The Beginning of an Accidental Career in Hovercraft

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The river, which was twenty or thirty-foot-wide, was already looming towards me at a surprising speed. I knew I had to slow down but, in my haste, twisted the throttle the wrong way and suddenly I was hurtling headlong towards the water, kamikaze-style. The bank was 8 or 10 feet high and sloped at an angle of about 45 degrees. In my defence I should say that successful negotiation of this sort of terrain is a difficult and advanced manoeuvre: you need to approach the gradient slowly, and during the descent begin turning the craft upstream, then power up the river as soon as it hits the water. That isn't what I did. Instead, I plunged down the bank at top, speed, failed to turn, hurtled across the river and was thrown sprawling over the bow as the craft buried its nose in a large hawthorn bush on the opposite bank.

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