Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

0071 Missing Person, Part 11: “Right on Schedule.”

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 71 – Missing Person, Part 11: “Right on Schedule.”

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 71. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This episode is the eleventh in our 12-part special series: Missing Person, a murder mystery. In the previous episode, our narrator – Dr. Reeves – was trying to find John Costello, the man who had injured Anne in a car accident. Dr. Reeves went to the address that he had for John Costello, but found out that he didn’t live there anymore. So he went to the bar where John Costello worked, but just as he arrived, there were gunshots, and he found John Costello on the floor of the bar, dead.

Dr. Reeves didn’t wait for the police to arrive, but instead went to pick up Anne at the hospital. They drove back to Bill and Sarah’s apartment building and found police cars outside and Bill crying on the front steps. Bill, you’ll remember, is Sarah Salas’s husband. Bill told Anne and Dr. Reeves that Sarah was dead, and that her body had been found in front of the building. Anne, of course, was very upset at this news. Dr. Reeves looked at the apartment’s mailbox list and discovered that John Costello, the man who was just killed, had lived in the same building as Bill and Sarah Salas.

Now, we continue with part 11 of Missing Person: “Right on Schedule.”

[start of story]

Things were starting to make sense to me now. I was beginning to see what had really happened to Sarah Salas and why she was killed. But I had no proof to show that I was right. I needed to get some real evidence.

I went home and rang up Kathy Chang. I asked her to do me a big favor that night. Fortunately, she said yes. Now I was ready. I turned on the television and watched the baseball game; I had some time to kill until it was dark outside. When it was nighttime, I got in my car and started driving.

When I got near Bill and Sarah’s apartment building, I turned off the lights of my car and parked about a block away. I didn’t want anyone to know I was here. It was now 7:30 p.m. I was right on schedule.

Very quietly, I walked up the sidewalk in front of the apartment building. I needed to break into Costello’s apartment, which was on the first floor. I looked into the apartment through the window. There was a light on. I took out my gun and made sure I had bullets in it. I slowly began to open the front window, which was already cracked open. After about a minute, I got the window open and stepped inside the living room of the apartment.

I saw a light on in the kitchen. There was someone in there, and this time it was no cat. I walked to the kitchen door; I needed to surprise the person if I was going to catch him. As I opened the door, I yelled as loud as I could, “Don’t move!” The man turned around suddenly. I had guessed right: it was Bill.

“What?! What are you . . .” Before he finished his sentence, Bill took the frying pan he was holding and hurled it toward my face. I ducked down and the pan flew over my head.

Bill came at me. He pushed me to the ground and hit me in the stomach. I hit him back in the face. We hit each other several times, until I noticed that my gun was now on the floor next to us. I stopped hitting Bill and reached for the gun. But Bill saw what I was doing and jumped up. He grabbed the gun before I could get it in my hands and pointed it at me.

“Don’t move, Reeves.” Bill had a big smile on his face. I was not smiling.

“So you figured out the truth, eh?” Bill said. “You think you’re so smart, don’t you, Reeves? Well, you were right. I did kill Sarah, and now I will get all of her money. But you will just get a bullet in your head. That’s your reward for being so smart.”

Bill looked at me with real hatred. I have seen men kill before. I know the look in their eyes before they kill. I knew that I didn’t have much time to think of something. Bill stood in front of me with the gun pointed at my face. Suddenly I remembered the pills I had found in Bill and Sarah’s bedroom for Bill’s bad leg.

Now I knew what to do.

[end of story]

We begin this episode with Dr. Reeves saying, “Things were starting to make sense to me now.” “To make sense” (sense) means that something that was confusing before is now understandable or clear to you. He said he “was beginning to see what had really happened to Sarah Salas and why she was killed.” But he has a problem: he has “no proof” to show that he is right. “Proof” (proof) is evidence or data or something that shows that you are correct, that what you are saying is true.

Dr. Reeves goes home and rings up his old friend and ex-girlfriend, Kathy Chang. “To ring (ring) up (up)” – two words – means to call someone on the telephone. In the story, it is used in the past tense: “I went home and rang up Kathy Chang.” “Rang” (rang) is the past tense of ring. So, he rang up or called Kathy Chang, and he asked her to do him a big favor. “To do someone a favor” (favor) means to give someone help with something. Dr. Reeves asks Kathy to do him a big favor, and she says yes.

He then decides to watch television because he has “some time to kill.” “To have time to kill” means to have extra time, to have time to waste. So, for example, if you have an appointment at noon – at 12:00 p.m. – and it’s only 11:00 a.m. and you don’t have anything to do until your appointment, you have “some time to kill.” You have some time that you can “waste,” meaning to not spend on anything very useful. Dr. Reeves has some time to kill, so he watches a baseball game, and when it is “nighttime” (nighttime) – all one word, and just another way of saying “night” – he drives back to Bill and Sarah’s apartment building.

Remember, this is also the apartment building where John Costello, the man who was killed in the bar, lived. Dr. Reeves arrives at the apartment building at 7:30 p.m. “I was right on schedule,” he says. The expression “right on schedule” – three words: right (right) on schedule (schedule) – means exactly on time. For example, if you were planning on being somewhere at a certain time, and you arrive there at exactly that time, you are “right on schedule.” So, “to be right on schedule” means to have things going just as you planned, just as you expected.

Dr. Reeves gets out of his car and walks up to the front of the apartment building. He needs to “break into” John Costello’s apartment. “To break (break) into” means to go into a place – a house, a building, an apartment – where you do not have permission to enter. A criminal or a burglar – anyone who wants to steal something from you – can break into your house or break into your car, and when someone does that, it is called a “break-in.” You could say, “I had a break-in last night,” meaning someone broke into my house. Usually people break in to steal something, to take something that isn’t theirs.

When Dr. Reeves gets to the apartment, he notices that there is a light on, and so he takes out his gun and makes sure that he has bullets. “Bullets” (bullets) are the pieces of metal that a gun shoots. A gun shoots bullets, and that’s how it hurts you or kills you. He begins to open the front window “which was already cracked open.” When we say that a window is “cracked” (cracked) open” – two words – we mean that it’s open a little bit. It’s open a very small amount; there is a very small opening.

Dr. Reeves enters the apartment and sees a light on in the kitchen, and he decides to surprise or to catch the person who is in the apartment. Remember, this is John Costello’s apartment, and he’s dead, so whoever is in the apartment is not John Costello. Dr. Reeves surprises the man by shouting, “Don’t move!” This is what the police would say to someone who was trying to run away from them: “Don’t move!” meaning “Don’t go anywhere.” The man turns around, and it’s Bill – Sarah’s husband.

Bill “took the frying pan he was holding and hurled it” at Dr. Reeves. A “frying pan” – two words, frying (frying) pan (pan) – is a large, heavy, flat pan used to cook things like eggs or fish. Bill “hurled” the frying pan at Dr. Reeves. “To hurl” (hurl) means to throw something with great force, usually at someone else. He hurls the frying pan at Dr. Reeves’s face. Dr. Reeves “ducked down.” “To duck” (duck) as a verb means to lower your head or to get down close to the ground in order to avoid being hit. If someone throws something at you, you “duck down” so that it goes over you and doesn’t hit you. There is also a bird called a “duck,” but here, as a verb, it means to get down near the ground.

When the pan misses Dr. Reeves, Bill comes at him. “To come at” someone means to run toward someone with the intention or the idea of fighting or hurting them. So, the two men fight. They are hitting each other when, suddenly, Dr. Reeves sees his gun on the floor next to them. He reaches for the gun. “To reach for” something means to stretch your arm out to try to grab the thing with your hand. But Bill gets to the gun before him, and he stands up and points the gun at Dr. Reeves. “To point a gun” means to aim it in the direction that you want to shoot it.

Bill says to Dr. Reeves, “So you figured out the truth.” “To figure out” means to solve a problem by thinking about it. Then he says, “But you will just get a bullet in your head. That’s your reward for being so smart.” A “reward” (reward) is like a prize, and of course, it’s not really a prize when someone shoots you in the head. Bill looks at Dr. Reeves with what he describes as “real hatred.” “Hatred” (hatred) is the noun related to “hate” (hate), and hate is the opposite of “love.” Hate is a very strong, negative feeling about someone or something.

At the end of the episode, Dr. Reeves doesn’t know what to do, but then he remembers something: he remembers the pills that he had seen in Bill and Sarah’s apartment the other day. The pills are for Bill’s bad leg that he injured playing football in college. A “bad leg” is an injured leg – a leg that hurts or that isn’t completely healthy. Bill has a bad leg, and he takes medicine for the pain.

On the next episode of Missing Person, we’ll find out what Dr. Reeves does.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

Things were starting to make sense to me now. I was beginning to see what had really happened to Sarah Salas and why she was killed. But I had no proof to show that I was right. I needed to get some real evidence.

I went home and rang up Kathy Chang. I asked her to do me a big favor that night. Fortunately, she said yes. Now I was ready. I turned on the television and watched the baseball game; I had some time to kill until it was dark outside. When it was nighttime, I got in my car and started driving.

When I got near Bill and Sarah’s apartment building, I turned off the lights of my car and parked about a block away. I didn’t want anyone to know I was here. It was now 7:30 p.m. I was right on schedule.

Very quietly, I walked up the sidewalk in front of the apartment building. I needed to break into Costello’s apartment, which was on the first floor. I looked into the apartment through the window. There was a light on. I took out my gun and made sure I had bullets in it. I slowly began to open the front window, which was already cracked open. After about a minute, I got the window open and stepped inside the living room of the apartment.

I saw a light on in the kitchen. There was someone in there, and this time it was no cat. I walked to the kitchen door; I needed to surprise the person if I was going to catch him. As I opened the door, I yelled as loud as I could, “Don’t move!” The man turned around suddenly. I had guessed right: it was Bill.

“What?! What are you . . .” Before he finished his sentence, Bill took the frying pan he was holding and hurled it toward my face. I ducked down and the pan flew over my head.

Bill came at me. He pushed me to the ground and hit me in the stomach. I hit him back in the face. We hit each other several times, until I noticed that my gun was now on the floor next to us. I stopped hitting Bill and reached for the gun. But Bill saw what I was doing and jumped up. He grabbed the gun before I could get it in my hands and pointed it at me.

“Don’t move, Reeves.” Bill had a big smile on his face. I was not smiling.

“So you figured out the truth, eh?” Bill said. “You think you’re so smart, don’t you, Reeves? Well, you were right. I did kill Sarah, and now I will get all of her money. But you will just get a bullet in your head. That’s your reward for being so smart.”

Bill looked at me with real hatred. I have seen men kill before. I know the look in their eyes before they kill. I knew that I didn’t have much time to think of something. Bill stood in front of me with the gun pointed at my face. Suddenly I remembered the pills I had found in Bill and Sarah’s bedroom for Bill’s bad leg.

Now I knew what to do.

[end of story]

On the next and final episode of Missing Person, we’ll find out what Dr. Reeves decides to do. Be sure to come back for part 12: “Kathy to the Rescue.”

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
to make sense – to be logical and meaningful; to be clear and understandable

* This math problem doesn’t make sense to me. Is it clear to you?

proof – evidence that something is true; something that helps to show that something is real or true

* We can’t accuse anyone of the crime without some proof.

to do (someone) a favor – to do something for someone in order to help them; to help someone by doing what that person wants or needs

* The company president did everyone a favor by firing Carla and hiring a much better manager.

to have time to kill – to have nothing to do for a period of time; to have extra time while waiting for something to happen or to begin

* We have a lot of time to kill before the movie starts. Should be go get something to eat?

nighttime – the time when the sky is dark, between evening and morning

* We won’t be able to find what we need in this garden at nighttime. We’ll have to wait for morning to look.

right on schedule – at the planned time; at the time that one expected something to occur

* The meeting began right on schedule, so we had time to discuss all of the issues that we had hoped to resolve.

to break into – to force one’s way into a place illegally, often to do something against the law, such as to steal

* The thief broke into my car and stole my guitar!

bullet – a small piece of metal that is shot out of a gun or other similar weapon

* This special gun holds 10 bullets, but can only fire one at a time.

to be cracked open – for a door or window to be left open a little bit

* Kina’s roommate played loud music in the living room, but Kina had to leave his door cracked open for air because there is no window in his room.

Don’t move! – an exclamation used to tell others not to move any part of their body or else something bad will happen

* Your sweater is caught on the tree branch. Don’t move or you’ll ruin it!

frying pan – a metal pan with low sides and a handle used for cooking, usually by heating and cooking food in a little hot oil or fat

* We can’t make scrambled eggs if we don’t have a frying pan.

to hurl – to throw with a lot of force; to throw very hard

* The boy hurled the baseball too hard down the street, hitting his neighbor’s window.

to duck – to lower one’s head quickly to avoid being hit or to avoid being seen by others

* The angry baby threw her food at Mom, but Mom ducked and it hit the wall behind her instead.

to come at (one) – to attack one with force; to move quickly and forcefully toward one, usually to fight

* Two big guys came at me outside of the bar and starting hitting me in the face.

to figure out – to find the source or reason for a problem; to discover the cause of a problem

* Monica couldn’t figure out why her friend Josh was mad at her until she talked to Josh’s sister.

reward – something given as recognition of good behavior or achievement

* Manuel received a gold watch as his reward for working at the company for 25 years.

hatred – disliking something very much; feeling an intense dislike

* What Joshua feels for his brother isn’t hatred, but they don’t agree on many things and they don’t like spending time together.

Culture Note
Remembering the Dead

People often say that talking about death and dying is morbid. If you’re “morbid,” you are showing an unnatural or unhealthy interest in unpleasant and disturbing topics, such as illness and death.

But other people think it is simply practical to prepare for death by making arrangements ahead of time. This way, they are confident that their wishes “will be honored” (will be respected).

Some people “put a lot of thought into” (think deeply about) how they want to be remembered by family or friends and what they want done with their bodies once they die.

Most people want to be “buried” (placed in the ground). Others want to be “cremated” (burned completely) and have the “ashes” (black or gray powder left after burning) kept in an “urn” (tall stone or metal container for storing ashes) or to be “scattered” (thrown in a random way) in a meaningful place.

Now, there are companies that will take your ashes and press them into a “vinyl record,” one of those black, round “disks” (flat circles) that is used to play music popular starting about 50 years ago. These companies provide a service that will allow you to select any recording – your favorite song, a recorded message from you to your family, your “last will and testament” (legal document stating what you want done with your money and property after you die) – and create a record using your ashes. This way, you can “live on” (for others to remember you) in something that you leave for your family or friends.