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书虫四级《三怪客泛舟记》:第十五章 来到牛津

所属教程:书虫四级 三怪客泛舟记




Chapter15 On to Oxford

第十五章 来到牛津

We left Streatley early the next morning. We were going to Culham, and we wanted to spend the night there. Between Streatley and Walling ford the river is not very interesting. Then from Cleeve there is quite a long piece of the river which has no locks. Most people are pleased about this because it makes everything much easier, but I quite like locks, myself. I remember that George and I nearly had an accident in a lock once…


It was a lovely day, and there were a lot of boats in the lock. Someone was taking a photograph of us all, and the photographer was hoping to sell the picture to the people in the lock. I did not see the photographer at first, but suddenly George started to brush his trousers, and he fixed his hair and put on his hat. Then he sat down with a kind, but sad, expression on his face, and he tried to hide his feet.


My first idea was that he had seen a girl that he knew, and I looked round to see who it was. Everybody in the lock had stopped moving and they all had fixed expressions on their faces. All the girls were smiling prettily, and all the men were trying to look brave and handsome.


Then I saw the photographer and at once I understood. I wondered if I would be in time. Our boat was the first one in the lock, so I must look nice for the man's photograph.


So I turned round quickly and stood in the front of the boat. I arranged my hair carefully, and I tried to make myself look strong and interesting.


We stood and waited for the important moment when the man would actually take the photograph. Just then, someone behind me called out, 'Hi! Look at your nose!'


I could not turn round to see whose nose it was, but I had a quick look at George's nose. It seemed to be all right. I tried to look at my own nose, and that seemed to be all right, too.


'Look at your nose, you stupid fool!' the voice cried again, more loudly this time.


And then another voice called, 'Push your nose out! You two, with the dog!'


We could not turn round because the man was just going to take the photograph. Was it us they were calling to? What was the matter with our noses? Why did they want us to push them out?


But now everybody in the lock started shouting, and a very loud, deep voice from the back called, 'Look at your boat! You, in the red and black caps! If you don't do something quickly, there'll be two dead bodies in that photograph!'


We looked then, and we saw that the nose of our boat was caught in the wooden gate at the front of the lock. The water was rising, and our boat was beginning to turn over. Quickly, we pushed hard against the side of the lock, to move the boat. The boat did move, and George and I fell over on our backs.


We did not come out well in that photograph because the man took it just as we fell over. We had expressions of' Where am I? 'and' What's happened? 'on our faces, and we were waving our feet about wildly. In fact, our feet nearly filled the photograph. You could not see much else.


Nobody bought the photographs. They said they did not want photographs of our feet. The photographer was not very pleased.


We passed Wallingford and Dorchester, and we spent the night at Clifton Hampden, which is a very pretty little village.


The next morning we were up early, because we wanted to be in Oxford by the afternonn. By half past eight we had finished breakfast and we were through Clifton lock. At half past twelve we went through Iffley lock.


From there to Oxford is the most difficult part of the river. First the river carries you to the right, then to the left; then it takes you out into the middle and turns you round three times. We got in the way of a lot of other boats; a lot of other boats got in our way-and a lot of bad words were used.


However, at Oxford we had two good days. There are a lot of dogs in the town. Montmorency had eleven fights on the first day and fourteen on the second. This made him very happy.


If you are thinking of taking a trip on the river, and you are going to start from Oxford, take your own boat (unless you can take someone else's without being discovered). The boats that you can hire on the Thames above Marlow are all right: they do not let too much water in, and they have seats and things. But they are not really boats which you want people to see. The person who hires one of these boats is the kind of person who likes to stay under the trees. He likes to travel early in the morning or late at night, when there are not many people about to look at him. When he sees someone he knows, he gets out of the boat and hides behind a tree. I remember that some friends and I hired one of these boats one summer…


We had written to ask for a boat, and, when we arrived at the boathouse, we gave our names. The man said, 'Oh, yes.' And then he called out to another man, 'Jim, fetch ‘The Queen of the Thames.'


Five minutes later, Jim came back with a very old piece of wood. He had clearly just dug it up from a hole in the ground. When he dug it up, he had damaged it very badly.


We asked Jim what it was.


'It's ‘The Queen of the Thames’, 'he answered.


We laughed at this, and then one of us said, 'All right. Now go and fetch the real boat.'


They said that this was the real boat.


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