C2 Proficiency (CPE) >> Gapped Text Reading Worksheets >> In this part of the Reading and Use of English paper, known as 'Gapped Text' or 'Paragraph Gap Fill', students must put back paragraphs that have been removed from a text. This section of the C2 Proficiency exam will test a student's understanding of coherence, cohesion, text structure and global meaning. This short story: The Busman's Holiday.
Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE)
Reading: Gapped Text
A Busman's Holiday is a holiday/vacation during which you engage in activities which are similar to your own job. This short story tells off two time travelers who visit the Great Exhibition of 1851, taking place in London's Hyde Park.
Six paragraphs have been removed. Below the story, you will find the six removed paragraphs PLUS one paragraph which doesn't fit. Choose from the sentences (A-G) the one which fits each gap (1-6). Remember, there is one extra paragraph you do not need to use.
The Busman's Holiday
by Benjamin Kensey
It was all the two men could do to not break into a run as they crossed the park. The two, one luxuriously tall and the other much shorter, drew some inquisitive glances from the crowds.
"If we miss Darwin because you couldn't resist getting a taste of bloody mead, I'll brain you, Charles," said one, whose tall legs ate up the grassy yards with ease.
They rounded a stand of elm trees and there it was in front of them. The giant glass palace, five storeys tall and five hundred yards in length, swallowed the crowds that drifted towards it.
"Why is it so green?" Charles said, his pace finally slowing as the objective rose into view.
"Come on!" urged Will. "No time to lose."
Hyde Park was wet from an overnight downpour and the grass became muddy near the entrance. The two paid their two guineas entrance fee and moved into the central spine of the exhibition. Entire trees were encased in the crystal palace with statues and fountains competing for space and attention alongside them. On each side, vast exhibiting rooms had been set up and Charles and Will perused the contents of a few of them, the riches of Great Britain and her greater empire collected in one place for just these precious few months. Everywhere, fine cloths hung.
In one room, two baby Indian elephants were causing a stir while next door, vast tables were laden to breaking point with exotic fruits, spices, meats that the London public had rarely witnessed. But it was those exhibits crafted by man himself that Charles and Will had travelled far for and those they now sought.
"This weaving machine puts all predecessors to shame, Ladies," yelled one exhibitor.
"The voting machine will change democracy throughout the empire," called out a woman standing under a large Chartist banner. She popped a small brass ball into a machine with several holes and levers and Charles and Will stood at the doorway and listened to a series of whirs and plops as the ball made its way through the digestive tract of the machine before emerging into a box for re-use.
"Well, I never," said Will. "Let's phone Florida."
"The latest in plumbing and hygiene, Sir," said a man collecting pennies outside, dressed all in white. "Newspaper and shoe shine included."
"Later, thanks," said Charles and on they walked.
Towards one end of the Exhibition, the exhibits were beefier and more mechanical in nature and the two colleagues quickened their pace and sharpened their gazes.
A steam-driven hay bailer from Sussex was claimed to be thirty percent faster than traditional models.
"Think of all the hay you'll save," cried the man cranking the handles.
A small machine that spewed smoke and steam grabbed envelopes and closed them with a flourish, pushing them onto another tray where a stamp was pressed on, a little lopsided.
"It's a lot of effort for very little, isn't it," said Charles to Will.
"Look at that lever mechanism for the closing," said Will, enthralled. "Absolutely fantastic craftsmanship. I never saw anything about this little beauty."
The final room at one end of the glass house had the name Thomas Smithwick above it. Agricultural Engines, it said directly underneath.
"This is it," said Will, always leading where Charles followed. Inside, a primitive steam engine was hissing away, four large iron wheels attached to it. Will walked around his prey, purring appreciation for the contraption.
"Well," Charles replied, his head in the Great Exhibition programme they'd bought, "Mr. Robert Stephenson might have something to say about that."
"Good morning, gentleman. I can see you both hold the Smithwick's traction engine in great esteem. Are you in the business yourselves?" The man's hair was greased back shiny and flat.
"Engineering, yes, agriculture, no," said Will, still running his hands over the smooth lines of the machine, paying particular attention to the bold Smithwicks nameplate bolted onto the side.
"Yes, we know," said Will. Charles took hold of Will's jacket sleeve but Will shook himself free. "It's all about pressure, Mr. - "
The man pointed up to the sign.
"Ah, the man himself. As I was saying, you'll know yourself, of course, it's all about pressure. But you need to think smaller."
"Will, enough, come on," Charles said, moving towards the door.
Mr. Smithwick looked confused. "All our proving has shown that the larger delivers more power."
Charles bodily pulled Will towards the door.
"Think smaller, Smithwick. Water is great for slow heavy pressure but you want to get something explosive in a chamber, a metal chamber. Chambers and pistons, Smithwick," said Will, now almost shouting as Charles closed the door behind them. "That will give you all the impetus you need. Leave water behind, it belongs to the past."
The two were back out in the main walkway, surrounded by ferns, palms and a large fake Roman fountain with water splashing down onto an array of mythological creatures.
"You really are the worst, Will. What will we do if he goes off and creates a twelve-wheeler by next year?"
Charles followed Will's gaze and saw the sign: Daguerreotype Miniatures - Likenesses In Five Minutes.
"Will, don't you dare."
Use these paragraphs to fill the spaces above. There is one extra you do not need to use.
- They moved on, deeper into the massed throngs. They saw a sign that read "Retiring Rooms". Charles approached to see if he could get a look inside.
- Will thought long and hard about this. "I don't think so," he said finally.
- "This is the Stonehenge of mechanical engineering," Will said, his finger poised over one of the valves.
- Then we'll all be the better off for it," Will said, brushing down his jacket melodramatically. "Oh my, let's go and be really bad.
- Will, it's ten in the morning and it's only the second day. All the big wigs are going today. Stop your whining. I heard no complaints from you last night when you were drunk on ale.
- Everywhere they turned, voices beckoned.
- "It's the steam that drives the belt that drives the wheels," the man said, a gleam of pride on his face.