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Three Men in a Boat Chapter 4 Summary

Further discussion on provisions to be taken along, especially food and the repercussions of the wrong kind ofprovisions. Packing of their luggage with Montmorency hampering the process in umpteen ways.

The next subject raised was that of food. It was decided that no paraffin oil was to be taken to cook the meals. An earlier trip with an oil stove had taught the three friends that the oil could easily leak and soak into everything on the boat. Therefore, for this trip, it was decided that methylated spirit would be used.

Another article that the friends decided not to take was cheese, for its odour was too strong. The author related an amusing incident when he agreed to carry two types of cheese from Liverpool to London, for his friend. As a result of the smell of the cheeses, no one else boarded the train carriage in which he was sitting. When he delivered the cheeses to his friend’s wife, she left the house as she could not bear the smell either!

The next morning, which was Friday, they began to pack. The author first offered to pack, and was surprised when instead of helping him, his friends let him do so without protest. However, he had to pack the clothes hamper several times, as once the boots were left out, then the author did not remember if he had packed his toothbrush, and so on. Harris and George offered to do the rest of the packing.

They packed the food in the worst manner possible, putting heavy things on fragile ones, sitting
on the butter and spilling salt over everything. Montmorency helped in this process by making them stumble over him, sitting down on things they were looking for, and jumping into the hamper.

By 12:50, the packing was done and the three friends retired to bed. George inquired of the others at what time he should wake them, but by the time the author and Harris agreed upon 6.30 after much argument, George had fallen asleep.