John Collier has an excellent short story for teaching inference to high school students. It is called, "The Chaser."
You can get a copy of it here: https://eerdalsblg.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/the_chaser-collier.pdf
If you've never read the story, do so now. It won't take you long. I'll wait.
For lower reading level classes, I like to put groups in teams and let them read it together and figure out why the glove cleaner does. The story is short (the version I found above has it in three pages, but the hard copy of the one I use in class is one page front and back) which is important to me. I need my works short so we can focus on the matter at hand.
The story itself is fun. Now, when you or I read the story, we immediately see how this old man is setting up the younger man. We understand that this "love" he will experience can only be solved with the "glove cleaner", but the students don't. Especially 9th and 10th graders. They struggle.
So I let them try and figure it out as a competition. The first group to figure it out gets a prize (homework passes or team points). The second group gets a little less. The third group a little less.
I also have hints that they can buy with their team points (but you can maybe use something else if you aren't playing a game in your class).
How long will it take? Well, it depends on how good your students are. I always have a homework assignment that they should work on while waiting for the other teams to finish. It usually takes about 30 minutes total, but I've had it last for over 45 minutes before.