Saturday, 7 November 2009

a lie test

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrase from below and ONLY THEN click on the “gap” box to check your answer.

let sleeping dogs lie
lie behind something
lie in
lie low
take something lying down

'The ducks are flying south early this year,' said the elderly gentleman in the raincoat sitting down next to the blonde woman in her mid 40s, who was also wearing a raincoat.
She paused before replying, giving the man a withering look. 'Yes, but the geese are still happy here.'
The man seemed to relax when he heard this confirmation of the code but the woman retained her peremptory manner. 'You're late,' she said.
'Yes, I do apologise,' the man replied. 'I had a - it was most gratifying. But it's put me behind schedule.'
They were in an art gallery and they sat opposite Repin's masterpiece The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire.
'Do you know the story which that painting?' the man enquired.
The woman looked briefly at the cluster of strangely shaven Cossacks gathered around the composition of a letter.
'No, I don't. Nor do I care.'
'Well,' said the man, ignoring the woman's disdain, 'the Cossacks are replying to the Sultan's demand that they leave him alone. He refused to and goaded them into action. They, in turn, took the opportunity to insult him in the basest manner possible.'
'So, it was unwise of him to expect that they would.'
The woman stared intently at the picture. 'Interesting. Are you threatening us?'
'Now, why would I do that when I've just remarked upon the imprudence of the Sultan. Perhaps, though, it might be wise of you to for a while.'
The woman winced. 'Really?'
The elderly man stood up. 'Really. Of course, you know, the most interesting thing about the painting is that the Cossacks never wrote such a letter. It's just a legend.'
'Fascinating,' remarked the woman as the man walked away. 'And look out for the geese.'

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Collocation of the Week by Dr Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.