After Jerry is unable to figure out how the boys disappear for so long underwater only to emerge so far away, he clowns to get their attention.
When Jerry submerges he can see nothing but the blank rock because the ocean water stung his eyes. As he rises to the top, he sees the African boys preparing to go off the diving rock again.
And now, in a panic of failure, he yelled up in English, "Look at me! Look!" and he began splashing and kicking in the water like a foolish dog.
The older boys simply frown as they look down at him seriously. Jerry feels shame because when he acts like this before his mother, she gives him the same "grave, embarrassed inspection." Yet, he continues to act foolishly as he waggles his ears and shouts the few French words he knows: "Bonjour! Merci! Au revoir! Monsieur, monsieur!" To add to his embarrassment, water surges into his mouth and he starts to choke, sinking down, then resurfacing, as though he were drowning. But, the older boys ignore him.