Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan

Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan
Information about Project Gutenberg
Information about Project Gutenberg
Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor
Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 2
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 6
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 7
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 8
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 9
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 10
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 11
1
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 15
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Chapter 1<p>
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Chapter 2<p>
Chapter 2
Chapter 2
Chapter 3<p>
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 4<p>
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 5<p>
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 6<p>
Chapter 6
Chapter 6
Chapter 7<p>
Chapter 7
Chapter 7
Chapter 8<p>
Chapter 8
Chapter 8
Chapter 9<p>
Chapter 9
Chapter 9
Chapter 10<p>
Chapter 10
Chapter 10
Chapter 11<p>
Chapter 11
Chapter 11
2
Chapter 12<p>
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 13<p>
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 14<p>
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 15<p>
Chapter 15
Chapter 15
Chapter 16<p>
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 17<p>
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan
Please take a look at the important information in this header.
We encourage you to keep this file on your own disk, keeping an electronic path open for the next readers. Do
not remove this.
This book has had some odd copyright history in England, so see notes on this below. Currently for US
distribution only.******
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**Etexts Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*These Etexts Prepared By Hundreds of Volunteers and Donations*
Information on contacting Project Gutenberg to get Etexts, and further information is included below. We
need your donations.
Peter Pan [for US only]**, by James M. Barrie
July, 1991 [Etext #16]
**The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan*** ******This file should be named
peter16.txt or peter16.zip*****
Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, peter17.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources
get new LETTER, peter14b.txt
We are now trying to release all our books one month in advance of the official release dates, for time for
Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan 3
better editing.
The official release date of all Project Gutenberg Etexts is at Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the
stated month. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment and editing by those who
wish to do so. To be sure you have an up to date first edition [xxxxx10x.xxx] please check file sizes in the
first week of the next month. Since our ftp program has a bug in it that scrambles the date [tried to fix and
failed] a look at the file size will have to do, but we will try to see a new copy has at least one byte more or
less.
Information about Project Gutenberg
(one page)
We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work. The fifty hours is one conservative estimate for
how long it we take to get any etext selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright searched and analyzed, the
copyright letters written, etc. This projected audience is one hundred million readers. If our value per text is
nominally estimated at one dollar, then we produce 2 million dollars per hour this year we, will have to do
four text files per month: thus upping our productivity from one million. The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to
Give Away One Trillion Etext Files by the December 31, 2001. [10,000 x 100,000,000=Trillion] This is ten
thousand titles each to one hundred million readers, which is 10% of the expected number of computer users
by the end of the year 2001.
We need your donations more than ever!
All donations should be made to "Project Gutenberg/IBC", and are tax deductible to the extent allowable by
law ("IBC" is Illinois Benedictine College). (Subscriptions to our paper newsletter go to IBC, too)
For these and other matters, please mail to:
Project Gutenberg P. O. Box 2782 Champaign, IL 61825
When all other email fails try our Michael S. Hart, Executive Director: hart@vmd.cso.uiuc.edu (internet)
hart@uiucvmd (bitnet)
We would prefer to send you this information by email (Internet, Bitnet, Compuserve, ATTMAIL or
MCImail).
****** If you have an FTP program (or emulator), please FTP directly to the Project Gutenberg archives:
[Mac users, do NOT point and click. . .type]
ftp mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu
login: anonymous
password: your@login
cd etext/etext91
or cd etext92
or cd etext93 [for new books] [now also in cd etext/etext93]
or cd etext/articles [get suggest gut for more information]
dir [to see files]
get or mget [to get files. . .set bin for zip files]
get INDEX100.GUT
get INDEX200.GUT
for a list of books
Information about Project Gutenberg 4
and
get NEW.GUT for general information
and
mget GUT* for newsletters.
**
Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal
advisor
** (Three Pages)
***START**THE SMALL PRINT!**FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS**START*** Why is this "Small
Print!" statement here? You know: lawyers. They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with
your copy of this etext, even if you got it for free from someone other than us, and even if what's wrong is not
our fault. So, among other things, this "Small Print!" statement disclaims most of our liability to you. It also
tells you how you can distribute copies of this etext if you want to.
*BEFORE!* YOU USE OR READ THIS ETEXT
By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext, you indicate that you understand,
agree to and accept this "Small Print!" statement. If you do not, you can receive a refund of the money (if any)
you paid for this etext by sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person you got it from. If you
received this etext on a physical medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.
ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG-TM ETEXTS
This PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext, like most PROJECT GUTENBERG- tm etexts, is a "public domain"
work distributed by Professor Michael S. Hart through the Project Gutenberg Association at Illinois
Benedictine College (the "Project"). Among other things, this means that no one owns a United States
copyright on or for this work, so the Project (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth below, apply if you wish to copy
and distribute this etext under the Project's "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark.
To create these etexts, the Project expends considerable efforts to identify, transcribe and proofread public
domain works. Despite these efforts, the Project's etexts and any medium they may be on may contain
"Defects". Among other things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or corrupt data,
transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other etext medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.
LIMITED WARRANTY; DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES
But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below, [1] the Project (and any other party you may
receive this etext from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext) disclaims all liability to you for damages,
costs and expenses, including legal fees, and [2] YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE OR
UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT, INCLUDING BUT
NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN
IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 5
If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if
any) you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that time to the person you received it from. If you
received it on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and such person may choose to
alternatively give you a replacement copy. If you received it electronically, such person may choose to
alternatively give you a second opportunity to receive it electronically.
THIS ETEXT IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY
KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS TO THE ETEXT OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY
BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS
FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of consequential
damages, so the above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you may have other legal rights.
INDEMNITY
You will indemnify and hold the Project, its directors, officers, members and agents harmless from all
liability, cost and expense, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following that
you do or cause: [1] distribution of this etext, [2] alteration, modification, or addition to the etext, or [3] any
Defect.
DISTRIBUTION UNDER "PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm"
You may distribute copies of this etext electronically, or by disk, book or any other medium if you either
delete this "Small Print!" and all other references to Project Gutenberg, or:
[1] Only give exact copies of it. Among other things, this requires that you do not remove, alter or modify the
etext or this "small print!" statement. You may however, if you wish, distribute this etext in machine readable
binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form, including any form resulting from conversion by word pro-
cessing or hypertext software, but only so long as *EITHER*:
[*] The etext, when displayed, is clearly readable, and does *not* contain characters other than those intended
by the author of the work, although tilde (~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may be used to convey
punctuation intended by the author, and additional characters may be used to indicate hypertext links; OR
[*] The etext may be readily converted by the reader at no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent
form by the program that displays the etext (as is the case, for instance, with most word processors); OR
[*] You provide, or agree to also provide on request at no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the etext
in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC or other equivalent proprietary form).
[2] Honor the etext refund and replacement provisions of this "Small Print!" statement.
[3] Pay a trademark license fee to the Project of 20% of the net profits you derive calculated using the method
you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. If you don't derive profits, no royalty is due. Royalties are
payable to "Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois Benedictine College" within the 60 days following each
date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return.
WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO?
The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time, scanning machines, OCR software, public
domain etexts, royalty free copyright licenses, and every other sort of contribution you can think of. Money
Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 6
should be paid to "Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois Benedictine College".
This "Small Print!" by Charles B. Kramer, Attorney Internet (72600.2026@compuserve.com); TEL:
(212-254-5093) *END*THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver.04.29.93*END*
This edition of Peter Pan has been created in the United States of America from a comparison of various
editions determined by age to be in the Public Domain in the United States. There are questions concerning
the copyright status in other countries, particulary in members or former members of the British
Commonwealth. Anyone who can contribute information as to the copyrights status of earliest editions is
encouraged to do so. For the present, this edition of Peter Pan is restricted to the United States, and is not to be
for use or included in any storage or retrieval system in any country, other than the United States of America.
To assist in the preservation of this edition in proper usage, our edition is claimed as copyright (c)1991 due to
our preparations of several sources, our own research, and the inclusions of additions and explanations to the
original sources.
Disclaimer: All persons concerned disclaim any and all reponsbility that this etext is perfectly accurate. No
pretenses in any manner are made that this text should be thought of as an authoritative edition in any respect.
PETER PAN [PETER AND WENDY] BY J. M. BARRIE [James Matthew Barrie]
A Millennium Fulcrum Edition (c)1991 by Duncan Research
Contents ---------
Chapter 1
PETER BREAKS THROUGH
Chapter 2
THE SHADOW
Chapter 3
COME AWAY, COME AWAY!
Chapter 4
THE FLIGHT
Chapter 1 7
Chapter 5
THE ISLAND COME TRUE
Chapter 6
THE LITTLE HOUSE
Chapter 7
THE HOME UNDER THE GROUND
Chapter 8
THE MERMAID'S LAGOON
Chapter 9
THE NEVER BIRD
Chapter 10
THE HAPPY HOME
Chapter 11
WENDY'S STORY
Chapter 12
THE CHILDREN ARE CARRIED OFF
Chapter 5 8
Chapter 13
DO YOU BELIEVE IN FARIES?
Chapter 14
THE PIRATE SHIP
Chapter 15
"HOOK OR ME THIS TIME"
Chapter 16
THE RETURN HOME
Chapter 17
WHEN WENDY GREW UP
Chapter 1
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 [their house number on their street], 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 is 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
Chapter 13 9
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 around 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
Chapter 1 10
behaved, and butting them back into line if they strayed. On John's footer [in England soccer was called
football, "footer for short] 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 naughtiness 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,
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, needle-work, 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 [simple boat]. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though
Chapter 1 11
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 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, she just knew it.
Mrs. Darling consulted Mr. Darling, but he smiled pooh-pooh. "Mark my words," he said, "it is some
nonsense Nana has been putting into their heads; just the sort of idea a dog would have. Leave it alone, and it
will blow over."
But it would not blow over and soon the troublesome boy gave Mrs. Darling quite a shock.
Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them. For instance, they may remember to
mention, a week after the event happened, that when they were in the wood they had met their dead father and
had a game with him. It was in this casual way that Wendy one morning made a disquieting revelation. Some
leaves of a tree had been found on the nursery floor, which certainly were not there when the children went to
bed, and Mrs. Darling was puzzling over them when Wendy said with a tolerant smile:
"I do believe it is that Peter again!"
"Whatever do you mean, Wendy?"
"It is so naughty of him not to wipe his feet," Wendy said, sighing. She was a tidy 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. Unfortunately she never woke, so she didn't
know how she knew, she just knew.
"What nonsense you talk, precious. No one can get into the house without knocking."
Chapter 1 12
"I think he comes in by the window," she said.
"My love, it is three floors up."
"Were not the leaves at the foot of the window, mother?"
It was quite true; the leaves had been found very near the window.
Mrs. Darling did not know what to think, for it all seemed so natural to Wendy that you could not dismiss it
by saying she had been dreaming.
"My child," the mother cried, "why did you not tell me of this before?"
"I forgot," said Wendy lightly. She was in a hurry to get her breakfast.
Oh, surely she must have been dreaming.
But, on the other hand, there were the leaves. Mrs. Darling examined them very carefully; they were skeleton
leaves, but she was sure they did not come from any tree that grew in England. She crawled about the floor,
peering at it with a candle for marks of a strange foot. She rattled the poker up the chimney and tapped the
walls. She let down a tape from the window to the pavement, and it was a sheer drop of thirty feet, without so
much as a spout to climb up by.
Certainly Wendy had been dreaming.
But Wendy had not been dreaming, as the very next night showed, the night on which the extraordinary
adventures of these children may be said to have begun.
On the night we speak of all the children were once more in bed. It happened to be Nana's evening off, and
Mrs. 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.
All were looking so safe and cosy that she smiled at her fears now and sat down tranquilly by the fire to sew.
It was something for Michael, who on his birthday was getting into shirts. The fire was warm, however, and
the nursery dimly lit by three night-lights, and presently the sewing lay on Mrs. Darling's lap. Then her head
nodded, oh, so gracefully. She was asleep. Look at the four of them, Wendy and Michael over there, John
here, and Mrs. Darling by the fire. There should have been a fourth night-light.
While she slept she had a dream. She dreamt that the Neverland had come too near and that a strange boy had
broken through from it. He did not alarm her, for she thought she had seen him before in the faces of many
women who have no children. Perhaps he is to be found in the faces of some mothers also. But in her dream
he had rent the film that obscures the Neverland, and she saw Wendy and John and Michael peeping through
the gap.
The dream by itself would have been a trifle, but while she was dreaming the window of the nursery blew
open, and a boy did drop on the floor. He was accompanied by a strange light, no bigger than your fist, which
darted about the room like a living thing and I think it must have been this light that wakened Mrs. Darling.
She started up with a cry, and saw the boy, and somehow she knew at once that he was Peter Pan. If you or I
or Wendy had been there we should have seen that he was very like Mrs. Darling's kiss. He was a lovely boy,
clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees but the most entrancing thing about him was that
Chapter 1 13
he had all his first teeth. When he saw she was a grown-up, he gnashed the little pearls at her.
Chapter 2
THE SHADOW
Mrs. Darling screamed, and, as if in answer to a bell, the door opened, and Nana entered, returned from her
evening out. She growled and sprang at the boy, who leapt lightly through the window. Again Mrs. Darling
screamed, this time in distress for him, for she thought he was killed, and she ran down into the street to look
for his little body, but it was not there; and she looked up, and in the black night she could see nothing but
what she thought was a shooting star.
She returned to the nursery, and found Nana with something in her mouth, which proved to be the boy's
shadow. As he leapt at the window Nana had closed it quickly, too late to catch him, but his shadow had not
had time to get out; slam went the window and snapped it off.
You may be sure Mrs. Darling examined the shadow carefully, but it was quite the ordinary kind.
Nana had no doubt of what was the best thing to do with this shadow. She hung it out at the window, meaning
"He is sure to come back for it; let us put it where he can get it easily without disturbing the children."
But unfortunately Mrs. Darling could not leave it hanging out at the window, it looked so like the washing and
lowered the whole tone of the house. She thought of showing it to Mr. Darling, but he was totting up winter
great-coats for John and Michael, with a wet towel around his head to keep his brain clear, and it seemed a
shame to trouble him; besides, she knew exactly what he would say: "It all comes of having a dog for a
nurse."
She decided to roll the shadow up and put it away carefully in a drawer, until a fitting opportunity came for
telling her husband. Ah me!
The opportunity came a week later, on that never-to-be- forgotten Friday. Of course it was a Friday.
"I ought to have been specially careful on a Friday," she used to say afterwards to her husband, while perhaps
Nana was on the other side of her, holding her hand.
"No, no," Mr. Darling always said, "I am responsible for it all. I, George Darling, did it. MEA CULPA, MEA
CULPA." He had had a classical education.
They sat thus night after night recalling that fatal Friday, till every detail of it was stamped on their brains and
came through on the other side like the faces on a bad coinage.
"If only I had not accepted that invitation to dine at 27," Mrs. Darling said.
"If only I had not poured my medicine into Nana's bowl," said Mr. Darling.
"If only I had pretended to like the medicine," was what Nana's wet eyes said.
"My liking for parties, George."
"My fatal gift of humour, dearest."
Chapter 2 14
"My touchiness about trifles, dear master and mistress."
Then one or more of them would break down altogether; Nana at the thought, "It's true, it's true, they ought
not to have had a dog for a nurse." Many a time it was Mr. Darling who put the handkerchief to Nana's eyes.
"That fiend!" Mr. Darling would cry, and Nana's bark was the echo of it, but Mrs. Darling never upbraided
Peter; there was something in the right-hand corner of her mouth that wanted her not to call Peter names.
They would sit there in the empty nursery, recalling fondly every smallest detail of that dreadful evening. It
had begun so uneventfully, so precisely like a hundred other evenings, with Nana putting on the water for
Michael's bath and carrying him to it on her back.
"I won't go to bed," he had shouted, like one who still believed that he had the last word on the subject, "I
won't, I won't. Nana, it isn't six o'clock yet. Oh dear, oh dear, I shan't love you any more, Nana. I tell you I
won't be bathed, I won't, I won't!"
Then Mrs. Darling had come in, wearing her white evening-gown. She had dressed early because Wendy so
loved to see her in her evening-gown, with the necklace George had given her. She was wearing Wendy's
bracelet on her arm; she had asked for the loan of it. Wendy loved to lend her bracelet to her mother.
She had found her two older children playing at being herself and father on the occasion of Wendy's birth, and
John was saying:
"I am happy to inform you, Mrs. Darling, that you are now a mother," in just such a tone as Mr. Darling
himself may have used on the real occasion.
Wendy had danced with joy, just as the real Mrs. Darling must have done.
Then John was born, with the extra pomp that he conceived due to the birth of a male, and Michael came from
his bath to ask to be born also, but John said brutally that they did not want any more.
Michael had nearly cried. "Nobody wants me," he said, and of course the lady in the evening-dress could not
stand that.
"I do," she said, "I so want a third child."
"Boy or girl?" asked Michael, not too hopefully.
"Boy."
Then he had leapt into her arms. Such a little thing for Mr. and Mrs. Darling and Nana to recall now, but not
so little if that was to be Michael's last night in the nursery.
They go on with their recollections.
"It was then that I rushed in like a tornado, wasn't it?" Mr. Darling would say, scorning himself; and indeed he
had been like a tornado.
Perhaps there was some excuse for him. He, too, had been dressing for the party, and all had gone well with
him until he came to his tie. It is an astounding thing to have to tell, but this man, though he knew about
stocks and shares, had no real mastery of his tie. Sometimes the thing yielded to him without a contest, but
there were occasions when it would have been better for the house if he had swallowed his pride and used a
Chapter 2 15
made-up tie.
This was such an occasion. He came rushing into the nursery with the crumpled little brute of a tie in his hand.
"Why, what is the matter, father dear?"
"Matter!" he yelled; he really yelled. "This tie, it will not tie." He became dangerously sarcastic. "Not round
my neck! Round the bed-post! Oh yes, twenty times have I made it up round the bed-post, but round my neck,
no! Oh dear no! begs to be excused!"
He thought Mrs. Darling was not sufficiently impressed, and he went on sternly, "I warn you of this, mother,
that unless this tie is round my neck we don't go out to dinner to-night, and if I don't go out to dinner to-night,
I never go to the office again, and if I don't go to the office again, you and I starve, and our children will be
flung into the streets."
Even then Mrs. Darling was placid. "Let me try, dear," she said, and indeed that was what he had come to ask
her to do, and with her nice cool hands she tied his tie for him, while the children stood around to see their
fate decided. Some men would have resented her being able to do it so easily, but Mr. Darling had far too fine
a nature for that; he thanked her carelessly, at once forgot his rage, and in another moment was dancing round
the room with Michael on his back.
"How wildly we romped!" says Mrs. Darling now, recalling it.
"Our last romp!" Mr. Darling groaned.
"O George, do you remember Michael suddenly said to me, `How did you get to know me, mother?'"
"I remember!"
"They were rather sweet, don't you think, George?"
"And they were ours, ours! and now they are gone."
The romp had ended with the appearance of Nana, and most unluckily Mr. Darling collided against her,
covering his trousers with hairs. They were not only new trousers, but they were the first he had ever had with
braid on them, and he had had to bite his lip to prevent the tears coming. Of course Mrs. Darling brushed him,
but he began to talk again about its being a mistake to have a dog for a nurse.
"George, Nana is a treasure."
"No doubt, but I have an uneasy feeling at times that she looks upon the children as puppies.
"Oh no, dear one, I feel sure she knows they have souls."
"I wonder," Mr. Darling said thoughtfully, "I wonder." It was an opportunity, his wife felt, for telling him
about the boy. At first he pooh-poohed the story, but he became thoughtful when she showed him the shadow.
"It is nobody I know," he said, examining it carefully, "but it does look a scoundrel."
"We were still discussing it, you remember," says Mr. Darling, "when Nana came in with Michael's medicine.
You will never carry the bottle in your mouth again, Nana, and it is all my fault."
Chapter 2 16
Strong man though he was, there is no doubt that he had behaved rather foolishly over the medicine. If he had
a weakness, it was for thinking that all his life he had taken medicine boldly, and so now, when Michael
dodged the spoon in Nana's mouth, he had said reprovingly, "Be a man, Michael."
"Won't; won't!" Michael cried naughtily. Mrs. Darling left the room to get a chocolate for him, and Mr.
Darling thought this showed want of firmness.
"Mother, don't pamper him," he called after her. "Michael, when I was your age I took medicine without a
murmur. I said, `Thank you, kind parents, for giving me bottles to make we well.'"
He really thought this was true, and Wendy, who was now in her night-gown, believed it also, and she said, to
encourage Michael, "That medicine you sometimes take, father, is much nastier, isn't it?"
"Ever so much nastier," Mr. Darling said bravely, "and I would take it now as an example to you, Michael, if I
hadn't lost the bottle."
He had not exactly lost it; he had climbed in the dead of night to the top of the wardrobe and hidden it there.
What he did not know was that the faithful Liza had found it, and put it back on his wash-stand.
"I know where it is, father," Wendy cried, always glad to be of service. "I'll bring it," and she was off before
he could stop her. Immediately his spirits sank in the strangest way.
"John," he said, shuddering, "it's most beastly stuff. It's that nasty, sticky, sweet kind."
"It will soon be over, father," John said cheerily, and then in rushed Wendy with the medicine in a glass.
"I have been as quick as I could," she panted.
"You have been wonderfully quick," her father retorted, with a vindictive politeness that was quite thrown
away upon her. "Michael first," he said doggedly.
"Father first," said Michael, who was of a suspicious nature.
"I shall be sick, you know," Mr. Darling said threateningly.
"Come on, father," said John.
"Hold your tongue, John," his father rapped out.
Wendy was quite puzzled. "I thought you took it quite easily, father."
"That is not the point," he retorted. "The point is, that there is more in my glass that in Michael's spoon." His
proud heart was nearly bursting. "And it isn't fair: I would say it though it were with my last breath; it isn't
fair."
"Father, I am waiting," said Michael coldly.
"It's all very well to say you are waiting; so am I waiting."
"Father's a cowardly custard."
"So are you a cowardly custard."
Chapter 2 17
"I'm not frightened."
"Neither am I frightened."
"Well, then, take it."
"Well, then, you take it."
Wendy had a splendid idea. "Why not both take it at the same time?"
"Certainly," said Mr. Darling. "Are you ready, Michael?"
Wendy gave the words, one, two, three, and Michael took his medicine, but Mr. Darling slipped his behind his
back.
There was a yell of rage from Michael, and "O father!" Wendy exclaimed.
"What do you mean by `O father'?" Mr. Darling demanded. "Stop that row, Michael. I meant to take mine, but
I -- I missed it."
It was dreadful the way all the three were looking at him, just as if they did not admire him. "Look here, all of
you," he said entreatingly, as soon as Nana had gone into the bathroom. "I have just thought of a splendid
joke. I shall pour my medicine into Nana's bowl, and she will drink it, thinking it is milk!"
It was the colour of milk; but the children did not have their father's sense of humour, and they looked at him
reproachfully as he poured the medicine into Nana's bowl. "What fun!" he said doubtfully, and they did not
dare expose him when Mrs. Darling and Nana returned.
"Nana, good dog," he said, patting her, "I have put a little milk into your bowl, Nana."
Nana wagged her tail, ran to the medicine, and began lapping it. Then she gave Mr. Darling such a look, not
an angry look: she showed him the great red tear that makes us so sorry for noble dogs, and crept into her
kennel.
Mr. Darling was frightfully ashamed of himself, but he would not give in. In a horrid silence Mrs. Darling
smelt the bowl. "O George," she said, "it's your medicine!"
"It was only a joke," he roared, while she comforted her boys, and Wendy hugged Nana. "Much good," he
said bitterly, "my wearing myself to the bone trying to be funny in this house."
And still Wendy hugged Nana. "That's right," he shouted. "Coddle her! Nobody coddles me. Oh dear no! I am
only the breadwinner, why should I be coddled--why, why, why!"
"George," Mrs. Darling entreated him, "not so loud; the servants will hear you." Somehow they had got into
the way of calling Liza the servants.
"Let them!" he answered recklessly. "Bring in the whole world. But I refuse to allow that dog to lord it in my
nursery for an hour longer."
The children wept, and Nana ran to him beseechingly, but he waved her back. He felt he was a strong man
again. "In vain, in vain," he cried; "the proper place for you is the yard, and there you go to be tied up this
instant."
Chapter 2 18
"George, George," Mrs. Darling whispered, "remember what I told you about that boy."
Alas, he would not listen. He was determined to show who was master in that house, and when commands
would not draw Nana from the kennel, he lured her out of it with honeyed words, and seizing her roughly,
dragged her from the nursery. He was ashamed of himself, and yet he did it. It was all owing to his too
affectionate nature, which craved for admiration. When he had tied her up in the back-yard, the wretched
father went and sat in the passage, with his knuckles to his eyes.
In the meantime Mrs. Darling had put the children to bed in unwonted silence and lit their night-lights. They
could hear Nana barking, and John whimpered, "It is because he is chaining her up in the yard," but Wendy
was wiser.
"That is not Nana's unhappy bark," she said, little guessing what was about to happen; "that is her bark when
she smells danger."
Danger!
"Are you sure, Wendy?"
"Oh, yes."
Mrs. Darling quivered and went to the window. It was securely fastened. She looked out, and the night was
peppered with stars. They were crowding round the house, as if curious to see what was to take place there,
but she did not notice this, nor that one or two of the smaller ones winked at her. Yet a nameless fear clutched
at her heart and made her cry, "Oh, how I wish that I wasn't going to a party to-night!"
Even Michael, already half asleep, knew that she was perturbed, and he asked, "Can anything harm us,
mother, after the night- lights are lit?"
"Nothing, precious," she said; "they are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children."
She went from bed to bed singing enchantments over them, and little Michael flung his arms round her.
"Mother," he cried, "I'm glad of you." They were the last words she was to hear from him for a long time.
No. 27 was only a few yards distant, but there had been a slight fall of snow, and Father and Mother Darling
picked their way over it deftly not to soil their shoes. They were already the only persons in the street, and all
the stars were watching them. Stars are beautiful, but they may not take an active part in anything, they must
just look on for ever. It is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now
knows what it was. So the older ones have become glassy-eyed and seldom speak (winking is the star
language), but the little ones still wonder. They are not really friendly to Peter, who had a mischievous way of
stealing up behind them and trying to blow them out; but they are so fond of fun that they were on his side
to-night, and anxious to get the grown-ups out of the way. So as soon as the door of 27 closed on Mr. and
Mrs. Darling there was a commotion in the firmament, and the smallest of all the stars in the Milky Way
screamed out:
"Now, Peter!"
Chapter 2 19
Chapter 3
COME AWAY, COME AWAY!
For a moment after Mr. and Mrs. 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, and one cannot help wishing that they
could have kept awake to see Peter; but Wendy's light blinked and gave such a yawn that the other two
yawned also, and before they could close their mouths all the three went out.
There was another light in the room now, a thousand times brighter than the night-lights, and in the time we
have taken to say this, it had been in all the drawers in the nursery, looking for Peter's shadow, rummaged the
wardrobe and turned every pocket inside out. It was not really a light; it made this light by flashing about so
quickly, but when it came to rest for a second you saw it was a fairy, no longer than your hand, but still
growing. It was a girl called Tinker Bell exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf, cut low and square, through
which her figure could be seen to the best advantage. She was slightly inclined to EMBONPOINT. [plump
hourglass figure]
A moment after the fairy's entrance the window was blown open by the breathing of the little stars, and Peter
dropped in. He had carried Tinker Bell part of the way, and his hand was still messy with the fairy dust.
"Tinker Bell," he called softly, after making sure that the children were asleep, "Tink, where are you?" She
was in a jug for the moment, and liking it extremely; she had never been in a jug before.
"Oh, do come out of that jug, and tell me, do you know where they put my shadow?"
The loveliest tinkle as of golden bells answered him. It is the fairy language. You ordinary children can never
hear it, but if you were to hear it you would know that you had heard it once before.
Tink said that the shadow was in the big box. She meant the chest of drawers, and Peter jumped at the
drawers, scattering their contents to the floor with both hands, as kings toss ha'pence to the crowd. In a
moment he had recovered his shadow, and in his delight he forgot that he had shut Tinker Bell up in the
drawer.
If he thought at all, but I don't believe he ever thought, it was that he and his shadow, when brought near each
other, would join like drops of water, and when they did not he was appalled. He tried to stick it on with soap
from the bathroom, but that also failed. A shudder passed through Peter, and he sat on the floor and cried.
His sobs woke Wendy, and she sat up in bed. She was not alarmed to see a stranger crying on the nursery
floor; she was only pleasantly interested.
"Boy," she said courteously, "why are you crying?"
Peter could be exceeding polite also, having learned the grand manner at fairy ceremonies, and he rose and
bowed to her beautifully. She was much pleased, and bowed beautifully to him from the bed.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"Wendy Moira Angela Darling," she replied with some satisfaction. "What is your name?"
"Peter Pan."
She was already sure that he must be Peter, but it did seem a comparatively short name.
Chapter 3 20
"Is that all?"
"Yes," he said rather sharply. He felt for the first time that it was a shortish name.
"I'm so sorry," said Wendy Moira Angela.
"It doesn't matter," Peter gulped.
She asked where he lived.
"Second to the right," said Peter, "and then straight on till morning."
"What a funny address!"
Peter had a sinking. For the first time he felt that perhaps it was a funny address.
"No, it isn't," he said.
"I mean," Wendy said nicely, remembering that she was hostess, "is that what they put on the letters?"
He wished she had not mentioned letters.
"Don't get any letters," he said contemptuously.
"But your mother gets letters?"
"Don't have a mother," he said. Not only had he no mother, but he had not the slightest desire to have one. He
thought them very over-rated persons. Wendy, however, felt at once that she was in the presence of a tragedy.
"O Peter, no wonder you were crying," she said, and got out of bed and ran to him.
"I wasn't crying about mothers," he said rather indignantly. "I was crying because I can't get my shadow to
stick on. Besides, I wasn't crying."
"It has come off?"
"Yes."
Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor, looking so draggled, and she was frightfully sorry for Peter. "How
awful!" she said, but she could not help smiling when she saw that he had been trying to stick it on with soap.
How exactly like a boy!
Fortunately she knew at once what to do. "It must be sewn on," she said, just a little patronisingly.
"What's sewn?" he asked.
"You're dreadfully ignorant."
"No, I'm not."
But she was exulting in his ignorance. "I shall sew it on for you, my little man," she said, though he was tall as
herself, and she got out her housewife [sewing bag], and sewed the shadow on to Peter's foot.
Chapter 3 21
"I daresay it will hurt a little," she warned him.
"Oh, I shan't cry," said Peter, who was already of the opinion that he had never cried in his life. And he
clenched his teeth and did not cry, and soon his shadow was behaving properly, though still a little creased.
"Perhaps I should have ironed it," Wendy said thoughtfully, but Peter, boylike, was indifferent to appearances,
and he was now jumping about in the wildest glee. Alas, he had already forgotten that he owed his bliss to
Wendy. He thought he had attached the shadow himself. "How clever I am!" he crowed rapturously, "oh, the
cleverness of me!"
It is humiliating to have to confess that this conceit of Peter was one of his most fascinating qualities. To put it
with brutal frankness, there never was a cockier boy.
But for the moment Wendy was shocked. "You conceit [braggart]," she exclaimed, with frightful sarcasm; "of
course I did nothing!"
"You did a little," Peter said carelessly, and continued to dance.
"A little!" she replied with hauteur [pride]; "if I am no use I can at least withdraw," and she sprang in the most
dignified way into bed and covered her face with the blankets.
To induce her to look up he pretended to be going away, and when this failed he sat on the end of the bed and
tapped her gently with his foot. "Wendy," he said, "don't withdraw. I can't help crowing, Wendy, when I'm
pleased with myself." Still she would not look up, though she was listening eagerly. "Wendy," he continued,
in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist, "Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys."
Now Wendy was every inch a woman, though there were not very many inches, and she peeped out of the
bed-clothes.
"Do you really think so, Peter?"
"Yes, I do."
"I think it's perfectly sweet of you," she declared, "and I'll get up again," and she sat with him on the side of
the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he
held out his hand expectantly.
"Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked, aghast.
"I shall know when you give it to me," he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble.
"Now," said he, "shall I give you a kiss?" and she replied with a slight primness, "If you please." She made
herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him, but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand, so
she slowly returned her face to where it had been before, and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the
chain around her neck. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain, for it was afterwards to save her life.
When people in our set are introduced, it is customary for them to ask each other's age, and so Wendy, who
always liked to do the correct thing, asked Peter how old he was. It was not really a happy question to ask
him; it was like an examination paper that asks grammar, when what you want to be asked is Kings of
England.
"I don't know," he replied uneasily, "but I am quite young." He really knew nothing about it, he had merely
Chapter 3 22
suspicions, but he said at a venture, "Wendy, I ran away the day I was born."
Wendy was quite surprised, but interested; and she indicated in the charming drawing-room manner, by a
touch on her night-gown, that he could sit nearer her.
"It was because I heard father and mother," he explained in a low voice, "talking about what I was to be when
I became a man." He was extraordinarily agitated now. "I don't want ever to be a man," he said with passion.
"I want always to be a little boy and to have fun. So I ran away to Kensington Gardens and lived a long long
time among the fairies."
She gave him a look of the most intense admiration, and he thought it was because he had run away, but it was
really because he knew fairies. Wendy had lived such a home life that to know fairies struck her as quite
delightful. She poured out questions about them, to his surprise, for they were rather a nuisance to him,
getting in his way and so on, and indeed he sometimes had to give them a hiding [spanking]. Still, he liked
them on the whole, and he told her about the beginning of fairies.
"You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and
they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."
Tedious talk this, but being a stay-at-home she liked it.
"And so," he went on good-naturedly, "there ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl."
"Ought to be? Isn't there?"
"No. You see children know such a lot now, they soon don't believe in fairies, and every time a child says, `I
don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead."
Really, he thought they had now talked enough about fairies, and it struck him that Tinker Bell was keeping
very quiet. "I can't think where she has gone to," he said, rising, and he called Tink by name. Wendy's heart
went flutter with a sudden thrill.
"Peter," she cried, clutching him, "you don't mean to tell me that there is a fairy in this room!"
"She was here just now," he said a little impatiently. "You don't hear her, do you?" and they both listened.
"The only sound I hear," said Wendy, "is like a tinkle of bells."
"Well, that's Tink, that's the fairy language. I think I hear her too."
The sound come from the chest of drawers, and Peter made a merry face. No one could ever look quite so
merry as Peter, and the loveliest of gurgles was his laugh. He had his first laugh still.
"Wendy," he whispered gleefully, "I do believe I shut her up in the drawer!"
He let poor Tink out of the drawer, and she flew about the nursery screaming with fury. "You shouldn't say
such things," Peter retorted. "Of course I'm very sorry, but how could I know you were in the drawer?"
Wendy was not listening to him. "O Peter," she cried, "if she would only stand still and let me see her!"
"They hardly ever stand still," he said, but for one moment Wendy saw the romantic figure come to rest on the
cuckoo clock. "O the lovely!" she cried, though Tink's face was still distorted with passion.
Chapter 3 23
"Tink," said Peter amiably, "this lady says she wishes you were her fairy."
Tinker Bell answered insolently.
"What does she say, Peter?"
He had to translate. "She is not very polite. She says you are a great [huge] ugly girl, and that she is my fairy.
He tried to argue with Tink. "You know you can't be my fairy, Tink, because I am an gentleman and you are a
lady."
To this Tink replied in these words, "You silly ass," and disappeared into the bathroom. "She is quite a
common fairy," Peter explained apologetically, "she is called Tinker Bell because she mends the pots and
kettles [tinker = tin worker]." [Similar to "cinder" plus "elle" to get Cinderella]
They were together in the armchair by this time, and Wendy plied him with more questions.
"If you don't live in Kensington Gardens now -- "
"Sometimes I do still."
"But where do you live mostly now?"
"With the lost boys."
"Who are they?"
"They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way. If they are
not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expenses. I'm captain."
"What fun it must be!"
"Yes," said cunning Peter, "but we are rather lonely. You see we have no female companionship."
"Are none of the others girls?"
"Oh, no; girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out of their prams."
This flattered Wendy immensely. "I think," she said, "it is perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls; John
there just despises us."
For reply Peter rose and kicked John out of bed, blankets and all; one kick. This seemed to Wendy rather
forward for a first meeting, and she told him with spirit that he was not captain in her house. However, John
continued to sleep so placidly on the floor that she allowed him to remain there. "And I know you meant to be
kind," she said, relenting, "so you may give me a kiss."
For the moment she had forgotten his ignorance about kisses. "I thought you would want it back," he said a
little bitterly, and offered to return her the thimble.
"Oh dear," said the nice Wendy, "I don't mean a kiss, I mean a thimble."
"What's that?"
Chapter 3 24
"It's like this." She kissed him.
"Funny!" said Peter gravely. "Now shall I give you a thimble?"
"If you wish to," said Wendy, keeping her head erect this time.
Peter thimbled her, and almost immediately she screeched. "What is it, Wendy?"
"It was exactly as if someone were pulling my hair."
"That must have been Tink. I never knew her so naughty before."
And indeed Tink was darting about again, using offensive language.
"She says she will do that to you, Wendy, every time I give you a thimble."
"But why?"
"Why, Tink?"
Again Tink replied, "You silly ass." Peter could not understand why, but Wendy understood, 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.
"You see, I don't know any stories. None of the lost boys knows any stories."
"How perfectly awful," Wendy said.
"Do you know," Peter asked "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories. O
Wendy, your mother was telling you such a lovely story."
"Which story was it?"
"About the prince who couldn't find the lady who wore the glass slipper."
"Peter," said Wendy excitedly, "that was Cinderella, and he found her, and they lived happily ever after."
Peter was so glad that he rose from the floor, where they had been sitting, and hurried to the window.
"Where are you going?" she cried with misgiving.
"To tell the other boys."
"Don't go Peter," she entreated, "I know such lots of stories."
Those were her precise words, so there can be no denying that it was she who first tempted him.
He came back, and there was a greedy look in his eyes now which ought to have alarmed her, but did not.
"Oh, the stories I could tell to the boys!" she cried, and then Peter gripped her and began to draw her toward
the window.
Chapter 3 25
"Let me go!" she ordered him.
"Wendy, do come with me and tell the other boys."
Of course she was very pleased to be asked, but she said, "Oh dear, I can't. Think of mummy! Besides, I can't
fly."
"I'll teach you."
"Oh, how lovely to fly."
"I'll teach you how to jump on the wind's back, and then away we go."
"Oo!" she exclaimed rapturously.
"Wendy, Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me saying funny
things to the stars."
"Oo!"
"And, Wendy, there are mermaids."
"Mermaids! With tails?"
"Such long tails."
"Oh," cried Wendy, "to see a mermaid!"
He had become frightfully cunning. "Wendy," he said, "how we should all respect you."
She was wriggling her body in distress. It was quite as if she were trying to remain on the nursery floor.
But he had no pity for her.
"Wendy," he said, the sly one, "you could tuck us in at night."
"Oo!"
"None of us has ever been tucked in at night."
"Oo," and her arms went out to him.
"And you could darn our clothes, and make pockets for us. None of us has any pockets."
How could she resist. "Of course it's awfully fascinating!" she cried. "Peter, would you teach John and
Michael to fly too?"
"If you like," he said indifferently, and she ran to John and Michael and shook them. "Wake up," she cried,
"Peter Pan has come and he is to teach us to fly."
John rubbed his eyes. "Then I shall get up," he said. Of course he was on the floor already. "Hallo," he said, "I
am up!"
Chapter 3 26
Michael was up by this time also, looking as sharp as a knife with six blades and a saw, but Peter suddenly
signed silence. Their faces assumed the awful craftiness of children listening for sounds from the grown-up
world. All was as still as salt. Then everything was right. No, stop! Everything was wrong. Nana, who had
been barking distressfully all the evening, was quiet now. It was her silence they had heard.
"Out with the light! Hide! Quick!" cried John, taking command for the only time throughout the whole
adventure. And thus when Liza entered, holding Nana, the nursery seemed quite its old self, very dark, and
you would have sworn you heard its three wicked inmates breathing angelically as they slept. They were
really doing it artfully from behind the window curtains.
Liza was in a bad tamper, for she was mixing the Christmas puddings in the kitchen, and had been drawn from
them, with a raisin still on her cheek, by Nana's absurd suspicions. She thought the best way of getting a little
quiet was to take Nana to the nursery for a moment, but in custody of course.
"There, you suspicious brute," she said, not sorry that Nana was in disgrace. "They are perfectly safe, aren't
they? Every one of the little angels sound asleep in bed. Listen to their gentle breathing."
Here Michael, encouraged by his success, breathed so loudly that they were nearly detected. Nana knew that
kind of breathing, and she tried to drag herself out of Liza's clutches.
But Liza was dense. "No more of it, Nana," she said sternly, pulling her out of the room. "I warn you if bark
again I shall go straight for master and missus and bring them home from the party, and then, oh, won't master
whip you, just."
She tied the unhappy dog up again, but do you think Nana ceased to bark? Bring master and missus home
from the party! Why, that was just what she wanted. Do you think she cared whether she was whipped so long
as her charges were safe? Unfortunately Liza returned to her puddings, and Nana, seeing that no help would
come from her, strained and strained at the chain until at last she broke it. In another moment she had burst
into the dining- room of 27 and flung up her paws to heaven, her most expressive way of making a
communication. Mr. and Mrs. Darling knew at once that something terrible was happening in their nursery,
and without a good-bye to their hostess they rushed into the street.
But it was now ten minutes since three scoundrels had been breathing behind the curtains, and Peter Pan can
do a great deal in ten minutes.
We now return to the nursery.
"It's all right," John announced, emerging from his hiding- place. "I say, Peter, can you really fly?"
Instead of troubling to answer him Peter flew around the room, taking the mantelpiece on the way.
"How topping!" said John and Michael.
"How sweet!" cried Wendy.
"Yes, I'm sweet, oh, I am sweet!" said Peter, forgetting his manners again.
It looked delightfully easy, and they tried it first from the floor and then from the beds, but they always went
down instead of up.
"I say, how do you do it?" asked John, rubbing his knee. He was quite a practical boy.
Chapter 3 27
"You just think lovely wonderful thoughts," Peter explained, "and they lift you up in the air."
He showed them again.
"You're so nippy at it," John said, "couldn't you do it very slowly once?"
Peter did it both slowly and quickly. "I've got it now, Wendy!" cried John, but soon he found he had not. Not
one of them could fly an inch, though even Michael was in words of two syllables, and Peter did not know A
from Z.
Of course Peter had been trifling with them, for no one can fly unless the fairy dust has been blown on him.
Fortunately, as we have mentioned, one of his hands was messy with it, and he blew some on each of them,
with the most superb results.
"Now just wiggle your shoulders this way," he said, "and let go."
They were all on their beds, and gallant Michael let go first. He did not quite mean to let go, but he did it, and
immediately he was borne across the room.
"I flewed!" he screamed while still in mid-air.
John let go and met Wendy near the bathroom.
"Oh, lovely!"
"Oh, ripping!"
"Look at me!"
"Look at me!"
"Look at me!"
They were not nearly so elegant as Peter, they could not help kicking a little, but their heads were bobbing
against the ceiling, and there is almost nothing so delicious as that. Peter gave Wendy a hand at first, but had
to desist, Tink was so indignant.
Up and down they went, and round and round. Heavenly was Wendy's word.
"I say," cried John, "why shouldn't we all go out?"
Of course it was to this that Peter had been luring them.
Michael was ready: he wanted to see how long it took him to do a billion miles. But Wendy hesitated.
"Mermaids!" said Peter again.
"Oo!"
"And there are pirates."
"Pirates," cried John, seizing his Sunday hat, "let us go at once."
Chapter 3 28
It was just at this moment that Mr. and Mrs. Darling hurried with Nana out of 27. They ran into the middle of
the street to look up at the nursery window; and, yes, it was still shut, but the room was ablaze with light, and
most heart-gripping sight of all, they could see in shadow on the curtain three little figures in night attire
circling round and round, not on the floor but in the air.
Not three figures, four!
In a tremble they opened the street door. Mr. Darling would have rushed upstairs, but Mrs. Darling signed him
to go softly. She even tried to make her heart go softly.
Will they reach the nursery in time? If so, how delightful for them, and we shall all breathe a sigh of relief, but
there will be no story. On the other hand, if they are not in time, I solemnly promise that it will all come right
in the end.
They would have reached the nursery in time had it not been that the little stars were watching them. Once
again the stars blew the window open, and that smallest star of all called out:
"Cave, Peter!"
Then Peter knew that there was not a moment to lose. "Come," he cried imperiously, and soared out at once
into the night, followed by John and Michael and Wendy.
Mr. and Mrs. Darling and Nana rushed into the nursery too late. The birds were flown.
Chapter 4
THE FLIGHT
"Second to the right, and straight on till morning."
That, Peter had told Wendy, was the way to the Neverland; but even birds, carrying maps and consulting them
at windy corners, could not have sighted it with these instructions. Peter, you see, just said anything that came
into his head.
At first his companions trusted him implicitly, 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.
John and Michael raced, Michael getting a start.
They recalled with contempt that not so long ago they had thought themselves fine fellows for being able to
fly round a room.
Not long ago. But how long ago? They were flying over the sea before this thought began to disturb Wendy
seriously. John thought it was their second sea and their third night.
Sometimes it was dark and sometimes light, and now they were very cold and again too warm. Did they really
feel hungry at times, or were they merely pretending, 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;
then the birds would follow and snatch it back; and they would all go chasing each other gaily for miles,
parting at last with mutual expressions of good-will. But Wendy noticed with gentle concern that Peter did not
Chapter 4 29
seem to know that this was rather an odd way of getting your bread and butter, nor even that there are other
ways.
Certainly they did not pretend to be sleepy, they were sleepy; and that was a danger, for the moment they
popped off, down they fell. The awful thing was that Peter thought this funny.
"There he goes again!" he would cry gleefully, as Michael suddenly dropped like a stone.
"Save him, save him!" cried Wendy, looking with horror at the cruel sea far below. Eventually Peter would
dive through the air, and catch Michael just before he could strike the sea, and it was lovely the way he did it;
but he always waited till the last moment, and you felt it was his cleverness that interested him and not the
saving of human life. Also he was fond of variety, and the sport that engrossed him one moment would
suddenly cease to engage him, so there was always the possibility that the next time you fell he would let you
go.
He could sleep in the air without falling, by merely lying on his back and floating, but this was, partly at least,
because he was so light that if you got behind him and blew he went faster.
"Do be more polite to him," Wendy whispered to John, when they were playing "Follow my Leader."
"Then tell him to stop showing off," said John.
When playing Follow my Leader, Peter would fly close to the water and touch each shark's tail in passing, just
as in the street you may run your finger along an iron railing. They could not follow him in this with much
success, so perhaps it was rather like showing off, especially as he kept looking behind to see how many tails
they missed.
"You must be nice to him," Wendy impressed on her brothers. "What could we do if he were to leave us!"
"We could go back," Michael said.
"How could we ever find our way back without him?"
"Well, then, we could go on," said John.
"That is the awful thing, John. We should have to go on, for we don't know how to stop."
This was true, Peter had forgotten to show them how to stop.
John said that if the worst came to the worst, all they had to do was to go straight on, for the world was round,
and so in time they must come back to their own window.
"And who is to get food for us, John?"
"I nipped a bit out of that eagle's mouth pretty neatly, Wendy."
"After the twentieth try," Wendy reminded him. "And even though we became good a picking up food, see
how we bump against clouds and things if he is not near to give us a hand."
Indeed they were constantly bumping. They could now fly strongly, though they still kicked far too much; but
if they saw a cloud in front of them, the more they tried to avoid it, the more certainly did they bump into it. If
Nana had been with them, she would have had a bandage round Michael's forehead by this time.
Chapter 4 30
Peter was not with them for the moment, and they felt rather lonely up there by themselves. He could go so
much faster than they that he would suddenly shoot out of sight, to have some adventure in which they had no
share. He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star, but he had
already forgotten what it was, or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him, and yet not be
able to say for certain what had been happening. It was really rather irritating to children who had never seen
a mermaid.
"And if he forgets them so quickly," Wendy argued, "how can we expect that he will go on remembering us?"
Indeed, sometimes when he returned he did not remember them, at least not well. Wendy was sure of it. She
saw recognition come into his eyes as he was about to pass them the time of day and go on; once even she had
to call him by name.
"I'm Wendy," she said agitatedly.
He was very sorry. "I say, Wendy," he whispered to her, "always if you see me forgetting you, just keep on
saying `I'm Wendy,' and then I'll remember."
Of course this was rather unsatisfactory. However, to make amends he showed them how to lie out flat on a
strong wind that was going their way, and this was such a pleasant change that they tried it several times and
found that they could sleep thus with security. Indeed they would have slept longer, but Peter tired quickly of
sleeping, and soon he would cry in his captain voice, "We get off here." So with occasional tiffs, but on the
whole rollicking, they drew near the Neverland; for after many moons they did reach it, and, what is more,
they had been going pretty straight all the time, not perhaps so much owing to the guidance of Peter or Tink as
because the island was looking for them. It is only thus that any one may sight those magic shores.
"There it is," said Peter calmly.
"Where, where?"
"Where all the arrows are pointing."
Indeed a million golden arrows were pointing it out to the children, all directed by their friend the sun, who
wanted them to be sure of their way before leaving them for the night.
Wendy and John and Michael stood on tip-toe in the air to get their first sight of the island. Strange to say,
they all recognized it at once, and until fear fell upon them they hailed it, not as something long dreamt of and
seen at last, but as a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays.
"John, there's the lagoon."
"Wendy, look at the turtles burying their eggs in the sand."
"I say, John, I see your flamingo with the broken leg!"
"Look, Michael, there's your cave!"
"John, what's that in the brushwood?"
"It's a wolf with her whelps. Wendy, I do believe that's your little whelp!"
"There's my boat, John, with her sides stove in!"
Chapter 4 31
"No, it isn't. Why, we burned your boat."
"That's her, at any rate. I say, John, I see the smoke of the redskin camp!"
"Where? Show me, and I'll tell you by the way smoke curls whether they are on the war-path."
"There, just across the Mysterious River."
"I see now. Yes, they are on the war-path right enough."
Peter was a little annoyed with them for knowing so much, but if he wanted to lord it over them his triumph
was at hand, for have I not told you that anon fear fell upon them?
It came as the arrows went, leaving the island in gloom.
In the old days at home the Neverland had always begun to look a little dark and threatening by bedtime. Then
unexplored patches arose in it and spread, black shadows moved about in them, the roar of the beasts of prey
was quite different now, and above all, you lost the certainty that you would win. You were quite glad that the
night-lights were on. You even liked Nana to say that this was just the mantelpiece over here, and that the
Neverland was all make-believe.
Of course the Neverland had been make-believe in those days, but it was real now, and there were no
night-lights, and it was getting darker every moment, and where was Nana?
They had been flying apart, but they huddled close to Peter now. His careless manner had gone at last, his
eyes were sparkling, and a tingle went through them every time they touched his body. They were now over
the fearsome island, flying so low that sometimes a tree grazed their feet. Nothing horrid was visible in the air,
yet their progress had become slow and laboured, exactly as if they were pushing their way through hostile
forces. Sometimes they hung in the air until Peter had beaten on it with his fists.
"They don't want us to land," he explained.
"Who are they?" Wendy whispered, shuddering.
But he could not or would not say. Tinker Bell had been asleep on his shoulder, but now he wakened her and
sent her on in front.
Sometimes he poised himself in the air, listening intently, with his hand to his ear, and again he would stare
down with eyes so bright that they seemed to bore two holes to earth. Having done these things, he went on
again.
His courage was almost appalling. "Would you like an adventure now," he said casually to John, "or would
you like to have your tea first?"
Wendy said "tea first" quickly, and Michael pressed her hand in gratitude, but the braver John hesitated.
"What kind of adventure?" he asked cautiously.
"There's a pirate asleep in the pampas just beneath us," Peter told him. "If you like, we'll go down and kill
him."
"I don't see him," John said after a long pause.
Chapter 4 32
"I do."
"Suppose," John said, a little huskily, "he were to wake up."
Peter spoke indignantly. "You don't think I would kill him while he was sleeping! I would wake him first, and
then kill him. That's the way I always do."
"I say! Do you kill many?"
"Tons."
John said "How ripping," but decided to have tea first. He asked if there were many pirates on the island just
now, and Peter said he had never known so many.
"Who is captain now?"
"Hook," answered Peter, and his face became very stern as he said that hated word.
"Jas. Hook?"
"Ay."
Then indeed Michael began to cry, and even John could speak in gulps only, for they knew Hook's reputation.
"He was Blackbeard's bo'sun," John whispered huskily. "He is the worst of them all. He is the only man of
whom Barbecue was afraid."
"That's him," said Peter.
"What is he like? Is he big?"
"He is not so big as he was."
"How do you mean?"
"I cut off a bit of him."
"You!"
"Yes, me," said Peter sharply.
"I wasn't meaning to be disrespectful."
"Oh, all right."
"But, I say, what bit?"
"His right hand."
"Then he can't fight now?"
"Oh, can't he just!"
Chapter 4 33
"Left-hander?"
"He has an iron hook instead of a right hand, and he claws with it."
"Claws!"
"I say, John," said Peter.
"Yes."
"Say, `Ay, ay, sir.'"
"Ay, ay, sir."
"There is one thing," Peter continued, "that every boy who serves under me has to promise, and so must you."
John paled.
"It is this, if we meet Hook in open fight, you must leave him to me."
"I promise," John said loyally.
For the moment they were feeling less eerie, because Tink was flying with them, and in her light they could
distinguish each other. Unfortunately she could not fly so slowly as they, and so she had to go round and
round them in a circle in which they moved as in a halo. Wendy quite liked it, until Peter pointed out the
drawbacks.
"She tells me," he said, "that the pirates sighted us before the darkness came, and got Long Tom out."
"The big gun?"
"Yes. And of course they must see her light, and if they guess we are near it they are sure to let fly."
"Wendy!"
"John!"
"Michael!"
"Tell her to go away at once, Peter," the three cried simultaneously, but he refused.
"She thinks we have lost the way," he replied stiffly, "and she is rather frightened. 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, and something gave Peter a loving little pinch.
"Then tell her," Wendy begged, "to put out her light."
"She can't put it out. That is about the only thing fairies can't do. It just goes out of itself when she falls asleep,
same as the stars."
"Then tell her to sleep at once," John almost ordered.
Chapter 4 34
"She can't sleep except when she's sleepy. It is the only other thing fairies can't do."
"Seems to me," growled John, "these are the only two things worth doing."
Here he got a pinch, but not a loving one.
"If only one of us had a pocket," Peter said, "we could carry her in it." However, they had set off in such a
hurry that there was not a pocket between the four of them.
He had a happy idea. John's hat!
Tink agreed to travel by hat if it was carried in the hand. John carried it, though she had hoped to be carried by
Peter. Presently Wendy took the hat, because John said it struck against his knee as he flew; and this, as we
shall see, led to mischief, for Tinker Bell hated to be under an obligation to Wendy.
In the black topper the light was completely hidden, and they flew on in silence. It was the stillest silence they
had ever known, broken once by a distant lapping, which Peter explained was the wild beasts drinking at the
ford, and again by a rasping sound that might have been the branches of trees rubbing together, but he said it
was the redskins sharpening their knives.
Even these noises ceased. To Michael the loneliness was dreadful. "If only something would make a sound!"
he cried.
As if in answer to his request, the air was rent by the most tremendous crash he had ever heard. The pirates
had fired Long Tom at them.
The roar of it echoed through the mountains, and the echoes seemed to cry savagely, "Where are they, where
are they, where are they?"
Thus sharply did the terrified three learn the difference between an island of make-believe and the same island
come true. When at last the heavens were steady again, John and Michael found themselves alone in the
darkness. John was treading the air mechanically, and Michael without knowing how to float was floating.
"Are you shot?" John whispered tremulously.
"I haven't tried [myself out] yet," Michael whispered back.
We know now that no one had been hit. Peter, however, had been carried by the wind of the shot far out to
sea, while Wendy was blown upwards with no companion but Tinker Bell.
It would have been well for Wendy if at that moment she had dropped the hat.
I don't know whether the idea came suddenly to Tink, or whether she had planned it on the way, but she at
once popped out of the hat and began to lure Wendy to her destruction.
Tink was not all bad; or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good.
Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling
only at a time. They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change. At present she was
full of jealousy of Wendy. What she said in her lovely tinkle Wendy could not of course understand, and I
believe some of it was bad words, but it sounded kind, and she flew back and forward, plainly meaning
"Follow me, and all will be well."
Chapter 4 35
What else could poor Wendy do? She called to Peter and John and Michael, and got only mocking echoes in
reply. She did not yet know that Tink hated her with the fierce hatred of a very woman. And so, bewildered,
and now staggering in her flight, she followed Tink to her doom.
Chapter 5
THE ISLAND COME TRUE
Feeling that Peter was on his way back, the Neverland had again woke into life. We ought to use the
pluperfect and say wakened, but woke is better and was always used by Peter.
In his absence things are usually quiet on the island. The fairies take an hour longer in the morning, the beasts
attend to their young, the redskins feed heavily for six days and nights, and when pirates and lost boys meet
they merely bite their thumbs at each other. But with the coming of Peter, who hates lethargy, they are under
way again: if you put your ear to the ground now, you would hear the whole island seething with life.
On this evening the chief forces of the island were disposed as follows. The lost boys were out looking for
Peter, the pirates were out looking for the lost boys, the redskins were out looking for the pirates, and the
beasts were out looking for the redskins. They were going round and round the island, but they did not meet
because all were going at the same rate.
All wanted blood except the boys, who liked it as a rule, but to-night were out to greet their captain. The boys
on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be
growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting
the twins as two. Let us pretend to lie here among the sugar-cane and watch them as they steal by in single
file, each with his hand on his dagger.
They are forbidden by Peter to look in the least like him, and they wear the skins of the bears slain by
themselves, in which they are so round and furry that when they fall they roll. They have therefore become
very sure-footed.
The first to pass is Tootles, not the least brave but the most unfortunate of all that gallant band. He had been in
fewer adventures than any of them, because the big things constantly happened just when he had stepped
round the corner; all would be quiet, he would take the opportunity of going off to gather a few sticks for
firewood, and then when he returned the others would be sweeping up the blood. This ill-luck had given a
gentle melancholy to his countenance, but instead of souring his nature had sweetened it, so that he was quite
the humblest of the boys. Poor kind Tootles, there is danger in the air for you to-night. Take care lest an
adventure is now offered you, which, if accepted, will plunge you in deepest woe. Tootles, the fairy Tink, who
is bent on mischief this night is looking for a tool [for doing her mischief], and she thinks you are the most
easily tricked of the boys. 'Ware Tinker Bell.
Would that he could hear us, but we are not really on the island, and he passes by, biting his knuckles.
Next comes Nibs, the gay and debonair, followed by Slightly, who cuts whistles out of the trees and dances
ecstatically to his own tunes. Slightly is the most conceited of the boys. He thinks he remembers the days
before he was lost, with their manners and customs, and this has given his nose an offensive tilt. Curly is
fourth; he is a pickle, [a person who gets in pickles-predicaments] and so often has he had to deliver up his
person when Peter said sternly, "Stand forth the one who did this thing," that now at the command he stands
forth automatically whether he has done it or not. Last come the Twins, who cannot be described because we
should be sure to be describing the wrong one. Peter never quite knew what twins were, and his band were not
Chapter 5 36
allowed to know anything he did not know, so these two were always vague about themselves, and did their
best to give satisfaction by keeping close together in an apologetic sort of way.
The boys vanish in the gloom, and after a pause, but not a long pause, for things go briskly on the island,
come the pirates on their track. We hear them before they are seen, and it is always the same dreadful song:
"Avast belay, yo ho, heave to, A-pirating we go, And if we're parted by a shot We're sure to meet below!"
A more villainous-looking lot never hung in a row on Execution dock. Here, a little in advance, ever and again
with his head to the ground listening, his great arms bare, pieces of eight in his ears as ornaments, is the
handsome Italian Cecco, who cut his name in letters of blood on the back of the governor of the prison at Gao.
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. Here is Bill Jukes, every inch of him tattooed, the same
Bill Jukes who got six dozen on the WALRUS from Flint before he would drop the bag of moidores
[Portuguese gold pieces]; and Cookson, said to be Black Murphy's brother (but this was never proved), and
Gentleman Starkey, once an usher in a public school and still dainty in his ways of killing; and Skylights
(Morgan's Skylights); and the Irish bo'sun Smee, an oddly genial man who stabbed, so to speak, without
offence, and was the only Non-conformist in Hook's crew; and Noodler, whose hands were fixed on
backwards; and Robt. Mullins and Alf Mason and many another ruffian long known and feared on the Spanish
Main.
In the midst of them, the blackest and largest in that dark setting, reclined James Hook, or as he wrote himself,
Jas. Hook, of whom it is said he was the only man that the Sea-Cook feared. He lay at his ease in a rough
chariot drawn and propelled by his men, and instead of a right hand he had the iron hook with which ever and
anon he encouraged them to increase their pace. As dogs this terrible man treated and addressed them, and as
dogs they obeyed him. In person he was cadaverous [dead looking] and blackavized [dark faced], and his hair
was dressed in long curls, which at a little distance looked like black candles, and gave a singularly
threatening expression to his handsome countenance. His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not, and of a
profound melancholy, save when he was plunging his hook into you, at which time two red spots appeared in
them and lit them up horribly. In manner, something of the grand seigneur still clung to him, so that he even
ripped you up with an air, and I have been told that he was a RACONTEUR [storyteller] of repute. He was
never more sinister than when he was most polite, which is probably the truest test of breeding; and the
elegance of his diction, even when he was swearing, no less than the distinction of his demeanour, showed
him one of a different cast from his crew. A man of indomitable courage, it was said that the only thing he
shied at was the sight of his own blood, which was thick and of an unusual colour. In dress he somewhat aped
the attire associated with the name of Charles II, having heard it said in some earlier period of his career that
he bore a strange resemblance to the ill-fated Stuarts; and in his mouth he had a holder of his own contrivance
which enabled him to smoke two cigars at once. But undoubtedly the grimmest part of him was his iron claw.
Let us now kill a pirate, to show Hook's method. Skylights will do. As they pass, Skylights lurches clumsily
against him, ruffling his lace collar; the hook shoots forth, there is a tearing sound and one screech, then the
body is kicked aside, and the pirates pass on. He has not even taken the cigars from his mouth.
Such is the terrible man against whom Peter Pan is pitted. Which will win?
On the trail of the pirates, stealing noiselessly down the war- path, which is not visible to inexperienced eyes,
come the redskins, every one of them with his eyes peeled. They carry tomahawks and knives, and their naked
bodies gleam with paint and oil. Strung around them are scalps, of boys as well as of pirates, for these are the
Piccaninny tribe, and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons. In the van, on all
fours, is Great Big Little Panther, a brave of so many scalps that in his present position they somewhat impede
his progress. Bringing up the rear, the place of greatest danger, comes Tiger Lily, proudly erect, a princess in
her own right. She is the most beautiful of dusky Dianas [Diana = goddess of the woods] and the belle of the
Chapter 5 37
Piccaninnies, coquettish [flirting], cold and amorous [loving] by turns; there is not a brave who would not
have the wayward thing to wife, but she staves off the altar with a hatchet. Observe how they pass over fallen
twigs without making the slightest noise. The only sound to be heard is their somewhat heavy breathing. The
fact is that they are all a little fat just now after the heavy gorging, but in time they will work this off. For the
moment, however, it constitutes their chief danger.
The redskins disappear as they have come like shadows, and soon their place is taken by the beasts, a great
and motley procession: lions, tigers, bears, and the innumerable smaller savage things that flee from them, for
every kind of beast, and, more particularly, all the man-eaters, live cheek by jowl on the favoured island.
Their tongues are hanging out, they are hungry to-night.
When they have passed, comes the last figure of all, a gigantic crocodile. We shall see for whom she is
looking presently.
The crocodile passes, but soon the boys appear again, for the procession must continue indefinitely until one
of the parties stops or changes its pace. Then quickly they will be on top of each other.
All are keeping a sharp look-out in front, but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind.
This shows how real the island was.
The first to fall out of the moving circle was the boys. They flung themselves down on the sward [turf], close
to their underground home.
"I do wish Peter would come back," every one of them said nervously, though in height and still more in
breadth they were all larger than their captain.
"I am the only one who is not afraid of the pirates," Slightly said, in the tone that prevented his being a general
favourite; but perhaps some distant sound disturbed him, for he added hastily, "but I wish he would come
back, and tell us whether he has heard anything more about Cinderella."
They talked of Cinderella, and Tootles was confident that his mother must have been very like her.
It was only in Peter's absence that they could speak of mothers, the subject being forbidden by him as silly.
"All I remember about my mother," Nibs told them, "is that she often said to my father, `Oh, how I wish I had
a cheque-book of my own!' I don't know what a cheque-book is, but I should just love to give my mother
one."
While they talked they heard a distant sound. You or I, not being wild things of the woods, would have heard
nothing, but they heard it, and it was the grim song:
"Yo ho, yo ho, the pirate life, The flag o' skull and bones, A merry hour, a hempen rope, And hey for Davy
Jones."
At once the lost boys -- but where are they? They are no longer there. Rabbits could not have disappeared
more quickly.
I will tell you where they are. With the exception of Nibs, who has darted away to reconnoitre [look around],
they are already in their home under the ground, a very delightful residence of which we shall see a good deal
presently. But how have they reached it? for there is no entrance to be seen, not so much as a large stone,
which if rolled away, would disclose the mouth of a cave. Look closely, however, and you may note that there
are here seven large trees, each with a hole in its hollow trunk as large as a boy. These are the seven entrances
Chapter 5 38
to the home under the ground, for which Hook has been searching in vain these many moons. Will he find it
tonight?
As the pirates advanced, the quick eye of Starkey sighted Nibs disappearing through the wood, and at once his
pistol flashed out. But an iron claw gripped his shoulder.
"Captain, let go!" he cried, writhing.
Now for the first time we hear the voice of Hook. It was a black voice. "Put back that pistol first," it said
threateningly.
"It was one of those boys you hate. I could have shot him dead."
"Ay, and the sound would have brought Tiger Lily's redskins upon us. Do you want to lose your scalp?"
"Shall I after him, Captain," asked pathetic Smee, "and tickle him with Johnny Corkscrew?" Smee had
pleasant names for everything, and his cutlass was Johnny Corkscrew, because he wiggled it in the wound.
One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped
instead of his weapon.
"Johnny's a silent fellow," he reminded Hook.
"Not now, Smee," Hook said darkly. "He is only one, and I want to mischief all the seven. Scatter and look for
them."
The pirates disappeared among the trees, and in a moment their Captain and Smee were alone. Hook heaved a
heavy sigh, and I know not why it was, perhaps it was because of the soft beauty of the evening, but there
came over him a desire to confide to his faithful bo'sun the story of his life. He spoke long and earnestly, but
what it was all about Smee, who was rather stupid, did not know in the least.
Anon [later] he caught the word Peter.
"Most of all," Hook was saying passionately, "I want their captain, Peter Pan. 'Twas he cut off my arm." He
brandished the hook threateningly. "I've waited long to shake his hand with this. Oh, I'll tear him!"
"And yet," said Smee, "I have often heard you say that hook was worth a score of hands, for combing the hair
and other homely uses."
"Ay," the captain answered. "if I was a mother I would pray to have my children born with this instead of
that," and he cast a look of pride upon his iron hand and one of scorn upon the other. Then again he frowned.
"Peter flung my arm," he said, wincing, "to a crocodile that happened to be passing by."
"I have often," said Smee, "noticed your strange dread of crocodiles."
"Not of crocodiles," Hook corrected him, "but of that one crocodile." He lowered his voice. "It liked my arm
so much, Smee, that it has followed me ever since, from sea to sea and from land to land, licking its lips for
the rest of me."
"In a way," said Smee, "it's sort of a compliment."
"I want no such compliments," Hook barked petulantly. "I want Peter Pan, who first gave the brute its taste for
Chapter 5 39
me."
He sat down on a large mushroom, and now there was a quiver in his voice. "Smee," he said huskily, "that
crocodile would have had me before this, but by a lucky chance it swallowed a clock which goes tick tick
inside it, and so before it can reach me I hear the tick and bolt." He laughed, but in a hollow way.
"Some day," said Smee, "the clock will run down, and then he'll get you."
Hook wetted his dry lips. "Ay," he said, "that's the fear that haunts me."
Since sitting down he had felt curiously warm. "Smee," he said, "this seat is hot." He jumped up. "Odds bobs,
hammer and tongs I'm burning."
They examined the mushroom, which was of a size and solidity unknown on the mainland; they tried to pull it
up, and it came away at once in their hands, for it had no root. Stranger still, smoke began at once to ascend.
The pirates looked at each other. "A chimney!" they both exclaimed.
They had indeed discovered the chimney of the home under the ground. It was the custom of the boys to stop
it with a mushroom when enemies were in the neighbourhood.
Not only smoke came out of it. There came also children's voices, for so safe did the boys feel in their
hiding-place that they were gaily chattering. The pirates listened grimly, and then replaced the mushroom.
They looked around them and noted the holes in the seven trees.
"Did you hear them say Peter Pan's from home?" Smee whispered, fidgeting with Johnny Corkscrew.
Hook nodded. He stood for a long time lost in thought, and at last a curdling smile lit up his swarthy face.
Smee had been waiting for it. "Unrip your plan, captain," he cried eagerly.
"To return to the ship," Hook replied slowly through his teeth, "and cook a large rich cake of a jolly thickness
with green sugar on it. There can be but one room below, for there is but one chimney. The silly moles had
not the sense to see that they did not need a door apiece. That shows they have no mother. We will leave the
cake on the shore of the Mermaids' Lagoon. These boys are always swimming about there, playing with the
mermaids. They will find the cake and they will gobble it up, because, having no mother, they don't know
how dangerous 'tis to eat rich damp cake." He burst into laughter, not hollow laughter now, but honest
laughter. "Aha, they will die."
Smee had listened with growing admiration.
"It's the wickedest, prettiest policy ever I heard of!" he cried, and in their exultation they danced and sang:
"Avast, belay, when I appear, By fear they're overtook; Nought's left upon your bones when you Have shaken
claws with Cook."
They began the verse, but they never finished it, for another sound broke in and stilled them. The was at first
such a tiny sound that a leaf might have fallen on it and smothered it, but as it came nearer it was more
distinct.
Tick tick tick tick.!
Hook stood shuddering, one foot in the air.
Chapter 5 40
"The crocodile!" he gasped, and bounded away, followed by his bo'sun.
It was indeed the crocodile. It had passed the redskins, who were now on the trail of the other pirates. It oozed
on after Hook.
Once more the boys emerged into the open; but the dangers of the night were not yet over, for presently Nibs
rushed breathless into their midst, pursued by a pack of wolves. The tongues of the pursuers were hanging out;
the baying of them was horrible.
"Save me, save me!" cried Nibs, falling on the ground.
"But what can we do, what can we do?"
It was a high compliment to Peter that at that dire moment their thoughts turned to him.
"What would Peter do?" they cried simultaneously.
Almost in the same breath they cried, "Peter would look at them through his legs."
And then, "Let us do what Peter would do."
It is quite the most successful way of defying wolves, and as one boy they bent and looked through their legs.
The next moment is the long one, but victory came quickly, for as the boys advanced upon them in the terrible
attitude, the wolves dropped their tails and fled.
Now Nibs rose from the ground, and the others thought that his staring eyes still saw the wolves. But it was
not wolves he saw.
"I have seen a wonderfuller thing," he cried, as they gathered round him eagerly. "A great white bird. It is
flying this way."
"What kind of a bird, do you think?"
"I don't know," Nibs said, awestruck, "but it looks so weary, and as it flies it moans, `Poor Wendy,'"
"Poor Wendy?"
"I remember," said Slightly instantly, "there are birds called Wendies."
"See, it comes!" cried Curly, pointing to Wendy in the heavens.
Wendy was now almost overhead, and they could hear her plaintive cry. But more distinct came the shrill
voice of Tinker Bell. The jealous fairy had now cast off all disguise of friendship, and was darting at her
victim from every direction, pinching savagely each time she touched.
"Hullo, Tink," cried the wondering boys.
Tink's reply rang out: "Peter wants you to shoot the Wendy."
It was not in their nature to question when Peter ordered. "Let us do what Peter wishes!" cried the simple
boys. "Quick, bows and arrows!"
Chapter 5 41
All but Tootles popped down their trees. He had a bow and arrow with him, and Tink noted it, and rubbed her
little hands.
"Quick, Tootles, quick," she screamed. "Peter will be so pleased."
Tootles excitedly fitted the arrow to his bow. "Out of the way, Tink," he shouted, and then he fired, and
Wendy fluttered to the ground with an arrow in her breast.
Chapter 6
THE LITTLE HOUSE
Foolish Tootles was standing like a conqueror over Wendy's body when the other boys sprang, armed, from
their trees.
"You are too late," he cried proudly, "I have shot the Wendy. Peter will be so pleased with me."
Overhead Tinker Bell shouted "Silly ass!" and darted into hiding. The others did not hear her. They had
crowded round Wendy, and as they looked a terrible silence fell upon the wood. If Wendy's heart had been
beating they would all have heard it.
Slightly was the first to speak. "This is no bird," he said in a scared voice. "I think this must be a lady."
"A lady?" said Tootles, and fell a-trembling.
"And we have killed her," Nibs said hoarsely.
They all whipped off their caps.
"Now I see," Curly said: "Peter was bringing her to us." He threw himself sorrowfully on the ground.
"A lady to take care of us at last," said one of the twins, "and you have killed her!"
They were sorry for him, but sorrier for themselves, and when he took a step nearer them they turned from
him.
Tootles' face was very white, but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before.
"I did it," he said, reflecting. "When ladies used to come to me in dreams, I said, `Pretty mother, pretty
mother.' But when at last she really came, I shot her."
He moved slowly away.
"Don't go," they called in pity.
"I must," he answered, shaking; "I am so afraid of Peter."
It was at this tragic moment that they heard a sound which made the heart of every one of them rise to his
mouth. They heard Peter crow.
Chapter 6 42
"Peter!" they cried, for it was always thus that he signalled his return.
"Hide her," they whispered, and gathered hastily around Wendy. But Tootles stood aloof.
Again came that ringing crow, and Peter dropped in front of them. "Greetings, boys," he cried, and
mechanically they saluted, and then again was silence.
He frowned.
"I am back," he said hotly, "why do you not cheer?"
They opened their mouths, but the cheers would not come. He overlooked it in his haste to tell the glorious
tidings.
"Great news, boys," he cried, "I have brought at last a mother for you all."
Still no sound, except a little thud from Tootles as he dropped on his knees.
"Have you not seen her?" asked Peter, becoming troubled. "She flew this way."
"Ah me!" once voice said, and another said, "Oh, mournful day."
Tootles rose. "Peter," he said quietly, "I will show her to you," and when the others would still have hidden
her he said, "Back, twins, let Peter see."
So they all stood back, and let him see, and after he had looked for a little time he did not know what to do
next.
"She is dead," he said uncomfortably. "Perhaps she is frightened at being dead."
He thought of hopping off in a comic sort of way till he was out of sight of her, and then never going near the
spot any more. They would all have been glad to follow if he had done this.
But there was the arrow. He took it from her heart and faced his band.
"Whose arrow?" he demanded sternly.
"Mine, Peter," said Tootles on his knees.
"Oh, dastard hand," Peter said, and he raised the arrow to use it as a dagger.
Tootles did not flinch. He bared his breast. "Strike, Peter," he said firmly, "strike true."
Twice did Peter raise the arrow, and twice did his hand fall. "I cannot strike," he said with awe, "there is
something stays my hand."
All looked at him in wonder, save Nibs, who fortunately looked at Wendy.
"It is she," he cried, "the Wendy lady, see, her arm!"
Wonderful to relate [tell], Wendy had raised her arm. Nibs bent over her and listened reverently. "I think she
said, `Poor Tootles,'" he whispered.
Chapter 6 43
"She lives," Peter said briefly.
Slightly cried instantly, "The Wendy lady lives."
Then Peter knelt beside her and found his button. You remember she had put it on a chain that she wore round
her neck.
"See," he said, "the arrow struck against this. It is the kiss I gave her. It has saved her life."
"I remember kisses," Slightly interposed quickly, "let me see it. Ay, that's a kiss."
Peter did not hear him. He was begging Wendy to get better quickly, so that he could show her the mermaids.
Of course she could not answer yet, being still in a frightful faint; but from overhead came a wailing note.
"Listen to Tink," said Curly, "she is crying because the Wendy lives."
Then they had to tell Peter of Tink's crime, and almost never had they seen him look so stern.
"Listen, Tinker Bell," he cried, "I am your friend no more. Begone from me for ever."
She flew on to his shoulder and pleaded, but he brushed her off. Not until Wendy again raised her arm did he
relent sufficiently to say, "Well, not for ever, but for a whole week."
Do you think Tinker Bell was grateful to Wendy for raising her arm? Oh dear no, never wanted to pinch her
so much. Fairies indeed are strange, and Peter, who understood them best, often cuffed [slapped] them.
But what to do with Wendy in her present delicate state of health?
"Let us carry her down into the house," Curly suggested.
"Ay," said Slightly, "that is what one does with ladies."
"No, no," Peter said, "you must not touch her. It would not be sufficiently respectful."
"That," said Slightly, "is what I was thinking."
"But if she lies there," Tootles said, "she will die."
"Ay, she will die," Slightly admitted, "but there is no way out."
"Yes, there is," cried Peter. "Let us build a little house round her."
They were all delighted. "Quick," he ordered them, "bring me each of you the best of what we have. Gut our
house. Be sharp."
In a moment they were as busy as tailors the night before a wedding. They skurried this way and that, down
for bedding, up for firewood, and while they were at it, who should appear but John and Michael. As they
dragged along the ground they fell asleep standing, stopped, woke up, moved another step and slept again.
"John, John," Michael would cry, "wake up! Where is Nana, John, and mother?"
And then John would rub his eyes and mutter, "It is true, we did fly."
Chapter 6 44
You may be sure they were very relieved to find Peter.
"Hullo, Peter," they said.
"Hullo," replied Peter amicably, though he had quite forgotten them. He was very busy at the moment
measuring Wendy with his feet to see how large a house she would need. Of course he meant to leave room
for chairs and a table. John and Michael watched him.
"Is Wendy asleep?" they asked.
"Yes."
"John," Michael proposed, "let us wake her and get her to make supper for us," but as he said it some of the
other boys rushed on carrying branches for the building of the house. "Look at them!" he cried.
"Curly," said Peter in his most captainy voice, "see that these boys help in the building of the house."
"Ay, ay, sir."
"Build a house?" exclaimed John.
"For the Wendy," said Curly.
"For Wendy?" John said, aghast. "Why, she is only a girl!"
"That," explained Curly, "is why we are her servants."
"You? Wendy's servants!"
"Yes," said Peter, "and you also. Away with them."
The astounded brothers were dragged away to hack and hew and carry. "Chairs and a fender [fireplace] first,"
Peter ordered. "Then we shall build a house round them."
"Ay," said Slightly, "that is how a house is built; it all comes back to me."
Peter thought of everything. "Slightly," he cried, "fetch a doctor."
"Ay, ay," said Slightly at once, and disappeared, scratching his head. But he knew Peter must be obeyed, and
he returned in a moment, wearing John's hat and looking solemn.
"Please, sir," said Peter, going to him, "are you a doctor?"
The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while
to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to
make-believe that they had had their dinners.
If they broke down in their make-believe he rapped them on the knuckles.
"Yes, my little man," Slightly anxiously replied, who had chapped knuckles.
"Please, sir," Peter explained, "a lady lies very ill."
Chapter 6 45
She was lying at their feet, but Slightly had the sense not to see her.
"Tut, tut, tut," he said, "where does she lie?"
"In yonder glade."
"I will put a glass thing in her mouth," said Slightly, and he made-believe to do it, while Peter waited. It was
an anxious moment when the glass thing was withdrawn.
"How is she?" inquired Peter.
"Tut, tut, tut," said Slightly, "this has cured her."
"I am glad!" Peter cried.
"I will call again in the evening," Slightly said; "give her beef tea out of a cup with a spout to it"; but after he
had returned the hat to John he blew big breaths, which was his habit on escaping from a difficulty.
In the meantime the wood had been alive with the sound of axes; almost everything needed for a cosy
dwelling already lay at Wendy's feet.
"If only we knew," said one, "the kind of house she likes best."
"Peter," shouted another, "she is moving in her sleep."
"Her mouth opens," cried a third, looking respectfully into it. "Oh, lovely!"
"Perhaps she is going to sing in her sleep," said Peter. "Wendy, sing the kind of house you would like to
have."
Immediately, without opening her eyes, Wendy began to sing:
"I wish I had a pretty house, The littlest ever seen, With funny little red walls And roof of mossy green."
They gurgled with joy at this, for by the greatest good luck the branches they had brought were sticky with red
sap, and all the ground was carpeted with moss. 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, So tell us, mother Wendy, What are you
wanting more?"
To this she answered greedily:
"Oh, really next I think I'll have Gay windows all about, With roses peeping in, you know, And babies
peeping out."
With a blow of their fists they made windows, and large yellow leaves were the blinds. But roses -- ?
"Roses," cried Peter sternly.
Quickly they made-believe to grow the loveliest roses up the walls.
Chapter 6 46
Babies?
To prevent Peter ordering babies they hurried into song again:
"We've made the roses peeping out, The babes are at the door, We cannot make ourselves, you know, 'cos
we've been made before."
Peter, seeing this to be a good idea, at once pretended that it was his own. The house was quite beautiful, and
no doubt Wendy was very cosy within, though, of course, they could no longer see her. Peter strode up and
down, ordering finishing touches. Nothing escaped his eagle eyes. Just when it seemed absolutely finished:
"There's no knocker on the door," he said.
They were very ashamed, but Tootles gave the sole of his shoe, and it made an excellent knocker.
Absolutely finished now, they thought.
Not of bit of it. "There's no chimney," Peter said; "we must have a chimney."
"It certainly does need a chimney," said John importantly. This gave Peter an idea. He snatched the hat off
John's head, knocked out the bottom [top], and put the hat on the roof. The little house was so pleased to have
such a capital chimney that, as if to say thank you, smoke immediately began to come out of the hat.
Now really and truly it was finished. Nothing remained to do but to knock.
"All look your best," Peter warned them; "first impressions are awfully important."
He was glad no one asked him what first impressions are; they were all too busy looking their best.
He knocked politely, and now the wood was as still as the children, not a sound to be heard except from
Tinker Bell, who was watching from a branch and openly sneering.
What the boys were wondering was, would any one answer the knock? If a lady, what would she be like?
The door opened and a lady came out. It was Wendy. They all whipped off their hats.
She looked properly surprised, and this was just how they had hoped she would look.
"Where am I?" she said.
Of course Slightly was the first to get his word in. "Wendy lady," he said rapidly, "for you we built this
house."
"Oh, say you're pleased," cried Nibs.
"Lovely, darling house," Wendy said, and they were the very words they had hoped she would say.
"And we are your children," cried the twins.
Then all went on their knees, and holding out their arms cried, "O Wendy lady, be our mother."
"Ought I?" Wendy said, all shining. "Of course it's frightfully fascinating, but you see I am only a little girl. I
Chapter 6 47
have no real experience."
"That doesn't matter," said Peter, as if he were the only person present who knew all about it, though he was
really the one who knew least. "What we need is just a nice motherly person."
"Oh dear!" Wendy said, "you see, I feel that is exactly what I am."
"It is, it is," they all cried; "we saw it at once."
"Very well," she said, "I will do my best. Come inside at once, you naughty children; I am sure your feet are
damp. And before I put you to bed I have just time to finish the story of Cinderella."
In they went; I don't know how there was room for them, but you can squeeze very tight in the Neverland.
And that was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy. By and by she tucked them up in
the great bed in the home under the trees, but she herself slept that night in the little house, and Peter kept
watch outside with drawn sword, 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, with a bright light showing through its blinds,
and the chimney smoking beautifully, and Peter standing on guard. After a time he fell asleep, and some
unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. Any of the other boys obstructing the
fairy path at night they would have mischiefed, but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on.
Chapter 7
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.
Hook, you remember, had sneered at the boys for thinking they needed a tree apiece, but this was ignorance,
for unless your tree fitted you it was difficult to go up and down, and no two of the boys were quite the same
size. Once you fitted, you drew in [let out] your breath at the top, and down you went at exactly the right
speed, while to ascend you drew in and let out alternately, and so wriggled up. Of course, when you have
mastered the action you are able to do these things without thinking of them, and nothing can be more
graceful.
But you simply must fit, 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, while you have to be made to fit the tree. Usually it is
done quite easily, as by your wearing too many garments or too few, but if you are bumpy in awkward places
or the only available tree is an odd shape, Peter does some things to you, and after that you fit. Once you fit,
great care must be taken to go on fitting, and this, as Wendy was to discover to her delight, keeps a whole
family in perfect condition.
Wendy and Michael fitted their trees at the first try, but John had to be altered a little.
After a few days' practice they could go up and down as gaily as buckets in a well. And how ardently they
grew to love their home under the ground; especially Wendy. It consisted of one large room, as all houses
should do, with a floor in which you could dig [for worms] if you wanted to go fishing, and in this floor grew
stout mushrooms of a charming colour, which were used as stools. A Never tree tried hard to grow in the
centre of the room, but every morning they sawed the trunk through, level with the floor. By tea-time it was
always about two feet high, and then they put a door on top of it, the whole thus becoming a table; as soon as
they cleared away, they sawed off the trunk again, and thus there was more room to play. There was an
enourmous fireplace which was in almost any part of the room where you cared to light it, and across this
Chapter 7 48
Wendy stretched strings, made of fibre, from which she suspended her washing. The bed was tilted against the
wall by day, and let down at 6:30, when it filled nearly half the room; and all the boys slept in it, except
Michael, lying like sardines in a tin. There was a strict rule against turning round until one gave the signal,
when all turned at once. Michael should have used it also, but Wendy would have [desired] a baby, and he
was the littlest, and you know what women are, and the short and long of it is that he was hung up in a basket.
It was rough and simple, and not unlike what baby bears would have made of an underground house in the
same circumstances. But there was one recess in the wall, no larger than a bird-cage, which was the private
apartment of Tinker Bell. It could be shut off from the rest of the house by a tiny curtain, which Tink, who
was most fastidious [particular], always kept drawn when dressing or undressing. No woman, however large,
could have had a more exquisite boudoir [dressing room] and bed-chamber combined. The couch, as she
always called it, was a genuine Queen Mab, with club legs; and she varied the bedspreads according to what
fruit- blossom was in season. Her mirror was a Puss-in-Boots, of which there are now only three, unchipped,
known to fairy dealers; the washstand was Pie-crust and reversible, the chest of drawers an authentic
Charming the Sixth, and the carpet and rugs the best (the early) period of Margery and Robin. There was a
chandelier from Tiddlywinks for the look of the thing, but of course she lit the residence herself. Tink was
very contemptuous of the rest of the house, as indeed was perhaps inevitable, and her chamber, though
beautiful, looked rather conceited, having the appearance of a nose permanently turned up.
I suppose it was all especially entrancing to Wendy, because those rampagious boys of hers gave her so much
to do. Really there were whole weeks when, except perhaps with a stocking in the evening, she was never
above ground. The cooking, I can tell you, kept her nose to the pot, and even if there was nothing in it, even if
there was no pot, she had to keep watching that it came aboil just the same. You never exactly knew whether
there would be a real meal or just a make-believe, it all depended upon Peter's whim: he could eat, really eat,
if it was part of a game, but he could not stodge [cram down the food] just to feel stodgy [stuffed with food],
which is what most children like better than anything else; the next best thing being to talk about it.
Make-believe was so real to him that during a meal of it you could see him getting rounder. Of course it was
trying, but you simply had to follow his lead, and if you could prove to him that you were getting loose for
your tree he let you stodge.
Wendy's favourite time for sewing and darning was after they had all gone to bed. Then, as she expressed it,
she had a breathing time for herself; and she occupied it in making new things for them, and putting double
pieces on the knees, for they were all most frightfully hard on their knees.
When she sat down to a basketful of their stockings, every heel with a hole in it, she would fling up her arms
and exclaim, "Oh dear, I am sure I sometimes think spinsters are to be envied!"
Her face beamed when she exclaimed this.
You remember about her pet wolf. Well, it very soon discovered that she had come to the island and it found
her out, and they just ran into each other's arms. After that it followed her about everywhere.
As time wore on did she think much about the beloved parents she had left behind her? This is a difficult
question, because it is quite impossible to say how time does wear on in the Neverland, where it is calculated
by moons and suns, and there are ever so many more of them than on the mainland. But I am afraid that
Wendy did not really worry about her father and mother; she was absolutely confident that they would always
keep the window open for her to fly back by, and this gave her complete ease of mind. What did disturb her at
times was that John remembered his parents vaguely only, as people he had once known, while Michael was
quite willing to believe that she was really his mother. These things scared her a little, and nobly anxious to do
her duty, she tried to fix the old life in their minds by setting them examination papers on it, as like as possible
to the ones she used to do at school. The other boys thought this awfully interesting, and insisted on joining,
and they made slates for themselves, and sat round the table, writing and thinking hard about the questions she
Chapter 7 49
had written on another slate and passed round. They were the most ordinary questions -- "What was the colour
of Mother's eyes? Which was taller, Father or Mother? Was Mother blonde or brunette? Answer all three
questions if possible." "(A) Write an essay of not less than 40 words on How I spent my last Holidays, or The
Characters of Father and Mother compared. Only one of these to be attempted." Or "(1) Describe Mother's
laugh; (2) Describe Father's laugh; (3) Describe Mother's Party Dress; (4) Describe the Kennel and its
Inmate."
They were just everyday questions like these, and when you could not answer them you were told to make a
cross; and it was really dreadful what a number of crosses even John made. Of course the only boy who
replied to every question was Slightly, and no one could have been more hopeful of coming out first, but his
answers were perfectly ridiculous, and he really came out last: a melancholy thing.
Peter did not compete. For one thing he despised all mothers except Wendy, and for another he was the only
boy on the island who could neither write nor spell; not the smallest word. He was above all that sort of thing.
By the way, the questions were all written in the past tense. What was the colour of Mother's eyes, and so on.
Wendy, you see, had been forgetting, too.
Adventures, of course, as we shall see, were of daily occurrence; but about this time Peter invented, with
Wendy's help, a new game that fascinated him enormously, until he suddenly had no more interest in it,
which, as you have been told, was what always happened with his games. It consisted in pretending not to
have adventures, in doing the sort of thing John and Michael had been doing all their lives, sitting on stools
flinging balls in the air, pushing each other, going out for walks and coming back without having killed so
much as a grizzly. To see Peter doing nothing on a stool was a great sight; he could not help looking solemn at
such times, to sit still seemed to him such a comic thing to do. He boasted that he had gone walking for the
good of his health. For several suns these were the most novel of all adventures to him; and John and Michael
had to pretend to be delighted also; otherwise he would have treated them severely.
He often went out alone, and when he came back you were never absolutely certain whether he had had an
adventure or not. He might have forgotten it so completely that he said nothing about it; and then when you
went out you found the body; and, on the other hand, he might say a great deal about it, and yet you could not
find the body. Sometimes he came home with his head bandaged, and then Wendy cooed over him and bathed
it in lukewarm water, while he told a dazzling tale. But she was never quite sure, you know. There were,
however, many adventures which she knew to be true because she was in them herself, and there were still
more that were at least partly true, for the other boys were in them and said they were wholly true. To describe
them all would require a book as large as an English-Latin, Latin- English Dictionary, and the most we can do
is to give one as a specimen of an average hour on the island. The difficulty is which one to choose. Should
we take the brush with the redskins at Slightly Gulch? It was a sanguinary [cheerful] affair, and especially
interesting as showing one of Peter's peculiarities, which was that in the middle of a fight he would suddenly
change sides. At the Gulch, when victory was still in the balance, sometimes leaning this way and sometimes
that, he called out, "I'm redskin to-day; what are you, Tootles?" And Tootles answered, "Redskin; what are
you, Nibs?" and Nibs said, "Redskin; what are you Twin?" and so on; and they were all redskins; and of
course this would have ended the fight had not the real redskins fascinated by Peter's methods, agreed to be
lost boys for that once, and so at it they all went again, more fiercely than ever.
The extraordinary upshot of this adventure was -- but we have not decided yet that this is the adventure we are
to narrate. Perhaps a better one would be the night attack by the redskins on the house under the ground, when
several of them stuck in the hollow trees and had to be pulled out like corks. Or we might tell how Peter saved
Tiger Lily's life in the Mermaids' Lagoon, and so made her his ally.
Or we could tell of that cake the pirates cooked so that the boys might eat it and perish; and how they placed it
in one cunning spot after another; but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children, so that in
Chapter 7 50
time it lost its succulence, and became as hard as a stone, and was used as a missile, and Hook fell over it in
the dark.
Or suppose we tell of the birds that were Peter's friends, particularly of the Never bird that built in a tree
overhanging the lagoon, and how the nest fell into the water, and still the bird sat on her eggs, and Peter gave
orders that she was not to be disturbed. That is a pretty story, and the end shows how grateful a bird can be;
but if we tell it we must also tell the whole adventure of the lagoon, which would of course be telling two
adventures rather than just one. A shorter adventure, and quite as exciting, was Tinker Bell's attempt, with the
help of some street fairies, to have the sleeping Wendy conveyed on a great floating leaf to the mainland.
Fortunately the leaf gave way and Wendy woke, thinking it was bath-time, and swam back. Or again, we
might choose Peter's defiance of the lions, when he drew a circle round him on the ground with an arrow and
dared them to cross it; and though he waited for hours, with the other boys and Wendy looking on breathlessly
from trees, not one of them dared to accept his challenge.
Which of these adventures shall we choose? The best way will be to toss for it.
I have tossed, and the lagoon has won. This almost makes one wish that the gulch or the cake or Tink's leaf
had won. Of course I could do it again, and make it best out of three; however, perhaps fairest to stick to the
lagoon.
Chapter 8
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; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the
colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire. But just before they go on fire you
see the lagoon. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland, just one heavenly moment; if there could
be two moments you might see the surf and hear the mermaids singing.
The children often spent long summer days on this lagoon, swimming or floating most of the time, playing the
mermaid games in the water, and so forth. You must not think from this that the mermaids were on friendly
terms with them: on the contrary, 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. When she stole softly to the edge of the lagoon she might see
them by the score, especially on Marooners' Rock, where they loved to bask, combing out their hair in a lazy
way that quite irritated her; or she might even swim, on tiptoe as it were, to within a yard of them, but then
they saw her and dived, probably splashing her with their tails, not by accident, but intentionally.
They treated all the boys in the same way, except of course Peter, who chatted with them on Marooners' Rock
by the hour, and sat on their tails when they got cheeky. He gave Wendy one of their combs.
The most haunting time at which to see them is at the turn of the moon, when they utter strange wailing cries;
but the lagoon is dangerous for mortals then, and until the evening of which we have now to tell, Wendy had
never seen the lagoon by moonlight, less from fear, for of course Peter would have accompanied her, than
because she had strict rules about every one being in bed by seven. She was often at the lagoon, however, on
sunny days after rain, when the mermaids come up in extraordinary numbers to play with their bubbles. The
bubbles of many colours made in rainbow water they treat as balls, hitting them gaily from one to another
with their tails, and trying to keep them in the rainbow till they burst. The goals are at each end of the
rainbow, and the keepers only are allowed to use their hands. Sometimes a dozen of these games will be going
on in the lagoon at a time, and it is quite a pretty sight.
Chapter 8 51
But the moment the children tried to join in they had to play by themselves, for the mermaids immediately
disappeared. Nevertheless we have proof that they secretly watched the interlopers, and were not above taking
an idea from them; for John introduced a new way of hitting the bubble, with the head instead of the hand, and
the mermaids adopted it. This is the one mark that John has left on the Neverland.
It must also have been rather pretty to see the children resting on a rock for half an hour after their mid-day
meal. Wendy insisted on their doing this, and it had to be a real rest even though the meal was make-believe.
So they lay there in the sun, and their bodies glistened in it, while she sat beside them and looked important.
It was one such day, and they were all on Marooners' Rock. The rock was not much larger than their great
bed, but of course they all knew how not to take up much room, and they were dozing, or at least lying with
their eyes shut, and pinching occasionally when they thought Wendy was not looking. She was very busy,
stitching.
While she stitched a change came to the lagoon. Little shivers ran over it, and the sun went away and shadows
stole across the water, turning it cold. Wendy could no longer see to thread her needle, and when she looked
up, the lagoon that had always hitherto been such a laughing place seemed formidable and unfriendly.
It was not, she knew, that night had come, but something as dark as night had come. No, worse than that. It
had not come, but it had sent that shiver through the sea to say that it was coming. What was it?
There crowded upon her all the stories she had been told of Marooners' Rock, so called because evil captains
put sailors on it and leave them there to drown. They drown when the tide rises, for then it is submerged.
Of course she should have roused the children at once; not merely because of the unknown that was stalking
toward them, but because it was no longer good for them to sleep on a rock grown chilly. But she was a young
mother and she did not know this; she thought you simply must stick to your rule about half an hour after the
mid-day meal. So, though fear was upon her, and she longed to hear male voices, she would not waken them.
Even when she heard the sound of muffled oars, though her heart was in her mouth, she did not waken them.
She stood over them to let them have their sleep out. 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. Peter
sprang erect, as wide awake at once as a dog, and with one warning cry he roused the others.
He stood motionless, one hand to his ear.
"Pirates!" he cried. The others came closer to him. A strange smile was playing about his face, and Wendy
saw it and shuddered. While that smile was on his face no one dared address him; all they could do was to
stand ready to obey. The order came sharp and incisive.
"Dive!"
There was a gleam of legs, and instantly the lagoon seemed deserted. Marooners' Rock stood alone in the
forbidding waters as if it were itself marooned.
The boat drew nearer. It was the pirate dinghy, with three figures in her, Smee and Starkey, and the third a
captive, no other than Tiger Lily. Her hands and ankles were tied, and she knew what was to be her fate. She
was to be left on the rock to perish, an end to one of her race more terrible than death by fire or torture, 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; she was the daughter of a chief, she must die as a chief's daughter, it is enough.
They had caught her boarding the pirate ship with a knife in her mouth. No watch was kept on the ship, it
Chapter 8 52
being Hook's boast that the wind of his name guarded the ship for a mile around. Now her fate would help to
guard it also. One more wail would go the round in that wind by night.
In the gloom that they brought with them the two pirates did not see the rock till they crashed into it.
"Luff, you lubber," cried an Irish voice that was Smee's; "here's the rock. Now, then, what we have to do is to
hoist the redskin on to it and leave her here to drown."
It was the work of one brutal moment to land the beautiful girl on the rock; she was too proud to offer a vain
resistance.
Quite near the rock, but out of sight, two heads were bobbing up and down, Peter's and Wendy's. Wendy was
crying, for it was the first tragedy she had seen. Peter had seen many tragedies, but he had forgotten them all.
He was less sorry than Wendy for Tiger Lily: it was two against one that angered him, and he meant to save
her. An easy way would have been to wait until the pirates had gone, but he was never one to choose the easy
way.
There was almost nothing he could not do, and he now imitated the voice of Hook.
"Ahoy there, you lubbers!" he called. It was a marvellous imitation.
"The captain!" said the pirates, staring at each other in surprise.
"He must be swimming out to us," Starkey said, when they had looked for him in vain.
"We are putting the redskin on the rock," Smee called out.
"Set her free," came the astonishing answer.
"Free!"
"Yes, cut her bonds and let her go."
"But, captain -- "
"At once, d'ye hear," cried Peter, "or I'll plunge my hook in you."
"This is queer!" Smee gasped.
"Better do what the captain orders," said Starkey nervously.
"Ay, ay." Smee said, and he cut Tiger Lily's cords. At once like an eel she slid between Starkey's legs into the
water.
Of course Wendy was very elated over Peter's cleverness; but she knew that he would be elated also and very
likely crow and thus betray himself, so at once her hand went out to cover his mouth. But it was stayed even
in the act, for "Boat ahoy!" rang over the lagoon in Hook's voice, and this time it was not Peter who had
spoken.
Peter may have been about to crow, but his face puckered in a whistle of surprise instead.
"Boat ahoy!" again came the voice.
Chapter 8 53
Now Wendy understood. The real Hook was also in the water.
He was swimming to the boat, and as his men showed a light to guide him he had soon reached them. In the
light of the lantern Wendy saw his hook grip the boat's side; she saw his evil swarthy face as he rose dripping
from the water, and, quaking, she would have liked to swim away, but Peter would not budge. He was tingling
with life and also top-heavy with conceit. "Am I not a wonder, oh, I am a wonder!" he whispered to her, and
though she thought so also, she was really glad for the sake of his reputation that no one heard him except
herself.
He signed to her to listen.
The two pirates were very curious to know what had brought their captain to them, but he sat with his head on
his hook in a position of profound melancholy.
"Captain, is all well?" they asked timidly, but he answered with a hollow moan.
"He sighs," said Smee.
"He sighs again," said Starkey.
"And yet a third time he sighs," said Smee.
Then at last he spoke passionately.
"The game's up," he cried, "those boys have found a mother."
Affrighted though she was, Wendy swelled with pride.
"O evil day!" cried Starkey.
"What's a mother?" asked the ignorant Smee.
Wendy was so shocked that she exclaimed. "He doesn't know!" and always after this she felt that if you could
have a pet pirate Smee would be her one.
Peter pulled her beneath the water, for Hook had started up, crying, "What was that?"
"I heard nothing," said Starkey, raising the lantern over the waters, and as the pirates looked they saw a
strange sight. It was the nest I have told you of, floating on the lagoon, and the Never bird was sitting on it.
"See," said Hook in answer to Smee's question, "that is a mother. What a lesson! The nest must have fallen
into the water, but would the mother desert her eggs? No."
There was a break in his voice, as if for a moment he recalled innocent days when -- but he brushed away this
weakness with his hook.
Smee, much impressed, gazed at the bird as the nest was borne past, but the more suspicious Starkey said, "If
she is a mother, perhaps she is hanging about here to help Peter."
Hook winced. "Ay," he said, "that is the fear that haunts me."
He was roused from this dejection by Smee's eager voice.
Chapter 8 54
"Captain," said Smee, "could we not kidnap these boys' mother and make her our mother?"
"It is a princely scheme," cried Hook, and at once it took practical shape in his great brain. "We will seize the
children and carry them to the boat: the boys we will make walk the plank, and Wendy shall be our mother.
Again Wendy forgot herself.
"Never!" she cried, and bobbed.
"What was that?"
But they could see nothing. They thought it must have been a leaf in the wind. "Do you agree, my bullies?"
asked Hook.
"There is my hand on it," they both said.
"And there is my hook. Swear."
They all swore. By this time they were on the rock, and suddenly Hook remembered Tiger Lily.
"Where is the redskin?" he demanded abruptly.
He had a playful humour at moments, and they thought this was one of the moments.
"That is all right, captain," Smee answered complacently; "we let her go."
"Let her go!" cried Hook.
"'Twas your own orders," the bo'sun faltered.
"You called over the water to us to let her go," said Starkey.
"Brimstone and gall," thundered Hook, "what cozening [cheating] is going on here!" His face had gone black
with rage, but he saw that they believed their words, and he was startled. "Lads," he said, shaking a little, "I
gave no such order."
"It is passing queer," Smee said, and they all fidgeted uncomfortably. Hook raised his voice, but there was a
quiver in it.
"Spirit that haunts this dark lagoon to-night," he cried, "dost hear me?"
Of course Peter should have kept quiet, but of course he did not. He immediately answered in Hook's voice:
"Odds, bobs, hammer and tongs, I hear you."
In that supreme moment Hook did not blanch, even at the gills, but Smee and Starkey clung to each other in
terror.
"Who are you, stranger? Speak!" Hook demanded.
"I am James Hook," replied the voice, "captain of the JOLLY ROGER."
Chapter 8 55
"You are not; you are not," Hook cried hoarsely.
"Brimstone and gall," the voice retorted, "say that again, and I'll cast anchor in you."
Hook tried a more ingratiating manner. "If you are Hook," he said almost humbly, "come tell me, who am I?"
"A codfish," replied the voice, "only a codfish."
"A codfish!" Hook echoed blankly, and it was then, but not till then, that his proud spirit broke. He saw his
men draw back from him.
"Have we been captained all this time by a codfish!" they muttered. "It is lowering to our pride."
They were his dogs snapping at him, but, tragic figure though he had become, he scarcely heeded them.
Against such fearful evidence it was not their belief in him that he needed, it was his own. He felt his ego
slipping from him. "Don't desert me, bully," he whispered hoarsely to it.
In his dark nature there was a touch of the feminine, as in all the great pirates, and it sometimes gave him
intuitions. Suddenly he tried the guessing game.
"Hook," he called, "have you another voice?"
Now Peter could never resist a game, and he answered blithely in his own voice, "I have."
"And another name?"
"Ay, ay."
"Vegetable?" asked Hook.
"No."
"Mineral?"
"No."
"Animal?"
"Yes."
"Man?"
"No!" This answer rang out scornfully.
"Boy?"
"Yes."
"Ordinary boy?"
"No!"
Chapter 8 56
"Wonderful boy?"
To Wendy's pain the answer that rang out this time was "Yes."
"Are you in England?"
"No."
"Are you here?"
"Yes."
Hook was completely puzzled. "You ask him some questions," he said to the others, wiping his damp brow.
Smee reflected. "I can't think of a thing," he said regretfully.
"Can't guess, can't guess!" crowed Peter. "Do you give it up?"
Of course in his pride he was carrying the game too far, and the miscreants [villains] saw their chance.
"Yes, yes," they answered eagerly.
"Well, then," he cried, "I am Peter Pan."
Pan!
In a moment Hook was himself again, and Smee and Starkey were his faithful henchmen.
"Now we have him," Hook shouted. "Into the water, Smee. Starkey, mind the boat. Take him dead or alive!"
He leaped as he spoke, and simultaneously came the gay voice of Peter.
"Are you ready, boys?"
"Ay, ay," from various parts of the lagoon.
"Then lam into the pirates."
The fight was short and sharp. First to draw blood was John, who gallantly climbed into the boat and held
Starkey. There was fierce struggle, in which the cutlass was torn from the pirate's grasp. He wriggled
overboard and John leapt after him. The dinghy drifted away.
Here and there a head bobbed up in the water, and there was a flash of steel followed by a cry or a whoop. In
the confusion some struck at their own side. The corkscrew of Smee got Tootles in the fourth rib, but he was
himself pinked [nicked] in turn by Curly. Farther from the rock Starkey was pressing Slightly and the twins
hard.
Where all this time was Peter? He was seeking bigger game.
The others were all brave boys, and they must not be blamed for backing from the pirate captain. His iron
claw made a circle of dead water round him, from which they fled like affrighted fishes.
Chapter 8 57
But there was one who did not fear him: there was one prepared to enter that circle.
Strangely, it was not in the water that they met. Hook rose to the rock to breathe, and at the same moment
Peter scaled it on the opposite side. The rock was slippery as a ball, and they had to crawl rather than climb.
Neither knew that the other was coming. Each feeling for a grip met the other's arm: in surprise they raised
their heads; their faces were almost touching; so they met.
Some of the greatest heroes have confessed that just before they fell to [began combat] they had a sinking
[feeling in the stomach]. Had it been so with Peter at that moment I would admit it. After all, he was the only
man that the Sea-Cook had feared. But Peter had no sinking, he had one feeling only, gladness; and he
gnashed his pretty teeth with joy. Quick as thought he snatched a knife from Hook's belt and was about to
drive it home, when he saw that he was higher up the rock that his foe. It would not have been fighting fair.
He gave the pirate a hand to help him up.
It was then that Hook bit him.
Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. It made him quite helpless. He could only stare,
horrified. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. All he thinks he has a right to when
he comes to you to be yours is fairness. After you have been unfair to him he will love you again, but will
never afterwards be quite the same boy. No one ever gets over the first unfairness; no one except Peter. He
often met it, but he always forgot it. I suppose that was the real difference between him and all the rest.
So when he met it now it was like the first time; and he could just stare, helpless. Twice the iron hand clawed
him.
A few moments afterwards the other boys saw Hook in the water striking wildly for the ship; no elation on the
pestilent face now, only white fear, for the crocodile was in dogged pursuit of him. On ordinary occasions the
boys would have swum alongside cheering; but now they were uneasy, for they had lost both Peter and
Wendy, and were scouring the lagoon for them, calling them by name. They found the dinghy and went home
in it, shouting "Peter, Wendy" as they went, but no answer came save mocking laughter from the mermaids.
"They must be swimming back or flying," the boys concluded. They were not very anxious, because they had
such faith in Peter. They chuckled, boylike, because they would be late for bed; and it was all mother Wendy's
fault!
When their voices died away there came cold silence over the lagoon, and then a feeble cry.
"Help, help!"
Two small figures were beating against the rock; the girl had fainted and lay on the boy's arm. With a last
effort Peter pulled her up the rock and then lay down beside her. Even as he also fainted he saw that the water
was rising. He knew that they would soon be drowned, but he could do no more.
As they lay side by side a mermaid caught Wendy by the feet, and began pulling her softly into the water.
Peter, feeling her slip from him, woke with a start, and was just in time to draw her back. But he had to tell her
the truth.
"We are on the rock, Wendy," he said, "but it is growing smaller. Soon the water will be over it."
She did not understand even now.
"We must go," she said, almost brightly.
Chapter 8 58
"Yes," he answered faintly.
"Shall we swim or fly, Peter?"
He had to tell her.
"Do you think you could swim or fly as far as the island, Wendy, without my help?"
She had to admit that she was too tired.
He moaned.
"What is it?" she asked, anxious about him at once.
"I can't help you, Wendy. Hook wounded me. I can neither fly nor swim."
"Do you mean we shall both be drowned?"
"Look how the water is rising."
They put their hands over their eyes to shut out the sight. They thought they would soon be no more. As they
sat thus something brushed against Peter as light as a kiss, and stayed there, as if saying timidly, "Can I be of
any use?"
It was the tail of a kite, which Michael had made some days before. It had torn itself out of his hand and
floated away.
"Michael's kite," Peter said without interest, but next moment he had seized the tail, and was pulling the kite
toward him.
"It lifted Michael off the ground," he cried; "why should it not carry you?"
"Both of us!"
"It can't lift two; Michael and Curly tried."
"Let us draw lots," Wendy said bravely.
"And you a lady; never." Already he had tied the tail round her. She clung to him; she refused to go without
him; but with a "Good-bye, Wendy," he pushed her from the rock; and in a few minutes she was borne out of
his sight. Peter was alone on the lagoon.
The rock was very small now; soon it would be submerged. Pale rays of light tiptoed across the waters; 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.
Peter was not quite like other boys; but he was afraid at last. A tremour ran through him, like a shudder
passing over the sea; but on the sea one shudder follows another till there are hundreds of them, and Peter felt
just the one. Next moment he was standing erect on the rock again, with that smile on his face and a drum
beating within him. It was saying, "To die will be an awfully big adventure."
Chapter 8 59
Chapter 9
THE NEVER BIRD
The last sound Peter heard before he was quite alone were the mermaids retiring one by one to their
bedchambers under the sea. He was too far away to hear their doors shut; 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), and he
heard the bells.
Steadily the waters rose till they were nibbling at his feet; and to pass the time until they made their final gulp,
he watched the only thing on the lagoon. He thought it was a piece of floating paper, perhaps part of the kite,
and wondered idly how long it would take to drift ashore.
Presently he noticed as an odd thing that it was undoubtedly out upon the lagoon with some definite purpose,
for it was fighting the tide, and sometimes winning; and when it won, Peter, always sympathetic to the weaker
side, could not help clapping; it was such a gallant piece of paper.
It was not really a piece of paper; it was the Never bird, making desperate efforts to reach Peter on the nest.
By working her wings, in a way she had learned since the nest fell into the water, she was able to some extent
to guide her strange craft, but by the time Peter recognised her she was very exhausted. She had come to save
him, to give him her nest, though there were eggs in it. I rather wonder at the bird, for though he had been nice
to her, he had also sometimes tormented her. I can suppose only that, like Mrs. Darling and the rest of them,
she was melted because he had all his first teeth.
She called out to him what she had come for, and he called out to her what she was doing there; but of course
neither of them understood the other's language. In fanciful stories people can talk to the birds freely, and I
wish for the moment I could pretend that this were such a story, and say that Peter replied intelligently to the
Never bird; but truth is best, and I want to tell you only what really happened. Well, not only could they not
understand each other, but they forgot their manners.
"I -- want -- you -- to -- get -- into -- the -- nest," the bird called, speaking as slowly and distinctly as possible,
"and -- then -- you -- can -- drift -- ashore, but -- I -- am -- too - - tired -- to -- bring -- it -- any -- nearer -- so --
you -- must -- try -- to -- swim -- to -- it."
"What are you quacking about?" Peter answered. "Why don't you let the nest drift as usual?"
"I -- want -- you -- " the bird said, and repeated it all over.
Then Peter tried slow and distinct.
"What -- are -- you -- quacking -- about?" and so on.
The Never bird became irritated; they have very short tempers.
"You dunderheaded little jay," she screamed, "Why don't you do as I tell you?"
Peter felt that she was calling him names, and at a venture he retorted hotly:
"So are you!"
Then rather curiously they both snapped out the same remark:
Chapter 9 60
"Shut up!"
"Shut up!"
Nevertheless the bird was determined to save him if she could, and by one last mighty effort she propelled the
nest against the rock. Then up she flew; deserting her eggs, so as to make her meaning clear.
Then at last he understood, and clutched the nest and waved his thanks to the bird as she fluttered overhead. It
was not to receive his thanks, however, that she hung there in the sky; it was not even to watch him get into
the nest; it was to see what he did with her eggs.
There were two large white eggs, and Peter lifted them up and reflected. The bird covered her face with her
wings, so as not to see the last of them; but she could not help peeping between the feathers.
I forget whether I have told you that there was a stave on the rock, driven into it by some buccaneers of long
ago to mark the site of buried treasure. The children had discovered the glittering hoard, and when in a
mischievous mood used to fling showers of moidores, diamonds, pearls and pieces of eight to the gulls, who
pounced upon them for food, and then flew away, raging at the scurvy trick that had been played upon them.
The stave was still there, and on it Starkey had hung his hat, a deep tarpaulin, watertight, with a broad brim.
Peter put the eggs into this hat and set it on the lagoon. It floated beautifully.
The Never bird saw at once what he was up to, and screamed her admiration of him; and, alas, Peter crowed
his agreement with her. Then he got into the nest, reared the stave in it as a mast, and hung up his shirt for a
sail. At the same moment the bird fluttered down upon the hat and once more sat snugly on her eggs. She
drifted in one direction, and he was borne off in another, both cheering.
Of course when Peter landed he beached his barque [small ship, actually the Never Bird's nest in this
particular case in point] in a place where the bird would easily find it; but the hat was such a great success that
she abandoned the nest. It drifted about till it went to pieces, and often Starkey came to the shore of the
lagoon, and with many bitter feelings watched the bird sitting on his hat. As we shall not see her again, it may
be worth mentioning here that all Never birds now build in that shape of nest, with a broad brim on which the
youngsters take an airing.
Great were the rejoicings when Peter reached the home under the ground almost as soon as Wendy, who had
been carried hither and thither by the kite. Every boy had adventures to tell; but perhaps the biggest adventure
of all was that they were several hours late for bed. This so inflated them that they did various dodgy things to
get staying up still longer, such as demanding bandages; but Wendy, though glorying in having them all home
again safe and sound, was scandalised by the lateness of the hour, and cried, "To bed, to bed," in a voice that
had to be obeyed. Next day, however, she was awfully tender, and gave out bandages to every one, and they
played till bed-time at limping about and carrying their arms in slings.
Chapter 10
THE HAPPY HOME
One important result of the brush [with the pirates] on the lagoon was that it made the redskins their friends.
Peter had saved Tiger Lily from a dreadful fate, and now there was nothing she and her braves would not do
for him. All night they sat above, keeping watch over the home under the ground and awaiting the big attack
by the pirates which obviously could not be much longer delayed. Even by day they hung about, smoking the
pipe of peace, and looking almost as if they wanted tit-bits to eat.
Chapter 10 61
They called Peter the Great White Father, prostrating themselves [lying down] before him; and he liked this
tremendously, so that it was not really good for him.
"The great white father," he would say to them in a very lordly manner, as they grovelled at his feet, "is glad
to see the Piccaninny warriors protecting his wigwam from the pirates."
"Me Tiger Lily," that lovely creature would reply. "Peter Pan save me, me his velly nice friend. Me no let
pirates hurt him."
She was far too pretty to cringe in this way, but Peter thought it his due, and he would answer
condescendingly, "It is good. Peter Pan has spoken."
Always when he said, "Peter Pan has spoken," it meant that they must now shut up, and they accepted it
humbly in that spirit; but they were by no means so respectful to the other boys, whom they looked upon as
just ordinary braves. They said "How-do?" to them, and things like that; and what annoyed the boys was that
Peter seemed to think this all right.
Secretly Wendy sympathised with them a little, but she was far too loyal a housewife to listen to any
complaints against father. "Father knows best," she always said, whatever her private opinion must be. Her
private opinion was that the redskins should not call her a squaw.
We have now reached the evening that was to be known among them as the Night of Nights, because of its
adventures and their upshot. The day, as if quietly gathering its forces, had been almost uneventful, and now
the redskins in their blankets were at their posts above, while, below, the children were having their evening
meal; all except Peter, who had gone out to get the time. The way you got the time on the island was to find
the crocodile, and then stay near him till the clock struck.
The meal happened to be a make-believe tea, and they sat around the board, guzzling in their greed; and
really, what with their chatter and recriminations, the noise, as Wendy said, was positively deafening. To be
sure, she did not mind noise, but she simply would not have them grabbing things, and then excusing
themselves by saying that Tootles had pushed their elbow. There was a fixed rule that they must never hit
back at meals, but should refer the matter of dispute to Wendy by raising the right arm politely and saying, "I
complain of so-and-so;" but what usually happened was that they forgot to do this or did it too much.
"Silence," cried Wendy when for the twentieth time she had told them that they were not all to speak at once.
"Is your mug empty, Slightly darling?"
"Not quite empty, mummy," Slightly said, after looking into an imaginary mug.
"He hasn't even begun to drink his milk," Nibs interposed.
This was telling, and Slightly seized his chance.
"I complain of Nibs," he cried promptly.
John, however, had held up his hand first.
"Well, John?"
"May I sit in Peter's chair, as he is not here?"
"Sit in father's chair, John!" Wendy was scandalised. "Certainly not."
Chapter 10 62
"He is not really our father," John answered. "He didn't even know how a father does till I showed him."
This was grumbling. "We complain of John," cried the twins.
Tootles held up his hand. He was so much the humblest of them, indeed he was the only humble one, that
Wendy was specially gentle with him.
"I don't suppose," Tootles said diffidently [bashfully or timidly], "that I could be father. "No, Tootles."
Once Tootles began, which was not very often, he had a silly way of going on.
"As I can't be father," he said heavily, "I don't suppose, Michael, you would let me be baby?"
"No, I won't," Michael rapped out. He was already in his basket.
"As I can't be baby," Tootles said, getting heavier and heavier and heavier, "do you think I could be a twin?"
"No, indeed," replied the twins; "it's awfully difficult to be a twin."
"As I can't be anything important," said Tootles, "would any of you like to see me do a trick?"
"No," they all replied.
Then at last he stopped. "I hadn't really any hope," he said.
The hateful telling broke out again.
"Slightly is coughing on the table."
"The twins began with cheese-cakes." "Curly is taking both butter and honey."
"Nibs is speaking with his mouth full."
"I complain of the twins."
"I complain of Curly."
"I complain of Nibs."
"Oh dear, oh dear," cried Wendy, "I'm sure I sometimes think that spinsters are to be envied."
She told them to clear away, and sat down to her work-basket, a heavy load of stockings and every knee with
a hole in it as usual.
"Wendy," remonstrated [scolded] Michael, "I'm too big for a cradle."
"I must have somebody in a cradle," she said almost tartly, "and you are the littlest. A cradle is such a nice
homely thing to have about a house."
While she sewed they played around her; such a group of happy faces and dancing limbs lit up by that
romantic fire. It had become a very familiar scene, this, in the home under the ground, but we are looking on it
for the last time.
Chapter 10 63
There was a step above, and Wendy, you may be sure, was the first to recognize it.
"Children, I hear your father's step. He likes you to meet him at the door."
Above, the redskins crouched before Peter.
"Watch well, braves. I have spoken."
And then, as so often before, the gay children dragged him from his tree. As so often before, but never again.
He had brought nuts for the boys as well as the correct time for Wendy.
"Peter, you just spoil them, you know," Wendy simpered [exaggerated a smile].
"Ah, old lady," said Peter, hanging up his gun.
"It was me told him mothers are called old lady," Michael whispered to Curly.
"I complain of Michael," said Curly instantly.
The first twin came to Peter. "Father, we want to dance."
"Dance away, my little man," said Peter, who was in high good humour.
"But we want you to dance."
Peter was really the best dancer among them, but he pretended to be scandalised.
"Me! My old bones would rattle!"
"And mummy too."
"What," cried Wendy, "the mother of such an armful, dance!"
"But on a Saturday night," Slightly insinuated.
It was not really Saturday night, at least it may have been, for they had long lost count of the days; but always
if they wanted to do anything special they said this was Saturday night, and then they did it.
"Of course it is Saturday night, Peter," Wendy said, relenting.
"People of our figure, Wendy!"
"But it is only among our own progeny [children]."
"True, true."
So they were told they could dance, but they must put on their nighties first.
"Ah, old lady," Peter said aside to Wendy, warming himself by the fire and looking down at her as she sat
turning a heel, "there is nothing more pleasant 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."
Chapter 10 64
"It is sweet, Peter, isn't it?" Wendy said, frightfully gratified. "Peter, I think Curly has your nose."
"Michael takes after you."
She went to him and put her hand on his shoulder.
"Dear Peter," she said, "with such a large family, of course, I have now passed my best, but you don't want to
[ex]change me, do you?"
"No, Wendy."
Certainly he did not want a change, but he looked at her uncomfortably, blinking, you know, like one not sure
whether he was awake or asleep.
"Peter, what is it?"
"I was just thinking," he said, a little scared. "It is only make-believe, isn't it, that I am their father?"
"Oh yes," Wendy said primly [formally and properly].
"You see," he continued apologetically, "it would make me seem so old to be their real father."
"But they are ours, Peter, yours and mine."
"But not really, Wendy?" he asked anxiously.
"Not if you don't wish it," she replied; and she distinctly heard his sigh of relief. "Peter," she asked, trying to
speak firmly, "what are your exact feelings to [about] me?"
"Those of a devoted son, Wendy."
"I thought so," she said, and went and sat by herself at the extreme end of the room.
"You are so queer," he said, frankly puzzled, "and Tiger Lily is just the same. There is something she wants to
be to me, but she says it is not my mother."
"No, indeed, it is not," Wendy replied with frightful emphasis. Now we know why she was prejudiced against
the redskins.
"Then what is it?"
"It isn't for a lady to tell."
"Oh, very well," Peter said, a little nettled. "Perhaps Tinker Bell will tell me."
"Oh yes, Tinker Bell will tell you," Wendy retorted scornfully. "She is an abandoned little creature."
Here Tink, who was in her bedroom, eavesdropping, squeaked out something impudent.
"She says she glories in being abandoned," Peter interpreted.
He had a sudden idea. "Perhaps Tink wants to be my mother?"
Chapter 10 65
"You silly ass!" cried Tinker Bell in a passion.
She had said it so often that Wendy needed no translation.
"I almost agree with her," Wendy snapped. Fancy Wendy snapping! But she had been much tried, and she
little knew what was to happen before the night was out. If she had known she would not have snapped.
None of them knew. Perhaps it was best not to know. Their ignorance gave them one more glad hour; and as it
was to be their last hour on the island, let us rejoice that there were sixty glad minutes in it. They sang and
danced in their night- gowns. Such a deliciously creepy song it was, in which they pretended to be frightened
at their own shadows, little witting that so soon shadows would close in upon them, from whom they would
shrink in real fear. So uproariously gay was the dance, and how they buffeted each other on the bed and out of
it! It was a pillow fight rather than a dance, and when it was finished, the pillows insisted on one bout more,
like partners who know that they may never meet again. The stories they told, before it was time for Wendy's
good-night story! Even Slightly tried to tell a story that night, but the beginning was so fearfully dull that it
appalled not only the others but himself, and he said happily:
"Yes, it is a dull beginning. I say, let us pretend that it is the end."
And then at last they all got into bed for Wendy's story, the story they loved best, the story Peter hated.
Usually when she began to tell this story he left the room or put his hands over his ears; and possibly if he had
done either of those things this time they might all still be on the island. But to-night he remained on his stool;
and we shall see what happened.
Chapter 11
WENDY'S STORY
"Listen, then, said Wendy, settling down to her story, with Michael at her feet and seven boys in the bed.
"There was once a gentleman -- "
"I had rather he had been a lady," Curly said.
"I wish he had been a white rat," said Nibs.
"Quiet," their mother admonished [cautioned] them. "There was a lady also, and -- "
"Oh, mummy," cried the first twin, "you mean that there is a lady also, don't you? She is not dead, is she?"
"Oh, no."
"I am awfully glad she isn't dead," said Tootles. "Are you glad, John?"
"Of course I am."
"Are you glad, Nibs?"
"Rather."
"Are you glad, Twins?"
Chapter 11 66
"We are glad."
"Oh dear," sighed Wendy.
"Little less noise there," Peter called out, determined that she should have fair play, however beastly a story it
might be in his opinion.
"The gentleman's name," Wendy continued, "was Mr. Darling, and her name was Mrs. Darling."
"I knew them," John said, to annoy the others.
"I think I knew them," said Michael rather doubtfully.
"They were married, you know," explained Wendy, "and what do you think they had?"
"White rats," cried Nibs, inspired.
"No."
"It's awfully puzzling," said Tootles, who knew the story by heart.
"Quiet, Tootles. They had three descendants."
"What is descendants?"
"Well, you are one, Twin."
"Did you hear that, John? I am a descendant."
"Descendants are only children," said John.
"Oh dear, oh dear," sighed Wendy. "Now these three children had a faithful nurse called Nana; but Mr.
Darling was angry with her and chained her up in the yard, and so all the children flew away."
"It's an awfully good story," said Nibs.
"They flew away," Wendy continued, "to the Neverland, where the lost children are."
"I just thought they did," Curly broke in excitedly. "I don't know how it is, but I just thought they did!"
"O Wendy," cried Tootles, "was one of the lost children called Tootles?"
"Yes, he was."
"I am in a story. Hurrah, I am in a story, Nibs."
"Hush. Now I want you to consider the feelings of the unhappy parents with all their children flown away."
"Oo!" they all moaned, though they were not really considering the feelings of the unhappy parents one jot.
"Think of the empty beds!"
Chapter 11 67
"Oo!"
"It's awfully sad," the first twin said cheerfully.
"I don't see how it can have a happy ending," said the second twin. "Do you, Nibs?"
"I'm frightfully anxious."
"If you knew how great is a mother's love," Wendy told them triumphantly, "you would have no fear." She
had now come to the part that Peter hated.
"I do like a mother's love," said Tootles, hitting Nibs with a pillow. "Do you like a mother's love, Nibs?"
"I do just," said Nibs, hitting back.
"You see," Wendy said complacently, "our heroine knew that the mother would always leave the window
open for her children to fly back by; so they stayed away for years and had a lovely time."
"Did they ever go back?"
"Let us now," said Wendy, bracing herself up for her finest effort, "take a peep into the future"; and they all
gave themselves the twist that makes peeps into the future easier. "Years have rolled by, and who is this
elegant lady of uncertain age alighting at London Station?"
"O Wendy, who is she?" cried Nibs, every bit as excited as if he didn't know.
"Can it be -- yes -- no -- it is -- the fair Wendy!"
"Oh!"
"And who are the two noble portly figures accompanying her, now grown to man's estate? Can they be John
and Michael? They are!"
"Oh!"
"`See, dear brothers,' says Wendy pointing upwards, `there is the window still standing open. Ah, now we are
rewarded for our sublime faith in a mother's love.' So up they flew to their mummy and daddy, and pen cannot
describe the happy scene, over which we draw a veil."
That was the story, and they were as pleased with it as the fair narrator herself. Everything just as it should be,
you see. Off we skip like the most heartless things in the world, which is what children are, but so attractive;
and we have an entirely selfish time, and then when we have need of special attention we nobly return for it,
confident that we shall be rewarded instead of smacked.
So great indeed was their faith in a mother's love that they felt they could afford to be callous for a bit longer.
But there was one there who knew better, and when Wendy finished he uttered a hollow groan.
"What is it, Peter?" she cried, running to him, thinking he was ill. She felt him solicitously, lower down than
his chest. "Where is it, Peter?"
"It isn't that kind of pain," Peter replied darkly.
Chapter 11 68
"Then what kind is it?"
"Wendy, you are wrong about mothers."
They all gathered round him in affright, so alarming was his agitation; and with a fine candour he told them
what he had hitherto concealed.
"Long ago," he said, "I thought like you that my mother would always keep the window open for me, so I
stayed away for moons and moons and moons, and then flew back; but the window was barred, for mother
had forgotten all about me, and there was another little boy sleeping in my bed."
I am not sure that this was true, but Peter thought it was true; and it scared them.
"Are you sure mothers are like that?"
"Yes."
So this was the truth about mothers. The toads!
Still it is best to be careful; and no one knows so quickly as a child when he should give in. "Wendy, let us
[let's] go home," cried John and Michael together.
"Yes," she said, clutching them.
"Not to-night?" asked the lost boys bewildered. They knew in what they called their hearts that one can get on
quite well without a mother, and that it is only the mothers who think you can't.
"At once," Wendy replied resolutely, for the horrible thought had come to her: "Perhaps mother is in half
mourning by this time."
This dread made her forgetful of what must be Peter's feelings, and she said to him rather sharply, "Peter, will
you make the necessary arrangements?"
"If you wish it," he replied, as coolly as if she had asked him to pass the nuts.
Not so much as a sorry-to-lose-you between them! If she did not mind the parting, he was going to show her,
was Peter, that neither did he.
But of course he cared very much; and he was so full of wrath against grown-ups, who, as usual, were
spoiling everything, that as soon as he got inside his tree he breathed intentionally quick short breaths at the
rate of about five to a second. He did this because there is a saying in the Neverland that, every time you
breathe, a grown-up dies; and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible.
Then having given the necessary instructions to the redskins he returned to the home, where an unworthy
scene had been enacted in his absence. Panic-stricken at the thought of losing Wendy the lost boys had
advanced upon her threateningly.
"It will be worse than before she came," they cried.
"We shan't let her go."
"Let's keep her prisoner."
Chapter 11 69
"Ay, chain her up."
In her extremity an instinct told her to which of them to turn.
"Tootles," she cried, "I appeal to you."
Was it not strange? She appealed to Tootles, quite the silliest one.
Grandly, however, did Tootles respond. For that one moment he dropped his silliness and spoke with dignity.
"I am just Tootles," he said, "and nobody minds me. But the first who does not behave to Wendy like an
English gentleman I will blood him severely."
He drew back his hanger; and for that instant his sun was at noon. The others held back uneasily. Then Peter
returned, and they saw at once that they would get no support from him. He would keep no girl in the
Neverland against her will.
"Wendy," he said, striding up and down, "I have asked the redskins to guide you through the wood, as flying
tires you so."
"Thank you, Peter."
"Then," he continued, in the short sharp voice of one accustomed to be obeyed, "Tinker Bell will take you
across the sea. Wake her, Nibs."
Nibs had to knock twice before he got an answer, though Tink had really been sitting up in bed listening for
some time.
"Who are you? How dare you? Go away," she cried.
"You are to get up, Tink," Nibs called, "and take Wendy on a journey."
Of course Tink had been delighted to hear that Wendy was going; but she was jolly well determined not to be
her courier, and she said so in still more offensive language. Then she pretended to be asleep again.
"She says she won't!" Nibs exclaimed, aghast at such insubordination, whereupon Peter went sternly toward
the young lady's chamber.
"Tink," he rapped out, "if you don't get up and dress at once I will open the curtains, and then we shall all see
you in your negligee [nightgown]."
This made her leap to the floor. "Who said I wasn't getting up?" she cried.
In the meantime the boys were gazing very forlornly at Wendy, now equipped with John and Michael for the
journey. By this time they were dejected, not merely because they were about to lose her, but also because
they felt that she was going off to something nice to which they had not been invited. Novelty was beckoning
to them as usual.
Crediting them with a nobler feeling Wendy melted.
"Dear ones," she said, "if you will all come with me I feel almost sure I can get my father and mother to adopt
you."
Chapter 11 70
The invitation was meant specially for Peter, but each of the boys was thinking exclusively of himself, and at
once they jumped with joy.
"But won't they think us rather a handful?" Nibs asked in the middle of his jump.
"Oh no," said Wendy, rapidly thinking it out, "it will only mean having a few beds in the drawing-room; they
can be hidden behind the screens on first Thursdays."
"Peter, can we go?" they all cried imploringly. They took it for granted that if they went he would go also, but
really they scarcely cared. Thus children are ever ready, when novelty knocks, to desert their dearest ones.
"All right," Peter replied with a bitter smile, and immediately they rushed to get their things.
"And now, Peter," Wendy said, thinking she had put everything right, "I am going to give you your medicine
before you go." She loved to give them medicine, and undoubtedly gave them too much. Of course it was only
water, but it was out of a bottle, and she always shook the bottle and counted the drops, which gave it a certain
medicinal quality. On this occasion, however, she did not give Peter his draught [portion], for just as she had
prepared it, she saw a look on his face that made her heart sink.
"Get your things, Peter," she cried, shaking.
"No," he answered, pretending indifference, "I am not going with you, Wendy."
"Yes, Peter."
"No."
To show that her departure would leave him unmoved, he skipped up and down the room, playing gaily on his
heartless pipes. She had to run about after him, though it was rather undignified.
"To find your mother," she coaxed.
Now, if Peter had ever quite had a mother, he no longer missed her. He could do very well without one. He
had thought them out, and remembered only their bad points.
"No, no," he told Wendy decisively; "perhaps she would say I was old, and I just want always to be a little
boy and to have fun."
"But, Peter -- "
"No."
And so the others had to be told.
"Peter isn't coming."
Peter not coming! They gazed blankly at him, their sticks over their backs, and on each stick a bundle. Their
first thought was that if Peter was not going he had probably changed his mind about letting them go.
But he was far too proud for that. "If you find your mothers," he said darkly, "I hope you will like them."
The awful cynicism of this made an uncomfortable impression, and most of them began to look rather
Chapter 11 71
doubtful. After all, their faces said, were they not noodles to want to go?
"Now then," cried Peter, "no fuss, no blubbering; good-bye, Wendy"; and he held out his hand cheerily, quite
as if they must really go now, for he had something important to do.
She had to take his hand, and there was no indication that he would prefer a thimble.
"You will remember about changing your flannels, Peter?" she said, lingering over him. She was always so
particular about their flannels.
"Yes."
"And you will take your medicine?"
"Yes."
That seemed to be everything, and an awkward pause followed. Peter, however, was not the kind that breaks
down before other people. "Are you ready, Tinker Bell?" he called out.
"Ay, ay."
"Then lead the way."
Tink darted up the nearest tree; but no one followed her, for it was at this moment that the pirates made their
dreadful attack upon the redskins. Above, where all had been so still, the air was rent with shrieks and the
clash of steel. Below, there was dead silence. Mouths opened and remained open. Wendy fell on her knees,
but her arms were extended toward Peter. All arms were extended to him, as if suddenly blown in his
direction; they were beseeching him mutely not to desert them. As for Peter, he seized his sword, the same he
thought he had slain Barbecue with, and the lust of battle was in his eye.
Chapter 12
THE CHILDREN ARE CARRIED OFF
The pirate attack had been a complete surprise: a sure proof that the unscrupulous Hook had conducted it
improperly, for to surprise redskins fairly is beyond the wit of the white man.
By all the unwritten laws of savage warfare it is always the redskin who attacks, and with the wiliness of his
race he does it just before the dawn, at which time he knows the courage of the whites to be at its lowest ebb.
The white men have in the meantime made a rude stockade on the summit of yonder undulating ground, at the
foot of which a stream runs, for it is destruction to be too far from water. There they await the onslaught, the
inexperienced ones clutching their revolvers and treading on twigs, but the old hands sleeping tranquilly until
just before the dawn. Through the long black night the savage scouts wriggle, snake-like, among the grass
without stirring a blade. The brushwood closes behind them, as silently as sand into which a mole has dived.
Not a sound is to be heard, save when they give vent to a wonderful imitation of the lonely call of the coyote.
The cry is answered by other braves; and some of them do it even better than the coyotes, who are not very
good at it. So the chill hours wear on, and the long suspense is horribly trying to the paleface who has to live
through it for the first time; but to the trained hand those ghastly calls and still ghastlier silences are but an
intimation of how the night is marching.
Chapter 12 72
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.
The Piccaninnies, on their part, trusted implicitly to his honour, and their whole action of the night stands out
in marked contrast to his. They left nothing undone that was consistent with the reputation of their tribe. With
that alertness of the senses which is at once the marvel and despair of civilised peoples, they knew that the
pirates were on the island from the moment one of them trod on a dry stick; and in an incredibly short space of
time the coyote cries began. 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. They
found only one hillock with a stream at its base, so that Hook had no choice; here he must establish himself
and wait for just before the dawn. Everything being thus mapped out with almost diabolical cunning, the main
body of the redskins folded their blankets around them, and in the phlegmatic manner that is to them, the pearl
of manhood squatted above the children's home, awaiting the cold moment when they should deal pale death.
Here dreaming, though wide-awake, of the exquisite tortures to which they were to put him at break of day,
those confiding savages were found by the treacherous Hook. From the accounts afterwards supplied by such
of the scouts as escaped the carnage, he does not seem even to have paused at the rising ground, 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; he would not even hold off till the night was nearly spent; on he pounded
with no policy but to fall to [get into combat]. What could the bewildered scouts do, masters as they were of
every war-like artifice save this one, but trot helplessly after him, exposing themselves fatally to view, while
they gave pathetic utterance to the coyote cry.
Around the brave Tiger Lily were a dozen of her stoutest warriors, and they suddenly saw the perfidious
pirates bearing down upon them. Fell from their eyes then the film through which they had looked at victory.
No more would they torture at the stake. For them the happy hunting-grounds was now. They knew it; but as
their father's sons they acquitted themselves. Even then they had time to gather in a phalanx [dense formation]
that would have been hard to break had they risen quickly, but this they were forbidden to do by the traditions
of their race. It is written that the noble savage must never express surprise in the presence of the white. Thus
terrible as the sudden appearance of the pirates must have been to them, they remained stationary for a
moment, not a muscle moving; as if the foe had come by invitation. Then, indeed, the tradition gallantly
upheld, they seized their weapons, and the air was torn with the war-cry; but it was now too late.
It is no part of ours to describe what was a massacre rather than a fight. Thus perished many of the flower of
the Piccaninny tribe. Not all unavenged did they die, for with Lean Wolf fell Alf Mason, to disturb the
Spanish Main no more, and among others who bit the dust were Geo. Scourie, Chas. Turley, and the Alsatian
Foggerty. Turley fell to the tomahawk of the terrible Panther, who ultimately cut a way through the pirates
with Tiger Lily and a small remnant of the tribe.
To what extent Hook is to blame for his tactics on this occasion is for the historian to decide. Had he waited
on the rising ground till the proper hour he and his men would probably have been butchered; and in judging
him it is only fair to take this into account. What he should perhaps have done was to acquaint his opponents
that he proposed to follow a new method. On the other hand, this, as destroying the element of surprise, would
have made his strategy of no avail, so that the whole question is beset with difficulties. One cannot at least
withhold a reluctant admiration for the wit that had conceived so bold a scheme, and the fell [deadly] genius
with which it was carried out.
What were his own feelings about himself at that triumphant moment? Fain [gladly] would his dogs have
known, as breathing heavily and wiping their cutlasses, they gathered at a discreet distance from his hook, and
squinted through their ferret eyes at this extraordinary man. Elation must have been in his heart, but his face
did not reflect it: ever a dark and solitary enigma, he stood aloof from his followers in spirit as in substance.
Chapter 12 73
The night's work was not yet over, for it was not the redskins he had come out to destroy; they were but the
bees to be smoked, so that he should get at the honey. It was Pan he wanted, Pan and Wendy and their band,
but chiefly Pan.
Peter was such a small boy that one tends to wonder at the man's hatred of him. True he had flung Hook's arm
to the crocodile, but even this and the increased insecurity of life to which it led, owing to the crocodile's
pertinacity [persistance], hardly account for a vindictiveness so relentless and malignant. The truth is that
there was a something about Peter which goaded the pirate captain to frenzy. It was not his courage, it was not
his engaging appearance, it was not --. There is no beating about the bush, for we know quite well what it was,
and have got to tell. It was Peter's cockiness.
This had got on Hook's nerves; it made his iron claw twitch, and at night it disturbed him like an insect. While
Peter lived, the tortured man felt that he was a lion in a cage into which a sparrow had come.
The question now was how to get down the trees, or how to get his dogs down? He ran his greedy eyes over
them, searching for the thinnest ones. They wriggled uncomfortably, for they knew he would not scruple
[hesitate] to ram them down with poles.
In the meantime, what of the boys? We have seen them at the first clang of the weapons, turned as it were into
stone figures, open-mouthed, all appealing with outstretched arms to Peter; and we return to them as their
mouths close, and their arms fall to their sides. The pandemonium above has ceased almost as suddenly as it
arose, passed like a fierce gust of wind; but they know that in the passing it has determined their fate.
Which side had won?
The pirates, listening avidly at the mouths of the trees, heard the question put by every boy, and alas, they also
heard Peter's answer.
"If the redskins have won," he said, "they will beat the tom- tom; it is always their sign of victory."
Now Smee had found the tom-tom, and was at that moment sitting on it. "You will never hear the tom-tom
again," he muttered, but inaudibly of course, for strict silence had been enjoined [urged]. To his amazement
Hook signed him to beat the tom-tom, and slowly there came to Smee an understanding of the dreadful
wickedness of the order. Never, probably, had this simple man admired Hook so much.
Twice Smee beat upon the instrument, and then stopped to listen gleefully.
"The tom-tom," the miscreants heard Peter cry; "an Indian victory!" The doomed children answered with a
cheer that was music to the black hearts above, and almost immediately they repeated their good-byes to
Peter. This puzzled the pirates, but all their other feelings were swallowed by a base delight that the enemy
were about to come up the trees. They smirked at each other and rubbed their hands. Rapidly and silently
Hook gave his orders: one man to each tree, and the others to arrange themselves in a line two yards apart.
Chapter 13
DO YOU BELIEVE IN FAIRIES?
The more quickly this horror is disposed of the better. The first to emerge from his tree was Curly. He rose out
of it into the arms of Cecco, who flung him to Smee, who flung him to Starkey, who flung him to Bill Jukes,
who flung him to Noodler, and so he was tossed from one to another till he fell at the feet of the black pirate.
Chapter 13 74
All the boys were plucked from their trees in this ruthless manner; and several of them were in the air at a
time, like bales of goods flung from hand to hand.
A different treatment was accorded to Wendy, who came last. With ironical politeness Hook raised his hat to
her, and, offering her his arm, escorted her to the spot where the others were being gagged. He did it with such
an air, he was so frightfully DISTINGUE [imposingly distinguished], that she was too fascinated to cry out.
She was only a little girl.
Perhaps it is tell-tale to divulge that for a moment Hook entranced her, and we tell on her only because her
slip led to strange results. Had she haughtily unhanded him (and we should have loved to write it of her), she
would have been hurled through the air like the others, and then Hook would probably not have been present
at the tying of the children; and had he not been at the tying he would not have discovered Slightly's secret,
and without the secret he could not presently have made his foul attempt on Peter's life.
They were tied to prevent their flying away, doubled up with their knees close to their ears; and for the
trussing of them the black pirate had cut a rope into nine equal pieces. All went well until Slightly's turn came,
when he was found to be like those irritating parcels that use up all the string in going round and leave no tags
[ends] with which to tie a knot. The pirates kicked him in their rage, just as you kick the parcel (though in
fairness you should kick the string); and strange to say it was Hook who told them to belay their violence. His
lip was curled with malicious triumph. 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, Hook's master mind had gone far beneath
Slightly's surface, probing not for effects but for causes; and his exultation showed that he had found them.
Slightly, white to the gills, knew that Hook had surprised [discovered] his secret, which was this, that no boy
so blown out could use a tree wherein an average man need stick. Poor Slightly, most wretched of all the
children now, for he was in a panic about Peter, bitterly regretted what he had done. Madly addicted to the
drinking of water when he was hot, he had swelled in consequence to his present girth, and instead of
reducing himself to fit his tree he had, unknown to the others, whittled his tree to make it fit him.
Sufficient of this Hook guessed to persuade him that Peter at last lay at his mercy, but no word of the dark
design that now formed in the subterranean caverns of his mind crossed his lips; he merely signed that the
captives were to be conveyed to the ship, and that he would be alone.
How to convey them? Hunched up in their ropes they might indeed be rolled down hill like barrels, but most
of the way lay through a morass. Again Hook's genius surmounted difficulties. He indicated that the little
house must be used as a conveyance. The children were flung into it, four stout pirates raised it on their
shoulders, the others fell in behind, and singing the hateful pirate chorus the strange procession set off through
the wood. I don't know whether any of the children were crying; if so, the singing drowned the sound; but as
the little house disappeared in the forest, a brave though tiny jet of smoke issued from its chimney as if
defying Hook.
Hook saw it, and it did Peter a bad service. It dried up any trickle of pity for him that may have remained in
the pirate's infuriated breast.
The first thing he did on finding himself alone in the fast falling night was to tiptoe to Slightly's tree, and
make sure that it provided him with a passage. Then for long he remained brooding; his hat of ill omen on the
sward, so that any gentle breeze which had arisen might play refreshingly through his hair. Dark as were his
thoughts his blue eyes were as soft as the periwinkle. Intently he listened for any sound from the nether world,
but all was as silent below as above; the house under the ground seemed to be but one more empty tenement
in the void. Was that boy asleep, or did he stand waiting at the foot of Slightly's tree, with his dagger in his
hand?
There was no way of knowing, save by going down. Hook let his cloak slip softly to the ground, and then
Chapter 13 75
biting his lips till a lewd blood stood on them, he stepped into the tree. He was a brave man, but for a moment
he had to stop there and wipe his brow, which was dripping like a candle. Then, silently, he let himself go into
the unknown.
He arrived unmolested at the foot of the shaft, and stood still again, biting at his breath, which had almost left
him. As his eyes became accustomed to the dim light various objects in the home under the trees took shape;
but the only one on which his greedy gaze rested, long sought for and found at last, was the great bed. On the
bed lay Peter fast asleep.
Unaware of the tragedy being enacted above, Peter had continued, for a little time after the children left, to
play gaily on his pipes: no doubt rather a forlorn attempt to prove to himself that he did not care. Then he
decided not to take his medicine, so as to grieve Wendy. Then he lay down on the bed outside the coverlet, to
vex her still more; for she had always tucked them inside it, because you never know that you may not grow
chilly at the turn of the night. Then he nearly cried; but it struck him how indignant she would be if he
laughed instead; so he laughed a haughty laugh and fell asleep in the middle of it.
Sometimes, though not often, he had dreams, and they were more painful than the dreams of other boys. For
hours he could not be separated from these dreams, though he wailed piteously in them. They had to do, I
think, with the riddle of his existence. At such times it had been Wendy's custom to take him out of bed and
sit with him on her lap, soothing him in dear ways of her own invention, and when he grew calmer to put him
back to bed before he quite woke up, so that he should not know of the indignity to which she had subjected
him. But on this occasion he had fallen at once into a dreamless sleep. One arm dropped over the edge of the
bed, one leg was arched, and the unfinished part of his laugh was stranded on his mouth, which was open,
showing the little pearls.
Thus defenceless Hook found him. He stood silent at the foot of the tree looking across the chamber at his
enemy. Did no feeling of compassion disturb his sombre breast? The man was not wholly evil; he loved
flowers (I have been told) and sweet music (he was himself no mean performer on the harpsichord); and, let it
be frankly admitted, the idyllic nature of the scene stirred him profoundly. Mastered by his better self he
would have returned reluctantly up the tree, but for one thing.
What stayed him was Peter's impertinent appearance as he slept. The open mouth, the drooping arm, the
arched knee: they were such a personification of cockiness as, taken together, will never again, one may hope,
be presented to eyes so sensitive to their offensiveness. They steeled Hook's heart. If his rage had broken him
into a hundred pieces every one of them would have disregarded the incident, and leapt at the sleeper.
Though a light from the one lamp shone dimly on the bed, Hook stood in darkness himself, and at the first
stealthy step forward he discovered an obstacle, the door of Slightly's tree. It did not entirely fill the aperture,
and he had been looking over it. Feeling for the catch, he found to his fury that it was low down, beyond his
reach. To his disordered brain it seemed then that the irritating quality in Peter's face and figure visibly
increased, and he rattled the door and flung himself against it. Was his enemy to escape him after all?
But what was that? The red in his eye had caught sight of Peter's medicine standing on a ledge within easy
reach. He fathomed what it was straightaway, and immediately knew that the sleeper was in his power.
Lest he should be taken alive, Hook always carried about his person a dreadful drug, blended by himself of all
the death- dealing rings that had come into his possession. These he had boiled down into a yellow liquid
quite unknown to science, which was probably the most virulent poison in existence.
Five drops of this he now added to Peter's cup. His hand shook, but it was in exultation rather than in shame.
As he did it he avoided glancing at the sleeper, but not lest pity should unnerve him; merely to avoid spilling.
Then one long gloating look he cast upon his victim, and turning, wormed his way with difficulty up the tree.
Chapter 13 76
As he emerged at the top he looked the very spirit of evil breaking from its hole. Donning his hat at its most
rakish angle, he wound his cloak around him, holding one end in front as if to conceal his person from the
night, of which it was the blackest part, and muttering strangely to himself, stole away through the trees.
Peter slept on. The light guttered [burned to edges] and went out, leaving the tenement in darkness; but still he
slept. It must have been not less than ten o'clock by the crocodile, when he suddenly sat up in his bed,
wakened by he knew not what. It was a soft cautious tapping on the door of his tree.
Soft and cautious, but in that stillness it was sinister. Peter felt for his dagger till his hand gripped it. Then he
spoke.
"Who is that?"
For long there was no answer: then again the knock.
"Who are you?"
No answer.
He was thrilled, and he loved being thrilled. In two strides he reached the door. Unlike Slightly's door, it filled
the aperture [opening], so that he could not see beyond it, nor could the one knocking see him.
"I won't open unless you speak," Peter cried.
Then at last the visitor spoke, in a lovely bell-like voice.
"Let me in, Peter."
It was Tink, and quickly he unbarred to her. She flew in excitedly, her face flushed and her dress stained with
mud.
"What is it?"
"Oh, you could never guess!" she cried, and offered him three guesses. "Out with it!" he shouted, and in one
ungrammatical sentence, as long as the ribbons that conjurers [magicians] pull from their mouths, she told of
the capture of Wendy and the boys.
Peter's heart bobbed up and down as he listened. Wendy bound, and on the pirate ship; she who loved
everything to be just so!
"I'll rescue her!" he cried, leaping at his weapons. As he leapt he thought of something he could do to please
her. He could take his medicine.
His hand closed on the fatal draught.
"No!" shrieked Tinker Bell, who had heard Hook mutter about his deed as he sped through the forest.
"Why not?"
"It is poisoned."
"Poisoned? Who could have poisoned it?"
Chapter 13 77
"Hook."
"Don't be silly. How could Hook have got down here?"
Alas, Tinker Bell could not explain this, for even she did not know the dark secret of Slightly's tree.
Nevertheless Hook's words had left no room for doubt. The cup was poisoned.
"Besides," said Peter, quite believing himself "I never fell asleep."
He raised the cup. No time for words now; time for deeds; and with one of her lightning movements Tink got
between his lips and the draught, and drained it to the dregs.
"Why, Tink, how dare you drink my medicine?"
But she did not answer. Already she was reeling in the air.
"What is the matter with you?" cried Peter, suddenly afraid.
"It was poisoned, Peter," she told him softly; "and now I am going to be dead."
"O Tink, did you drink it to save me?"
"Yes."
"But why, Tink?"
Her wings would scarcely carry her now, but in reply she alighted on his shoulder and gave his nose a loving
bite. She whispered in his ear "You silly ass," and then, tottering to her chamber, lay down on the bed.
His head almost filled the fourth wall of her little room as he knelt near her in distress. Every moment her
light was growing fainter; and he knew that if it went out she would be no more. She liked his tears so much
that she put out her beautiful finger and let them run over it.
Her voice was so low that at first he could not make out what she said. Then he made it out. She was saying
that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies.
Peter flung out his arms. There were no children there, and it was night time; but he addressed all who might
be dreaming of the Neverland, and who were therefore nearer to him than you think: boys and girls in their
nighties, and naked papooses in their baskets hung from trees.
"Do you believe?" he cried.
Tink sat up in bed almost briskly to listen to her fate.
She fancied she heard answers in the affirmative, and then again she wasn't sure.
"What do you think?" she asked Peter.
"If you believe," he shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die."
Many clapped.
Chapter 13 78
Some didn't.
A few beasts hissed.
The clapping stopped suddenly; as if countless mothers had rushed to their nurseries to see what on earth was
happening; but already Tink was saved. First her voice grew strong, then she popped out of bed, then she was
flashing through the room more merry and impudent than ever. She never thought of thanking those who
believed, but she would have like to get at the ones who had hissed.
"And now to rescue Wendy!"
The moon was riding in a cloudy heaven when Peter rose from his tree, begirt [belted] with weapons and
wearing little else, to set out upon his perilous quest. It was not such a night as he would have chosen. He had
hoped to fly, keeping not far from the ground so that nothing unwonted should escape his eyes; but in that
fitful light to have flown low would have meant trailing his shadow through the trees, thus disturbing birds
and acquainting a watchful foe that he was astir.
He regretted now that he had given the birds of the island such strange names that they are very wild and
difficult of approach.
There was no other course but to press forward in redskin fashion, at which happily he was an adept [expert].
But in what direction, for he could not be sure that the children had been taken to the ship? A light fall of
snow had obliterated all footmarks; and a deathly silence pervaded the island, as if for a space Nature stood
still in horror of the recent carnage. He had taught the children something of the forest lore that he had himself
learned from Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell, and knew that in their dire hour they were not likely to forget it.
Slightly, if he had an opportunity, would blaze [cut a mark in] the trees, for instance, Curly would drop seeds,
and Wendy would leave her handkerchief at some important place. The morning was needed to search for
such guidance, and he could not wait. The upper world had called him, but would give no help.
The crocodile passed him, but not another living thing, not a sound, not a movement; and yet he knew well
that sudden death might be at the next tree, or stalking him from behind.
He swore this terrible oath: "Hook or me this time."
Now he crawled forward like a snake, and again erect, he darted across a space on which the moonlight
played, one finger on his lip and his dagger at the ready. He was frightfully happy.
Chapter 14
THE PIRATE SHIP
One green light squinting over Kidd's Creek, which is near the mouth of the pirate river, marked where the
brig, the JOLLY ROGER, lay, low in the water; a rakish-looking [speedy-looking] craft foul to the hull, every
beam in her detestable, like ground strewn with mangled feathers. She was the cannibal of the seas, and scarce
needed that watchful eye, for she floated immune in the horror of her name.
She was wrapped in the blanket of night, through which no sound from her could have reached the shore.
There was little sound, and none agreeable save the whir of the ship's sewing machine at which Smee sat, ever
industrious and obliging, the essence of the commonplace, pathetic Smee. I know not why he was so infinitely
pathetic, unless it were because he was so pathetically unaware of it; but even strong men had to turn hastily
Chapter 14 79
from looking at him, and more than once on summer evenings he had touched the fount of Hook's tears and
made it flow. Of this, as of almost everything else, Smee was quite unconscious.
A few of the pirates leant over the bulwarks, drinking in the miasma [putrid mist] of the night; others sprawled
by barrels over games of dice and cards; and the exhausted four who had carried the little house lay prone on
the deck, where even in their sleep they rolled skillfully to this side or that out of Hook's reach, lest he should
claw them mechanically in passing.
Hook trod the deck in thought. O man unfathomable. It was his hour of triumph. Peter had been removed for
ever from his path, and all the other boys were in the brig, about to walk the plank. It was his grimmest deed
since the days when he had brought Barbecue to heel; and knowing as we do how vain a tabernacle is man,
could we be surprised had he now paced the deck unsteadily, bellied out by the winds of his success?
But there was no elation in his gait, which kept pace with the action of his sombre mind. Hook was
profoundly dejected.
He was often thus when communing with himself on board ship in the quietude of the night. It was because he
was so terribly alone. This inscrutable man never felt more alone than when surrounded by his dogs. They
were socially inferior to him.
Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze;
but as those who read between the lines must already have guessed, he had been at a famous public school;
and its traditions still clung to him like garments, with which indeed they are largely concerned. Thus it was
offensive to him even now to board a ship in the same dress in which he grappled [attacked] her, and he still
adhered in his walk to the school's distinguished slouch. But above all he retained the passion for good form.
Good form! However much he may have degenerated, he still knew that this is all that really matters.
From far within him he heard a creaking as of rusty portals, and through them came a stern tap-tap-tap, like
hammering in the night when one cannot sleep. "Have you been good form to-day?" was their eternal
question.
"Fame, fame, that glittering bauble, it is mine," he cried.
"Is it quite good form to be distinguished at anything?" the tap-tap from his school replied.
"I am the only man whom Barbecue feared," he urged, "and Flint feared Barbecue."
"Barbecue, Flint -- what house?" came the cutting retort.
Most disquieting reflection of all, was it not bad form to think about good form?
His vitals were tortured by this problem. It was a claw within him sharper than the iron one; and as it tore him,
the perspiration dripped down his tallow [waxy] countenance and streaked his doublet. Ofttimes he drew his
sleeve across his face, but there was no damming that trickle.
Ah, envy not Hook.
There came to him a presentiment of his early dissolution [death]. It was as if Peter's terrible oath had boarded
the ship. Hook felt a gloomy desire to make his dying speech, lest presently there should be no time for it.
"Better for Hook," he cried, "if he had had less ambition!" It was in his darkest hours only that he referred to
Chapter 14 80
himself in the third person.
"No little children to love me!"
Strange that he should think of this, which had never troubled him before; perhaps the sewing machine
brought it to his mind. For long he muttered to himself, staring at Smee, who was hemming placidly, under
the conviction that all children feared him.
Feared him! Feared Smee! There was not a child on board the brig that night who did not already love him.
He had said horrid things to them and hit them with the palm of his hand, because he could not hit with his
fist, but they had only clung to him the more. Michael had tried on his spectacles.
To tell poor Smee that they thought him lovable! Hook itched to do it, but it seemed too brutal. Instead, he
revolved this mystery in his mind: why do they find Smee lovable? He pursued the problem like the
sleuth-hound that he was. If Smee was lovable, what was it that made him so? A terrible answer suddenly
presented itself--"Good form?"
Had the bo'sun good form without knowing it, 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 [an elite
social club at Eton].
With a cry of rage he raised his iron hand over Smee's head; but he did not tear. What arrested him was this
reflection:
"To claw a man because he is good form, what would that be?"
"Bad form!"
The unhappy Hook was as impotent [powerless] as he was damp, and he fell forward like a cut flower.
His dogs thinking him out of the way for a time, discipline instantly relaxed; and they broke into a
bacchanalian [drunken] dance, which brought him to his feet at once, all traces of human weakness gone, as if
a bucket of water had passed over him.
"Quiet, you scugs," he cried, "or I'll cast anchor in you"; and at once the din was hushed. "Are all the children
chained, so that they cannot fly away?"
"Ay, ay."
"Then hoist them up."
The wretched prisoners were dragged from the hold, all except Wendy, and ranged in line in front of him. For
a time he seemed unconscious of their presence. He lolled at his ease, humming, not unmelodiously, snatches
of a rude song, and fingering a pack of cards. Ever and anon the light from his cigar gave a touch of colour to
his face.
"Now then, bullies," he said briskly, "six of you walk the plank to-night, but I have room for two cabin boys.
Which of you is it to be?"
"Don't irritate him unnecessarily," had been Wendy's instructions in the hold; so Tootles stepped forward
politely. Tootles hated the idea of signing under such a man, but an instinct told him that it would be prudent
Chapter 14 81
to lay the responsibility on an absent person; and though a somewhat silly boy, he knew that mothers alone
are always willing to be the buffer. All children know this about mothers, and despise them for it, but make
constant use of it.
So Tootles explained prudently, "You see, sir, I don't think my mother would like me to be a pirate. Would
your mother like you to be a pirate, Slightly?"
He winked at Slightly, who said mournfully, "I don't think so," as if he wished things had been otherwise.
"Would your mother like you to be a pirate, Twin?"
"I don't think so," said the first twin, as clever as the others. "Nibs, would -- "
"Stow this gab," roared Hook, and the spokesmen were dragged back. "You, boy," he said, addressing John,
"you look as if you had a little pluck in you. Didst never want to be a pirate, my hearty?"
Now John had sometimes experienced this hankering at maths. prep.; and he was struck by Hook's picking
him out.
"I once thought of calling myself Red-handed Jack," he said diffidently.
"And a good name too. We'll call you that here, bully, if you join."
"What do you think, Michael?" asked John.
"What would you call me if I join?" Michael demanded.
"Blackbeard Joe."
Michael was naturally impressed. "What do you think, John?" He wanted John to decide, and John wanted
him to decide.
"Shall we still be respectful subjects of the King?" John inquired.
Through Hook's teeth came the answer: "You would have to swear, `Down with the King.'"
Perhaps John had not behaved very well so far, but he shone out now.
"Then I refuse," he cried, banging the barrel in front of Hook.
"And I refuse," cried Michael.
"Rule Britannia!" squeaked Curly.
The infuriated pirates buffeted them in the mouth; and Hook roared out, "That seals your doom. Bring up their
mother. Get the plank ready."
They were only boys, and they went white as they saw Jukes and Cecco preparing the fatal plank. But they
tried to look brave when Wendy was brought up.
No words of mine can tell you how Wendy despised those pirates. To the boys there was at least some
glamour in the pirate calling; but all that she saw was that the ship had not been tidied for years. There was
not a porthole on the grimy glass of which you might not have written with your finger "Dirty pig"; and she
Chapter 14 82
had already written it on several. But as the boys gathered round her she had no thought, of course, save for
them.
"So, my beauty," said Hook, as if he spoke in syrup, "you are to see your children walk the plank."
Fine gentlemen though he was, the intensity of his communings had soiled his ruff, and suddenly he knew that
she was gazing at it. With a hasty gesture he tried to hide it, but he was too late.
"Are they to die?" asked Wendy, with a look of such frightful contempt that he nearly fainted.
"They are," he snarled. "Silence all," he called gloatingly, "for a mother's last words to her children." At this
moment Wendy was grand. "These are my last words, dear boys," she said firmly. "I feel that I have a
message to you from your real mothers, and it is this: `We hope our sons will die like English gentlemen.'"
Even the pirates were awed, and Tootles cried out hysterically, "I am going to do what my mother hopes.
What are you to do, Nibs?"
"What my mother hopes. What are you to do, Twin?"
"What my mother hopes. John, what are -- "
But Hook had found his voice again.
"Tie her up!" he shouted.
It was Smee who tied her to the mast. "See here, honey," he whispered, "I'll save you if you promise to be my
mother."
But not even for Smee would she make such a promise. "I would almost rather have no children at all," she
said disdainfully [scornfully].
It is sad to know that not a boy was looking at her as Smee tied her to the mast; the eyes of all were on the
plank: that last little walk they were about to take. They were no longer able to hope that they would walk it
manfully, for the capacity to think had gone from them; they could stare and shiver only.
Hook smiled on them with his teeth closed, and took a step toward Wendy. His intention was to turn her face
so that she should see they boys walking the plank one by one. But he never reached her, he never heard the
cry of anguish he hoped to wring from her. He heard something else instead.
It was the terrible tick-tick of the crocodile.
They all heard it -- pirates, boys, Wendy; and immediately every head was blown in one direction; not to the
water whence the sound proceeded, but toward Hook. All knew that what was about to happen concerned him
alone, and that from being actors they were suddenly become spectators.
Very frightful was it to see the change that came over him. It was as if he had been clipped at every joint. He
fell in a little heap.
The sound came steadily nearer; and in advance of it came this ghastly thought, "The crocodile is about to
board the ship!"
Even the iron claw hung inactive; as if knowing that it was no intrinsic part of what the attacking force
Chapter 14 83
wanted. Left so fearfully alone, any other man would have lain with his eyes shut where he fell: but the
gigantic brain of Hook was still working, and under its guidance he crawled on the knees along the deck as far
from the sound as he could go. The pirates respectfully cleared a passage for him, and it was only when he
brought up against the bulwarks that he spoke.
"Hide me!" he cried hoarsely.
They gathered round him, all eyes averted from the thing that was coming aboard. They had no thought of
fighting it. It was Fate.
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. Then they got the strangest surprise of the Night of Nights; for
it was no crocodile that was coming to their aid. It was Peter.
He signed to them not to give vent to any cry of admiration that might rouse suspicion. Then he went on
ticking.
Chapter 15
"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. Thus, to take an instance, we suddenly discover that we have been deaf in one ear for we don't
know how long, but, say, half an hour. Now such an experience had come that night to Peter. When last we
saw him he was stealing across the island with one finger to his lips and his dagger at the ready. He had seen
the crocodile pass by without noticing anything peculiar about it, but by and by he remembered that it had not
been ticking. At first he thought this eerie, but soon concluded rightly that the clock had run down.
Without giving a thought to what might be the feelings of a fellow-creature thus abruptly deprived of its
closest companion, Peter began to consider how he could turn the catastrophe to his own use; and he decided
to tick, so that wild beasts should believe he was the crocodile and let him pass unmolested. He ticked
superbly, but with one unforeseen result. The crocodile was among those who heard the sound, and it
followed him, though whether with the purpose of regaining what it had lost, or merely as a friend under the
belief that it was again ticking itself, will never be certainly known, for, like slaves to a fixed idea, it was a
stupid beast.
Peter reached the shore without mishap, and went straight on, his legs encountering the water as if quite
unaware that they had entered a new element. Thus many animals pass from land to water, but no other
human of whom I know. As he swam he had but one thought: "Hook or me this time." He had ticked so long
that he now went on ticking without knowing that he was doing it. Had he known he would have stopped, for
to board the brig by help of the tick, though an ingenious idea, had not occurred to him.
On the contrary, he thought he had scaled her side as noiseless as a mouse; and he was amazed to see the
pirates cowering from him, with Hook in their midst as abject as if he had heard the crocodile.
The crocodile! No sooner did Peter remember it than he heard the ticking. At first he thought the sound did
come from the crocodile, and he looked behind him swiftly. They he realised that he was doing it himself, and
in a flash he understood the situation. "How clever of me!" he thought at once, and signed to the boys not to
burst into applause.
Chapter 15 84
It was at this moment that Ed Teynte the quartermaster emerged from the forecastle and came along the deck.
Now, reader, time what happened by your watch. Peter struck true and deep. John clapped his hands on the
ill-fated pirate's mouth to stifle the dying groan. He fell forward. Four boys caught him to prevent the thud.
Peter gave the signal, and the carrion was cast overboard. There was a splash, and then silence. How long has
it taken?
"One!" (Slightly had begun to count.)
None too soon, Peter, every inch of him on tiptoe, vanished into the cabin; for more than one pirate was
screwing up his courage to look round. They could hear each other's distressed breathing now, which showed
them that the more terrible sound had passed.
"It's gone, captain," Smee said, wiping off his spectacles. "All's still again."
Slowly Hook let his head emerge from his ruff, and listened so intently that he could have caught the echo of
the tick. There was not a sound, and he drew himself up firmly to his full height.
"Then here's to Johnny Plank!" he cried brazenly, hating the boys more than ever because they had seen him
unbend. He broke into the villainous ditty:
"Yo ho, yo ho, the frisky plank, You walks along it so, Till it goes down and you goes down To Davy Jones
below!"
To terrorize the prisoners the more, though with a certain loss of dignity, he danced along an imaginary plank,
grimacing at them as he sang; and when he finished he cried, "Do you want a touch of the cat [`o nine tails]
before you walk the plank?"
At that they fell on their knees. "No, no!" they cried so piteously that every pirate smiled.
"Fetch the cat, Jukes," said Hook; "it's in the cabin."
The cabin! Peter was in the cabin! The children gazed at each other.
"Ay, ay," said Jukes blithely, and he strode into the cabin. They followed him with their eyes; they scarce
knew that Hook had resumed his song, his dogs joining in with him:
"Yo ho, yo ho, the scratching cat, Its tails are nine, you know, And when they're writ upon your back -- "
What was the last line will never be known, for of a sudden the song was stayed by a dreadful screech from
the cabin. It wailed through the ship, and died away. Then was heard a crowing sound which was well
understood by the boys, but to the pirates was almost more eerie than the screech.
"What was that?" cried Hook.
"Two," said Slightly solemnly.
The Italian Cecco hesitated for a moment and then swung into the cabin. He tottered out, haggard.
"What's the matter with Bill Jukes, you dog?" hissed Hook, towering over him.
"The matter wi' him is he's dead, stabbed," replied Cecco in a hollow voice.
Chapter 15 85
"Bill Jukes dead!" cried the startled pirates.
"The cabin's as black as a pit," Cecco said, almost gibbering, "but there is something terrible in there: the
thing you heard crowing."
The exultation of the boys, the lowering looks of the pirates, both were seen by Hook.
"Cecco," he said in his most steely voice, "go back and fetch me out that doodle-doo."
Cecco, bravest of the brave, cowered before his captain, crying "No, no"; but Hook was purring to his claw.
"Did you say you would go, Cecco?" he said musingly.
Cecco went, first flinging his arms despairingly. There was no more singing, all listened now; and again came
a death-screech and again a crow.
No one spoke except Slightly. "Three," he said.
Hook rallied his dogs with a gesture. "'S'death and odds fish," he thundered, "who is to bring me that
doodle-doo?"
"Wait till Cecco comes out," growled Starkey, and the others took up the cry.
"I think I heard you volunteer, Starkey," said Hook, purring again.
"No, by thunder!" Starkey cried.
"My hook thinks you did," said Hook, crossing to him. "I wonder if it would not be advisable, Starkey, to
humour the hook?"
"I'll swing before I go in there," replied Starkey doggedly, and again he had the support of the crew.
"Is this mutiny?" asked Hook more pleasantly than ever. "Starkey's ringleader!"
"Captain, mercy!" Starkey whimpered, all of a tremble now.
"Shake hands, Starkey," said Hook, proffering his claw.
Starkey looked round for help, but all deserted him. As he backed up Hook advanced, and now the red spark
was in his eye. With a despairing scream the pirate leapt upon Long Tom and precipitated himself into the sea.
"Four," said Slightly.
"And now," Hook said courteously, "did any other gentlemen say mutiny?" Seizing a lantern and raising his
claw with a menacing gesture, "I'll bring out that doodle-doo myself," he said, and sped into the cabin.
"Five." How Slightly longed to say it. He wetted his lips to be ready, but Hook came staggering out, without
his lantern.
"Something blew out the light," he said a little unsteadily.
"Something!" echoed Mullins.
Chapter 15 86
"What of Cecco?" demanded Noodler.
"He's as dead as Jukes," said Hook shortly.
His reluctance to return to the cabin impressed them all unfavourably, and the mutinous sounds again broke
forth. All pirates are superstitious, and Cookson cried, "They do say the surest sign a ship's accurst is when
there's one on board more than can be accounted for."
"I've heard," muttered Mullins, "he always boards the pirate craft last. Had he a tail, captain?"
"They say," said another, looking viciously at Hook, "that when he comes it's in the likeness of the wickedest
man aboard."
"Had he a hook, captain?" asked Cookson insolently; and one after another took up the cry, "The ship's
doomed!" At this the children could not resist raising a cheer. Hook had well-nigh forgotten his prisoners, but
as he swung round on them now his face lit up again.
"Lads," he cried to his crew, "now here's a notion. Open the cabin door and drive them in. Let them fight the
doodle-doo for their lives. If they kill him, we're so much the better; if he kills them, we're none the worse."
For the last time his dogs admired Hook, and devotedly they did his bidding. The boys, pretending to struggle,
were pushed into the cabin and the door was closed on them.
"Now, listen!" cried Hook, and all listened. But not one dared to face the door. Yes, one, Wendy, who all this
time had been bound to the mast. It was for neither a scream nor a crow that she was watching, it was for the
reappearance of Peter.
She had not long to wait. In the cabin he had found the thing for which he had gone in search: the key the
would free the children of their manacles, and now they all stole forth, armed with such weapons as they
could find. First signing them to hide, Peter cut Wendy's bonds, and then nothing could have been easier than
for them all to fly off together; but one thing barred the way, an oath, "Hook or me this time." So when he had
freed Wendy, he whispered for her to conceal herself with the others, and himself took her place by the mast,
her cloak around him so that he should pass for her. Then he took a great breath and crowed.
To the pirates it was a voice crying that all the boys lay slain in the cabin; and they were panic-stricken. Hook
tried to hearten them; but like the dogs he had made them they showed him their fangs, and he knew that if he
took his eyes off them now they would leap at him.
"Lads," he said, ready to cajole or strike as need be, but never quailing for an instant, "I've thought it out.
There's a Jonah aboard."
"Ay," they snarled, "a man wi' a hook."
"No, lads, no, it's the girl. Never was luck on a pirate ship wi' a woman on board. We'll right the ship when
she's gone."
Some of them remembered that this had been a saying of Flint's. "It's worth trying," they said doubtfully.
"Fling the girl overboard," cried Hook; and they made a rush at the figure in the cloak.
"There's none can save you now, missy," Mullins hissed jeeringly.
Chapter 15 87
"There's one," replied the figure.
"Who's that?"
"Peter Pan the avenger!" came the terrible answer; and as he spoke Peter flung off his cloak. Then they all
knew who 'twas that had been undoing them in the cabin, and twice Hook essayed to speak and twice he
failed. In that frightful moment I think his fierce heart broke.
At last he cried, "Cleave him to the brisket!" but without conviction.
"Down, boys, and at them!" Peter's voice rang out; and in another moment the clash of arms was resounding
through the ship. Had the pirates kept together it is certain that they would have won; but the onset came when
they were still unstrung, and they ran hither and thither, striking wildly, each thinking himself the last survivor
of the crew. Man to man they were the stronger; but they fought on the defensive only, which enabled the
boys to hunt in pairs and choose their quarry. Some of the miscreants leapt into the sea; others hid in dark
recesses, where they were found by Slightly, who did not fight, but ran about with a lantern which he flashed
in their faces, so that they were half blinded and fell as an easy prey to the reeking swords of the other boys.
There was little sound to be heard but the clang of weapons, an occasional screech or splash, and Slightly
monotonously counting -- five -- six -- seven -- eight -- nine -- ten -- eleven.
I think all were gone when a group of savage boys surrounded Hook, who seemed to have a charmed life, as
he kept them at bay in that circle of fire. They had done for his dogs, but this man alone seemed to be a match
for them all. Again and again they closed upon him, and again and again he hewed a clear space. He had lifted
up one boy with his hook, and was using him as a buckler [shield], when another, who had just passed his
sword through Mullins, sprang into the fray.
"Put up your swords, boys," cried the newcomer, "this man is mine."
Thus suddenly Hook found himself face to face with Peter. The others drew back and formed a ring around
them.
For long the two enemies looked at one another, Hook shuddering slightly, and Peter with the strange smile
upon his face.
"So, Pan," said Hook at last, "this is all your doing."
"Ay, James Hook," came the stern answer, "it is all my doing."
"Proud and insolent youth," said Hook, "prepare to meet thy doom."
"Dark and sinister man," Peter answered, "have at thee."
Without more words they fell to, and for a space there was no advantage to either blade. Peter was a superb
swordsman, and parried with dazzling rapidity; ever and anon he followed up a feint with a lunge that got past
his foe's defence, but his shorter reach stood him in ill stead, and he could not drive the steel home. Hook,
scarcely his inferior in brilliancy, but not quite so nimble in wrist play, forced him back by the weight of his
onset, hoping suddenly to end all with a favourite thrust, taught him long ago by Barbecue at Rio; but to his
astonishment he found this thrust turned aside again and again. Then he sought to close and give the quietus
with his iron hook, which all this time had been pawing the air; but Peter doubled under it and, lunging
fiercely, pierced him in the ribs. At the sight of his own blood, whose peculiar colour, you remember, was
offensive to him, the sword fell from Hook's hand, and he was at Peter's mercy.
Chapter 15 88
"Now!" cried all the boys, but with a magnificent gesture Peter invited his opponent to pick up his sword.
Hook did so instantly, but with a tragic feeling that Peter was showing good form.
Hitherto he had thought it was some fiend fighting him, but darker suspicions assailed him now.
"Pan, who and what art thou?" he cried huskily.
"I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg."
This, of course, was nonsense; but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who
or what he was, which is the very pinnacle of good form.
"To't again," he cried despairingly.
He fought now like a human flail, and every sweep of that terrible sword would have severed in twain any
man or boy who obstructed it; but Peter fluttered round him as if the very wind it made blew him out of the
danger zone. And again and again he darted in and pricked.
Hook was fighting now without hope. That passionate breast no longer asked for life; but for one boon it
craved: to see Peter show bad form before it was cold forever.
Abandoning the fight he rushed into the powder magazine and fired it.
"In two minutes," he cried, "the ship will be blown to pieces."
Now, now, he thought, true form will show.
But Peter issued from the powder magazine with the shell in his hands, and calmly flung it overboard.
What sort of form was Hook himself showing? Misguided man though he was, we may be glad, without
sympathising with him, that in the end he was true to the traditions of his race. The other boys were flying
around him now, flouting, scornful; and he staggered about the deck striking up at them impotently, his mind
was no longer with them; it was slouching in the playing fields of long ago, or being sent up [to the
headmaster] for good, or watching the wall-game from a famous wall. And his shoes were right, and his
waistcoat was right, and his tie was right, and his socks were right.
James Hook, thou not wholly unheroic figure, farewell.
For we have come to his last moment.
Seeing Peter slowly advancing upon him through the air with dagger poised, he sprang upon the bulwarks to
cast himself into the sea. He did not know that the crocodile was waiting for him; for we purposely stopped
the clock that this knowledge might be spared him: a little mark of respect from us at the end.
He had one last triumph, which I think we need not grudge him. As he stood on the bulwark looking over his
shoulder at Peter gliding through the air, he invited him with a gesture to use his foot. It made Peter kick
instead of stab.
At last Hook had got the boon for which he craved.
"Bad form," he cried jeeringly, and went content to the crocodile.
Chapter 15 89
Thus perished James Hook.
"Seventeen," Slightly sang out; but he was not quite correct in his figures. Fifteen paid the penalty for their
crimes that night; but two reached the shore: Starkey to be captured by the redskins, who made him nurse for
all their papooses, a melancholy come-down for a pirate; and Smee, who henceforth wandered about the
world in his spectacles, making a precarious living by saying he was the only man that Jas. Hook had feared.
Wendy, of course, had stood by taking no part in the fight, though watching Peter with glistening eyes; but
now that all was over she became prominent again. She praised them equally, and shuddered delightfully
when Michael showed her the place where he had killed one; and then she took them into Hook's cabin and
pointed to his watch which was hanging on a nail. It said "half- past one!"
The lateness of the hour was almost the biggest thing of all. She got them to bed in the pirates' bunks pretty
quickly, you may be sure; all but Peter, who strutted up and down on the deck, until at last he fell asleep by
the side of Long Tom. He had one of his dreams that night, and cried in his sleep for a long time, and Wendy
held him tightly.
Chapter 16
THE RETURN HOME
By three bells that morning they were all stirring their stumps [legs]; for there was a big sea running; and
Tootles, the bo'sun, was among them, with a rope's end in his hand and chewing tobacco. They all donned
pirate clothes cut off at the knee, shaved smartly, and tumbled up, with the true nautical roll and hitching their
trousers.
It need not be said who was the captain. Nibs and John were first and second mate. There was a woman
aboard. The rest were tars [sailors] before the mast, and lived in the fo'c'sle. Peter had already lashed himself
to the wheel; but he piped all hands and delivered a short address to them; said he hoped they would do their
duty like gallant hearties, but that he knew they were the scum of Rio and the Gold Coast, and if they snapped
at him he would tear them. The bluff strident words struck the note sailors understood, and they cheered him
lustily. Then a few sharp orders were given, and they turned the ship round, and nosed her for the mainland.
Captain Pan calculated, after consulting the ship's chart, that if this weather lasted they should strike the
Azores about the 21st of June, after which it would save time to fly.
Some of them wanted it to be an honest ship and others were in favour of keeping it a pirate; but the captain
treated them as dogs, and they dared not express their wishes to him even in a round robin [one person after
another, as they had to Cpt. Hook]. Instant obedience was the only safe thing. Slightly got a dozen for looking
perplexed when told to take soundings. The general feeling was that Peter was honest just now to lull Wendy's
suspicions, but that there might be a change when the new suit was ready, which, against her will, she was
making for him out of some of Hook's wickedest garments. 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, all but for the forefinger, which he bent and held threateningly aloft like a hook.
Instead of watching the ship, however, we must now return to that desolate home from which three of our
characters had taken heartless flight so long ago. It seems a shame to have neglected No. 14 all this time; and
yet we may be sure that Mrs. Darling does not blame us. If we had returned sooner to look with sorrowful
sympathy at her, she would probably have cried, "Don't be silly; what do I matter? Do go back and keep an
eye on the children." So long as mothers are like this their children will take advantage of them; and they may
Chapter 16 90
lay to [bet on] that.
Even now we venture into that familiar nursery only because its lawful occupants are on their way home; we
are merely hurrying on in advance of them to see that their beds are properly aired and that Mr. and Mrs.
Darling do not go out for the evening. We are no more than servants. Why on earth should their beds be
properly aired, 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; but if we contrived things in this way Mrs. Darling
would never forgive us.
One thing I should like to do immensely, and that is to tell her, in the way authors have, that the children are
coming back, that indeed they will be here on Thursday week. This would spoil so completely the surprise to
which Wendy and John and Michael are looking forward. They have been planning it out on the ship:
mother's rapture, father's shout of joy, Nana's leap through the air to embrace them first, when what they
ought to be prepared for is a good hiding. How delicious to spoil it all by breaking the news in advance; so
that when they enter grandly Mrs. Darling may not even offer Wendy her mouth, and Mr. Darling may
exclaim pettishly, "Dash it all, here are those boys again." However, we should get no thanks even for this.
We are beginning to know Mrs. Darling by this time, and may be sure that she would upbraid us for depriving
the children of their little pleasure.
"But, my dear madam, it is ten days till Thursday week; so that by telling you what's what, we can save you
ten days of unhappiness."
"Yes, but at what a cost! By depriving the children of ten minutes of delight."
"Oh, if you look at it in that way!"
"What other way is there in which to look at it?"
You see, the woman had no proper spirit. I had meant to say extraordinarily nice things about her; but I
despise her, and not one of them will I say now. She does not really need to be told to have things ready, for
they are ready. All the beds are aired, and she never leaves the house, and observe, the window is open. For all
the use we are to her, we might well go back to the ship. However, as we are here we may as well stay and
look on. That is all we are, lookers-on. Nobody really wants us. So let us watch and say jaggy things, 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.
When the children flew away, Mr. Darling felt in his bones that all the blame was his for having chained Nana
up, and that from first to last she had been wiser than he. Of course, as we have seen, he was quite a simple
man; indeed be might have passed for a boy again if he had been able to take his baldness off; but he had also
a noble sense of justice and a lion's courage to do what seemed right to him; and having thought the matter out
with anxious care after the flight of the children, he went down on all fours and crawled into the kennel. To all
Mrs. Darling's dear invitations to him to come out he replied sadly but firmly:
"No, my own one, this is the place for me."
In the bitterness of his remorse he swore that he would never leave the kennel until his children came back. Of
course this was a pity; but whatever Mr. Darling did he had to do in excess, otherwise he soon gave up doing
it. And there never was a more humble man than the once proud George Darling, as he sat in the kennel of an
evening talking with his wife of their children and all their pretty ways.
Very touching was his deference to Nana. He would not let her come into the kennel, but on all other matters
Chapter 16 91
he followed her wishes implicitly.
Every morning the kennel was carried with Mr. Darling in it to a cab, which conveyed him to his office, and
he returned home in the same way at six. 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. Inwardly he must have suffered torture; but he preserved a calm exterior even when the
young criticised his little home, and he always lifted his hat courteously to any lady who looked inside.
It may have been Quixotic, but it was magnificent. Soon the inward meaning of it leaked out, and the great
heart of the public was touched. Crowds followed the cab, cheering it lustily; charming girls scaled it to get
his autograph; interviews appeared in the better class of papers, and society invited him to dinner and added,
"Do come in the kennel."
On that eventful Thursday week, Mrs. Darling was in the night- nursery awaiting George's return home; a
very sad-eyed woman. Now that we look at her closely and remember the gaiety of her in the old days, all
gone now just because she has lost her babes, I find I won't be able to say nasty things about her after all. If
she was too fond of her rubbishy children, she couldn't help it. Look at her in her chair, where she has fallen
asleep. The corner of her mouth, where one looks first, is almost withered up. Her hand moves restlessly on
her breast as if she had a pain there. Some like Peter best, and some like Wendy best, but I like her best.
Suppose, to make her happy, we whisper to her in her sleep that the brats are coming back. They are really
within two miles of the window now, and flying strong, but all we need whisper is that they are on the way.
Let's.
It is a pity we did it, for she has started up, calling their names; and there is no one in the room but Nana.
"O Nana, I dreamt my dear ones had come back."
Nana had filmy eyes, but all she could do was put her paw gently on her mistress's lap; and they were sitting
together thus when the kennel was brought back. As Mr. Darling puts his head out to kiss his wife, we see that
his face is more worn than of yore, but has a softer expression.
He gave his hat to Liza, who took it scornfully; for she had no imagination, and was quite incapable of
understanding the motives of such a man. Outside, the crowd who had accompanied the cab home were still
cheering, and he was naturally not unmoved.
"Listen to them," he said; "it is very gratifying."
"Lots of little boys," sneered Liza.
"There were several adults to-day," he assured her with a faint flush; but when she tossed her head he had not
a word of reproof for her. Social success had not spoilt him; it had made him sweeter. For some time he sat
with his head out of the kennel, talking with Mrs. Darling of this success, and pressing her hand reassuringly
when she said she hoped his head would not be turned by it.
"But if I had been a weak man," he said. "Good heavens, if I had been a weak man!"
"And, George," she said timidly, "you are as full of remorse as ever, aren't you?"
"Full of remorse as ever, dearest! See my punishment: living in a kennel."
"But it is punishment, isn't it, George? You are sure you are not enjoying it?"
Chapter 16 92
"My love!"
You may be sure she begged his pardon; and then, feeling drowsy, he curled round in the kennel.
"Won't you play me to sleep," he asked, "on the nursery piano?" and as she was crossing to the day-nursery he
added thoughtlessly, "And shut that window. I feel a draught."
"O George, never ask me to do that. The window must always be left open for them, always, always."
Now it was his turn to beg her pardon; and she went into the day-nursery and played, and soon he was asleep;
and while he slept, Wendy and John and Michael flew into the room.
Oh no. We have written it so, because that was the charming arrangement planned by them before we left the
ship; but something must have happened since then, for it is not they who have flown in, it is Peter and Tinker
Bell.
Peter's first words tell all.
"Quick Tink," he whipered, "close the window; bar it! That's right. Now you and I must get away by the door;
and when Wendy comes she will think her mother has barred her out; and she will have to go back with me."
Now I understand what had hitherto puzzled me, why when Peter had exterminated the pirates he did not
return to the island and leave Tink to escort the children to the mainland. This trick had been in his head all
the time.
Instead of feeling that he was behaving badly he danced with glee; then he peeped into the day-nursery to see
who was playing. He whispered to Tink, "It's Wendy's mother! She is a pretty lady, but not so pretty as my
mother. Her mouth is full of thimbles, but not so full as my mother's was."
Of course he knew nothing whatever about his mother; but he sometimes bragged about her.
He did not know the tune, which was "Home, Sweet Home," but he knew it was saying, "Come back, Wendy,
Wendy, Wendy"; and he cried exultantly, "You will never see Wendy again, lady, for the window is barred!"
He peeped in again to see why the music had stopped, and now he saw that Mrs. Darling had laid her head on
the box, and that two tears were sitting on her eyes.
"She wants me to unbar the window," thought Peter, "but I won't, not I!"
He peeped again, and the tears were still there, or another two had taken their place.
"She's awfully fond of Wendy," he said to himself. He was angry with her now for not seeing why she could
not have Wendy.
The reason was so simple: "I'm fond of her too. We can't both have her, lady."
But the lady would not make the best of it, and he was unhappy. He ceased to look at her, but even then she
would not let go of him. He skipped about and made funny faces, but when he stopped it was just as if she
were inside him, knocking.
"Oh, all right," he said at last, and gulped. Then he unbarred the window. "Come on, Tink," he cried, with a
frightful sneer at the laws of nature; "we don't want any silly mothers"; and he flew away.
Chapter 16 93
Thus Wendy and John and Michael found the window open for them after all, which of course was more than
they deserved. They alighted on the floor, quite unashamed of themselves, and the youngest one had already
forgotten his home.
"John," he said, looking around him doubtfully, "I think I have been here before."
"Of course you have, you silly. There is your old bed."
"So it is," Michael said, but not with much conviction.
"I say," cried John, "the kennel!" and he dashed across to look into it.
"Perhaps Nana is inside it," Wendy said.
But John whistled. "Hullo," he said, "there's a man inside it."
"It's father!" exclaimed Wendy.
"Let me see father," Michael begged eagerly, and he took a good look. "He is not so big as the pirate I killed,"
he said with such frank disappointment that I am glad Mr. Darling was asleep; it would have been sad if those
had been the first words he heard his little Michael say.
Wendy and John had been taken aback somewhat at finding their father in the kennel.
"Surely," said John, like one who had lost faith in his memory, "he used not to sleep in the kennel?"
"John," Wendy said falteringly, "perhaps we don't remember the old life as well as we thought we did."
A chill fell upon them; and serve them right.
"It is very careless of mother," said that young scoundrel John, "not to be here when we come back."
It was then that Mrs. Darling began playing again.
"It's mother!" cried Wendy, peeping.
"So it is!" said John.
"Then are you not really our mother, Wendy?" asked Michael, who was surely sleepy.
"Oh dear!" exclaimed Wendy, with her first real twinge of remorse [for having gone], "it was quite time we
came back,"
"Let us creep in," John suggested, "and put our hands over her eyes."
But Wendy, who saw that they must break the joyous news more gently, had a better plan.
"Let us all slip into our beds, and be there when she comes in, just as if we had never been away."
And so when Mrs. Darling went back to the night-nursery to see if her husband was asleep, all the beds were
occupied. The children waited for her cry of joy, but it did not come. She saw them, but she did not believe
they were there. You see, she saw them in their beds so often in her dreams that she thought this was just the
Chapter 16 94
dream hanging around her still.
She sat down in the chair by the fire, where in the old days she had nursed them.
They could not understand this, and a cold fear fell upon all the three of them.
"Mother!" Wendy cried.
"That's Wendy," she said, but still she was sure it was the dream.
"Mother!"
"That's John," she said.
"Mother!" cried Michael. He knew her now.
"That's Michael," she said, and she stretched out her arms for the three little selfish children they would never
envelop again. Yes, they did, they went round Wendy and John and Michael, who had slipped out of bed and
run to her.
"George, George!" she cried when she could speak; and Mr. Darling woke to share her bliss, and Nana came
rushing in. There could not have been a lovelier sight; but there was none to see it except a little boy who was
staring in at the window. He had had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know; but he was
looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be for ever barred.
Chapter 17
WHEN WENDY GREW UP
I hope you want to know what became of the other boys. They were waiting below to give Wendy time to
explain about them; and when they had counted five hundred they went up. They went up by the stair, because
they thought this would make a better impression. They stood in a row in front of Mrs. Darling, with their hats
off, and wishing they were not wearing their pirate clothes. They said nothing, but their eyes asked her to have
them. They ought to have looked at Mr. Darling also, but they forgot about him.
Of course Mrs. Darling said at once that she would have them; but Mr. Darling was curiously depressed, and
they saw that he considered six a rather large number.
"I must say, he said to Wendy, "that you don't do things by halves." a grudging remark which the twins
thought was pointed at them.
The first twin was the proud one, and he asked, flushing, "Do you think we should be too much of a handful,
sir? Because, if so, we can go away."
"Father!" Wendy cried, shocked; but still the cloud was on him. He knew he was behaving unworthily, but he
could not help it.
"We could lie doubled up," said Nibs.
"I always cut their hair myself," said Wendy.
Chapter 17 95
"George!" Mrs. Darling exclaimed, pained to see her dear one showing himself in such an unfavourable light.
Then he burst into tears, and the truth came out. He was as glad to have them as she was, he said, but he
thought they should have asked his consent as well as hers, instead of treating him as a cypher [zero] in his
own house.
"I don't think he is a cypher," Tootles cried instantly. "Do you think he is a cypher, Curly?"
"No, I don't. Do you think he is a cypher, Slightly?"
"Rather not. Twin, what do you think?"
It turned out that not one of them thought him a cypher; and he was absurdly gratified, and said he would find
space for them all in the drawing-room if they fitted in.
"We'll fit in, sir," they assured him.
"Then follow the leader," he cried gaily. "Mind you, I am not sure that we have a drawing-room, but we
pretend we have, and it's all the same. Hoop la!"
He went off dancing through the house, and they all cried "Hoop la!" and danced after him, searching for the
drawing-room; and I forget whether they found it, but at any rate they found corners, and they all fitted in.
As for Peter, he saw Wendy once again before he flew away. He did not exactly come to the window, but he
brushed against it in passing so that she could open it if she liked and call to him. That is what she did.
"Hullo, Wendy, good-bye," he said.
"Oh dear, are you going away?"
"Yes."
"You don't feel, Peter," she said falteringly, "that you would like to say anything to my parents about a very
sweet subject?"
"No."
"About me, Peter?"
"No."
Mrs. Darling came to the window, for at present she was keeping a sharp eye on Wendy. She told Peter that
she had adopted all the other boys, and would like to adopt him also.
"Would you send me to school?" he inquired craftily.
"Yes."
"And then to an office?"
"I suppose so."
Chapter 17 96
"Soon I would be a man?"
"Very soon."
"I don't want to go to school and learn solemn things," he told her passionately. "I don't want to be a man. O
Wendy's mother, if I was to wake up and feel there was a beard!"
"Peter," said Wendy the comforter, "I should love you in a beard"; and Mrs. Darling stretched out her arms to
him, but he repulsed her.
"Keep back, lady, no one is going to catch me and make me a man."
"But where are you going to live?"
"With Tink in the house we built for Wendy. The fairies are to put it high up among the tree tops where they
sleep at nights."
"How lovely," cried Wendy so longingly that Mrs. Darling tightened her grip.
"I thought all the fairies were dead," Mrs. Darling said.
"There are always a lot of young ones," explained Wendy, who was now quite an authority, "because you see
when a new baby laughs for the first time a new fairy is born, and as there are always new babies there are
always new fairies. They live in nests on the tops of trees; and the mauve ones are boys and the white ones are
girls, and the blue ones are just little sillies who are not sure what they are."
"I shall have such fun," said Peter, with eye on Wendy.
"It will be rather lonely in the evening," she said, "sitting by the fire."
"I shall have Tink."
"Tink can't go a twentieth part of the way round," she reminded him a little tartly.
"Sneaky tell-tale!" Tink called out from somewhere round the corner.
"It doesn't matter," Peter said.
"O Peter, you know it matters."
"Well, then, come with me to the little house."
"May I, mummy?"
"Certainly not. I have got you home again, and I mean to keep you."
"But he does so need a mother."
"So do you, my love."
"Oh, all right," Peter said, as if he had asked her from politeness merely; but Mrs. Darling saw his mouth
twitch, and she made this handsome offer: to let Wendy go to him for a week every year to do his spring
Chapter 17 97
cleaning. Wendy would have preferred a more permanent arrangement; and it seemed to her that spring would
be long in coming; but this promise sent Peter away quite gay again. He had no sense of time, and was so full
of adventures that all I have told you about him is only a halfpenny-worth of them. I suppose it was because
Wendy knew this that her last words to him were these rather plaintive ones:
"You won't forget me, Peter, will you, before spring cleaning time comes?"
Of course Peter promised; and then he flew away. He took Mrs. Darling's kiss with him. The kiss that had
been for no one else, Peter took quite easily. Funny. But she seemed satisfied.
Of course all the boys went to school; and most of them got into Class III, but Slightly was put first into Class
IV and then into Class V. Class I is the top class. Before they had attended school a week they saw what goats
they had been not to remain on the island; but it was too late now, and soon they settled down to being as
ordinary as you or me or Jenkins minor [the younger Jenkins]. It is sad to have to say that the power to fly
gradually left them. At first Nana tied their feet to the bed-posts so that they should not fly away in the night;
and one of their diversions by day was to pretend to fall off buses [the English double-deckers]; but by and by
they ceased to tug at their bonds in bed, and found that they hurt themselves when they let go of the bus. In
time they could not even fly after their hats. Want of practice, they called it; but what it really meant was that
they no longer believed.
Michael believed longer than the other boys, though they jeered at him; so he was with Wendy when Peter
came for her at the end of the first year. She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and
berries in the Neverland, and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become; but he never
noticed, he had so much to say about himself.
She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times, but new adventures had crowded the old
ones from his mind.
"Who is Captain Hook?" he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.
"Don't you remember," she asked, amazed, "how you killed him and saved all our lives?"
"I forget them after I kill them," he replied carelessly.
When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her he said, "Who is Tinker Bell?"
"O Peter," she said, shocked; but even when she explained he could not remember.
"There are such a lot of them," he said. "I expect she is no more."
I expect he was right, for fairies don't live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to
them.
Wendy was pained too to find that the past year was but as yesterday to Peter; it had seemed such a long year
of waiting to her. But he was exactly as fascinating as ever, and they had a lovely spring cleaning in the little
house on the tree tops.
Next year he did not come for her. She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet; but
he never came.
"Perhaps he is ill," Michael said.
Chapter 17 98
"You know he is never ill."
Michael came close to her and whispered, with a shiver, "Perhaps there is no such person, Wendy!" and then
Wendy would have cried if Michael had not been crying.
Peter came next spring cleaning; and the strange thing was that he never knew he had missed a year.
That was the last time the girl Wendy ever saw him. For a little longer she tried for his sake not to have
growing pains; and she felt she was untrue to him when she got a prize for general knowledge. But the years
came and went without bringing the careless boy; and when they met again Wendy was a married woman, and
Peter was no more to her than a little dust in the box in which she had kept her toys. Wendy was grown up.
You need not be sorry for her. She was one of the kind that likes to grow up. In the end she grew up of her
own free will a day quicker than other girls.
All the boys were grown up and done for by this time; so it is scarcely worth while saying anything more
about them. You may see the twins and Nibs and Curly any day going to an office, each carrying a little bag
and an umbrella. Michael is an engine- driver [train engineer]. Slightly married a lady of title, and so he
became a lord. You see that judge in a wig coming out at the iron door? That used to be Tootles. The bearded
man who doesn't know any story to tell his children was once John.
Wendy was married in white with a pink sash. It is strange to think that Peter did not alight in the church and
forbid the banns [formal announcement of a marriage].
Years rolled on again, and Wendy had a daughter. This ought not to be written in ink but in a golden splash.
She was called Jane, and always had an odd inquiring look, as if from the moment she arrived on the mainland
she wanted to ask questions. When she was old enough to ask them they were mostly about Peter Pan. She
loved to hear of Peter, and Wendy told her all she could remember in the very nursery from which the famous
flight had taken place. It was Jane's nursery now, for her father had bought it at the three per cents [mortgage
rate] from Wendy's father, who was no longer fond of stairs. Mrs. Darling was now dead and forgotten.
There were only two beds in the nursery now, Jane's and her nurse's; and there was no kennel, for Nana also
had passed away. She died of old age, 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.
Once a week Jane's nurse had her evening off; and then it was Wendy's part to put Jane to bed. That was the
time for stories. It was Jane's invention to raise the sheet over her mother's head and her own, this making a
tent, and in the awful darkness to whisper:
"What do we see now?"
"I don't think I see anything to-night," says Wendy, with a feeling that if Nana were here she would object to
further conversation.
"Yes, you do," says Jan, "you see when you were a little girl."
"That is a long time ago, sweetheart," says Wendy. "Ah me, how time flies!"
"Does it fly," asks the artful child, "the way you flew when you were a little girl?"
"The way I flew? Do you know, Jane, I sometimes wonder whether I ever did really fly."
Chapter 17 99
"Yes, you did."
"The dear old days when I could fly!"
"Why can't you fly now, mother?"
"Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way."
"Why do they forget the way?"
"Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who
can fly."
"What is gay and innocent and heartless? I do wish I were gay and innocent and heartless."
Or perhaps Wendy admits she does see something.
"I do believe," she says, "that it is this nursery."
"I do believe it is," says Jane. "Go on."
They are now embarked on the great adventure of the night when Peter flew in looking for his shadow.
"The foolish fellow," says Wendy, "tried to stick it on with soap, and when he could not he cried, and that
woke me, and I sewed it on for him."
"You have missed a bit," interrupts Jane, who now knows the story better than her mother. "When you saw
him sitting on the floor crying, what did you say?"
"I sat up in bed and I said, `Boy, why are you crying?'"
"Yes, that was it," says Jane, with a big breath.
"And then he flew us all away to the Neverland and the fairies and the pirates and the redskins and the
mermaid's lagoon, and the home under the ground, and the little house."
"Yes! which did you like best of all?"
"I think I liked the home under the ground best of all."
"Yes, so do I. What was the last thing Peter ever said to you?"
"The last thing he ever said to me was, `Just always be waiting for me, and then some night you will hear me
crowing.'"
"Yes,"
"But, alas, he forgot all about me," Wendy said it with a smile. She was as grown up as that.
"What did his crow sound like?" Jane asked one evening.
"It was like this," Wendy said, trying to imitate Peter's crow.
Chapter 17 100
"No, it wasn't," Jane said gravely, "it was like this"; and she did it ever so much better than her mother.
Wendy was a little startled. "My darling, how can you know?"
"I often hear it when I am sleeping," Jane said.
"Ah yes, many girls hear it when they are sleeping, but I was the only one who heard it awake."
"Lucky you," said Jane.
And then one night came the tragedy. It was the spring of the year, and the story had been told for the night,
and Jane was now asleep in her bed. Wendy was sitting on the floor, very close to the fire, so as to see to darn,
for there was no other light in the nursery; and while she sat darning she heard a crow. Then the window blew
open as of old, and Peter dropped in on the floor.
He was exactly the same as ever, and Wendy saw at once that he still had all his first teeth.
He was a little boy, and she was grown up. She huddled by the fire not daring to move, helpless and guilty, a
big woman.
"Hullo, Wendy," he said, not noticing any difference, for he was thinking chiefly of himself; and in the dim
light her white dress might have been the nightgown in which he had seen her first.
"Hullo, Peter," she replied faintly, squeezing herself as small as possible. Something inside her was crying
Woman, Woman, let go of me."
"Hullo, where is John?" he asked, suddenly missing the third bed.
"John is not here now," she gasped.
"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.
Chapter 17 101
"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 eyed 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."
"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.
"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."
Chapter 17 102
"I came back for my mother," he explained, "to take her to the Neverland."
"Yes, I know," Jane said, "I have 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 in 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.
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 Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan
Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan
from http://manybooks.net/
Chapter 17 103

2 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 12 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 13 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 14 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 15 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 16 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 17 Chapter 17 Chapter 1<p> Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Chapter 2<p> Chapter 2 Chapter 2 Chapter 3<p> Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Chapter 4<p> Chapter 4 Chapter 4 Chapter 5<p> Chapter 5 Chapter 5 Chapter 6<p> Chapter 6 Chapter 6 Chapter 7<p> Chapter 7 Chapter 7 Chapter 8<p> Chapter 8 Chapter 8 Chapter 9<p> Chapter 9 Chapter 9 Chapter 10<p> Chapter 10 Chapter 10 Chapter 11<p> Chapter 11 Chapter 11

Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan Chapter 12<p> Chapter 12 Chapter 12 Chapter 13<p> Chapter 13 Chapter 13 Chapter 14<p> Chapter 14 Chapter 14 Chapter 15<p> Chapter 15 Chapter 15 Chapter 16<p> Chapter 16 Chapter 16 Chapter 17<p> Chapter 17 Chapter 17

3

Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan
Please take a look at the important information in this header. We encourage you to keep this file on your own disk, keeping an electronic path open for the next readers. Do not remove this. This book has had some odd copyright history in England, so see notes on this below. Currently for US distribution only.****** **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **Etexts Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *These Etexts Prepared By Hundreds of Volunteers and Donations* Information on contacting Project Gutenberg to get Etexts, and further information is included below. We need your donations. Peter Pan [for US only]**, by James M. Barrie July, 1991 [Etext #16] **The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan*** ******This file should be named peter16.txt or peter16.zip***** Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, peter17.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, peter14b.txt We are now trying to release all our books one month in advance of the official release dates, for time for

uiuc.cso. will have to do four text files per month: thus upping our productivity from one million. We need your donations more than ever! All donations should be made to "Project Gutenberg/IBC". The fifty hours is one conservative estimate for how long it we take to get any etext selected. copyright searched and analyzed. The official release date of all Project Gutenberg Etexts is at Midnight. too) For these and other matters.GUT get INDEX200. etc. proofread. entered. Executive Director: hart@vmd. 4 Information about Project Gutenberg (one page) We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work. the copyright letters written. . but we will try to see a new copy has at least one byte more or less. This projected audience is one hundred million readers.000. (Subscriptions to our paper newsletter go to IBC. Since our ftp program has a bug in it that scrambles the date [tried to fix and failed] a look at the file size will have to do.set bin for zip files] get INDEX100.xxx] please check file sizes in the first week of the next month. If our value per text is nominally estimated at one dollar. [10.cso. Central Time. and are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law ("IBC" is Illinois Benedictine College). please mail to: Project Gutenberg P.edu (internet) hart@uiucvmd (bitnet) We would prefer to send you this information by email (Internet. 2001. IL 61825 When all other email fails try our Michael S.type] ftp mrcnext.uiuc. ATTMAIL or MCImail). then we produce 2 million dollars per hour this year we. . O.edu login: anonymous password: your@login cd etext/etext91 or cd etext92 or cd etext93 [for new books] [now also in cd etext/etext93] or cd etext/articles [get suggest gut for more information] dir [to see files] get or mget [to get files. The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away One Trillion Etext Files by the December 31. Compuserve. . ****** If you have an FTP program (or emulator). Box 2782 Champaign. Bitnet.000 x 100. please FTP directly to the Project Gutenberg archives: [Mac users. edited. which is 10% of the expected number of computer users by the end of the year 2001. do NOT point and click.GUT for a list of books . of the last day of the stated month. To be sure you have an up to date first edition [xxxxx10x. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion.000=Trillion] This is ten thousand titles each to one hundred million readers. Hart.Information about Project Gutenberg better editing. comment and editing by those who wish to do so. .

They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with your copy of this etext. you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for this etext by sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person you got it from. this means that no one owns a United States copyright on or for this work. like most PROJECT GUTENBERG. LIMITED WARRANTY.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor and get NEW. you indicate that you understand. transcription errors. INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT. and even if what's wrong is not our fault. a copyright or other intellectual property infringement. Among other things. Hart through the Project Gutenberg Association at Illinois Benedictine College (the "Project"). Despite these efforts. OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT. . 5 ** Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor ** (Three Pages) ***START**THE SMALL PRINT!**FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS**START*** Why is this "Small Print!" statement here? You know: lawyers. so the Project (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties.tm etexts. a defective or damaged disk or other etext medium. including legal fees. apply if you wish to copy and distribute this etext under the Project's "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark. To create these etexts. a computer virus. and [2] YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE OR UNDER STRICT LIABILITY. Defects may take the form of incomplete. you must return it with your request. is a "public domain" work distributed by Professor Michael S. even if you got it for free from someone other than us. ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG-TM ETEXTS This PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext. [1] the Project (and any other party you may receive this etext from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext) disclaims all liability to you for damages. DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below. the Project's etexts and any medium they may be on may contain "Defects". *BEFORE!* YOU USE OR READ THIS ETEXT By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext. If you do not. costs and expenses. So. EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. transcribe and proofread public domain works. CONSEQUENTIAL. or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment. PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES. inaccurate or corrupt data. Special rules. set forth below. It also tells you how you can distribute copies of this etext if you want to.GUT for general information and mget GUT* for newsletters. among other things. If you received this etext on a physical medium (such as a disk). Among other things. the Project expends considerable efforts to identify. agree to and accept this "Small Print!" statement. this "Small Print!" statement disclaims most of our liability to you.

that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following that you do or cause: [1] distribution of this etext. THIS ETEXT IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". book or any other medium if you either delete this "Small Print!" and all other references to Project Gutenberg. time. [2] alteration. INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may be used to convey punctuation intended by the author. a copy of the etext in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC or other equivalent proprietary form). or proprietary form. is clearly readable. and every other sort of contribution you can think of. NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND. its directors. for instance. EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. and additional characters may be used to indicate hypertext links. If you received it on a physical medium. Money . You may however. and you may have other legal rights. EBCDIC or equivalent form by the program that displays the etext (as is the case. including any form resulting from conversion by word processing or hypertext software. ARE MADE TO YOU AS TO THE ETEXT OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON. although tilde (~). OR [*] The etext may be readily converted by the reader at no expense into plain ASCII. and such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement copy. or by disk. mark-up. when displayed. or agree to also provide on request at no additional cost. OR [*] You provide. and does *not* contain characters other than those intended by the author of the work. DISTRIBUTION UNDER "PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm" You may distribute copies of this etext electronically. you must return it with your note. Among other things. public domain etexts. cost and expense. [2] Honor the etext refund and replacement provisions of this "Small Print!" statement. so the above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you. distribute this etext in machine readable binary. members and agents harmless from all liability. fee or expense. alter or modify the etext or this "small print!" statement. If you received it electronically. WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO? The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money. scanning machines. or: [1] Only give exact copies of it. OCR software. such person may choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to receive it electronically. [3] Pay a trademark license fee to the Project of 20% of the net profits you derive calculated using the method you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. this requires that you do not remove.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 6 If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of receiving it. but only so long as *EITHER*: [*] The etext. with most word processors). including legal fees. or [3] any Defect. royalty free copyright licenses. no royalty is due. or addition to the etext. compressed. modification. if you wish. If you don't derive profits. officers. you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that time to the person you received it from. INDEMNITY You will indemnify and hold the Project. Royalties are payable to "Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois Benedictine College" within the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return. Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages.

Kramer. Anyone who can contribute information as to the copyrights status of earliest editions is encouraged to do so. This "Small Print!" by Charles B. Attorney Internet (72600. Disclaimer: All persons concerned disclaim any and all reponsbility that this etext is perfectly accurate.93*END* 7 This edition of Peter Pan has been created in the United States of America from a comparison of various editions determined by age to be in the Public Domain in the United States. To assist in the preservation of this edition in proper usage. our own research. M. COME AWAY! Chapter 4 THE FLIGHT .Chapter 1 should be paid to "Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois Benedictine College". BARRIE [James Matthew Barrie] A Millennium Fulcrum Edition (c)1991 by Duncan Research Contents --------- Chapter 1 PETER BREAKS THROUGH Chapter 2 THE SHADOW Chapter 3 COME AWAY. and the inclusions of additions and explanations to the original sources.04.com). TEL: (212-254-5093) *END*THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver. our edition is claimed as copyright (c)1991 due to our preparations of several sources. No pretenses in any manner are made that this text should be thought of as an authoritative edition in any respect. this edition of Peter Pan is restricted to the United States. other than the United States of America.29. particulary in members or former members of the British Commonwealth. There are questions concerning the copyright status in other countries. PETER PAN [PETER AND WENDY] BY J.2026@compuserve. For the present. and is not to be for use or included in any storage or retrieval system in any country.

Chapter 5 8 Chapter 5 THE ISLAND COME TRUE Chapter 6 THE LITTLE HOUSE Chapter 7 THE HOME UNDER THE GROUND Chapter 8 THE MERMAID'S LAGOON Chapter 9 THE NEVER BIRD Chapter 10 THE HAPPY HOME Chapter 11 WENDY'S STORY Chapter 12 THE CHILDREN ARE CARRIED OFF .

He got all of her. and in time he gave up trying for the kiss. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried. Wendy thought Napoleon . perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner. They soon know that they will grow up. You always know after you are two. Of course they lived at 14 [their house number on their street]. and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get.Chapter 13 9 Chapter 13 DO YOU BELIEVE IN FARIES? Chapter 14 THE PIRATE SHIP Chapter 15 "HOOK OR ME THIS TIME" Chapter 16 THE RETURN HOME Chapter 17 WHEN WENDY GREW UP Chapter 1 PETER BREAKS THROUGH All children. He never knew about the box. Darling. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful. however many you discover there is always one more. She was a lovely lady. and so he got her. The way Mr. one within the other. and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. Two is the beginning of the end. and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. who took a cab and nipped in first. grow up. 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. and the way Wendy knew was this. Darling won her was this: the many gentlemen who had been boys when she was a girl discovered simultaneously that they loved her. except the innermost box and the kiss. with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden. and they all ran to her house to propose to her except Mr. that come from the puzzling East. except one. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes. though there is was. "Oh. for Mrs.

say ten shillings. She had always thought children important. and he was really the grander character of the two.Chapter 1 could have got it. German measles half a guinea. She proved to be quite a treasure of a nurse. and made sounds of contempt over all this new-fangled talk about germs. Of course no one really knows. "Remember mumps. Mr. Wendy came first.and the pound you lent to that man who came to the door -. slamming the door. George. but that was not his way. Of course her kennel was in the nursery. "Now don't interrupt. owing to the amount of milk the children drank. say fifteen shillings" -. come what might. and it added up differently each time. that is what I have put down. Mrs." he warned her almost threateningly.whooping-cough. and the Darlings had become acquainted with her in Kensington Gardens. but by and by whole cauliflowers dropped out. then Michael. and was much hated by careless nursemaids. called Nana. walking sedately by their side when they were well . Darling's bed. but he quite seemed to know. then John.don't speak -. But she was prejudiced in Wendy's favour. makes two fifteen six -.don't speak. and if she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again. dot and carry seven -. of course. "Mumps one pound. the question is. however.don't waggle your finger -. She drew them when she should have been totting up. while she looked at him imploringly. and so on. As they were poor. so. and instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper. but at last Wendy just got through. they had a nurse. Darling had a passion for being exactly like his neighbours. I said nine nine seven. my own -.eight nine seven. as she was another mouth to feed." he would beg of her. and at first she kept the books perfectly. you might have seen the three of them going in a row to Miss Fulsom's Kindergarten school. and Michael had even a narrower squeak. you've done it! -. For a week or two after Wendy came it was doubtful whether they would be able to keep her.dot and carry child -. Darling used to boast to Wendy that her mother not only loved him but respected him. It was a lesson in propriety to see her escorting the children to school. Darling was married in white. with your eighteen and three makes three nine seven. as if it were a game. How thorough she was at bath-time. Mr.measles one five. He was one of those deep ones who know about stocks and shares. She had a genius for knowing when a cough is a thing to have no patience with and when it needs stocking around your throat." she cried. and the two kinds of measles treated as one. I can cut off my coffee at the office. and off he went again.who is that moving? -. and up at any moment of the night if one of her charges made the slightest cry. but both were kept. making two nine and six. can we try it for a year on nine nine seven?" "Of course we can. where she spent most of her spare time peeping into perambulators. Darling was frightfully proud of her.quiet. with mumps reduced to twelve six. and two and six at the office. There was the same excitement over John. "I have one pound seventeen here. who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her. and then going off in a passion. with five naught naught in my cheque-book makes eight nine seven -. not so much as a Brussels sprout was missing. and he often said stocks were up and shares were down in a way that would have made any woman respect him. but I daresay it will be more like thirty shillings -. almost gleefully. Darling loved to have everything just so.and so on it went. accompanied by their nurse.did I say nine nine seven? yes. They were Mrs. She believed to her last day in old-fashioned remedies like rhubarb leaf. child -. whom she followed to their homes and complained of to their mistresses. but I can picture him trying. holding her hand and calculating expenses. this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog. and he sat on the edge of Mrs. and Mr. but he was very honourable. Darling's guesses.there. and soon. She wanted to risk it. 10 Mrs.

Chapter 1

11

behaved, and butting them back into line if they strayed. On John's footer [in England soccer was called football, "footer for short] 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 naughtiness 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, 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, needle-work, 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 [simple boat]. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though

Chapter 1 we shall land no more.

12

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 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, she just knew it. Mrs. Darling consulted Mr. Darling, but he smiled pooh-pooh. "Mark my words," he said, "it is some nonsense Nana has been putting into their heads; just the sort of idea a dog would have. Leave it alone, and it will blow over." But it would not blow over and soon the troublesome boy gave Mrs. Darling quite a shock. Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them. For instance, they may remember to mention, a week after the event happened, that when they were in the wood they had met their dead father and had a game with him. It was in this casual way that Wendy one morning made a disquieting revelation. Some leaves of a tree had been found on the nursery floor, which certainly were not there when the children went to bed, and Mrs. Darling was puzzling over them when Wendy said with a tolerant smile: "I do believe it is that Peter again!" "Whatever do you mean, Wendy?" "It is so naughty of him not to wipe his feet," Wendy said, sighing. She was a tidy 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. Unfortunately she never woke, so she didn't know how she knew, she just knew. "What nonsense you talk, precious. No one can get into the house without knocking."

Chapter 1 "I think he comes in by the window," she said. "My love, it is three floors up." "Were not the leaves at the foot of the window, mother?" It was quite true; the leaves had been found very near the window. Mrs. Darling did not know what to think, for it all seemed so natural to Wendy that you could not dismiss it by saying she had been dreaming. "My child," the mother cried, "why did you not tell me of this before?" "I forgot," said Wendy lightly. She was in a hurry to get her breakfast. Oh, surely she must have been dreaming.

13

But, on the other hand, there were the leaves. Mrs. Darling examined them very carefully; they were skeleton leaves, but she was sure they did not come from any tree that grew in England. She crawled about the floor, peering at it with a candle for marks of a strange foot. She rattled the poker up the chimney and tapped the walls. She let down a tape from the window to the pavement, and it was a sheer drop of thirty feet, without so much as a spout to climb up by. Certainly Wendy had been dreaming. But Wendy had not been dreaming, as the very next night showed, the night on which the extraordinary adventures of these children may be said to have begun. On the night we speak of all the children were once more in bed. It happened to be Nana's evening off, and Mrs. 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. All were looking so safe and cosy that she smiled at her fears now and sat down tranquilly by the fire to sew. It was something for Michael, who on his birthday was getting into shirts. The fire was warm, however, and the nursery dimly lit by three night-lights, and presently the sewing lay on Mrs. Darling's lap. Then her head nodded, oh, so gracefully. She was asleep. Look at the four of them, Wendy and Michael over there, John here, and Mrs. Darling by the fire. There should have been a fourth night-light. While she slept she had a dream. She dreamt that the Neverland had come too near and that a strange boy had broken through from it. He did not alarm her, for she thought she had seen him before in the faces of many women who have no children. Perhaps he is to be found in the faces of some mothers also. But in her dream he had rent the film that obscures the Neverland, and she saw Wendy and John and Michael peeping through the gap. The dream by itself would have been a trifle, but while she was dreaming the window of the nursery blew open, and a boy did drop on the floor. He was accompanied by a strange light, no bigger than your fist, which darted about the room like a living thing and I think it must have been this light that wakened Mrs. Darling. She started up with a cry, and saw the boy, and somehow she knew at once that he was Peter Pan. If you or I or Wendy had been there we should have seen that he was very like Mrs. Darling's kiss. He was a lovely boy, clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees but the most entrancing thing about him was that

They sat thus night after night recalling that fatal Friday." But unfortunately Mrs. You may be sure Mrs. "If only I had not poured my medicine into Nana's bowl. and in the black night she could see nothing but what she thought was a shooting star." Mr. "No. he gnashed the little pearls at her. MEA CULPA. it looked so like the washing and lowered the whole tone of the house. Darling examined the shadow carefully. She thought of showing it to Mr. but it was quite the ordinary kind. returned from her evening out." said Mr. "If only I had pretended to like the medicine. Nana had no doubt of what was the best thing to do with this shadow." "My fatal gift of humour. I.Chapter 2 he had all his first teeth. this time in distress for him. she knew exactly what he would say: "It all comes of having a dog for a nurse. George. MEA CULPA." She decided to roll the shadow up and put it away carefully in a drawer. holding her hand. but his shadow had not had time to get out. George Darling. but he was totting up winter great-coats for John and Michael. Ah me! The opportunity came a week later. on that never-to-be. and Nana entered. Darling said." He had had a classical education. for she thought he was killed. Darling. Darling. no. but it was not there. 14 Chapter 2 THE SHADOW Mrs. As he leapt at the window Nana had closed it quickly." she used to say afterwards to her husband. "I ought to have been specially careful on a Friday. Darling could not leave it hanging out at the window. She growled and sprang at the boy. did it. When he saw she was a grown-up. Of course it was a Friday.forgotten Friday. "If only I had not accepted that invitation to dine at 27. She returned to the nursery. and she looked up. and. slam went the window and snapped it off." Mrs. "My liking for parties. dearest. Darling screamed. Darling always said. meaning "He is sure to come back for it. and it seemed a shame to trouble him. which proved to be the boy's shadow. with a wet towel around his head to keep his brain clear. and found Nana with something in her mouth." was what Nana's wet eyes said. Darling screamed. who leapt lightly through the window. let us put it where he can get it easily without disturbing the children. as if in answer to a bell. until a fitting opportunity came for telling her husband. till every detail of it was stamped on their brains and came through on the other side like the faces on a bad coinage. and she ran down into the street to look for his little body. She hung it out at the window. the door opened. while perhaps Nana was on the other side of her. besides." . Again Mrs. too late to catch him. "I am responsible for it all.

with the extra pomp that he conceived due to the birth of a male. it isn't six o'clock yet. "It was then that I rushed in like a tornado. dear master and mistress. She had dressed early because Wendy so loved to see her in her evening-gown. Wendy loved to lend her bracelet to her mother. scorning himself. Wendy had danced with joy." he said. "I won't. It is an astounding thing to have to tell." Then he had leapt into her arms. oh dear. and of course the lady in the evening-dress could not stand that. I won't. Darling himself may have used on the real occasion. and Michael came from his bath to ask to be born also. too. They go on with their recollections. Oh dear. "I do. "It's true. I tell you I won't be bathed. He. Darling. but Mrs. Nana. Sometimes the thing yielded to him without a contest. with the necklace George had given her." Many a time it was Mr. they ought not to have had a dog for a nurse. She had found her two older children playing at being herself and father on the occasion of Wendy's birth. Michael had nearly cried. "I so want a third child. it's true. had been dressing for the party. but this man." in just such a tone as Mr. but there were occasions when it would have been better for the house if he had swallowed his pride and used a . I won't. and Nana's bark was the echo of it. and indeed he had been like a tornado. but not so little if that was to be Michael's last night in the nursery." he had shouted. just as the real Mrs. They would sit there in the empty nursery. "I won't go to bed. but John said brutally that they did not want any more. Darling would say. recalling fondly every smallest detail of that dreadful evening. Nana at the thought. I shan't love you any more. Darling who put the handkerchief to Nana's eyes. Darling had come in. Darling must have done. so precisely like a hundred other evenings. Darling and Nana to recall now. Such a little thing for Mr. It had begun so uneventfully. wasn't it?" Mr. there was something in the right-hand corner of her mouth that wanted her not to call Peter names." she said. Perhaps there was some excuse for him. Nana." "Boy or girl?" asked Michael. and John was saying: "I am happy to inform you. had no real mastery of his tie. "That fiend!" Mr. and all had gone well with him until he came to his tie. though he knew about stocks and shares. and Mrs. Mrs. I won't!" Then Mrs. with Nana putting on the water for Michael's bath and carrying him to it on her back. she had asked for the loan of it. not too hopefully. Darling would cry. wearing her white evening-gown. "Boy. "Nobody wants me. like one who still believed that he had the last word on the subject. Then John was born." 15 Then one or more of them would break down altogether. that you are now a mother. Darling never upbraided Peter. She was wearing Wendy's bracelet on her arm.Chapter 2 "My touchiness about trifles.

and he went on sternly. Nana is a treasure. Darling. but Mr. you remember. Darling had far too fine a nature for that. don't you think." It was an opportunity. but they were the first he had ever had with braid on them. `How did you get to know me. George?" "And they were ours. 16 This was such an occasion. and he had had to bite his lip to prevent the tears coming. "It is nobody I know. but he became thoughtful when she showed him the shadow. examining it carefully. at once forgot his rage. and if I don't go out to dinner to-night. "O George." The romp had ended with the appearance of Nana. They were not only new trousers. You will never carry the bottle in your mouth again." . but round my neck. Darling was not sufficiently impressed. "How wildly we romped!" says Mrs. you and I starve. that unless this tie is round my neck we don't go out to dinner to-night." "We were still discussing it. He came rushing into the nursery with the crumpled little brute of a tie in his hand. and indeed that was what he had come to ask her to do." Mr." he said.Chapter 2 made-up tie. "when Nana came in with Michael's medicine." "No doubt." He became dangerously sarcastic. but I have an uneasy feeling at times that she looks upon the children as puppies. "Our last romp!" Mr. father dear?" "Matter!" he yelled. Darling brushed him. his wife felt. mother. and if I don't go to the office again. "Let me try. Some men would have resented her being able to do it so easily. ours! and now they are gone. he thanked her carelessly. and most unluckily Mr. mother?'" "I remember!" "They were rather sweet. no! Oh dear no! begs to be excused!" He thought Mrs. "Why. and with her nice cool hands she tied his tie for him. Darling groaned. do you remember Michael suddenly said to me. "This tie. I feel sure she knows they have souls. "but it does look a scoundrel. At first he pooh-poohed the story. he really yelled. covering his trousers with hairs. Darling said thoughtfully. I never go to the office again. but he began to talk again about its being a mistake to have a dog for a nurse. for telling him about the boy. "I wonder." "I wonder." Even then Mrs. "Not round my neck! Round the bed-post! Oh yes." says Mr. dear. and our children will be flung into the streets." she said. while the children stood around to see their fate decided. and it is all my fault. and in another moment was dancing round the room with Michael on his back. "I warn you of this. twenty times have I made it up round the bed-post. Of course Mrs. it will not tie. what is the matter. recalling it. Darling now. Nana. Darling was placid. "George. Darling collided against her. dear one. "Oh no.

"I have been as quick as I could. and put it back on his wash-stand. "John. John. that there is more in my glass that in Michael's spoon. Darling thought this showed want of firmness. with a vindictive politeness that was quite thrown away upon her." he retorted. "Michael first. I said." He had not exactly lost it. "Father first. "it's most beastly stuff. he had climbed in the dead of night to the top of the wardrobe and hidden it there. `Thank you. "And it isn't fair: I would say it though it were with my last breath." "It will soon be over. isn't it?" "Ever so much nastier. there is no doubt that he had behaved rather foolishly over the medicine. "I'll bring it. I am waiting." said Michael. father. "I know where it is. it was for thinking that all his life he had taken medicine boldly. "and I would take it now as an example to you. always glad to be of service." . father. it isn't fair. "Mother. "I shall be sick." Mr. kind parents. If he had a weakness. won't!" Michael cried naughtily." "That is not the point. "Hold your tongue." her father retorted." he said doggedly. "Michael. father. Michael. Wendy was quite puzzled. and Mr." said Michael coldly." His proud heart was nearly bursting. It's that nasty. and Wendy. who was of a suspicious nature. is much nastier. if I hadn't lost the bottle. "Be a man. Darling said bravely. you know." Mr." "Won't. and she said. when I was your age I took medicine without a murmur.'" He really thought this was true." his father rapped out. so am I waiting." Wendy cried. "Come on." said John. when Michael dodged the spoon in Nana's mouth. to encourage Michael. for giving me bottles to make we well. sweet kind." "So are you a cowardly custard. believed it also. Darling said threateningly." John said cheerily." "Father. don't pamper him. Immediately his spirits sank in the strangest way." "Father's a cowardly custard. and then in rushed Wendy with the medicine in a glass. Darling left the room to get a chocolate for him. he had said reprovingly. sticky. who was now in her night-gown. and so now." and she was off before he could stop her." she panted. "That medicine you sometimes take." he called after her. shuddering. Mrs. father. "I thought you took it quite easily. "The point is. What he did not know was that the faithful Liza had found it. "You have been wonderfully quick. Michael. father.Chapter 2 17 Strong man though he was." he said. "It's all very well to say you are waiting.

but I -. Darling slipped his behind his back. one. and there you go to be tied up this instant. "not so loud. "it's your medicine!" "It was only a joke. but the children did not have their father's sense of humour. but Mr." he said." "Neither am I frightened." he shouted. "What do you mean by `O father'?" Mr. Then she gave Mr." he said entreatingly. "Are you ready." Wendy had a splendid idea. and crept into her kennel. take it. "Look here. "I have put a little milk into your bowl." he roared. "Nana. three." The children wept. "I have just thought of a splendid joke. "Stop that row. as soon as Nana had gone into the bathroom. Darling and Nana returned. while she comforted her boys.I missed it. and Wendy hugged Nana. then. and "O father!" Wendy exclaimed. In a horrid silence Mrs. Oh dear no! I am only the breadwinner. "my wearing myself to the bone trying to be funny in this house. good dog." Mrs. and Nana ran to him beseechingly." said Mr. but he would not give in." . "Coddle her! Nobody coddles me. and began lapping it. all of you. There was a yell of rage from Michael.Chapter 2 "I'm not frightened. you take it. He felt he was a strong man again. Darling such a look. "Bring in the whole world. "the proper place for you is the yard. "In vain. Darling. Mr. thinking it is milk!" It was the colour of milk. Darling smelt the bowl." she said. "O George." And still Wendy hugged Nana." "Well. "Why not both take it at the same time?" "Certainly. Darling demanded." he said bitterly. Nana. But I refuse to allow that dog to lord it in my nursery for an hour longer. I meant to take mine." It was dreadful the way all the three were looking at him. in vain. but he waved her back." "Well. and Michael took his medicine. and she will drink it. Darling was frightfully ashamed of himself. ran to the medicine. two. Michael?" 18 Wendy gave the words. just as if they did not admire him. why!" "George. the servants will hear you. and they did not dare expose him when Mrs. not an angry look: she showed him the great red tear that makes us so sorry for noble dogs. why. patting her." he cried. "What fun!" he said doubtfully. and they looked at him reproachfully as he poured the medicine into Nana's bowl." Somehow they had got into the way of calling Liza the servants. Darling entreated him. "Much good. why should I be coddled--why. I shall pour my medicine into Nana's bowl. then." Nana wagged her tail. "Let them!" he answered recklessly. Michael. "That's right.

knew that she was perturbed. He was ashamed of himself. and Mrs." Alas. and John whimpered." They were the last words she was to hear from him for a long time. George. It was all owing to his too affectionate nature. and the smallest of all the stars in the Milky Way screamed out: "Now. and anxious to get the grown-ups out of the way. It is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now knows what it was. and yet he did it. nor that one or two of the smaller ones winked at her. Darling there was a commotion in the firmament. Wendy?" "Oh. They could hear Nana barking." she said.Chapter 2 "George. So as soon as the door of 27 closed on Mr. "remember what I told you about that boy. mother. and he asked. and all the stars were watching them. "Can anything harm us. how I wish that I wasn't going to a party to-night!" Even Michael. So the older ones have become glassy-eyed and seldom speak (winking is the star language). Yet a nameless fear clutched at her heart and made her cry. and Father and Mother Darling picked their way over it deftly not to soil their shoes." she said. which craved for admiration. No. They were crowding round the house. and the night was peppered with stars. Darling whispered. Darling quivered and went to the window. When he had tied her up in the back-yard." he cried. he lured her out of it with honeyed words. but the little ones still wonder. Peter!" . Darling had put the children to bed in unwonted silence and lit their night-lights. and seizing her roughly. precious. and little Michael flung his arms round her. It was securely fastened. They are not really friendly to Peter. little guessing what was about to happen. Stars are beautiful. who had a mischievous way of stealing up behind them and trying to blow them out. "Oh. with his knuckles to his eyes. 19 In the meantime Mrs." Mrs. but there had been a slight fall of snow. but she did not notice this. already half asleep." She went from bed to bed singing enchantments over them. the wretched father went and sat in the passage. as if curious to see what was to take place there. they must just look on for ever. but they are so fond of fun that they were on his side to-night. "That is not Nana's unhappy bark. He was determined to show who was master in that house. and when commands would not draw Nana from the kennel." Mrs. "It is because he is chaining her up in the yard. after the night. he would not listen. She looked out. dragged her from the nursery. "I'm glad of you. They were already the only persons in the street. 27 was only a few yards distant. "Mother. "that is her bark when she smells danger. yes.lights are lit?" "Nothing. but they may not take an active part in anything." Danger! "Are you sure. "they are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children." but Wendy was wiser.

looking for Peter's shadow. having learned the grand manner at fairy ceremonies. through which her figure could be seen to the best advantage. A shudder passed through Peter. and Mrs. You ordinary children can never hear it." he called softly. He had carried Tinker Bell part of the way. She meant the chest of drawers. and Peter dropped in. In a moment he had recovered his shadow. It was a girl called Tinker Bell exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf. and in his delight he forgot that he had shut Tinker Bell up in the drawer. but still growing. and he sat on the floor and cried. "why are you crying?" Peter could be exceeding polite also. "Boy. . do you know where they put my shadow?" The loveliest tinkle as of golden bells answered him. It was not really a light. after making sure that the children were asleep. Darling left the house the night-lights by the beds of the three children continued to burn clearly. and bowed beautifully to him from the bed. but if you were to hear it you would know that you had heard it once before. would join like drops of water. [plump hourglass figure] A moment after the fairy's entrance the window was blown open by the breathing of the little stars. and she sat up in bed. and one cannot help wishing that they could have kept awake to see Peter. COME AWAY! For a moment after Mr. "Tink. and he rose and bowed to her beautifully. but when it came to rest for a second you saw it was a fairy." She was already sure that he must be Peter. where are you?" She was in a jug for the moment. and liking it extremely. If he thought at all. She was slightly inclined to EMBONPOINT. she had never been in a jug before. when brought near each other. and his hand was still messy with the fairy dust. she was only pleasantly interested. a thousand times brighter than the night-lights." she said courteously. do come out of that jug. it made this light by flashing about so quickly. it was that he and his shadow. scattering their contents to the floor with both hands. "What is your name?" "Peter Pan. They were awfully nice little night-lights. She was much pleased. There was another light in the room now. cut low and square. "What's your name?" he asked. His sobs woke Wendy. and when they did not he was appalled. rummaged the wardrobe and turned every pocket inside out. but that also failed. "Tinker Bell. and before they could close their mouths all the three went out. and in the time we have taken to say this. "Oh. and tell me. but it did seem a comparatively short name. He tried to stick it on with soap from the bathroom. and Peter jumped at the drawers. Tink said that the shadow was in the big box. no longer than your hand. "Wendy Moira Angela Darling. but Wendy's light blinked and gave such a yawn that the other two yawned also. as kings toss ha'pence to the crowd. but I don't believe he ever thought.Chapter 3 20 Chapter 3 COME AWAY. She was not alarmed to see a stranger crying on the nursery floor. it had been in all the drawers in the nursery." she replied with some satisfaction. It is the fairy language.

though he was tall as herself. and got out of bed and ran to him. however." he said." he said." he said rather sharply." he said contemptuously. it isn't. "I mean. "No." she said. but he had not the slightest desire to have one. "What's sewn?" he asked." she said. "How awful!" she said. "Don't get any letters. For the first time he felt that perhaps it was a funny address." Peter gulped. and sewed the shadow on to Peter's foot." "It has come off?" "Yes. He felt for the first time that it was a shortish name." said Wendy Moira Angela. Wendy. "is that what they put on the letters?" He wished she had not mentioned letters. She asked where he lived. "I'm so sorry." she said." "No. Besides." "What a funny address!" Peter had a sinking. "It doesn't matter. "and then straight on till morning. no wonder you were crying." Wendy said nicely. but she could not help smiling when she saw that he had been trying to stick it on with soap. . "I wasn't crying about mothers. I wasn't crying. "It must be sewn on. Not only had he no mother. "O Peter. looking so draggled. just a little patronisingly. "Second to the right.Chapter 3 "Is that all?" "Yes. "You're dreadfully ignorant. and she was frightfully sorry for Peter. felt at once that she was in the presence of a tragedy. and she got out her housewife [sewing bag]. my little man." Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor. "But your mother gets letters?" 21 "Don't have a mother. remembering that she was hostess." But she was exulting in his ignorance. "I was crying because I can't get my shadow to stick on. "I shall sew it on for you." he said rather indignantly. He thought them very over-rated persons. How exactly like a boy! Fortunately she knew at once what to do. I'm not." said Peter.

"How clever I am!" he crowed rapturously. "I don't know.Chapter 3 "I daresay it will hurt a little. To induce her to look up he pretended to be going away. I can't help crowing. "If you please." she declared. "if I am no use I can at least withdraw. "don't withdraw. and he held out his hand expectantly. and soon his shadow was behaving properly." Wendy said thoughtfully. "Wendy. though still a little creased." Peter said carelessly. was indifferent to appearances. "Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked. asked Peter how old he was. "You conceit [braggart]. He thought he had attached the shadow himself." he said. and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble." said Peter. "Oh." he continued." "I think it's perfectly sweet of you. "Do you really think so. and when this failed he sat on the end of the bed and tapped her gently with his foot. aghast. who was already of the opinion that he had never cried in his life. "Wendy. But for the moment Wendy was shocked. I shan't cry. though she was listening eagerly. and he was now jumping about in the wildest glee. and she peeped out of the bed-clothes. with frightful sarcasm. "oh. I do." and she sat with him on the side of the bed. boylike. "and I'll get up again. "shall I give you a kiss?" and she replied with a slight primness. To put it with brutal frankness. When people in our set are introduced." Still she would not look up. there never was a cockier boy. "I shall know when you give it to me." he replied uneasily. Peter?" "Yes. Wendy. one girl is more use than twenty boys. Alas." and she sprang in the most dignified way into bed and covered her face with the blankets. and so Wendy. for it was afterwards to save her life. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain. who always liked to do the correct thing. though there were not very many inches. and continued to dance. he had already forgotten that he owed his bliss to Wendy." he replied stiffly." she exclaimed. "but I am quite young. "Wendy. when I'm pleased with myself. 22 "Perhaps I should have ironed it. It was not really a happy question to ask him. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked." He really knew nothing about it. when what you want to be asked is Kings of England. so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before. it is customary for them to ask each other's age. in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist. it was like an examination paper that asks grammar. and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck." She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him. "Now. And he clenched his teeth and did not cry. he had merely . "of course I did nothing!" "You did a little. but Peter did not know what she meant. but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand. the cleverness of me!" It is humiliating to have to confess that this conceit of Peter was one of his most fascinating qualities. but Peter. "A little!" she replied with hauteur [pride]." Now Wendy was every inch a woman." she warned him." said he.

" Really." he said with passion. Wendy. he thought they had now talked enough about fairies. He had his first laugh still. "You shouldn't say such things." he explained in a low voice. "Wendy. "Wendy." he said a little impatiently. but he said at a venture. "I do believe I shut her up in the drawer!" He let poor Tink out of the drawer. do you?" and they both listened. "You don't hear her. Wendy's heart went flutter with a sudden thrill. they soon don't believe in fairies." he said. that he could sit nearer her. by a touch on her night-gown. "O Peter." "Ought to be? Isn't there?" "No. though Tink's face was still distorted with passion. "Peter. "I want always to be a little boy and to have fun. and indeed he sometimes had to give them a hiding [spanking]." she cried. "The only sound I hear." Wendy was quite surprised. "I don't want ever to be a man. She poured out questions about them." said Wendy. "I can't think where she has gone to." Peter retorted. but being a stay-at-home she liked it. and every time a child says. I ran away the day I was born. but for one moment Wendy saw the romantic figure come to rest on the cuckoo clock. and Peter made a merry face. but interested. when the first baby laughed for the first time." The sound come from the chest of drawers. Wendy had lived such a home life that to know fairies struck her as quite delightful. No one could ever look quite so merry as Peter. `I don't believe in fairies. and he called Tink by name. Still." he said. "there ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl." "Well. and he thought it was because he had run away. "You see." he went on good-naturedly. to his surprise. "you don't mean to tell me that there is a fairy in this room!" "She was here just now. "if she would only stand still and let me see her!" "They hardly ever stand still. rising. "talking about what I was to be when I became a man." he whispered gleefully. that's Tink. and she flew about the nursery screaming with fury. and it struck him that Tinker Bell was keeping very quiet. but it was really because he knew fairies." she cried. that's the fairy language. "O the lovely!" she cried. "And so. and the loveliest of gurgles was his laugh. its laugh broke into a thousand pieces. "is like a tinkle of bells. for they were rather a nuisance to him.' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead." He was extraordinarily agitated now. I think I hear her too. You see children know such a lot now. and he told her about the beginning of fairies. 23 "It was because I heard father and mother. and that was the beginning of fairies.Chapter 3 suspicions. he liked them on the whole. "Of course I'm very sorry. getting in his way and so on." She gave him a look of the most intense admiration. clutching him. but how could I know you were in the drawer?" Wendy was not listening to him." Tedious talk this. So I ran away to Kensington Gardens and lived a long long time among the fairies. . and she indicated in the charming drawing-room manner. and they all went skipping about.

"I thought you would want it back. "Oh dear. "If you don't live in Kensington Gardens now -. "I think. I'm captain." "Who are they?" "They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way." and disappeared into the bathroom.Chapter 3 "Tink. "She is not very polite." This flattered Wendy immensely. Peter?" 24 He had to translate." said the nice Wendy. you know. This seemed to Wendy rather forward for a first meeting." she said. "What does she say. relenting. "this lady says she wishes you were her fairy. "She is quite a common fairy." "Are none of the others girls?" "Oh. John there just despises us. and offered to return her the thimble." For the moment she had forgotten his ignorance about kisses. "And I know you meant to be kind. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expenses. and Wendy plied him with more questions. "so you may give me a kiss." Peter explained apologetically. However. because I am an gentleman and you are a lady. "she is called Tinker Bell because she mends the pots and kettles [tinker = tin worker]. no. You see we have no female companionship." "What's that?" . and that she is my fairy." Tinker Bell answered insolently." To this Tink replied in these words. one kick." "Sometimes I do still. Tink. "You know you can't be my fairy. He tried to argue with Tink." she said. "You silly ass. girls." "But where do you live mostly now?" "With the lost boys. John continued to sleep so placidly on the floor that she allowed him to remain there." [Similar to "cinder" plus "elle" to get Cinderella] They were together in the armchair by this time. are much too clever to fall out of their prams." said cunning Peter." For reply Peter rose and kicked John out of bed. blankets and all." said Peter amiably. I mean a thimble. "I don't mean a kiss. "it is perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls." "What fun it must be!" "Yes. "but we are rather lonely. She says you are a great [huge] ugly girl." he said a little bitterly. and she told him with spirit that he was not captain in her house.

but Wendy understood." said Wendy excitedly. the stories I could tell to the boys!" she cried.Chapter 3 "It's like this. your mother was telling you such a lovely story. Wendy. "To tell the other boys. He came back. Tink?" 25 Again Tink replied. "Funny!" said Peter gravely. "Now shall I give you a thimble?" "If you wish to. O Wendy." Peter was so glad that he rose from the floor. I don't know any stories. keeping her head erect this time." "Peter. and there was a greedy look in his eyes now which ought to have alarmed her. Wendy?" "It was exactly as if someone were pulling my hair. . but did not. "Where are you going?" she cried with misgiving. "Do you know. I never knew her so naughty before. so there can be no denying that it was she who first tempted him. where they had been sitting. 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. and then Peter gripped her and began to draw her toward the window." "Which story was it?" "About the prince who couldn't find the lady who wore the glass slipper. "You silly ass." Wendy said." "Don't go Peter. "that was Cinderella." Peter asked "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories. "You see." "That must have been Tink." Peter could not understand why." said Wendy. Peter thimbled her. "She says she will do that to you. "Oh." And indeed Tink was darting about again." "But why?" "Why. None of the lost boys knows any stories. "I know such lots of stories. and he found her. and almost immediately she screeched." Those were her precise words. every time I give you a thimble." "How perfectly awful." she entreated. using offensive language. "What is it." She kissed him. and they lived happily ever after.

I can't." cried Wendy." "Oo!" "And." he said." She was wriggling her body in distress. "you could tuck us in at night. Of course he was on the floor already. "Of course it's awfully fascinating!" she cried. Wendy." she cried." How could she resist." he said. But he had no pity for her." "Oo. when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me saying funny things to the stars. the sly one. and she ran to John and Michael and shook them. and then away we go. "Peter. None of us has any pockets. and make pockets for us. there are mermaids." he said. "Wendy." he said indifferently. but she said." "I'll teach you how to jump on the wind's back. "Wendy." 26 Of course she was very pleased to be asked. Wendy." John rubbed his eyes." he said. "Then I shall get up." and her arms went out to him. "Peter Pan has come and he is to teach us to fly. I can't fly." "Mermaids! With tails?" "Such long tails. "Oh dear. It was quite as if she were trying to remain on the nursery floor. how lovely to fly. "Wake up. "Wendy." "Oh." "Oo!" "None of us has ever been tucked in at night." "Oo!" she exclaimed rapturously. "I am up!" . Think of mummy! Besides. "And you could darn our clothes. "how we should all respect you. "Wendy. do come with me and tell the other boys.Chapter 3 "Let me go!" she ordered him." "I'll teach you. "Hallo. would you teach John and Michael to fly too?" "If you like. "to see a mermaid!" He had become frightfully cunning." "Oh.

" she said. can you really fly?" Instead of troubling to answer him Peter flew around the room. breathed so loudly that they were nearly detected. was quiet now. Darling knew at once that something terrible was happening in their nursery. and Nana. And thus when Liza entered. taking the mantelpiece on the way. not sorry that Nana was in disgrace. She thought the best way of getting a little quiet was to take Nana to the nursery for a moment.Chapter 3 Michael was up by this time also. All was as still as salt. and had been drawn from them. that was just what she wanted. strained and strained at the chain until at last she broke it. holding Nana. But it was now ten minutes since three scoundrels had been breathing behind the curtains. just. and then. I am sweet!" said Peter.place. "Out with the light! Hide! Quick!" cried John. It was her silence they had heard. Mr. encouraged by his success." she said sternly. aren't they? Every one of the little angels sound asleep in bed. No. by Nana's absurd suspicions. oh.room of 27 and flung up her paws to heaven. Do you think she cared whether she was whipped so long as her charges were safe? Unfortunately Liza returned to her puddings. Peter. forgetting his manners again. "How topping!" said John and Michael. He was quite a practical boy. "I say. "Yes." John announced. Then everything was right. stop! Everything was wrong. very dark. looking as sharp as a knife with six blades and a saw. and Peter Pan can do a great deal in ten minutes. taking command for the only time throughout the whole adventure. Nana. . We now return to the nursery. "They are perfectly safe. and Mrs. emerging from his hiding. but they always went down instead of up. Nana knew that kind of breathing. but in custody of course. In another moment she had burst into the dining. "There. "No more of it. who had been barking distressfully all the evening. I'm sweet." She tied the unhappy dog up again. They were really doing it artfully from behind the window curtains. and they tried it first from the floor and then from the beds. seeing that no help would come from her. "How sweet!" cried Wendy. but do you think Nana ceased to bark? Bring master and missus home from the party! Why." Here Michael. "It's all right. won't master whip you. 27 Liza was in a bad tamper. "I warn you if bark again I shall go straight for master and missus and bring them home from the party. and she tried to drag herself out of Liza's clutches. "I say. It looked delightfully easy. Nana. and without a good-bye to their hostess they rushed into the street. how do you do it?" asked John. pulling her out of the room. but Peter suddenly signed silence. her most expressive way of making a communication. But Liza was dense. Their faces assumed the awful craftiness of children listening for sounds from the grown-up world. Listen to their gentle breathing. for she was mixing the Christmas puddings in the kitchen. rubbing his knee. the nursery seemed quite its old self. and you would have sworn you heard its three wicked inmates breathing angelically as they slept. oh. with a raisin still on her cheek. you suspicious brute.

but soon he found he had not." he said. "Mermaids!" said Peter again. "and let go.Chapter 3 "You just think lovely wonderful thoughts. "let us go at once." cried John. though even Michael was in words of two syllables. but had to desist. and there is almost nothing so delicious as that." John said." They were all on their beds. lovely!" "Oh. and round and round. with the most superb results. "Oo!" "And there are pirates. Up and down they went. Peter gave Wendy a hand at first. Of course Peter had been trifling with them. but their heads were bobbing against the ceiling. for no one can fly unless the fairy dust has been blown on him. "I've got it now. and he blew some on each of them. as we have mentioned. He did not quite mean to let go. "and they lift you up in the air. "Now just wiggle your shoulders this way. ripping!" "Look at me!" "Look at me!" "Look at me!" They were not nearly so elegant as Peter. Not one of them could fly an inch. Michael was ready: he wanted to see how long it took him to do a billion miles." "Pirates. "why shouldn't we all go out?" Of course it was to this that Peter had been luring them." Peter explained. John let go and met Wendy near the bathroom. seizing his Sunday hat. But Wendy hesitated. "Oh. "You're so nippy at it. and immediately he was borne across the room." ." cried John. and gallant Michael let go first. they could not help kicking a little. Wendy!" cried John. one of his hands was messy with it. Heavenly was Wendy's word. Tink was so indignant. "I flewed!" he screamed while still in mid-air. but he did it. Fortunately. "couldn't you do it very slowly once?" 28 Peter did it both slowly and quickly. and Peter did not know A from Z." He showed them again. "I say.

Mr. Mr. and now they were very cold and again too warm. or were they merely pretending. Peter. 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. Chapter 4 THE FLIGHT "Second to the right. followed by John and Michael and Wendy. they could see in shadow on the curtain three little figures in night attire circling round and round. and Mrs. but there will be no story. could not have sighted it with these instructions. and soared out at once into the night. Sometimes it was dark and sometimes light. and. Not long ago. parting at last with mutual expressions of good-will. On the other hand. John and Michael raced. you see. but Mrs. Once again the stars blew the window open. Peter!" Then Peter knew that there was not a moment to lose. but even birds. it was still shut. if they are not in time. Will they reach the nursery in time? If so. Peter had told Wendy. and straight on till morning. and we shall all breathe a sigh of relief. then the birds would follow and snatch it back. was the way to the Neverland. She even tried to make her heart go softly. four! In a tremble they opened the street door. and Mrs. 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. John thought it was their second sea and their third night. just said anything that came into his head. Not three figures.Chapter 4 29 It was just at this moment that Mr. "Come. carrying maps and consulting them at windy corners. They recalled with contempt that not so long ago they had thought themselves fine fellows for being able to fly round a room." he cried imperiously." That. Darling and Nana rushed into the nursery too late. They would have reached the nursery in time had it not been that the little stars were watching them. Did they really feel hungry at times. But how long ago? They were flying over the sea before this thought began to disturb Wendy seriously. I solemnly promise that it will all come right in the end. how delightful for them. not on the floor but in the air. but the room was ablaze with light. But Wendy noticed with gentle concern that Peter did not . yes. Darling would have rushed upstairs. At first his companions trusted him implicitly. They ran into the middle of the street to look up at the nursery window. The birds were flown. and that smallest star of all called out: "Cave. Darling hurried with Nana out of 27. and most heart-gripping sight of all. and they would all go chasing each other gaily for miles. Michael getting a start. Darling signed him to go softly.

" Wendy reminded him. by merely lying on his back and floating. so there was always the possibility that the next time you fell he would let you go. When playing Follow my Leader. just as in the street you may run your finger along an iron railing. "There he goes again!" he would cry gleefully. down they fell." "Then tell him to stop showing off. John. Certainly they did not pretend to be sleepy. 30 "Save him. because he was so light that if you got behind him and blew he went faster. then. the more certainly did they bump into it. but if they saw a cloud in front of them. when they were playing "Follow my Leader. If Nana had been with them. "And even though we became good a picking up food. they were sleepy. but he always waited till the last moment. and it was lovely the way he did it. for the world was round. "That is the awful thing. He could sleep in the air without falling.Chapter 4 seem to know that this was rather an odd way of getting your bread and butter." Indeed they were constantly bumping. and that was a danger. . nor even that there are other ways." said John. Eventually Peter would dive through the air. save him!" cried Wendy." Michael said. for we don't know how to stop. "How could we ever find our way back without him?" "Well. she would have had a bandage round Michael's forehead by this time. looking with horror at the cruel sea far below. see how we bump against clouds and things if he is not near to give us a hand." Wendy whispered to John. John said that if the worst came to the worst. for the moment they popped off. Wendy." This was true. though they still kicked far too much. They could now fly strongly." "After the twentieth try. Peter would fly close to the water and touch each shark's tail in passing. "What could we do if he were to leave us!" "We could go back. "You must be nice to him. and you felt it was his cleverness that interested him and not the saving of human life. so perhaps it was rather like showing off. Also he was fond of variety. "Do be more polite to him. and so in time they must come back to their own window. all they had to do was to go straight on." said John. Peter had forgotten to show them how to stop." Wendy impressed on her brothers. as Michael suddenly dropped like a stone. We should have to go on. and the sport that engrossed him one moment would suddenly cease to engage him. we could go on. and catch Michael just before he could strike the sea. especially as he kept looking behind to see how many tails they missed. The awful thing was that Peter thought this funny. partly at least. "And who is to get food for us. John?" "I nipped a bit out of that eagle's mouth pretty neatly. the more they tried to avoid it. They could not follow him in this with much success. but this was.

' and then I'll remember. "John. "I'm Wendy. John. for after many moons they did reach it. Michael. what is more. not as something long dreamt of and seen at last. However." Indeed a million golden arrows were pointing it out to the children. once even she had to call him by name. they had been going pretty straight all the time. just keep on saying `I'm Wendy. at least not well." Of course this was rather unsatisfactory. John. It is only thus that any one may sight those magic shores. sometimes when he returned he did not remember them." So with occasional tiffs. I do believe that's your little whelp!" "There's my boat. and this was such a pleasant change that they tried it several times and found that they could sleep thus with security. "And if he forgets them so quickly. but on the whole rollicking. Wendy. but as a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays. Wendy. who wanted them to be sure of their way before leaving them for the night." Wendy argued.Chapter 4 31 Peter was not with them for the moment. they all recognized it at once. not perhaps so much owing to the guidance of Peter or Tink as because the island was looking for them. but Peter tired quickly of sleeping. what's that in the brushwood?" "It's a wolf with her whelps. and until fear fell upon them they hailed it. He was very sorry. they drew near the Neverland. there's the lagoon. where?" "Where all the arrows are pointing. "how can we expect that he will go on remembering us?" Indeed. He could go so much faster than they that he would suddenly shoot out of sight. Wendy and John and Michael stood on tip-toe in the air to get their first sight of the island. to make amends he showed them how to lie out flat on a strong wind that was going their way. "I say. and yet not be able to say for certain what had been happening." "I say. look at the turtles burying their eggs in the sand. but he had already forgotten what it was. Strange to say. He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star. there's your cave!" "John. "Where. all directed by their friend the sun. Indeed they would have slept longer. and. "We get off here. Wendy was sure of it. "always if you see me forgetting you." he whispered to her. She saw recognition come into his eyes as he was about to pass them the time of day and go on." she said agitatedly." said Peter calmly." "Wendy. "There it is. or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him. and they felt rather lonely up there by themselves. to have some adventure in which they had no share. with her sides stove in!" . It was really rather irritating to children who had never seen a mermaid. and soon he would cry in his captain voice. I see your flamingo with the broken leg!" "Look.

they are on the war-path right enough. Nothing horrid was visible in the air. Why. we burned your boat. "There's a pirate asleep in the pampas just beneath us." he explained. his eyes were sparkling. but it was real now. "Would you like an adventure now. Sometimes he poised himself in the air. Then unexplored patches arose in it and spread. shuddering. but the braver John hesitated. and Michael pressed her hand in gratitude. he went on again. John. Having done these things. "If you like. "What kind of adventure?" he asked cautiously. for have I not told you that anon fear fell upon them? It came as the arrows went. leaving the island in gloom. They were now over the fearsome island. "They don't want us to land." Peter told him. His careless manner had gone at last. You were quite glad that the night-lights were on. but they huddled close to Peter now. I say. Sometimes they hung in the air until Peter had beaten on it with his fists.Chapter 4 "No. but if he wanted to lord it over them his triumph was at hand. black shadows moved about in them. 32 In the old days at home the Neverland had always begun to look a little dark and threatening by bedtime. but now he wakened her and sent her on in front." he said casually to John. and there were no night-lights. and a tingle went through them every time they touched his body. and I'll tell you by the way smoke curls whether they are on the war-path." "That's her. yet their progress had become slow and laboured." "I see now. flying so low that sometimes a tree grazed their feet. just across the Mysterious River. listening intently. Tinker Bell had been asleep on his shoulder." "There. I see the smoke of the redskin camp!" "Where? Show me. and where was Nana? They had been flying apart. ." "I don't see him. and it was getting darker every moment. and that the Neverland was all make-believe. Yes. at any rate. the roar of the beasts of prey was quite different now. it isn't. Of course the Neverland had been make-believe in those days. But he could not or would not say." John said after a long pause. "Who are they?" Wendy whispered. and again he would stare down with eyes so bright that they seemed to bore two holes to earth." Peter was a little annoyed with them for knowing so much. and above all. exactly as if they were pushing their way through hostile forces. with his hand to his ear. we'll go down and kill him. His courage was almost appalling. You even liked Nana to say that this was just the mantelpiece over here. you lost the certainty that you would win. "or would you like to have your tea first?" Wendy said "tea first" quickly.

"He is the worst of them all. That's the way I always do. all right." John said." said Peter sharply. and then kill him. me. He asked if there were many pirates on the island just now." John said "How ripping. "What is he like? Is he big?" "He is not so big as he was. "I wasn't meaning to be disrespectful." "But.Chapter 4 "I do. "You don't think I would kill him while he was sleeping! I would wake him first." "Then he can't fight now?" "Oh. and Peter said he had never known so many." "That's him." but decided to have tea first. "Jas." said Peter. and even John could speak in gulps only. "Who is captain now?" "Hook." "I say! Do you kill many?" "Tons." "You!" "Yes. for they knew Hook's reputation. what bit?" "His right hand. a little huskily." Then indeed Michael began to cry." "Suppose. I say." John whispered huskily." answered Peter. can't he just!" ." 33 Peter spoke indignantly. and his face became very stern as he said that hated word. "He was Blackbeard's bo'sun. "he were to wake up. Hook?" "Ay." "Oh." "How do you mean?" "I cut off a bit of him. He is the only man of whom Barbecue was afraid.

"and she is rather frightened. For the moment they were feeling less eerie. same as the stars. `Ay." 34 "There is one thing. sir." John said loyally. if we meet Hook in open fight.'" "Ay. sir." Peter continued. and so she had to go round and round them in a circle in which they moved as in a halo." the three cried simultaneously. . and something gave Peter a loving little pinch. "to put out her light. and he claws with it. ay." "Wendy!" "John!" "Michael!" "Tell her to go away at once. And of course they must see her light." "Claws!" "I say. "She tells me. "that the pirates sighted us before the darkness came. and so must you." "Say." John almost ordered." "The big gun?" "Yes. and if they guess we are near it they are sure to let fly. "It is this. 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. but he refused." he replied stiffly. Wendy quite liked it. "that every boy who serves under me has to promise.Chapter 4 "Left-hander?" "He has an iron hook instead of a right hand." "She can't put it out. because Tink was flying with them." he said." "I promise. you must leave him to me. "Yes. Unfortunately she could not fly so slowly as they." said Peter. until Peter pointed out the drawbacks. John." Wendy begged. "She thinks we have lost the way. ay. It just goes out of itself when she falls asleep." "Then tell her to sleep at once. Peter. and in her light they could distinguish each other. "Then tell her. and got Long Tom out." John paled. That is about the only thing fairies can't do.

or. The roar of it echoed through the mountains." . and this. where are they. It would have been well for Wendy if at that moment she had dropped the hat. It was the stillest silence they had ever known. It is the only other thing fairies can't do. John's hat! 35 Tink agreed to travel by hat if it was carried in the hand. she was all bad just now. Even these noises ceased. "I haven't tried [myself out] yet. on the other hand." growled John. which Peter explained was the wild beasts drinking at the ford. however. allowed to change. plainly meaning "Follow me. they had set off in such a hurry that there was not a pocket between the four of them. "we could carry her in it. and all will be well. "Where are they. To Michael the loneliness was dreadful. because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. and Michael without knowing how to float was floating." Michael whispered back. John and Michael found themselves alone in the darkness. the air was rent by the most tremendous crash he had ever heard. but. because John said it struck against his knee as he flew. or whether she had planned it on the way. "these are the only two things worth doing. "Are you shot?" John whispered tremulously. but he said it was the redskins sharpening their knives. but not a loving one. but she at once popped out of the hat and began to lure Wendy to her destruction. and the echoes seemed to cry savagely. while Wendy was blown upwards with no companion but Tinker Bell. "If only something would make a sound!" he cried. "If only one of us had a pocket." Here he got a pinch. I don't know whether the idea came suddenly to Tink. They are. but it sounded kind. however. only it must be a complete change. and again by a rasping sound that might have been the branches of trees rubbing together. We know now that no one had been hit. He had a happy idea. Fairies have to be one thing or the other. where are they?" Thus sharply did the terrified three learn the difference between an island of make-believe and the same island come true. broken once by a distant lapping. rather. The pirates had fired Long Tom at them. as we shall see." However. Peter." "Seems to me. for Tinker Bell hated to be under an obligation to Wendy. and she flew back and forward. though she had hoped to be carried by Peter." Peter said. Tink was not all bad. John carried it. When at last the heavens were steady again. At present she was full of jealousy of Wendy. In the black topper the light was completely hidden. As if in answer to his request. What she said in her lovely tinkle Wendy could not of course understand. sometimes she was all good. John was treading the air mechanically. and I believe some of it was bad words. and they flew on in silence. led to mischief.Chapter 4 "She can't sleep except when she's sleepy. Presently Wendy took the hat. had been carried by the wind of the shot far out to sea.

if accepted. there is danger in the air for you to-night. She did not yet know that Tink hated her with the fierce hatred of a very woman. Tootles. and this has given his nose an offensive tilt. and he passes by. so that he was quite the humblest of the boys. with their manners and customs. all would be quiet. Next comes Nibs. The lost boys were out looking for Peter. and she thinks you are the most easily tricked of the boys. he is a pickle. 'Ware Tinker Bell. who hates lethargy. they are under way again: if you put your ear to the ground now. the beasts attend to their young. [a person who gets in pickles-predicaments] and so often has he had to deliver up his person when Peter said sternly. the redskins feed heavily for six days and nights. Peter thins them out. but we are not really on the island. which. Last come the Twins. and got only mocking echoes in reply. Slightly is the most conceited of the boys. biting his knuckles. and when pirates and lost boys meet they merely bite their thumbs at each other. but instead of souring his nature had sweetened it. They are forbidden by Peter to look in the least like him. He had been in fewer adventures than any of them. which is against the rules. They have therefore become very sure-footed. They were going round and round the island. Take care lest an adventure is now offered you. But with the coming of Peter. according as they get killed and so on. bewildered. And so. He thinks he remembers the days before he was lost. and now staggering in her flight. This ill-luck had given a gentle melancholy to his countenance. the pirates were out looking for the lost boys. the gay and debonair. he would take the opportunity of going off to gather a few sticks for firewood. because the big things constantly happened just when he had stepped round the corner. Peter never quite knew what twins were. Curly is fourth.Chapter 5 36 What else could poor Wendy do? She called to Peter and John and Michael. of course. but woke is better and was always used by Peter. the redskins were out looking for the pirates. and his band were not . but at this time there were six of them. in numbers. We ought to use the pluperfect and say wakened. in which they are so round and furry that when they fall they roll. will plunge you in deepest woe. not the least brave but the most unfortunate of all that gallant band. Poor kind Tootles. who cannot be described because we should be sure to be describing the wrong one. On this evening the chief forces of the island were disposed as follows. the fairy Tink. you would hear the whole island seething with life. The fairies take an hour longer in the morning. and then when he returned the others would be sweeping up the blood. Chapter 5 THE ISLAND COME TRUE Feeling that Peter was on his way back. she followed Tink to her doom. each with his hand on his dagger. and they wear the skins of the bears slain by themselves. and the beasts were out looking for the redskins. "Stand forth the one who did this thing. The boys on the island vary. Let us pretend to lie here among the sugar-cane and watch them as they steal by in single file. In his absence things are usually quiet on the island. who cuts whistles out of the trees and dances ecstatically to his own tunes. but to-night were out to greet their captain. Would that he could hear us. but they did not meet because all were going at the same rate." that now at the command he stands forth automatically whether he has done it or not. who liked it as a rule. the Neverland had again woke into life. The first to pass is Tootles. followed by Slightly. and when they seem to be growing up. who is bent on mischief this night is looking for a tool [for doing her mischief]. All wanted blood except the boys. counting the twins as two.

so these two were always vague about themselves. Bringing up the rear. who cut his name in letters of blood on the back of the governor of the prison at Gao. and Noodler. no less than the distinction of his demeanour. every inch of him tattooed. and Skylights (Morgan's Skylights). As dogs this terrible man treated and addressed them. yo ho. which is not visible to inexperienced eyes. and Gentleman Starkey. his great arms bare. In the midst of them. and in his mouth he had a holder of his own contrivance which enabled him to smoke two cigars at once. a princess in her own right. and after a pause. ruffling his lace collar. and the elegance of his diction. In the van. having heard it said in some earlier period of his career that he bore a strange resemblance to the ill-fated Stuarts. Jas. Mullins and Alf Mason and many another ruffian long known and feared on the Spanish Main. for these are the Piccaninny tribe. is Great Big Little Panther. Which will win? On the trail of the pirates. is the handsome Italian Cecco.Chapter 5 37 allowed to know anything he did not know. come the redskins. and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons. 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. But undoubtedly the grimmest part of him was his iron claw. the place of greatest danger. so to speak. He was never more sinister than when he was most polite. proudly erect. it was said that the only thing he shied at was the sight of his own blood. there is a tearing sound and one screech. A-pirating we go. and his hair was dressed in long curls. save when he was plunging his hook into you. They carry tomahawks and knives. which is probably the truest test of breeding. whose hands were fixed on backwards. Here is Bill Jukes. He lay at his ease in a rough chariot drawn and propelled by his men. In person he was cadaverous [dead looking] and blackavized [dark faced]. and the pirates pass on. In manner. Skylights lurches clumsily against him. on all fours. something of the grand seigneur still clung to him. Hook. a little in advance. said to be Black Murphy's brother (but this was never proved). We hear them before they are seen.path. Here. and their naked bodies gleam with paint and oil. And if we're parted by a shot We're sure to meet below!" A more villainous-looking lot never hung in a row on Execution dock. every one of them with his eyes peeled. so that he even ripped you up with an air. and it is always the same dreadful song: "Avast belay. once an usher in a public school and still dainty in his ways of killing. Skylights will do. the same Bill Jukes who got six dozen on the WALRUS from Flint before he would drop the bag of moidores [Portuguese gold pieces]. even when he was swearing. and I have been told that he was a RACONTEUR [storyteller] of repute. His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not. and of a profound melancholy. and gave a singularly threatening expression to his handsome countenance. stealing noiselessly down the war. the hook shoots forth. reclined James Hook. 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. which at a little distance looked like black candles. then the body is kicked aside. and Cookson. and the Irish bo'sun Smee. showed him one of a different cast from his crew. pieces of eight in his ears as ornaments. a brave of so many scalps that in his present position they somewhat impede his progress. and did their best to give satisfaction by keeping close together in an apologetic sort of way. ever and again with his head to the ground listening. The boys vanish in the gloom. or as he wrote himself. for things go briskly on the island. at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly. A man of indomitable courage. comes Tiger Lily. without offence. Let us now kill a pirate. heave to. and Robt. As they pass. and was the only Non-conformist in Hook's crew. Strung around them are scalps. He has not even taken the cigars from his mouth. and as dogs they obeyed him. the blackest and largest in that dark setting. of boys as well as of pirates. come the pirates on their track. of whom it is said he was the only man that the Sea-Cook feared. but not a long pause. In dress he somewhat aped the attire associated with the name of Charles II. She is the most beautiful of dusky Dianas [Diana = goddess of the woods] and the belle of the . which was thick and of an unusual colour. to show Hook's method. an oddly genial man who stabbed.

" They talked of Cinderella. Look closely. They flung themselves down on the sward [turf]. and you may note that there are here seven large trees. A merry hour. The flag o' skull and bones. live cheek by jowl on the favoured island. it constitutes their chief danger. the pirate life. there is not a brave who would not have the wayward thing to wife. With the exception of Nibs. but they heard it. who has darted away to reconnoitre [look around]. however. but she staves off the altar with a hatchet. `Oh. more particularly. how I wish I had a cheque-book of my own!' I don't know what a cheque-book is. The only sound to be heard is their somewhat heavy breathing. and tell us whether he has heard anything more about Cinderella. a great and motley procession: lions. would have heard nothing. and the innumerable smaller savage things that flee from them. in the tone that prevented his being a general favourite. I will tell you where they are. Their tongues are hanging out. tigers. "is that she often said to my father. And hey for Davy Jones. The fact is that they are all a little fat just now after the heavy gorging. All are keeping a sharp look-out in front. "but I wish he would come back. the subject being forbidden by him as silly. These are the seven entrances . and Tootles was confident that his mother must have been very like her." While they talked they heard a distant sound. You or I. but in time they will work this off. and. they are already in their home under the ground. Rabbits could not have disappeared more quickly. for he added hastily. a very delightful residence of which we shall see a good deal presently. But how have they reached it? for there is no entrance to be seen. and it was the grim song: "Yo ho. but soon the boys appear again. bears. and soon their place is taken by the beasts. "I am the only one who is not afraid of the pirates. Observe how they pass over fallen twigs without making the slightest noise. however. all the man-eaters. Then quickly they will be on top of each other. but perhaps some distant sound disturbed him. a hempen rope. close to their underground home. For the moment. The first to fall out of the moving circle was the boys. though in height and still more in breadth they were all larger than their captain.but where are they? They are no longer there. not being wild things of the woods. cold and amorous [loving] by turns. comes the last figure of all. This shows how real the island was. coquettish [flirting]. We shall see for whom she is looking presently. not so much as a large stone. yo ho. "All I remember about my mother. for the procession must continue indefinitely until one of the parties stops or changes its pace. but I should just love to give my mother one. would disclose the mouth of a cave." Nibs told them. It was only in Peter's absence that they could speak of mothers. but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind. which if rolled away. for every kind of beast. they are hungry to-night. The crocodile passes. When they have passed.Chapter 5 38 Piccaninnies. The redskins disappear as they have come like shadows. each with a hole in its hollow trunk as large as a boy." every one of them said nervously. "I do wish Peter would come back." At once the lost boys -." Slightly said. a gigantic crocodile.

" Hook was saying passionately. "Not now. and in a moment their Captain and Smee were alone. "and tickle him with Johnny Corkscrew?" Smee had pleasant names for everything. perhaps it was because of the soft beauty of the evening. it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon. One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. 'Twas he cut off my arm. Do you want to lose your scalp?" "Shall I after him." he reminded Hook. I'll tear him!" "And yet. "if I was a mother I would pray to have my children born with this instead of that. from sea to sea and from land to land. Then again he frowned." the captain answered." "I have often. and I want to mischief all the seven. "Johnny's a silent fellow. who first gave the brute its taste for . writhing." He brandished the hook threateningly." "Ay. "He is only one. Oh." "I want no such compliments. But an iron claw gripped his shoulder." "In a way." it said threateningly.Chapter 5 39 to the home under the ground. I could have shot him dead. Scatter and look for them. the quick eye of Starkey sighted Nibs disappearing through the wood. wincing." said Smee. did not know in the least. Peter Pan. "it's sort of a compliment. "noticed your strange dread of crocodiles." asked pathetic Smee. Anon [later] he caught the word Peter. "It liked my arm so much. He spoke long and earnestly. that it has followed me ever since. licking its lips for the rest of me." he said." said Smee." Hook barked petulantly. "but of that one crocodile. "I want their captain. but what it was all about Smee. and at once his pistol flashed out." said Smee." and he cast a look of pride upon his iron hand and one of scorn upon the other. Captain. "to a crocodile that happened to be passing by. "It was one of those boys you hate." Hook corrected him. who was rather stupid. "I want Peter Pan. "I've waited long to shake his hand with this. Smee. Will he find it tonight? As the pirates advanced. Now for the first time we hear the voice of Hook. because he wiggled it in the wound. but there came over him a desire to confide to his faithful bo'sun the story of his life. "Peter flung my arm. "Most of all. and his cutlass was Johnny Corkscrew. "Put back that pistol first. and I know not why it was. Smee. It was a black voice. Hook heaved a heavy sigh. "Captain. For instance." The pirates disappeared among the trees. "I have often heard you say that hook was worth a score of hands. and the sound would have brought Tiger Lily's redskins upon us." "Not of crocodiles." "Ay. for which Hook has been searching in vain these many moons. for combing the hair and other homely uses." Hook said darkly. let go!" he cried." He lowered his voice. after killing.

Chapter 5 me. Hook nodded. but by a lucky chance it swallowed a clock which goes tick tick inside it. and in their exultation they danced and sang: "Avast. Not only smoke came out of it. having no mother. They had indeed discovered the chimney of the home under the ground." 40 Since sitting down he had felt curiously warm. There came also children's voices." He burst into laughter. playing with the mermaids. Smee had been waiting for it. one foot in the air. "Unrip your plan. for there is but one chimney." he said. captain. for so safe did the boys feel in their hiding-place that they were gaily chattering. because. but honest laughter. and so before it can reach me I hear the tick and bolt. The pirates listened grimly. They looked around them and noted the holes in the seven trees. but in a hollow way. but they never finished it." Hook wetted his dry lips. "Odds bobs." he cried eagerly." They began the verse. By fear they're overtook. "and cook a large rich cake of a jolly thickness with green sugar on it. "A chimney!" they both exclaimed. It was the custom of the boys to stop it with a mushroom when enemies were in the neighbourhood. not hollow laughter now. "Some day." he said. "Smee. "Ay. and it came away at once in their hands. "Smee. and then he'll get you. The silly moles had not the sense to see that they did not need a door apiece. Stranger still.! Hook stood shuddering. They will find the cake and they will gobble it up. and at last a curdling smile lit up his swarthy face. There can be but one room below. He stood for a long time lost in thought. but as it came nearer it was more distinct. belay. Tick tick tick tick. The pirates looked at each other." He jumped up. for another sound broke in and stilled them. "that's the fear that haunts me." he said huskily. "Did you hear them say Peter Pan's from home?" Smee whispered. "this seat is hot." Smee had listened with growing admiration. That shows they have no mother. The was at first such a tiny sound that a leaf might have fallen on it and smothered it. and now there was a quiver in his voice. We will leave the cake on the shore of the Mermaids' Lagoon. . "the clock will run down. These boys are always swimming about there. they don't know how dangerous 'tis to eat rich damp cake. and then replaced the mushroom. which was of a size and solidity unknown on the mainland. for it had no root. hammer and tongs I'm burning. Nought's left upon your bones when you Have shaken claws with Cook." He sat down on a large mushroom. when I appear. prettiest policy ever I heard of!" he cried. "It's the wickedest. smoke began at once to ascend. they will die. "that crocodile would have had me before this." said Smee." He laughed. "To return to the ship." They examined the mushroom." Hook replied slowly through his teeth. fidgeting with Johnny Corkscrew. they tried to pull it up. "Aha.

"Quick. The next moment is the long one. But more distinct came the shrill voice of Tinker Bell. It is flying this way. and as one boy they bent and looked through their legs. and the others thought that his staring eyes still saw the wolves. the wolves dropped their tails and fled. "A great white bird. pursued by a pack of wolves. Now Nibs rose from the ground. pinching savagely each time she touched." he cried. Tink's reply rang out: "Peter wants you to shoot the Wendy. The jealous fairy had now cast off all disguise of friendship. "Let us do what Peter would do. for as the boys advanced upon them in the terrible attitude. 41 It was indeed the crocodile." "See." "What kind of a bird. and they could hear her plaintive cry." And then. The tongues of the pursuers were hanging out. and bounded away. and as it flies it moans." said Slightly instantly. "Peter would look at them through his legs." It was not in their nature to question when Peter ordered. "I have seen a wonderfuller thing. "Hullo. "Let us do what Peter wishes!" cried the simple boys. Wendy was now almost overhead. It had passed the redskins. "But what can we do. followed by his bo'sun. "Save me. what can we do?" It was a high compliment to Peter that at that dire moment their thoughts turned to him. Tink. falling on the ground.Chapter 5 "The crocodile!" he gasped. it comes!" cried Curly. save me!" cried Nibs. "What would Peter do?" they cried simultaneously. It oozed on after Hook. do you think?" "I don't know. and was darting at her victim from every direction. But it was not wolves he saw. pointing to Wendy in the heavens. the baying of them was horrible. but victory came quickly. as they gathered round him eagerly. but the dangers of the night were not yet over. "there are birds called Wendies." It is quite the most successful way of defying wolves." cried the wondering boys.'" "Poor Wendy?" "I remember. "but it looks so weary." Nibs said. for presently Nibs rushed breathless into their midst. Once more the boys emerged into the open. `Poor Wendy. Almost in the same breath they cried. bows and arrows!" . awestruck. who were now on the trail of the other pirates.

Peter will be so pleased with me. and when he took a step nearer them they turned from him. reflecting. "Peter will be so pleased. "Don't go. "Now I see. from their trees. They had crowded round Wendy. The others did not hear her. and then he fired. They heard Peter crow. "I am so afraid of Peter. Tink. Chapter 6 THE LITTLE HOUSE Foolish Tootles was standing like a conqueror over Wendy's body when the other boys sprang." he said in a scared voice." He moved slowly away. If Wendy's heart had been beating they would all have heard it. "and you have killed her!" They were sorry for him." he shouted." he cried proudly." he said." Curly said: "Peter was bringing her to us. shaking." they called in pity. but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before. "Quick. "You are too late. "I did it." said one of the twins." she screamed." He threw himself sorrowfully on the ground. "I think this must be a lady. "I have shot the Wendy. "This is no bird. "A lady to take care of us at last." It was at this tragic moment that they heard a sound which made the heart of every one of them rise to his mouth. Tootles' face was very white. I said. "I must. "Out of the way. and Wendy fluttered to the ground with an arrow in her breast. and as they looked a terrible silence fell upon the wood. . "When ladies used to come to me in dreams. pretty mother." Tootles excitedly fitted the arrow to his bow. "And we have killed her." "A lady?" said Tootles." he answered. armed. and rubbed her little hands. Tootles.Chapter 6 42 All but Tootles popped down their trees. I shot her. and fell a-trembling." Nibs said hoarsely.' But when at last she really came. quick. but sorrier for themselves. They all whipped off their caps." Overhead Tinker Bell shouted "Silly ass!" and darted into hiding. and Tink noted it. He had a bow and arrow with him. `Pretty mother. Slightly was the first to speak.

" he said hotly. and another said." 43 He thought of hopping off in a comic sort of way till he was out of sight of her." Peter said. `Poor Tootles." "Ah me!" once voice said. dastard hand.'" he whispered. boys. He overlooked it in his haste to tell the glorious tidings." he cried." he said firmly. Again came that ringing crow. "Back. "I am back. and then never going near the spot any more. They would all have been glad to follow if he had done this." and when the others would still have hidden her he said. Peter. "Oh. save Nibs. "Great news. twins. and he raised the arrow to use it as a dagger. He took it from her heart and faced his band. but the cheers would not come. But there was the arrow. "I cannot strike. "Oh. for it was always thus that he signalled his return. Tootles did not flinch. and let him see. "Mine. "Greetings. Wendy had raised her arm. and gathered hastily around Wendy." he cried. and then again was silence. "why do you not cheer?" They opened their mouths. He frowned." So they all stood back. "Have you not seen her?" asked Peter." he said with awe. and Peter dropped in front of them. becoming troubled. mournful day. "It is she. and after he had looked for a little time he did not know what to do next." said Tootles on his knees. "She flew this way. "Peter. "strike true. Peter. and twice did his hand fall." Tootles rose. see. "I will show her to you. . who fortunately looked at Wendy. "Perhaps she is frightened at being dead. her arm!" Wonderful to relate [tell].Chapter 6 "Peter!" they cried. boys. let Peter see." he cried. "there is something stays my hand." he said quietly. "Hide her. "I think she said. "the Wendy lady. But Tootles stood aloof. Nibs bent over her and listened reverently." they whispered. "Whose arrow?" he demanded sternly." All looked at him in wonder." Twice did Peter raise the arrow." he said uncomfortably. "Strike. and mechanically they saluted. "She is dead. except a little thud from Tootles as he dropped on his knees." Still no sound. "I have brought at last a mother for you all. He bared his breast.

Chapter 6 "She lives." "Ay. there is." Slightly admitted. "See. but from overhead came a wailing note." Tootles said. "Listen. But what to do with Wendy in her present delicate state of health? "Let us carry her down into the house. "she is crying because the Wendy lives." said Curly. woke up. up for firewood. "I am your friend no more. You remember she had put it on a chain that she wore round her neck. "Ay." Peter said. no. Gut our house. and mother?" And then John would rub his eyes and mutter. "Quick." he said. It would not be sufficiently respectful. never wanted to pinch her so much. and almost never had they seen him look so stern. John." Do you think Tinker Bell was grateful to Wendy for raising her arm? Oh dear no." he cried." Curly suggested." They were all delighted. who should appear but John and Michael. but for a whole week. Not until Wendy again raised her arm did he relent sufficiently to say. that's a kiss." She flew on to his shoulder and pleaded. often cuffed [slapped] them. As they dragged along the ground they fell asleep standing. we did fly. "Listen to Tink." "I remember kisses. being still in a frightful faint. moved another step and slept again. stopped. "wake up! Where is Nana." In a moment they were as busy as tailors the night before a wedding." cried Peter." said Slightly. but he brushed her off. Slightly cried instantly." "Yes. Tinker Bell." "That. "the arrow struck against this. so that he could show her the mermaids. John. "she will die. Ay. "is what I was thinking. "that is what one does with ladies. she will die." 44 Then Peter knelt beside her and found his button. and Peter. "bring me each of you the best of what we have." he ordered them. "The Wendy lady lives." . who understood them best." "But if she lies there. "John. down for bedding." said Slightly. "Let us build a little house round her. Fairies indeed are strange." "No." Peter did not hear him. Of course she could not answer yet. He was begging Wendy to get better quickly. "you must not touch her. and while they were at it." Slightly interposed quickly. It is the kiss I gave her. "let me see it. not for ever. "Well. "It is true." Then they had to tell Peter of Tink's crime. Begone from me for ever." Peter said briefly. Be sharp." Michael would cry. They skurried this way and that. It has saved her life. "but there is no way out.

"Is Wendy asleep?" they asked." ." "You? Wendy's servants!" "Yes. "Hullo. This sometimes troubled them. "see that these boys help in the building of the house. "Hullo. "is why we are her servants." explained Curly. ay." Peter explained. He was very busy at the moment measuring Wendy with his feet to see how large a house she would need. "For the Wendy." said Slightly. "Yes. wearing John's hat and looking solemn. "For Wendy?" John said. "Slightly." Michael proposed. sir." "Build a house?" exclaimed John." Peter ordered. "Yes." Peter thought of everything. "are you a doctor?" The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe. "Then we shall build a house round them." but as he said it some of the other boys rushed on carrying branches for the building of the house. "Why. "Please. scratching his head. "fetch a doctor." said Curly. "Look at them!" he cried." "Ay. and he returned in a moment. it all comes back to me." said Peter. as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners. If they broke down in their make-believe he rapped them on the knuckles. going to him." 45 The astounded brothers were dragged away to hack and hew and carry." said Peter." they said. and disappeared. while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. "a lady lies very ill. ay." replied Peter amicably. "Please. "and you also." "John. Peter. Away with them. But he knew Peter must be obeyed." Slightly anxiously replied." said Slightly at once." said Peter in his most captainy voice. John and Michael watched him." "Ay. "Chairs and a fender [fireplace] first. though he had quite forgotten them. my little man. sir. who had chapped knuckles. "that is how a house is built. "Curly.Chapter 6 You may be sure they were very relieved to find Peter. Of course he meant to leave room for chairs and a table." "Ay. sir. aghast. "let us wake her and get her to make supper for us. she is only a girl!" "That." he cried.

" With a blow of their fists they made windows. "the kind of house she likes best. you know. So tell us. really next I think I'll have Gay windows all about." 46 "I will put a glass thing in her mouth. and all the ground was carpeted with moss. "Tut." cried a third. but after he had returned the hat to John he blew big breaths. tut. without opening her eyes. "where does she lie?" "In yonder glade. "How is she?" inquired Peter.? "Roses. What are you wanting more?" To this she answered greedily: "Oh. and he made-believe to do it." said one. In the meantime the wood had been alive with the sound of axes." "Peter. almost everything needed for a cosy dwelling already lay at Wendy's feet. "I will call again in the evening. 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." "I am glad!" Peter cried. But roses -. Wendy began to sing: "I wish I had a pretty house. lovely!" "Perhaps she is going to sing in her sleep. for by the greatest good luck the branches they had brought were sticky with red sap. looking respectfully into it. And babies peeping out. tut. With roses peeping in." cried Peter sternly." Immediately. . Quickly they made-believe to grow the loveliest roses up the walls. tut. mother Wendy." "Her mouth opens. It was an anxious moment when the glass thing was withdrawn." he said." said Peter. while Peter waited. With funny little red walls And roof of mossy green. "Oh." They gurgled with joy at this. which was his habit on escaping from a difficulty. "Wendy. sing the kind of house you would like to have.Chapter 6 She was lying at their feet." said Slightly." Slightly said. "Tut. but Slightly had the sense not to see her." shouted another. "she is moving in her sleep. "If only we knew." said Slightly. "give her beef tea out of a cup with a spout to it". and large yellow leaves were the blinds. "this has cured her. The littlest ever seen. tut.

They were very ashamed. 'cos we've been made before. what would she be like? The door opened and a lady came out. and this was just how they had hoped she would look." "Oh. all shining. smoke immediately began to come out of the hat. Of course Slightly was the first to get his word in. Peter strode up and down. Nothing escaped his eagle eyes. and no doubt Wendy was very cosy within. "And we are your children.Chapter 6 Babies? To prevent Peter ordering babies they hurried into song again: "We've made the roses peeping out. "first impressions are awfully important. seeing this to be a good idea. The babes are at the door. This gave Peter an idea." he said rapidly." cried the twins. I . It was Wendy. Then all went on their knees. and holding out their arms cried. "Wendy lady. would any one answer the knock? If a lady. you know. He snatched the hat off John's head. "Lovely." Wendy said. "All look your best." cried Nibs. "There's no chimney. say you're pleased. Nothing remained to do but to knock." He was glad no one asked him what first impressions are. darling house. The house was quite beautiful. but Tootles gave the sole of his shoe. They all whipped off their hats. "Of course it's frightfully fascinating. "for you we built this house. We cannot make ourselves. and it made an excellent knocker. He knocked politely. as if to say thank you. they could no longer see her." "It certainly does need a chimney. who was watching from a branch and openly sneering. ordering finishing touches." said John importantly." he said. though." Peter warned them. "Where am I?" she said. knocked out the bottom [top]. and now the wood was as still as the children. Just when it seemed absolutely finished: "There's no knocker on the door. not a sound to be heard except from Tinker Bell. She looked properly surprised. be our mother. of course." 47 Peter. Now really and truly it was finished. Not of bit of it. "we must have a chimney. they were all too busy looking their best. Absolutely finished now. but you see I am only a little girl. "O Wendy lady. they thought. and they were the very words they had hoped she would say. What the boys were wondering was." Peter said." "Ought I?" Wendy said. The little house was so pleased to have such a capital chimney that. and put the hat on the roof. at once pretended that it was his own.

as soon as they cleared away. for unless your tree fitted you it was difficult to go up and down. keeps a whole family in perfect condition. I don't know how there was room for them. you remember. as by your wearing too many garments or too few. I feel that is exactly what I am. and the chimney smoking beautifully." In they went. great care must be taken to go on fitting. and then they put a door on top of it." "It is. and in this floor grew stout mushrooms of a charming colour. The little house looked so cosy and safe in the darkness. and Peter standing on guard." "Oh dear!" Wendy said." said Peter. you naughty children. especially Wendy. Chapter 7 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. 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. and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. but every morning they sawed the trunk through. A Never tree tried hard to grow in the centre of the room. By and by she tucked them up in the great bed in the home under the trees. the whole thus becoming a table. and this. which were used as stools. And that was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy. for the pirates could be heard carousing far away and the wolves were on the prowl. and Peter kept watch outside with drawn sword. but this was ignorance. Hook. when you have mastered the action you are able to do these things without thinking of them. and down you went at exactly the right speed." 48 "That doesn't matter. as Wendy was to discover to her delight. Peter does some things to you. Usually it is done quite easily. Come inside at once. while you have to be made to fit the tree. "you see. while to ascend you drew in and let out alternately. and across this . had sneered at the boys for thinking they needed a tree apiece. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed.Chapter 7 have no real experience. and no two of the boys were quite the same size. It consisted of one large room. level with the floor. I am sure your feet are damp. "we saw it at once. but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on." "Very well. "I will do my best. but she herself slept that night in the little house. and thus there was more room to play. But you simply must fit. with a floor in which you could dig [for worms] if you wanted to go fishing. but if you are bumpy in awkward places or the only available tree is an odd shape. you drew in [let out] your breath at the top. and so wriggled up. but you can squeeze very tight in the Neverland. it is. but John had to be altered a little. though he was really the one who knew least." she said. Wendy and Michael fitted their trees at the first try. By tea-time it was always about two feet high." they all cried. and after that you fit. And before I put you to bed I have just time to finish the story of Cinderella. Once you fitted. they sawed off the trunk again. and nothing can be more graceful. Once you fit. as all houses should do. Of course. There was an enourmous fireplace which was in almost any part of the room where you cared to light it. with a bright light showing through its blinds. After a time he fell asleep. And how ardently they grew to love their home under the ground. After a few days' practice they could go up and down as gaily as buckets in a well. "What we need is just a nice motherly person. as if he were the only person present who knew all about it.

but of course she lit the residence herself. could have had a more exquisite boudoir [dressing room] and bed-chamber combined. however large. I suppose it was all especially entrancing to Wendy. Of course it was trying. lying like sardines in a tin. writing and thinking hard about the questions she . The other boys thought this awfully interesting. and putting double pieces on the knees. and even if there was nothing in it. when it filled nearly half the room. No woman. and there are ever so many more of them than on the mainland. though beautiful.blossom was in season. she was never above ground. she was absolutely confident that they would always keep the window open for her to fly back by. When she sat down to a basketful of their stockings. The couch. The cooking. As time wore on did she think much about the beloved parents she had left behind her? This is a difficult question. Tink was very contemptuous of the rest of the house. where it is calculated by moons and suns. from which she suspended her washing. It was rough and simple. and her chamber. These things scared her a little. There was a strict rule against turning round until one gave the signal. Her mirror was a Puss-in-Boots. and he was the littlest. every heel with a hole in it. What did disturb her at times was that John remembered his parents vaguely only. unchipped. even if there was no pot. and sat round the table. looked rather conceited. no larger than a bird-cage. except Michael. as like as possible to the ones she used to do at school. she had to keep watching that it came aboil just the same. as people he had once known. while Michael was quite willing to believe that she was really his mother. but Wendy would have [desired] a baby. for they were all most frightfully hard on their knees. and not unlike what baby bears would have made of an underground house in the same circumstances. I can tell you. Well. You never exactly knew whether there would be a real meal or just a make-believe. always kept drawn when dressing or undressing. But there was one recess in the wall. After that it followed her about everywhere. kept her nose to the pot. and if you could prove to him that you were getting loose for your tree he let you stodge. because it is quite impossible to say how time does wear on in the Neverland. because those rampagious boys of hers gave her so much to do. and nobly anxious to do her duty.Chapter 7 49 Wendy stretched strings. made of fibre. It could be shut off from the rest of the house by a tiny curtain. Then. she had a breathing time for herself. There was a chandelier from Tiddlywinks for the look of the thing. Really there were whole weeks when. "Oh dear. and they just ran into each other's arms. But I am afraid that Wendy did not really worry about her father and mother. and she occupied it in making new things for them. who was most fastidious [particular]. having the appearance of a nose permanently turned up. the chest of drawers an authentic Charming the Sixth. and you know what women are. but you simply had to follow his lead. as she expressed it. it all depended upon Peter's whim: he could eat. which is what most children like better than anything else. except perhaps with a stocking in the evening. which was the private apartment of Tinker Bell. You remember about her pet wolf. but he could not stodge [cram down the food] just to feel stodgy [stuffed with food]. the washstand was Pie-crust and reversible. was a genuine Queen Mab. and she varied the bedspreads according to what fruit. with club legs. and this gave her complete ease of mind. and let down at 6:30. and all the boys slept in it. she tried to fix the old life in their minds by setting them examination papers on it. and the carpet and rugs the best (the early) period of Margery and Robin. as she always called it. if it was part of a game. known to fairy dealers. and insisted on joining. when all turned at once. Wendy's favourite time for sewing and darning was after they had all gone to bed. which Tink. I am sure I sometimes think spinsters are to be envied!" Her face beamed when she exclaimed this. as indeed was perhaps inevitable. the next best thing being to talk about it. and they made slates for themselves. and the short and long of it is that he was hung up in a basket. it very soon discovered that she had come to the island and it found her out. of which there are now only three. really eat. Michael should have used it also. The bed was tilted against the wall by day. Make-believe was so real to him that during a meal of it you could see him getting rounder. she would fling up her arms and exclaim.

Of course the only boy who replied to every question was Slightly. Latin. For several suns these were the most novel of all adventures to him. and John and Michael had to pretend to be delighted also. not the smallest word. were of daily occurrence. what are you.Chapter 7 50 had written on another slate and passed round. in doing the sort of thing John and Michael had been doing all their lives. It consisted in pretending not to have adventures. and so on. and it was really dreadful what a number of crosses even John made. you know. By the way. pushing each other. The extraordinary upshot of this adventure was -. until he suddenly had no more interest in it. and when he came back you were never absolutely certain whether he had had an adventure or not. going out for walks and coming back without having killed so much as a grizzly. which was that in the middle of a fight he would suddenly change sides. and then Wendy cooed over him and bathed it in lukewarm water. was what always happened with his games. otherwise he would have treated them severely. sitting on stools flinging balls in the air. Adventures. sometimes leaning this way and sometimes that. of course. what are you Twin?" and so on. as we shall see. what are you. to sit still seemed to him such a comic thing to do. Perhaps a better one would be the night attack by the redskins on the house under the ground. Should we take the brush with the redskins at Slightly Gulch? It was a sanguinary [cheerful] affair. the questions were all written in the past tense. He might have forgotten it so completely that he said nothing about it. he called out. and they were all redskins. and there were still more that were at least partly true. The difficulty is which one to choose. and when you could not answer them you were told to make a cross. "Redskin. and so at it they all went again. Or we might tell how Peter saved Tiger Lily's life in the Mermaids' Lagoon. which. Peter did not compete. however. and how they placed it in one cunning spot after another. He often went out alone. had been forgetting. At the Gulch. He was above all that sort of thing. "I'm redskin to-day. Nibs?" and Nibs said. on the other hand. many adventures which she knew to be true because she was in them herself. when several of them stuck in the hollow trees and had to be pulled out like corks. and especially interesting as showing one of Peter's peculiarities." Or "(1) Describe Mother's laugh. with Wendy's help. and so made her his ally. Or we could tell of that cake the pirates cooked so that the boys might eat it and perish. agreed to be lost boys for that once. He boasted that he had gone walking for the good of his health. They were the most ordinary questions -. To see Peter doing nothing on a stool was a great sight. but about this time Peter invented. as you have been told. but his answers were perfectly ridiculous. too. "Redskin. and the most we can do is to give one as a specimen of an average hour on the island. and. when victory was still in the balance. and for another he was the only boy on the island who could neither write nor spell.English Dictionary. or The Characters of Father and Mother compared. For one thing he despised all mothers except Wendy. more fiercely than ever. and no one could have been more hopeful of coming out first. What was the colour of Mother's eyes. while he told a dazzling tale. so that in . and he really came out last: a melancholy thing. a new game that fascinated him enormously. but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children. (2) Describe Father's laugh."What was the colour of Mother's eyes? Which was taller. Wendy. Only one of these to be attempted." They were just everyday questions like these. he might say a great deal about it. for the other boys were in them and said they were wholly true. and of course this would have ended the fight had not the real redskins fascinated by Peter's methods. and then when you went out you found the body. To describe them all would require a book as large as an English-Latin. (4) Describe the Kennel and its Inmate. But she was never quite sure. (3) Describe Mother's Party Dress." "(A) Write an essay of not less than 40 words on How I spent my last Holidays.but we have not decided yet that this is the adventure we are to narrate. and yet you could not find the body. Sometimes he came home with his head bandaged. he could not help looking solemn at such times. you see. Father or Mother? Was Mother blonde or brunette? Answer all three questions if possible. Tootles?" And Tootles answered. There were.

to have the sleeping Wendy conveyed on a great floating leaf to the mainland.Chapter 8 time it lost its succulence. 51 Or suppose we tell of the birds that were Peter's friends. Fortunately the leaf gave way and Wendy woke. The goals are at each end of the rainbow. and trying to keep them in the rainbow till they burst. I have tossed. when they utter strange wailing cries. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland. however. than because she had strict rules about every one being in bed by seven. Chapter 8 THE MERMAIDS' LAGOON If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one. Wendy had never seen the lagoon by moonlight. the pool begins to take shape. hitting them gaily from one to another with their tails. not one of them dared to accept his challenge. combing out their hair in a lazy way that quite irritated her. where they loved to bask. When she stole softly to the edge of the lagoon she might see them by the score. Or again. But just before they go on fire you see the lagoon. and still the bird sat on her eggs. when he drew a circle round him on the ground with an arrow and dared them to cross it. or she might even swim. but intentionally. He gave Wendy one of their combs. Of course I could do it again. to within a yard of them. and it is quite a pretty sight. on tiptoe as it were. perhaps fairest to stick to the lagoon. and so forth. and though he waited for hours. and how the nest fell into the water. and swam back. probably splashing her with their tails. when the mermaids come up in extraordinary numbers to play with their bubbles. and until the evening of which we have now to tell. with the help of some street fairies. playing the mermaid games in the water. we might choose Peter's defiance of the lions. which would of course be telling two adventures rather than just one. and the keepers only are allowed to use their hands. particularly of the Never bird that built in a tree overhanging the lagoon. The most haunting time at which to see them is at the turn of the moon. A shorter adventure. but then they saw her and dived. then if you squeeze your eyes tighter. you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness. who chatted with them on Marooners' Rock by the hour. Which of these adventures shall we choose? The best way will be to toss for it. Sometimes a dozen of these games will be going on in the lagoon at a time. with the other boys and Wendy looking on breathlessly from trees. less from fear. and the lagoon has won. and Hook fell over it in the dark. 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. and make it best out of three. The bubbles of many colours made in rainbow water they treat as balls. and Peter gave orders that she was not to be disturbed. You must not think from this that the mermaids were on friendly terms with them: on the contrary. and quite as exciting. and the end shows how grateful a bird can be. swimming or floating most of the time. especially on Marooners' Rock. The children often spent long summer days on this lagoon. except of course Peter. and was used as a missile. however. but the lagoon is dangerous for mortals then. but if we tell it we must also tell the whole adventure of the lagoon. and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire. was Tinker Bell's attempt. and sat on their tails when they got cheeky. This almost makes one wish that the gulch or the cake or Tink's leaf had won. on sunny days after rain. . not by accident. She was often at the lagoon. and became as hard as a stone. thinking it was bath-time. for of course Peter would have accompanied her. if there could be two moments you might see the surf and hear the mermaids singing. They treated all the boys in the same way. That is a pretty story. just one heavenly moment.

one hand to his ear. but because it was no longer good for them to sleep on a rock grown chilly. and when she looked up. She was very busy. worse than that. Little shivers ran over it. an end to one of her race more terrible than death by fire or torture. "Pirates!" he cried. it is enough. and she longed to hear male voices. The rock was not much larger than their great bed. Smee and Starkey. and were not above taking an idea from them. Peter sprang erect. What was it? There crowded upon her all the stories she had been told of Marooners' Rock. and the mermaids adopted it. It must also have been rather pretty to see the children resting on a rock for half an hour after their mid-day meal. and they were all on Marooners' Rock. and with one warning cry he roused the others. The boat drew nearer. No. 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. While that smile was on his face no one dared address him. the lagoon that had always hitherto been such a laughing place seemed formidable and unfriendly. and their bodies glistened in it. Even when she heard the sound of muffled oars. They had caught her boarding the pirate ship with a knife in her mouth. it . It was the pirate dinghy. all they could do was to stand ready to obey. Wendy insisted on their doing this. So. though her heart was in her mouth. Marooners' Rock stood alone in the forbidding waters as if it were itself marooned. and pinching occasionally when they thought Wendy was not looking. as wide awake at once as a dog. for the mermaids immediately disappeared. It was one such day. she would not waken them. The order came sharp and incisive. she must die as a chief's daughter. for then it is submerged. she thought you simply must stick to your rule about half an hour after the mid-day meal. but of course they all knew how not to take up much room. and the third a captive. with three figures in her. she was the daughter of a chief. So they lay there in the sun. that night had come. she did not waken them.Chapter 8 52 But the moment the children tried to join in they had to play by themselves. They drown when the tide rises. It was not. Her hands and ankles were tied. but it had sent that shiver through the sea to say that it was coming. with the head instead of the hand. but something as dark as night had come. 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 instantly the lagoon seemed deserted. A strange smile was playing about his face. and they were dozing. and the sun went away and shadows stole across the water. not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them. But she was a young mother and she did not know this. Wendy could no longer see to thread her needle. She was to be left on the rock to perish. turning it cold. though fear was upon her. This is the one mark that John has left on the Neverland. and she knew what was to be her fate. she knew. He stood motionless. While she stitched a change came to the lagoon. Of course she should have roused the children at once. and it had to be a real rest even though the meal was make-believe. Nevertheless we have proof that they secretly watched the interlopers. for John introduced a new way of hitting the bubble. while she sat beside them and looked important. No watch was kept on the ship. "Dive!" There was a gleam of legs. or at least lying with their eyes shut. no other than Tiger Lily. The others came closer to him. and Wendy saw it and shuddered. It had not come. stitching. so called because evil captains put sailors on it and leave them there to drown. She stood over them to let them have their sleep out.

"Free!" "Yes. "The captain!" said the pirates. Quite near the rock. then. d'ye hear. . but he had forgotten them all. Peter's and Wendy's. ay. but he was never one to choose the easy way." came the astonishing answer. and this time it was not Peter who had spoken. Wendy was crying. and he now imitated the voice of Hook. she was too proud to offer a vain resistance. Now." "This is queer!" Smee gasped. and he cut Tiger Lily's cords. so at once her hand went out to cover his mouth." Smee said." Starkey said. and he meant to save her. but his face puckered in a whistle of surprise instead. But it was stayed even in the act. "Luff. captain -. "Better do what the captain orders." cried Peter. you lubber." "At once. Peter may have been about to crow. but out of sight. cut her bonds and let her go. Peter had seen many tragedies. He was less sorry than Wendy for Tiger Lily: it was two against one that angered him. In the gloom that they brought with them the two pirates did not see the rock till they crashed into it. "Boat ahoy!" again came the voice. It was a marvellous imitation. "We are putting the redskin on the rock. An easy way would have been to wait until the pirates had gone.Chapter 8 53 being Hook's boast that the wind of his name guarded the ship for a mile around. There was almost nothing he could not do. "Ahoy there. what we have to do is to hoist the redskin on to it and leave her here to drown. At once like an eel she slid between Starkey's legs into the water. when they had looked for him in vain. "here's the rock. you lubbers!" he called. One more wail would go the round in that wind by night. but she knew that he would be elated also and very likely crow and thus betray himself. Of course Wendy was very elated over Peter's cleverness." cried an Irish voice that was Smee's." Smee called out." "But. "or I'll plunge my hook in you. for it was the first tragedy she had seen. staring at each other in surprise. for "Boat ahoy!" rang over the lagoon in Hook's voice. "Ay. "Set her free. Now her fate would help to guard it also. two heads were bobbing up and down." It was the work of one brutal moment to land the beautiful girl on the rock. "He must be swimming out to us." said Starkey nervously.

"And yet a third time he sighs. but he answered with a hollow moan. oh. "that is the fear that haunts me. Peter pulled her beneath the water." He was roused from this dejection by Smee's eager voice. raising the lantern over the waters. 54 He was swimming to the boat." said Smee." said Hook in answer to Smee's question. "See. Smee. crying. she was really glad for the sake of his reputation that no one heard him except herself. she would have liked to swim away. In the light of the lantern Wendy saw his hook grip the boat's side. Wendy swelled with pride. for Hook had started up. . "those boys have found a mother. "that is a mother. as if for a moment he recalled innocent days when -. "Ay. and the Never bird was sitting on it." he said. Then at last he spoke passionately. and as his men showed a light to guide him he had soon reached them. The real Hook was also in the water. and. "The game's up. He was tingling with life and also top-heavy with conceit." said Starkey. The two pirates were very curious to know what had brought their captain to them." said Smee. "He doesn't know!" and always after this she felt that if you could have a pet pirate Smee would be her one." he cried. He signed to her to listen. but the more suspicious Starkey said.but he brushed away this weakness with his hook. "What was that?" "I heard nothing. I am a wonder!" he whispered to her. she saw his evil swarthy face as he rose dripping from the water. "He sighs.Chapter 8 Now Wendy understood. and as the pirates looked they saw a strange sight. perhaps she is hanging about here to help Peter. is all well?" they asked timidly. but would the mother desert her eggs? No. quaking. floating on the lagoon." said Starkey." There was a break in his voice. much impressed. "O evil day!" cried Starkey. but he sat with his head on his hook in a position of profound melancholy. Wendy was so shocked that she exclaimed. What a lesson! The nest must have fallen into the water. "Am I not a wonder. "If she is a mother. "What's a mother?" asked the ignorant Smee. and though she thought so also. gazed at the bird as the nest was borne past. "He sighs again." Hook winced. but Peter would not budge. It was the nest I have told you of. "Captain." Affrighted though she was.

and at once it took practical shape in his great brain." said Starkey. "Lads. even at the gills." . Hook raised his voice. "Never!" she cried. By this time they were on the rock." he cried. and they thought this was one of the moments. "Who are you." "Let her go!" cried Hook. and bobbed. "Spirit that haunts this dark lagoon to-night." They all swore. and they all fidgeted uncomfortably. captain." Smee answered complacently. bobs. He had a playful humour at moments." replied the voice. "Do you agree." In that supreme moment Hook did not blanch. "There is my hand on it. but he saw that they believed their words. He immediately answered in Hook's voice: "Odds. Again Wendy forgot herself." cried Hook. shaking a little. "captain of the JOLLY ROGER. hammer and tongs." he said." thundered Hook. "That is all right." the bo'sun faltered. "I am James Hook. "could we not kidnap these boys' mother and make her our mother?" 55 "It is a princely scheme. "Brimstone and gall. "What was that?" But they could see nothing." said Smee. but of course he did not. "And there is my hook. I hear you. and suddenly Hook remembered Tiger Lily. stranger? Speak!" Hook demanded. Swear. They thought it must have been a leaf in the wind." they both said. and Wendy shall be our mother. "we let her go. "I gave no such order. "You called over the water to us to let her go. but there was a quiver in it." "It is passing queer. "'Twas your own orders. my bullies?" asked Hook." Smee said. but Smee and Starkey clung to each other in terror. "Where is the redskin?" he demanded abruptly. "dost hear me?" Of course Peter should have kept quiet. and he was startled. "what cozening [cheating] is going on here!" His face had gone black with rage.Chapter 8 "Captain. "We will seize the children and carry them to the boat: the boys we will make walk the plank.

" he whispered hoarsely to it." replied the voice. and it sometimes gave him intuitions. and I'll cast anchor in you. "It is lowering to our pride. who am I?" "A codfish. "Have we been captained all this time by a codfish!" they muttered." They were his dogs snapping at him. "Boy?" "Yes." he called." Hook cried hoarsely. Against such fearful evidence it was not their belief in him that he needed. "have you another voice?" Now Peter could never resist a game." "Ordinary boy?" "No!" . "only a codfish." "A codfish!" Hook echoed blankly. "If you are Hook. tragic figure though he had become. but." "And another name?" "Ay. "No. "say that again. He felt his ego slipping from him. In his dark nature there was a touch of the feminine. and it was then. and he answered blithely in his own voice. you are not." 56 Hook tried a more ingratiating manner." he said almost humbly. "come tell me." "Vegetable?" asked Hook. but not till then. it was his own." the voice retorted. bully." "Man?" "No!" This answer rang out scornfully. that his proud spirit broke. "Don't desert me. ay." "Mineral?" "No. He saw his men draw back from him. he scarcely heeded them. Suddenly he tried the guessing game." "Animal?" "Yes. "Brimstone and gall. as in all the great pirates. "Hook. "I have.Chapter 8 "You are not.

The dinghy drifted away.Chapter 8 "Wonderful boy?" To Wendy's pain the answer that rang out this time was "Yes. ay. and Smee and Starkey were his faithful henchmen. wiping his damp brow. from which they fled like affrighted fishes. In the confusion some struck at their own side. in which the cutlass was torn from the pirate's grasp. 57 "Now we have him." Hook shouted. "You ask him some questions. yes. "Yes." he said to the others. and there was a flash of steel followed by a cry or a whoop." Hook was completely puzzled. "Then lam into the pirates. . His iron claw made a circle of dead water round him." they answered eagerly. The corkscrew of Smee got Tootles in the fourth rib." Pan! In a moment Hook was himself again. There was fierce struggle." "Are you here?" "Yes. Starkey. "I can't think of a thing. and the miscreants [villains] saw their chance. "Well. "Into the water. The others were all brave boys. Here and there a head bobbed up in the water. "Can't guess. Smee reflected. and they must not be blamed for backing from the pirate captain. but he was himself pinked [nicked] in turn by Curly. Where all this time was Peter? He was seeking bigger game. and simultaneously came the gay voice of Peter. First to draw blood was John." he said regretfully. "I am Peter Pan." from various parts of the lagoon. boys?" "Ay. Farther from the rock Starkey was pressing Slightly and the twins hard. mind the boat." The fight was short and sharp. "Are you ready. who gallantly climbed into the boat and held Starkey." "Are you in England?" "No. "Do you give it up?" Of course in his pride he was carrying the game too far. He wriggled overboard and John leapt after him. then." he cried. Smee. can't guess!" crowed Peter. Take him dead or alive!" He leaped as he spoke.

After you have been unfair to him he will love you again. "They must be swimming back or flying. he had one feeling only. Had it been so with Peter at that moment I would admit it. boylike. He often met it. Strangely. feeling her slip from him.Chapter 8 But there was one who did not fear him: there was one prepared to enter that circle. because they had such faith in Peter. and he could just stare. Even as he also fainted he saw that the water was rising. and were scouring the lagoon for them. and was just in time to draw her back. "We must go. So when he met it now it was like the first time. But Peter had no sinking. "Help. it was not in the water that they met. their faces were almost touching. the girl had fainted and lay on the boy's arm. Neither knew that the other was coming. Quick as thought he snatched a knife from Hook's belt and was about to drive it home. and began pulling her softly into the water. but now they were uneasy. Peter. He could only stare. They found the dinghy and went home in it. but he could do no more. Wendy" as they went." She did not understand even now. Each feeling for a grip met the other's arm: in surprise they raised their heads. because they would be late for bed. almost brightly. The rock was slippery as a ball. It was then that Hook bit him. Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. But he had to tell her the truth. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. but no answer came save mocking laughter from the mermaids. for the crocodile was in dogged pursuit of him. and then a feeble cry. It made him quite helpless. no elation on the pestilent face now." she said. and it was all mother Wendy's fault! When their voices died away there came cold silence over the lagoon. only white fear. but will never afterwards be quite the same boy. help!" Two small figures were beating against the rock. and they had to crawl rather than climb. and at the same moment Peter scaled it on the opposite side. He knew that they would soon be drowned. "but it is growing smaller. "We are on the rock. Wendy. helpless. but he always forgot it. gladness." the boys concluded. for they had lost both Peter and Wendy. woke with a start." he said. He gave the pirate a hand to help him up. and he gnashed his pretty teeth with joy. so they met. With a last effort Peter pulled her up the rock and then lay down beside her. It would not have been fighting fair. no one except Peter. calling them by name. They chuckled. 58 Some of the greatest heroes have confessed that just before they fell to [began combat] they had a sinking [feeling in the stomach]. when he saw that he was higher up the rock that his foe. Soon the water will be over it. They were not very anxious. . On ordinary occasions the boys would have swum alongside cheering. I suppose that was the real difference between him and all the rest. As they lay side by side a mermaid caught Wendy by the feet. All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours is fairness. horrified. he was the only man that the Sea-Cook had feared. shouting "Peter. Hook rose to the rock to breathe. A few moments afterwards the other boys saw Hook in the water striking wildly for the ship. After all. No one ever gets over the first unfairness. Twice the iron hand clawed him.

They thought they would soon be no more." Wendy said bravely." Peter said without interest. Peter was alone on the lagoon. Wendy. and in a few minutes she was borne out of his sight. She clung to him. and was pulling the kite toward him. Wendy. "Shall we swim or fly. and Peter felt just the one." "Let us draw lots. "Can I be of any use?" It was the tail of a kite. It was saying." ." he pushed her from the rock. she refused to go without him. "Do you think you could swim or fly as far as the island. Hook wounded me. but he was afraid at last. "why should it not carry you?" "Both of us!" "It can't lift two." Already he had tied the tail round her. Peter was not quite like other boys. never." he answered faintly. but on the sea one shudder follows another till there are hundreds of them. Next moment he was standing erect on the rock again. Pale rays of light tiptoed across the waters. A tremour ran through him. as if saying timidly. but with a "Good-bye. He moaned. "Michael's kite. Michael and Curly tried. Wendy. with that smile on his face and a drum beating within him. 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. soon it would be submerged." "Do you mean we shall both be drowned?" "Look how the water is rising. "What is it?" she asked. and stayed there. "I can't help you. which Michael had made some days before. I can neither fly nor swim. As they sat thus something brushed against Peter as light as a kiss.Chapter 8 "Yes. The rock was very small now. It had torn itself out of his hand and floated away. like a shudder passing over the sea. without my help?" She had to admit that she was too tired. but next moment he had seized the tail. Peter?" He had to tell her." 59 They put their hands over their eyes to shut out the sight. "It lifted Michael off the ground." he cried. anxious about him at once. "To die will be an awfully big adventure. "And you a lady.

She called out to him what she had come for. and sometimes winning." the bird said. to give him her nest.can -.want -.am -.must -.into -. He thought it was a piece of floating paper.swim -. Peter. Then Peter tried slow and distinct.get -. and say that Peter replied intelligently to the Never bird.nest." she screamed. but by the time Peter recognised her she was very exhausted." the bird called. and to pass the time until they made their final gulp. "I -.it -. and at a venture he retorted hotly: "So are you!" Then rather curiously they both snapped out the same remark: .quacking -.then -. By working her wings. always sympathetic to the weaker side. but they forgot their manners. "You dunderheaded little jay. she was able to some extent to guide her strange craft. it was the Never bird. Darling and the rest of them. it was such a gallant piece of paper.you -. perhaps part of the kite.nearer -. in a way she had learned since the nest fell into the water.. and he called out to her what she was doing there. Steadily the waters rose till they were nibbling at his feet. making desperate efforts to reach Peter on the nest. and he heard the bells. Well. and when it won. and repeated it all over.you -. He was too far away to hear their doors shut.you -.you -. not only could they not understand each other. 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). and wondered idly how long it would take to drift ashore.to -.it.bring -. "What -. and I wish for the moment I could pretend that this were such a story.the -.to -.about?" and so on.drift -. She had come to save him. though there were eggs in it. I can suppose only that.to -. speaking as slowly and distinctly as possible.ashore. but truth is best. like Mrs.tired -. they have very short tempers. Presently he noticed as an odd thing that it was undoubtedly out upon the lagoon with some definite purpose. he watched the only thing on the lagoon. "Why don't you let the nest drift as usual?" "I -.so -you -. I rather wonder at the bird. but of course neither of them understood the other's language. but -.to -. and I want to tell you only what really happened. for it was fighting the tide. he had also sometimes tormented her." "What are you quacking about?" Peter answered. "and -.Chapter 9 60 Chapter 9 THE NEVER BIRD The last sound Peter heard before he was quite alone were the mermaids retiring one by one to their bedchambers under the sea.too . she was melted because he had all his first teeth.try -. for though he had been nice to her.are -. "Why don't you do as I tell you?" Peter felt that she was calling him names.any -.want -. The Never bird became irritated.I -. In fanciful stories people can talk to the birds freely. It was not really a piece of paper. could not help clapping.

that she hung there in the sky. The children had discovered the glittering hoard. Every boy had adventures to tell. so as to make her meaning clear. At the same moment the bird fluttered down upon the hat and once more sat snugly on her eggs. with a broad brim on which the youngsters take an airing. and gave out bandages to every one. though glorying in having them all home again safe and sound. As we shall not see her again. Then at last he understood. Of course when Peter landed he beached his barque [small ship. Chapter 10 THE HAPPY HOME One important result of the brush [with the pirates] on the lagoon was that it made the redskins their friends. such as demanding bandages. Next day. and when in a mischievous mood used to fling showers of moidores. The bird covered her face with her wings. 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 looking almost as if they wanted tit-bits to eat.Chapter 10 "Shut up!" "Shut up!" 61 Nevertheless the bird was determined to save him if she could. and now there was nothing she and her braves would not do for him. It floated beautifully. pearls and pieces of eight to the gulls. and cried. she was awfully tender. All night they sat above. There were two large white eggs. Great were the rejoicings when Peter reached the home under the ground almost as soon as Wendy. The Never bird saw at once what he was up to. however. and Peter lifted them up and reflected. so as not to see the last of them. with a broad brim. Then he got into the nest. The stave was still there. it was to see what he did with her eggs. Peter had saved Tiger Lily from a dreadful fate. It drifted about till it went to pieces. but perhaps the biggest adventure of all was that they were several hours late for bed. and on it Starkey had hung his hat. . actually the Never Bird's nest in this particular case in point] in a place where the bird would easily find it. and clutched the nest and waved his thanks to the bird as she fluttered overhead. and by one last mighty effort she propelled the nest against the rock. watertight." in a voice that had to be obeyed. I forget whether I have told you that there was a stave on the rock. She drifted in one direction. and often Starkey came to the shore of the lagoon. This so inflated them that they did various dodgy things to get staying up still longer. a deep tarpaulin. Peter crowed his agreement with her. who pounced upon them for food. to bed. both cheering. reared the stave in it as a mast. and hung up his shirt for a sail. It was not to receive his thanks. it was not even to watch him get into the nest. and he was borne off in another. driven into it by some buccaneers of long ago to mark the site of buried treasure. raging at the scurvy trick that had been played upon them. and they played till bed-time at limping about and carrying their arms in slings. Peter put the eggs into this hat and set it on the lagoon. and then flew away. and with many bitter feelings watched the bird sitting on his hat. but Wendy. deserting her eggs. smoking the pipe of peace. but the hat was such a great success that she abandoned the nest. Even by day they hung about. was scandalised by the lateness of the hour. and. alas. it may be worth mentioning here that all Never birds now build in that shape of nest. and screamed her admiration of him. who had been carried hither and thither by the kite. Then up she flew. diamonds. but she could not help peeping between the feathers. however. "To bed.

" it meant that they must now shut up. Slightly darling?" "Not quite empty. "is glad to see the Piccaninny warriors protecting his wigwam from the pirates." She was far too pretty to cringe in this way." Always when he said. mummy. whatever her private opinion must be. and he would answer condescendingly. as Wendy said. "It is good." he would say to them in a very lordly manner. prostrating themselves [lying down] before him. "Father knows best. but they were by no means so respectful to the other boys. and then stay near him till the clock struck. after looking into an imaginary mug. whom they looked upon as just ordinary braves." Slightly said. Peter Pan has spoken. and what annoyed the boys was that Peter seemed to think this all right. "Silence. but she was far too loyal a housewife to listen to any complaints against father. and really. There was a fixed rule that they must never hit back at meals. guzzling in their greed. had held up his hand first. "I complain of so-and-so. and he liked this tremendously. Me no let pirates hurt him. "Is your mug empty. This was telling. was positively deafening. To be sure. 62 "The great white father." he cried promptly. and things like that. We have now reached the evening that was to be known among them as the Night of Nights. all except Peter. as he is not here?" "Sit in father's chair." but what usually happened was that they forgot to do this or did it too much. as they grovelled at his feet. but should refer the matter of dispute to Wendy by raising the right arm politely and saying." . Her private opinion was that the redskins should not call her a squaw. "I complain of Nibs. who had gone out to get the time.Chapter 10 They called Peter the Great White Father. me his velly nice friend." that lovely creature would reply. The day. as if quietly gathering its forces. had been almost uneventful." she always said. while. John!" Wendy was scandalised. "Peter Pan has spoken. what with their chatter and recriminations. "Peter Pan save me. and Slightly seized his chance." "Me Tiger Lily. the noise. John. and now the redskins in their blankets were at their posts above. The way you got the time on the island was to find the crocodile. John?" "May I sit in Peter's chair. "Certainly not." cried Wendy when for the twentieth time she had told them that they were not all to speak at once. "He hasn't even begun to drink his milk. Secretly Wendy sympathised with them a little." Nibs interposed. because of its adventures and their upshot. however. and they sat around the board. below. "Well. so that it was not really good for him. but Peter thought it his due. but she simply would not have them grabbing things. the children were having their evening meal. and they accepted it humbly in that spirit. They said "How-do?" to them. The meal happened to be a make-believe tea. she did not mind noise. and then excusing themselves by saying that Tootles had pushed their elbow.

"No. and sat down to her work-basket. but we are looking on it for the last time. "Wendy. "that I could be father." Tootles said diffidently [bashfully or timidly]." remonstrated [scolded] Michael. this. oh dear. indeed." "Oh dear." Michael rapped out.Chapter 10 "He is not really our father. He was already in his basket." cried Wendy. he had a silly way of going on. Tootles held up his hand. Tootles. "Slightly is coughing on the table." said Tootles. The hateful telling broke out again." "Curly is taking both butter and honey. "We complain of John." While she sewed they played around her. a heavy load of stockings and every knee with a hole in it as usual." they all replied. getting heavier and heavier and heavier." Tootles said. such a group of happy faces and dancing limbs lit up by that romantic fire. "would any of you like to see me do a trick?" "No. "I don't suppose." "The twins began with cheese-cakes." she said almost tartly. "do you think I could be a twin?" "No." replied the twins." cried the twins. "I'm sure I sometimes think that spinsters are to be envied." "I complain of Curly. that Wendy was specially gentle with him." he said. It had become a very familiar scene. "I don't suppose." "As I can't be anything important. you would let me be baby?" "No." "Nibs is speaking with his mouth full. 63 "As I can't be baby. indeed he was the only humble one." This was grumbling. "I hadn't really any hope. "As I can't be father. He was so much the humblest of them." "I complain of Nibs. Then at last he stopped." John answered. ." She told them to clear away. which was not very often." "I must have somebody in a cradle. in the home under the ground. "He didn't even know how a father does till I showed him." he said heavily." "I complain of the twins. "I'm too big for a cradle." Once Tootles began. I won't. Michael. A cradle is such a nice homely thing to have about a house. "and you are the littlest. "it's awfully difficult to be a twin.

you may be sure." "Dance away." "What. It was not really Saturday night." . "Watch well. at least it may have been." "True. my little man. As so often before. "Me! My old bones would rattle!" "And mummy too." cried Wendy. "Father. hanging up his gun. the redskins crouched before Peter. "there is nothing more pleasant 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." Wendy said. "Ah. "It was me told him mothers are called old lady. for they had long lost count of the days. "Children." 64 And then." Michael whispered to Curly. The first twin came to Peter. as so often before. but they must put on their nighties first." Peter was really the best dancer among them. "Ah. Peter." said Curly instantly. and then they did it. you just spoil them. was the first to recognize it. but he pretended to be scandalised." Peter said aside to Wendy. old lady. I hear your father's step. warming himself by the fire and looking down at her as she sat turning a heel. the gay children dragged him from his tree. dance!" "But on a Saturday night. we want to dance." Above." So they were told they could dance. "I complain of Michael. true. relenting. but never again." said Peter. and Wendy. He had brought nuts for the boys as well as the correct time for Wendy." Slightly insinuated. "People of our figure. "Peter. old lady. but always if they wanted to do anything special they said this was Saturday night. who was in high good humour." said Peter. "Of course it is Saturday night.Chapter 10 There was a step above. I have spoken." Wendy simpered [exaggerated a smile]. He likes you to meet him at the door. "the mother of such an armful. Wendy!" "But it is only among our own progeny [children]. braves. "But we want you to dance. you know.

" he continued apologetically. Tinker Bell will tell you. of course." "Michael takes after you. who was in her bedroom. "and Tiger Lily is just the same. what is it?" "I was just thinking. it is not. like one not sure whether he was awake or asleep. 65 "Dear Peter." Certainly he did not want a change. Wendy.Chapter 10 "It is sweet. and went and sat by herself at the extreme end of the room. "You see." "But they are ours. He had a sudden idea. frightfully gratified. isn't it. but you don't want to [ex]change me." she asked. "Perhaps Tink wants to be my mother?" . trying to speak firmly. Peter." she said. that I am their father?" "Oh yes." "I thought so." he said. "You are so queer. "She is an abandoned little creature." she said." he said." Wendy replied with frightful emphasis. yours and mine. "what are your exact feelings to [about] me?" "Those of a devoted son. "Then what is it?" "It isn't for a lady to tell." Peter said." she replied." Here Tink. "It is only make-believe. "Peter. "Perhaps Tinker Bell will tell me." "No. but she says it is not my mother. "Peter. "it would make me seem so old to be their real father. "with such a large family. and she distinctly heard his sigh of relief. "Peter. a little scared. squeaked out something impudent." "Oh yes." Wendy said primly [formally and properly]. but he looked at her uncomfortably. you know. isn't it?" Wendy said. frankly puzzled. There is something she wants to be to me. Wendy. indeed. very well. I think Curly has your nose. Now we know why she was prejudiced against the redskins." Wendy retorted scornfully." Peter interpreted. "She says she glories in being abandoned. Wendy?" he asked anxiously. a little nettled. blinking." "Oh. eavesdropping. do you?" "No. Peter." "But not really. "Not if you don't wish it." She went to him and put her hand on his shoulder. I have now passed my best.

and how they buffeted each other on the bed and out of it! It was a pillow fight rather than a dance." "Are you glad.Chapter 11 "You silly ass!" cried Tinker Bell in a passion." cried the first twin. So uproariously gay was the dance." And then at last they all got into bed for Wendy's story. let us rejoice that there were sixty glad minutes in it. is she?" "Oh. with Michael at her feet and seven boys in the bed." Wendy snapped. "I almost agree with her. and we shall see what happened." "I had rather he had been a lady. "I wish he had been a white rat. and he said happily: "Yes. but the beginning was so fearfully dull that it appalled not only the others but himself." their mother admonished [cautioned] them. in which they pretended to be frightened at their own shadows. from whom they would shrink in real fear. before it was time for Wendy's good-night story! Even Slightly tried to tell a story that night. "Are you glad. But to-night he remained on his stool." said Nibs. They sang and danced in their night. John?" "Of course I am. it is a dull beginning. and when it was finished. mummy. Their ignorance gave them one more glad hour. and possibly if he had done either of those things this time they might all still be on the island. Twins?" . "There was once a gentleman -. Fancy Wendy snapping! But she had been much tried." Curly said. no. don't you? She is not dead. the pillows insisted on one bout more. The stories they told. the story they loved best. "you mean that there is a lady also. like partners who know that they may never meet again. If she had known she would not have snapped." "Are you glad. Nibs?" "Rather. Perhaps it was best not to know. then.gowns. and she little knew what was to happen before the night was out. Chapter 11 WENDY'S STORY "Listen. settling down to her story. "There was a lady also. Usually when she began to tell this story he left the room or put his hands over his ears. "Quiet. 66 None of them knew. little witting that so soon shadows would close in upon them. and -. and as it was to be their last hour on the island." said Tootles. let us pretend that it is the end." "I am awfully glad she isn't dead. Such a deliciously creepy song it was. She had said it so often that Wendy needed no translation. I say. said Wendy." "Oh. the story Peter hated.

"Quiet. however beastly a story it might be in his opinion. "Now these three children had a faithful nurse called Nana. "The gentleman's name. "They were married." "I am in a story. 67 "Little less noise there. "to the Neverland." "I just thought they did." Wendy continued. I am in a story. "I think I knew them. though they were not really considering the feelings of the unhappy parents one jot. to annoy the others. and so all the children flew away. but I just thought they did!" "O Wendy. but Mr." cried Nibs. Twin.Chapter 11 "We are glad. Tootles." "It's an awfully good story." "Descendants are only children. "was Mr. "They flew away." John said." Peter called out." "I knew them." "Hush. John? I am a descendant. Now I want you to consider the feelings of the unhappy parents with all their children flown away. where the lost children are." said Nibs. Nibs. who knew the story by heart. and her name was Mrs." said Michael rather doubtfully. inspired. he was." "Oo!" they all moaned." said Tootles. "Oh dear. "Think of the empty beds!" . you know. Darling. They had three descendants." "Did you hear that." said John. "and what do you think they had?" "White rats. oh dear. you are one." sighed Wendy. Darling. Hurrah." explained Wendy." "It's awfully puzzling." Curly broke in excitedly. "was one of the lost children called Tootles?" "Yes." "What is descendants?" "Well." "Oh dear." cried Tootles. "No. "I don't know how it is." sighed Wendy. Darling was angry with her and chained her up in the yard. determined that she should have fair play." Wendy continued.

" "Did they ever go back?" "Let us now.no -. . Off we skip like the most heartless things in the world. who is she?" cried Nibs. and then when we have need of special attention we nobly return for it. but so attractive." the first twin said cheerfully. "You see. Peter?" "It isn't that kind of pain. and they were as pleased with it as the fair narrator herself." Wendy told them triumphantly." said the second twin. every bit as excited as if he didn't know." Peter replied darkly." Wendy said complacently. confident that we shall be rewarded instead of smacked. "Can it be -. But there was one there who knew better. "Do you." She had now come to the part that Peter hated. "I do like a mother's love." said Wendy. so they stayed away for years and had a lovely time. "Where is it.it is -. "our heroine knew that the mother would always leave the window open for her children to fly back by. She felt him solicitously. "Years have rolled by. and they all gave themselves the twist that makes peeps into the future easier. over which we draw a veil. running to him. and we have an entirely selfish time. `there is the window still standing open. dear brothers.Chapter 11 "Oo!" "It's awfully sad. So great indeed was their faith in a mother's love that they felt they could afford to be callous for a bit longer. you see. and who is this elegant lady of uncertain age alighting at London Station?" "O Wendy." said Nibs.yes -." said Tootles. Nibs?" "I do just.the fair Wendy!" "Oh!" 68 "And who are the two noble portly figures accompanying her.' So up they flew to their mummy and daddy. lower down than his chest. Nibs?" "I'm frightfully anxious. now grown to man's estate? Can they be John and Michael? They are!" "Oh!" "`See. Peter?" she cried. and pen cannot describe the happy scene. Everything just as it should be. "take a peep into the future". "you would have no fear. which is what children are." That was the story. hitting back. hitting Nibs with a pillow. "I don't see how it can have a happy ending. and when Wendy finished he uttered a hollow groan. bracing herself up for her finest effort." "If you knew how great is a mother's love.' says Wendy pointing upwards. "Do you like a mother's love. Ah. thinking he was ill. "What is it. now we are rewarded for our sublime faith in a mother's love.

that as soon as he got inside his tree he breathed intentionally quick short breaths at the rate of about five to a second. "Wendy. for the horrible thought had come to her: "Perhaps mother is in half mourning by this time. and with a fine candour he told them what he had hitherto concealed. and then flew back. and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible. that neither did he." They all gathered round him in affright. as coolly as if she had asked him to pass the nuts. he was going to show her. "It will be worse than before she came. "Are you sure mothers are like that?" "Yes. "At once. so alarming was his agitation. a grown-up dies. and she said to him rather sharply." cried John and Michael together. The toads! Still it is best to be careful. "I thought like you that my mother would always keep the window open for me. and he was so full of wrath against grown-ups. was Peter. "Long ago. Panic-stricken at the thought of losing Wendy the lost boys had advanced upon her threateningly. where an unworthy scene had been enacted in his absence. They knew in what they called their hearts that one can get on quite well without a mother. "Yes. and no one knows so quickly as a child when he should give in. Then having given the necessary instructions to the redskins he returned to the home. but the window was barred. and it scared them." they cried. But of course he cared very much. and there was another little boy sleeping in my bed." ." This dread made her forgetful of what must be Peter's feelings. "Peter. and that it is only the mothers who think you can't. every time you breathe. for mother had forgotten all about me. "We shan't let her go. but Peter thought it was true.Chapter 11 "Then what kind is it?" "Wendy. you are wrong about mothers." he replied. as usual." Wendy replied resolutely." "Let's keep her prisoner. 69 "Not to-night?" asked the lost boys bewildered. He did this because there is a saying in the Neverland that." she said. will you make the necessary arrangements?" "If you wish it." I am not sure that this was true. who. were spoiling everything. Not so much as a sorry-to-lose-you between them! If she did not mind the parting. so I stayed away for moons and moons and moons. let us [let's] go home. clutching them." So this was the truth about mothers." he said.

and they saw at once that they would get no support from him. but she was jolly well determined not to be her courier." Nibs had to knock twice before he got an answer. now equipped with John and Michael for the journey. but also because they felt that she was going off to something nice to which they had not been invited." He drew back his hanger." "Then. "I have asked the redskins to guide you through the wood. chain her up. did Tootles respond. "if you don't get up and dress at once I will open the curtains." Of course Tink had been delighted to hear that Wendy was going. "Tootles. Tink. "if you will all come with me I feel almost sure I can get my father and mother to adopt you. "Wendy. Then she pretended to be asleep again. Crediting them with a nobler feeling Wendy melted. The others held back uneasily." she cried. "Who said I wasn't getting up?" she cried." she cried. "Tinker Bell will take you across the sea. though Tink had really been sitting up in bed listening for some time." he said." This made her leap to the floor. and then we shall all see you in your negligee [nightgown]. 70 Grandly." Nibs called. as flying tires you so. "You are to get up. Novelty was beckoning to them as usual. aghast at such insubordination. not merely because they were about to lose her." she said. "She says she won't!" Nibs exclaimed. and she said so in still more offensive language. "Tink.Chapter 11 "Ay. Nibs. quite the silliest one. "I appeal to you." he rapped out. Peter. "I am just Tootles. He would keep no girl in the Neverland against her will. "and take Wendy on a journey." "Thank you. however. and for that instant his sun was at noon. In the meantime the boys were gazing very forlornly at Wendy. "Dear ones." In her extremity an instinct told her to which of them to turn. For that one moment he dropped his silliness and spoke with dignity. whereupon Peter went sternly toward the young lady's chamber. "and nobody minds me." he said. By this time they were dejected." he continued. Then Peter returned." . Wake her." Was it not strange? She appealed to Tootles. But the first who does not behave to Wendy like an English gentleman I will blood him severely. "Who are you? How dare you? Go away. in the short sharp voice of one accustomed to be obeyed. striding up and down.

Their first thought was that if Peter was not going he had probably changed his mind about letting them go. "No. but each of the boys was thinking exclusively of himself. Peter -. if Peter had ever quite had a mother." The awful cynicism of this made an uncomfortable impression. thinking she had put everything right." Peter replied with a bitter smile. "Oh no. and on each stick a bundle. Now. "Get your things. and at once they jumped with joy." "No. "All right." he answered. "I hope you will like them. "perhaps she would say I was old. But he was far too proud for that." "Yes. and most of them began to look rather ." "No. rapidly thinking it out. when novelty knocks. and she always shook the bottle and counted the drops.Chapter 11 71 The invitation was meant specially for Peter. "I am not going with you." And so the others had to be told. "If you find your mothers." he told Wendy decisively. to desert their dearest ones." "Peter. he no longer missed her. He had thought them out. playing gaily on his heartless pipes." To show that her departure would leave him unmoved. pretending indifference. but it was out of a bottle. and immediately they rushed to get their things. Wendy. Peter. Peter. Of course it was only water. though it was rather undignified. no." Wendy said. They took it for granted that if they went he would go also. On this occasion. She had to run about after him. she did not give Peter his draught [portion]. however." she coaxed. for just as she had prepared it. and remembered only their bad points. "To find your mother. He could do very well without one. "No. can we go?" they all cried imploringly. and undoubtedly gave them too much. "I am going to give you your medicine before you go. she saw a look on his face that made her heart sink." said Wendy." "But." she cried. they can be hidden behind the screens on first Thursdays. Peter. their sticks over their backs." Peter not coming! They gazed blankly at him." he said darkly. shaking. and I just want always to be a little boy and to have fun. which gave it a certain medicinal quality. but really they scarcely cared. he skipped up and down the room. "And now. "But won't they think us rather a handful?" Nibs asked in the middle of his jump. "it will only mean having a few beds in the drawing-room. "Peter isn't coming. Thus children are ever ready." She loved to give them medicine.

." "And you will take your medicine?" "Yes. there was dead silence." Tink darted up the nearest tree." "Then lead the way." That seemed to be everything. he seized his sword. for he had something important to do. ay. for it was at this moment that the pirates made their dreadful attack upon the redskins. good-bye. Wendy". Peter. Not a sound is to be heard. "Ay. and an awkward pause followed. Above. snake-like. where all had been so still. but no one followed her. was not the kind that breaks down before other people. their faces said. and some of them do it even better than the coyotes. at the foot of which a stream runs. Chapter 12 THE CHILDREN ARE CARRIED OFF The pirate attack had been a complete surprise: a sure proof that the unscrupulous Hook had conducted it improperly. "Yes. who are not very good at it. and the long suspense is horribly trying to the paleface who has to live through it for the first time. and the lust of battle was in his eye. Through the long black night the savage scouts wriggle. "no fuss. among the grass without stirring a blade. as silently as sand into which a mole has dived. they were beseeching him mutely not to desert them. The brushwood closes behind them. Peter?" she said. but her arms were extended toward Peter." cried Peter. but to the trained hand those ghastly calls and still ghastlier silences are but an intimation of how the night is marching. All arms were extended to him. were they not noodles to want to go? 72 "Now then. and there was no indication that he would prefer a thimble. Tinker Bell?" he called out. lingering over him. the same he thought he had slain Barbecue with. So the chill hours wear on. save when they give vent to a wonderful imitation of the lonely call of the coyote. for to surprise redskins fairly is beyond the wit of the white man. She was always so particular about their flannels. "Are you ready. After all. The white men have in the meantime made a rude stockade on the summit of yonder undulating ground. quite as if they must really go now.Chapter 12 doubtful. no blubbering. Below. and with the wiliness of his race he does it just before the dawn. Mouths opened and remained open. as if suddenly blown in his direction. Wendy fell on her knees. the inexperienced ones clutching their revolvers and treading on twigs. There they await the onslaught. the air was rent with shrieks and the clash of steel. The cry is answered by other braves. As for Peter. "You will remember about changing your flannels. for it is destruction to be too far from water. She had to take his hand. however. By all the unwritten laws of savage warfare it is always the redskin who attacks. at which time he knows the courage of the whites to be at its lowest ebb. but the old hands sleeping tranquilly until just before the dawn. and he held out his hand cheerily.

Even then they had time to gather in a phalanx [dense formation] that would have been hard to break had they risen quickly. Thus perished many of the flower of the Piccaninny tribe. he would not even hold off till the night was nearly spent. . and the Alsatian Foggerty. They found only one hillock with a stream at its base. this. they knew that the pirates were on the island from the moment one of them trod on a dry stick. of the exquisite tortures to which they were to put him at break of day. 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. and they suddenly saw the perfidious pirates bearing down upon them. who ultimately cut a way through the pirates with Tiger Lily and a small remnant of the tribe. Thus terrible as the sudden appearance of the pirates must have been to them. he stood aloof from his followers in spirit as in substance. Elation must have been in his heart. They left nothing undone that was consistent with the reputation of their tribe. on he pounded with no policy but to fall to [get into combat]. for with Lean Wolf fell Alf Mason. so that the whole question is beset with difficulties. but it was now too late. and the fell [deadly] genius with which it was carried out. One cannot at least withhold a reluctant admiration for the wit that had conceived so bold a scheme. Here dreaming. It is no part of ours to describe what was a massacre rather than a fight. and the air was torn with the war-cry. but this they were forbidden to do by the traditions of their race. but trot helplessly after him. as breathing heavily and wiping their cutlasses. Chas. and in judging him it is only fair to take this into account. though wide-awake. they remained stationary for a moment. while they gave pathetic utterance to the coyote cry. as destroying the element of surprise. Around the brave Tiger Lily were a dozen of her stoutest warriors. With that alertness of the senses which is at once the marvel and despair of civilised peoples.Chapter 12 73 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. 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. as if the foe had come by invitation. here he must establish himself and wait for just before the dawn. No more would they torture at the stake. trusted implicitly to his honour. Fell from their eyes then the film through which they had looked at victory. and squinted through their ferret eyes at this extraordinary man. the tradition gallantly upheld. Turley fell to the tomahawk of the terrible Panther. the main body of the redskins folded their blankets around them. For them the happy hunting-grounds was now. those confiding savages were found by the treacherous Hook. and among others who bit the dust were Geo. On the other hand. masters as they were of every war-like artifice save this one. Scourie. on their part. so that Hook had no choice. awaiting the cold moment when they should deal pale death. but as their father's sons they acquitted themselves. Everything being thus mapped out with almost diabolical cunning. Then. they gathered at a discreet distance from his hook. From the accounts afterwards supplied by such of the scouts as escaped the carnage. but his face did not reflect it: ever a dark and solitary enigma. and in an incredibly short space of time the coyote cries began. What were his own feelings about himself at that triumphant moment? Fain [gladly] would his dogs have known. Had he waited on the rising ground till the proper hour he and his men would probably have been butchered. Turley. The Piccaninnies. exposing themselves fatally to view. What could the bewildered scouts do. to disturb the Spanish Main no more. the pearl of manhood squatted above the children's home. What he should perhaps have done was to acquaint his opponents that he proposed to follow a new method. and their whole action of the night stands out in marked contrast to his. and in the phlegmatic manner that is to them. not a muscle moving. indeed. To what extent Hook is to blame for his tactics on this occasion is for the historian to decide. he does not seem even to have paused at the rising ground. It is written that the noble savage must never express surprise in the presence of the white. would have made his strategy of no avail. They knew it. they seized their weapons. Not all unavenged did they die.

it was not --. The first to emerge from his tree was Curly. but chiefly Pan. who flung him to Noodler. and their arms fall to their sides." Now Smee had found the tom-tom. for we know quite well what it was. "If the redskins have won. "The tom-tom. who flung him to Starkey. they also heard Peter's answer. Never. . "they will beat the tom. turned as it were into stone figures.Chapter 13 74 The night's work was not yet over. and so he was tossed from one to another till he fell at the feet of the black pirate. listening avidly at the mouths of the trees. In the meantime." he muttered. for they knew he would not scruple [hesitate] to ram them down with poles. for strict silence had been enjoined [urged]. it is always their sign of victory." he said. They wriggled uncomfortably. and alas. all appealing with outstretched arms to Peter. The question now was how to get down the trees. Chapter 13 DO YOU BELIEVE IN FAIRIES? The more quickly this horror is disposed of the better. Twice Smee beat upon the instrument. To his amazement Hook signed him to beat the tom-tom. what of the boys? We have seen them at the first clang of the weapons. "an Indian victory!" The doomed children answered with a cheer that was music to the black hearts above. it was not his engaging appearance. Which side had won? The pirates. This puzzled the pirates. passed like a fierce gust of wind." the miscreants heard Peter cry. This had got on Hook's nerves. and almost immediately they repeated their good-byes to Peter. owing to the crocodile's pertinacity [persistance]. for it was not the redskins he had come out to destroy. it made his iron claw twitch. heard the question put by every boy. and have got to tell. but even this and the increased insecurity of life to which it led. so that he should get at the honey. It was not his courage. and then stopped to listen gleefully. and at night it disturbed him like an insect. but they know that in the passing it has determined their fate. There is no beating about the bush. Rapidly and silently Hook gave his orders: one man to each tree.tom. "You will never hear the tom-tom again. and the others to arrange themselves in a line two yards apart. True he had flung Hook's arm to the crocodile. While Peter lived. It was Peter's cockiness. or how to get his dogs down? He ran his greedy eyes over them. probably. who flung him to Smee. The truth is that there was a something about Peter which goaded the pirate captain to frenzy. they were but the bees to be smoked. Pan and Wendy and their band. but all their other feelings were swallowed by a base delight that the enemy were about to come up the trees. open-mouthed. and slowly there came to Smee an understanding of the dreadful wickedness of the order. It was Pan he wanted. the tortured man felt that he was a lion in a cage into which a sparrow had come. They smirked at each other and rubbed their hands. had this simple man admired Hook so much. The pandemonium above has ceased almost as suddenly as it arose. who flung him to Bill Jukes. searching for the thinnest ones. Peter was such a small boy that one tends to wonder at the man's hatred of him. but inaudibly of course. hardly account for a vindictiveness so relentless and malignant. He rose out of it into the arms of Cecco. and we return to them as their mouths close. and was at that moment sitting on it.

save by going down. and several of them were in the air at a time. unknown to the others. Dark as were his thoughts his blue eyes were as soft as the periwinkle. and make sure that it provided him with a passage. Hook's master mind had gone far beneath Slightly's surface. white to the gills. Hook let his cloak slip softly to the ground. but no word of the dark design that now formed in the subterranean caverns of his mind crossed his lips. knew that Hook had surprised [discovered] his secret. but all was as silent below as above. She was only a little girl. but as the little house disappeared in the forest. The pirates kicked him in their rage. Perhaps it is tell-tale to divulge that for a moment Hook entranced her. All went well until Slightly's turn came. for he was in a panic about Peter. and his exultation showed that he had found them. just as you kick the parcel (though in fairness you should kick the string). The children were flung into it. and without the secret he could not presently have made his foul attempt on Peter's life. 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. Sufficient of this Hook guessed to persuade him that Peter at last lay at his mercy. which was this. Poor Slightly. and then Hook would probably not have been present at the tying of the children. Hook saw it. and singing the hateful pirate chorus the strange procession set off through the wood. and then . escorted her to the spot where the others were being gagged. Was that boy asleep. Intently he listened for any sound from the nether world. He did it with such an air. bitterly regretted what he had done. His lip was curled with malicious triumph. but most of the way lay through a morass. he merely signed that the captives were to be conveyed to the ship. Then for long he remained brooding. or did he stand waiting at the foot of Slightly's tree. It dried up any trickle of pity for him that may have remained in the pirate's infuriated breast. he was so frightfully DISTINGUE [imposingly distinguished]. Madly addicted to the drinking of water when he was hot. Had she haughtily unhanded him (and we should have loved to write it of her). doubled up with their knees close to their ears. offering her his arm. and that he would be alone. How to convey them? Hunched up in their ropes they might indeed be rolled down hill like barrels. like bales of goods flung from hand to hand. his hat of ill omen on the sward. and had he not been at the tying he would not have discovered Slightly's secret. so that any gentle breeze which had arisen might play refreshingly through his hair. and strange to say it was Hook who told them to belay their violence. and for the trussing of them the black pirate had cut a rope into nine equal pieces. most wretched of all the children now. The first thing he did on finding himself alone in the fast falling night was to tiptoe to Slightly's tree. With ironical politeness Hook raised his hat to her. he had swelled in consequence to his present girth. and. Again Hook's genius surmounted difficulties. who came last. probing not for effects but for causes. the singing drowned the sound. with his dagger in his hand? There was no way of knowing. a brave though tiny jet of smoke issued from its chimney as if defying Hook.Chapter 13 All the boys were plucked from their trees in this ruthless manner. and we tell on her only because her slip led to strange results. I don't know whether any of the children were crying. Slightly. the others fell in behind. and instead of reducing himself to fit his tree he had. the house under the ground seemed to be but one more empty tenement in the void. she would have been hurled through the air like the others. that no boy so blown out could use a tree wherein an average man need stick. four stout pirates raised it on their shoulders. if so. whittled his tree to make it fit him. 75 A different treatment was accorded to Wendy. that she was too fascinated to cry out. and it did Peter a bad service. when he was found to be like those irritating parcels that use up all the string in going round and leave no tags [ends] with which to tie a knot. They were tied to prevent their flying away. He indicated that the little house must be used as a conveyance.

the arched knee: they were such a personification of cockiness as. Peter had continued. They steeled Hook's heart. Though a light from the one lamp shone dimly on the bed. Sometimes. which was dripping like a candle. he had dreams. Hook always carried about his person a dreadful drug. one may hope. As his eyes became accustomed to the dim light various objects in the home under the trees took shape. with the riddle of his existence. It did not entirely fill the aperture. but for a moment he had to stop there and wipe his brow. . and when he grew calmer to put him back to bed before he quite woke up. and leapt at the sleeper. showing the little pearls. the idyllic nature of the scene stirred him profoundly. he stepped into the tree. beyond his reach. but it was in exultation rather than in shame. which was open. silently. Hook stood in darkness himself. and. he loved flowers (I have been told) and sweet music (he was himself no mean performer on the harpsichord). and stood still again. and turning. though not often. Thus defenceless Hook found him. for she had always tucked them inside it. but not lest pity should unnerve him. Then.Chapter 13 76 biting his lips till a lewd blood stood on them. which had almost left him. He was a brave man. but it struck him how indignant she would be if he laughed instead. taken together. blended by himself of all the death. His hand shook. He arrived unmolested at the foot of the shaft. What stayed him was Peter's impertinent appearance as he slept. and immediately knew that the sleeper was in his power. but the only one on which his greedy gaze rested. One arm dropped over the edge of the bed. The open mouth. so as to grieve Wendy. At such times it had been Wendy's custom to take him out of bed and sit with him on her lap. To his disordered brain it seemed then that the irritating quality in Peter's face and figure visibly increased. he found to his fury that it was low down. Mastered by his better self he would have returned reluctantly up the tree. the drooping arm. he let himself go into the unknown. merely to avoid spilling. for a little time after the children left. was the great bed. will never again. Was his enemy to escape him after all? But what was that? The red in his eye had caught sight of Peter's medicine standing on a ledge within easy reach. But on this occasion he had fallen at once into a dreamless sleep. but for one thing. These he had boiled down into a yellow liquid quite unknown to science. to vex her still more. one leg was arched. and at the first stealthy step forward he discovered an obstacle. They had to do. wormed his way with difficulty up the tree. He stood silent at the foot of the tree looking across the chamber at his enemy. and he had been looking over it. As he did it he avoided glancing at the sleeper. He fathomed what it was straightaway. so he laughed a haughty laugh and fell asleep in the middle of it. the door of Slightly's tree. Lest he should be taken alive.dealing rings that had come into his possession. be presented to eyes so sensitive to their offensiveness. Feeling for the catch. to play gaily on his pipes: no doubt rather a forlorn attempt to prove to himself that he did not care. Did no feeling of compassion disturb his sombre breast? The man was not wholly evil. long sought for and found at last. let it be frankly admitted. so that he should not know of the indignity to which she had subjected him. I think. On the bed lay Peter fast asleep. For hours he could not be separated from these dreams. Then he nearly cried. though he wailed piteously in them. If his rage had broken him into a hundred pieces every one of them would have disregarded the incident. because you never know that you may not grow chilly at the turn of the night. Unaware of the tragedy being enacted above. Then he lay down on the bed outside the coverlet. and he rattled the door and flung himself against it. Then he decided not to take his medicine. which was probably the most virulent poison in existence. soothing him in dear ways of her own invention. and they were more painful than the dreams of other boys. Then one long gloating look he cast upon his victim. and the unfinished part of his laugh was stranded on his mouth. Five drops of this he now added to Peter's cup. biting at his breath.

Chapter 13 As he emerged at the top he looked the very spirit of evil breaking from its hole. Donning his hat at its most rakish angle, he wound his cloak around him, holding one end in front as if to conceal his person from the night, of which it was the blackest part, and muttering strangely to himself, stole away through the trees.

77

Peter slept on. The light guttered [burned to edges] and went out, leaving the tenement in darkness; but still he slept. It must have been not less than ten o'clock by the crocodile, when he suddenly sat up in his bed, wakened by he knew not what. It was a soft cautious tapping on the door of his tree. Soft and cautious, but in that stillness it was sinister. Peter felt for his dagger till his hand gripped it. Then he spoke. "Who is that?" For long there was no answer: then again the knock. "Who are you?" No answer. He was thrilled, and he loved being thrilled. In two strides he reached the door. Unlike Slightly's door, it filled the aperture [opening], so that he could not see beyond it, nor could the one knocking see him. "I won't open unless you speak," Peter cried. Then at last the visitor spoke, in a lovely bell-like voice. "Let me in, Peter." It was Tink, and quickly he unbarred to her. She flew in excitedly, her face flushed and her dress stained with mud. "What is it?" "Oh, you could never guess!" she cried, and offered him three guesses. "Out with it!" he shouted, and in one ungrammatical sentence, as long as the ribbons that conjurers [magicians] pull from their mouths, she told of the capture of Wendy and the boys. Peter's heart bobbed up and down as he listened. Wendy bound, and on the pirate ship; she who loved everything to be just so! "I'll rescue her!" he cried, leaping at his weapons. As he leapt he thought of something he could do to please her. He could take his medicine. His hand closed on the fatal draught. "No!" shrieked Tinker Bell, who had heard Hook mutter about his deed as he sped through the forest. "Why not?" "It is poisoned." "Poisoned? Who could have poisoned it?"

Chapter 13 "Hook." "Don't be silly. How could Hook have got down here?" Alas, Tinker Bell could not explain this, for even she did not know the dark secret of Slightly's tree. Nevertheless Hook's words had left no room for doubt. The cup was poisoned. "Besides," said Peter, quite believing himself "I never fell asleep."

78

He raised the cup. No time for words now; time for deeds; and with one of her lightning movements Tink got between his lips and the draught, and drained it to the dregs. "Why, Tink, how dare you drink my medicine?" But she did not answer. Already she was reeling in the air. "What is the matter with you?" cried Peter, suddenly afraid. "It was poisoned, Peter," she told him softly; "and now I am going to be dead." "O Tink, did you drink it to save me?" "Yes." "But why, Tink?" Her wings would scarcely carry her now, but in reply she alighted on his shoulder and gave his nose a loving bite. She whispered in his ear "You silly ass," and then, tottering to her chamber, lay down on the bed. His head almost filled the fourth wall of her little room as he knelt near her in distress. Every moment her light was growing fainter; and he knew that if it went out she would be no more. She liked his tears so much that she put out her beautiful finger and let them run over it. Her voice was so low that at first he could not make out what she said. Then he made it out. She was saying that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies. Peter flung out his arms. There were no children there, and it was night time; but he addressed all who might be dreaming of the Neverland, and who were therefore nearer to him than you think: boys and girls in their nighties, and naked papooses in their baskets hung from trees. "Do you believe?" he cried. Tink sat up in bed almost briskly to listen to her fate. She fancied she heard answers in the affirmative, and then again she wasn't sure. "What do you think?" she asked Peter. "If you believe," he shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die." Many clapped.

Chapter 14 Some didn't. A few beasts hissed.

79

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

Chapter 14
THE PIRATE SHIP One green light squinting over Kidd's Creek, which is near the mouth of the pirate river, marked where the brig, the JOLLY ROGER, lay, low in the water; a rakish-looking [speedy-looking] craft foul to the hull, every beam in her detestable, like ground strewn with mangled feathers. She was the cannibal of the seas, and scarce needed that watchful eye, for she floated immune in the horror of her name. She was wrapped in the blanket of night, through which no sound from her could have reached the shore. There was little sound, and none agreeable save the whir of the ship's sewing machine at which Smee sat, ever industrious and obliging, the essence of the commonplace, pathetic Smee. I know not why he was so infinitely pathetic, unless it were because he was so pathetically unaware of it; but even strong men had to turn hastily

Peter had been removed for ever from his path. drinking in the miasma [putrid mist] of the night. lest presently there should be no time for it. and all the other boys were in the brig. It was because he was so terribly alone.Chapter 14 from looking at him. He was often thus when communing with himself on board ship in the quietude of the night. and through them came a stern tap-tap-tap. Smee was quite unconscious. envy not Hook. There came to him a presentiment of his early dissolution [death]. and more than once on summer evenings he had touched the fount of Hook's tears and made it flow. It was his grimmest deed since the days when he had brought Barbecue to heel. It was his hour of triumph. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze. 80 A few of the pirates leant over the bulwarks. From far within him he heard a creaking as of rusty portals. others sprawled by barrels over games of dice and cards. It was as if Peter's terrible oath had boarded the ship. Hook felt a gloomy desire to make his dying speech. where even in their sleep they rolled skillfully to this side or that out of Hook's reach. and the exhausted four who had carried the little house lay prone on the deck." he cried. could we be surprised had he now paced the deck unsteadily. "Have you been good form to-day?" was their eternal question. They were socially inferior to him." he cried. Ah." "Barbecue. was it not bad form to think about good form? His vitals were tortured by this problem. it is mine. but there was no damming that trickle. Of this. Hook was not his true name. Hook trod the deck in thought. and as it tore him. about to walk the plank. he still knew that this is all that really matters. "if he had had less ambition!" It was in his darkest hours only that he referred to . but as those who read between the lines must already have guessed. and its traditions still clung to him like garments. This inscrutable man never felt more alone than when surrounded by his dogs. Ofttimes he drew his sleeve across his face. bellied out by the winds of his success? But there was no elation in his gait. lest he should claw them mechanically in passing. Flint -. "Is it quite good form to be distinguished at anything?" the tap-tap from his school replied." he urged. But above all he retained the passion for good form. "and Flint feared Barbecue. O man unfathomable. he had been at a famous public school. like hammering in the night when one cannot sleep. the perspiration dripped down his tallow [waxy] countenance and streaked his doublet. fame. Most disquieting reflection of all. "I am the only man whom Barbecue feared. and he still adhered in his walk to the school's distinguished slouch. Good form! However much he may have degenerated. "Better for Hook. that glittering bauble. which kept pace with the action of his sombre mind. with which indeed they are largely concerned. Thus it was offensive to him even now to board a ship in the same dress in which he grappled [attacked] her. as of almost everything else. Hook was profoundly dejected. It was a claw within him sharper than the iron one.what house?" came the cutting retort. "Fame. and knowing as we do how vain a tabernacle is man.

bullies." The wretched prisoners were dragged from the hold." had been Wendy's instructions in the hold. which brought him to his feet at once. Feared him! Feared Smee! There was not a child on board the brig that night who did not already love him. so that they cannot fly away?" "Ay. If Smee was lovable. but it seemed too brutal. and ranged in line in front of him. he revolved this mystery in his mind: why do they find Smee lovable? He pursued the problem like the sleuth-hound that he was. discipline instantly relaxed. 81 His dogs thinking him out of the way for a time. because he could not hit with his fist. what would that be?" "Bad form!" The unhappy Hook was as impotent [powerless] as he was damp. Ever and anon the light from his cigar gave a touch of colour to his face. but I have room for two cabin boys. "Are all the children chained. and he fell forward like a cut flower. as if a bucket of water had passed over him. "six of you walk the plank to-night. ay. For long he muttered to himself. "No little children to love me!" Strange that he should think of this. Michael had tried on his spectacles. and fingering a pack of cards. under the conviction that all children feared him. 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 [an elite social club at Eton]." he said briskly.Chapter 14 himself in the third person. you scugs. "or I'll cast anchor in you". so Tootles stepped forward politely. not unmelodiously. staring at Smee. Which of you is it to be?" "Don't irritate him unnecessarily. perhaps the sewing machine brought it to his mind. With a cry of rage he raised his iron hand over Smee's head. Instead. What arrested him was this reflection: "To claw a man because he is good form." he cried. and at once the din was hushed. humming. but an instinct told him that it would be prudent . which had never troubled him before. and they broke into a bacchanalian [drunken] dance. all except Wendy. He had said horrid things to them and hit them with the palm of his hand. "Quiet. what was it that made him so? A terrible answer suddenly presented itself--"Good form?" Had the bo'sun good form without knowing it. "Now then. For a time he seemed unconscious of their presence. To tell poor Smee that they thought him lovable! Hook itched to do it. He lolled at his ease." "Then hoist them up. but he did not tear. who was hemming placidly. Tootles hated the idea of signing under such a man. all traces of human weakness gone. snatches of a rude song. but they had only clung to him the more.

and they went white as they saw Jukes and Cecco preparing the fatal plank. Twin?" "I don't think so. and despise them for it. prep. Would your mother like you to be a pirate. he knew that mothers alone are always willing to be the buffer. The infuriated pirates buffeted them in the mouth. To the boys there was at least some glamour in the pirate calling. Through Hook's teeth came the answer: "You would have to swear. Didst never want to be a pirate. I don't think my mother would like me to be a pirate. All children know this about mothers. "Shall we still be respectful subjects of the King?" John inquired. "You see. There was not a porthole on the grimy glass of which you might not have written with your finger "Dirty pig". boy. addressing John. bully." he said diffidently.." said the first twin. Slightly?" He winked at Slightly. "I don't think so. and Hook roared out. "I once thought of calling myself Red-handed Jack. would -. No words of mine can tell you how Wendy despised those pirates.Chapter 14 to lay the responsibility on an absent person. Michael?" asked John. "you look as if you had a little pluck in you." he cried. but make constant use of it. sir. "Nibs. "Then I refuse. and the spokesmen were dragged back." They were only boys. "That seals your doom. and he was struck by Hook's picking him out. who said mournfully. "And I refuse. "You.'" Perhaps John had not behaved very well so far. "And a good name too. if you join. John?" He wanted John to decide. `Down with the King. but he shone out now." cried Michael. Get the plank ready. We'll call you that here." he said. But they tried to look brave when Wendy was brought up." as if he wished things had been otherwise. and she . "What do you think. and though a somewhat silly boy. So Tootles explained prudently. and John wanted him to decide." "What do you think." 82 "Stow this gab. Bring up their mother." roared Hook. as clever as the others. "Blackbeard Joe. "What would you call me if I join?" Michael demanded. "Would your mother like you to be a pirate. banging the barrel in front of Hook. "Rule Britannia!" squeaked Curly." Michael was naturally impressed. my hearty?" Now John had sometimes experienced this hankering at maths. but all that she saw was that the ship had not been tidied for years.

All knew that what was about to happen concerned him alone. "Silence all. But as the boys gathered round her she had no thought. of course. not to the water whence the sound proceeded. It is sad to know that not a boy was looking at her as Smee tied her to the mast." 83 Fine gentlemen though he was. the intensity of his communings had soiled his ruff. They all heard it -. "I would almost rather have no children at all. the eyes of all were on the plank: that last little walk they were about to take. He fell in a little heap." But not even for Smee would she make such a promise. with a look of such frightful contempt that he nearly fainted. Twin?" "What my mother hopes. my beauty. "I feel that I have a message to you from your real mothers. What are you to do. for the capacity to think had gone from them. but he was too late. He heard something else instead." But Hook had found his voice again. Nibs?" "What my mother hopes. John.Chapter 14 had already written it on several. dear boys. honey." he whispered. It was the terrible tick-tick of the crocodile.'" Even the pirates were awed. "you are to see your children walk the plank." she said firmly." he snarled." At this moment Wendy was grand. they could stare and shiver only. and immediately every head was blown in one direction. The sound came steadily nearer. "They are. and Tootles cried out hysterically. It was Smee who tied her to the mast. and in advance of it came this ghastly thought.pirates. "for a mother's last words to her children. Very frightful was it to see the change that came over him. "I am going to do what my mother hopes." said Hook. "These are my last words. Wendy. he never heard the cry of anguish he hoped to wring from her." he called gloatingly. But he never reached her. Hook smiled on them with his teeth closed. and that from being actors they were suddenly become spectators. With a hasty gesture he tried to hide it. save for them. "The crocodile is about to board the ship!" Even the iron claw hung inactive. as if he spoke in syrup. what are -. It was as if he had been clipped at every joint. What are you to do. as if knowing that it was no intrinsic part of what the attacking force ." she said disdainfully [scornfully]. His intention was to turn her face so that she should see they boys walking the plank one by one. boys. "Are they to die?" asked Wendy. They were no longer able to hope that they would walk it manfully. "I'll save you if you promise to be my mother. and it is this: `We hope our sons will die like English gentlemen. "See here. and suddenly he knew that she was gazing at it. "So. and took a step toward Wendy. but toward Hook. "Tie her up!" he shouted.

his legs encountering the water as if quite unaware that they had entered a new element. but with one unforeseen result. It was Peter. though whether with the purpose of regaining what it had lost. . He had seen the crocodile pass by without noticing anything peculiar about it. for to board the brig by help of the tick.Chapter 15 84 wanted. any other man would have lain with his eyes shut where he fell: but the gigantic brain of Hook was still working. to take an instance. They gathered round him. They he realised that he was doing it himself. Without giving a thought to what might be the feelings of a fellow-creature thus abruptly deprived of its closest companion. Peter reached the shore without mishap. At first he thought this eerie. Thus. On the contrary. but soon concluded rightly that the clock had run down. Peter began to consider how he could turn the catastrophe to his own use. all eyes averted from the thing that was coming aboard. he thought he had scaled her side as noiseless as a mouse. 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. for it was no crocodile that was coming to their aid. and it followed him. "How clever of me!" he thought at once." He had ticked so long that he now went on ticking without knowing that he was doing it. say. He signed to them not to give vent to any cry of admiration that might rouse suspicion. like slaves to a fixed idea. It was Fate. "Hide me!" he cried hoarsely. and he was amazed to see the pirates cowering from him. for. and it was only when he brought up against the bulwarks that he spoke. half an hour. Had he known he would have stopped. Thus many animals pass from land to water. At first he thought the sound did come from the crocodile. and he looked behind him swiftly. and in a flash he understood the situation. As he swam he had but one thought: "Hook or me this time. but no other human of whom I know. He ticked superbly. Left so fearfully alone. we suddenly discover that we have been deaf in one ear for we don't know how long. and went straight on. The crocodile was among those who heard the sound. so that wild beasts should believe he was the crocodile and let him pass unmolested. The crocodile! No sooner did Peter remember it than he heard the ticking. it was a stupid beast. but by and by he remembered that it had not been ticking. or merely as a friend under the belief that it was again ticking itself. though an ingenious idea. When last we saw him he was stealing across the island with one finger to his lips and his dagger at the ready. with Hook in their midst as abject as if he had heard the crocodile. Then he went on ticking. and signed to the boys not to burst into applause. had not occurred to him. Chapter 15 "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. but. They had no thought of fighting it. and he decided to tick. and under its guidance he crawled on the knees along the deck as far from the sound as he could go. The pirates respectfully cleared a passage for him. Then they got the strangest surprise of the Night of Nights. will never be certainly known. Now such an experience had come that night to Peter.

"Then here's to Johnny Plank!" he cried brazenly. He fell forward.Chapter 15 85 It was at this moment that Ed Teynte the quartermaster emerged from the forecastle and came along the deck." The cabin! Peter was in the cabin! The children gazed at each other. Till it goes down and you goes down To Davy Jones below!" To terrorize the prisoners the more. "Fetch the cat." said Jukes blithely. for more than one pirate was screwing up his courage to look round. you know. and he drew himself up firmly to his full height.) None too soon. no!" they cried so piteously that every pirate smiled. the scratching cat. but to the pirates was almost more eerie than the screech. . yo ho. "Do you want a touch of the cat [`o nine tails] before you walk the plank?" At that they fell on their knees. Peter." Slowly Hook let his head emerge from his ruff. and the carrion was cast overboard. time what happened by your watch. Peter gave the signal. for of a sudden the song was stayed by a dreadful screech from the cabin. towering over him. Then was heard a crowing sound which was well understood by the boys. you dog?" hissed Hook. Now. The Italian Cecco hesitated for a moment and then swung into the cabin. yo ho. hating the boys more than ever because they had seen him unbend." replied Cecco in a hollow voice. "All's still again. captain. How long has it taken? "One!" (Slightly had begun to count. the frisky plank. Peter struck true and deep. "The matter wi' him is he's dead. and then silence. grimacing at them as he sang. and died away. he danced along an imaginary plank. There was a splash. He broke into the villainous ditty: "Yo ho." Smee said. and listened so intently that he could have caught the echo of the tick. "Ay. Jukes. his dogs joining in with him: "Yo ho. They followed him with their eyes. You walks along it so. stabbed. ay." said Slightly solemnly. "What was that?" cried Hook. though with a certain loss of dignity. every inch of him on tiptoe. He tottered out. "it's in the cabin. John clapped his hands on the ill-fated pirate's mouth to stifle the dying groan. Its tails are nine. "Two. reader. they scarce knew that Hook had resumed his song. Four boys caught him to prevent the thud. "No." said Hook. wiping off his spectacles. And when they're writ upon your back -. There was not a sound. haggard. vanished into the cabin." What was the last line will never be known. which showed them that the more terrible sound had passed. "What's the matter with Bill Jukes. It wailed through the ship. "It's gone. and when he finished he cried. and he strode into the cabin. They could hear each other's distressed breathing now.

both were seen by Hook. "My hook thinks you did. crying "No. but Hook came staggering out. crossing to him. purring again. "Four." he said. proffering his claw." Cecco.Chapter 15 "Bill Jukes dead!" cried the startled pirates. "I wonder if it would not be advisable. "Is this mutiny?" asked Hook more pleasantly than ever. "Starkey's ringleader!" "Captain. Starkey. and now the red spark was in his eye. "who is to bring me that doodle-doo?" "Wait till Cecco comes out. Hook rallied his dogs with a gesture. "go back and fetch me out that doodle-doo." How Slightly longed to say it. first flinging his arms despairingly. There was no more singing. Starkey looked round for help. "Something!" echoed Mullins. . Starkey." Hook said courteously. "did any other gentlemen say mutiny?" Seizing a lantern and raising his claw with a menacing gesture. 86 Cecco went. cowered before his captain. and the others took up the cry." replied Starkey doggedly. to humour the hook?" "I'll swing before I go in there. With a despairing scream the pirate leapt upon Long Tom and precipitated himself into the sea. "And now. "'S'death and odds fish." said Slightly. "Did you say you would go. the lowering looks of the pirates. no". "The cabin's as black as a pit." said Hook. "Cecco." growled Starkey. "Shake hands. As he backed up Hook advanced. by thunder!" Starkey cried. "Something blew out the light. He wetted his lips to be ready." The exultation of the boys. mercy!" Starkey whimpered." said Hook. but all deserted him. and again came a death-screech and again a crow." Cecco said. "I think I heard you volunteer." he said." said Hook. "Three." he thundered. "Five. and again he had the support of the crew. and sped into the cabin. all of a tremble now. Cecco?" he said musingly. "but there is something terrible in there: the thing you heard crowing. "I'll bring out that doodle-doo myself." he said a little unsteadily. No one spoke except Slightly. all listened now. but Hook was purring to his claw. Starkey. bravest of the brave. "No." he said in his most steely voice. almost gibbering. without his lantern.

no. His reluctance to return to the cabin impressed them all unfavourably. "Lads. Peter cut Wendy's bonds. her cloak around him so that he should pass for her. "I've thought it out. we're so much the better. "Fling the girl overboard. It was for neither a scream nor a crow that she was watching. and himself took her place by the mast. Wendy." cried Hook. it's the girl. missy. and devotedly they did his bidding. "He's as dead as Jukes. but never quailing for an instant. if he kills them. "They do say the surest sign a ship's accurst is when there's one on board more than can be accounted for. Hook had well-nigh forgotten his prisoners. it was for the reappearance of Peter. "There's none can save you now. We'll right the ship when she's gone. "now here's a notion. All pirates are superstitious." "I've heard. an oath. If they kill him." they snarled. "Lads. and Cookson cried. armed with such weapons as they could find." For the last time his dogs admired Hook. listen!" cried Hook. Yes. and all listened. "he always boards the pirate craft last. But not one dared to face the door." said Hook shortly. pretending to struggle. In the cabin he had found the thing for which he had gone in search: the key the would free the children of their manacles. "Now. "Hook or me this time. we're none the worse. She had not long to wait. and the mutinous sounds again broke forth." said another. and they were panic-stricken. The boys. were pushed into the cabin and the door was closed on them. one." they said doubtfully." "Had he a hook." "Ay. Open the cabin door and drive them in." "No. he whispered for her to conceal herself with the others. . but like the dogs he had made them they showed him their fangs. captain?" 87 "They say." Mullins hissed jeeringly. Never was luck on a pirate ship wi' a woman on board. but one thing barred the way. Then he took a great breath and crowed. and he knew that if he took his eyes off them now they would leap at him. Had he a tail. Let them fight the doodle-doo for their lives. Hook tried to hearten them. There's a Jonah aboard. "The ship's doomed!" At this the children could not resist raising a cheer. and then nothing could have been easier than for them all to fly off together.Chapter 15 "What of Cecco?" demanded Noodler. and they made a rush at the figure in the cloak. and now they all stole forth." muttered Mullins. To the pirates it was a voice crying that all the boys lay slain in the cabin. but as he swung round on them now his face lit up again. and one after another took up the cry." Some of them remembered that this had been a saying of Flint's. First signing them to hide. "It's worth trying." So when he had freed Wendy. ready to cajole or strike as need be. captain?" asked Cookson insolently." he cried to his crew. "that when he comes it's in the likeness of the wickedest man aboard. who all this time had been bound to the mast." he said. "a man wi' a hook. lads. looking viciously at Hook.

lunging fiercely. Had the pirates kept together it is certain that they would have won. and he could not drive the steel home. but to his astonishment he found this thrust turned aside again and again. and at them!" Peter's voice rang out. Then he sought to close and give the quietus with his iron hook. so that they were half blinded and fell as an easy prey to the reeking swords of the other boys. For long the two enemies looked at one another. and he was at Peter's mercy. each thinking himself the last survivor of the crew. was offensive to him. and twice Hook essayed to speak and twice he failed. but not quite so nimble in wrist play." Without more words they fell to. hoping suddenly to end all with a favourite thrust. striking wildly.eight -. forced him back by the weight of his onset. "this man is mine. but his shorter reach stood him in ill stead. boys. "this is all your doing. and Peter with the strange smile upon his face. Again and again they closed upon him." came the stern answer. In that frightful moment I think his fierce heart broke. James Hook.five -.six -." Peter answered. whose peculiar colour. and parried with dazzling rapidity. who seemed to have a charmed life. which enabled the boys to hunt in pairs and choose their quarry. "have at thee. "prepare to meet thy doom. and again and again he hewed a clear space. which all this time had been pawing the air. when another. . but Peter doubled under it and. and in another moment the clash of arms was resounding through the ship. There was little sound to be heard but the clang of weapons. who did not fight." cried the newcomer. Some of the miscreants leapt into the sea. "Put up your swords. as he kept them at bay in that circle of fire. pierced him in the ribs. ever and anon he followed up a feint with a lunge that got past his foe's defence. Peter was a superb swordsman.seven -. Man to man they were the stronger. and Slightly monotonously counting -. and they ran hither and thither. 88 "Down. taught him long ago by Barbecue at Rio. where they were found by Slightly. I think all were gone when a group of savage boys surrounded Hook. but ran about with a lantern which he flashed in their faces." said Hook. who had just passed his sword through Mullins. Then they all knew who 'twas that had been undoing them in the cabin." Thus suddenly Hook found himself face to face with Peter. the sword fell from Hook's hand. They had done for his dogs. "So.Chapter 15 "There's one. boys. scarcely his inferior in brilliancy. you remember. He had lifted up one boy with his hook." "Ay. and was using him as a buckler [shield].ten -. but this man alone seemed to be a match for them all. Pan.eleven.nine -." said Hook at last. but the onset came when they were still unstrung. Hook shuddering slightly. The others drew back and formed a ring around them." "Proud and insolent youth. "it is all my doing. "Who's that?" "Peter Pan the avenger!" came the terrible answer. At the sight of his own blood. At last he cried. others hid in dark recesses. Hook. and as he spoke Peter flung off his cloak. an occasional screech or splash." replied the figure. and for a space there was no advantage to either blade." "Dark and sinister man. "Cleave him to the brisket!" but without conviction. sprang into the fray. but they fought on the defensive only.

we may be glad. flouting. it was slouching in the playing fields of long ago. but with a magnificent gesture Peter invited his opponent to pick up his sword. "Pan. scornful. and went content to the crocodile. true form will show. but Peter fluttered round him as if the very wind it made blew him out of the danger zone. or watching the wall-game from a famous wall. At last Hook had got the boon for which he craved. "the ship will be blown to pieces. for we purposely stopped the clock that this knowledge might be spared him: a little mark of respect from us at the end. which I think we need not grudge him. but with a tragic feeling that Peter was showing good form. he sprang upon the bulwarks to cast himself into the sea. without sympathising with him." Now. he invited him with a gesture to use his foot. but darker suspicions assailed him now. The other boys were flying around him now. "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg. or being sent up [to the headmaster] for good. What sort of form was Hook himself showing? Misguided man though he was. James Hook. "In two minutes. I'm joy. Hook did so instantly. who and what art thou?" he cried huskily." he cried. of course. It made Peter kick instead of stab. Seeing Peter slowly advancing upon him through the air with dagger poised." he cried jeeringly. That passionate breast no longer asked for life. but for one boon it craved: to see Peter show bad form before it was cold forever. "Bad form. but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was. Abandoning the fight he rushed into the powder magazine and fired it. was nonsense. and every sweep of that terrible sword would have severed in twain any man or boy who obstructed it." Peter answered at a venture. Hook was fighting now without hope. "I'm youth. He had one last triumph. As he stood on the bulwark looking over his shoulder at Peter gliding through the air. his mind was no longer with them." 89 This. And again and again he darted in and pricked. and his waistcoat was right. He fought now like a human flail. Hitherto he had thought it was some fiend fighting him. and his socks were right. now. thou not wholly unheroic figure. But Peter issued from the powder magazine with the shell in his hands. which is the very pinnacle of good form. farewell. And his shoes were right. that in the end he was true to the traditions of his race. "To't again. For we have come to his last moment." he cried despairingly. and his tie was right.Chapter 15 "Now!" cried all the boys. and he staggered about the deck striking up at them impotently. and calmly flung it overboard. he thought. He did not know that the crocodile was waiting for him. .

Then a few sharp orders were given. It seems a shame to have neglected No. They all donned pirate clothes cut off at the knee. Instead of watching the ship. of course." Slightly sang out. with a rope's end in his hand and chewing tobacco. Peter had already lashed himself to the wheel. Hook had feared. 90 "Seventeen. Some of them wanted it to be an honest ship and others were in favour of keeping it a pirate. but now that all was over she became prominent again. what do I matter? Do go back and keep an eye on the children. There was a woman aboard. a melancholy come-down for a pirate. you may be sure. If we had returned sooner to look with sorrowful sympathy at her. who made him nurse for all their papooses. making a precarious living by saying he was the only man that Jas. which. Wendy. and they dared not express their wishes to him even in a round robin [one person after another. and lived in the fo'c'sle. who strutted up and down on the deck. Instant obedience was the only safe thing. and tumbled up.Chapter 16 Thus perished James Hook. she was making for him out of some of Hook's wickedest garments. though watching Peter with glistening eyes. she would probably have cried. The rest were tars [sailors] before the mast. but the captain treated them as dogs. Chapter 16 THE RETURN HOME By three bells that morning they were all stirring their stumps [legs]. that if this weather lasted they should strike the Azores about the 21st of June. The general feeling was that Peter was honest just now to lull Wendy's suspicions. but that there might be a change when the new suit was ready. but that he knew they were the scum of Rio and the Gold Coast. against her will. had stood by taking no part in the fight. but he was not quite correct in his figures. until at last he fell asleep by the side of Long Tom. Darling does not blame us. and they turned the ship round. shaved smartly. and they cheered him lustily. was among them. and cried in his sleep for a long time. She praised them equally. the bo'sun. said he hoped they would do their duty like gallant hearties. The bluff strident words struck the note sailors understood. It need not be said who was the captain. Captain Pan calculated. He had one of his dreams that night." So long as mothers are like this their children will take advantage of them. for there was a big sea running. It said "half. She got them to bed in the pirates' bunks pretty quickly. and they may . 14 all this time. with the true nautical roll and hitching their trousers. and yet we may be sure that Mrs. Fifteen paid the penalty for their crimes that night. and Wendy held him tightly. and nosed her for the mainland. Hook]. and then she took them into Hook's cabin and pointed to his watch which was hanging on a nail. we must now return to that desolate home from which three of our characters had taken heartless flight so long ago. Slightly got a dozen for looking perplexed when told to take soundings. and Smee. and Tootles. but two reached the shore: Starkey to be captured by the redskins. who henceforth wandered about the world in his spectacles. and shuddered delightfully when Michael showed her the place where he had killed one.past one!" The lateness of the hour was almost the biggest thing of all. all but for the forefinger. 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. after consulting the ship's chart. but he piped all hands and delivered a short address to them. which he bent and held threateningly aloft like a hook. after which it would save time to fly. as they had to Cpt. and if they snapped at him he would tear them. however. "Don't be silly. Nibs and John were first and second mate. all but Peter.

we might well go back to the ship. but I despise her. here are those boys again. Darling by this time. "Dash it all. and may be sure that she would upbraid us for depriving the children of their little pleasure. it is ten days till Thursday week. Of course. All the beds are aired. this is the place for me. and observe. However. the woman had no proper spirit. father's shout of joy. To all Mrs. as we are here we may as well stay and look on. we should get no thanks even for this. We are beginning to know Mrs." In the bitterness of his remorse he swore that he would never leave the kennel until his children came back. Darling may not even offer Wendy her mouth. Darling do not go out for the evening. Darling may exclaim pettishly. lookers-on. She does not really need to be told to have things ready. but he had also a noble sense of justice and a lion's courage to do what seemed right to him. Nobody really wants us. "But. Mr. we are merely hurrying on in advance of them to see that their beds are properly aired and that Mr. One thing I should like to do immensely. for they are ready. Darling's dear invitations to him to come out he replied sadly but firmly: "No. as he sat in the kennel of an evening talking with his wife of their children and all their pretty ways." "Yes. When the children flew away. and that is to tell her. And there never was a more humble man than the once proud George Darling. but at what a cost! By depriving the children of ten minutes of delight. that indeed they will be here on Thursday week. my own one. and having thought the matter out with anxious care after the flight of the children. but on all other matters ." "Oh. Very touching was his deference to Nana.Chapter 16 lay to [bet on] that. and that from first to last she had been wiser than he. and not one of them will I say now. but whatever Mr. Darling would never forgive us. that the children are coming back. The only change to be seen in the night-nursery is that between nine and six the kennel is no longer there. They have been planning it out on the ship: mother's rapture. For all the use we are to her. He would not let her come into the kennel. Why on earth should their beds be properly aired. I had meant to say extraordinarily nice things about her." However. How delicious to spoil it all by breaking the news in advance. if you look at it in that way!" "What other way is there in which to look at it?" You see. So let us watch and say jaggy things. and Mr. so that by telling you what's what. and Mrs. indeed be might have passed for a boy again if he had been able to take his baldness off. he was quite a simple man. but if we contrived things in this way Mrs. otherwise he soon gave up doing it. we can save you ten days of unhappiness. Darling felt in his bones that all the blame was his for having chained Nana up. when what they ought to be prepared for is a good hiding. 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. in the way authors have. Nana's leap through the air to embrace them first. so that when they enter grandly Mrs. my dear madam. That is all we are. and she never leaves the house. We are no more than servants. as we have seen. 91 Even now we venture into that familiar nursery only because its lawful occupants are on their way home. Of course this was a pity. in the hope that some of them will hurt. the window is open. he went down on all fours and crawled into the kennel. This would spoil so completely the surprise to which Wendy and John and Michael are looking forward. Darling did he had to do in excess.

" sneered Liza. a very sad-eyed woman. I find I won't be able to say nasty things about her after all. Darling in it to a cab. and the great heart of the public was touched. As Mr. is almost withered up. aren't you?" "Full of remorse as ever. Darling was in the night. Some like Peter best. It may have been Quixotic. she couldn't help it. where she has fallen asleep. George. and flying strong. but has a softer expression. we whisper to her in her sleep that the brats are coming back. for she has started up. and he was naturally not unmoved. George? You are sure you are not enjoying it?" . to make her happy. Suppose. but all she could do was put her paw gently on her mistress's lap. Darling of this success.Chapter 16 he followed her wishes implicitly. interviews appeared in the better class of papers. cheering it lustily. and they were sitting together thus when the kennel was brought back. we see that his face is more worn than of yore. Her hand moves restlessly on her breast as if she had a pain there. 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." he said. but it was magnificent. who took it scornfully. for she had no imagination. charming girls scaled it to get his autograph." Nana had filmy eyes. The corner of her mouth." "But it is punishment.nursery awaiting George's return home. and he returned home in the same way at six." he assured her with a faint flush. where one looks first. For some time he sat with his head out of the kennel. "Do come in the kennel. and pressing her hand reassuringly when she said she hoped his head would not be turned by it. and society invited him to dinner and added. talking with Mrs. If she was too fond of her rubbishy children. which conveyed him to his office. and he always lifted his hat courteously to any lady who looked inside." On that eventful Thursday week. 92 Every morning the kennel was carried with Mr. "There were several adults to-day. Crowds followed the cab." "Lots of little boys. "But if I had been a weak man. but I like her best. it had made him sweeter. all gone now just because she has lost her babes. Social success had not spoilt him." he said. and was quite incapable of understanding the motives of such a man. and some like Wendy best. "O Nana. "it is very gratifying. calling their names. dearest! See my punishment: living in a kennel. if I had been a weak man!" "And. I dreamt my dear ones had come back. Inwardly he must have suffered torture. It is a pity we did it." she said timidly. but when she tossed her head he had not a word of reproof for her. but all we need whisper is that they are on the way. Mrs. isn't it. They are really within two miles of the window now. but he preserved a calm exterior even when the young criticised his little home. Let's. Darling puts his head out to kiss his wife. He gave his hat to Liza. "Listen to them. and there is no one in the room but Nana. "you are as full of remorse as ever. Now that we look at her closely and remember the gaiety of her in the old days. Soon the inward meaning of it leaked out. "Good heavens. Look at her in her chair. Outside. the crowd who had accompanied the cab home were still cheering.

all right. he curled round in the kennel.Chapter 16 "My love!" You may be sure she begged his pardon. "You will never see Wendy again. and soon he was asleep. always. but not so pretty as my mother. and he flew away. but something must have happened since then. for it is not they who have flown in. "And shut that window. "She wants me to unbar the window. always. bar it! That's right. and gulped. not I!" He peeped again. but he sometimes bragged about her. and the tears were still there. "It's Wendy's mother! She is a pretty lady. lady. Instead of feeling that he was behaving badly he danced with glee. . never ask me to do that." but he knew it was saying. He was angry with her now for not seeing why she could not have Wendy. because that was the charming arrangement planned by them before we left the ship. "Quick Tink. Then he unbarred the window. Now you and I must get away by the door. knocking. lady. We have written it so." "O George." But the lady would not make the best of it. which was "Home. "Come on." Of course he knew nothing whatever about his mother. Wendy. for the window is barred!" He peeped in again to see why the music had stopped. and then. then he peeped into the day-nursery to see who was playing." he said to himself." Now it was his turn to beg her pardon. This trick had been in his head all the time. but not so full as my mother's was. The reason was so simple: "I'm fond of her too. why when Peter had exterminated the pirates he did not return to the island and leave Tink to escort the children to the mainland. with a frightful sneer at the laws of nature. and when Wendy comes she will think her mother has barred her out. Darling had laid her head on the box. and he was unhappy. "Come back." he whipered. and she will have to go back with me. but when he stopped it was just as if she were inside him. Her mouth is full of thimbles. We can't both have her. 93 "Won't you play me to sleep. "Oh." he asked. but even then she would not let go of him. Wendy and John and Michael flew into the room. He skipped about and made funny faces. He ceased to look at her. He whispered to Tink." he cried. Sweet Home. Peter's first words tell all." thought Peter. "She's awfully fond of Wendy. feeling drowsy. Oh no. or another two had taken their place. He did not know the tune. I feel a draught. "on the nursery piano?" and as she was crossing to the day-nursery he added thoughtlessly. The window must always be left open for them. "but I won't." he said at last. and he cried exultantly. Wendy". Tink. "we don't want any silly mothers". Wendy. and she went into the day-nursery and played. and now he saw that Mrs. "close the window. and while he slept. and that two tears were sitting on her eyes." Now I understand what had hitherto puzzled me. it is Peter and Tinker Bell.

but she did not believe they were there. She saw them. "Hullo. "So it is!" said John. and serve them right. with her first real twinge of remorse [for having gone]. There is your old bed. who was surely sleepy. Darling went back to the night-nursery to see if her husband was asleep. Wendy and John had been taken aback somewhat at finding their father in the kennel. it would have been sad if those had been the first words he heard his little Michael say. and be there when she comes in. which of course was more than they deserved. she saw them in their beds so often in her dreams that she thought this was just the ." Michael begged eagerly. Darling began playing again. but not with much conviction. "perhaps we don't remember the old life as well as we thought we did. peeping." "It's father!" exclaimed Wendy. "It's mother!" cried Wendy. "John. just as if we had never been away." he said with such frank disappointment that I am glad Mr." And so when Mrs. You see. "not to be here when we come back." John suggested. "He is not so big as the pirate I killed." Michael said. "I say. quite unashamed of themselves." But Wendy. "Then are you not really our mother. Wendy?" asked Michael. and he took a good look." A chill fell upon them." "Let us creep in. "Let us all slip into our beds." "So it is. "it was quite time we came back. "It is very careless of mother." Wendy said falteringly. had a better plan. looking around him doubtfully. who saw that they must break the joyous news more gently. "Surely." Wendy said." he said. "and put our hands over her eyes. They alighted on the floor. "he used not to sleep in the kennel?" "John. The children waited for her cry of joy. "Perhaps Nana is inside it.Chapter 16 94 Thus Wendy and John and Michael found the window open for them after all. but it did not come. "the kennel!" and he dashed across to look into it. Darling was asleep." he said. "I think I have been here before." cried John. you silly." said that young scoundrel John." It was then that Mrs. like one who had lost faith in his memory. "Oh dear!" exclaimed Wendy. "there's a man inside it. all the beds were occupied. and the youngest one had already forgotten his home." "Of course you have." said John. But John whistled. "Let me see father.

" said Nibs. he said to Wendy. Of course Mrs. sir? Because." she said." a grudging remark which the twins thought was pointed at them. "We could lie doubled up. where in the old days she had nursed them. who had slipped out of bed and run to her. They ought to have looked at Mr. and when they had counted five hundred they went up. Darling woke to share her bliss. George!" she cried when she could speak. and she stretched out her arms for the three little selfish children they would never envelop again. . He knew he was behaving unworthily. and he asked. "that you don't do things by halves. but their eyes asked her to have them. 95 "That's Michael. "Mother!" "That's John." said Wendy.Chapter 17 dream hanging around her still. Darling. They could not understand this." "Father!" Wendy cried. They said nothing. "I always cut their hair myself. if so. but still she was sure it was the dream. He knew her now. The first twin was the proud one. and Nana came rushing in. we can go away. "I must say. and they saw that he considered six a rather large number. with their hats off. flushing. but still the cloud was on him. but he was looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be for ever barred. but Mr. and Mr. but they forgot about him. They went up by the stair. but there was none to see it except a little boy who was staring in at the window. shocked. "Mother!" Wendy cried. Darling said at once that she would have them. Yes. She sat down in the chair by the fire. There could not have been a lovelier sight. they went round Wendy and John and Michael." she said. because they thought this would make a better impression. but he could not help it. they did. They were waiting below to give Wendy time to explain about them. Darling was curiously depressed. "Do you think we should be too much of a handful. and a cold fear fell upon all the three of them. "That's Wendy." she said. "Mother!" cried Michael. Chapter 17 WHEN WENDY GREW UP I hope you want to know what became of the other boys. He had had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know. Darling also. They stood in a row in front of Mrs. "George. and wishing they were not wearing their pirate clothes.

but at any rate they found corners. As for Peter. and I forget whether they found it. "Yes. Darling came to the window. he saw Wendy once again before he flew away. and would like to adopt him also. "Hullo. and they all fitted in. Peter?" "No. what do you think?" It turned out that not one of them thought him a cypher. Slightly?" "Rather not. "Oh dear.Chapter 17 96 "George!" Mrs. for at present she was keeping a sharp eye on Wendy. "Mind you." "About me. Curly?" "No. "Do you think he is a cypher. he said. but he thought they should have asked his consent as well as hers." he cried gaily. "Then follow the leader. "We'll fit in. She told Peter that she had adopted all the other boys. "I don't think he is a cypher. Do you think he is a cypher. instead of treating him as a cypher [zero] in his own house. Peter. I am not sure that we have a drawing-room. sir. Darling exclaimed. Then he burst into tears. and they all cried "Hoop la!" and danced after him. I don't. and the truth came out." she said falteringly. searching for the drawing-room. are you going away?" "Yes. and it's all the same. but he brushed against it in passing so that she could open it if she liked and call to him." "And then to an office?" "I suppose so." "You don't feel." Mrs. "that you would like to say anything to my parents about a very sweet subject?" "No. He was as glad to have them as she was. and said he would find space for them all in the drawing-room if they fitted in." . Hoop la!" He went off dancing through the house." they assured him." he said. pained to see her dear one showing himself in such an unfavourable light. Wendy. and he was absurdly gratified. Twin. but we pretend we have. good-bye." Tootles cried instantly. That is what she did. He did not exactly come to the window. "Would you send me to school?" he inquired craftily.

" cried Wendy so longingly that Mrs. "There are always a lot of young ones. "It will be rather lonely in the evening. with eye on Wendy. Darling saw his mouth twitch. The fairies are to put it high up among the tree tops where they sleep at nights. O Wendy's mother." said Wendy the comforter.Chapter 17 "Soon I would be a man?" "Very soon. "because you see when a new baby laughs for the first time a new fairy is born. and Mrs." Peter said." "So do you. and the mauve ones are boys and the white ones are girls. lady." "But where are you going to live?" "With Tink in the house we built for Wendy." Peter said. but he repulsed her." said Peter. come with me to the little house." "I shall have such fun." she said. and she made this handsome offer: to let Wendy go to him for a week every year to do his spring . as if he had asked her from politeness merely." "Well. Darling said. They live in nests on the tops of trees. and as there are always new babies there are always new fairies. "Sneaky tell-tale!" Tink called out from somewhere round the corner. then." "Tink can't go a twentieth part of the way round." "But he does so need a mother. if I was to wake up and feel there was a beard!" "Peter. I have got you home again. "I thought all the fairies were dead." "May I. "I don't want to be a man. and the blue ones are just little sillies who are not sure what they are. Darling stretched out her arms to him." "Oh. "sitting by the fire." Mrs. but Mrs. no one is going to catch me and make me a man." he told her passionately. my love. "O Peter." explained Wendy. "Keep back." "How lovely. all right. you know it matters." 97 "I don't want to go to school and learn solemn things. mummy?" "Certainly not. "I should love you in a beard"." she reminded him a little tartly. who was now quite an authority. Darling tightened her grip. and I mean to keep you. "It doesn't matter." "I shall have Tink.

and found that they hurt themselves when they let go of the bus. and was so full of adventures that all I have told you about him is only a halfpenny-worth of them. amazed. but it was too late now." he said. Next year he did not come for her. Michael believed longer than the other boys. But she seemed satisfied. I suppose it was because Wendy knew this that her last words to him were these rather plaintive ones: "You won't forget me. In time they could not even fly after their hats. and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become. Before they had attended school a week they saw what goats they had been not to remain on the island. and soon they settled down to being as ordinary as you or me or Jenkins minor [the younger Jenkins]. Darling's kiss with him. He had no sense of time. for fairies don't live long. Wendy would have preferred a more permanent arrangement. but Slightly was put first into Class IV and then into Class V." I expect he was right. She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet. But he was exactly as fascinating as ever. but he never noticed. He took Mrs. Wendy was pained too to find that the past year was but as yesterday to Peter. "There are such a lot of them. Want of practice. and then he flew away. it had seemed such a long year of waiting to her." he replied carelessly." she said. before spring cleaning time comes?" Of course Peter promised." Michael said. When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her he said. Peter took quite easily. "Who is Tinker Bell?" "O Peter. he had so much to say about himself. but this promise sent Peter away quite gay again. will you. so he was with Wendy when Peter came for her at the end of the first year. "Don't you remember. The kiss that had been for no one else. It is sad to have to say that the power to fly gradually left them. . but he never came. "I expect she is no more. and one of their diversions by day was to pretend to fall off buses [the English double-deckers].Chapter 17 98 cleaning. She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times. but what it really meant was that they no longer believed. Peter. and it seemed to her that spring would be long in coming. Of course all the boys went to school. At first Nana tied their feet to the bed-posts so that they should not fly away in the night. they called it. and they had a lovely spring cleaning in the little house on the tree tops. though they jeered at him. but by and by they ceased to tug at their bonds in bed. Funny. and most of them got into Class III. but new adventures had crowded the old ones from his mind. but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them. "how you killed him and saved all our lives?" "I forget them after I kill them. "Perhaps he is ill. shocked. Class I is the top class." she asked. She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and berries in the Neverland. but even when she explained he could not remember. "Who is Captain Hook?" he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.

You need not be sorry for her. It is strange to think that Peter did not alight in the church and forbid the banns [formal announcement of a marriage]. Jane's and her nurse's. and Wendy told her all she could remember in the very nursery from which the famous flight had taken place. That was the last time the girl Wendy ever saw him. She was called Jane. When she was old enough to ask them they were mostly about Peter Pan." says Wendy.Chapter 17 "You know he is never ill. and then it was Wendy's part to put Jane to bed. and in the awful darkness to whisper: "What do we see now?" "I don't think I see anything to-night. and so he became a lord. Once a week Jane's nurse had her evening off. and there was no kennel. Years rolled on again. and she felt she was untrue to him when she got a prize for general knowledge." ." asks the artful child." 99 Michael came close to her and whispered. Wendy!" and then Wendy would have cried if Michael had not been crying. That was the time for stories. for Nana also had passed away. "Ah me. for her father had bought it at the three per cents [mortgage rate] from Wendy's father. who was no longer fond of stairs.driver [train engineer]. Slightly married a lady of title. All the boys were grown up and done for by this time. You see that judge in a wig coming out at the iron door? That used to be Tootles. In the end she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than other girls." "That is a long time ago." says Wendy. "Yes. This ought not to be written in ink but in a golden splash." says Jan. so it is scarcely worth while saying anything more about them. 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. Jane. with a shiver. She was one of the kind that likes to grow up. being very firmly convinced that no one knew how to look after children except herself. and Wendy had a daughter. "you see when you were a little girl. and the strange thing was that he never knew he had missed a year. with a feeling that if Nana were here she would object to further conversation. You may see the twins and Nibs and Curly any day going to an office. She died of old age. Wendy was married in white with a pink sash. There were only two beds in the nursery now. It was Jane's invention to raise the sheet over her mother's head and her own. Peter came next spring cleaning. But the years came and went without bringing the careless boy. and Peter was no more to her than a little dust in the box in which she had kept her toys. how time flies!" "Does it fly. this making a tent. and when they met again Wendy was a married woman. It was Jane's nursery now. and always had an odd inquiring look. For a little longer she tried for his sake not to have growing pains. each carrying a little bag and an umbrella. Michael is an engine. sweetheart. She loved to hear of Peter. Darling was now dead and forgotten. you do. "Perhaps there is no such person. "the way you flew when you were a little girl?" "The way I flew? Do you know. Mrs. Wendy was grown up. I sometimes wonder whether I ever did really fly. and at the end she had been rather difficult to get on with.

trying to imitate Peter's crow." says Wendy. "tried to stick it on with soap." Or perhaps Wendy admits she does see something. and when he could not he cried. "What did his crow sound like?" Jane asked one evening. She was as grown up as that. "that it is this nursery. "And then he flew us all away to the Neverland and the fairies and the pirates and the redskins and the mermaid's lagoon." interrupts Jane." "What is gay and innocent and heartless? I do wish I were gay and innocent and heartless." They are now embarked on the great adventure of the night when Peter flew in looking for his shadow. who now knows the story better than her mother." "You have missed a bit. you did. "The foolish fellow." Wendy said it with a smile. he forgot all about me. and the little house.'" "Yes. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly." "But. and then some night you will hear me crowing. and that woke me. so do I. alas. When people grow up they forget the way. dearest. "When you saw him sitting on the floor crying. `Boy. "I do believe.Chapter 17 "Yes." "Why do they forget the way?" 100 "Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. ." says Jane. and the home under the ground. What was the last thing Peter ever said to you?" "The last thing he ever said to me was. mother?" "Because I am grown up. `Just always be waiting for me." she says." "Yes! which did you like best of all?" "I think I liked the home under the ground best of all. what did you say?" "I sat up in bed and I said." "I do believe it is. "It was like this. "Go on. and I sewed it on for him." "The dear old days when I could fly!" "Why can't you fly now. why are you crying?'" "Yes." Wendy said. with a big breath." says Jane. that was it." "Yes.

let go of me. He was exactly the same as ever." He added a little sternly. how can you know?" "I often hear it when I am sleeping. and Wendy saw at once that he still had all his first teeth. squeezing herself as small as possible. a big woman. "Peter. and the story had been told for the night. it wasn't." she said quickly." she replied faintly. Wendy was sitting on the floor. He was a little boy. and Jane was now asleep in her bed. "it was like this"." she answered. Then the window blew open as of old. Woman." "Boy or girl?" "Girl. and she was grown up. "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. helpless and guilty." "Hullo. and she did it ever so much better than her mother. is it a new one?" "Yes. "Hullo. lest a judgment should fall on her. "Yes." said Jane. very close to the fire. faltering. Peter. "Hullo. and now she felt that she was untrue to Jane as well as to Peter. "Hullo.Chapter 17 "No. but I was the only one who heard it awake. suddenly missing the third bed. Something inside her was crying Woman. many girls hear it when they are sleeping. She huddled by the fire not daring to move. and while she sat darning she heard a crow. Peter looked. not noticing any difference. 101 And then one night came the tragedy. with a careless glance at Jane. and Peter dropped in on the floor. It was the spring of the year. ." Jane said. "are you expecting me to fly away with you?" "Of course. "John is not here now. for there was no other light in the nursery. "That is not Michael." she said." he said. Wendy. for he was thinking chiefly of himself." Jane said gravely. so as to see to darn." Now surely he would understand. and in the dim light her white dress might have been the nightgown in which he had seen her first. "My darling." she gasped. where is John?" he asked." "Lucky you. Wendy was a little startled. "Ah yes. but not a bit of it. "Is Michael asleep?" he asked. that is why I have come.

Peter. and she ran out of the room to try to think. Of course he did not strike. "I am old. Peter. "and then you can see for yourself." he told her." "You promised not to!" "I couldn't help it. She sat up in bed. She was not a little girl heart-broken about him." "O Peter. "I have forgotten how to fly. don't waste the fairy dust on me. and he took a step towards the sleeping child with his dagger upraised." "I'll soon teach you again. and now at last a fear assailed him." "Yes. He gave a cry of pain." she said apologetically." . He sat down on the floor instead and sobbed." "No. shrinking." she said. "why are you crying?" Peter rose and bowed to her. she's not. "Hullo. and Peter saw. "Hullo." he cried. "Don't turn up the light." she said. you're not. she was a grown woman smiling at it all. 102 She let her hands play in the hair of the tragic boy." But he supposed she was. and she bowed to him from the bed." "No. Then she turned up the light. I grew up long ago. "Yes. "Boy. I know. I am ever so much more than twenty. but they were wet eyed smiles. "I will turn up the light." She had risen. I am a married woman. and was interested at once. though she could have done it so easily once. and the little girl in the bed is my baby. "My name is Peter Pan. and soon his sobs woke Jane. and Wendy did not know how to comfort him." he said. "What is it?" he cried." said Jane. She was only a woman now. "What is it?" he cried again. Peter continued to cry. Peter was afraid." For almost the only time in his life that I know of. and when the tall beautiful creature stooped to lift him in her arms he drew back sharply. She had to tell him.Chapter 17 "I can't come.

and Jane descended and stood by his side." Jane said. I know. "Yes." "If only I could go with you. to which he listens eagerly." Wendy admitted rather forlornly. where she tells him stories about himself. As you look at Wendy. "You see you can't fly. "She is my mother. except when he forgets." 103 When Wendy returned diffidently she found Peter sitting on the bed-post crowing gloriously. and her figure little again. with a daughter called Margaret. I know." Jane said. and every spring cleaning time." Jane said. Wendy rushed to the window." he explained. Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window. Jane is now a common grown-up." "Good-bye. Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland." Peter explained. "He does so need a mother. "It is just for spring cleaning time. so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless. watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars. "to take her to the Neverland. and the shameless Jane rose with him." "Yes. "No. it was already her easiest way of moving about. and he rose in the air. you may see her hair becoming white.net/ . THE END End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan Etext of The Adventures of Peter Pan from http://manybooks. Of course in the end Wendy let them fly away together. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter. "no one knows it so well as I. with the look in her face that he liked to see on ladies when they gazed at him. who is to be Peter's mother in turn.Chapter 17 "I came back for my mother. for all this happened long ago. and thus it will go on. "I have been waiting for you." said Peter to Wendy. no. while Jane in her nighty was flying round the room in solemn ecstasy." she cried. "he wants me always to do his spring cleaning." Wendy sighed." said Jane.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful