Can't She Type?
The well-known banker, T. J. Ellington, was at
one time in his younger days the manager of a New York office. His
secretary had been with him for many years, and knew his ways and habits.
She always kept a glass of water on his desk, and knew that he disliked
flowers in the office. He had a habit of interrupting a letter (when she
was writing it down) with a few words on other subjects which had no
connection with the letter; but she knew how to deal with that. She was
never late , and was always willing to work beyond office hours when
necessary. Therefore, when she left the office to get married, Ellington
felt rather sorry for himself.
In those days good secretaries were hard to find.
Ellington rang up the office in the city which had supplied him before;
but the woman there said that she had no one suitable. He tried several
other places, but the answer was always the same. There did not seem to be
any secretaries unemployed. But it was absolutely necessary for him to
find someone , and at last he rang up the first office again and urged the
woman to find a girl who could at least type.
"Well," she said slowly, "there's Miss
"Good!" cried Ellington. "Send her along
at once. I really
must have someone here immediately. "
"I'm not sure about her," said the woman
doubtfully. "Why? Can't she type? Is she too old?"
"Oh, she's quite young. In fact she's only just
left the Secretarial College. She types very well indeed. "
"Well, then, what's the matter? Send her here at
"All right, if you say so. But she's a bit simple.
Miss Steele arrived soon afterwards, and he explained
her duties to her. At first she refused to accept the post; she said that
she had had no experience and was not used to such work. But after a
further conversation he managed to persuade her to come, at least for a
week or two. She agreed, but her face had a doubtful expression on it as
she went out.
On the following morning Miss Steele arrived at the
office ready for work. Ellington had one letter to which he wished to
reply immediately, and he rang the bell. Miss Steele came in quietly and
sat down, pencil in hand and notebook on knee. Ellington told her to take
a letter, and was glad to see that she could write as fast as he spoke. It
was soon done and she went out to type it.
"Well , " thought Ellington, "there
doesn't seem to be much wrong with that girl."
A short time later she entered the office again and
placed a letter, beautifuily typed on his desk. He looked at it with
pleasure, but read it with surprise. It was as follows:"24th
"Mr James Vandenberg,
"His address is on this letter. Here! Take it with
"I thank you for your letter of yesterday's date.
I think the question of the electric motors needs further consideration,
and as time is important, it will probably be best if we meet to discuss
it. There's that cat outside the mindozv again. Please tell Miss Harper to
remove it and keep it away. I've told her before about it. I should take
it as a favour if you would lunch with me on Friday next. What's happened
to my glass of water this morning? We may then be able to settle the
matter finally. I don't like flozvers in the office. Please remove them. I
usually lunch at one o'clock. Please let me know if that time will suit
you. This letter is zmportant and I want you to type it carefully.
Question on Text B
7. Read the following passage once. Underline the key words while reading
and retell the story to your partner.
Billy is fourteen years old and in the ninth grade. He
had a part-time job which gets him up every morning at five o'clock. He is
a newspaper boy.
Each morning, Billy leaves the house at 5:15 to go to
the corner where the newspapers are. The newspapers were delivered to the
corner by truck at midnight. He always takes a wagon to carry them.
In the winter it is still dark when he gets up, but
during the rest of the year it is light. Billy must deliver the newspapers
to the houses of people on his route in all kinds of weather. He tries to
put each paper on the porch where it will be protected from wind and rain
or snow. His customers think he does a good job. Sometimes they give him
Billy earns about $ 70 per month, and he is saving some
of the money to go to college. He spends the rest on records and clothes.
Once a month, he has to collect money from his customers. Since many of
them work during the day, Billy has to collect the money at night.
Sometimes, when Billy is sick, his older brother has to deliver the
newspapers. Once, Billy's father had to help.
Billy has seventy customers now, but he hopes to get
more soon. Someday, if he gets many more customers, Billy might win a
prize for being an outstanding newspaper boy. He wants to win a trip to
Europe, but he will be happy if he wins a new bicycle.