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Reading skills - POISON


Klausimas #1


POISON     

     It must have been around midnight when I drove home, and as I approached the house I turned off the lights of the car so that the beam would not shine through the window and wake Harry Pope. But I need not have troubled. Coming through the gateway, I noticed that his light was still on, so he was awake - unless perhaps he had fallen asleep while reading.
     I parked the car and went up five steps to the door, entered the house and turned on the light in the hall. I went across to the door of Harry's room, opened it quietly, and looked in.
     He was lying on the bed and I could see that he was awake. But he did not move. He did not even turn his head towards me, but I heard him say, 'Timber, Timber, come here.'
     He spoke slowly, whispering each word carefully, separately, and I pushed the door right open and started to go across the room quickly.
     'Stop. Wait a moment, Timber.' I could hardly hear what he was saying. He seemed to be having difficulty in getting the words out.
     'What's the matter, Harry?'
     'Sshh!' He whispered. 'Ssshhh! Don't make a noise. Take your shoes off before you come nearer. Please do as I say, Timber.'
     I couldn't understand what he was talking about, but I thought that if he was ill, as he sounded, I'd better try to please him. I bent down and took off my shoes and left them in the middle of the floor. Then I went over to his bed.
     'Don't touch the bed! For God's sake, don't touch the bed!' He was still speaking as if he had been shot in the stomach, and I could see him lying on his back with a single sheet covering three quarters of his body. He was wearing a pair of pyjamas with blue, brown and white stripes, and he was sweating terribly. It was a hot night and I was sweating a little myself, but not like Harry. His whole face was wet and around his head the bed was wet with sweat.
     'What is it, Harry?'
     'A krait*,' he said.
     'A krait! Oh my God! Where did it bite you? How long ago?'
     'Be quiet,' he whispered.
     'Listen, Harry,' I said, and leaned forward and touched his shoulder, 'We' ve got to be quick. Come on now, quickly, and tell me where it bit you.' He was lying there very still as though he were holding on to himself hard because of a sharp pain.
     'I haven't been bitten,' he whispered. 'Not yet. It's on my stomach. Lying there asleep.'
     I took a quick step backwards. I couldn't help it, and I stared at his stomach, or rather at the sheet that covered it. The sheet was uneven in several places and it was impossible to tell if there was anything underneath.
     'Do you mean there's a krait lying on your stomach now?'
     'I swear it.'
     'How did it get there?' I should not have asked the question because it was easy to see that he was not fooling. I should have told him to keep quiet.
     'I was reading,' Harry said, and he spoke very slowly, taking each word in turn and speaking it carefully so as not to move muscles of his stomach. 'Lying on my back reading ... I felt something on my chest, behind the book. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw this little krait sliding over my pyjamas. Small, about ten inches. I knew I mustn't move. I couldn't have moved anyway. I lay there watching it. I thought it would go over the top of the sheet. ' Harry paused and was silent for a few moments. 

krait: - highly poisonous snake

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