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Summary - Chapter - 4, Three Men in a Boat Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

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The food question
Now the friends discussed the food question. George said, “Begin with breakfast. Now for breakfast we shall want a frying pan, a tea-pot and a kettle, and a methylated stove, but no oil”. Harris and Jim agreed. George was practical.

Oil stove
They had taken an oil stove with them once, but would not commit this mistake again. The oil oozed down to the rudder and into the river and spoiled the whole atmosphere. Even the wind brought with it the fragrance of paraffin oil. They took an oath never to take paraffin oil with them.

Smell of the cheeses
George suggested that they should take with them eggs, bacon, cold meat, tea, bread and butter and jam. They would not take cheese because cheese, like oil, gave strong smell. The narrator remembered a friend who had bought a couple of cheese of Liverpool. He asked the narrator to take those cheeses to London. He took them away in a cab. The smell of the cheeses made the horses run at a very fast speed. They were beyond control. But a clever porter put a handkerchief over the horse’s nose in order to control his speed. The narrator then caught a train. In the train, people felt so uncomfortable with the smell that they moved out of the bogey in which he was sitting. His friend was detained in Liverpool longer than he expected. Three days later, his wife called on him. Even she hated the smell of the cheeses. She did not keep it in her room in a hotel. Finally, Tom took them to a sea-side town, and buried them on the beach.

Packing begins
The next day, they got all things together and met in the evening to pack them. They got a big Gladstone for the clothes, and a couple of hampers for the food items, and the cooking utensils. They placed everything in a heap, in the middle of the floor and sat round it. The narrator said that he would pack. He thought that he knew more about it than any other. His two friends readily agreed. He felt annoyed because he did not like others doing nothing.

Wrong packing
However he packed the things. When he was Strapping the bag, Harris said, “Aren’t you going to put the boots in ?“ The narrator got irritated. George’s senseless laughs increased his irritation. The narrator had to unpack the bag and put the boots in when he finally packed. George and Harris Came forward to do the hampers. Jim began to look at them. Firstly they broke a cup, and then Hams squashed a tomato. They became so nervous that they placed light things at the bottom and heavy things on the top. The preserves got smashed. Harris sat on the butter. They wanted buffer but could not find it. At last they found it on Harris’ back.

Montmorency’s misdeeds
Montmorency was in it all, of course. He put his leg into the jam and he pretended that the lemons were rats, and got into the hamper and killed three of them before Harris could land him with a frying pan. The packing was done at 12.50 at midnight. They were ready to sleep. Harris was to sleep with them and they went upstairs. They asked George to wake them up at 6.30. But George was asleep at that time. They placed the bath tub where he could tumble into it on getting out in the morning and went to bed themselves.

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