It was a bitter cold evening in northern Virginia many years ago
2014-11-25 21:22:16 A | A

 It was a bitter cold evening in northern Virginia many years ago. The old man’s beard was glazed by winter’s frost while he waited for a ride across the river. The wait seemed endless. His body became numb and stiff from the frigid north wind.

It was long before he heard the faint, steady rhythm of hooves (马蹄) along the frozen path. Anxiously watching several horsemen coming up, he let the first one pass by without any effort to get his attention, then another passed by, and another. Finally, the last rider drew near where the old man sat like a snow statue when old man caught his eyes and said, “Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side?”
Stopping his horse, the rider replied, “Sure! Jump aboard.” Seeing the old man unable to lift his half-frozen body from the ground, the horseman got down to help him. The horseman took him not just across the river, but to his destination just a few miles away.
As they approached the tiny but cozy cottage, the horseman’s curiosity caused him to inquire, “Sir, I noticed you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to secure a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I am curious why, on such a bitter night, you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you here?”
The old man looked the rider straight in the eyes and replied, “I reckon I know people pretty good. I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately found no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to give me assistance in my time of need.”
Those heart-warming comments touched the horseman deeply. “I’m so grateful for what you have said,” he told the old man. “May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion.”
With that, Thomas Jefferson turned his horse around and made his way back to the White House.
55. Why didn’t the old man ask the previous riders for a ride?
A. Because he was waiting for the last rider.
B. Because his efforts failed to get their attention.
C. Because he assumed they had no concern for him.
D. Because he was too numb to lift his half-frozen body.
56. What caused the last rider to stop and help the old man?
A. the old man’s poor situation  B. The old man’s warm comments
C. his own affairs D. kindness and sympathy
57. What do you know about the old man?
A. He judged people by looking into their eyes.
B. He lived in a cozy cottage a few miles away.
C. He gave the last rider an opportunity to help.
D. He recognized the president at first sight.
58. Which can be the best title of this text?
A. look into your eyes  B. compassion of a great man
C. the last rider to help D. return to the White House
55-58 CDAB