The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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`Thank you kindly, Sir,' said Toad in a feeble voice, `I'm feeling a great deal better!' `That's right,' said the gentleman. `Now keep quite still, and, above all, don't try to talk.'
`I won't,' said Toad. `I was only thinking, if I might sit on the front seat there, beside the driver, where I could get the fresh air full in my face, I should soon be all right again.'
`What a very sensible woman!' said the gentleman. `Of course you shall.' So they carefully helped Toad into the front seat beside the driver, and on they went again.
Toad was almost himself again by now. He sat up, looked about him, and tried to beat down the tremors, the yearnings, the old cravings that rose up and beset him and took possession of him entirely.
`It is fate!' he said to himself. `Why strive? why struggle?' and he turned to the driver at his side.
`Please, Sir,' he said, `I wish you would kindly let me try and drive the car for a little. I've been watching you carefully, and it looks so easy and so interesting, and I should like to be able to tell my friends that once I had driven a motor-car!'
The driver laughed at the proposal, so heartily that the gentleman inquired what the matter was. When he heard, he said, to Toad's delight, `Bravo, ma'am! I like your spirit. Let her have a try, and look after her. She won't do any harm.'
Toad eagerly scrambled into the seat vacated by the driver, took the steering-wheel in his hands, listened with affected humility to the instructions given him, and set the car in motion, but very slowly and carefully at first, for he was determined to be prudent.
The gentlemen behind clapped their hands and applauded, and Toad heard them saying, `How well she does it! Fancy a washerwoman driving a car as well as that, the first time!'
Toad went a little faster; then faster still, and faster.