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Three Men in a Boat Chapter 10 Summary

Their attempts to cover the boat with canvas. The making of tea and eating supper. The appeal of a deserted island.
Narration of a funny incident by George. Restless night for the author.

By the time the friends decided to stop for the night, all they wanted was to eat and sleep. They drew up in a pleasant spot, but rather than eat immediately, George suggested that they put up the canvas covering on the boat. However, this turned out to be a more difficult task than they had thought. After trying for a long time they managed to get the hoops up, but when it came to putting the canvas cover over them, Harris and George got rolled up in it and could not free themselves.

Finally, after half an hour’s hard labour, the canvas was up and the friends put the tea to boil, while they got supper ready. According to the author, the best way to get the tea ready, while on a boat, was to put the kettle on the stove and ignore it, talking loudly about how one doesn’t actually want any tea. This supposedly inspires the kettle to boil faster.

For more than half an hour, they ate steadily, inspiring the author to discuss the importance of food and how it was the surest path to virtue and contentment. Smoking their pipes afterwards, the friends discussed how nice it would be to live on a deserted island, more so since George assured Harris that it would not be damp if it was well-drained.

George was reminded of a funny incident where his father and his friend stopped at an inn. When they went up to bed, both the friends got into the same bed, one the right way and the other with his feet on the pillow. They both thought there was someone else in their bed and tried to throw the other off, resulting in both of them landing on the floor, with no idea of what had actually happened.

Soon the three friends went to bed, but although he was very tired, the author was not able to sleep. He found the boat a very hard bed to sleep in and seemed to have something digging into his back. Finally, he got up and went out onto the bank, admiring the star-lit night.