The Burglary at Vicarage read aloud frequently repeated 49
Look at the text below. In 40 seconds, you must read this text aloud as naturally and as clearly as possible. You have 40 seconds to read aloud.
The facts of the burglary at the vicarage came to us chiefly through the medium of the vicar and his wife. It occurred in the small hours of Whit Monday, the day devoted in Iping to the Club Festivities. Mrs. Bunting, it seems, woke up suddenly in the stillness that comes before the dawn, with the strong impression that the door of their bedroom the dawn, with the strong impression that the door of their bedroom had opened and closed. She did not arouse her husband at first but sat up in bed listening.
She then distinctly heard the pad, pad, pad of bare feet coming out of the adjoining dressing room and walking along the passage towards the staircase. As soon as she felt assured of this, she aroused the Rev. Mr. Bunting as quietly as possible. He did not strike a light, but putting on his spectacles, her dressing-gown, and his bath slippers, he went out on the landing to listen. He heard quite distinctly a fumbling going on at is study desk down-stairs, and then a violent sneeze.
The hour was about four, and the ultimate darkness of the night was past. there was a faint shimmer of light in the hall, but the study doorway yawned impenetrably black. Everything was still except the faint creaking of the stairs under MR. Bunting’s tread and the slight movements in the study. Then something snapped, the drawer was opened, and there was a rustle of papers. Then came to an imprecation and a match was struck and the study was flooded with yellow light. Mr. Bunting was now in the hall, and through the crack of the door, he could see the desk and the opened drawer.
Mr. Dusk heard the chink of money and realized that the robber had found the housekeeping reserve of gold – two pounds ten in half-sovereigns altogether. At that sound, Mr. Bunting was nerved to abrupt action. Gripping the poker firmly, he rushed into the room, closely followed by Mrs. Bunting. “Surrender!” cried Mr. Bunting, fiercely, and then stooped amazed. Apparently, the room was perfectly empty.
Yet their conviction that they had, that very moment, heard somebody moving in the room had amounted to a certain. For half a minute, perhaps, they stood gaping, then Mrs. Bunting went across the room and looked behind the screen, while Mr. Bunting, by a kindred impulse, peered under the desk. Then Mrs. Bunting turned back the window-curtains, and Mr. Bunting looked up the chimney and probed it with the poker. Then Mrs. Bunting scrutinized the waste paper basket and Mr. Bunting opened the lid of the coal-scuttle.
As he opened the kitchen door he saw through the scullery that the back door was just opening, and the faint light of early dawn displayed the dark masses of the garden beyond. He is certain that nothing went out of the door. It opened, stood open for a moment, and then closed with a slam. As it did so, the candle Mrs. Bunting was carrying from the study flickered and flared. it was a minute or more before they entered the kitchen.
The place was empty. They refastened the back door, examined the kitchen, pantry, and scullery thoroughly, and at last went down into the cellar. There was not a soul to be found in the house, search as they would. Daylight found the vicar and his wife, a quaintly costumed little couple, still marveling about on their own ground floor by the unnecessary light of a guttering candle.
Now, it happened that in the early hours of Whit Monday before Millie was hunted out for the day, Mr. Hall and Mrs. Hall both rose and went noiselessly down into the cellar. Their business there was of a private nature and had something to do with the specific gravity of their beer. They had hardly entered the cellar when Mrs. Hall found she had forgotten to bring down a bottle of sarsaparilla from their joined room. As she was th expert and principal operator in this affair, Hall very properly went upstairs for it.