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A Detective Story

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1. What are the most famous detective-story writers? 2. Who is usu­ally the main character in a detective story? Give the names of some detectives in fiction. 3. Why must a detective be observant, intelli­gent? What makes a good detective? 4. How does the author make things difficult for the detective? 5. What makes a detective story thrilling to read?

 

Ex. 31. Read the passage, answer the questions, using the vocabulary of the lesson and retell it.

It was very hot in the small court-room and everybody was feeling sleepy. After a tiring morning, the clerks were anxious to get off to lunch and even the judge must have felt happy when the last case came up before the court. A short, middle-aged man with grey hair and small blue eyes was now standing before him. The man had a dazed expression on his face and he kept looking around as if he was trying hard to make out what was going on.

The man was charged with breaking into a house and stealing a cheap watch. The witness who was called did not give a very clear account of what had happened. He insisted on having seen a man outside the house one night, but on being questioned further, he admitted that he was not sure whether this was the man. The judge thought over the matter for a short time and then he said that as there was no real proof, the man could not be found guilty of any crime. He said that the case was dismissed for lack of evidence and then rose to go. The prisoner looked very puzzled. It was clear that he had not understood a thing. Noticing this, the judge paused for a moment and then the man said suddenly, 'Excuse me, sir, but do I have to give the watch back or not?'

Questions

1. What was the last case brought before the court that morning? 2. What was the prisoner like? 3. What were the charges against him? 4. What was the evidence of the witness? 5. Why was it impossible to prove the prisoner's guilt beyond any reasonable doubt? 6. What was the decision of the judge? 7. How did the man give himself away? 8. What do you think happened further?

 

Ex. 32. Read the following, answer the questions, and retell the passage in English.

 

ИСТОРИЯ ОДНОЙ ПОЧТОВОЙ МАРКИ

В Париже в июне 1892 года был найден убитым в своей квартире некий Гастон Леру. Так как деньги остались в целости, убийство с целью грабежа исключалось. Не могло быть речи и о самоубийстве.

Полиция оказалась не в состоянии решить эту таинственную за­дачу. Тогда к расследованию были привлечены лучшие кримина­листы. Один из них еще раз основательно обыскал квартиру уби­того и, наконец, нашел в тайнике альбом с марками. Кроме того, он обнаружил список всей коллекции. В этом списке была поимено­вана двухцентовая гавайская марка, выпущенная в 1851 году для Сандвичевых островов в Тихом океане. Но как раз эта марка и от­сутствовала в коллекции. В то время она оценивалась в 10 000 зо­лотых франков.

Полицейский чиновник опросил всех парижских торговцев мар­ками, но они заявили, что такой марки у них в продаже нет. Кроме того, он спросил их, не знают ли они какого-нибудь парижского кол­лекционера, который бы захотел приобрести такую марку. Все еди­нодушно назвали некоего Гектора Жиру.

Полицейский решил познакомиться с Жиру и представиться ему в качестве заядлого филателиста. Однажды вечером криминалист завел разговор о первых гавайских марках. Он также упомянул и о двухцентовой гавайской марке и высказал мнение, что такой вообще не существовало. Тогда Жиру взял свой альбом и, торжествуя, пока­зал эту марку.

После долгого запирательства Жиру признался в убийстве и рас­сказал, что Леру упорно отказывался уступить ему эту марку, хотя ему предлагалась за нее любая цена.

Злополучная марка перебывала с годами у многих владельцев. Но ни разу не была показана ни на одной международной филате­листической выставке. В конце 1963 года марка был продана аукционной фирмой в Нью-Йорке за 4 100 долларов. Ее приобрел аме­риканский торговец, который, наверняка, продаст ее за еще более вы­сокую цену, и она окончательно исчезнет в какой-нибудь частной коллекции.

Questions

1. When did the incident described in the article occur? 2. Why did the police believe that Gaston Lerout couldn't have possibly been mur­dered with the aim of robbery? 3. Why could not it have been a case of suicide either? 4. Why were several leading criminologists invited to take part in the inquiry? 5. What sort of hiding place did one of them discover during a repeated search of the flat? 6. What did the hiding-place contain? 7. Why did the entry in the list describing a 2 cent Ha­waii stamp put out specially for the Sandwich Islands draw his atten­tion? 8. What did he find out in comparing the list with the actual collection? 9. How much was the missing stamp worth? 10. What was there so remarkable about the stamp? 11. What inquiries did the police offic­er make among the Paris stamp dealers? 12. Why did the police officer conclude that there must be some connection between the murder and a certain Hector Girout? 13. Why was Hector Girout among the first to be suspected of having committed the crime? 14. Why did the police officer believe that the best way of getting to know Hector Girout was by introducing himself as an ardent stamp-collector? 15. How did it happen that Hector Girout failed to guess the police officer's intentions? 16. How did the police offficer succeed in establishing the identity of the murderer? 17. Why weren't Girout's repeated denials of guilt taken into account by the police? 18. What evidence did the police have against him? 19. Was it direct or circumstantial evidence? 20. What charge was brought against Girout at the trial? 21. How did he account for the murder? 22. What happened to the ill-fated stamp? 23. When was it seen last? 24. What price did it fetch at the auction held in 1963?

 

Ex. 33. Retell the following in English.


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