January 25, 2015

"Charles "

Pre- Reading Activity: Vocabulary

Title: Charles
Author: Shirley Jackson
Pre-reading: Vocabulary

1. renounced: to give up, refuse, or resign usually by formal declaration
2. tot: a small child
3. swaggering: to walk with a conceited swing or strut
4. insolently: rude, disrespectful, or bold in behavior or language
5. addressing : to direct the attention of (oneself)
6. spanked: to hit on the buttocks with the open hand
7. deprived : to stop from having something
8. reassuringly: to restore confidence to : free from fear
9. anxiously: uneasy in mind : worried
10. passionately: strong feeling; filled with emotions as distinguished from reason
11. simultaneously: occurring or operating at the same time
12. solemnly: highly serious
13. heartily: giving full support; also jovial
14. shrugged: to hunch (the shoulders) up to express aloofness, indifference, or
15. reformation: the state of correcting or improving one's own character or habits
16. incredulously: expressing disbelief, skeptical
17. plotting: to make a plan of
18. awed: respectful fear inspired by authority
19. unwisely: not showing good sense or good judgment : foolish
20. matronly: a married person usually of dignified maturity or social distinction
21. haggard: having a worn or emaciated appearance
22. primly: stiffly formal and precise
23. lapses: to sink or slip gradually

by Shirley Jackson

The day my son Laurie started kindergarten he renounced corduroy overalls with
bibs and began wearing blue jeans with a belt; I watched him go off the first morning
with the older girl next door, seeing clearly that an era of my life was ended, my sweet voiced nursery-school tot replaced by a long-trouser, swaggering character who forgot to stop at the corner and wave good-bye to me.
He came running home the same way, the front door slamming open, his cap on
the floor, and the voice suddenly become raucous shouting, “Isn’t anybody here?”
At lunch he spoke insolently to his father, spilled his baby sister’s milk, and
remarked that his teacher said we were not to take the name of the Lord in vain.
“How was school today?” I asked, elaborately casual.
“All right,” he said.
“Did you learn anything?” his father asked.
Laurie regarded his father coldly. “I didn’t learn nothing,” he said.
“Anything,” I said. “Didn’t learn anything.”
“The teacher spanked a boy, though,” Laurie said, addressing his bread and butter.
“For being fresh,” he added, with his mouth full.
“What did he do?” I asked. “Who was it?”
Laurie thought. “It was Charles,” he said. “He was fresh. The teacher spanked
him and made him stand in the corner. He was awfully fresh.”
“What did he do?” I asked again, but Laurie slid off his chair, took a cookie, and
left, while his father was still saying, “See here, young man.”
The next day Laurie remarked at lunch, as soon as he sat down, “Well, Charles
was bad again today.” He grinned enormously and said, “Today Charles hit the teacher.”
“Good heavens,” I said, mindful of the Lord’s name, “I suppose he got spanked
“He sure did,” Laurie said. “Look up,” he said to his father.
“What?” his father said, looking up.
“Look down,” Laurie said. “Look at my thumb. Gee, you’re dumb.” He began
to laugh insanely.
“Why did Charles hit the teacher?” I asked quickly.
“Because she tried to make him color with red crayons,” Laurie said. “Charles
wanted to color with green crayons so he hit the teacher and she spanked him and said
nobody play with Charles but everybody did.”
The third day—it was a Wednesday of the first week—Charles bounced a see-saw
on to the head of a little girl and made her bleed, and the teacher made him stay inside all
during recess. Thursday Charles had to stand in a corner during story-time because he
kept pounding his feet on the floor. Friday Charles was deprived of black-board
privileges because he threw chalk.
On Saturday I remarked to my husband, “Do you think kindergarten is too
unsettling for Laurie? All this toughness and bad grammar, and this Charles boy sounds
like such a bad influence.”
“It’ll be alright,” my husband said reassuringly. “Bound to be people like Charles
in the world. Might as well meet them now as later.”
On Monday Laurie came home late, full of news. “Charles,” he shouted as he
came up the hill; I was waiting anxiously on the front steps. “Charles,” Laurie yelled all
the way up the hill, “Charles was bad again.”
“Come right in,” I said, as soon as he came close enough. “Lunch is waiting.”
“You know what Charles did?” he demanded following me through the door.
“Charles yelled so in school they sent a boy in from first grade to tell the teacher she had to make Charles keep quiet, and so Charles had to stay after school. And so all the
children stayed to watch him.
“What did he do?” I asked.
“He just sat there,” Laurie said, climbing into his chair at the table. “Hi, Pop,
You old dust mop.”
“Charles had to stay after school today,” I told my husband. “Everyone stayed
with him.”
“What does this Charles look like?” my husband asked Laurie. “What’s his other
“He’s bigger than me,” Laurie said. “And he doesn’t have any rubbers and he
doesn’t wear a jacket.”
Monday night was the first Parent-Teachers meeting, and only the fact that the
baby had a cold kept me from going; I wanted passionately to meet Charles’s mother. On
Tuesday Laurie remarked suddenly, “Our teacher had a friend come to see her in school
“Charles’s mother?” my husband and I asked simultaneously.
“Naaah,” Laurie said scornfully. “It was a man who came and made us do
exercises, we had to touch our toes. Look.” He climbed down from his chair and
squatted down and touched his toes. “Like this,” he said. He got solemnly back into his
chair and said, picking up his fork, “Charles didn’t even do exercises.”
“That’s fine,” I said heartily. “Didn’t Charles want to do exercises?”
“Naaah,” Laurie said. “Charles was so fresh to the teacher’s friend he wasn’t let
do exercises.”
“Fresh again?” I said.
“He kicked the teacher’s friend,” Laurie said. “The teacher’s friend just told
Charles to touch his toes like I just did and Charles kicked him.
“What are they going to do about Charles, do you suppose?” Laurie’s father
asked him.
Laurie shrugged elaborately. “Throw him out of school, I guess,” he said.
Wednesday and Thursday were routine; Charles yelled during story hour and hit a
boy in the stomach and made him cry. On Friday Charles stayed after school again and
so did all the other children.
With the third week of kindergarten Charles was an institution in our family; the
baby was being a Charles when she cried all afternoon; Laurie did a Charles when he
filled his wagon full of mud and pulled it through the kitchen; even my husband, when he
caught his elbow in the telephone cord and pulled the telephone and a bowl of flowers off
the table, said, after the first minute, “Looks like Charles.”
During the third and fourth weeks it looked like a reformation in Charles; Laurie
reported grimly at lunch on Thursday of the third week, “Charles was so good today the
teacher gave him an apple.”
“What?” I said, and my husband added warily, “You mean Charles?”
“Charles,” Laurie said. “He gave the crayons around and he picked up the books
afterward and the teacher said he was her helper.”
“What happened?” I asked incredulously.
“He was her helper, that’s all,” Laurie said, and shrugged.
“Can this be true about Charles?” I asked my husband that night. “Can something
like this happen?”
“Wait and see,” my husband said cynically. “When you’ve got a Charles to deal
with, this may mean he’s only plotting.” He seemed to be wrong. For over a week
Charles was the teacher’s helper; each day he handed things out and he picked things up;
no one had to stay after school.
“The PTA meeting’s next week again,” I told my husband one evening. “I’m
going to find Charles’s mother there.”
“Ask her what happened to Charles,” my husband said. “I’d like to know.”
“I’d like to know myself,” I said.
On Friday of that week things were back to normal. “You know what Charles did
today?” Laurie demanded at the lunch table, in a voice slightly awed. “He told a little
girl to say a word and she said it and the teacher washed her mouth out with soap and
Charles laughed.”
“What word?” his father asked unwisely, and Laurie said, “I’ll have to whisper it
to you, it’s so bad.” He got down off his chair and went around to his father. His father
bent his head down and Laurie whispered joyfully. His father’s eyes widened.
“Did Charles tell the little girls to say that?” he asked respectfully.
“She said it twice,” Laurie said. “Charles told her to say it twice.”
“What happened to Charles?” my husband asked.
“Nothing,” Laurie said. “He was passing out the crayons.”
Monday morning Charles abandoned the little girl and said the evil word himself
three or four times, getting his mouth washed out with soap each time. He also threw
My husband came to the door with me that evening as I set out for the PTA
meeting. “Invite her over for a cup of tea after the meeting,” he said. “I want to get a
look at her.”
“If only she’s there.” I said prayerfully.
“She’ll be there,” my husband said. “I don’t see how they could hold a PTA
meeting without Charles’s mother.”
At the meeting I sat restlessly, scanning each comfortable matronly face, trying to
determine which one hid the secret of Charles. None of them looked to me haggard
enough. No one stood up in the meeting and apologized for the way her son had been
acting. No one mentioned Charles.
After the meeting I identified and sought out Laurie’s kindergarten teacher. She
had a plate with a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate cake; I had a plate with a cup of tea
and a piece of marshmallow cake. We manoeuvred up to one another cautiously, and
“I’ve been so anxious to meet you,” I said. “I’m Laurie’s mother.”
“We’re all so interested in Laurie,” she said.
“Well, he certainly likes kindergarten,” I said. “He talks about it all the time.”
“We had a little trouble adjusting, the first week or so,” she said primly, “but now
he’s a fine helper. With an occasional lapses, of course.”
“Laurie usually adjusts very quickly,” I said. “I suppose this time it’s Charles’s
“Yes,” I said, laughing, “you must have your hands full in that kindergarten, with
“Charles?” she said. “We don’t have any Charles in the kindergarten.”

November 6, 2014

After Twenty Years


1.      belonged : to be an attribute, part, adjunct, or function of a person or thing

2.      business : a commercial or sometimes an industrial enterprise

3.      certain : incapable of failing : an inevitable outcome

4.      colorless : deficient in color : lacking sparkle or liveliness

5.      darkened : to grow dark : become obscured

6.      doubtfully :  uncertain in outcome : open to question

7.        everything : all that relates to the subject: used to indicate related but unspecified events, facts, or conditions

8.      fellow : a member of a group having common characteristics: a man

9.      fine : superior in kind, quality, or appearance

10.  guarding : to protect from danger especially by watchful attention : make secure

11.  hurrying : to carry or cause to go with haste

12.     jewel : an ornament of precious metal often set with stones or decorated with enamel and worn as an accessory of dress

13.  mark : a distinguishing trait or quality

14.  necktie : a narrow length of material worn about the neck and tied in front; especially

15.  peace : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom

16.  strange : not native to or naturally belonging in a place : of external origin, kind, or character

17.  successful :  resulting in favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor

18.  suddenly :happening or coming unexpectedly

19.  surely : without doubt :

20.  toward : in such a position as to be in the direction of

21.  waiting : to stay in place in expectation of : to be ready and available

22.  warm  :to maintain or preserve heat especially to a satisfactory degree

23.  watchful : carefully observant or attentive : being on guard

THE COP MOVED ALONG THE STREET, LOOKING strong and important. This was the way he always moved. He was not thinking of how he looked. There were few people on the street to see him. It was only about ten at night, but it was cold and there was a wind with a little rain in it.

He stopped at doors as he walked along, trying each door to be sure that it was closed for the night. Now and then he turned and looked up and down the street. He was a fine-looking cop, watchful, guarding the peace.

People in this part of the city went home early. Now and then you might see the lights of a shop or of a small restaurant, but most of the doors belonged to business places that had been closed hours ago.

Then the cop suddenly slowed his walk. Near the door of a darkened shop a man was standing. As the cop walked toward him, the man spoke quickly.

“It’s all right, officer,” he said. “I’m waiting for a friend. Twenty years ago we agreed to meet here tonight. It sounds strange to you, doesn’t it? I’ll explain if you want to be sure that everything’s all right. About twenty years ago there was a restaurant where this shop stands. ‘Big Joe’ Brady’s restaurant.”

“It was here until five years ago,” said the cop.

The man near the door had a colorless square face with bright eyes, and a little white mark near his right eye. He had a large jewel in his necktie.

“Twenty years ago tonight,” said the man, “I had dinner here with Jimmy Wells. He was my best friend and the best fellow in the world. He and I grew up together here in New York, like two brothers. I was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty. The next morning I was to start for the West. I was going to find a job and make a great success. You couldn’t have pulled Jimmy out of New York. He thought it was the only place on earth.

“We agreed that night that we would meet here again in twenty years. We thought that in twenty years we would know what kind of men we were, and what future waited for us.”

“It sounds interesting,” said the cop. “A long time between meetings, it seems to me. Have you heard from your friend since you went West?”

“Yes, for a time we did write to each other,” said the man, “but after a year or two, we stopped. The West is big. I moved around everywhere, and I moved quickly. I know that Jimmy will meet me here if he can. He was as true as any man in the world. He’ll never forget. I came a thousand miles to stand here tonight, but I’ll be glad about that, if my old friend comes too.”

The waiting man took out a fine watch, covered with small jewels.

“Three minutes before ten,” he said. “It was ten that night when we said goodbye here at the restaurant door.”

 “You were successful in the West, weren’t you?” asked the cop.

“I surely was! I hope Jimmy has done half as well. He was a slow mover. I’ve had to fight for my success. In New York a man doesn’t change much. In the West you learn how to fight for what you get.”

The cop took a step or two.

“I’ll go on my way,” he said. “I hope your friend comes all right.

If he isn’t here at ten, are you going to leave?”

“I am not!” said the other. “I’ll wait half an hour, at least. If Jimmy is alive on earth, he’ll be here by that time. Good night, officer.”

“Good night,” said the cop, and walked away, trying doors as he went.

There was now a cold rain falling and the wind was stronger. The few people walking along that street were hurrying, trying to keep warm.
At the door of the shop stood the man who had come a thousand miles to meet a friend. Such a meeting could not be certain, but he waited.

About twenty minutes he waited, and then a tall man in a long coat came hurrying across the street. He went directly to the waiting man.

“Is that you, Bob?” he asked, doubtfully.

“Is that you, Jimmy Wells?” cried the man at the door.

The new man took the other man’s hands in his. “It’s Bob! It surely is. I was certain I would find you here if you were still alive. Twenty years is a long time. The old restaurant is gone, Bob. I wish it were here, so that we could have another dinner in it. Has the West been good to you?”

“It gave me everything I asked for. You’ve changed, Jimmy. I never thought you were so tall.”

“Oh, I grew a little after I was twenty.”

“Are you doing well in New York, Jimmy?”

“Well enough. I work for the city. Come on, Bob, We’ll go to a place I know, and have a good long talk about old times.”

The two men started along the street, arm in arm. The man from the West was beginning to tell the story of his life. The other, with his coat up to his ears, listened with interest.

At the corner stood a shop bright with electric lights. When they came near, each turned to look at the other’s face.

The man from the West stopped suddenly and pulled his arm away.

“You’re not Jimmy Wells,” he said. “Twenty years is a long time, but not long enough to change the shape of a man’s nose.”

“It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one,” said the tall man. “You’ve been under arrest for ten minutes, Bob. Chicago cops thought you might be coming to New York. They told us to watch for

you. Are you coming with me quietly? That’s wise, but first here is something I was asked to give you. You may read it here at the window. It’s from a cop named Wells.”
The man from the West opened the little piece of paper. His hand began to shake a little as he read.

“Bob: I was at the place on time. I saw the face of the man wanted by Chicago cops. I didn’t want to arrest you myself. So I went and got another cop and sent him to do the job.

October 29, 2014

Translation #10

The Hares and the Frogs

        The hares were so persecuted by the other beasts, they did not know where to go. As soon as they saw a single animal approach them, off they used to run. One day they saw a troop of wild horses stampeding about, and in quite a panic all the hares scuttled off to a lake near by, determined to drown themselves rather than live in such a continual state of fear but just as they got near the bank of the lake, a troop of frogs, frightened in their turn by the approach of the hares scuttled off, and jumped into the water. "Truly," said one of the hares, "things are not so bad as they seem:

Moral : "There is always someone worse off than yourself."

October 22, 2014


Types of Paragraphs

Five Steps of the Writing Process



 Decide on a topic to write about.
Consider who will read or listen to your written work.
Brainstorm ideas about the subject.
List places where you can research information.
Do your research.


Put the information you researched into your own words.
Write sentences and paragraphs even if they are not perfect.
Read what you have written and judge if it says what you mean.
Show it to others and ask for suggestions.


 Read what you have written again.
Think about what others said about it.
Rearrange words or sentences.
 Take out or add parts.
Replace overused or unclear words.
Read your writing aloud to be sure it flows smoothly.


 Be sure all sentences are complete.
Correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
Change words that are not used correctly.
Have someone check your work.
Recopy it correctly and neatly.


Read your writing aloud to a group.
Create a book of your work.
Send a copy to a friend or relative.
Put your writing on display.
Illustrate, perform, or set your creation to music.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done!

Editing Marks

September 17, 2014

A Slander

Pre Reading: Vocabulary Words

1. slander: to utter slander against : DEFAME
2. master : one having authority or control.
3. drawing room: a formal reception room.
4. flitting: to pass or move quickly from place to place.
5. swallowtails: tailcoat.
6. hubbub: a state of commotion or excitement.
7. din: a loud confused mixture of noises.
8. hurriedly: to move or act with haste.
9. sentry : guard.
10. queer : weird, strange, differing from the usual.
11. supper : an evening meal.
12. fumes: smoke, vapor or gas.
13. sturgeon: a large food fish valuable as a source of caviar.
14. grin: to draw back the lips so as to show the teeth, especially in amusement.
15. stealthy : secretly
16. relish: enjoyment or delight in something.
17. piquancy: pleasantly savory.
18. avail: to be use or advantage.
19. propensities: an often intense natural inclination or preference.
20. scoundrel: a disreputable person.
21. cholera: an often fatal epidemic disease.

Pre Reading Questions: A Slander

1.  Describe a kiss.  What can a kiss mean?
2.  Has your life ever been affected by gossip?
3.  How is a gossip spread?
4.  Describe a Puerto Rican Wedding.
5.  Based on the vocabulary words and pre reading questions, what do you think the story is going to be about?

A Slander

by Anton Chekhov

SERGE KAPITONICH AHINEEV, the writing master, was marrying his daughter to the teacher of history and geography. The wedding festivities were going off most successfully. In the drawing room there was singing, playing, and dancing. Waiters hired from the club were flitting distractedly about the rooms, dressed in black swallow-tails and dirty white ties. There was a continual hubbub and din of conversation. Sitting side by side on the sofa, the teacher of mathematics, Tarantulov, the French teacher, Pasdequoi, and the junior assessor of taxes, Mzda, were talking hurriedly and interrupting one another as they described to the guests cases of persons being buried alive, and gave their opinions on spiritualism. None of them believed in spiritualism, but all admitted that there were many things in this world which would always be beyond the mind of man. In the next room the literature master, Dodonsky, was explaining to the visitors the cases in which a sentry has the right to fire on passers-by. The subjects, as you perceive, were alarming, but very agreeable. Persons whose social position precluded them from entering were looking in at the windows from the yard.

Just at midnight the master of the house went into the kitchen to see whether everything was ready for supper. The kitchen from floor to ceiling was filled with fumes composed of goose, duck, and many other odours. On two tables the accessories, the drinks and light refreshments, were set out in artistic disorder. The cook, Marfa, a red-faced woman whose figure was like a barrel with a belt around it, was bustling about the tables.

"Show me the sturgeon, Marfa," said Ahineev, rubbing his hands and licking his lips. "What a perfume! I could eat up the whole kitchen. Come, show me the sturgeon."

Marfa went up to one of the benches and cautiously lifted a piece of greasy newspaper. Under the paper on an immense dish there reposed a huge sturgeon, masked in jelly and decorated with capers, olives, and carrots. Ahineev gazed at the sturgeon and gasped. His face beamed, he turned his eyes up. He bent down and with his lips emitted the sound of an ungreased wheel. After standing a moment he snapped his fingers with delight and once more smacked his lips.
"Ah-ah! the sound of a passionate kiss. . . . Who is it you're kissing out there, little Marfa?" came a voice from the next room, and in the doorway there appeared the cropped head of the assistant usher, Vankin. "Who is it? A-a-h! . . . Delighted to meet you! Sergei Kapitonich! You're a fine grandfather, I must say! Tête-à-tête with the fair sex--tette!"

"I'm not kissing," said Ahineev in confusion. "Who told you so, you fool? I was only . . . I smacked my lips . . . in reference to . . . as an indication of. . . pleasure . . . at the sight of the fish."

"Tell that to the marines!" The intrusive face vanished, wearing a broad grin.

Ahineev flushed.
"Hang it!" he thought, "the beast will go now and talk scandal. He'll disgrace me to all the town, the brute."

Ahineev went timidly into the drawing-room and looked stealthily round for Vankin. Vankin was standing by the piano, and, bending down with a jaunty air, was whispering something to the inspector's sister-in-law, who was laughing.

"Talking about me!" thought Ahineev. "About me, blast him! And she believes it . . . believes it! She laughs! Mercy on us! No, I can't let it pass . . . I can't. I must do something to prevent his being believed. . . . I'll speak to them all, and he'll be shown up for a fool and a gossip."

Ahineev scratched his head, and still overcome with embarrassment, went up to Pasdequoi.

"I've just been in the kitchen to see after the supper," he said to the Frenchman. "I know you are fond of fish, and I've a sturgeon, my dear fellow, beyond everything! A yard and a half long! Ha, ha, ha! And, by the way . . . I was just forgetting. . . . In the kitchen just now, with that sturgeon . . . quite a little story! I went into the kitchen just now and wanted to look at the supper dishes. I looked at the sturgeon and I smacked my lips with relish . . . at the piquancy of it. And at the very moment that fool Vankin came in and said: . . . 'Ha, ha, ha! . . . So you're kissing here!' Kissing Marfa, the cook! What a thing to imagine, silly fool! The woman is a perfect fright, like all the beasts put together, and he talks about kissing! Queer fish!"

"Who's a queer fish?" asked Tarantulov, coming up.

"Why he, over there -- Vankin! I went into the kitchen . . ."

And he told the story of Vankin. ". . . He amused me, queer fish! I'd rather kiss a dog than Marfa, if you ask me," added Ahineev. He looked round and saw behind him Mzda.

"We were talking of Vankin," he said. "Queer fish, he is! He went into the kitchen, saw me beside Marfa, and began inventing all sorts of silly stories. 'Why are you kissing?' he says. He must have had a drop too much. 'And I'd rather kiss a turkeycock than Marfa,' I said, 'And I've a wife of my own, you fool,' said I. He did amuse me!"

"Who amused you?" asked the priest who taught Scripture in the school, going up to Ahineev.

"Vankin. I was standing in the kitchen, you know, looking at the sturgeon. . . ."
And so on. Within half an hour or so all the guests knew the incident of the sturgeon and Vankin.

"Let him tell away now!" thought Ahineev, rubbing his hands. "Let him! He'll begin telling his story and they'll say to him at once, 'Enough of your improbable nonsense, you fool, we know all about it!' "

And Ahineev was so relieved that in his joy he drank four glasses too many. After escorting the young people to their room, he went to bed and slept like an innocent babe, and next day he thought no more of the incident with the sturgeon. But, alas! man proposes, but God disposes. An evil tongue did its evil work, and Ahineev's strategy was of no avail. Just a week later -- to be precise, on Wednesday after the third lesson -- when Ahineev was standing in the middle of the teacher's room, holding forth on the vicious propensities of a boy called Visekin, the head master went up to him and drew him aside:

"Look here, Sergei Kapitonich," said the head master, "you must excuse me. . . . It's not my business; but all the same I must make you realize. . . . It's my duty. You see, there are rumors that you are romancing with that . . . cook. . . . It's nothing to do with me, but . . . flirt with her, kiss her . . . as you please, but don't let it be so public, please. I entreat you! Don't forget that you're a schoolmaster."

Ahineev turned cold and faint. He went home like a man stung by a whole swarm of bees, like a man scalded with boiling water. As he walked home, it seemed to him that the whole town was looking at him as though he were smeared with pitch. At home fresh trouble awaited him.

"Why aren't you gobbling up your food as usual?" his wife asked him at dinner. "What are you so pensive about? Brooding over your amours? Pining for your Marfa? I know all about it, Mohammedan! Kind friends have opened my eyes! O-o-o! . . . you savage!"

And she slapped him in the face. He got up from the table, not feeling the earth under his feet, and without his hat or coat, made his way to Vankin. He found him at home.
"You scoundrel!" he addressed him. "Why have you covered me with mud before all the town? Why did you set this slander going about me?"

"What slander? What are you talking about?"

"Who was it gossiped of my kissing Marfa? Wasn't it you? Tell me that. Wasn't it you, you brigand?"

Vankin blinked and twitched in every fibre of his battered countenance, raised his eyes to the icon and articulated, "God blast me! Strike me blind and lay me out, if I said a single word about you! May I be left without house and home, may I be stricken with worse than cholera!"

Vankin's sincerity did not admit of doubt. It was evidently not he who was the author of the slander.

"But who, then, who?" Ahineev wondered, going over all his acquaintances in his mind and beating himself on the breast. "Who, then?"

Who, then? We, too, ask the reader.

During Reading Questions

1.  Why does Ahineev think Vankin is spreading rumors?
2.  What does Ahineev do to prevent the rumors from being spread?
3.  Who does Ahineev approach to clarify the incident in the kitchen with Marfa?
4.  What do you think about the way Ahineev handle the rumor? Would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?
5.  How do you think Ahineev is going to confront Vankin? Write a descriptive paragraph?

After Reading Questions

1.  Does Ahineev feel relieved after clarifying the incident of the kitchen with Marfa?  Why?
2.  Who informed Ahineev about the rumors being spread?  What advice did this person give him?
3.  What happened when Ahineev arrived home?
4.  Ahineev confronted Vankin.  Did Ahineev react the way you thought he would react?
5.  Who do you think spread the rumors of Ahineev if it wasn't Vankin?