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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
The ladies came, loud and boisterous -- rather unbecoming for ladies from the upper society. I gripped my towel hard and forced a smile as they all trooped into the room.

For a moment, their eyes laid to rest on my scrawny self before I was forgotten. Then, they huddled around the miniature bottles that contained scented oil and broke into rapid conversations amongst themselves.

I lowered my eyes. My head was spinning from their incessant chatter. My empty stomach added to the agony. I had no dinner last night and I had to forgo breakfast this morning as well.

"I want this!" announced one of them. I looked up and saw her holding a purplish vial of the most expensive massage oil. I nearly swooned. The cost of one tiny vial alone could feed my family of four for a week! I stood rooted to the ground, clearly astounded by her choice.

Immediately, the cashier counter was swarmed by oversized females, clamouring for the best oils and massage packages. Of course, heated bargaining ensued. I had to suppress a smile when I saw Ngayem acceding to their requests. Ah! If only they knew that Ngayem, being a shrewd businesswoman, had already increased the profit ten-fold before any bargaining had the chance to even start! The ladies would never know! They were just pleased to have the price reduced to their hearts' desire. Happy customers meant more money!

Ngayem directed the ladies to the different masseuses. I had the pleasure of kneading the whale.

I led her to the room where there was soft music playing. I watched with great interest as she tried to get up on the mattress. It was only on the third try that she successfully landed herself on the thin mattress that got effectively squashed under her massive weight.

I opened the vial gingerly. Every drop was precious and this time even more so, as there was so much to be covered. I had to make sure that I used every drop carefully. It would not do, if out of carelessness, I found myself running out of oil and had to then purchase another vial from my own pocket.

The oil was simply heavenly. A lovely concoction of lemon grass, lime, and other wholesome ingredients, it was a delight to whiff and to hold. I was soon enjoying myself. It was as if I was having the massage instead.

Up and down! Left and right! My hands worked wonders. I released every knot in her muscles and thirty minutes into the exercise, she was lulled to sleep. I kept on. However, even the heavenly scent and the soothing music could not tame the beast in my stomach.

My stomach began to rumble in protest as I tried to hush it. Then it gave an audible growl. The lady stirred. I paused; rather embarrassed that she could have heard my empty pit.

Then, I continued. A few seconds later, there was another loud growl! My eyes widened as the lady woke up, clearly irritated. Oh dear! I had annoyed her! The lady turned around and clutched her own stomach.

"Oh dear! I did not know that I was hungry," she smiled. I was stunned. The lady hastily dressed and rushed out to have some lunch.

     
  1. For the writer, wealthy ladies should be ______ in manner.
       
    (A) kind and energetic
    (B) loud and boisterous
    (C) soft and gentle
    (D) weak and kind
       
  2. The writer's head was spinning as ______.
       
    (A) she could not see properly
    (B) she found it too noisy and hot
    (C) the room got very cramped
    (D) she found it too noisy and she was also hungry
       
  3. Why did Ngayem give in to their bargains ?
       
    (A) She did not want to lose her customers.
    (B) She was a kind businesswoman.
    (C) She was a shrewd businesswoman.
    (D) She had already made her profit.
       
  4. Explain the phrase 'I had the pleasure of kneading the whale.'
       
    (A) The writer used whale's oil for her massage.
    (B) The writer had a whale of a time.
    (C) The writer had to massage the biggest woman there.
    (D) The writer decided to bake something.
       
  5. When the lady heard the growling stomach, what did she do ?
       
    (A) She got stunned and annoyed.
    (B) She got frightened and hastily left.
    (C) She suddenly thought she had a stomach ache.
    (D) She rushed for lunch as she thought she was hungry.
       
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  Answers : 1C   2D   3D   4C   5D
 
 
 
 

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