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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
The crowd standing round the Try-you-Strength machine gazed awe-struck at the burly man who stepped forward. "Just you hand over that toy hammer, little fellow," the fat man thundered to the owner of the machine.

The crowd backed respectfully, except for Samson who had just caught sight of the lovely Helen. She was standing with her beautiful eyes cast down, just behind Irongrip, like a captive rabbit which does not dare to run away when it is set free.

Irongrip swung the forty-nine-pound hammer through the air like a feather, and then, arm muscles bulging, he brought the thing down on the wooden head. The crash was deafening, the lead weight shot right up the pole, two bells rang out over the square, followed a second later by the third bell, the top one. The highest point had been reached; a rare occasion. He tensed his arm muscles into thick steel cords and displayed them to the cord. "Who's going to match me now, eh ? Bunch of weaklings !"

The crowd backed further. Samson stayed where he was. "Dear me," he said, shaking his head. "I can do better than that."

Irongrip did not seem to have noticed him until then. "Better ?" he thundered, turning red, "you skinny weed, would you. I know you ! Aren't you the floor sweeper from the tea house who ..."

"Yes," said Samson, "that's right. What a memory, what a memory ! I would never have thought it with all those muscles. Generally a head like yours is full of sawdust."

A suppressed snigger from the crowd, who had shuffled forward again, sent the angry purple into the bruiser's cheeks. "Braggart ! I'll fill your head full of lead" he threatened. He drew two pistols at once and the crowd pressed back screaming. Except for Samson. He stayed where he was.

"Easy," said Samson calmly. "Everyone's going to admire you for your nifty pistol work: two at once, at a range of one meter. Dear me !"

Helen who had now seen Samson had turned deathly pale. From behind Irongrip's broad back, she looked at him, shaking her head desperately. But Samson nodded back with a smile, so that Irongrip dropped his pistols helplessly.

"That's good," said Samson. "Now just you give me that hammer and we'll see what we shall see." The crowd shuffled forward again and the owner of the machine, still trembling with fright, handed Samson the hammer. Forty-nine pounds is quite a lot, and Samson staggered under its weight. Irongrip, looking on, legs set wide, began to roar scornfully.

"Ha, ha, what a weakling !" Suddenly Irongrip was having fun. He regarded the stagger as weakness but Samson was aiming carefully, very carefully. Not much strength was needed. That hammer simply had to fall not on the wooden head, no, in another place. And so it did: forty-nine pounds of iron landed straight on the toes of the unsuspecting Irongrip.

There was no bell, let alone three of them; there was a dull thud, followed by a roar and a loud wail. Irongrip danced around on one leg like an inflated stork, clutching his injured foot in both hands. This time the crowd, instead of backing, burst into peals of laughter. Except for Samson. He was not laughing. He had to do what he came to do. He dropped the hammer, shot forward, caught Helen by the arm and drew her away. They had to get away before Irongrip recovered sufficiently to prevent them from doing so.

"Soak it in ice-water !" he called back to Irongrip. "Put that foot in a bucket of ice-cold water. It will reduce the swelling."

     
  1.

The fat man referred to the hammer as the 'toy hammer' because ______.

       
    (A) it was very light to him
    (B) it was only forty-nine pounds
    (C) he was boasting of his strength
    (D) he was a giant compared to it
       
  2. The fat man in the first paragraph is ______.
       
    (A) Irongrip
    (B) Samson
    (C) The Braggart
    (D) The owner of the machine
       
  3.

Samson used the sentence, "Generally a head like yours is full of sawdust" to ______

       
    (A) impress the crowd that was gathered
    (B) demonstrate how brave he was
    (C) provoke Irongrip to anger
    (D) frighten Irongrip
       
  4. Why was Helen shaking her head desperately ?
       
    (A) She did not believe Samson could do better.
    (B) She was showing her dislike for Irongrip.
    (C) She was very worried for Samson's safety.
    (D) She wanted Irongrip to drop his pistols.
       
  5. When Irongrip dropped his pistols helplessly, he was ______.
       
    (A) embarrassed
    (B) threatened
    (C) desperate
    (D) elated
       
  6. We understand from the story that Samson is ______.
       
    (A) stronger than Irongrip
    (B) smarter than Irongrip
    (C) frightened of Irongrip
    (D) careful of Irongrip
       
  7. The hammer hit Irongrip's toes because ______.
       
    (A) they were in the way
    (B) it was an accident
    (C) Samson aimed it there
    (D) Irongrip deserved it
       
  8. Irongrip produced a loud roar because he felt ______.
       
    (A) it was all very funny
    (B) very angry with Samson
    (C) humiliated by Samson
    (D) the pain in his toes
       
  9. According to the passage, Samson "had to do what he came to do". This means he came to ______.
       
    (A) rescue Helen
    (B) look at Helen
    (C) teach Irongrip a lesson
    (D) prove Irongrip a fool
       
  10 From the last sentence, we can tell that Samson can be ______.
       
    (A) humorous
    (B) sarcastic
    (C) helpful
    (D) kind
       
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  Answers : 1C   2A   3C   4C   5A   6B   7C   8D   9A   10B
 
 
 
 

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