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George and J. want to camp along the river, believing that sleeping outside will offer a true escape from the city. J. writes sentimentally and poetically about the beauty and power of nature.
However, Harris points out that camping would be unpleasant if it rains, so they decide to camp on nights with good weather and sleep in inns when the weather is poor. J. believes Montmorency will prefer hotels because they offer more excitement and stables that the dog can run around in. J. explains to the reader that Montmorency’s adorable appearance endears him to everyone who meets him, but he is actually a hyperactive troublemaker.