An embarrassing experience
It was the small hours of the morning when we reached London Airport. I had cabled Lond trom Amsterdam, and there was a hired car to meet, but there was one more unfortunate happening before I reached my fiat. In all my travels I have never, but for that once, been required by the British customs to open a single bag or to do more than state that I carried no goods liable to duty. I was, of course, my fault; the extreme tiredness and nervous tension of the journey had destroyed my
diplomacy. I was, for whichever reason, so fired that I could hardly stand, and to the question, "have you read this?" I replied with extreme foolishness, "Yes, hundreds of times. "
"And you have nothing to declare?"
"How long have you been out of this country?"
"About three months. "
"And during that time you have acquired nothing?"
"Nothing but what is on the list I have given you. "
He seemed momentarily at a loss, but then he attacked. The attack, when it came, was utterly unexpected.
"Where did you get that watch?"
I could have kicked myself. Two days ago, when playing water games with a friend in the bath, I had forgotten to take off my ROLEX OYSTER, and it had, not unnaturally, stopped. I had gone into the market and bought, for twelve shillings and six pence, an ugly time piece that made a strange noise. It had stopped twice, without any reason, during the journey.
I explained, but I had already lost face. I produced my own watch from a pocket, and added that I should be grateful if he would confiscate the replacement.
"It is not a question of confiscation," he said, "there is a fine for failing to declare dutiable goods. And now may I please examine that Rolex?"
It took another quarter of an hour to persuade him that the Rolex was not contraband; then he began to search my luggage.
1. When did the writer arrive at London airport?
[A] In the early morning. [B] Late at night. [C] At noon. [D] Late in the morning.
2. What can we conclude from the questions asked by the customs officer?
[A] He was just doing his duty by asking the passenger some usual questions.
[B] He must have noticed the writer' s ugly watch.
[C] He wanted to embarrass the writer.
[D] He must have noticed the writer's tiredness.
3. What did the writer think of the watch he bought in the market?
[A] He was fond of the watch because it was a Rolex.
[B] He found the watch useful though it was very cheap.
[C] He didn't like the watch at all.
[D] He was indifferent to the watch.
4. What must have happened to the writer in the end?
[A] He must have spent a long time at the customs and must have been let go without any punishment.
[B] He must have been given a fine as a punishment.
[C] His Rolex must have been confiscated.
[D]His cheap watch must have been confiscated.
5. What do you think is the tone of the story?
[A] Humorous. [B] Sarcastic. [C] Solemn. [D] Matter-of-fact.
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