Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for May 12.

From "In Mammoth Cave" by John Burroughs (died 1921)

At a point in one of the great avenues, if you stop and listen, you hear a slow, solemn ticking like a great clock in a deserted hall. You hear the slight echo as it fathoms and sets off the silence. It is called The Clock and is caused by a single large drop of water falling every second into a little pool - a ghostly kind of clock there in the darkness that is never wound up and that never runs down. It seemed like a mockery where time is not and change does not come - the clock of the dead.

This sombre and mortuary cast of one's thoughts seems so natural in the great cave that I could well understand the emotions of a lady who visited the cave with a party a few days before I was there. . . . [She] wanted to linger behind a little all alone. [The guide] suffered her to do so but presently heard a piercing scream. Rushing back, he found her lying prone upon the ground in a dead faint. She had accidentally put out her lamp and was so appalled by the darkness that instantly closed around her that she swooned at once.

1. The Latin origin of mortuary meant
A. church basement.
B. cemetery.
C. pertaining to the dead.
D. large hall.
2. The avenues are actually
A. roads for vehicles.
B. Indian trails.
C. areas that let in light.
D. walkable passageways in the rock.
3. A dead faint resembles
A. death.
B. sickness.
C. blindness.
D. deafness.
4. The clock is like
A. falling water.
B. a ghost.
C. a pool.
D. darkness.
The complete essay can be found at In Mammoth Cave.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-C..........2-D..........3-A..........4-B
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at