To the teacher: In addition to all the language forms of Levels One and Two, which are used again

at this level of the series, the main verb forms and tenses used at Level Three are: •past continuous verbs, present perfect simple verbs, con ditional clauses (using the 'first' or 'open future' con ditional), question tags and further common phrasal verbs •modal verbs: have (got) to and don't have to (to express oblig ation), need to and needn't (to express necessity), could and was able to (to describe past ability), could and would (in offers and polite requests for help), and shall (for future plans, offers and suggestions). Also used are: •relative pronouns: who, that and which (in defining clauses) •conjunctions: if and since (for time or reason), so that (for purpose or result) and while •indirect speech (questions) •participle clauses. Specific attention is paid to vocabulary development in the Vocabulary Work exercises at the end of the book. These exercises are aimed at training students to enlarge their vocabulary systematically through intelligent reading and effective use of a dictionary. To the student: Dictionary Words: • When you read this book, you will find that some words are darker black than the others on the page. Look them up in your dictionary, if you do not already know them, or try to guess the meaning of the words first, without a dictionarv.

The Black Cat
You are not going to believe this story. But it is a true story, as true as I sit here writing it - as true as I will die in the morning. Yes, this story ends with my end, with my death tomorrow. I have always been a kind and loving person -- everyone will tell you this. They will also tell you that I have always loved animals more than anything. When I was a little boy, my family always had many different animals round the house. As I grew up, I spent most of my time with them, giving them their food and cleaning them. I married when I was very young, and I was happy to find that my wife loved all of our animal friends as much as I did. She bought us the most beautiful animals. We had all sorts of birds, gold fish, a fine dog and a cat. The cat was a very large and beautiful animal. He was black, black all over, and very intelligent. He was so intelligent that my wife often laughed about what some people believe; some people believe that all black cats are evil, enemies in a cat's body. Pluto - this was the cat's name - was my favourite. It was always I who gave him his food, and he followed me everywhere. I often had to stop him from following me through the streets! For years, he and I lived happily together, the best of friends. But during those years I was slowly changing. It was that evil enemy of Man called Drink who was changing me. I was not the kind, loving person people knew before. I grew more and more selfish. I was often suddenly angry about unimportant things. I began to use bad language, most of all with my wife. I even hit her sometimes. And by that time, of course, I was often doing horrible things to our animals. I hit all of them - but never Pluto. But, my illness was getting worse -oh yes, drink is an illness! Soon I began to hurt my dear Pluto too. I remember that night very well. I came home late, full of drink again. I could not understand why Pluto was not pleased to see me. The cat was staying away from me. My Pluto did not want to come near me! I caught him and picked him up, holding him strongly. He was afraid of me and bit my hand. Suddenly, I was not myself any more. Someone else was in my body: someone evil, and mad with drink! I took my knife from my pocket, held the poor animal by his neck and cut out one of his eyes.
1

my wife took the cat and showed me the white shape on his chest. I was surprised when I saw it. He never came near me now. The cat burned completely. Often he tried to jump up on my knees. But I could not forget that black shape for months. When I sat down. I even saw it in my 2 dreams. There was now only an ugly dry hole where the eye once was.I could not stop myself. this cat had a large white shape on his front. So I began to look for another one. my mind was full of pain and horror when I woke up. this strange fear grew into horror. I went closer and looked over their shoulders. There was nothing left of the building the next morning. slowly. I stopped myself because I remembered Pluto. He came all the way home with me .yes! I did it because I knew it was evil. The plaster was still quite wet. and pressed the side of his head against my hand several times. 1 was deeply sorry. I began to dislike the animal more and more. I looked mostly in the poor parts of our town where I went drinking. but then how else can I possibly describe it? Slowly. I noticed a black object on top of a cupboard. Probably. touched it. Then. I had to do it . the more he seemed to love me. I began to feel sad about losing the animal. How can I explain this fear? It was not really a fear of something evil . I kept away from him because I remembered what I did to my poor Pluto. He began to go round the house as usual again.because I knew it was evil. horror. 'and I am sure that object was not there before I got up. If I tell you why. . For a long time I did not . I searched for another black cat. I was surprised to see a crowd of people next to the wall. . During the fire the garden was full of people. Several minutes passed before I could think clearly again. I noticed this the morning after he came home with me. I started to feel angry. I realized why this wall did not burn: because there was new plaster on it. I was sure that was what happened. I began to hate him — but I was never unkind to him. This was the animal I was looking for! He continued to be very friendly and later. and he ran away when I went too close.my bed was on fire. He stayed with us. It was the shape of large cat. Of course. I do not know why. Soon he felt no more pain. and seemed to be quite excited. except one — a wall in the middle of the house. I did it with a terrible sadness in my heart . he followed me into the street. What did I do? I caught the cat and hung him by his neck from a tree until he was dead. but also because I was afraid of the animal. and I did another terrible thing . as the weeks passed. and went to see what it was. Yes. Yes. She said the shape was slowly changing. They were talking. 'I looked at those bottles a few minutes ago. Slowly the cat got better. when I left. and found that it was a black cat — a very large one. leaving the black shape in the new plaster. I looked at the shape with complete horror. He liked me. someone cut the dead cat from the tree and threw it through the window — to try and wake me. I heard people outside shouting. We stood and watched as the house burned down to the ground. of course. hanging by its neck. I saw a black shape in the new white plaster.in every way but one: Pluto did not have a white hair anywhere on his body. He immediately jumped up on to the most comfortable chair and went to sleep. That night I woke up suddenly .The next morning. All the walls fell down during the night. 'Fire! Fire!' Our house was burning! I. Yes. He got up when I touched him. The falling walls pressed the animal's body into the fresh plaster. But. my wife and our servant were lucky to escape. . near some bottles of wine. He looked like Pluto too . he always sat under my chair. of course. At first I was sad. I had to know why it was there. You will think I am mad. as I sat in a dark and dirty drinking-house. Several times. I wanted to murder him when he did this. but I hated the way he loved me. as large as Pluto. getting under my feet all the time. I knew he didn't love me any more. I could not understand how I could do such an evil thing. I put my hand up. I knew I had to try to think clearly. I also hated the animal because he only had one eye. of the same size and type as Pluto. but I did not. One night. you will not believe me. .and came inside. And that was why I did it . But drink soon helped me to forget. He followed me everywhere. Soon. He loved both of us and very soon he became my wife's favourite animal. I was very careful about that. I remembered hanging the cat in the garden of the house next door.' I thought. this only made my dear wife love him more! But the more I hated the cat.we now had another house .

And there was the cat. and there was my wife. When I woke up the next morning. But as I brought the axe down. This made me so angry. It was wonderful . it grew into a long scream of pain and horror. I waited all evening. In the end. this is a well-built old house. I remember waking from terrible dreams and feeling him sitting next to my face.no more cat! Never again! Several people came and asked about my wife. the police came. I was so happy that I could not stop talking as they went up the stairs. or rest. I walked calmly up and down. I knew I could not take it out of the house. my wife stopped my arm with her hand.believe her. It was beginning to look more and more like an object . I went down with them. without him.are you going. and I knew that underneath it the wall was not very strong. I was not a bit afraid. Of course. Suddenly. Two. It was quite an old building. I felt so much better without the cat. of course. his heavy body pressing down on my heart] I was now a very different man. I went upstairs to kill the cat. I began to see that she was right. The place where criminals are hanged. and soon they were ready to go. Yes. . He did not come back during the night either. but travelling was difficult in that wild part of the mountains. was the shape of an object I am almost too afraid to name . watching them search. brought it down hard and buried it in the top of her head.yes. . but I did not see the evil animal. There was new plaster on one of the walls. standing on her head. I searched everywhere. near the river. the cat followed me down the stairs and nearly made me fall. and now his evil voice was sending me to the gallows. put back the stones. The animal was bringing me bad luck. These walls . took out a few stones and made a hole in the earth that filled the middle of the wall. This made me even more angry. my dear wife too. of course. . They asked me to come with them as they searched. like a child's. I now had only evil thoughts — the darkest and the most evil thoughts. During the day.' I said. I was not worried when they searched the house. After a few more weeks. I began to feel like a free man again. the animal never left me. One day she came down into the cellar with me to cut some wood (we were now too poor to have a servant). he was too clever to come near me now. They found nothing. his red mouth wide open in a scream. they all ran down in a great hurry and began breaking down the wall. I put my wife there. and I pulled her hand away from my wrist. I had to hide the body. the GALLOWS!* I no longer knew the meaning of happiness. after many weeks. Its sides were becoming straighter and straighter. isn't it? Yes. It was not difficult. looking at them. but I could not find him. Everything looked just as it did before. I could hide the body in the middle of it. I saw the policemen standing on the stairs with their mouths open. in answer to my knock. that I took the axe and tried to cut the animal in two. It was not far away. on the fourth day. I also knew that this wall was very thick. A voice came from inside the wall. And now. The clever animal! My wife was dead because of him. There she was. It was a cry. but I answered their questions easily. . a very well-built old house. I did not really know what I was saying. for the first time in a long time. Nobody would ever know. And so. I was surprised to see that the cat still was not there. aren't they?' I knocked hard on the part of the wall where my wife was. 3 The Oval Portrait We saw the dark shape of the roof above the forest. * gallows. It was impossible not to see! There. I thought of throwing it into the river at the end of the garden. Then I cleaned the floor. 'Good day to you all. I thought of cutting it into pieces and burning it. lifted the tool again. gentlemen? . There was not the smallest piece of good left in me. Then. so the walls of the cellar were quite wet and the plaster was soft. on his front. I hated everyone and everything. three days passed. I was sure it was because of my wife's murder. and there was still no cat. but slowly. It fell quickly. Quickly. The shape was changing. They looked everywhere. and looked carefully round. with dried blood all over her head. standing inside. and his one gold eye shining like fire. The neighbours noticed everything. I saw what the shape was.these walls are strong. made some new plaster and put it on the wall. Then they went down into the cellar. . I decided to hide the body in one of the walls of the cellar. At night he woke me up nearly every hour. 'Yes. I thought of burying it in the floor of the cellar. I took off some plaster. It was that terrible machine of pain and death . several times. Next. it was he who brought me all my unhappiness. I thought of putting it into a wooden box and taking it out of the house that way. dear sirs. We did not arrive until night was falling. I cannot tell you how happy I began to feel. I slept well. I had to kill it.

His painting was her only enemy. that way she looked at me -she was so real! It was almost impossible to believe that she was just paint — that she was not alive! The first time I looked at the portrait I simply could not believe what my eyes were seeing. As soon as I saw it. I was so badly hurt that I would die if we stayed out all night. 'She was a beautiful young flower. Keeping my eyes closed. broke in through a small door at the back and carried me carefully inside. Yes. then I opened my eyes and looked a second time. The picture. 4 I stayed for perhaps an hour. Quickly. and among them there was a portrait of a young woman. and showed the head and shoulders of a young woman. It was oval in shape. never taking my eyes off the portrait. So I reached out . The more I looked into those eyes. that beautiful smile. They were married. and always so happy.It was a sad and strangely beautiful house. and showed the head and shoulders of a young woman. half-sitting. sadly. Then at last. I did it to give myself time. He worked day and night. only seconds before. No. always lost in his wild. day after day. half-lying. And as he painted. and the hours passed quickly. It was oval in shape. and she began to hate the paintings that kept her husband away from her. 'But she went on smiling. I realized what the true secret of the picture was. as I said. there was no mistake. the more I looked at that beautiful smile. and I fell back in the bed again. I read these words: The picture was a portrait. one by one. It was the way she was looking at me. I looked through the book until I found the story of the oval portrait. His painting was more important to him than anything in the world. She never stopped smiling because she saw that her husband (who was now very famous) enjoyed his work so much. all round me. He never noticed that she was not healthy any more. she was happy until that evil day when she saw and loved the painter of her portrait. They were everywhere on the walls. 'They left in a hurry. I was suddenly very awake. never moving -while he painted her hour after hour. I needed time to think. Midnight came and went. Now. was a portrait. I found this book on the bed next to me. But now I felt a very different feeling growing inside me. It was a fear mixed with horror. My eyes were seeing what they saw the first time. My eyes became more and more tired. Why did I suddenly close my eyes like that? Then I realized. I looked at them for a while in the dying light. I could not sleep because of the pain. She loved everything in the world. Was I sure that I really saw what I thought I saw? Was I dreaming? No. and as I did so I read a small book. It was the finest and the most beautiful painting that I have ever seen. I understood. At last. Pedro. He helped me to lie down on the bed. I waited until I was calm again. he already had a wife: his work. richly decorated rooms to a smaller room in a corner of the great house. And I know I never ever saw a woman as beautiful as her! But it was not her beauty that shook me so suddenly from my half-sleep. I saw more pictures. I was so weak now that I was afraid that I was dying. I tried to understand why. He was a silent man. my servant. Her eyes. I closed my eyes. 'Before.this was painful and difficult -and moved the lamp closer. Now she loved all things but one: her husband's work. 'For weeks. The portrait was now hidden in darkness again. It described all the pictures in the room. And it was not the beauty of the painter's work that excited me in such a strange way. There were a lot of very fine modern pictures in this room. secret dreams. painting the portrait of the woman he loved.always smiling.' He carried me through several tall. the lamp's light fell in a different part of the room. I began to look at the pictures on the walls. I looked and read for a long time. 'People were living here until a very short time ago. many hundreds of years old. So I asked Pedro to light the lamp beside the bed. And so it was a terrible thing when he told her that he wanted to paint his young wife's portrait. But. Also. He did not see that she was growing weaker with every day. a part that was in deep shadow until then. After dark. always working. She sat still . The change was happening in front of his eyes. dark room while he worked. terrible fear that I could not understand. but he did not see it. she sat in the tall. . the more I was afraid] It was a strange. and not happy any more. I moved the lamp back to where it was before. she was all light and smiles. and soon I found it hard to read the words on the page.' Pedro said. and told their stories.

All colour left his face. I spent my days reading in this library. I was already in the middle of my life. sweet sad sounds and silent shadows. he finished the portrait. Each one is richly decorated. by the hands of only the finest workmen. and I was still living here in the house of my fathers. The years passed. and my young days dreaming here. then he stood back and looked at the finished work. he put the last. My family — I will not name it — is one of the oldest in the land. My mother died in the library. inside the walls of this great house. . the world heard my first cries here. 'She was dead. Silently. the dreams inside my head were my real world. I know I lived another life before the one I am living now. he began to shake. Her face was as white as snow. As a child. that I have always spent most of my time. hearing and seeing nothing now. With his eyes on the portrait. A terrible fire was burning inside him now. But my favourite has always been the library. the books that stand along them are among the first things I can remember in my life. . Yes.the woman who loved him grew slowly weaker and sadder. but my life did not begin here. 'Several people saw the half-finished picture. I grew up without noticing it. speaking softly as he worked. she sat in front of her husband and his visitors. almost mad with his work. for many hundreds of years. They told the painter how wonderful it was. We have lived here. slowly. 5 . The painter did not see that the colours he was painting were no longer there in her real face. the real world — life in the world outside these walls — began to seem like a dream to me. It is here. I was born here. The wild ideas. 'As he looked. and I saw the light of day again — here in this room full of thoughts and dreams. in the middle of winter. and soon I found that I was no longer young. His eyes almost never left the painting now. And so. one day. He touched the last paint on to her lips. and I left the library less and less. I almost never left the house. even to look at his wife's face. He did not welcome visitors in the room any more. like a dream without shape or body: a world of eyes. He was wild. They were my whole life. I woke up from that long night. They said the portrait showed how much he loved his beautiful wife. among books.' Berenice Egaeus is my name. 'The work was coming near an end. 'Many more weeks passed until. I was born here in this room. my eyes opened. he cried out to the world: 'This woman is not made of paint! She is alive!' Then he turned suddenly to look at the woman he loved so much . I can remember another time. and these walls. I sometimes walk through its silent rooms. thin line of colour on an eye.

You must understand that this monomania was not a kind of dreaming. My thoughts always. One of these was a very unusual type of epilepsy. Berenice . not asleep — needs and uses the mind to build his dream. I was the weak one. always so full of life. when she was so terribly and sadly changed. healthy one. leaving someone I did not know. . And so why did I feel differently after her illness? Why. I could sit for a whole night dreaming about the sweet smell of a flower. Berenice was the idea of Berenice. She was not a person of this world — no. She would just get up again as if nothing was wrong. And soon. She lived only for the day. When I did these things. even of being alive. for most of a summer's day. for a short time. never thinking of the shadows around her. . I saw it change her body and mind completely. I watched the dark cloud pass over her. all idea of time. The object was no longer real. She was the strong. A serious illness in which. She walked quickly and happily through life. There must be no mistake. Berenice was a Bernice in a dream. red in the face. like Berenice. I never thought of her as someone real. I never saw my Berenice as a living Berenice. among the dancing shadows of the forest. Berenice and I were cousins. This is because I have never had feelings of the heart. It was both the subject and the object of my thoughts. until it burnt away to nothing. Because now there was nothing left of the Berenice I once knew! It is true I never loved her. one day — because 1 felt so sorry for her— I had a stupid and evil 6 It was during this time that my illness began to get worse. The object was always there at the centre of my thinking. everything goes black. did I shake and to white when she came near me? Because I saw the terrible waste of that sweet and loving person. I can only describe it as a type of monomania. For me. It was an illness of the mind. But with me. I can see her clearly now. always shining like a bright new sun. my illness changed my life completely. even during the brightest days of her beauty. Berenice never thought of tomorrow. I lived inside the walls of my mind. Thinking about one thing. shaking all over. or idea. Berenice moved quickly and lightly before my eyes. I could stay. . her eyes not seeing any more. and the body jumps and shakes. watching a shadow on the floor. making strange sounds. She and I grew up together here in this house. so often sick. Often she woke up from the sleep as suddenly as the epilepsy began. without warning. She fell to the ground. It was not my body that was sick. mystery and fear. I often repeated a single word again and again for hours until the sound of it had no more meaning for me. not someone to love. Also.Berenice! And a thousand sweet voices answer me from the past. Suddenly. I always lost all idea of myself. I could sit without taking my eyes off a wood fire in winter. I see her . always came back to that object in a never-ending circle. Her bright young days ended when an illness . the Berenice I once knew? This first illness caused several other illnesses to follow. but still I could not pull myself away from it! I never loved Berenice. * epilepsy. It was the centre of everything. I could sit for hours looking at one letter of a word on a page. in the silence of my library at night. and not being able to stop. In the grey light of early morning. deep in thought about something — something so unimportant that it seemed funny afterwards. always lost in my dark and heavy thoughts. the mind stops working. But I knew she always loved me — deeply. Dreaming is completely different. the dreamer nearly always forgets the thought or idea or object that began his dream. She ran over the hills under the great blue sky while I studied in the library. I felt it growing stronger day by day. of movement. I knew I could do nothing to stop it.* This epilepsy always came suddenly. the object that began the journey into deepest thought always stayed in my mind. I watched our young years flying away on the silent wings of time.I call out her name . The epilepsy often ended with her going into a kind of very deep sleep. The dreamer —I am talking about the dreamer who is awake. her mind stopped working.a terrible illness — came down on her like a sudden storm. And so. The cloud came and went. She was something to think about. this sleep was so deep that it was difficult to tell if she was dead or not. But I am afraid it may be impossible to describe how fully I could lose myself in the useless study of even the simplest or most ordinary object. fighting with the most difficult and painful ideas. Who was this sad person I saw now? Where was my Berenice.* monomania. Sometimes. My loves have always been in the world of the mind. as she was in her early days of beauty and light. But we grew so differently.* I often lost myself for hours. and then suddenly all is darkness. it was my mind.

I wanted them! I had to have the teeth! Only the teeth could bring me happiness. But there was no life at all in her eyes. The room was empty. The teeth! There they were in front of my eyes — here. I said nothing. sir! She was still alive!' He pointed at my clothes. . she was so thin! I could see her arms and legs through the grey clothes that hung round her wasted body.' said the girl.' This morning? I looked out of the window. She said nothing. Next. I remember thinking: 'What did I do? I asked myself this question out loud. but I could not remember what it was: those hours of the night were like a page of strange writing that I could not understand. All I could think about. There was blood all over them. But her teeth did not leave the room of my mind! I now saw them more clearly than when she was standing in front of me. Night was falling . Suddenly. Every smallest part of each tooth was burnt into my mind. 7 all I could see in my mind's eye was the teeth. I sat there in my chair. I do not know why. could stop me from going mad. 'We are ready to bury her now. But why was it there. I found myself waking up alone in the library again. now. She looked strangely calm and happy. everything was quiet. 'We went to find out what it was. She was as white as snow. I got up and opened the door of the library. A servant came in. why did she have to smile at me! Why did I have to ее those teeth? heard a door closing and I looked up. then darkness turned into another day. Our wedding day was growing closer. A servant girl was standing outside. in a low. The clouds were low and dark. too afraid to move. It was midnight. I studied their shapes.idea. sir' he said. sir!' he cried. and the more I thought about them. 'Some of us heard a wild cry during the night. with her bloodless lips always moving round them! I tried to fight this sudden. and we found Berenice's body lying in the open. She was like a stranger to me. I could not even remember how she was before. sir. I saw Berenice standing in front of me. never moving. I was still lost in thought. And the walls of the library answered me in a soft voice like mine: What did you do? There was a lamp on the table near me. and I sat there alone. Her long hair fell around her face. They were now the centre of my life. I thought that I could remember unpleasant and excited dreams. and one warm afternoon I was sitting in the library. turned them every way. on the table? And why was I shaking like a leaf as I looked at it? Why was my hair standing on my head? There was a knock on the door. looked at them in every light. Then a terrible cry of horror woke me from my dreams. Oh. And I could not speak. in the darkness in front of my eye s. Yes. I knew something happened during the night. They did not even seem to see me. and more cries of sadness and pain. But I could only half-remember the hours since then — hours full of a terrible unknown horror. 'Someone took her out of the hole where we buried her! Her body was cut and bleeding! But worse than that. I watched as her thin. I heard voices. but it was useless. she was not dead. in that one same thought: the teeth. I saw them everywhere I looked — in the evening shadows. Evening came. God. soon a second night was falling. there. And it was then that I saw the teeth. I knew this box well — it belonged to our family's doctor. the air was heavy. . She died this morning. He was wild with fear and spoke to me quickly. And they were so white. I heard the high cutting scream of a woman. terrible monomania. sir' she began. lifting my eyes from my book. . but suddenly I felt a terrible fear pressing down like a great stone on my heart. I asked her to marry me.' I told myself again and again. everywhere I looked. with a small box next to it. but I did not know what they were. she . I held them up in my mind's eye. 'Your cousin. crying. only a weak shadow of the woman I remembered. They made a strange smile that I could not understand. 'It was her epilepsy. I could not understand all of what he was saying. . 'They buried Berenice soon after dark. Berenice was not there any more. their differences. bloodless lips slowly opened. . the more I began to want them. shaking voice.

was blue. of course — was the Prince's idea (I forgot to tell you: the Prince made the plans for this part of the house himself). In the second room everything was purple. The fourth was orange. . .— but most of all through your face. . Looking pleased with himself. in the middle of a forest. with a high. Yes. those seven rooms. Prince Prospero often had very unusual ideas. Dentist's tools fell out of it. And when the sound died away. There never was a plague* that killed as many. there were musicians. enough for more than a year.He took my hand. Five months later — the plague was still everywhere in the land . like the glass. so clear. there. Everybody listened to the sound . All the dancers stopped dancing. Inside. So you could only ever see into one other room at a time. It was a masked . These fires filled the rooms with bright. Normally. Once every hour. Light came from the windows on either side. jumped to the table and tried to open the box.your horrible red face told everyone that it was too late. and that is why he chose them for the party. He and his lucky friends did not have to worry about the 'Red Death' outside. Then everything began to turn round and round inside your head. he chose a thousand healthy and happy friends and took them away from the city. He was a very unusual — a very strange — person. for example. All this (and more) was inside. from its beginning to your end. it was a strange part of the house. at the east end. Of course it was the Prince who decorated the rooms for the party. Now nobody could come in or out of the house. richly. and so were the windows: bright blue. . Other people's heads began to go round and round . First. A serious illness that goes from person to person very quickly. The wall had only one door: a very strong metal one. There were dancers. This — and everything else. red colour.the black room . The whole party stopped. there was Beauty. wild look to the faces of those who went in. there was wine. only the most important visitors used those rooms. foreign princes. Few people were brave enough to put one foot inside. I cried out. . 8 And so everyone soon forgot the terrible plague. When half of the people in his land were dead. . so strangely musical that the musicians stopped playing to listen to it. clang . the sixth yellow. But Prince Prospero was a brave and happy and wise prince. . . party of a most unusual kind.everything but the windows. But in the west room . Then blood began to come out through your skin — yes. and there never was a death as terrible. . heavy clang . you felt burning pains in your stomach. First of all. I saw cuts and dried blood on it. the rooms were not in a straight line. I tried and tried but I could not! It fell to the floor and broke. Light laughs began to break the silence. to his favourite house. it made a sound that was so loud. The outside world could worry about itself! * Plague. Walking through them. the Red Death was a very short 'illness' — only about half an hour. In the third everything was green. dream-like thoughts . some people's faces became white . one on either side. . and with them — so small and so white! — thirty-two teeth fell here. And as they listened. The Mask of the Red Death For a long time the Red Death was everywhere in the land. surprised by sudden strange.Prince Prospero gave a very special party for his thousand friends. It was a very large and beautiful house. and he did this in his usual unusual way. They were safe inside the Prince's beautiful house. and they had every-thing they needed to have a good time. and so . . when the minute-hand came up to twelve. each room was a different colour. He smiled as he watched the circles in the deep dark water. sound. clang . several servants pushed the great door shut. When the Prince and all his friends were safely inside. A very large clock stood against the far wall of the black room. strong wall all round it. And of course when people saw this they left you immediately. There were no lamps anywhere in the seven rooms. With each turn you always saw something interesting and new. It gave a terrible. They were very unusual. The first room. He took them over the hills and far away. Like the glass. And everything in each room was that same colour. the Prince locked it and threw the key (it was the only one) over the wall into the lake outside. The Red Death was outside. the colour of blood. Nobody wanted to help you . There was coloured glass in these windows. Outside each window there was a fire burning in a large metal dish. . rich. Others put hands to their heads. and in every room the furniture was different. there was a strange silence. . In every room there were two tall and narrow windows. there was plenty of food. . a different colour in each room. Prince Prospero gave this party in the newest part of his great house. everywhere . . you came to a turn every twenty or thirty yards.the blood-coloured light was horrible. . so deep. the fifth white. in seven rooms which he almost never used. In the seventh room everything was black . The great machine made a low. killing nearly everyone. They were a deep. rich and strangely beautiful colours. . . Yes. you began to bleed all over your body.

a yard from him. Everybody' — even the brave Prince Prospero — was suddenly afraid. And 9 some of them saw a tall masked man walking slowly and silently among them. and a terrible. stepped back against the walls as he walked slowly out of the blue room and into the purple. when the first sound of the clock was heard. into the yellow . there was a bit of everything at that party: the beautiful. Soon. Oh yes. There was nobody inside the clothes! There was nobody there. those strange masked people. One. into the white. The Prince's shining knife fell without a sound on the black flor. . you can be sure that they were dressed strangely! And many of them were much more than just strange. When they caught him. and again there was that same empty silence. It was the mask of the Red Death. again those strange. Their heads began to go round and round and round . Then there were those little light and quiet laughs. . The Prince fell without a sound next to it. He also chose the way everyone was dressed. everybody at the party was talking about the tall masked man. The mask was red. of course. Some people thought he was mad. everything stopped. He ran after the stranger. dream-like thoughts went through people's minds. and a lot of the horrible. His mask was the face of a dead man. everything stopped as before. the dancers became still. people looked at him with anger. No one went into the west room any more. everywhere. The stranger was wearing black clothes. Midnight . the ugly. As the stranger walked silently among them. two.suddenly. A crowd of them ran into the black room. then it was not funny! Even the Prince would never dream of wearing those clothes. . Then there was that same strange silence. Suddenly . . stpopped. eight . the clock made that same. when they heard the first sound of the clock. They looked like a madman's dreams. The musicians looked at each other and smiled. Again the people's faces became white. it was a death mask. The masked man turned suddenly. The blood-coloured light was growing brighter and more horrible with every minute. But then. It was midnight. who was walking towards the opposite corner. The dreams began to move once more. four. He waved his hand and the music stopped immediately. . deep and so sweetly musical sound. And again. three. And as those twelve sounds went on and on and on . . The Prince stopped. we can say that the Prince had a truly fine eye for colour! And all his friends enjoyed his strange decorations. but it was the colour of that mask that made everyone shake with horror. The masked man. They would go on playing. seven. They thought stranger and more dream-like thoughts than ever before . without listening at all. cutting cry was heard. . But he did more than choose the decorations. But. . The dreams stood still until the great deep voice of the clock died away. on and on. Suddenly. The wild dancing went on and on until the minute-hand reached that hour again. dancing more happily than ever. the dancers were no longer afraid. and suddenly he became mad with anger. But in other rooms the party was going stronger than ever. They danced and danced. And then. He ran through the six rooms — but nobody followed him. . Yes. They ran to the stranger who was standing in the shadow of the great clock. . The man's body was nothing but air. until the minutehand on the clock came up to the hour . the music stopped. Yes. of course (only friends who knew him well knew he was not). Twelve times. He passed very close to the Prince. They promised that when the next hour came they would not be so stupid. the clock made the same sound again. all was still. 'Who has done this horrible thing! Catch that man! Take off that mask! We will cut off his head in the morning!' The masked stranger began walking slowly towards the Prince as he said this. It seemed like there was no end to the sounds this time. . . three thousand six hundred seconds later. Prince Prospero was angry with himself for being so stupidly afraid. Pulling out his knife. and everybody. . Then. . Dead. through the green into the orange. The news travelled quickly through the rooms. strange. and those same smiles and promises. Everyone cried out in horror. changing colour as they danced from room to room . 'Who?' he shouted. . Prince Prospero saw the stranger as he walked among the dancers. dancing to the wild music. They would not stop and listen like that. and horror. quickly. people became whiter . . Then the music began again. .and nobody knew why . Each sound seemed to go on for ever. Nobody was brave enough to put out a hand to stop the visitor. . it was a wonderful party. They went up and down. .People laughed quietly. those same quiet laughs. through all the rooms except one. Anger at choosing those clothes! Horror at choosing that mask! If it was to make them laugh. he ran into the black room. . the mask and the empty clothes fell to the floor. if we forget this. five . Yes. .

the life of the clock stopped with it. He came like a thief in the night. people began to die the terrible death. And as the seconds passed — clang . . Soon. the last lamp went out. When the last person died. the floors of the seven rooms were wet with blood. everywhere. .Everyone understood that the Red Death was now among them. clang . clang . — one by one. And when that last lamp went out. And everything was silence and darkness. . . . 10 . .

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