Star Stone Trilogy Book One: Yii Chapter Eight

Soon after the beginning of the new term, the Hilary term, Sarah had a surprise visit from Desmond. He had a problem and wanted Sarah’s help. The rowing eight were very keen to get out on the water, but their cox had not come back after the vacation, some family problem, it seemed; a funeral Desmond thought.
‘This is a lot to ask, Sarah,’ he said, ‘but we are desperate to get out and practise and we have no cox. We cannot row without a cox, and I wondered if you would consider standing in and coxing the eight, please? I’m sure you could do it.’
Sarah couldn’t believe her ears! She was quite taken aback, and also flattered. She had never coxed an eight, and it would be very different from the pair on the lake at Kingham, where she had persuaded Desmond to teach her and the twins to row and steer. They did this most successfully, and had become strong and skilled. The eight however was a truly frightening prospect. Surely it was quite unheard of for a girl to cox a men’s eight. She couldn’t see herself doing it; and even if she did cox, would she not have to disguise herself? How would she have to dress?
‘I couldn’t possibly cox an eight, Desmond,’ she said. ‘You don’t really think I could do it, do you? It would be nothing like the pair would it? Quite different from Kingham.’
‘I’m sure you could do it, you were so good on the water,’ said Desmond. ‘I shall be at stroke, so I can tell you what to do, turning the boat and coming alongside and all that. Do say you’ll have a go Sarah.’
Desmond was very persuasive. Eventually:

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