Planning the trip
After taking the decision of having a boat trip along the river, the friends began to plan it. They planned to start from Kingston on Saturday and George would join them at Chertsey in the afternoon, when his bank closed. They debated about the stay at night. George and the narrator wished to ‘camp out’ at night. The narrator insisted on it. He became poetical about the sun setting in the evening, and the birds becoming silent. He went into a nostalgic mood and described how they would tie their boat in a corner and pitch their tent and eat a small meal. They would Listen to the song of the flowing river. They would lie down under the starry sky. His description of the natural scenery showed that civilization was taking man away from the lap of nature.
The poetic mood of the narrator was interrupted by Harris who asked, “How about when it rained ?“ Harris used to weep whenever he ate raw Onions. Harris was fond of drinks. For him that place was the best where he could get a drink. But he was right in his opinion that it was unpleasant to Camp out in rainy weather. It was tedious and hopeless to attempt to make wood fire. So they would have to light a stove to cook food. The bread’ be soaked in rain water. The pie, the jam, the butter and salt would become rich with rainwater.
Problems in a rain
You would wake up from your sleep because you felt that an elephant was sitting on your chest. You would feel that the world had come to an end because you heard faint cries coming from under your bed. Then suddenly you realised that the tent had fallen down. In the morning all the three Mends would be speechless owing to severe cold that they caught in the night. They would quarrel with one another and shout at one another.
Montmorency, the dog
So they took the decision that they would sleep out for five nights in a hotel or a pub when it rained. Even Montmorency, the dog, hailed this decision. He looked like a fox-terrier having a gentle look in his eyes. When the narrator had owned the dog he had thought that he would not live long. But after paying for a dozen chickens that he had killed, and rescuing him from a hundred and fourteen street fights, listening to the angry neighbour whose cat he had killed, the narrator changed his opinion about the dog. The only thing that was yet to be decided was what to take along with them. Harris came with a suggestion that he knew a place where they would get excellent Irish whisky. George said that he felt thirsty. The debate was adjourned to the following night . all the three put on their hats.
The same four characters — George, Harris, the narrator and Montmorency — are there.
The narrator (Jim) : The writer is romantic by nature. He loves the beautiful objects of nature. We realise that his description of the night fall is poetic and lyrical. He agrees with George to ‘camp out’ at night. He dislikes the practical attitude of Harris. He is witty and humorous in his comments.
George : George likes to ‘camp out’ at night. His friends say that he sleeps in the bank the whole day. He is considered to be lazy. He likes to take rest any ti me , anywhere.
Harris : Harris is practical in his attitude towards life. He is very fond of drinks. For him that place is the best where he can get a drink. He does not like to ‘camp out’ at night.
After taking a decision of having a boat trip along the river, the friends plan their journey. They plan to ‘camp out’ at night when it does not rain, but decide to sleep in a hotel or pub when it rains. The debate is adjourned to the following night. All the three put on their hats and go out.
VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1.Is lt safe to sleep in the open at night ?
Ans. No, it’s not.
Q.2. Have you ever pitched a tent and slept In It at the hill-station ?
Ans. No, I haven’t.
Q.3.What will you do If It rains when you are returning homefrom school?
Ans. I’ll walk in the rain and get wet.
Q.4.Do you like to keep a pet dog ? Why! Why not?
Ans. I like to keep a pet dog because I love animals.
Q.5.When do you sleep at night?
Ans. I sleep at 10 o’clock at night.
SHORT AND LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
- Why did the three friends not want to stay outside on the trip? Give a brief account of their arguments
Ans.- The three friends did not want to stay outside on the trip by giving a number of arguments as they feel that there are several possible misfortunes.
First of all rain will definitely become a spoilsport in the pleasure of camping trip. It would be difficult to go outside and explore the area nearby. They themselves admit that-
“You are wet through, and there is a good two inches of water in the boat, and all the things are damp.”
The task of pitching tent is a lot of struggle in the rainy weather. It is rather irritating. Instead of helping you, it seems to you that the other man is simply trying to make a fool of you by not working. Everything is soaked and heavy, and tumbles down on you, and clings round your head and makes you mad. Making wood fire is another difficult task and creates a lot of problems. They think that they cannot go on with it so the methylated spirit stove has to be lighted and they had to crowd round that. Another major problem is this that whenever you feel like smoking you find that your tobacco is damp. You wish to eat you find that edibles like the jam, the butter, the salt and coffee all are mingled with water to make a delicious soup. One can neither enjoy smoking nor eating. There are several other problems like one feels restless in bed. One can catch cold and quarrel with one another. In such a situation one is most likely to curse oneself , fight with friends or work for small things harder than required.
Q. 1 . Where did the narrator wish to stay at night?
Ans. The narrator wished to ‘camp out’ at night. He insisted on this because he loved the objects of nature. He loved to lie down under the starry sky.
Q.2.What decision did the friends take?
Ans. They took the decision that they would sleep out for five nights in a hotel or a pub when it rained, but would ‘camp out’ when it did not rain.
Q.3.How did Montmorency look like? What had the writer thought of him?
Ans. Montmorency, the dog, looked like a fox- terrier having a gentle look in his eyes. When the narrator had owned the dog, he had thought he would not live long.
Q.4.When did the narrator change his opinion about the dog?
Ans. After paying for a dozen chickens that the dog had killed and rescuing him from several street-fights, and listening to the angry neighbour whose cat he had killed, the narrator changed his opinion about the dog.
Q.5. Did the debate come to an end?
Ans. No it was adjourned to the following night.