The eminent Dr. Strong, famous inventor of 'Dr Strong's Cold Pills', was up late one evening
1, going over/looking onto his medical notes. When the phone rang loudly in the quiet of his living-room, it gave the doctor a 2, fear/fright . He picked it up and answered importantly, "This is the eminent Doctor Strong. How can I be of assistance?"
"Oh, please, come quickly, doctor," said a woman's trembling voice. "My husband is very ill. He
3, went into/came over all faint* a few hours ago and won't get out of bed."
"I see," said the doctor. "Could you let me know your name?" "It's Mrs. Silly," she answered, "of 26 Batty Road." "Right. I'll
4, come round/go to in about ten minutes," said the doctor and 5, hung up/hanged up .
When Dr. Strong finally
6, showed up/showed in an hour later, Mrs Silly came to the door. She was worried 7, ill/sick . "Hello, doctor. Please come in. Sylvester, my husband, is in bed. He's got a 8, drip/runny nose, a high 9, heat/temperature , a 10, sore/rough throat and he's 11, down/off his food."
Doctor Strong didn't think the
12, symptoms/sintoms sounded drastic but he examined the patient anyway. But then the doctor's face 13, turned/came white. He carefully put away his medical equipment in his doctor's bag and looked up at Mrs Silly with a grave face.
"Mrs. Silly," he said. "I'm sorry to inform you that your husband is dead."
Mrs Silly broke
14, down/through and sobbed. "Oh, doctor, doctor, how did he die?" "Look at his hands," said the doctor. "They are purple. He has got a rare and deadly 15, ill/disease from tropical Africa. Has your husband been to tropical Africa recently?"
"Actually, no, he hasn't, doctor," said Mrs. Silly and seemed to
16, get over/get across her sadness and looked doubtful**. "And that's purple paint on his hands. My husband is a house painter."
Then Sylvester perked
17, up/to and opened his eyes, "Got any sausages, love?" he said. "I'm 18, hunger/starving !"
Doctor Strong went
19, colour/pale for a few seconds and looked very embarrassed realizing his blunder***. Then, in a very steady and solemn voice said, "Mrs Silly, you are a very lucky woman! If your husband had been to tropical Africa and hadn't been a house painter, he would have 20, died/dead ."
*faint (in this context) = weak or dizzy (in Spanish, desfallecido o mareado)
**doubtful = not sure, uncertain (in Spanish, tener dudas)
***blunder = stupid or careless mistake (in Spanish, error garrafal, metida de pata)
Veamos otra vez la frase final del cuento: "If your husband had been to tropical Africa,..." Se trata del tercer condicional (third conditional); una estructura que habla de cosas que pudiesen haber ocurrido.
Ver una explicación del tercer condicional...Ahora, aquí hay un ejercicio del tercer condicional...