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Directions for Teachers: Read this story 1 time to the students then after 5 minutes read it again.



Round I ~ Listening Comprehension

Directions for Teachers: Read this story 1 time to the students then after 5 minutes read it again.

THE CONJURER(someone who entertains people by performing clever tricks in which things seem to appear, disappear, or change by magic)



During the summer months, towns all the way along the coast organize festivals to attract and entertain holiday-makers. The local inhabitants benefit both from the festivities and from the influx of tourists which keeps local industry busy. While most festivals are either of music or drama, the Town Council of Oakridge this year decided to offer a touch of mystery to its programme by organizing a Festival of Conjuring and Magic. The festival, spread over a week, took place in the castle park. In the event of rain, it was foreseen to use the municipal theatre. In view of the hot spell during the last two weeks however, all the shows, the last of which was yesterday evening, took place in the open air. The festival, which attracted more than 45,000 people, presented classical numbers of conjuring, pick-pocketing and magic. There were also two demonstrations of hypnosis, one of telepathy, and one of telekinesis, or the art of moving objects from a distance without touching them. Each programme was split up by intervals during which acrobats and jugglers gave a touch of extra colour to the performance.

Yesterday evening, during a demonstration of pickpocketing, a strange incident took place. Several of the audience had been invited up to the stage to take part in the act. The conjurer set about demonstrating his agility as a pickpocket, removing watches, jewels and wallets... which he subsequently returned to their astonished owners amidst the laughter and applause of the public. He was so deft that none of the victims realized that anything had happened. At the end of the act, he finished up by removing one spectator's tie and another's belt without either realizing; the second case nearly provoking an unfortunate sequel by "letting down" the embarrassed owner.

During the second part of the show however, some of the spectators realized that certain things were missing from their pockets, watches from their wrists, jewelry from their necks... At the end of the show, they went to see the Theatre Manager to complain about these losses and ask for the articles back.

The Manager was surprised and assured the people in ques­tion that there had almost certainly been some confusion on the part of the conjurer. He immediately went to the conjurer's dressing-room and not getting an answer to his knock, went in to find the conjurer... bound and gagged.

The performer had been a crook and a real pickpocket. The show had offered him a superb chance to show off his talents in front of everyone.

The police were called immediately though after an initial investigation were able to find out no clues. In addition they do not think that they have much chance either of finding the thief or of recovering the stolen objects. This is partly due to the total lack of clues and partly to the fact that during all the show the conjurer had worn a mask. In this way, he had been able to operate freely and in public, without the least risk of discovery.


Date: 2016-01-14; view: 1036

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