“The Great McGunnigle” von EDWARD BOYLE.
1. Why was Milloy reluctant to go to school?
2. What problems did he have with McGunnigle last year?
3. Compare and contrast their physique.
4. Write your own ending of the story.
1.) It was on a sunny August morning when Alex Milloy did not really want to go to school. He was reluctant in spite of the prepared breakfast. But there was another thing that had been reason enough to feel like that: McGunnigle lived in the same area and Milloy thought that he might meet up with him on his way to school.
2.) There had been many problems Milloy had with McGunnigle last year. Some of them occurred in class like accusations over homework, copying in exams, inattention or insolence. Milloy was in trouble with him all day. But the worst altercations happened outside the class. On several school functions, he got in trouble with McGunnigle. At a Halloween party, he bothered Milloy’s girlfriend so that they nearly fought each other. Another clash occurred on the annual school fête when McGunnigle bought several items from Mrs Milloy’s ‘White Elephant’ stall and offered derisory sums of money for them. Milloy was vexed about the fact that McGunnigle was staring at Mrs Milloy and leering ‘Sure no one will come and buy that know’.
3.) Alex Milloy is 5.8 feet tall (= 1.76 m), weighs 8 stone, eleven pounds (= 55.8 kg) and is able to run quite fast. In soccer, he avoids physical contact as far as possible.
McGunnigle is quite stronger. He is almost 6 feet tall (=1.83 m), weighs 10 stone, ten pounds (=67.5 kg) and carries on school sports. He climbs ropes, somersaults over the horse and plays basketball very well. In soccer, he is playing “sweeper” and does not avoid physical contact but causes injuries on other players.
4.) “Good morning Mr. Milloy. Sit down there and listen”, he said forcefully. “I’ve just heard about your little amok run. Well, I thought it was one of your little freak outs but… do you know who’s at the infirmary’s now?” Milloy did not really listen to him because he was still full of elation about his deed. A deed that no one had expected. It was him, Alex Milloy, who had had the courage to strike back, to revolt against his teacher, and in his eyes, he had been more than successful. What else could he do? Something really worse… “Did you understand me, Milloy?” A loud voice interrupted him from thinking. “You ought to know who is there now! Of course, it’s your English teacher, Mr. McGunnigle. But do you know his right hand is broken?” “McGunnigle…,” Milloy thought, “that guy I had been in trouble with.” He continued planning out how to harm McGunnigle evenmore. “McGunnigle, McGunnigle…” – the name echoed in his mind and suddenly, he detected the ancient weapon cabinet. “No, I didn’t know that before but I’m thrilled to hear that”, he shouted and flattened the headmaster with his fist. “Now I’m running amok!” He forced the cabinet open with a long ruler that was lying on the Head’s desk. Some pictures flashed up in his mind very quickly. He saw McGunnigle saying, “Don’t be smart”. Then the board ruler, his hand crashing it down on the teacher’s fingers.
The door of the cabinet shattered into pieces with a loud noise. Seconds later, the head’s secretary rushed into the office and screamed when she saw Milloy holding two shotguns. “Out of my way”, he shouted and ran out of the room. When he reached the door of the school’s medical center, he stopped. Pupils and teachers who saw him screamed and dashed out of the school building. The pictures flashed up again. His enemy was dancing with his girlfriend Greta and he could nearly smell McGunnigle’s drunkenness. Another picture; the teacher touching Greta’s spine. Milloy loaded his weapons. “That is enough. Speak to my guns, ‘McNiggler’!” He slammed the door and before he could see anybody, he fired both shotguns at the same time. A few seconds later, the whole room was full of blood. But there was no McGunnigle in there. Neither dead nor alive. All he could make out was a head with long hair, part of a dead body that was lying behind a desk. When his head turned around to the wardrobe, Milloy was heavily shocked. He recognized the jacket. It was Greta’s.