My name is James Springwood. Mum and dad still call me Jimmy, which I don't like as I am already 13, but parents are parents. My dad works as a manager for a big company producing computer electronics, my mum is a housewife. Now she is visiting her sister in Liverpool, so my dad and me are the only people responsible for the family now. I also have a 10-year-old sister, little Jan, as everybody calls her. She is crazy about puzzles. Sometimes she is fun to talk to, but to tell you the truth I would prefer somebody else's company most of the time. Why are little girls so nosy and sticky? Our gran also lives with us. She is the best granny in the world. In her youth she used to ride horses and play baseball with boys, and she knows a lot of tricks and card games. Our family is of ancient origin, and gran says that her great-great-grandfather was a very important person and lived in a castle in the southwest of Britain. This fact is important for the story I am going to tell you.
At the end of April our head teacher came to our class and announced that there would be a school exhibition of students' collections. So we were invited to participate. I was glad as we had a wonderful coin collection at home, dating back to the 18th century.
So when I came home the first thing I burst out with was, "Dad, where's our coin collection? I need it for our school exhibition!" Dad didn't seem to be very pleased, he started grumbling something like, "It's our treasured possession... all the family are proud of it... you are not responsible enough..."
But I said, "Dad, this is the way to make our collection even more famous!" and he kind of agreed. But when he unlocked the bureau where the collection had always been kept, we saw it was gone! The only two people who had the key to the bureau were him and gran, but gran showed the L— key and said she hadn't used it for ages. Dad got furious. We all were very worried too. He called the police and they arrived immediately. They examined the bureau and the area around and asked dad and gran a lot of questions, like, "When did you see the collection last? Did you have any visitors? Who else knew about the collection? Where is Mrs Springwood? Who do you suspect?" etc. Then they asked dad to give them a detailed description of the collection (which he surely had in perfect order with all his documents), and left. We didn't sleep well that night. We didn't have much hope that the collection would be returned.
1 What do these phrases mean:
she is fun to talk to
a) it is interesting to talk to her
b) she is funny
she used to ride horses
a) she often rides horses
b) she once rode horses
he kind of agreed
a) he was kind and agreed
b) he agreed in a way
2 Why is is here and are there?
3 Which happened earlier? How is it shown?
4 Who are they? Why they, not it?