A note About the Author and His Stories the maze the lost crowns of anglia


THE LOST CROWNS OF ANGLIA. COMPREHENSION



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THE LOST CROWNS OF ANGLIA. COMPREHENSION
1 Where is Seaburgh?

2 How many guests were in the hotel?

3 Why did Paxton want to talk to someone?

4 What happened to the three crowns of Anglia when the king died?

5 What did people believe about the crowns?

6 What did people believe about the family called Ager?

7 When did the last person in the Ager family die? Where was he buried?

8 Why did Paxton feel strange when he was digging?

9 What was Paxton going to do with the crown?

10 How many people did the porter think were with Paxton?

11 Paxton put the crown back in the ground.

(a) What question did he ask in a loud voice?

(b) What answer did he get to his question?

12 What did Paxton do early in the morning?

13 What had happened at Preston the day before? How do we know this?

14 They saw Paxton's footsteps in the sand. What other marks did they see?

15 What happened to Paxton?

16 Why did Henry and the Storyteller not tell the police what they had seen?

17 Why did they not go back to find the crown?

ROOM 13

Viborg is a city in Denmark. It is an old city, but it has only a few old buildings. A great fire destroyed most of the old town in 1726.

Mr Anderson was writing a book on the history of Denmark. He went to Viborg in 1891. He wanted to study the history of the town. He stayed in an old building in Viborg — The Golden Lion Inn. The inn was nearly 350 years old.

Anderson asked the landlord for a large room. The landlord of The Golden Lion showed him two rooms – room number 12 and room number 14. There were three large windows in each room. The windows looked onto the street. Anderson chose room number 12.

In the evening, Anderson went downstairs for supper. He saw a blackboard. The names of all the guests were written on the blackboard. Anderson saw that the inn was full. There were no empty rooms. Anderson noticed that there was no room number 13.

Thirteen is an unlucky number. Many people do not want to stay in a room with an unlucky number. When Anderson went upstairs to bed, he tried to unlock his door. It did not open. Then he saw that he had made a mistake. It was the wrong room. The number on the door was number 13.

He heard someone moving inside the room. 'I'm very sorry,' he said and went to the door of room number 12. Perhaps the servants sleep in room 13, Anderson thought. He decided to ask the landlord about it the next day.

Anderson lit the oil-lamp and looked round. Room number 12 looked smaller by lamplight. Anderson was tired. He went to bed.

In the morning, Anderson went to the Town Hall. He wanted to study the town records. Anderson read many very old papers. The oldest records were from the sixteenth century. There were some letters from the Bishop of Viborg, dated

1560. The Bishop had owned three or four houses in the city. He had rented a house to a man called Nicolas Francken.

The townspeople of Viborg did not like Nicolas Francken. Some people wrote to the Bishop to say that Francken was a bad man. They said that Francken was a magician. They wanted Francken to leave the city.The Bishop said that Nicolas Francken had done nothing wrong. He did not believe that Francken was a magician. It was time for the Town Hall to close.

As Anderson was leaving, the town clerk spoke to him. 'I see you are reading about the Bishop and Nicolas Francken,' the clerk said. 'I am interested in them. But I do not know where Francken lived. Many of the town records were burnt in the great fire of 1726.

Anderson thanked the clerk and went back to The Golden Lion. He wanted to ask the landlord about room number 13, but the landlord was busy. Anderson went upstairs and stopped outside the door of number 13. He heard someone inside the room. The person was walking around and talking in a strange voice.

Anderson went to his own room. He decided that number 12 was too small. He decided to ask the landlord for a large room. Also, he was angry because his suitcase was missing. It had been on a table beside the wall. Both the table and the suitcase had disappeared. Perhaps the landlord had moved the suitcase to a store-room. Anderson wanted it back.

It was too late to call the landlord. Anderson went to the window and lit a cigarette. He looked out of the window. There was a tall house on the opposite side of the street. The lamp was behind him. He saw his shadow on the wall of the house opposite. The person in room 13 was also standing at the window. Anderson saw a second shadow on the wall of the house opposite. This second shadow was strange. The person in room 13 was wearing a tall, pointed hat. Also, the light from room 13 was red. The light was the colour of blood.

Anderson opened the window and put his head outside. He tried to see the person in the next room. He saw the sleeve of a long, white coat - that was all. The person in room 13 suddenly moved away from the window. The red light went out. Anderson finished his cigarette. He left the ashtray on the window-ledge. Then he turned out the lamp and went to bed.

Next morning, the maid brought hot water to the room. Anderson woke up and remembered his suitcase. 'Where is my suitcase, please?' he asked. The maid laughed and pointed. The suitcase was on the table beside the wall. It was exactly where Anderson had left it. He noticed another strange thing. His ashtray was on the middle window-ledge. He clearly remembered smoking his cigarette by the end window - next to number 13.

He finished dressing and decided to visit his neighbour in room 13. He was surprised when he went to the door of the next room. The next room was number 14! Anderson was frightened. Was he going mad?

After breakfast, he went to the Town Hall and read more of the old papers. He found only one more letter from the Bishop about Nicolas Francken. A group of townspeople had tried to make Francken leave Viborg. They had gone to Francken's house, but Francken had disappeared. The Bishop wrote that no one knew where Francken had gone. That was the end of the matter.

That evening, Anderson spoke to the landlord of The Golden Lion Inn. 'Why is there no room 13 in the inn?' he asked. 'Many people won't sleep in a room number 13,' the landlord replied. 'They say it's unlucky.'

Then who is in your room number 13?' asked Anderson. There isn't a room number 13,' the landlord said. 'Your room is next to room number 14.' 'Of course,' said Anderson. 'I must have made a mistake. Would you like to come up to number 12 for a glass of brandy and a cigar?'

'I'd like to very much,' said the landlord.

They went upstairs together. They went past room number 10 and room number 11 to reach number 12. The landlord looked at the inside of number 12.

'This room looks very small,' he said. Anderson poured two glasses of brandy. Both men lit cigars.

Anderson opened the window to let out the smoke. There was a red light and a shadow on the wall of the house opposite. The light came from number 13. The shadow was dancing wildly, but there was no noise. Anderson sat down to drink his brandy. He wanted to tell the landlord about the strange things he had seen.

Suddenly a terrible noise came from the next room.

'Is that a cat?' asked Anderson. 'Or is there a madman in the room next door?'

'It's Mr Jensen,' said the landlord. 'He often stays in room 14. The poor man must be ill.'

A loud knock sounded on the door of Anderson's room. Suddenly a man opened the door and came in. 'Please stop that terrible noise,' the man said.

'Mr Jensen!' the landlord said. 'We thought you were making the noise!'

The three men looked at each other for a moment. Then they went out quickly into the corridor. The noise was coming from the door of room number 13!

The landlord banged on the door and turned the handle. The door was locked. 'I'll bring men to break the door down,' the landlord shouted and ran down the stairs.

Jensen and Anderson stood outside number 13. The noise inside the room became louder and wilder.

'I want to tell you something strange,' Jensen said to Anderson. 'My room has three windows in the day and only two at night. Perhaps you think I am mad?'

'Good Lord! My room is the same!' said Anderson. 'My room looks smaller at night than during the day.'

The door of number 13 opened suddenly and an arm came out. The arm was thin and covered in grey hairs. The fingernails were long and dirty. Anderson shouted and pulled Jensen away from the door. The arm disappeared and the door closed. The sound of mad laughter came from number 13.

The landlord brought two men up the stairs. The men had axes in their hands. They swung their axes against the door of number 13. Suddenly the men cried out and dropped their axes. They had hit a wall. The door of number 13 had disappeared!

In the morning, workmen pulled up the floor between rooms 12 and 14. Under the floor they found a box. There were old papers inside the box. Anderson thought that the papers belonged to Nicolas Francken - the man who had disappeared in 1560.

No one was able to read the writing on the papers. It was in a strange language. The writing was brown. The ink looked old. But Anderson did not think it was ink. He thought the papers were written in blood!

ROOM 13. COMPREHENSION

1 Why did Mr Anderson go to Viborg?

2 Mr Anderson stayed in the Golden Lion Inn.


  1. How old was the inn?

  2. Which two rooms did the landlord show him?

  3. Which room did Mr Anderson choose?

3 What happened when Anderson tried to open his bedroom door that evening?

4 What did Anderson think when he lit the oil-lamp in room 12?

5 Why did the townspeople of Viborg want Francken to leave the city?

6 What did Anderson hear when he stopped outside the door of room 13?

7 What had disappeared from room 12?

8 Anderson went to the window and lit a cigarette.

(a) How many shadows did Anderson see on the wallopposite?

(b) What was strange about the shadow from room 13?

9 Where were Anderson's suitcase and ashtray in the morning?

10 Why did Anderson think he was going mad?

11 'Who is in room 13?' Anderson asked the landlord. What did the landlord reply?

12 In the evening, Anderson invited the landlord to his room. What happened when they were in room 12?

13 Why did Anderson shout and pull Jensen away from the door of room 13?

14 What happened when the men swung their axes at the door of room 13?

15 A box of old papers was found under the floor of room 13. Who did Anderson think the papers had belonged to?

16 Many people believe that some numbers are magical or unlucky. Are there any special numbers in Ukraine? What are they?


THE WHISTLE

Burnstow is a small seaside town. It is a busy town in summer. But it is a quiet place for the rest of the year. In spring and autumn, only a few people go there. They go to Burnstow to play golf.

Professor Parkins went to Burnstow in the spring of 1902. He stayed at a small inn called The Globe. The Globe Inn was very near the sea. There were only two rooms for guests at the inn. There was a guest in one of the rooms so the Professor had to stay in the other. The landlord took the Professor upstairs to the

room. The landlord unlocked the door and showed the Professor the room.

“This is the room, sir,' he said. 'There are two beds. Both of them are comfortable. You can choose the bed you want. There's a good view of the sea from the window.'

Professor Parkins looked out of the window. The beach was only a hundred yards away. The sea looked grey and cold. Then the Professor noticed that there were no curtains on the window.

'Landlord,' he said. 'There are no curtains on the window.'

'I'm very sorry, sir,' said the landlord. 'I'll tell the servant to put them up.'

That afternoon, Professor Parkins met the other guest. His name was Colonel Wilson. They decided to play golf together. The two men walked along the road to the golf-course. They talked about their lives and their work. Colonel Wilson had been an army officer in India. He had lived in India for many years.

'I am an archeologist,' said Professor Parkins. 'I study history by digging up old buildings.'

'Are there any old buildings here in Burnstow?' asked the Colonel.

'I believe there was an old church near the golf-course,' said the Professor. 'But it was pulled down in the fourteenth century.' 'Why?' asked the Colonel. 'It's unusual to pull down a church, isn't it?'

'Yes,' said the Professor. 'I don't know why it was pulled down. That's why I want to look for it. I want to find the place where the church stood.'

They played golf for most of the afternoon.

'Shall we go back to the inn for a drink before supper?' the Colonel asked.

'I will see you at the inn in half an hour,' the Professor said. 'First, I will look for the old church. ''Don't be late,' said the Colonel. 'It will be dark soon.'

The Colonel walked along the road towards the inn. The Professor walked towards the beach. He looked at the ground carefully. There were many large, grey stones near the beach. The stones were covered with grass. They were placed in the

shape of a circle.

The Professor touched a stone with his foot. The stone moved. There was a hole underneath the stone. Professor Parkins looked into the hole. It was dark in the hole and he could not see anything. So he lit a match. The wind blew the match out.

He put his hand into the hole. The hole was empty. No — he was wrong. His fingers touched something made of metal. He pulled it out of the hole. It was a piece of metal about four inches long. It was old and dirty. He put it in his pocket.

The wind from the sea was cold and the sky was cloudy. It was getting dark. Professor Parkins decided to walk back to the inn. It was a short walk along the beach to the inn, but there were high breakwaters on the beach. The Professor climbed over each of the breakwaters slowly. It was hard work. He stopped to rest.

He looked back and saw someone about a hundred yards behind him. The other person stopped. It was getting dark, so the Professor could not see clearly. He could not see what the other person looked like. A black figure on the beach was watching him. Was it a man or a woman? Or was it something else?

The Professor suddenly felt afraid. He did not want to meet this strange figure on the dark beach. He thought that the figure was following him. He started to run, but the sand was soft and deep and the breakwaters were high. He felt he was running in a dream. At last he reached the inn. He looked round. There was no one behind him on the dark beach. He was cold and tired and very glad to go into the warm inn.

The Colonel was waiting for him. They ate supper together and talked about golf. Then the Professor went upstairs to his room. As he took off his jacket, he remembered the piece of metal in his pocket. He took it out and looked at it by candlelight. It was a very old whistle. He tried to blow the whistle.' No noise came out. The whistle was full of dirt.

The Professor took out a small pocket-knife. He went to the window to clean the dirt out of the whistle. He saw that there were still no curtains on the window. He opened the window and looked out. The night was dark. There was no moon. But the Professor thought there was someone standing on the beach.

He cleaned the whistle quickly then went back to the candle. Now he could see marks on the whistle. The marks were letters - QUIS EST ISTE QUI VENIT.

Latin! the Professor thought. "Quis est iste qui venit" means - "Who is this who is coming?" The Professor tried to blow the whistle. No one will come, he thought. But he put the whistle to his lips and blew. The sound of the whistle was clear and high. It was a sad sound. Suddenly the wind blew strongly through the open window. The candle went out. The Professor was surprised and frightened. He stood in the dark listening to the wind. He walked slowly across the room. He closed the window. Still the wind blew. It blew around the inn making a terrible noise.

The Professor relit the candle with a match. He felt tired and cold. He put the whistle on a table and undressed. Then he got into one of the beds and blew out the candle. When he closed his eyes, he dreamt he was on the beach.

He saw the high breakwaters. It was dark but he saw everything clearly. He saw someone running. Every few seconds, the man looked behind him. The man was frightened and tired. He climbed over each breakwater more slowly. Finally, he fell on the sand and lay still. He had a look of terror on his face. Behind the man, someone or something was moving very quickly. It came nearer and nearer. It was a strange black figure. It came closer and closer to the man who lay on the beach. It stopped. And then it jumped straight towards the man.

Professor Parkins opened his eyes. He was too afraid to see what happened next. Every time he closed his eyes, he had the same dream. At last, he reached for his matches and lit the candle. Something moved on the floor under his bed. He thought it was a mouse.

The Professor was not able to sleep again. When morning came, he went downstairs for breakfast. 'You don't look well,' the Colonel said. 'A game of golf will make you feel better.' 'Yes,' said the Professor. 'I need some fresh air.'

After breakfast, the Professor went upstairs to get his hat. The servant was cleaning his room. 'Good morning, sir,' the girl said. 'It was cold and windy last night. Would you like another blanket for your bed?'

'Yes, please,' said the Professor.

'Which bed shall I put it on, sir?' asked the girl.

'The one I slept in,' said the Professor.

'But you slept in both beds, sir,' said the girl. 'I put clean sheets on both beds.'

'Did I?' said the Professor. 'Put a blanket on the bed in the corner.'

As soon as the girl had finished, the Professor left the room. He locked the door and put the key in his pocket. He met the Colonel downstairs. They walked along the road to the golf-course.

'It was very windy last night,' said the Colonel. 'When there was a bad storm in India, we said that someone had whistled for the wind.'

'Well,' said the Professor slowly. 'I blew a whistle last night and the wind came soon afterwards.'

'How very strange,' said the Colonel. 'Tell me, what kind of whistle was it?'

The Professor told the Colonel about the whistle. He told him how he had found it. He told him that he had cleaned it and blown it. He did not tell him that he had stayed awake all night. The Colonel listened to the story but said nothing. They played golf until late in the afternoon. They walked back along the road to the inn. The Professor did not want to walk back along the beach.

They were very near the inn when a boy came running towards them. He ran straight into the Colonel and fell over.

'What's the matter?' the Colonel asked angrily. 'Look where you're going!'

The boy was very frightened. The Colonel spoke to him again, 'Who are you running away from?'

'The thing in the window,' the boy answered. He was crying.

'What thing?' the Colonel asked. 'Come and show us.'

The boy took them to the front of The Globe Inn. He pointed up to a window. 'It was up there, sir,' he said. 'It was waving at me. But it was a horrible thing, sir. I don't think it was alive!'

'Don't be afraid,' the Colonel said. 'It was someone trying to frighten you. Go home and forget about it.' The Colonel looked at the Professor.

‘That's the window of your room isn't it?' he asked.

'Yes,' said the Professor. 'There's something strange going on. Will you come upstairs with me?' The two men went upstairs together. The Professor's room was locked. He opened the door with his key. Inside the room, one of the beds was untidy. A sheet lay on the floor by the window. The Professor called the servant.

'Who has been in my room?' asked the Professor. 'No one, sir,' the servant replied. 'There are only two keys to this room. You have one and the landlord has the other.' The Professor went to find the landlord.

'I didn't go into your room while you were out, sir,' said the landlord.

The Professor and the Colonel ate supper together.

'I can't understand it,' said the Professor. 'How can someone have gone into a locked room?'

'Show me the whistle you told me about,' said the Colonel. The Professor showed it to him.

'What will you do with it?' asked the Colonel. 'I shall put it in a museum,' said the Professor. 'Throw it into the sea,' said the Colonel. 'I'm going to bed. Call me if you need me in the night.'

Professor Parkins went to his room. The night was clear and the moon was full. Bright moonlight shone through the window. There were still no curtains. The Professor was angry.

The moonlight will shine through the window and keep me awake, he thought. He decided to hang a sheet over the window. He took a sheet from the empty bed and hung it on the curtain rail. Then he got into his own bed and went to sleep.

He did not sleep for long. Bright moonlight woke him up. The sheet was no longer over the window. A noise came from the empty bed. The Professor looked across the room. Suddenly a figure sat up on the other bed. The Professor was so surprised- that he jumped out of his own bed. He stood by the window. There was moonlight, but he could not see the figure on the other bed clearly. It was covered with a sheet.

The figure stood up. It stood between the Professor and the door. Its arms were spread out. It was searching for the Professor with its fingers!

The figure jumped on the Professor's empty bed. It moved slowly over the pillow. The Professor shivered with fear. Then the figure got off the bed and moved towards the window. In the bright moonlight, the Professor could see its face under the sheet. It was very old and very horrible.

The Professor opened the window and shouted for help. The figure under the sheet jumped forward. Its hands went over the Professor's mouth. The Professor tried to get away. He was about to fall out of the window when a hand pulled him back. It was the Colonel. There was no one else in the room. A sheet from the bed lay on the floor by the window.

Next morning, the Colonel and the Professor went down to the beach. The Colonel took the strange whistle and threw it into the sea. 'Things like this sometimes happen in India,' the Colonel said. 'I don't think the figure can hurt you. It can only frighten you.'

Professor Parkins is still afraid of curtains that move in the wind. He also sleeps without sheets on his bed.

THE WHISTLE. COMPREHENSION

1 Parkins stayed at the Globe Inn in Burnstow.

(a) How many rooms were there in the inn?

(b) How many beds were there in Parkins' room?

(c) What was unusual about the window?

2 Where had Colonel Wilson lived for many years?

3 What is an archeologist?

4 Why did Parkins not walk back to the inn with the Colonel?

5 What did Parkins find in the hole?

6 Why did Professor Parkins suddenly feel afraid?

7 What was written on the whistle? What happened when the

Professor blew the whistle?

8 What did Parkins see in his dream?

9 In the morning, the servant came to clean Parkins' room.

What was strange about the beds?

10 What did the boy see in the window of Parkins' room?

11 What did the Colonel tell Parkins to do with the whistle?

12 'A noise came from the empty bed.'

(a) What did Parkins see on the bed?

(b) What did the face under the sheet look like?

(c) Who came into the room?

13 Why is the Professor afraid of curtains that move in the wind?





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