Enjoy the first chapter and a sample "Did You Know?" fact.
Click here to “Hang On!” Henry called out. Pa grabbed on to the dashboard as the car quickly jerked forward and immediately stopped when the engine stalled. Robert, who was sitting on the edge of the back seat, slid with a thump onto the floor.
“I guess I need to engage the clutch a little more carefully,” Henry said with a sheepish grin.
“I’ll crank it,” called Robert as he quickly jumped over the side, not even bothering with the door, and raced to the front of the car.
Now that the Morrison family were proud owners of a Ford Model T, it didn’t take Henry long to convince his father to allow him to learn how to drive it. His 11th birthday came at the end of September, and the best present he had ever received was when his Pa told him it was time for him to learn to drive the Model T. Of course Henry had watched every detail of driving up to this time and thought he knew everything there was to know. Starting it up was no problem as he had done this since the first day they had purchased the car from Mr. Johnson. He even thought up an idea to put a block in front of the wheel to keep the car from creeping forward as it so often did when it first was started.
The second attempt at driving the Model T went much better as Henry revved the engine and kept his hand on the throttle lever making the engine roar while the rest of the car shook and rattled. Fortunately, Henry was only using the low gear of the Model T’s two speed transmission as the car took off and was heading toward the outhouse. He pulled the steering wheel hard to the left and found it moved much easier when the Model T was moving. However, this quick turn caused Pa to again grab the dashboard to steady himself and Robert, who was standing in the backseat to avoid crashing to the floor again, found himself thrown right out of the back of the car landing harmlessly in the dirt.
“Whoa!!!!!” yelled Pa grabbing the edge of the car as it lurched forward.
Henry’s quick reflexes saved the Model T from colliding with the outhouse, but the sudden change directed it toward the wood fence next to the barn.
“Put your foot on the brake!” screamed Pa.
Henry took his right foot and pushed down on the first pedal he felt. With the engine still revving, the Model T continued to skid toward the fence. The front wheels nearly touched the fence when the forward motion of the Model T stopped and immediately the car was speeding backwards. In his haste to apply the brakes, Henry had pushed down the center pedal which put the transmission into reverse.
“Yahoo,” yelled Henry as the car now took off backwards. He turned the steering wheel a little to the right as the car went under the clothes line yanking off the morning laundry. Finally, Henry was able to get his feet in all the right places, and the Model T skidded to a stop.
“That was fun!” exclaimed Henry while wiping the perspiration from his forehead.
Henry noticed Pa was looking a bit pale, but had composed himself again. Robert caught up with the Model T, and using the running board, launched himself over the side and into the back seat.
“Wow Henry! That was funny! You better not let Ma catch you with laundry in the car,” exclaimed Robert as he picked up a shirt that had fallen in the car when Henry had gone under the clothesline.
“I think I better take the car to the middle of the field for the next driving lesson,” said Pa. “That was a bit more excitement than we needed around here.” edit.