Twenty years ago, I drove a taxi for a living. One night I went to pick up a passenger at 2:30 a.m. When I arrived to collect, I found the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
I walked to the door and knocked, “Just a minute,” answered a weak, elderly voice.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her eighties stood before me. By her side was a small suitcase.
I took the suitcase to the car, and then returned to help the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the car.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good man.” she said. When we got into the taxi, she gave me an address, and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I’m in no hurry,” she said. “I’m on my way to a hospice (临终医院). I don’t have any family left. The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter (计价器).
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked, the neighborhood where she had lived, and the furniture shop that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow down in front of a particular building and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
At dawn, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked.
“Nothing.” I said.
“You have to make a living,” she answered. “Oh, there are other passengers,” I answered.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. Our hug ended with her remark, “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy.”
1. The old woman chose to ride through the city in order to ______.
A. show she was familiar with the city
B. reach the destination on time
C. let the driver earn more money
D. see some places for the last time
2. The taxi driver did not charge the old woman because he ______.
A. wanted to do her a favor
B. shut off the meter by mistake
C. had received her payment in advance
D. was in a hurry to take other passengers
3. What can we learn from the story?
A. Giving is always a pleasure.
B. People should respect each other.
C. An act of kindness can bring people great joy.
D. People should learn to appreciate others’ concern.
Robert Spring, a 19th century forger（伪造者）, was so good at his profession that he was able to make his living for 15 years by selling false signatures of Americans. Spring was born in England in 1813 and arrived in Philadelphia in 1858 to open a bookstore. At first he became rich by selling his small but real collection of early U.S. autographs（手稿）. Discovering his ability at copying handwriting, he began imitating signatures of George Washington and Ben Franklin and writing them on the title pages of old books. To lessen the chance of detection（察觉）, he sent his forgeries to England and Canada for sale.
Forgers have a hard time selling their products. A forger can’t deal with a respectable buyer but people who don’t have much knowledge in the field. Forgers have many ways to make their work look real. For example, they buy old books to use the aged paper of the title page, and they can treat paper and ink with chemicals.
In Spring’s time right after the Civil War, Britain was still fond of the Southern states, so Spring invented a respectable maiden lady known as Miss Fanny Jackson, the only daughter of General “Stonewall” Jackson. For several years Miss Fanny’s financial problems forced her to sell a great number of letters and manuscripts (手稿). Spring had to work very hard to satisfy the demand. All this activity did not prevent Spring from dying in poverty, leaving sharp-eyed experts the difficult task of separating his forgeries from the originals.
4. Why did Spring sell his false autographs in England and Canada?
A. There was a greater demand there than in America.
B. There was less chance of being detected there.
C. Britain was Spring’s birthplace.
D. The prices were higher in England and Canada.
5. After the Civil War, there was a great demand in Britain for________.
A. Southern money
B. Signatures of George Washington and Ben Franklin
C. Southern manuscripts and letters
D. Civil War battle plans
6. According to the passage, forgeries are usually sold to________.
A. sharp-eyed experts B. persons who aren’t experts
C. book dealers D. owners of old books
7. Who was Miss Fanny Jackson?
A. The only daughter of General “Stonewall” Jackson.
Do you know about a series of books that say they are “for dummies”? These American self-help books have been translated into more than thirty-nine languages including Chinese, Arabic, Russian, French, German, Greek and Spanish.
“Dummy” is a word for a stupid person. The dummies books are not really for stupid people. They are designed to show people how to do something they may never have tried before, like painting a house or learning a language. The books all say in a funny way that they are for dummies, such as World History for Dummies, Rabbits for Dummies, Chinese Cooking for Dummies, and Wedding Planning for Dummies. The first such book, DOS for Dummies, was published in 1991. It helped people learn how to use the DOS operating system for computers. Since then, more than one hundred fifty million dummies books have been sold.
The dummies.com website explains the idea behind the books. It says that they show that people can be taught to do anything. First they can make fun of ideas that are difficult to understand. Then they show how the information can be interesting and easy. The publishers say that the books do not provide more information than necessary. They give readers just enough information to do what they want. They say that the dummies books give the best and easiest way to do something. And the books use simple and easy language.
There are more than one thousand different dummies books. A report in New York Times says that the top-selling dummies books are those that explain technology and personal finance.
The publishers say that the best-selling dummies books are those providing information many people need — like information about diseases, education and cooking. People interested in opera, car repair and wine can also find dummies books to help them. And there are even more dummies books to come. The publishers say that they publish about two hundred new dummies books every year.
8. Which of the following can be the best title of the passage?
A. Books for Dummies B. The Easiest, the Best
C. Self-Help Books D. New Ideas behind the Books
9. According to the dummies. com website, people can _______ with the help of dummies books.
A. simplify some personal things
B. do anything they want
C. become expert in any field
D. learn any foreign language
10. The dummies books have been popular because __________.
A. they provide just what is needed and are easy to understand
B. they provide abundant information on the concerning subject
C. people can learn to do anything with just one copy
D. people can save lots of money through self-teaching
11. According to New York Times, we know that books on __________ sell best.
A. technology and personal finance
B. opera and car repairing
C. diseases and education
D. cooking and world history
12. What can we learn from the passage?
A. The first dummies book was on Chinese cooking.
B. The dummies books will continue to be popular.
C. Fifty million different dummies books have been published.
D. The simple language was intended for child readers.
1-3 DAC 4-7 BCBD 8-12 ABAAB
B. A little - known girl who sold her father’s papers to Robert Spring.
C. Robert Spring’s daughter.
D. An imaginary person created by Spring.