Arrangements settledHarris's method of doing workHow the elderly, family-man puts up a pictureGeorge makes a sensible remarkDelights of early morning bathingProvisions for getting upset.
So, on the following evening, we again assembled, to discuss and arrange our plans. Harris said:
Now, the first thing to settle is what to take with us. Now, you get a bit of paper and write down, J., and you get the grocery catalogue, George, and somebody give me a bit of pencil, and then Ill make out a list.
Thats Harris all overso ready to take the burden of everything himself, and put it on the backs of other people.
He always reminds me of my poor Uncle Podger. You never saw such a commotion up and down a house in all your life, as when my Uncle Podger undertook to do a job. A picture would have come home from the frame-makers, and be standing in the dining-room, waiting to be put up; and Aunt Podger would ask what was to be done with it, and Uncle Podger would say:
Oh, you leave that to me. Dont you, any of you, worry yourselves about that. Ill do all that.
And then he would take off his coat, and begin. He would send the girl out for sixpenorth of nails, and then one of the boys after her to tell her what size to get; and, from that, he would gradually work down, and start the whole house.
Now you go and get me my hammer, Will, he would shout; and you bring me the rule, Tom; and I shall want the stepladder, and I had better have a kitchen-chair, too; and Jim! you run round to Mr Goggles, and tell him, Pas kind regards and hopes his legs better; and will he lend him his spirit-level? And dont you go, Maria, because I shall want somebody to hold me the light; and when the girl comes back she must go out again for a bit of picture-cord; and Tom!wheres Tom?Tom, you come here; I shall want you to hand me up the picture.
And then he would lift up the picture, and drop it, and it would come out of the frame, and he would try to save the glass, and cut himself; and then he would spring round the room, looking for his handkerchief. He could not find his handkerchief, because it was in the pocket of the coat he had taken off, and he did not know where he had put the coat, and all the house had to leave off looking for his tools, and start looking for his coat; while he would dance round and hinder them.
Doesnt anybody in the whole house know where my coat is? I never came across such a set in all my lifeupon my word I didnt. Six of you! and you cant find a coat that I put down not five minutes ago! Well, of all the
Then hed get up, and find that he had been sitting on it, and would call out:
Oh, you can give it up! Ive found it myself now. Might just as well ask the cat to find anything as expect you people to find it.
And when half an hour had been spent in tying up his finger, and a new glass had been got, and the tools, and the ladder, and the chair, and the candle had been brought, he would have another go, the whole family, including the girl, and the charwoman, standing round in a semicircle, ready to help. Two people would have to hold the chair, and a third would help him up on it, and hold him there, and a fourth would hand him a nail, and a fifth would pass him up the hammer, and he would take hold of the nail, and drop it.
There! he would say, in an injured tone, now the nails gone.
And we would all have to go down on our knees and grovel for it, while he would stand on the chair, and grunt, and want to know if he was to be kept there all the evening.
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