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"Yes, father."
"Is the house locked up?"
"Are ye sure, now?"
"Why, yes, dear; I just did it."
"Well, won't ye see?"

"But I have seen, father." Jane did not often make so many words about this little matter, but she was particularly tired to-night. The old man fell back wearily.

To Jane Pendergast her father had gone with the going of his keen, clear mind, twenty years before. This fretful, childish, exacting old man that pottered about the house all day was but the shell that had held the kernel--the casket that had held the jewel. However, because of what it had held, Jane guarded it tenderly, laying at its feet her life as a willing sacrifice.

There had been four children: Edgar, the eldest; Jane, Mary, and Fred. Edgar had left home early, and was a successful businessman in Boston. Mary had married a wealthy lawyer of the same city; and Fred had opened a real estate office in a thriving Southern town. Jane had stayed at home. There had been a time, it is true, when she had planned to go away to school; but the death of Mrs. Pendergast left no one at home to care for Mary and Fred, so Jane had abandoned the idea. Later, after Mary had married and Fred had gone away, there was still her father to be cared for, though at this time he was well and strong.

Jane had passed her thirty-fifth birthday, when she became palpitatingly aware of a pair of blue-gray eyes, and a determined, smooth-shaven chin belonging to the recently arrived principal of the village school. In spite of her stern admonition to herself to remember her years and not quite lose her head, she was fast drifting into a rosy dream of romance that was all the more enthralling because so belated, when the summons of a small boy brought her sharply back to the realities.

"It's yer father, miss. They want ye ter come," he panted. "Somethin' has took him. He's in Mackey's drug store, talkin' awful queer. He ain't his self, ye know. They thought maybe you could--do somethin'."

Jane went at once--but she could do nothing except to lead gently home the chattering, shifting-eyed thing that had once been her father. One after another the village physicians shook their heads--they could do nothing. Skilled alienists from the city--they, too, could do nothing. There was nothing that could be done, they said, except to care for him as one would for a child. He would live years, probably. His constitution was wonderfully good. He would not be violent--just foolish and childish, with perhaps a growing irritability as the years passed and his physical strength failed. Mary and Edgar had come home at once. Mary had stayed two days and Edgar five hours. They were shocked and dismayed at their father's condition. So overwhelmed with grief were they, indeed, that they fled from the room almost immediately upon seeing him, and Edgar took the first train out of town.
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Question 1
Who is referred as the "fretful, childish, challenging old man" in the story?
A. Jane's motherB. Jane's father
C. JaneD. Jane's grandfather
Question 2
How many children did Jane's father have?
A. twoB. three
C. fiveD. four
Question 3
Who was the eldest among the four siblings?
A. EdgarB. Jane
C. MaryD. Fred
Question 4
Who had a real estate office in a Southern town?
A. Mary's husbandB. Jane
C. FredD. Edgar
Question 5
Why did Jane not go to school?
A. because her father died and someone needed to stay home to take care of her siblings.B. because her father did not have enough money to send all four of them to school.
C. because Jane was ill.D. because her mother died and someone needed to stay home to take care of her siblings.
Question 6
What profession did Jane's elder brother have?
A. a lawyerB. a businessman
C. a doctorD. a real estate agent
Question 7
What happened to Jane's father?
A. he remarried after the death of Mrs. PendergastB. he died when Jane was 12
C. he was severely ill D. he left house and never returned
Question 8
What is the meaning of this line?

One after another, the village physicians shook their heads.
A. The physicians were not interested to help Jane's father.B. There were not many physicians in the village.
C. The physicians demanded lots of money to treat Jane's father.D. All physicians gave negative response.
Question 9
What did Edgar do after seeing his father's condition?
A. he left the town within five hoursB. he stayed home for three months
C. he decided to take care of his fatherD. he took his father with him to Boston
Question 10
Who informed Jane about her father loosing his mind in a drug store?
A. a school principalB. a small boy
C. FredD. the drugstore owner
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