فصل 06

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فصل 06

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CHAPTER SIX

Harris Makes Scrambled Eggs

As soon as the cover was in place, we started to prepare supper. We wanted some hot water to make tea. We put the tea kettle on the stove. We pretended that we were not interested in the water. We wanted the water to think that we did not care about it. We began to prepare supper.

This was the only way to make the water boil on a boat. If the water knows you are waiting for it, it will never get hot. You must not look at it. It’s a good idea to shout, ‘I don’t want any tea. Do you, George?’

George shouts back, ‘Oh, no. I don’t like tea. I’ll have milk.’

‘And you, Harris?’

‘Tea is terrible. I never drink it. I’ll have lemonade.’

This makes the water very angry. At this point, the water will boil!

We really wanted that supper. We needed that supper. For thirty-five minutes nobody spoke. We just ate and ate. Finally, we all had full stomachs, and we were happy. A full stomach makes you feel kind and generous. We sat and smiled at each other. We smiled at Montmorency, too. We started smoking our pipes and began to talk.

We went to bed at ten o’clock. I didn’t sleep well. I wasn’t comfortable in the boat. I woke up at six o’clock the next morning, and George did, too. There was no reason to wake up so early. We were on holiday. Why did we wake up so early? It never happens to us when we’re working.

We decided to wake up Harris. This was hard work. We used an oar to help us. Harris moved a bit and said, ‘I’ll be downstairs in a minute. Get my best boots ready, please.’

We tried again with a boat hook. Harris sat up suddenly and Montmorency fell off the bed. We pulled up the canvas cover and all four of us looked out at the river. We were very cold. We had planned to go swimming, but the water looked so cold and wet.

‘Well, who’s going swimming first?’ asked Harris.

No one wanted to be first. George decided to get dressed. Montmorency barked with horror at the idea. Harris went to look for his trousers.

I decided to go to the river bank and throw some water on myself.

I held on to the branch of a tree as I moved to the water. It was very cold and I decided not to go in. I wanted to go back to the boat. But suddenly, the branch of the tree broke! I fell into the river along with my towel. I also drank about a bottle of Thames water.

‘Good heavens! Old J is in the water!’ Harris said.

‘How’s the water?’ George asked.

‘It’s lovely!’ I answered. ‘Why don’t you come in?’

Nobody wanted to try the water. When I got back to the boat, I was very cold. I wanted to put on my shirt, but it fell into the river. This made me angry. George started laughing.

‘I don’t see anything to laugh at,’ I said.

George laughed even more. I never saw a man laugh so much. I was cold and furious. I was trying to get my shirt out of the river. George was laughing louder and louder.

‘Stop laughing, you stupid idiot!’ I shouted.

When I finally pulled the shirt out of the river, I saw that it wasn’t mine - it was George’s shirt! I started laughing too. I laughed so much that I dropped the shirt into the river again.

‘Aren’t you going to get it out?’ said George, who continued laughing.

I didn’t answer him for a while, because I was laughing so much. At last I said, ‘it isn’t my shirt. It’s yours!’

I never saw a man’s face change so quickly.

‘What!’ he shouted. ‘You donkey! I Why can’t you be careful with things? Why don’t you go and get dressed on the river bank? People like you don’t know how to live on a boat!’

I tried to tell him how funny it was, but he didn’t understand. George is a little slow at understanding a joke sometimes.

Harris said, ‘I’m cooking scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning. Once people try my scrambled eggs, they always want them.’

He was quite famous for his scrambled eggs. George and I got the stove and the frying pan ready. Then we looked for the eggs that weren’t broken. We found only six of them.

‘Now you can start,’ we said.

Breaking the eggs was difficult for Harris. The eggs got on his trousers and went up his arms. He put six eggs into the frying pan. Then he sat down by the stove and mixed them with a fork.

George and I saw that it was difficult work. Harris often burnt his fingers. Then he danced around the stove. He waved his hands in the air and shouted. George and I thought that this was an important part of his cooking method.

We didn’t know what scrambled eggs were. We thought they were some sort of Red Indian food, and, to cook them correctly, it was necessary to do special dances with magic words.

Montmorency went to put his nose over the frying pan once, and burnt himself. He, too, began dancing around and barking. It was interesting and exciting to watch this show. George and I were sorry when it was finished.

When the scrambled eggs were ready, there was very little to eat. Six eggs had gone into the pan. But, all that came out was a teaspoon full of burnt eggs.

‘The problem is the frying pan,’ Harris said. ‘I need another type of pan and another stove.’

We decided not to try scrambled eggs again, until Harris had the right pan and stove.

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