The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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`Dear, kind Rat,' murmured Toad, `how little you realise my condition, and how very far I am from "jumping up" now--if ever! But do not trouble about me. I hate being a burden to my friends, and I do not expect to be one much longer. Indeed, I almost hope not.'
`Well, I hope not, too,' said the Rat heartily. `You've been a fine bother to us all this time, and I'm glad to hear it's going to stop. And in weather like this, and the boating season just beginning! It's too bad of you, Toad! It isn't the trouble we mind, but you're making us miss such an awful lot.'
`I'm afraid it IS the trouble you mind, though,' replied the Toad languidly. `I can quite understand it. It's natural enough. You're tired of bothering about me. I mustn't ask you to do anything further. I'm a nuisance, I know.'
`You are, indeed,' said the Rat. `But I tell you, I'd take any trouble on earth for you, if only you'd be a sensible animal.'
`If I thought that, Ratty,' murmured Toad, more feebly than ever, `then I would beg you--for the last time, probably--to step round to the village as quickly as possible--even now it may be too late--and fetch the doctor. But don't you bother. It's only a trouble, and perhaps we may as well let things take their course.'
`Why, what do you want a doctor for?' inquired the Rat, coming closer and examining him. He certainly lay very still and flat, and his voice was weaker and his manner much changed.
`Surely you have noticed of late----' murmured Toad. `But, no-- why should you? Noticing things is only a trouble. To-morrow, indeed, you may be saying to yourself, "O, if only I had noticed sooner! If only I had done something!" But no; it's a trouble. Never mind--forget that I asked.'
`Look here, old man,' said the Rat, beginning to get rather alarmed, `of course I'll fetch a doctor to you, if you really think you want him. But you can hardly be bad enough for that yet. Let's talk about something else.'
`I fear, dear friend,' said Toad, with a sad smile, `that "talk" can do little in a case like this--or doctors either, for that matter; still, one must grasp at the slightest straw. And, by the way--while you are about it--I HATE to give you additional trouble, but I happen to remember that