When Reggie Love and Mark returned to the hospital there were reporters everywhere.
‘Ms Love, Ms Love,’ they called. ‘Just a few questions, please.’ She took Mark’s hand and walked faster.
‘Is it true your client is refusing to speak to the FBI? Is it true he knows more than he wants to say? Did Mark talk to Jerome Clifford before he died?’ Reggie said quickly to Mark, ‘Don’t look at them and don’t say a word.’
In room 943 Ricky was sitting on the end of the bed. Dr Greenway told Mark to sit next to him and hold his hand.
‘Ricky,’ he said, ‘I would like to talk about the other day when you and Mark were hiding in the trees.’
‘It’s okay, Ricky, ’ said Mark. ‘He knows we were smoking. Mom’s not angry with us.’
‘Ricky, do you remember seeing the big, black car?’ said Dr Greenway.
‘Yes,’ said Ricky quietly.
‘What did the big black car do, Ricky?’
Ricky shut his eyes tightly, put his head on Mark’s knee and his thumb went into his mouth. He didn’t speak another word for twenty-four hours.
Mark was tired, so when Ricky was asleep again, they left the hospital in Reggie’s sports car. It was old, but Reggie liked to drive fast, and that was fine with Mark.
Mark watched the mirror closely to see if anyone was following them.
‘You think that Mom and Ricky are safe?’ he asked.
‘Yes. The hospital promised to keep guards at the door. Now I wonder what Momma Love is giving us for dinner?’
Momma Love was Reggie’s mother. She frequently had young guests to dinner. Most of Reggie’s work was with children. Some had family problems, some had drug problems and some had already started a life of crime. Reggie often decided that they needed good food.
‘Momma Love’s cooking is the best,’ she told Mark.
And it was. Everything was fresh and smelled perfect. They spent an hour at the table, talking and eating.
After dinner Momma Love showed Mark some photographs. ‘Reggie’s children,’ she said. ‘I never see them now. Their father took them and spoiled them. Reggie felt angry at first, but she’s got a new life now and tries not to think about it.’
Mark’s bed was comfortable and he fell asleep quickly, but around two o’clock he woke up and found himself worrying about Mom and Ricky. Why was he there? His place was with them, at the hospital. He got up and stood at the window, thinking about the past two days. It had all started on Monday, after school. Now he had missed two days of school. When would it all end?
As Mark looked into the dark night he suddenly noticed a small red light. A cigarette. Someone was out there, in the street, smoking a cigarette. Though he couldn’t be seen, Mark held his breath. Someone was watching the house.adapted from a novel by John Grisham, retold by Janet Mc Alpin
6.1. Reggie Love (! wanted Mark to tell the reporters everything.) (! allowed Mark to answer just one question.) ( did not let Mark speak to the reporters.) (! decided to tell the reporters the truth.)
6.2. Doctor Greenway wanted to talk to Ricky about (! the cause of his hand injury.) (! his relationship with Mark.) (! his problems with smoking.) ( the vehicle the boy had seen.)
6.3. Mark left the hospital (! to allow Ricky to fall asleep.) ( to have a rest somewhere else.) (! because Ricky refused to speak to him.) (! because somebody was following him.)
6.4. Momma Love often ( prepared meals for the visitors.) (! solved young visitors’ problems.) (! discussed problems with the guests.) (! served ready-made dishes to the guests.)
6.5. What do you learn about Reggie’s own children? (! They do not frequently see their father.) (! They still visit Reggie’s house regularly.) (! They come to Reggie when she feels angry.) ( They have lived with their father for some time now.)
6.6. When Mark woke up at night, he (! wanted to light a cigarette.) ( noticed a smoker outside.) (! found it very hard to breathe.) (! saw someone standing at the window.)
6.7. The text is about a boy who (! has had many problems at school.) (! is preparing a meal for his sick friend.) ( has found himself in danger.) (! is cooperating with the press.)