Before reading: In Chapter 2 you will not only check whether you were right or not, but also meet some new words. What do you think they might mean: impertinent (adj.) and slap (v.)? Look at the title of the Chapter. What did the children decide to do? Who did they decide to go to?
How I Left Uncle Toby
This is how I left Uncle Toby one April afternoon.
I did my school lessons, and put my copy-book in my schoolbag. I went to the cupboard, took out the plates, and laid three places at the table.
It was half past six. Uncle Toby usually came home at about seven o’clock but that evening he came home early. Supper was not yet ready.
The door opened and Uncle Toby came in. He closed the door.
“Well, young Finn,” he said. “You are lazy today, boy. The tea is not ready.”
“You should come home at seven,” I answered. Uncle Toby did not like my answer. I should have said: “I am sorry, Uncle Toby”.
“You are being impertinent again,” said Uncle Toby. He came up to me and looked into my eyes. Uncle Toby didn’t like what he saw there.
“You must learn not to be impertinent, boy,” he said and slapped me on the face.
But I kept looking into Uncle Toby’s eyes. I knew this was wrong too, as it only made Uncle Toby angry.
I didn’t like him. I didn’t say a word to him. I just stood and took the slaps silently.
It was Derval who stopped it. She was in the other room with her toys. Now she came over to me and began to cry. “Stop! Stop! Stop!” she cried. Uncle Toby went over to her.
“You must not cry,” Uncle Toby said. “Do you hear that?” He wanted to catch her but she ran away. I was sorry for her, and then I decided to leave Uncle Toby’s house for ever.
“Don’t go near her, Uncle Toby,” I said. “Don’t cry, Derval”.
Uncle Toby said nothing, took his evening paper, went over to his arm-chair, and sat by the radio.
“It’s the bad Irish blood in you,” he said and started to read.
I looked at Derval. She was pale. When Uncle Toby talked about Irish blood I decided to run away from him to our granny. We sat at the table. I looked across at Derval. I felt sorry for her.
When we had finished eating, Uncle Toby stood up, put on his hat, and walked to the door. Usually he spent his evenings with his friends in the Red Dragon.
“Wash up the dishes,” Uncle Toby said. “Look after your sister and stay at home. Don’t go out in the streets. Be in bed before I come back.”
I did all these things every evening. So I said nothing. Uncle Toby left.
I looked at Derval. She was crying silently.
“Derval,” I said, “please stop crying. I have something to say to you. We are going to run away.”
“Where?” she asked.
“Do you remember the time when Mammy and Daddy took us on holiday to see our grandmother?” I asked. “You were a very little girl.”
“It was on a boat,” she said.
“Do you remember that?” I asked.
“Yes, I do,” she answered.
“Now listen,” I said. “Go into your room and take all the books out of your schoolbag and put all your clothes into it. Can you do that?”
“Oh, yes, I can,” she answered.
“We must be gone by the time Uncle Toby comes home. He will only know in the morning that we have left.”
After reading: So what’s the English for ‘дерзкий’? Can you restore the meaning of the following phrases:
to look into somebody’s eyes to be wrong
to slap somebody on the face to make somebody angry
to be sorry for somebody to look across at somebody
to look after somebody by the time
Try to use them in sentences now:
1. Uncle Toby told Finn not to be… … sorry for him…
2. Finn took Uncle Toby’s slaps silently, he only … … wrong…
3. Derval stood near Finn and felt… … so impertinent…
4. Before leaving the house Uncle Toby ordered Finn to… … the time…
5. Finn understood that looking into Uncle Toby’s eyes was… …to look after his sister and to wash up the dishes…
6. As Finn looked … at Derval he saw that she was crying hard. … looked into his eyes…
7. The children decided to leave the house by … Uncle Toby returned. … across…
Work with your friend. Agree or disagree with the given statements.
1. Uncle Toby returned very late that evening.
2. He was greatly pleased with Finn.
3. The tea was ready in time.
4. Uncle Toby did not think the boy to be impertinent.
5. Derval did not stop Uncle Toby.
6. Uncle Toby wanted to have evening tea together with the children.
7. Uncle Toby did not slap Finn on the face.
8. The children decided to have a good time in the evening and to wait for Uncle Toby.
There are six questions that refer to different parts of the chapter. Try to make them logically connected so that they make up a chapter plan.
1. What made him more angry and why?
2. What did Uncle Toby say about Finn’s behaviour?
3. Why was Uncle Toby angry with Finn?
4. Why did the children decide to run away?
5. How did Derval stop Uncle Toby?
6. By what time did children want to run away?
Can you answer the questions with two or more sentences now?
Imagine you were Finn. Tell your friend how you decided to…