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Final Test for Unit V

Edit the following articles for grammar and style:

Text 1.

My Watch

My beautiful new watch had run eighteen months without losing or gaining, and without breaking any part of its machinery or stopping. I had come to believe it infallible in its judgments about the time of day, and to consider its constitution and its anatomy imperishable. But at last, one night, I let it run down. I grieved about it as if it were a recognized messenger and forerunner of calamity. But by and by I cheered up, set the watch by guess, and commanded my bodings and superstitions to depart. Next day I stepped into the chief jeweller’s to set it by the exact time, and the head of the establishment took it out of my hand and proceeded to set it for me. Then he said, " She is four minutes slow – regulator wants pushing up." I tried to stop him – tried to make him understand that the watch kept perfect time. But no; all this human cabbage could see was that the watch was four minutes slow, and the regulator MUST be pushed up a little; and so, while I danced around him in anguish, and implored him to let the watch alone, he calmly and cruelly did the shameful deed. My watch began to gain. It gained faster and faster day by day. Within the week it sickened to a raging fever, and its pulse went up to a hundred and fifty in the shade. At the end of two months it had left all the timepieces of the town far in the rear, and was a fraction over thirteen days ahead of the almanac. It was away into November enjoying the snow, while the October leaves were still turning. It hurried up house rent, bills payable, and such things, in such a ruinous way that I could not abide it. I took it to the watchmaker to be regulated. He asked me if I had ever had it repaired. I said no, it had never needed any repairing. He looked a look of vicious happiness and eagerly pried the watch open, and then put a small dice box into his eye and peered into its machinery. He said it wanted cleaning and oiling, besides regulating – come in a week. After being cleaned and oiled, and regulated, my watch slowed down to that degree that it ticked like a tolling bell. I began to be left by trains, I failed all appointments, I got to missing my dinner; my watch strung out three days’ grace to four and let me go to protest; I gradually drifted back into yesterday, then day before, then into last week, and by and by the comprehension came upon me that all solitary and alone I was lingering along in week before last, and the world was out of sight. I seemed to detect in myself a sort of sneaking fellow feeling for the mummy in the museum, and desire to swap news with him. I went to a watchmaker again. He took the watch all to pieces while I waited, and then said the barrel was " swelled." He said he could reduce it in three days. After this the watch AVERAGED well, but nothing more. For half a day it would go like the very mischief, and keep up such a barking and wheezing and whooping and sneezing and snorting, that I could not hear myself think for the disturbance; and as long as it held out there was not a watch in the land that stood any chance against it. But the rest of the day it would keep on slowing down and fooling along until all the clocks it had left behind caught up again. So at last, at the end of twenty-four hours, it would trot up to the judges’ stand all right and just in time. It would show a fair and square average, and no man could say it had done more or less than its duty. But a correct average is only a mild virtue in a watch, and I took this instrument to another watchmaker. He said the kingbolt was broken. I said I was glad it was nothing more serious. To tell the plain truth, I had no idea what the kingbolt was, but I did not choose to appear ignorant to a stranger. He repaired the kingbolt, but what the watch gained in one way it lost in another. It would run awhile and then stop awhile, and then run awhile again, and so on, using its own discretion about the intervals. And every time it went off it kicked back like a musket. I padded my breast for a few days, but finally took the watch to another watchmaker. He picked it all to pieces, and turned the ruin over and over under his glass; and then he said there appeared to be something the matter with the hair-trigger. He fixed it, and gave it a fresh start. It did well now, except that always at ten minutes to ten the hands would shut together like a pair of scissors, and from that time forth they would travel together. The oldest man in the world could not make head or tail of the time of day by such a watch, and so I went again to have the thing repaired. This person said that the crystal had got bent, and that the mainspring was not straight. He also remarked that part of the works needed half-soling. He made these things all right, and then my timepiece performed unexceptionably, save that now and then, after working along quietly for nearly eight hours, everything inside would let go all of a sudden and begin to buzz like a bee, and the hands would straightway begin to spin round and round so fast that their individuality was lost completely, and they simply seemed a delicate spider’s web over the face of the watch. She would reel off the next twenty-four hours in six or seven minutes, and then stop with a bang. I went with a heavy heart to one more watchmaker, and looked on while he took her to pieces. Then I prepared to cross-question him rigidly, for this thing was getting serious. The watch had cost two hundred dollars originally, and I seemed to have paid out two or three thousand for repairs. While I waited and looked on I presently recognized in this watchmaker an old acquaintance – a steamboat engineer of other days, and not a good engineer, either. He examined all the parts carefully, just as the other watchmakers had done, and then delivered his verdict with the same confidence of manner.

He said: " She makes too much steam – you want to hang the monkey-wrench on the safety-valve! "

I brained him on the spot, and had him buried at my own expense.

My uncle William (now deceased, alas!) used to say that a good horse was a good horse until it had run away once, and that a good watch was a good watch until the repairers got a chance at it. And he used to wonder what became of all the unsuccessful tinkers, and gunsmiths, and shoemakers, and engineers, and blacksmiths; but nobody could ever tell him.

From " Sketches New and Old", Copyright 1903, Samuel Clemens



Text 2

Josie’s Triumph

by Vivion Smith

Even though I am the older brother and she’s the younger sister, Josie was always a head taller, and a good 40 pounds heavier than me when we were growing up. I hated that. I was the big brother. I was supposed to be dominant and protective. But while she was the biggest kid in school, I was nearly the smallest.

Josie’s size and strength only made my lack of those two qualities more apparent. I was two years ahead of her in school, which meant that by the time she got to middle school I was already an 8th grader. Kids in middle school are not kind or accepting, and over the years they had continually made fun of my puny size and lack of athletic ability. But the teasing reached a whole new level when Josie entered middle school. Now they had a new angle for tormenting me.

They would taunt, " Hey Shrimp! Your sister still beat you up? " Or, they would chant again and again on the bus, " Paul, Paul, he’s so small, but his sister’s ten feet tall! " I guess that rhyme was hurtful to both of us, but I only felt my own humiliation. It still baffles me that I took no notice of my sister’s feelings. The times when the jokes centred around her, like when they called her " Josie the Giant, " it was such a relief not to be their target that I did nothing to stop them. Nothing seemed to bother Josie anyway. I never heard her complain or so much as saw her wince. I just assumed that her interior was a steely as her exterior.

That was until the day she snapped.

There was a new girl, Ginny, in Josie’s class who wore really thick glasses, and without them, was nearly blind. She, to my relief, had temporarily become the butt of jokes and pranks. The latest chant that the kids had come up with was, " Ginny, Ginny, short and fat, squinty-eyed and blind as a bat! " In all fairness, Ginny wasn’t fat at all, but the kids chanted that because it rhymed with bat.

It started as a normal lunch break, with Josie and Ginny standing together in line. Suddenly, Tommy Pederson ran up behind Ginny and snatched her glasses off her face. Everyone began the chant as they carelessly tossed her glasses down the line. I watched Josie’s face as it was happening. There seemed to be an anger beyond normal 6th grade capacity brewing behind her eyes. Tommy Pederson had gotten the glasses back and was waving them around in the air. That’s when it happened. With one hand Josie grabbed the glasses from him and with the other she punched him in the face. She hit him with such force that he fell over. Everyone froze in shock for a second until Tommy screamed " Get her! " There must have been 15 different students who rushed toward Josie. She held the glasses up as if to protect them and looked panicked until she made eye contact with me. " Josie! Here! " I screamed, gesturing that she throw me the glasses. She tossed the glasses to me, and miraculously, I caught them. She then faced the students who were rushing toward her. She skillfully defended herself by knocking them down one at a time as they approached her. She stopped fighting only when no one else dared move toward her.

I brought the glasses over and handed them to Tommy as he was picking himself up off the floor, humiliated. " Say you’re sorry and give Ginny back her glasses, " I told him. He said nothing. Josie slowly walked over and punched him in the stomach. He doubled over gasping for breath. " Say you’re sorry and give her back her glasses, " she repeated as she dragged him over to Ginny. " S-s-sorry, " stammered Tommy as he handed her the glasses. Ginny took them, her eyes round with shock.

At that point, someone started clapping. It was quiet at first, then almost everyone joined in. Everyone except the kids that she had beat up. They sat in stunned silence, knowing that this day marked a change for us all.

Text 3.

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