Port Stowe PTE exam memories read aloud 52
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.
Ten o’clock the next morning found MR. Marvel, unshaven, dirty, and travel-stained, sitting with the books beside him and his hands deep in his pockets, looking very weary, nervous and uncomfortable, and inflating his cheeks at infrequent intervals, on the bench outside a little inn on the outskirts of Port Stowe. Beside him were the books, but now they were tied with string. The bundle had been abandoned in the pine-woods beyond Bramblehurst, in accordance with a change in the plans of the Invisible Man. Mr Marvel sat on the bench, and although no one took the slightest notice of him, his agitation remained at fever heat. His hands would go ever and again to his various pockets with a curious nervous fumbling.
Mr Peter glanced about him with something very like terror. “Very,” he said. “Just seasonable weather for the time of year,” said the mariner. taking no denial. “Quite,” said Mr Marvel. The mariner produced a toothpick and was engrossed thereby for some minutes. His eyes meanwhile were at liberty to examine Mr Marvel’s dusty figure and the books beside him. As he had approached Mr Marvel he had heard a sound like the dropping of coins into a pocket. He was struck by the contrast of Mr Marvel’s appearance with this suggestion of opulence. Thence his mind wandered back again to a topic that had taken a curiously firm hold of his imagination. “Books?” he said suddenly, noisily finishing with the toothpick. Mr Marvel started and looked at them. “Oh, yes,” he said, “Yes, they’re books.” “There are some extraordinary things in books,” said the mariner.
“There’s a story,” said the mariner, fixing Mr Marvel with an eye that was firm and deliberate; “there’s a story about an Invisible Man, for instance.” Mr Marvel pulled his mouth askew and scratched his cheek and felt his ears glowing. “What will they be writing next?” he asked faintly. “Austria, or America?” “Neither,” said the mariner. “Here.” “Lord!” said Mr Marvel, starting. “When I say here,” said the mariner, to Mr Marvel’s intense relief, “I don’t, of course, mean here in this place, I mean hereabouts.” “An Invisible Man!” said Mr Marvel.
“And what’s he been up to?” “Everything,” said the -mariner, controlling Marvel with his eye, and then amplifying, “every-blessed-thing.” “I ain’t seen a paper these four days,” said Marvel. “Iping’s the place he started at,” said the mariner. “Indeed!” said Mr Marvel. “He started there. And where he came from, nobody doesn’t seem to know. Here it is: ‘Peculiar Story from Iping’ And it says in this paper that the evidence is extra-ordinary strong-extra-ordinary”
It’s an extraordinary story. There are a clergyman and a medical gent witnesses-saw ‘im all right and proper – or leastways didn’t see ‘im. He was staying, it says, at the ‘Coach an’ Horses,’ and no one doesn’t seem to have been aware of his misfortune, it says, aware of his a misfortune, until in an Altercation in the inn, it says, his bandages on his head was torn off. It was then observed that his head was invisible. Attempts were At Once made to secure him, but casting off his garments, it says, he succeeded in escaping, but not until after a desperate struggle, in which he had inflicted serious injuries, it says, on our worthy and able constable, Mr J. A. Jaffers. The pretty straight story, eh? Names and everything.”
“Lord!” said Mr Marvel, looking nervously about him, trying to count the money in his pockets by his unaided sense of touch, and full of a strange and novel idea. “It sounds most astonishing.” “Don’t it? Extra-ordinary, I call it. Never heard tell of Invisible Men before, I haven’t but nowadays one hears such a lot of extraordinary things – that-” “That all he did?” asked Marvel, trying to seem at his ease. “It’s enough, ain’t it?” said the mariner. “Didn’t go Back by any chance?” asked Marvel. “Just escaped and that’s all, eh?” “All!” said the mariner. “Why! – ain’t it enough?” “Quite enough,” said Marvel. “I should think it was enough,” said the mariner. “I should think it was enough.” “He didn’t have any pals – it doesn’t say he had any pals, does it,” asked Mr Marvel, anxious.
He nodded his head slowly. It makes me regularly uncomfortable, the bare thought of that chap running about the country! He is at present At large, and from certain evidence it is supposed that he has – taken – took, I suppose they mean – the road to Port Stowe. You see we’re right in it! None of your American wonders, this time. And just think of the things he might do! Where’d you be, if he took a drop over and above, and had a fancy to go for you? Suppose he wants to rob-who can prevent him? He can trespass, he can burgle, he could walk through a cordon of policemen as he easy as me or you could give the slip to a blind man! Easier! For these here blind chaps hear uncommon sharp, I’m told. And wherever there was liquor he fancied-”
All this time Mr Marvel had been glancing about him intently, listening for faint footfalls, trying to detect imperceptible movements. She seemed on the point of some great resolution. He coughed behind his hand. He looked about him again, listened, bent towards the mariner and lowered his voice: “The fact of it is – I happen – to know just a thing or two about this Invisible Man. From Private sources.” “Oh! said the mariner interested. “You?” “Yes,” said Mr Marvel. “Me.” “Indeed!” said the mariner. “And may I ask-”
“Toothache,” said Mr Marvel, and put his hand to his ear. He caught hold of his books. “I must be getting on, I think,” he said. He edged in a curious way along with the seat away from his interlocutor. “But you were just a going to tell me about his here Invisible Man!” protested the mariner. Mr Marvel seemed to consult with himself. “Hoax,” said a Voice. “It’s a hoax,” said Mr Marvel. “But it’s in the paper,” said the mariner. “Hoax all the same,” said Marvel. “I know the chap that started the lie. There ain’t no Invisible Man whatsoever – Blimey.”