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Chapter 6: Gossip in the newspapers and marriage

 

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While listening to the audio book you can simultaneously read the audio book script below. If you do not want to read along, just listen and then skip directly to the comprehension exercises at the end of this page.
 
 
 
When, six months later, the engagement of Miss Hildegarde Moncrief to Mr. Benjamin Button was made known (I say "made known," for General Moncrief declared he would rather fall upon his sword than announce it), the excitement in Baltimore society reached a feverish pitch. The almost forgotten story of Benjamin's birth was remembered and sent out upon the winds of scandal in picaresque and incredible forms. It was said that Benjamin was really the father of Roger Button, that he was his brother who had been in prison for forty years, that he was John Wilkes Booth in disguise—and, finally, that he had two small conical horns sprouting from his head. The Sunday supplements of the New York papers played up the case with fascinating sketches which showed the head of Benjamin Button attached to a fish, to a snake, and, finally, to a body of solid brass. He became known, journalistically, as the Mystery Man of Maryland. But the true story, as is usually the case, had a very small circulation.
 
However, every one agreed with General Moncrief that it was "criminal" for a lovely girl who could have married any beau in Baltimore to throw herself into the arms of a man who was assuredly fifty. In vain Mr. Roger Button published his son's birth certificate in large type in the Baltimore Blaze. No one believed it. You had only to look at Benjamin and see. On the part of the two people most concerned there was no wavering. So many of the stories about her fiancé were false that Hildegarde refused stubbornly to believe even the true one. In vain General Moncrief pointed out to her the high mortality among men of fifty—or, at least, among men who looked fifty; in vain he told her of the instability of the wholesale hardware business. Hildegarde had chosen to marry for mellowness, and marry she did….
 

After you listened:

 
 
Complete the following sentences using your own words. Afterwards, you can compare your sentences to a sample solution.
  • When the engagement of Miss Hildegarde Moncrief to Mr. Benjamin Button was made known…
  • Roger Button published…
  • New York papers…
  • When the engagement of Miss Hildegarde Moncrief to Mr. Benjamin Button was made known, Baltimore society got excited and recalled the story of Benjamin's birth.
* Roger Button published the birth certificate of Benjamin to prove that the rumours were wrong and that his son was only 18 years old. * New York papers printed sketches of Benjamin in which his head was attached to a fish, to a snake, and, finally, to a body of solid brass.

 
 
Write a summary about this chapter. Use the following words. Afterwards, you can compare your summary to a sample solution.
  • Miss Hildegarde Moncrief
  • prison
  • Mystery Man
  • true story
  • "criminal"
  • marry
  • refused to believe
When people heard that Miss Hildegarde Moncrief and Benjamin Button were going to marry, they recalled the long forgotten story of Benjamin's birth. Rumours started to spread. For example people said that Benjamin was the brother of Mr. Roger Button and had been in prison for forty years. In New York newspapers Benjamin became known as the Mystery Man of Maryland. The true story was only known to very few people. Everyone thought it was "criminal" for Hildegarde to marry Benjamin. However, Hildegarde refused to believe the true story about Benjamin and married him anyway.

 
 
 
 
 

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