The river bank was deserted, even though it was broad daylight. Geoffrey climbed down the wooden stairs that were half immersed in the water. A boat was tied beside, however there was no boatman. Geoffrey desperately wanted to cross the river as he was in a hurry. He stood there helplessly looking around for a boatman.
“Do you want a boat ride?” A gruff voice asked from behind him.
Geoffrey shuddered. The voice had appeared unexpectedly, as if out of thin air. He turned around and saw an old bearded man standing.
The man immediately jumped on the boat and untied it. Geoffrey followed him to the boat. Within half an hour they were on the other side of the river. Geoffrey stepped out and held out a few dollars as fare but the man started rowing his boat back without uttering a single word. Geoffrey felt weird.
Later, he narrated this incident to the village school principal whom he had come to meet. The principal looked at Geoffrey with a kind of disbelief and then said almost inaudibly “He has stopped taking fares for the boat-rides ever since his boat drowned in the river 60 years ago.”