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Answer the following questions in detail:
Q1. What was the Boveney incident? Narrate in your own words.
Ans. The writer describes an interesting incident that took place at Boveney. As they came round the bend they saw two men on the bank. They looked confused and had a miserable expression. They had a long towline between them on asking they told that their boat had drifted off. When they were busy in disentangling the tow-line their boat was gone. It went down a mile further and was held by some rushes. Jim and party brought it back to the two bewildered men.
Q2. “When girls tow, there is never a dull moment.” Explain.
Ans. The writer says that to see girls towing is much enjoyable. He suggests never to miss the opportunity to see them towing a boat. As the ladies begin by getting themselves tied up. They first wrap it round their legs and sit down to undo it and then they would wrap it round their necks and get nearly strangled. Eventually when they get it straight, they pull the boat so fast that they run out of breath and so sit down to rest but their boat drifts out in the river. Thus their attempts at towing the boat evoke laughter and humour.
Q3. The sound of accordian was the sweetest music he had ever heard. With What does the writer compare it?
Ans. The writer compares the sweet sound of the accordion with heavenly melody, a soul-moving harmony. The wheezy sound of the accordion was something singularly human and reassuring. It was far, far more beautiful than the voice of orpheus or the lute of Apollo.
Q4. What happened to the boat being towed by a small boy on a powerful barge horse?
Ans. The three men saw a small boat being towed through the water at a tremendous pace by a powerful barge horse, on which a small boy was sitting, five other fellows were lying in the boat in dreamy and reposeful attitude. George said that he wanted to see the man (towing it) pull the wrong line. Suddenly the man did it and the boat rushed up the bank with a noise like the ripping up of forty thousand linen sheets. Two men fell down on the starboard side, two men disembarked from the\ starboard and sat down among boat-hooks and sails. The fifth went on twenty yards further and then got out on his head. The boat got lighten and went on much easier. The boy kept on shouting and urging his steed into a gallop. All the five men realised what had happened and began to shout lustily for the boy to stop. But the boy did not hear them, so the men flew after him.
Q5. “We thanked them over and over again.” Who are “We” here? Whom are they thanking and Why?
Ans. Here “We” are the writer and the young lady– a cousin from the side of writer’s mother. They thanked those attractive and lovable people who were the part of the party of provincial ‘Arrys and’ Arriets, out for a moon light sail. They thanked for telling them that there was no Wallingford lock the writer was looking for and that he was close to cleave.
Q6. What do you understand about the characters of three friends from this chapter? Explain with examples.
Ans. This chapter does not reveal much about the characters of three friends as it is more devoted to the stories about tow-lines. However we come to know that George is lazy and wants to avoid work but the writer and Harris are bent on making him do it. Harris is a bit blunt and not prone to pity. The writer, while narrating his experiences at dealing with towlines, does not miss any chance to seek humour in each story. Besides being lazy, George is mischievous also as he makes the young couple tow their heavily laden boat. The writer becomes a bit philosophical in the description of towing.
Q7. Why do you think writer tells so many stories about towing? How do these stories help in the progress of plot and explaining human foibles?
Ans. In the beginning of the Chapter, the writer declares that towing is not a simple business. It is a matter of dealing with a world of knots, loops and tangles. In order to prove himself right and to tell the readers how the business of towing could cause a number of humorous incidents, he relates some interesting stories. The tow-line and the towing business give the writer an opportunity to talk of a variety of people and their attitude. The reader is thoroughly entertained by the interesting and\ humorous episodes related to towing.