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BETTER THAN GOLD
BY ABRAM J. RYAN
Than rank and titles a thousandfold,
Better than gold is a conscience clear,
1. How many things are named above as being better than gold? Which of these do you think is best? Why?
2. Put the following lines in your own words: 5-7; 9; 11-12. To do this you 'will need to understand every word in the lines. List those you do not know and find their meanings.
THE BROKEN KITE
(OSCAR and CARROLL are two brothers who live in the
country. TIMBOO is a young East Indian who has come to America to attend school and is living in the house of OSCAR and CARROLL. Being goodnatured and intelligent, he is much liked by the boys and has a great deal of influence over them. The scene of the story is the garden at the home of OSCAR and CARROLL. TIMBOO is at work spad
ing the ground and whistling merrily.) TIMBOO (looking up from his work). There they come again with some dispute to be settled. I wonder which one is to blame this time.
(Enter OSCAR and CARROLL.) CARROLL. Just see, Timboo! See how Oscar has broken my kite.
(TIMBOO raises his finger, and the boys suddenly stop.)
TIMBOO. Wait a moment. You didn't start exactly together. Get all ready, both of you, and when I say, "One, two, three," begin. You must both begin at once and talk as loud and as fast as you can.
CARROLL (vexed). Oh, pshaw, Timboo! You're 10 only making fun of us, and you're always making fun of us.
OSCAR. This is something serious, and we want you to settle it.
TIMBOO. I can't settle it till I find out about it; and
CARROLL. Why, I'll tell you.
TIMBOO. Do you hear that? How do I know which one to listen to ?
CARROLL. To me!
TIMBOO. Well, I don't believe that either of you 10 is capable of telling the story.
CARROLL. Why not?
TIMBOO. Because the one who undertakes to tell it, will tell only what is in his own favor. He will keep back everything that is in the other boy's favor. 15 That's the way you always do.
CARROLL. No, Timboo, I'll tell the whole story, and I'll tell it fair.
OSCAR. So will I! So will I!
TIMBOO. Very well. I'll hear Carroll; but he 20 must agree to my conditions.
CARROLL. Conditions! What are they, Timboo?
TIMBOO. Why, if you keep back anything that is in Oscar's favor or against yourself, you must allow me to punish you for each offense.
CARROLL. How will you punish me?
TIMBOO. In whatever way I think best. I shall make you smart, you may depend. So you had better be honest.
CARROLL. Well, I agree. I'll tell the story just as it really was, and I won't keep back anything. You see (talking very slowly and earnestly) — you see, Oscar wanted to go and fly my kite - no, we both wanted to go, and — so — and so — I lent Oscar the kite, and s we went. Well, we went up the hill, and Oscar took the string to run with the kite, and — and — when he was running I saw that the kite was going into a tree - and I told him to stop and he wouldn't — and so the kite went into the tree, and he pulled on the 10 string, and the kite was all torn to pieces, as you see.
TIMBOO. Is that all ?
Yes -- I think so. TIMBOO. Well, Oscar, you've heard Carroll's story. Do you think it is a full and fair statement of the case ? 15
. OSCAR. No; I don't think it is.
TIMBOO. Very well. Tell me what he has kept back that would be in your favor. But first let me get my black-elastic punisher ready.
(He takes out of his pocket a strong rubber
band and snaps it once or twice in the air.) CARROLL. What are you going to do with that?
TIMBOO. I'm going to punish you for everything in Oscar's favor that you have kept back.
CARROLL. Oh, Timboo! How are you going to punish me with that rubber?
TIMBOO. I'm going to snap you with it.
TIMBOO. Of course it will hurt. I mean it to hurt. You agreed to be punished, didn't you? What
. sort of punishment would it be if it didn't hurt?
CARROLL. I don't know, I'm sure.
TIMBOO. Now, Oscar, what have you to say? What did Carroll keep back that was in your favor?
? OSCAR. Well, I'll tell you. He said that he lent me the kite; but I don't think that was exactly right. He agreed to furnish the kite, if I would furnish the 1o string; and we were to fly the kite together.
TIMBOO. Is that how it was, Carroll ?
TIMBOO. Not at all. You told me that you lent Oscar the kite, which means that you simply let him 15 have it as a favor. You kept back the fact that he lent you his twine at the same time. So turn your back this way. You must have a smart snap for that. CARROLL. Oh, Timboo! Please don't snap hard.
. It will hurt.
(Timboo snaps him between the shoulders.
Carroll jumps as though hurt, and cries
out.) 20 CARROLL. Oh-oh-! That was too hard !
TIMBOO. Not a bit. It takes some pretty hard snaps to knock unfairness out of a boy when he is telling of a difficulty with others. Now, Oscar, what else did he keep back?
OSCAR. He didn't say that it was his plan to fly