فصل 05

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فصل 05

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  • زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
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CHAPTER FIVE

First Day on the Boat

We stopped at Kempton Park and had lunch under the trees. QE Good food always calms Harris.

We reached Sunbury Lock at half past three. We then went to Walton, which is a historical town. Julius Caesar stayed there with his soldiers. Queen Elizabeth I stayed there, too. You can never escape from that woman. She was everywhere!

Next we came to Halliford and Shepperton. There is a tomb in the Shepperton churchyard with a poem on it. I was afraid Harris wanted to stop and visit it. I saw him looking at the church, as we passed near it, so I moved the boat suddenly, and Harris’s cap fell into the water. He pulled it out and was angry with me. Fortunately, he was worried about his wet cap and forgot about the church.

As we came to Weybridge, the first thing we saw was a coloured blazer. When we got closer, we saw that George was inside the blazer. Montmorency started barking furiously.

Harris and I shouted loudly. George waved his cap and shouted, too. The lock-keeper I ran out, because he thought someone had fallen into the water. When he saw that no one was in the water, he returned to his work.

Now that George was on the boat, we decided to make him work. He did not want to work, of course.

‘I had a bad day at the bank,’ George said.

Harris, who is a little cruel, said, ‘Now you’re going to have a bad day on the river. A change is good for you. It’s healthy! Come on! Get out of the boat and TOW!’

George didn’t know what to say. After a moment, he said, ‘It’s better if I stay here and prepare tea. It’s very difficult to prepare tea, and you look tired.’

We didn’t answer. We gave him the rope. He started walking and pulling the boat.

I remember that George once saw a young couple who were walking by the side of the river. They were pulling a rope behind them, and they were talking. They didn’t notice that there was no boat at the end of the rope. They had probably had a boat at the end of the rope when they started. But they had lost it.

When George saw this, he took the rope out of the water. Then he tied it to his own boat. So, the young couple towed George and his three fat friends up to Marlow. When they looked back, they saw that they were towing a boat that was not theirs. The young man was surprised and angry. The young lady said, ‘Oh, Henry, where is Aunt Mary?’

No one knew what happened to Aunt Mary.

The most exciting thing is to let girls tow your boat. You always need three girls. Two of them hold the rope. The third one runs around and laughs all the time.

When they are finally ready to pull, they start running. They pull the boat too fast, and they are soon tired. They sit down on the grass to rest and laugh. While they rest, your boat goes out into the middle of the river. ‘Oh, look,’ they say, ‘the boat’s gone to the middle of the river!’

They laugh, jump up and start pulling it again. Then one of them decides to stop, because she needs her hat. Then another wants her red shawl. I Now one of them needs a comb for her hair. The other wants her handkerchief. This goes on for most of the afternoon. It is never boring when three girls tow a boat.

George towed us to Penton Hook. We stopped there and decided to spend the night on the boat. We found a pretty place. We tied our boat to a big tree.

We were all hungry and we wanted to eat. However, George said, ‘No, let’s put the canvas cover on the boat first. It will only take a few minutes.’

It looked simple, but it wasn’t. There were five metal rods. You put them into special holes in the side of the boat. I didn’t think this was dangerous work, but it was. I’m surprised that we are still alive to tell the story.

First of all, the metal rods did not go into their holes. We jumped on them, kicked them and pushed them. When the rods were in their holes, we tried to put the canvas cover on the boat.

George took one part of the cover. He tied it at the front of the boat. Harris stood in the middle to help George with the cover. George did his job well, but Harris was completely confused.

After ten minutes of hard work, Harris was inside the cover! He was fighting to get out. He accidentally knocked George down. Now George was inside the cover, too. They fought with the cover. I heard some very bad words. I thought the job must be very difficult.

I didn’t understand what was happening. George and Harris had told Montmorency and me to stand at the back of the boat. We did exactly that. We waited quietly. We saw the cover moving violently, but we thought this was the correct method.

After a long time, we heard George shout, ‘We can’t breathe under here! Why don’t you help us, you idiot!’

When someone calls for help, I always answer. I went to help them. Poor Harris, his face was almost black.

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