SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 2 - reading 2

Questions 1-11 are based on the following
passage.


This passage is excerpted from L.M. Montgomery, “The Gossip of Valley View,” originally published in 1910.




It was the first of April, and Julius Barrett, aged

fourteen, perched on his father's gatepost, watched ruefully

the low descending sun, and counted that day lost. He had
not succeeded in "fooling" a single person, although he had
5 tried repeatedly. One and all, old and young, of his

intended victims had been too wary for Julius. Hence,

Julius was disgusted and ready for anything in the way of a

stratagem or a spoil.
The Barrett gatepost topped the highest hill in Valley
10 View. Julius could see the entire settlement, from "Young"

Thomas Everett's farm, a mile to the west, to Adelia

Williams's weather-grey little house on a moonrise slope to

the east. He was gazing moodily down the muddy road

when Dan Chester, homeward bound from the post office,
15 came riding sloppily along on his grey mare and pulled up

by the Barrett gate to hand a paper to Julius. Dan was a

young man who took life and himself very seriously. He

seldom smiled, never joked, and had a Washingtonian

reputation for veracity. Dan had never told a conscious
20 falsehood in his life; he never even exaggerated.
Julius, beholding Dan's solemn face, was seized with a

perfectly irresistible desire to "fool" him. At the same

moment his eye caught the dazzling reflection of the

setting sun on the windows of Adelia Williams's house, and
25 he had an inspiration little short of diabolical. "Have you

heard the news, Dan?" he asked.
"No, what is it?" asked Dan.
"I dunno's I ought to tell it," said Julius reflectively.

"It's kind of a family affair, but then Adelia didn't say not
30 to, and anyway it'll be all over the place soon. So I'll tell

you, Dan, if you'll promise never to tell who told you.

Adelia Williams and Young Thomas Everett are going to

be married."
Julius delivered himself of this tremendous lie with a
35 transparently earnest countenance. Yet Dan, credulous as

he was, could not believe it all at once.
"Git out," he said.
"It's true, 'pon my word," protested Julius. "Adelia was

up last night and told Ma all about it. Ma's her cousin, you
40 know. The wedding is to be in June, and Adelia asked Ma

to help her get her quilts and things ready."
Julius reeled all this off so glibly that Dan finally

believed the story, despite the fact that the people thus

coupled together in prospective matrimony were the very
45 last people in Valley View who could have been expected to

marry each other. Young Thomas was a confirmed

bachelor of fifty, and Adelia Williams was forty; they were

not supposed to be even well acquainted, as the Everetts

and the Williamses had never been very friendly, although
50 no open feud existed between them.
Nevertheless, in view of Julius's circumstantial

statements, the amazing news must be true, and Dan was

instantly agog to carry it further. Julius watched Dan and

the grey mare out of sight, fairly writhing with ecstasy. Oh,
55 but Dan had been easy! The story would be all over Valley

View in twenty-four hours. Julius laughed until he came

near to falling off the gatepost.
At this point Julius and Danny drop out of our story,

and Young Thomas enters.
60 It was two days later when Young Thomas heard that

he was to be married to Adelia Williams in June. Eben

Clark, the blacksmith, told him when he went to the forge

to get his horse shod. Young Thomas laughed his big jolly

laugh. Valley View gossip had been marrying him off for
65 the last thirty years, although never before to Adelia

Williams.
"It's news to me," he said tolerantly.
Eben grinned broadly. "Ah, you can't bluff it off like

that, Tom," he said. "The news came too straight this
70 time. Well, I was glad to hear it, although I was mighty

surprised. I never thought of you and Adelia. But she's a

fine little woman and will make you a capital wife."
Young Thomas grunted and drove away. He had a good

deal of business to do that day, involving calls at various
75 places—the store for molasses, the mill for flour, Jim

Bentley's for seed grain, the doctor's for toothache drops

for his housekeeper, the post office for mail—and at each

and every place he was joked about his approaching

marriage. In the end it rather annoyed Young Thomas. He
80 drove home at last in what was for him something of a

temper. How on earth had that fool story started? With

such detailed circumstantiality of rugs and quilts, too?

Adelia Williams must be going to marry somebody, and

the Valley View gossips, unable to locate the man, had
85 guessed Young Thomas.

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Question 1 Over the course of the passage, the main focus shifts from