In this chapter from Boy, Dahl describes his family getting a car, called the "Dion-Buton." This car is long and black like a hearse, foreshadowing trouble. The young Dahl, his mother, and his half sister, who drives, take a spin on a country road. Unfortunately, the half sister has had only one hour of driving instruction, and she speeds up as she approaches a curve. This leads to a crash.
In those days before seatbelts were a common feature, the family members are flung from the car. Dahl suffers the most severely as his nose is almost severed from his face, hanging on by a string. While his mother holds it in place with a towel, the sister drives them to the doctor, who says he will gather his supplies and come to their house to repair the damage.
The doctor gives Dahl an anesthetic, and he sleeps for eight hours. When he awakens, his nose has been reattached, and he finds a gold coin his mother has put under his pillow.