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TOEFL and GRE Reading Practice Adventure Novel, Chapter 5

Being able to use English vocabulary—and use it well—can feel great. Actually learning all those new words so you can use them on test day and beyond can feel painful. But take heart—Magoosh has found a way to make vocabulary fun. Here on the TOEFL blog, we’ve been serializing an action and adventure novel that features TOEFL and GRE level vocabulary in bold. Each chapter of the novel includes some guided vocabulary activities to help you use your reading enjoyment to study for both exams.

 

Vocabulary Activity

Step 1:

Below is a list of the featured vocabulary for this chapter. Look up any unfamiliar words and phrases on Vocabulary.com. Make sure you know the meanings of all of these words before you start reading.

Infraction, seethe, evade, intimidate, undermine, oust, ruminate, relegate, demote, conduct, hastily, congregate, hunch over, engrossed, seismograph, futile, obtrusive, resurgence, alliance

Step 2:

After you’ve taken notes on the meanings of the highlighted vocabulary, read the passage. Try to remember the meanings of the words you looked up in step 1. When you can’t recall the meanings of the words, guess the meanings form the context of the chapter. After you’re done readings, go back to Vocabulary.com to double check your memory and your guesses.

 

Chapter 5: The Team Leader Finds His Strength

But it would be the last time that Prestwich felt afraid of these men. Perry and Valencia’s taunting suddenly caused Prestwich to feel angrier than he had felt in a long time. Making fun of a superior officer was against the rules, and this infraction made Prestwich seethe with rage. He decided right then and there that Perry and Valencia would not evade his disapproval and his discipline just because he couldn’t understand the exact words Perry had said.

He no longer felt intimidated, as if he were somehow beneath the men who had chosen him as a leader. He suddenly stopped caring that it seemed like the men only wanted to undermine his power, seemed to secretly want to oust him so that he was no longer their leader.

He decided to stop caring about what these men thought of him. The time had come to stop ruminating on why they might have chosen him as a leader, to stop worrying about whether or not the men respected him in their hearts. Whether they respected him or not, he would not let them relegate him to a position outside of their social group, watching their antics. He would not be unofficially demoted to a lower position than Commander. And he would demote them to lower ranks in the army if they did not show him respect. Their disrespectful conduct would no longer be tolerated.

Prestwich suddenly started to shout. “There will be no more of this UNACCEPTABLE behavior in my unit!!!”

Shocked, Valencia and Perry stood at attention. Taylor hastily grabbed his cigarettes from the train car, and then also stood at attention. Hennessy rushed to the front of those three men and saluted Prestwich, shouting “Sir, no sir! Sir, sorry, sir!”

As the other men began to congregate in the middle of the room, gathering near where Prestwich stood, Colonel Roberts remained apart from the men. Not even noticing what had just happened, he was hunched over at the entrance of the room. He bent down and stared at the earthquake detecting instrument. He was engrossed in the seismograph, fascinated by its very old control system and settings.

Hennessy shouted, “Roberts! Our commander needs you here, now!” Confused, Roberts slowly turned toward the rest of the team.

“DON’T DAWDLE!” Prestwich roared at Roberts.

Obeying Prestwich, Roberts stopped his slow movements and very quickly ran to congregate with the rest of his brothers in arms. Prestwich smiled a satisfied smile. He would show the men that he would no longer tolerate evasion from his authority. He would show them that they would never be successful in ignoring him again. They could not escape his attention or his leadership.

Trying to operate this mission on their own without his leadership would be futile. He would make himself impossible to ignore from now on. His presence as their leader would be obtrusive—a constant presence for the rest of this operation.

Hennessy smiled. He had heard rumors of Prestwich’s strong leadership in earlier decades, before Prestwich became an academic, a military academy professor. Hennessy was happy to see a resurgence of Prestwich’s former strength. Hennessy knew that Roger Prestwich’s long forgotten strength, now suddenly remembered, was just what was needed to make the alliance between this band of brothers—Hennessy, Taylor, Valencia, Perry, and Roberts—stronger than it had ever been.

 

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