Wednesday, October 12, 2022

In praise of Toad et al. …

IMMENSE PEACE. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The pursuit of Toad along the country railway line is one of the most brilliantly compact and exciting pursuit and escape scenes I have ever read, starting from the moment the engine driver hears faintly the noise of a following train, far behind, where no train ought to be.  It was, for many of my school years, a place of refuge. I put it to one side long ago, always promising myself I would read it again. And the other day I did so, perhaps for the first time in fifty years or more. All the paths were familiar. I knew as I turned each page what was coming next. I remembered Toad’s appalled discovery that he had neither pockets nor money, the significance of the squeaky board in the butler’s pantry at Toad Hall, the terrible conceited songs which Toad sang about his own courage, talent and wit. 

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