? 1. According to the narrator, he is the best packer.
? 2. Harris is the worst packer in the world.
? 3. The narrator gets mad when he has to work when other people watch him.
? 4. Toothbrushes haunt all travellers. Everybody forgets them.
? 5. The soap was in the bag which the narrator had packed.
? 6. Harris and George packed the baskets.
? 7. Harris and George broke a lot of cups.
? 8. George and Harris made a lot of mistakes because the narrator was watching them.
? 9. Harris and George looked for the butter together.
? 10. Montmorency likes to make people angry.
I said I'd pack. I am rather proud of my packing. Packing is one of those many things that I feel I know more about than any other person living. (It surprises me myself, sometimes, how many of these subjects there are.) I impressed the fact upon George and Harris9, and told them that they had better leave the whole matter entirely to me10. They agreed to the suggestion with extraordinary readiness. George lit his pipe and spread himself over the easy-chair, and Harris put his feet on the table and lit a cigar.
This was not what I intended. My intention had been, of course, that I should be the boss, and that Harris and George should follow my instructions. The fact that they had misunderstood my plan in such a way irritated me. There is nothing that irritates me more than to see other people sitting and doing nothing when I'm working.
However, I did not say anything, but started the packing. It seemed a longer job than I had thought it was going to be; but I got the bag finished at last, and I sat on it and strapped it.
9 Я убедил в этом Джорджа и Хэриса.
10 им бы лучше предоставить все мне
"Ain't you going to put the boots in?" said Harris.
And I looked round, and found I had forgotten them. That's typical Harris. He doesn't say a word until I've actually shut the bag and strapped it. And George laughed. It made me mad.
I opened the bag and packed the boots in; and then, just as I was going to shut it again, a horrible idea occurred to me. Had I packed my toothbrush? I don't know how it is, but I never know whether I've packed my toothbrush.
My toothbrush is a thing that haunts me when I'm travelling, and makes my life a misery. I dream11 that I haven't packed it. I wake up in a cold perspiration, and get out of bed and hunt for it. In the morning, I pack it before I have used it, and have to unpack again to get it. And it is always the last thing I take out of the bag and then I repack and forget it, and have to rush upstairs for it at the last moment.
Of course I had to turn everything out now, and, of course, I could not find it. Of course, I found George's and Harris's eighteen times over, but I couldn't find my own. I put the things back one by one, and held everything up and shook it. Then I found it inside a boot. I repacked once more.
When I had finished, George asked if the soap was in. I said I didn't care whether the soap was in or whether it wasn't; and I shut the bag and strapped it, and found that I had packed my tobacco pouch in it, and had to reopen it. I finished at 10.50 p.m., and then there remained the baskets to do. Harris said that he and George could do them, and I agreed and sat down, and they started.
They began in a light-hearted spirit. I made no comment; I only waited. When George is hanged, Harris will be the worst packer in this world; and I looked at the piles of plates and cups, and kettles, and bottles and jars, and pies and cakes, and tomatoes, and felt that the thing would soon become exciting.
It did. They started with breaking a cup. That was the first thing they did. They did that just to show you what they COULD do, and to get you interested.
Then Harris packed the strawberry jam on top of a tomato and squashed it, and they had to pick out the tomato with a teaspoon.
And then it was George's turn, and he stepped on the butter. I didn't say anything, but I came over and sat on the edge of the table and watched them. It irritated them even more. I felt that. It made them nervous and excited, and they stepped on things, and put things behind them, and then couldn't find them when they wanted them; and they packed the pies at the bottom, and put heavy things on top, and smashed the pies in.
They upset salt over everything12, and as for the butter! I never saw two men do more with a cube of butter in my whole life. After George had got it off his slipper, they tried to put it in the kettle. It didn't go in, and what WAS in didn't come out. They did scrape it out at last, and put it down on a chair, and Harris sat on it, and it stuck to him, and they went looking for it all over the room.
"I know I put it down on that chair," said George, staring at the empty seat.
"I saw you do it myself, not a minute ago," said Harris.
Then they went round the room again looking for it; and then they met again in the centre, and stared at one another.
"Most extraordinary thing I ever heard of," said George.
"So mysterious!" said Harris.
Then George saw the back of Harris and noticed it.
"Why, here it is all the time," he exclaimed.
"Where?" cried Harris, spinning round.
"Stand still!" roared George, running after him.
And they got it off, and packed it in the teapot.
Montmorency was in it all, of course. If he can get anywhere where he is not wanted, and make people mad, and have things thrown at his head, then he feels his day has not been wasted. He came and sat down on things just when they were needed. He put his leg into the jam, and he pretended that the lemons were rats, and got into the basket and killed three of them before Harris could land him with the frying-pan. Harris said I encouraged him. I didn't encourage him. A dog like that doesn't want any encouragement. The packing was done at 12.50. We were all ready for bed.
11 Мне снится...
12 Они все засыпали солью...