MY UNCLE TOM
My uncle Tom worked on the railway. It wasn't a big station, it was a little place called Lowton Cross. Only about two trains a day stopped there, and Tom was station-master, chief porter all in one. In fact Tom did any work that came along. Lowton Cross was the pride of his heart; the waiting room was cleaned every day by the chief cleaner (Tom); the chairs were polished by the chief polisher (Tom); and the tickets were sold, and collected, by the ticket-collector (Tom) - sometimes there were as many as four tickets a day, - and the money was counted every evening by the chief clerk (Tom).
That station was run well: Tom was very strict about rules. He knew what a passenger was allowed to do and was not allowed to do. He was there for 50 years and then he had to retire. There is no doubt that Tom did his job well; in all the 50 years he never missed a single day. So the Railway Company wanted to thank him for his job. A man from the head office was asked to go to Lowton Cross to do it.
Tom was thanked and was given a small cheque as a present. He was very pleased, of course, but he said to the man, "I don't need the money. But can I have something that will remind me of the happy days I have spent in Lowton Cross?" The man asked him what he wanted. "Well, sir, could the Company let me have a part of an old railway carriage. It doesn't matter how old or broken it is. I want to put it in my garden, and every day I can go and sit in it."
About a week later a carriage was sent and was taken into Tom's garden.
Tom worked at it, and it was cleaned and painted and polished. Soon we went to see Tom. It was a bad day for a visit. It began to rain as we got off the train, and by the time we got to Tom's house it was raining hard. We knocked, but there was no answer. Tom wasn't in the house. We thought he was sitting in the carriage. Sure enough, he was there, but he was not sitting in the carriage; he was outside, on the step of the carriage, smoking his pipe. His head was covered with a sack. We asked him why he did not go inside the carriage. "Can't you see," said Tom, "the carriage they sent me was a non-smoker."
1. Who worked on the railway?
2. Was Lowton Cross a big station?
3. How many trains a day stopped there?
4. What work did Tom do?
5. Did anybody else work at the station?
6. Was the station run welt?
7. Was Tom strict about rules?
8. How long has he worked there?
9. Did Tom do his job well?
10. Why did the company want to thank Tom?
11. Who came to thank Tom?
12. What was given to Tom?
13. Why didn't he want a cheque?
14. What did he want to get from the head office to remember the happy days he had spent in Lowton Cross?
15. Where was an old carriage placed?
16. What did Tom do with the old carriage?
17. What was the weather like when they went to see Tom?
18. Where was Tom?
19. Why was he sitting on the step of the carriage on a rainy day?