“One does not expect the make-and-break of the magneto — that tiny two-inch spring of finest steel — to fracture (…).” From 1924’s ‘The Prophet and the Country’, published in 1926’s Debits and Credits. Does anyone today who isn’t a Kipling scholar associate him with the cult of fast motors? There’s actually a whole slew of stories — beginning with “Steam Tactics” in 1902 — which set him up to be the Jeremy Clarkson* of his day, not least because he liked to travel fast, and to take revenge on the foolish officials who baulked him (he was a motorist as early as 1899, when “fast” wasn’t even 20 mph…) (*Wind in the Willows, about the ACTUAL J.Clarkson of his day, didn’t appear till 1908…)