Three invalids. - Sufferings of George and Harris. - A victim to one
hundred and seven fatal maladies. - Useful prescriptions. - Cure for
liver complaint in children. - We agree that we are overworked, and need
rest. - A week on the rolling deep? - George suggests the river. -
Montmorency lodges an objection. - Original motion carried by majority of
three to one.
Plans discussed. - Pleasures of "camping-out," on fine nights. - Ditto,
wet nights. - Compromise decided on. - Montmorency, first impressions of.
- Fears lest he is too good for this world, fears subsequently dismissed
as groundless. - Meeting adjourns.
Arrangements settled. Harris's method of doing work. How the elderly,
family-man puts up a picture. George makes a sensible, remark.
Delights of early morning bathing. Provisions for getting upset.
The food question. Objections to paraffine oil as an atmosphere.
Advantages of cheese as a travelling companion. A married woman deserts
her home. Further provision for getting upset. I pack. Cussedness
of tooth-brushes. George and Harris pack. Awful behaviour of
Montmorency. We retire to rest.
Mrs. P. arouses us. George, the sluggard. The "Weather Forecast"
swindle. Our luggage. Depravity of the small boy. The people gather
round us. We drive off in great style, and arrive at Waterloo.
Innocence of South Western officials concerning such worldly things as
trains. We are afloat, afloat in an open boat.
Kingston. Instructive remarks on early English history. Instructive
observations on carved oak and life in general. Sad case of Stivvings,
junior. Musings on antiquity. I forget that I am steering.
Interesting result. Hampton Court Maze. Harris as a guide.
The river in its Sunday garb. Dress on the river. A chance for the
men. Absence of taste in Harris. George's blazer. A day with the
fashion-plate young lady. Mrs. Thomas's tomb. The man who loves not
graves and coffins and skulls. Harris mad. His views on George and
banks and lemonade. He performs tricks.
Blackmailing. The proper course to pursue. Selfish boorishness of
river-side landowner. "Notice" boards. Unchristianlike feelings of
Harris. How Harris sings a comic song. A high-class party. Shameful
conduct of two abandoned young men. Some useless information. George
buys a banjo.
George is introduced to work. Heathenish instincts of tow-lines.
Ungrateful conduct of a double-sculling skiff. Towers and towed. A
use discovered for lovers. Strange disappearance of an elderly lady.
Much haste, less speed. Being towed by girls: exciting sensation. The
missing lock or the haunted river. Music. Saved!
Our first night. Under canvas. An appeal for help. Contrariness of
tea-kettles, how to overcome. Supper. How to feel virtuous. Wanted!
A comfortably-appointed, well-drained desert island, neighbourhood of
South Pacific ocean preferred. Funny thing that happened to George's
father. A restless night.
How George, once upon a time, got up early in the morning. George,
Harris, and Montmorency do not like the look of the cold water. Heroism
and determination on the part of J. George and his shirt: story with a
moral. Harris as cook. Historical retrospect, specially inserted for
the use of schools.
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Disadvantages of living in same house with
pair of lovers. A trying time for the English nation. A night search
for the picturesque. Homeless and houseless. Harris prepares to die.
- An angel comes along. Effect of sudden joy on Harris. A little
supper. Lunch. High price for mustard. A fearful battle.
Maidenhead. Sailing. Three fishers. We are cursed.
Marlow. Bisham Abbey. The Medmenham Monks. Montmorency thinks he
will murder an old tom cat. But eventually decides that he will let it
live. Shameful conduct of a fox terrier at the Civil Service stores.
Our departure from Marlow. An imposing procession. The steam launch,
useful receipts for annoying and hindering it. We decline to drink the
river. A peaceful dog. Strange disappearance of Harris and a pie.
Wargrave. Waxworks. Sonning. Our stew. Montmorency is sarcastic.
- Fight between Montmorency and the tea-kettle. George's banjo studies.
- Meet with discouragement. Difficulties in the way of the musical
amateur. Learning to play the bagpipes. Harris feels sad after
supper. George and I go for a walk. Return hungry and wet. There is
a strangeness about Harris. Harris and the swans, a remarkable story.
Harris has a troubled night.
Household duties. Love of work. The old river hand, what he does and
what he tells you he has done. Scepticism of the new generation.
Early boating recollections. Rafting. George does the thing in style.
- The old boatman, his method. So calm, so full of peace. The
beginner. Punting. A sad accident. Pleasures of friendship.
Sailing, my first experience. Possible reason why we were not drowned.
Reading. We are towed by steam launch. Irritating behaviour of small
boats. How they get in the way of steam launches. George and Harris
again shirk their work. Rather a hackneyed story. Streatley and
Washing day. Fish and fishers. On the art of angling. A
conscientious fly-fisher. A fishy story.
Locks. George and I are photographed. Wallingford. Dorchester.
Abingdon. A family man. A good spot for drowning. A difficult bit
of water. Demoralizing effect of river air.
Oxford. Montmorency's idea of heaven. The hired up-river boat, its
beauties and advantages. The "Pride of the Thames." The weather
changes. The river under different aspects. Not a cheerful evening.
Yearnings for the unattainable. The cheery chat goes round. George
performs upon the banjo. A mournful melody. Another wet day.
Flight. A little supper and a toast.