English For Third Prep - Term One - Chapter One
A) AXEL & HIS UNCLE
Professor Lidenbrock was a famous geologist of the nineteenth century. He gave lectures in the university of Hamburg in Germany. He knew more about the Earth than any other scientist. Axel was his nephew. He lived with his uncle after the death of his parents. Axel was proud to be the assistant of his uncle. One Sunday afternoon in May 1863 professor went home early. He was carrying a book in his hand and was very excited. Martha, his cook, was worried because his dinner was not ready.
B) THE OLD BOOK
The professor sat in his study examining the book he had brought. He called Axle and talked to him about it and how it was fantastic. It was the translation of a famous Icelandic book which was written by a scientist of the twelfth century called "Snorri Sturlasson".
C) THE PRCHMENT
A piece of parchment fell out of the book. There was a meassage written on it. At first he believed it was written in runes, the letters of the old Icelandic alphabet. Then he guessed it was written in Latin because scientists of the sixteenth century wrote about their discoveries in Latin. He found that the writing on the parchment was not the same as the writing of the book. He concluded that the parchment was not written by the writer of the book, but written later by its owner.
THE PROBLEM OF THE PARCHMENT
With the help of a magnifying glass the Professor could read on the parchment the name of its writer "Arne Saknussemm". He was a famous Icelandic scientist of the sixteenth century. The Professor could not make any sense of the writing. The letters were mixed up. It was written in a secret code. The Professor could not explain why Arne hid what he had discovered and wanted to keep it secret.
THE PROFESSOR'S ANGER
The Professor was greatly excited because he was unable to break the secret code of the message on the parchment. He did not eat anything. He went out in anger. Martha, the cook, looked at him anxiously and said that he would die of hunger.