93. Reading Skills Comprehension: Block of Flat

By | May 15, 2023
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Block of Flat

1 The old lady was glad to be back at the block of flats where she lived. Her shopping had tired her and her basket had grown heavier with every step of the way home. In the lift her thoughts were on lunch and a good rest; but when she got out at her own floor, both were forgotten in her sudden discovery that her front door was open. She was thinking that she must reprimand her daily maid the next morning for such a monstrous piece of negligence when she remembered that she had gone shopping after her maid had left and she had turned both the keys in their locks. She walked slowly into the hall and at once noticed that all the room doors were open, yet following the regular practice she had shut them before going out. Looking into the drawing room, she saw a scene of confusion near her writing desk.  2 It was as clear as daylight then that burglar had forced entry in her absence. Her first impulse was to go round all the rooms looking for the thieves, but then she decided that at her age it might be more prudent to have someone with her, so she went to fetch the porter from the basement. By this time her legs were beginning to tremble, so she sat down and accepted a cup of very strong tea, while she telephoned to the police. Then her composure regained, she was ready to set off with the porter’s assistance to search for any intruders who might be still lurking in her flat. 3 They went through the rooms, being careful to touch nothing, as they did not want to hinder the police in their search for fingerprints. The chaos was inconceivable. She had lived in the flat for thirty years and was a veritable magpie at hoarding, and it seemed as though everything she possessed had been tossed out and turned over and over. At least sorting out the things she should have discarded years ago was now being made easier for her. Then a police inspector arrived with a constable and she told them of her discovery of the ransacked flat. The inspector began to look for fingerprints, while the constable checked that the front door locks had not been forced, thereby proving that the burglars had either used skeleton keys or entered over the balcony. 4 There was no trace of fingerprints, but the inspector found a dirty red bundle that contained jewellery which the old lady said was not hers. So their entry into this flat was apparently not the burglars’ first job that day and they must have been disturbed. The inspector then asked the lady to try to check what was missing by the next day and advised her not to stay alone in the flat for a few nights. The old lady thought that he was a fussy creature, but since the porter agreed with him, she rang up her daughter and asked for her help in what she described as a little spot of bother.

Word Meanings:-   

1.undoing —cause of somebody’s win or downfall.

1. Reprimand—rebuke for a fault. 2. monstrous—shocking 3. Impulse– the sudden urge to act without thinking about the results. 4. Prudent—wise. 5. porter—doorman. a person whose Job is to be on duty at the entrance of a large building. 6. Basement—lowest rooms in a building. 7. Composure—calm state of mind. 8. Intruder—one who enters another’s property illegally? 9. Lurking—hiding 10. chaos—complete disorder 11. Inconceivable—difficult to believe or imagine. 12. veritable—real. 13. Magpie­— noisy black and white bird that is attracted by and takes away small bright objects, here it means a Nelson who collects or hoards things. 14 discard— throw out 15. ransacked—searched, plundered. 16. skeleton key—a key that will open several difficult locks. 17. apparently— as it appeared. 18. fussy—unduly excited about small things. 19. bother—trouble.


1.Answer the following questions as briefly as possible:

a) Why did the old lady feel glad to be back at her flat?

b) Why was the old lady surprised to find her front door open?

c) What made her realize that burglars had entered the flat?

d) Why did she go to the basement?

e) While going through the rooms she took all precautions to ensure that she didn’t touch anything. Why?

2. Find words in the above passage which convey a similar meaning to the following:

a) enormous (Para 1)

b) disorder (Para 3)

c) indication (Para 4)


1. a) Her shopping had tired her and she had thought of having lunch and a good rest back home. So she was glad to be back at her flat.

b) She had locked the door when she had left for her shopping. So she was surprised to find her front door open when she came back.

c) She noticed a scene of confusion near her writing desk. It made her realize that burglars had entered the flat.

d) She went to the basement to fetch the porter.

e) She did so because she didn’t want to hinder the police in their search for fingerprints.

2. a) monstrous.

b) chaos.

c) trace.

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