ACT Reading OG Test 2 - Passage I

Questions 1-10 are based on the following passage.

LITERARY NARRATIVE: This passage is adapted from the novel Homeland by John Jakes (©1993 by John Jakes).

Joseph Emanuel Crown, owner of the Crown
Brewery of Chicago, was a worried man. Worried on
several counts, the most immediate being a civic
responsibility he was scheduled to discuss at an emer-
5 ency meeting this Friday, the fourteenth of October; a
meeting he had requested.
Joe Crown seldom revealed inner anxieties, and
that was the case as he worked in his office this morn­-
ing. He was a picture of steadiness, rectitude, prosper-
10 ity. He wore a fine suit of medium gray errlivened by a
dark red four-in-hand tied under a high collar.Since the
day was not yet too warm, he kept his coat on.
Joe's hair was more silver than white. He washed
it daily, kept it shining. His eyes behind spectacles with
15 silver wire frames were dark brown, rather large, and
alert. His mustache and imperial showed careful atten­-
tion; he had an appointment at twelve for the weekly
trim. His hands were small but strong. He wasn't hand­-
some, but he was commanding.
20 Three principles ruled Joe Crown's business and
personal life, of which the most important was order. In
German, Ordnung. Without order, organization, some
rational plan, you had chaos.
The second principle was accuracy. Accuracy was
25 mandatory in brewing, where timing and temperatures
were critical. But accuracy was also the keystone of any
business that made money instead of losing it. The pri­-
mary tool for achieving accuracy was mathematics. Joe
Crown had a towering belief in the potency of correct
30 information, and the absolute authority of numbers
which provided it
In Germany, he'd learned his numbers before he
learned to read. Though a mediocre student in most
school subjects,at ciphering he was a prodigy. He
35 could add a column of figures, or do calculations in his
head, with astonishing speed. In Cincinnati, his first
stop in America, he'd begged the owner of a Chinese
laundry to teach him to use an abacus. One of these
ancient counting devices could be found in his office
40 sitting on a low cabinet, within reach. Money measured
success; counting measured money.
Questions he asked of his employees often
involved numbers. "What is the exact temperature?"
"How large is the population in that market?" "How
45 many barrels did we ship last week?" "What's the cost,
per square foot, of this expansion?"
As for his third principle, modernity, he believed
that, too, was crucial in business. Men who said the old
ways were the best ways were fools, doomed to fall
50 behind and fail. Joe was always searching for the
newest methods to improve the brewery's product,
output, efficiency, cleanliness. He hadn't hesitated to
install expensive pasteurizatron equipment when he
opened his first small brewery in Chicago. He'd been
55 among the first to invest heavily in refrigerated freight
cars. He insisted that modern machines be used in the
office. From his desk he could hear the pleasing ratchet
noise of a mechanical adding machine. This blended
with the clicking keys and pinging bell on the black
60 iron typewriter used for correspondence by his chief
clerk, Stefan Zwick.
Originally Stefan had resisted Joe's suggestion
that he learn to operate a typewriter. "Sir, I respectfully
decline, a quill pen suits me perfectly."
65 "But Stefan," Joe said to him in a friendly but firm
way, "I'm afraid it doesn't suit me, because it makes
Crown's look old-fashioned. However, I'll respect your
feelings. Please place a help wanted advertisement.
We'll hire one of those young women who specialize
70 in using the machines. I believe they too are called
typewriters."
Zwick blanched. "A woman? In my office?"
"I'm sorry, Stefan, but you leave me no choice if
you won't learn to typewrite."
Stefan Zwick learned to typewrite.
75 Every solid house or building was supported by a
strong foundation; and so there was a foundation on
which Joe Crown's three principles rested. It was not
unusual, or peculiar to him. It was the cheerful accep-
80 tance, not to say worship, of hard work. Among other
artifacts, advertising sheets, flags and fading brown
photographs of annual brewery picnics decorating his
office there was a small framed motto which his wife
had done colorfully in cross-stitch and put into a frame
85 of gilded wood. Ohne Fleiss, kein Preis, it said. In
rough translation, this reminded you that without indus­-
try there was no reward. From his desk Joe Crown
couldn't see the gold-framed motto; it hung on the wall
behind him, slightly to his right. But he didn't need to
90 see it. Its truth was in him deeper than the marrow of
his bones. He was a German.

 
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