What is a character sketch of Biggs' boy in Three Men in a Boat?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story, Biggs is the greengrocer. Biggs' boys are the greengrocer's errand boys. Jerome tells us that Biggs' greatest accomplishment in life' lies in securing the services of the most abandoned and unprincipled errand-boys that civilization has as yet produced.' In fact, Jerome relates to us that it was widely rumored that one of Biggs' boys was involved in the Great Coram Street Murder. However, due to a clever alibi, Biggs' boy (at the time) managed to stump prosecutors upon cross-examination.

We meet Biggs' current errand boy when the three friends, Jerome, George, Harris, and Montmorency (the dog) wait for a cab. They appear to have plenty of luggage for their trip. When Biggs' boy comes around the corner, he appears to be in a hurry. However, he soon spies the luggage and pauses to stare. When he does not move on, Harris and Jerome frown at him, but this has no effect whatsoever on Biggs' boy. As the three friends suspect, Biggs' boy soon proceeds to have a bit of fun at their expense. Aided by another grocer's boy, the boot-shop boy, and the superintendent from The Blue Posts, the young men poke fun at the amount of luggage the three friends are bringing with them.

The boot shop boy wonders aloud if the three friends will starve on their journey. The Blue Posts superintendent argues that anyone would need all that luggage if they were going to cross the Atlantic in a small boat. Biggs' boy jokes that the three friends aren't really crossing the Atlantic: they're just looking for a place called Stanley. A cab finally appears, and Biggs' boy waves the three friends off with a carrot for luck.

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