The country is India. A large dinner party is being given in an up-country station by acolonial official and his wife. The guests are army and government officers and their wives, and anAmerican naturalist.
At one side of the long table, a spirited discussion springs up between a young girl and an armyofficer. The girl insists women have long outgrown the jumping-on-a-chair-at-the-sight-of-a-mouseera, and that they are not as anxious as their grandmothers were. The officer says they are,arguing women haven't the actual nerve control of men.
“A woman's reaction in any crisis," the officer says,“is to scream. And while a man mayfeel like it, he has that ounce more of control than a woman has."
The American scientist does not join in th e argument but sits and watches the faces of theother guests. As he stares, he sees a slight, though strange look of anxiety come over the face of thehostess. With a small gesture she summ ons the servant standing behind her chair. She whispers tohim. The servant's eyes widen. He turns quickly and leaves the room. No one else sees this, nor theservant when he puts a bowl of milk on the balcony outside the glass doors.
The American understands. In India, milk in a bowl means only one thing. It is bait fora snake. He realizes there is a cobra in the room. The American's eyes move across the roombut he sees nothing. He realizes the snake can only be in one place - under the table.
His first reaction is to jump back and warn the others. But he knows any sudden movementwill frighten the cobra and it will strike. He speaickly, the quality of his voice so arrestingthat it quietens everyone.“I want to st what control everyone at this table has. I will countthree hundred - that's five minutes - and not one of you is to move a single muscle. Now! Ready!"
The 20 people sit like stone images while he counts. He is saying ..o.. hundred and eighty.."when, out of the corner of his eye, he sees the snake emerge and make for the bowl of milr orfive screams ring out as he jumps to slam shut the balcony doors.
“There is your proof!" the host says.“A man has just shown us real control."
“Just a minute," the American says, turning to his hostess,“How did you know that cobrawas in the room?"
A faint smile comes across the woman's face as she replies. “Because it was lying across myfoot.""
21. What is the argument between the army officer and the young girl about?
A. Whether women are afraid of mice.
B. Whether men are calmer than women.
C. Whether men are cleverer than women.
D. Whether women would maitable soldiers.
22. Why is the servant asked to put out some milk?
A. To play a trick.
B. To serve the guests.
C. To attract the snake .
D. To feed the hostess's pet.
23. Why does the scientist suggest the guests play a game?
A. He doesn't want anyone to panic.
B. He intends to test the officer's theory.
C. He sees t here was a snake in the room.
D. He wants to entertain the other guests.
24. What does the author imply through the hostess's final statement?
A. The army officer's opinion is wrong.
B. The hostess understood the American's intention.
C. The American was surprised by the snake's presence.
D. The hostess has had previous experience dealing with snakes.
25. What caused musicals to move in a new direction during the 1930's?
A. The development of new musical instruments.
B. The audience s demand for more realistic art forms.
C. The rising popularity of other types of entertainment.
D. The greater acceptance of black performers by white audiences.
26. In which period did musical theatre become more complex and dramatic?
A. Pre - 1900. B. 1900- 1929.
C.1940- 1949. D.1950- 1959.
27. What can be reasonably inferred about the musical West Side Story?