Kate sat in the dining car of the express train ;har was taking her back home to Bristol. She had hardly touched the meal in front of her. The steak was just as she normally Isked it: medium-rare and thick. It was surrounded by large, grilled mushrooms and crisp fried potatoes. But Kate was worried and in a bad mood. She had recently come back from Mexico, where she had been very happy teaching English to businessmen and engineers.

It seemed unlikely that she wouid ever find such a good job again. Two had been offered to her, both of which she had turned down because of the poor salaries. Nobody seemed interested in her excellent qualifications, which included almost perfect Spanish, fluent German and French and an excellent knowledge of commercial and technical English.



Joe sat in another part of the train, smoking nervously. He was the Director of Studies at a large English language school in Cambridge, which had recently started specialising in courses for foreign businessmen and engineers. He had a lot of problems, but the biggest one was finding good, qualified teachers who could teach the sort of English his students needed.

A meeting of technical and commercial translators was taking place in Bristol, which was why he was going there. He hoped to persuade some of them to become teachers at his school, and was prepared to offer good salaries. The only other person in Joe’s compartment was an old man who was already asleep and snoring, and whose mouth was hanging open like an empty mouse-trap.

Even though he was not hungry, he wondered if he might find more attractive company in the dining-car. The old man began to snore more loudly. Joe got up. It was only after he had sat down in the only vacant seat in the dining-car that he noticed Kate. She was opposite him, and had the sort of face he liked. He wondered how he could start a conversation with her.

He casually asked her if she minded him smoking, feeling sure she would not. But to his surprise, she did. Nothing more was said for a moment. Then,  . . .

A. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).

1. Kate didn’t like the steak that was served to her.

2. In Mexico, she worked with English businessmen and engineers.

3 S refused the job offers as they were financially unsatisfactory. . courses at the language school in Cambridge were on business and engineering.

5. Joe sat opposite Kate although there were many empty seats. 6. Kate didn’t want Joe to smoke.

B. 1. Why did leaving Mexico make Kate unhappy?
2. What qualifications did Kate have?
3. What worried Joe most?
4. Who was he going to meet in Bristol?
5. When did he decide to leave his compartment?
6. Why did he ask Kate it she minded him smoking?
7. Thinking optimistically, how would the story end?

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