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Three Men in a Boat Chapter 11 Summary

The problems of getting up too early. The aversion of the three friends, and Montmorency, to cold water and the author’s fall in the water. Harris attempt to scramble eggs for breakfast. A historical insight on the signing of the Magna Charta.

The next morning, both the author and George woke up at six, and both found it impossible to go back to sleep. George related a story of how the same thing had happened to him some months ago, on a foggy day. He had forgotten to wind his watch, and had woken up thinking it was a quarter past eight in the morning. He got ready and dashed off to work, only to find that the entire town seemed to be asleep. He finally asked a policeman for the time and realized that it was just three a.m. After that, he returned home but could not sleep. He went for a walk, but the policemen found it suspicious that someone would be out at that time of the morning and he had to return home. He had made it a point never to wake up early ever since.

When George had finished his story, the author poked Harris with the oar to wake him up, causing Montmorency, who had been sleeping on Harris’ chest, to jump across the boat. They had thought that they would all take a morning dip in the river, but when it came to it, no one wanted to. Finally, the author went to the bank, intending to splash some water on himself, but the branch on which he was sitting snapped and he fell into the cold water. However, even though he pretended that it was lovely in the water, his friends did not join him.

While dressing, the author’s shirt fell into the water, which George found very funny. However, when the author realized that it was actually George’s shirt, George seemed to lose his sense of humour. For breakfast, Harris suggested making scrambled eggs, implying that he was very good at the job. However, he did not seem to be any good at it as he had trouble breaking eggs into the pan, then burnt himself time and again whereupon he would dance around in pain.

After breakfast, the author was moved by the peaceful beauty of the scene which led him to vividly imagine the same scene, as it must have been, on the day when the historic Magna Charta was signed, in 1215.