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Peter Pan (Peter and Wendy

Barrie, J.M.

Published: 1911
Type(s): Novels, Young Readers, Fantasy


About Barrie:
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937),
more commonly known as J. M. Barrie, was a Scottish novelist and
dramatist. He is best remembered for creating Peter Pan, the boy who re-
fused to grow up, whom he based on his friends, the Llewelyn Davies
boys. He is also credited with popularising the name "Wendy", which
was very uncommon before he gave it to the heroine of Peter Pan. He
was made a baronet in 1913; his baronetcy was not inherited. He was
made a member of the Order of Merit in 1922. Source: Wikipedia

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Chapter 1
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 de-
lightful, 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 un-
til 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 nev-
er get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand
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 Napo-
leon 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.


child—dot and carry child—there. makes two fifteen six—don't waggle your finger—whooping-cough. I can cut off my coffee at the office. come what might. Darling's guesses. with mumps reduced to twelve six. For a week or two after Wendy came it was doubtful whether they would be able to keep her. as if it were a game. Darling's bed. then Michael. almost gleefully. "Now don't interrupt. Darling was frightfully proud of her. 4 . Wendy came first. as she was another mouth to feed. with five naught naught in my cheque-book makes eight nine seven—who is that mov- ing?—eight nine seven. with your eighteen and three makes three nine seven. say fifteen shillings"—and so on it went. and if she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again. She drew them when she should have been totting up. and it added up differently each time. "Mumps one pound. you've done it!—did I say nine nine seven? yes. I said nine nine seven. making two nine and six. and he sat on the edge of Mrs. But she was prejudiced in Wendy's favour. and two and six at the office." he warned her almost threateningly. and at first she kept the books per- fectly. but by and by whole cauliflowers dropped out. can we try it for a year on nine nine seven?" "Of course we can. ac- companied by their nurse. then John. but I daresay it will be more like thirty shillings—don't speak—measles one five. She wanted to risk it. but he was very honourable. George. There was the same excitement over John. Mr. They were Mrs. that is what I have put down. say ten shillings. you might have seen the three of them going in a row to Miss Fulsom's Kindergarten school. the question is." she cried. holding her hand and calculat- ing expenses. Mrs." he would beg of her. while she looked at him imploringly. "Remember mumps. but that was not his way. and off he went again. but at last Wendy just got through. German measles half a guinea. not so much as a Brussels sprout was missing. and he was really the grander character of the two. and instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. and the two kinds of measles treated as one. his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper. Darling was married in white. "I have one pound seventeen here. dot and carry seven—don't speak. my own—and the pound you lent to that man who came to the door—quiet. but both were kept. and Michael had even a narrower squeak. and soon.

" Mrs. but that was the only difference. How thorough she was at bath-time. where she spent most of her spare time peeping into perambulators. who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her. and Mr. Darling knew it. Darling loved to have everything just so. and Mr. so. Ge- orge. however. Such a mid- get she looked in her long skirt and maid's cap. of course. whom she followed to their homes and complained of to their mistresses. Mrs. He had his position in the city to consider. Liza. though she had sworn. She resented visits to the nursery from Mrs. Lovely dances followed. in which the only other servant. He had sometimes a feeling that she did not admire him. She be- lieved to her last day in old-fashioned remedies like rhubarb leaf. they had a nurse. Nana also troubled him in another way. 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. "I know she admires you tremendously. was sometimes allowed to join. yet he sometimes wondered uneasily whether the neighbours talked. Darling's friends. who would pirouette so 5 . and the Darlings had be- come acquainted with her in Kensington Gardens. called Nana. while Nana lay on the floor. There is a room in the basement of Miss Fulsom's school where the nurses wait. this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog. No nursery could possibly have been conducted more correctly. The gaiety of those romps! And gayest of all was Mrs. walking sedately by their side when they were well behaved. and up at any moment of the night if one of her charges made the slightest cry. and so on. and she despised their light talk. 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. and was much hated by careless nursemaids. It was a lesson in propriety to see her escorting the children to school. Darling would assure him. owing to the amount of milk the children drank. Of course her kennel was in the nursery. that she would never see ten again. and then she would sign to the children to be specially nice to father. and made sounds of contempt over all this new-fangled talk about germs. They affected to ignore her as of an inferior social status to themselves. She had always thought children important. Darling had a passion for being exactly like his neighbours. "footer" for short] days she never once forgot his sweater. when engaged. As they were poor. and she usually carried an umbrella in her mouth in case of rain. and butting them back into line if they strayed. She proved to be quite a treasure of a nurse. On John's footer [in England soccer was called football. Darling. They sat on forms.

and gnomes who are mostly tailors. are spread out your prettier thoughts. There never was a simpler happier family until the coming of Peter Pan. and caves through which a river runs. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this. beautifully aired. Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up. had a lagoon with flamingoes flying over it at which John was shooting. while Michael. repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. the round pond. for instance. It is quite like tidying up drawers.wildly that all you could see of her was the kiss. pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten. When you wake in the morning. ready for you to put on. and these are probably roads in the island. but keeps going round all the time. and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing. and it is all rather confusing. just like your temperature on a card. who was very small. and you would find it very interesting to watch her. and so on. and your own map can become intensely interesting. verbs that take the dative. and savages and lonely lairs. especially as nothing will stand still. but there is also first day at school. three-pence for pulling out your tooth yourself. You would see her on her knees. hangings. There are zigzag lines on it. chocolate pudding day. getting into braces. I expect. murders. needle-work. Mrs. lingering humorously over some of your contents. and princes with six elder brothers. John's. say ninety-nine. fathers. which is not only confused. had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. and then if you had dashed at her you might have got it. I don't know whether you have ever seen a map of a person's mind. making discoveries sweet and not so sweet. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands. for the Neverland is always more or less an island. but catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind. with astonishing splashes of colour here and there. reli- gion. and a hut fast go- ing to decay. It would be an easy map if that were all. and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through. and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. 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. 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. Michael in a 6 .

and yet he was here and there in John and Michael's minds. but after thinking back into her childhood she just remembered a Peter Pan who was said to live with the fairies. he isn't grown up. but he smiled pooh-pooh. and if they stood still in a row you could say of them that they have each other's nose. There were odd stories about him. not large and sprawly." "Oh no. On these magic shores children at play are for ever beaching their coracles [simple boat]. you know. she just knew it. my pet?" "He is Peter Pan. "it is some nonsense Nana has been putting into their heads. we can still hear the sound of the surf. She had believed in him at the time. as that when children died he went part of the way with them. and of these quite the most per- plexing was the word Peter. so that they should not be frightened. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth. Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents. but now that she was married and full of sense she quite doubted whether there was any such person. We too have been there. though we shall land no more. "Mark my words. just the sort of idea a dog would have. "But who is he. you know. "he would be grown up by this time. Mrs. Michael had friends at night. "Besides. Occasionally in her travels through her children's minds Mrs. Darling found things she could not understand. Of all delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most com- pact. "and he is just my size. Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends." she said to Wendy. it is not in the least alarming. She knew of no Peter. and so forth." Wendy admitted with regret. while Wendy's began to be scrawled all over with him." She meant that he was her size in both mind and body. but nicely crammed. Darling consulted Mr. but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very real. Darling. she didn't know how she knew." 7 . Her mother had been questioning her." At first Mrs. and as Mrs. and it will blow over. Leave it alone. "Yes. Darling gazed she felt that it had an oddly cocky appearance. That is why there are night-lights. mother. Darling did not know. he is rather cocky. with tedious distances between one adventure and another.wigwam. The name stood out in bolder letters than any of the other words. but on the whole the Neverlands have a family resemblance." he said." Wendy assured her confidently.

and Mrs. But it would not blow over and soon the troublesome boy gave Mrs. for it all seemed so natural to Wendy that you could not dismiss it by saying she had been dreaming." Wendy said." "Were not the leaves at the foot of the window. and it was a sheer drop of thirty feet. the leaves had been found very near the window. it is three floors up." the mother cried. She was in a hurry to get her breakfast. "why did you not tell me of this before?" "I forgot. mother?" It was quite true. there were the leaves. She rattled the poker up the chimney and tapped the walls. Some leaves of a tree had been found on the nursery floor. For instance. precious. peering at it with a candle for marks of a strange foot. so she didn't know how she knew. sighing. Oh. which certainly were not there when the children went to bed. She was a tidy child. 8 . she just knew." she said. 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." "I think he comes in by the window. Mrs. without so much as a spout to climb up by. they were skeleton leaves. Wendy?" "It is so naughty of him not to wipe his feet. No one can get into the house without knocking. Darling was puzzling over them when Wendy said with a tolerant smile: "I do believe it is that Peter again!" "Whatever do you mean. Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them. Mrs. She crawled about the floor. It was in this casual way that Wendy one morning made a disquieting revelation. "My love. surely she must have been dreaming. Darling did not know what to think. "What nonsense you talk. that when they were in the wood they had met their dead father and had a game with him. But. a week after the event happened." said Wendy lightly. on the other hand. but she was sure they did not come from any tree that grew in England. Darling examined them very carefully. She let down a tape from the window to the pavement. Darling quite a shock. "My child. they may remember to mention.

The dream by itself would have been a trifle. for she thought she had seen him before in the faces of many women who have no children. She was asleep. There should have been a fourth night-light. He was a lovely boy. so gracefully. Certainly Wendy had been dreaming. It was something for Michael. He was accompanied by a strange light. While she slept she had a dream. It happened to be Nana's evening off. But Wendy had not been dreaming. When he saw she was a grown-up. Look at the four of them. Then her head nodded. the night on which the extraordinary adventures of these children may be said to have begun. and the nursery dimly lit by three night-lights. however. Wendy and Michael over there. Perhaps he is to be found in the faces of some mothers also. and she saw Wendy and John and Michael peeping through the gap. and Mrs. On the night we speak of all the children were once more in bed. 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. and Mrs. and somehow she knew at once that he was Peter Pan. But in her dream he had rent the film that obscures the Neverland. no bigger than your fist. who on his birthday was getting into shirts. Darling's lap. he gnashed the little pearls at her. and saw the boy. oh. If you or I or Wendy had been there we should have seen that he was very like Mrs. which darted about the room like a living thing and I think it must have been this light that wakened Mrs. as the very next night showed. and a boy did drop on the floor. 9 . but while she was dreaming the window of the nursery blew open. Darling. Darling's kiss. John here. and presently the sewing lay on Mrs. She started up with a cry. Darling by the fire. All were looking so safe and cosy that she smiled at her fears now and sat down tranquilly by the fire to sew. She dreamt that the Neverland had come too near and that a strange boy had broken through from it. He did not alarm her. The fire was warm. clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees but the most entrancing thing about him was that he had all his first teeth.

and she looked up. She growled and sprang at the boy. Nana had no doubt of what was the best thing to do with this shadow. You may be sure Mrs. Darling screamed. for she thought he was killed. but he was totting up winter great-coats for John and Michael. with a wet towel around his head to keep his brain clear. returned from her evening out.Chapter 2 THE SHADOW Mrs. the door opened. Darling. be- sides. which proved to be the boy's shadow. as if in answer to a bell. Of course it was a Friday. but it was not there. 10 . As he leapt at the window Nana had closed it quickly. Darling screamed. it looked so like the washing and lowered the whole tone of the house. and it seemed a shame to trouble him. slam went the window and snapped it off. Again Mrs. she knew exactly what he would say: "It all comes of having a dog for a nurse. let us put it where he can get it easily without disturbing the children. and she ran down into the street to look for his little body. who leapt lightly through the window. until a fitting opportunity came for telling her husband. on that never-to-be-forgotten Fri- day. too late to catch him." She decided to roll the shadow up and put it away carefully in a draw- er. but his shadow had not had time to get out. She hung it out at the window. but it was quite the ordinary kind. Darling examined the shadow carefully. Ah me! The opportunity came a week later. meaning "He is sure to come back for it. and found Nana with something in her mouth. and in the black night she could see nothing but what she thought was a shooting star." But unfortunately Mrs. this time in distress for him. Darling could not leave it hanging out at the window. She thought of showing it to Mr. and. She returned to the nursery. and Nana entered.

She had dressed early because Wendy so loved to see her in her evening- gown. I won't." Mrs. oh dear. It had begun so uneventfully. so precisely like a hundred other evenings. Darling said. Darling would cry. I shan't love you any more. while perhaps Nana was on the other side of her. "I won't. I won't. Darling. "My liking for parties." Then one or more of them would break down altogether. "I ought to have been specially careful on a Friday." said Mr. "If only I had not poured my medicine into Nana's bowl. they ought not to have had a dog for a nurse. Oh dear. recalling fondly every smallest detail of that dreadful evening. dearest. I won't!" Then Mrs. "I won't go to bed. dear master and mistress. till every de- tail of it was stamped on their brains and came through on the other side like the faces on a bad coinage. but Mrs. Nana at the thought. Nana." Many a time it was Mr." she used to say af- terwards to her husband. with Nana putting on the water for Michael's bath and carrying him to it on her back. like one who still believed that he had the last word on the subject. "I am responsible for it all. and Nana's bark was the echo of it. no. wearing her white evening-gown. "It's true. "No. "If only I had pretended to like the medicine. Darling never upbraided Peter. there was something in the right-hand corner of her mouth that wanted her not to call Peter names. MEA CULPA." he had shouted. I. She was wearing 11 . George Darling. MEA CULPA. "That fiend!" Mr. Darling always said. Darling who put the handkerchief to Nana's eyes." Mr. it's true. "If only I had not accepted that invitation to dine at 27. They would sit there in the empty nursery. Darling had come in. I tell you I won't be bathed. it isn't six o'clock yet. did it. Nana." was what Nana's wet eyes said. holding her hand. with the necklace George had given her. They sat thus night after night recalling that fatal Friday. George." "My touchiness about trifles." He had had a classical education." "My fatal gift of humour.

too. "It was then that I rushed in like a tornado." she said. father dear?" "Matter!" he yelled. he really yelled. Darling himself may have used on the real occasion." "Boy or girl?" asked Michael." He be- came dangerously sarcastic. but not so little if that was to be Michael's last night in the nursery. scorning himself. she had asked for the loan of it. She had found her two older children playing at being herself and father on the occasion of Wendy's birth. just as the real Mrs. Darling must have done. that you are now a mother. and all had gone well with him until he came to his tie. what is the matter. Darling. and Mrs. Wendy had danced with joy. It is an astounding thing to have to tell. Such a little thing for Mr. and of course the lady in the evening-dress could not stand that. not too hopefully. Sometimes the thing yielded to him without a contest. Wendy loved to lend her bracelet to her mother. no! Oh dear no! begs to be excused!" 12 . but there were occasions when it would have been better for the house if he had swallowed his pride and used a made-up tie. He came rushing into the nursery with the crumpled little brute of a tie in his hand. Michael had nearly cried. but John said brutally that they did not want any more. Perhaps there was some excuse for him. but round my neck. "I do." in just such a tone as Mr. though he knew about stocks and shares. They go on with their recollections. had been dressing for the party." Then he had leapt into her arms. had no real mastery of his tie. "Boy. wasn't it?" Mr. and Michael came from his bath to ask to be born also. twenty times have I made it up round the bed-post. and indeed he had been like a tornado. Mrs. "Not round my neck! Round the bed-post! Oh yes. Darling and Nana to recall now. He. "Nobody wants me. Darling would say. and John was saying: "I am happy to inform you. but this man. "I so want a third child.Wendy's bracelet on her arm. "Why. it will not tie. "This tie. This was such an occasion. Then John was born. with the extra pomp that he conceived due to the birth of a male." he said.

" 13 . "but it does look a scoundrel. but they were the first he had ever had with braid on them. "I wonder. but I have an uneasy feeling at times that she looks upon the children as puppies. "George." Mr. Darling now. Of course Mrs. his wife felt. They were not only new trousers. and our children will be flung into the streets. and he had had to bite his lip to prevent the tears coming. "Our last romp!" Mr. Darling collided against her. covering his trousers with hairs. Darling was placid." The romp had ended with the appearance of Nana. and in another moment was dan- cing round the room with Michael on his back. Darling said thoughtfully. he thanked her carelessly. "It is nobody I know. I feel sure she knows they have souls. don't you think. recalling it." Even then Mrs. Some men would have resented her being able to do it so easily. mother. but he began to talk again about its being a mistake to have a dog for a nurse. that unless this tie is round my neck we don't go out to dinner to-night. George?" "And they were ours. while the children stood around to see their fate decided. and in- deed that was what he had come to ask her to do. 'How did you get to know me. "O George. Darling brushed him. Nana is a treasure. I never go to the office again. At first he pooh- poohed the story. for telling him about the boy. Darling groaned." she said. do you remember Michael suddenly said to me. "Let me try." "I wonder. and with her nice cool hands she tied his tie for him. "How wildly we romped!" says Mrs. dear one. ours! and now they are gone. examining it carefully. and if I don't go to the office again. mother?'" "I remember!" "They were rather sweet." It was an op- portunity. Darling had far too fine a nature for that. and if I don't go out to dinner to- night. but Mr. and he went on sternly. Darling was not sufficiently impressed. at once forgot his rage. but he became thoughtful when she showed him the shadow. He thought Mrs. you and I starve." "No doubt. dear. and most unluck- ily Mr." "Oh no." he said. "I warn you of this.

father." he said. won't!" Michael cried naughtily. "I'll bring it. always glad to be of service. 14 . with a vindict- ive politeness that was quite thrown away upon her. there is no doubt that he had behaved rather foolishly over the medicine. for giving me bottles to make we well. Immediately his spirits sank in the strangest way. "You have been wonderfully quick. Darling left the room to get a chocolate for him. Michael." He had not exactly lost it. and she said." she panted. you know." John said cheerily. sticky. Mrs. You will never carry the bottle in your mouth again. Michael. What he did not know was that the faithful Liza had found it. father." Strong man though he was. It's that nasty. if I hadn't lost the bottle. Darling said bravely." says Mr. 'Thank you. you remember. "Come on. don't pamper him. and it is all my fault. "We were still discussing it. kind parents. shuddering. isn't it?" "Ever so much nastier. Darling thought this showed want of firmness. and put it back on his wash-stand." said John. and Wendy." said Michael. and Mr. "I have been as quick as I could. "Mother. and so now. "Be a man." he said doggedly." his father rapped out. "John. "it's most beastly stuff. Darling. "when Nana came in with Michael's medicine. "I know where it is. "I shall be sick. to encourage Michael. Darling said threateningly. "Hold your tongue. Nana." and she was off before he could stop her. "Father first. believed it also." he called after her. when I was your age I took medicine without a murmur. sweet kind." Wendy cried. when Mi- chael dodged the spoon in Nana's mouth." Mr. he had said reprovingly. "and I would take it now as an example to you. father. who was now in her night-gown. and then in rushed Wendy with the medicine in a glass." "Won't. If he had a weakness.'" He really thought this was true. is much nastier. who was of a suspicious nature." her father retorted." Mr. "Michael first. father. it was for think- ing that all his life he had taken medicine boldly. "Michael. he had climbed in the dead of night to the top of the wardrobe and hidden it there." "It will soon be over. "That medicine you sometimes take. I said. John.

" said Mr. but Mr. three. you take it. not an angry look: she showed him the great red tear that makes us so sorry for noble dogs. There was a yell of rage from Michael. "Are you ready. "What fun!" he said doubtfully. Darling." he retorted. take it. 15 . Darling such a look. I am waiting. "The point is. ran to the medicine." Nana wagged her tail. and "O father!" Wendy exclaimed. Darling demanded. as soon as Nana had gone into the bathroom." "So are you a cowardly custard. "I have just thought of a splendid joke." "Well. just as if they did not admire him." he said. Darling slipped his behind his back. Then she gave Mr. and began lapping it. that there is more in my glass than in Michael's spoon. and they did not dare expose him when Mrs." "I'm not frightened. Michael. I shall pour my medicine into Nana's bowl. "I thought you took it quite easily. "It's all very well to say you are waiting. so am I waiting." "Father's a cowardly custard. and they looked at him reproachfully as he poured the medicine into Nana's bowl. I meant to take mine. but I—I missed it. and Michael took his medi- cine. "Look here." It was dreadful the way all the three were looking at him. then. "And it isn't fair: I would say it though it were with my last breath. and crept into her kennel. one. thinking it is milk!" It was the colour of milk. and she will drink it. two." Wendy had a splendid idea. "Why not both take it at the same time?" "Certainly. then." "Neither am I frightened. good dog." said Michael coldly." "Father. but the children did not have their father's sense of humour." "That is not the point. patting her. "I have put a little milk into your bowl. Nana. Darling and Nana returned. Michael?" Wendy gave the words. "Stop that row. father." he said entreatingly. Wendy was quite puzzled. "What do you mean by 'O father'?" Mr. "Nana." His proud heart was nearly bursting. it isn't fair. all of you." "Well.

He felt he was a strong man again. which craved for admiration. Mr." she said. and Nana ran to him beseechingly. He was determined to show who was mas- ter in that house." Danger! "Are you sure. "remember what I told you about that boy." he cried." The children wept. In a horrid silence Mrs. he lured her out of it with honeyed words. "That is not Nana's unhappy bark. "It is because he is chaining her up in the yard. and John whimpered. In the meantime Mrs." Alas. "Coddle her! Nobody coddles me. why!" "George." she said." he roared. George. "That's right." but Wendy was wiser. "Let them!" he answered recklessly. and when commands would not draw Nana from the kennel." 16 . They could hear Nana barking. Wendy?" "Oh. and yet he did it. Oh dear no! I am only the breadwinner." "George. "O George. with his knuckles to his eyes. He was ashamed of himself. Darling smelt the bowl. Darling had put the children to bed in unwonted silence and lit their night-lights. the wretched father went and sat in the passage. It was all owing to his too affectionate nature. why." he shouted. he would not listen. yes. "Bring in the whole world. But I refuse to allow that dog to lord it in my nursery for an hour longer. "Much good. "the proper place for you is the yard. and there you go to be tied up this instant. but he would not give in. while she comforted her boys. When he had tied her up in the back-yard. dragged her from the nursery. in vain. and Wendy hugged Nana. Darling entreated him. "my wearing myself to the bone trying to be funny in this house. Darling was frightfully ashamed of himself. "In vain." And still Wendy hugged Nana. "that is her bark when she smells danger. and seizing her roughly. but he waved her back. "not so loud. "it's your medicine!" "It was only a joke. little guessing what was about to happen. Darling whispered." Mrs. why should I be coddled—why." Somehow they had got into the way of calling Liza the servants." Mrs." he said bitterly. the servants will hear you.

Darling quivered and went to the window." They were the last words she was to hear from him for a long time. and Mrs. knew that she was perturbed. Yet a nameless fear clutched at her heart and made her cry. and the night was peppered with stars. 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. after the night-lights are lit?" "Nothing. but they are so fond of fun that they were on his side to-night." she said. She looked out. and he asked. they must just look on for ever. "they are the eyes a mother leaves be- hind her to guard her children. and little Michael flung his arms round her. but there had been a slight fall of snow. Peter!" 17 . already half asleep. "Can anything harm us. mother. They were crowding round the house. "I'm glad of you. "Oh. It is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now knows what it was. but they may not take an active part in anything. as if curious to see what was to take place there. but the little ones still won- der. Mrs. 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. who had a mischievous way of stealing up behind them and trying to blow them out. No. but she did not notice this. "Mother. how I wish that I wasn't going to a party to-night!" Even Michael. 27 was only a few yards distant. It was securely fastened. So as soon as the door of 27 closed on Mr. and all the stars were watching them. So the older ones have become glassy-eyed and seldom speak (winking is the star language). They are not really friendly to Peter. Stars are beautiful. precious. Darling there was a commotion in the firmament." he cried." She went from bed to bed singing enchantments over them. nor that one or two of the smaller ones winked at her.

do you know where they put my shadow?" The loveliest tinkle as of golden bells answered him. looking for Peter's shadow. Darling left the house the night-lights by the beds of the three children continued to burn clearly. no longer than your hand. through which her figure could be seen to the best advantage. a thousand times brighter than the night-lights. but still growing. and before they could close their mouths all the three went out. do come out of that jug. "Oh. cut low and square. and one cannot help wishing that they could have kept awake to see Peter. She was slightly inclined to EMBONPOINT. rum- maged the wardrobe and turned every pocket inside out. They were awfully nice little night-lights. It was not really a light. but Wendy's light blinked and gave such a yawn that the other two yawned also. "Tinker Bell.Chapter 3 COME AWAY. and his hand was still messy with the fairy dust. 18 . "Tink. COME AWAY! For a moment after Mr. and Mrs. it had been in all the drawers in the nursery. There was another light in the room now. it made this light by flashing about so quickly. after making sure that the children were asleep. and lik- ing it extremely. [plump hourglass figure] A moment after the fairy's entrance the window was blown open by the breathing of the little stars. It was a girl called Tinker Bell exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf. where are you?" She was in a jug for the moment. and tell me. and in the time we have taken to say this. but if you were to hear it you would know that you had heard it once before. she had never been in a jug before. and Peter dropped in. He had carried Tinker Bell part of the way." he called softly. It is the fairy lan- guage. but when it came to rest for a second you saw it was a fairy. You ordinary children can never hear it.

it isn't. She meant the chest of drawers. She asked where he lived. He felt for the first time that it was a shortish name. and in his delight he forgot that he had shut Tinker Bell up in the drawer." She was already sure that he must be Peter. scattering their contents to the floor with both hands. when brought near each other." said Peter." said Wendy Moira Angela. remembering that she was hostess. "What's your name?" he asked. "What is your name?" "Peter Pan. "why are you crying?" Peter could be exceeding polite also. "I mean. "I'm so sorry. "Second to the right. having learned the grand manner at fairy ceremonies. and Peter jumped at the drawers. it was that he and his shadow. His sobs woke Wendy. but it did seem a compar- atively short name. "It doesn't matter. and he rose and bowed to her beautifully. "Boy. A shudder passed through Peter. "Wendy Moira Angela Darling. "and then straight on till morning." she replied with some satisfaction. and she sat up in bed. "No. and when they did not he was appalled. If he thought at all. and bowed beautifully to him from the bed." Peter gulped. but I don't believe he ever thought. but that also failed. "is that what they put on the letters?" 19 ." he said rather sharply. She was not alarmed to see a stranger crying on the nursery floor. "Is that all?" "Yes." she said courteously. Tink said that the shadow was in the big box." "What a funny address!" Peter had a sinking. as kings toss ha'pence to the crowd. In a mo- ment he had recovered his shadow. He tried to stick it on with soap from the bathroom. and he sat on the floor and cried. would join like drops of water. she was only pleasantly interested." Wendy said nicely. For the first time he felt that perhaps it was a funny address. She was much pleased." he said.

Alas." he said contemptuously. And he clenched his teeth and did not cry. the cleverness of me!" 20 . "I daresay it will hurt a little. "oh." Wendy said thoughtfully. "Don't get any letters. Besides. "What's sewn?" he asked. and she was frightfully sorry for Peter. felt at once that she was in the presence of a tragedy." she warned him. "Oh. was indifferent to appearances. and soon his shadow was behaving properly. but she could not help smiling when she saw that he had been trying to stick it on with soap. looking so draggled." she said. boylike. "I wasn't crying about mothers. I shan't cry. "I was cry- ing because I can't get my shadow to stick on. no wonder you were crying. He thought them very over-rated persons. "Perhaps I should have ironed it." she said." she said. though still a little creased. "How awful!" she said. who was already of the opinion that he had never cried in his life. Not only had he no mother. "How clever I am!" he crowed rapturously. but Peter. "You're dreadfully ignorant." Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor. "But your mother gets letters?" "Don't have a mother. and sewed the shadow on to Peter's foot. though he was tall as herself. and got out of bed and ran to him. but he had not the slightest desire to have one. and he was now jumping about in the wildest glee. however. I wasn't crying. Wendy." "It has come off?" "Yes. "O Peter." said Peter. just a little patronisingly. and she got out her housewife [sewing bag]. I'm not. he had already forgotten that he owed his bliss to Wendy." he said rather indignantly. my little man. "I shall sew it on for you." "No. "It must be sewn on." But she was exulting in his ignorance." he said. How exactly like a boy! Fortunately she knew at once what to do. He thought he had attached the shadow himself. He wished she had not mentioned letters.

It was not really a happy question to 21 . "don't withdraw. and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck. "and I'll get up again. asked Peter how old he was." said he. and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble." She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him. though she was listening eagerly. I can't help crowing." "I think it's perfectly sweet of you. and he held out his hand expectantly." he replied stiffly. It is humiliating to have to confess that this conceit of Peter was one of his most fascinating qualities." she exclaimed. Wendy. it is customary for them to ask each other's age. so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before." Now Wendy was every inch a woman. Peter?" "Yes. with frightful sarcasm." Peter said carelessly. in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist. when I'm pleased with myself. But for the moment Wendy was shocked. I do. there never was a cockier boy. who always liked to do the correct thing. "I shall know when you give it to me." she declared. "Wendy. and when this failed he sat on the end of the bed and tapped her gently with his foot. aghast. "of course I did nothing!" "You did a little. "shall I give you a kiss?" and she replied with a slight primness. "Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked. "Now. "Do you really think so. though there were not very many inches." and she sprang in the most dignified way into bed and covered her face with the blankets. "A little!" she replied with hauteur [pride]. To induce her to look up he pretended to be going away. and she peeped out of the bed-clothes." he continued. and continued to dance. "Wendy. but Peter did not know what she meant. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain. "You conceit [braggart]." he said. and so Wendy. one girl is more use than twenty boys. "if I am no use I can at least withdraw. for it was afterwards to save her life. "Wendy. To put it with brutal frankness. "If you please." Still she would not look up. When people in our set are introduced. but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand." and she sat with him on the side of the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked.

I ran away the day I was born. "but I am quite young." She gave him a look of the most intense admiration. and he told her about the beginning of fairies. he liked them on the whole. "you don't mean to tell me that there is a fairy in this room!" 22 .ask him. and it struck him that Tinker Bell was keeping very quiet. by a touch on her night-gown. You see children know such a lot now. and that was the beginning of fairies. So I ran away to Kensington Gardens and lived a long long time among the fairies. it was like an examination paper that asks grammar. "Wendy. clutching him. "Peter. "talking about what I was to be when I became a man. when what you want to be asked is Kings of England." he explained in a low voice. to his surprise. "I don't want ever to be a man. Wendy's heart went flutter with a sudden thrill. and indeed he sometimes had to give them a hiding [spanking]." he said.' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead. "And so." He was ex- traordinarily agitated now. "there ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl. they soon don't believe in fairies. but it was really because he knew fairies. its laugh broke into a thousand pieces." he went on good-naturedly. he thought they had now talked enough about fairies. "It was because I heard father and mother. Still. and she indicated in the charming drawing-room manner. getting in his way and so on. She poured out questions about them. but interested. but being a stay-at-home she liked it. Wendy. when the first baby laughed for the first time. and he called Tink by name. "I can't think where she has gone to." He really knew nothing about it." "Ought to be? Isn't there?" "No." Tedious talk this." she cried." he said with passion." he replied uneasily. rising. "I want always to be a little boy and to have fun. Wendy had lived such a home life that to know fairies struck her as quite delightful. "I don't know. he had merely suspicions. for they were rather a nuisance to him. "You see. and every time a child says. and he thought it was because he had run away. 'I don't believe in fairies. but he said at a ven- ture." Really." Wendy was quite surprised. and they all went skipping about. that he could sit nearer her.

"is like a tinkle of bells. "Of course I'm very sorry." Peter explained apolo- getically. "The only sound I hear. but how could I know you were in the drawer?" Wendy was not listening to him. He had his first laugh still." Peter retorted. "Tink. because I am an gentleman and you are a lady. "this lady says she wishes you were her fairy. but for one moment Wendy saw the romantic figure come to rest on the cuckoo clock. "if she would only stand still and let me see her!" "They hardly ever stand still. "she is called Tinker Bell because she mends the pots and kettles [tinker = tin worker]. that's the fairy language." Tinker Bell answered insolently." he said. "What does she say." To this Tink replied in these words. "She was here just now." she cried. I think I hear her too." said Wendy. Peter?" He had to translate. "O Peter. "If you don't live in Kensington Gardens now—" "Sometimes I do still." The sound come from the chest of drawers." [Similar to "cinder" plus "elle" to get Cinderella] They were together in the armchair by this time. that's Tink. and she flew about the nursery screaming with fury. and Peter made a merry face. "You know you can't be my fairy. "She is not very polite. and the loveliest of gurgles was his laugh. "You don't hear her. She says you are a great [huge] ugly girl." said Peter amiably." He tried to argue with Tink." he said a little impatiently. though Tink's face was still distorted with passion." and disappeared into the bathroom. "I do believe I shut her up in the drawer!" He let poor Tink out of the drawer." he whispered gleefully." "But where do you live mostly now?" "With the lost boys. No one could ever look quite so merry as Peter." 23 ." "Well. "She is quite a common fairy. "O the lovely!" she cried. do you?" and they both listened. "You silly ass. Tink. "Wendy. "You shouldn't say such things. and Wendy plied him with more questions. and that she is my fairy.

using offensive language. "What is it. one kick. girls." she said. are much too clever to fall out of their prams. This seemed to Wendy rather forward for a first meeting. "I think." said the nice Wendy. "but we are rather lonely." And indeed Tink was darting about again. I mean a thimble. "I don't mean a kiss." She kissed him." he said a little bitterly. Wendy." "That must have been Tink. and offered to return her the thimble." "Are none of the others girls?" "Oh. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expenses. and almost immediately she screeched. I never knew her so naughty before. relenting. Wendy?" "It was exactly as if someone were pulling my hair. you know. "I thought you would want it back. "it is perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls. no." For reply Peter rose and kicked John out of bed. "And I know you meant to be kind. "Oh dear." said cunning Peter. and she told him with spirit that he was not captain in her house. blankets and all. I'm captain. However." For the moment she had forgotten his ignorance about kisses." This flattered Wendy immensely. "She says she will do that to you. "Now shall I give you a thimble?" "If you wish to." "What fun it must be!" "Yes." said Wendy. every time I give you a thimble. John continued to sleep so placidly on the floor that she allowed him to re- main there." "What's that?" "It's like this. "Funny!" said Peter gravely. "Who are they?" "They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way." "But why?" 24 . You see we have no female companionship. Peter thimbled her." she said. keeping her head erect this time. John there just despises us. "so you may give me a kiss.

do come with me and tell the other boys." Peter could not understand why. "You see." "I'll teach you." "Oh. and they lived happily ever after. I can't fly. "Wendy. but did not." Peter was so glad that he rose from the floor." Those were her precise words. "Where are you going?" she cried with misgiving. I don't know any stories. 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. how lovely to fly." "Peter. He came back. and he found her." Peter asked "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories. and then away we go. where they had been sit- ting." Of course she was very pleased to be asked. "I know such lots of stories." "Oo!" she exclaimed rapturously. 25 ." "Which story was it?" "About the prince who couldn't find the lady who wore the glass slipper. Think of mummy! Besides." "Don't go Peter. "Oh. O Wendy. "Why. but she said. and then Peter gripped her and began to draw her toward the window. "Let me go!" she ordered him. I can't. and hurried to the window. the stories I could tell to the boys!" she cried. and there was a greedy look in his eyes now which ought to have alarmed her." she entreated. None of the lost boys knows any stories." "How perfectly awful." Wendy said. your mother was telling you such a lovely story. "that was Cinderella." said Wendy excitedly. "You silly ass. "To tell the other boys. "Do you know. "Oh dear. so there can be no denying that it was she who first tempted him. Tink?" Again Tink replied." "I'll teach you how to jump on the wind's back. but Wendy understood.

looking as sharp as a knife with six blades and a saw." she cried. But he had no pity for her." "Oh. "how we should all respect you. It was quite as if she were try- ing to remain on the nursery floor." he said." he said." "Mermaids! With tails?" "Such long tails. All was as still as salt. and you would have sworn you heard its three wicked inmates breathing 26 . "Wake up. "Then I shall get up. "to see a mermaid!" He had become frightfully cunning. the sly one. "Peter." "Oo!" "And. "And you could darn our clothes. was quiet now. And thus when Liza entered. "you could tuck us in at night. and she ran to John and Michael and shook them." "Oo!" "None of us has ever been tucked in at night." he said. No." cried Wendy. "Out with the light! Hide! Quick!" cried John. taking command for the only time throughout the whole adventure. when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me saying funny things to the stars. "Wendy." "Oo. the nursery seemed quite its old self. "Wendy. holding Nana." he said. "Of course it's awfully fascinating!" she cried. "Peter Pan has come and he is to teach us to fly. "Hallo. "Wendy." She was wriggling her body in distress." How could she resist. there are mermaids. very dark. Of course he was on the floor already. Nana. It was her silence they had heard. Then everything was right. Wendy. but Peter suddenly signed silence. would you teach John and Michael to fly too?" "If you like. None of us has any pockets. "I am up!" Michael was up by this time also. who had been barking distressfully all the evening." John rubbed his eyes." he said indifferently. and make pockets for us. stop! Everything was wrong. Their faces assumed the awful craftiness of children listening for sounds from the grown-up world." and her arms went out to him. Wendy.

But Liza was dense. and Mrs. Liza was in a bad temper. breathed so loudly that they were nearly detected. with a raisin still on her cheek. "I say. But it was now ten minutes since three scoundrels had been breathing behind the curtains. you suspicious brute. We now return to the nursery. won't master whip you. Do you think she cared whether she was whipped so long as her charges were safe? Unfortunately Liza returned to her pud- dings.angelically as they slept. "I warn you if bark again I shall go straight for master and missus and bring them home from the party. "How sweet!" cried Wendy. aren't they? Every one of the little angels sound asleep in bed. pulling her out of the room." she said. and had been drawn from them. and she tried to drag herself out of Liza's clutches. but do you think Nana ceased to bark? Bring master and missus home from the party! Why. They were really doing it artfully from behind the window curtains. She thought the best way of getting a little quiet was to take Nana to the nursery for a moment. Nana knew that kind of breathing. just. for she was mixing the Christmas puddings in the kitchen. Nana. her most expressive way of making a communication. that was just what she wanted. encouraged by his success. "It's all right. Mr. by Nana's absurd suspicions. and then. taking the mantelpiece on the way. not sorry that Nana was in dis- grace." she said sternly. and Nana." John announced. Listen to their gentle breathing. and Peter Pan can do a great deal in ten minutes. emerging from his hiding-place." Here Michael. "How topping!" said John and Michael. "They are perfectly safe. can you really fly?" Instead of troubling to answer him Peter flew around the room. and without a good-bye to their hostess they rushed into the street. In another moment she had burst into the dining-room of 27 and flung up her paws to heaven. oh. strained and strained at the chain until at last she broke it. seeing that no help would come from her. but in cus- tody of course. "No more of it. "There." She tied the unhappy dog up again. Darling knew at once that something terrible was happening in their nursery. 27 . Peter.

28 . and there is al- most nothing so delicious as that. and he blew some on each of them. they could not help kicking a little. Peter gave Wendy a hand at first. "couldn't you do it very slowly once?" Peter did it both slowly and quickly. It looked delightfully easy. but had to desist. and round and round. and Peter did not know A from Z." Peter explained. for no one can fly unless the fairy dust has been blown on him. but soon he found he had not. and gallant Michael let go first. John let go and met Wendy near the bathroom. "You're so nippy at it. Tink was so indignant. lovely!" "Oh. and immediately he was borne across the room. "and let go. ripping!" "Look at me!" "Look at me!" "Look at me!" They were not nearly so elegant as Peter. with the most superb results. Up and down they went. Not one of them could fly an inch. one of his hands was messy with it." John said." He showed them again. and they tried it first from the floor and then from the beds." he said. Wendy!" cried John. though even Michael was in words of two syllables. "You just think lovely wonderful thoughts. He did not quite mean to let go. I am sweet!" said Peter. but their heads were bobbing against the ceiling. "I say. "Oh. rubbing his knee. "Yes. but they always went down instead of up. "I've got it now. Heavenly was Wendy's word. "and they lift you up in the air. Of course Peter had been trifling with them. "Now just wiggle your shoulders this way. "I flewed!" he screamed while still in mid-air. oh." They were all on their beds. but he did it. He was quite a practical boy. Fortunately. as we have men- tioned. forgetting his manners again. how do you do it?" asked John. I'm sweet.

seizing his Sunday hat. "Mermaids!" said Peter again. but the room was ablaze with light. if they are not in time. They would have reached the nursery in time had it not been that the little stars were watching them. Not three figures." he cried imperiously. "Oo!" "And there are pirates. but Mrs. "let us go at once." It was just at this moment that Mr. it was still shut. "why shouldn't we all go out?" Of course it was to this that Peter had been luring them. but there will be no story. Mr. and. The birds were flown. they could see in shadow on the curtain three little figures in night attire circling round and round. "Come. "I say. Darling hurried with Nana out of 27. Peter!" Then Peter knew that there was not a moment to lose. and most heart-gripping sight of all. four! In a tremble they opened the street door. yes. and we shall all breathe a sigh of relief. not on the floor but in the air." cried John. Will they reach the nursery in time? If so. On the oth- er hand. and Mrs. 29 . Mr. Darling and Nana rushed into the nursery too late. They ran into the middle of the street to look up at the nursery window. Michael was ready: he wanted to see how long it took him to do a bil- lion miles. I solemnly promise that it will all come right in the end. and Mrs. But Wendy hesitated. followed by John and Michael and Wendy. and that smallest star of all called out: "Cave. Darling would have rushed upstairs. She even tried to make her heart go softly. how delightful for them. Darling signed him to go softly. and soared out at once into the night." "Pirates." cried John. Once again the stars blew the window open.

Chapter 4 THE FLIGHT "Second to the right. Certainly they did not pretend to be sleepy." That. and that was a danger. just said anything that came into his head. for the moment they popped off. and they would all go chasing each other gaily for miles. Peter had told Wendy. 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. and straight on till morning. At first his companions trusted him implicitly. down they fell. Did they really feel hungry at times. Sometimes it was dark and sometimes light. nor even that there are other ways. then the birds would fol- low and snatch it back. or were they merely pretending. Michael getting a start. and now they were very cold and again too warm. They recalled with contempt that not so long ago they had thought themselves fine fellows for being able to fly round a room. But Wendy noticed with gentle concern that Peter did not seem to know that this was rather an odd way of getting your bread and butter. Not long ago. you see. they were sleepy. John thought it was their second sea and their third night. Peter. but even birds. was the way to the Neverland. 30 . The aw- ful thing was that Peter thought this funny. carrying maps and consulting them at windy corners. parting at last with mutual expressions of good-will. could not have sighted it with these instructions. John and Michael raced. because Peter had such a jolly new way of feed- ing them? His way was to pursue birds who had food in their mouths suitable for humans and snatch it from them. But how long ago? They were flying over the sea before this thought began to disturb Wendy seriously.

" Wendy whispered to John. Also he was fond of variety." 31 ." said John. for the world was round. just as in the street you may run your finger along an iron railing. John." Wendy reminded him. "Save him. partly at least. We should have to go on. Wendy. Peter would fly close to the water and touch each shark's tail in passing. John said that if the worst came to the worst. but this was." "After the twentieth try. "And who is to get food for us. "There he goes again!" he would cry gleefully. They could not follow him in this with much success. 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. "What could we do if he were to leave us!" "We could go back. so there was always the possibility that the next time you fell he would let you go. we could go on. then. He could sleep in the air without falling." "Then tell him to stop showing off. when they were playing "Follow my Leader. When playing Follow my Leader." This was true. "Do be more polite to him. for we don't know how to stop. John?" "I nipped a bit out of that eagle's mouth pretty neatly. and the sport that engrossed him one moment would suddenly cease to engage him. save him!" cried Wendy." Michael said. Peter had forgotten to show them how to stop. because he was so light that if you got behind him and blew he went faster. all they had to do was to go straight on. especially as he kept looking behind to see how many tails they missed. and catch Michael just before he could strike the sea. as Michael suddenly dropped like a stone. Eventually Peter would dive through the air. see how we bump against clouds and things if he is not near to give us a hand." said John. "And even though we became good a picking up food. looking with horror at the cruel sea far below. "How could we ever find our way back without him?" "Well. "That is the awful thing. and it was lovely the way he did it. so perhaps it was rather like showing off. "You must be nice to him. and so in time they must come back to their own window." Wendy impressed on her brothers. by merely lying on his back and floating.

or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him. Indeed they would have slept longer. at least not well. the more they tried to avoid it. "And if he forgets them so quickly. "always if you see me forgetting you. but Peter tired quickly of sleeping. but if they saw a cloud in front of them. once even she had to call him by name. she would have had a bandage round Michael's forehead by this time. but he had already forgotten what it was. just keep on saying 'I'm Wendy. where?" "Where all the arrows are pointing. Peter was not with them for the moment. they drew near the Neverland. and this was such a pleasant change that they tried it several times and found that they could sleep thus with security." Of course this was rather unsatisfactory. It was really rather irritating to children who had never seen a mermaid. Wendy." Wendy argued. However. what is more. She saw recognition come into his eyes as he was about to pass them the time of day and go on. They could now fly strongly. to make amends he showed them how to lie out flat on a strong wind that was going their way. to have some adventure in which they had no share. and soon he would cry in his captain voice. for after many moons they did reach it. Indeed they were constantly bumping. the more certainly did they bump into it. He could go so much faster than they that he would suddenly shoot out of sight." he whispered to her. He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star. though they still kicked far too much. He was very sorry. not perhaps so much owing to the guidance of Peter or Tink as because the island was looking for them. "Where. "There it is." she said agitatedly. Wendy was sure of it. "We get off here. they had been going pretty straight all the time." 32 . "I'm Wendy." So with occasional tiffs. It is only thus that any one may sight those magic shores." said Peter calmly. "I say. If Nana had been with them. and yet not be able to say for certain what had been happening. sometimes when he returned he did not remember them. "how can we ex- pect that he will go on remembering us?" Indeed. and they felt rather lonely up there by themselves. but on the whole rollicking.' and then I'll remember. and.

I see your flamingo with the broken leg!" "Look. they all recognized it at once. You were quite glad that the night-lights were on. leaving the island in gloom. I do believe that's your little whelp!" "There's my boat." Peter was a little annoyed with them for knowing so much. and that the Neverland was all make-believe. and above all. there's your cave!" "John." "There. I see the smoke of the redskin camp!" "Where? Show me. just across the Mysterious River. "John." "Wendy. for have I not told you that anon fear fell upon them? It came as the arrows went. it isn't. but if he wanted to lord it over them his triumph was at hand. but as a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays. at any rate. we burned your boat. In the old days at home the Neverland had always begun to look a little dark and threatening by bedtime. black shadows moved about in them. the roar of the beasts of prey was quite different now. look at the turtles burying their eggs in the sand. all directed by their friend the sun. Michael. John. Indeed a million golden arrows were pointing it out to the children." "I see now. Wendy. who wanted them to be sure of their way before leaving them for the night. Why. You even liked Nana to say that this was just the mantelpiece over here. with her sides stove in!" "No. there's the lagoon. they are on the war-path right enough. John. Yes. 33 . what's that in the brushwood?" "It's a wolf with her whelps. Wendy and John and Michael stood on tip-toe in the air to get their first sight of the island. John. you lost the certainty that you would win. and I'll tell you by the way smoke curls whether they are on the war-path." "That's her. and until fear fell upon them they hailed it. not as something long dreamt of and seen at last." "I say. Strange to say. I say. Then unexplored patches arose in it and spread.

and a tingle went through them every time they touched his body. His careless manner had gone at last. and then kill him. But he could not or would not say. yet their progress had become slow and laboured." John said after a long pause. "Who are they?" Wendy whispered. but now he wakened her and sent her on in front. "I do. "They don't want us to land." he explained. his eyes were sparkling. but the braver John hesitated. shuddering. listening intently. he went on again." "Suppose." Peter spoke indignantly." "I say! Do you kill many?" "Tons. and there were no night-lights. "What kind of adventure?" he asked cautiously." "I don't see him." 34 . "Would you like an adventure now. "or would you like to have your tea first?" Wendy said "tea first" quickly. Having done these things. exactly as if they were pushing their way through hostile forces." John said. "If you like. His courage was almost appalling. "he were to wake up. and it was getting darker every moment. with his hand to his ear. They were now over the fearsome island. Nothing horrid was visible in the air. Sometimes they hung in the air until Peter had beaten on it with his fists. Sometimes he poised himself in the air. but they huddled close to Peter now. Of course the Neverland had been make-believe in those days. a little huskily." Peter told him." he said casually to John. Tinker Bell had been asleep on his shoulder. and again he would stare down with eyes so bright that they seemed to bore two holes to earth. but it was real now. "You don't think I would kill him while he was sleeping! I would wake him first. That's the way I always do. we'll go down and kill him. "There's a pirate asleep in the pampas just beneath us. and Michael pressed her hand in gratit- ude. and where was Nana? They had been flying apart. flying so low that sometimes a tree grazed their feet.

"Who is captain now?" "Hook." said Peter. John said "How ripping. ay. all right. Hook?" "Ay. sir. and even John could speak in gulps only." "There is one thing. ay." "How do you mean?" "I cut off a bit of him." Peter continued. 'Ay." "Say." said Peter. "I wasn't meaning to be disrespectful." John whispered huskily. "Jas. "that every boy who serves un- der me has to promise. can't he just!" "Left-hander?" "He has an iron hook instead of a right hand." answered Peter. He is the only man of whom Barbecue was afraid. "He was Blackbeard's bo'sun. for they knew Hook's reputation. John. and he claws with it. "Yes. "What is he like? Is he big?" "He is not so big as he was. and Peter said he had never known so many. "He is the worst of them all. and his face became very stern as he said that hated word. and so must you." "But. what bit?" "His right hand." "That's him. sir. me." but decided to have tea first." Then indeed Michael began to cry." said Peter sharply." "Claws!" "I say.'" "Ay. I say." "You!" "Yes. He asked if there were many pirates on the island just now." "Then he can't fight now?" "Oh." 35 ." "Oh.

until Peter pointed out the drawbacks. and if they guess we are near it they are sure to let fly." Wendy begged. Unfortu- nately she could not fly so slowly as they." "She can't put it out. "these are the only two things worth doing. they had set off in such a hurry that there was not a pocket between the four of them. "She thinks we have lost the way. "If only one of us had a pocket. "Then tell her. "and she is rather frightened." "I promise." However. It just goes out of itself when she falls asleep. Wendy quite liked it." growled John. "She can't sleep except when she's sleepy. It is the only other thing fair- ies can't do. if we meet Hook in open fight." he replied stiffly." John almost ordered. Peter. "to put out her light. "that the pirates sighted us before the darkness came. And of course they must see her light. and in her light they could distinguish each other." the three cried simultaneously. 36 ." "Then tell her to sleep at once. and got Long Tom out." Here he got a pinch. same as the stars." "Seems to me." he said. That is about the only thing fairies can't do. 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." "The big gun?" "Yes. "It is this." John said loyally." Peter said. but he refused. but not a loving one. and so she had to go round and round them in a circle in which they moved as in a halo. "we could carry her in it. you must leave him to me. For the moment they were feeling less eerie. because Tink was flying with them." "Wendy!" "John!" "Michael!" "Tell her to go away at once. John paled. "She tells me.

Tink was not all bad. It was the stillest silence they had ever known. Peter. and they flew on in silence. led to mischief. which Peter explained was the wild beasts drinking at the ford. We know now that no one had been hit. because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. as we shall see. where are they?" Thus sharply did the terrified three learn the difference between an is- land of make-believe and the same island come true. When at last the heavens were steady again. she was all bad just now. sometimes she was all good. or. while Wendy was blown up- wards with no companion but Tinker Bell. though she had hoped to be carried by Peter. The pirates had fired Long Tom at them. He had a happy idea. only it 37 . and the echoes seemed to cry savagely. broken once by a distant lapping. Fairies have to be one thing or the other. however. and Michael without knowing how to float was floating. Even these noises ceased. for Tinker Bell hated to be under an ob- ligation to Wendy. and again by a rasping sound that might have been the branches of trees rubbing together. but she at once popped out of the hat and began to lure Wendy to her destruction. "If only something would make a sound!" he cried. "I haven't tried [myself out] yet. It would have been well for Wendy if at that moment she had dropped the hat. As if in answer to his request. or whether she had planned it on the way. had been car- ried by the wind of the shot far out to sea. The roar of it echoed through the mountains. Presently Wendy took the hat. John's hat! Tink agreed to travel by hat if it was carried in the hand. rather. John and Michael found themselves alone in the darkness. John was treading the air mechanic- ally. In the black topper the light was completely hidden. where are they. John carried it. "Are you shot?" John whispered tremulously. but. "Where are they. because John said it struck against his knee as he flew. however. I don't know whether the idea came suddenly to Tink. They are. allowed to change. the air was rent by the most tremendous crash he had ever heard. but he said it was the redskins sharpening their knives. and this. To Michael the loneliness was dreadful." Michael whispered back. on the other hand.

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."
What else could poor Wendy do? She called to Peter and John and Mi-
chael, 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, be-
wildered, and now staggering in her flight, she followed Tink to her


Chapter 5
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 red-
skins 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 com-
ing 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 pre-
tend 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 be-
come 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 oppor-
tunity 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 be-
fore 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 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 apolo-
getic 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


and as dogs they obeyed him. 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 the elegance of his diction. and Robt. and Skylights (Morgan's Skylights). every inch of him tattooed. which is probably the truest test of breeding. said to be Black Murphy's broth- er (but this was never proved). He was never more sinister than when he was most polite. and I have been told that he was a RACONTEUR [storyteller] of repute. even when he was swearing. or as he wrote himself. As dogs this terrible man treated and ad- dressed them. and of a profound melancholy. having heard it said in some earlier period of his career that he bore a strange resemblance to the ill-fated Stuarts. it was said that the only thing he shied at was the sight of his own blood. But undoubtedly the grimmest part of him was his iron claw. and the Irish bo'sun Smee. and his hair was dressed in long curls. In man- ner. something of the grand seigneur still clung to him. In dress he somewhat aped the attire associated with the name of Charles II. and in his mouth he had a holder of his own contrivance which enabled him to smoke two cigars at once. without offence. and Noodler. showed him one of a different cast from his crew. and Cookson. He lay at his ease in a rough chariot drawn and propelled by his men. His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not. which at a little distance looked like black candles. 41 . Here is Bill Jukes. so that he even ripped you up with an air. That gigantic black behind him has had many names since he dropped the one with which dusky moth- ers still terrify their children on the banks of the Guadjo-mo. Mullins and Alf Mason and many another ruffian long known and feared on the Spanish Main. In person he was cadaver- ous [dead looking] and blackavized [dark faced]. In the midst of them. an oddly genial man who stabbed. A man of indomitable courage. once an usher in a public school and still dainty in his ways of killing.back of the governor of the prison at Gao. Hook. and Gentleman Starkey. re- clined James Hook. and gave a singularly threatening expression to his handsome counten- ance. and instead of a right hand he had the iron hook with which ever and anon he encouraged them to increase their pace. so to speak. whose hands were fixed on back- wards. Jas. at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly. save when he was plunging his hook into you. no less than the distinction of his demeanour. and was the only Non-con- formist in Hook's crew. the blackest and largest in that dark setting. of whom it is said he was the only man that the Sea-Cook feared. which was thick and of an unusual colour.

of boys as well as of pirates. and the pirates pass on. the hook shoots forth. there is not a brave who would not have the wayward thing to wife. The redskins disappear as they have come like shadows. Bringing up the rear. come the redskins. Their tongues are hanging out. Observe how they pass over fallen twigs without making the slightest noise. stealing noiselessly down the war-path. and the innumerable smaller savage things that flee from them. the place of greatest danger. it constitutes their chief danger. is Great Big Little Panther. comes the last figure of all. and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons. 42 . ruffling his lace collar. proudly erect. Strung around them are scalps. In the van. We shall see for whom she is looking presently. all the man-eaters. As they pass. ti- gers. for every kind of beast. comes Tiger Lily. more particularly. bears. All are keeping a sharp look-out in front. She is the most beautiful of dusky Dianas [Diana = goddess of the woods] and the belle of the Picca- ninnies. on all fours. Skylights will do. Let us now kill a pirate. but soon the boys appear again. but she staves off the altar with a hatchet. When they have passed. to show Hook's method. there is a tearing sound and one screech. a great and motley procession: lions. for these are the Piccaninny tribe. which is not visible to inexperienced eyes. They carry tomahawks and knives. This shows how real the island was. then the body is kicked aside. a princess in her own right. every one of them with his eyes peeled. coquettish [flirting]. a brave of so many scalps that in his present position they somewhat impede his progress. Then quickly they will be on top of each other. The fact is that they are all a little fat just now after the heavy gorging. The only sound to be heard is their somewhat heavy breathing. Which will win? On the trail of the pirates. and. and their naked bodies gleam with paint and oil. they are hungry to-night. but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind. For the moment. but in time they will work this off. a gigantic cro- codile. live cheek by jowl on the favoured island. and soon their place is taken by the beasts. cold and amorous [loving] by turns. however. The crocodile passes. for the proces- sion must continue indefinitely until one of the parties stops or changes its pace. Skylights lurches clumsily against him. He has not even taken the cigars from his mouth. Such is the terrible man against whom Peter Pan is pitted.

though in height and still more in breadth they were all larger than their captain. and tell us whether he has heard anything more about Cinderella. which if rolled away. each with a hole in its hollow trunk as large as a boy. Rabbits could not have disappeared more quickly. who has dar- ted away to reconnoitre [look around]. "is that she often said to my father. I will tell you where they are. They flung themselves down on the sward [turf]. they are already in their home under the ground." They talked of Cinderella. the pirate life. Will he find it tonight? 43 . the subject being forbidden by him as silly. "I do wish Peter would come back." At once the lost boys—but where are they? They are no longer there. would disclose the mouth of a cave. And hey for Davy Jones. "but I wish he would come back. The flag o' skull and bones. 'Oh." every one of them said nervously. however. These are the seven entrances to the home under the ground. "I am the only one who is not afraid of the pirates. a very delightful residence of which we shall see a good deal presently. for which Hook has been searching in vain these many moons. "All I remember about my mother. would have heard nothing. It was only in Peter's absence that they could speak of mothers. not being wild things of the woods. a hempen rope. how I wish I had a cheque-book of my own!' I don't know what a cheque-book is. and it was the grim song: "Yo ho. The first to fall out of the moving circle was the boys." Slightly said. for he added hastily. close to their underground home. You or I. not so much as a large stone. and you may note that there are here seven large trees. but they heard it. and Tootles was confident that his mother must have been very like her." While they talked they heard a distant sound." Nibs told them. but perhaps some dis- tant sound disturbed him. but I should just love to give my mother one. A merry hour. With the exception of Nibs. Look closely. yo ho. in the tone that prevented his being a general favourite. But how have they reached it? for there is no en- trance to be seen.

"Most of all. did not know in the least. writhing. "noticed your strange dread of crocodiles. "I've waited long to shake his hand with this. "He is only one." He brandished the hook threaten- ingly. because he wiggled it in the wound. Hook heaved a heavy sigh. Oh. "if I was a mother I would pray to have my children born with this instead of that. For instance. "I want their captain. and at once his pistol flashed out. but there came over him a desire to confide to his faithful bo'sun the story of his life. and I know not why it was. it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon. "Put back that pistol first. "Not now." 44 . Do you want to lose your scalp?" "Shall I after him." Hook was saying passionately. "It was one of those boys you hate. As the pirates advanced. and I want to mischief all the seven." Hook said darkly. "I have often heard you say that hook was worth a score of hands. Then again he frowned. and his cutlass was Johnny Corkscrew. perhaps it was because of the soft beauty of the evening." The pirates disappeared among the trees. 'Twas he cut off my arm. the quick eye of Starkey sighted Nibs disap- pearing through the wood. One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. "Captain. Peter Pan. It was a black voice. who was rather stupid." and he cast a look of pride upon his iron hand and one of scorn upon the other. after killing." he said." asked pathetic Smee." "I have often. wincing." "Ay. Smee. "Johnny's a silent fellow." the captain answered. "and tickle him with Johnny Corkscrew?" Smee had pleasant names for everything. He spoke long and earnestly." it said threateningly." said Smee. let go!" he cried. Now for the first time we hear the voice of Hook. I'll tear him!" "And yet." he reminded Hook. "to a crocodile that happened to be passing by. and in a moment their Cap- tain and Smee were alone. But an iron claw gripped his shoulder. for combing the hair and other homely uses. Anon [later] he caught the word Peter." said Smee. I could have shot him dead. "Peter flung my arm. Scatter and look for them." "Ay. and the sound would have brought Tiger Lily's redskins upon us. Captain. but what it was all about Smee.

" Hook corrected him. There came also children's voices. "Not of crocodiles. for so safe did the boys feel in their hiding-place that they were gaily chat- tering. "Ay." said Smee." said Smee. but by a lucky chance it swallowed a clock which goes tick tick in- side it. "and cook a large rich cake of a jolly thickness with green sugar on it. He stood for a long time lost in thought. hammer and tongs I'm burning. "Unrip your plan. that it has fol- lowed me ever since. "Smee. "it's sort of a compliment. but in a hollow way. who first gave the brute its taste for me. "Some day. "Odds bobs. captain. "the clock will run down. "Smee." Hook wetted his dry lips. The pirates listened grimly. Stranger still. and so before it can reach me I hear the tick and bolt. It was the custom of the boys to stop it with a mushroom when enemies were in the neighbourhood. Hook nodded. The pirates looked at each other. "It liked my arm so much." "I want no such compliments." He lowered his voice. licking its lips for the rest of me." "In a way. "this seat is hot. fid- geting with Johnny Corkscrew. "but of that one crocodile. "To return to the ship." Hook barked petulantly. There 45 . from sea to sea and from land to land. "A chimney!" they both exclaimed. smoke began at once to ascend." He sat down on a large mushroom. Smee. which was of a size and solidity un- known on the mainland. and then he'll get you. "that's the fear that haunts me." They examined the mushroom. they tried to pull it up. They had indeed discovered the chimney of the home under the ground." He laughed." he said huskily. and now there was a quiver in his voice." Since sitting down he had felt curiously warm." he cried eagerly." he said. and then replaced the mushroom." He jumped up. "Did you hear them say Peter Pan's from home?" Smee whispered. and it came away at once in their hands. and at last a curdling smile lit up his swarthy face. "that crocodile would have had me before this. Smee had been waiting for it." Hook replied slowly through his teeth." he said. for it had no root. They looked around them and noted the holes in the seven trees. "I want Peter Pan. Not only smoke came out of it.

falling on the ground. belay. for there is but one chimney. who were now on the trail of the other pirates. what can we do?" It was a high compliment to Peter that at that dire moment their thoughts turned to him. for presently Nibs rushed breathless into their midst. Tick tick tick tick! Hook stood shuddering. We will leave the cake on the shore of the Mer- maids' Lagoon. prettiest policy ever I heard of!" he cried. "Save me." Smee had listened with growing admiration. It had passed the redskins. but they never finished it. save me!" cried Nibs. the baying of them was horrible." He burst into laughter. followed by his bo'sun. "Aha. they will die.can be but one room below. That shows they have no mother. one foot in the air. and bounded away. These boys are always swimming about there. but the dangers of the night were not yet over. they don't know how dangerous 'tis to eat rich damp cake. It was indeed the crocodile. "The crocodile!" he gasped. but as it came nearer it was more distinct. The silly moles had not the sense to see that they did not need a door apiece. and in their exultation they danced and sang: "Avast. There was at first such a tiny sound that a leaf might have fallen on it and smothered it. not hollow laughter now. having no mother. 46 . because. By fear they're overtook. for another sound broke in and stilled them. "It's the wickedest. but honest laughter. The tongues of the pursuers were hanging out. when I appear. "But what can we do. Nought's left upon your bones when you Have shaken claws with Hook. "What would Peter do?" they cried simultaneously." They began the verse. They will find the cake and they will gobble it up. pursued by a pack of wolves. Once more the boys emerged into the open. It oozed on after Hook. playing with the mermaids.

" he cried. and Wendy fluttered to the ground with an arrow in her breast. and the others thought that his star- ing eyes still saw the wolves. "Let us do what Peter wishes!" cried the simple boys." she screamed. and they could hear her plaintive cry." Nibs said. He had a bow and arrow with him. "Let us do what Peter would do. Tootles. "there are birds called Wendies. and as it flies it moans. pointing to Wendy in the heavens. the wolves dropped their tails and fled. Almost in the same breath they cried. bows and arrows!" All but Tootles popped down their trees. and rubbed her little hands. The next moment is the long one." It was not in their nature to question when Peter ordered. but victory came quickly." Tootles excitedly fitted the arrow to his bow. for as the boys advanced upon them in the terrible attitude. "but it looks so weary. The jealous fairy had now cast off all disguise of friendship. It is flying this way." It is quite the most successful way of defying wolves. "Hullo. "Out of the way." said Slightly instantly. "A great white bird. "Peter will be so pleased. 47 ." "What kind of a bird. Tink. Now Nibs rose from the ground.'" "Poor Wendy?" "I remember. "Quick. "Peter would look at them through his legs. and then he fired. quick." And then. do you think?" "I don't know. 'Poor Wendy. pinching savagely each time she touched. awestruck. it comes!" cried Curly. and Tink noted it. "Quick. as they gathered round him eagerly." "See. Tink. But more distinct came the shrill voice of Tinker Bell. Wendy was now almost overhead. But it was not wolves he saw. and was darting at her victim from every direction. "I have seen a wonderfuller thing. Tink's reply rang out: "Peter wants you to shoot the Wendy." cried the wondering boys." he shouted. and as one boy they bent and looked through their legs.

" Curly said: "Peter was bringing her to us." he answered. "Now I see. "I must. They had crowded round Wendy. and as they looked a terrible silence fell upon the wood." "A lady?" said Tootles. shaking. "I did it. Peter will be so pleased with me. The others did not hear her." he cried proudly. and when he took a step nearer them they turned from him." he said in a scared voice. 'Pretty mother." Overhead Tinker Bell shouted "Silly ass!" and darted into hiding.Chapter 6 THE LITTLE HOUSE Foolish Tootles was standing like a conqueror over Wendy's body when the other boys sprang." He moved slowly away. "A lady to take care of us at last." he said. "and you have killed her!" They were sorry for him." He threw him- self sorrowfully on the ground. They all whipped off their caps. Tootles' face was very white. pretty mother. reflecting. "This is no bird.' But when at last she really came. "And we have killed her. "Don't go. but sorrier for themselves." Nibs said hoarsely. If Wendy's heart had been beating they would all have heard it." they called in pity." 48 . and fell a-trembling. armed." said one of the twins. "When ladies used to come to me in dreams. "I think this must be a lady. "You are too late. "I have shot the Wendy. but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before. from their trees. Slightly was the first to speak. I shot her. I said. "I am so afraid of Peter.

But Tootles stood aloof. Peter. "Mine. "I am back. "Oh. "I have brought at last a mother for you all." 49 ." he said quietly. let Peter see. and gathered hastily around Wendy. twins. and after he had looked for a little time he did not know what to do next. but the cheers would not come. "She flew this way. "Perhaps she is frightened at be- ing dead. It was at this tragic moment that they heard a sound which made the heart of every one of them rise to his mouth. becoming troubled. "Oh. "strike true." he cried. and mechanically they saluted. dastard hand." Tootles rose." he said hotly. and he raised the arrow to use it as a dagger. "I will show her to you." He thought of hopping off in a comic sort of way till he was out of sight of her. "Back. and let him see. "Whose arrow?" he demanded sternly. "Greetings. He took it from her heart and faced his band. "Hide her. boys." and when the others would still have hidden her he said. "Strike. and then never going near the spot any more. "Have you not seen her?" asked Peter." he said firmly. They heard Peter crow." he cried. except a little thud from Tootles as he dropped on his knees." Still no sound. and then again was silence. Tootles did not flinch. Again came that ringing crow. He bared his breast. He over- looked it in his haste to tell the glorious tidings. "She is dead. He frowned." they whispered." he said uncomfortably. and Peter dropped in front of them. Peter. "Peter!" they cried." Peter said. and another said. "why do you not cheer?" They opened their mouths. for it was always thus that he signalled his return. They would all have been glad to follow if he had done this. "Great news." "Ah me!" once voice said." So they all stood back. "Peter." said Tootles on his knees. mournful day. boys. But there was the arrow.

"the Wendy lady. "Ay. Of course she could not answer yet. who understood them best. Ay. You remember she had put it on a chain that she wore round her neck." said Slightly. being still in a frightful faint. It is the kiss I gave her. Slightly cried instantly." Slightly interposed quickly." She flew on to his shoulder and pleaded. "there is something stays my hand. "the arrow struck against this. "Well. Tinker Bell. Wendy had raised her arm. But what to do with Wendy in her present delicate state of health? "Let us carry her down into the house. "that is what one does with ladies." he said. "I cannot strike. Twice did Peter raise the arrow. "Listen. but for a whole week.'" he whispered. that's a kiss. and almost never had they seen him look so stern. 'Poor Tootles. not for ever." Then they had to tell Peter of Tink's crime." Then Peter knelt beside her and found his button." Do you think Tinker Bell was grateful to Wendy for raising her arm? Oh dear no. "See." Curly suggested." 50 . her arm!" Wonderful to relate [tell]." he cried. and twice did his hand fall. never wanted to pinch her so much. "Listen to Tink. often cuffed [slapped] them. He was begging Wendy to get better quickly. so that he could show her the mermaids." Peter did not hear him. "It is she. Begone from me for ever." "I remember kisses. "she is crying because the Wendy lives. "She lives. and Peter." said Curly. "let me see it. "I am your friend no more. Fairies indeed are strange. Nibs bent over her and listened reverently. but from overhead came a wailing note." he said with awe. who fortunately looked at Wendy." Peter said briefly. It has saved her life. see. "The Wendy lady lives." he cried. Not until Wendy again raised her arm did he relent sufficiently to say." All looked at him in wonder. but he brushed her off. save Nibs. "I think she said.

" Peter said. Peter. It would not be suffi- ciently respectful." he ordered them." cried Peter. "It is true. down for bedding." Michael would cry. "Is Wendy asleep?" they asked." Slightly admitted." "Yes. "she will die. she will die. As they dragged along the ground they fell asleep standing. "Why. "Look at them!" he cried." explained Curly. who should appear but John and Michael. no." You may be sure they were very relieved to find Peter. "but there is no way out. "you must not touch her." said Peter in his most captainy voice. "Curly. sir. woke up. "see that these boys help in the building of the house. Of course he meant to leave room for chairs and a table. "Hullo. ay." they said. John and Michael watched him. "Yes. and mother?" And then John would rub his eyes and mutter. John. "For Wendy?" John said." Michael proposed." "Ay. "let us wake her and get her to make supper for us." They were all delighted. They skurried this way and that. and while they were at it. "Hullo. "John. John. "wake up! Where is Nana." "But if she lies there. we did fly. "is why we are her servants." In a moment they were as busy as tailors the night before a wedding." replied Peter amicably. "Let us build a little house round her." "You? Wendy's servants!" 51 ." but as he said it some of the other boys rushed on carrying branches for the building of the house." Tootles said." said Curly. He was very busy at the moment measuring Wendy with his feet to see how large a house she would need. though he had quite forgotten them. she is only a girl!" "That. there is. "For the Wendy." "Build a house?" exclaimed John. moved another step and slept again." "Ay. "Quick. "is what I was thinking. Be sharp. "bring me each of you the best of what we have. up for firewood. aghast. stopped." "That. Gut our house." "John." said Slightly. "No.

" said Slightly. which was his habit on escaping from a difficulty. while Peter waited." he cried. and he returned in a moment." Peter ordered. "this has cured her. who had chapped knuckles. If they broke down in their make-believe he rapped them on the knuckles." but after he had returned the hat to John he blew big breaths." said Slightly at once. it all comes back to me." said Slightly. "and you also. while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing." "Ay. "that is how a house is built. "How is she?" inquired Peter. tut. tut. "Yes. sir. "Then we shall build a house round them. "Please." She was lying at their feet. "where does she lie?" "In yonder glade." "Ay. "give her beef tea out of a cup with a spout to it. "fetch a doctor." said one. Away with them." The astounded brothers were dragged away to hack and hew and carry." he said. sir." Peter thought of everything. "If only we knew. tut." "I am glad!" Peter cried. wear- ing John's hat and looking solemn. tut. but Slightly had the sense not to see her." Slightly said." said Peter." 52 . "Tut. But he knew Peter must be obeyed. "Please. scratching his head. This sometimes troubled them." Slightly anxiously replied. and disappeared. my little man. "a lady lies very ill. ay. "Tut. as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners. 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. In the meantime the wood had been alive with the sound of axes. It was an anxious moment when the glass thing was withdrawn. "Chairs and a fender [fireplace] first." said Slightly." said Peter." Peter explained. al- most everything needed for a cosy dwelling already lay at Wendy's feet. "Yes. and he made-be- lieve to do it. "I will call again in the evening." "I will put a glass thing in her mouth. "Slightly. "the kind of house she likes best.

" cried Peter sternly. What are you wanting more?" To this she answered greedily: "Oh. With funny little red walls And roof of mossy green." said Peter. looking respectfully into it. lovely!" "Perhaps she is going to sing in her sleep. So tell us. "Peter. 53 . Quickly they made-believe to grow the loveliest roses up the walls. The littlest ever seen." They gurgled with joy at this." shouted another." "Her mouth opens." Immediately. and large yellow leaves were the blinds. sing the kind of house you would like to have. without opening her eyes. "Oh." With a blow of their fists they made windows. and all the ground was carpeted with moss." cried a third. And babies peeping out. for by the greatest good luck the branches they had brought were sticky with red sap. you know. really next I think I'll have Gay windows all about. With roses peeping in. The babes are at the door. "she is moving in her sleep. But roses—? "Roses. mother Wendy. Babies? To prevent Peter ordering babies they hurried into song again: "We've made the roses peeping out. Wendy began to sing: "I wish I had a pretty house. "Wendy. As they rattled up the little house they broke in- to song themselves: "We've built the little walls and roof And made a lovely door.

not a sound to be heard except from Tinker Bell. as if to say thank you. "Wendy lady. and put the hat on the roof. who was watching from a branch and openly sneering. We cannot make ourselves. smoke immedi- ately began to come out of the hat. Now really and truly it was finished. 'cos we've been made before. The house was quite beautiful. and now the wood was as still as the children. but Tootles gave the sole of his shoe. Of course Slightly was the first to get his word in." he said. He snatched the hat off John's head. The little house was so pleased to have such a capital chimney that. they were all too busy looking their best. What the boys were wondering was." Peter. Not of bit of it. ordering finishing touches. "All look your best. It was Wendy. Nothing escaped his eagle eyes. and this was just how they had hoped she would look. "we must have a chimney. though. They were very ashamed. Just when it seemed absolutely finished: "There's no knocker on the door. She looked properly surprised. seeing this to be a good idea. Peter strode up and down. would any one answer the knock? If a lady. and it made an excellent knocker. at once pretended that it was his own." 54 ." Peter warned them. they could no longer see her. "first impressions are awfully important. "Where am I?" she said. you know. He knocked politely. knocked out the bot- tom [top]." "It certainly does need a chimney. they thought. Absolutely finished now. of course." Peter said. This gave Peter an idea." he said rapidly." He was glad no one asked him what first impressions are. and no doubt Wendy was very cosy within. "for you we built this house." said John importantly. Nothing remained to do but to knock. what would she be like? The door opened and a lady came out. "There's no chimney. They all whipped off their hats.

"Oh. but you see I am only a little girl." cried Nibs. though he was really the one who knew least. say you're pleased. And that was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy." Wendy said. "you see. and they were the very words they had hoped she would say. "What we need is just a nice motherly person. you naughty children." "That doesn't matter. it is." "Very well. 55 . "Of course it's frightfully fascinat- ing. and Peter kept watch outside with drawn sword. After a time he fell asleep. darling house. I am sure your feet are damp." cried the twins. and holding out their arms cried. and the chimney smoking beautifully." "Oh dear!" Wendy said. as if he were the only person present who knew all about it. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed. be our mother. "O Wendy lady." In they went. all shining." "Ought I?" Wendy said. but you can squeeze very tight in the Neverland. "And we are your children. and Peter standing on guard. Then all went on their knees. and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. I don't know how there was room for them." she said. Come inside at once. I feel that is exactly what I am. for the pirates could be heard carousing far away and the wolves were on the prowl. And before I put you to bed I have just time to finish the story of Cinderella. By and by she tucked them up in the great bed in the home under the trees. "we saw it at once. with a bright light showing through its blinds." they all cried." said Peter. but she herself slept that night in the little house. "Lovely. "I will do my best. I have no real experience. The little house looked so cosy and safe in the darkness." "It is. but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on.

and nothing can be more graceful. But you simply must fit. while you have to be made to fit the tree. but John had to be altered a little. with a floor in which you could dig [for worms] if you wanted to go fishing. and 56 . which were used as stools. Peter does some things to you. but this was ignorance. After a few days' practice they could go up and down as gaily as buck- ets in a well. Hook. and then they put a door on top of it. especially Wendy. Once you fit. you remember. Of course. By tea-time it was always about two feet high. they sawed off the trunk again. and down you went at exactly the right speed. and Peter measures you for your tree as care- fully as for a suit of clothes: the only difference being that the clothes are made to fit you. great care must be taken to go on fitting. as soon as they cleared away. level with the floor. had sneered at the boys for thinking they needed a tree apiece. but if you are bumpy in awkward places or the only available tree is an odd shape. 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. the whole thus becoming a table. you drew in [let out] your breath at the top. as all houses should do. and after that you fit. And how ardently they grew to love their home under the ground. as by your wearing too many garments or too few. while to ascend you drew in and let out alternately. Wendy and Michael fitted their trees at the first try. as Wendy was to dis- cover to her delight. keeps a whole family in perfect condition. It consisted of one large room. and this. when you have mastered the action you are able to do these things without thinking of them. and so wriggled up. A Never tree tried hard to grow in the centre of the room. but every morning they sawed the trunk through. Once you fitted. and in this floor grew stout mushrooms of a charming colour.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. Usually it is done quite easily.

as indeed was perhaps inev- itable. No woman. but Wendy would have [desired] a baby. and not unlike what baby bears would have made of an underground house in the same circumstances. and she varied the bedspreads according to what fruit-blossom was in season. it all depended upon Peter's whim: he could eat. Tink was very contemptuous of the rest of the house. The bed was tilted against the wall by day. and all the boys slept in it. because those rampagious boys of hers gave her so much to do. Really there were whole weeks when. looked rather conceited. made of fibre. Michael should have used it also. really eat. the washstand was Pie-crust and reversible. no larger than a bird-cage. and he was the littlest. I can tell you. however large. Her mirror was a Puss-in-Boots. of which there are now only three. It was rough and simple. kept her nose to the pot. The cooking. There was a strict rule against turning round until one gave the signal. if it was part of a game. she had to keep watching that it came aboil just the same. but he could not stodge [cram down the food] just to feel stodgy [stuffed with food]. It could be shut off from the rest of the house by a tiny curtain. from which she suspended her washing. though beautiful. the next best thing being to talk about it. lying like sardines in a tin. was a genuine Queen Mab. even if there was no pot. But there was one recess in the wall. The couch. unchipped. but of course she lit the residence herself. and the short and long of it is that he was hung up in a basket. hav- ing the appearance of a nose permanently turned up. There was an enormous fireplace which was in almost any part of the room where you cared to light it. who was most fastidious [particular]. when it filled nearly half the room. and across this Wendy stretched strings. Make-believe was so real to him that during a meal of it you could see him getting rounder. the chest of drawers an authent- ic Charming the Sixth. and let down at 6:30.thus there was more room to play. which was the private apartment of Tinker Bell. as she always called it. with club legs. except perhaps with a stocking in the evening. and her chamber. which Tink. known to fairy dealers. There was a chandelier from Tiddlywinks for the look of the thing. she was never above ground. 57 . You never exactly knew whether there would be a real meal or just a make-believe. when all turned at once. and even if there was nothing in it. and the carpet and rugs the best (the early) period of Margery and Robin. which is what most children like better than any- thing else. al- ways kept drawn when dressing or undressing. except Michael. could have had a more exquisite boudoir [dressing room] and bed- chamber combined. and you know what women are. I suppose it was all especially entrancing to Wendy.

where it is cal- culated by moons and suns. These things scared her a little. and there are ever so many more of them than on the mainland. she was absolutely confident that they would always keep the window open for her to fly back by. What did disturb her at times was that John remembered his parents vaguely only. and nobly anxious to do her duty. Well. They were the most ordinary questions—"What was the colour of Mother's eyes? Which was taller." Or "(1) Describe Mother's laugh. Only one of these to be attempted. As time wore on did she think much about the beloved parents she had left behind her? This is a difficult question. The other boys thought this awfully interesting. and insisted on joining. while Michael was quite willing to believe that she was really his mother. as she expressed it. because it is quite im- possible to say how time does wear on in the Neverland. she tried to fix the old life in their minds by setting them examina- tion papers on it.Of course it was trying. or The Characters of Father and Mother compared. and if you could prove to him that you were getting loose for your tree he let you stodge. But I am afraid that Wendy did not really worry about her father and mother. but you simply had to follow his lead. "Oh dear." 58 . and putting double pieces on the knees. writing and thinking hard about the questions she had written on another slate and passed round. I am sure I sometimes think spinsters are to be envied!" Her face beamed when she exclaimed this. Then. You remember about her pet wolf. and she occupied it in making new things for them. and they made slates for themselves. and they just ran into each other's arms. as like as possible to the ones she used to do at school. it very soon discovered that she had come to the island and it found her out. and sat round the table. she would fling up her arms and exclaim. Father or Mother? Was Mother blonde or brunette? Answer all three questions if possible. (3) Describe Mother's Party Dress. (2) Describe Father's laugh. (4) Describe the Kennel and its Inmate." "(A) Write an essay of not less than 40 words on How I spent my last Holi- days. as people he had once known. When she sat down to a basketful of their stockings. After that it followed her about everywhere. for they were all most frightfully hard on their knees. and this gave her complete ease of mind. she had a breathing time for her- self. every heel with a hole in it. Wendy's favourite time for sewing and darning was after they had all gone to bed.

and there were still more that were at least partly true. pushing each other. For several suns these were the most novel of all adventures to him. Wendy. It consisted in pretending not to have adventures. had been forget- ting. But she was never quite sure. you know. but about this time Peter invented. a new game that fas- cinated him enormously. Of course the only boy who replied to every question was Slightly. What was the colour of Mother's eyes. They were just everyday questions like these. he could not help look- ing solemn at such times. going out for walks and coming back without having killed so much as a grizzly. to sit still seemed to him such a comic thing to do. and the 59 . the questions were all written in the past tense. many adventures which she knew to be true because she was in them herself. and John and Michael had to pretend to be delighted also. and he really came out last: a melancholy thing. otherwise he would have treated them severely. he might say a great deal about it. and then when you went out you found the body. of course. which. Sometimes he came home with his head bandaged. He often went out alone. To see Peter doing nothing on a stool was a great sight. He might have forgotten it so completely that he said nothing about it. Peter did not compete. Latin-English Dictionary. on the other hand. for the other boys were in them and said they were wholly true. By the way. He was above all that sort of thing. He boasted that he had gone walking for the good of his health. and yet you could not find the body. not the smallest word. Adventures. however. and then Wendy cooed over him and bathed it in lukewarm water. To describe them all would require a book as large as an English-Latin. while he told a dazzling tale. and when you could not answer them you were told to make a cross. until he suddenly had no more interest in it. as you have been told. and. as we shall see. sitting on stools flinging balls in the air. was what always happened with his games. For one thing he despised all mothers except Wendy. but his answers were perfectly ridiculous. were of daily occurrence. you see. too. in doing the sort of thing John and Michael had been doing all their lives. and it was really dreadful what a number of crosses even John made. and no one could have been more hopeful of coming out first. There were. with Wendy's help. and so on. and when he came back you were never ab- solutely certain whether he had had an adventure or not. and for another he was the only boy on the island who could neither write nor spell.

and quite as excit- ing. and Peter gave orders that she was not to be disturbed. 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.most we can do is to give one as a specimen of an average hour on the is- land. was Tinker Bell's attempt. Or suppose we tell of the birds that were Peter's friends. and how the nest fell into the water. agreed to be lost boys for that once. and became as hard as a stone. and swam back. "Redskin. what are you. The difficulty is which one to choose. and the end shows how grateful a bird can be. to have the sleeping Wendy conveyed on a great floating leaf to the main- land. Should we take the brush with the redskins at Slightly Gulch? It was a sanguinary [cheerful] affair. Perhaps a better one would be the night attack by the redskins on the house under the ground. and Hook fell over it in the dark. which was that in the middle of a fight he would suddenly change sides. he called out. The extraordinary upshot of this adventure was—but we have not de- cided yet that this is the adventure we are to narrate. and how they placed it in one cunning spot after anoth- er. so that in time it lost its succulence. particularly of the Never bird that built in a tree overhanging the lagoon. which would of course be telling two adventures rather than just one. thinking it was bath-time. 60 . Or we could tell of that cake the pirates cooked so that the boys might eat it and perish. Tootles?" And Tootles answered. "I'm redskin to-day. Fortunately the leaf gave way and Wendy woke. with the help of some street fairies. more fiercely than ever. Or we might tell how Peter saved Tiger Lily's life in the Mermaids' Lagoon. and so made her his ally. That is a pretty story. and was used as a missile. but if we tell it we must also tell the whole adventure of the lagoon. and especially interesting as showing one of Peter's peculiarities. when several of them stuck in the hollow trees and had to be pulled out like corks. but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children. and of course this would have ended the fight had not the real redskins fascinated by Peter's methods. with the oth- er boys and Wendy looking on breathlessly from trees. sometimes leaning this way and sometimes that. not one of them dared to accept his challenge. A shorter adventure. what are you Twin?" and so on. we might choose Peter's defiance of the lions. At the Gulch. and so at it they all went again. Or again. Nibs?" and Nibs said. "Redskin. and still the bird sat on her eggs. and they were all redskins. when victory was still in the balance. what are you.

Which of these adventures shall we choose? The best way will be to toss for it. and make it best out of three. Of course I could do it again. This almost makes one wish that the gulch or the cake or Tink's leaf had won. however. and the lagoon has won. perhaps fairest to stick to the lagoon. 61 . I have tossed.

however. especially on Marooners' Rock. for of course Peter would have accompanied her. on tiptoe as it were. not by accident. you may see at times a shape- less pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness. but the lagoon is dangerous for mortals then. and so forth.Chapter 8 THE MERMAIDS' LAGOON If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one. if there could be two moments you might see the surf and hear the mermaids singing. The bubbles of many colours made in rainbow water they treat as balls. You must not think from this that the mermaids were on friendly terms with them: on the contrary. hitting them gaily 62 . swimming or floating most of the time. and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire. but then they saw her and dived. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland. then if you squeeze your eyes tighter. except of course Peter. and sat on their tails when they got cheeky. who chatted with them on Marooners' Rock by the hour. when they utter strange wailing cries. just one heavenly moment. She was often at the lagoon. playing the mermaid games in the water. the pool begins to take shape. combing out their hair in a lazy way that quite irritated her. to within a yard of them. They treated all the boys in the same way. The children often spent long summer days on this lagoon. than because she had strict rules about every one being in bed by seven. Wendy had never seen the lagoon by moonlight. But just before they go on fire you see the lagoon. He gave Wendy one of their combs. or she might even swim. less from fear. when the mermaids come up in ex- traordinary numbers to play with their bubbles. but intentionally. The most haunting time at which to see them is at the turn of the moon. where they loved to bask. on sunny days after rain. probably splashing her with their tails. and until the evening of which we have now to tell. When she stole softly to the edge of the lagoon she might see them by the score. 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.

so called because evil captains put sailors on it and leave them there to drown. or at least lying with their eyes shut. So they lay there in the sun. while she sat beside them and looked important. but because it was no longer good for them to sleep on a rock grown chilly. While she stitched a change came to the lagoon. but of course they all knew how not to take up much room.from one to another with their tails. No. But she was a young mother and she did not know this. It was one such day. though fear was upon her. They drown when the tide rises. Wendy could no longer see to thread her needle. Of course she should have roused the children at once. and pinching occasionally when they thought Wendy was not looking. and she longed to hear male voices. It was not. Sometimes a dozen of these games will be going on in the lagoon at a time. for then it is submerged. with the head instead of the hand. It must also have been rather pretty to see the children resting on a rock for half an hour after their mid-day meal. The rock was not much larger than their great bed. But the moment the children tried to join in they had to play by them- selves. and they were all on Marooners' Rock. she would not 63 . the lagoon that had always hitherto been such a laughing place seemed formidable and unfriendly. stitching. that night had come. Wendy insisted on their doing this. and the sun went away and shadows stole across the water. worse than that. and they were dozing. she thought you simply must stick to your rule about half an hour after the mid-day meal. and when she looked up. and their bodies glistened in it. The goals are at each end of the rainbow. she knew. This is the one mark that John has left on the Neverland. not merely be- cause of the unknown that was stalking toward them. and it had to be a real rest even though the meal was make- believe. and the keepers only are allowed to use their hands. and the mermaids ad- opted it. Nevertheless we have proof that they secretly watched the interlopers. but it had sent that shiver through the sea to say that it was coming. and trying to keep them in the rain- bow till they burst. and it is quite a pretty sight. What was it? There crowded upon her all the stories she had been told of Maroon- ers' Rock. turning it cold. So. for the mermaids immediately disappeared. and were not above taking an idea from them. It had not come. Little shivers ran over it. for John introduced a new way of hit- ting the bubble. but something as dark as night had come. She was very busy.

In the gloom that they brought with them the two pirates did not see the rock till they crashed into it. for it was the first tragedy she had seen.waken them. then. Now. Smee and Starkey. "here's the rock. she was the daughter of a chief. an end to one of her race more terrible than death by fire or torture. "Dive!" There was a gleam of legs. The others came closer to him. The order came sharp and incisive. 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." cried an Irish voice that was Smee's. She stood over them to let them have their sleep out. though her heart was in her mouth. one hand to his ear. she must die as a chief's daughter. with three figures in her. and she knew what was to be her fate. "Luff. she did not waken them. No watch was kept on the ship. it being Hook's boast that the wind of his name guarded the ship for a mile around. but out of sight. no other than Tiger Lily. as wide awake at once as a dog. but he had 64 . and with one warning cry he roused the others." It was the work of one brutal moment to land the beautiful girl on the rock. Peter sprang erect. The boat drew nearer. One more wail would go the round in that wind by night. you lubber. Quite near the rock. Marooners' Rock stood alone in the forbidding waters as if it were itself marooned. Now her fate would help to guard it also. all they could do was to stand ready to obey. Wendy was crying. They had caught her boarding the pirate ship with a knife in her mouth. Even when she heard the sound of muffled oars. While that smile was on his face no one dared address him. It was the pirate dinghy. She was to be left on the rock to perish. He stood motionless. Peter had seen many tragedies. what we have to do is to hoist the redskin on to it and leave her here to drown. Her hands and ankles were tied. it is enough. "Pirates!" he cried. A strange smile was playing about his face. 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. two heads were bobbing up and down. Peter's and Wendy's. she was too proud to offer a vain resistance. and Wendy saw it and shuddered. and the third a captive.

but Peter would not budge. "The captain!" said the pirates. "Boat ahoy!" again came the voice. quaking. Peter may have been about to crow. "Ahoy there. you lubbers!" he called." Smee called out. and he now imitated the voice of Hook. The real Hook was also in the water. d'ye hear. Of course Wendy was very elated over Peter's cleverness." Starkey said. and he meant to save her. He was swimming to the boat. "Free!" "Yes. There was almost nothing he could not do. she would have liked to swim away. but she knew that he would be elated also and very likely crow and thus betray himself. I am a wonder!" he whispered to 65 . captain—" "At once. Now Wendy understood. "or I'll plunge my hook in you." "But. but his face puckered in a whistle of surprise instead. ay. "We are putting the redskin on the rock. An easy way would have been to wait until the pirates had gone. for "Boat ahoy!" rang over the lagoon in Hook's voice." came the astonishing answer. and." cried Peter. so at once her hand went out to cover his mouth. He was tingling with life and also top-heavy with conceit. and as his men showed a light to guide him he had soon reached them. and he cut Tiger Lily's cords. but he was nev- er one to choose the easy way. cut her bonds and let her go." "This is queer!" Smee gasped. "Set her free." said Starkey nervously. "Am I not a wonder. and this time it was not Peter who had spoken. It was a marvellous imitation. He was less sorry than Wendy for Tiger Lily: it was two against one that angered him. oh." Smee said.forgotten them all. when they had looked for him in vain. "He must be swimming out to us. In the light of the lantern Wendy saw his hook grip the boat's side. staring at each other in surprise. she saw his evil swarthy face as he rose drip- ping from the water. At once like an eel she slid between Starkey's legs into the water. "Better do what the captain orders. But it was stayed even in the act. "Ay.

crying. and the Never bird was sitting on it. "What's a mother?" asked the ignorant Smee." said Smee. "See. for Hook had started up." said Starkey." Affrighted though she was." said Starkey. she was really glad for the sake of his reputation that no one heard him except herself. "those boys have found a mother. perhaps she is hanging about here to help Peter. "He doesn't know!" and al- ways after this she felt that if you could have a pet pirate Smee would be her one. "And yet a third time he sighs." he said. floating on the lagoon. What a lesson! The nest must have fallen into the water. much impressed. "The game's up." said Smee. but he answered with a hol- low moan.her. "that is a mother." 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. "Captain. is all well?" they asked timidly. Then at last he spoke passionately. but he sat with his head on his hook in a position of pro- found melancholy. Wendy was so shocked that she exclaimed. "If she is a mother. "O evil day!" cried Starkey. Wendy swelled with pride." he cried. 66 ." Hook winced. raising the lantern over the waters. but would the mother desert her eggs? No. Smee. The two pirates were very curious to know what had brought their captain to them. "that is the fear that haunts me." said Hook in answer to Smee's question. "He sighs. and though she thought so also. Peter pulled her beneath the water. "What was that?" "I heard nothing. "Ay. and as the pirates looked they saw a strange sight. gazed at the bird as the nest was borne past. It was the nest I have told you of. but the more suspicious Starkey said." He was roused from this dejection by Smee's eager voice. He signed to her to listen. "He sighs again.

" "It is passing queer. and suddenly Hook remembered Tiger Lily. He immediately answered in Hook's voice: "Odds. but there was a quiver in it." said Smee." cried Hook. "That is all right. "I gave no such order. "dost hear me?" Of course Peter should have kept quiet. "'Twas your own orders. Swear. and bobbed. "Never!" she cried. "Where is the redskin?" he demanded abruptly. They thought it must have been a leaf in the wind. "Brimstone and gall. and at once it took practical shape in his great brain. and they all fidgeted uncomfortably." "Let her go!" cried Hook. "We will seize the children and carry them to the boat: the boys we will make walk the plank. "You called over the water to us to let her go. bobs." Again Wendy forgot herself. 67 . "could we not kidnap these boys' mother and make her our mother?" "It is a princely scheme. shaking a little. but Smee and Starkey clung to each other in terror." he said. my bullies?" asked Hook. "There is my hand on it. hammer and tongs. "Captain. and Wendy shall be our mother." In that supreme moment Hook did not blanch." they both said. "And there is my hook." They all swore." he cried. "What was that?" But they could see nothing." Smee answered complacently. He had a playful humour at moments. "what cozening [cheating] is going on here!" His face had gone black with rage. but of course he did not. "Spirit that haunts this dark lagoon to-night." Smee said. even at the gills. and he was startled. captain. I hear you. but he saw that they believed their words. Hook raised his voice. "Do you agree. "Lads." the bo'sun faltered. "we let her go. and they thought this was one of the moments." thundered Hook." said Starkey. By this time they were on the rock.

"I have." "Mineral?" "No. "Hook." he called. but." replied the voice. bully. you are not." 68 ." "Vegetable?" asked Hook. In his dark nature there was a touch of the feminine." They were his dogs snapping at him. "Brimstone and gall. He saw his men draw back from him. "only a codfish. he scarcely heeded them." Hook cried hoarsely. who am I?" "A codfish. tragic figure though he had become." "And another name?" "Ay. it was his own. and he answered blithely in his own voice. "Have we been captained all this time by a codfish!" they muttered. "Boy?" "Yes. "If you are Hook. "It is lowering to our pride." "Man?" "No!" This answer rang out scornfully." the voice retorted. "come tell me." he said al- most humbly. "captain of the JOLLY ROGER. stranger? Speak!" Hook demanded. that his proud spirit broke. "Don't desert me. and it sometimes gave him intuitions. "Who are you. "No." "Animal?" "Yes." "A codfish!" Hook echoed blankly. "say that again. but not till then. Against such fearful evidence it was not their belief in him that he needed. and it was then." Hook tried a more ingratiating manner. He felt his ego slip- ping from him. "I am James Hook. and I'll cast anchor in you." "You are not. "have you another voice?" Now Peter could never resist a game." replied the voice." he whispered hoarsely to it. as in all the great pirates. ay. Suddenly he tried the guessing game.

"Well. "Can't guess. The dinghy drifted away. "Ordinary boy?" "No!" "Wonderful boy?" To Wendy's pain the answer that rang out this time was "Yes. in which the cutlass was torn from the pirate's grasp. Smee. Smee reflected. "Are you ready. "Yes. Farther from the rock Star- key was pressing Slightly and the twins hard. There was fierce struggle. and simultaneously came the gay voice of Peter." he said regretfully. and Smee and Starkey were his faithful henchmen." "Are you here?" "Yes. "Now we have him. In the confusion some struck at their own side. "Into the water. wiping his damp brow." Hook was completely puzzled. mind the boat." he cried. who gal- lantly climbed into the boat and held Starkey." Pan! In a moment Hook was himself again. He wriggled over- board and John leapt after him. ay. then." "Are you in England?" "No. "You ask him some questions." from various parts of the lagoon." Hook shouted. "I can't think of a thing. yes. "I am Peter Pan." they answered eagerly. The corkscrew of Smee got Tootles in the fourth rib. can't guess!" crowed Peter. and the miscreants [villains] saw their chance." The fight was short and sharp. "Do you give it up?" Of course in his pride he was carrying the game too far. boys?" "Ay. Here and there a head bobbed up in the water. Starkey. Take him dead or alive!" He leaped as he spoke." he said to the others. and there was a flash of steel followed by a cry or a whoop. 69 . but he was himself pinked [nicked] in turn by Curly. "Then lam into the pirates. First to draw blood was John.

After you have been unfair to him he will love you again. So when he met it now it was like the first time. After all. He often met it. calling them by name. and were scouring the lagoon for them. and they had to crawl rather than climb. their faces were almost touching. from which they fled like affrighted fishes. it was not in the water that they met. and they must not be blamed for back- ing from the pirate captain. Quick as thought he snatched a knife from Hook's belt and was about to drive it home. but now they were uneasy. Some of the greatest heroes have confessed that just before they fell to [began combat] they had a sinking [feeling in the stomach]. he was the only man that the Sea-Cook had feared. he had one feeling only. shouting "Peter. All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours is fairness. Wendy" as they went. Twice the iron hand clawed him. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. Hook rose to the rock to breathe. and he could just stare. No one ever gets over the first unfairness. He could only stare. I suppose that was the real dif- ference between him and all the rest. It made him quite helpless. He gave the pirate a hand to help him up. Where all this time was Peter? He was seeking bigger game. But Peter had no sinking. On ordinary occasions the boys would have swum alongside cheering. Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. for they had lost both Peter and Wendy. Neither knew that the other was coming. The rock was slippery as a ball. The others were all brave boys. but will never afterwards be quite the same boy. Had it been so with Peter at that moment I would admit it. when he saw that he was higher up the rock that his foe. for the crocodile was in dogged pursuit of him. but he always forgot it. horrified. but no answer 70 . helpless. only white fear. It was then that Hook bit him. But there was one who did not fear him: there was one prepared to enter that circle. Each feeling for a grip met the other's arm: in surprise they raised their heads. His iron claw made a circle of dead water round him. Strangely. so they met. and at the same moment Peter scaled it on the opposite side. They found the dinghy and went home in it. A few moments afterwards the other boys saw Hook in the water striking wildly for the ship. and he gnashed his pretty teeth with joy. It would not have been fighting fair. no one except Peter. no elation on the pestilent face now. gladness.

"Shall we swim or fly. feeling her slip from him. anxious about him at once." he answered faintly. He knew that they would soon be drowned. "What is it?" she asked." he said. Even as he also fainted he saw that the water was rising." the boys concluded. Wendy." "Do you mean we shall both be drowned?" "Look how the water is rising. and began pulling her softly into the water. Peter. and stayed there. and then a feeble cry. "Do you think you could swim or fly as far as the island. because they would be late for bed. the girl had fainted and lay on the boy's arm. "They must be swim- ming back or flying. "Yes." she said. but he could do no more. As they sat thus something brushed against Peter as light as a kiss. They chuckled. "Can I be of any use?" 71 . because they had such faith in Peter. Wendy. Wendy. Soon the water will be over it. "We are on the rock. Peter?" He had to tell her. help!" Two small figures were beating against the rock. and was just in time to draw her back. They thought they would soon be no more. and it was all mother Wendy's fault! When their voices died away there came cold silence over the lagoon. "I can't help you.came save mocking laughter from the mermaids." She did not understand even now. as if saying tim- idly. I can neither fly nor swim. without my help?" She had to admit that she was too tired. "Help. almost brightly. They were not very anxious. As they lay side by side a mermaid caught Wendy by the feet. But he had to tell her the truth. boylike. "We must go. woke with a start. "but it is growing smaller. Hook wounded me." They put their hands over their eyes to shut out the sight. With a last effort Peter pulled her up the rock and then lay down beside her. He moaned.

" Peter said without interest. which Michael had made some days before." 72 . It was the tail of a kite. but he was afraid at last. Wendy." he pushed her from the rock. Pale rays of light tiptoed across the waters. Peter was not quite like other boys. A tremour ran through him. Next moment he was standing erect on the rock again." Already he had tied the tail round her. "why should it not carry you?" "Both of us!" "It can't lift two. and in a few minutes she was borne out of his sight. The rock was very small now. soon it would be submerged. and was pulling the kite toward him. "It lifted Michael off the ground. She clung to him. and Peter felt just the one. "Michael's kite. 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. she refused to go without him. It was saying. It had torn itself out of his hand and floated away." "Let us draw lots. like a shudder passing over the sea. Michael and Curly tried. but next moment he had seized the tail. but on the sea one shudder follows another till there are hundreds of them. never." he cried. with that smile on his face and a drum beating within him." Wendy said bravely. "And you a lady. Peter was alone on the lagoon. but with a "Good-bye. "To die will be an awfully big adventure.

she was able to some extent to guide her strange craft. and when it won. making des- perate efforts to reach Peter on the nest. It was not really a piece of paper. I rather wonder at the bird. and to pass the time until they made their final gulp. He thought it was a piece of floating paper. but by the time Peter recognised her she was very exhausted. he watched the only thing on the lagoon. to give him her nest. but truth is 73 . She had come to save him. and say that Peter replied intelligently to the Never bird. for it was fighting the tide. He was too far away to hear their doors shut. Peter. and sometimes winning. in a way she had learned since the nest fell into the water. and he heard the bells. but of course neither of them understood the other's language. it was the Never bird.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. could not help clapping. Darling and the rest of them. Steadily the waters rose till they were nibbling at his feet. always sympathetic to the weaker side. and I wish for the moment I could pretend that this were such a story. it was such a gallant piece of paper. though there were eggs in it. for though he had been nice to her. perhaps part of the kite. 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). Presently he noticed as an odd thing that it was undoubtedly out upon the lagoon with some definite purpose. like Mrs. she was melted be- cause he had all his first teeth. he had also sometimes tormented her. She called out to him what she had come for. and he called out to her what she was doing there. In fanciful stories people can talk to the birds freely. and wondered idly how long it would take to drift ashore. By working her wings. I can sup- pose only that.

Then at last he understood. The children had discovered the glittering hoard. Then up she flew. The Never bird became irritated. "What—are—you—quacking—about?" and so on. "Why don't you do as I tell you?" Peter felt that she was calling him names. The bird covered her face with her wings. but she could not help peeping between the feathers. but—I—am—too—tired—to—bring—it—any—near- er—so—you—must—try to—swim—to—it. "I—want—you—to—get—into—the—nest. speaking as slowly and distinctly as possible. "and—then—you—can—drift—ashore. There were two large white eggs. I forget whether I have told you that there was a stave on the rock. and clutched the nest and waved his thanks to the bird as she fluttered overhead. so as to make her meaning clear. not only could they not understand each other. who pounced upon them for food. and when in a mischievous mood used to fling showers of moidores. but they forgot their manners. and repeated it all over." "What are you quacking about?" Peter answered. Well. pearls and pieces of eight to the gulls." the bird called. Then Peter tried slow and distinct. It was not to receive his thanks. diamonds. it was to see what he did with her eggs. so as not to see the last of them. and Peter lifted them up and reflec- ted. that she hung there in the and at a venture he retorted hotly: "So are you!" Then rather curiously they both snapped out the same remark: "Shut up!" "Shut up!" Nevertheless the bird was determined to save him if she could. they have very short tempers. "Why don't you let the nest drift as usual?" "I—want—you—" the bird said." she screamed. and by one last mighty effort she propelled the nest against the rock. deserting her eggs. however. and I want to tell you only what really happened. it was not even to watch him get into the nest. "You dunderheaded little jay. driven into it by some buccaneers of long ago to mark the site of buried treasure. and 74 .

Then he got into the nest. she was awfully tender. and screamed her ad- miration of him. and they played till bed-time at limping about and carrying their arms in slings. but perhaps the biggest adventure of all was that they were several hours late for bed. She drifted in one direction. reared the stave in it as a mast. and on it Starkey had hung his hat.then flew away. 75 . Peter put the eggs into this hat and set it on the lagoon. watertight. alas. Of course when Peter landed he beached his barque [small ship. raging at the scurvy trick that had been played upon them. This so in- flated them that they did various dodgy things to get staying up still longer. a deep tarpaulin. The Never bird saw at once what he was up to. was scandalised by the late- ness of the hour. and cried. and gave out band- ages to every one. At the same moment the bird fluttered down upon the hat and once more sat snugly on her eggs. Great were the rejoicings when Peter reached the home under the ground almost as soon as Wendy. Every boy had adventures to tell. and often Starkey came to the shore of the lagoon. who had been carried hither and thith- er by the kite. however. though glorying in having them all home again safe and sound. both cheering. and. to bed. with a broad brim. "To bed. it may be worth mentioning here that all Never birds now build in that shape of nest. Peter crowed his agreement with her. but the hat was such a great success that she abandoned the nest. and hung up his shirt for a sail. and he was borne off in another. and with many bitter feelings watched the bird sitting on his hat. As we shall not see her again. Next day. but Wendy. It drifted about till it went to pieces." in a voice that had to be obeyed. The stave was still there. with a broad brim on which the youngsters take an airing. such as demanding bandages. It floated beautifully. actu- ally the Never Bird's nest in this particular case in point] in a place where the bird would easily find it.

Peter Pan has spoken." it meant that they must now shut up." she always said." that lovely creature would reply. so that it was not really good for him. "Father knows best. "It is good. but she was far too loyal a housewife to listen to any complaints against father. but Peter thought it his due. Even by day they hung about. me his velly nice friend. prostrating themselves [lying down] before him. and they accepted it humbly in that spirit. and he would answer condescendingly. They called Peter the Great White Father. keeping watch over the home under the ground and awaiting the big attack by the pirates which obviously could not be much longer delayed. "is glad to see the Piccaninny warriors protecting his wigwam from the pirates. but they were by no means so respectful to the other boys." She was far too pretty to cringe in this way. "Peter Pan has spoken. and now there was nothing she and her braves would not do for him. as they grovelled at his feet." "Me Tiger Lily. Peter had saved Tiger Lily from a dreadful fate. and what annoyed the boys was that Peter seemed to think this all right. and he liked this tremendously. All night they sat above." Always when he said. "The great white father. smoking the pipe of peace. Her private opinion was that the redskins should not call her a squaw. whatever her private opinion must be. whom they looked upon as just ordinary braves. and things like that. They said "How-do?" to them. "Peter Pan save me. Me no let pirates hurt him.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. and looking almost as if they wanted tit-bits to eat. Secretly Wendy sympathised with them a little." he would say to them in a very lordly man- ner. 76 .

be- low. the noise. Slightly darling?" "Not quite empty. in- deed he was the only humble one. all except Peter. and then stay near him till the clock struck. and now the redskins in their blankets were at their posts above. and Slightly seized his chance. had been almost uneventful. because of its adventures and their upshot." Tootles said diffidently [bashfully or timidly]. but should refer the matter of dispute to Wendy by raising the right arm politely and saying. and really. "Well. was positively deafening. who had gone out to get the time. "I don't suppose." he cried promptly." cried Wendy when for the twentieth time she had told them that they were not all to speak at once. "I complain of so-and-so." Slightly said. as Wendy said. Tootles held up his hand. mummy. guzzling in their greed." "No. the children were having their evening meal. "We complain of John." This was grumbling. she did not mind noise." Nibs interposed. To be sure." but what usually happened was that they forgot to do this or did it too much. after looking into an ima- ginary mug. "Is your mug empty." 77 ." cried the twins. "Silence. as he is not here?" "Sit in father's chair. "He didn't even know how a father does till I showed him. while. The way you got the time on the island was to find the crocodile. had held up his hand first. The day. Tootles. and they sat around the board. We have now reached the evening that was to be known among them as the Night of Nights. John?" "May I sit in Peter's chair. "He hasn't even begun to drink his milk. This was telling. but she simply would not have them grabbing things. that Wendy was specially gentle with him. as if quietly gathering its forces. He was so much the humblest of them. "I complain of Nibs." "He is not really our father. what with their chatter and re- criminations. and then excusing themselves by saying that Tootles had pushed their elbow. John. however. There was a fixed rule that they must never hit back at meals. "Certainly not. John!" Wendy was scandalised. "that I could be father. The meal happened to be a make-believe tea." John answered.

" "I must have somebody in a cradle." cried Wendy. and sat down to her work-basket. such a group of happy faces and dancing limbs lit up by that romantic fire." While she sewed they played around her." "Oh dear. "it's awfully difficult to be a twin. in the home under the ground. It had become a very fa- miliar scene." they all replied. was the first to recognize it. Michael." "The twins began with cheese-cakes." "Nibs is speaking with his mouth full." said Tootles." he said. Once Tootles began. "I'm sure I sometimes think that spinsters are to be envied." "I complain of the twins. He was already in his basket. 78 . "As I can't be baby." She told them to clear away." replied the twins. he had a silly way of going on. this. you may be sure. "and you are the littlest. getting heavier and heavier and heavier. "would any of you like to see me do a trick?" "No. Then at last he stopped. The hateful telling broke out again. "I hadn't really any hope." remonstrated [scolded] Michael. oh dear." "As I can't be anything important. A cradle is such a nice homely thing to have about a house. "Wendy. which was not very often. indeed." Michael rapped out. "Slightly is coughing on the table. "I don't suppose. There was a step above. I won't." he said heavily. and Wendy." "I complain of Nibs. a heavy load of stockings and every knee with a hole in it as usual. you would let me be baby?" "No. "do you think I could be a twin?" "No. but we are looking on it for the last time. "I'm too big for a cradle. "As I can't be father." "I complain of Curly." "Curly is taking both butter and honey." she said almost tartly." Tootles said.

my little man. As so often before. "Me! My old bones would rattle!" "And mummy too. The first twin came to Peter. Wendy!" "But it is only among our own progeny [children]. and then they did it. but always if they wanted to do anything special they said this was Saturday night. "there is nothing more 79 . you just spoil them. we want to dance. "Ah." "Dance away. but he pretended to be scandalised. "Watch well." "True. Peter. "It was me told him mothers are called old lady. you know." Michael whispered to Curly. braves. relenting. "Father." And then." "What. at least it may have been. "the mother of such an armful. dance!" "But on a Saturday night." Above. hanging up his gun. who was in high good humour. He had brought nuts for the boys as well as the correct time for Wendy. warming himself by the fire and looking down at her as she sat turning a heel." Peter was really the best dancer among them." said Curly instantly. He likes you to meet him at the door. but they must put on their night- ies first. true." cried Wendy." said Peter. but never again." Wendy simpered [exaggerated a smile]. I have spoken. "Children. old lady. "Ah. "Of course it is Saturday night. "Peter. the redskins crouched before Peter." Peter said aside to Wendy. "But we want you to dance. "People of our figure." said Peter. It was not really Saturday night. I hear your father's step. "I complain of Michael. the gay children dragged him from his tree. old lady. for they had long lost count of the days." Slightly insinuated. as so often before." Wendy said." So they were told they could dance.

"Not if you don't wish it. do you?" "No. but he looked at her uncomfort- ably. isn't it?" Wendy said. it is not. "Peter. frightfully gratified. "Peter." Wendy said primly [formally and properly]. and went and sat by herself at the extreme end of the room. Now we know why she was prejudiced against the redskins." she said." he said." she replied." "Oh. but you don't want to [ex]change me." "It is sweet. "Peter." "No." Certainly he did not want a change. very well. "and Tiger Lily is just the same." 80 . "it would make me seem so old to be their real father. Wendy?" he asked anxiously. "Perhaps Tinker Bell will tell me. "what are your exact feelings to [about] me?" "Those of a devoted son. a little nettled. "with such a large family." he continued apologetically." Peter said. Peter. Wendy. Wendy. trying to speak firmly. frankly puzzled." "Michael takes after you." she asked. "Then what is it?" "It isn't for a lady to tell." "But not really. indeed. of course. "Dear Peter." "I thought so. blinking. I have now passed my best. "You see." he said. like one not sure whether he was awake or asleep. but she says it is not my mother. "It is only make-believe." she said." She went to him and put her hand on his shoulder. isn't it. yours and mine. "You are so queer." "But they are ours. There is something she wants to be to me. that I am their father?" "Oh yes. what is it?" "I was just thinking." Wendy replied with frightful emphasis. a little scared. Peter.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. I think Curly has your nose. and she distinctly heard his sigh of relief. you know.

Perhaps it was best not to know." Wendy retorted scornfully. eavesdropping. If she had known she would not have snapped. the story they loved best. They sang and danced in their night-gowns. The stories they told. But to-night he remained on his stool. from whom they would shrink in real fear. I say. Such a deliciously creepy song it was. but the beginning was so fearfully dull that it appalled not only the others but himself. and as it was to be their last hour on the island. little witting that so soon shadows would close in upon them. before it was time for Wendy's good-night story! Even Slightly tried to tell a story that night. "She is an abandoned little creature. Fancy Wendy snapping! But she had been much tried." Here Tink. "She says she glories in being abandoned. the story Peter hated. 81 . and possibly if he had done either of those things this time they might all still be on the is- land. like partners who know that they may never meet again. the pillows insisted on one bout more." And then at last they all got into bed for Wendy's story. Their ignorance gave them one more glad hour. and when it was finished." Peter interpreted. and she little knew what was to happen be- fore the night was out. squeaked out something impudent. None of them knew." Wendy snapped. and he said happily: "Yes. Usually when she began to tell this story he left the room or put his hands over his ears. "Perhaps Tink wants to be my mother?" "You silly ass!" cried Tinker Bell in a passion. He had a sudden idea. 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. She had said it so often that Wendy needed no translation. in which they pretended to be frightened at their own shadows. and we shall see what happened. Tinker Bell will tell you. let us pretend that it is the end. who was in her bedroom. it is a dull beginning. let us rejoice that there were sixty glad minutes in it. "I almost agree with her. "Oh yes.

" their mother admonished [cautioned] them. "No. "The gentleman's name. mummy." said Nibs. to annoy the others." "Are you glad. you know." Peter called out." Curly said." "I am awfully glad she isn't dead. John?" "Of course I am. "I think I knew them." 82 . is she?" "Oh. Twins?" "We are glad. "and what do you think they had?" "White rats." sighed Wendy. Nibs?" "Rather. Darling. and her name was Mrs." cried Nibs. inspired. "was Mr. with Michael at her feet and seven boys in the bed." said Tootles. no." Wendy continued. however beastly a story it might be in his opinion. and—" "Oh. "Little less noise there. "There was a lady also." John said. then. "They were married." cried the first twin. "you mean that there is a lady also. determined that she should have fair play. Darling.Chapter 11 WENDY'S STORY "Listen. "Are you glad. "I wish he had been a white rat." "Are you glad. "There was once a gentleman—" "I had rather he had been a lady." said Wendy." explained Wendy." said Michael rather doubtfully. "Quiet. settling down to her story." "Oh dear." "I knew them. don't you? She is not dead.

"I don't know how it is. "I don't see how it can have a happy ending." "Did you hear that. "Now these three children had a faithful nurse called Nana. "Do you." "Hush. hitting Nibs with a pillow. where the lost children are." "What is descendants?" "Well." Wendy continued." "Oo!" they all moaned. but Mr." "It's an awfully good story." said John. though they were not really considering the feelings of the unhappy parents one jot." cried Tootles. oh dear. hitting back. Nibs?" "I do just. "Think of the empty beds!" "Oo!" "It's awfully sad. John? I am a descendant." the first twin said cheerfully." She had now come to the part that Peter hated. "I do like a mother's love." "Descendants are only children. Tootles. you are one." said Nibs." said Nibs. I am in a story. Nibs?" "I'm frightfully anxious. he was. and so all the children flew away. Darling was angry with her and chained her up in the yard." "If you knew how great is a mother's love. but I just thought they did!" "O Wendy. Hurrah. "It's awfully puzzling. They had three descendants." sighed Wendy. "to the Neverland. who knew the story by heart. "They flew away." said Tootles." said Tootles." Wendy told them tri- umphantly. "was one of the lost children called Tootles?" "Yes. Nibs. "Do you like a mother's love. Twin." "I just thought they did. Now I want you to consider the feelings of the unhappy par- ents with all their children flown away. "you would have no fear. 83 . "Oh dear." Curly broke in excitedly." said the second twin. "Quiet." "I am in a story.

She felt him solicitously.' says Wendy pointing upwards. "Years have rolled by. so they stayed away for years and had a lovely time. 'there is the win- dow still standing open. dear brothers. so alarming was his agitation. and then when we have need of special attention we nobly return for it." and they all gave themselves the twist that makes peeps into the future easier." Peter replied darkly. Off we skip like the most heartless things in the world. But there was one there who knew better. and pen cannot describe the happy scene. thinking he was ill. now grown to man's estate? Can they be John and Michael? They are!" "Oh!" "'See. bracing herself up for her finest effort. and when Wendy finished he uttered a hollow groan. who is she?" cried Nibs. Peter?" she cried. and they were as pleased with it as the fair narrat- or herself." They all gathered round him in affright. 84 . every bit as excited as if he didn't know. and who is this eleg- ant lady of uncertain age alighting at London Station?" "O Wendy. and with a fine candour he told them what he had hitherto concealed. "Then what kind is it?" "Wendy. which is what children are. you see. "our heroine knew that the mother would always leave the window open for her children to fly back by. you are wrong about mothers. Peter?" "It isn't that kind of pain.' So up they flew to their mummy and daddy." Wendy said complacently." That was the story. and we have an entirely selfish time." said Wendy. running to him. "take a peep into the future. "Where is it. now we are rewarded for our sublime faith in a mother's love. Everything just as it should be. So great indeed was their faith in a mother's love that they felt they could afford to be callous for a bit longer. "What is it. "Can it be—yes—no—it is—the fair Wendy!" "Oh!" "And who are the two noble portly figures accompanying her. but so at- tractive. Ah. over which we draw a veil. lower down than his chest. confident that we shall be rewarded instead of smacked. "You see." "Did they ever go back?" "Let us now.

will you make the necessary arrangements?" "If you wish it. was Peter. were spoiling everything. He did this because there is a saying in the Neverland that. and there was another little boy sleeping in my bed. "Peter. but the window was barred. and she said to him rather sharply. The toads! Still it is best to be careful. for the horrible thought had come to her: "Perhaps mother is in half mourning by this time." she said. clutching them. "Yes. "Long ago. and it scared them. every time you breathe. 85 . "At once. who. "Not to-night?" asked the lost boys bewildered." they cried. that neither did he. but Peter thought it was true. so I stayed away for moons and moons and moons. he was going to show her." Wendy replied resolutely." So this was the truth about mothers. "I thought like you that my mother would always keep the window open for me." cried John and Michael together. and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible. a grown-up dies." I am not sure that this was true. and then flew back. and he was so full of wrath against grown-ups." he said." he replied. as usual. where an unworthy scene had been enacted in his absence. as coolly as if she had asked him to pass the nuts. for mother had forgotten all about me. that as soon as he got inside his tree he breathed intentionally quick short breaths at the rate of about five to a second. and no one knows so quickly as a child when he should give in. "Wendy. "Are you sure mothers are like that?" "Yes. let us [let's] go home. and that it is only the mothers who think you can't. But of course he cared very much. 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 knew in what they called their hearts that one can get on quite well without a mother. Not so much as a sorry-to-lose-you between them! If she did not mind the parting." This dread made her forgetful of what must be Peter's feelings. Then having given the necessary instructions to the redskins he re- turned to the home.

"Who said I wasn't getting up?" she cried. "Tootles. "She says she won't!" Nibs exclaimed. striding up and down. Then Peter returned. whereupon Peter went sternly toward the young lady's chamber. aghast at such insubordination. "We shan't let her go. however." she cried. Peter. He would keep no girl in the Neverland against her will." she cried." Nibs called." This made her leap to the floor. The others held back uneasily. chain her up." he rapped out. Tink. "I have asked the redskins to guide you through the wood." "Ay. In the meantime the boys were gazing very forlornly at Wendy. in the short sharp voice of one accustomed to be obeyed. "and nobody minds me." Was it not strange? She appealed to Tootles. Nibs. now equipped with John and Michael for the journey. quite the silliest one." Of course Tink had been delighted to hear that Wendy was going. and they saw at once that they would get no support from him. "Tink. "Tinker Bell will take you across the sea." In her extremity an instinct told her to which of them to turn. "Wendy." Nibs had to knock twice before he got an answer." he said. though Tink had really been sitting up in bed listening for some time." "Thank you." "Then. and she said so in still more offensive language. and for that instant his sun was at noon. "I appeal to you. "You are to get up." he said. "if you don't get up and dress at once I will open the curtains. But the first who does not behave to Wendy like an English gentleman I will blood him severely." he continued. as flying tires you so. Grandly. Wake her. did Tootles respond. For that one moment he dropped his silliness and spoke with dignity. but she was jolly well determined not to be her courier. "Who are you? How dare you? Go away. By this time they were 86 . "I am just Tootles. and then we shall all see you in your negligee [nightgown]. Then she pretended to be asleep again." "Let's keep her prisoner." He drew back his hanger. "and take Wendy on a journey.

"To find your mother." To show that her departure would leave him unmoved. On this occasion. and undoubtedly gave them too much. playing gaily on his heartless pipes. to desert their dearest ones." Peter replied with a bitter smile. Peter. "Get your things. "No." She loved to give them medicine. "Dear ones." she said. "I am not going with you. Peter. but each of the boys was thinking exclusively of himself. shaking. not merely because they were about to lose her. Wendy. Of course it was only water." said Wendy. pretending indifference. and immediately they rushed to get their things. "it will only mean having a few beds in the drawing-room. she saw a look on his face that made her heart sink. can we go?" they all cried imploringly." "Yes. though it was rather undignified. and she always shook the bottle and counted the drops. 87 . Crediting them with a nobler feeling Wendy melted. "I am going to give you your medicine before you go. they can be hidden behind the screens on first Thursdays." The invitation was meant specially for Peter. for just as she had prepared it. and at once they jumped with joy. but really they scarcely cared." "No. however. but it was out of a bottle. which gave it a certain medicinal quality. thinking she had put everything right. but also be- cause they felt that she was going off to something nice to which they had not been invited. Novelty was beckoning to them as usual." he answered. "And now. she did not give Peter his draught [portion]. "But won't they think us rather a handful?" Nibs asked in the middle of his jump. "All right." Wendy said. "if you will all come with me I feel almost sure I can get my father and mother to adopt you. Thus children are ever ready. he skipped up and down the room.dejected." "Peter. "Oh no. They took it for granted that if they went he would go also. rapidly thinking it out. when novelty knocks." she cried. She had to run about after him. Peter." she coaxed.

was not the kind that breaks down before other people. good-bye. "Yes. ay. where all had been so still." "And you will take your medicine?" "Yes." Tink darted up the nearest tree. lingering over him. quite as if they must really go now. and an awkward pause followed. "I hope you will like them. "perhaps she would say I was old. and on each stick a bundle." That seemed to be everything. She was always so particular about their flannels. Now. but no one followed her. and there was no indication that he would prefer a thimble. Below. "If you find your mothers. Peter?" she said." "But. and most of them began to look rather doubtful. he no longer missed her." he said darkly. Wendy." Peter not coming! They gazed blankly at him. the air was rent with shrieks and the clash of steel." And so the others had to be told." "Then lead the way. "Peter isn't coming. Peter—" "No. "You will remember about changing your flannels." The awful cynicism of this made an uncomfortable impression. "Are you ready. no. there was dead silence. no blubbering. Peter. He could do very well without one. He had thought them out." and he held out his hand cheerily. if Peter had ever quite had a mother. for it was at this moment that the pirates made their dreadful attack upon the red- skins. however. Mouths opened and 88 . were they not noodles to want to go? "Now then. their faces said. "Ay. "No. 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. for he had something important to do. Above. Tinker Bell?" he called out. and re- membered only their bad points. After all." cried Peter. "no fuss." he told Wendy decisively. She had to take his hand. their sticks over their backs. and I just want always to be a little boy and to have fun.

he seized his sword. and the lust of battle was in his eye. 89 . As for Peter. they were beseeching him mutely not to desert them. but her arms were extended to- ward Peter. All arms were extended to him. Wendy fell on her knees. as if suddenly blown in his direction. the same he thought he had slain Barbecue with.remained open.

By all the unwritten laws of savage warfare it is always the redskin who attacks. at the foot of which a stream runs. Every foot of ground between the 90 . and the long suspense is horribly trying to the paleface who has to live through it for the first time. the inexperienced ones clutching their revolvers and treading on twigs. on their part. for to surprise redskins fairly is beyond the wit of the white man. There they await the onslaught. trusted implicitly to his honour. as silently as sand into which a mole has dived. They left nothing undone that was consistent with the reputation of their tribe. among the grass without stirring a blade. but the old hands sleeping tranquilly until just before the dawn. The cry is answered by other braves. who are not very good at it. The brushwood closes be- hind them. The white men have in the meantime made a rude stockade on the summit of yonder undulating ground. for it is destruction to be too far from water. and their whole action of the night stands out in marked contrast to his. but to the trained hand those ghastly calls and still ghastlier silences are but an intimation of how the night is marching. With that alertness of the senses which is at once the marvel and despair of civilised peoples. So the chill hours wear on. and with the wiliness of his race he does it just before the dawn. 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. they knew that the pirates were on the island from the moment one of them trod on a dry stick. and some of them do it even better than the coyotes. save when they give vent to a wonderful imitation of the lonely call of the coyote. The Piccaninnies. Through the long black night the savage scouts wriggle. snake- like.Chapter 12 THE CHILDREN ARE CARRIED OFF The pirate attack had been a complete surprise: a sure proof that the un- scrupulous Hook had conducted it improperly. and in an incredibly short space of time the coyote cries began. Not a sound is to be heard. at which time he knows the courage of the whites to be at its low- est ebb.

those confiding savages were found by the treacherous Hook. he does not seem even to have paused at the rising ground. so that Hook had no choice. they remained stationary for a 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. Then. he would not even hold off till the night was nearly spent. masters as they were of every war-like artifice save this one. What could the bewildered scouts do. For them the happy hunting- grounds was now. here he must establish himself and wait for just before the dawn. though wide-awake. the pearl of man- hood squatted above the children's home. Not all unavenged did they die. 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. to disturb the Spanish Main no more. and among others who bit the dust were Geo. They found only one hillock with a stream at its base. for with Lean Wolf fell Alf Mason. and they suddenly saw the perfidious pirates bearing down upon them. but as their father's sons they acquitted themselves. They knew it. Turley. but this they were forbidden to do by the traditions of their race. Turley fell to the 91 . while they gave pathetic utterance to the coyote cry. exposing themselves fatally to view. but trot helplessly after him. the main body of the redskins folded their blankets around them. Even then they had time to gather in a phalanx [dense form- ation] that would have been hard to break had they risen quickly. of the exquisite tortures to which they were to put him at break of day. not a muscle mov- ing. indeed. Around the brave Tiger Lily were a dozen of her stoutest warriors. No more would they torture at the stake. and the Alsatian Foggerty. on he pounded with no policy but to fall to [get into combat]. the tradition gal- lantly upheld. Thus perished many of the flower of the Piccaninny tribe. they seized their weapons. It is written that the noble savage must never express surprise in the presence of the white. Everything being thus mapped out with almost diabol- ical cunning. and in the phlegmatic manner that is to them. and the air was torn with the war-cry. Here dreaming. Fell from their eyes then the film through which they had looked at victory. but it was now too late. Chas. From the accounts afterwards supplied by such of the scouts as escaped the carnage. It is no part of ours to describe what was a massacre rather than a fight. awaiting the cold moment when they should deal pale death. Thus terrible as the sudden appearance of the pirates must have been to them. Scourie. as if the foe had come by invitation.

but even this and the increased insecurity of life to which it led. What he should per- haps have done was to acquaint his opponents that he proposed to fol- low a new method. and at night it disturbed him like an insect. It was not his courage. Pan and Wendy and their band. the tortured man felt that he was a lion in a cage into which a sparrow had come. it was not his engaging appearance. Had he waited on the rising ground till the prop- er hour he and his men would probably have been butchered. for they knew he would not scruple [hesitate] to ram them down with poles. The night's work was not yet over. as destroying the element of surprise. It was Pan he wanted. it made his iron claw twitch. One cannot at least withhold a reluct- ant admiration for the wit that had conceived so bold a scheme. so that the whole question is beset with difficulties. On the other hand. What were his own feelings about himself at that triumphant moment? Fain [gladly] would his dogs have known. The truth is that there was a something about Peter which goaded the pirate captain to frenzy. and in judging him it is only fair to take this into account. owing to the crocodile's pertinacity [persistance]. Peter was such a small boy that one tends to wonder at the man's hatred of him. they gathered at a discreet distance from his hook. for it was not the redskins he had come out to destroy. but chiefly Pan. would have made his strategy of no avail. This had got on Hook's nerves. There is no beating about the bush. as breathing heavily and wip- ing their cutlasses.tomahawk of the terrible Panther. and have got to tell. 92 . and the fell [deadly] genius with which it was carried out. for we know quite well what it was. and squinted through their ferret eyes at this extraordinary man. They wriggled uncomfortably. it was not—. they were but the bees to be smoked. The question now was how to get down the trees. It was Peter's cockiness. While Peter lived. or how to get his dogs down? He ran his greedy eyes over them. True he had flung Hook's arm to the crocodile. Elation must have been in his heart. To what extent Hook is to blame for his tactics on this occasion is for the historian to decide. who ultimately cut a way through the pirates with Tiger Lily and a small remnant of the tribe. this. hardly account for a vindictiveness so relentless and malignant. but his face did not reflect it: ever a dark and solitary enigma. so that he should get at the honey. he stood aloof from his followers in spirit as in substance. searching for the thinnest ones.

all appealing with outstretched arms to Peter. and was at that moment sitting on it. and then stopped to listen gleefully. This puzzled the pirates. heard the ques- tion put by every boy." Now Smee had found the tom-tom. "an Indian victory!" The doomed children answered with a cheer that was music to the black hearts above." he muttered. Rapidly and silently Hook gave his orders: one man to each tree." he said." the miscreants heard Peter cry. and slowly there came to Smee an understanding of the dreadful wickedness of the order. Which side had won? The pirates. passed like a fierce gust of wind. it is al- ways their sign of victory. but all their other feelings were swallowed by a base delight that the enemy were about to come up the trees. "You will never hear the tom-tom again. "they will beat the tom-tom. they also heard Peter's answer. had this simple man admired Hook so much. what of the boys? We have seen them at the first clang of the weapons. In the meantime. and we return to them as their mouths close. "If the redskins have won. "The tom-tom. listening avidly at the mouths of the trees. The pande- monium above has ceased almost as suddenly as it arose. for strict silence had been enjoined [urged]. Never. 93 . but they know that in the passing it has determined their fate. and their arms fall to their sides. open- mouthed. but inaudibly of course. turned as it were into stone figures. and alas. and the others to ar- range themselves in a line two yards apart. Twice Smee beat upon the instrument. and almost immediately they repeated their good- byes to Peter. To his amazement Hook signed him to beat the tom-tom. They smirked at each other and rubbed their hands. probably.

He rose out of it into the arms of Cecco. escorted her to the spot where the others were being gagged. just as you kick the parcel (though in fairness you should kick the string). All the boys were plucked from their trees in this ruthless manner. and for the trussing of them the black pirate had cut a rope into nine equal pieces. like bales of goods flung from hand to hand. The first to emerge from his tree was Curly.Chapter 13 DO YOU BELIEVE IN FAIRIES? The more quickly this horror is disposed of the better. he was so frightfully DISTINGUE [imposingly distin- guished]. who came last. that she was too fascinated to cry out. All went well until Slightly's turn came. who flung him to Bill Jukes. she would have been hurled through the air like the others. 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. His lip was curled with malicious triumph. A different treatment was accorded to Wendy. who flung him to Starkey. Had she haughtily unhanded him (and we should have loved to write it of her). Perhaps it is tell-tale to divulge that for a moment Hook entranced her. and without the secret he could not presently have made his foul attempt on Peter's life. With ironical politeness Hook raised his hat to her. 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. 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. They were tied to prevent their flying away. The pirates kicked him in their rage. who flung him to Smee. and we tell on her only because her slip led to strange results. and several of them were in the air at a time. 94 . and. She was only a little girl. offering her his arm. who flung him to Noodler. doubled up with their knees close to their ears. and so he was tossed from one to an- other till he fell at the feet of the black pirate. and strange to say it was Hook who told them to belay their violence. He did it with such an air.

his hat of ill omen on the sward. The first thing he did on finding himself alone in the fast falling night was to tiptoe to Slightly's tree. or did he stand waiting at the foot of Slightly's tree. for he was in a panic about Peter. whittled his tree to make it fit him. bit- terly regretted what he had done. so that any gentle breeze which had arisen might play refresh- ingly through his hair. four stout pirates raised it on their shoulders. white to the gills. Then for long he remained brooding. the singing drowned the sound. he stepped into the tree. The children were flung into it. and make sure that it provided him with a passage. the house under the ground seemed to be but one more empty tenement in the void. and it did Peter a bad service. but most of the way lay through a morass. It dried up any trickle of pity for him that may have remained in the pirate's infuriated breast. Slightly. if so. and singing the hateful pirate chorus the strange procession set off through the wood. he had swelled in consequence to his present girth. Was that boy asleep. he merely signed that the captives were to be conveyed to the ship. probing not for effects but for causes. Dark as were his thoughts his blue eyes were as soft as the periwinkle. unknown to the others. but no word of the dark design that now formed in the subter- ranean caverns of his mind crossed his lips. with his dag- ger in his hand? There was no way of knowing. which was this. Hook let his cloak slip softly to the ground. and that he would be alone. Sufficient of this Hook guessed to persuade him that Peter at last lay at his mercy. but for a moment 95 . most wretched of all the children now. a brave though tiny jet of smoke issued from its chimney as if defying Hook. the others fell in behind. but all was as silent below as above. and his exultation showed that he had found them. that no boy so blown out could use a tree wherein an average man need stick. Hook saw it. Poor Slightly. He was a brave man. He indicated that the little house must be used as a conveyance. Madly addicted to the drinking of wa- ter when he was hot. How to convey them? Hunched up in their ropes they might indeed be rolled down hill like barrels. I don't know whether any of the children were cry- ing. and instead of reducing himself to fit his tree he had. Again Hook's genius surmounted difficulties. Intently he listened for any sound from the nether world. and then biting his lips till a lewd blood stood on them.Hook's master mind had gone far beneath Slightly's surface. save by going down. but as the little house disap- peared in the forest. knew that Hook had surprised [discovered] his secret.

he let himself go into the unknown. and. for she had always tucked them inside it. let it be frankly admitted. and stood still again. with the riddle of his existence. On the bed lay Peter fast asleep. which was dripping like a candle. Sometimes. Unaware of the tragedy being enacted above. At such times it had been Wendy's custom to take him out of bed and sit with him on her lap. so he laughed a haughty laugh and fell asleep in the middle of it. though he wailed piteously in them. the drooping arm. he loved flowers (I have been told) and sweet music (he was himself no mean per- former on the harpsichord). But on this oc- casion he had fallen at once into a dreamless sleep. He stood silent at the foot of the tree looking across the chamber at his enemy. but the only one on which his greedy gaze rested. As his eyes became ac- customed to the dim light various objects in the home under the trees took shape. so as to grieve Wendy. Thus defenceless Hook found him. for a little time after the children left. The open mouth. Then he nearly cried. Then he lay down on the bed outside the coverlet. Then. One arm dropped over the edge of the bed. I think. which was open. showing the little pearls. which had almost left him. was the great bed. soothing him in dear ways of her own invention. will never again.he had to stop there and wipe his brow. He arrived unmolested at the foot of the shaft. Then he decided not to take his medicine. silently. and they were more painful than the dreams of other boys. to play gaily on his pipes: no doubt rather a forlorn attempt to prove to himself that he did not care. taken together. long sought for and found at last. Mastered by his better self he would have returned reluctantly up the tree. he had dreams. and when he grew calmer to put him back to bed before he quite woke up. What stayed him was Peter's impertinent appearance as he slept. and the unfinished part of his laugh was stranded on his mouth. so that he should not know of the indignity to which she had subjected him. but for one thing. but it struck him how indignant she would be if he laughed instead. Peter had continued. Did no feeling of compas- sion disturb his sombre breast? The man was not wholly evil. though not often. one leg was arched. one may 96 . to vex her still more. biting at his breath. the idyllic nature of the scene stirred him profoundly. because you never know that you may not grow chilly at the turn of the night. For hours he could not be separ- ated from these dreams. They had to do. the arched knee: they were such a per- sonification of cockiness as.

"Who is that?" 97 . beyond his reach. Hook stood in darkness himself. Peter slept on. merely to avoid spilling. Lest he should be taken alive. and he rattled the door and flung himself against it. As he did it he avoided glancing at the sleeper. Soft and cautious. If his rage had broken him into a hundred pieces every one of them would have disregarded the incident. As he emerged at the top he looked the very spirit of evil breaking from its hole. Was his enemy to escape him after all? But what was that? The red in his eye had caught sight of Peter's medi- cine standing on a ledge within easy reach. They steeled Hook's heart. which was probably the most virulent poison in existence. holding one end in front as if to conceal his person from the night. wakened by he knew not what. The light guttered [burned to edges] and went out. It must have been not less than ten o'clock by the crocodile. Donning his hat at its most rakish angle. Hook always carried about his person a dreadful drug. but not lest pity should unnerve him. blended by himself of all the death-dealing rings that had come into his possession. It did not entirely fill the aperture. leav- ing the tenement in darkness. Though a light from the one lamp shone dimly on the bed. Then one long gloating look he cast upon his victim. he found to his fury that it was low down. he wound his cloak around him. and muttering strangely to himself.hope. Peter felt for his dagger till his hand gripped it. but in that stillness it was sinister. Feeling for the catch. stole away through the trees. be presented to eyes so sensitive to their offensiveness. the door of Slightly's tree. when he suddenly sat up in his bed. and leapt at the sleeper. but it was in exultation rather than in shame. and at the first stealthy step forward he discovered an obstacle. He fathomed what it was straightaway. These he had boiled down into a yellow liquid quite unknown to science. and he had been looking over it. His hand shook. Five drops of this he now added to Peter's cup. of which it was the blackest part. and immediately knew that the sleeper was in his power. To his disordered brain it seemed then that the irritating quality in Peter's face and figure visibly increased. and turn- ing. but still he slept. Then he spoke. It was a soft cautious tapping on the door of his tree. wormed his way with difficulty up the tree.

her face flushed and her dress stained with mud. The cup was poisoned. she who loved everything to be just so! "I'll rescue her!" he cried." Peter cried. Peter's heart bobbed up and down as he listened. and quickly he unbarred to her. "No!" shrieked Tinker Bell. you could never guess!" she cried. He was thrilled. "Who are you?" No answer. she told of the capture of Wendy and the boys." It was Tink. "I won't open unless you speak. He could take his medicine. She flew in excitedly. Peter. "Out with it!" he shouted. in a lovely bell-like voice. and he loved being thrilled. it filled the aperture [opening]. "Why not?" "It is poisoned. For long there was no answer: then again the knock. Then at last the visitor spoke. "Let me in. and on the pirate ship. Nevertheless Hook's words had left no room for doubt. nor could the one knocking see him." said Peter. for even she did not know the dark secret of Slightly's tree." "Poisoned? Who could have poisoned it?" "Hook. quite believing himself "I never fell asleep. who had heard Hook mutter about his deed as he sped through the forest. Tinker Bell could not explain this. "What is it?" "Oh. His hand closed on the fatal draught. Wendy bound." "Don't be silly. as long as the ribbons that conjurers [magicians] pull from their mouths. and offered him three guesses. Unlike Slightly's door. In two strides he reached the door. leaping at his weapons. "Besides. and in one ungrammatical sentence. so that he could not see beyond it. How could Hook have got down here?" Alas." 98 . As he leapt he thought of something he could do to please her.

and drained it to the dregs. Her voice was so low that at first he could not make out what she said. He raised the cup. and naked papooses in their baskets hung from trees. and he knew that if it went out she would be no more. Tink sat up in bed almost briskly to listen to her fate." she told him softly. but in reply she alighted on his shoulder and gave his nose a loving bite. and who were therefore nearer to him than you think: boys and girls in their nighties. Then he made it out. and it was night time. how dare you drink my medicine?" But she did not answer. She fancied she heard answers in the affirmative. 99 . Every moment her light was growing fainter. There were no children there. lay down on the bed. No time for words now." and then. and with one of her lightning movements Tink got between his lips and the draught. and then again she wasn't sure. Some didn't. She liked his tears so much that she put out her beautiful finger and let them run over it. "What do you think?" she asked Peter. "It was poisoned. time for deeds. "clap your hands." "But why. don't let Tink die. Already she was reeling in the air. A few beasts hissed. Peter. "and now I am going to be dead. suddenly afraid. "Why. Tink?" Her wings would scarcely carry her now. tottering to her chamber. "If you believe." "O Tink. His head almost filled the fourth wall of her little room as he knelt near her in distress. "Do you believe?" he cried." he shouted to them. She whispered in his ear "You silly ass." Many clapped. Peter flung out his arms. She was saying that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies. "What is the matter with you?" cried Peter. did you drink it to save me?" "Yes. but he addressed all who might be dreaming of the Never- land. Tink.

The clapping stopped suddenly. thus disturbing birds and acquainting a watchful foe that he was astir. He had hoped to fly. at which happily he was an adept [expert]. The crocodile passed him. The upper world had called him. "And now to rescue Wendy!" The moon was riding in a cloudy heaven when Peter rose from his tree. not a movement. would blaze [cut a mark in] the trees. There was no other course but to press forward in redskin fashion. but already Tink was saved. but she would have like to get at the ones who had hissed. for instance. and again erect. It was not such a night as he would have chosen. or stalking him from behind. and he could not wait. one finger on his lip and his dagger at the ready. First her voice grew strong. and yet he knew well that sudden death might be at the next tree. if he had an op- portunity. as if countless mothers had rushed to their nurseries to see what on earth was happening. He was frightfully happy. He swore this terrible oath: "Hook or me this time. and knew that in their dire hour they were not likely to forget it. but not another living thing. as if for a space Nature stood still in horror of the re- cent carnage. But in what direction. He regretted now that he had given the birds of the island such strange names that they are very wild and difficult of approach." Now he crawled forward like a snake. then she popped out of bed. he darted across a space on which the moonlight played. begirt [belted] with weapons and wearing little else. not a sound. but in that fitful light to have flown low would have meant trailing his shadow through the trees. Curly would drop seeds. Slightly. keeping not far from the ground so that nothing un- wonted should escape his eyes. for he could not be sure that the children had been taken to the ship? A light fall of snow had obliterated all footmarks. but would give no help. and Wendy would leave her handkerchief at some important place. and a deathly silence per- vaded the island. He had taught the children something of the forest lore that he had himself learned from Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell. 100 . to set out upon his perilous quest. She never thought of thanking those who believed. The morning was needed to search for such guidance. then she was flashing through the room more merry and impudent than ever.

I know not why he was so infinitely pathetic. lest he should claw them mechanically in passing. Hook trod the deck in thought. and knowing as we do how vain a tabernacle is man. low in the water. for she floated immune in the horror of her name. and the exhausted four who had carried the little house lay prone on the deck. She was the cannibal of the seas. It was his hour of triumph. It was his grimmest deed since the days when he had brought Barbecue to heel. O man unfathomable. others sprawled by barrels over games of dice and cards. Of this. drinking in the miasma [putrid mist] of the night. where even in their sleep they rolled skillfully to this side or that out of Hook's reach. as of almost everything else. 101 . She was wrapped in the blanket of night. the essence of the commonplace. pathetic Smee. and all the other boys were in the brig.Chapter 14 THE PIRATE SHIP One green light squinting over Kidd's Creek. marked where the brig. unless it were be- cause he was so pathetically unaware of it. through which no sound from her could have reached the shore. A few of the pirates leant over the bulwarks. like ground strewn with mangled feathers. which is near the mouth of the pirate river. but even strong men had to turn hastily from looking at him. Smee was quite unconscious. could we be surprised had he now paced the deck unsteadily. which kept pace with the action of his sombre mind. every beam in her detestable. about to walk the plank. and none agreeable save the whir of the ship's sewing machine at which Smee sat. a rakish-looking [speedy-looking] craft foul to the hull. There was little sound. Peter had been removed for ever from his path. bellied out by the winds of his success? But there was no elation in his gait. and scarce needed that watchful eye. lay. and more than once on summer even- ings he had touched the fount of Hook's tears and made it flow. Hook was profoundly dejected. ever industrious and obliging. the JOLLY ROGER.

"Fame. and its traditions still clung to him like garments. like hammering in the night when one cannot sleep. Ah. 102 . fame. Ofttimes he drew his sleeve across his face. lest presently there should be no time for it. It was as if Peter's terrible oath had boarded the ship. that glittering bauble. It was because he was so terribly alone. was it not bad form to think about good form? His vitals were tortured by this problem. From far within him he heard a creaking as of rusty portals. Good form! However much he may have degenerated. and through them came a stern tap-tap-tap. They were socially inferior to him. "Is it quite good form to be distinguished at anything?" the tap-tap from his school replied. "Have you been good form to-day?" was their eternal question. but as those who read between the lines must already have guessed. but there was no damming that trickle. the perspiration dripped down his tallow [waxy] countenance and streaked his doublet. But above all he retained the passion for good form. he still knew that this is all that really matters. Most disquieting reflection of all. "Better for Hook. There came to him a presentiment of his early dissolution [death]." "Barbecue. it is mine. He was often thus when communing with himself on board ship in the quietude of the night. Flint—what house?" came the cutting retort. and he still adhered in his walk to the school's distinguished slouch. "I am the only man whom Barbecue feared. It was a claw within him sharper than the iron one." he cried. with which indeed they are largely concerned." he cried. This in- scrutable man never felt more alone than when surrounded by his dogs. "if he had had less ambition!" It was in his darkest hours only that he referred to himself in the third person. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze. Hook felt a gloomy desire to make his dying speech. Thus it was offensive to him even now to board a ship in the same dress in which he grappled [attacked] her. envy not Hook. and as it tore him. "and Flint feared Barbecue. he had been at a famous public school." he urged. Hook was not his true name.

ay. His dogs thinking him out of the way for a time. He lolled at his ease. 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]. "or I'll cast anchor in you. not 103 . What arrested him was this reflection: "To claw a man because he is good form." he cried. Michael had tried on his spectacles." "Then hoist them up. perhaps the sewing machine brought it to his mind. all traces of human weakness gone. With a cry of rage he raised his iron hand over Smee's head. "No little children to love me!" Strange that he should think of this. "Are all the children chained. as if a bucket of water had passed over him." The wretched prisoners were dragged from the hold. what was it that made him so? A terrible answer suddenly presented itself—"Good form?" Had the bo'sun good form without knowing it. what would that be?" "Bad form!" The unhappy Hook was as impotent [powerless] as he was damp. He had said horrid things to them and hit them with the palm of his hand. so that they cannot fly away?" "Ay. and he fell forward like a cut flower. and ranged in line in front of him. but he did not tear. which brought him to his feet at once. discipline instantly relaxed." and at once the din was hushed. For a time he seemed uncon- scious of their presence. If Smee was lovable. "Quiet. under the conviction that all children feared him. but it seemed too brutal. For long he muttered to himself. all except Wendy. he revolved this mystery in his mind: why do they find Smee lovable? He pursued the problem like the sleuth- hound that he was. and they broke into a bacchanalian [drunken] dance. To tell poor Smee that they thought him lovable! Hook itched to do it. Feared him! Feared Smee! There was not a child on board the brig that night who did not already love him. because he could not hit with his fist. staring at Smee. Instead. but they had only clung to him the more. humming. you scugs. which had never troubled him be- fore. who was hemming placidly.

"I once thought of calling myself Red-handed Jack. bully. "six of you walk the plank to- night. if you join." as if he wished things had been otherwise. and despise them for it. "Would your mother like you to be a pirate." he said. snatches of a rude song. "Shall we still be respectful subjects of the King?" John inquired. 'Down with the King." he said briskly. and the spokesmen were dragged back. Would your mother like you to be a pirate. my hearty?" Now John had sometimes experienced this hankering at maths. who said mournfully. "Now then. "And a good name too..unmelodiously. "Blackbeard Joe. but I have room for two cabin boys. "Then I refuse. prep.'" Perhaps John had not behaved very well so far. 104 . "Nibs. as clever as the others. Through Hook's teeth came the answer: "You would have to swear. but an instinct told him that it would be prudent to lay the responsibility on an absent person. boy. so Tootles stepped forward politely. but make constant use of it. All children know this about mothers. Twin?" "I don't think so." said the first twin. and he was struck by Hook's picking him out." "What do you think." he said diffidently. addressing John. Slightly?" He winked at Slightly." Michael was naturally impressed. Ever and anon the light from his cigar gave a touch of colour to his face. banging the barrel in front of Hook. would—" "Stow this gab. Tootles hated the idea of signing under such a man. Didst never want to be a pirate. "You see. John?" He wanted John to decide. We'll call you that here. bullies. "You." roared Hook. and John wanted him to decide. Which of you is it to be?" "Don't irritate him unnecessarily. he knew that mothers alone are always willing to be the buffer. and fingering a pack of cards. "I don't think so. Michael?" asked John." had been Wendy's instructions in the hold. sir. "you look as if you had a little pluck in you. but he shone out now." he cried. "What do you think. "What would you call me if I join?" Michael demanded. I don't think my mother would like me to be a pirate. and though a somewhat silly boy. So Tootles explained prudently.

but he was too late. "And I refuse." cried Michael. With a hasty gesture he tried to hide it." she said firmly. "That seals your doom." said Hook. To the boys there was at least some glamour in the pirate calling. of course. "Silence all. "Are they to die?" asked Wendy. but all that she saw was that the ship had not been tidied for years. "Rule Britannia!" squeaked Curly. the intensity of his communings had soiled his ruff. But they tried to look brave when Wendy was brought up. John. Bring up their mother. "Tie her up!" he shouted. What are you to do. dear boys. and it is this: 'We hope our sons will die like English gentlemen. with a look of such frightful contempt that he nearly fainted. "See here. Twin?" "What my mother hopes. and she had already written it on several. and suddenly he knew that she was gazing at it. "So. "for a mother's last words to her children. "I'll save you if you promise to be my mother. It was Smee who tied her to the mast. Nibs?" "What my mother hopes. and Tootles cried out hysterically. my beauty. The infuriated pirates buffeted them in the mouth. "I feel that I have a message to you from your real mothers. as if he spoke in syrup. What are you to do. "you are to see your children walk the plank. There was not a porthole on the grimy glass of which you might not have written with your finger "Dirty pig"." Fine gentlemen though he was. save for them." 105 . what are—" But Hook had found his voice again." he whispered." he snarled. and Hook roared out." They were only boys." At this moment Wendy was grand. "These are my last words. "I am going to do what my mother hopes." he called gloatingly. No words of mine can tell you how Wendy despised those pirates.'" Even the pirates were awed. "They are. honey. Get the plank ready. But as the boys gathered round her she had no thought. and they went white as they saw Jukes and Cecco preparing the fatal plank.

He fell in a little heap. and that from being actors they were suddenly be- come spectators. It was Peter. But he never reached her. They were no longer able to hope that they would walk it manfully. they could stare and shiver only. and under its guidance he crawled on the knees along the deck as far from the sound as he could go. They had no thought of fighting it. he never heard the cry of anguish he hoped to wring from her. They all heard it—pirates. But not even for Smee would she make such a promise. as if knowing that it was no intrinsic part of what the attacking force wanted. His intention was to turn her face so that she should see they boys walking the plank one by one. for the capacity to think had gone from them. boys. All knew that what was about to happen con- cerned him alone. Left so fearfully alone. Hook smiled on them with his teeth closed. Wendy. He heard something else instead. It was the terrible tick-tick of the crocodile. all eyes averted from the thing that was coming aboard. He signed to them not to give vent to any cry of admiration that might rouse suspicion. not to the water whence the sound pro- ceeded. for it was no crocodile that was coming to their aid. Very frightful was it to see the change that came over him. 106 . "Hide me!" he cried hoarsely. any other man would have lain with his eyes shut where he fell: but the gigantic brain of Hook was still working. 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. They gathered round him. and it was only when he brought up against the bulwarks that he spoke. It is sad to know that not a boy was looking at her as Smee tied her to the mast. but toward Hook. and took a step toward Wendy. The sound came steadily nearer." she said disdainfully [scornfully]. It was Fate. "I would al- most rather have no children at all. and in advance of it came this ghastly thought. Then they got the strangest surprise of the Night of Nights. and immediately every head was blown in one direction. the eyes of all were on the plank: that last little walk they were about to take. Then he went on ticking. The pir- ates respectfully cleared a passage for him. "The crocodile is about to board the ship!" Even the iron claw hung inactive. It was as if he had been clipped at every joint.

for. Now such an experience had come that night to Peter. On the contrary. or merely as a friend under the belief that it was again ticking itself. he thought he had scaled her side as noiseless as a mouse. Without giving a thought to what might be the feelings of a fellow- creature thus abruptly deprived of its closest companion.Chapter 15 "HOOK OR ME THIS TIME" Odd things happen to all of us on our way through life without our noti- cing for a time that they have happened. Peter began to consider how he could turn the catastrophe to his own use. though an ingenious idea. 107 . and it fol- lowed him. Had he known he would have stopped." He had ticked so long that he now went on ticking without knowing that he was doing it. will never be certainly known. it was a stu- pid beast. but. like slaves to a fixed idea. and he was amazed to see the pirates cowering from him. but soon concluded rightly that the clock had run down. with Hook in their midst as abject as if he had heard the crocodile. for to board the brig by help of the tick. Peter reached the shore without mishap. but by and by he remembered that it had not been ticking. Thus many animals pass from land to water. though whether with the purpose of regaining what it had lost. but with one unforeseen result. At first he thought this eerie. had not occurred to him. The crocodile was among those who heard the sound. half an hour. and went straight on. He had seen the crocodile pass by without noticing anything peculiar about it. Thus. so that wild beasts should believe he was the crocodile and let him pass unmolested. As he swam he had but one thought: "Hook or me this time. to take an instance. his legs encountering the water as if quite unaware that they had entered a new element. When last we saw him he was stealing across the island with one finger to his lips and his dagger at the ready. but no other hu- man of whom I know. He ticked superbly. say. and he de- cided to tick. we suddenly discover that we have been deaf in one ear for we don't know how long.

and he drew himself up firmly to his full height. every inch of him on tiptoe. Now.) None too soon. They could hear each other's distressed breathing now. and he looked behind him swiftly. yo ho. Four boys caught him to prevent the thud. Jukes. grimacing at them as he sang. and the carrion was cast overboard. He fell for- ward. vanished into the cabin. Peter gave the signal. Till it goes down and you goes down To Davy Jones below!" To terrorize the prisoners the more. At first he thought the sound did come from the crocodile. "Fetch the cat. "How clever of me!" he thought at once. The crocodile! No sooner did Peter remember it than he heard the tick- ing. John clapped his hands on the ill-fated pirate's mouth to stifle the dying groan. How long has it taken? "One!" (Slightly had begun to count. wiping off his spectacles. They he realised that he was doing it himself. He broke into the villain- ous ditty: "Yo ho. "It's gone." Slowly Hook let his head emerge from his ruff. captain. though with a certain loss of dig- nity." 108 . "it's in the cabin." Smee said. hating the boys more than ever because they had seen him unbend. and when he finished he cried. the frisky plank. and signed to the boys not to burst into applause. for more than one pirate was screwing up his courage to look round. Peter struck true and deep. "No. Peter. There was not a sound. There was a splash. which showed them that the more terrible sound had passed. reader. and in a flash he understood the situation. "All's still again. "Do you want a touch of the cat [o' nine tails] before you walk the plank?" At that they fell on their knees. no!" they cried so piteously that every pirate smiled." said Hook. It was at this moment that Ed Teynte the quartermaster emerged from the forecastle and came along the deck. You walks along it so. "Then here's to Johnny Plank!" he cried brazenly. and then silence. time what happened by your watch. and listened so intently that he could have caught the echo of the tick. he danced along an imaginary plank.

towering over him. The Italian Cecco hesitated for a moment and then swung into the cab- in. the scratching cat. bravest of the brave. He tottered out. "Did you say you would go. "Cecco. "Bill Jukes dead!" cried the startled pirates. "but there is something terrible in there: the thing you heard crowing. "who is to bring me that doodle-doo?" 109 ." he said. they scarce knew that Hook had resumed his song." replied Cecco in a hollow voice." The exultation of the boys. and he strode into the cabin. first flinging his arms despairingly. "go back and fetch me out that doodle-doo. crying "No. "What was that?" cried Hook. "The cabin's as black as a pit. but Hook was purring to his claw. no". cowered before his captain. Hook rallied his dogs with a gesture." he said in his most steely voice. stabbed. both were seen by Hook. "The matter wi' him is he's dead. you dog?" hissed Hook." he thundered. Cecco?" he said musingly. "What's the matter with Bill Jukes. yo ho. you know. Cecco went. his dogs joining in with him: "Yo ho. and died away. Then was heard a crowing sound which was well understood by the boys." said Slightly solemnly. There was no more singing." Cecco. all listened now. The cabin! Peter was in the cabin! The children gazed at each other. but to the pirates was almost more eerie than the screech. They fol- lowed him with their eyes. ay. "'S'death and odds fish. and again came a death-screech and again a crow. "Ay. for of a sudden the song was stayed by a dreadful screech from the cabin. And when they're writ upon your back—" What was the last line will never be known. "Two." said Jukes blithely. "Three." Cecco said. Its tails are nine. almost gibbering. It wailed through the ship. No one spoke except Slightly. the lowering looks of the pirates. haggard.

"he always boards the pirate craft last. and again he had the support of the crew. "Five. but Hook came staggering out. mercy!" Starkey whimpered. "No. "I think I heard you volunteer. "Four. to humour the hook?" "I'll swing before I go in there. captain?" "They say. "What of Cecco?" demanded Noodler. Starkey looked round for help. "Is this mutiny?" asked Hook more pleasantly than ever. by thunder!" Starkey cried. "Something blew out the light. With a despairing scream the pirate leapt upon Long Tom and precipitated himself into the sea." said Hook. "Something!" echoed Mullins. All pirates are superstitious. and one after an- other took up the cry. "The ship's doomed!" At this the children could 110 . proffering his claw. all of a tremble now." growled Starkey. Starkey." said Hook. His reluctance to return to the cabin impressed them all unfavourably. "They do say the surest sign a ship's accurst is when there's one on board more than can be accounted for. and the others took up the cry." he said. "Wait till Cecco comes out. "I'll bring out that doodle-doo myself. and Cookson cried. "Shake hands. "My hook thinks you did. "And now." said Slightly. and now the red spark was in his eye. crossing to him. Starkey." "I've heard." said Hook shortly. and sped into the cabin. "that when he comes it's in the likeness of the wickedest man aboard." "Had he a hook. He wetted his lips to be ready. Starkey. captain?" asked Cookson insolently. but all deserted him. "He's as dead as Jukes. "Starkey's ringleader!" "Captain. without his lantern. purring again. "I wonder if it would not be advisable." said another. "did any other gentlemen say mutiny?" Seizing a lantern and raising his claw with a menacing gesture. and the mutinous sounds again broke forth." said Hook. looking viciously at Hook." Hook said courteously." How Slightly longed to say it." muttered Mullins." replied Starkey doggedly. Had he a tail." he said a little unsteadily. As he backed up Hook advanced.

Hook tried to hearten them." they snarled. To the pirates it was a voice crying that all the boys lay slain in the cab- in. "Who's that?" 111 ." So when he had freed Wendy. who all this time had been bound to the mast. but like the dogs he had made them they showed him their fangs. "It's worth trying. The boys. lads. armed with such weapons as they could find. "There's none can save you now. Open the cabin door and drive them in. and himself took her place by the mast. It was for neither a scream nor a crow that she was watching. missy. and now they all stole forth. he whispered for her to conceal herself with the oth- ers. but one thing barred the way. Then he took a great breath and crowed. ready to cajole or strike as need be. an oath." replied the figure." "No. and devotedly they did his bidding." "Ay. Let them fight the doodle-doo for their lives. Wendy. but never quailing for an instant. her cloak around him so that he should pass for her." cried Hook." he said. and he knew that if he took his eyes off them now they would leap at him. and then nothing could have been easier than for them all to fly off together. In the cabin he had found the thing for which he had gone in search: the key that would free the children of their man- acles. we're none the worse." Some of them remembered that this had been a saying of Flint's. Hook had well-nigh forgotten his prisoners." For the last time his dogs admired Hook. "Now. and they made a rush at the fig- ure in the cloak." Mullins hissed jeeringly. She had not long to wait. "Lads. and all listened. But not one dared to face the door. "I've thought it out. First signing them to hide. no. Peter cut Wendy's bonds. Yes. If they kill him. "now here's a notion. pretending to struggle. but as he swung round on them now his face lit up again. it was for the reappearance of Peter. were pushed into the cabin and the door was closed on them. it's the girl. "Lads." they said doubtfully. and they were panic-stricken. There's a Jonah aboard.not resist raising a cheer. if he kills them." he cried to his crew. "Hook or me this time. We'll right the ship when she's gone. "Fling the girl overboard. Never was luck on a pirate ship wi' a woman on board. "a man wi' a hook. "There's one. we're so much the better. listen!" cried Hook. one.

"prepare to meet thy doom." Without more words they fell to. I think all were gone when a group of savage boys surrounded Hook. and again and again he hewed a clear space. but they fought on the defensive only. as he kept them at bay in that circle of fire. which en- abled the boys to hunt in pairs and choose their quarry. Again and again they closed upon him. so that they were half blinded and fell as an easy prey to the reeking swords of the other boys. Pan." Thus suddenly Hook found himself face to face with Peter. James Hook. others hid in dark recesses." "Proud and insolent youth. each thinking himself the last survivor of the crew." came the stern answer. and parried with dazzling rapidity. where they were found by Slightly. "Down. "So. and Peter with the strange smile upon his face. and they ran hither and thither. and for a space there was no advant- age to either blade. boys. an occasional screech or splash. Then they all knew who 'twas that had been un- doing them in the cabin. The others drew back and formed a ring around them. boys." "Dark and sinister man. and at them!" Peter's voice rang out." cried the newcomer. Some of the miscreants leapt into the sea. "this is all your doing. In that frightful moment I think his fierce heart broke. Peter was a superb swordsman. when another. "Cleave him to the brisket!" but without conviction. who seemed to have a charmed life. Man to man they were the stronger. and in another mo- ment the clash of arms was resounding through the ship. who had just passed his sword through Mullins. but ran about with a lantern which he flashed in their faces. but the onset came when they were still unstrung. They had done for his dogs. striking wildly." said Hook. "this man is mine. and Slightly monotonously counting—five—six—seven eight—nine—ten—eleven. "it is all my doing. There was little sound to be heard but the clang of weapons." "Ay. He had lifted up one boy with his hook." said Hook at last." Peter answered. and twice Hook essayed to speak and twice he failed. "Put up your swords. "have at thee. At last he cried. Had the pirates kept together it is certain that they would have won. "Peter Pan the avenger!" came the terrible answer. For long the two enemies looked at one another. but this man alone seemed to be a match for them all. Hook shuddering slightly. sprang into the fray. and as he spoke Peter flung off his cloak. who did not fight. ever and anon he followed up a feint with a lunge that 112 . and was using him as a buckler [shield].

"In two minutes. which is the very pinnacle of good form." Peter answered at a venture. now. He fought now like a human flail." he cried despairingly. lunging fiercely. At the sight of his own blood. of course. Hook. "Now!" cried all the boys. and he could not drive the steel home. hoping suddenly to end all with a favourite thrust. I'm past his foe's defence. was offensive to him. And again and again he darted in and pricked. but darker suspicions assailed him now. "To't again. true form will show. but Peter doubled under it and. whose peculiar colour. Hitherto he had thought it was some fiend fighting him. "I'm youth. Then he sought to close and give the quietus with his iron hook. but with a magnificent gesture Peter invited his opponent to pick up his sword. but to his astonishment he found this thrust turned aside again and again. But Peter issued from the powder magazine with the shell in his hands. scarcely his inferior in bril- liancy. pierced him in the ribs. but Peter fluttered round him as if the very wind it made blew him out of the danger zone. was nonsense." This. but not quite so nimble in wrist play. but for one boon it craved: to see Peter show bad form before it was cold forever. taught him long ago by Barbecue at Rio. and calmly flung it overboard. Hook was fighting now without hope. Abandoning the fight he rushed into the powder magazine and fired it. the sword fell from Hook's hand. "Pan. Hook did so instantly. who and what art thou?" he cried huskily. which all this time had been pawing the air. 113 . That passionate breast no longer asked for life." Now." he cried. and every sweep of that terrible sword would have severed in twain any man or boy who obstructed it. "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg. forced him back by the weight of his onset. but his shorter reach stood him in ill stead. and he was at Peter's mercy. he thought. but with a tra- gic feeling that Peter was showing good form. but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was. you remember. "the ship will be blown to pieces.

who henceforth wandered about the world in his spectacles. and shuddered de- lightfully when Michael showed her the place where he had killed one. Hook had feared. farewell. though watching Peter with glistening eyes. but now that all was over she be- came prominent again. but two reached the shore: Starkey to be captured by the redskins. "Seventeen. It made Peter kick instead of stab. or watching the wall-game from a famous wall. or being sent up [to the headmaster] for good. all but 114 . The other boys were flying around him now. and his tie was right. flouting. of course. he sprang upon the bulwarks to cast himself into the sea. and his socks were right. without sympathising with him. and Smee. James Hook. making a precarious living by saying he was the only man that Jas. Thus perished James Hook. scornful. What sort of form was Hook himself showing? Misguided man though he was. and he staggered about the deck striking up at them impotently. "Bad form. his mind was no longer with them. he invited him with a gesture to use his foot. For we have come to his last moment. and his waistcoat was right. He did not know that the crocodile was waiting for him. Wendy. you may be sure. She praised them equally. thou not wholly unheroic figure. who made him nurse for all their papooses. She got them to bed in the pirates' bunks pretty quickly. It said "half-past one!" The lateness of the hour was almost the biggest thing of all. a melancholy come-down for a pirate. and went content to the crocodile." he cried jeeringly." Slightly sang out. He had one last triumph. As he stood on the bulwark looking over his shoulder at Peter gliding through the air. And his shoes were right. but he was not quite correct in his fig- ures. had stood by taking no part in the fight. which I think we need not grudge him. that in the end he was true to the traditions of his race. and then she took them into Hook's cabin and pointed to his watch which was hanging on a nail. it was slouching in the playing fields of long ago. Seeing Peter slowly advancing upon him through the air with dagger poised. Fifteen paid the penalty for their crimes that night. we may be glad. for we purposely stopped the clock that this knowledge might be spared him: a little mark of respect from us at the end. At last Hook had got the boon for which he craved.

He had one of his dreams that night.Peter. and cried in his sleep for a long time. who strutted up and down on the deck. and Wendy held him tightly. 115 . until at last he fell asleep by the side of Long Tom.

Some of them wanted it to be an honest ship and others were in favour of keeping it a pirate. she was making for him out of some of Hook's wickedest garments. Peter had already lashed himself to the wheel. Then a few sharp orders were given. There was a woman aboard. and nosed her for the mainland. which he bent and held threateningly aloft like a hook. and they cheered him lustily. but the captain treated them as dogs. It need not be said who was the captain. and Tootles. the bo'sun. was among them. after consulting the ship's chart. and they dared not express their wishes to him even in a round robin [one person after another. said he hoped they would do their duty like gallant hearties. which. shaved smartly. and lived in the fo'c'sle. all but for the forefinger. The bluff strident words struck the note sailors understood. against her will. and they turned the ship round. for there was a big sea running. 116 . but that he knew they were the scum of Rio and the Gold Coast. Instant obedience was the only safe thing. but he piped all hands and delivered a short address to them. that if this weather lasted they should strike the Azores about the 21st of June. 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. The rest were tars [sailors] be- fore the mast. as they had to Cpt. Hook]. The general feeling was that Peter was honest just now to lull Wendy's suspicions. with the true nautical roll and hitching their trousers. Captain Pan calculated. and tumbled up. but that there might be a change when the new suit was ready. after which it would save time to fly. They all donned pir- ate clothes cut off at the knee. Nibs and John were first and second mate. and if they snapped at him he would tear them. Slightly got a dozen for looking perplexed when told to take soundings.Chapter 16 THE RETURN HOME By three bells that morning they were all stirring their stumps [legs]. with a rope's end in his hand and chewing tobacco.

" "Yes. "Don't be silly. but if we contrived things in this way Mrs. Instead of watching the ship." So long as mothers are like this their chil- dren will take advantage of them. she would probably have cried. and not one of 117 . we should get no thanks even for this. 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. Darling do not go out for the evening. what do I matter? Do go back and keep an eye on the children. How delicious to spoil it all by breaking the news in advance. we can save you ten days of unhappiness. Darling would never forgive us. They have been planning it out on the ship: mother's rapture. that indeed they will be here on Thursday week." "Oh. and they may lay to [bet on] that. "Dash it all. and Mrs. One thing I should like to do immensely. the woman had no proper spirit. so that when they enter grandly Mrs. we must now return to that desolate home from which three of our characters had taken heartless flight so long ago." However. If we had returned sooner to look with sorrowful sympathy at her. We are beginning to know Mrs. here are those boys again. This would spoil so completely the sur- prise to which Wendy and John and Michael are looking forward. father's shout of joy. and that is to tell her. when what they ought to be prepared for is a good hiding. Why on earth should their beds be properly aired. however. and may be sure that she would upbraid us for de- priving the children of their little pleasure. in the way authors have. I had meant to say ex- traordinarily nice things about her. Darling does not blame us. We are no more than ser- vants. It seems a shame to have neglected No. but I despise her. Darling by this time. it is ten days till Thursday week. and yet we may be sure that Mrs. Darling may not even offer Wendy her mouth. Nana's leap through the air to embrace them first. we are merely hurrying on in ad- vance of them to see that their beds are properly aired and that Mr. Even now we venture into that familiar nursery only because its law- ful occupants are on their way home. 14 all this time. so that by telling you what's what. my dear madam. "But. if you look at it in that way!" "What other way is there in which to look at it?" You see. but at what a cost! By depriving the children of ten minutes of delight. and Mr. that the children are coming back. Darling may ex- claim pettishly.

She does not really need to be told to have things ready. as we are here we may as well stay and look on. Mr. which conveyed him to his office. and the great heart of the public was touched. but whatever Mr. To all Mrs. However. this is the place for me. but he preserved a calm exterior even when the young criticised his little home. the window is open. For all the use we are to her. Of course. and he returned home in the same way at six. Darling in it to a cab. Of course this was a pity. and he always lifted his hat courteously to any lady who looked inside. we might well go back to the ship. for they are ready. That is all we are. So let us watch and say jaggy things. It may have been Quixotic. And there never was a more humble man than the once proud George Darling. When the children flew away. he went down on all fours and crawled into the kennel. cheering it lustily. charming girls scaled it to 118 . 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. lookers-on. and having thought the matter out with anxious care after the flight of the children. and she never leaves the house." In the bitterness of his remorse he swore that he would never leave the kennel until his children came back. He would not let her come into the kennel. he was quite a simple man.them will I say now. Darling did he had to do in excess. In- wardly he must have suffered torture. but on all other matters he followed her wishes implicitly. The only change to be seen in the night-nursery is that between nine and six the kennel is no longer there. otherwise he soon gave up doing it. Crowds followed the cab. but it was magnificent. as we have seen. All the beds are aired. and observe. Nobody really wants us. but he had also a noble sense of justice and a lion's courage to do what seemed right to him. in the hope that some of them will hurt. Something of the strength of character of the man will be seen if we remember how sensitive he was to the opinion of neighbours: this man whose every movement now attracted surprised attention. and that from first to last she had been wiser than he. my own one. Every morning the kennel was carried with Mr. Soon the inward meaning of it leaked out. Darling felt in his bones that all the blame was his for having chained Nana up. Darling's dear invitations to him to come out he replied sadly but firmly: "No. indeed he might have passed for a boy again if he had been able to take his baldness off.

a very sad-eyed woman. He gave his hat to Liza. Look at her in her chair." he said. but when she tossed her head he had not a word of reproof for her. I dreamt my dear ones had come back. we see that his face is more worn than of yore. George. Suppose. but I like her best. Now that we look at her closely and remember the gaiety of her in the old days. interviews appeared in the better class of papers. Darling was in the night-nurs- ery awaiting George's return home. Her hand moves restlessly on her breast as if she had a pain there. Darling puts his head out to kiss his wife. is almost withered up. it had made him sweeter." "Lots of little boys." sneered Liza. "Do come in the kennel. "But if I had been a weak man. aren't you?" 119 . where she has fallen asleep. Mrs. she couldn't help it. Outside. "O Nana. for she has started up. and they were sitting together thus when the kennel was brought back. the crowd who had accompanied the cab home were still cheering." On that eventful Thursday week. but all she could do was put her paw gently on her mistress's lap. So- cial success had not spoilt him. for she had no imagin- ation. and there is no one in the room but Nana. but all we need whisper is that they are on the way. and he was naturally not unmoved. "There were several adults to-day. to make her happy. but has a softer expression. They are really within two miles of the window now. I find I won't be able to say nasty things about her after all. all gone now just because she has lost her babes. Darling of this success." he said. It is a pity we did it. As Mr. "you are as full of remorse as ever. The corner of her mouth. and some like Wendy best." Nana had filmy eyes. For some time he sat with his head out of the kennel. who took it scornfully. and pressing her hand reassuringly when she said she hoped his head would not be turned by it. If she was too fond of her rubbishy chil- dren. "it is very gratifying. and society invited him to dinner and added. and was quite incapable of understanding the motives of such a man.get his autograph. calling their names. and flying strong. talking with Mrs. where one looks first. "Listen to them. Some like Peter best. "Good heavens." she said timidly. we whisper to her in her sleep that the brats are coming back." he assured her with a faint flush. if I had been a weak man!" "And. Let's.

"Full of remorse as ever, dearest! See my punishment: living in a
"But it is punishment, isn't it, George? You are sure you are not enjoy-
ing it?"
"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 arrange-
ment 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 whispered, "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 some-
times 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
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
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,
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 win-
dow. "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.
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 disap-
pointment 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 fath-
er 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 dream hanging around her
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.
"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.


"Do you think we should be too much of a handful. Darling exclaimed. Darling. He knew he was behaving unworthily. but still the cloud was on him. pained to see her dear one showing himself in such an unfavourable light." said Wendy. but their eyes asked her to have them." a grudging remark which the twins thought was pointed at them. "I don't think he is a cypher." Tootles cried instantly. Darling also. They went up by the stair. we can go away. and he asked. instead of treating him as a cypher [zero] in his own house. They stood in a row in front of Mrs. The first twin was the proud one. Curly?" 124 . sir? Because. shocked. They were waiting below to give Wendy time to explain about them. if so. Darling said at once that she would have them.Chapter 17 WHEN WENDY GREW UP I hope you want to know what became of the other boys. "Do you think he is a cypher. "I always cut their hair myself. but they forgot about him. Darling was curiously depressed. They ought to have looked at Mr. he said. They said nothing. but Mr. be- cause they thought this would make a better impression. but he could not help it. and the truth came out. "I must say. but he thought they should have asked his consent as well as hers. and wishing they were not wearing their pirate clothes. with their hats off. "We could lie doubled up." he said to Wendy. He was as glad to have them as she was. flushing. and they saw that he considered six a rather large number. "George!" Mrs." "Father!" Wendy cried. and when they had counted five hundred they went up. Then he burst into tears. "that you don't do things by halves. Of course Mrs." said Nibs.

he saw Wendy once again before he flew away. "We'll fit in. and it's all the same. As for Peter." "And then to an office?" "I suppose so. and he was absurdly gratified. Hoop la!" He went off dancing through the house." "You don't feel. "Oh dear." she said falteringly. I am not sure that we have a drawing-room. but at any rate they found corners. sir." he said. Wendy. Peter. and would like to adopt him also. "Hullo. "Then follow the leader. for at present she was keeping a sharp eye on Wendy. and they all fitted in. are you going away?" "Yes. Slightly?" "Rather not. and said he would find space for them all in the drawing-room if they fitted in." Mrs. searching for the drawing-room. and they all cried "Hoop la!" and danced after him. She told Peter that she had adopted all the other boys. "Mind you." he cried gaily." "Soon I would be a man?" "Very soon. but he brushed against it in passing so that she could open it if she liked and call to him. but we pretend we have. Twin." 125 . "Would you send me to school?" he inquired craftily." "About me. Do you think he is a cypher. what do you think?" It turned out that not one of them thought him a cypher." they assured him. I don't. good-bye. "that you would like to say anything to my parents about a very sweet subject?" "No. Peter?" "No. He did not exactly come to the window. "No. "Yes. Darling came to the window. and I forget whether they found it. That is what she did.

" "I shall have such fun. Wendy would have preferred a more permanent arrangement. if I was to wake up and feel there was a beard!" "Peter. my love. The fairies are to put it high up among the tree tops where they sleep at nights." he told her pas- sionately. and as there are always new babies there are always new fairies." "Tink can't go a twentieth part of the way round." Mrs. "There are always a lot of young ones. but he repulsed her." said Wendy the comforter. "I thought all the fairies were dead. "I don't want to go to school and learn solemn things. and the mauve ones are boys and the white ones are girls." Peter said." she reminded him a little tartly. then. and the blue ones are just little sillies who are not sure what they are. 126 . Darling stretched out her arms to him. They live in nests on the tops of trees. all right." cried Wendy so longingly that Mrs." "But where are you going to live?" "With Tink in the house we built for Wendy. Darling said. with eye on Wendy." explained Wendy. lady." "Oh. no one is going to catch me and make me a man. and she made this hand- some offer: to let Wendy go to him for a week every year to do his spring cleaning. "It doesn't matter. Darling tightened her grip. "sitting by the fire. but Mrs." "So do you." said Peter. come with me to the little house. "O Peter. "Keep back." "How lovely." "I shall have Tink. O Wendy's mother. who was now quite an authority. I have got you home again. "I should love you in a beard." "But he does so need a mother. mummy?" "Certainly not. you know it matters. Darling saw his mouth twitch. as if he had asked her from politeness merely." she said. "It will be rather lonely in the evening." Peter said. "I don't want to be a man." "Well." "May I." and Mrs. and I mean to keep you. "Sneaky tell-tale!" Tink called out from somewhere round the corner. "because you see when a new baby laughs for the first time a new fairy is born.

Funny. At first Nana tied their feet to the bed-posts so that they should not fly away in the night. but what it really meant was that they no longer believed. but this prom- ise sent Peter away quite gay again. Want of practice. so he was with Wendy when Peter came for her at the end of the first year. "Who is Captain Hook?" he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy. "how you killed him and saved all our lives?" "I forget them after I kill them. "Don't you remember. and was so full of adventures that all I have told you about him is only a halfpenny- worth of them. The kiss that had been for no one else. She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and berries in the Neverland. and found that they hurt themselves when they let go of the bus. "Who is Tinker Bell?" 127 . Class I is the top class. In time they could not even fly after their hats. But she seemed satisfied. He had no sense of time. but he never noticed. It is sad to have to say that the power to fly gradually left them. but by and by they ceased to tug at their bonds in bed. though they jeered at him. he had so much to say about himself. before spring cleaning time comes?" Of course Peter promised. will you. He took Mrs. Peter took quite easily. but it was too late now. Peter." she asked.and it seemed to her that spring would be long in coming. Before they had attended school a week they saw what goats they had been not to remain on the island. and most of them got into Class III. Darling's kiss with him. She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times. amazed. and one of their diversions by day was to pretend to fall off buses [the English double-deckers]. but Slightly was put first into Class IV and then into Class V. Michael believed longer than the other boys. Of course all the boys went to school. and soon they settled down to being as ordinary as you or me or Jenkins minor [the younger Jenkins]. and then he flew away. and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become. they called it. When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her he said. but new adventures had crowded the old ones from his mind." he replied carelessly. 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 came next spring cleaning. All the boys were grown up and done for by this time." I expect he was right. Wendy was pained too to find that the past year was but as yesterday to Peter. She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet. for fairies don't live long. Slightly married a lady of title. Michael is an engine-driver [train engineer]. But the years came and went without bringing the careless boy. "There are such a lot of them. In the end she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than other girls. But he was ex- actly as fascinating as ever. each carrying a little bag and an umbrella." Michael came close to her and whispered." he said. The bearded man who doesn't know any story to tell his children was once John. That was the last time the girl Wendy ever saw him. but he never came. with a shiver. You see that judge in a wig coming out at the iron door? That used to be Tootles. She was one of the kind that likes to grow up. and she felt she was un- true to him when she got a prize for general knowledge. so it is scarcely worth while saying anything more about them. and so he became a lord. "O Peter. shocked. but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them. Wendy!" and then Wendy would have cried if Michael had not been crying. but even when she explained he could not remember. 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 an- nouncement of a marriage]. 128 . Wendy was grown up. Wendy was married in white with a pink sash. Next year he did not come for her. "You know he is never ill. and the strange thing was that he never knew he had missed a year. and when they met again Wendy was a married woman. "Perhaps there is no such person." Michael said. For a little longer she tried for his sake not to have growing pains. and Peter was no more to her than a little dust in the box in which she had kept her toys. "Perhaps he is ill. and they had a lovely spring cleaning in the little house on the tree tops. it had seemed such a long year of waiting to her. "I expect she is no more. You may see the twins and Nibs and Curly any day going to an office." she said.

and then it was Wendy's part to put Jane to bed. She loved to hear of Peter. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly. for her father had bought it at the three per cents [mortgage rate] from Wendy's father. sweetheart. "the way you flew when you were a little girl?" "The way I flew? Do you know. with a feeling that if Nana were here she would object to further conversation." "The dear old days when I could fly!" "Why can't you fly now. you do. When people grow up they forget the way. I sometimes wonder whether I ever did really fly. dearest. and Wendy told her all she could re- member in the very nursery from which the famous flight had taken place. and at the end she had been rather difficult to get on with." asks the artful child. and Wendy had a daughter." says Jane. There were only two beds in the nursery now. "Ah me. This ought not to be written in ink but in a golden splash." "Yes. She was called Jane. "Yes. you did. mother?" "Because I am grown up. and always had an odd inquiring look. and in the awful darkness to whisper: "What do we see now?" "I don't think I see anything to-night. It was Jane's invention to raise the sheet over her mother's head and her own. being very firmly convinced that no one knew how to look after children ex- cept herself. who was no longer fond of stairs." "Why do they forget the way?" "Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless." "That is a long time ago. Jane's and her nurse's. for Nana also had passed away. this making a tent. "you see when you were a little girl. Years rolled on again." 129 . and there was no kennel. That was the time for stories. how time flies!" "Does it fly. as if from the moment she arrived on the mainland she wanted to ask questions." says Wendy. Jane. It was Jane's nursery now. Mrs. Once a week Jane's nurse had her evening off. Darling was now dead and forgotten." says Wendy. She died of old age. When she was old enough to ask them they were mostly about Peter Pan.

" "Lucky you. with a big breath." says Wendy. 'Boy. "that it is this nursery. why are you crying?'" "Yes. and that woke me. "It was like this." Wendy said. "The foolish fellow. who now knows the story better than her mother. "it was like this. what did you say?" "I sat up in bed and I said." interrupts Jane. "Ah yes. What was the last thing Peter ever said to you?" "The last thing he ever said to me was. many girls hear it when they are sleeping. so do I. "And then he flew us all away to the Neverland and the fairies and the pirates and the redskins and the mermaid's lagoon. 130 ." said Jane. "My darling." says Jane." "I do believe it is. "No. "I do believe." "But. and when he could not he cried." "Yes! which did you like best of all?" "I think I liked the home under the ground best of all. 'Just always be waiting for me. "tried to stick it on with soap." Wendy said it with a smile. "When you saw him sitting on the floor crying." Jane said. and I sewed it on for him. it wasn't." and she did it ever so much better than her mother. that was it." "You have missed a bit. She was as grown up as that.'" "Yes. and then some night you will hear me crowing." she says." says Jane. but I was the only one who heard it awake. and the home under the ground. and the little house. "Go on. trying to imitate Peter's crow. he forgot all about me." They are now embarked on the great adventure of the night when Peter flew in looking for his shadow." Jane said gravely." Or perhaps Wendy admits she does see something. "What is gay and innocent and heartless? I do wish I were gay and in- nocent and heartless. "What did his crow sound like?" Jane asked one evening. alas." "Yes. Wendy was a little startled. how can you know?" "I often hear it when I am sleeping.

Peter looked." she replied faintly. and while she sat darn- ing she heard a crow. Something inside her was crying "Woman. Peter. a big woman. It was the spring of the year. faltering. He was a little boy." Now surely he would understand. with a careless glance at Jane. where is John?" he asked. and in the dim light her white dress might have been the nightgown in which he had seen her first. and now she felt that she was untrue to Jane as well as to Peter. is it a new one?" "Yes. for he was think- ing chiefly of himself. "are you expecting me to fly away with you?" "Of course. squeezing herself as small as pos- sible. "John is not here now. but not a bit of it. and the story had been told for the night. "Peter. and Peter dropped in on the floor. suddenly missing the third bed." she gasped. "Is Michael asleep?" he asked." she answered." she said apologetically. and Wendy saw at once that he still had all his first teeth. "Hullo. Then the window blew open as of old. lest a judgment should fall on her. "I have forgotten how to fly." "Hullo. She huddled by the fire not daring to move. let go of me." "I'll soon teach you again." He added a little sternly. not noticing any difference. "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. Wendy was sitting on the floor. for there was no other light in the nursery." he said." she said. "I can't come." "Boy or girl?" "Girl." 131 . that is why I have come. and Jane was now asleep in her bed. very close to the fire. "Yes. He was exactly the same as ever. Wendy. and she was grown up. "That is not Michael. so as to see to darn." she said quickly. "Hullo. Woman. And then one night came the tragedy.

though she could have done it so easily once. I know. She was only a woman now." She had risen." "No. "O Peter. "and then you can see for yourself. she's not. and she bowed to him from the bed. Of course he did not strike. and the little girl in the bed is my baby. "What is it?" he cried again. and Wendy did not know how to com- fort him. "I am old." he cried. She had to tell him." "No. and he took a step towards the sleeping child with his dagger upraised." "You promised not to!" "I couldn't help it. "What is it?" he cried. "Hullo. Then she turned up the light. and Peter saw. "I will turn up the light. I am ever so much more than twenty. "My name is Peter Pan. "Yes." 132 . and when the tall beautiful creature stooped to lift him in her arms he drew back sharply. "Boy." he said. Peter was afraid." "Yes. I grew up long ago. He sat down on the floor instead and sobbed." she said. she was a grown woman smiling at it all. She sat up in bed." she said. Peter. and soon his sobs woke Jane. you're not. don't waste the fairy dust on me. shrinking." said Jane." But he supposed she was. and now at last a fear assailed him. but they were wet eyed smiles. He gave a cry of pain. "why are you crying?" Peter rose and bowed to her. Peter. She let her hands play in the hair of the tragic boy." he told her. She was not a little girl heart-broken about him. and she ran out of the room to try to think. Peter continued to cry." For almost the only time in his life that I know of. "Hullo. I am a married woman. and was interested at once. "Don't turn up the light.

I know. "I have been waiting for you. I know." "Good-bye. and her figure little again. "You see you can't fly." Peter explained. "He does so need a mother." Wendy admitted rather forlornly. watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars." said Peter to Wendy." "Yes. with a daughter called Margaret. for all this happened long ago. Wendy rushed to the window. "She is my mother. no." said Jane." Jane said." When Wendy returned diffidently she found Peter sitting on the bed- post crowing gloriously. and thus it will go on. 133 . Jane is now a common grown-up. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter. "I came back for my mother." Wendy sighed. except when he forgets. Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window. and every spring cleaning time. and he rose in the air." Jane said. while Jane in her nighty was flying round the room in solemn ecstasy. Of course in the end Wendy let them fly away together. and the shameless Jane rose with him. you may see her hair becoming white. "Yes. who is to be Peter's mother in turn. "No. "he wants me always to do his spring cleaning." he explained. "It is just for spring cleaning time. "to take her to the Neverland. As you look at Wendy. with the look in her face that he liked to see on ladies when they gazed at him. "no one knows it so well as I." Jane said. where she tells him stories about himself." she cried." "If only I could go with you. to which he listens eagerly. Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland. and Jane descended and stood by his side. it was already her easiest way of moving about. so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless.

and its narrative course and structure has been enormously influential. He builds his home be- neath it and takes the love of his life. The collection is com- monly known today as Grimms' Fairy Tales (German: Grimms Märchen). an eccentric. and little dog Toto. better known under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It is considered to be one of the most characteristic examples of the genre of literary nonsense. Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) is a novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. under his wing. The falling house kills the Wicked Witch of the East. with Dorothy inside. Gaston Leroux The story of a man named Erik.und Hausmärchen) is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Ja- cob and Wilhelm Grimm. physically deformed genius who terrorizes the Opera Garnier in Paris. One day the farmhouse. Aunt Em. The tale is filled with allusions to Dodgson's friends (and enemies). Grimm's Fairy Tales. It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropo- morphic creatures. is caught up in a tornado and deposited in a field in the country of the Munchkins. The tale plays with logic in ways that have made the story of lasting pop- ularity with adults as well as children. and to the lessons that British schoolchildren were expected to memorize. the Brothers Grimm. Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder. a beautiful soprano. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. mainly in the fantasy genre. Lyman Frank Baum Dorothy is a young girl who lives on a Kansas farm with her Uncle Henry. Loved this book ? Similar users also downloaded The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. 134 . The Phantom of the Opera.

there are many mir- ror themes. the themes and settings of Through the Looking-Glass make it a kind of mirror image of Wonderland: the first book begins outdoors. In it. Lewis Carroll Through the Looking-Glass. It is about a London lawyer who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend. and draws on the imagery of chess. The work is known for its vivid portrayal of a split personality. and the misanthropic Edward Hyde. including opposites. I hate to waste a peice of stationary on you but I will. Dr Henry Jekyll. uses frequent changes in time and spatial directions as a plot device. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. generally categorized as literary nonsense. and so on." The story was published in "Collier's" last summer and provoked this startling letter from an anonymous admirer in Cincinnati: "Sir-- I have read the story Benjamin Button in Colliers and I wish to say that as a short story writer you would make a good lunatic I have seen many peices of cheese in my life but of all the peices of cheese I have ever seen you are the biggest peice. and What Alice Found There (1871) is a work of children's literature by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodg- son). split in the sense that within the same person there is both an apparently good and 135 . Through the Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There). Several weeks after completing it. on Alice's birthday (May 4). wintry night exactly six months later. Although it makes no reference to the events in the earlier book. Francis Scott Fitzgerald This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain's to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end. uses frequent changes in size as a plot device. the second opens indoors on a snowy. I discovered an almost identical plot in Samuel Butler's "Note-books. on November 4 (the day before Guy Fawkes Night). By trying the experiment upon only one man in a per- fectly normal world I have scarcely given his idea a fair trial. It is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865). and draws on the imagery of playing cards. Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1886. in the warm month of May." Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. time running backwards.

and which includes five further stories about Mowgli) are fables. in main- stream culture the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" has come to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next. Those three novels by Dumas are together known as the D'Artagnan Romances. "One for all. Verne’s hero traverses the far reaches of the earth. Stage adaptations began in Boston and London within a year of its publication and it has gone on to inspire scores of major film and stage performances. using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. The Three Musketeers was first published in serial form in the magazine Le Siècle between March and July 1844. The Three Musketeers. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title. lay 136 . père. Alexandre Dumas The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexan- dre Dumas. Around the World in Eighty Days. It recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a musketeer. With his French valet Passepartout in tow. This is different from multiple personality disorder where the different personalities do not necessarily differ in any moral sense. Porthos. The story of d'Artagnan is continued in Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne. a bounty hunter certain he is on the trail of a notorious bank robber. The Jungle Book.The tales in the book (and also those in The Second Jungle Book which followed in 1895. those are his friends Athos. undertaking an ex- traordinary and daring enterprise: to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days. and Aramis—inseparable friends who live by the motto. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an immediate success and one of Stevenson's best-selling works. all the while tracked by the intrepid Detect- ive Fix. and all for one". Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories written by Rudyard Kipling. for example. The verses of The Law of the Jungle. enigmat- ic Englishman Phileas Fogg wagers his fortune. Jules Verne Shocking his stodgy colleagues at the exclusive Reform evil personality each being quite distinct from each other.

" 137 . Kip- ling put in them nearly everything he knew or "heard or dreamed about the Indian jungle.down rules for the safety of individuals. families and communities. Food for the mind 138 .

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