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A total of 10 questions are based on the following passage.This passage is adap...


A total of 10 questions are based on the following passage.

This passage is adapted from William Maxwell, The Folded Leaf. ©1959 by William Maxwell. Originally published in 1945.

The Alcazar Restaurant was on Sheridan Road
near Devon Avenue. It was long and narrow, with
tables for two along the walls and tables for four
down the middle. The decoration was art moderne,
5 except for the series of murals depicting the four
seasons, and the sick ferns in the front window.
Lymie sat down at the second table from the cash
register, and ordered his dinner. The history book,
which he propped against the catsup and the glass
10 sugar bowl, had been used by others before him.
Blank pages front and back were filled in with maps,
drawings, dates, comic cartoons, and organs of the
body; also with names and messages no longer clear
and never absolutely legible. On nearly every other
15 page there was some marginal notation, either in ink
or in very hard pencil. And unless someone had
upset a glass of water, the marks on page 177 were
from tears.
While Lymie read about the Peace of Paris, signed
20 on the thirtieth of May, 1814, between France and
the Allied powers, his right hand managed again and
again to bring food up to his mouth. Sometimes he
chewed, sometimes he swallowed whole the food that
he had no idea he was eating. The Congress of
25 Vienna met, with some allowance for delays, early in
November of the same year, and all the powers
engaged in the war on either side sent
plenipotentiaries. It was by far the most splendid and
important assembly ever convoked to discuss and
30 determine the affairs of Europe. The Emperor of
Russia, the King of Prussia, the Kings of Bavaria,
Denmark, and Wurttemberg, all were present in
person at the court of the Emperor Francis I in the
Austrian capital. When Lymie put down his fork and
35 began to count them off, one by one, on the fingers
of his left hand, the waitress, whose name was Irma,
thought he was through eating and tried to take his
plate away. He stopped her. Prince Metternich (his
right thumb) presided over the Congress, and
40 Prince Talleyrand (the index finger) represented
A party of four, two men and two women, came
into the restaurant, all talking at once, and took
possession of the center table nearest Lymie.
45 The women had shingled hair and short tight skirts
which exposed the underside of their knees when
they sat down. One of the women had the face of a
young boy but disguised by one trick or another
(rouge, lipstick, powder, wet bangs plastered against
50 the high forehead, and a pair of long pendent
earrings) to look like a woman of thirty-five, which
as a matter of fact she was. The men were older. They
laughed more than there seemed any occasion for,
while they were deciding between soup and shrimp
55 cocktail, and their laughter was too loud. But it was
the women’s voices, the terrible not quite sober pitch
of the women’s voices which caused Lymie to skim
over two whole pages without knowing what was on
them. Fortunately he realized this and went back.
60 Otherwise he might never have known about the
secret treaty concluded between England, France,
and Austria, when the pretensions of Prussia and
Russia, acting in concert, seemed to threaten a
renewal of the attack. The results of the Congress
65 were stated clearly at the bottom of page 67 and at
the top of page 68, but before Lymie got halfway
through them, a coat that he recognized as his
father’s was hung on the hook next to his chair.
Lymie closed the book and said, “I didn’t think you
70 were coming.”
Time is probably no more unkind to sporting
characters than it is to other people, but physical
decay unsustained by respectability is somehow more
noticeable. Mr. Peters’ hair was turning gray and his
75 scalp showed through on top. He had lost weight
also; he no longer filled out his clothes the way he
used to. His color was poor, and the flower had
disappeared from his buttonhole. In its place was an
American Legion button.
80 Apparently he himself was not aware that there
had been any change. He straightened his tie
self-consciously and when Irma handed him a menu,
he gestured with it so that the two women at the next
table would notice the diamond ring on the fourth
85 finger of his right hand. Both of these things, and
also the fact that his hands showed signs of the
manicurist, one can blame on the young man who
had his picture taken with a derby hat on the back of
his head, and also sitting with a girl in the curve of
90 the moon. The young man had never for one second
deserted Mr. Peters. He was always there, tugging at
Mr. Peters’ elbow, making him do things that were
not becoming in a man of forty-five.

(4 of 10) Lymie’s primary impression of the “party of four” (line 42) is that they


are noisy and distracting.
are a refreshing change from the other customers.
resemble characters from his history book.
represent glamour and youth.

The correct answer is A.


Choice A is the best answer. The passage makes it clear that Lymie finds the party of four who enter the restaurant to be loud and bothersome, as their entrance means he is no longer able to concentrate on his book: “They laughed more than there seemed any occasion for . . . and their laughter was too loud. But it was the women’s voices . . . which caused Lymie to skim over two whole pages without knowing what was on them” (lines 52-59).

Choices B, C, and D are incorrect because lines 55-59 make clear that Lymie is annoyed by the party of four, not that he finds their presence refreshing (choice B), thinks they resemble the people he is reading about (choice C), or thinks they represent glamour and youth (choice D).

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