But They Would Not Come Out, Until Two Of Us Had Gone And Struggled With
Them For Five Minutes, When They Would Jump Up Suddenly, And Try And
Throw Us Into The Water And Drown Us.
They had hinges in the middle,
and, when we were not looking, they nipped us with these hinges in
Delicate parts of the body; and, while we were wrestling with one side of
the hoop, and endeavouring to persuade it to do its duty, the other side
would come behind us in a cowardly manner, and hit us over the head.
We got them fixed at last, and then all that was to be done was to
arrange the covering over them. George unrolled it, and fastened one end
over the nose of the boat. Harris stood in the middle to take it from
George and roll it on to me, and I kept by the stern to receive it. It
was a long time coming down to me. George did his part all right, but it
was new work to Harris, and he bungled it.
How he managed it I do not know, he could not explain himself; but by
some mysterious process or other he succeeded, after ten minutes of
superhuman effort, in getting himself completely rolled up in it. He was
so firmly wrapped round and tucked in and folded over, that he could not
get out. He, of course, made frantic struggles for freedom - the
birthright of every Englishman, - and, in doing so (I learned this
afterwards), knocked over George; and then George, swearing at Harris,
began to struggle too, and got himself entangled and rolled up.
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