1. To where and how are Hornblower and his family traveling?
Hornblower, Maria and their infant son, Horatio, take passage on Queen Charlotte, a towed canal boat running from Gloucester through the Cotswolds to London. The Hornblowers board the craft at Gloucester and take the best cabin class available.
2. What fascinates Hornblower about the boat on which he is riding?
Hornblower is fascinated with the boat and spends a great deal of time examining its construction and the way it is handled. The boat proceeds down the Thames & Severn Canal, while Hornblower marvels over the craft's operation.
3. Describe how the boat progresses.
The boat is pulled along at nine miles per hour by a team of horses using a footpath parallel to the canal. The towrope is long and allows a man at the tiller to guide the boat through the center of the canal. Queen Charlotte is considered a priority boat and carries a long scythe blade at her prow, to cut the towrope of any other boat which fails to properly yield.
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