BOX - A short story Part
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Mick got a
job delivering a box to
a reception at the Hill Park Hotel, he got more than the
fifty pounds that he expected .....
The rain drops falling on the window
made it harder and harder to see what was happening; and instead of
trying to look through the window, Sophie looked at it, and watched the
red, blue and white light break into a thousand dancing and trickling
the traffic began to move on,
and a moment later, Opie's Corner, with its lights and its police cars,
had disappeared into the night behind them.
"Come on," said Mick. "Next stop!"
They got off at the foot of Blenden
Road, and began walking up the last hundred yards towards the Hotel.
this box is heavy!" exclaimed Mick.
"He must have thought you had a car!"
"No, he asked how old I was!"
"We're early, you know!"
"Too bad! What are we supposed to do?
"I don't know, do I? You made the
It was indeed just a quarter
to ten as
they turned off Blenden Road and through the gates of the Hill Park
Hotel. It was an old manor house that had once stood well outside the
town, but was now surrounded by suburban streets. It still stood,
however, in spacious grounds
Inside the gates, the driveway
curved off to the left, through a group of trees; they could see the
lights of the hotel in front of them, across the grass; but under the
trees it was very dark. Drops of water were falling heavily off the wet
"I don't like this!" said Sophie.
"Someone could jump out from behind one of those trees!"
"Oh get real!" answered Mick. "This is a
hotel! You've been watching too much telly!"
"I don't like it, Mick! I think there's
something in that box!"
"Well of course there is! It's a
surprise for Mr. Ansell, straight from Tescos !"
"Yeah, I know. But it's all rather suspicious
isn't it? Why couldn't your Mr. Charnwood get the box delivered
"Well I s'pose they couldn't find any
that delivers at this time of night! And anyway, what d'you think's in
the box? Ten pounds of special-offer ecstasy tabs
"Maybe it's a box of their best semtex
then, for terrorists !"
At that moment, a car came in through
the gates behind them, its lights sweeping across the green grass as it
turned towards them.
Then, as it reached them, it braked
hard and stopped, one of the doors opened, and a man jumped out.
"Police!" he said. He was not in
uniform. "What's that you've got there? Where are you going?"
"We're delivering it to the hotel!" said
"Is it yours?"
"No," Mick answered. "We're delivering
it to Mr. Ansell's party. It's a surprise."
"And who's Mr. Ansell?"
"We don't know," said Sophie. "We've
never met him."
"Come on!" said the other policeman, a
very large man. "Get in the back of the car, you two!"
"Do as I say, please! We'll drive you to
the door. And give me that box will you!"
Mick and Sophie climbed into the back
seat; thirty seconds later, the car pulled up
the hotel entrance.
"Wait in the car," said the shorter of
the two policemen. The big policeman said nothing as they sat and
waited; but the wait was not long.
In less than a minute, the short
policeman was back in the car.
"Right, you two," he said. "They don't
know anyone by the name of Ansell there. And there's no-one with that
name at the dinner party. So we'd better go down to the station
exclaimed Mick. "And what about the fifty quid I was going to get?"
"Fifty quid?" asked the smaller
"Yes, for bringing the box from Tesco's."
"Well, we'll see about that later," said
the policeman. "Where d'you live, young lad
"Larkway St." said Mick, "Just near
"Oh, there, I know," said the policeman.
"Well we'll drop you off there now, and you can come in and see us at
the station tomorrow morning, O.K."
As they approached Opie's corner, Mick
saw that the police cars with their blue flashing lights were still
there. At that moment, the car stopped.
"We'll set you down here," said the
driver. "We've got to go back to the hotel, I've just remembered!"
"And here's thirty quid," said the other
"What's that for?" asked Mick.
"You'll find out when you come down to
the station tomorrow."
"The main one, of course; in the town
"Oh well," said Mick, as the police car
drove off. "Maybe there was something strange in that box!"
"I told you so," said Sophie.
"Anyway, let's go to Gigi's!"
Next morning after breakfast, Mick went
to the police station. The officer on duty
was most interested in his story; especially since no policemen on duty
the night before had gone anywhere near the Hill Park Hotel.
(move) very slowly - eventually: at last, finally - Gee!
- Oh! - hang round:
wait - grounds:
gardens - driveway:
road - posh:
luxurious - suspicious:
strange - tabs:
tablets - semtex:
a type of explosive - to
down - pull up:
stop - station:
station (not railway
station!) - Cor!:
Oh! - lad:
man - on duty:
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THE BOX, part 2 - Worksheet
Note: as with part 1, there are a few very small differences between this printed version of the story, and the audio version.Replace the
in this extract from the story.
Instead of trying to look _______ the window, Sophie looked _______ it,
and watched the red, blue and white light break _______ a thousand
dancing and trickling spots.
Eventually the traffic began to move
_____, and a moment later, Opie's Corner, _______ its lights and its
police cars, had disappeared _______ the night _______ them.
"Come ____," said Mick. "Next stop!"
They got _______ _______ the foot of
Blenden Road, and began walking _______ the last hundred yards _______
"Gee this box is heavy!" exclaimed Mick.
It was just a quarter to ten as they
turned _______ Blenden Road and _______ the gates of the Hill Park
Hotel. It was an old manor house that had once stood well __________
the town, but was now surrounded ____ suburban streets. It still stood,
however, _____ spacious grounds.
Inside the gates, the driveway curved
_______ to the left, _______ a group of trees; they could see the
lights of the hotel _______ front of them, _______ the grass; but
_______ the trees it was very dark. Drops of water were falling heavily
_______ the wet branches.
"I don't like this!" said Sophie.
"Someone could jump ____ ____ _______ one of those trees!"
using this story in class :Introductory
Before taking the second part of this story with
your class, begin by asking students to tell the story collectively.
Here are a lot of
quick questions, to elicit answers that will tell the story.
are the heroes of the story?
did Mick get in touch with
did Mr. Charnwood ask him
did Mick accept?
was the weather like on the
day of the story?
did Mick and Sophie find at
did they do after leaving
did the bus slow stop by
are a number of points to pay attention to in this part of the story:
b) prepositional verbs,
c) modal verbs,
In line 10, note
the indirect question: He asked how old
students re-express some of the direct questions in the text on the
i.e.: (two lines below)
are we supposed to do
asked what we were supposed to do.
point to remember is the word order.
this episode ends the story, it still leaves
room for further developments, as the last paragraph leaves everything
open. Have students explain what really
in their own words.
Maximum length: 300 words.
(four point line
Mick went to the police
station, the policemen asked him and Sophie to come in and answer some
questions. Sophie's Mum and Dad came along too. Imagine the
session that took place.
copyright Linguapress 1996-2016.
Revised 2015 . Originally published in Freeway, the Intermediate level
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