50 MEMORIES Or MY LIFE'
moderate sum, and that he was willing to go if I would join him. I accepted his proposal, he having assured me that the boat would be adequately manned, and that the journey would be both easy and interesting. His power of German conversation was even less than mine, and either he had not understood aright or he had been cheated, for when we had entered the boat in the dark by help of the faint and flickering light of a lantern, and had been pushed off into the current of the swiftly flowing Danube, I perceived that the boatmen consisted only of one old man and a boy. I t was impossible to return, so we made the best of it. One of us two, and it was more frequently myself, for my companion wanted both youth and muscle, had to work an oar almost continuously in order to give steerage-way to the boat.
We toiled through the night and the following morning, hardly resting at all till we reached Molk, where provisions and fruit were bought and another boatman engaged, and we went onwards after brief delay. We arrived as near to Vienna as the police regulations allowed, very late at night ; but by unexpected good fortune the officials allowed us to land and to sleep hard by, so I was in good time for the steamer, and after a short stay was off in her. I had some agreeable fellow-passengers, and it was a momentous voyage to me.
The first stoppage was at Pesth, where I was quite unprepared for the grandeur of its quays and buildings. Thenceforward we entered comparative barbarism. There was a considerable delay at the famous rapids of the " I ron G s " long since removed by blasting the rocks that ga c them their name, and where the