The furniture that went mad PTE read aloud 50
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.
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 joint room. As she was the expert and principal operator in this affair, Hall very properly went upstairs for it.
On the landing, he was surprised to see that the stranger’s door was ajar. He went on his own room and found the bottle as he had been directed. But returning with the bottle, he noticed that the bolts of the front door had been shot back, that the door was in fact simply on the latch. And with a flash of inspiration, he connected this with the stranger’s room upstairs and the suggestions of Mr. Teddy Henfrey. He distinctly remembered holding the candle while Mrs. Hall shot these bolts overnight. At the sight, he stopped, gaping, then with the bottle still in his hand went upstairs again.
It was as he expected. The bed, the room also, was empty. And what was stranger, even to his heavy intelligence, on the bedroom chair and along the rail of the bed were scattered the garments, the only garments so far as he knew, and the bandages of their guest. His big slouch hat even was cocked jauntily over the bedpost. As Hall stood there he heard his wife’s voice coming out of the depth of cellar, with that rapid telescoping gof the syllables and interrogative cocking up of the final words to a high note, by which the West Sussex villager is wont to indicate a brisk impatience. George! you gart what a wand?
At that, he turned and hurried down to her. “Janny”, he said, over the rail of the cellar steps, “tas the truth what Henfrey sez. ‘E’s not in uz room, ‘e en’t there,” he said, “is close are. And what’s ‘e doin’ ‘ithour ‘is close, then? ‘Tas a most curious business.” As they came up the cellar steps they both, it was afterward ascertained, fancied they heard the front door open and shut, but seeing it closed and nothing there, neither said a word to the other about it at the time. Mrs. Hall passed her husband in the passage and ran on first upstairs. Someone sneezed on the staircase. Hall, following six steps behind, thought that he heard her sneeze.
She heard a sniff close behind her head as it seemed, and turning, was surprised to see Hall a dozen feet off on the topmost stair. But in another moment he was beside her. She bent forward and put her hand on the pillow and then under the clothes. “Cold,” she said. “He’s been up to this hour or more.” As she did so, a most extraordinary thing happened. The bedclothes gathered themselves together, leaped up suddenly into a sort of peak, and then jumped headlong over the bottom rail.
Mrs. Hall was left almost in a fainting condition in Mr. Hall’s arms on the landing. It was with the greatest difficulty that Mr. Hall and Millie, who had been roused by her scream of alarm, succeeded in getting her downstairs, and applying the restoratives customary in such cases. “Tas spirits,” said Mrs. Hall. “I know ‘tas spirits. I’ve read in papers of en. Tables and chairs leaping and dancing.” “Take a drop more, Janny,” said Hall. “Twill steady ye.”
“Lock him out,” said Mrs. Hall. “Don’t let him come in again. I half guessed – I might ha’ known. with them goggling eyes and bandaged head, and never going to the church of a Sunday. And all they bottle more’ n it’s right for anyone to have. He’s put the sperits into the furniture. My good old furniture!” Twas in that very chair my poor dear mother used to sit when I was a little girl. To think it should rise up against me now!
Millie came round greatly concerned. They wanted him to lead the way upstairs to the room, but he didn’t seem to be in any hurry. He preferred to talk in the passage. Over the way, Huxter’s apprentice came out and began taking down the shutters of the tobacco window. He was called over to join the discussion. Mr. Huxter naturally followed over in the course of a few minutes.