English for Everybody - Intermediate reading comprehension


Page 58

Man or beast?


I ran along the North Terrace. I expected to see Lucy but could see no sign of her. At the edge of the West Cliff above the pier I looked across the harbour to the East Cliff. I thought I might see Lucy in our favorite seat, and I'm not sure whether I was hoping to see her there, or afraid that I would. There was a bright full moon, with heavy black, driving clouds, which created a fleeting scene of light and shadow as the clouds passed across the moon. For a moment or two I could see nothing, as the shadow of a cloud hid St. Mary's Church and all around it.

Then as the cloud passed I could see the ruins of the abbey coming into view. The edge of a narrow band of light as sharp as a sword-cut moved along, and the church and churchyard became gradually visible. Whatever I hoped or feared, I was not disappointed. There, on our favorite seat, the silver light of the moon showed a half-reclining figure in a snowy white nightdress. The shadow the cloud was too quick for me to see much, for it shut down the light almost immediately. But it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat, and bent over the white figure upon it. What it was, whether man or beast, I could not tell.


Terrace: A kind of English street
Pier: A walkway over the sea
Driving : Fast-moving
Fleeting: Gone quickly
Abbey: A kind of church
Recline: Sit or lie back

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