Multiple Choice Practice Lesson 05.08
Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers. If
you wish to annotate (it's an important skill to practice!), copy and paste
the passage and questions into a document and print.
Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.
The town sits in a vale between two rounded-off, thickly wooded mountains. Hot mineral waters pour
out of the mountainsides, and the hills for miles around erupt with springs, some of them famous and
commercial, with bottled water for sale, others trickling under rotten leaves in deep woods and
known only to the natives. From one spring the water gushes milky and sulphurous. From another it
comes forth laced with arsenic. Here it will be heavy with the taste of rocky earth, there, as sweet as
rainwater. Each spring possesses its magical healing properties and its devoted, believing imbibers.
In 1541, on the journey that proved to be his last, Hernando de Soto encountered friendly tribes at
these springs. For a thousand years before him the mound-building Indians who lived in the
Mississippi Valley had come here to cure their rheumatism and activate their sluggish bowels.
The main street of town, cutting from northeast to southwest, is schizoid, lined on one side with
plate-glass store fronts and on the other with splendid white stucco bathhouses, each with its noble
portico and veranda, strung along the street like stones in an old-fashioned necklace. All but one of
the bathhouses are closed down now. At the head of the street, on a plateau, stands the multistoried
Arlington, a 1920's resort hotel and a veritable ducal palace in yellow sandstone. Opposite, fronted in
mirrors and glittering chrome, is what once was a gambling casino and is now a wax museum. "The
Southern Club," it was called in the days when the dice tumbled across the green baize and my
father waited for the results from Saratoga to come in over Western Union. Lots of other horsebooks
operated in that same neighborhood-the White Front, the Kentucky Club-some in backrooms and
dives in which no respectable person would be seen. But the Southern was another thing. Gamblers
from Chicago strolled in and out in their ice-cream suits and their two-tone shoes and nothing
smaller than a C-note in their pockets. Packards pulled up to the door and let out wealthy men with
showy canes and women in silk suits and alligator pumps who owned stables of thoroughbreds and
next month would travel to Churchill Downs. I saw this alien world in glimpses as Mother and I sat at
the curb in the green Chevrolet, waiting for the last race at Belmont or Hialeah to be over so that my
father could figure the payoffs and come home to supper.
The other realm was the usual realm, Middletown, Everyplace .Then it was frame houses, none very
new. Now it is brick ranches and splits, carports, inlaid nylon carpet, and draw-drapes. Now the
roads are lined with a pre-fab forest of Pizza Huts, Bonanzas, ninety kinds of hamburger stand, and