This award-winning collection of adapted classic literature and original stories develops reading skills for low-beginning through advanced students.Accessible language and carefully controlled vocabulary build students" reading confidence.Introductions at the beginning of each story, illustrations throughout, và glossaries help build comprehension.Before, during, và after reading activities included in the back of each book strengthen student comprehension.Audio versions of selected titles provide great models of intonation & pronunciation of difficult words.


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Michael Dibdin was born in 1947 và studied at Sussex University và at the University of Alberta in Canadomain authority. His third novel, Ratking, won the Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year. He also writes the Aurelio Zen mysteries.

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OneMy notes-which I shall endeavour khổng lồ follow with the minimum of extraneous bình luận for the remainder of this narrative-reveal that on the morning of Friday the 28th of September 1888, Sherlock Holmes received a telegram. This was in itself scarcely a remarkable occurrence. At that period telegrams were coming và going with such frequency at 221B Baker Street that I sometimes wonder how many clerks Holmes maintained in permanent employment with the welter of messages he received và dispatched. This state of affairs resulted from a problem which had been developing for several years with regard khổng lồ Holmes"s consulting practice.The problem was simple, inevitable, & apparently quite insurmountable. It sprang from the fact that crime, lượt thích any other human activity, follows a limited number of patterns. Ninety-nine out of a hundred crimes are immediately recognisable to an expert as being of this type or of that. There is no mystery khổng lồ be solved, no puzzle to tax the brain. All that is required khổng lồ apprehend the guilty tiệc ngọt is hard work và a little luchồng. Such crimes gladden the heart of the police force, whose capacity for hard work has never been in doubt, but khổng lồ Holmes they were anathema. His first question on being asked to lớn undertake an investigation was always the same: did it contain any features of interest? If so, he would happily fling all his energies into lớn the task, be his client duchess or dustman, his fees a king"s ransom or a beggar"s alms. But if the requisite features of interest were absent, nothing would induce hlặng to intervene-và if his hvà were forced, as in the matter of the Aldershot scandal of "86, those responsible soon discovered to their chagrin that unless his interest was engaged, Holmes was a mere shadow of the man whose mental powers could seem almost supernatural when they were fully deployed.Sherloông xã Holmes originally mix up as a consulting detective in 1877, some four years before I met hyên ổn. Cases were at first hard to lớn come by, but at that time each presented a fresh challenge & was tackled with enthusiasm. Ten years later the position was very different. Like all superior intellects, Holmes disdained to cover the same ground twice, và thus a point was bound to come when he spent less time solving crimes than he did lying about our front room bemoaning the dullness & lack of enterprise of the British criminal class. At such moments he frequently put me in mind of a jaded emperor from the last days of Rome, berating his underlings for their inability lớn create a spectacle lavish or rare enough lớn divert him. It was at about this time that he began lớn resort to cocaine. At first the drug was nothing more than an occasional expedient lớn which Holmes had recourse when every other weapon for staving off ennui had failed hyên ổn. I regarded it as a filthy habit, but still preferable lớn the alternative-unpredictable and savage outbursts of nervous energy in which he would assault the furniture with a horsewhip, or in some still less desirable way relieve the pent-up frustration of his soul. I vividly reĐiện thoại tư vấn the occasion when he sat himself down with a revolver và a box of cartridges and began firing at the opposite wall, until he had improved its appearance with a script V.R. và crown executed in bullet-pocks. Holmes was a man very finely balanced between reason & hysteria. He liked khổng lồ compare himself to lớn a racing-engine, which will tear itself khổng lồ pieces unless coupled khổng lồ the work that it was designed to vì. In the absence of such work the cocaine seemed to lớn act as a regulator, and as such I was prepared to lớn turn a blind eye khổng lồ his use of it. It seemed at first an acceptable remedy for Holmes"s chronic ailment.But as interesting cases became less và less frequent, the occasional vice became more và more so, until at the period of which I speak Holmes was regularly injecting inkhổng lồ his blood a solution of almost standard strength three times a day.* I vày not know whether the reader is familiar with the effects of cocaine. By 1972 the drug may have sầu passed for ever from the face of the earth, or, I suppose, be given lớn squalling children to quiet them. Although without the physically deleterious effect of opium, cocaine is a powerful and dangerous agent when used indiscriminately for personal pleasure, và not-as Nature surely intended-for the relief of pain. The mood of the user is at once exalted to lớn unprecedented heights, only khổng lồ be subsequently plunged inlớn the most profound lassitude, which of itself demands a renewal of the dosage. Soon the desire for the drug becomes a vicious craving. All one"s social và moral standards are undermined, for nothing can offer satisfactions khổng lồ rival those freely available within the closed circle of one"s own mind. In the over, the addict ceases lớn regard himself as a member of the human race, & by the same token he usually ceases to lớn behave lượt thích one. The world và its denizens come to lớn seem a pale and fraudulent imitation of his own fantasies, and he treats them much as a spoiled child treats toys which have sầu ceased to amuse him. Such was the perilous ally lớn which Sherloông xã Holmes had turned for relief, và once I realised the extent lớn which he had come to depend on the drug I strove with all my might khổng lồ wean hyên ổn from it. But to lớn no avail. Whatever arguments I advanced, his reply was always the same:"My dear Watson, nothing would give sầu me greater pleasure than to lớn give it up. Only bring me work! Find me some problem khổng lồ exercise my intellect, và you may play at darts with my needles for all I care."To this I had no answer. Holmes had been stalemated by his own prodigious genius. He had solved every problem, và thereby created one which appeared truly insoluble.But though the fires burned low, they had not gone out, and since Holmes"s fame was now at its zenith his advice was sought on all sides. Hence the telegrams. Every morning after breakfast he so far compromised his indolence as to lớn read through the newspapers, cast an eye over his post, và then fire off cryptic memoranda lớn various destinations. "How many rungs had the ladder?" a message might run, or "If the milk was off, Furneaux is your man." These oracular pronouncements were dispatched daily all over our islands, & in some cases also to lớn the Continent. They were received generally with gratitude, occasionally with incredulity, but very rarely in vain. Holmes"s inferences were almost always proved correct, and where they failed it always subsequently transpired that some fact had been distorted or withheld. Not that his vicarious triumphs appeared khổng lồ afford Holmes the slighchạy thử pleasure. It was a ritual he performed each day, as one might any tedious but necessary duty, and then resumed his brown study.I was therefore both astonished & delighted when my friend-having read the telegram of which I speak-handed a scribbled reply to the boy, gave sầu out a brief laugh, và began to pace the floor as of old."Is it a case, Holmes?" I enquired hopefully. His last investigation, the Cushing horror, had been concluded more than a month before.*"In a way," said he, handing me the form in passing.The telegram was from one of Holmes"s old contacts at Scotland Yard. I read: "Have sầu you been following these Whitechapel killings? I might call later if you are miễn phí. We have sầu something fresh. G. Lestrade."I looked up in some surprise at Holmes, who chuckled."You may not be aware, Watson, that aý muốn my other accomplishments I have become something of an expert at interpreting the Scotland Yard dialect. It is an interesting idiom, although its relation to English as we know it is somewhat tenuous. This telegram is a good example. A tiro would never suspect that behind this mask of insouciance there hides a desperate man, a man hounded and harried by the press, by the public, and by his superiors-a man at his wits" end, begging for help! Translated inkhổng lồ our comtháng tongue, Lestrade"s message reads: "Three women brutally murdered this past month in Whitechapel-more killings expected-all suspects released for lack of evidence-utterly baffled-you are our last hope-for God"s sake say you"ll see me!"""And did you?""Oh certainly. One should never miss the spectacle of the police in loteo clientis. Besides, this case is of some considerable interest. You have sầu heard of it, of course?"The question was indeed purely rhetorical. There can have been no one in the kingdom that fateful autumn who was unaware of the terrible events unfolding in the East End. People could talk of nothing else."I really didn"t imagine you would consider it worth looking inlớn, Holmes," I answered. "It all seems rather sordid and disgusting. Hardly your style, I would have thought.""Sordid enough and disgusting enough, in all conscience, but redeemed by some quite extraordinary features of interest-as I may be able to lớn show you. Would you have sầu the goodness to lớn h& me down the red volume on the topmost shelf? I must confess that Lestrade"s cri de coeur has not come as a complete surprise to lớn me. I have been expecting something of the sort for several weeks now, và khổng lồ that over I have sầu been compiling a few cuttings on the subject. It is never a good idea to let the constabulary feel that they have sầu you at a disadvantage. It inflames their inherent sense of superiority. Now then, if you are agreeable, I will run over the facts as briefly và clearly as I can. This will be of the greachạy thử benefit to lớn me, in refreshing my grasp of the case.""I could wish for nothing better," said I, và meant it most sincerely. The coolness that had sprung up between us since I announced my engagement had suddenly been dispelled. The cloud I feared had settled for ever on Holmes"s spirit had suddenly lifted. The game was afoot once more!Holmes leafed through the commonplace book with one hand, while with the other he lifted down the Persian slipper containing his tobacteo."Let me see! "Another Ghastly Murder in Whitechapel." Hm! "Horrible Atrocities of a Maniac." Quite so! "Reign of Terror in East London." "Police Impotent." Dear me! "Fearful Scenes," "Sketches at the Inquest," "Bloodstains on the Stones." Well! The fourth estate has certainly been having a field-day. But once you skyên off the froth & the frissons, the actual matter might be copied on lớn a single sheet of note-paper-such as this one. Now before examining the murders individually we should note the important features they have in common. Each of the victims was a female pauper of doubtful morals. All three were middle-aged, physically unprepossessing, & lacking even a few pence for a bed. They thus had khổng lồ spend the night in the streets, where they were murdered within a few hundred yards of each other during the early hours of the morning. All of which raises the interesting question of motive sầu, or rather the laông xã of it. Why should anyone wish to kill these pathetic drabs? Gain is out of the question, và the notion of any of the three being the object of a crime passionel is plainly grotesque. But there is another & even greater mystery, which also stamps the three killings as being the work of the same hvà. In each case the weapon used was a knife, & it was wielded not merely to kill but khổng lồ mutilate. The first victyên ổn, Tabram, was stabbed repeatedly in the stomach. The other two had their throats cut and were then disembowelled. It was this that first drew my attention to the case. It makes for something distinctly out of the ordinary. Here is a cutting from the Star, describing the corpse of the second victlặng, Nicholls."I took the open volume from him, & read the following.The throat is cut in two gashes, the instrument having been a sharp one, but used in a ferocious & reckless way. There is a gash under the left ear, reaching nearly to the centre of the throat. Along half its length, however, it is accompanied by another one which reaches around under the other ear, making a wide và horrible hole, and nearly severing the head from the body. The ghastliness of this cut, however, pales into lớn insignificance alongside the other. No murder was ever more ferociously or more brutally done. The knife, which must have been a large and sharp one, was jabbed into lớn the deceased at the lower part of the abdomen, and then drawn upwards, not once but twice. The first cut veered khổng lồ the right, slitting up the groin, and passing over the left hip, but the second cut went straight upward, along the centre of the body, and reaching to lớn the breast-bone."Good God, Holmes! What manner of man could-"All in good time, Watson, all in good time. I am not without my ideas, but these are deep waters. We would do well not khổng lồ theorise in advance of the facts.""If I had not read it in the newspaper, I would not have believed it possible. In these days! In our England! Of all the infamies you have ever had to lớn deal with, this must surely be the most abominable!""I vày not doubt it. Certainly this killer, whoever he may be, is no comtháng criminal. But to continue. Tabram was slain on the seventh of last month, & Nicholls on the thirty-first. Eight days later a third toàn thân was discovered, in a yard behind a house in Hanbury Street. Where are my notes of the inquest? Yes: "The throat had been severed. There were two distinct clean cuts. It appeared as though an attempt had been made to lớn separate the bones of the nechồng." I quote from the evidence of Dr Philips, the police surgeon who examined the victyên ổn. "There were various other mutilations of the body but I am of the opinion that they occurred subsequent lớn death. I think I had better not go inkhổng lồ further detail of these mutilations which can only be painful khổng lồ the feelings of the jury & the public." Humph! Strange scruples, one might think, under the circumstances. The coroner evidently did, for when the inquest resumed he pressed the point. In the words of the Illustrated Police News, "witness then detailed the terrible wounds which had been inflicted upon the woman & described the parts of the toàn thân which the perpetrator of the murder had carried away with hyên ổn." Which is as far as that upstanding organ, the censor morum of our semi-literate class, is prepared lớn go. Its reticence was shared by the rest of the daily press, including The Times, which termed Dr Philips"s evidence "totally unfit for publication". Indeed, one might have sầu been forced to appeal khổng lồ Lestrade for enlightenment, were it not that you, my dear Watson, still maintain that slender links with the world of medicine: a subscription to the Lancet. That excellent journal was of course under no necessity of sparing its readership, and was thus able to print the unprintable section of Dr Philips"s evidence."*The standard strength of a cocaine solution for hypodermic injection was phối at 10 per cent in the British Pharmacopoeia of 1898. According to lớn "The Sign of Four", Holmes used a 7 per cent solution.*For further details of the Cushing case, see Conan Doyle"s "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box".


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