LESSON SIXTEEN (THE SIXTEENTH LESSON)
Text: A Custom House Incident (by Nigel Balchin) Grammar: I. Модальный глагол may (might) (§ 18, p. 484)
2. Модальный глагол must (§ 19, p. 485) Revision: Participles (Table 9. p. 502)
Tense-forms and Voice (Table 7, p. 500)
A CUSTOM HOUSE INCIDENT (by Nigel Balchin)
Nigel Balchin, a modern English writer, was born in 1908. He is the author of several novels, stones and screen-scripts.
Among the passengers travelling home by train from Florence there was a certain Miss Bradley.
I only noticed her when passing down the corridor, because of her really remarkable plainness. She was rather a large, awkward woman of about thirty-five with a big, red nose, and large spectacles.
Later on, when I went to the dining-car, Miss Bradley was already seated, and the attendant placed me opposite her.
I think we may have exchanged half a dozen words at dinner, when passing one another the sugar or the bread. But they were certainly all we exchanged, and after we left the dining-car, I did not see Miss Bradley again until we reached Calais Maritime.
And then our acquaintance really began, and it began entirely on my initiative. There were plenty of porters, and I called one without difficulty from the window of the train. But as I got off, I saw Miss Bradley standing on the platform with two large very old suit-cases. The porters were passing her by.
I am quite sure that had she been an even slightly attrac tive woman, I should not have gone up to her, but she was so ugly, and looked so helpless, that 1 approached her, and said:
“My porter has a barrow. Would you like him to put your cases on it too?” Miss Bradley turned and looked at me.