Now go on reading. What do you think will happen if Dave tells the boys he is a schoolteacher ? Will the conversation remain as easy ?

  1. Believe, concentrate, divide, drive, fill, happen, insist, invite, succeed
  2. Brylyarstvo was and remains quite a rare craft.
  3. Complain, dream, hear, remind, remind, think, think, warn
  4. Conversations as examples
  5. Do debtors always pay back? Why? What happens if not? What can be done to overdue accounts?
  6. Do you think the narrator is going to commit a crime ? Go on reading and you will find out.
  7. Ex.3. Familiarize yourself with the following idioms. Consult your dictionary and translate the sentences into Ukrainian. Think of situations where you could use them.
  8. Ex.3. Familiarize yourself with the following idioms. Consult your dictionary and translate the sentences into Ukrainian. Think of situations where you could use them.
  9. Ex.4. Familiarize yourself with the following idioms. Consult your dictionary and translate the sentences into Ukrainian. Think of situations where you could use them.
  10. Finish reading the first half of the story. Prepare to explain what exactly is happening to the teacher.
  11. Go on reading. In your opinion, is there anything that makes Needle a peculiar ghost ? What is it ?
  12. Go on reading. What can you say about the characters mentality ? In what way is it different ?


They were kids having fun. Perhaps, he thought, it should be annoying him. But a bus ride and a classroom are two different situations. Sitting there, he suddenly realized that. At the beginning of September he never would have accepted such an idea. He might even have considered it to be outmoded thinking.

Kenny poked his friend. As Rabbit would say, You have no manners.

No she dont. Its Brian, you have absolutely no manners! he mimicked, his voice highly pitched. Then lowered, I could teach her a few things.

There followed lewd mumblings interspersed with whistles. Absolutely no manners.

Boys, you are a hard bunch, he said to them, shaking his head with a hint of a smile. He couldnt sit and listen any longer without making some comment.


Your aunt doesnt know what she is in for. She expecting you?

Probably, Kenny said. I go over every holiday we get. She wont be surprised. Its better than being in Corner Brook Ill tell ya. Hey, Brian, wheres those sandwiches your mother gave you before you left?

Perhaps lost by now.

Get em. Im starved. You hungry, Dave? Brian stretched out and moved his hand across the luggage rack until it struck upon a brown paper bag. Opening it, he withdrew a can of Pepsi and a small stack of sandwiches wrapped in wax paper. They consisted of thin slices of bologna between pieces of buttered bread.

Do you want one? he offered their guest. Theres nothing wrong with em, honest.

The food stared up uninvitingly. Okay. As he held it in his hand, it slid apart. Your mother makes a slippery sandwich. They laughed.

She was glad to see me go, Brian said, as if it were part of the humour.

How could he react to that? The kid regretted having said it and dug his buddy with an elbow. An empty can fell on the floor with a clamor. The too loud noise put a quick lid on their antics. They returned to the sandwiches.

Had he been sitting in another seat, he would probably been asleep by now. But instead, he was consuming the last bit of a stale sandwich next to a pair of disquieting boys. They gave him a great deal to think about. He couldnt help but picture the boys homes left behind in Corner Brook. Their exteriors were real enough; he had passed enough of them to know how they looked. What took place inside he had gathered from a mixture of his sociology readings, of movies and novels, and the rough kids at school.

The picture stirred him. They would be forced to grow serious in time, he thought. Then the fun would be gone.

The stop at Grand Falls gave him a chance to stretch his legs. He left the bus without a coat and the cold night air abruptly cleared his head of any sleepiness. He went inside the restaurant and waited in front of the lunch counter.

Within a few minutes he reentered the bus, shivering, holding three small cardboard plates of French fries, each topped with a plastic fork and a packet of ketchup.

Perhaps youre still a bit hungry.

They looked awkward accepting it. He thought that perhaps it was because they were not very often in such a position. They repeated their thanks a number of times. It seemed out of proportion to what he had given them.

Thats okay, I wont go broke because of it. They ate quietly now, but with obvious pleasure. It reminded him of the time, about a year before, he had been hitchhiking home from the university. He hadnt bothered to stop anywhere all day to eat, but stayed on the road to make it home before dark. Then, late in the evening, with thirty miles still remaining,
a bakery van picked him up. The driver gave him a free hand with the leftovers in the back. He stuffed himself on apple turnovers and chocolate-covered doughnuts. At that time, a thank-you seemed inadequate.

You fellows finished? Here, put the plates in this bag. Dont want the floor littered up.

Almost as if it were an automatic reaction, both boys got out their cigarettes. It was like a relaxing after-dinner smoke.

What do you do? I mean... do you work? one of them asked.

Yeah. He hesitated. Im a schoolteacher.

They looked at each other quickly and smiled, then looked back in anticipation of him laughing.

You are not a teacher.

He was sorry now that he had said it. He wished he had sidestepped the question. Okay, Im not.

Then what do you do?

He removed his wallet from a coat pocket and produced a white card for them to read.

Here, read this. What does it say?

Newfoundland Teachers

Association. And it has my name on it.

You could have made it up yourself... All right, what grade do you teach?

Eight, most of the time.

Kenny, you think hes tellin the truth? They figured he might be trying to pull a fast one on them.

There are thousands of teachers, you know. Why is that so hard to believe?

You dont look like one. Besides, Ive never seen a teacher like you, eh, Kenny? Every one of the teachers at our school are crabs, except maybe for Mrs. Lewis. But she dont even teach us.

Perhaps he should have felt flattered, but suddenly lurking back to deaden any contentment was the thought of the experiences of the past weeks.

Tell me now, what would you boys do if you had me for a teacher?

Guess we could have a bit of fun.

It wasnt what he had hoped for. Neither was it a surprise.

Maybe you would learn something.

Nah, not me.

Me neither.

Couldnt beat anything into my head.

Damn it!

He should have known better than to ask. What was he expecting?

You wouldnt want to be a teacher very long in our school anyway. There was a guy there last year only lasted two weeks. We almost drove him crazy. He was an okay guy, I mean he would have been all right, but he never could keep order. He couldnt even get real mad with us!

But he wasnt tough on you, you could have given him a chance! Sure, perhaps he was trying to help you guys. You think I wouldnt last two weeks? You think Id crack up too?

What kind of fool was he anyway? Trying to be reasonable with kids. He turned from them. He must be some kind of damned idiot.

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