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Three Men in a Boat Chapter 12 Summary

A visit to the Magna Charta Island and talk of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. George reminds them of another trip and the predicament that they hadfaced upon reaching Dachet. Tea at Cookham and ramming of the boat into another, with three elderly fishermen aboard. Stopping at Marlow for the night.

The friends then visited the Magna Charta Island, where the document was rumoured to have been signed. Near the picnic point where their boat was moored, were the ruins of an old priory, one of the places where Henry VIII was said to meet
Anne Boleyn. He pointed out that being in the same house as a pair of lovers is very uncomfortable, as they may be found in any of the rooms you enter, or even if you go out for a walk. He thought the situation of the English around the time of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn must have been similar.

The friends continued to sail up the river and when they were passing by Dachet, George reminded his friends of their first boat trip, when they had reached Dachet at ten in the night. They had been unable to find any room at the two inns and, for half the night, kept going from one place to another, till, at last, Harris was exhausted and pronounced himself ready to die.

It was then that a young child had passed by and told them that his mother could rent out a room for the night. They had viewed the child as an angel, falling upon his neck in joy. Harris had nearly fainted with joy, and had to be revived with half a mug of beer. The rest of the night had then passed happily, as the boy’s mother had fed them a good supper with jam tart afterwards.

Returning to the current boat trip, it was time for lunch, but just as they sat down to eat, they realized that they had no mustard. Usually, neither of them was fond of mustard, but for some reason they all craved it then. After lunch, they enjoyed an apple pie, but when they tried to open a can of pineapples, they found that they had no can opener. After trying a knife, a pair of scissors and a rock, and injuring each other in the process, Harris threw the can into the river.

They reached Maidenhead soon after, but passed through, travelling on to Cookham for tea. They then found that a stiff breeze had sprung up and unfurled the sail. The boat now went along at a quicker pace, steered by the author. Unfortunately, they sailed right into the boat of three old men who were fishing, who got very angry and cursed the three friends very comprehensively. After that, George steered, and they landed at Marlow, where they went to an inn for the night.