку лексики, грамматики, а также на развитие навыков устной и письменной речи.

© Казанский федеральный университет, 2012


Предлагаемое учебно-методическое пособие предназначается для работы по домашнему чтению для студентов II и III курсов языковых вузов. Данное пособие рассчитано не только на лиц, изучающих английский язык, но и на широкий круг читателей, преподавателей и всех совершенствующихся в языке. Сборник может быть успешно использован как в аудитории, так и для самостоятельных занятий.

Основной задачей пособия является достижение глубокого понимания произведения и обеспечения реализации этого понимания в речевой деятельности качественно высокого уровня. Работа по данному пособию предполагает привлечение дополнительных сведений из области теории литературы, касающихся образности, формы и содержания, темы, идеи, способов выражения, авторского сознания и некоторых других сведений, упомянутых в формулировках заданий.

Каждый урок содержит текстовой материал, активную лексику и различные виды упражнений, направленных на активизацию лексики, контроль за пониманием прочитанного, развитие навыков устной и письменной речи, творческих и аналитических способностей.

Комплекс заданий разбит по этапам:

На первом этапе “Comprehension” рекомендуется выполнить упражнения, направленные на проверку понимания текста, такие как “Are the following statements true or false?”,“Correct the false statements” и т.д.

Второй этап “Vocabulary” подразумевает отработку лексики. Это такие упражнения, как “Give the translation of the following phrases”, “Match adjectives with their definitions” и т.д. На данном этапе также предлагается выполнить ряд упражнений, связанных со стилистическими особенностями текста, типа “Translate the sentences into Russian paying attention to various stylistic devices”, “Translate the following sentences into Russian. Comment on similes” и т.д.

На третьем этапе “Speaking” выполняются упражнения, помогающие раскрыть содержание текста, такие как “Answer the questions”, “Prove that”, “Comment on the title of the story” и т.д.

На четвертом этапе “Writing” студентам предлагается выполнить упражнения творческого характера, которые способствуют развитию навыков письменной речи.

В сборник также включено несколько рассказов для дополнительного чтения.



Biographical comment on the author

Text 1: The Last Leaf


Text 2: No Story


Text 3: Lost on Dress Parade


Text 4: The Gift of the Magi


Text 5: The Ransom of Red Chief


Text 6: Babes in the Jungle


Text 7: A Service of Love


Text 8: The Trimmed Lamp


Text 9: While the Auto Waits



Text 1: The Last Leaf

IN A LITTLE DISTRICT WEST OF WASHINGTON SQUARE the streets have run crazy and broken themselves into small strips called “places.” These “places” make strange angles and curves. One Street crosses itself a time or two. An artist once discovered a valuable possibility in this street. Suppose a collector with a bill for paints, paper and canvas should, in traversing this route, suddenly meet himself coming back, without a cent having been paid on account!

So, to quaint old Greenwich Village the art people soon came prowling, hunting for north windows and eighteenth-century gables and Dutch attics and low rents. Then they imported some pewter mugs and a chafing dish or two from Sixth Avenue, and became a “colony.”

At the top of a squatty, three-story brick Sue and Johnsy had their studio. “Johnsy” was familiar for Joanna. One was from Maine; the other from California. They had met at the table d’hôte of an Eighth Street “Delmonico’s,” and found their tastes in art, chicory salad and bishop sleeves so congenial that the joint studio resulted.

That was in May. In November a cold, unseen stranger, whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked about the colony, touching one here and there with his icy fingers. Over on the east side this ravager strode boldly, smiting his victims by scores, but his feet trod slowly through the maze of the narrow and moss-grown “places.”

One morning the busy doctor invited Sue into the hallway with a shaggy, gray eyebrow.

“She has one chance in - let us say, ten,” he said, as he shook down the mercury in his clinical thermometer. “And that chance is for her to want to live. This way people have of lining-up on the side of the undertaker makes the entire pharmacopoeia look silly. Your little lady has made up her mind that she’s not going to get well. Has she anything on her mind?”

“She - she wanted to paint the Bay of Naples some day.” said Sue.

“Paint? - bosh! Has she anything on her mind worth thinking twice - a man for instance”

“A man?” said Sue, with a jew’s-harp twang in her voice. “Is a man worth - but, no, doctor; there is nothing of the kind.”

“Well, it is the weakness, then,” said the doctor. “I will do all that science, so far as it may filter through my efforts, can accomplish. But whenever my patient begins to count the carriages in her funeral procession I subtract 50 per cent from the curative power of medicines. If you will get her to ask one question about the new winter styles in cloak sleeves I will promise you a one-in-five chance for her, instead of one in ten.”

After the doctor had gone Sue went into the workroom and cried a Japanese napkin to a pulp. Then she swaggered into Johnsy’s room with her drawing board, whistling ragtime.

Johnsy lay, scarcely making a ripple under the bedclothes, with her face toward the window. Sue stopped whistling, thinking she was asleep.

She arranged her board and began a pen-and-ink drawing to illustrate a magazine story. Young artists must pave their way to Art by drawing pictures for magazine stories that young authors write to pave their way to Literature. As Sue was sketching a pair of elegant horseshow riding trousers and a monocle of the figure of the hero, an Idaho cowboy, she heard a low sound, several times repeated. She went quickly to the bedside.

Johnsy’s eyes were open wide. She was looking out the window and counting - counting backward. “Twelve,” she said, and little later “eleven”; and then “ten,” and “nine”; and then “eight” and “seven”, almost together.

Sue look solicitously out of the window. What was there to count? There was only a bare, dreary yard to be seen, and the blank side of the brick house twenty feet away. An old, old ivy vine, gnarled and decayed at the roots, climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold breath of autumn had stricken its leaves from the vine until its skeleton branches clung, almost bare, to the crumbling bricks.

“What is it, dear?” asked Sue.

“Six,” said Johnsy, in almost a whisper. “They’re falling faster now. Three days ago there were almost a hundred. It made my head ache to count them. But now it’s easy. There goes another one. There are only five left now.”

“Five what, dear? Tell your Sudie.”

“Leaves. On the ivy vine. When the last one falls I must go, too. I’ve known that for three days. Didn’t the doctor tell you?”

“Oh, I never heard of such nonsense,” complained Sue, with magnificent scorn. “What have old ivy leaves to do with your getting well? And you used to love that vine so, you naughty girl. Don’t be a goosey. Why, the doctor told me this morning that your chances for getting well real soon were - let’s see exactly what he said - he said the chances were ten to one! Why, that’s almost as good a chance as we have in New York when we ride on the street cars or walk past a new building. Try to take some broth now, and let Sudie go back to her drawing, so she can sell the editor man with it, and buy port wine for her sick child, and pork chops for her greedy self.”

“You needn’t get any more wine,” said Johnsy, keeping her eyes fixed out the window. “There goes another. No, I don’t want any broth. That leaves just four. I want to see the last one fall before it gets dark. Then I’ll go, too.”

“Johnsy, dear,” said Sue, bending over her, “will you promise me to keep your eyes closed, and not look out the window until I am done working? I must hand those drawings in by to-morrow. I need the light, or I would draw the shade down.”

“Couldn’t you draw in the other room?” asked Johnsy, coldly.

“I’d rather be here by you,” said Sue. “Beside, I don’t want you to keep looking at those silly ivy leaves.”

“Tell me as soon as you have finished,” said Johnsy, closing her eyes, and lying white and still as fallen statue, “because I want to see the last one fall. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of thinking. I want to turn loose my hold on everything, and go sailing down, down, just like one of those poor, tired leaves.”

“Try to sleep,” said Sue. “I must call Behrman up to be my model for the old hermit miner. I’ll not be gone a minute. Don’t try to move ’til I come back.”

Old Behrman was a painter who lived on the ground floor beneath them. He was past sixty and had a Michael Angelo’s Moses beard curling down from the head of a satyr along with the body of an imp. Behrman was a failure in art. Forty years he had wielded the brush without getting near enough to touch the hem of his Mistress’s robe. He had been always about to paint a masterpiece, but had never yet begun it. For several years he had painted nothing except now and then a daub in the line of commerce or advertising. He earned a little by serving as a model to those young artists in the colony who could not pay the price of a professional. He drank gin to excess, and still talked of his coming masterpiece. For the rest he was a fierce little old man, who scoffed terribly at softness in any one, and who regarded himself as especial mastiff-in-waiting to protect the two young artists in the studio above.

Sue found Behrman smelling strongly of juniper berries in his dimly lighted den below. In one corner was a blank canvas on an easel that had been waiting there for twenty-five years to receive the first line of the masterpiece. She told him of Johnsy’s fancy, and how she feared she would, indeed, light and fragile as a leaf herself, float away, when her slight hold upon the world grew weaker. Old Behrman, with his red eyes plainly streaming, shouted his contempt and derision for such idiotic imaginings.

“Vass!” he cried. “Is dere people in de world mit der foolishness to die because leafs dey drop off from a confounded vine? I haf not heard of such a thing. No, I will not bose as a model for your fool hermit-dunderhead. Vy do you allow dot silly pusiness to come in der brain of her? Ach, dot poor leetle Miss Johnsy.”

“She is very ill and weak,” said Sue, “and the fever has left her mind morbid and full of strange fancies. Very well, Mr. Behrman, if you do not care to pose for me, you needn’t. But I think you are a horrid old - old flibbertigibbet.”

“You are just like a woman!” yelled Behrman. “Who said I will not bose? Go on. I come mit you. For half an hour I haf peen trying to say dot I am ready to bose. Gott! dis is not any blace in which one so goot as Miss Yohnsy shall lie sick. Some day I vill baint a masterpiece, and ve shall all go away. Gott! yes.”

Johnsy was sleeping when they went upstairs. Sue pulled the shade down to the window-sill, and motioned Behrman into the other room. In there they peered out the window fearfully at the ivy vine. Then they looked at each other for a moment without speaking. A persistent, cold rain was falling, mingled with snow. Behrman, in his old blue shirt, took his seat as the hermit miner on an upturned kettle for a rock.

When Sue awoke from an hour’s sleep the next morning she found Johnsy with dull, wide-open eyes staring at the drawn green shade.

“Pull it up; I want to see,” she ordered, in a whisper.

Wearily Sue obeyed

But, lo! after the beating rain and fierce gusts of wind that had endured through the livelong night, there yet stood out against the brick wall one ivy leaf. It was the last one on the vine. Still dark green near its stem, with its serrated edges tinted with the yellow of dissolution and decay, it hung bravely from the branch some twenty feet above the ground.

“It is the last one,” said Johnsy. “I thought it would surely fall during the night. I heard the wind. It will fall to-day, and I shall die at the same time.”

“Dear, dear!” said Sue, leaning her worn face down to the pillow, “think of me, if you won’t think of yourself. What would I do?”

But Johnsy did not answer. The lonesomest thing in all the world is a soul when it is making ready to go on its mysterious, far journey. The fancy seemed to possess her more strongly as one by one the ties that bound her to friendship and to earth were loosed.

The day wore away, and even through the twilight they could see the lone ivy leaf clinging to its stem against the wall. And then, with the coming of the night the north wind was again loosed, while the rain still beat against the windows and pattered down from the low Dutch eaves.

When it was light enough Johnsy, the merciless, commanded that the shade be raised.

The ivy leaf was still there.

Johnsy lay for a long time looking at it. And then she called to Sue, who was stirring her chicken broth over the gas stove.

“I’ve been a bad girl, Sudie,” said Johnsy. “Something has made that last leaf stay there to show me how wicked I was. It is a sin to want to die. You may bring a me a little broth now, and some milk with a little port in it, and - no; bring me a hand-mirror first, and then pack some pillows about me, and I will sit up and watch you cook.”

And hour later she said: “Sudie, some day I hope to paint the Bay of Naples.”

The doctor came in the afternoon, and Sue had an excuse to go into the hallway as he left.

“Even chances,” said the doctor, taking Sue’s thin, shaking hand in his. “With good nursing you’ll win. And now I must see another case I have downstairs. Behrman, his name is - some kind of an artist, I believe. Pneumonia, too. He is an old, weak man, and the attack is acute. There is no hope for him; but he goes to the hospital today to be made more comfortable.”

The next day the doctor said to Sue: “She’s out of danger. You won. Nutrition and care now - that’s all.”

And that afternoon Sue came to the bed where Johnsy lay, contentedly knitting a very blue and very useless woolen shoulder scarf, and put one arm around her, pillows and all.

“I have something to tell you, white mouse,” she said. “Mr. Behrman died of pneumonia today in the hospital. He was ill only two days. The janitor found him the morning of the first day in his room downstairs helpless with pain. His shoes and clothing were wet through and icy cold. They couldn’t imagine where he had been on such a dreadful night. And then they found a lantern, still lighted, and a ladder that had been dragged from its place, and some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it, and - look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on the wall. Didn’t you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it’s Behrman’s masterpiece - he painted it there the night that the last leaf fell.”




III. Find English equivalents for the following sentences:

  1. У них были одинаковые взгляды на жизнь и искусство.
  2. Комната, пригодная для студии.
  3. Холодный, невидимый пришелец, называемый докторами Пневмонией.
  4. У нее один шанс, скажем, из десяти.
  5. Если бы вы как-нибудь сумели сделать так, чтобы она поинтересовалась модными зимними шляпками.
  6. Лежала, уставившись в окно.
  7. По кирпичной стене до её середины вилась старая виноградная лоза.
  8. Когда последний лист упадет, я умру.
  9. На фоне кирпичной стены все еще виднелся один листок.
  10. Он нарисовал его там ночью, когда упал последний листок.

IV. Fill in the gaps with prepositions:

  1. She went quickly ... the bedside.
  2. Old Behrman was a painter who lived ... the ground floor ... them
  3. .... one corner was a black canvas ... an easel that had been waiting there ... twenty-five years to receive the first line ... the masterpiece.
  4. Then they looked ... each other ... a moment ... speaking.
  5. The doctor came ... the afternoon, and Sue had an excuse to go ... the hallway as he left.
  6. There is no hope ... him; but he goes ... the hospital today to be made more comfortable.


V. Answer the questions:

  1. Where did the two young painters live and why could not they get a better place to live in?
  2. Why was Johnsy unfit to stand the strain of the suffering?
  3. What chance did the doctor say Johnsy had? What was his advice?
  4. Why did Johnsy want to see the last leaf fall?
  5. Why did Sue and Behrman look at each other without speaking when they got back to the studio?
  6. What did the girls see next morning?
  7. What happened when Johnsy saw the lonely leaf hanging bravely from its branch against the brick wall?
  8. Who guessed what had happened that night?
  9. When do you think Sue understood what Mr Behrman had done?
  10. Why is the story called “The Last Leaf?” What other name could be given to the story?

VI. Describe the main characters of the story:

  1. Retell the text as it would be told by: a) Sue, b) Johnsy, с) Mr.Behrman.
  2. Comment on the title of the story.
  3. Make up dialogues based on the text. Work in pairs.


  1. Write a summary of the text.
  2. Describe the life of the two young painters as you imagine it was.
  3. Find in the text and write out words and expressions characterizing emotions. What is the difference between a feeling and an emotion? Describe an emotional scene taken from life or literature.

Text 2: No Story

TO AVOID HAVING THIS BOOK HURLED INTO CORNER OF THE ROOM by the suspicious reader, I will assert in time that this is not a newspaper story. You will encounter no shirt-sleeved, omniscient city editor, no prodigy «cub» reporter just off the farm, no scoop, no story - no anything. But if you will concede me the setting of the first scene in the reporters' room of the Morning Beacon, I will repay the favor by keeping strictly my promises set forth above. I was doing space-work on the Beacon, hoping to be put on a salary. Some one had cleared with a rake or a shovel a small space for me at the end of a long table piled high with exchanges, Congressional Records, and old files. There I did my work. I wrote whatever the city whispered or roared or chuckled to me on my diligent wanderings about its streets. My income was not regular. One day Tripp came in and leaned on my table. Tripp was something in the mechanical department - I think he had something to do with the pictures, for he smelled of photographers' supplies, and his hands were always stained and cut up with acids. He was about twenty-five and looked forty. Half of his face was covered with short, curly red whiskers that looked like a door-mat with the «welcome» left off. He was pale and unhealthy and miserable and fawning, and an assiduous borrower of sums ranging from twenty-five cents to a dollar. One dollar was his limit. He knew the extent of his credit as well as the Chemical National Bank knows the amount of H20 that collateral will show on analysis. When he sat on my table he held one hand with the other to keep both from shaking. Whiskey. He had a spurious air of lightness and bravado about him that deceived no one, but was useful in his borrowing because it was so pitifully and perceptibly assumed.

This day I had coaxed from the cashier five shining silver dollars as a grumbling advance on a story that the Sunday editor had reluctantly accepted. So if I was not feeling at peace with the world, at least an armistice had been declared; and I was beginning with ardor to write a description of the Brooklyn Bridge by moonlight.

“Well, Tripp,” said I, looking up at him rather impatiently, “how goes it?” He was looking today more miserable, more cringing and haggard and downtrodden than I had ever seen him. He was at that stage of misery where he drew your pity so fully that you longed to kick him.

“Have you got a dollar?” asked Tripp, with his most fawning look and his dog-like eyes that blinked in the narrow space between his highgrowing matted beard and his low-growing matted hair.

“I have,” said I; and again I said, “I have,” more loudly and inhospitably, “and four besides. And I had hard work corkscrewing them out of old Atkinson, I can tell you. And I drew them,” I continued, «to meet a want - a hiatus - a demand - a need - an exigency - a requirement of exactly five dollars.”

I was driven to emphasis by the premonition that I was to lose one of the dollars on the spot.

“I don't want to borrow any,” said Tripp, and I breathed again. “I thought you'd like to get put onto a good story,” he went on. “I've got a rattling fine one for you. You ought to make it run a column at least. It'll make a dandy if you work it up right. It'll probably cost you a dollar or two to get the stuff. I don't want anything out of it myself.”

I became placated. The proposition showed that Tripp appreciated past favors, although he did not return them. If he had been wise enough to strike me for a quarter then he would have got it.

“What is the story?” I asked, poising my pencil with a finely calculated editorial air.

“I'll tell you,” said Tripp. “It's a girl. A beauty. One of the howlingest Amsden's Junes you ever saw. Rosebuds covered with dewviolets in their mossy bed - and truck like that. She's lived on Long Island twenty years and never saw New York City before. I ran against her on Thirty-fourth Street. She'd just got in on the East River ferry. I tell you, she's a beauty that would take the hydrogen out of all the peroxides in the world. She stopped me on the street and asked me where she could find George Brown. Asked me where she could find George Brown in New York City! What do you think of that?

“I talked to her, and found that she was going to marry a young farmer named Dodd - Hiram Dodd - next week. But it seems that George Brown still holds the championship in her youthful fancy. George had greased his cowhide boots some years ago, and came to the city to make his fortune. But he forgot to remember to show up again at Greenburg, and Hiram got in as second-best choice. But when it comes to the scratch Ada - her name's Ada Lowery - saddles a nag and rides eight miles to the railroad station and catches the 6.45 A.M. train for the city. Looking for George, you know - you understand about women - George wasn't there, so she wanted him.

“Well, you know, I couldn't leave her loose in Wolftown-on-the-Hudson. I suppose she thought the first person she inquired of would say: 'George Brown? - why, yes - lemme see - he's a short man with light-blue eyes, ain't he? Oh yes - you'll find George on One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street, right next to the grocery. He's bill-clerk in a saddleand-harness store.' That's about how innocent and beautiful she is. You know those little Long Island water-front villages like Greenburg - a couple of duck-farms for sport, and clams and about nine summer visitors for industries. That's the kind of a place she comes from. But, say - you ought to see her!

“What could I do? I don't know what money looks like in the morning. And she'd paid her last cent of pocket-money for her railroad ticket except a quarter, which she had squandered on gum-drops. She was eating them out of a paper bag. I took her to a boarding-house on Thirty-second Street where I used to live, and hocked her. She's in soak for a dollar. That's old Mother McGinnis' price per day. I'll show you the house.”

“What words are these, Tripp?” said I. “I thought you said you had a story. Every ferryboat that crosses the East River brings or takes away girls from Long Island.”

The premature lines on Tripp's face grew deeper. He frowned seriously from his tangle of hair. He separated his hands and emphasized his answer with one shaking forefinger.

“Can't you see,” he said, “what a rattling fine story it would make? You could do it fine. All about the romance, you know, and describe the girl, and put a lot of stuff in it about true love, and sling in a few stickfuls of funny business - joshing the Long Islanders about being green, and, well - you know how to do it. You ought to get fifteen dollars out of it, anyhow. And it'll cost you only about four dollars. You'll make a clear profit of eleven.”

“How will it cost me four dollars?” I asked, suspiciously.

“One dollar to Mrs. McGinnis,” Tripp answered, promptly, “and two dollars to pay the girl's fare back home.”

“And the fourth dimension?” I inquired, making a rapid mental calculation.

“One dollar to me,” said Tripp. “For whiskey. Are you on?”

I smiled enigmatically and spread my elbows as if to begin writing again. But this grim, abject, specious, subservient, burr-like wreck of a man would not be shaken off. His forehead suddenly became shiningly moist.

“Don't you see,” he said, with a sort of desperate calmness, “that this girl has got to be sent home today - not tonight nor tomorrow, but today? I can't do anything for her. You know, I'm the janitor and corresponding secretary of the Down-and-Out Club. I thought you could make a newspaper story out of it and win out a piece of money on general results. But, anyhow, don't you see that she's got to get back home before night?”

And then I began to feel that dull, leaden, soul-depressing sensation known as the sense of duty. Why should that sense fall upon one as a weight and a burden? I knew that I was doomed that day to give up the bulk of my store of hard-wrung coin to the relief of this Ada Lowery. But I swore to myself that Tripp's whiskey dollar would not be forthcoming. He might play knight-errant at my expense, but he would indulge in no wassail afterward, commemorating my weakness and gullibility. In a kind of chilly anger I put on my coat and hat.

Tripp, submissive, cringing, vainly endeavoring to please, conducted me via the street-cars to the human pawn-shop of Mother McGinnis. I paid the fares. It seemed that the collodion-scented Don Quixote and the smallest minted coin were strangers.

Tripp pulled the bell at the door of the mouldly red-brick boardinghouse. At its faint tinkle he paled, and crouched as a rabbit makes ready to spring away at the sound of a hunting-dog. I guessed what a life he had led, terror-haunted by the coming footsteps of landladies.

“Give me one of the dollars - quick!” he said.

The door opened six inches. Mother McGinnis stood there with white eyes - they were white, I say - and a yellow face, holding together at her throat with one hand a dingy pink flannel dressing-sack. Tripp thrust the dollar through the space without a word, and it bought us entry.

“She's in the parlor,” said the McGinnis, turning the back of her sack upon us.

In the dim parlor a girl sat at the cracked marble centre-table weeping comfortably and eating gum-drops. She was a flawless beauty. Crying had only made her brilliant eyes brighter. When she crunched a gum-drop you thought only of the poetry of motion and envied the senseless confection. Eve at the age of five minutes must have been a ringer for Miss Ada Lowery at nineteen or twenty. I was introduced, and a gum-drop suffered neglect while she conveyed to me a naive interest, such as a puppy dog (a prize winner) might bestow upon a crawling beetle or a frog.

Tripp took his stand by the table, with the fingers of one hand spread upon it, as an attorney or a master of ceremonies might have stood. But he looked the master of nothing. His faded coat was buttoned high, as if it sought to be charitable to deficiencies of tie and linen.

I thought of a Scotch terrier at the sight of his shifty eyes in the glade between his tangled hair and beard. For one ignoble moment I felt ashamed of having been introduced as his friend in the presence of so much beauty in distress. But evidently Tripp meant to conduct the ceremonies, whatever they might be. I thought I detected in his actions and pose an intention of foisting the situation upon me as material for a newspaper story, in a lingering hope of extracting from me his whiskey dollar.

“My friend” (I shuddered), “Mr. Chalmers,” said Tripp, “will tell you, Miss Lowery, the same that I did. He's a reporter, and he can hand out the talk better than I can. That's why I brought him with me.” (Tripp, wasn't it the silver-tongued orator you wanted?) “He's wise to a lot of things, and he'll tell you now what's best to do.”

I stood on one foot, as it were, as I sat in my rickety chair.

“Why - er - Miss Lowery,” I began, secretly enraged at Tripp's awkward opening, “I am at your service, of course, but - er - as I haven't been apprized of the circumstances of the case, I - er – “

“Oh,” said Miss Lowery, beaming for a moment, “it ain't as bad as that - there ain't any circumstances. It's the first time I've ever been in New York except once when I was five years old, and I had no idea it was such a big town. And I met Mr. - Mr. Snip on the street and asked him about a friend of mine, and he brought me here and asked me to wait.”

“I advise you, Miss Lowery,” said Tripp, “to tell Mr. Chalmers all. He's a friend of mine” (I was getting used to it by this time), “and he'll give you the right tip.”

“Why, certainly,” said Miss Ada, chewing a gum-drop toward me. “There ain't anything to tell except that - well, everything's fixed for me to marry Hiram Dodd next Thursday evening. Hi has got two hundred acres of land with a lot of shore-front, and one of the best truck-farms on the Island. But this morning I had my horse saddled up - he's a white horse named Dancer - and I rode over to the station. I told 'em at home I was going to spend the day with Susie Adams. It was a story, I guess, but I don't care. And I came to New York on the train, and I met Mr. - Mr. Flip on the street and asked him if he knew where I could find G - G – “

“Now, Miss Lowery,” broke in Tripp, loudly, and with much bad taste, I thought, as she hesitated with her word, «you like this young man, Hiram Dodd, don't you? He's all right, and good to you, ain't he?”

“Of course I like him,” said Miss Lowery emphatically. “Hi's all right. And of course he's good to me. So is everybody.”

I could have sworn it myself. Throughout Miss Ada Lowery's life all men would be toо good to her. They would strive, contrive, struggle, and compete to hold umbrellas over her hat, check her trunk, pick up her handkerchief, buy for her soda at the fountain.

“But,” went on Miss Lowery, “last night got to thinking about G - George, and I – ”

Down went the bright gold head upon dimpled, clasped hands on the table. Such a beautiful April storm! Unrestrainedly sobbed. I wished I could have comforted her. But I was not George. And I was glad I was not Hiram - and yet I was sorry, too.

By-and-by the shower passed. She straightened up, brave and half-way smiling. She would have made a splendid wife, for crying only made her eyes more bright and tender. She took a gum-drop and began her story.

“I guess I'm a terrible hayseed,” she said between her little gulps and sighs, “but I can't help it. G - George Brown and I were sweethearts since he was eight and I was five. When he was nineteen - that was four years ago - he left Greenburg and went to the city. He said he was going to be a policeman or a railroad president or something. And then he was coming back for me. But I never heard from him any more. And I - I - liked him.”

Another flow of tears seemed imminent, but Tripp hurled himself into the crevasse and dammed it. Confound him, I could see his game. He was trying to make a story of it for his sordid ends and profit.

“Go on, Mr. Chalmers,” said he, “and tell the lady what's the proper caper. That's what I told her - you'd hand it to her straight. Spiel up.”

I coughed, and tried to feel less wrathful toward Tripp. I saw my duty. Cunningly I had been inveigled, but I was securely trapped. Tripp's first dictum to me had been just and correct. The young lady must be sent back to Greenburg that day. She must be argued with, convinced, assured, instructed, ticketed, and returned without delay. I hated Hiram and despised George; but duty must be done.

Noblesse oblige and only five silver dollars are not strictly romantic compatibles, but sometimes they can be made to jibe. It was mine to be Sir Oracle, and then pay the freight. So I assumed an air that mingled Solomon's with that of the general passenger agent of the Long Island Railroad.

“Miss Lowery,” said I, as impressively as I could, “life is rather a queer proposition, after all.”

There was a familiar sound to these words after I had spoken them, and I hoped Miss Lowery had never heard Mr. Cohan's song. “Those whom we first love we seldom wed. Our earlier romances, tinged with the magic radiance of youth, often fail to materialize.”

The last three words sounded somewhat trite when they struck the air. “But those fondly cherished dreams,” I went on, “may cast a pleasant afterglow on our future lives, however impracticable and vague they may have been. But life is full of realities as well as visions and dreams. One cannot live on memories. May I ask, Miss Lowery, if you think you could pass a happy - that is, a contented and harmonious life with Mr.-er - Dodd - if in other ways than romantic recollections he seems to - er - fill the bill, as I might say?”

“Oh, Hi's all right,” answered Miss Lowery. “Yes, I could get along with him fine. He's promised me an automobile and a motor-boat. But somehow, when it got so close to the time I was to marry him, I couldn't help wishing - well, just thinking about George. Something must have happened to him or he'd have written. On the day he left, he and me got a hammer and a chisel and cut a dime into two pieces. I took one piece and he took the other, and we promised to be true to each other and always keep the pieces till we saw each other again. I've got mine at home now in a ring-box in the top drawer of my dresser. I guess I was silly to come up here looking for him. I never realized what a big place it is.”

And then Tripp joined in with a little grating laugh that he had, still trying to drag in a little story or drama to earn the miserable dollar that he craved.

“Oh, the boys from the country forget a lot when they come to the city and learn something. I guess George, maybe, is on the bum, or got roped in by some other girl, or maybe gone to the dogs on account of whiskey or the races. You listen to Mr. Chalmers and go back home, and you'll be all right.”

But now the time was come for action, for the hands of the clock were moving close to noon. Frowning upon Tripp, I argued gently and philosophically with Miss Lowery, delicately convincing her of the importance of returning home at once. And I impressed upon her the truth that it would not be absolutely necessary to her future happiness that she mention to Hi the wonders or the fact of her visit to the city that had swallowed up the unlucky George.

She said she had left her horse (unfortunate Rosinante) tied to a tree near the railroad station. Tripp and I gave her instructions to mount the patient steed as soon as she arrived and ride home as fast as possible. There she was to recount the exciting adventure of a day spent with Susie Adams. She could “fix” Susie - I was sure of that - and all would be well.

And then, being susceptible to the barbed arrows of beauty, I warmed to the adventure. The three of us hurried to the ferry, and there I found the price of a ticket to Greenburg to be but a dollar and eighty cents. I bought one, and a red, red rose with the twenty cents for Miss Lowery. We saw her aboard her ferryboat, and stood watching her wave her handkerchief at us until it was the tiniest white patch imaginable. And then Tripp and I faced each other, brought back to earth, left dry and desolate in the shade of the sombre verities of life.

The spell wrought by beauty and romance was dwindling. I looked at Tripp and almost sneered. He looked more careworn, contemptible, and disreputable than ever. I fingered the two silver dollars remaining in my pocket and looked at him with the half-closed eyelids of contempt. He mustered up an imitation of resistance.

“Can't you get a story out of it?” he asked, huskily. “Some sort of a story, even if you have to fake part of it?”

“Not a line,” said I. “I can fancy the look on Grimes' face if I should try to put over any slush like this. But we've helped the little lady out, and that'll have to be our only reward.”

“I'm sorry,” said Tripp, almost inaudibly. “I'm sorry you're out your money. Now, it seemed to me like a find of a big story, you know - that is, a sort of thing that would write up pretty well.”

“Let's try to forget it,” said I, with a praiseworthy attempt at gayety, “and take the next car 'cross town.”

I steeled myself against his unexpressed but palpable desire. He should not coax, cajole, or wring from me the dollar he craved. I had had enough of that wild-goose chase.

Tripp feebly unbuttoned his coat of the faded pattern and glossy seams to reach for something that had once been a handkerchief deep down in some obscure and cavernous pocket. As he did so I caught the shine of a cheap silver-plated watch-chain across his vest, and something dangling from it caused me to stretch forth my hand and seize it curiously. It was the half of a silver dime that had been cut in halves with a chisel. “What!” I said, looking at him keenly.

“Oh yes,” he responded, dully. “George Brown, alias Tripp, what's the use?”

Barring the W. C. T. U., I'd like to know if anybody disapproves of my having produced promptly from my pocket Tripp's whiskey dollar and unhesitatingly laying it in his hand.




III. Give definitions of these lexical units relying on an English-English dictionary and make up sentences with them:

  1. to have a spurious air;
  2. premonition;
  3. to hold the championship;
  4. to leave smb loose;
  5. a flawless beauty;
  6. to make a splendid wife;
  7. to convince smb of smth;
  8. to swallow up;
  9. to see smb aboard;
  10. to look contemptible.

IV. Translate the sentences into Russian paying attention to various stylistic devices:

  1. Half of Tripp’s face was covered with short, curly red whiskers that looked like a door-mat with the “welcome” left off.
  2. He had a spurious air of lightness and bravado about him that deceived no one, but was useful in his borrowing because it was so pitifully and perceptibly assumed.
  3. He was looking today more miserable, more cringing and haggard and down-trodden than I had ever seen him.
  4. I was driven to emphasis by the premonition that I was to lose one of the dollars on the spot.
  5. It seems that George Brown still holds the championship in her youthful fancy.
  6. You know, I couldn’t leave her loose in Wolftown-on-the-Hudson.
  7. She was a flawless beauty. Crying had only made her brilliant eyes brighter.
  8. She would have made a splendid wife, for crying only made her eyes more bright and tender.
  9. Frowning upon Tripp, I argued gently and philosophically with Miss Lowery, delicately convincing her of the importance of returning home at once.
  10. I impressed upon her the truth that it would be absolutely necessary to her future happiness that she should mention to Hi the fact of her visit to the city that had swallowed up the unlucky George.
  11. We saw her aboard her ferry-boat, and stood watching her wave her handkerchief at us until it was the tiniest white patch imaginable.
  12. Tripp looked more careworn, contemptible, and disreputable than ever.


V. Answer the questions:

  1. How many characters are mentioned in this story?
  2. What are their names and occupation?
  3. Where did the event take place?
  4. What kind of work did the reporter do?
  5. What was Tripp?
  6. How old did Tripp look?
  7. What bad habit did Tripp have?
  8. In what way did Tripp meet the girl?
  9. What made Ada come to New York?
  10. What kind of a lie did Ada tell her mother?
  11. In what way did the reporter help the girl?
  12. What made the reporter give one dollar to Tripp?

VI. Say why:

  1. The reporter had very little money.
  2. Tripp came up to the reporter’s table that day.
  3. Tripp looked much older than his age.
  4. Ada came to New York.
  5. The reporter was angry with Tripp.
  6. The girl was crying in the parlor.
  7. Ada had no idea what a big city New York was.
  8. George Brown had gone to the city.
  9. George and Ada had cut a dime into two halves.
  10. Tripp looked more miserable than ever when Ada had left for the village.

VII. Prove that:

  1. Ada is not still indifferent to George.
  2. Ada is a country girl.
  3. George is unhappy about Ada’s wedding.
  4. The reporter likes Ada.
  5. Life is hard in a big city.
  6. George’s dream to make a fortune in the city is not likely to come true.


  1. Analyse the main idea of the story. Make the written analysis of the text.
  2. Do you think young people have similar problems when coming to a big city as they had in the days of the writer? What do you think are similarities and differences?
  3. What do you think are advantages and disadvantages of living in the country and in a big city (take into account jobs, education, entertainment, pollution, transportation, food)?



I. Are the following statements true or false. Correct the false ones:

  1. Chandler looked like a typical working man.
  2. At the end of each week Chandler went out to have a good time.
  3. He had to iron his suit every week.
  4. Chandler did not know what to do to the girl when she had slipped on the snow.
  5. The girl was dressed like a model.
  6. Chandler hurt his ankle while helping the girl to her feet.
  7. Chandler decided to play a joke on the girl.
  8. Chandler’s story did not impress the girl.
  9. Chandler lived an idle life.
  10. Marian will never marry Chandler.

II. Explain and expand on the following:

  1. So much of the hero’s toilet may be entrusted to our confidence. The remainder may be guessed by those whom genteel poverty has driven to ignoble expedient.
  2. He purchased one gentleman's evening from the bargain counter of stingy old Father Time.
  3. For the next sixty-nine evenings he would be dining in cheviot and worsted at dubious table d'hotes, at whirlwind lunch counters.
  4. Chandler looked at the girl and found her swiftly drawing his interest. She was pretty in a refined way; and her eye was both merry and kind.
  5. Then it was that the Madness of Manhattan, the frenzy of Fuss and Feathers, the Bacillus of Brag, the Provincial Plague of Pose seized upon Towers Chandler.
  6. On the stage of that comedy he had assumed to play the one-night part of a butterfly of fashion and an idler of means and taste.
  7. And yet once or twice he saw the pure gold of this girl shine through the mist that his egotism had raised between him and all objects.
  8. We do-nothings are the hardest workers in the land.
  9. Thus spoke the brave who was born and reared in the wigwams of the tribe of the Manhattans.
  10. She arrived at a handsome and sedate mansion two squares to the east, facing on that avenue which is the highway of Mammon and the auxiliary gods.


III. Give the translation of the following phrases:

  1. a wealthy idler;
  2. commensurate tips;
  3. a delectable evening;
  4. a vespertine dress parade;
  5. glossy hair;
  6. wage-earning girls;
  7. a regular outing;
  8. a self-possessed manner;
  9. a sedate mansion.

IV. Give as many English equivalents as possible:

  1. наносить визит;
  2. компенсировать;
  3. сомнительный;
  4. быть в центре внимания;
  5. вежливость;
  6. холодный прием;
  7. оживлённый разговор.


V. Discuss the following questions and use them as a plan for retelling:

  1. Where was Mr.Chandler employed?
  2. How much did he earn?
  3. What did he do at the end of each week?
  4. How did he spend the next sixty-nine evenings?
  5. How did the evening described in the story begin?
  6. How did Mr.Chandler happen to make the girl’s acquaintance?
  7. How did the girl look like?
  8. What idea came into the young architect’s head?
  9. What did Mr.Chandler suggest they should do?
  10. Why did the girl hesitate?
  11. Describe the restaurant they went to.
  12. How did the atmosphere influence Towers Chandler?
  13. What did he begin telling the girl?
  14. What was the girl’s reaction?
  15. What happened after the dinner was concluded?
  16. Where did the girl go to after the dinner?
  17. How did she explain her long absence?
  18. Could the girl have loved Chandler if she had known the truth?

VI. Say why:

  1. People took Towers Chandler for a rich young man.
  2. Chandler put aside one dollar out of his salary.
  3. Marian twisted her ankle.
  4. Marian was afraid that it was not right to have dinner with Chandler.
  5. At last Marian accepted the invitation.
  6. Some kind of madness came upon Chandler.
  7. Chandler realized he had made a mistake.
  8. Marian’s mother was worried.
  9. Marian believed that she and her sister would not be left in peace.
  10. Chandler lost his fortune.

VII. Prove that:

  1. Chandler is not rich.
  2. Chandler is a kind young man.
  3. Marian is rich and lives in a family.
  4. Marian is a serious girl.
  5. Chandler might have won a fortune.

VIII. Act out the talk between:

  1. Chandler and Marian (after she fell down ).
  2. Marian and Chandler (he invites the girl to the restaurant ).
  3. Chandler and Marian (in the restaurant ).
  4. Marian and her sister.

IX. Imagine that you are:

Chandler. Say:

  1. Something about yourself.
  2. Why you go to a fashionable restaurant.
  3. How you met Marian.
  4. What made you play the role of a rich idler.

Marian. Say:

  1. Why you left your house that evening.
  2. What happened to you in the street.
  3. What you felt having dinner with Chandler.
  4. What you liked about Chandler. Why?
  5. What you did not like about him. Why?

X. Speak on the following:

  1. Give your impression of Towers Chandler. Were his evenings out a form of escape from dull routine of everyday life?
  2. What other forms of escape can you think of?


  1. Write out all word combinations that describe the personages and say how they characterize them.
  2. Make a written translation of the extract trying to keep close to the style of O’Henry.

Я работаю, - объявил м-р Паркенстэкер, - в одном ресторане.

Девушка слегка вздрогнула (to give a start, to look somewhat startled).

- Но не в качестве официанта? - cпросила она почти умоляюще.

- Нет, я не официант. Я кассир в …- Напротив, на улице, идущей вдоль парка (facing the park), сияли электрические буквы вывески “Ресторан.” - Я служу кассиром вон в том ресторане.

Девушка взглянула на крохотные часики на браслете тонкой работы и поспешно встала.

- Почему вы не на работе? - спросила девушка

-Я сегодня в ночной смене. (night shift), - сказал молодой человек. - В моём распоряжении ещё целый час. Но ведь это не последняя наша - встреча? Могу я надеяться? ...

- Не знаю. Возможно. Я должна спешить. Меня ждёт званый обед, а потом ложа в театре. Вы, вероятно, когда шли сюда, заметили автомобиль на углу возле парка? Весь белый?

- И с красными колёсами?- спросил молодой человек, задумчиво сдвинув брови.

- Да. Я всегда приезжаю сюда в этом авто.

3. Think of the story from life or literature that proves the proverb “Appearances are deceptive.”



I. Are the following statements true or false. Correct the false ones:

  1. Della saved some money begging in the street.
  2. The family lived in a very big flat.
  3. Della wanted to buy a very good present for her husband.
  4. Della sold her hair for 20 dollars.
  5. Della bought a platinum fob chain for her husband.
  6. Della paid 20 dollars for the fob chain.
  7. When Della curled her hair she looked like a schoolboy.
  8. Jim was twenty-three years old.
  9. Jim was very angry when he saw that Della had cut off her hair.
  10. Jim earned some money to buy expensive combs for his wife.


II. Give the translation of the phrases and translate the sentences they were used in:

  1. to be made up of;
  2. to fall full length;
  3. to lose color;
  4. to take pride;
  5. on the sly;
  6. a mammoth task;
  7. to take a second look at;
  8. to turn white;
  9. to have a habit (of);
  10. to wake out of trance.

III. Translate the following sentences into Russian. Comment on similes:

  1. So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her, rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters.
  2. Jim stepped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail.
  3. And then Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”
  4. Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy.
  5. “If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl.”

IV. Match adjectives with their definitions:

  1. unassuming
  1. not wanting to draw attention to yourself or to your abilities or status;
  1. modest
  1. careful in what you say or do, in order to keep smth. secret or to avoid causing embarrassment or difficulty for smb.; tactful;
  1. sterling
  1. not very large, expensive, important;
  1. agile
  1. of excellent quality;
  1. chilly
  1. in which nothing interesting, unusual or exciting happens;
  1. chaste
  1. not friendly;
  1. meretricious
  1. simple and plain in style; not decorated;
  1. discreet
  1. very enthusiastic and showing strong feelings about smth./smb.; passionate;
  1. ardent
  1. able to move quickly and easily;
  1. uneventful
  1. seeming attractive, but in fact having no real value;

V. Fill in the gaps with prepositions:

  1. There was clearly nothing left to do but flop down … the shabby little couch and howl.
  2. Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks … the powder rag.
  3. Suddenly she whirled … the window and stood … the glass.
  4. … that chain … his watch Jim might be properly anxious … the time … any company.
  5. Jim drew a package … his overcoat pocket and threw it … the table.
  6. Then she heard his step … the stair away down … the first flight, and she turned white … just a moment.
  7. It surely had been made … Jim and no one else.
  8. And here I have lamely related … you the uneventful chronicle … two foolish children … a flat who most unwisely sacrificed … each other the greatest treasures … their house.
  9. Instead … obeying, Jim tumbled down … the couch and put his hands … the back of his head and smiled.
  10. Twenty-one dollars they took … her … it, and she hurried home … the 78 cents.


VI. Answer the questions:

  1. What did Della want to buy for her husband for Christmas? How much money did she have to start with?
  2. What did Della sell to get the $20.00 she needed to buy her husband’s present?
  3. What did Jim buy for his wife for Christmas?
  4. How much money did Jim make a week at his job?
  5. Where does Della work? Give the reference that’s made in the story.
  6. What do we learn about the relationship between Della and Jim? Do they love each other still after the events of the story?
  7. How does the magi and their significance relate to the meaning of the story?

VII. Explain why:

  1. Della decided that life was made up of sobs and smiles.
  2. she had to save some money.
  3. Della spent much time planning to buy something nice for her husband.
  4. she visited many shops.
  5. Jim advised to put their presents away and keep them a while.

VIII. Comment on:

  1. The eight themes that O’Henry uses: Beauty, Family, Giving, Identity, Love, Money, Sacrifice, Wisdom.
  2. The number “Three” that figures prominently in the story. Give examples.
  3. Allusions: the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, the Magi. Who were they?


  1. An implied paradox in the story is that Della and Jim Young are both poor and rich - poor in material things but rich in love. Explain how a related figure of speech, irony, plays a role in the story.
  2. “Sudden serious sweetness” is an example of alliteration in the story. An example of a simile is “Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail.” Write an essay focusing on O’Henry’s use of figures of speech to enhance his narrative.
  3. It is interesting to see that Jim is not described much in the story. Re-write the story from Jim’s point of view.
  4. Write what happens after the ending of the original story.
  5. What is the wisest gift to give to the one that you love? Explain your point of view.



I. Are the following statements true or false. Correct the false ones:

  1. The idea of kidnapping came to Bill first.
  2. Bill and Sam hoped to make fortune by kidnapping.
  3. The cave where they thought to keep the boy was not far from the house.
  4. Bill and Sam caught the boy when he was throwing stones at them.
  5. Johnny felt happy at the cave.
  6. The boy called Sam Red Chief.
  7. The boy was going to burn Sam in the fire at sunrise.
  8. Bill had a good time playing Indian with Johnny.
  9. The first night in the cave with the boy was terrible.
  10. The next morning Sam realized that the parents had already discover

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