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Chapter 11

George and J. wake up at six the next morning, and cannot get back to sleep. George tells J. a story about how he once forgot to wind his watch before going to bed, which left him confused when he woke at three in the morning. He only realized the mistake when he arrived at work, and aroused the suspicion of several constables as he walked around London so late at night.

J. and George finally wake Harris. They had previously agreed to go for a morning swim, but are now reluctant to jump in the cold water. J. falls in and tries to trick his friends into joining him, but they refuse. J. also accidentally drops a shirt into the river, which George finds hilarious until he realizes it is actually his shirt.

Harris volunteers to make scrambled eggs, promising that they will be delicious. Of course, Harris has no idea how to make scrambled eggs, but George and J. enjoy watching him make a fool of himself in the process. Naturally, the eggs are inedible.

That morning, the men arrive at Magna Charta Island, near Runnymede. As the name suggests, Magna Charta Island is where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215. J. speculates at length about what it would have been like to be a peasant living in Runnymede at the time of the event.

Chapter 12

Next, the men pass Picnic Point, where Henry VIII is said to have courted Anne Boleyn. J. remarks that such spots are located all over England, and the common people must have had a great deal of trouble trying to give Henry and Anne their privacy. He then digresses to discuss how awkward it is to walk in on young couples who are ‘spooning.’

The boat then passes the spot where Earl Godwin choked after being accused of murdering Edward the Confessor’s brother.

They row past Datchet, and reminisce about the first boat trip they took together. They had attempted to find an inn in Datchet, but all of the town’s lodging-houses were full. After asking everywhere, the men came across a young boy who offered to let them sleep at his family’s house. They did, and were grateful for the room despite the uncomfortable conditions.

When lunchtime arrives, the men are very disappointed to discover that they had forgotten to pack mustard. George saves the day by revealing that he brought along pineapple, but the men have great trouble trying to open the can. After taking turns trying to break it open, they give it up.

They pass quickly through Maidenhead, a tourist town “too snobby to be pleasant” (119). They spot three old men fishing, and Harris’s poor steering disturbs the water near the men, who then curse at them.

That night, the friends stay at an inn in Marlow.

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