English for Everybody - Intermediate reading comprehension


Page 9

The evil eye

I could hear a lot of words being repeated, strange words, for there were many nationalities in the crowd. I quietly got my multilingual dictionary from my bag and looked them up. I must say they were not cheering to me, for amongst them were "Ordog"- Satan, "Pokol"- hell, "stregoica"- witch, "vrolok" and "vlkoslak". Both these words mean the same thing. One is Slovak and the other is Serbian, and they mean either werewolf or vampire. (Mem., I must ask the Count about these superstitions.)

When we started, the crowd round the inn door had grown to a considerable size. Everyone made the sign of the cross and pointed two fingers towards me. With some difficulty, I persuaded a fellow passenger to tell me what this meant. He would not answer at first, but when he found out that that I was English, he explained that it was for protection against the evil eye.

This was not very pleasant for me, since I was about to go to an unknown place to meet an unknown man. Everyone seemed so kind-hearted, and so sad. I shall never forget the last glimpse which I had of the inn yard and its crowd of colourful people. They stood round the wide archway. In the background there were leafy oleander and orange trees in green tubs in a group in the centre of the yard.


Cheering:Things which make you happy
Satan: The Devil
Hell: Where bad people go when they die
Werewolf: A man who becomes a wolf when the moon is full
Vampire: A once-human creature that drinks blood
Fellow passenger: Someone doing the same journey
Glimpse: A quick look
Archway: The entrance to the inn
Tubs: Large containers
Oleander: A kind of tree

Click Me!
Please go on - press the blue button.