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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 

After 18 hours of treading some of the most treacherous terrains on earth, the group of 15 strangers firmly stood their ground, refusing to turn back. "Okay, we'll go forward at dusk," Sonam, their paid guide, finally relented. They faced a fast-paced, ten-hour trek of seemingly vertical miles. Without a valid pass to cross the border, they had to continue this long and treacherous journey, with the hope of seeking a better life in Nepal.

Walking was the hardest at night, but Sonam was dead set on stealthily passing the four checkpoints before dawn. Ascending in a zigzag line, they crossed two bridges and reached the riverbank -- the third bridge was gone ! Sonam panicked and ran up and down the river. Unable to find a suitable place to cross, the group unfolded their plastic covers and tried to sleep.

By sunrise, Sonam had found a passable path and instructed the group to pull off their shoes and roll up their trousers. Ice floes spun in the current as they walked carefully over unsteady rocks that lay in the wide river. They continued on their road to freedom till nightfall, then crawled into a sheep pen. Cramped and curled into one another, they slumbered, hoping no nomad or plateau cowboy would turn them in for a few Yuan.

Two days later, the now-close-knit group reached the foot of the long-awaited Nangpa Pass, an 18,300-foot-high corridor of glaciers and sub-zero temperatures. "The next three days will be your hardest," the guide warned them. "There isn't much food left but we have to move on." Before daybreak, they stole past four white tents of soldiers, the last military checkpoint before their freedom.

The calf-deep snow pushed through the holes in their shoes like four through a sieve. Tears froze in their eyes and their bodies were turning so numb that they hardly felt anything. Within hours, they scaled the summit and crossed into Nepal. But they knew they were still in the danger zone: some police officers patrolling the border would not hesitate to turn them in for a profit.

Descending the Pass, they faced a sea of boulders. They spread out and climbed one boulder at a time, banging knees and scraping their hands raw, hour after hour after hour. When the old monk could tread no further, they made camp. The next morning, the landscape of rocks gradually unfolded into lush green mountainsides, furrowed brown fields and rice paddies that rumpled like a rug across the more peaceful country. As the warm sun beat down on the refugees, they got warmer.

Eight miles down, Sonam led them into a monastery where the old monk could recuperate safely. "Go on. You must go further down to freedom," he urged. At dawn, the group pressed on.

     
  1. For most of the journey, the weather was ______.
       
    (A) icy cold
    (B) terribly hot
    (C) wet and windy
    (D) humid and windless
       
  2. When they hoped nobody would 'turn them in for a few Yuan' (paragraph 3), it means they hoped ______.
       
    (A) nobody would drive them out of the sheep pen
    (B) somebody would get them a room to sleep for a small amount
    (C) nobody would report them to the authorities for a small reward
    (D) the authorities would offer a high reward for their voluntary surrender
       
  3. From paragraph 4, why was the group now close-kit ?
       
    (A) They liked one another.
    (B) They had made sacrifices for one another.
    (C) They had gone through thick and thin together.
    (D) They had slept in a sheep pen huddled close together.
       
  4. When the group banged their knees and scraped their hands, it suggests that ______.
       
    (A) they were too tired
    (B) they were not careful enough
    (C) they were not experienced climbers
    (D) they did not spread out enough to avoid hitting one another
       
  5. Which of the following is true ?
       
    (A) The group had travelled a very long distance.
    (B) The final destination was a monastery in Nepal.
    (C) The others felt that the old monk was a burden.
    (D) The group members had known one another even before the journey started.
       
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  Answers : 1A   2C   3C   4A   5A
 
 
 
 

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