Texte de Mary Higgins Clark


« At five o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, Zach Willet drove to the neighboring town of Madison and parked in front of the sales office of the Cartwright Town Houses Corporation. He went inside, where he found a sales clerk, a woman in her thirties, tidying up in preparation for closing down for the day. He noted the nameplate on her desk: AMY STACK. "Hi, Amy," Zach said as he looked around the room. "I can see you're getting ready to skedaddle(1) out of here, so I won't take but two minutes of your time." On the walls were sketches of different models of the town houses, and the artist's conception of how they might look when furnished. Zach walked from one to the other, examining them closely. Brochures on the table listed the prices and sizes and particular features of the various units. He picked up one of the brochures and read aloud some of the selling features of the most expensive model. "Four-story town house, four bedrooms, master bedroom suite, state-of-the-art kitchen, three fireplaces, four baths, washer and dryer, double garage, private patio and yard, all services." Zach smiled appreciatively. "Looks as though you just can't go wrong with that one," he said. He dropped the brochure back on the table, walked over to the biggest picture, and pointed to it. "Now, Amy, I know you're probably rushing to meet your husband or your boyfriend, but how about indulging a nice fellow like me and show me that fancy homestead." "I'll be glad to take you over, Mr.…" Amy hesitated. "I don't think you introduced yourself." "That's right. I didn't. I'm Zach Willet, and unless you borrowed somebody else's nameplate you're Amy Stack." "You've got it." Amy opened the top drawer of her desk and fished inside for her key ring. "That's 8, Pawnee Avenue. I have to warn you that is our top-of-the-line town house. It's fully loaded with every conceivable extra, and naturally that is reflected in the cost. It's also the furnished model." "Sounds better and better" Zach said genially. "Let's take a look at it." On the way through the development(2), Amy Stack pointed out that the landscaping was almost finished, and was scheduled to be featured in a national gardening magazine, and that the driveways were heated to prevent ice from forming in the winter. "Mr. Cartwright has thought of everything", she said proudly. "He's one of those hands-on builders who is involved in every detail, every step of the way." "Ted's a good friend of mine," Zach said expansively. "Has been for forty years, since we were both kids riding bareback at the stable." He looked around. Some of the handsome red brick town houses were already occupied. "Expensive cars in the driveways," he commented. "Nice class of neighbors. I can see that." "Absolutely," Amy assured him. "The nicest people you'd ever want to meet." She walked a few steps more, then said, "Here we are at number 8. As you can see, it's a corner unit, and it really is the crown jewel of the development." Zach's smile broadened as Amy turned the key, opened the door, and led him into the family room on the entry level. "Raised-hearth fireplace, wet bar – what's not to like?" he asked rhetorically. "Some people use the room on the other side for a gym, and, of course, there's a full bath with a hot tub right beside it. It's such a convenient arrangement". Amy said, her voice crackling with professional enthusiasm. "Two guest bedrooms," he joked. "I don't have close family, but with those two bedrooms, l'd better look up those cousins of mine in Ohio and have them out for a weekend." They rode back down in the elevator, went outside, and, as Amy locked the front door, Zach said, "I'll take it. As is. Furnished." "That's wonderful," Amy Stack exclaimed. "Are you prepared to make a deposit now?" "Didn't Ted Cartwright tell you that he's giving me this unit?" Zach asked, his tone astonished. "I saved his life once, and now that I have to get out of where I've been living, he told me to come over and choose my space. Ted never forgets a favor. You must be proud to be in his employ." »
Adapted fromMary Higgins Clark, No Place Like Home, 2005

a) Give the full names of the characters who are present.
b) Give the full name of one of the characters mentioned.
2. When exactly does the scene take place? (10 words maximum)
a) Focus on the passage from the start down to "Let's take a look at it." Where exactly are the characters? (10 words max.)
b) Focus on the passage from "Zach's smile broadened" down to "for a weekend." Where are they? (10 words max.)
c) How do they go from one place to another? (5 to 10 words)
d) Justify your answer in 3. c) by quoting from the text.
e) What do they go to the second place for? (10 words max.)
f) Characterize the second place with four adjectives of your own.
Focus on the female character.
a) Give her boss's full name. What is her job? What does it consist in? (30 words max.)
b) What is she about to do at the beginning of the text? (10 words max.)
c) What does she do instead? (10 words max.)
d) What does it reveal about her? (5 to 10 words max.)
e) Quote one element from the text to support your answer in 4. d)
f) Focus on the passage from "Absolutely" down to "Furnished.".
Choose the adjective that best applies to her.
She is:
  • sensitive
  • surprised
  • convincing
  • rude
  • indifferent
g) Justify your answer in 4. f) by quoting three elements from the passage.
Focus on the male character.
Read the passage from the start down to "you're Amy Stack".
a) Choose the adjective that best corresponds to his attitude.
He is:
  • well-mannered
  • shy
  • distant
  • over familiar
b) Justify your answer in 5. a) with two quotations from the passage.
Focus on the passage from "That's wonderful" down to the end.
a) "I'll take it." What does the pronoun "it" refer to?
b) "I'll take it." What does "take" mean for the female character?
c) Justify your answer in 6. b) by quoting one element from the text.
d) "I'll take it." What does "take" mean for the male character?
e) Justify your answer in 6. d) by quoting from the text.
7. Account for your answer in 6. d) using elements from the whole text. (20 to 25 words)
Les candidats de la série S traiteront l'un des deux sujets au choix (200 mots).
Les candidats de la série L devront obligatoirement traiter les deux sujets (300 mots au total, soit environ 150 mots pour chaque sujet).
1. The next morning, the female character meets her boss at the office. Write their conversation.
2. How important is friendship in life? Illustrate your point of view with examples.
Seuls les candidats de la série L réaliseront cet exercice.
Traduire en français le passage de "I'll be glad to take you over, Mr.…" à "… and fished inside for her key ring."
(1)to skedaddle: run away hurriedly.
(2)Development: housing development.


a) The characters who are present are Zach Willet and Amy Stack.
b) The character mentioned is Ted Cartwright.
2. The scene takes place at five o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon.
a) The characters are in the sales office of the Cartwright Town houses Corporation.
b) The characters are in a house situated at number 8, Pawnee Avenue, Madison located in a housing development.
c) They go from one place to another on foot / They walk from one place to another.
d) "She walked a few steps more…"
e) They go to the second place to visit a house in the housing development.
f) The house is very big / large / it is a huge house, it is comfortable / cosy and already furnished. It is the best and biggest house in the housing development.
a) Her boss's full name is Ted Cartwright. She is a sales clerk who makes people visit the new houses in the housing development. Her job consists in selling the houses.
b) She is about to leave because it is closing time.
c) She takes the keys of one of the houses to show it to Zach Willet.
d) She is deeply involved in her job and doesn't mind working overtime.
  • "Amy opened the top drawer of her desk and fished inside for her key ring."
  • "… her voice crackling with professional enthusiasm."
  • "Are you prepared to make a deposit now?"
f) She is convincing.
  • "Absolutely, Amy assured him."
  • "… it is really the crown jewel of the development."
  • "… her voice crackling with professional enthusiasm."
a) He is over familiar.
  • "Hi, Amy."
  • "Now, Amy, I know you're probably rushing to meet your husband or your boyfriend, but how about indulging a nice fellow like me and show me that fancy homestead?"
a) The pronoun "it" refers to the house.
b) For the female character "take" means to buy the house.
c) "Are you prepared to make a deposit now?"
d) For the male character "take" means he has just chosen the present Ted Cartwright has promised to give him.
  • "Didn't Ted Cartwright tell you that he's giving me this unit?"
  • "… he told me to come over and choose my space."
7. Zach Willet is clearly at ease and behaves as if Amy Stack was at his disposal even though it is closing time. He chooses to visit the best house in the housing development and had probably decided to choose it before visiting it. Furthermore he is also planning to invite cousins for a weekend in his new house. For him it is clear and without any doubt the house is his.
1. Création personnelle. Pensez à présenter le travail sous la forme d'un dialogue (guillemets, changement de ligne chaque fois qu'un interlocuteur différent prend la parole). Gardez en tête la psychologie de chacun des personnages notamment lorsqu'Amy parlera de l'attitude très familière de Zach et également de son étonnement quant à ce « cadeau » promis par son patron. Attention également au temps, elle va raconter ce qui s'est passé, il faudra donc utiliser le prétérit plus particulièrement.
2. Friends generally have a lot of fun together since relationships with friends are spontaneous and carefree. They chat for hours about serious or dramatic subjects.
Friendship has generally developed between people who know each other very well, have things in common, share the same interests, ideals, tastes, activities and values. They often confront opinions and ideas. It can help solve problems and teach tolerance.
All this goes to show that when you have a problem you often ask friends for support more easily than to your parents. Parents are not always able to listen to their children's problems, to talk about them, to help find a solution although they have come of age, are adults and have a certain experience of life. They are not always understanding and very often they judge and may also be biased. This might lead to bad quarrels and maybe to rejection. This is often due to the generation gap whereas when you talk about your problems with friends, they are much more understanding.
Furthermore friends, unlike parents, don't tend to judge you because you belong to the same generation and even though you are very close the problem won't affect them as it will affect your family.
That is why friendship is very important in life as you share things which are different from the ones you share with your parents and you can confide in friends.
« Je serai heureuse de vous y emmener, Monsieur… ? » demanda Amy en hésitant. « Je ne crois pas que vous vous soyez présenté. »
« C'est tout à fait juste/ c'est vrai. (Je ne l'ai pas fait.) Je m'appelle Zach Willet et, à moins que vous n'ayez emprunté ce chevalet/ cette plaque à quelqu'un (d'autre), vous, c'est Amy Stack. »
« Absolument/ tout à fait/ c'est exact. » Amy ouvrit le tiroir du haut de son bureau et extirpa/ prit/ attrapa son trousseau de clés.