How Computers Affect Human Being

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The Tiger in the Tunnel

The Tiger in the Tunnel

13
THE TIGER IN THE TUNNEL

Notes

The night is dark and silent. A young boy and his father are alone in a hut in the middle of the jungle. Soon the father leaves his son alone and goes out into the jungle. Where does he go and why?

OBJECTIVES
At the end of this lesson, you will be able to: • • • • • read and understand a story in English; use homophones correctly; use the to-infinite, gerunds and participles appropriately; edit your writing; and give and take messages.

13.1 SECTION I
Tembu, the boy, opened his eyes in the dark and wondered if his father was ready to leave the hut on his nightly errand. There was no moon that night, and the deathly stillness of the surrounding jungle was broken only occasionally by the shrill cry of a cicada. Sometimes from far off came the hollow hammering of a woodpecker, carried along on the faint breeze. Or the grunt of a wild boar could be heard as he dug up a favourite root. But these sounds were rare, and the silence of the forest always returned to swallow them up. ENGLISH

111

The Tiger in the Tunnel

The Tiger in the Tunnel Baldeo, the watchman, was awake. He stretched himself slowly unwinding the heavy shawl that covered him. It was close on midnight and the chill air made him shiver. The station, a small shack backed by heavy jungle, was a station in name only; for trains only stopped there, if at all, for a few seconds before entering the deep cutting that led to the tunnel. Most trains merely slowed down before taking the sharp curve before cutting. Baldeo was responsible for signalling whether or not the tunnel was clear of obstruction, and his manual signal stood before the entrance. At night it was his duty to see that the lamp was burning, and that the overland mail passed through safely. ‘Shall I come too, Father?’ asked Tembu sleepily, still lying in a huddle in a corner of the hut. ‘No, it is cold tonight. Do not get up.’ Tembu, who was twelve, did not always sleep with his father at the station, for he had also to help in the home, where his mother and small sister were usually alone. They lived in a small tribal village on the outskirts of the forest, about three miles from the station. Their small rice fields did not provide them with more than a bare living and Baldeo considered himself lucky to have got the job of Khalasi at this small wayside signal stop. Still drowsy, Baldeo, groped for his lamp in darkness then fumbled about in search of matches. When he had produced a light he left the hut, closed the door behind him and set off along the permanent way. Tembu had fallen asleep again.

Notes

INTEXT QUESTIONS 13.1
I. a. What is the father’s name? b. What is his son’s name? c. How old is the son? II. a. Where did Baldeo spend the night? b. What was Baldeo responsible for? III. a. Where did Baldeo’s family live? b. Why did Baldeo have to take up the job of a Khalasi? IV. Pick out three phrases which describe the station from the list below. dark and cold; a small shack; surrounded by rice fields; in the middle of a thick forest; near a tunnel; in a tribal village.

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ENGLISH

The Tiger in the Tunnel

The Tiger in the Tunnel

13.2 SECTION II
At midnight, Baldeo goes out of his hut, into the thick forest. The jungle is full of dangerous animals, but Baldeo has a job to do and it is important. Notes Baldeo wondered whether the lamp on the signal- post was still alight. Gathering his shawl closer about him, he stumbled on, sometimes along the rails, sometimes along the ballast. He longed to get back to his warm corner in the hut. The eeriness of the place was increased by the neighbouring hills which overhung the main line threateningly. On entering the cutting with its sheer rock walls towering high above the rails, Baldeo could not help thinking about the wild animals he might encounter. He had heard many tales of the famous tunnel tiger, a man-eater, which was supposed to...
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