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书虫四级《三怪客泛舟记》:第十一章 客栈和水果罐头

所属教程:书虫四级 三怪客泛舟记




Chapter 11 Hotels and tinned fruit

第十一章 客栈和水果罐头

After breakfast I was sitting by the river, and thinking, when George said, 'Perhaps, when you've rested enough, you could help to wash the plates and things.' so I cleaned the pan with some wood and grass-and George's wet shirt.


Then we started to move up the river again, past Old Windsor, which is very pretty. After that, the river is not very interesting until you get to Boveney. George and I were towing the boat then. As we were passing Datchet, George asked me if I remembered our first trip up the river. On that trip we reached Datchet at ten o'clock at night. All we wanted to do was to eat and go to bed.


I replied, 'Yes, I do remember it. 'I remember it well. In fact, it will be some time before I forget it…


It was one Saturday in August. There was George, and Harris, and me. We were tired and hungry. When we got to Datchet, we took out of the boat the basket of food, the two bags, and the coats and things. Then we began to look for somewhere to stay. We passed a very pretty little hotel, but there were no roses round the door. I wanted somewhere with roses round the door. I do not know why. Anyway, I said, 'Oh, we don't want to go there. Let's look for a little hotel with roses round the door. '


So we went on until we came to another hotel. That was a very nice one, too, and it did have roses. But Harris did not like the man who was standing by the front door. Harris said that he did not look like a nice man, and he was wearing ugly boots. So we went on. We walked for some time, but we did not see any more hotels. Then we met a man and we decided to ask him.


'Excuse me, do you know any nice little hotels near here?' we said.


'Well, 'he said, 'you're coming away from them. Go back, and you'll come to the Black Horse. '


We said, 'Oh, we've been there, and we didn't like it. There were no roses round the door. '


'Well, then, 'he said, 'there's the Travelers' rest just beyond it. Have you tried that?'


Harris replied that we did not want to go there. We did not like the man who was staying there. Harris did not like the colour of his hair. He did not like his boots either.


'Well, I don't know what you're going to do, then, 'the man answered, 'because they are the only two hotels here. '


'No other hotels!' Harris cried.


'None, 'the man replied.


'What are we going to do now?' Harris asked.


Then George spoke. He said, 'You two can ask someone to build you a hotel. I'm going back to the Black Horse!'


So we went back to the Black Horse.


'Good evening, 'the man at the desk said.


'Oh, good evening, 'George answered. 'We want three beds, please. '


'I'm sorry, sir, 'the man replied, 'but we haven't got three beds. '


'Oh, well, it doesn't matter-two beds, then. Two of us can sleep in one bed, can't we?' George continued. He looked at Harris and me.


Harris said, 'Oh, yes. 'He thought that George and I could sleep in one bed very easily.


'I'm very sorry, sir, 'the man repeated. 'We haven't got any beds. We've already got three men in one bed. '


We picked up our things, and we went over to the Travelers' rest. It was a pretty little place. I said I thought it was better than the other hotel. Harris said it would be all right. We would not look at the man with red hair and ugly boots.


The people at the Travelers' rest did not wait to hear what we wanted. The lady at the desk said she had already sent away fourteen people. There was no room of any kind. We asked her if she knew somewhere we could spend the night. She said there was a little house along the roa.


We did not wait. We picked up the basket, the bags and the coats, and we ran along the road.


The people there laughed at us. There were only three beds in the house, and there were seven men there already.


Someone said, 'Why don't you try the little shop next to the Black Horse?'


So we went back along the road, but there were no beds at the little shop. However, there was an old lady in the shop. She said she had a friend who had some rooms. She added that she would take us there.


The old woman walked very slowly, and it took us twenty minutes to get to her friend's house. During the walk, she told us about all the pains she had in her back. When we got there, there were already some people in her friend's rooms. From there we went to number 27. Number 27 was full. They sent us to number 32, and number 32 was full.


Then we went back along the road. Suddenly Harris sat down on the basket. He said he was not going to move. He added that it seemed to be nice and quiet there, and he said that he would like to die there.


Just then, a little boy came past. 'Do you know any old people that we can frighten, so that they will give us their beds?' we asked him.


'No, I don't, 'the boy answered, but he added that his mother would give us a room. And that was where we spent the night-in two very short beds.


After that, we were never quite so difficult about hotels.


On our present trip, though, nothing exciting happened. We continued slowly on our way, and we stopped for lunch near Monkey Island.


We decided to have cold meat for lunch. Then, after that, George brought out a tin of fruit. We love tinned fruit, all three of us. We looked at the picture on the tin. We thought about the fruit. We imagined the taste of it. We smiled at each other, and Harris got out a spoon. Then we looked for the tin-opener. We took everything out of the big basket. We took everything out of the bags. There was no tin-opener. We pulled up the boards at the bottom of the boat. We put everything out on the grass by the river, and we shook everything. There was no tin-opener!


Then Harris tried to open the tin with a little knife, and he cut himself badly. George tried with some scissors. The scissors flew up, and nearly hit him in the eye. I tried to make a hole in the tin with the sharp end of a piece of metal. But I missed. As a result, I fell in the water, and the tin flew away and broke a cup.


Then we all got angry. We took that tin, and we put it on the grass by the river. Harris went into a field and got a big, sharp stone. I got a long, thick piece of wood. George held the tin, and Harris put the sharp end of his stone against the top of it. I took the piece of wood, and held it high in the air. Then I brought it down as hard as I could.


It was George's hat that saved his life that day. He keeps that hat now. On a winter evening, when men are telling stories about the dangers they have known, George brings out his hat. He shows it to his friends. Then he tells the story again-and he adds more details to it each time.


Harris was not hurt too badly.


After that, I took the tin away. I beat it until I was exhausted and miserable. Then Harris took it.


We beat it until it was long and thin. We beat it until it was square. We hit it with the wood until it was every shape there is-but we could not make a hole in it. Then George tried, and he knocked it into a shape which was strange, and terrible, and ugly. It frightened him, and he threw away the piece of wood. Then the three of us sat round that tin on the grass, and we looked at it.


There was one big line across the top of the tin that looked like a mouth. It seemed to be laughing at us, and this made us very angry. So Harris ran at it, and picked it up. He threw it, as hard as he could, into the middle of the river. As it went down into the water, we shouted awful things at it. Then we got into the boat, and we left that place, and did not stop until we reached Maidenhead.


We went through Maidenhead quickly, but, after that, we travelled along more slowly. We stopped for tea just before we got to Cookham. By the time we got through the lock it was evening.


It was a bit windy, and someone had made a mistake because the wind was behind us. That does not usually happen. But that afternoon the wind actually helped us on our way, and the boat moved quite fast.


There were no other people on the river, except for three old men. They were sitting in a boat, and they were fishing. As we got nearer, we could see that they were old. They were also quite serious, because they were watching their fishing-lines very carefully. The sun was going down, and it threw a red light across the water. It was very beautiful, and we felt that we were sailing into some strange land.


We did not sail into some strange land. We went straight in-to that boat with the three old men in it. At first, we did not know what had happened. But then, from the words which rose on the evening air, we understood that we were near people. We also understood that those people were not happy. We had knocked those three old men from their seats, and they were all lying on the bottom of their boat. They were trying to stand up and they were picking fish off themselves. As they worked, they shouted unkind things about us-not just the usual things, but special things about us, and about our families.


Harris called out, You ought to be pleased that something so exciting has happened to you!' He added that he was very unhappy to hear men of their age use those bad words.


But the three old men did not seem to agree with Harris.


At Marlow we left the boat near the bridge, and we went to spend the night in a hotel.


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