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Nature, the stunning seductress!

  Nature had come into her own again and, little by little, in her stealthy, insidious way had encroached upon the drive with long, tenacious fingers. The woods, always a menace even in the past, had triumphed in the end.  

They crowded, dark and uncontrolled, to the borders of the drive. The beeches with white, naked limbs leant close to one another, their branches intermingled in a strange embrace, making a vault above my head like the archway of a church.

And there were other trees as well, trees that I did not recognize, squat oaks and tortured elms that straggled cheek by jowl with the beeches, and had thrust themselves out of the quiet earth, along with monster shrubs and plants, none of which I remembered. The drive was a ribbon now, a thread of its former self, with gravel surface gone, and choked with grass and moss.

Excerpt from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca

  1. Stealthy – stel-thee, adjective
  2. Insidious – in-sid-ee-uh s, adjective
  3. Encroached – en-krohch d, verb
  4. Tenacious – tuh-ney-shuh s,
  5. Menace – men-is, noun
  6. Triumphed – trahy-uh mf d, verb
  7. Beeches – beech s, noun
  8. Intermingled – in-ter-ming-guh 
       l d, verb
  9. Embrace – em-breys, noun
10. Vault – vawlt, noun
11. Archway – ahrch-wey, noun
12. Squat – skwot, adjective
13. Elms – elm s, noun
14. Straggled – strag-uh l d, verb
15. Jowl – joul, noun
16. Thrust – thruhst, verb
17. Gravel – grav-uh l, noun
18. Choked – chohk d, verb
19. Moss – maws, noun
a.   Tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely
b.   Large trees with smooth grey bark, glossy leaves, and hard, pale fine-grained timber
c.   Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects
d.   A threat or danger
e.   Behaving or done in a cautious and surreptitious manner, so as not to be seen or heard
f.   To hold on to, like a hug
g.   Advanced gradually beyond usual or acceptable limits
h.   Grew, spread, or laid out in an irregular, untidy way
i.   Jaw, especially the lower one
j.   A curved structure forming a passage or entrance
k.   Short and thickset; disproportionately broad or wide
l.   To push forcibly
m.   Achieved victory or success
n.   Small stones and pebbles, or a mixture of these with sand
o.   Obstructed or clogged
p.   A small flowerless green plant which lacks true roots, growing in low carpets or rounded cushions in damp habitats and reproducing by means of spores released from stalked capsules
q.   Tall deciduous trees which typically have rough serrated leaves and which propagate from root suckers
r.   A roof in the form of an arch or a series of arches, typical of churches and other large, formal buildings
s.   Mixed or mingled together


1. e 2. c 3. g 4. a 5. d
6. m 7. b 8. s 9. f 10. r
11. j 12. k 13. q 14. h 15. i
16. l 17. n 18. o 19. p