Thomas was grumbling to the other engines; he was tired of pulling coaches about and wanted to pull a passenger train himself. The big engines only laughed. They knew that "Thomas was a little engine with a long tounge". But one night, Henry was ill. The workmen worked hard through the night, but the big green engine didn't get better. Henry always pulls the first train, but with him out of commission, Thomas hopes that he will be able to pull it. At the station, everyone is waiting for Henry. At last, the Fat Controller agrees that Thomas will have to pull the train. No one knows what happened next, but Thomas is not coupled to the coaches when he puffs off.
As Thomas puffs along, people wave and shout at him. Thomas assumes that it is because they have never seen him pull a passenger train before and he whistles back. Soon, Thomas comes to a signal set at "danger" and has to stop. The signalman walks over to Thomas and asks him what he's doing. Thomas tells the signalman he's pulling a train, but the signalman informs Thomas that he isn't pulling anything. Thomas is so sad that he nearly cries. He quickly reverses back to the station to start again. At the station, the cross passengers are complaining, but when they see how sorry Thomas looks, they soon forget to be cross. Thomas is now coupled to the train and this time he really does pull it.
But for a long time afterwards, the larger engines teased Thomas for his mistake.
- When the others tease Thomas, Edward appears to be amongst them. Isn't he supposed to be kind?