At Marlow, we left our boat by the bridge. We spent the night at the Crown Hotel. The next morning we went swimming before breakfast.
On the way back, Montmorency met a cat. Montmorency and I don't agree on cats. I like cats. Montmorency doesn't. When I meet a cat, I stop and say hello. I petI it gently. The cat is happy, and I am too. When Montmorency meets a cat, the whole street knows about it. A lot of bad words fly through the air.
As soon as Montmorency saw the cat, he barked with happiness. The cat was walking slowly across the street. Montmorency ran after the cat. But the cat didn't run. He didn't understand that his life was in danger.
This cat was big and black. It had half a tail, half a nose and only one ear. It was a clever street cat.
Montmorency is a courageous dog, but the cold eyes of that cat terrified him. The cat stopped in the middle of the road and looked at Montmorency.
Neither spoke, but the conversation was probably like this:
Cat: Yes! You want me? Can I do anything for you?
Montmorency: No, no thanks.
Cat: If you really want something, please tell me.
Montmorency: (walking backwards) Oh, no, not at all. Don't disturb yourself. I'm afraid I made a mistake. I thought I knew you. Sorry I disturbed you.
Cat: Not at all. It's a pleasure. Are you sure you don't want anything now?
Montmorency: (still walking backwards) No, thanks. Nothing at all, thanks. Very kind of you. Good morning.
Cat: Good morning.
The cat got up and walked away. Montmorency came back and followed us quietly. He was silent all day long.
To this day, if you say the word 'Cats!' to Montmorency, he'll stop walking. Then he'll look up at you, as if to say: 'Please don't!'
After this, we did our shopping, returned to the boat and continued our trip up the river.
At Hambledon Lock, we discovered that we had no water. We went to the lock-keeper to ask for some. George spoke for us. With a friendly smile he asked, 'May we have some water, please.'
'Certainly,' said the old lock-keeper. 'Take as much as you want, and leave the rest.'
'Thank you very much,' said George, looking around. 'Where is the water?'
'It's where it always is,' said the lock-keeper. 'It's behind you.'
George turned around and looked. 'I don't see it.'
'What! Where are your eyes?' the lock-keeper said. He took George's arm and turned him around.
'Oh!' George said. 'But we can't drink the river!'
'No, but you can drink some of it,' said the lock-keeper. 'I've drunk river water for the past fifteen years.'
'Well, sir, I don't think you look very healthy, after drinking all that river water. But thank you anyway,' George said.
We left the lock-keeper's place and we found some water at another house.
We towed the boat past Henley and stopped near Wargrave for lunch. We were sitting in a green field near the river. Harris was cutting a meat pie. George and I were waiting with our dishes.
'I need a spoon,' said Harris.
The hamper was behind us. George and I both turned around to get a spoon. In five seconds, we had the spoon. When we turned back, Harris and the meat pie were gone! Disappeared!
It was a wide open field. There were no trees nearby. Harris did not fall into the river, because the river was far from us. George and I looked all around. Then we looked at each other.
'Has he gone up to heaven?'I I asked.
'Angels don't take meat pies to heaven,' George said.
'You're right!' I agreed.
'Then there has been an earthquake,' George said. 'I'm sorry he had the meat pie with him.'
Sadly, we looked at the place where Harris and the meat pie were sitting. Then, with horror, we saw Harris's head — only his head. It was in the grass! His face was red and furious.
George was the first to speak. 'Say something! Are you dead or alive? Where is your body?'
'Oh, don't be an idiot!' Harris shouted. 'I think you made this happen. You told me to sit there. It's your stupid joke! Here, take the pie.'
Harris didn't know it, but he had been sitting next to a big hole. The long grass covered it. He fell into the deep hole without knowing anything. At first, he thought that it was the end of the world.
Harris still thinks that George and I planned it all.