Lesson Two. Waiting for the Police. Setting. This story is set in a boarding house where life, especially evening life, is notoriously dull for the odd collection of people who live there. But one of the guests manages to think of something which does stir up quite a bit of interest.
Waiting for the Police
try to keep everyone talking
as polite as pale
keep any ball rolling
knitting all the time
not particularly smart
walk in sleep,
doze all the time
have a chilling effect
possess a brain
Part I(Paras. 1—11)
Part II (Paras. 12—33)
Part III (Paras. 34—88)
Part IV (Paras. 89—91)
an idle discussion about where Mr. Wainwright has gone and serving to introduce the characters who live in the boarding-house.
Mr. Penbury announces that Mr. Wainwright is dead.
Mr. Penbury direct a general rehearsal of their alibis while waiting for the police.
a suspense ending
The author skillfully mixed humorous elements in his story, which help to make the characterization and the plot more vivid and interesting.
Read the following examples from the text and try to analyze the humorous effects.
He was as polite as he was pale. (be polite because of being pale)
She had knitting for seventy years, and looked good for another seventy. (Hyperbole is used to achieve humor)
Bella was the boarding-house lovely, but no one taken advantage of the fact. (No one is interested in her)
She had promised to knit at her funeral. (Is it possible to do sth. at one’s own funeral?)
“Only one?” I answered “You’re luckier than I am.” (self-mockery to imply a lot people hate him)
“But let me suggest that you give the statement to the police with slightly less emphasis.” (the satirical tone to imply that he might no be telling the truth.)
rupt:from Latin “rumpere” : to break