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Three Men in a Boat Chapter 18 Summary

The author’s fondness for locks on the river. The story of George and the author being photographed on the boat ‘Nuneham’—a good place to drown. The ill-effect of the river air on the most tranquil people.

They left Streatley the next morning and slept the next night in the boat, near Culham. The absence of any locks for a stretch of six and a half miles was appreciated by the rowing men, but the author himself was fond of locks. He was fond of the variation they created in the process of boating and liked chatting with the lock-keepers and their families. It was also a good place to meet other boaters and share some river-gossip.

The author shared an incident when he and George had been boating near Hampton Court. A photographer had set up his equipment and immediately everyone in their respective boats took up whatever poses they thought suited them the best. In the process, the author’s boat nearly got stuck in the woodwork of the lock and nearly tipped over. They managed to save the boat, but their poses, for the photograph, were ruined.

The author then shared some of the history of Wallingford. From Wallingford to Dorchester, the area became hillier. Dorchester, again, was a town with a lot of history, having been the capital of Wessex in Saxon times.

The next morning, the three sailors were up early and headed out towards Oxford. At Abingdon, the river passed by the streets of the little town. There was a monument in St. Helen’s Church there, recording a Mr Lee, who had had a family of one hundred and ninety seven. The author hoped that there were not many like him in this crowded, modem world.

Near the lock at Nuneham, according to the author, was a pool which was very good to drown in because of the strong undercurrents. After they crossed over Iffley, the author came to what he called the most difficult part of the river, until Oxford. This was because of the strong cross-currents in the water, which made it difficult to row in a straight line.

As a result, the author also noticed how being on a boat can make one ill-tempered. He thought that it was because the air around the river that had a negative effect on even the most sweet-tempered people.