Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:
‘Dear Grandad Konstantin Makarich,’ he wrote. ‘I am writing a letter to you. I send you Christmas greetings and hope God will send you his blessings. I have no Father and no Mummie and you are all I have left.’ Vanka raised his eyes to the dark window-pane, in which the reflection of the candle flickered, and in his imagination distinctly saw his grandfather, Konstantin Makarich, who was a night watchman on the estate of some gentlefolk called Zhivarev. He was a small, lean, old man about sixty-five, but remarkably lively and agile, with a smiling face and eyes bleary with drink. In the daytime he either slept in the back kitchen, or sat joking with the cook and the kitchen-maids, and in the night, wrapped in a great sheepskin coat, he walked round and round the estate, sounding his rattle. After him, with drooping heads, went old Kashtanka and another dog, called Eel, on account of his black coat and long, weasel-like body. Eel was wonderfully respectful and insinuating, and turned the same appealing glance on friends and strangers alike, but he inspired confidence in no one. His deferential manner and docility were a cloak for the most Jesuitical spite and malice. He was an adept at stealing up to snap at a foot, creeping into the ice-house, or snatching a peasant’s chicken. His hind-legs had been slashed again and again, twice he had been strung up, he was beaten within an inch of his life every week, but he survived it all.
1. What idea do you get about Vanka’s life from the letter?
2. Describe the appearance of Konstantin Makarich.
3. How is Eel described in the passage?
4. What impression do you get about the character of Konstantin Makarich?
i. brave and efficient
ii. fun loving and agile
iii. stubborn and adamant
5. Pick out a word from the passage that is opposite in meaning to the word ‘vaguely’.
1. He was an orphan and his present life was miserable. He yearned for his grandfather.
2. Makarich was a small, lean, old man about sixtyfive years of age. He was remarkably lively and agile, with a smiling face and eyes bleary with drink.
3. Eel – black coat and long weasel-like body, wonderfully respectful and insinuating, turned an appealing glance on everyone but inspired confidence in no one, deferential manner and docility were a cloak for his spite and malice, adept at snatching chicken.
4. Fun loving and agile