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River

George made to work

Harris assigns work to George and says that for a change George should work as a change is good for everyone. George is given the tow-line (a rope to tow the boat). J thinks that to work with a tow-line is not an easy task as it gets entangled very easily. Moreover, the person at the bank thinks that the fault lies with the man who rolled it up; and the man up the river thinks that the man on the bank created the mess.

Funny incidents of towing a boat

J narrates some funny incidents related to towing of  boats. One of the most common and funny, he says, is of two towers walking briskly and having a deep animated conversation while the man in the boat is shouting and shrieking to stop them. Another incident cited by George was that of a young-man and a young-woman who towed a wrong boat while they were in a thoughtful sadness. So, the narrator suggests that it is always better to let one person tow. When girls are at work of towing a boat, they create a blunder. According to the narrator, three girls are required at a time to tow a boat. They would stop in the middle of it, giggle, get their shawls and forget about the boat amidst all this.

George finally gets the tow-line right and tows them to Penton Hook.

Camping during the night

They decide to sleep on board that night. They wish they could have stopped at Penton Hook. But pulling up three or four miles seemed to be weary at the end of the day.

J recollects a similar incident when he was with his cousin pulling down to Goring. They wanted to stop and have a supper at Wallingford lock. Following the map, they continued rowing endlessly till the night fell but the lock wasn’t to be seen anywhere. Both of them felt scared in the gloomy night. Finally, they heard a melodious music and took a breath of relief. A …

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