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Three Men in a Boat Chapter 9 Summary
George put to work. The problems of tow-lines and incidents relating to them described. Reaching Penton Hook and decision to travel till Runnymeade as their next halting point.
The author and Harris decided to make George do the work now. However, when they passed him the tow-line, it was very tangled. According to the author, it is a characteristic’ of tow-lines in general that no matter how neatly they are coiled to begin with, they always find ways to get tangled.
The author was reminded of a time when one windy morning, two men managed to untangle their tow-line, only to find that their boat had drifted away. George had a similar amusing incident to share, where a boy and a girl were pulling the tow line, without realizing that there was no boat behind them anymore. Instead, George and his friends hitched their boat to the line and it was quite some time later when the boy and the girl realized that they had lost their boat and were pulling along strangers.
In another incident, the author and George saw a boat with five men relaxing onboard, being towed by a boy on a horse.
The man who was steering, accidentally pulled the wrong line, and the boat ran onto the bank, making most of the men fall overboard. The author felt this was a good thing, for boats being towed at such a speed tended to tangle their tow-lines over other boats’ masts, besides not giving any other boat time to get out of their way. The author also related his opinion about having one’s boat towed by women. He claimed that it was an adventure because they would chatter among themselves, stop towing suddenly and then remember something or the other that they needed from the boat.
The friends reached Penton Hook and since it was too early to sleep, they decided to keep going till Runnymead. The author recalled an instance when he and a female cousin were boating and it was getting late. They had mapped their course so that they would pass by Wallingford, but however much they rowed, they did not reach it. The river had then seemed to take on a dreamlike, haunting, ghostly aspect and they had been most relieved when they heard the sound of badly sung songs, signalling another boating party.