IGCSE English (First Language): Specimen Questions with Answers 106 - 108 of 179

Passage

Here is a story about two best friends who had to part ways. They return to keep an appointment they had made twenty years ago. Read to find out what happens when they meet again.

The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively. The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for spectators were few. The time was barely 10 o’ clock at night, but chilly gusts of wind with a taste of rain them had well-nigh deepeopled the streets. Trying doors as he went, twirling his club with many intricate and artful movements, turning now and then to cast his watchful eye adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, with his stalwart form and slight swagger, made a fine picture of a guardian of the peace.

The 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 many of the doors belonged to business places that had long since been closed. When about midway of a certain block the policeman suddenly slowed his walk. In the doorway of a darkened hardware store a man leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his mouth. As the policeman walked up to him the man spoke up quickly.

“It’s all right, officer, ” he said, reassuringly. “I’m just waiting for a friend. It’s an appointment made twenty years ago. Sounds a little funny to you, doesn’t it? Well, I’ll explain if you’d like to make certain it’s all straight. About that long ago there used to be a restaurant where this store stands—Big Joe’ Brady’s restaurant. ” “Until five years ago, ” said the policeman. “It was torn down then. “

The man in the doorway struck a match and lit his cigar. The light showed a pale, square-jawed face with keen eyes, and a little white scar near his right eyebrow. His scarf pin was a large diamond, oddly set. “Twenty years ago, tonight, ” said the man, “I dined here at Big Joe Brady’s with Jimmy Wells, my best chum, and the finest chap in the world. He and I were raised here in New York, just like two brothers, together. I was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty. The next morning, I was to start for the West to make my fortune. You couldn’t have dragged Jimmy out of New York; he thought it was the only place on earth. Well, we agreed that night that we would meet here again exactly twenty years from that date and time, no matter what our conditions might be or from what distance we might have to come.

We figured that in twenty years each of us ought to have our destiny worked out and our fortunes made, whatever they were going to be. ” “It sounds pretty interesting, ” said the policeman. “Rather a long time between meets, though, it seems to me. Haven’t you heard from your friend since you left? ” “Well, yes, for a time we corresponded, ” said the other. “But after a year or two we lost track of each other. You see, the West is a big proposition, and I kept hustling around over it lively. But I know Jimmy will meet me here if he’s alive, for he always was the truest, staunchest old chap in the world. He’ll never forget. I came a thousand miles to stand in this door tonight, and it’s worth it if my old partner turns up. ” The waiting man pulled out a handsome watch, the lids of it set with small diamonds. “Three minutes to ten, ” he announced. “It was exactly ten o’clock when we parted here at the restaurant door. ” “Did pretty well out West, didn’t you? ” asked the policeman. “You bet! I hope Jimmy has done half as well. He was a kind of plodder, though, good fellow as he was. I’ve had to compete with some of the sharpest wits going to get my pile. A man gets in a groove in New York. It takes the West to put a razor-edge on him. ” The policeman twirled his club and took a step or two. “I’ll be on my way. Hope your friend comes around all right. Going to call time on him sharp? ” “I should say not! ” said the other. “I’ll give him half an hour at least. If Jimmy is alive on earth he’ll be here by that time.

So long, officer. ” “Good-night, sir, ” said the policeman, passing on along his beat, trying doors as he went. There was now a fine, cold drizzle falling, and the wind had risen from its uncertain puffs into a steady blow. The few foot passengers astir in that quarter hurried dismally and silently along with coat collars turned high and pocketed hands. And in the door of the hardware store the man who had come a thousand miles to fill an appointment, uncertain almost to absurdity, with the friend of his youth, smoked his cigar and waited. About twenty minutes he waited, and then a tall man in a long overcoat, with collar turned up to his ears, hurried across from the opposite side of the street. He went directly to the waiting man.

“Is that you, Bob? ” he asked, doubtfully.

“Is that you, Jimmy Wells? ” cried the man in the door.

“Bless my heart! ” exclaimed the new arrival, grasping both the other’s hands with his own. “It’s Bob, sure as fate. I was certain I’d find you here if you were still in existence. Well, well, well! Twenty years is a long time. The old restaurant’s gone, Bob; I wish it had lasted, so we could have had another dinner there. How has the West treated you, old man? ” “Bully; it has given me everything I asked it for. You’ve changed lots, Jimmy. I never thought you were so tall by two or three inches. ” “Oh, I grew a bit after I was twenty. ” “Doing well in New York, Jimmy? ” “Moderately. I have a position in one of the city departments. Come on, Bob; we’ll go around to a place I know of, and have a good long talk about old times. ” The two men started up the street, arm in arm. The man from the West, his egotism enlarged by success, was beginning to outline the history of his career. The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened with interest. At the corner stood a drug store, brilliant with electric lights. When they came into this glare each of them turned simultaneously to gaze upon the other’s face. The man from the West stopped suddenly and released his arm. You’re not Jimmy Wells, ” he snapped. “Twenty years is a long time, but not long enough to change a man’s nose from a Roman to a pug. ” “It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one, ” said the tall man. “You’ve been under arrest for ten minutes, ‘Silky’ Bob. Chicago thinks you may have dropped over our way and wires us she wants to 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. ” The man from the West unfolded the little piece of paper handed to him. His hand was steady when he began to read, but it trembled a little by the time he had finished. The note was rather short. “Bob, I was at the appointed place on time. When you struck the match to light your cigar, I saw it was the face of the man wanted in Chicago. Somehow, I couldn’t do it myself, so I went around and got a plainclothes man to do the job. “

Question 106 (8 of 8 Based on Passage)

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What are the strengths and weaknesses of Jimmy Wells from Bob’s point of view?

Explanation

  • Strengths: Jimmy Wells is very shrewd. He has sharp memory. He can recognize his friend as soon as he sees his face in the cigar lighter. He is duty bound.
  • Weakness: He is very cordial and soft natured person. Though his friend is a criminal wanted in Chicago, he could not arrest him. Hence, he sent another cop to do the duty.

Question 107

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Bring out the status of women in the modern society. What do you think?

Explanation

In the modern society, the status of women has much advanced. Because of their higher studies, they shine in all levels of society. There are women, as teachers, doctors, engineers, and technicians. Recently in defense services women have started to shine well. In the field of sports and games they win many medals and awards. But the rural women must improve a lot.

Passage

Reading Comprehension

The Model Millionaire

Hughie was wonderfully good looking with his crisp brown hair, his clear-cut profile, and his grey eyes. He was as popular with men as he was with women, and he had every accomplishment except that of making money. He had tried everything. But he became nothing, a delightful, ineffectual young man with a perfect profile and no profession.

Hughie wanted to marry Laura Merton, the daughter of a retired Colonel. The Colonel was very fond of Hughie but would not hear of any engagement. “Come to me my boy, when you have got ten thousand pounds of your own and we will see about it, ” he said. Hughie looked very glum and he cursed himself for his inability to fulfill the condition.

One morning as he was on his way to Holland Park, he dropped in to see a great friend of his, Alan Trevor. Trevor was a painter. He was a strange rough fellow with a freckled face and a red ragged beard.

When he took up the brush, he was a real master and his pictures were eagerly sought after.

When Hughie came in, he found Trevor painting the final additions to a wonderful life size picture of a beggar man. The beggar himself was standing on a platform in a corner of the studio. He was a wizened old man with a face like wrinkled parchment and a most piteous expression. Over his shoulders was flung a coarse brown cloak, all tears, and tatters; his thick boots were patched and cobbled and with one hand he leant on a rough stick while with the other he held out his battered hat for alms.

“What an amazing model! ” whispered Hughie, as he shook hands withhis friend?

“An amazing model? ” shouted Trevor at the top of his voice. “I should think so! Such beggars as he is not to be met with every day. “

“Poor old chap! ” said Hughie, “how miserable he looks! But I suppose to youpainters, his face is his fortune? “

“Certainly, you don’t want a beggar to look happy, do you? “

“How much does a model get for sitting? ” asked Hughie.

“A shilling an hour. “

“And how much do you get for your picture, Alan? “

“Oh! For this I get two thousand pounds. “

After sometime, the servant came in and told Trevor that the frame maker wanted to speak to him. “Don’t run away Hughie” he said, as he went out, “I’ll be back in a moment. ” The old beggar took advantage of Trevor’s absence to rest for a moment on a wooden bench. He looked so forlorn that Hughie could not help pitying him. All he could find was a sovereign and some coppers. “Poor old fellow, ” he to himself and slipped the sovereign into the beggar’s hand. The old man said, “Thank you sir. ” Then Trevor arrived and Hughie took his leave.

The next day when Hughie visited Trevor, he was surprised to hear that the model kept asking Trevor for all details about him. Trevor informed Hughie that he had clearly explained Hughie’s condition to the old model. “What! You told that old beggar all my private affairs? ” cried Hughie looking very red and angry. “My dear boy, ” said Trevor smiling, “that old beggar as you call him is one of the richest men in Europe. He is Baron Hausberg. He is a great friend of mine. “

“Good Heavens! I gave him a sovereign! ” and he sank into an armchair. “Gave him a sovereign! ” shouted Trevor and he burst into a roar of laughter.

“What will he think of me? ” said Hughie. “Oh, my God! I could not make out why he was so interested to know all about you; but I see it all now. He will invest your sovereign for you, Hughie, pay you the interest every six months and have a capital story to tell after dinner, ” commented Trevor.

The next morning as he was at breakfast, the servant brought him a card on which was written Baron Hausberg and Hughie told the servant to show the visitor up. An old gentleman came into the room. “I have come from Baron Hausberg, ” he continued. “I beg sir, that you will offer him my apologies, ” stammered Hughie.

“The Baron, ” said the old gentleman with a smile, “has commissioned me to bring you this letter, ” and he extended a sealed envelope, on which was written “A wedding present to Hugh Erskine – Hughie and Laura – from an ‘old beggar’” and inside was a cheque for ten thousand pounds.

“Millionaire models” remarked Alan, “are rare enough, but by Joe! Model Millionaires are rarer still! “

Question 108 (1 of 2 Based on Passage)

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Who was Hugie? How had Hughie treated the model who posed for Trevor? (Marks 10)

Explanation

Hughie was a good-looking young man. He could not find a job and earn money. He loved Laura who was the colonel’s daughter. The Colonel asked him to earn ten thousand pounds to marry her. One day he visited Trevor’s studio and saw an old beggar model. He had a wizened face. He wore a torn cloak, patched boots, and battered hat. Hughie took pity and gave him a sovereign as alms. But the beggar was the Baron, a rich man in Europe. The next day, Trevor told him the truth. Hughie felt very sorry for his act. Hughie received an envelope with a cheque for ten thousand pounds. It was the Baron’s wedding gift to Hughie and he was in great surprise. Alan Trevor plays an important role in the story. The Baron came to know from Trevor, Hughie’s poor condition and his need for money to marry his sweet heart Laura. If Trevor had not shared about Hughie’s life, he could not have got money. Trevor was a lucky friend. At last Hughie married Laura. The Baron is really a model millionaire to others.