Curso First Certificate Exam



LECCION 11 - PAGINA 4   índice del curso   página anterior   página siguiente


Hannie: the heroine


Read this story carefully in order to answer some questions. Don't worry if there are some words you don't know: you should be able to get the general idea without needing to use your dictionary.

Just as she was thinking she would have to stop soon to rest and eat, she noticed a slight thinning out of the trees and a small increase of light and realised she must be coming to a clearing. There, she thought, she would take a break, out in the reassuring openness. As she pushed through the last of the vines and stared into the blinding light, she saw an Indian village. In the centre of the encampment stood a long hut. There were other, smaller huts dotted about. A fire smoked in the middle of the clearing, which was about 200 metres wide. But there was no one there.

She stood in the shadows of the jungle, knowing that she must have been trailed for many miles by the Indians, moving like ghosts through their own underworld, and that now as she stood there, feeling alone, she must be watched by many eyes.

And, across the clearing, on the other fringe of forest, there was the tree, tall and spindly, reaching for the light, dark-leaved and covered with the purple flowers she was looking for. She almost laughed as she stood there, expecting an arrow to hit her, or a body holding a knife to hurl itself at her at any moment. She took a few deep breaths and walked into the centre of the clearing, dropped her pack near the fire, knelt down, unbuckled it and began to take out the gifts. Her left arm suddenly jumped. She looked down slowly at the arm. An arrow, just a stick of wood, jutted from the back of the arm, a little above the elbow. She waited, expecting more arrows to follow, or a crowd to come out of the forest behind her. She said to herself, "Oh, God. Don't let me die here, now." She saw her children's faces clearly, even Fran's grin and the missing top front tooth. Then, because nothing happened, she twisted her right arm, set her teeth and pulled. The arrow eased slowly out through the flesh. A gush of blood stained her jacket. She thought the arrow could be poisoned. That would be why no one had emerged and no further arrows had been fired. They would stay under cover, watching her until she dropped.

Then the noise began. It was a gentle clatter, which grew slowly louder. It took her some time to work out what it was. Slowly, she looked up and around. The helicopter came low across the clearing and landed not far from the forest edge. The rotation of the propellers stopped. The noise died away. She looked at the purple flowers swinging on the branches of the tree opposite her. Then, slowly, she stood up, clutching the bleeding wound in her arm with her right hand and walked towards the helicopter. She was not curious as to who was in the helicopter, or why. She merely saw it as safety. An elderly man with a shock of white hair stepped out of the door. He gave her an unfriendly stare and shouted back, "Martin - chuck the stuff out quickly!" He said to Hannie, "Are you alone?" She nodded.


ACTIVITY 69: After reading the story, make deductions to answer the questions below in the blank spaces. Then check the alternative answers.


Where does the text come from?


Where does the action take place?


Why is 'she' there?


Why is she carrying gifts, and why does she take them out?


Why is the helicopter there?


Do Hannie and the elderly man know each other?


What deductions can you make about Hannie's character?


Is she a heroine?

ACTIVITY 70: Now, for questions 1-4, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the story. Before looking up a word you don't understand in your dictionary, decide if you really need to know what it means. Then check your answers.


When Hannie entered the clearing she was ...


A.    completely alone.
B.    without a companion.
C.    surrounded by friends.
D.    part of a group.


She saw her children's faces clearly because ...


A.    she was looking at a photograph.
B.    she was having a dream.
C.    she was missing them.
D.    she thought she was going to die.


She thought the Indians did not fire again because ...


A.    they did not want to kill her.
B.    they wanted to remain hidden.
C.    they knew she would die soon.
D.    they were frightened of the helicopter.


How did the elderly man greet Hannie?


A.    with displeasure
B.    with relief
C.    with curiosity
D.    with excitement

Hemos leido una historia emocionante !!! 
En la próxima página tendrás la última práctica de esta lección ...


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