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Le sujet 2000 - Bac ES - Anglais LV1 - Compétence linguistique
It was contrary to his routine to work after dinner but tonight he did - he felt so much in the vein. Indeed, a sort of exaltation possessed him ; the words ran off his pen ; it would be foolish to check the creative impulse for the sake of a little extra sleep. On, on. They were right who said the small hours were the time to work. When his housekeeper came in to say good night, he scarcely raised his eyes.
In the warm, snug little room the silence purred around him like a kettle. He did not even hear the door-bell till it had been ringing for some time.
A visitor at this hour ?
His knees trembling, he went to the door, scarcely knowing what he expected to find ; so what was his relief, on opening it, to see the doorway filled by the tall figure of a policeman. Without waiting for the man to speak, "Come in, come in, my dear fellow," he exclaimed. He held his hand out, but the policeman did not take it. "You must have been very cold standing out there. I didn't know that it was snowing, though," he added, seeing the snowflakes on the policeman's cape and helmet.
"Come in and warm yourself".
"Thanks", said the policeman. "I don't mind if I do."
Walter knew enough of the phrases used by men of the policeman's stamp not to mistake this for a grudging acceptance. "This way," he prattled on. "I was writing in my study. By Jove, it is cold. I'll turn the gas on more. Now won't you take your traps off, and make yourself at home ?"
"I can't stay long", the policeman said, "I've got a job to do, as you know."[ ]
"But nothing can happen to me as long as you are here", said Walter. "I shall be as safe as safe as houses. Stay as long as you can ; and have a drink."
"I never drink on duty," said the policeman. Still in his cape and helmet, he looked round. "So this is where you work ?" he said.
"Yes, I was writing when you rang."
"Some poor devil's for it(1), I expect," the policeman said.
"Oh, Why ?" Walter was hurt by his unfriendly tone, and noticed how hard his gooseberry eyes were.
"I'll tell you in a minute", said the policeman; and then the telephone bell rang. Walter excused himself and hurried from the room.
"This is the police station," said a voice. "Is that Mr Streeter ?"
Walter said it was.
"Well, Mr Streeter, how is everything at your place ? All right, I hope ? I'll tell you why I ask. I'm sorry to say we quite forgot about that little job we were going to do for you. Bad coordination, I'm afraid."
"But, said Walter, "you did send someone."
"No, Mr Streeter, I'm afraid we didn't."
"But there's a policeman here, here in this very house."
There was a pause, then his interlocutor said, in a less casual voice :
"He can't be one of our chaps. Did you see his number by any chance ?"
After another pause the voice said :
"Would you like us to send somebody now ?"
"All right then, we'll be with you in a jiffy."
Walter put back the receiver. What now ? he asked himself. Should he barricade the door ? Should he run out into the street ? Should he try to rouse his housekeeper ? A policeman of any sort was something to be reckoned with : but a rogue policeman ! A law-keeper turned law-breaker, roaming about loose(2), savaging people ! How long would it take the real police to come ? What was a jiffy in terms of minutes ? While he was debating, the door opened and his guest came in.
"No room's private when the street door's once passed," he said. "Had you forgotten I was a policeman ?"
W.S., "The white wand and other stories". L.P. HARTLEY
(Hamish Hamilton, London-1954)
(1) Some poor devil's for it : quelqu'un va y passer.
(2) to roam about loose : se promener en toute liberté.
1. Who or what do the underlined words refer to?
a) " tonight he did":
b) "they were right":
c) "his knees trembling":
d) "not to mistake this for a grudging acceptance":
e) "would you like us to send somebody":
2. Complete the following chart as shown in the example.
3. Put the following sentences into reported speech using the prompts given.
a) "Come in and warm yourself."
b) "Nothing can happen to me as long as you are here."
c) "He can't be one of our chaps."
d) "Did you see his number by any chance?"
He wanted to know
e) "All right then, we'll be with you in a jiffy."
He agreed and added
f) "No room's private when the street doors once passed."
4. Rephrase the following sentences, using the prompts given.
a) It was contrary to his routine to work after dinner.
He wasn't used
b) "Now won't you take your traps off?"
c) The telephone bell rang and Walter hurried from the room.
d) I'm sorry to say we quite forgot about that little job we were going to do for you.
I apologise for
e) Should he barricade the door?
f) Should he try to rouse this housekeeper?
a good idea
5. Translate the following sentences.
a) "You must have been very cold standing out there".
b) "But," said Walter "you did send someone".
c) "No, Mr Streeter, I'm afraid we didn't".
d) "But there's a policeman here, here in this very house".