The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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The Rat, alarmed, pulled him by the elbow; but it was too late. Toad was puffing and swelling already.
`Clever? O, no!' he said. `I'm not really clever, according to my friends. I've only broken out of the strongest prison in England, that's all! And captured a railway train and escaped on it, that's all! And disguised myself and gone about the country humbugging everybody, that's all! O, no! I'm a stupid ass, I am! I'll tell you one or two of my little adventures, Mole, and you shall judge for yourself!'
`Well, well,' said the Mole, moving towards the supper-table; `supposing you talk while I eat. Not a bite since breakfast! O my! O my!' And he sat down and helped himself liberally to cold beef and pickles.
Toad straddled on the hearth-rug, thrust his paw into his trouser-pocket and pulled out a handful of silver. `Look at that!' he cried, displaying it. `That's not so bad, is it, for a few minutes' work? And how do you think I done it, Mole? Horse- dealing! That's how I done it!'
`Go on, Toad,' said the Mole, immensely interested.
`Toad, do be quiet, please!' said the Rat. `And don't you egg him on, Mole, when you know what he is; but please tell us as soon as possible what the position is, and what's best to be done, now that Toad is back at last.'
`The position's about as bad as it can be,' replied the Mole grumpily; `and as for what's to be done, why, blest if I know! The Badger and I have been round and round the place, by night and by day; always the same thing. Sentries posted everywhere, guns poked out at us, stones thrown at us; always an animal on the look-out, and when they see us, my! how they do laugh! That's what annoys me most!'
`It's a very difficult situation,' said the Rat, reflecting deeply. `But I think I see now, in the depths of my mind, what Toad really ought to do. I will tell you. He ought to----'
`No, he oughtn't!' shouted the Mole, with his mouth full. `Nothing of the sort! You don't understand. What he ought to do is, he ought to----'