543.

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1) Mr. Mindon returned home for lunch. His wife Millicent was not at home. The servants did not know where she was. Mr. Mindon sat alone at the table in the garden. He ate a small piece of meat and drank some mineral water.

2) Mr. Mindon always ate simple meals because he had problems with his stomach. Why then did he keep a cook among his servants? Because his wife, Millicent, liked to invite her friends to big dinners and serve them rare and expensive food and wine.

3) Mr. Mindon did not enjoy his wife’s parties. Millicent complained that he did not know how to enjoy life. She did a lot of things that he did not like. Millicent wasted Mr. Mindon’s money and was unpleasant to him. But he never got angry with his wife.

4) After eating, Mr. Mindon took a walk through his house. He did not stay long in the living room. It reminded him of all the hours he had spent there at his wife’s parties.

5) The sight of the formal dining room made him feel even more uncomfortable. He remembered the long dinners where he had to talk to his wife’s friends for hours. They never seemed very interested in what he was saying.

6) Mr. Mindon walked quickly past the ballroom where his wife danced with her friends. He would go to bed after dinner, but he could hear the orchestra playing until three in the morning.

7) Mr. Mindon walked into the library. No one in the house ever read any of the books. But Mr, Mindon was proud to be rich enough to have a perfectly useless room in his house.

8 ) He went into the sunny little room where his wife planned her busy days and evenings. Her writing table was covered with notes and cards from all her friends. Her wastepaper basket was full of empty envelopes that had carried invitations to lunches, dinners, and theatre parties.

9) Mr. Mindon saw a letter crushed into a small ball on the floor. He bent to pick it up. Just as he was about to throw it into the wastepaper basket, he noticed that the letter was signed by his business partner, Thomas Antrim.

10) But Antrim’s letter to Mr. Mindon’s wife was not about business. As Mr. Mindon read it, he felt as if his mind was spinning out of control. He sat down heavily in the chair near his wife’s little writing table.

#1.(…) What memories did Mr.Mindon’s living room bring back to them?

#2. (…) Why was he under such a strong impression of his business partner’s letter?

#3. (…) What did the owner of the house take particular pride in?

#4. (…) Mr. Mindon’s passion for dancing knew no bounds, didn’t it?

#5. (…) Did the look of his dining room make him feel happy?

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