The Basic Teacher
A DAY IN TOWN
Miss Evans has a beautiful house in the country, where she is looked after by servants trained to do their work quickly and quietly and to be seen as little as possible. She does not go out much, but regularly, once a month, she has a day in town. She takes care to have every detail of her program mapped out before starting, and generally the day goes smoothly. this time, however, it has been different. Nothing has gone right, and looking back on the events of the day, it seemed to her that everyone she came across had done something on purpose to make her angry. It gave her the feeling of a car which had been rubbed the wrong way. Now, resting in her room, with its shaded lights, gold curtains, and light green walls, she was happy to be back in the peace of the country and to have a servant handing her tea and thin bread and butter on a silver tray.
One might say it was foolish of Miss Evans to let herself be trouble by such little things. And so it was. But normal persons like you and me are used to things going wrong, and Miss Evans is not. Let me give you a picture of the sort of woman she is. Though no longer young, she is still quite good-looking, and she would not be without attraction if she was less stiff in her behaviour and hadn't such a bad-humoured face. She is tall, upright, and well-dressed, which is not surprising because she is very well off. The fact is that she has more money than is good for her. She is used to having round her persons who put her comfort first, and she is interested in nothing but her small, unimportant doings. This has made her outlook very narrow. Her two fixed ideas are that servants have to be kept in their place and that the young of today are pleasure-loving and have no respect for older persons.
When Miss Evans went out of the front door, it was a bright spring morning without a cloud in the sky, but she took an umbrella for fear that there might be rain later. If her clock had been right she would have been at the station before the train came in, but the clock was wrong and when she got there the train was about to go.
She had to get quickly into the nearest carriage without even looking to see if it was a 'First' or a 'Third'. It was a 'Third', though her ticket was for a 'First', and the other persons in it seemed to her to be very common. A woman had a crying baby in her arms and a little girl was taking the skin off an orange. At the far end, two men seated opposite one another were playing cards.
The carriage was very full and Miss Evans wasn't able to get a seat with her back to the engine. she was pleased, however, to see the words 'NO SMOKING' on the window. When a young man took out a pipe, she let him get it lighted and then made a request to him in an acid voice to put it out. He did so, with the observation that some women go about making trouble and it was clear that public opinion was on his side. On the journey, everyone but Miss Evans got into talk. She kept her eyes on her newspaper and didn't say a word to anybody.
The train got in at 10:50, a quarter of an hour late, having been stopped two or three times between stations. Miss Evans had to be somewhere at 11, so she had only ten minutes in which to get there. She was having a new stopping put in a tooth, and if she didn't' get here at the time which had been fixed, the man she was going to might not be able to see her. All the taxis in the station had been taken and she had to out into the street before she got one.
On the way they went through a park. It was looking beautiful in the sunlight, with all the spring flowers out, but Miss Evans was so trouble by the thought of being late that she saw nothing. Near the end of the journey they came to a fork in the road and the driver went left. Pushing open the window in front of her and stamping her foot angrily, Miss Evans said that he was going the wrong way but the taxi-man still went on, turning twice before he came into the right street. When they go to the house, Miss Evans made a motion to him and he came to a stop. She was angry with him because he had not come the shortest way, and though he gave the very good answer that he had to keep out of a one-way street, she said that taxi-men were getting very independent these days and gave him nothing for himself.
She was kept for twenty minutes in the waiting-room before the man was ready for her. Then he had to be very quick because another person was waiting, and he was so rough that he gave her much more pain than was necessary. At the end of it all, she would have been pleased to have a quiet rest somewhere, but she had to go straight to her hairdresser.
She took another taxi, but thought the driver went at such a rate that she had to keep her eyes shut, she was late again. There was not time for her hair to be washed but she had it waved. The hairdresser did it in a new way, and when she put her hat on, she wasn't at all pleased with the effect. She came to the decision that she would have to get another hat.
In the hat-store to which she went, all the hats were works of art. There were feathered hats, flowered hats, hats made of silk, hats covered with net. They seemed very beautiful in the window, but when she put them on they were somehow wrong. Yes, no doubt they were the very latest thing, as the girl in the store kept saying. Miss Evans was certain, however, that, if she went into her Club in any one of them, she would be looked at strangely by all her friends. At last, after much thought, she took a small black hat with a silver bird in front, because she was a little less self-conscious in that than in the others.
It was now time for a meal, and, after all she had done, Miss Evans was ready for some food. She went to a restaurant, not far away, where a table had been ordered for her the day before. It was a restaurant to which she went regularly, and when the head-waiter saw her, he came forward and took her to her table. The table was in the middle of the room, though she had made a special request for one by the window. She made a protest but all the tables by the windows were taken, so she had to have it.
She gave an order for thick soup. When it came she gave it a taste. That was enough for her. It was so full of salt that she sent it away in disgust. After this, she had some fish cooked with cheese. It was almost cold, though the waiter said it had come straight from the oven. She would have let him take it back to be heated, but she was going to a play and hadn't much time. She was only able to get through half of it. Then, this restaurant being noted for its ices, she said she would have an ice. The ice was good, but so cold that it gave her a pain in her newly stopped tooth and she was unable to go on with it. It certainly hadn't' been a good meal. She came out regretting that she hadn't gone to her Club.
She got to the theatre ten minutes before the curtain went up. She was taking her sister's son, Gerald, with her, but he wasn't at the theatre door though he had said he would be there by 2:15. Having sent him his ticket, she was able to go in without waiting. Gerald had no sense of time.
Five minutes after the curtain had gone up, Gerald came in, making a great noise and stepping on everyone's toes. When, at last, he got to his seat, he was about to go into the details of why he was late, but Miss Evans put her finger to her lips and made him be quiet. Then someone gave her a touch on the back and said, "Will you please take off your hat ? It is getting in my way." It was hard to take it off because it was fixed on with hat-pins, and when she had got it off there was nowhere for it to go. Gerald took it from her, saying he would put it with his hat under the seat.
By this time, Miss Evans had got quite mixed about what was taking place on the stage. Everyone was laughing, but she had no idea why. She gave all her attention to the stage, hoping that things would become clear shortly. Her seat was so far back that she had great trouble in seeing or hearing anything Judging by the little which came to her ears, however, it seemed to her a very foolish play and quite unnecessarily long.
At last it was over and the lights went on again. Gerald gave her her hat. He had put his foot on it, crushing it badly, and it was coated with dust through having been on the floor. Even after it had been dusted, it was no longer the same hat, but she had to put it on. She saw Gerald looking at her with amusement. "What are you smiling at ?" she said, getting very red. "Oh, nothing," he said, "but these present-day hats are a little strange, aren't they ?"
When they got into the street, it was raining. What a good thing that she had her umbrella with her ! But where was it ? Gerald was certain that she had had no umbrella with her in the theatre. The thought suddenly came to her that she had come away from the restaurant without it. "I'll get a taxi for you," said Gerald, and went down the street. After ten minutes he came back, having been unable to get one. They had to go to the station on foot. It was only a short walk, but she was very wet by the time she got there."
The train was waiting. "This will do," said Gerald, putting her into a carriage which had only two other women in it. She was taking off her wet things when a man came through the train saying, "Tickets, please !" On seeing her ticket, he said she was in the wrong part of the train and would have to go farther forward, so out she had to get.
The front part of the train was full. There wasn't a seat anywhere. But the whistle was sounding and she had to get in. "We'll make room for you here," said a fat business man, moving a little to one side. He was smoking strong tobacco. She was crushed between him and a young woman who had a cold and kept sneezing and coughing. She had an impulse to get out, but the train was moving. Tired, wet, and disgusted, she said to herself that she wouldn't come to town again for a very long time.
The five further international words which come into this Step are : club , park , restaurant , taxi , theater.
mapped out : Mapping out something which is going to be done is working out the details for it. It is like making a map, not of where one will go, but of what one will do.
nothing had gone right : That is, nothing had gone on in the right way, in the way desired. Go wrong may be used in the opposite sense.
on purpose == by design, not by chance
rubbed the wrong way == rubbed in the wrong direction. Take note that in is frequently dropped before way when it is used in this sense or in that of 'way of doing' (make the cake another way).
gold curtains : The colour of gold is named gold. In the same way, the color of silver is named silver.
bread and butter : bread with butter on it is generally talked of as bread and butter.
though no longer young ==though she is no longer young. In statements starting with though, if, while, and when, be and the name of the doer (if the same as in the chief statement) may be dropped (see earlier example, p.46). No longer == not still.
stiff in her behaviour : When a person gives no sign of his natural feeling and keeps others 'at a distance', as we say, his behaviour is stiff. He is like a person who has on a stiff collar which keeps him from moving his head naturally.
upright : The tree in the picture is upright. It goes straight up from the earth. A person with a straight back is more upright than one whose body is bent. By extension, an upright person is straight forward and of right behavior.
put her comfort first : the things which are looked on as most important and so are given attention before others are said to be put first.
her doings : A person's doings are the things which that person does.
the young of today : Today is used here for ' the present time, the time in which we are living '.
for fear that == fearing that, because she had a fear that. In the same way, we may say for fear of a thing.
about to go : To be going to do something almost straight away is to be about to do it.
the nearest carriage : The separate divisions of a train are carriages. Take note that near and far ("at the far end") may be used as names of qualities.
a 'First' or a 'Third' : Carriages of greater comfort for which one has to have a dearer ticket, are marked 'First'. The others are marked 'Third'. Normally, there are no carriages marked 'Second' in England now.
the other persons . . . seemed . . . common : Persons of low birth are said to be common. This use of common is almost the same as that noted in Step 32.
playing cards : Card, in its special sense, is any of a group of cards with pictures or designs on them used in certain sorts of play, and, by expansion, cards == such play. Take note that the names of sports and so on may be used after playing.
the engine : When an engine is talked of without making clear what sort of engine it is, it is generally a railway engine.
in an acid vice : Give attention to the fact that we say things in a certain voice. An acid voice is a 'sharp voice'.
with the observation : Observation is used for a statement of fact or opinion, such as is generally based on observations.
making trouble : Make trouble is used on the special sense of 'make things unnecessarily hard or unpleasing for others'.
got into talk == got an exchange of talk started, got talking.
a new stopping : The stopping of a tooth is the substance by which a hole in its is stopped up. Also a filling.
the taxis . . . had been taken : Take is used in the sense of 'become the owner or user of ' in relation to such things as we get by payment -- goods in a store, tickets for the theatre and so on, or, as here, the use of a taxi. To take a taxi, train, boat, and so on becomes, in effect, to 'go by' it.
a fork in the road : A fork in a road is a branching point, a point at which there is a fork-like division.
stamping her foot : By expansion, a stamp (of one's foot) is the act of putting one's foot down with force, which is like the act of making a mark with a stamp Stamping (one's foot) is doing this act.
taximan == taxi driver
made a motion to him : Motion is here used in the special sense of a sign made by moving the hands or some other part of the body.
one-way street : That is, a street which may be gone through only in one direction.
independent : In- is the form used with dependent in place of un-. An independent person is one who is not dependent on or controlled by others.
gave him nothing for himself : Take note that to give a person something for himself us a common way of saying that one gives him money as a reward for his help, frequently as an addition to a fixed payment. tips
hairdresser == person whose business is waving, washing, cutting the hair, and so on -- which is named hair dressing.
works of art : A work of art, or thing produced by art, that is, a beautiful thing.
in the window : Goods which are put on view so that they may be seen through the window of a store are said to be in the window.
somehow == in some way which is not given an account of or is not very clear. The parallel complex word anyhow == in any way whatever.
self-conscious == feeling over-conscious of the effect one (that is, one's self ) may be having on others, and so, not natural.
a table had been ordered : That is, an order has been given for a table to be kept for her use.
head-waiter : in a group of persons working together, and so on, the head is the chief one, the one with the highest authority : and so the head-waiter is the chief waiter
thick soup : Liquids which are to some degree paste-like or sticky, not readily dropping off a spoon, are thick. Liquids of the opposite sort, such as water, are thin, though in soups, the common division is into thick and clear.
gives its a taste : Taste is used for the act of tasting.
had come straight from the oven : The sense of straight here is 'by the shortest way, in other words 'without loss of time'. make a comparison with straight away (Step 37).
noted for its ices : When it is common knowledge that a thing (or person) is specially important or of special interest, it is said to be noted, or, as here, noted for some special thing or special quality. An ice is an ice-cold sweet.
before the curtain went up : That is, the curtain in front of the stage (see under).
she was taking her sister's son : To take a person to the theatre and so on is frequently, as here, to give him his tickets, to make payment for him to go with one.
by 2.25 : By before time-words has the sense 'not later than, at least as early as'. 2:25
no sense of time : The word sense has a looser use for a feeling guiding one in relation to something. Such a feeling is like a sense-experience in coming to one without conscious reasoning.
go into the details of : Go into frequently has the sense of 'have a discussion about, give attention to'. Here, clearly, it is used for 'give an account of '.
hat-pins == long pins for keeping a hat fixed in position.
Miss Evans had got quite mixed : When one has not got the facts or one's ideas about something sorted in one's mind, one is said to be mixed. Also, mixed up.
what was taking place : Events are said to take place when they come into existence, and are said to be be taking place when they are going on.
on the stage : Stage is used specially for the part of a theatre where the acting takes place.
coated with dust == covered with dust as by a coat. Coating and coated take their sense only from the use of coat as in 'coat of paint' (Step 32).
through having been on the floor == as an effect of, because of, having been on the floor. This use of through is very like that noted in Step 33.
getting very red : This is a way of saying that Miss Evan's face became very red.
present-day == of the present time.
on foot == (by) walking. Take note of this special form of words.
on seeing her ticket, he said : On is used with -ing forms in the sense of 'at the time of, as a reaction to'.
out she had to get : By being put at the front of the statement, out is given special force.
strong tobacco : A thing which has a great effect on the senses is said to be strong. The taste and smell of some tobacco is stronger than that of others.
The sense of these complex words is clear without a note : hat-store , pleasure-loving.
1 . Put different words which have the same sense in place of those which are in sloping print.
(a) The dog seems surprised that the cat is not still on the wall.
(b) You probably got a cold because of going out without your coat.
(c) I am not interested in hearing about the things you do.
(d) The boys may have buttered bread for their tea.
(e) Sometimes the farmer takes the cart to market but today he was walking.
2 . Give the answers in Basic.
(a) When a person is putting his foot down hard, what is he doing ?
(b) What does one put into a hole in a tooth ?
(c) Whose business is the care of the hair ?
(d) When a man is on his feet and his back is straight, what sort of position is he in ?
(e) What colour is sunlight ?
(f) What is the opposite of doing a thing by chance ?
3 . Give an account in Basic of a journey in a railway carriage.
4 . Make statements using these words in two different senses :
|(a) observation || (d) through|
|(b) fork|| (e) thick|
5 . Make these statements complete by putting words into the spaces :
(a) The Russians did not take the food _____ fear _____ it might be poisoned.
(b) My brother's paintings are good, but they are not great _____ of _____.
(c) After looking at one another for some tie, the two women _____ _____ talk.
(d) the committee will have to _____ _____ the question before coming to a decision.
(e) The old man _____ a _____ to the servant, who then put the tray on the table.
6 . Put in some words which will make these statements complete :
(a) This garden is noted for . . .
(b) The teacher has been mapping out . . .
(c) The head-writer made a motion to . . .
(d) . . . straight to the theatre.
(e) The army is about to . . .
7 . Put into Basic : Teacher Link
8 . Give the answers in Basic.
(a) Give an account of what Miss Evans is like.
(b) Why did she have to get into a 'Third"?
(c) What did the she have to do first when she got to town ?
(d) What sort of hats were in the window of the hat store ?
(e) Why was Miss Evans angry with the taxi man.
(f) What is her fixed idea about the young ?
(g) What reason has she for being pleased with her entrance ?
(h) Who took her to her table in the restaurant ?
(i) What did she have for her meal ?
(j) When did Gerald come to the theatre and what did he do ?
(k) Who was in the carriage with Miss Evens on her journey to London ?
(l) Why did she get wet on her way to the station after the play ?
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