Peter and Wendy, by James Matthew Barrie
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Peter and Wendy, by James Matthew Barrie This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Peter and Wendy Author: James Matthew Barrie Illustrator: F. D. Bedford Release Date: September 18, 2008 [EBook #26654] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PETER AND WENDY *** Produced by Chris Curnow, Lindy Walsh, Martin Pettit The Internet Archive for help with the illustrations and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net PETER AND WENDY [Illustration: THE NEVER NEVER LAND] [Illustration: PETER AND WENDY BY J. M. BARRIE ILLUSTRATED BY F. D. BEDFORD NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS] CONTENTS PAGE * CHAPTER I PETER BREAKS THROUGH 1 * CHAPTER II THE SHADOW 17





PETER BREAKS THROUGH All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, 'Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!' This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end. Of course they lived at 14, and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner. The way Mr. Darling won her was this: the many gentlemen who had been boys when she was a girl discovered simultaneously that they loved her, and they all ran to her house to propose to her except Mr. Darling, who took a cab and nipped in first, and so he got her. He got all of her, except the innermost box and the kiss. He never knew about the box, and in time he gave up trying for the kiss. Wendy thought Napoleon could have got it, but I can picture him trying, and then going off in a passion, slamming the door. Mr. Darling used to boast to Wendy that her mother not only loved him but respected him. He was one of those deep ones who know about stocks and shares. Of course no one really knows, but he quite seemed to know, and he often said stocks were up and shares were down in a way that would have made any woman respect him. Mrs. Darling was married in white, and at first she kept the books perfectly, almost gleefully, as if it were a game, not so much as a brussels sprout was missing; but by and by whole cauliflowers dropped out, and instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. She drew them when she should have been totting up. They were Mrs. Darling's guesses. Wendy came first, then John, then Michael. For a week or two after Wendy came it was doubtful whether they would be able to keep her, as she was another mouth to feed. Mr. Darling was frightfully proud of her, but he was very honourable, and he sat on the edge of Mrs. Darling's bed, holding her hand and calculating expenses, while she looked at him imploringly. She wanted to risk it, come what might, but that was not his way; his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper, and if she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again. 'Now don't interrupt,' he would beg of her. 'I have one pound seventeen here, and two and six at the office; I can cut off my coffee at the office, say ten shillings, making two nine and six, with your eighteen and three makes three nine seven, with five naught naught in my cheque-book makes eight nine seven,--who is that moving?--eight nine seven, dot and carry seven--don't speak, my own--and the pound you lent to that man who came to the door--quiet, child--dot and carry child--there, you've done it!--did I say nine nine seven? yes, I said nine nine seven; the question is, can we try it for a year on nine nine seven?' 'Of course we can, George,' she cried. But she was prejudiced in Wendy's favour, and he was really the grander character of the two.



'Remember mumps,' he warned her almost threateningly, and off he went again. 'Mumps one pound, that is what I have put down, but I daresay it will be more like thirty shillings--don't speak--measles one five, German measles half a guinea, makes two fifteen six--don't waggle your finger--whooping-cough, say fifteen shillings'--and so on it went, and it added up differently each time; but at last Wendy just got through, with mumps reduced to twelve six, and the two kinds of measles treated as one. There was the same excitement over John, and Michael had even a narrower squeak; but both were kept, and soon you might have seen the three of them going in a row to Miss Fulsom's Kindergarten school, accompanied by their nurse. Mrs. Darling loved to have everything just so, and Mr. Darling had a passion for being exactly like his neighbours; so, of course, they had a nurse. As they were poor, owing to the amount of milk the children drank, this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog, called Nana, who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her. She had always thought children important, however, and the Darlings had become acquainted with her in Kensington Gardens, where she spent most of her spare time peeping into perambulators, and was much hated by careless nursemaids, whom she followed to their homes and complained of to their mistresses. She proved to be quite a treasure of a nurse. How thorough she was at bath-time; and up at any moment of the night if one of her charges made the slightest cry. Of course her kennel was in the nursery. She had a genius for knowing when a cough is a thing to have no patience with and when it needs stocking round your throat. She believed to her last day in old-fashioned remedies like rhubarb leaf, and made sounds of contempt over all this new-fangled talk about germs, and so on. It was a lesson in propriety to see her escorting the children to school, walking sedately by their side when they were well behaved, and butting them back into line if they strayed. On John's footer days she never once forgot his sweater, and she usually carried an umbrella in her mouth in case of rain. There is a room in the basement of Miss Fulsom's school where the nurses wait. They sat on forms, while Nana lay on the floor, but that was the only difference. They affected to ignore her as of an inferior social status to themselves, and she despised their light talk. She resented visits to the nursery from Mrs. Darling's friends, but if they did come she first whipped off Michael's pinafore and put him into the one with blue braiding, and smoothed out Wendy and made a dash at John's hair. No nursery could possibly have been conducted more correctly, and Mr. Darling knew it, yet he sometimes wondered uneasily whether the neighbours talked. He had his position in the city to consider. Nana also troubled him in another way. He had sometimes a feeling that she did not admire him. 'I know she admires you tremendously, George,' Mrs. Darling would assure him, and then she would sign to the children to be specially nice to father. Lovely dances followed, in which the only other servant, Liza, was sometimes allowed to join. Such a midget she looked in her long skirt and maid's cap, though she had sworn, when engaged, that she would never see ten again. The gaiety of those romps! And gayest of all was Mrs. Darling, who would pirouette so wildly that all you could see of her was the kiss, and then if you had dashed at her you might have got it. There never was a simpler happier family until the coming of Peter Pan. Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top,

CHAPTER I beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.


I don't know whether you have ever seen a map of a person's mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island; for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all; but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needlework, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine, three-pence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on; and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still. Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John's, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingoes flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends, Michael had friends at night, Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents; but on the whole the Neverlands have a family resemblance, and if they stood still in a row you could say of them that they have each other's nose, and so forth. On these magic shores children at play are for ever beaching their coracles. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more. Of all delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact; not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very nearly real. That is why there are night-lights. Occasionally in her travels through her children's minds Mrs. Darling found things she could not understand, and of these quite the most perplexing was the word Peter. She knew of no Peter, and yet he was here and there in John and Michael's minds, while Wendy's began to be scrawled all over with him. The name stood out in bolder letters than any of the other words, and as Mrs. Darling gazed she felt that it had an oddly cocky appearance. 'Yes, he is rather cocky,' Wendy admitted with regret. Her mother had been questioning her. 'But who is he, my pet?' 'He is Peter Pan, you know, mother.' At first Mrs. Darling did not know, but after thinking back into her childhood she just remembered a Peter Pan who was said to live with the fairies. There were odd stories about him; as that when children died he went part of the way with them, so that they should not be frightened. She had believed in him at the time, but now that she was married and full of sense she quite doubted whether there was any such person. 'Besides,' she said to Wendy, 'he would be grown up by this time.' 'Oh no, he isn't grown up,' Wendy assured her confidently, 'and he is just my size.' She meant that he was her size in both mind and body; she didn't know how she knew it, she just knew it. Mrs. Darling consulted Mr. Darling, but he smiled pooh-pooh. 'Mark my words,' he said, 'it is some nonsense

'why did you not tell me of this before?' 'I forgot. peering at it with a candle for marks of a strange foot. She let down a tape from the window to the pavement. the night on which the extraordinary adventures of these children may be said to have begun. It happened to be Nana's evening off. for it all seemed so natural to Wendy that you could not dismiss it by saying she had been dreaming.' 'I think he comes in by the window. Oh. On the night we speak of all the children were once more in bed. Wendy?' 'It is so naughty of him not to wipe. Darling quite a shock. they were skeleton leaves. it is three floors up. without so much as a spout to climb up by. Darling examined them carefully. Leave it alone. She was in a hurry to get her breakfast. she just knew. precious. they may remember to mention. 'My child. She explained in quite a matter-of-fact way that she thought Peter sometimes came to the nursery in the night and sat on the foot of her bed and played on his pipes to her. But Wendy had not been dreaming.' Wendy said. and . and Mrs.CHAPTER I 7 Nana has been putting into their heads. Mrs.' she said. sighing. But.' But it would not blow over. Certainly Wendy had been dreaming. Darling was puzzling over them when Wendy said with a tolerant smile: 'I do believe it is that Peter again!' 'Whatever do you mean. No one can get into the house without knocking. For instance. as the very next night showed. but she was sure they did not come from any tree that grew in England. and soon the troublesome boy gave Mrs. and it will blow over. and it was a sheer drop of thirty feet. It was in this casual way that Wendy one morning made a disquieting revelation. on the other hand.' 'Were not the leaves at the foot of the window. that when they were in the wood they met their dead father and had a game with him.' said Wendy lightly. Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them. the leaves had been found very near the window.' the mother cried. Darling did not know what to think. She crawled about the floor. She rattled the poker up the chimney and tapped the walls. 'My love. which certainly were not there when the children went to bed. Unfortunately she never woke. just the sort of idea a dog would have. there were the leaves. 'What nonsense you talk. so she didn't know how she knew. surely she must have been dreaming. mother?' It was quite true. Mrs. She was a tidy child. a week after the event happened. Some leaves of a tree had been found on the nursery floor.

and a boy did drop on the floor. and the nursery dimly lit by three night-lights. Wendy and Michael over there. and saw the boy. All were looking so safe and cosy that she smiled at her fears now and sat down tranquilly by the fire to sew. clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees. so gracefully. and she saw Wendy and John and Michael peeping through the gap. Look at the four of them. . Darling. If you or I or Wendy had been there we should have seen that he was very like Mrs. he gnashed the little pearls at her. John here. but while she was dreaming the window of the nursery blew open. no bigger than your fist. He was accompanied by a strange light. Darling by the fire. and Mrs. It was something for Michael. He did not alarm her. She was asleep. There should have been a fourth night-light. But in her dream he had rent the film that obscures the Neverland. She dreamt that the Neverland had come too near and that a strange boy had broken through from it. and presently the sewing lay on Mrs. but the most entrancing thing about him was that he had all his first teeth. Darling's lap. Darling had bathed them and sung to them till one by one they had let go her hand and slid away into the land of sleep. Perhaps he is to be found in the faces of some mothers also. however. oh. for she thought she had seen him before in the faces of many women who have no children. Darling's kiss. who on his birthday was getting into shirts. and I think it must have been this light that wakened Mrs. He was a lovely boy. While she slept she had a dream. which darted about the room like a living thing. Then her head nodded. The fire was warm. When he saw she was a grown-up. The dream by itself would have been a trifle. and somehow she knew at once that he was Peter Pan. She started up with a cry.CHAPTER I 8 Mrs.

George. and. no. who leapt lightly through the window. They sat thus night after night recalling that fatal Friday. she knew exactly what he would say: 'It all comes of having a dog for a nurse. George Darling. Of course it was a Friday. Mea culpa. 'If only I had pretended to like the medicine. 'I am responsible for it all. meaning 'He is sure to come back for it. till every detail of it was stamped on their brains and came through on the other side like the faces on a bad coinage. Darling examined the shadow carefully. Darling screamed. I. She thought of showing it to Mr. too late to catch him. and she looked up. She growled and sprang at the boy. 'No. until a fitting opportunity came for telling her husband. and Nana entered. 'I ought to have been specially careful on a Friday. Darling could not leave it hanging out at the window. for she thought he was killed.' Mr. and it seemed a shame to trouble him. it looked so like the washing and lowered the whole tone of the house. dearest.' Mrs. Darling screamed. Darling always said. while perhaps Nana was on the other side of her. You may be sure Mrs.' . as if in answer to a bell. 'If only I had not poured my medicine into Nana's bowl. She returned to the nursery.' But unfortunately Mrs. and found Nana with something in her mouth. on that never-to-be-forgotten Friday. let us put it where he can get it easily without disturbing the children. but it was not there.CHAPTER II 9 CHAPTER II THE SHADOW Mrs. with a wet towel round his head to keep his brain clear.' 'My fatal gift of humour. mea culpa.' she used to say afterwards to her husband. the door opened. holding her hand. but it was quite the ordinary kind.' 'My touchiness about trifles.' was what Nana's wet eyes said. but he was totting up winter greatcoats for John and Michael. Darling said. but his shadow had not had time to get out. Ah me! The opportunity came a week later. returned from her evening out. this time in distress for him. Again Mrs. dear master and mistress. and she ran down into the street to look for his little body. and in the black night she could see nothing but what she thought was a shooting star. did it. As he leapt at the window Nana had closed it quickly. 'My liking for parties.' said Mr. besides. Darling. slam went the window and snapped it off. Darling. which proved to be the boy's shadow. 'If only I had not accepted that invitation to dine at 27.' He had had a classical education. She hung it out at the window.' She decided to roll the shadow up and put it away carefully in a drawer. Nana had no doubt of what was the best thing to do with this shadow.

wearing her white evening-gown. oh dear. He. I shan't love you any more. had no real mastery of his tie. I tell you I won't be bathed. Darling had come in. Darling who put the handkerchief to Nana's eyes.' he had shouted. Nana. Darling. recalling fondly every smallest detail of that dreadful evening. and Mrs. Sometimes the thing yielded to him without a contest. it's true. Mrs.' in just such a tone as Mr. Such a little thing for Mr. with the necklace George had given her. It is an astounding thing to have to tell. Darling never upbraided Peter. wasn't it?' Mr. and Nana's bark was the echo of it. like one who still believed that he had the last word on the subject. and all had gone well with him until he came to his tie. It had begun so uneventfully. . I won't. though he knew about stocks and shares.' she said. They would sit there in the empty nursery. with Nana putting on the water for Michael's bath and carrying him to it on her back. had been dressing for the party. that you are now a mother. not too hopefully. I won't. they ought not to have had a dog for a nurse. 'I won't. 'Nobody wants me.' he said. but John said brutally that they did not want any more. Oh dear. but Mrs. Perhaps there was some excuse for him. just as the real Mrs. too.' Many a time it was Mr. 'That fiend!' Mr. Darling would say. I won't!' Then Mrs. She was wearing Wendy's bracelet on her arm. 'It's true. She had dressed early because Wendy so loved to see her in her evening-gown. They go on with their recollections. Nana. there was something in the right-hand corner of her mouth that wanted her not to call Peter names. She had found her two older children playing at being herself and father on the occasion of Wendy's birth. 'I won't go to bed. 'Boy. Michael had nearly cried. it isn't six o'clock yet. but this man. Wendy had danced with joy. 'I do. Then John was born. so precisely like a hundred other evenings. but not so little if that was to be Michael's last night in the nursery. Nana at the thought. with the extra pomp that he conceived due to the birth of a male. and of course the lady in evening-dress could not stand that.CHAPTER II 10 Then one or more of them would break down altogether. 'It was then that I rushed in like a tornado. Wendy so loved to lend her bracelet to her mother. Darling himself may have used on the real occasion. Darling and Nana to recall now. but there were occasions when it would have been better for the house if he had swallowed his pride and used a made-up tie. scorning himself. she had asked for the loan of it. 'I so want a third child. Darling would cry. and indeed he had been like a tornado.' 'Boy or girl?' asked Michael.' Then he had leapt into her arms. and Michael came from his bath to ask to be born also. and John was saying: 'I am happy to inform you. Darling must have done.

Darling collided against her. and he had to bite his lip to prevent the tears coming. and if I don't go to the office again. Darling was not sufficiently impressed. it will not tie. and with her nice cool hands she tied his tie for him. and it is all my fault. 'Let me try. father dear?' 'Matter!' he yelled. and our children will be flung into the streets.' 'No doubt.' 'Oh no. dear one. and he went on sternly. and indeed that was what he had come to ask her to do. you and I starve. 'Not round my neck! Round the bed-post! Oh yes. I never go to the office again. Nana. his wife felt. They were not only new trousers. Some men would have resented her being able to do it so easily. ours. Darling. when Michael . and so now. you remember. and in another moment was dancing round the room with Michael on his back. 'It is nobody I know. Strong man though he was. Darling now. 'I warn you of this.' 'We were still discussing it. 'Our last romp!' Mr.' she said. at once forgot his rage. He came rushing into the nursery with the crumpled little brute of a tie in his hand. Darling said thoughtfully. no! Oh dear no! begs to be excused!' He thought Mrs. 'How wildly we romped!' says Mrs.' Mr.' Even then Mrs. and most unluckily Mr. that unless this tie is round my neck we don't go out to dinner to-night. there is no doubt that he had behaved rather foolishly over the medicine. 'I wonder. Darling brushed him.CHAPTER II 11 This was such an occasion.' 'I wonder. recalling it. but I have an uneasy feeling at times that she looks upon the children as puppies. You will never carry the bottle in your mouth again. don't you think.' The romp had ended with the appearance of Nana.' he said. but Mr. for telling him about the boy. Nana is a treasure. Darling was placid. it was for thinking that all his life he had taken medicine boldly. At first he pooh-poohed the story. and now they are gone. but he became thoughtful when she showed him the shadow.' It was an opportunity. "How did you get to know me. but round my neck. 'George. mother?"' 'I remember!' 'They were rather sweet. but they were the first he had ever had with braid on them. do you remember Michael suddenly said to me. but he began to talk again about its being a mistake to have a dog for a nurse. dear. If he had a weakness. and if I don't go out to dinner to-night. while the children stood around to see their fate decided.' He became dangerously sarcastic. covering his trousers with hairs. he really yelled. twenty times have I made it up round the bed-post. George?' 'And they were ours. 'when Nana came in with Michael's medicine. Darling groaned. Of course Mrs. what is the matter. I feel sure she knows they have souls. 'O George. examining it carefully. Darling was far too fine a nature for that. 'Why. he thanked her carelessly. mother.' says Mr. 'but he does look a scoundrel. 'This tie.

always glad to be of service. and then in rushed Wendy with the medicine in a glass. if I hadn't lost the bottle. father. won't.' Mr. 'Michael first. and Wendy. Mrs. Darling left the room to get a chocolate for him. father.' His proud heart was nearly bursting. It's that nasty. 'I thought you took it quite easily. so am I waiting. shuddering. 'The point is. isn't it?' 'Ever so much nastier.' He had not exactly lost it. 'You have been wonderfully quick.' said Michael. father. John.' Michael cried naughtily. and Mr. and put it back on his wash-stand. that there is more in my glass than in Michael's spoon. 'Hold your tongue. is much nastier. father. sweet kind. 'Come on.' she panted. Darling said threateningly. I would say it though it were with my last breath."' He really thought this was true. who was now in her night-gown.' his father rapped out. 'I have been as quick as I could. 'Michael. Michael.' said Michael coldly.' 'So are you a cowardy custard.' 'It will soon be over.' 'Father's a cowardy custard. 'That medicine you sometimes take. you know. believed it also. 'I'll bring it. What he did not know was that the faithful Liza had found it. he had said reprovingly. don't pamper him. he had climbed in the dead of night to the top of the wardrobe and hidden it there. I said "Thank you.' 12 'Won't. kind parents. I am waiting. Immediately his spirits sank in the strangest way. 'I shall be sick.' he retorted. 'I know where it is.' he said doggedly. 'Mother. Darling thought this showed want of firmness.' . 'John. 'It's all very well to say you are waiting. 'it's most beastly stuff.CHAPTER II dodged the spoon in Nana's mouth. when I was your age I took medicine without a murmur.' John said cheerily. to encourage Michael.' 'That is not the point. Wendy was quite puzzled. 'Be a man. sticky. Darling said bravely. 'Father first.' he called after her. 'Mr. father.' her father retorted. Michael.' he said. for giving me bottles to make me well.' and she was off before he could stop her.' 'I'm not frightened. it isn't fair. who was of a suspicious nature.' said John.' 'Father. with a vindictive politeness that was quite thrown away upon her. 'And it isn't fair. and she said. 'and I would take it now as an example to you.' Wendy cried.

George. Darling such a look. then. 'Bring in the whole world. as soon as Nana had gone into the bathroom. and they looked at him reproachfully as he poured the medicine into Nana's bowl.' The children wept. Darling slipped his behind his back. 'Let them. There was a yell of rage from Michael. one.' 'Well. Darling was frightfully ashamed of himself. just as if they did not admire him. ran to the medicine. Darling entreated him. 'Look here.' he roared.' he shouted. two. patting her. and there you go to be tied up this instant. 'Nana. and began lapping it.' she said. 'What do you mean by "O father"?' Mr. but I--I missed it. He felt he was a strong man again. then.CHAPTER II 'Neither am I frightened. and Wendy hugged Nana.' he said entreatingly. Michael?' 13 Wendy gave the words. Darling smelt the bowl. Darling whispered. but Mr. 'my wearing myself to the bone trying to be funny in this house. take it. But I refuse to allow that dog to lord it in my nursery for an hour longer. 'In vain. why.' It was dreadful the way all the three were looking at him. three. 'Why not both take it at the same time?' 'Certainly. why. 'What fun. 'the proper place for you is the yard.' Mrs. 'Coddle her! Nobody coddles me.' 'Well. Darling demanded. 'Much good. and they did not dare expose him when Mrs. good dog. and she will drink it. but he waved her back. 'Are you ready. why should I be coddled. Michael. but the children did not have their father's sense of humour. Mr.' said Mr. I meant to take mine. why!' 'George. in vain. and Nana ran to him beseechingly. 'I have just thought of a splendid joke.' Somehow they had got into the way of calling Liza the servants. Darling and Nana returned. Darling. 'Stop that row. I shall pour my medicine into Nana's bowl. not an angry look: she showed him the great red tear that makes us so sorry for noble dogs.' Wendy had a splendid idea. while she comforted her boys. 'not so loud. Then she gave Mr. and 'O father!' Wendy exclaimed. 'I have put a little milk into your bowl. 'O George. 'it's your medicine!' 'It was only a joke.' Mrs. 'That's right.' he answered recklessly.' he said bitterly. but he would not give in. Nana. Oh dear no! I am only the breadwinner.' he said. and crept into her kennel. thinking it is milk!' It was the colour of milk.' he said doubtfully. and Michael took his medicine.' Nana wagged her tail.' 'George.' . In a horrid silence Mrs.' And still Wendy hugged Nana. you take it. all of you. the servants will hear you. 'remember what I told you about that boy.' he cried.

after the night-lights are lit?' 'Nothing.' but Wendy was wiser. 'It is because he is chaining her up in the yard.' They were the last words she was to hear from him for a long time. and he asked. 27 was only a few yards distant. It is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now knows what it was. but they are so fond of fun that they were on his side to-night.' she said. and anxious to get the grown-ups out of the way. Darling there was a commotion in the firmament. She looked out. and little Michael flung his arms round her. and the smallest of all the stars in the Milky Way screamed out: 'Now. 'Oh. 'Mother. He was determined to show who was master in that house. and Father and Mother Darling picked their way over it deftly not to soil their shoes. Peter!' . already half asleep.CHAPTER II Alas. how I wish that I wasn't going to a party to-night!' Even Michael.' she said. nor that one or two of the smaller ones winked at her. which craved for admiration. but they may not take an active part in anything. 'they are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children. and when commands would not draw Nana from the kennel. knew that she was perturbed. little guessing what was about to happen. they must just look on for ever. the wretched father went and sat in the passage. he lured her out of it with honeyed words. 'that is her bark when she smells danger. They could hear Nana barking. 'Can anything harm us. with his knuckles to his eyes. Yet a nameless fear clutched at her heart and made her cry.' he cried. 'I'm glad of you. Darling had put the children to bed in unwonted silence and lit their night-lights. They were already the only persons in the street. Darling quivered and went to the window. He was ashamed of himself.' Danger! 'Are you sure.' She went from bed to bed singing enchantments over them. When he had tied her up in the back-yard. but she did not notice this. precious. and all the stars were watching them. he would not listen. and John whimpered. [Illustration: PETER FLEW IN] No. and Mrs. 'That is not Nana's unhappy bark. and yet he did it. It was securely fastened. So as soon as the door of 27 closed on Mr. as if curious to see what was to take place there. but the little ones still wonder. dragged her from the nursery. They are not really friendly to Peter. but there had been a slight fall of snow. They were crowding round the house. Stars are beautiful. 14 In the meantime Mrs. mother. who has a mischievous way of stealing up behind them and trying to blow them out.' Mrs. It was all owing to his too affectionate nature. Wendy?' 'Oh yes. and the night was peppered with stars. So the older ones have become glassy-eyed and seldom speak (winking is the star language). and seizing her roughly.

and bowed beautifully to him from the bed. A moment after the fairy's entrance the window was blown open by the breathing of the little stars. He had carried Tinker Bell part of the way. having learned the grand manner at fairy ceremonies. where are you?' She was in a jug for the moment. and tell me. You ordinary children can never hear it. and Peter jumped at the drawers. 'Wendy Moira Angela Darling. . 'Boy. It was not really a light. She was slightly inclined to embonpoint. and his hand was still messy with the fairy dust. it made this light by flashing about so quickly. but if you were to hear it you would know that you had heard it once before.' he called softly. but Wendy's light blinked and gave such a yawn that the other two yawned also.' she replied with some satisfaction. and before they could close their mouths all the three went out. and he rose and bowed to her beautifully. as kings toss ha'pence to the crowd. would join like drops of water. when brought near each other. and liking it extremely. and in his delight he forgot that he had shut Tinker Bell up in the drawer. but I don't believe he ever thought. do come out of that jug. 'Tinker Bell. and one cannot help wishing that they could have kept awake to see Peter. she had never been in a jug before. His sobs woke Wendy. and she sat up in bed.CHAPTER III 15 CHAPTER III COME AWAY. and in the time we have taken to say this. through which her figure could be seen to the best advantage. do you know where they put my shadow?' The loveliest tinkle as of golden bells answered him. it was that he and his shadow. scattering their contents to the floor with both hands. but that also failed. She meant the chest of drawers.' She was already sure that he must be Peter. It was a girl called Tinker Bell exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf. 'Tink. She was not alarmed to see a stranger crying on the nursery floor. after making sure that the children were asleep. and Mrs. and when they did not he was appalled. but when it came to rest for a second you saw it was a fairy.' she said courteously. but it did seem a comparatively short name. no longer than your hand. looking for Peter's shadow. A shudder passed through Peter. There was another light in the room now. cut low and square. Darling left the house the night-lights by the beds of the three children continued to burn clearly. They were awfully nice little night-lights. It is the fairy language. and he sat on the floor and cried. 'What's your name?' he asked. and Peter dropped in. rummaged the wardrobe and turned every pocket inside out. He tried to stick it on with soap from the bathroom. it has been in all the drawers in the nursery. In a moment he had recovered his shadow. If he thought at all. she was only pleasantly interested. She was much pleased. 'why are you crying?' Peter could be exceedingly polite also. Tink said that the shadow was in the big box. COME AWAY! For a moment after Mr. 'What is your name?' 'Peter Pan. but still growing. 'Oh. a thousand times brighter than the night-lights.

' she said. and she was frightfully sorry for Peter. 'Don't get any letters. I wasn't crying. no wonder you were crying.' Wendy said nicely. 'No. 'and then straight on till morning. 'is that what they put on the letters?' He wished she had not mentioned letters.' he said. For the first time he felt that perhaps it was a funny address. . 'O Peter. How exactly like a boy! Fortunately she knew at once what to do 'It must be sewn on. my little man. 'I shall sew it on for you. and she got out her housewife.' 'No.' Peter gulped. 'Second to the right. Wendy.' he said rather indignantly.' 'It has come off?' 'Yes. and sewed the shadow on to Peter's foot. He thought them very overrated persons. 'It doesn't matter. Not only had he no mother.' she said. I'm not. She asked where he lived. remembering that she was hostess. 'I was crying because I can't get my shadow to stick on.' Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor. 'You're dreadfully ignorant. just a little patronisingly. 'I wasn't crying about mothers.' But she was exulting in his ignorance.' said Peter. however.' 'What a funny address!' Peter had a sinking. but she could not help smiling when she saw that he had been trying to stick it on with soap. 'What's sewn?' he asked.' he said contemptuously. 'I'm so sorry.CHAPTER III 'Is that all?' 'Yes. 'But your mother gets letters?' 16 'Don't have a mother. though he was as tall as herself. and got out of bed and ran to him.' he said.' she said. but he had not the slightest desire to have one. He felt for the first time that it was a shortish name. felt at once that she was in the presence of a tragedy. 'I mean. 'How awful!' she said.' said Wendy Moira Angela.' he said rather sharply. it isn't. looking so draggled. Besides.

She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked. was indifferent to appearances. Alas. 'Do you really think so. and she peeped out of the bedclothes. But for the moment Wendy was shocked. I do. 'but I am quite young. Wendy. and so Wendy. but Peter did not know what she meant.' said he. and she sprang in the most dignified way into bed and covered her face with the blankets. though there were not very many inches. 17 'Perhaps I should have ironed it. it was like an examination paper that asks grammar. in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist.' he continued. To induce her to look up he pretended to be going away. and continued to dance. and he was now jumping about in the wildest glee. it is customary for them to ask each other's age. To put it with brutal frankness.' Peter said carelessly. 'oh. and she sat with him on the side of the bed. when what you want to be asked is Kings of England. When people in our set are introduced.' Still she would not look up. 'How clever I am. 'shall I give you a kiss?' and she replied with a slight primness. one girl is more use than twenty boys. 'I don't know. and not to hurt his feelings she gave him a thimble. so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before. Peter?' 'Yes. and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain round her neck. He thought he had attached the shadow himself.' Wendy said thoughtfully.' said Peter.' he crowed rapturously. 'Surely you know what a kiss is?' she asked.' he said. I shan't cry. 'and I'll get up again'. with frightful sarcasm. It was not really a happy question to ask him. 'A little!' she replied with hauteur. 'You conceit.' she exclaimed. 'Now.' she declared.' She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him. who always liked to do the correct thing. 'Wendy.' 'I think it's perfectly sweet of you. but Peter. 'If you please. I can't help crowing.' He really knew nothing about it.' he replied stiffly. when I'm pleased with myself.CHAPTER III 'I daresay it will hurt a little. and soon his shadow was behaving properly. 'if I am no use I can at least withdraw'. the cleverness of me!' It is humiliating to have to confess that this conceit of Peter was one of his most fascinating qualities. And he clenched his teeth and did not cry. but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand. aghast.' he replied uneasily. for it was afterwards to save her life.' she warned him. he had already forgotten that he owed his bliss to Wendy. who was already of opinion that he had never cried in his life. 'of course I did nothing!' 'You did a little.' Now Wendy was every inch a woman. though still a little creased. 'Wendy. 'don't withdraw. though she was listening eagerly. boylike. he had merely . 'I shall know when you give it to me. asked Peter how old he was. 'Oh. 'Wendy. and he held out his hand expectantly. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain. and when this failed he sat on the end of the bed and tapped her gently with his foot. there never was a cockier boy.

'I don't believe in fairies. do you?' and they both listened. he liked them on the whole. No one could ever look quite so merry as Peter. and she indicated in the charming drawing-room manner. getting in his way and so on. So I ran away to Kensington Gardens and lived a long long time among the fairies. Wendy. and Peter made a merry face. She poured out questions about them. 'Wendy.' he said a little impatiently.' 'Ought to be? Isn't there?' 'No.' He was extraordinarily agitated now. and the loveliest of gurgles was his laugh. 'O Peter. 'talking about what I was to be when I became a man. He had his first laugh still. 'Wendy. that he could sit nearer her. and indeed he sometimes had to give them a hiding. 'You see. and he thought it was because he had run away. when the first baby laughed for the first time. though Tink's face was still distorted with passion. Still. 'I want always to be a little boy and to have fun.' Tedious talk this.' he explained in a low voice. 'you don't mean to tell me that there is a fairy in this room!' 'She was here just now. but it was really because he knew fairies. 'there ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl. and he called Tink by name.' he whispered gleefully.' he went on good-naturedly.' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead. 'You don't hear her. for they were rather a nuisance to him.CHAPTER III suspicions. 'The only sound I hear.' she cried.' 'Well. that's the fairy language. 18 'It was because I heard father and mother. he thought they had now talked enough about fairies. Really.' She gave him a look of the most intense admiration. but interested. I ran away the day I was born. 'And so. and she flew about the nursery screaming with fury. but how could I know you were in the drawer?' Wendy was not listening to him. Wendy's heart went flutter with a sudden thrill. You see children know such a lot now. and it struck him that Tinker Bell was keeping very quiet. 'I do believe I shut her up in the drawer!' He let poor Tink out of the drawer. 'Peter. I think I hear her too. but being a stay-at-home she liked it.' said Wendy. but he said at a venture. they soon don't believe in fairies. and they all went skipping about.' he said. 'is like a tinkle of bells. 'I don't want ever to be a man. its laugh broke into a thousand pieces.' The sound came from the chest of drawers. Wendy had lived such a home life that to know fairies struck her as quite delightful. to his surprise. but for one moment Wendy saw the romantic figure come to rest on the cuckoo clock. and every time a child says. by a touch on her night-gown. . 'Of course I'm very sorry. that's Tink. 'O the lovely!' she cried.' he said. 'I can't think where she has gone to. and he told her about the beginning of fairies.' she cried.' he said with passion. clutching him. and that was the beginning of fairies. 'You shouldn't say such things.' Peter retorted. rising.' Wendy was quite surprised. 'if she would only stand still and let me see her!' 'They hardly ever stand still.

' 'Are none of the others girls?' 'Oh no. You see we have no female companionship. John continued to sleep so placidly on the floor that she allowed him to remain there. John there just despises us.' he said a little bitterly.' she said. Peter?' He had to translate. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expenses. 'And I know you meant to be kind.' 'What fun it must be!' 'Yes. I'm captain. because I am a gentleman and you are a lady. 'I thought you would want it back. 'I don't mean a kiss.' For the moment she had forgotten his ignorance about kisses.' 'Who are they?' 'They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way. relenting.' said Peter amiably. 'You silly ass. one kick. girls. This seemed to Wendy rather forward for a first meeting. 'so you may give me a kiss. and Wendy plied him with more questions.' They were together in the armchair by this time.' Peter explained apologetically. you know. 'but we are rather lonely. 'I think. 'she is called Tinker Bell because she mends the pots and kettles. 'this lady says she wishes you were her fairy. and offered to return her the thimble. and that she is my fairy.' This flattered Wendy immensely.' she said. 'She is quite a common fairy. However.CHAPTER III 'Tink.' To this Tink replied in these words. 'What does she say.' and disappeared into the bathroom. 'You know you can't be my fairy.' 19 He tried to argue with Tink. blankets and all. 'Oh dear.' said the nice Wendy.' Tinker Bell answered insolently. She says you are a great ugly girl.' For reply Peter rose and kicked John out of bed. 'If you don't live in Kensington Gardens now----' 'Sometimes I do still. are much too clever to fall out of their prams. and she told him with spirit that he was not captain in her house. I mean a thimble. 'She is not very polite.' said cunning Peter.' 'But where do you live mostly now?' 'With the lost boys.' 'What's that?' . 'it is perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls. Tink.

'What is it.' Peter was so glad that he rose from the floor. 'Now shall I give you a thimble?' 'If you wish to. and then Peter gripped her and began to draw her toward the window. 'Let me go!' she ordered him. so there can be no denying that it was she who first tempted him. Wendy?' 'It was exactly as if some one were pulling my hair. Tink?' 20 Again Tink replied. None of the lost boys know any stories. every time I give you a thimble. where they had been sitting. 'I know such lots of stories.' Peter could not understand why.' said Wendy excitedly. 'that was Cinderella. 'You silly ass.' She kissed him.CHAPTER III 'It's like this. 'why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories. He came back.' Wendy said. 'Oh. 'Where are you going?' she cried with misgiving.' 'Which story was it?' 'About the prince who couldn't find the lady who wore the glass slipper. and almost immediately she screeched.' Peter asked. but Wendy understood. Peter. 'Funny!' said Peter gravely. your mother was telling you such a lovely story.' 'How perfectly awful. 'To tell the other boys.' she entreated. and they lived happy ever after.' 'Peter.' And indeed Tink was darting about again. keeping her head erect this time. O Wendy. using offensive language. but did not. the stories I could tell to the boys!' she cried.' 'But why?' 'Why. .' said Wendy. and he found her. 'She says she will do that to you.' Those were her precise words.' 'Don't go. 'Do you know. Wendy. and there was a greedy look in his eyes now which ought to have alarmed her. 'You see I don't know any stories.' 'That must have been Tink. and hurried to the window. and she was just slightly disappointed when he admitted that he came to the nursery window not to see her but to listen to stories. Peter thimbled her. I never knew her so naughty before.

Wendy. 'I am up!' Michael was up by this time also.' 'Oo. 'Wendy.' he said. Think of mummy! Besides.' John rubbed his eyes. when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me saying funny things to the stars. 'you could tuck us in at night. the sly one.' How could she resist. how lovely to fly. would you teach John and Michael to fly too?' 'If you like. 'Then I shall get up. 'Peter.' 'Mermaids! With tails?' 'Such long tails. 'And you could darn our clothes. But he had no pity for her.' he said. I can't. 'Peter Pan has come and he is to teach us to fly. and then away we go.' he said. Of course he was on the floor already. and she ran to John and Michael and shook them. but Peter suddenly .' cried Wendy. 'to see a mermaid!' He had become frightfully cunning.CHAPTER III 'Wendy. there are mermaids.' 21 Of course she was very pleased to be asked. do come with me and tell the other boys.' 'Oh.' and her arms went out to him.' 'Oo!' 'And.' he said.' She was wriggling her body in distress.' 'I'll teach you. 'Of course it's awfully fascinating!' she cried.' 'Oh. and make pockets for us. 'Wake up. 'Oh dear. Wendy.' she cried. 'Hallo. It was quite as if she were trying to remain on the nursery floor. 'Wendy. 'Wendy.' 'I'll teach you how to jump on the wind's back.' he said indifferently. but she said. I can't fly. 'how we should all respect you.' 'Oo!' she exclaimed rapturously.' 'Oo!' 'None of us has ever been tucked in at night. None of us has any pockets. looking as sharp as a knife with six blades and a saw.

It was her silence they had heard. 'How topping!' said John and Michael. Peter. Mr. and had been drawn away from them. 'Yes. taking command for the only time throughout the whole adventure. but in custody of course. She thought the best way of getting a little quiet was to take Nana to the nursery for a moment. for she was mixing the Christmas puddings in the kitchen. and they tried it first from the floor and then from the beds. 22 'Out with the light! Hide! Quick!' cried John.' She tied the unhappy dog up again. how do you do it?' asked John. And thus when Liza entered. 'It's all right. Nana knew that kind of breathing. can you really fly?' Instead of troubling to answer him Peter flew round the room. Listen to their gentle breathing. and you could have sworn you heard its three wicked inmates breathing angelically as they slept. and Mrs. I am sweet!' said Peter. All was as still as salt. and then. 'You just think lovely wonderful thoughts. you suspicious brute.' Here Michael. They were really doing it artfully from behind the window curtains. 'they are perfectly safe. encouraged by his success. Darling knew at once that something terrible was happening in their nursery. rubbing his knee. I'm sweet. 'and they lift you up in the air. emerging from his hiding-place. oh. taking the mantelpiece on the way. He was quite a practical boy. 'How sweet!' cried Wendy.' John announced. Their faces assumed the awful craftiness of children listening for sounds from the grown-up world. Nana. stop! Everything was wrong. Do you think she cared whether she was whipped so long as her charges were safe? Unfortunately Liza returned to her puddings. oh. 'No more of it. won't master whip you. 'I warn you if you bark again I shall go straight for master and missus and bring them home from the party.' Peter explained. Then everything was right. and without a good-bye to their hostess they rushed into the street. who had been barking distressfully all the evening. But Liza was dense. Liza was in a bad temper. but they always went down instead of up. with a raisin still on her cheek. by Nana's absurd suspicions. her most expressive way of making a communication. 'I say. not sorry that Nana was in disgrace.CHAPTER III signed silence.' she said sternly. It looked delightfully easy. just. and she tried to drag herself out of Liza's clutches. very dark. pulling her out of the room. holding Nana. that was just what she wanted. aren't they? Every one of the little angels sound asleep in bed. We now return to the nursery. Nana. 'I say.' she said. but do you think Nana ceased to bark? Bring master and missus home from the party! Why. the nursery seemed quite its old self. strained and strained at the chain until at last she broke it. breathed so loudly that they were nearly detected. and Nana. forgetting his manners again. But it was now ten minutes since three scoundrels had been breathing behind the curtains.' . In another moment she had burst into the dining-room of 27 and flung up her paws to heaven. was quiet now. and Peter Pan can do a great deal in ten minutes. 'There. No. seeing that no help would come from her.

'couldn't you do it very slowly once?' 23 Peter did it both slowly and quickly. They ran into the middle of . and Peter did not know A from Z. lovely!' 'Oh. and immediately he was borne across the room.CHAPTER III He showed them again. Wendy!' cried John. Heavenly was Wendy's word. 'Now just wriggle your shoulders this way. and gallant Michael let go first. Of course Peter had been trifling with them. and he blew some on each of them. Peter gave Wendy a hand at first. Up and down they went.' John said. for no one can fly unless the fairy dust has been blown on him. Michael was ready: he wanted to see how long it took him to do a billion miles.' 'Pirates. they could not help kicking a little. 'I say. 'Mermaids!' said Peter again. 'and let go. 'You're so nippy at it. But Wendy hesitated. but soon he found he had not. as we have mentioned. but he did it. and Mrs. though even Michael was in words of two syllables. 'I flewed!' he screamed while still in mid-air.' It was just at this moment that Mr. 'let us go at once. and there is almost nothing so delicious as that. 'why shouldn't we all go out!' Of course it was to this that Peter had been luring them.' cried John.' They were all on their beds. one of his hands was messy with it. 'Oo!' 'And there are pirates. He did not quite mean to let go. 'Oh. Darling hurried with Nana out of 27. Not one of them could fly an inch. with the most superb results.' cried John. Tink was so indignant.' he said. John let go and met Wendy near the bathroom. seizing his Sunday hat. but had to desist. Fortunately. but their heads were bobbing against the ceiling. 'I've got it now. ripping!' 'Look at me!' 'Look at me!' 'Look at me!' They were not nearly so elegant as Peter. and round and round.

' he cried imperiously. but Mrs. [Illustration: THE BIRDS WERE FLOWN] . not on the floor but in the air. but there will be no story. and we shall all breathe a sigh of relief. and Mrs. Darling would have rushed upstairs. Mr. I solemnly promise that it will all come right in the end. Once again the stars blew the window open. Peter!' Then Peter knew that there was not a moment to lose. and. On the other hand. Will they reach the nursery in time? If so.CHAPTER III 24 the street to look up at the nursery window. and soared out at once into the night. they could see in shadow on the curtain three little figures in night attire circling round and round. yes. it was still shut. and most heart-gripping sight of all. if they are not in time. and that smallest star of all called out: 'Cave. They would have reached the nursery in time had it not been that the little stars were watching them. but the room was ablaze with light. followed by John and Michael and Wendy. how delightful for them. Darling and Nana rushed into the nursery too late. four! In a tremble they opened the street door. Mr. She even tried to make her heart go softly. The birds were flown. Not three figures. Darling signed to him to go softly. 'Come.

looking with horror at the cruel sea far below. . then the birds would follow and snatch it back. but this was. by merely lying on his back and floating. Sometimes it was dark and sometimes light. you see. or were they merely pretending. and catch Michael just before he could strike the sea. but he always waited till the last moment. so perhaps it was rather like showing off. nor even that there are other ways. Also he was fond of variety. was the way to the Neverland. when they were playing 'Follow my Leader. John thought it was their second sea and their third night. Eventually Peter would dive through the air. Peter would fly close to the water and touch each shark's tail in passing. Michael getting a start. When playing Follow my Leader. but even birds.' 'Then tell him to stop showing off. and they would all go chasing each other gaily for miles. and the sport that engrossed him one moment would suddenly cease to engage him. Peter had told Wendy.' That. 'Do be more polite to him. Peter. partly at least. But how long ago? They were flying over the sea before this thought began to disturb Wendy seriously. and so great were the delights of flying that they wasted time circling round church spires or any other tall objects on the way that took their fancy. They could not follow him in this with much success. could not have sighted it with these instructions. as Michael suddenly dropped like a stone. carrying maps and consulting them at windy corners. because Peter had such a jolly new way of feeding them? His way was to pursue birds who had food in their mouths suitable for humans and snatch it from them. and straight on till morning. parting at last with mutual expressions of good-will. 'Save him. 'There he goes again!' he would cry gleefully. and it was lovely the way he did it. they were sleepy. so there was always the possibility that the next time you fell he would let you go. and that was a danger. and you felt it was his cleverness that interested him and not the saving of human life. save him!' cried Wendy. for the moment they popped off.CHAPTER IV 25 CHAPTER IV THE FLIGHT 'Second to the right. just said anything that came into his head. John and Michael raced. Not so long ago. Did they really feel hungry at times. The awful thing was that Peter thought this funny.' Wendy whispered to John. Certainly they did not pretend to be sleepy. just as in the street you may run your finger along an iron railing. especially as he kept looking behind to see how many tails they missed. He could sleep in the air without falling.' said John. because he was so light that if you got behind him and blew he went faster. and now they were very cold and again too warm. They recalled with contempt that not so long ago they had thought themselves fine fellows for being able to fly round a room. But Wendy noticed with gentle concern that Peter did not seem to know that this was rather an odd way of getting your bread and butter. down they fell. At first his companions trusted him implicitly.

" and then I'll remember. John. they had been going pretty straight all the time. she would have had a bandage round Michael's forehead by this time. see how we bump against clouds and things if he is not near to give us a hand. 'how can we expect that he will go on remembering us?' Indeed. Wendy. 'And if he forgets them.' 'After the twentieth try. and soon he would cry in his captain voice. Wendy was sure of it.' Wendy reminded him. 'We get off here. at least not well. but on the whole rollicking. She saw recognition come into his eyes as he was about to pass them the time of day and go on. He was very sorry. It was really rather irritating to children who had never seen a mermaid.' she said agitatedly. and yet not be able to say for certain what had been happening. He could go so much faster than they that he would suddenly shoot out of sight. 'And who is to get food for us.' Wendy argued. what is more. Peter had forgotten to show them how to stop. and so in time they must come back to their own window.' Of course this was rather unsatisfactory. all they had to do was to go straight on. 'I say. John?' 'I nipped a bit out of that eagle's mouth pretty neatly. or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him. just keep on saying "I'm Wendy. We should have to go on. once even she had to tell him her name. for we don't know how to stop.' he whispered to her.' Michael said. but Peter tired quickly of sleeping. to make amends he showed them how to lie out flat on a strong wind that was going their way. for the world was round. they drew near the Neverland. 'How could we ever find our way back without him?' 'Well. They could now fly strongly. 'always if you see me forgetting you. It is only thus that any one may sight those magic shores. not perhaps so much owing to the guidance of Peter or Tink as because the island was out looking for them. 'What could we do if he were to leave us?' 'We could go back. Indeed they would have slept longer. . so quickly. Wendy. we could go on. and this was such a pleasant change that they tried it several times and found they could sleep thus with security.' Wendy impressed on her brothers. 'That is the awful thing.' So with occasional tiffs. the more certainly did they bump into it. 'I'm Wendy. but he had already forgotten what it was. for after many moons they did reach it.' said John. and. 'And even though we became good at picking up food. to have some adventure in which they had no share. though they still kicked far too much. and they felt rather lonely up there by themselves.' This was true. Peter was not with them for the moment. then. the more they tried to avoid it. He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star.' Indeed they were constantly bumping.CHAPTER IV 'You must be nice to him. However. but if they saw a cloud in front of them. sometimes when he returned he did not remember them. If Nana had been with them. 26 John said that if the worst came to the worst.

' 'Wendy. Yes. who wanted them to be sure of their way before leaving them for the night. they all recognised it at once. John. and it was getting darker every moment. and there were no night-lights. Strange to say.' 'That's her. Wendy. 'John. and I'll tell you by the way the smoke curls whether they are on the war-path. for have I not told you that anon fear fell upon them? It came as the arrows went. You were quite glad that the night-lights were in. Michael. with her sides stove in. look at the turtles burying their eggs in the sand. I say. Why.' 'John.' 'Where? Show me. not as something long dreamt of and seen at last. but if he wanted to lord it over them his triumph was at hand. and that the Neverland was all make-believe. there's the lagoon.' 'I see now.' 27 Indeed a million golden arrows were pointing out the island to the children. I do believe that's your little whelp.' said Peter calmly. I see your flamingo with the broken leg. where?' 'Where all the arrows are pointing. and above all.' 'Look. we burned your boat. I see the smoke of the redskin camp. but it was real now. the roar of the beasts of prey was quite different now. In the old days at home the Neverland had always begun to look a little dark and threatening by bedtime. all directed by their friend the sun.' 'There.' 'I say. there's your cave.' 'No. You even liked Nana to say that this was just the mantelpiece over here.CHAPTER IV 'There it is. Then unexplored patches arose in it and spread. and where was Nana? . they are on the war-path right enough. and until fear fell upon them they hailed it. it isn't. what's that in the brushwood?' 'It's a wolf with her whelps. [Illustration: "LET HIM KEEP WHO CAN"] Wendy and John and Michael stood on tiptoe in the air to get their first sight of the island. just across the Mysterious River. leaving the island in gloom. Of course the Neverland had been make-believe in those days. at any rate.' 'There's my boat. black shadows moved about in them. 'Where. but as a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays. John.' Peter was a little annoyed with them for knowing so much. you lost the certainty that you would win. John.

CHAPTER IV 28 They had been flying apart. he went on again. but now he wakened her and sent her on in front. 'They don't want us to land. 'Who are they?' Wendy whispered. His careless manner had gone at last. 'Jas.' 'Suppose. He asked if there were many pirates on the island just now. 'I do.' Then indeed Michael began to cry. 'What kind of adventure?' he asked cautiously. 'or would you like to have your tea first?' Wendy said 'tea first' quickly. listening intently with his hand to his ear. his eyes were sparkling. and Peter said he had never known so many. . and even John could speak in gulps only. 'Do you want an adventure now. yet their progress had become slow and laboured.' he said casually to John. exactly as if they were pushing their way through hostile forces. but they huddled close to Peter now. They were now over the fearsome island. flying so low that sometimes a tree grazed their feet. and Michael pressed her hand in gratitude. That's the way I always do.' John said after a long pause. 'Who is captain now?' 'Hook.' Peter told him. 'You don't think I would kill him while he was sleeping! I would wake him first. Having done these things.' John said a little huskily. and his face became very stern as he said that hated word.' but decided to have tea first. Hook?' 'Ay. and a tingle went through them every time they touched his body. Tinker Bell had been asleep on his shoulder. 'If you like. Sometimes they hung in the air until Peter had beaten on it with his fists. Sometimes he poised himself in the air. But he could not or would not say.' answered Peter. His courage was almost appalling. Nothing horrid was visible in the air. but the braver John hesitated.' John said 'how ripping. we'll go down and kill him. 'he were to wake up. and then kill him. for they knew Hook's reputation. 'There's a pirate asleep in the pampas just beneath us. and again he would stare down with eyes so bright that they seemed to bore two holes to earth.' 'I say! Do you kill many?' 'Tons.' Peter spoke indignantly.' 'I don't see him.' he explained. shuddering.

you must leave him to me. can't he just!' 'Left-hander?' 'He has an iron hook instead of a right hand. 'that every boy who serves under me has to promise. 'What is he like? Is he big?' 'He is not so big as he was. 'It is this. and so must you.' 'Oh. 'He is the worst of them all."' 'Ay. For the moment they were feeling less eerie.' said Peter.' John whispered huskily.' Peter continued.' said Peter sharply.' 'I promise.CHAPTER IV 'He was Blackbeard's bo'sun. John. ay. because Tink was flying with them.' 'Then he can't fight now?' 'Oh.' 'That's him.' said Peter. and he claws with it.' 'There is one thing. me. what bit?' 'His right hand.' 'You!' 'Yes.' 'Claws!' 'I say.' John paled.' 'How do you mean?' 'I cut off a bit of him. "Ay. 'Yes. if we meet Hook in open fight. sir. all right' 'But.' John said loyally.' 'Say. He is the only man of whom Barbecue was afraid. sir. ay. I say. and in her light they could 29 . 'I wasn't meaning to be disrespectful.

'Then tell her. 'we could carry her in it. 'to put out her light. which Peter explained was the wild beasts drinking at the ford. 'these are the only two things worth doing. though she had hoped to be carried by Peter. John's hat! Tink agreed to travel by hat if it was carried in the hand.' growled John. Unfortunately she could not fly so slowly as they. You don't think I would send her away all by herself when she is frightened!' For a moment the circle of light was broken.' the three cried simultaneously.' 'Then tell her to sleep at once. as we shall see.' Wendy begged.' 'The big gun?' 'Yes. In the black topper the light was completely hidden. until Peter pointed out the drawback. and something gave Peter a loving little pinch.' he said.' 'Wendy!' 'John!' 'Michael!' 'Tell her to go away at once. He had a happy idea. 'and she is rather frightened. 'If only one of us had a pocket. . Even these noises ceased. led to mischief.' Here he got a pinch. It just goes out of itself when she falls asleep. And of course they must see her light. Presently Wendy took the hat. 'that the pirates sighted us before the darkness came. 'If only something would make a sound!' he cried. same as the stars.' However. 30 'She thinks we have lost the way. It was the stillest silence they had ever known. and got Long Tom out.' John almost ordered.' he replied stiffly. John carried it. and so she had to go round and round them in a circle in which they moved as in a halo. It is the only other thing fairies can't do. and again by a rasping sound that might have been the branches of trees rubbing together. for Tinker Bell hated to be under an obligation to Wendy. broken once by a distant lapping. and this. Wendy quite liked it. they had set off in such a hurry that there was not a pocket between the four of them. because John said it struck against his knee as he flew. but he refused.' 'She can't put it out. and if they guess we are near it they are sure to let fly.CHAPTER IV distinguish each other. To Michael the loneliness was dreadful. but not a loving one.' 'Seems to me. 'She tells me. 'She can't sleep except when she's sleepy. but he said it was the redskins sharpening their knives.' Peter said. That is about the only thing fairies can't do. and they flew on in silence. Peter.

and she flew back and forward. the air was rent by the most tremendous crash he had ever heard. however. but she at once popped out of the hat and began to lure Wendy to her destruction. 'Are you shot?' John whispered tremulously. 'Where are they. She did not yet know that Tink hated her with the fierce hatred of a very woman. It would have been well for Wendy if at that moment she had dropped the hat. 'I haven't tried yet. because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.' Michael whispered back. on the other hand. Tink was not all bad: or. she followed Tink to her doom. only it must be a complete change. while Wendy was blown upwards with no companion but Tinker Bell. . however. and all will be well. sometimes she was all good. allowed to change. rather. plainly meaning 'Follow me. John and Michael found themselves alone in the darkness.CHAPTER IV As if in answer to his request. 31 The roar of it echoed through the mountains. I don't know whether the idea came suddenly to Tink. had been carried by the wind of the shot far out to sea. she was all bad just now. where are they. And so. but it sounded kind. They are. When at last the heavens were steady again. What she said in her lovely tinkle Wendy could not of course understand. and the echoes seemed to cry savagely. The pirates had fired Long Tom at them. or whether she had planned it on the way. and now staggering in her flight. Peter. and Michael without knowing how to float was floating. John was treading the air mechanically. and got only mocking echoes in reply. but.' What else could poor Wendy do? She called to Peter and John and Michael. where are they?' Thus sharply did the terrified three learn the difference between an island of make-believe and the same island come true. At present she was full of jealousy of Wendy. Fairies have to be one thing or the other. bewildered. We know now that no one had been hit. and I believe some of it was bad words.

will plunge you in deepest woe. and did their best to give satisfaction by keeping close together in an apologetic sort of way. so that he was quite the humblest of the boys. The fairies take an hour longer in the morning. the pirates were out looking for the lost boys. who cuts whistles out of the trees and dances ecstatically to his own tunes. not the least brave but the most unfortunate of all that gallant band. and he passes by. All wanted blood except the boys. the beasts attend to their young. but instead of souring his nature had sweetened it. if accepted. The boys on the island vary. the redskins feed heavily for six days and nights. in numbers. but not a long pause. Poor kind Tootles. Last come the Twins. who cannot be described because we should be sure to be describing the wrong one. which is against the rules. The first to pass is Tootles. Take care lest an adventure is now offered you. and the beasts were out looking for the redskins. and it is always the same dreadful song: . and when they seem to be growing up. each with his hand on his dagger. so these two were always vague about themselves. and she thinks you the most easily tricked of the boys. He had been in fewer adventures than any of them. but to-night were out to greet their captain. and so often has he had to deliver up his person when Peter said sternly. The lost boys were out looking for Peter. In his absence things are usually quiet on the island. of course. They were going round and round the island. But with the coming of Peter. 'Ware Tinker Bell. followed by Slightly. This ill-luck had given a gentle melancholy to his countenance. you would hear the whole island seething with life. with their manners and customs. the redskins were out looking for the pirates. and then when he returned the others would be sweeping up the blood. all would be quiet. they are all under way again: if you put your ear to the ground now. Tootles. We hear them before they are seen. Peter thins them out. counting the twins as two. and this has given his nose an offensive tilt. the gay and debonair. Let us pretend to lie here among the sugar-cane and watch them as they steal by in single file. who liked it as a rule. there is danger in the air for you to-night. because the big things constantly happened just when he had stepped round the corner. according as they get killed and so on. Slightly is the most conceited of the boys.CHAPTER V 32 CHAPTER V THE ISLAND COME TRUE Feeling that Peter was on his way back. and they wear the skins of bears slain by themselves. 'Stand forth the one who did this thing. the fairy Tink who is bent on mischief this night is looking for a tool. come the pirates on their track. and his band were not allowed to know anything he did not know. he is a pickle. who hates lethargy. We ought to use the pluperfect and say wakened. He thinks he remembers the days before he was lost. but at this time there were six of them. he would take the opportunity of going off to gather a few sticks for firewood. Curly is fourth. but we are not really on the island. for things go briskly on the island. The boys vanish in the gloom. which. biting his knuckles. They have therefore become very sure-footed. Peter never quite knew what twins were. but they did not meet because all were going at the same rate. in which they are so round and furry that when they fall they roll. Next comes Nibs. the Neverland had again woke into life. Would that he could hear us. and after a pause. On this evening the chief forces of the island were disposed as follows.' that now at the command he stands forth automatically whether he has done it or not. They are forbidden by Peter to look in the least like him. but woke is better and was always used by Peter. and when pirates and lost boys meet they merely bite their thumbs at each other.

but in time they will work this off. and their naked bodies gleam with paint and oil. He lay at his ease in a rough chariot drawn and propelled by his men. and Robt. She is the most beautiful of dusky Dianas and the belle of the Piccaninnies. which was thick and of an unusual colour. the blackest and largest jewel in that dark setting. heave to. there is not a brave who would not have the wayward thing to wife. a great and motley procession: lions. The redskins disappear as they have come like shadows. the hook shoots forth. said to be Black Murphy's brother (but this was never proved). bears. then the body is kicked aside. there is a tearing sound and one screech. and as dogs they obeyed him. pieces of eight in his ears as ornaments. yo ho. the same Bill Jukes who got six dozen on the Walrus from Flint before he would drop the bag of moidores. no less than the distinction of his demeanour. and in his mouth he had a holder of his own contrivance which enabled him to smoke two cigars at once. a brave of so many scalps that in his present position they somewhat impede his progress. for these are the Piccaninny tribe. Mullins and Alf Mason and many another ruffian long known and feared on the Spanish Main. proudly erect. and Noodler. coquettish.. reclined James Hook. stealing noiselessly down the war-path. Bringing up the rear. and was the only Nonconformist in Hook's crew. save when he was plunging his hook into you. which is not visible to inexperienced eyes. Skylights will do. or as he wrote himself. and the elegance of his diction. But undoubtedly the grimmest part of him was his iron claw. That gigantic black behind him has had many names since he dropped the one with which dusky mothers still terrify their children on the banks of the Guadjo-mo. The fact is that they are all a little fat just now after the heavy gorging. In the midst of them. once an usher in a public school and still dainty in his ways of killing. even when he was swearing. The only sound to be heard is their somewhat heavy breathing. to show Hook's method. and gave a singularly threatening expression to his handsome countenance. and the innumerable smaller savage things that flee from them. for . and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons. an oddly genial man who stabbed. and Cookson. on all fours. He has not even taken the cigars from his mouth. Which will win? On the trail of the pirates. and his hair was dressed in long curls. Here is Bill Jukes. without offence. And if we're parted by a shot We're sure to meet below!' 33 A more villainous-looking lot never hung in a row on Execution dock. As they pass. a princess in her own right. ruffling his lace collar. which is probably the truest test of breeding. Such is the terrible man against whom Peter Pan is pitted. and instead of a right hand he had the iron hook with which ever and anon he encouraged them to increase their pace. it constitutes their chief danger.CHAPTER V 'Avast belay. comes Tiger Lily. and the Irish bo'sun Smee. it was said of him that the only thing he shied at was the sight of his own blood. having heard it said in some earlier period of his career that he bore a strange resemblance to the ill-fated Stuarts. something of the grand seigneur still clung to him. His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not. which at a little distance looked like black candles. every inch of him tattooed. Let us now kill a pirate. every one of them with his eyes peeled. In person he was cadaverous and blackavized. Skylights lurches clumsily against him. For the moment. A-pirating we go. who cut his name in letters of blood on the back of the governor of the prison at Gao. Strung around them are scalps. and the pirates pass on. so to speak. cold and amorous by turns. and Gentleman Starkey. They carry tomahawks and knives. and I have been told that he was a raconteur of repute. of boys as well as of pirates. is Great Big Little Panther. at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly. however. but she staves off the altar with a hatchet. In manner. and soon their place is taken by the beasts. and of a profound melancholy. Observe how they pass over fallen twigs without making the slightest noise. Hook. showed him one of a different caste from his crew. his great arms bare. A man of indomitable courage. and Skylights (Morgan's Skylights). whose hands were fixed on backwards. come the redskins. In dress he somewhat aped the attire associated with the name of Charles II. ever and again with his head to the ground listening. In the van. tigers. He was never more sinister than when he was most polite. Here. As dogs this terrible man treated and addressed them. the place of greatest danger. of whom it is said he was the only man that the Sea-Cook feared. Jas. a little in advance. is the handsome Italian Cecco. so that he even ripped you up with an air.

a hempen rope. but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind. the pirate life. 34 The crocodile passes. for which Hook has been searching in vain these many moons. each having in its hollow trunk a hole as large as a boy. You or I. yo ho. though in height and still more in breadth they were all larger than their captain.CHAPTER V every kind of beast. but they heard it. 'All I remember about my mother. the subject being forbidden by him as silly. When they have passed. they are hungry to-night. in the tone that prevented his being a general favourite. the quick eye of Starkey sighted Nibs disappearing through the wood. and at once his pistol flashed out. not so much as a pile of brushwood. and. live cheek by jowl on the favoured island. Will he find it to-night? As the pirates advanced. let go." I don't know what a cheque-book is. But how have they reached it? for there is no entrance to be seen. however. but I should just love to give my mother one. I will tell you where they are. But an iron claw gripped his shoulder. and you may note that there are here seven large trees. would have heard nothing. Look closely.' Slightly said. 'I do wish Peter would come back. Rabbits could not have disappeared more quickly. 'I am the only one who is not afraid of the pirates. This shows how real the island was. comes the last figure of all. and tell us whether he has heard anything more about Cinderella. With the exception of Nibs. but soon the boys appear again. 'is that she often said to father. These are the seven entrances to the home under the ground. a gigantic crocodile.' every one of them said nervously. and it was the grim song: 'Yo ho. 'Put back that pistol first. The flag o' skull and bones. writhing.' Nibs told them. And hey for Davy Jones. and Tootles was confident that his mother must have been very like her. close to their underground home.' While they talked they heard a distant sound. They flung themselves down on the sward. for he added hastily. more particularly. "Oh. The first to fall out of the moving circle was the boys. All are keeping a sharp look-out in front.' he cried. they are already in their home under the ground. not being wild things of the woods. It was only in Peter's absence that they could speak of mothers.' At once the lost boys--but where are they? They are no longer there. A merry hour. Their tongues are hanging out. all the man-eaters. for the procession must continue indefinitely until one of the parties stops or changes its pace. but perhaps some distant sound disturbed him. 'but I wish he would come back. which if removed would disclose the mouth of a cave. who has darted away to reconnoitre. how I wish I had a cheque-book of my own. a very delightful residence of which we shall see a good deal presently. We shall see for whom she is looking presently. Now for the first time we hear the voice of Hook. It was a black voice. 'Captain. Then quickly they will be on top of each other.' it said .' They talked of Cinderella.

' 'Ay. 'that crocodile would have had me before this. 'It was one of those boys you hate.' said Smee. Hook heaved a heavy sigh.' asked pathetic Smee.' Hook barked petulantly. for combing the hair and other homely uses. Peter Pan.' said Smee. because he wriggled it in the wound. Oh. and so before it can reach me I hear the tick and bolt.' 'And yet.' Hook wetted his dry lips. and in a moment their captain and Smee were alone. and I want to mischief all the seven. 'He is only one.' Hook corrected him. I could have shot him dead.' The pirates disappeared among the trees.' 'Not of crocodiles.' He lowered his voice. captain. who was rather stupid. 'Not now. but in a hollow way. 'Peter flung my arm.' the captain answered.' said Smee. Anon he caught the word Peter. 'the clock will run down. wincing. 'to a crocodile that happened to be passing by. did not know in the least.' 'I want no such compliments. 'It liked my arm so much. Smee.' he said.' and he cast a look of pride upon his iron hand and one of scorn upon the other.' He sat down on a large mushroom. and now there was a quiver in his voice.' Hook said darkly. but what it was all about Smee. For instance. 'Some day. perhaps it was because of the soft beauty of the evening. but by a lucky chance it swallowed a clock which goes tick tick inside it.' said Smee. Do you want to lose your scalp?' 35 'Shall I after him. after killing. He spoke long and earnestly. Then again he frowned. 'Johnny's a silent fellow. but there came over him a desire to confide to his faithful bo'sun the story of his life. 'and tickle him with Johnny Corkscrew?' Smee had pleasant names for everything. 'Smee. 'if I was a mother I would pray to have my children born with this instead of that. 'Most of all. 'noticed your strange dread of crocodiles.' He laughed.' he reminded Hook. I'll tear him.' 'Ay.' 'I have often. Smee. 'that's the fear that haunts me.' he said huskily.CHAPTER V threateningly.' Hook was saying passionately. 'I have often heard you say that hook was worth a score of hands. One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. 'I want their captain. 'I want Peter Pan. 'Twas he cut off my arm. 'but of that one crocodile. Scatter and look for them.' He brandished the hook threateningly. who first gave the brute its taste for me. and the sound would have brought Tiger Lily's redskins upon us. and his cutlass was Johnny Corkscrew. it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon. from sea to sea and from land to land. and I know not why it was. licking its lips for the rest of me.' 'In a way.' . 'it's a sort of compliment. 'I've waited long to shake his hand with this. that it has followed me ever since. and then he'll get you.' he said. 'Ay.

captain. 'Aha. for so safe did the boys feel in their hiding-place that they were gaily chattering. they tried to pull it up. There can be but one room below. prettiest policy ever I heard of. It was the custom of the boys to stop it with a mushroom when enemies were in the neighbourhood. pursued by a pack of wolves. . It was at first such a tiny sound that a leaf might have fallen on it and smothered it. 'and cook a large rich cake of a jolly thickness with green sugar on it. followed by his bo'sun. but they never finished it. These boys are always swimming about there.' Smee had listened with growing admiration. Nought's left upon your bones when you Have shaken claws with Cook. 'A chimney!' they both exclaimed.' he cried eagerly. who were now on the trail of the other pirates. because.' They began the verse. but the dangers of the night were not yet over. fidgeting with Johnny Corkscrew. 'It's the wickedest. 'To return to the ship. 'Unrip your plan. and in their exultation they danced and sang: 'Avast. They looked around them and noted the holes in the seven trees. The silly moles had not the sense to see that they did not need a door apiece. the baying of them was horrible. It was indeed the crocodile. when I appear. not hollow laughter now.' He burst into laughter. Once more the boys emerged into the open.' he cried. It had passed the redskins. falling on the ground. for it had no root. smoke began at once to ascend. 'Smee. they will die. There came also children's voices. and it came away at once in their hands. but honest laughter. playing with the mermaids. By fear they're overtook. having no mother. Hook stood shuddering. and then replaced the mushroom. and bounded away. 'Save me.' He jumped up. They had indeed discovered the chimney of the home under the ground. and at last a curdling smile lit up his swarthy face. 'Odds bobs. The tongues of the pursuers were hanging out.' 36 They examined the mushroom. Tick tick tick tick. 'Did you hear them say Peter Pan's from home?' Smee whispered. but as it came nearer it was more distinct. belay. Hook nodded. for presently Nibs rushed breathless into their midst. for another sound broke in and stilled them. It oozed on after Hook.' Hook replied slowly through his teeth. they don't know how dangerous 'tis to eat rich damp cake. The pirates looked at each other. save me!' cried Nibs. They will find the cake and they will gobble it up. Stranger still. which was of a size and solidity unknown on the mainland.' he said.' he gasped. The pirates listened grimly. That shows they have no mother.CHAPTER V Since sitting down he had felt curiously warm. one foot in the air. hammer and tongs I'm burning. 'this seat is hot. for there is but one chimney. He stood for a long time lost in thought. Smee had been waiting for it. We will leave the cake on the shore of the mermaids' lagoon. Not only smoke came out of it. 'The crocodile.

and was darting at her victim from every direction. Tink.' cried the wondering boys. as they gathered round him eagerly.' Tootles excitedly fitted the arrow to his bow. 'Let us do what Peter would do. and they could hear her plaintive cry. do you think?' 'I don't know. 'Quick. "Poor Wendy."' 'Poor Wendy?' 'I remember. and as it flies it moans. But it was not wolves he saw. Tink's reply rang out: 'Peter wants you to shoot the Wendy. and Tink noted it. the wolves dropped their tails and fled. pointing to Wendy in the heavens. quick. The next moment is the long one. it comes.' 'See. 'but it looks so weary. 'there are birds called Wendies. but victory came quickly.' It was not in their nature to question when Peter ordered.CHAPTER V 'But what can we do. Now Nibs rose from the ground.' And then. and as one boy they bent and looked through their legs. 'Out of the way. 'What would Peter do?' they cried simultaneously. and rubbed her little hands. The jealous fairy had now cast off all disguise of friendship.' All but Tootles popped down their trees. and the others thought that his staring eyes still saw the wolves. He had a bow and arrow with him.' he cried. 'I have seen a wonderfuller thing. 'Hullo.' cried Curly. awestruck. 'Quick.' he shouted.' 37 It is quite the most successful way of defying wolves. Almost in the same breath they added. Wendy was now almost overhead. pinching savagely each time she touched.' 'What kind of a bird. It is flying this way. and Wendy fluttered to the ground with an arrow in her breast. what can we do?' It was a high compliment to Peter that at that dire moment their thoughts turned to him. 'A great white bird. bows and arrows. Tink. Tootles.' she screamed. 'Peter would look at them through his legs. for as the boys advanced upon them in this terrible attitude. and then he fired.' Nibs said. .' said Slightly instantly. 'Peter will be so pleased. 'Let us do what Peter wishes. But more distinct came the shrill voice of Tinker Bell.' cried the simple boys.

'This is no bird. and Peter dropped in front of them. and mechanically they saluted. and as they looked a terrible silence fell upon the wood. 'Peter was bringing her to us. 'A lady to take care of us at last. 'Hide her. Slightly was the first to speak. I said. 'I must.' he said. "Pretty mother. They had crowded round Wendy. from their trees.' he said in a scared voice. but sorrier for themselves.' They were sorry for him. for it was always thus that he signalled his return. But Tootles stood aloof.' he cried. 'Don't go.' Curly said. and then again was silence. 'When ladies used to come to me in dreams. They all whipped off their caps. The others did not hear her. He frowned. but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before.' Overhead Tinker Bell shouted 'Silly ass!' and darted into hiding.CHAPTER VI 38 CHAPTER VI THE LITTLE HOUSE Foolish Tootles was standing like a conqueror over Wendy's body when the other boys sprang.' he said hotly.' He threw himself sorrowfully on the ground. armed. Again came that ringing crow. 'Greeting.' they whispered. 'I am so afraid of Peter. shaking.' Nibs said hoarsely.' he cried proudly.' It was at this tragic moment that they heard a sound which made the heart of every one of them rise to his mouth. 'I think it must be a lady. 'And we have killed her. reflecting. and fell a-trembling. I shot her. They heard Peter crow. 'and you have killed her.' said one of the twins. If Wendy's heart had been beating they would all have heard it. 'Now I see.' they called in pity. and gathered hastily around Wendy. 'I have shot the Wendy. 'I did it. 'why do you not cheer?' . 'I am back. Peter will be so pleased with me." But when at last she really came. and when he took a step nearer them they turned from him. 'You are too late.' he answered. boys. pretty mother. Tootles' face was very white.' He moved slowly away.' 'A lady?' said Tootles. 'Peter!' they cried.

"' he whispered. and twice did his hand fall. 'Mine. He overlooked it in his haste to tell the glorious tidings. Peter. 'Peter. You remember she had put it on a chain that she wore round her neck. 'She lives. 'the Wendy lady.' he said with awe. 'Strike.' Twice did Peter raise the arrow. 'She is dead. see.' one voice said. and let him see. 'Whose arrow?' he demanded sternly. 'The Wendy lady lives. but the cheers would not come. 'I think she said "Poor Tootles. 'See.' Peter said. 'the arrow struck against this. He took it from her heart and faced his band.' he said uncomfortably.' 'Ah me. 'It is she. boys.' 39 Tootles rose. who fortunately looked at Wendy. 'She flew this way.' Still no sound. They would all have been glad to follow if he had done this. 'I cannot strike.' He thought of hopping off in a comic sort of way till he was out of sight of her. Slightly cried instantly. and when the others would still have hidden her he said.' So they all stood back.' All looked at him in wonder.' he cried. Wendy had raised her arm. Peter. 'I will show her to you'. Nibs bent over her and listened reverently. and he raised the arrow to use it as a dagger.' said Tootles on his knees. twins. 'Oh.' he said firmly. He bared his breast. dastard hand.' Peter said briefly. 'Great news.' he said quietly. 'there is something stays my hand. It has saved her life. 'Back. and after he had looked for a little time he did not know what to do next. But there was the arrow.' Wonderful to relate. and another said. 'Perhaps she is frightened at being dead.' he cried.CHAPTER VI They opened their mouths. let Peter see. except a little thud from Tootles as he dropped on his knees. 'strike true. save Nibs. becoming troubled.' Then Peter knelt beside her and found his button. 'Have you not seen her?' asked Peter. 'Oh. 'I have brought at last a mother for you all. her arm. mournful day. It is the kiss I gave her. Tootles did not flinch.' . and then never going near the spot any more.' he said.

and while they were at it. never wanted to pinch her so much. 'Quick.' 'Yes.' Michael would cry. no. Peter.' said Curly.' They were all delighted. 'Ay. there is.' 40 Peter did not hear him. 'It is true. He was very busy at the moment measuring Wendy with his feet to see how large a house she would need. but from overhead came a wailing note.' Slightly interposed quickly. 'Listen to Tink.' Slightly admitted. 'John. .' Peter said. up for firewood. 'Well.' 'Ay.' Do you think Tinker Bell was grateful to Wendy for raising her arm? Oh dear no. Ay. not for ever.' said Slightly.' 'No. and almost never had they seen him look so stern. woke up.' You may be sure they were very relieved to find Peter. 'Listen. Of course he meant to leave room for chairs and a table. who should appear but John and Michael.' Tootles said. 'she will die. but he brushed her off.' Then they had to tell Peter of Tink's crime. John and Michael watched him. so that he could show her the mermaids. It would not be sufficiently respectful. stopped. 'I am your friend no more. Begone from me for ever. though he had quite forgotten them. that's a kiss. Where is Nana.' She flew on to his shoulder and pleaded. 'is what I was thinking.' he ordered them.' Curly suggested. He was begging Wendy to get better quickly. 'Hullo.CHAPTER VI 'I remember kisses. Gut our house. 'Hullo. As they dragged along the ground they fell asleep standing. But what to do with Wendy in her present delicate state of health? 'Let us carry her down into the house. and mother?' And then John would rub his eyes and mutter. 'but there is no way out. often cuffed them. Fairies indeed are strange. 'let me see it. Not until Wendy again raised her arm did he relent sufficiently to say. moved another step and slept again. Of course she could not answer yet. down for bedding. 'that is what one does with ladies.' cried Peter. who understood them best. but for a whole week.' 'That. 'bring me each of you the best of what we have.' said Slightly.' replied Peter amicably. 'Let us build a little house round her.' he cried.' In a moment they were as busy as tailors the night before a wedding. we did fly. John. They skurried this way and that. 'she is crying because the Wendy lives. John. 'wake up. Be sharp. 'you must not touch her. she will die. and Peter.' 'But if she lies there. Tinker Bell. being still in a frightful faint.' they said.

'Yes. ay. If they broke down in their make-believe he rapped them on the knuckles. Away with them. but Slightly had the sense not to see her. as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners.' said Peter. scratching his head. who had chapped knuckles.' explained Curly. 'For the Wendy. sir. But he knew Peter must be obeyed. 'Curly. but as he said it some of the other boys rushed on carrying branches for the building of the house. ay. 'For Wendy?' John said. aghast. and he returned in a moment. 'Please.' said Slightly at once. 'and you also. tut.' he said. This sometimes troubled them.' said Slightly.' The astounded brothers were dragged away to hack and hew and carry.' said Peter in his most captainy voice. while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. 'are you a doctor?' 41 The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe. she is only a girl.' Peter explained.' anxiously replied Slightly. and disappeared.' 'Build a house?' exclaimed John. 'Look at them!' he cried. 'see that these boys help in the building of the house. 'let us wake her and get her to make supper for us'. 'Then we shall build the house round them. 'where does she lie?' 'In yonder glade. 'Yes. 'Why.' said Peter.' 'That.' She was lying at their feet. sir. going to him. 'fetch a doctor. 'Tut.' Peter thought of everything. tut. 'a lady lies very ill. 'Please.' 'Ay. 'is why we are her servants. 'that is how a house is built.' 'Ay.' he ordered.' 'John.' . sir.CHAPTER VI 'Is Wendy asleep?' they asked.' Peter ordered. 'Chairs and a fender first. 'Slightly. my little man.' 'You? Wendy's servants!' 'Yes.' 'Ay. wearing John's hat and looking solemn.' Michael proposed. it all comes back to me.' said Curly.

' With a blow of their fists they made windows. 'give her beef tea out of a cup with a spout to it'. Quickly they made-believe to grow the loveliest roses up the walls. almost everything needed for a cosy dwelling already lay at Wendy's feet. With funny little red walls And roof of mossy green. 'How is she?' inquired Peter. So tell us.' . you know. looking respectfully into it.CHAPTER VI 42 'I will put a glass thing in her mouth. but after he had returned the hat to John he blew big breaths. In the meantime the wood had been alive with the sound of axes. really next I think I'll have Gay windows all about.' They gurgled with joy at this. With roses peeping in.' said Slightly. and large yellow leaves were the blinds. and he made-believe to do it. tut.' Slightly said. We cannot make ourselves. 'this has cured her. 'she is moving in her sleep. Babies? To prevent Peter ordering babies they hurried into song again: 'We've made the roses peeping out. What are you wanting more?' To this she answered rather greedily: 'Oh. without opening her eyes.' 'I am glad. 'Cos we've been made before. tut. 'I will call again in the evening. 'Wendy. 'Tut. The babes are at the door.' said one. mother Wendy. lovely!' 'Perhaps she is going to sing in her sleep.' 'Her mouth opens. And babies peeping out. But roses----? 'Roses. Wendy began to sing: 'I wish I had a pretty house.' shouted another. 'Oh. 'the kind of house she likes best. As they rattled up the little house they broke into song themselves: 'We've built the little walls and roof And made a lovely door.' cried Peter sternly. while Peter waited.' said Slightly.' said Peter. which was his habit on escaping from a difficulty.' 'Peter. It was an anxious moment when the glass thing was withdrawn. 'If only we knew. for by the greatest good luck the branches they had brought were sticky with red sap. sing the kind of house you would like to have. you know.' Peter cried. The littlest ever seen.' cried a third. and all the ground was carpeted with moss.' Immediately.

'you see I feel that is exactly what I am.CHAPTER VI 43 Peter. as if to say thank you. and they were the very words they had hoped she would say. at once pretended that it was his own.' 'Oh. as if he were the only person present who knew all about it. and no doubt Wendy was very cosy within. Of course Slightly was the first to get his word in. and put the hat on the roof. not a sound to be heard except from Tinker Bell. smoke immediately began to come out of the hat. He snatched the hat off John's head. Just when it seemed absolutely finished.' said Peter. 'we saw it at once. but you see I am only a little girl. ordering finishing touches. but Tootles gave the sole of his shoe. darling house. 'O Wendy lady. of course. It was Wendy. The little house was so pleased to have such a capital chimney that. 'There's no chimney. though he was really the one who knew least. Then all went on their knees. would any one answer the knock? If a lady. This gave Peter an idea. 'What we need is just a nice motherly person. I have no real experience.' 'That doesn't matter. seeing this to be a good idea. Now really and truly it was finished. 'for you we built this house.' 'It is. Peter strode up and down. who was watching from a branch and openly sneering. knocked out the bottom.' 'It certainly does need a chimney. 'Where am I?' she said. they were all too busy looking their best. and holding out their arms cried. They were very ashamed. The house was quite beautiful.' 'Oh dear!' Wendy said. what would she be like? The door opened and a lady came out. He knocked politely. They all whipped off their hats.' said John importantly.' Peter said.' Wendy said. they thought. and it made an excellent knocker.' . 'Lovely.' he said. She looked properly surprised. and this was just how they had hoped she would look. Not a bit of it.' 'Ought I?' Wendy said. be our mother.' he said rapidly. 'Of course it's frightfully fascinating. 'All look your best. 'And we are your children. Absolutely finished now. 'we must have a chimney. they could no longer see her. all shining.' Peter warned them.' He was glad no one asked him what first impressions are. 'There's no knocker on the door. though. Nothing remained to do but to knock.' cried the twins. it is.' cried Nibs. What the boys were wondering was. Nothing escaped his eagle eye. and now the wood was as still as the children. 'first impressions are awfully important. 'Wendy lady. say you're pleased.' they all cried.

By and by she tucked them up in the great bed in the home under the trees. Come inside at once. After a time he fell asleep. and the chimney smoking beautifully. and Peter kept watch outside with drawn sword. with a bright light showing through its blinds. I don't know how there was room for them. I am sure your feet are damp. but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on. And before I put you to bed I have just time to finish the story of Cinderella. but you can squeeze very tight in the Neverland. [Illustration: PETER ON GUARD] . 'I will do my best. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed. and Peter standing on guard. but she herself slept that night in the little house.' she said.CHAPTER VI 'Very well. you naughty children.' 44 In they went. and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. for the pirates could be heard carousing far away and the wolves were on the prowl. The little house looked so cosy and safe in the darkness. And that was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy.

mammee-apples. as indeed was perhaps inevitable. and so wriggled up. you remember. who was most fastidious. you drew in your breath at the top. and down you went at exactly the right speed. Really there were whole weeks when. no larger than a bird-cage. By tea-time it was always about two feet high. There was a strict rule against turning round until one gave the signal. keeps a whole family in perfect condition. Once you fit. The cooking. and in this floor grew stout mushrooms of a charming colour. as soon as they cleared away. but Wendy would have a baby. and thus there was more room to play. The bed was tilted against the wall by day. always kept drawn when dressing or undressing. but John had to be altered a little. she was never above ground. Hook.30. the whole thus becoming a table. as Wendy was to discover to her delight. baked pig. and you know what women are. It could be shut off from the rest of the home by a tiny curtain. was a genuine Queen Mab. I suppose it was all especially entrancing to Wendy. No woman.CHAPTER VII 45 CHAPTER VII THE HOME UNDER THE GROUND One of the first things Peter did next day was to measure Wendy and John and Michael for hollow trees. kept her nose to the pot. A Never tree tried hard to grow in the centre of the room. It consisted of one large room. which were used as stools. cocoa-nuts. and after that you fit. unchipped. but this was ignorance. the chest of drawers an authentic Charming the Sixth. but you never exactly knew whether there would be a real meal or just a make-believe. After a few days' practice they could go up and down as gaily as buckets in a well. I can tell you. it all . they sawed off the trunk again. which was the private apartment of Tinker Bell. Michael should have used it also. But there was one recess in the wall. as by your wearing too many garments or too few. and across this Wendy stretched strings. especially Wendy. when you have mastered the action you are able to do these things without thinking of them. and not unlike what baby bears would have made of an underground house in the same circumstances. looked rather conceited. of which there are now only three. and her chamber. for unless your tree fitted you it was difficult to go up and down. Tink was very contemptuous of the rest of the house. great care must be taken to go on fitting. from which she suspended her washing. made of fibre. And how ardently they grew to love their home under the ground. but every morning they sawed the trunk through. Her mirror was a Puss-in-boots. but of course she lit the residence herself. because those rampagious boys of hers gave her so much to do. But you simply must fit. could have had a more exquisite boudoir and bedchamber combined. and Peter measures you for your tree as carefully as for a suit of clothes: the only difference being that the clothes are made to fit you. Wendy and Michael fitted their trees at the first try. lying like sardines in a tin. had sneered at the boys for thinking they needed a tree apiece. and the carpet and rugs of the best (the early) period of Margery and Robin. and then nothing can be more graceful. There was an enormous fireplace which was in almost any part of the room where you cared to light it. except perhaps with a stocking in the evening. as all houses should do. but if you are bumpy in awkward places or the only available tree is an odd shape. tappa rolls and bananas. The couch. washed down with calabashes of poe-poe. Peter does some things to you. while you have to be made to fit the tree. Their chief food was roasted breadfruit. and then they put a door on top of it. with club legs. There was a chandelier from Tiddly winks for the look of the thing. however large. and no two of the boys were quite the same size. yams. and she varied the bedspreads according to what fruit-blossom was in season. the wash-stand was Pie-crust and reversible. while to ascend you drew in and let out alternately. when all turned at once. Of course. with a floor in which you could dig if you wanted to go fishing. having the appearance of a nose permanently turned up. Usually it is done quite easily. Once you fitted. and this. when it filled nearly half the room. though beautiful. It was rough and simple. and let down at 6. as she always called it. and he was the littlest. and the short and the long of it is that he was hung up in a basket. known to the fairy dealers. level with the floor. and all the boys except Michael slept in it. which Tink.

for they were all most frightfully hard on their knees. she was absolutely confident that they would always keep the window open for her to fly back by. pushing each other. and there are ever so many more of them than on the mainland. After that it followed her about everywhere. as we shall see. I am sure I sometimes think spinsters are to be envied. Then. and they just ran into each other's arms. What was the colour of Mother's eyes. It consisted in pretending not to have adventures. As time wore on did she think much about the beloved parents she had left behind her? This is a difficult question. and she occupied it in making new things for them. but his answers were perfectly ridiculous. she tried to fix the old life in their minds by setting them examination papers on it. and he really came out last: a melancholy thing. Well. He was above all that sort of thing. He could eat. 'Oh dear. was what always happened with his games. the questions were all written in the past tense. as you have been told. For one thing he despised all mothers except Wendy. as like as possible to the ones she used to do at school. if it was part of a game.' '(A) Write an essay of not less than 40 words on How I spent my last Holidays. every heel with a hole in it.' They were just everyday questions like these. Wendy. What did disturb her at times was that John remembered his parents vaguely only. and nobly anxious to do her duty. until he suddenly had no more interest in it. not the smallest word. Only one of these to be attempted. Peter did not compete. she would fling up her arms and exclaim. with Wendy's help. going out for walks and coming back without having killed so much as a grizzly. and if you could prove to him that you were getting loose for your tree he let you stodge. had been forgetting too. the next best thing being to talk about it. but about this time Peter invented. and for another he was the only boy on the island who could neither write nor spell. it very soon discovered that she had come to the island and it found her out. really eat. of course.' Her face beamed when she exclaimed this. (2) Describe Father's laugh. and this gave her complete ease of mind. you see. but you simply had to follow his lead. They were the most ordinary questions--'What was the colour of Mother's eyes? Which was taller. writing and thinking hard about the questions she had written on another slate and passed round. a new game that fascinated him enormously. or The Caracters of Father and Mother compared. Of course it was trying. and it was really dreadful what a number of crosses even John made. and insisted on joining. she had a breathing time for herself. But I am afraid that Wendy did not really worry about her father and mother. and when you could not answer them you were told to make a cross. and they made slates for themselves.CHAPTER VII 46 depended upon Peter's whim. while Michael was quite willing to believe that she was really his mother. (3) Describe Mother's Party Dress. Father or Mother? Was Mother blonde or brunette? Answer all three questions if possible. By the way. as people he had once known. You remember about her pet wolf. and so on. Of course the only boy who replied to every question was Slightly. When she sat down to a basketful of their stockings. as she expressed it. and putting double pieces on the knees. and sat round the table. Wendy's favourite time for sewing and darning was after they had all gone to bed. To see Peter doing nothing on a stool was a great sight. which is what most children like better than anything else. These things scared her a little. (4) Describe the Kennel and its Inmate. and no one could have been more hopeful of coming out first. but he could not stodge just to feel stodgy. He boasted that he had gone a walk for the . were of daily occurrence. to sit still seemed to him such a comic thing to do. Adventures. in doing the sort of thing John and Michael had been doing all their lives: sitting on stools flinging balls in the air. which.' Or '(1) Describe Mother's laugh. he could not help looking solemn at such times. The other boys thought this awfully interesting. because it is quite impossible to say how time does wear on in the Neverland. Make-believe was so real to him that during a meal of it you could see him getting rounder. where it is calculated by moons and suns.

. so that in time it lost its succulence. more fiercely than ever. Twin?' and so on.'Redskin. he might say a great deal about it. but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children. Of course I could do it again. and especially interesting as showing one of Peter's peculiarities. This almost makes one wish that the gulch or the cake or Tink's leaf had won. Or we could tell of that cake the pirates cooked so that the boys might eat it and perish. which would of course be telling two adventures rather than just one. thinking it was bath-time. and how the nest fell into the water. for the other boys were in them and said they were wholly true. Fortunately the leaf gave way and Wendy woke. The difficulty is which one to choose. with the other boys and Wendy looking on breathlessly from trees. and so made her his ally. A shorter adventure. and then Wendy cooed over him and bathed it in lukewarm water. Or we might tell how Peter saved Tiger Lily's life in the Mermaids' Lagoon. and Hook fell over it in the dark. particularly of the Never bird that built in a tree overhanging the lagoon. Should we take the brush with the redskins at Slightly Gulch? It was a sanguinary affair. 'Redskin. and became as hard as a stone. He often went out alone. and was used as a missile. That is a pretty story. was Tinker Bell's attempt. and the lagoon has won. and Peter gave orders that she was not to be disturbed. however. but if we tell it we must also tell the whole adventure of the lagoon. Latin-English Dictionary. Sometimes he came home with his head bandaged. Tootles?' And Tootles answered. and swam back. At the Gulch. with the help of some street fairies. and make it best out of three. which was that in the middle of a fight he would suddenly change sides. Nibs?' and Nibs said. fascinated by Peter's methods. Or again. sometimes leaning this way and sometimes that. when victory was still in the balance. however. what are you. he called out. and how they placed it in one cunning spot after another. and quite as exciting. perhaps fairest to stick to the lagoon. and still the bird sat on her eggs. and the end shows how grateful a bird can be. and there were still more that were at least partly true. what are you. many adventures which she knew to be true because she was in them herself.CHAPTER VII 47 good of his health. otherwise he would have treated them severely. There were. Or suppose we tell of the birds that were Peter's friends. I have tossed. and though he waited for hours. what are you. For several suns these were the most novel of all adventures to him. on the other hand. agreed to be lost boys for that once. and they were all redskin. and John and Michael had to pretend to be delighted also. He might have forgotten it so completely that he said nothing about it. to have the sleeping Wendy conveyed on a great floating leaf to the mainland. while he told a dazzling tale. Which of these adventures shall we choose? The best way will be to toss for it. and of course this would have ended the fight had not the real redskins. you know. 'I'm redskin to-day. To describe them all would require a book as large as an English-Latin. and when he came back you were never absolutely certain whether he had had an adventure or not. But she was never quite sure. when several of them stuck in the hollow trees and had to be pulled out like corks. and the most we can do is to give one as a specimen of an average hour on the island. and so at it they all went again. Perhaps a better one would be the night attack by the redskins on the house under the ground. we might choose Peter's defiance of the lions. The extraordinary upshot of this adventure was--but we have not decided yet that this is the adventure we are to narrate. and. and yet you could not find the body. not one of them dared to accept his challenge. and then when you went out you found the body. when he drew a circle round him on the ground with an arrow and defied them to cross it.

and it is quite a pretty sight. probably splashing her with their tails. You must not think from this that the mermaids were on friendly terms with them. but of course they all knew how not to take up much room. and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire. but the lagoon is dangerous for mortals then. He gave Wendy one of their combs. on sunny days after rain. While she stitched a change came to the lagoon. The goals are at each end of the rainbow. Wendy could no longer see to thread her needle. playing the mermaid games in the water. the lagoon that had always hitherto been such a laughing place seemed formidable and unfriendly. and they were dozing. if there could be two moments you might see the surf and hear the mermaids singing. Sometimes hundreds of mermaids will be playing in the lagoon at a time. then if you squeeze your eyes tighter. stitching. however. [Illustration: SUMMER DAYS ON THE LAGOON] They treated all the boys in the same way. and the keepers only are allowed to use their hands. and when she looked up. The children often spent long summer days on this lagoon. just one heavenly moment. for the mermaids immediately disappeared. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland. Wendy had never seen the lagoon by moonlight. except of course Peter. with the head instead of the hand. The bubbles of many colours made in rainbow water they treat as balls. and were not above taking an idea from them. and until the evening of which we have now to tell. less from fear. or she might even swim. combing out their hair in a lazy way that quite irritated her. on tiptoe as it were. But just before they go on fire you see the lagoon. The most haunting time at which to see them is at the turn of the moon. to within a yard of them. where they loved to bask. not by accident. for John introduced a new way of hitting the bubble. and it had to be a real rest even though the meal was make-believe. The rock was not much larger than their great bed. It was one such day. on the contrary.CHAPTER VIII 48 CHAPTER VIII THE MERMAIDS' LAGOON If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one. you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness. But the moment the children tried to join in they had to play by themselves. who chatted with them on Marooners' Rock by the hour. . and so forth. while she sat beside them and looked important. and their bodies glistened in it. It must also have been rather pretty to see the children resting on a rock for half an hour after their midday meal. for of course Peter would have accompanied her. So they lay there in the sun. but intentionally. when they utter strange wailing cries. Little shivers ran over it. She was often at the lagoon. Nevertheless we have proof that they secretly watched the interlopers. it was among Wendy's lasting regrets that all the time she was on the island she never had a civil word from one of them. hitting them gaily from one to another with their tails. and trying to keep them in the rainbow till they burst. and sat on their tails when they got cheeky. when the mermaids come up in extraordinary numbers to play with their bubbles. but then they saw her and dived. and the sun went away and shadows stole across the water. swimming or floating most of the time. the pool begins to take shape. than because she had strict rules about every one being in bed by seven. and the mermaid goal-keepers adopted it. and they were all on Marooners' Rock. especially on Marooners' Rock. This is the one mark that John has left on the Neverland. When she stole softly to the edge of the lagoon she might see them by the score. She was very busy. or at least lying with their eyes shut. and pinching occasionally when they thought Wendy was not looking. turning it cold. Wendy insisted on their doing this.

what we have to do is to hoist the redskin on to it and leave her there to drown. Wendy was crying. she thought you simply must stick to your rule about half an hour after the midday meal. but because it was no longer good for them to sleep on a rock grown chilly. She was to be left on the rock to perish. It was the pirate dinghy. an end to one of her race more terrible than death by fire or torture.' cried an Irish voice that was Smee's. and instantly the lagoon seemed deserted. 'Dive!' There was a gleam of legs. though fear was upon her. it is enough. but something as dark as night had come. Even when she heard the sound of muffled oars. They had caught her boarding the pirate ship with a knife in her mouth. she was too proud to offer a vain resistance. so called because evil captains put sailors on it and leave them there to drown. He stood motionless. In the gloom that they brought with them the two pirates did not see the rock till they crashed into it. The others came closer to him.CHAPTER VIII It was not. Peter had seen many tragedies. What was it? 49 There crowded upon her all the stories she had been told of Marooners' Rock.' It was the work of one brutal moment to land the beautiful girl on the rock. Peter's and Wendy's. The order came sharp and incisive. she did not waken them. as if it were itself marooned. 'Luff. and she knew what was to be her fate. all they could do was to stand ready to obey. Now. and the third a captive. . for then it is submerged. No watch was kept on the ship. but out of sight. with three figures in her. she would not waken them. A strange smile was playing about his face. Of course she should have roused the children at once. and with one warning cry he roused the others. not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them. for it was the first tragedy she had seen. So. Smee and Starkey. 'here's the rock. It had not come. then. 'Pirates!' he cried. though her heart was in her mouth. Marooners' Rock stood alone in the forbidding waters. two heads were bobbing up and down. worse than that. Her hands and ankles were tied. There was almost nothing he could not do. but it had sent that shiver through the sea to say that it was coming. for is it not written in the book of the tribe that there is no path through water to the happy hunting-ground? Yet her face was impassive. that night had come. An easy way would have been to wait until the pirates had gone. But she was a young mother and she did not know this. as wide awake at once as a dog. she must die as a chief's daughter. She stood over them to let them have their sleep out. No. one hand to his ear. Now her fate would help to guard it also. They drown when the tide rises. Peter sprang erect. One more wail would go the round in that wind by night. Was it not brave of Wendy? It was well for those boys then that there was one among them who could sniff danger even in his sleep. and she longed to hear male voices. but he was never one to choose the easy way. you lubber. no other than Tiger Lily. and he now imitated the voice of Hook. but he had forgotten them all. While that smile was on his face no one dared address him. she was the daughter of a chief. and Wendy saw it and shuddered. and he meant to save her. she knew. Quite near the rock. He was less sorry than Wendy for Tiger Lily: it was two against one that angered him. it being Hook's boast that the wind of his name guarded the ship for a mile around. The boat drew nearer.

captain----' 'At once.' Smee said. The two pirates were very curious to know what had brought their captain to them. 'Better do what the captain orders. He was tingling with life and also top-heavy with conceit. 'The captain. In the light of the lantern Wendy saw his hook grip the boat's side. cut her bonds and let her go. oh.' said Starkey nervously. you lubbers. Now Wendy understood. but she knew that he would be elated also and very likely crow and thus betray himself. 'Boat ahoy!' again came the cry. 50 'Ay.CHAPTER VIII 'Ahoy there. Of course Wendy was very elated over Peter's cleverness.' came the astonishing answer.' Smee called out. but he answered with a hollow moan.' Smee gasped. but Peter would not budge.' said the pirates. staring at each other in surprise. 'He sighs. But it was stayed even in the act. she saw his evil swarthy face as he rose dripping from the water. He signed to her to listen.' cried Peter.' 'This is queer. d'ye hear. so at once her hand went out to cover his mouth. and as his men showed a light to guide him he had soon reached them. she was really glad for the sake of his reputation that no one heard him except herself.' said Smee. but he sat with his head on his hook in a position of profound melancholy.' 'But. 'We are putting the redskin on the rock. and he cut Tiger Lily's cords. 'Free!' 'Yes. quaking.' he called. It was a marvellous imitation. 'or I'll plunge my hook in you. 'Set her free. I am a wonder!' he whispered to her. is all well?' they asked timidly. . and. 'He must be swimming out to us. and this time it was not Peter who had spoken. for 'Boat ahoy!' rang over the lagoon in Hook's voice. and though she thought so also. when they had looked for him in vain. 'Am I not a wonder. ay.' Starkey said. Peter may have been about to crow. she would have liked to swim away. The real Hook was also in the water. At once like an eel she slid between Starkey's legs into the water. 'Captain. He was swimming to the boat. but his face puckered in a whistle of surprise instead.

'What's a mother?' asked the ignorant Smee. Peter pulled her beneath the water. 'What was that?' 'I heard nothing. 'And yet a third time he sighs. and bobbed. 'Captain. What a lesson.' Hook winced.' said Smee.' Affrighted though she was.' cried Hook.' Again Wendy forgot herself. It was the nest I have told you of. and Wendy shall be our mother. 'See. crying. Smee.' said Hook in answer to Smee's question. 'Do you agree. 'If she is a mother.' he said. but would the mother desert her eggs? No.' said Smee. but the more suspicious Starkey said. 'that is a mother. 'The game's up. The nest must have fallen into the water. perhaps she is hanging about here to help Peter.' He was roused from this dejection by Smee's eager voice. gazed at the bird as the nest was borne past. raising the lantern over the waters.' said Starkey. much impressed.' There was a break in his voice. for Hook had started up. my bullies?' asked Hook.CHAPTER VIII 'He sighs again. 'Ay. . 'those boys have found a mother. floating on the lagoon. 'He doesn't know!' and always after this she felt that if you could have a pet pirate Smee would be her one. 'We will seize the children and carry them to the boat: the boys we will make walk the plank. 'There is my hand on it. and the Never bird was sitting on it. 'What was that?' But they could see nothing. and as the pirates looked they saw a strange sight. 'Never!' she cried. They thought it must have been but a leaf in the wind. captain?' Then at last he spoke passionately. 'could we not kidnap these boys' mother and make her our mother?' 'It is a princely scheme. 51 Wendy was so shocked that she exclaimed. as if for a moment he recalled innocent days when--but he brushed away this weakness with his hook. 'What's up. and at once it took practical shape in his great brain.' he cried. Wendy swelled with pride. 'that is the fear that haunts me.' they both said. 'O evil day.' said Starkey.' cried Starkey.

tragic figure though he had become. 'I gave no such order. but there was a quiver in it. but of course he did not. 'That is all right. he scarcely heeded them. 'Don't desert me. 'dost hear me?' Of course Peter should have kept quiet. and it was then.' he said almost humbly. Swear. ''Twas your own orders. stranger.' 'Let her go!' cried Hook. even at the gills. and suddenly Hook remembered Tiger Lily. 'what cozening is here?' His face had gone black with rage. 'If you are Hook.' the voice retorted.' They were his dogs snapping at him.' Hook cried hoarsely.' 'They all swore. He saw his men draw back from him.' he cried. He felt his ego slipping from him. Hook raised his voice. 'Who are you.' 'It is passing queer. that his proud spirit broke. 'Have we been captained all this time by a codfish!' they muttered. speak?' Hook demanded.' the bo'sun faltered.' 'A codfish!' Hook echoed blankly.' In that supreme moment Hook did not blanch. but. hammer and tongs. 'I am James Hook. and he was startled. but Smee and Starkey clung to each other in terror. who am I?' 'A codfish.' he said.' said Starkey. captain. 'Brimstone and gall. 'say that again. 'captain of the Jolly Roger. Against such fearful evidence it was not their belief in him that he needed.' Smee answered complacently. 'come tell me.' thundered Hook.' replied the voice. but he saw that they believed their words. He had a playful humour at moments. I hear you. you are not.' replied the voice. it was his own. but not till then. bully. He immediately answered in Hook's voice: 'Odds. .' Hook tried a more ingratiating manner.' Smee said. 'Where is the redskin?' he demanded abruptly. bobs.' 'You are not.' he whispered hoarsely to it. 'Lads. 52 'Brimstone and gall. and they all fidgeted uncomfortably. shaking a little. 'Spirit that haunts this dark lagoon to-night. 'only a codfish.CHAPTER VIII 'And there is my hook. 'we let her go. By this time they were on the rock. and I'll cast anchor in you. and they thought this was one of the moments. 'You called over the water to us to let her go. 'It is lowering to our pride.

'You ask him some questions. and he answered blithely in his own voice.' 'And another name?' 'Ay. 'Boy?' 'Yes. 'Do you give it up?' 53 . and it sometimes gave him intuitions.' 'Are you here?' 'Yes.' crowed Peter. 'Can't guess.' Hook was completely puzzled. as in all the great pirates.CHAPTER VIII In his dark nature there was a touch of the feminine. Smee reflected. ay. 'I have.' he said to the others. 'have you another voice?' Now Peter could never resist a game. wiping his damp brow.' 'Are you in England?' 'No. 'No.' he said regretfully. 'I can't think of a thing.' 'Ordinary boy?' 'No!' 'Wonderful boy?' To Wendy's pain the answer that rang out this time was 'Yes.' he called. Suddenly he tried the guessing game. 'Hook.' 'Animal?' 'Yes. can't guess.' 'Man?' 'No!' This answer rang out scornfully.' 'Vegetable?' asked Hook.' 'Mineral?' 'No.

His iron claw made a circle of dead water round him. The dinghy drifted away. It made him quite helpless. their faces were almost touching. 54 Here and there a head bobbed up in the water.' The fight was short and sharp. mind the boat.' he cried. when he saw that he was higher up the rock than his foe. but he will never afterwards be quite the same boy.' from various parts of the lagoon. It would not have been fighting fair. 'I am Peter Pan. He . He could only stare. Smee. He gave the pirate a hand to help him up. 'Well. Some of the greatest heroes have confessed that just before they fell to they had a sinking. and they must not be blamed for backing from the pirate captain. this was the only man that the Sea-Cook had feared. in which the cutlass was torn from the pirate's grasp. ay. then. First to draw blood was John. but he was himself pinked in turn by Curly. 'Yes. 'Are you ready. After you have been unfair to him he will love you again. It was then that Hook bit him.' they answered eagerly. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly.CHAPTER VIII Of course in his pride he was carrying the game too far. 'Then lam into the pirates. Each feeling for a grip met the other's arm: in surprise they raised their heads. gladness. In the confusion some struck at their own side. He wriggled overboard and John leapt after him. Quick as thought he snatched a knife from Hook's belt and was about to drive it home. and they had to crawl rather than climb. All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours is fairness. The corkscrew of Smee got Tootles in the fourth rib. so they met. Starkey. yes. and simultaneously came the gay voice of Peter. and the miscreants saw their chance. Farther from the rock Starkey was pressing Slightly and the twins hard. Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter.' Hook shouted. After all. no one except Peter. who gallantly climbed into the boat and held Starkey. There was a fierce struggle. But Peter had no sinking. boys?' 'Ay. and at the same moment Peter scaled it on the opposite side. No one ever gets over the first unfairness. Had it been so with Peter at that moment I would admit it. it was not in the water that they met. and he gnashed his pretty teeth with joy. and there was a flash of steel followed by a cry or a whoop. and Smee and Starkey were his faithful henchmen. But there was one who did not fear him: there was one prepared to enter that circle. Strangely. Take him dead or alive.' He leaped as he spoke. Hook rose to the rock to breathe. The others were all brave boys. he had one feeling only. The rock was slippery as a ball. Neither knew that the other was coming.' Pan! In a moment Hook was himself again. from which they fled like affrighted fishes. Where all this time was Peter? He was seeking bigger game. 'Now we have him. 'Into the water. horrified.

Hook wounded me. But he had to tell her the truth. He knew that they would soon be drowned. Soon the water will be over it. They were not very anxious. and were scouring the lagoon for them. 'What is it?' she asked. help!' Two small figures were beating against the rock. Wendy. A few minutes afterwards the other boys saw Hook in the water striking wildly for the ship. They found the dinghy and went home in it. for they had lost both Peter and Wendy. 'Shall we swim or fly. 'but it is growing smaller. no elation on his pestilent face now. but he could do no more.' he answered faintly. As they lay side by side a mermaid caught Wendy by the feet. and began pulling her softly into the water. Twice the iron hand clawed him. calling them by name.' she said. shouting 'Peter. woke with a start. for the crocodile was in dogged pursuit of him. With a last effort Peter pulled her up the rock and then lay down beside her. 'We are on the rock. 'Help. 'They must be swimming back or flying. only white fear. They thought they would soon be no more.' She did not understand even now. 55 So when he met it now it was like the first time. anxious about him at once. almost brightly. On ordinary occasions the boys would have swum alongside cheering. they had such faith in Peter. and then a feeble cry. As they . and was just in time to draw her back. They chuckled. Wendy.' he said. helpless. the girl had fainted and lay on the boy's arm. without my help?' She had to admit that she was too tired. 'Yes. Even as he also fainted he saw that the water was rising. feeling her slip from him. 'We must go. Wendy' as they went. 'Do you think you could swim or fly as far as the island. Wendy. boylike. Peter. and he could just stare. 'I can't help you.' 'Do you mean we shall both be drowned?' 'Look how the water is rising.' the boys concluded. but no answer came save mocking laughter from the mermaids. Peter?' He had to tell her.' They put their hands over their eyes to shut out the sight. but he always forgot it. I suppose that was the real difference between him and all the rest. and it was all mother Wendy's fault! When their voices died away there came cold silence over the lagoon.CHAPTER VIII often met it. I can neither fly nor swim. He moaned. but now they were uneasy. because they would be late for bed.

Pale rays of light tiptoed across the waters. never. It had torn itself out of his hand and floated away. It was saying.' [Illustration: "TO DIE WILL BE AN AWFULLY BIG ADVENTURE"] . soon it would be submerged. 'To die will be an awfully big adventure. 'Michael's kite. 'And you a lady. Michael and Curly tried. with that smile on his face and a drum beating within him.' 'Let us draw lots. The rock was very small now.CHAPTER VIII 56 sat thus something brushed against Peter as light as a kiss. Next moment he was standing erect on the rock again.' Peter said without interest. but with a 'Good-bye. A tremor ran through him. 'It lifted Michael off the ground. and was pulling the kite toward him.' he pushed her from the rock. 'Can I be of any use?' It was the tail of a kite. 'why should it not carry you?' 'Both of us!' 'It can't lift two. which Michael had made some days before.' he cried. but he was afraid at last. and Peter felt just the one. she refused to go without him. and stayed there. Peter was alone on the lagoon. but on the sea one shudder follows another till there are hundreds of them. Wendy. but next moment he had seized the tail. She clung to him. Peter was not quite like other boys.' Already he had tied the tail round her.' Wendy said bravely. like a shudder passing over the sea. and by and by there was to be heard a sound at once the most musical and the most melancholy in the world: the mermaids calling to the moon. and in a few minutes she was borne out of his sight. as if saying timidly.

Peter. perhaps part of the kite. She called out to him what she had come for. 'and--then--you--can--drift--ashore. she was melted because he had all his first teeth. but--I--am--too--tired--to--bring--it--any--nearer--so--you--must-try--to--swim--to--it. but they forgot their manners. Well. I can suppose only that. always sympathetic to the weaker side. like Mrs. 'Why don't you let the nest drift as usual?' 'I--want--you--' the bird said. could not help clapping. for though he had been nice to her. He thought it was a piece of floating paper.' 'What are you quacking about?' Peter answered.CHAPTER IX 57 CHAPTER IX THE NEVER BIRD The last sounds Peter heard before he was quite alone were the mermaids retiring one by one to their bedchambers under the sea. Then Peter tried slow and distinct. 'why don't you do as I tell you?' Peter felt that she was calling him names. She had come to save him. and he heard the bells. but every door in the coral caves where they live rings a tiny bell when it opens or closes (as in all the nicest houses on the mainland). not only could they not understand each other. it was the Never bird. and to pass the time until they made their final gulp. I rather wonder at the bird. to give him her nest. they have very short tempers. and when it won. it was such a gallant piece of paper. The Never bird became irritated. and repeated it all over. 'You dunderheaded little jay. In fanciful stories people can talk to the birds freely.' she screamed. but by the time Peter recognised her she was very exhausted. for it was fighting the tide. and sometimes winning. and I want to tell only what really happened. speaking as slowly and distinctly as possible. in a way she had learned since the nest fell into the water. but truth is best. and at a venture he retorted hotly: 'So are you!' Then rather curiously they both snapped out the same remark: . and I wish for the moment I could pretend that this was such a story. but of course neither of them understood the other's language. making desperate efforts to reach Peter on her nest. He was too far away to hear their doors shut. 'What--are--you--quacking--about?' and so on. she was able to some extent to guide her strange craft. Steadily the waters rose till they were nibbling at his feet. he had also sometimes tormented her. Presently he noticed as an odd thing that it was undoubtedly out upon the lagoon with some definite purpose. he watched the only thing moving on the lagoon.' the bird called. and he called out to her what was she doing there. It was not really a piece of paper. By working her wings. and wondered idly how long it would take to drift ashore. 'I--want--you--to--get--into--the--nest. Darling and the rest of them. and say that Peter replied intelligently to the Never bird. though there were eggs in it.

and with many bitter feelings watched the bird sitting on his hat. and on it Starkey had hung his hat. and gave out bandages to every one. a deep tarpaulin. and then flew away. reared the stave in it as a mast. to bed. watertight. She drifted in one direction. I forget whether I have told you that there was a stave on the rock. she was awfully tender. Then he got into the nest. that she hung there in the sky. As we shall not see her again. however. Then up she flew. and cried. It floated beautifully. . both cheering. but the hat was such a great success that she abandoned the nest. and they played till bed-time at limping about and carrying their arms in slings. and by one last mighty effort she propelled the nest against the rock. Every boy had adventures to tell. alas. Then at last he understood. such as demanding bandages. deserting her eggs. with a broad brim. with a broad brim on which the youngsters take an airing. There were two large white eggs. The stave was still there. The Never bird saw at once what he was up to. and. who pounced upon them for food. and Peter lifted them up and reflected. who had been carried hither and thither by the kite. The children had discovered the glittering hoard. driven into it by some buccaneers of long ago to mark the site of buried treasure. though glorying in having them all home again safe and sound. but Wendy. Next day. 'To bed. and often Starkey came to the shore of the lagoon. At the same moment the bird fluttered down upon the hat and once more sat snugly on her eggs. and he was borne off in another. Peter put the eggs into this hat and set it on the lagoon. it was not even to watch him get into the nest. Peter crowed his agreement with her. pearls and pieces of eight to the gulls. but perhaps the biggest adventure of all was that they were several hours late for bed. and hung up his shirt for a sail. raging at the scurvy trick that had been played upon them. Of course when Peter landed he beached his barque in a place where the bird would easily find it. was scandalised by the lateness of the hour. so as not to see the last of her eggs. The bird covered her face with her wings. It drifted about till it went to pieces. It was not to receive his thanks. so as to make her meaning clear. diamonds. it was to see what he did with her eggs. however.' in a voice that had to be obeyed. Great were the rejoicings when Peter reached the home under the ground almost as soon as Wendy. and screamed her admiration of him. and clutched the nest and waved his thanks to the bird as she fluttered overhead.CHAPTER IX 'Shut up!' 'Shut up!' 58 Nevertheless the bird was determined to save him if she could. This so inflated them that they did various dodgy things to get staying up still longer. but she could not help peeping between the feathers. and when in mischievous mood used to fling showers of moidores. it may be worth mentioning here that all Never birds now build in that shape of nest.

Secretly Wendy sympathised with them a little. 'Is your calabash empty. 'It is good. They said 'How-do?' to them. as Wendy said.' he would say to them in a very lordly manner. and then stay near him till the clock struck. so that it was not really good for him.' that lovely creature would reply. 'He hasn't even begun to drink his milk. There was a fixed rule that they must never hit back at meals. all except Peter. 'Peter Pan has spoken. The day. but they were by no means so respectful to the other boys. she did not mind noise. but what usually happened was that they forgot to do this or did it too much. Peter Pan has spoken. and looking almost as if they wanted tit-bits to eat. 'Peter Pan save me. smoking the pipe of peace. who had gone out to get the time. All night they sat above. and really. what with their chatter and recriminations. while. and they accepted it humbly in that spirit. guzzling in their greed.' She was far too pretty to cringe in this way. We have now reached the evening that was to be known among them as the Night of Nights. Peter had saved Tiger Lily from a dreadful fate. the noise. and things like that. as if quietly gathering its forces. and he would answer condescendingly.' Nibs interposed. as they grovelled at his feet. after looking into an imaginary mug. and what annoyed the boys was that Peter seemed to think this all right.' it meant that they must now shut up. Slightly darling?' 'Not quite empty.' 'Me Tiger Lily. 'Father knows best.' Always when he said. and they sat round the board. This was telling. 'Silence. . had been almost uneventful. and Slightly seized his chance. but she was far too loyal a housewife to listen to any complaints against father. Her private opinion was that the redskins should not call her a squaw. prostrating themselves before him. whom they looked upon as just ordinary braves. me his velly nice friend. The way you got the time on the island was to find the crocodile. and now there was nothing she and her braves would not do for him. and then excusing themselves by saying that Tootles had pushed their elbow. To be sure. Even by day they hung about.CHAPTER X 59 CHAPTER X THE HAPPY HOME One important result of the brush on the lagoon was that it made the redskins their friends. but Peter thought it his due. but she simply would not have them grabbing things. below. Me no let pirates hurt him.' cried Wendy when for the twentieth time she had told them that they were not all to speak at once. keeping watch over the home under the ground and awaiting the big attack by the pirates which obviously could not be much longer delayed. and he liked this tremendously.' Slightly said. was positively deafening. the children were having their evening meal. but should refer the matter of dispute to Wendy by raising the right arm politely and saying. mummy. This meal happened to be a make-believe tea. because of its adventures and their upshot. 'I complain of so-and-so'. and now the redskins in their blankets were at their posts above. 'is glad to see the Piccaninny warriors protecting his wigwam from the pirates.' she always said. whatever her private opinion must be. 'The great white father. They called Peter the Great White Father.

'I hadn't really any hope. 'We complain of John.' replied the twins. indeed he was the only humble one. Then at last he stopped.' he cried promptly.' This was grumbling.' 'No. John.' 'I complain of Curly. as he is not here?' 'Sit in father's chair. however. 'would any of you like to see me do a trick?' 'No. He was so much the humblest of them. The hateful telling broke out again. 'As I can't be baby.' 'He is not really our father.' he said. indeed. which was not very often. he had a silly way of going on.' 'I complain of the twins.' 'The twins began with mammee-apples.' they all replied. Tootles held up his hand. 'As I can't be father. 'do you think I could be a twin?' 'No. 'Slightly is coughing on the table.' John answered. had held up his hand first.' said Tootles. He was already in his basket.' Michael rapped out.' 'As I can't be anything important. John!' Wendy was scandalised. getting heavier and heavier. 'I don't suppose.' Once Tootles began.CHAPTER X 'I complain of Nibs. 'Certainly not. Michael. 'it's awfully difficult to be a twin. that Wendy was specially gentle with him.' cried the twins.' Tootles said. you would let me be baby?' 'No. 'that I could be father. 'Well.' Tootles said diffidently. 'He didn't even know how a father does till I showed him. 'I don't suppose.' 'Curly is taking both tappa rolls and yams. I won't.' 60 . Tootles. John?' 'May I sit in Peter's chair.' he said heavily.' 'Nibs is speaking with his mouth full.' 'I complain of Nibs.

' Peter was really the best dancer among them. you know. was the first to recognise it. 'Ah. you may be sure. the redskins crouched before Peter.' remonstrated Michael. we want to dance.' While she sewed they played around her. He had brought nuts for the boys as well as the correct time for Wendy. braves.' And then. at least it may have been. but never again. There was a step above.' cried Wendy. 'But we want you to dance.' 'What. as so often before. 'I'm too big for a cradle.' Above.' said Curly instantly.' 'Dance away. 'the mother of such an armful.' cried Wendy. 'Children. such a group of happy faces and dancing limbs lit up by that romantic fire. 'Peter. 'Me! My old bones would rattle. 'It was me told him mothers are called old lady.' Wendy simpered. dance!' 'But on a Saturday night. 'Father. As so often before. 'I'm sure I sometimes think that children are more trouble than they are worth. and Wendy. 'Watch well. and sat down to her work-basket: a heavy load of stockings and every knee with a hole in it as usual.' 61 She told them to clear away. but always .' said Peter. oh dear. but we are looking on it for the last time. but he pretended to be scandalised. 'Wendy.CHAPTER X 'Oh dear. old lady.' Michael whispered to Curly. my little man.' Slightly insinuated.' 'I must have somebody in a cradle. It had become a very familiar scene this in the home under the ground. who was in high good humour.' said Peter. 'and you are the littlest. 'I complain of Michael. The first twin came to Peter. hanging up his gun. I hear your father's step. you just spoil them. the gay children dragged him from his tree.' she said almost tartly. I have spoken. for they had long lost count of the days.' 'And mummy too. It was not really Saturday night. He likes you to meet him at the door. A cradle is such a nice homely thing to have about a house.

' 'Michael takes after you. but he looked at her uncomfortably. frankly puzzled. of an evening for you and me when the day's toil is over than to rest by the fire with the little ones near by. what is it?' 'I was just thinking. do you?' 'No. 'with such a large family.' she said. but they must put on their nighties first. Peter.' she asked. of course.' 'It is sweet. frightfully gratified. 62 'Ah. There is something she wants to be to me.' 'But it is only among our own progeny. you know. trying to speak firmly. old lady. yours and mine.' he said.' 'But they are ours. but you don't want to change me. Peter. a little scared.' he continued apologetically. 'it would make me seem so old to be their real father. 'Peter. 'Dear Peter. 'It is only make-believe.' Wendy said. 'Peter.CHAPTER X if they wanted to do anything special they said this was Saturday night. 'Not if you don't wish it. isn't it.' Peter said aside to Wendy. 'what are your exact feelings for me?' 'Those of a devoted son.' Certainly he did not want a change.' Wendy said primly. I think Curly has your nose. I have now passed my best. that I am their father?' 'Oh yes. 'You see. Wendy.' he said. Wendy. and then they did it. Wendy.' 'But not really. relenting.' 'I thought so. blinking. and she distinctly heard his sigh of relief. 'You are so queer. 'Peter.' So they were told they could dance. true. 'and Tiger Lily is just the same.' 'True.' . isn't it?' Wendy said.' She went to him and put her hand on his shoulder. and went and sat by herself at the extreme end of the room.' she said. Wendy?' he asked anxiously. 'there is nothing more pleasant.' she replied. like one not sure whether he was awake or asleep. but she says it is not my mother. 'Of course it is Saturday night. 'People of our figure. warming himself by the fire and looking down at her as she sat turning a heel. Peter.

before it was time for Wendy's good-night story! Even Slightly tried to tell a story that night.' Wendy replied with frightful emphasis. 'She is an abandoned little creature. indeed. The stories they told. but the beginning was so fearfully dull that it appalled even himself. I say. and possibly if he had done either of those things this time they might all still be on the island.' And then at last they all got into bed for Wendy's story. 'Perhaps Tink wants to be my mother?' 'You silly ass!' cried Tinker Bell in a passion.CHAPTER X 63 'No. it is not. from whom they would shrink in real fear. Now we know why she was prejudiced against the redskins. None of them knew. who was in her boudoir. the pillows insisted on one bout more. But to-night he remained on his stool. the story they loved best. Perhaps it was best not to know.' 'Oh. and she little knew what was to happen before the night was out. like partners who know that they may never meet again. it is a dull beginning. and he said gloomily: 'Yes. Their ignorance gave them one more glad hour. Usually when she began to tell this story he left the room or put his hands over his ears.' 'Oh yes. let us rejoice that there were sixty glad minutes in it. But she had been much tried.' Here Tink. 'Perhaps Tinker Bell will tell me. Tinker Bell will tell you. Such a deliciously creepy song it was.' Peter interpreted. She had said it so often that Wendy needed no translation. 'I almost agree with her. very well. eavesdropping. So uproariously gay was the dance.' Wendy snapped. in which they pretended to be frightened at their own shadows. If she had known she would not have snapped. 'She says she glories in being abandoned. He had a sudden idea. let us pretend that it is the end. the story Peter hated. . They sang and danced in their night-gowns. and we shall see what happened.' Peter said. 'Then what is it?' 'It isn't for a lady to tell. little witting that so soon shadows would close in upon them. and as it was to be their last hour on the island. a little nettled. Fancy Wendy snapping. and when it was finished. and how they buffeted each other on the bed and out of it! It was a pillow fight rather than a dance. squeaked out something impudent.' Wendy retorted scornfully.

determined that she should have fair play.' John said. 'They were married.' 'I knew them. 'you mean that there is a lady also. and her name was Mrs. you know. don't you? She is not dead. who knew the story by heart. 'and what do you think they had?' 'White rats. inspired. 'There was a lady also. 'Little less noise there.' said Wendy.' sighed Wendy. however beastly a story it might be in his opinion.' cried the first twin.' 'Are you glad. John?' 'Of course I am.' 'I am awfully glad she isn't dead.' Wendy continued. Darling. 'Are you glad. 'Quiet.CHAPTER XI 64 CHAPTER XI WENDY'S STORY 'Listen. Darling. They had three descendants.' 'Are you glad. Tootles.' 'Oh dear. with Michael at her feet and seven boys in the bed.' Peter called out. then.' cried Nibs. to annoy the others.' explained Wendy.' their mother admonished them.' said Tootles.' said Tootles.' 'What is descendants?' . settling down to her story.' said Nibs.' Curly said. 'was Mr.' said Michael rather doubtfully. Twins?' 'We are just glad. 'I wish he had been a white rat. 'I think I knew them. 'Quiet. and----' 'O mummy. is she?' 'Oh no. 'No. 'The gentleman's name.' 'It's awfully puzzling. 'There was once a gentleman----' 'I had rather he had been a lady. Nibs?' 'Rather.

' Wendy continued. you are one.' 'Did they ever go back?' 'Let us now.' said John.' Wendy told them triumphantly. 'to the Neverland. 'You see.' sighed Wendy. . Nibs?' 'I'm frightfully anxious. oh dear. 'Think of the empty beds!' 'Oo!' 'It's awfully sad.' the first twin said cheerfully.' cried Tootles. and who is this elegant lady of uncertain age alighting at London Station?' 'O Wendy. but Mr.' 'Hush. Darling was angry with her and chained her up in the yard.' 'I just thought they did. 'Do you. 'our heroine knew that the mother would always leave the window open for her children to fly back by. 'take a peep into the future'. who is she?' cried Nibs.' Wendy said complacently. 65 'Oh dear.' 'I am in a story. but I just thought they did. bracing herself for her finest effort. and they all gave themselves the twist that makes peeps into the future easier.' 'O Wendy.' said Tootles. where the lost children are. hitting back. every bit as excited as if he didn't know. 'They flew away. he was. 'Do you like a mother's love.' She had now come to the part that Peter hated. 'Years have rolled by.' said Nibs. though they were not really considering the feelings of the unhappy parents one jot. I am in a story.CHAPTER XI 'Well. 'I do like a mother's love.' said Wendy. 'Now these three children had a faithful nurse called Nana. Nibs?' 'I do just.' 'If you knew how great is a mother's love. John? I am a descendant. Twin. 'was one of the lost children called Tootles?' 'Yes. hitting Nibs with a pillow. 'you would have no fear.' 'It's an awfully good story. Hurrah.' 'Oo!' they all moaned.' said the second twin. 'I don't see how it can have a happy ending. Now I want you to consider the feelings of the unhappy parents with all their children flown away. so they stayed away for years and had a lovely time.' Curly broke in excitedly.' 'Descendants are only children. Nibs. and so all the children flew away. 'Do you hear that. 'I don't know how it is.' said Nibs.

But there was one there who knew better. you see.' 66 That was the story. and then flew back. 'Where is it. so I stayed away for moons and moons and moons. 'Then what kind is it?' 'Wendy. for mother had forgotten all about me. Peter?' she cried. lower down than his chest. 'Wendy. Everything just as it should be. and they were as pleased with it as the fair narrator herself.' she said. thinking he was ill. now grown to man's estate? Can they be John and Michael? They are!' 'Oh!' '"See. Peter?' 'It isn't that kind of pain. and no one knows so quickly as a child when he should give in. 'Are you sure mothers are like that?' 'Yes. Off we skip like the most heartless things in the world. She felt him solicitously. which is what children are. but so attractive. 'Long ago. and it scared them.' Peter replied darkly. let us go home. 'Not to-night?' asked the lost boys bewildered. They knew in what they called their hearts that one can get on . now we are rewarded for our sublime faith in a mother's love. and when Wendy finished he uttered a hollow groan. 'I thought like you that my mother would always keep the window open for me. '"there is the window still standing open.' he said.CHAPTER XI 'Can it be--yes--no--it is--the fair Wendy!' 'Oh!' 'And who are the two noble portly figures accompanying her. and there was another little boy sleeping in my bed. but Peter thought it was true. The toads! Still it is best to be careful. 'What is it.' They all gathered round him in affright." So up they flew to their mummy and daddy." says Wendy. running to him. over which we draw a veil. but the window was barred. clutching them. pointing upwards. and with a fine candour he told them what he had hitherto concealed. and we have an entirely selfish time. So great indeed was their faith in a mother's love that they felt they could afford to be callous for a bit longer.' So this was the truth about mothers. 'Yes. and then when we have need of special attention we nobly return for it. Ah.' cried John and Michael together. and pen cannot describe the happy scene. you are wrong about mothers.' I am not sure that this was true. confident that we shall be embraced instead of smacked. dear brothers. so alarming was his agitation.

'I have asked the redskins to guide you through the wood.' they cried. The others held back uneasily. He would keep no girl in the Neverland against her will. and she said to him rather sharply. 'At once. he was going to show her.' .' 'Let's keep her prisoner. as coolly as if she had asked him to pass the nuts. did Tootles respond.' 67 This dread made her forgetful of what must be Peter's feelings.' she cried. Panic-stricken at the thought of losing Wendy the lost boys had advanced upon her threateningly. every time you breathe. He did this because there is a saying in the Neverland that. 'Wendy. 'I appeal to you. and for that instant his sun was at noon. 'Peter. will you make the necessary arrangements?' 'If you wish it. that neither did he. as flying tires you so. for the horrible thought had come to her: 'Perhaps mother is in half mourning by this time. chain her up.' he said. 'Tootles. 'We shan't let her go. Peter. [Illustration: WENDY'S STORY] Not so much as a sorry-to-lose-you between them! If she did not mind the parting. who. and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible.' He drew his hanger. 'I am just Tootles. 'It will be worse than before she came. a grown-up dies.' Wendy replied resolutely.CHAPTER XI quite well without a mother. however. and that it is only the mothers who think you can't. and they saw at once that they would get no support from him. that as soon as he got inside his tree he breathed intentionally quick short breaths at the rate of about five to a second. But of course he cared very much. as usual. and he was so full of wrath against grown-ups.' 'Ay. were spoiling everything.' he said. Then having given the necessary instructions to the redskins he returned to the home. he replied. striding up and down. quite the silliest one. 'and nobody minds me. For that one moment he dropped his silliness and spoke with dignity. was Peter. Then Peter returned. But the first who does not behave to Wendy like an English gentleman I will blood him severely. where an unworthy scene had been enacted in his absence.' 'Thank you. Grandly.' In her extremity an instinct told her to which of them to turn.'.' Was it not strange? she appealed to Tootles.

rapidly thinking it out. now equipped with John and Michael for the journey. not merely because they were about to lose her. and then we shall all see you in your négligée. aghast at such insubordination. and undoubtedly gave them too much.' 68 Of course Tink had been delighted to hear that Wendy was going.' he continued.' She loved to give them medicine. though Tink had really been sitting up in bed listening for some time.' he rapped out. On this occasion. but really they scarcely cared. but she was jolly well determined not to be her courier.' she said. Novelty was beckoning to them as usual. Peter. Crediting them with a nobler feeling Wendy melted. shaking. 'She says she won't. 'But won't they think us rather a handful?' Nibs asked in the middle of his jump. 'Get your things. 'Tink. 'Who said I wasn't getting up?' she cried. 'All right. whereupon Peter went sternly toward the young lady's chamber. 'Oh no. 'You are to get up. 'Dear ones. can we go?' they all cried imploringly.' she cried. Then she pretended to be asleep again. By this time they were dejected.' 'Peter. for just as she had prepared it. In the meantime the boys were gazing very forlornly at Wendy. but also because they felt that she was going off to something nice to which they had not been invited. Peter.' said Wendy. 'if you don't get up and dress at once I will open the curtains.' Wendy said. however. to desert their dearest ones. in the short sharp voice of one accustomed to be obeyed.' Nibs exclaimed. Of course it was only water.CHAPTER XI 'Then.' Peter replied with a bitter smile. 'I am going to give you your medicine before you go. they can be hidden behind screens on first Thursdays. 'and take Wendy on a journey. 'if you will all come with me I feel almost sure I can get my father and mother to adopt you. which gave it a certain medicinal quality. . and at once they jumped with joy. 'it will only mean having a few beds in the drawing-room. and she always shook the calabash and counted the drops. she did not give Peter his draught. when novelty knocks. and she said so in still more offensive language. Thus children are ever ready.' she cried.' The invitation was meant specially for Peter. Tink. 'Who are you? How dare you? Go away. Nibs. 'And now. Wake her.' This made her leap to the floor. but each of the boys was thinking exclusively of himself. and immediately they rushed to get their things.' Nibs had to knock twice before he got an answer. thinking she had put everything right. but it was out of a calabash. 'Tinker Bell will take you across the sea.' Nibs called. she saw a look on his face that made her heart sink. They took it for granted that if they went he would go also.

good-bye. he skipped up and down the room.' .' she coaxed.' 'No.' That seemed to be everything. though it was rather undignified. their faces said. Peter----' 'No.' he answered. and remembered only their bad points. She had to run about after him.' And so the others had to be told.' cried Peter. he no longer missed her.' 'But. for he had something important to do. pretending indifference. 'I hope you will like them. He had thought them out. But he was far too proud for that.' 'Yes. He could do very well without one. After all. Wendy. 'If you find your mothers.' Peter not coming! They gazed blankly at him. as there was no indication that he would prefer a thimble. their sticks over their backs. Wendy'. Their first thought was that if Peter was not going he had probably changed his mind about letting them go. She had to take his hand.' he said darkly. was not the kind that breaks down before people. and on each stick a bundle. 'Ay. Now. however. 'I am not going with you. and most of them began to look rather doubtful. were they not noodles to want to go? 'Now then. and I just want always to be a little boy and to have fun. 'You will remember about changing your flannels. 'No. 'Are you ready. no. 'no fuss. Tinker Bell?' he called out.' 'And you will take your medicine?' 'Yes. Peter?' she said. lingering over him. Peter. if Peter had ever quite had a mother. 'To find your mother.' The awful cynicism of this made an uncomfortable impression. 'Peter isn't coming. no blubbering. playing gaily on his heartless pipes.' he told Wendy decisively. She was always so particular about their flannels. and he held out his hand cheerily. 'Yes.' 69 To show that her departure would leave him unmoved. Peter. 'perhaps she would say I was old. quite as if they must really go now. ay. and an awkward pause followed.CHAPTER XI 'No.

Wendy fell on her knees. there was dead silence. Above. Below. the air was rent with shrieks and the clash of steel. but no one followed her. they were beseeching him mutely not to desert them. he seized his sword. All arms were extended to him. the same he thought he had slain Barbecue with. but her arms were extended toward Peter. as if suddenly blown in his direction. where all had been so still. As for Peter.CHAPTER XI 'Then lead the way.' 70 Tink darted up the nearest tree. for it was at this moment that the pirates made their dreadful attack upon the redskins. Mouths opened and remained open. and the lust of battle was in his eye. .

The Piccaninnies. There they await the onslaught. Fell from their eyes then the film through which they had looked at victory. For them the happy hunting-grounds now. and some of them do it even better than the coyotes. They left nothing undone that was consistent with the reputation of their tribe. he would not even hold off till the night was nearly spent. but this they were forbidden to do by the traditions of their race. here he must establish himself and wait for just before the dawn. They found only one hillock with a stream at its base. so that Hook had no choice. Here dreaming. but to the trained hand those ghastly calls and still ghastlier silences are but an intimation of how the night is marching. and they suddenly saw the perfidious pirates bearing down upon them. The white men have in the meantime made a rude stockade on the summit of yonder undulating ground. they knew that the pirates were on the island from the moment one of them trod on a dry stick. With that alertness of the senses which is at once the marvel and despair of civilised peoples. and their whole action of the night stands out in marked contrast to his. he does not seem even to have paused at the rising ground. on he pounded with no policy but to fall to. they remained stationary for a moment. Everything being thus mapped out with almost diabolical cunning. It is written that the noble savage must never express surprise in the presence of the white. at which time he knows the courage of the whites to be at its lowest ebb. Then. exposing themselves fatally to view. but it was now too late. snake-like. Not a sound is to be heard. and the air was torn with the warcry. Through the long black night the savage scouts wriggle. They knew it. Around the brave Tiger Lily were a dozen of her stoutest warriors. indeed. Even then they had time to gather in a phalanx that would have been hard to break had they risen quickly. From the accounts afterwards supplied by such of the scouts as escaped the carnage. . The cry is answered by other braves. but trot helplessly after him. The brushwood closes behind them as silently as sand into which a mole has dived. they seized their weapons. So the chill hours wear on. and in an incredibly short space of time the coyote cries began. No more would they torture at the stake. masters as they were of every warlike artifice save this one. Thus terrible as the sudden appearance of the pirates must have been to them. the while they gave pathetic utterance to the coyote cry. though wide-awake. as if the foe had come by invitation. By all the unwritten laws of savage warfare it is always the redskin who attacks. at the foot of which a stream runs. for to surprise redskins fairly is beyond the wit of the white man. That this was the usual procedure was so well known to Hook that in disregarding it he cannot be excused on the plea of ignorance. of the exquisite tortures to which they were to put him at break of day. trusted implicitly to his honour. among the grass without stirring a blade. awaiting the cold moment when they should deal pale death. who are not very good at it. the tradition gallantly upheld. and in the phlegmatic manner that is to them the pearl of manhood squatted above the children's home. and the long suspense is horribly trying to the paleface who has to live through it for the first time. and with the wiliness of his race he does it just before the dawn. Every foot of ground between the spot where Hook had landed his forces and the home under the trees was stealthily examined by braves wearing their mocassins with the heels in front. the inexperienced ones clutching their revolvers and treading on twigs.CHAPTER XII 71 CHAPTER XII THE CHILDREN ARE CARRIED OFF The pirate attack had been a complete surprise: a sure proof that the unscrupulous Hook had conducted it improperly. not a muscle moving. those confiding savages were found by the treacherous Hook. save when they give vent to a wonderful imitation of the lonely call of the coyote. but as their fathers' sons they acquitted themselves. on their part. but the old hands sleeping tranquilly until just before the dawn. What could the bewildered scouts do. for it is destruction to be too far from water. though it is certain that in that grey light he must have seen it: no thought of waiting to be attacked appears from first to last to have visited his subtle mind. the main body of the redskins folded their blankets around them.

it is always their sign of victory. they gathered at a discreet distance from his hook. Peter was such a small boy that one tends to wonder at the man's hatred of him. It was not his courage. for it was not the redskins he had come out to destroy. Pan and Wendy and their band. Chas. the tortured man felt that he was a lion in a cage into which a sparrow had come. it made his iron claw twitch. but chiefly Pan. The question now was how to get down the trees. The truth is that there was a something about Peter which goaded the pirate captain to frenzy. for with Lean Wolf fell Alf Mason. who ultimately cut a way through the pirates with Tiger Lily and a small remnant of the tribe. passed like a fierce gust of wind. It was Peter's cockiness. open-mouthed. True he had flung Hook's arm to the crocodile. hardly account for a vindictiveness so relentless and malignant. so that he should get at the honey. and the fell genius with which it was carried out. In the meantime. and slowly there came to Smee an understanding of the dreadful . Turley fell to the tomahawk of the terrible Panther. To what extent Hook is to blame for his tactics on this occasion is for the historian to decide. and squinted through their ferret eyes at this extraordinary man. Not all unavenged did they die. They wriggled uncomfortably. they also heard Peter's answer.' Now Smee had found the tom-tom. searching for the thinnest ones. 'You will never hear the tom-tom again. and among others who bit the dust were Geo. There is no beating about the bush. and the Alsatian Foggerty. The night's work was not yet over. and at night it disturbed him like an insect. and was at that moment sitting on it. and have got to tell. What were his own feelings about himself at that triumphant moment? Fain would his dogs have known. heard the question put by every boy. what of the boys? We have seen them at the first clang of weapons. for they knew he would not scruple to ram them down with poles. but even this and the increased insecurity of life to which it led. so that the whole question is beset with difficulties. or how to get his dogs down? He ran his greedy eyes over them. and in judging him it is only fair to take this into account. Turley. To his amazement Hook signed to him to beat the tom-tom. turned as it were into stone figures. owing to the crocodile's pertinacity. it was not--. Scourie. Elation must have been in his heart. as destroying the element of surprise. would have made his strategy of no avail. all appealing with outstretched arms to Peter. it was not his engaging appearance. Thus perished many of the flower of the Piccaninny tribe. One cannot at least withhold a reluctant admiration for the wit that had conceived so bold a scheme. Which side had won? The pirates.' he said. On the other hand this. they were but the bees to be smoked. The pandemonium above has ceased almost as suddenly as it arose. but inaudibly of course. for strict silence had been enjoined. 'they will beat the tom-tom. It was Pan he wanted. 'If the redskins have won. While Peter lived. he stood aloof from his followers in spirit as in substance. listening avidly at the mouths of the trees. and we return to them as their mouths close. What he should perhaps have done was to acquaint his opponents that he proposed to follow a new method. but his face did not reflect it: ever a dark and solitary enigma. but they know that in the passing it has determined their fate.' he muttered. for we know quite well what it was. as breathing heavily and wiping their cutlasses. and alas. to disturb the Spanish Main no more. and their arms fall to their sides. This had got on Hook's nerves.CHAPTER XII 72 It is no part of ours to describe what was a massacre rather than a fight. Had he waited on the rising ground till the proper hour he and his men would probably have been butchered.

and almost immediately they repeated their goodbyes to Peter. . Never. 'an Indian victory!' 73 The doomed children answered with a cheer that was music to the black hearts above. Twice Smee beat upon the instrument. probably. but all their other feelings were swallowed by a base delight that the enemy were about to come up the trees.CHAPTER XII wickedness of the order. 'The tom-tom.' the miscreants heard Peter cry. This puzzled the pirates. and the others to arrange themselves in a line two yards apart. They smirked at each other and rubbed their hands. Rapidly and silently Hook gave his orders: one man to each tree. and then stopped to listen gleefully. had this simple man admired Hook so much.

who came last. and that he would be alone. he merely signed that the captives were to be conveyed to the ship. and several of them were in the air at a time. the singing drowned the sound. most wretched of all the children now. Poor Slightly. but no word of the dark design that now formed in the subterranean caverns of his mind crossed his lips. The children were flung into it. she would have been hurled through the air like the others. All went well until Slightly's turn came. The pirates kicked him in their rage. Sufficient of this Hook guessed to persuade him that Peter at last lay at his mercy. unknown to the others. Madly addicted to the drinking of water when he was hot. he had swelled in consequence to his present girth. While his dogs were merely sweating because every time they tried to pack the unhappy lad tight in one part he bulged out in another. who flung him to Starkey. and it did Peter a bad service. Hook's master mind had gone far beneath Slightly's surface. doubled up with their knees close to their ears. white to the gills. Had she haughtily unhanded him (and we should have loved to write it of her). and. Hook saw it. How to convey them? Hunched up in their ropes they might indeed be rolled down hill like barrels. that she was too fascinated to cry out. The first to emerge from his tree was Curly. It dried up any trickle of pity for him that may have remained in the pirate's infuriated breast. he was so frightfully distingué. probing not for effects but for causes. the others fell in behind. who flung him to Noodler. whittled his tree to make it fit him. and we tell on her only because her slip led to strange results. I don't know whether any of the children were crying. They were tied to prevent their flying away. just as you kick the parcel (though in fairness you should kick the string). when he was found to be like those irritating parcels that use up all the string in going round and leave no tags with which to tie a knot. like bales of goods flung from hand to hand. and had he not been at the tying he would not have discovered Slightly's secret. four stout pirates raised it on their shoulders. She was only a little girl. Perhaps it is tell-tale to divulge that for a moment Hook entranced her. which was this. All the boys were plucked from their trees in this ruthless manner. escorted her to the spot where the others were being gagged. and his exultation showed that he had found them. and without the secret he could not presently have made his foul attempt on Peter's life. Slightly. that no boy so blown out could use a tree wherein an average man need stick. Again Hook's genius surmounted difficulties. if so. and instead of reducing himself to fit his tree he had. but as the little house disappeared in the forest. and for the trussing of them the black pirate had cut a rope into nine equal pieces. and singing the hateful pirate chorus the strange procession set off through the wood. who flung him to Smee. and so he was tossed from one to another till he fell at the feet of the black pirate.CHAPTER XIII 74 CHAPTER XIII DO YOU BELIEVE IN FAIRIES? The more quickly this horror is disposed of the better. knew that Hook had surprised his secret. bitterly regretted what he had done. who flung him to Bill Jukes. [Illustration: FLUNG LIKE BALES] A different treatment was accorded to Wendy. a brave though tiny jet of smoke issued from its chimney as if defying Hook. but most of the way lay through a morass. With ironical politeness Hook raised his hat to her. offering her his arm. and then Hook would probably not have been present at the tying of the children. His lip was curled with malicious triumph. and strange to say it was Hook who told them to belay their violence. for he was in a panic about Peter. He indicated that the little house must be used as a conveyance. He did it with such an air. He rose out of it into the arms of Cecco. .

so that a gentle breeze which had arisen might play refreshingly through his hair. with the riddle of his existence. but for a moment he had to stop there and wipe his brow. to vex her still more. was the great bed. will never again one may hope be presented to eyes so sensitive to their offensiveness. though not often. Then he lay down on the bed outside the coverlet. At such times it had been Wendy's custom to take him out of bed and sit with him on her lap. he had dreams. let it be frankly admitted. One arm dropped over the edge of the bed. On the bed lay Peter fast asleep. which had almost left him. Intently he listened for any sound from the nether world. the arched knee: they were such a personification of cockiness as. Feeling for the catch. but for one thing. and when he grew calmer to put him back to bed before he quite woke up. As his eyes became accustomed to the dim light various objects in the home under the trees took shape. the idyllic nature of the scene stirred him profoundly. the house under the ground seemed to be but one more empty tenement in the void. What stayed him was Peter's impertinent appearance as he slept. I think. save by going down. Thus defenceless Hook found him. for she had always tucked them inside it. though he wailed piteously in them. one leg was arched. his hat of ill omen on the sward. so as to grieve Wendy. showing the little pearls. If his rage had broken him into a hundred pieces every one of them would have disregarded the incident. and he rattled the door and flung himself against it. He stood silent at the foot of the tree looking across the chamber at his enemy. He arrived unmolested at the foot of the shaft. soothing him in dear ways of her own invention. Though a light from the one lamp shone dimly on the bed Hook stood in darkness himself. They steeled Hook's heart. beyond his reach. the door of Slightly's tree. Hook let his cloak slip softly to the ground. he found to his fury that it was low down. For hours he could not be separated from these dreams. which was open. but it struck him how indignant she would be if he laughed instead. Unaware of the tragedy being enacted above. and the unfinished part of his laugh was stranded on his mouth. Sometimes. and they were more painful than the dreams of other boys. Then silently he let himself go into the unknown. Dark as were his thoughts his blue eyes were as soft as the periwinkle. he stepped into the tree. Then he nearly cried. but all was as silent below as above. biting at his breath. He was a brave man. To his disordered brain it seemed then that the irritating quality in Peter's face and figure visibly increased. They had to do. but the only one on which his greedy gaze rested. taken together. and. which was dripping like a candle. with his dagger in his hand? There was no way of knowing. he loved flowers (I have been told) and sweet music (he was himself no mean performer on the harpsichord). and he had been looking over it. and make sure that it provided him with a passage. and at the first stealthy step forward he discovered an obstacle.CHAPTER XIII 75 The first thing he did on finding himself alone in the fast falling night was to tiptoe to Slightly's tree. Mastered by his better self he would have returned reluctantly up the tree. or did he stand waiting at the foot of Slightly's tree. long sought for and found at last. Did no feeling of compassion disturb his sombre breast? The man was not wholly evil. because you never know that you may not grow chilly at the turn of the night. Was that boy asleep. to play gaily on his pipes: no doubt rather a forlorn attempt to prove to himself that he did not care. and stood still again. It did not entirely fill the aperture. Was his enemy to escape him after all. so he laughed a haughty laugh and fell asleep in the middle of it. The open mouth. But what was that? The red in his eye had caught sight of Peter's medicine standing on a ledge within easy . and leapt at the sleeper. for a little time after the children left. Then he decided not to take his medicine. and then biting his lips till a lewd blood stood on them. Then for long he remained brooding. But on this occasion he had fallen at once into a dreamless sleep. so that he should not know of the indignity to which she had subjected him. Peter had continued. the drooping arm.

which was probably the most virulent poison in existence. 'I won't open unless you speak. 'What is it?' 'Oh. In two strides he reached his door. Hook always carried about his person a dreadful drug. and offered him three guesses. holding one end in front as if to conceal his person from the night. His hand shook. She flew in excitedly. Then one long gloating look he cast upon his victim. It was a soft cautious tapping on the door of his tree.' he cried. He was thrilled. .' Peter cried. 'Who are you?' No answer. 'Let me in. Soft and cautious. but still he slept. leaving the tenement in darkness. 76 Lest he should be taken alive. leaping at his weapons. of which it was the blackest part. As he did it he avoided glancing at the sleeper. and on the pirate ship. you could never guess. but not lest pity should unnerve him. Peter felt for his dagger till his hand gripped it. in a lovely bell-like voice. merely to avoid spilling. Wendy bound. As he leapt he thought of something he could do to please her. and immediately he knew that the sleeper was in his power. Then at last the visitor spoke. he wound his cloak around him. and in one ungrammatical sentence. blended by himself of all the death-dealing rings that had come into his possession. her face flushed and her dress stained with mud. wormed his way with difficulty up the tree. He fathomed what it was straightway. wakened by he knew not what. Peter's heart bobbed up and down as he listened. nor could the one knocking see him. and quickly he unbarred to her. He could take his medicine. Donning his hat at its most rakish angle. As he emerged at the top he looked the very spirit of evil breaking from its hole. she told of the capture of Wendy and the boys.' It was Tink. It must have been not less than ten o'clock by the crocodile. and muttering strangely to himself stole away through the trees. These he had boiled down into a yellow liquid quite unknown to science. but in that stillness it was sinister. when he suddenly sat up in his bed. and turning.CHAPTER XIII reach. as long as the ribbons conjurers pull from their mouths. 'Who is that?' For long there was no answer: then again the knock. but it was in exultation rather than in shame.' she cried. so that he could not see beyond it. Then he spoke. 'Out with it!' he shouted. Five drops of this he now added to Peter's cup. Peter slept on. The light guttered and went out. Peter. Unlike Slightly's door it filled the aperture. she who loved everything to be just so! 'I'll rescue her. and he loved being thrilled.

'I never fell asleep.' 'But why. 'Why.' 77 He raised the cup. Then he made it out. Already she was reeling in the air. who had heard Hook muttering about his deed as he sped through the forest. and then. and he knew that if it went out she would be no more. and naked papooses in their baskets hung from trees. Every moment her light was growing fainter. quite believing himself.' she told him softly. . did you drink it to save me?' 'Yes.CHAPTER XIII His hand closed on the fatal draught. but in reply she alighted on his shoulder and gave his chin a loving bite. Peter. She was saying that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies. 'No!' shrieked Tinker Bell. No time for words now. There were no children there. His head almost filled the fourth wall of her little room as he knelt near her in distress. Tink?' Her wings would scarcely carry her now. 'Do you believe?' he cried. tottering to her chamber. She liked his tears so much that she put out her beautiful finger and let them run over it.' 'Don't be silly. 'Besides. how dare you drink my medicine?' But she did not answer. for even she did not know the dark secret of Slightly's tree. Her voice was so low that at first he could not make out what she said. but he addressed all who might be dreaming of the Neverland. lay down on the bed. and it was night-time. 'It was poisoned. and with one of her lightning movements Tink got between his lips and the draught. and drained it to the dregs. 'and now I am going to be dead.' 'O Tink. time for deeds. The cup was poisoned.' said Peter. She whispered in his ear 'You silly ass'. 'Why not?' 'It is poisoned. Tinker Bell could not explain this. 'What is the matter with you?' cried Peter. Tink. Nevertheless Hook's words had left no room for doubt.' 'Poisoned? Who could have poisoned it?' 'Hook. and who were therefore nearer to him than you think: boys and girls in their nighties. Peter flung out his arms. How could Hook have got down here?' Alas. suddenly afraid.

and then again she wasn't sure. but she would have liked to get at the ones who had hissed. and knew that in their dire hour they were not likely to forget it.' Now he crawled forward like a snake. She never thought of thanking those who believed. at which happily he was an adept. then she was flashing through the room more merry and impudent than ever.CHAPTER XIII Tink sat up in bed almost briskly to listen to her fate. he darted across a space on which the moonlight played: one finger on his lip and his dagger at the ready. . not a movement. and Wendy would leave her handkerchief at some important place. He regretted now that he had given the birds of the island such strange names that they are very wild and difficult of approach. But morning was needed to search for such guidance. for he could not be sure that the children had been taken to the ship? A slight fall of snow had obliterated all footmarks. but would give no help. The crocodile passed him. keeping not far from the ground so that nothing unwonted should escape his eyes. It was not such a night as he would have chosen. He was frightfully happy. begirt with weapons and wearing little else. don't let Tink die. Slightly. 'If you believe. First her voice grew strong. 'And now to rescue Wendy. but in that fitful light to have flown low would have meant trailing his shadow through the trees. and yet he knew well that sudden death might be at the next tree.' he shouted to them. erect. He had hoped to fly. 'clap your hands. but already Tink was saved. 78 The clapping stopped suddenly. A few little beasts hissed. or stalking him from behind. would blaze the trees. 'What do you think?' she asked Peter.' Many clapped. There was no other course but to press forward in redskin fashion. The upper world had called him. and he could not wait. as if countless mothers had rushed to their nurseries to see what on earth was happening. as if for a space Nature stood still in horror of the recent carnage. then she popped out of bed. not a sound. He had taught the children something of the forest lore that he had himself learned from Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell. She fancied she heard answers in the affirmative. and a deathly silence pervaded the island. if he had an opportunity. and again. to set out upon his perilous quest.' The moon was riding in a cloudy heaven when Peter rose from his tree. He swore this terrible oath: 'Hook or me this time. but not another living thing. for instance. thus disturbing the birds and acquainting a watchful foe that he was astir. Curly would drop seeds. Some didn't. But in what direction.

and scarce needed that watchful eye. Flint--what house?' came the cutting retort. It was his hour of triumph.' he urged. It was because he was so terribly alone. every beam in her detestable like ground strewn with mangled feathers. a rakish-looking craft foul to the hull. Smee was quite unconscious. with which indeed they are largely concerned. and the exhausted four who had carried the little house lay prone on the deck. Hook was not his true name. Peter had been removed for ever from his path. others sprawled by barrels over games of dice and cards. for she floated immune in the horror of her name. and its traditions still clung to him like garments. 'and Flint himself feared Barbecue.' 'Barbecue. which is near the mouth of the pirate river. and all the other boys were on the brig. that glittering bauble. and he still adhered in his walk to the school's distinguished slouch. like hammering in the night when one cannot sleep. which kept pace with the action of his sombre mind. pathetic Smee. bellied out by the winds of his success? But there was no elation in his gait. It was his grimmest deed since the days when he had brought Barbecue to heel. He was often thus when communing with himself on board ship in the quietude of the night. could we be surprised had he now paced the deck unsteadily. fame. as of almost everything else. it is mine. Hook was profoundly dejected. and through them came a stern tap-tap-tap. marked where the brig. and none agreeable save the whir of the ship's sewing machine at which Smee sat. They were socially so inferior to him. Of this. through which no sound from her could have reached the shore. But above all he retained the passion for good form. . This inscrutable man never felt more alone than when surrounded by his dogs. the essence of the commonplace. Thus it was offensive to him even now to board a ship in the same dress in which he grappled her. There was little sound. unless it were because he was so pathetically unaware of it. O man unfathomable. Good form! However much he may have degenerated.' he cried. he still knew that this is all that really matters. ever industrious and obliging. about to walk the plank. 'I am the only man whom Barbecue feared. but even strong men had to turn hastily from looking at him. and more than once on summer evenings he had touched the fount of Hook's tears and made it flow. I know not why he was so infinitely pathetic. Hook trod the deck in thought. where even in their sleep they rolled skilfully to this side or that out of Hook's reach. lest he should claw them mechanically in passing. She was the cannibal of the seas. he had been at a famous public school. and knowing as we do how vain a tabernacle is man. 'Is it quite good form to be distinguished at anything?' the tap-tap from his school replied. From far within him he heard a creaking as of rusty portals. low in the water. 'Have you been good form to-day?' was their eternal question. but as those who read between the lines must already have guessed.CHAPTER XIV 79 CHAPTER XIV THE PIRATE SHIP One green light squinting over Kidd's Creek. 'Fame. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze. A few of the pirates leant over the bulwarks drinking in the miasma of the night. She was wrapped in the blanket of night. the Jolly Roger. lay.

which is the best form of all? He remembered that you have to prove you don't know you have it before you are eligible for Pop. who was hemming placidly. What arrested him was this reflection: 'To claw a man because he is good form. was it not bad form to think about good form? 80 His vitals were tortured by this problem. Instead. you scugs. and as it tore him. It was as if Peter's terrible oath had boarded the ship. Hook felt a gloomy desire to make his dying speech. but they had only clung to him the more. staring at Smee. ay. what was it that made him so? A terrible answer suddenly presented itself: 'Good form?' Had the bo'sun good form without knowing it. what would that be?' 'Bad form!' The unhappy Hook was as impotent as he was damp. but it seemed too brutal. His dogs thinking him out of the way for a time. and they broke into a bacchanalian dance. he revolved this mystery in his mind: why do they find Smee lovable? He pursued the problem like the sleuth-hound that he was. which had never troubled him before. 'No little children love me. It was a claw within him sharper than the iron one. so that they cannot fly away?' 'Ay. and at once the din was hushed. For long he muttered to himself.' It was in his darkest hours only that he referred to himself in the third person. Ah. discipline instantly relaxed. Feared him! Feared Smee! There was not a child on board the brig that night who did not already love him. lest presently there should be no time for it. 'Are all the children chained. There came to him a presentiment of his early dissolution. as if a bucket of water had passed over him. envy not Hook.' he cried. If Smee was lovable. perhaps the sewing machine brought it to his mind. under the conviction that all children feared him. the perspiration dripped down his tallow countenance and streaked his doublet. 'or I'll cast anchor in you'.' he cried.' 'Then hoist them up. 'if he had had less ambition.' . because he could not hit with his fist. but there was no damming that trickle. but he did not tear. all traces of human weakness gone. and he fell forward like a cut flower. With a cry of rage he raised his iron hand over Smee's head. To tell poor Smee that they thought him lovable! Hook itched to do it. Michael had tried on his spectacles.' Strange that he should think of this.CHAPTER XIV Most disquieting reflection of all. which brought him to his feet at once. He had said horrid things to them and hit them with the palm of his hand. 'Better for Hook. Ofttimes he drew his sleeve across his face. 'Quiet.

and despise them for it. Twin?' 'I don't think so.' he cried.. 'What would you call me if I join?' Michael demanded. 'six of you walk the plank to-night. bullies. 'And I refuse. sir.' as if he wished things had been otherwise. he knew that mothers alone are always willing to be the buffer. 'I don't think so. For a time he seemed unconscious of their presence.CHAPTER XIV 81 The wretched prisoners were dragged from the hold. prep. boy. not unmelodiously. 'Would your mother like you to be a pirate.' said the first twin.' cried Michael. 'I once thought of calling myself Red-handed Jack. So Tootles explained prudently. Didst never want to be a pirate. Which of you is it to be?' 'Don't irritate him unnecessarily. Through Hook's teeth came the answer: 'You would have to swear. 'You. bully. and fingering a pack of cards. He lolled at his ease. 'What do you think. and John wanted him to decide. Ever and anon the light from his cigar gave a touch of colour to his face."' Perhaps John had not behaved very well so far. as clever as the others. Tootles hated the idea of signing under such a man. 'Nibs. banging the barrel in front of Hook. 'And a good name too. would----' 'Stow this gab. I don't think my mother would like me to be a pirate. 'Rule Britannia!' squeaked Curly. humming. 'Then I refuse. but he shone out now. and he was struck by Hook's picking him out. but I have room for two cabin boys. "Down with the King. but an instinct told him that it would be prudent to lay the responsibility on an absent person.' he said briskly. my hearty?' Now John had sometimes experienced this hankering at maths. 'Shall we still be respectful subjects of the King?' John inquired. and ranged in line in front of him. 'you look as if you had a little pluck in you.' roared Hook. all except Wendy.' Michael was naturally impressed. but make constant use of it. addressing John. and though a somewhat silly boy.' 'What do you think. . John?' He wanted John to decide. Would your mother like you to be a pirate. 'Blackbeard Joe. Slightly?' He winked at Slightly. Michael?' asked John. if you join. so Tootles stepped forward politely.' he said. snatches of a rude song.' had been Wendy's instructions in the hold. who said mournfully. 'Now then. 'You see. All children know this about mothers.' he said diffidently. and the spokesmen were dragged back. We'll call you that here.

But as the boys gathered round her she had no thought. 'See here. and Tootles cried out hysterically. what are----' But Hook had found his voice again. as if he spoke in syrup. and immediately every head was blown in one direction.' he whispered. Nibs?' 'What my mother hopes. With a hasty gesture he tried to hide it. They were no longer able to hope that they would walk it manfully.' she said disdainfully. boys. It is sad to know that not a boy was looking at her as Smee tied her to the mast. There was not a porthole. with a look of such frightful contempt that he nearly fainted. His intention was to turn her face so that she should see the boys walking the plank one by one. but he was too late. not to the . they could stare and shiver only. dear boys. 'Silence all. of course. 'That seals your doom. my beauty.CHAPTER XIV 82 The infuriated pirates buffeted them in the mouth. on the grimy glass of which you might not have written with your finger 'Dirty pig'. for the capacity to think had gone from them. Twin?' 'What my mother hopes.' he snarled.' she said firmly. the eyes of all were on the plank: that last little walk they were about to take. No words of mine can tell you how Wendy despised those pirates. and she had already written it on several. save for them. 'I am going to do what my mother hopes. But he never reached her. 'Are they to die?' asked Wendy. 'I'll save you if you promise to be my mother. and they went white as they saw Jukes and Cecco preparing the fatal plank.' But not even for Smee would she make such a promise. 'So. They all heard it--pirates. 'I would almost rather have no children at all. Hook smiled on them with his teeth closed. and Hook roared out. 'Tie her up.' Fine gentleman though he was."' Even the pirates were awed. What are you to do. honey. It was Smee who tied her to the mast. 'for a mother's last words to her children. To the boys there was at least some glamour in the pirate calling.' he shouted. and suddenly he knew that she was gazing at it.' At this moment Wendy was grand. Get the plank ready.' said Hook. But they tried to look brave when Wendy was brought up. He heard something else instead. 'I feel that I have a message to you from your real mothers. and took a step toward Wendy. It was the terrible tick-tick of the crocodile. Bring up their mother. he never heard the cry of anguish he hoped to wring from her.' They were only boys. What are you to do. and it is this: "We hope our sons will die like English gentlemen. 'you are to see your children walk the plank. John. the intensity of his communings had soiled his ruff. 'These are my last words. 'They are. Wendy.' he called gloatingly. but all that she saw was that the ship had not been scrubbed for years.

. 'Hide me. He fell in a little heap. Then he went on ticking. The sound came steadily nearer.' he cried hoarsely. They had no thought of fighting it. Very frightful was it to see the change that came over him. for it was no crocodile that was coming to their aid.' Even the iron claw hung inactive. They gathered round him. but toward Hook. and in advance of it came this ghastly thought. any other man would have lain with his eyes shut where he fell: but the gigantic brain of Hook was still working. All knew that what was about to happen concerned him alone. It was Fate. as if knowing that it was no intrinsic part of what the attacking force wanted. Then they got the strangest surprise of this Night of Nights. Left so fearfully alone. It was Peter.CHAPTER XIV 83 water whence the sound proceeded. and under its guidance he crawled on his knees along the deck as far from the sound as he could go. and that from being actors they were suddenly become spectators. Only when Hook was hidden from them did curiosity loosen the limbs of the boys so that they could rush to the ship's side to see the crocodile climbing it. 'The crocodile is about to board the ship. and it was only when he brought up against the bulwarks that he spoke. The pirates respectfully cleared a passage for him. all eyes averted from the thing that was coming aboard. It was as if he had been clipped at every joint. He signed to them not to give vent to any cry of admiration that might rouse suspicion.

half an hour. How long has it taken? 'One!' (Slightly had begun to count. At first he thought this eerie. They could hear each other's distressed breathing now. but no other human of whom I know. every inch of him on tiptoe. There was a splash. and then silence. wiping his spectacles. had not occurred to him. and he was amazed to see the pirates cowering from him. and in a flash he understood the situation. or merely as a friend under the belief that it was again ticking itself.' Slowly Hook let his head emerge from his ruff. [Illustration: HOOK OR ME THIS TIME] On the contrary. for to board the brig by the help of the tick. for more than one pirate was screwing up his courage to look round. John clapped his hands on the ill-fated pirate's mouth to stifle the dying groan.) None too soon. He had seen the crocodile pass by without noticing anything peculiar about it. but. Peter at once considered how he could turn the catastrophe to his own use. though an ingenious idea. Thus.' he thought at once. Then he realised that he was doing it himself. reader. Without giving a thought to what might be the feelings of a fellow-creature thus abruptly deprived of its closest companion. and listened so intently that he could have caught the echo of the tick. which showed them that the more terrible sound had passed. though whether with the purpose of regaining what it had lost. The crocodile was among those who heard the sound. As he swam he had but one thought: 'Hook or me this time. but with one unforeseen result. Thus many animals pass from land to water. Had he known he would have stopped. and he drew himself up firmly to his full height. and he decided to tick. . say.CHAPTER XV 84 CHAPTER XV 'HOOK OR ME THIS TIME' Odd things happen to all of us on our way through life without our noticing for a time that they have happened.' He had ticked so long that he now went on ticking without knowing that he was doing it. he thought he had scaled her side as noiseless as a mouse. Now such an experience had come that night to Peter.' Smee said. we suddenly discover that we have been deaf in one ear for we don't know how long. it was a stupid beast. Peter reached the shore without mishap. The crocodile! No sooner did Peter remember it than he heard the ticking. Peter struck true and deep. and he looked behind him swiftly. will never be certainly known. like all slaves to a fixed idea. When last we saw him he was stealing across the island with one finger to his lips and his dagger at the ready. 'All's still again. but soon he concluded rightly that the clock had run down. and the carrion was cast overboard. for. At first he thought the sound did come from the crocodile. and signed to the boys not to burst into applause. Peter. Now. but by and by he remembered that it had not been ticking. vanished into the cabin. his legs encountering the water as if quite unaware that they had entered a new element. Peter gave the signal. so that wild beasts should believe he was the crocodile and let him pass unmolested. 'How clever of me. There was not a sound. He fell forward. 'It's gone. Four boys caught him to prevent the thud. time what happened by your watch. with Hook in their midst as abject as if he had heard the crocodile. It was at this moment that Ed Teynte the quartermaster emerged from the forecastle and came along the deck. to take an instance. He ticked superbly. and it followed him. captain. and went straight on.

' he said in his most steely voice. Its tails are nine.' said Hook. 'The cabin's as black as a pit.' Cecco said. 'What's the matter with Bill Jukes. . Cecco went. hating the boys more than ever because they had seen him unbend. and he strode into the cabin.' they cried so piteously that every pirate smiled. He tottered out. 'Ay. The Italian Cecco hesitated for a moment and then swung into the cabin. 'Bill Jukes dead!' cried the startled pirates. and when he finished he cried. all listened now. you dog?' hissed Hook. his dogs joining in with him: 'Yo ho. he danced along an imaginary plank. 'Did you say you would go. No one spoke except Slightly. they scarce knew that Hook had resumed his song. for of a sudden the song was stayed by a dreadful screech from the cabin. Till it goes down and you goes down To Davy Jones below!' 85 To terrorise the prisoners the more. and again came a death-screech and again a crow. 'go back and fetch me out that doodle-doo. You walks along it so. Cecco?' he said musingly. but Hook was purring to his claw. 'What was that?' cried Hook. the frisky plank. but to the pirates was almost more eerie than the screech. towering over him.' said Slightly solemnly. though with a certain loss of dignity. first flinging up his arms despairingly. Then was heard a crowing sound which was well understood by the boys. He broke into the villainous ditty: 'Yo ho. both were seen by Hook. and died away. bravest of the brave. yo ho. 'Do you want a touch of the cat before you walk the plank?' At that they fell on their knees. 'Two.' replied Cecco in a hollow Voice. you know. 'it's in the cabin.' The exultation of the boys.' he said. almost gibbering.' said Jukes blithely. the scratching cat. It wailed through the ship. grimacing at them as he sang. 'The matter wi' him is he's dead.' he cried brazenly. no. 'No. 'Cecco. 'but there is something terrible in there: the thing you heard crowing. ay. stabbed. crying 'No. no'.' The cabin! Peter was in the cabin! The children gazed at each other. They followed him with their eyes.' Cecco. Jukes. And when they're writ upon your back-What was the last line will never be known. haggard. There was no more singing. cowered before his captain. 'Fetch the cat.CHAPTER XV 'Then here's to Johnny Plank. 'Three. the lowering looks of the pirates. yo ho.

'He's as dead as Jukes. 'who is to bring me that doodle-doo?' 'Wait till Cecco comes out.' growled Starkey. 86 Starkey looked round for help. crossing to him. by thunder!' Starkey cried.' said Hook.' he thundered. 'Starkey's ringleader. 'And now. and sped into the cabin. purring again. and the others took up the cry. 'What of Cecco?' demanded Noodler. 'My hook thinks you did.' 'I've heard. 'I think I heard you volunteer. ''Sdeath and odds fish.' he said.' Hook asked courteously. to humour the hook?' 'I'll swing before I go in there.' Starkey whimpered. 'I wonder if it would not be advisable. but as he swung round on them now his face lit up again. all of a tremble now. 'I'll bring out that doodle-doo myself. All pirates are superstitious. 'did any other gentleman say mutiny?' Seizing a lantern and raising his claw with a menacing gesture. looking viciously at Hook. With a despairing scream the pirate leapt upon Long Tom and precipitated himself into the sea. 'Something!' echoed Mullins. proffering his claw. and now the red spark was in his eye. Starkey. Starkey. mercy. captain?' asked Cookson insolently. 'Is it mutiny?' asked Hook more pleasantly than ever.' said another. captain?' 'They say. 'No.' How Slightly longed to say it.' said Hook. and again he had the support of the crew. His reluctance to return to the cabin impressed them all unfavourably. Had he a tail. Starkey.' said Slightly. and one after another took up the cry. but all deserted him.' 'Captain. without his lantern.' muttered Mullins.CHAPTER XV Hook rallied his dogs with a gesture. 'that when he comes it's in the likeness of the wickedest man aboard.' said Hook. 'he always boards the pirate craft at last. 'The ship's doomed.' replied Starkey doggedly. As he backed Hook advanced. Hook had well-nigh forgotten his prisoners. 'Shake hands. and Cookson cried. and the mutinous sounds again broke forth.' he said a little unsteadily. 'They do say the surest sign a ship's accurst is when there's one on board more than can be accounted for.' said Hook shortly. 'Something blew out the light.' 'Had he a hook. 'Five. He wetted his lips to be ready. .' At this the children could not resist raising a cheer. but Hook came staggering out. 'Four.

'a man wi' a hook. and in another moment the clash of arms was resounding through the ship. 'Fling the girl overboard. it was for the reappearance of Peter. In that frightful moment I think his fierce heart broke. and now they all stole forth.CHAPTER XV 'Lads. her cloak around him so that he should pass for her. who did not fight. one. lads. but ran about with a lantern which he flashed in their faces. There's a Jonah abroad.' he said. who all this time had been bound to the mast. 'here's a notion. In the cabin he had found the thing for which he had gone in search: the key that would free the children of their manacles. We'll right the ship when she's gone. ready to cajole or strike as need be. pretending to struggle. and himself took her place by the mast. but like the dogs he had made them they showed him their fangs. Wendy. The boys. listen. 'Who's that?' 'Peter Pan the avenger!' came the terrible answer. striking wildly. Then they all knew who 'twas that had been undoing them in the cabin. and then nothing could have been easier than for them all to fly off together. To the pirates it was a voice crying that all the boys lay slain in the cabin. an oath. no. 'I've thought it out.' cried Hook. where they were found by Slightly. Let them fight the doodle-doo for their lives. But not one dared to face the door. were pushed into the cabin and the door was closed on them. boys. and twice Hook essayed to speak and twice he failed. Peter cut Wendy's bonds. Open the cabin door and drive them in. and they ran hither and thither.' they said doubtfully.' Some of them remembered that this had been a saying of Flint's. 'Hook or me this time.' So when he had freed Wendy. it's the girl. and he knew that if he took his eyes off them now they would leap at him. Some of the miscreants leapt into the sea. 'Cleave him to the brisket.' replied the figure.' 'Ay. Then he took a great breath and crowed. At last he cried.' Mullins hissed jeeringly. and as he spoke Peter flung off his cloak.' they snarled. we're so much the better. and they were panic-stricken. Had the pirates kept together it is certain that they would have won.' but without conviction. 'Down. so that they were half blinded and fell an easy prey to the reeking swords of the other boys. Hook tried to hearten them. which enabled the boys to hunt in pairs and choose their quarry. armed with such weapons as they could find. others hid in dark recesses. and at them.' he cried to his crew. 'Lads. but the onset came when they were all unstrung. each thinking himself the last survivor of the crew. and they made a rush at the figure in the cloak. . 'It's worth trying. If they kill him. Yes. First signing to them to hide.' 87 For the last time his dogs admired Hook. but they fought on the defensive only. 'There's one. Never was luck on a pirate ship wi' a woman on board. but one thing barred the way. Man to man they were the stronger. and devotedly they did his bidding. he whispered to her to conceal herself with the others.' 'No. we're none the worse. but never quailing for an instant. It was for neither a scream nor a crow that she was watching. 'There's none can save you now.' Peter's voice rang out. She had not long to wait. and all listened. if he kills them. 'Now. missy.' cried Hook.

'Now!' cried all the boys. taught him long ago by Barbecue at Rio.' [Illustration: "THIS MAN IS MINE!"] Thus suddenly Hook found himself face to face with Peter. hoping suddenly to end all with a favourite thrust. ever and anon he followed up a feint with a lunge that got past his foe's defence. At sight of his own blood. The others drew back and formed a ring round them. but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was. whose peculiar colour. an occasional screech or splash. was nonsense.' This. Hitherto he had thought it was some fiend fighting him. but darker suspicions assailed him now. He fought now like a human flail. Hook shuddering slightly. 'this is all your doing. Pan. Hook did so instantly.' 'Dark and sinister man. and Peter with the strange smile upon his face. 'So. and Slightly monotonously counting--five--six--seven--eight-. 'Put up your swords. forced him back by the weight of his onset. 'I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg. who had just passed his sword through Mullins. which all this time had been pawing the air. They had done for his dogs. of course. but with a tragic feeling that Peter was showing good form. which is the very pinnacle of good form. who seemed to have a charmed life. Then he sought to close and give the quietus with his iron hook. He had lifted up one boy with his hook. but to his astonishment he found this thrust turned aside again and again.' he cried despairingly.' 'Proud and insolent youth. Again and again they closed upon him. 88 I think all were gone when a group of savage boys surrounded Hook.' Without more words they fell to. as he kept them at bay in that circle of fire. and he was at Peter's mercy. boys. who and what art thou?' he cried huskily. James Hook. I'm joy. 'To 't again.nine--ten--eleven. and parried with dazzling rapidity.' 'Ay.' Peter answered. Hook. 'Pan. but Peter doubled under it and. and every sweep of that terrible sword would have severed in twain any . and was using him as a buckler. but his shorter reach stood him in ill stead. you remember.' cried the newcomer. and he could not drive the steel home. but not quite so nimble in wrist play. when another. but this man alone seemed to be a match for them all. 'it is all my doing. 'I'm youth. 'prepare to meet thy doom. sprang into the fray. Peter was a superb swordsman. the sword fell from Hook's hand. For long the two enemies looked at one another. was offensive to him. but with a magnificent gesture Peter invited his opponent to pick up his sword. 'this man is mine. scarcely his inferior in brilliancy. and for a space there was no advantage to either blade. lunging fiercely.CHAPTER XV There was little sound to be heard but the clang of weapons. 'have at thee. and again and again he hewed a clear space.' came the stern answer.' said Hook.' Peter answered at a venture. pierced him in the ribs.' said Hook at last.

The other boys were flying around him now. of course.' he cried. James Hook. for we purposely stopped the clock that this knowledge might be spared him: a little mark of respect from us at the end. now. Wendy. Hook had feared. She got them to bed in the pirates' bunks pretty quickly. but for one boon it craved: to see Peter bad form before it was cold for ever. which I think we need not grudge him. and then she took them into Hook's cabin and pointed to his watch which was hanging on a nail. It made Peter kick instead of stab. scornful. He did not know that the crocodile was waiting for him. had stood by taking no part in the fight. and as he staggered about the deck striking up at them impotently. and his tie was right. but he was not quite correct in his figures. Hook was fighting now without hope. He had one of his dreams that night. and his socks were right. 89 What sort of form was Hook himself showing? Misguided man though he was. he thought. it was slouching in the playing fields of long ago. or watching the wall-game from a famous wall. a melancholy come-down for a pirate. but two reached the shore: Starkey to be captured by the redskins. and Wendy held . At last Hook had got the boon for which he craved. 'Seventeen. who made him nurse for all their papooses. Seeing Peter slowly advancing upon him through the air with dagger poised.' Slightly sang out. For we have come to his last moment. but now that all was over she became prominent again. flouting. As he stood on the bulwark looking over his shoulder at Peter gliding through the air. and his waistcoat was right. farewell. 'Bad form. and cried in his sleep for a long time. making a precarious living by saying he was the only man that Jas. you may be sure. Fifteen paid the penalty for their crimes that night. true form will show. who strutted up and down on deck. he sprang upon the bulwarks to cast himself into the sea. She praised them equally. we may be glad. that in the end he was true to the traditions of his race. without sympathising with him.' he cried jeeringly. 'the ship will be blown to pieces. and shuddered delightfully when Michael showed her the place where he had killed one. and calmly flung it overboard. Abandoning the fight he rushed into the powder magazine and fired it. though watching Peter with glistening eyes. He had one last triumph. who henceforth wandered about the world in his spectacles. But Peter issued from the powder magazine with the shell in his hands. and went content to the crocodile.CHAPTER XV man or boy who obstructed it. That passionate breast no longer asked for life. and Smee. until at last he fell asleep by the side of Long Tom. 'In two minutes. thou not wholly unheroic figure. Thus perished James Hook. or being sent up for good.' Now. And his shoes were right. And again and again he darted in and pricked. his mind was no longer with them. all but Peter. he invited him with a gesture to use his foot. It said 'half-past one'! The lateness of the hour was almost the biggest thing of all. but Peter fluttered round him as if the very wind it made blew him out of the danger zone.

90 .CHAPTER XV him tight.

' However. There was a woman aboard. we should get no thanks even for this. that the children are coming back. and yet we may be sure that Mrs. If we had returned sooner to look with sorrowful sympathy at her. which.' So long as mothers are like this their children will take advantage of them. Darling would never forgive us. It was afterwards whispered among them that on the first night he wore this suit he sat long in the cabin with Hook's cigar-holder in his mouth and one hand clenched. and if they snapped at him he would tear them. This would spoil so completely the surprise to which Wendy and John and Michael are looking forward. after which it would save time to fly. which he bent and held threateningly aloft like a hook. but the captain treated them as dogs. Instant obedience was the only safe thing. Darling may not even offer Wendy her mouth. when what they ought to be preparing for is a good hiding. Darling by this time. all but the forefinger. Slightly got a dozen for looking perplexed when told to take soundings. It need not be said who was the captain. and Tootles. They have been planning it out on the ship: mother's rapture. here are those boys again. she was making for him out of some of Hook's wickedest garments. Nibs and John were first and second mate. we must now return to that desolate home from which three of our characters had taken heartless flight so long ago. what do I matter? Do go back and keep an eye on the children. was among them. and they cheered him lustily. and they dared not express their wishes to him even in a round robin. The rest were tars before the mast. for there was a big sea running. and they turned the ship round. with a rope's end in his hand and chewing tobacco. father's shout of joy. and that is to tell her.CHAPTER XVI 91 CHAPTER XVI THE RETURN HOME By two bells that morning they were all stirring their stumps. in the way authors have. and Mrs. 14 all this time. 'Dash it all. we are merely hurrying on in advance of them to see that their beds are properly aired and that Mr. and may be sure that she would upbraid us for depriving the children of their little pleasure. Darling do not go out for the evening. but that there might be a change when the new suit was ready. It seems a shame to have neglected No. Then a few sharp orders were given. and lived in the fo'c'sle. 'Don't be silly. that if this weather lasted they should strike the Azores about the 21st of June. Why on earth should their beds be properly aired. against her will. that indeed they will be here on Thursday week. . Some of them wanted it to be an honest ship and others were in favour of keeping it a pirate. so that when they enter grandly Mrs. with the true nautical roll and hitching their trousers. but if we contrived things in this way Mrs. Captain Pan calculated. His bluff strident words struck the note sailors understand. but that he knew they were the scum of Rio and the Gold Coast. Peter had already lashed himself to the wheel. and tumbled up. They all donned pirate clothes cut off at the knee. Even now we venture into that familiar nursery only because its lawful occupants are on their way home. and Mr. Nana's leap through the air to embrace them first. the bo'sun. Darling does not blame us. Darling may exclaim pettishly. said he hoped they would do their duty like gallant hearties. however. The general feeling was that Peter was honest just now to lull Wendy's suspicions. How delicious to spoil it all by breaking the news in advance. after consulting the ship's chart. shaved smartly. Instead of watching the ship. One thing I should like to do immensely. and nosed her for the mainland. but he piped all hands and delivered a short address to them. she would probably have cried. We are no more than servants. and they may lay to that. We are beginning to know Mrs. seeing that they left them in such a thankless hurry? Would it not serve them jolly well right if they came back and found that their parents were spending the week-end in the country? It would be the moral lesson they have been in need of ever since we met them.

'Do come in the kennel. and he returned home in the same way at six. is almost withered up. and society invited him to dinner and added. Darling's dear invitations to him to come out he replied sadly but firmly: 'No. the window is open. Look at her in her chair. That is all we are. and that from first to last she had been wiser than he. I had meant to say extraordinarily nice things about her. he was quite a simple man. Her hand moves restlessly on her breast as if she had a pain there. we can save you ten days of unhappiness. but I like her best.' 'Oh. lookers-on. If she was too fond of her rubbishy children she couldn't help it. and having thought the matter out with anxious care after the flight of the children.' On that eventful Thursday week Mrs. but he had also a noble sense of justice and a lion courage to do what seemed right to him. Crowds followed the cab. but on all other matters he followed her wishes implicitly. For all the use we are to her.' 'Yes. my own one. Now that we look at her closely and remember the gaiety of her in the old days. indeed he might have passed for a boy again if he had been able to take his baldness off. it is ten days till Thursday week. but it was magnificent. in the hope that some of them will hurt. The only change to be seen in the night-nursery is that between nine and six the kennel is no longer there. but I despise her. so that by telling you what's what. Darling felt in his bones that all the blame was his for having chained Nana up. he went down on all fours and crawled into the kennel. So let us watch and say jaggy things. but he preserved a calm exterior even when the young criticised his little home. Some like Peter best and some like Wendy best. Mr. and he always lifted his hat courteously to any lady who looked inside. And there never was a more humble man than the once proud George Darling. Soon the inward meaning of it leaked out. Every morning the kennel was carried with Mr.CHAPTER XVI 'But. charming girls scaled it to get his autograph. my dear madam. Of course. this is the place for me. where one looks first. but whatever Mr. which conveyed him to his office. but at what a cost! By depriving the children of ten minutes of delight. to make her happy. Very touching was his deference to Nana. He would not let her come into the kennel. where she has fallen asleep. It may have been quixotic. The corner of her mouth. if you look at it in that way. and the great heart of the public was touched. All the beds are aired. However. Something of the strength of character of the man will be seen if we remember how sensitive he was to the opinion of neighbours: this man whose every movement now attracted surprised attention. and she never leaves the house. as he sat in the kennel of an evening talking with his wife of their children and all their pretty ways. She does not really need to be told to have things ready. I find I won't be able to say nasty things about her after all. Darling was in the night-nursery awaiting George's return home: a very sad-eyed woman. we might go back to the ship.' 'What other way is there in which to look at it?' 92 You see. Darling in it to a cab. cheering it lustily. for they are ready. Suppose. Nobody really wants us. Darling did he had to do in excess. we whisper to her in her sleep that the brats are coming back. the woman had no proper spirit. and observe. They are really within two . and not one of them will I say now. otherwise he soon gave up doing it. Of course this was a pity. all gone now just because she has lost her babes. as we are here we may as well stay and look on. When the children flew away. interviews appeared in the better class of papers. as we have seen. Inwardly he must have suffered torture. To all Mrs.' In the bitterness of his remorse he swore that he would never leave the kennel until his children came back.

always. I dreamt my dear ones had come back. Darling of this success. I feel a draught.' she said timidly. calling their names. 'Good heavens. and she will have to go back with me. George? You are sure you are not enjoying it?' 'My love!' You may be sure she begged his pardon. always.' 'O George. never ask me to do that. It is a pity we did it. but something must have happened since then. and then. and when Wendy comes she will think her mother has barred her out. talking with Mrs. if I had been a weak man!' 'And.' 'Lot of little boys. and there is no one in the room but Nana. we see that his face is more worn than of yore.' 'But it is punishment. Wendy and John and Michael flew into the room. and she went into the day nursery and played. 'But if I had been a weak man. The window must always be left open for them. and while he slept. George. 'on the nursery piano?' and as she was crossing to the day nursery he added thoughtlessly. He gave his hat to Liza. but has a softer expression. and pressing her hand reassuringly when she said she hoped his head would not be turned by it. but all she could do was to put her paw gently on her mistress's lap. and flying strong. and soon he was asleep. aren't you?' 'Full of remorse as ever.' he assured her with a faint flush. for she has started up.CHAPTER XVI miles of the window now. isn't it. for she had no imagination. for it is not they who have flown in. feeling drowsy. As Mr. it had made him sweeter. 'Listen to them. Now you and I must get away by the door. but all we need whisper is that they are on the way. Peter's first words tell all. and he was naturally not unmoved. he curled round in the kennel. Let's. the crowd who had accompanied the cab home were still cheering.' he said. bar it. it is Peter and Tinker Bell. and they were sitting together thus when the kennel was brought back. and was quite incapable of understanding the motives of such a man.' he said. That's right.' he whispered. 'Won't you play me to sleep.' . For some time he sat half out of the kennel. Oh no. 'O Nana. Tink. Outside. but when she tossed her head he had not a word of reproof for her.' Now it was his turn to beg her pardon. 'it is very gratifying.' he asked. Social success had not spoilt him.' sneered Liza. Darling puts his head out at it to kiss his wife. We have written it so. because that was the charming arrangement planned by them before we left the ship. 'close the window. 'And shut that window. who took it scornfully. dearest! See my punishment: living in a kennel. 'you are as full of remorse as ever. 'There were several adults to-day. 'Quick.' 93 Nana had filmy eyes.

and he flew away. 'Perhaps Nana is inside it. 94 Instead of feeling that he was behaving badly he danced with glee. Her mouth is full of thimbles. which of course was more than they deserved.' he said at last. looking around him doubtfully. She is a pretty lady.' He peeped again. We can't both have her. but not with much conviction. 'Hullo. then he peeped into the day-nursery to see who was playing.' Michael begged eagerly. all right. but even then she would not let go of him. 'but I won't. He did not know the tune.' He peeped in again to see why the music had stopped.' he said.' cried John. 'He is not so big as the pirate I killed. which was 'Home. Wendy. 'You will never see Wendy again.' he said to himself. knocking. lady. He whispered to Tink. 'Oh. The reason was so simple: 'I'm fond of her too. 'I say. 'there's a man inside it. 'John. 'It's Wendy's mother. Darling was asleep. it would have been sad if those . and the youngest one had already forgotten his home.' 'So it is. He ceased to look at her.' but he knew it was saying.CHAPTER XVI Now I understand what had hitherto puzzled me. not I.' Of course he knew nothing whatever about his mother. 'Come on. quite unashamed of themselves. Wendy'.' he cried. Darling had laid her head on the box.' But the lady would not make the best of it. 'She's awfully fond of Wendy.' he said. for the window is barred. and the tears were still there. 'we don't want any silly mothers'. but not so pretty as my mother. but not so full as my mother's was. you silly. lady.' he said with such frank disappointment that I am glad Mr. He was angry with her now for not seeing why she could not have Wendy. Thus Wendy and John and Michael found the window open for them after all.' 'It's father!' exclaimed Wendy. He skipped about and made funny faces.' Michael said. and gulped. and he was unhappy. But John whistled. and he cried exultantly. Sweet Home. Then he unbarred the window.' thought Peter. 'She wants me to unbar the window. and he took a good look. There is your old bed. They alighted on the floor. Wendy. Tink. 'I think I have been here before. with a frightful sneer at the laws of nature. This trick had been in his head all the time. or another two had taken their place.' Wendy said. 'the kennel!' and he dashed across to look into it. and now he saw that Mrs. but he sometimes bragged about her. and that two tears were sitting on her eyes.' 'Of course you have. 'Come back. why when Peter had exterminated the pirates he did not return to the island and leave Tink to escort the children to the mainland. but when he stopped it was just as if she were inside him. 'Let me see father.

'That's Michael. and be there when she comes in. 'So it is!' said John. who was surely sleepy. 'It's mother!' cried Wendy. 'Oh dear!' exclaimed Wendy.' John suggested. 'it was quite time we came back.' A chill fell upon them. 'not to be here when we come back. You see. 'Mother!' cried Michael.' she said.' she said. Yes. and serve them right. 'Let us all slip into our beds. and she stretched out her arms for the three little selfish children they would never envelop again. 'Mother!' Wendy cried. He knew her now. where in the old days she had nursed them. 'he used not to sleep in the kennel?' 'John. and a cold fear fell upon all the three of them. had a better plan.' It was then that Mrs. and Nana came . and Mr. 'Then are you not really our mother.' said that young scoundrel John. 'George. She saw them. 'It is very careless of mother. they did. but it did not come.' 95 And so when Mrs.CHAPTER XVI had been the first words he heard his little Michael say. Darling went back to the night-nursery to see if her husband was asleep. who had slipped out of bed and run to her. peeping. Wendy?' asked Michael. all the beds were occupied. like one who had lost faith in his memory.' she cried when she could speak. 'That's Wendy.' Wendy said falteringly. but still she was sure it was the dream.' But Wendy. they went round Wendy and John and Michael. Darling woke to share her bliss. She sat down in the chair by the fire. They could not understand this. Wendy and John had been taken aback somewhat at finding their father in the kennel. 'Mother!' 'That's John.' she said. 'perhaps we don't remember the old life as well as we thought we did. Darling began playing again. 'Surely. The children waited for her cry of joy.' said John. she saw them in their beds so often in her dreams that she thought this was just the dream hanging around her still.' 'Let us creep in. George. 'and put our hands over her eyes. just as if we had never been away. with her first real twinge of remorse. but she did not believe they were there. who saw that they must break the joyous news more gently.

96 .CHAPTER XVI rushing in. but he was looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be for ever barred. He had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know. but there was none to see it except a strange boy who was staring in at the window. There could not have been a lovelier sight.

and the truth came out. instead of treating him as a cypher in his own house. 'I don't think he is a cypher. but at any rate they found corners. and they saw that he considered six a rather large number. but he brushed against it in passing. 'I must say. As for Peter.CHAPTER XVII 97 CHAPTER XVII WHEN WENDY GREW UP I hope you want to know what became of the other boys. but he thought they should have asked his consent as well as hers. but he could not help it.' he cried gaily. Slightly?' 'Rather not. 'I always cut their hair myself. Hoop la!' He went off dancing through the house. They said nothing. and they all cried 'Hoop la!' and danced after him. They stood in a row in front of Mrs. and it's all the same. but we pretend we have. and when they had counted five hundred they went up. They ought to have looked at Mr. but they forgot about him. Then he burst into tears. Darling was curiously depressed. and they all fitted in. flushing. 'We'll fit in.' Tootles cried instantly. 'Mind you.' said Nibs. because they thought this would make a better impression. and he asked. 'George!' Mrs. They were waiting below to give Wendy time to explain about them. I am not sure that we have a drawing-room. with their hats off.' 'Father!' Wendy cried. and wishing they were not wearing their pirate clothes. 'that you don't do things by halves.' he said to Wendy. Darling said at once that she would have them.' they assured him. and he was absurdly gratified. 'Do you think we should be too much of a handful. I don't. sir? Because if so we can go away. The first twin was the proud one. pained to see her dear one showing himself in such an unfavourable light. Curly?' 'No. 'Then follow the leader. sir. he said. 'Do you think he is a cypher. shocked. so that she could open it if she liked and call to him. but still the cloud was on him. He did not exactly come to the window. Do you think he is a cypher. They went up by the stair. That was what she did. . Darling exclaimed. He was as glad to have them as she was. Darling. and said he would find space for them all in the drawing-room if they fitted in. Twin.' said Wendy. Of course Mrs. what do you think?' It turned out that not one of them thought him a cypher. but their eyes asked her to have them. He knew he was behaving unworthily. he saw Wendy once again before he flew away. searching for the drawing-room.' a grudging remark which the twins thought was pointed at them. and I forget whether they found it. Darling also. 'We could lie doubled up. but Mr.

'Keep back. Darling stretched out her arms to him. She told Peter that she had adopted all the other boys. Wendy. O Wendy's mother.' 'But where are you going to live?' 'With Tink in the house we built for Wendy.CHAPTER XVII 'Hullo.' 'Soon I should be a man?' 'Very soon. but he repulsed her.' said Wendy the comforter. They live in nests on the tops of trees.' he told her passionately. good-bye. lady. who was now quite an authority. 'I thought all the fairies were dead.' she said falteringly. are you going away?' 'Yes. for at present she was keeping a sharp eye on Wendy. 'Would you send me to school?' he inquired craftily. and Mrs. Darling tightened her grip. Peter. Darling came to the window. and the mauve ones are boys and the white ones are girls. 'I should love you in a beard'. 'that you would like to say anything to my parents about a very sweet subject?' 'No. Darling said. Peter?' 'No. 'I don't want to be a man.' 'You don't feel.' explained Wendy.' Mrs.' 'About me.' cried Wendy so longingly that Mrs. 98 'There are always a lot of young ones. and as there are always new babies there are always new fairies.' 'I don't want to go to school and learn solemn things. no one is going to catch me and make me a man.' 'And then to an office?' 'I suppose so. and would like to adopt him also.' . 'because you see when a new baby laughs for the first time a new fairy is born.' he said. 'Oh dear. if I was to wake up and feel there was a beard!' 'Peter. 'Yes.' 'How lovely.' Mrs. The fairies are to put it high up among the tree tops where they sleep at nights. and the blue ones are just little sillies who are not sure what they are.

She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times. but what it really meant was that they no longer believed.' 'Well. Before they had attended school a week they saw what goats they had been not to remain on the island. and I mean to keep you.' 'Tink can't go a twentieth part of the way round. He had no sense of time. and soon they settled down to being as ordinary as you or me or Jenkins minor. but this promise sent Peter away quite gay again. with one eye on Wendy. but it was too late now. my love.' 'So do you. Class I. and most of them got into Class III. and found that they hurt themselves when they let go of the 'bus. Darling's kiss with him. 'O Peter. 'It doesn't matter. and then he flew away. is the top class.' she reminded him a little tartly. and was so full of adventures that all I have told you about him is only a halfpenny-worth of them. and one of their diversions by day was to pretend to fall off 'buses. Michael believed longer than the other boys. will you. Funny. 'Sneaky tell-tale!' Tink called out from somewhere round the corner. but new adventures had crowded the old ones from his mind. 'sitting by the fire. In time they could not even fly after their hats. as if he had asked her from politeness merely. The kiss that had been for no one else Peter took quite easily.' said Peter. and then into Class V.CHAPTER XVII 'I shall have such fun. then. so he was with Wendy when Peter came for her at the end of the first year. but he never noticed. She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and berries in the Neverland. and she made this handsome offer: to let Wendy go to him for a week every year to do his spring cleaning.' 'I shall have Tink. I have got you home again. he had so much to say about himself. Of course all the boys went to school. Darling saw his mouth twitch.' 99 'Oh. before spring-cleaning time comes?' Of course Peter promised.' Peter said. 'It will be rather lonely in the evening. and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become.' she said.' 'But he does so need a mother. . Want of practice. but Slightly was put first into Class IV. but by and by they ceased to tug at their bonds in bed.' 'May I. mummy?' 'Certainly not. Peter. though they jeered at him. but Mrs. I suppose it was because Wendy knew this that her last words to him were these rather plaintive ones: 'You won't forget me. At first Nana tied their feet to the bed-posts so that they should not fly away in the night. come with me to the little house. all right. you know it matters.' Peter said. He took Mrs.. and it seemed to her that spring would be long in coming. they called it. Wendy would have preferred a more permanent arrangement. It is sad to have to say that the power to fly gradually left them. But she seemed satisfied.

and Peter was no more to her than a little dust in the box in which she had kept her toys. and always had an odd inquiring look. You see that judge in a wig coming out at the iron door? That used to be Tootles. That was the last time the girl Wendy ever saw him.' she asked. but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them. She was one of the kind that likes to grow up. Next year he did not come for her. 'Perhaps there is no such person. She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet. so it is scarcely worth while saying anything more about them. You need not be sorry for her. and Wendy had a daughter.CHAPTER XVII 'Who is Captain Hook?' he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy. 'You know he is never ill. 'Perhaps he is ill. But he was exactly as fascinating as ever. She was called Jane. Peter came next spring cleaning. and she felt she was untrue to him when she got a prize for general knowledge.' she said. When she was old enough to ask them they were mostly about Peter Pan. Wendy was pained too to find that the past year was but as yesterday to Peter. Slightly married a lady of title. and Wendy told her all she could remember in the very nursery from which the famous . 'how you killed him and saved all our lives?' 'I forget them after I kill them. Wendy was married in white with a pink sash. Years rolled on again. You may see the twins and Nibs and Curly any day going to an office.' he replied carelessly. In the end she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than other girls. and they had a lovely spring cleaning in the little house on the tree tops. and when they met again Wendy was a married woman. and the strange thing was that he never knew he had missed a year.' Michael came close to her and whispered. This ought not to be written in ink but in a golden splash. 'I expect she is no more. 'Don't you remember. Wendy was grown up. She loved to hear of Peter. amazed. it had seemed such a long year of waiting to her. but he never came.' I expect he was right. for fairies don't live long. and so he became a lord. All the boys were grown up and done for by this time. But the years came and went without bringing the careless boy. 100 When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her he said. 'Who is Tinker Bell?' 'O Peter.' he said. 'There are such a lot of them.' Michael said. shocked. with a shiver. each carrying a little bag and an umbrella. but even when she explained he could not remember. For a little longer she tried for his sake not to have growing pains. It is strange to think that Peter did not alight in the church and forbid the banns. Wendy!' and then Wendy would have cried if Michael had not been crying. as if from the moment she arrived on the mainland she wanted to ask questions. The bearded man who doesn't know any story to tell his children was once John. Michael is an engine-driver.

why are you crying?"' . I sometimes wonder whether I ever did really fly. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly. from Wendy's father. with a feeling that if Nana were here she would object to further conversation. and that woke me. It was Jane's nursery now. 'When you saw him sitting on the floor crying what did you say?' 'I sat up in bed and I said. 'you see when you were a little girl.' 'The dear old days when I could fly!' 'Why can't you fly now. 'Ah me.' 'You have missed a bit.' 'I do believe it is. 101 There were only two beds in the nursery now. and when he could not he cried. When people grow up they forget the way. 'tried to stick it on with soap. Jane's and her nurse's. 'the way you flew when you were a little girl?' 'The way I flew! Do you know.' says Wendy.' 'Yes. you did. and then it was Wendy's part to put Jane to bed. thus making a tent. That was the time for stories. 'The foolish fellow. sweetheart.' asks the artful child.' 'Why do they forget the way?' 'Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. and there was no kennel.' interrupts Jane. mother?' 'Because I am grown up.' Or perhaps Wendy admits that she does see something. you do. how time flies!' 'Does it fly. 'Yes. "Boy.' says Wendy.' says Jane. dearest. 'Go on. Once a week Jane's nurse had her evening off. for Nana also had passed away.' she says.' says Jane. Jane.' They are now embarked on the great adventure of the night when Peter flew in looking for his shadow. and in the awful darkness to whisper: 'What do we see now?' 'I don't think I see anything to-night.CHAPTER XVII flight had taken place. She died of old age. who now knows the story better than her mother. Darling was now dead and forgotten.' 'That is a long time ago. and I sewed it on for him. who was no longer fond of stairs. for her father had bought it at the three per cents.' 'What is gay and innocent and heartless? I do wish I was gay and innocent and heartless. and at the end she had been rather difficult to get on with. being very firmly convinced that no one knew how to look after children except herself. Mrs. 'I do believe.' says Wendy. It was Jane's invention to raise the sheet over her mother's head and her own. 'that it is this nursery.

She huddled by the fire not daring to move. 'it was like this'. many girls hear it when they are sleeping. trying to imitate Peter's crow. and Peter dropped on the floor. "Just always be waiting for me. 'John is not here now.' Jane said. let go of me. but I was the only one who heard it awake. so do I. 'Ah yes. and Wendy saw at once that he still had all his first teeth. 'No. And then one night came the tragedy. for he was thinking chiefly of himself. with a big breath. so as to see to darn. Then the window blew open as of old. and Jane was now asleep in her bed. Something inside her was crying 'Woman. 'And then he flew us all away to the Neverland and the fairies and the pirates and the redskins and the mermaids' lagoon. 'What did his crow sound like?' Jane asked one evening.CHAPTER XVII 'Yes. helpless and guilty. 'It was like this. how can you know?' 'I often hear it when I am sleeping. Peter. and then some night you will hear me crowing. for there was no other light in the nursery. and she was grown up.' Wendy said. suddenly missing the third bed. and the story had been told for the night. very close to the fire. and in the dim light her white dress might have been the night-gown in which he had seen her first.' 'But. woman.' Jane said gravely.' 'Lucky you.' said Jane. and the home under the ground.' 'Yes. squeezing herself as small as possible. She was as grown up as that.' 'Hullo. What was the last thing Peter ever said to you?' 102 'The last thing he ever said to me was."' 'Yes. it wasn't.' she gasped. 'Hullo. .' 'Yes! which did you like best of all?' 'I think I liked the home under the ground best of all. He was a little boy. 'My darling. alas. He was exactly the same as ever.' Wendy said it with a smile. that was it. Wendy was sitting on the floor. and while she sat darning she heard a crow.' says Jane.' she replied faintly. 'Hullo. not noticing any difference. Wendy. It was the spring of the year. and she did it ever so much better than her mother. where is John?' he asked.' he said. a big woman. he forgot all about me. Wendy was a little startled. and the little house.

CHAPTER XVII 'Is Michael asleep?' he asked, with a careless glance at Jane. 'Yes,' she answered; and now she felt that she was untrue to Jane as well as to Peter. 'That is not Michael,' she said quickly, lest a judgment should fall on her. Peter looked. 'Hullo, is it a new one?' 'Yes.' 'Boy or girl?' 'Girl.' Now surely he would understand; but not a bit of it. 'Peter,' she said, faltering, 'are you expecting me to fly away with you?'


'Of course that is why I have come.' He added a little sternly, 'Have you forgotten that this is spring-cleaning time?' She knew it was useless to say that he had let many spring-cleaning times pass. 'I can't come,' she said apologetically, 'I have forgotten how to fly.' 'I'll soon teach you again.' 'O Peter, don't waste the fairy dust on me.' She had risen; and now at last a fear assailed him. 'What is it?' he cried, shrinking. 'I will turn up the light,' she said, 'and then you can see for yourself.' For almost the only time in his life that I know of, Peter was afraid. 'Don't turn up the light,' he cried. She let her hands play in the hair of the tragic boy. She was not a little girl heart-broken about him; she was a grown woman smiling at it all, but they were wet smiles. Then she turned up the light, and Peter saw. He gave a cry of pain; and when the tall beautiful creature stooped to lift him in her arms he drew back sharply. 'What is it?' he cried again. She had to tell him. 'I am old, Peter. I am ever so much more than twenty. I grew up long ago.' 'You promised not to!' 'I couldn't help it. I am a married woman, Peter.' 'No, you're not.'

CHAPTER XVII 'Yes, and the little girl in the bed is my baby.' 'No, she's not.'


But he supposed she was; and he took a step towards the sleeping child with his dagger upraised. Of course he did not strike. He sat down on the floor instead and sobbed; and Wendy did not know how to comfort him, though she could have done it so easily once. She was only a woman now, and she ran out of the room to try to think. Peter continued to cry, and soon his sobs woke Jane. She sat up in bed, and was interested at once. [Illustration: PETER AND JANE] 'Boy,' she said, 'why are you crying?' Peter rose and bowed to her, and she bowed to him from the bed. 'Hullo,' he said. 'Hullo,' said Jane. 'My name is Peter Pan,' he told her. 'Yes, I know.' 'I came back for my mother,' he explained; 'to take her to the Neverland.' 'Yes, I know,' Jane said, 'I been waiting for you.' When Wendy returned diffidently she found Peter sitting on the bed-post crowing gloriously, while Jane in her nighty was flying round the room in solemn ecstasy. 'She is my mother,' Peter explained; and Jane descended and stood by his side, with the look on her face that he liked to see on ladies when they gazed at him. 'He does so need a mother,' Jane said. 'Yes, I know,' Wendy admitted rather forlornly; 'no one knows it so well as I.' 'Good-bye,' said Peter to Wendy; and he rose in the air, and the shameless Jane rose with him; it was already her easiest way of moving about. Wendy rushed to the window. 'No, no,' she cried. 'It is just for spring-cleaning time,' Jane said; 'he wants me always to do his spring cleaning.' 'If only I could go with you,' Wendy sighed. 'You see you can't fly,' said Jane.

CHAPTER XVII Of course in the end Wendy let them fly away together. Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window, watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars.


As you look at Wendy you may see her hair becoming white, and her figure little again, for all this happened long ago. Jane is now a common grown-up, with a daughter called Margaret; and every spring-cleaning time, except when he forgets, Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland, where she tells him stories about himself, to which he listens eagerly. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter's mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless. THE END End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Peter and Wendy, by James Matthew Barrie *** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PETER AND WENDY *** ***** This file should be named 26654-8.txt or 26654-8.zip ***** This and all associated files of various formats will be found in: http://www.gutenberg.org/2/6/6/5/26654/ Produced by Chris Curnow, Lindy Walsh, Martin Pettit The Internet Archive for help with the illustrations and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will be renamed. Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is subject to the trademark license, especially commercial redistribution. *** START: FULL LICENSE *** THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work (or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at http://gutenberg.net/license). Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works 1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property (trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or entity to whom

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