The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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Presently the gipsy took his pipe out of his mouth and remarked in a careless way, `Want to sell that there horse of yours?'
Toad was completely taken aback. He did not know that gipsies were very fond of horse-dealing, and never missed an opportunity, and he had not reflected that caravans were always on the move and took a deal of drawing. It had not occurred to him to turn the horse into cash, but the gipsy's suggestion seemed to smooth the way towards the two things he wanted so badly--ready money, and a solid breakfast.
`What?' he said, `me sell this beautiful young horse of mine? O, no; it's out of the question. Who's going to take the washing home to my customers every week? Besides, I'm too fond of him, and he simply dotes on me.'
`Try and love a donkey,' suggested the gipsy. `Some people do.'
`You don't seem to see,' continued Toad, `that this fine horse of mine is a cut above you altogether. He's a blood horse, he is, partly; not the part you see, of course--another part. And he's been a Prize Hackney, too, in his time--that was the time before you knew him, but you can still tell it on him at a glance, if you understand anything about horses. No, it's not to be thought of for a moment. All the same, how much might you be disposed to offer me for this beautiful young horse of mine?'
The gipsy looked the horse over, and then he looked Toad over with equal care, and looked at the horse again. `Shillin' a leg,' he said briefly, and turned away, continuing to smoke and try to stare the wide world out of countenance.
`A shilling a leg?' cried Toad. `If you please, I must take a little time to work that out, and see just what it comes to.'
He climbed down off his horse, and left it to graze, and sat down by the gipsy, and did sums on his fingers, and at last he said, `A shilling a leg? Why, that comes to exactly four shillings, and no more. O, no; I could not think of accepting four shillings for this beautiful young horse of mine.'
`Well,' said the gipsy, `I'll tell you what I will do. I'll make it five shillings, and that's three-and-sixpence more than the animal's worth. And that's my last word.'