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The Open Road (1) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (1)

One bright morning, the Rat was sitting on the river bank in the sun, singing a little song of Ducks.

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The very early morning, he had been swimming in the river, in company with his friends the ducks. 

So he had just made up the song about them, and he would not pay proper attention to Mole or anything else.

" Ratty, " said the Mole suddenly, " If you please, I want to ask you a favour.
What I wanted to ask you was, won't you take me to call on Mr.Toad ?  I've heard so much about him, and I do so want to make his acquaintance.
"

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" Why, certainly, " said the good-natured Rat, jumping to his feet and dismissing poetry from his mind.

" Get the boat out, and we'll paddle up there at once. "
" It's never the wrong time to call on Toad. Early or late he's always the same fellow. Always good-tempered, always glad to see you, always sorry when you go ! "

" He must be a very nice animal, " observed the Mole, as he got into the boat and took the sculls, while the Rat settled himself comfortably in the stern.

" He is indeed the best of animals, " replied Rat.
" So simple, so good-natured, and so affectionate. Perhaps he's not very cleverーwe can't all be geniuses; and it may be that he is both boastful and conceited. But he has got some great qualities, has Toady. "

(1/20)
The Wind in the willow 第2章です。

The Open Road (2) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (2)

Rounding a bend in the river, they came in sight of a handsome, dignified old house of mellowed red brick, with well-kept lawns reaching down to the water's edge.

" There's Toad Hall, " said the Rat.

They saw a notice boad on the left side of the creek, and it says, " Private. No landing allowed. "

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" We'll leave the boat there the boat-house, " said the Rat.
"The stables are over there to the right.
That's the banqueting-hall you're looking at nowーvery old, that is.   
Toad is rather rich, you know, and this is really one of the nicest houses in these parts, though we never admit as much to Toad. "

They glided up the creek, and Mole shipped his sculls as they passed into the shadow of a boat-house.

Here they saw a many handsome boats, but none in the water.
And the place had an unused and a deserted air.

The Rat looked around and said,
" I understand Boating is played out.  He's tired of it, and done with it.
I wonder what new fad he has taken up now ?
Come along and let's look him up. We shall hear all about it quite soon enough."

(2/20)

The Open Road (3) [The Open Road]

The OPen Road (3)

They got off a boat, and strolled across the flower-decked lawns in search of Toad.

Soon they found him resting in a wicker garden-chair with a preoccupied expression of face, and a large map spread out on his knees.

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" Hooray ! " he cried, jumping up on seeing them, " this is splendid ! "

He shook the paws of both of them warmly, never waiting for an introduction to the Mole.

" How KIND of you, " he went on, dancing rousd them.
" I was just going to send a boat down the river for you, Ratty, with strict orders that you were to be fetched up here at once, whatever you were doing. I want you badlyーboth of you.
Now what will you take ?
Come inside and have something !
You don't know how lucky it is, your turning up just now ! "

" Let's sit quiet a bit, Toady ! " said the Rat, throwing himself into an easy chair, while Mole took another by the side of him and made some civil remark about Toad's ' delightful residence.'

" Finest house on the whole river, " cried the Toad boisterously.
" Or anywhere else, for that matter, " he could not help adding.

Here the Rat nudged the Mole.

Unfortunately Toad saw him do it, and turned very red.

There was a moment’s painful silence.

(3/20) 


The Open Road (4) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (4)

Then Toad burst out laughing.

" All right, Ratty, " he said.
" It's only my way, you know. And it's not such a very bad house, is it ? You know you rather like it.  Now look here. Let's be sensible. You are the very animals I wanted. You've got to help me. It's most important ! "

" It's about your rowing, I suppose, " said the Rat, with an innocent air.
" You're getting on fairly well, though you splash a good bit still. With a great deal of patience, and any quantity of coaching, you mayー "

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" O, pooh ! boating ! " interrupted the Toad, in great disgust.

" I've given that up LONG ago. It's a waste of time, that's what it is.
No, I've discovered the real thing, the only genuine occupation for a life time.
I propose to devote the remainder of mine to it.
Come with me, dear Ratty, and your amirable friend also. Just as far as the stable-yard, and you shall see what you shall see ! "

He led the way to the stable-yard, the Rat following with a most mistrustful expression.

And there, drawn out of the coach-house into the open, they saw a gipsy caravan, shining with newness, painted a canary-yellow picked out with green, and red wheels.

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(4/20)

The Open Road (5) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (5)

" There you are ! " cried the Toad, stradding and expanding himself.

" There's real life for you, embodied in that little cart.
The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the rolling downs.
Camps, villages, towns, cities !
Here toda, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow !
Travel, change, interest, excitement !
The whole world before you, and horizon that always changing ! 
And mind ! this is the very finest cart of its sort that was ever built.
Come inside and look at the arrangements.
Planned them all myself, I did ! "

The Mole was tremendously interested and excited, and followed him eagerly up the steps and into the interior of the caravan.

The Rat only snorted and thrust his hand deep into his pockets, remainng where he was.

It's indeed very compact and comfortable.

Little sleeping bunksーa little table that folded up against the wall, a cooking stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird-cage with a bird in it, and pots, pans jugs, and kettles of every size and variety.

" All complete ! " said the Toad triumphantly,pulling open a locker.

" You seeーbiscuits, potted lobster, sardinesーeveryhing you can possibly  want. Soda-water was here. There letter-papaer, bacon, jam, cards and dominoes, you'll find."
he continued, as they desended the steps again.
" You'll find nothing what ever has been forgotten, when we make our start this afternoon. "

" I beg your pardon ? " said the Rat slowly, " but did I overhear you say something about "WE" and " START, " and " THIS AFTERNOON ? ""

" Now, you dear good old Ratty, " said Toad.
" Don't began talking in that sort of way, because you know you've GOT to come. I can't possibly manage without you, so please consider it settled, and don't argueーIt's the one thing I can't stand.
You surely don't mean to stick to your dull old river all your life, and just live in a hole in a bank, and BOAT ?
I want to show you the world ! "

" I don't care, " said the Rat.
" I'm not coming, and that's flat. And I AM going to stick to my old river, AND live in a hole, AND boat, as I've always done. And what's more, Mole's going to stick to me and do as I do, aren't you, Mole ? " 

(6/20)


The Open Road (6) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (6)

" Of course I am, " said the Mole loyally.

" I'll always stick to you, Ratty, and what you say is to beー

has go to be. All the same, it sounds as if it might have been rather fun, you know." he added wistfully.

Poor Mole !

Adventurure life was so new a thing to him, and so thrilling.
He had fallen in love at first sight with the canary-coloured cart and all its little fitments.
The Mole was longing to go.

The Rat looked at Mole and saw what was passing in his mind.

The Rat wavered.
He was fond of the Mole, and would do almost anyrhing to oblige him.

Toad was watching both of them closely.

" Come in and have some lunch, " said Toad,
" and we'll talk it over. We needn't decide anything in a hurry. I only want to give pleasure to you fellows.
Live for others !  That's my motto in life. "

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During lunchonーwhich was excellent, of course, as everything at Toad Hall always wasーthe Toad simply let himself go.

The Toad painted the prospects of the trip and the joys of the open life and the roadside in such a glowing colours that the Mole could hardly sit in his chair for excitement.

Somehow, it soon seemed taken for granted by all three of them that the trip was a settled thing.

The Rat, though still unconvinced in his mind, allowed his good-nature to override his personal objection.

He could not bear to disappoint his two friends, who were already planning out each day's separate occupation for several weeks ahead.

(6/20)   


The Open Road (7) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (7)

When they were quite ready, the now triumphant Toad led his companions to the paddock and set them to capture the old grey horse.

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He frankly preferred the paddock, and took a deal of catching.

At last the horse was caught and harnessed, and they set off , all talking at once.

It was a golden afternoon.

Smell of thedust they kicked up was rich and satisfying.
Out of thick orchards on either side the road, birds called and whistled to them cheerrily.

Good-natured wayfares, passing them, gave them " Good-day" or stopped to say nice things about their beautiful cart.

And rabbits sitting at their front doors in the hedgerows, held up their fore-paws, and said," O my ! O my ! O my ! "

Late in the evening, tired and happy and miles away from home, they drew up on a remote common, and ate their simple supper sitting on the grass by the side of the cart.

(7/20)


The Open road (8) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (8)

Toad talked big about all he was going to do in the days to come, while stars grew fuller and larger all around them.

Yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently from nowhere in paticular, came to keep them company and listen to their talk.

At last they turned in to their little bunks in the cart.

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" Well, good night, you fellows ! This is the real life for a gentleman ! Talk about your old river ! " Toad said.

" I don't talk about my river, " replied the Rat.
" You KNOW I don't. But I think about it all the time. "

The Mole reached out from under his blanket, felt for the Rat's paw in the darlness, and gave it a squeese.
" I'll do whatever you like, Ratty, " he whispered, " Shall we run away tomorrow morning, quite earlyーvery earlyーand go back to our dear old hole on the river ? "

" No, no, we'll see it out, " whispered back the Rat.
" Thanks awfully, but I ought to stick by Toad till this trip is ended.
It wouldn't be safe for him to be alone. It won't take very long. Good night !"

The end was indeed nearer than even the rat suspected.

After so much open air and excitement, the Toad slept very soundly, and no amount of shaking could rouse him out of bed next morning.

So the Mole and Rat turned to quietly.

While the Rat saw to the horse, and lit a fire, and cleaned last night's cups and platters, and got things ready for brealfaast, the Mole trudged off to the nearest village, a long way off, for milk and eggs and various necessaries that the Toad had fogotten to provide.

By the time Toad appeared on the scene, the hard work had all been done, and the two animals were resting thoroughly exhausted.

Refreshed Toad said, " What a pleasant easy life we had now, after a cares and worries of house keeping at home."

(8/20)


The Open road (9) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (9)

They had a pleasant ramble that day over grassy downs and along  narrow lanes, and camped as before, only this time the two guests took care that Toad should do his share of work.

Next day they have  their way lay across country by narrow lanes, as before, and it was not till the afternoon that they came out on the high road, their first high road.

There, the disaster sprang out on them.

They were strolling along the high road easily, the Mole by the horse's head, talking to him, since the horse had complained that he was being frightfully left out of it, and nobody considered him in the least.

The Toad and the Water Rat walking behind the cart talking togetherーat least Toad was talking, and Rat was saying at intervals, " Yes, precisely. "

Suddenly far behind them they heard a faint warning hum, like the drone of a distant bee.

Glancing back, they saw a small cloud of dust, with a dark sentre of energy, advancing on them at incredible speed.

(9/20)

The Open Road (10) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (10)

From out of dust a faint " Poop-poop ! " wailed like an uneasy animal in pain.

Hardly regarding it, they turned to resume their  conversation, when in an instant (as it seemed) the peaceful scene was changed.

A blast of wind and a whirl of sound made them jump for the nearest ditch.
It was on them !

The " Poop-poop " rang with a brazen shout in their ears, they had a moment's glimpse of an interior of glittering plate-grass and rich morocco.

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The magnificent motor-car with its pilot tense and hugging his wheel, possessed all earth and air for the fraction of a second,
flung an enveloping cloud of dust that blinded and enwrapped them utterly.

And then the motor-car dwindled to a speck in the far distance, changed back into a droning bee once more.

The old grey horse, dreaming of his quiet paddock, in a new raw situation such as this, simply abandoned himself to his natural emotions.

In spite of all the Mole's efforts, he reared, plunged and backed steadily, and he drove the cart backwards towards the deep ditch at the side of the road.

It wavered an instant, then there was a heart-rending crash.

The canary-colored cart, their pride and their joy, lay on its side in the ditch, an irredeemable wreck.

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(10/20)       

The Open Road (11) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (11)

The Rat danced up and down in the road, simply oransported with passion.

"You villains ! " he shouted, shaking both fists.
" You scoundrels, you highwaymen, youーyouーroadhogs !
I'll have the law of you. I'll report you !
I'll take you through all the Courts ! "

His home-sickness had quite slipped away from him.

He was trying to recollect all the fine and biting things he used to say to masters of steam-launches.

Toad sat down in the middle of the dusty road, his legs stretched out before him, and stared fixedly in the direction of disappearing motor-car.

He breathed short, his face wore a placid, satisfied expression, and at intervals he faintly murmured " Poop-poop ! "

The Mole was busy trying to quiet the horse, which he succeeded in doing after a time.
Then he went to look at the cart, on its side in the ditch.

It was indeed a sorry sight.
Panels and windows smashed, axles hopelessly bent, one wheel off, sardine-tins scattered over the wide world, and the bird in the bird-cage sobbing pitifully and calling to be let out.

(11/20)


The Open Road (12) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (12)

The Rat came to help him, but their united efforts were not sufficient to right  the cart.

" Hi ! Toad ! " they cried.
" Come and bear a hand, can't you ! "

The Toad never answered a word, or budged from his seat in the road.

So they went to see what was the matter with him.

They found him in a sort of a trance, a happy smile on his face, his eyes still fixed on the dusty wake of their destroyer.

At intervals he was still heard to murmur " Poop-poop "

The Rat shook him by the shoulder.
" Are you coming to help us, Toad ? " he demanded sternly.

" Glorious, stirring sight ! " murmured Toad, never offering to move.

" The poetry of motion !  The REAL way to travel !  The ONLY way to travel !
Here todayーin next week tomorrow !
Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped. Always somebody else's horizon !
O bliss ! O poop-poop ! O my ! O my ! "

(12/20)


The Open Road (13) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (13)

" O STOP being an ass, Toad ! " cried the Mole despairingly. "

" And to think I never KNEW ! " went on the Toad in a dreamly monotone.

" All those wasted years that lie behind me, I never knew, never even DREAMT ! But NOWーbut now I know, now I fully realize !
O what a flowery track lies spread before me.
What dust-clouds shall spring up behind me as I speed on my reckless way !
What carts I shall fling carelessly into the ditch.
Horrid little cartsーcommon cartsーcanary-coloured carts ! "


" What are we to do with him ? " asked the Mole to the Rat.

" Nothing at all, " replied the Rat firmly.

" Because there is really nothing to be done. You see, I know him from of old. He is now possessed. He has got a new craze, and it always takes him that way, in its first stage.
He'll continue like that for days, like an animal walking in a happy dream.
Never mind him.
Let's go and see what there is to be done about the cart. "


(13/20)


The Open Road (14) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (14)

A careful inspection showed them that, even if they succeed in righting it by themselves, the cart would travel no longer. 

The axles were in a hopeless state, and the missing wheel was shattered into pieces.

The Rat knotted the horse's reins over his back and took him by the head, carrying the bird cage.

" Come on, " he said grimly to the Mole.
" It's five or six miles to the nearest town, and we shall just have to walk it. The sooner we make a start the better. "

" But what about Toad ? " asked the Mole anxiously, as they set off together.

" We can't leave him here, sitting in the middle of the road by himself, in the distracted state he's in.
It's not safe. Supposing another Thing were to come along ?  O BOTHER Toad, "  said the Rat savegely.


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(14/20)

The Open Road (15) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (15)

They had not proceeded very far on their way, however, when there was a pattering of feet behind them, and Toad caught them up and thrust a paw inside the elbow of each of them; still breathing short and staring into vacancy. 

" Now, look here, Toad !" said the Rat sharply.
" As soon as we get to the town, you'll have to go straight to the police-station, and see if they know anything about that motor-car and who it belongs to,and lodge a complaint against it. "

" And then  you'll have to a blacksmith's or a wheelwright's and  arrange for the cart to be fetched and mended and put to rights. "

" Meanwhile, the Mole and I will go to an inn and find comfortable rooms where we can stay till the cart's ready, and till your nerves have recovered their shock. "


(15/20)
全20回の予定でしたThe Open Roadですが、 原作が残り1ページですので、あと2回、全17回で終了予定です。
次回作は、鋭意考慮中ですが、楽しい物語を検討中です。


The Open Road (16) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (16)

" Police-station ! Comlaint ! " murmured Toad dreamly.
" Me COMPLAIN of that beautiful, that heavenly vision.
MEND THE CART !
I've done with carts for ever. I never want to see that cart, or to hear of it, again.
O, Ratty ! You can't think how obliged I am to you for consenting to come on this trip ! I wouldn't have gone without you, and then I maight never have seen that swan, that sunbeam, that thunderbolt !
I owe it all to you, my best of friends ! "

The Rat turned from him in despair.
" You see what it is ? " he said to the Mole.
" He's quite hopeless. I give it up. When we get to the town we'll go to the railway station, and with luck we may pick up a train there that'll get us back to riverbank tonight."

On reaching the town they went straight to the  railway-station and deposited Toad in the second-class waiting room, giving a porter twopence to keep a strict eye on him.

Then they left the horse at an inn stable, and gave what directions they could about the cart and its contents.  

Eventually, a slow train having landed them at a station not very far from Toad Hall.

They escorted the spell-bound, sleep-walking Toad to his door, put him inside it, instructed his housekeeper to feed him, undress him and put him to bed.

Then they got out their boat from the boat-house, sculled down the river to home.    

At a very late hour, they sat down to supper in their own cozy riverside parlour, to the Rat's great joy and contentment.

(16/17)

The Open Road (17 完) [The Open Road]

The Open Road (17 完)

The following evening, the Mol, who had risen late and taken things very easy all day, was sitting on the bank fishing, when the Rat, who had been looking up his friends and gossiping, came strolling along to find him.

" Heard the news ? " he said.

" There's nothing else being talked about, all along the river bank.
 Toad went up to Town by an early train this morning.
 And he has ordered a large and very expensive motor-car. "

(17/17 完)
Wind in the willow は、わりと少し難しい表現&ちょっと古い表現も出てきますが、プロジェクト・グーテンベルグで全編を読むことができます。
第1章のThe river bank は、リ・トールドのLadybird 版もオススメですが、原作も楽しい読み物かと思います。
(参考)
The River Bank

The River Bank

  • 作者: Kenneth Grahame
  • 出版社/メーカー: Walker Books Ltd
  • 発売日: 1996/10/07
  • メディア: ハードカバー
では、次回作で。
The Open Road ブログトップ