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As you can see it varies very much in spelling and structure from the English you are reading, but you certainly recognize it as English of Caxton to whom we owe so much

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Приложение 2





(afterO. Henry)


First Mrs.Parker would show you the double parlours. She would describe the gentleman who had lived here for eight years. Then you would stammer that you were neither a doctor nor a dentist, and Mrs. Parker would give you a cold look.


Next you went up one flight of stairs' and looked at the second floor room. Again you stammered that you wanted something cheaper.


At last Mrs. Parker would take you to look at Mr. Skidder's large room on the third floor. Mr. Skidder's room was not vacant. He wrote plays and smoked cigarettes in it all day long. But every person who was looking for a room was made to visit his room to have a look at his curtains. After each visit Mr. Skidder, afraid of being turned out, would pay a small part of his rent.


Then — oh, then — if you still stood there, with only three dollars in your pocket, Mrs.- Parker would cry loudly the word «Clara!*, show you her back and walk downstairs. Then Clara, the coloured maid, would take you up and show you the Skylight Room.


The room was very small. In it was an iron bed, a wash-stand and a chair. A shelf was the cupboard. Its four bare walls seemed to close in upon you like the



Английский язык


sides of a coffin. For a moment you felt you could not breathe. Then you looked up as from a well — and breathed once more. Through the glass of the little skylight you could see the blue sky. *Two dollars, sir*, Clara would say. One day Miss Leeson came to look for a room, She carried a typewriter which was made for a much larger lady. She was a very little girl, with eyes and hair that kept on growing after she had stopped.



Mrs. Parker showed her the double parlours. «In this closet you could keep a skeleton or anaesthetic or coal*. •But I am neither a doctor nor a dentist*, said Miss Leeson. Mrs. Parker gave her the cold look she kept for those who were neither doctors nor dentists, and moved to the second floor back room.


«Eight dollars?* said Miss Leeson. «Dear me! I'm just a poor little working girl. Show me something higher and lower*.


Mr. Skidder jumped up and dropped his cigarettes when he heard the knock on the door.


•Excuse me, Mr. Skidder*, said Mrs. Parker, with her demon's smile. Л didn't know you were in*. «I asked the lady to have a look at your curtains*. — «They are beautiful*, said Miss Leeson with a sweet smile.


After they had gone, Mr. Skidder began to replace his tall, black-haired heroine from his latest play by a small, fair, long-haired girl with big eyes.


Soon the call •Clara* was heard. The coloured maid took Miss Leeson up the ladder to the Skylight Room and said: •Two dollars!*


•I'll take it», sighed Miss Leeson, sinking down upon the iron bed.


Every day Miss Leeson went out to work. At night she brought some papers with handwriting on them and


Приложение 2


Made copies with her typewriter. Sometimes she had no work in the evening, and she would sit on the steps of the porch with the other lodgers. Miss Leeson was a sweet, gay creature. She was kind to everybody. Once she let Mr. Skidder read to her three acts of his great (unpublished) comedy.


The gentlemen lodgers were always pleased when Miss Leeson had time to sit on the steps for an hour or two. But Miss Longnecker, the tall blonde who taught at school and said, •Well, really!* to everything you said, sat on the top step and sniffed. And Miss Dorn, who worked in a department store, sat on the bottom step and sniffed. Miss Leeson sat on the middle step and the men would quickly group around her.



Especially Mr. Skidder. And especially Mr. Hoover, who was forty-five, fat, red-faced and foolish. And es­ pecially young Mr. Evans. The men said she was the funniest and jolliest girl they had ever seen, but the


ladies on the top step and the lower step kept on sniffing*.


* * *


One summer evening Mrs. Parker's lodgers were sit­ ting on the porch when Miss Leeson looked up into the sky and cried gaily:


•Oh, there is Billy Jackson! I can see him from here, too*.


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