Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

How do young fools-who get their boats towed by horses prove a risk for others?

Chapter 9

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To the reader, J. explains how easily tow-lines become tangled. On long journeys like this, it is common for travelers to take a break from rowing while someone tows the boat from shore. However, J. observes that the towers, on the shore, tend to become distracted by their conversation and stop paying attention to the boat. Whoever is left on the boat is usually uncomfortable or responsible for whatever crisis emerges, but is ignored by the towers.

Over tea, George tells a story about seeing a couple distracted as they towed their boat from land. Sneakily, he tied his boat to their tow-line, thus tricking the couple into dragging the wrong boat for several miles. J. recounts a similar story, about a group of men whose boat ran aground because they were distracted. However, he argues that girls are the worst towers of all because they are so flighty and distractible.