Open Library - открытая библиотека учебной информации

Открытая библиотека для школьников и студентов. Лекции, конспекты и учебные материалы по всем научным направлениям.


Иностранные языки Home Reading
просмотров - 436

The Major got out of the jeep. He was a tall, straight man with a deep desert tan that went well with his simple khakis. A pistol was strapped to his Sam Browne belt, and he was wearing reflector sunglasses. It was rumored that the Major's eyes were extremely light-sensitive, and he was never seen in public without his sunglasses.

"Sit down, boys," he said. "Keep Hint Thirteen in mind." Hint Thirteen was "Conserve energy whenever possible."

Those who had stood sat down. Garraty looked at his watch again. It said 8:16, and he decided it was a minute fast. The Major always showed up on time. He thought momentarily of setting it back a minute and then forgot it.

"I'm not going to make a speech," the Major said, sweeping them with the blank lenses that covered his eyes. "I give my congratulations to the winner among your number, and my acknowledgments of valor to the losers. "

He turned to the back of the jeep. There was a living silence. Garraty breathed deep of the spring air. It would be warm. A good day to walk.

The Major turned back to them. He was holding a clipboard. "When I call your name, please step forward and take your number. Then go back to your place until it is time to begin. Do this smartly, please."

"You're in the army now," Olson whispered with a grin, but Garraty ignored it. You couldn't help admiring the Major. Garraty's father, before the Squads took him away, had been fond of calling the Major the rarest and most dangerous monster any nation can produce, a society supported sociopath. But he had never seen the Major in person.

"Aaronson. "

A short, chunky farmboy with a sunburned neck gargled forward, obviously awed by the Major's presence, and took his large plastic 1. He fixed it to his shirt by the pressure strip and the Major clapped him on the back.

"Abraham. "

A tall boy with reddish hair in jeans and a T-shirt. His jacket was tied about his waist schoolboy style and flapped wildly around his knees. Olson sniggered.

"Baker, Arthur."

"That's me," Baker said, and got to his feet. He moved with deceptive leisure, and he made Garraty nervous. Baker was going to be tough. Baker was going to last a long time.

Baker came back. He had pressed his number 3 onto the right breast of his shirt.

"Did he say anything to you?" Garraty asked.

"He asked me if it was commencing to come off hot down home," Baker said shyly. "Yeah, he . . . the Major talked to me."

"Not as hot as it's gonna commence getting up here," Olson cracked.

"Baker, James," the Major said.

It went on until 8:40, and it came out right. No one had ducked out. Back in the parking lot, engines started and a number of cars began pulling out-boys from the backup list who would now go home and watch the Long Walk coverage on TV. It's on, Garraty thought, it's really on.

When his turn came, the Major gave him number 47 and told him "Good luck." Up close he smelled very masculine and somehow overpowering. Garraty had an almost insatiable urge to touch the man's leg and make sure he was real.

Peter McVries was 61. Hank Olson was 70. He was with the Major longer than the rest. The Major laughed at something Olson said and clapped him on the back.

"I told him to keep a lot of money on short call," Olson said when he came back. "And he told me to give 'em hell. Said he liked to see someone who was raring to rip. Give 'em hell, boy, he said."

"Pretty good," McVries said, and then winked at Garraty. Garraty wondered what McVries had meant, winking like that. Was he making fun of Olson?

The skinny boy in the tree was named Stebbins. He got his number with his head down, not speaking to the Major at all, and then sat back at the base of his tree. Garraty was somehow fascinated with the boy.

Number 100 was a red-headed fellow with a volcanic complexion. His name was Zuck. He got his number and then they all sat and waited for what would come next.

Then three soldiers from the halftrack passed out wide belts with snap pockets. The pockets were filled with tubes of high-energy concentrate pastes. More soldiers came around with canteens. They buckled on the belts and slung the canteens. Olson slung his belt low on his hips like a gunslinger, found a Waifa chocolate bar, and began to eat it. "Not bad," he said, grinning.

He swigged from his canteen, washing down the chocolate, and Garraty wondered if Olson was just fronting, or if he knew something Garraty did not.

The Major looked them over soberly. Garraty's wristwatch said 8:56 – how had it gotten so late?

His stomach lurched painfully.

"All right, fellows, line up by tens, please. No particular order. Stay with your friends, if you like."

Garraty got up. He felt numb and unreal. It was as if his body now belonged to someone else.

"Well, here we go," McVries said at his elbow. "Good luck, everyone."

"Good luck to you," Garraty said surprised.

McVries said: "I need my fucking head examined." He looked suddenly pale and sweaty, not so awesomely fit as he had earlier. He was trying to smile and not making it. The scar stood out on his cheek like a wild punctuation mark.

Stebbins got up and ambled to the rear of the ten wide, ten deep queue. Olson, Baker, McVries, and Garraty were in the third row. Garraty's mouth was dry. He wondered if he should drink some water. He decided against it. He had never in his life been so aware of his feet. He wondered if he might freeze and get his ticket on the starting line. He wondered if Stebbins would fold early – Stebbins with his jelly sandwich and his purple pants. He wondered if he would fold up first. He wondered what it would feel like if-

His wristwatch said 8:59.

The Major was studying a stainless steel pocket chronometer. He raised his fingers slowly, and everything hung suspended with his hand. The hundred boys watched it carefully, and the silence was awful and immense. The silence was everything. Garraty's watch said 9:00, but the poised hand did not fall.

Do it! Why doesn't he do it?

He felt like screaming it out.

Then he remembered that his watch was a minute fast – you could set your watch by the Major, only he hadn't, he had forgotten.

The Major's fingers dropped. "Luck to all," he said. His face was expressionless and the reflector sunglasses hid his eyes. They began to walk smoothly, with no jostling.

Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

“The long walk”

1) Try to compose the continuation of the story.

2) Characterize the main heroes.

Читайте также

  • - Home Reading

    Meals Active vocabulary Unit 5 Meals to order заказывать to prefer предпочитать to taste пробовать helping порция appetizer закуска salad салат caviar икра jelled fish/ meat заливное speciality фирменное блюдо for the first course на первое pea soup гороховый суп cabbage... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home Reading

    He always reminds me of my poor Uncle Podger. You never saw such a commotion up and down a house, in all your life, as when my Uncle Podger undertook to do a job. A picture would have come home from the frame - maker’s, and be standing in the dining-room, waiting to be put up; and Aunt Podger would ask what was to be done with it, and Uncle Podger would say: “Oh, you leave that to ME. Don’t you, any of you, worry yourselves about that. I’LL do all that.” And then he would take off... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home Reading

    “No,” said Harris, “if you want rest and change, you can’t beat a sea trip.” I objected to the sea trip strongly. A sea trip does you good when you are going to have a couple of months of it, but, for a week, it is wicked. You start on Monday with the idea implanted in your bosom that you are going to enjoy yourself. You wave an airy adieu to the boys on shore, light your biggest pipe, and swagger about the deck as if you were Captain Cook, Sir Francis Drake, and Christopher... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home Reading

    Without turning on the light he imagined how this room would look. His wife stretched on the bed, uncovered and cold, like a body displayed on the lid of a tomb, her eyes fixed to the ceiling by invisible threads of steel, immovable. And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind. The room was indeed empty. Every night the waves came in and bore... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home Reading

    When Tom reached the little isolated frame school-house, he strode in briskly, with the manner of one who had come with all honest speed. He hung his hat on a peg and flung himself into his seat with business – like alacrity. The master, throned on high in his great splint-bottom arm-chair, was dozing, lulled by the drowsy hum of study. The interruption roused him. "Thomas Sawyer!" Tom knew that when his name was pronounced in full, it meant trouble. "Sir!" "Come... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home Reading

    GRAND OPENING OCTOBER 9TH-BRING YOUR FRIENDS! at the top was gone. It had been replaced by a small square sign, red letters on a white background. OPEN it said, and OPEN was all it said. Brian stood with his bike between his legs, looking at this, and his heart began to beat a little faster. “You’re not going in there, are you?”- he asked himself. “I mean, if it really is opening a day early, you’re not going in there, even 11 right?” Why not? - he answered himself. Well ...... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home Reading

    The Major got out of the jeep. He was a tall, straight man with a deep desert tan that went well with his simple khakis. A pistol was strapped to his Sam Browne belt, and he was wearing reflector sunglasses. It was rumored that the Major's eyes were extremely light-sensitive, and he was never seen in public without his sunglasses. "Sit down, boys," he said. "Keep Hint Thirteen in mind." Hint Thirteen was "Conserve energy whenever possible." Those who had stood... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home reading

    On Christmas Eve, Harry went to bed looking forward to the next day for the food and the fun, but not expecting any presents at all. When he woke early in the morning, however, the first thing he saw was a small pile of packages at the foot of his bed. “Merry Christmas,” said Ron sleepily as Harry scrambled out of bed and pulled on his bathrobe. “You, too,” said Harry. “Will you look at this? I’ve got some presents!” “What did you expect, turnips?” said Ron, turning to... [читать подробенее]

  • - Home reading

    Sports in Britain Russian sports Great attention in our country is paid to various kinds of sports because sport keeps our people fit, helps them to be more organized and healthy. Physical training is one of the major disciplines in our schools, colleges and universities. Almost every city or town in our country has some stadiums, basketball and volleyball grounds, swimming pools. Numerous sport clubs, societies and sections train both pro­fessionals and amateurs.... [читать подробенее]


    Part 1 Education Abroad There are various types of higher educational establishments in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Universities, various teacher-training colleges, colleges of advanced technologies and technical colleges. Some years ago the total number of the British Universities only reached 45: 33 of which were in England, 8 — in Scotland, the rest being in Wales and Northern Ireland. The most known Universities of the UK are Oxford, Cambridge,... [читать подробенее]