Mrs P. arouses us
Mrs P. arouses usGeorge, the sluggardThe `weather forecast' swindleOur luggageDepravity of the small boyThe people gather round usWe drive off in great style, and arrive at WaterlooInnocence of South Western Officials concerning such wordly things as trainsWe are afloat, afloat in an open boat.
It was Mrs Poppets that woke me up next morning.
She said: Do you know that its nearly nine oclock, sir?
Nine owhat? I cried, starting up.
Nine oclock, she replied, through the keyhole. I thought you was a-over-sleeping yourselves.
I woke Harris, and told him. He said:
I thought you wanted to get up at six?
So I did, I answered; why didnt you wake me?
How could I wake you, when you didnt wake me? he retorted. Now we shant get on the water till after twelve. I wonder you take the trouble to get up at all.
Um, I replied, lucky for you that I do. If I hadnt woke you, youd have lain there for the whole fortnight.
We snarled at one another in this strain for the next few minutes, when we were interrupted by a defiant snore from George. It reminded us, for the first time since our being called, of his existence. There he laythe man who had wanted to know what time he should wake uson his back, with his mouth wide open, and his knees stuck up.
I dont know why it should be, I am sure, but the sight of another man asleep in bed when I am up, maddens me. It seems to me so shocking to see the precious hours of a mans lifethe priceless moments that will never come back to him againbeing wasted in mere brutish sleep.
There was George, throwing away in hideous sloth the inestimable gift of time; his valuable life, every second of which he would have to account for hereafter, passing away from him, unused. He might have been up stuffing himself with eggs and bacon, irritating the dog, or flirting with the slavey, instead of sprawling there, sunk in soul-clogging oblivion.
It was a terrible thought. Harris and I appeared to be struck by it at the same instant. We determined to save him, and, in this noble resolve, our own dispute was forgotten. We flew across and slung the clothes off him, and Harris landed him one with a slipper, and I shouted in his ear, and he awoke.
Wassermarrer? he observed, sitting up.
Get up, you fat-headed chunk! roared Harris. Its quarter to ten.
What! he shrieked, jumping out of bed into the bath; Who the thunder put this thing here?
We told him he must have been a fool not to see the bath.
We finished dressing, and, when it came to the extras, we remembered that we had packed the toothbrushes and the brush and comb (that toothbrush of mine will be the death of me, I know), and we had to go downstairs, and fish them out of the bag. And when we had done that George wanted the shaving tackle. We told him that he would have to go without shaving that morning, as we werent going to unpack that bag again for him, nor for anyone like him.
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