The Brute and the Billionaire

By | 08.04.2017

Word List. Unit 16

  • If something is amid something else, then it is in the middle of it.
    The bee was busily flying amid the flowers in the garden.
  • If something happens backstage, it occurs behind a theater’s stage.
    After the show, the director went backstage and thanked the actors.
  • A billionaire is someone who has at least one billion dollars.
    The sale of his inventions made the inventor a billionaire.
  • A brute is someone who behaves or looks like a violent animal.
    My older brother can act like a brute when he doesn’t get his way.
  • If someone is clumsy, then they are awkward in handling things.
    The businessman was clumsy and dropped his work files.
  • To collide with something means to hit into it while moving.
    The two cars collided with each other because their drivers were not careful.
  • A culprit is someone who did a crime or other bad deed.
    The police were still searching for the culprit from the robbery.
  • To evacuate means to leave a place of danger to a place of safety.
    During the flood, many families were evacuated to higher ground.
  • If something is flammable, then it is able to catch on fire.
    Be careful with that blanket near the candle. It is extremely flammable.
  • A mob is a large crowd of people that often wants to cause violence.
    The copier was destroyed by a mob of angry workers.
  • If something is premature, then it is done too early or before the proper time.
    Mark’s celebration was premature because the ball hadn’t fallen in the hole.
  • To resent something means to have bad feelings about it.
    She resented the fact that she had never been able to play an instrument.
  • A satire is a work of art that uses humor and irony to make fun of something.
    This book is a satire of what life was like in the army.
  • Scrutiny is the careful examination of something.
    A scientist should always practice scrutiny with their work.
  • To segregate something means to place it in a group apart from other things.
    In gym class, the children were segregated into two groups: boys and girls.
  • To subject someone to something means to force them to do or experience it.
    The officers subjected everyone to a careful search before they left the plane.
  • To testify means to give evidence as a witness.
    The judge listened while the victim testified about the robbery.
  • A tumult is a loud and confused noise made by a large crowd of people.
    She couldn’t hear her friend over the tumult of the other excited guests.
  • To underestimate something or someone means to think they are not important.
    We lost the game because we underestimated the other team’s skill.
  • Uproar is loud noise caused by people who are very angry or upset.
    The fans made a great uproar when their team lost the game.

The Brute and the Billionaire

Hundreds of people had come to see a popular satire, but during the performance a fire started in the theater. The audience and actors evacuated the building. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the fire was soon put out. Immediately, the audience assembled into an angry mob and demanded to know what had happened. It was soon revealed that the fire had started backstage, and only two people were in the area at the time. One was the husband of the play’s star actress, the billionaire Henry Rich. The other was the theater’s janitor, Bill, a large and strong man who looked like a brute.

The crowd segregated the two men and demanded to know who the culprit was. Most of the crowd thought that Bill was to blame. They felt that he had started the fire without ever subjecting him to any scrutiny. Bill resented this but said nothing. Luckily, the billionaire’s wife testified in his defense. “Your decision is premature,” she told the crowd. “I fell down amid the tumult while everyone fled the fire. Bill rescued me and carried me out of the building. I thinkyou underestimate his character. Besides, in order to be close enough to save me, he couldn’t have been near the place where the fire began.”

The crowd then turned their eyes to the billionaire. “He did it!” they shouted. “Make him pay!” “Wait,” the billionaire said over the uproar. “I admit that I started the fire, but it was an accident. I was going backstage to see my wife and was clumsy. I collided with a lamp, and it fell to the floor. The floor was flammable. A fire started, and I fled.” The mob was surprised. The man they blamed was innocent, and the billionaire was guilty. To pay for his error, the billionaire not only repaired the theater but had it remade to be better than before.

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