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THE COLONEL’S LADY
Fill in the blanks with words from the word banks.
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All this (1)_________ before the outbreak of the war.The Peregrines were (2)_________ breakfast and the butler (3)_________ in the morning post.George Peregrine noticed that his wife Evie didn’t (4)_________ her parcel.To his surprise there (5)_________ books of poetry written by his wife. Although poetry wasn’t much in his line heaccepted a copy. In his study he later (6)_________ half an hour to have a look at it and noticed that it(7)_________ no more than ninety pages, which was all to the good. He (8)_________ Edgar Allan Poe’s opinionthat poems should be short. But as he turned the pages he noticed that several of Evie’s had long lines of irregular length and didn’t (9)_________. He didn’t like that. Several of the pages were just (10)_________ with the wordSonnet, and out of curiosity he (11)_________ the lines; there were fourteen of them. He read them. Theyseemed all right, but he didn’t quite (12)_________ what they were all about. At that moment the farmer he was expecting was ushered into the study and they embarked on their business.George (13)_________ a jolly good fellow. He was affable to his inferiors, considerate with his tenants andpopular with the neighbouring gentry. He had (14)_________ a cottage hospital on the outskirts of the village and(15)_________ the wages of a nurse out of his own pocket. All he asked of the recipients of his bounty was that atelections, county or general, they should (16)_________ for his candidate.
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It was hard luck that he had no children. He would (1)__________ been an excellent father, kindly but strict,however, Evie (2)__________ been a sad disappointment to him. Of course she was a lady, and she had a bit of money of her own; she (3)__________ the house uncommonly well and she was a good hostess. The villagepeople (4)__________ her. She had been a pretty little thing when he (5)__________ her, with a creamy skin,light brown hair, and a trim figure, healthy too, and not a bad tennis player; he couldn’t (6)__________ why she’dhad no children; of course she was faded now, she must be getting on for five and forty; she hadn’t any vitality,that’s what (7)__________ the matter with her. He supposed he’d been in love with her when he asked her to(8)__________ him, but with time he discovered that they had nothing much in common. She didn’t(9)__________ about hunting, and fishing bored her. Naturally they’d (10)__________ apart. He had to do her the justice to admit that she’d never (11)__________ him. There’d been no scenes. They had no quarrels. At the lunch table he mentioned (12)__________ read the book and called it jolly good. George Peregrine sawthat Evie didn’t want to talk about her book and he was not sorry to (13)__________ the subject. He was glad shehad (14)__________ her maiden name on the title–page; he didn’t suppose anyone would ever hear about thebook, but he was proud of his own unusual name.During the few weeks that (15)__________ he thought it tactful not to (16)__________ Evie any questions abouther venture into verse, and she never referred to it. But then a strange thing (17)__________. He had to go toLondon on business and he took his girl-friend Daphne out to dinner. He learnt from her that Evie’s book was(18)__________ like hot cakes and it was hot stuff. Next day he met a friend in St James’s Street and he wasasked how it was to (19)__________ a celebrity’s husband. George Peregrine looked at his friend. He thought hesaw an amused twinkle in his eyes. A famous critic who had (20)__________ a positive review of Evie’s bookwanted to meet him. The critic had been simply bowled over by her book. He described it fresh and original, verymodern without being obscure. What (21)__________ the book so outstanding was the passion that throbbed inevery line.
At home he (22)__________ for her book. He thought he’d just glance through it again to see for himself whatthey were (23)__________ such a fuss about, but he couldn’t (24)__________ it. Evie must have taken it away.He’d told her he thought it jolly good. What more could a fellow be (25)__________ to say? Well, it didn’t matter.
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Towards the end of the month the publishers (1)__________ a little party to Evie in London and she asked him to(2)__________ her. And the day after the American publisher gave a cocktail party.George Peregrine was dazed by the cocktail party. He was (3)__________ to everyone as Colonel Peregrine, E.K. Hamilton’s husband, you know. The men didn’t seem to have anything to (4)__________ to him, but the womengushed. The American publisher had sent Evie a great spray of orchids. Damned ridiculous, thought George. Asthey (5)__________ in, people were taken up to Evie, and it was evident that they said (6)__________ things toher, which she took with a pleasant smile and a word or two of thanks. George noted with approval that his wifewas carrying it off in just the right way. But there was one thing that (7)__________ him. He had a notion thatsome of the people (8)__________ at him in rather a funny sort of way and two women who were (9)__________ together on a sofa almost certainly (10)__________. He was very glad when the party came to an end.In the taxi on their way back to their hotel Evie said to him:‘You were wonderful, dear. You made quite a hit. The girls simply (11)__________ about you: they thought you sohandsome.’Next morning he (12)__________ her book. A new edition- the fifth had just come out. The shop assistant thoughtthe book was (13)__________ by a personal experience.Back at home when Evie had gone to bed he began to read it.He didn’t (14)__________ verse very easily and though he read with attention, every word of it, the impression hereceived was far from clear. Then he (15)__________ at the beginning again and read it a second time. When hehad (16)__________ he had a distinct understanding of what it was all about. It was the story of a passionate loveaffair between an older woman, married, and a young man.It was three o’clock in the morning when George Peregrine finally put the book down. It had seemed to him that he(17)__________ Evie’s voice in every line; it was her own story she had told, and it was as plain as anything couldbe that she had had a lover and her lover had (18)__________. It was not anger so much that he felt, butamazement. It was as inconceivable that Evie should have (19)__________ a love affair, and a wildly passionateone at that.Three days later he went to see his solicitor. Henry Blane was an old friend of George’s as well as his lawyer. He(20)__________ for advice if he should (21)__________ Evie. He said he’d look rather silly divorcing his wifebecause she’d committed adultery ten years before. He advised him to forget it and also rave about the book. Theworld (22)__________ so quickly and people’s memories are short.George Peregrine decided to (23)__________ his advice but he still couldn’t understand what the fellow had seenin her.