The men 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.
In Chapter 11, when J. explains that “the idea, overnight, had been that we should get up early in the morning . . . and revel in a long delicious swim. Somehow, now the morning had come, the notion seemed less tempting. The water looked damp and chilly: the wind felt cold” (102). This was foreshadowed in Chapter 3 when J. noted that he is always more excited about swimming when he is not immediately faced with the prospect of diving into cold water. And again, this moment touches on the theme of illusions - it is nice to make plans for ourselves, but another thing to actually carry through with those plans.