SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 4 - reading 6

Questions 1-11 are based on the following

This passage is excerpted from Katherine Mansfield, The Voyage. Originally published in 1921.

The Picton boat was due to leave at half-past eleven. It

was a beautiful night, mild, starry, only when they got out of

the cab and started to walk down the Old Wharf that jutted
out into the harbour, a faint wind blowing off the water
5 ruffled under Fenella's hat, and she put up her hand to keep it

on. It was dark on the Old Wharf, very dark; the wool sheds,

the cattle trucks, the cranes standing up so high, the little

squat railway engine, all seemed carved out of solid

darkness. Here and there on a rounded wood-pile, that was
10 like the stalk of a huge black mushroom, there hung a

lantern, but it seemed afraid to unfurl its timid, quivering

light in all that blackness; it burned softly, as if for itself
Fenella's father pushed on with quick, nervous strides.

Beside him her grandma bustled along in her crackling black
15 ulster; they went so fast that she had now and again to give

an undignified little skip to keep up with them. As well as her

luggage strapped into a neat sausage, Fenella carried clasped

to her her grandma's umbrella, and the handle, which was a

swan's head, kept giving her shoulder a sharp little peck as if
20 it too wanted her to hurry. Men, their caps pulled down, their

collars turned up, swung by; a few women all muffled

scurried along; and one tiny boy, only his little black arms

and legs showing out of a white woolly shawl, was jerked

along angrily between his father and mother; he looked like a
25 baby fly that had fallen into the cream.
Then suddenly, so suddenly that Fenella and her grandma

both leapt, there sounded from behind the largest wool shed,

that had a trail of smoke hanging over it, "MiaooooOO!"

"First whistle," said her father briefly, and at that moment
30 they came in sight of the Picton boat. Lying beside the dark

wharf, all strung, all beaded with round golden lights, the

Picton boat looked as if she was more ready to sail among

stars than out into the cold sea. People pressed along the

gangway. First went her grandma, then her father, then
35 Fenella. They stepped out of the way of the hurrying people,

and standing under a little iron stairway that led to the upper

deck they began to say goodbye.
"There, mother, there's your luggage!" said Fenella's

father, giving grandma another strapped-up sausage.
40 "Thank you, Frank."
"And you've got your cabin tickets safe?"
"Yes, dear."
"And your other tickets?"
Grandma felt for them inside her glove and showed him
45 the tips.
"That's right."
He sounded stern, but Fenella, eagerly watching him, saw

that he looked tired and sad.
"MiaooooOO!" The second whistle blared just above their
50 heads, and a voice like a cry shouted, "Any more for the

"You'll give my love to father," Fenella saw her father's

lips say. And her grandma, very agitated, answered, "Of

course I will, dear. Go now. You'll be left. Go now, Frank. Go
55 now."
"It's all right, mother. I've got another three minutes." To

her surprise Fenella saw her father take off his hat. He

clasped grandma in his arms and pressed her to him. "God

bless you, mother!" she heard him say.
60 And grandma put her hand, with the black thread glove

that was worn through on her ring finger, against his cheek,

and she sobbed, "God bless you, my own brave son!"
This was so awful that Fenella quickly turned her back on

them, swallowed once, twice, and frowned terribly at a little
65 green star on a mast head. But she had to turn round again;

her father was going.
"Goodbye, Fenella. Be a good girl." His cold, wet

moustache brushed her cheek. But Fenella caught hold of the

lapels of his coat.
70 "How long am I going to stay?" she whispered anxiously.

He wouldn't look at her. He shook her off gently, and gently

said, "We'll see about that. Here! Where's your hand?" He

pressed something into her palm. "Here's a shilling in case

you should need it."
75 A shilling! She must be going away for ever! "Father!"

cried Fenella. But he was gone. He was the last off the ship.

The sailors put their shoulders to the gangway. A huge coil of

dark rope went flying through the air and fell "thump" on the

wharf. A bell rang; a whistle shrilled. Silently the dark wharf
80 began to slip, to slide, to edge away from them. Now there

was a rush of water between. Fenella strained to see with all

her might. Was that father turning round? Or waving? Or

standing alone? Or walking off by himself? The strip of

water grew broader, darker. Now the Picton boat began to
85 swing round steady, pointing out to sea. It was no good

looking any longer.

Question 1 Which choice best summarizes the passage?