Steve Tolman had done a wrong thing and he knew it.
While his father, mother, and sister Doris had been absent in New York
for a week-end visit and Havens, the chauffeur, was ill at the hospital,
the boy had taken the big six-cylinder car from the garage without
anybody's permission and carried a crowd of his friends to Torrington to
a football game. And that was not the worst of it, either. At the foot
of the long hill leading into the village the mighty leviathan so
unceremoniously borrowed had come to a halt, refusing to move another
inch, and Stephen now sat helplessly in it, awaiting the aid his
comrades had promised to send back from the town.
What an ignominious climax to what had promised to be a royal holiday!
Steve scowled with chagrin and disappointment.
The catastrophe served him right. Unquestionably he should not have
taken the car without asking. He had never run it all by himself before,
although many times he had driven it when either his father or Havens
had been at his elbow. It had gone all right then. What reason had he to
suppose a mishap would befall him when they were not by? It was
infernally hard luck!