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Прочитайте текст и выполните задания A15-A21, вставив цифру 1, 2, 3 или 4, соответствующую номеру выбранного вами варианта ответа.

Our province has not always been a dead place, entirely unknown to fame, as it is today. Long ago, the people from all the farms within 20 miles brought us their crops of grain to grind. To right and left, one could see nothing but the sails turning about in the wind above the huge pine trees, and long strings of little donkeys loaded with bags climbing the hills and stretching out along the roads.
On Sundays, we went to the mills in groups. The millers treated us to wine, and we danced until it was pitch-dark. Those mills, you see, were the pleasure and wealth of our province. Then some Frenchman from Paris got the idea of setting up a steam flourmill on the road to Tarascon, and the people fell into the habit of sending their grain there, and the poor windmills were left without work. We saw no more strings of little donkeys. No more wine! No more dancing!
But one little mill continued to turn bravely on its hill. That was Master Comille’s mill. The Master was an old miller who was crazy over his trade. Then the old man shut himself up in his mill, and lived alone like a wild beast. He wouldn’t even keep with him his granddaughter Vivette, a child of 15. Since the death of her parents, she had no one but her grandfather in the world. The poor child had to hire herself out among the farms for the harvest or the olive picking. And yet, her grandfather seemed to love the child dearly. He often traveled eight miles on foot to see her at the farm where she was working. When he was with her, he would pass hours at a time gazing at her and weeping. They were tears of grief for the girl.
There was something in Master Comille’s life we couldn’t understand. For a long time, no one in the village had brought him any grain, and yet the sails of his windmill were always in motion as before. In the evenings, people met the old miller on the roads, driving before him his donkey loaded with fat bags of flour.
If any one asked where so much work could come from, he would put a finger to his lips and answer gravely: "Hush! I am working for export." No one could get anything more from him. Everyone had his own explanation of Master Cornille’s secret. But the general report was that there were even more bags of silver in the mill than bags of grain.
After a while, however, everything came to light. One day I found out that my eldest boy and Vivette had fallen in love with each other. So I went up to the mill to say a word to the grandfather. Ah! You should have seen how he received me! It was impossible for me to get him to open his door. I explained my reasons through the keyhole. The old man didn’t give me time to finish, but shouted that if I was in such a hurry to get my boy married, I could go and look for a girl at the steam mill. The blood went to my head when I heard such rough talk.
I returned to inform the children of my treatment. They decided to speak to the grandfather themselves. When they reached the mill, Master Cornille had gone out. The door was locked, but the old fellow had left his ladder outside. Suddenly it occurred to the children to go in by the window.
The main room of the mill was empty. Not a sack, not a particle of grain, not the slightest trace of the silver which had been spoken a lot about, not the slightest trace of flour on the walls or on the spider webs. The lower room had the same look of poverty and neglect: a few rags, a crust of bread, and in a corner three sacks, which had burst, with rubbish and plaster sticking out. That was Master ComilIe’s secret! It was that plaster that he paraded at night on the roads, to save the honor of the mill and to make people think that he made flour there. Poor mill! Poor Cornille! Long ago the steam millers had robbed him of his last customer. The sails still turned, but the mill ground nothing.

A15 According to the narrator, the province used to be famous for
1) rich harvests of grain.
2) large territories of pine woods.
3) a large number of windmills.
4) a great number of little donkeys.

A16 When a steam mill was set up on the road to Tarascon
1) the farmers felt resentful and angry.
2) the windmills were pulled down.
3) the local millers refused to work for its owner.
4) the people’s lifestyle became less enjoyable.

A17 Vivette worked on farms because
1) she had to provide for herself.
2) she had no wish to live with her grandfather.
3) her grandfather needed money badly.
4) she preferred picking olives to working at a mill.

A18 Master Cornille would look at Vivette for hours and cry because he felt
1) pity for the girl.
2) lonely without her.
3) sorry he couldn’t see her often enough.
4) that people were cruel to her.

A19 People of the village were curious to know
1) if the Master was really working for export.
2) where the Master got the grain to have his mill working.
3) how many bags of silver there were in his mill.
4) what the bags on his donkey were fill of.

A20 The Master talked to the narrator roughly because he might have been
1) afraid that the narrator would get into his mill.
2) angry with the narrator for using the steam mill.
3) sure that the narrator’s son was a bad match for Vivette.
4) in a hurry to finish his work.

A21 When the young couple got into the mill they realized that the Master
1) was a miser who lived on a crust of bread.
2) used his mill as a hiding place for his silver.
3) was an untidy and careless person.
4) was suffering because the days of windmills had passed.

 



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