There were dishes, cups, bottles, pans, tomatoes, cakes and many other things to pack in the hampers.
As soon as George and Harris started packing, they broke a cup. And, this was just the beginning! George is the worst packer in the world. When George dies, Harris will be the worst packer in the world.
They walked on things and broke them. Harris put a big jar of jam on top of a tomato and crushed I it. George stepped on a big packet of butter, and Harris sat on it. Soon there was butter everywhere. They packed the pies in the hamper. Then they put heavy things on top of them. The pies were crushed, just like the tomato.
In the middle of all of this, there was Montmorency, of course. He put his leg in the sugar, and soon there was sugar everywhere. He ran away with the teaspoons. He pretended that the lemons were rats, and killed three of them! This was Montmorency's idea of fun.
At one in the morning, the packing was finished. We were ready for bed.
George said, 'What time shall I wake you up?'
Harris said, 'Seven o'clock.'
I said, 'Six o'clock.'
'Wake us up at half past six, George,' we said.
It was Mrs Poppets who woke me up the next morning. 'Do you know that it's nearly nine o'clock?'
'What!' I shouted, as I jumped out of bed. I woke up Harris and George. We began to get ready, and we remembered that we had packed our toothbrushes. So we went to get them out of the suitcase. This was not an easy job.
At last, we were ready to eat breakfast. While we ate breakfast, George read the newspaper. He told us about the people killed on the river, and about the bad weather report.
George went to work, and Harris and I finished our breakfast. That morning, Montmorency invited two of his friends to the house. They fought most of the time.
When we were finally ready, we carried our luggage to the road. We waited twenty minutes for a taxi. Taxis usually come every three minutes.
A crowd of people was watching us. They looked at us, at Montmorency, and at Montmorency's friends. They looked at all our luggage: a big suitcase, a small bag, two big hampers, some pans, some umbrellas, five coats and raincoats.
At Waterloo Station, we took the 11:05 train to Kingston. At
Kingston, our boat was waiting for us below the bridge. Harris and I put our luggage in it. We got on the boat happily, but Montmorency was worried. Harris took the oars and we started our two-week trip on the River Thames.
Harris was wearing a red and orange blazer. I It was a beautiful, sunny day. We were enjoying the first moments of our holiday.
When we passed Hampton Court Palace, Harris asked, 'Have you ever visited the maze here?' He said he had gone into the maze once to show a friend. He studied a map of the maze before going in. He knew it was very easy to get out again.
Harris said to his friend, 'We'll go in and walk around for ten minutes. Then we'll come out and have lunch. It's very easy. Take the first turn to the right each time.'
In the maze, they met some people who had been there for forty-five minutes. They wanted to get out because they were lost. Harris said, 'Follow me! I'm going out in ten minutes.' The people thanked him and started following him. Other people began following Harris, too. Some of them were worried and afraid. He continued turning to the right, but he was still in the maze.
Harris got lost! The people were angry with him. They all started calling for help. A young keeper 4 heard them and came to help. But, he got lost, too! Finally, the old keeper came back from lunch. He let the people out. Everyone was tired and angry.
Harris said, 'Let's ask George to try the maze, on our return trip.'
'Not a bad idea,' I said.
When we passed Molesey Lock, we were the only boat in the big lock. Usually, the lock is a very busy place. On Sundays, there are boats everywhere. People like the river and the sun. It's such a beautiful picture — the river, the trees, the flowers and the people, in their colourful clothes.
At Hampton, Harris wanted to stop the boat and have a look at the church. I don't like visiting churches, but Harris loves it.
'I came on the trip only because I wanted to visit Hampton Church. You know, I love churches, churchyards and tombs. The idea of not seeing Hampton Church, with Mrs Thomas's tomb, makes me angry.'
'Who is Mrs Thomas?' I asked.
'I don't know, but she has a strange tomb.'
I said, 'We must be at Shepperton at five o'clock to meet George.'
Harris said, 'George! Why can't George be here to do some work? Why doesn't he help us with this heavy boat? What does he do at the bank? He sits behind a piece of glass all day and does nothing. I work! Why doesn't he work? I'm going to have a drink!'
'There are no pubs near here. The nearest pub is far away,' I said.
'What! We'll all die of thirst. No pubs!'
'If you're thirsty, we have water in the boat.' I said.
'Water! Water makes people ill!' he said. 'However, I am very thirsty and I must drink something.' So he took the bottle and drank some water.