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Practical lesson № 20
“I’d like to ask you some questions about your personal life, signora.”
‘Our personal life?’ she repeated, as thought she had never heard of such a thing.
When he didn’t answer this, she nodded, signaling him to begin.
‘Could you tell me how long you and your husband were married?’
‘How many children do you have, signora?’
‘Two. Claudio is seventeen and Francesca is fifteen.’
‘Are they in school in Venice, signora?’
She looked up at him sharply when he asked this.
‘Why do you want to know that?’
‘My own daughter, Chiara, is fourteen, so perhaps they know each other,’ he answered, and smiled to show what an innocent question it had been.
‘Claudio is in school in Switzerland, but Franceska is here. With us. I mean,’ she corrected, rubbing a hand across her forehead, ‘with me.’
‘Would you say yours was a happy marriage, signora?’
‘Yes,’ she answered immediately, far faster than Brunetti would have answered the same question, thought he would have given the same response. She did not, however, elaborate.
‘Could you tell me if your husband had any particularly close friends or business associates?’
She looked up at this question, then as quickly down again at her hands.
‘Our closest friends are the Nogares, Mirto and Graziella. He’s an architect who lives in Campo Sant’Angelo. They’re Francesca’s godparents. I don’t know about business associates: you’ll have to ask Ubaldo’.
‘Other friends, signora?’
‘Why do you need to know all this?’ she said, voice rising sharply.
‘I’d like to learn more about your husband, signora.’
‘Why?’ The question leaped from her, almost as if beyond her volition.
‘Until I understand what sort of man he was, I can’t understand why this has happened.’
‘A robbery?’ she asked, voice just short of sarcasm.
‘It wasn’t robbery. Whoever killed him intended to do it.’
I. Mark sentences true or false.
1. A detective wants to know about signora’s social life.
2. She was married for about 25 years.
3. She has two children.
4. Her elder son is 17 and a junior son is 15.
5. Chiara is fourteen and she knows them.
6. Claudio is in school in Switzerland.
7. Signoras had a happy marriage.
8. Mirto is a builder who lives in Campo Sant’Angelo.
9. Mirto and Graziella are Francesca’s godparents.
10. Ubaldo knows everything about business associates.
II. Answer the questions:
a) What does detective want to know about a signora?
b) How many years was signora married?
c) How many children does she have?
d) Are the children in school in Venice?
e) How old is detective’s daughter?
f) Was signora’s marriage happy?
g) How old are signora’s children?
h) Who are Francesca’s godparents?
i) What does Mirto do?
j) Where does Graziella live?
III. Retell the text.