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Peter pan Season 2 Episode 10 Peter's Lieutenant - Cartoon - Video - Online

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Food delivery in Leigh Looking for food delivery in Leigh? Of course Peter had been trifling with them, for no one can fly unless the fairy dust has been blown on him.

Fortunately, as we have mentioned, one of his hands was messy with it, and he blew some on each of them, with the most superb results.

They were all on their beds, and gallant Michael let go first. He did not quite mean to let go, but he did it, and immediately he was borne across the room.

They were not nearly so elegant as Peter, they could not help kicking a little, but their heads were bobbing against the ceiling, and there is almost nothing so delicious as that.

Peter gave Wendy a hand at first, but had to desist, Tink was so indignant. Michael was ready: he wanted to see how long it took him to do a billion miles.

But Wendy hesitated. It was just at this moment that Mr. Darling hurried with Nana out of They ran into the middle of the street to look up at the nursery window; and, yes, it was still shut, but the room was ablaze with light, and most heart-gripping sight of all, they could see in shadow on the curtain three little figures in night attire circling round and round, not on the floor but in the air.

In a tremble they opened the street door. Darling would have rushed upstairs, but Mrs. Darling signed him to go softly. She even tried to make her heart go softly.

Will they reach the nursery in time? If so, how delightful for them, and we shall all breathe a sigh of relief, but there will be no story.

On the other hand, if they are not in time, I solemnly promise that it will all come right in the end. They would have reached the nursery in time had it not been that the little stars were watching them.

Once again the stars blew the window open, and that smallest star of all called out:. Then Peter knew that there was not a moment to lose.

Darling and Nana rushed into the nursery too late. The birds were flown. That, Peter had told Wendy, was the way to the Neverland; but even birds, carrying maps and consulting them at windy corners, could not have sighted it with these instructions.

Peter, you see, just said anything that came into his head. At first his companions trusted him implicitly, and so great were the delights of flying that they wasted time circling round church spires or any other tall objects on the way that took their fancy.

They recalled with contempt that not so long ago they had thought themselves fine fellows for being able to fly round a room.

Not long ago. But how long ago? They were flying over the sea before this thought began to disturb Wendy seriously. John thought it was their second sea and their third night.

Sometimes it was dark and sometimes light, and now they were very cold and again too warm. Did they really feel hungry at times, or were they merely pretending, because Peter had such a jolly new way of feeding them?

His way was to pursue birds who had food in their mouths suitable for humans and snatch it from them; then the birds would follow and snatch it back; and they would all go chasing each other gaily for miles, parting at last with mutual expressions of good-will.

But Wendy noticed with gentle concern that Peter did not seem to know that this was rather an odd way of getting your bread and butter, nor even that there are other ways.

Certainly they did not pretend to be sleepy, they were sleepy; and that was a danger, for the moment they popped off, down they fell.

The awful thing was that Peter thought this funny. Eventually Peter would dive through the air, and catch Michael just before he could strike the sea, and it was lovely the way he did it; but he always waited till the last moment, and you felt it was his cleverness that interested him and not the saving of human life.

Also he was fond of variety, and the sport that engrossed him one moment would suddenly cease to engage him, so there was always the possibility that the next time you fell he would let you go.

He could sleep in the air without falling, by merely lying on his back and floating, but this was, partly at least, because he was so light that if you got behind him and blew he went faster.

When playing Follow my Leader, Peter would fly close to the water and touch each shark's tail in passing, just as in the street you may run your finger along an iron railing.

They could not follow him in this with much success, so perhaps it was rather like showing off, especially as he kept looking behind to see how many tails they missed.

We should have to go on, for we don't know how to stop. John said that if the worst came to the worst, all they had to do was to go straight on, for the world was round, and so in time they must come back to their own window.

Indeed they were constantly bumping. They could now fly strongly, though they still kicked far too much; but if they saw a cloud in front of them, the more they tried to avoid it, the more certainly did they bump into it.

If Nana had been with them, she would have had a bandage round Michael's forehead by this time. Peter was not with them for the moment, and they felt rather lonely up there by themselves.

He could go so much faster than they that he would suddenly shoot out of sight, to have some adventure in which they had no share. He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star, but he had already forgotten what it was, or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him, and yet not be able to say for certain what had been happening.

It was really rather irritating to children who had never seen a mermaid. Indeed, sometimes when he returned he did not remember them, at least not well.

Wendy was sure of it. She saw recognition come into his eyes as he was about to pass them the time of day and go on; once even she had to call him by name.

He was very sorry. Of course this was rather unsatisfactory. However, to make amends he showed them how to lie out flat on a strong wind that was going their way, and this was such a pleasant change that they tried it several times and found that they could sleep thus with security.

It is only thus that any one may sight those magic shores. Indeed a million golden arrows were pointing it out to the children, all directed by their friend the sun, who wanted them to be sure of their way before leaving them for the night.

Wendy and John and Michael stood on tip-toe in the air to get their first sight of the island. Strange to say, they all recognized it at once, and until fear fell upon them they hailed it, not as something long dreamt of and seen at last, but as a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays.

Wendy, I do believe that's your little whelp! I say, John, I see the smoke of the redskin camp!

Show me, and I'll tell you by the way smoke curls whether they are on the war-path. Peter was a little annoyed with them for knowing so much, but if he wanted to lord it over them his triumph was at hand, for have I not told you that anon fear fell upon them?

In the old days at home the Neverland had always begun to look a little dark and threatening by bedtime. Then unexplored patches arose in it and spread, black shadows moved about in them, the roar of the beasts of prey was quite different now, and above all, you lost the certainty that you would win.

You were quite glad that the night-lights were on. You even liked Nana to say that this was just the mantelpiece over here, and that the Neverland was all make-believe.

Of course the Neverland had been make-believe in those days, but it was real now, and there were no night-lights, and it was getting darker every moment, and where was Nana?

They had been flying apart, but they huddled close to Peter now. His careless manner had gone at last, his eyes were sparkling, and a tingle went through them every time they touched his body.

They were now over the fearsome island, flying so low that sometimes a tree grazed their feet. Nothing horrid was visible in the air, yet their progress had become slow and laboured, exactly as if they were pushing their way through hostile forces.

Sometimes they hung in the air until Peter had beaten on it with his fists. But he could not or would not say.

Tinker Bell had been asleep on his shoulder, but now he wakened her and sent her on in front. Sometimes he poised himself in the air, listening intently, with his hand to his ear, and again he would stare down with eyes so bright that they seemed to bore two holes to earth.

Having done these things, he went on again. His courage was almost appalling. Peter spoke indignantly. I would wake him first, and then kill him.

That's the way I always do. He asked if there were many pirates on the island just now, and Peter said he had never known so many.

Then indeed Michael began to cry, and even John could speak in gulps only, for they knew Hook's reputation. He is the only man of whom Barbecue was afraid.

For the moment they were feeling less eerie, because Tink was flying with them, and in her light they could distinguish each other.

Unfortunately she could not fly so slowly as they, and so she had to go round and round them in a circle in which they moved as in a halo. Wendy quite liked it, until Peter pointed out the drawbacks.

And of course they must see her light, and if they guess we are near it they are sure to let fly. 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. That is about the only thing fairies can't do.

It just goes out of itself when she falls asleep, same as the stars. It is the only other thing fairies can't do.

Tink agreed to travel by hat if it was carried in the hand. John carried it, though she had hoped to be carried by Peter.

Presently Wendy took the hat, because John said it struck against his knee as he flew; and this, as we shall see, led to mischief, for Tinker Bell hated to be under an obligation to Wendy.

In the black topper the light was completely hidden, and they flew on in silence. It was the stillest silence they had ever known, broken once by a distant lapping, which Peter explained was the wild beasts drinking at the ford, and again by a rasping sound that might have been the branches of trees rubbing together, but he said it was the redskins sharpening their knives.

Even these noises ceased. To Michael the loneliness was dreadful. As if in answer to his request, the air was rent by the most tremendous crash he had ever heard.

The pirates had fired Long Tom at them. Thus sharply did the terrified three learn the difference between an island of make-believe and the same island come true.

When at last the heavens were steady again, John and Michael found themselves alone in the darkness. John was treading the air mechanically, and Michael without knowing how to float was floating.

We know now that no one had been hit. Peter, however, had been carried by the wind of the shot far out to sea, while Wendy was blown upwards with no companion but Tinker Bell.

I don't know whether the idea came suddenly to Tink, or whether she had planned it on the way, but she at once popped out of the hat and began to lure Wendy to her destruction.

Tink was not all bad; or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.

They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change. At present she was full of jealousy of Wendy. What else could poor Wendy do?

She called to Peter and John and Michael, and got only mocking echoes in reply. She did not yet know that Tink hated her with the fierce hatred of a very woman.

And so, bewildered, and now staggering in her flight, she followed Tink to her doom. Feeling that Peter was on his way back, the Neverland had again woke into life.

We ought to use the pluperfect and say wakened, but woke is better and was always used by Peter. In his absence things are usually quiet on the island.

The fairies take an hour longer in the morning, the beasts attend to their young, the redskins feed heavily for six days and nights, and when pirates and lost boys meet they merely bite their thumbs at each other.

But with the coming of Peter, who hates lethargy, they are under way again: if you put your ear to the ground now, you would hear the whole island seething with life.

On this evening the chief forces of the island were disposed as follows. The lost boys were out looking for Peter, the pirates were out looking for the lost boys, the redskins were out looking for the pirates, and the beasts were out looking for the redskins.

They were going round and round the island, but they did not meet because all were going at the same rate. All wanted blood except the boys, who liked it as a rule, but to-night were out to greet their captain.

The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two.

Let us pretend to lie here among the sugar-cane and watch them as they steal by in single file, each with his hand on his dagger. They are forbidden by Peter to look in the least like him, and they wear the skins of the bears slain by themselves, in which they are so round and furry that when they fall they roll.

They have therefore become very sure-footed. The first to pass is Tootles, not the least brave but the most unfortunate of all that gallant band. He had been in fewer adventures than any of them, because the big things constantly happened just when he had stepped round the corner; all would be quiet, he would take the opportunity of going off to gather a few sticks for firewood, and then when he returned the others would be sweeping up the blood.

This ill-luck had given a gentle melancholy to his countenance, but instead of souring his nature had sweetened it, so that he was quite the humblest of the boys.

Poor kind Tootles, there is danger in the air for you to-night. Take care lest an adventure is now offered you, which, if accepted, will plunge you in deepest woe.

Tootles, the fairy Tink, who is bent on mischief this night is looking for a tool [for doing her mischief], and she thinks you are the most easily tricked of the boys.

Would that he could hear us, but we are not really on the island, and he passes by, biting his knuckles.

Next comes Nibs, the gay and debonair, followed by Slightly, who cuts whistles out of the trees and dances ecstatically to his own tunes.

Slightly is the most conceited of the boys. He thinks he remembers the days before he was lost, with their manners and customs, and this has given his nose an offensive tilt.

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 apologetic sort of way.

The boys vanish in the gloom, and after a pause, but not a long pause, for things go briskly on the island, come the pirates on their track.

We hear them before they are seen, and it is always the same dreadful song:. A more villainous-looking lot never hung in a row on Execution dock.

Here, a little in advance, ever and again with his head to the ground listening, his great arms bare, pieces of eight in his ears as ornaments, is the handsome Italian Cecco, who cut his name in letters of blood on the back of the governor of the prison at Gao.

That gigantic black behind him has had many names since he dropped the one with which dusky mothers still terrify their children on the banks of the Guadjo-mo.

Here is Bill Jukes, every inch of him tattooed, the same Bill Jukes who got six dozen on the WALRUS from Flint before he would drop the bag of moidores [Portuguese gold pieces]; and Cookson, said to be Black Murphy's brother but this was never proved , and Gentleman Starkey, once an usher in a public school and still dainty in his ways of killing; and Skylights Morgan's Skylights ; and the Irish bo'sun Smee, an oddly genial man who stabbed, so to speak, without offence, and was the only Non-conformist in Hook's crew; and Noodler, whose hands were fixed on backwards; and Robt.

Mullins and Alf Mason and many another ruffian long known and feared on the Spanish Main. In the midst of them, the blackest and largest in that dark setting, reclined James Hook, or as he wrote himself, Jas.

Hook, of whom it is said he was the only man that the Sea-Cook feared. He lay at his ease in a rough chariot drawn and propelled by his men, and instead of a right hand he had the iron hook with which ever and anon he encouraged them to increase their pace.

As dogs this terrible man treated and addressed them, and as dogs they obeyed him. In person he was cadaverous [dead looking] and blackavized [dark faced], and his hair was dressed in long curls, which at a little distance looked like black candles, and gave a singularly threatening expression to his handsome countenance.

His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not, and of a profound melancholy, save when he was plunging his hook into you, at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly.

He was never more sinister than when he was most polite, which is probably the truest test of breeding; and the elegance of his diction, even when he was swearing, no less than the distinction of his demeanour, showed him one of a different cast from his crew.

A man of indomitable courage, it was said that the only thing he shied at was the sight of his own blood, which was thick and of an unusual colour.

In dress he somewhat aped the attire associated with the name of Charles II, having heard it said in some earlier period of his career that he bore a strange resemblance to the ill-fated Stuarts; and in his mouth he had a holder of his own contrivance which enabled him to smoke two cigars at once.

But undoubtedly the grimmest part of him was his iron claw. Let us now kill a pirate, to show Hook's method. Skylights will do. As they pass, Skylights lurches clumsily against him, ruffling his lace collar; the hook shoots forth, there is a tearing sound and one screech, then the body is kicked aside, and the pirates pass on.

He has not even taken the cigars from his mouth. On the trail of the pirates, stealing noiselessly down the war-path, which is not visible to inexperienced eyes, come the redskins, every one of them with his eyes peeled.

They carry tomahawks and knives, and their naked bodies gleam with paint and oil. Strung around them are scalps, of boys as well as of pirates, for these are the Piccaninny tribe, and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons.

In the van, on all fours, is Great Big Little Panther, a brave of so many scalps that in his present position they somewhat impede his progress.

Bringing up the rear, the place of greatest danger, comes Tiger Lily, proudly erect, a princess in her own right. Observe how they pass over fallen twigs without making the slightest noise.

The only sound to be heard is their somewhat heavy breathing. The fact is that they are all a little fat just now after the heavy gorging, but in time they will work this off.

For the moment, however, it constitutes their chief danger. The redskins disappear as they have come like shadows, and soon their place is taken by the beasts, a great and motley procession: lions, tigers, bears, and the innumerable smaller savage things that flee from them, for every kind of beast, and, more particularly, all the man-eaters, live cheek by jowl on the favoured island.

Their tongues are hanging out, they are hungry to-night. When they have passed, comes the last figure of all, a gigantic crocodile.

We shall see for whom she is looking presently. The crocodile passes, but soon the boys appear again, for the procession must continue indefinitely until one of the parties stops or changes its pace.

Then quickly they will be on top of each other. All are keeping a sharp look-out in front, but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind.

This shows how real the island was. The first to fall out of the moving circle was the boys. They flung themselves down on the sward [turf], close to their underground home.

They talked of Cinderella, and Tootles was confident that his mother must have been very like her. It was only in Peter's absence that they could speak of mothers, the subject being forbidden by him as silly.

While they talked they heard a distant sound. You or I, not being wild things of the woods, would have heard nothing, but they heard it, and it was the grim song:.

At once the lost boys—but where are they? They are no longer there. Rabbits could not have disappeared more quickly.

I will tell you where they are. With the exception of Nibs, who has darted away to reconnoitre [look around], they are already in their home under the ground, a very delightful residence of which we shall see a good deal presently.

But how have they reached it? Look closely, however, and you may note that there are here seven large trees, each with a hole in its hollow trunk as large as a boy.

These are the seven entrances to the home under the ground, for which Hook has been searching in vain these many moons.

Will he find it tonight? As the pirates advanced, the quick eye of Starkey sighted Nibs disappearing through the wood, and at once his pistol flashed out.

But an iron claw gripped his shoulder. Now for the first time we hear the voice of Hook. It was a black voice. Do you want to lose your scalp? One could mention many lovable traits in Smee.

For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon. Scatter and look for them. The pirates disappeared among the trees, and in a moment their Captain and Smee were alone.

Hook heaved a heavy sigh, and I know not why it was, perhaps it was because of the soft beauty of the evening, but there came over him a desire to confide to his faithful bo'sun the story of his life.

He spoke long and earnestly, but what it was all about Smee, who was rather stupid, did not know in the least. Oh, I'll tear him!

Then again he frowned. He sat down on a large mushroom, and now there was a quiver in his voice.

Hook wetted his dry lips. Since sitting down he had felt curiously warm. They examined the mushroom, which was of a size and solidity unknown on the mainland; they tried to pull it up, and it came away at once in their hands, for it had no root.

Stranger still, smoke began at once to ascend. The pirates looked at each other. They had indeed discovered the chimney of the home under the ground.

It was the custom of the boys to stop it with a mushroom when enemies were in the neighbourhood. Not only smoke came out of it. There came also children's voices, for so safe did the boys feel in their hiding-place that they were gaily chattering.

The pirates listened grimly, and then replaced the mushroom. They looked around them and noted the holes in the seven trees. Hook nodded. He stood for a long time lost in thought, and at last a curdling smile lit up his swarthy face.

Smee had been waiting for it. There can be but one room below, for there is but one chimney. The silly moles had not the sense to see that they did not need a door apiece.

That shows they have no mother. We will leave the cake on the shore of the Mermaids' Lagoon. These boys are always swimming about there, playing with the mermaids.

They will find the cake and they will gobble it up, because, having no mother, they don't know how dangerous 'tis to eat rich damp cake. They began the verse, but they never finished it, for another sound broke in and stilled them.

There was at first such a tiny sound that a leaf might have fallen on it and smothered it, but as it came nearer it was more distinct.

It was indeed the crocodile. It had passed the redskins, who were now on the trail of the other pirates. It oozed on after Hook. Once more the boys emerged into the open; but the dangers of the night were not yet over, for presently Nibs rushed breathless into their midst, pursued by a pack of wolves.

The tongues of the pursuers were hanging out; the baying of them was horrible. It was a high compliment to Peter that at that dire moment their thoughts turned to him.

It is quite the most successful way of defying wolves, and as one boy they bent and looked through their legs.

The next moment is the long one, but victory came quickly, for as the boys advanced upon them in the terrible attitude, the wolves dropped their tails and fled.

Now Nibs rose from the ground, and the others thought that his staring eyes still saw the wolves. But it was not wolves he saw.

It is flying this way. Wendy was now almost overhead, and they could hear her plaintive cry. But more distinct came the shrill voice of Tinker Bell.

The jealous fairy had now cast off all disguise of friendship, and was darting at her victim from every direction, pinching savagely each time she touched.

It was not in their nature to question when Peter ordered. All but Tootles popped down their trees. He had a bow and arrow with him, and Tink noted it, and rubbed her little hands.

Tootles excitedly fitted the arrow to his bow. Foolish Tootles was standing like a conqueror over Wendy's body when the other boys sprang, armed, from their trees.

Peter will be so pleased with me. The others did not hear her. They had crowded round Wendy, and as they looked a terrible silence fell upon the wood.

If Wendy's heart had been beating they would all have heard it. Slightly was the first to speak. They were sorry for him, but sorrier for themselves, and when he took a step nearer them they turned from him.

Tootles' face was very white, but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before. It was at this tragic moment that they heard a sound which made the heart of every one of them rise to his mouth.

They heard Peter crow. But Tootles stood aloof. Again came that ringing crow, and Peter dropped in front of them.

They opened their mouths, but the cheers would not come. He overlooked it in his haste to tell the glorious tidings.

Tootles rose. So they all stood back, and let him see, and after he had looked for a little time he did not know what to do next.

He thought of hopping off in a comic sort of way till he was out of sight of her, and then never going near the spot any more.

They would all have been glad to follow if he had done this. Tootles did not flinch. He bared his breast. Twice did Peter raise the arrow, and twice did his hand fall.

Wonderful to relate [tell], Wendy had raised her arm. Nibs bent over her and listened reverently. Then Peter knelt beside her and found his button.

You remember she had put it on a chain that she wore round her neck. It is the kiss I gave her. It has saved her life. Ay, that's a kiss.

Peter did not hear him. He was begging Wendy to get better quickly, so that he could show her the mermaids. Of course she could not answer yet, being still in a frightful faint; but from overhead came a wailing note.

Then they had to tell Peter of Tink's crime, and almost never had they seen him look so stern. Begone from me for ever. She flew on to his shoulder and pleaded, but he brushed her off.

Do you think Tinker Bell was grateful to Wendy for raising her arm? Oh dear no, never wanted to pinch her so much. Fairies indeed are strange, and Peter, who understood them best, often cuffed [slapped] them.

It would not be sufficiently respectful. They were all delighted. Gut our house. Be sharp. In a moment they were as busy as tailors the night before a wedding.

They skurried this way and that, down for bedding, up for firewood, and while they were at it, who should appear but John and Michael.

As they dragged along the ground they fell asleep standing, stopped, woke up, moved another step and slept again. Where is Nana, John, and mother?

He was very busy at the moment measuring Wendy with his feet to see how large a house she would need. Of course he meant to leave room for chairs and a table.

John and Michael watched him. The astounded brothers were dragged away to hack and hew and carry. Peter thought of everything. But he knew Peter must be obeyed, and he returned in a moment, wearing John's hat and looking solemn.

The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing.

This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners. It was an anxious moment when the glass thing was withdrawn.

In the meantime the wood had been alive with the sound of axes; almost everything needed for a cosy dwelling already lay at Wendy's feet.

They gurgled with joy at this, for by the greatest good luck the branches they had brought were sticky with red sap, and all the ground was carpeted with moss.

As they rattled up the little house they broke into song themselves:. With a blow of their fists they made windows, and large yellow leaves were the blinds.

But roses—? Peter, seeing this to be a good idea, at once pretended that it was his own. The house was quite beautiful, and no doubt Wendy was very cosy within, though, of course, they could no longer see her.

Peter strode up and down, ordering finishing touches. Nothing escaped his eagle eyes. Just when it seemed absolutely finished:.

They were very ashamed, but Tootles gave the sole of his shoe, and it made an excellent knocker. Not of bit of it.

This gave Peter an idea. He snatched the hat off John's head, knocked out the bottom [top], and put the hat on the roof. The little house was so pleased to have such a capital chimney that, as if to say thank you, smoke immediately began to come out of the hat.

He was glad no one asked him what first impressions are; they were all too busy looking their best. He knocked politely, and now the wood was as still as the children, not a sound to be heard except from Tinker Bell, who was watching from a branch and openly sneering.

What the boys were wondering was, would any one answer the knock? If a lady, what would she be like? The door opened and a lady came out.

It was Wendy. They all whipped off their hats. She looked properly surprised, and this was just how they had hoped she would look.

Of course Slightly was the first to get his word in. I have no real experience. Come inside at once, you naughty children; I am sure your feet are damp.

And before I put you to bed I have just time to finish the story of Cinderella. In they went; I don't know how there was room for them, but you can squeeze very tight in the Neverland.

And that was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy. By and by she tucked them up in the great bed in the home under the trees, but she herself slept that night in the little house, and Peter kept watch outside with drawn sword, for the pirates could be heard carousing far away and the wolves were on the prowl.

The little house looked so cosy and safe in the darkness, with a bright light showing through its blinds, and the chimney smoking beautifully, and Peter standing on guard.

After a time he fell asleep, and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed, but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on.

One of the first things Peter did next day was to measure Wendy and John and Michael for hollow trees. Hook, you remember, had sneered at the boys for thinking they needed a tree apiece, but this was ignorance, for unless your tree fitted you it was difficult to go up and down, and no two of the boys were quite the same size.

Once you fitted, you drew in [let out] your breath at the top, and down you went at exactly the right speed, while to ascend you drew in and let out alternately, and so wriggled up.

Of course, when you have mastered the action you are able to do these things without thinking of them, and nothing can be more graceful. But you simply must fit, and Peter measures you for your tree as carefully as for a suit of clothes: the only difference being that the clothes are made to fit you, while you have to be made to fit the tree.

Usually it is done quite easily, as by your wearing too many garments or too few, but if you are bumpy in awkward places or the only available tree is an odd shape, Peter does some things to you, and after that you fit.

Once you fit, great care must be taken to go on fitting, and this, as Wendy was to discover to her delight, keeps a whole family in perfect condition.

Wendy and Michael fitted their trees at the first try, but John had to be altered a little. After a few days' practice they could go up and down as gaily as buckets in a well.

And how ardently they grew to love their home under the ground; especially Wendy. It consisted of one large room, as all houses should do, with a floor in which you could dig [for worms] if you wanted to go fishing, and in this floor grew stout mushrooms of a charming colour, which were used as stools.

A Never tree tried hard to grow in the centre of the room, but every morning they sawed the trunk through, level with the floor.

By tea-time it was always about two feet high, and then they put a door on top of it, the whole thus becoming a table; as soon as they cleared away, they sawed off the trunk again, and thus there was more room to play.

There was an enormous fireplace which was in almost any part of the room where you cared to light it, and across this Wendy stretched strings, made of fibre, from which she suspended her washing.

The bed was tilted against the wall by day, and let down at , when it filled nearly half the room; and all the boys slept in it, except Michael, lying like sardines in a tin.

There was a strict rule against turning round until one gave the signal, when all turned at once.

Michael should have used it also, but Wendy would have [desired] a baby, and he was the littlest, and you know what women are, and the short and long of it is that he was hung up in a basket.

It was rough and simple, and not unlike what baby bears would have made of an underground house in the same circumstances. But there was one recess in the wall, no larger than a bird-cage, which was the private apartment of Tinker Bell.

It could be shut off from the rest of the house by a tiny curtain, which Tink, who was most fastidious [particular], always kept drawn when dressing or undressing.

No woman, however large, could have had a more exquisite boudoir [dressing room] and bed-chamber combined. The couch, as she always called it, was a genuine Queen Mab, with club legs; and she varied the bedspreads according to what fruit-blossom was in season.

Her mirror was a Puss-in-Boots, of which there are now only three, unchipped, known to fairy dealers; the washstand was Pie-crust and reversible, the chest of drawers an authentic Charming the Sixth, and the carpet and rugs the best the early period of Margery and Robin.

There was a chandelier from Tiddlywinks for the look of the thing, but of course she lit the residence herself. Tink was very contemptuous of the rest of the house, as indeed was perhaps inevitable, and her chamber, though beautiful, looked rather conceited, having the appearance of a nose permanently turned up.

I suppose it was all especially entrancing to Wendy, because those rampagious boys of hers gave her so much to do.

Really there were whole weeks when, except perhaps with a stocking in the evening, she was never above ground. The cooking, I can tell you, kept her nose to the pot, and even if there was nothing in it, even if there was no pot, she had to keep watching that it came aboil just the same.

You never exactly knew whether there would be a real meal or just a make-believe, it all depended upon Peter's whim: he could eat, really eat, if it was part of a game, but he could not stodge [cram down the food] just to feel stodgy [stuffed with food], which is what most children like better than anything else; the next best thing being to talk about it.

Make-believe was so real to him that during a meal of it you could see him getting rounder. Of course it was trying, but you simply had to follow his lead, and if you could prove to him that you were getting loose for your tree he let you stodge.

Wendy's favourite time for sewing and darning was after they had all gone to bed. Then, as she expressed it, she had a breathing time for herself; and she occupied it in making new things for them, and putting double pieces on the knees, for they were all most frightfully hard on their knees.

You remember about her pet wolf. Well, it very soon discovered that she had come to the island and it found her out, and they just ran into each other's arms.

After that it followed her about everywhere. As time wore on did she think much about the beloved parents she had left behind her? This is a difficult question, because it is quite impossible to say how time does wear on in the Neverland, where it is calculated by moons and suns, and there are ever so many more of them than on the mainland.

But I am afraid that Wendy did not really worry about her father and mother; she was absolutely confident that they would always keep the window open for her to fly back by, and this gave her complete ease of mind.

What did disturb her at times was that John remembered his parents vaguely only, as people he had once known, while Michael was quite willing to believe that she was really his mother.

These things scared her a little, and nobly anxious to do her duty, she tried to fix the old life in their minds by setting them examination papers on it, as like as possible to the ones she used to do at school.

The other boys thought this awfully interesting, and insisted on joining, and they made slates for themselves, and sat round the table, writing and thinking hard about the questions she had written on another slate and passed round.

Which was taller, Father or Mother? Was Mother blonde or brunette? Answer all three questions if possible. Only one of these to be attempted.

They were just everyday questions like these, and when you could not answer them you were told to make a cross; and it was really dreadful what a number of crosses even John made.

Of course the only boy who replied to every question was Slightly, and no one could have been more hopeful of coming out first, but his answers were perfectly ridiculous, and he really came out last: a melancholy thing.

Peter did not compete. For one thing he despised all mothers except Wendy, and for another he was the only boy on the island who could neither write nor spell; not the smallest word.

He was above all that sort of thing. By the way, the questions were all written in the past tense. What was the colour of Mother's eyes, and so on.

Wendy, you see, had been forgetting, too. Adventures, of course, as we shall see, were of daily occurrence; but about this time Peter invented, with Wendy's help, a new game that fascinated him enormously, until he suddenly had no more interest in it, which, as you have been told, was what always happened with his games.

It consisted in pretending not to have adventures, in doing the sort of thing John and Michael had been doing all their lives, sitting on stools flinging balls in the air, pushing each other, going out for walks and coming back without having killed so much as a grizzly.

To see Peter doing nothing on a stool was a great sight; he could not help looking solemn at such times, to sit still seemed to him such a comic thing to do.

He boasted that he had gone walking for the good of his health. For several suns these were the most novel of all adventures to him; and John and Michael had to pretend to be delighted also; otherwise he would have treated them severely.

He often went out alone, and when he came back you were never absolutely certain whether he had had an adventure or not.

He might have forgotten it so completely that he said nothing about it; and then when you went out you found the body; and, on the other hand, he might say a great deal about it, and yet you could not find the body.

Sometimes he came home with his head bandaged, and then Wendy cooed over him and bathed it in lukewarm water, while he told a dazzling tale.

But she was never quite sure, you know. There were, however, many adventures which she knew to be true because she was in them herself, and there were still more that were at least partly true, for the other boys were in them and said they were wholly true.

To describe them all would require a book as large as an English-Latin, Latin-English Dictionary, and the most we can do is to give one as a specimen of an average hour on the island.

The difficulty is which one to choose. Should we take the brush with the redskins at Slightly Gulch? It was a sanguinary affair, and especially interesting as showing one of Peter's peculiarities, which was that in the middle of a fight he would suddenly change sides.

The extraordinary upshot of this adventure was—but we have not decided yet that this is the adventure we are to narrate. Perhaps a better one would be the night attack by the redskins on the house under the ground, when several of them stuck in the hollow trees and had to be pulled out like corks.

Or we might tell how Peter saved Tiger Lily's life in the Mermaids' Lagoon, and so made her his ally. Or we could tell of that cake the pirates cooked so that the boys might eat it and perish; and how they placed it in one cunning spot after another; but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children, so that in time it lost its succulence, and became as hard as a stone, and was used as a missile, and Hook fell over it in the dark.

Or suppose we tell of the birds that were Peter's friends, particularly of the Never bird that built in a tree overhanging the lagoon, and how the nest fell into the water, and still the bird sat on her eggs, and Peter gave orders that she was not to be disturbed.

That is a pretty story, and the end shows how grateful a bird can be; but if we tell it we must also tell the whole adventure of the lagoon, which would of course be telling two adventures rather than just one.

A shorter adventure, and quite as exciting, was Tinker Bell's attempt, with the help of some street fairies, to have the sleeping Wendy conveyed on a great floating leaf to the mainland.

Fortunately the leaf gave way and Wendy woke, thinking it was bath-time, and swam back. Or again, we might choose Peter's defiance of the lions, when he drew a circle round him on the ground with an arrow and dared them to cross it; and though he waited for hours, with the other boys and Wendy looking on breathlessly from trees, not one of them dared to accept his challenge.

I have tossed, and the lagoon has won. This almost makes one wish that the gulch or the cake or Tink's leaf had won.

Of course I could do it again, and make it best out of three; however, perhaps fairest to stick to the lagoon. If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire.

But just before they go on fire you see the lagoon. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland, just one heavenly moment; if there could be two moments you might see the surf and hear the mermaids singing.

The children often spent long summer days on this lagoon, swimming or floating most of the time, playing the mermaid games in the water, and so forth.

You must not think from this that the mermaids were on friendly terms with them: on the contrary, it was among Wendy's lasting regrets that all the time she was on the island she never had a civil word from one of them.

When she stole softly to the edge of the lagoon she might see them by the score, especially on Marooners' Rock, where they loved to bask, combing out their hair in a lazy way that quite irritated her; or she might even swim, on tiptoe as it were, to within a yard of them, but then they saw her and dived, probably splashing her with their tails, not by accident, but intentionally.

They treated all the boys in the same way, except of course Peter, who chatted with them on Marooners' Rock by the hour, and sat on their tails when they got cheeky.

He gave Wendy one of their combs. The most haunting time at which to see them is at the turn of the moon, when they utter strange wailing cries; but the lagoon is dangerous for mortals then, and until the evening of which we have now to tell, Wendy had never seen the lagoon by moonlight, less from fear, for of course Peter would have accompanied her, than because she had strict rules about every one being in bed by seven.

She was often at the lagoon, however, on sunny days after rain, when the mermaids come up in extraordinary numbers to play with their bubbles.

The bubbles of many colours made in rainbow water they treat as balls, hitting them gaily from one to another with their tails, and trying to keep them in the rainbow till they burst.

The goals are at each end of the rainbow, and the keepers only are allowed to use their hands. Sometimes a dozen of these games will be going on in the lagoon at a time, and it is quite a pretty sight.

But the moment the children tried to join in they had to play by themselves, for the mermaids immediately disappeared.

Nevertheless we have proof that they secretly watched the interlopers, and were not above taking an idea from them; for John introduced a new way of hitting the bubble, with the head instead of the hand, and the mermaids adopted it.

This is the one mark that John has left on the Neverland. It must also have been rather pretty to see the children resting on a rock for half an hour after their mid-day meal.

Wendy insisted on their doing this, and it had to be a real rest even though the meal was make-believe. So they lay there in the sun, and their bodies glistened in it, while she sat beside them and looked important.

It was one such day, and they were all on Marooners' Rock. The rock was not much larger than their great bed, but of course they all knew how not to take up much room, and they were dozing, or at least lying with their eyes shut, and pinching occasionally when they thought Wendy was not looking.

She was very busy, stitching. While she stitched a change came to the lagoon. Little shivers ran over it, and the sun went away and shadows stole across the water, turning it cold.

Wendy could no longer see to thread her needle, and when she looked up, the lagoon that had always hitherto been such a laughing place seemed formidable and unfriendly.

It was not, she knew, that night had come, but something as dark as night had come. No, worse than that. It had not come, but it had sent that shiver through the sea to say that it was coming.

What was it? There crowded upon her all the stories she had been told of Marooners' Rock, so called because evil captains put sailors on it and leave them there to drown.

They drown when the tide rises, for then it is submerged. Of course she should have roused the children at once; not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, but because it was no longer good for them to sleep on a rock grown chilly.

But she was a young mother and she did not know this; she thought you simply must stick to your rule about half an hour after the mid-day meal.

So, though fear was upon her, and she longed to hear male voices, she would not waken them. Even when she heard the sound of muffled oars, though her heart was in her mouth, she did not waken them.

She stood over them to let them have their sleep out. Was it not brave of Wendy? It was well for those boys then that there was one among them who could sniff danger even in his sleep.

Peter sprang erect, as wide awake at once as a dog, and with one warning cry he roused the others. The others came closer to him. A strange smile was playing about his face, and Wendy saw it and shuddered.

While that smile was on his face no one dared address him; all they could do was to stand ready to obey. The order came sharp and incisive.

There was a gleam of legs, and instantly the lagoon seemed deserted. Marooners' Rock stood alone in the forbidding waters as if it were itself marooned.

The boat drew nearer. It was the pirate dinghy, with three figures in her, Smee and Starkey, and the third a captive, no other than Tiger Lily.

Her hands and ankles were tied, and she knew what was to be her fate. She was to be left on the rock to perish, an end to one of her race more terrible than death by fire or torture, for is it not written in the book of the tribe that there is no path through water to the happy hunting-ground?

Yet her face was impassive; she was the daughter of a chief, she must die as a chief's daughter, it is enough. They had caught her boarding the pirate ship with a knife in her mouth.

No watch was kept on the ship, it being Hook's boast that the wind of his name guarded the ship for a mile around.

Now her fate would help to guard it also. One more wail would go the round in that wind by night. In the gloom that they brought with them the two pirates did not see the rock till they crashed into it.

Now, then, what we have to do is to hoist the redskin on to it and leave her here to drown. It was the work of one brutal moment to land the beautiful girl on the rock; she was too proud to offer a vain resistance.

Quite near the rock, but out of sight, two heads were bobbing up and down, Peter's and Wendy's. Wendy was crying, for it was the first tragedy she had seen.

Peter had seen many tragedies, but he had forgotten them all. He was less sorry than Wendy for Tiger Lily: it was two against one that angered him, and he meant to save her.

An easy way would have been to wait until the pirates had gone, but he was never one to choose the easy way. At once like an eel she slid between Starkey's legs into the water.

Of course Wendy was very elated over Peter's cleverness; but she knew that he would be elated also and very likely crow and thus betray himself, so at once her hand went out to cover his mouth.

Peter may have been about to crow, but his face puckered in a whistle of surprise instead. He was swimming to the boat, and as his men showed a light to guide him he had soon reached them.

In the light of the lantern Wendy saw his hook grip the boat's side; she saw his evil swarthy face as he rose dripping from the water, and, quaking, she would have liked to swim away, but Peter would not budge.

He was tingling with life and also top-heavy with conceit. The two pirates were very curious to know what had brought their captain to them, but he sat with his head on his hook in a position of profound melancholy.

Wendy was so shocked that she exclaimed. It was the nest I have told you of, floating on the lagoon, and the Never bird was sitting on it.

What a lesson! The nest must have fallen into the water, but would the mother desert her eggs? 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.

But they could see nothing. They thought it must have been a leaf in the wind. They all swore. By this time they were on the rock, and suddenly Hook remembered Tiger Lily.

Hook raised his voice, but there was a quiver in it. Of course Peter should have kept quiet, but of course he did not.

He immediately answered in Hook's voice:. In that supreme moment Hook did not blanch, even at the gills, but Smee and Starkey clung to each other in terror.

Hook tried a more ingratiating manner.

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It is only thus that any one may sight those magic shores. Indeed a million golden arrows were pointing it out to the children, all directed by their friend the sun, who wanted them to be sure of their way before leaving them for the night.

Wendy and John and Michael stood on tip-toe in the air to get their first sight of the island. Strange to say, they all recognized it at once, and until fear fell upon them they hailed it, not as something long dreamt of and seen at last, but as a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays.

Wendy, I do believe that's your little whelp! I say, John, I see the smoke of the redskin camp! Show me, and I'll tell you by the way smoke curls whether they are on the war-path.

Peter was a little annoyed with them for knowing so much, but if he wanted to lord it over them his triumph was at hand, for have I not told you that anon fear fell upon them?

In the old days at home the Neverland had always begun to look a little dark and threatening by bedtime. Then unexplored patches arose in it and spread, black shadows moved about in them, the roar of the beasts of prey was quite different now, and above all, you lost the certainty that you would win.

You were quite glad that the night-lights were on. You even liked Nana to say that this was just the mantelpiece over here, and that the Neverland was all make-believe.

Of course the Neverland had been make-believe in those days, but it was real now, and there were no night-lights, and it was getting darker every moment, and where was Nana?

They had been flying apart, but they huddled close to Peter now. His careless manner had gone at last, his eyes were sparkling, and a tingle went through them every time they touched his body.

They were now over the fearsome island, flying so low that sometimes a tree grazed their feet. Nothing horrid was visible in the air, yet their progress had become slow and laboured, exactly as if they were pushing their way through hostile forces.

Sometimes they hung in the air until Peter had beaten on it with his fists. But he could not or would not say. Tinker Bell had been asleep on his shoulder, but now he wakened her and sent her on in front.

Sometimes he poised himself in the air, listening intently, with his hand to his ear, and again he would stare down with eyes so bright that they seemed to bore two holes to earth.

Having done these things, he went on again. His courage was almost appalling. Peter spoke indignantly. I would wake him first, and then kill him.

That's the way I always do. He asked if there were many pirates on the island just now, and Peter said he had never known so many. Then indeed Michael began to cry, and even John could speak in gulps only, for they knew Hook's reputation.

He is the only man of whom Barbecue was afraid. For the moment they were feeling less eerie, because Tink was flying with them, and in her light they could distinguish each other.

Unfortunately she could not fly so slowly as they, and so she had to go round and round them in a circle in which they moved as in a halo.

Wendy quite liked it, until Peter pointed out the drawbacks. And of course they must see her light, and if they guess we are near it they are sure to let fly.

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.

That is about the only thing fairies can't do. It just goes out of itself when she falls asleep, same as the stars.

It is the only other thing fairies can't do. Tink agreed to travel by hat if it was carried in the hand. John carried it, though she had hoped to be carried by Peter.

Presently Wendy took the hat, because John said it struck against his knee as he flew; and this, as we shall see, led to mischief, for Tinker Bell hated to be under an obligation to Wendy.

In the black topper the light was completely hidden, and they flew on in silence. It was the stillest silence they had ever known, broken once by a distant lapping, which Peter explained was the wild beasts drinking at the ford, and again by a rasping sound that might have been the branches of trees rubbing together, but he said it was the redskins sharpening their knives.

Even these noises ceased. To Michael the loneliness was dreadful. As if in answer to his request, the air was rent by the most tremendous crash he had ever heard.

The pirates had fired Long Tom at them. Thus sharply did the terrified three learn the difference between an island of make-believe and the same island come true.

When at last the heavens were steady again, John and Michael found themselves alone in the darkness. John was treading the air mechanically, and Michael without knowing how to float was floating.

We know now that no one had been hit. Peter, however, had been carried by the wind of the shot far out to sea, while Wendy was blown upwards with no companion but Tinker Bell.

I don't know whether the idea came suddenly to Tink, or whether she had planned it on the way, but she at once popped out of the hat and began to lure Wendy to her destruction.

Tink was not all bad; or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.

They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change. At present she was full of jealousy of Wendy.

What else could poor Wendy do? She called to Peter and John and Michael, and got only mocking echoes in reply. She did not yet know that Tink hated her with the fierce hatred of a very woman.

And so, bewildered, and now staggering in her flight, she followed Tink to her doom. Feeling that Peter was on his way back, the Neverland had again woke into life.

We ought to use the pluperfect and say wakened, but woke is better and was always used by Peter. In his absence things are usually quiet on the island.

The fairies take an hour longer in the morning, the beasts attend to their young, the redskins feed heavily for six days and nights, and when pirates and lost boys meet they merely bite their thumbs at each other.

But with the coming of Peter, who hates lethargy, they are under way again: if you put your ear to the ground now, you would hear the whole island seething with life.

On this evening the chief forces of the island were disposed as follows. The lost boys were out looking for Peter, the pirates were out looking for the lost boys, the redskins were out looking for the pirates, and the beasts were out looking for the redskins.

They were going round and round the island, but they did not meet because all were going at the same rate. All wanted blood except the boys, who liked it as a rule, but to-night were out to greet their captain.

The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two.

Let us pretend to lie here among the sugar-cane and watch them as they steal by in single file, each with his hand on his dagger.

They are forbidden by Peter to look in the least like him, and they wear the skins of the bears slain by themselves, in which they are so round and furry that when they fall they roll.

They have therefore become very sure-footed. The first to pass is Tootles, not the least brave but the most unfortunate of all that gallant band.

He had been in fewer adventures than any of them, because the big things constantly happened just when he had stepped round the corner; all would be quiet, he would take the opportunity of going off to gather a few sticks for firewood, and then when he returned the others would be sweeping up the blood.

This ill-luck had given a gentle melancholy to his countenance, but instead of souring his nature had sweetened it, so that he was quite the humblest of the boys.

Poor kind Tootles, there is danger in the air for you to-night. Take care lest an adventure is now offered you, which, if accepted, will plunge you in deepest woe.

Tootles, the fairy Tink, who is bent on mischief this night is looking for a tool [for doing her mischief], and she thinks you are the most easily tricked of the boys.

Would that he could hear us, but we are not really on the island, and he passes by, biting his knuckles. Next comes Nibs, the gay and debonair, followed by Slightly, who cuts whistles out of the trees and dances ecstatically to his own tunes.

Slightly is the most conceited of the boys. He thinks he remembers the days before he was lost, with their manners and customs, and this has given his nose an offensive tilt.

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 apologetic sort of way.

The boys vanish in the gloom, and after a pause, but not a long pause, for things go briskly on the island, come the pirates on their track.

We hear them before they are seen, and it is always the same dreadful song:. A more villainous-looking lot never hung in a row on Execution dock.

Here, a little in advance, ever and again with his head to the ground listening, his great arms bare, pieces of eight in his ears as ornaments, is the handsome Italian Cecco, who cut his name in letters of blood on the back of the governor of the prison at Gao.

That gigantic black behind him has had many names since he dropped the one with which dusky mothers still terrify their children on the banks of the Guadjo-mo.

Here is Bill Jukes, every inch of him tattooed, the same Bill Jukes who got six dozen on the WALRUS from Flint before he would drop the bag of moidores [Portuguese gold pieces]; and Cookson, said to be Black Murphy's brother but this was never proved , and Gentleman Starkey, once an usher in a public school and still dainty in his ways of killing; and Skylights Morgan's Skylights ; and the Irish bo'sun Smee, an oddly genial man who stabbed, so to speak, without offence, and was the only Non-conformist in Hook's crew; and Noodler, whose hands were fixed on backwards; and Robt.

Mullins and Alf Mason and many another ruffian long known and feared on the Spanish Main. In the midst of them, the blackest and largest in that dark setting, reclined James Hook, or as he wrote himself, Jas.

Hook, of whom it is said he was the only man that the Sea-Cook feared. He lay at his ease in a rough chariot drawn and propelled by his men, and instead of a right hand he had the iron hook with which ever and anon he encouraged them to increase their pace.

As dogs this terrible man treated and addressed them, and as dogs they obeyed him. In person he was cadaverous [dead looking] and blackavized [dark faced], and his hair was dressed in long curls, which at a little distance looked like black candles, and gave a singularly threatening expression to his handsome countenance.

His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not, and of a profound melancholy, save when he was plunging his hook into you, at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly.

He was never more sinister than when he was most polite, which is probably the truest test of breeding; and the elegance of his diction, even when he was swearing, no less than the distinction of his demeanour, showed him one of a different cast from his crew.

A man of indomitable courage, it was said that the only thing he shied at was the sight of his own blood, which was thick and of an unusual colour.

In dress he somewhat aped the attire associated with the name of Charles II, having heard it said in some earlier period of his career that he bore a strange resemblance to the ill-fated Stuarts; and in his mouth he had a holder of his own contrivance which enabled him to smoke two cigars at once.

But undoubtedly the grimmest part of him was his iron claw. Let us now kill a pirate, to show Hook's method. Skylights will do. As they pass, Skylights lurches clumsily against him, ruffling his lace collar; the hook shoots forth, there is a tearing sound and one screech, then the body is kicked aside, and the pirates pass on.

He has not even taken the cigars from his mouth. On the trail of the pirates, stealing noiselessly down the war-path, which is not visible to inexperienced eyes, come the redskins, every one of them with his eyes peeled.

They carry tomahawks and knives, and their naked bodies gleam with paint and oil. Strung around them are scalps, of boys as well as of pirates, for these are the Piccaninny tribe, and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons.

In the van, on all fours, is Great Big Little Panther, a brave of so many scalps that in his present position they somewhat impede his progress.

Bringing up the rear, the place of greatest danger, comes Tiger Lily, proudly erect, a princess in her own right. Observe how they pass over fallen twigs without making the slightest noise.

The only sound to be heard is their somewhat heavy breathing. The fact is that they are all a little fat just now after the heavy gorging, but in time they will work this off.

For the moment, however, it constitutes their chief danger. The redskins disappear as they have come like shadows, and soon their place is taken by the beasts, a great and motley procession: lions, tigers, bears, and the innumerable smaller savage things that flee from them, for every kind of beast, and, more particularly, all the man-eaters, live cheek by jowl on the favoured island.

Their tongues are hanging out, they are hungry to-night. When they have passed, comes the last figure of all, a gigantic crocodile.

We shall see for whom she is looking presently. The crocodile passes, but soon the boys appear again, for the procession must continue indefinitely until one of the parties stops or changes its pace.

Then quickly they will be on top of each other. All are keeping a sharp look-out in front, but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind.

This shows how real the island was. The first to fall out of the moving circle was the boys. They flung themselves down on the sward [turf], close to their underground home.

They talked of Cinderella, and Tootles was confident that his mother must have been very like her. It was only in Peter's absence that they could speak of mothers, the subject being forbidden by him as silly.

While they talked they heard a distant sound. You or I, not being wild things of the woods, would have heard nothing, but they heard it, and it was the grim song:.

At once the lost boys—but where are they? They are no longer there. Rabbits could not have disappeared more quickly.

I will tell you where they are. With the exception of Nibs, who has darted away to reconnoitre [look around], they are already in their home under the ground, a very delightful residence of which we shall see a good deal presently.

But how have they reached it? Look closely, however, and you may note that there are here seven large trees, each with a hole in its hollow trunk as large as a boy.

These are the seven entrances to the home under the ground, for which Hook has been searching in vain these many moons. Will he find it tonight?

As the pirates advanced, the quick eye of Starkey sighted Nibs disappearing through the wood, and at once his pistol flashed out.

But an iron claw gripped his shoulder. Now for the first time we hear the voice of Hook. It was a black voice. Do you want to lose your scalp?

One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon. Scatter and look for them.

The pirates disappeared among the trees, and in a moment their Captain and Smee were alone. Hook heaved a heavy sigh, and I know not why it was, perhaps it was because of the soft beauty of the evening, but there came over him a desire to confide to his faithful bo'sun the story of his life.

He spoke long and earnestly, but what it was all about Smee, who was rather stupid, did not know in the least.

Oh, I'll tear him! Then again he frowned. He sat down on a large mushroom, and now there was a quiver in his voice. Hook wetted his dry lips. Since sitting down he had felt curiously warm.

They examined the mushroom, which was of a size and solidity unknown on the mainland; they tried to pull it up, and it came away at once in their hands, for it had no root.

Stranger still, smoke began at once to ascend. The pirates looked at each other. They had indeed discovered the chimney of the home under the ground.

It was the custom of the boys to stop it with a mushroom when enemies were in the neighbourhood. Not only smoke came out of it.

There came also children's voices, for so safe did the boys feel in their hiding-place that they were gaily chattering.

The pirates listened grimly, and then replaced the mushroom. They looked around them and noted the holes in the seven trees. Hook nodded.

He stood for a long time lost in thought, and at last a curdling smile lit up his swarthy face. Smee had been waiting for it.

There can be but one room below, for there is but one chimney. The silly moles had not the sense to see that they did not need a door apiece.

That shows they have no mother. We will leave the cake on the shore of the Mermaids' Lagoon. These boys are always swimming about there, playing with the mermaids.

They will find the cake and they will gobble it up, because, having no mother, they don't know how dangerous 'tis to eat rich damp cake.

They began the verse, but they never finished it, for another sound broke in and stilled them. There was at first such a tiny sound that a leaf might have fallen on it and smothered it, but as it came nearer it was more distinct.

It was indeed the crocodile. It had passed the redskins, who were now on the trail of the other pirates. It oozed on after Hook.

Once more the boys emerged into the open; but the dangers of the night were not yet over, for presently Nibs rushed breathless into their midst, pursued by a pack of wolves.

The tongues of the pursuers were hanging out; the baying of them was horrible. It was a high compliment to Peter that at that dire moment their thoughts turned to him.

It is quite the most successful way of defying wolves, and as one boy they bent and looked through their legs. The next moment is the long one, but victory came quickly, for as the boys advanced upon them in the terrible attitude, the wolves dropped their tails and fled.

Now Nibs rose from the ground, and the others thought that his staring eyes still saw the wolves. But it was not wolves he saw.

It is flying this way. Wendy was now almost overhead, and they could hear her plaintive cry. But more distinct came the shrill voice of Tinker Bell.

The jealous fairy had now cast off all disguise of friendship, and was darting at her victim from every direction, pinching savagely each time she touched.

It was not in their nature to question when Peter ordered. All but Tootles popped down their trees. He had a bow and arrow with him, and Tink noted it, and rubbed her little hands.

Tootles excitedly fitted the arrow to his bow. Foolish Tootles was standing like a conqueror over Wendy's body when the other boys sprang, armed, from their trees.

Peter will be so pleased with me. The others did not hear her. They had crowded round Wendy, and as they looked a terrible silence fell upon the wood.

If Wendy's heart had been beating they would all have heard it. Slightly was the first to speak. They were sorry for him, but sorrier for themselves, and when he took a step nearer them they turned from him.

Tootles' face was very white, but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before. It was at this tragic moment that they heard a sound which made the heart of every one of them rise to his mouth.

They heard Peter crow. But Tootles stood aloof. Again came that ringing crow, and Peter dropped in front of them. They opened their mouths, but the cheers would not come.

He overlooked it in his haste to tell the glorious tidings. Tootles rose. So they all stood back, and let him see, and after he had looked for a little time he did not know what to do next.

He thought of hopping off in a comic sort of way till he was out of sight of her, and then never going near the spot any more. They would all have been glad to follow if he had done this.

Tootles did not flinch. He bared his breast. Twice did Peter raise the arrow, and twice did his hand fall. Wonderful to relate [tell], Wendy had raised her arm.

Nibs bent over her and listened reverently. Then Peter knelt beside her and found his button. You remember she had put it on a chain that she wore round her neck.

It is the kiss I gave her. It has saved her life. Ay, that's a kiss. Peter did not hear him. He was begging Wendy to get better quickly, so that he could show her the mermaids.

Of course she could not answer yet, being still in a frightful faint; but from overhead came a wailing note. Then they had to tell Peter of Tink's crime, and almost never had they seen him look so stern.

Begone from me for ever. She flew on to his shoulder and pleaded, but he brushed her off. Do you think Tinker Bell was grateful to Wendy for raising her arm?

Oh dear no, never wanted to pinch her so much. Fairies indeed are strange, and Peter, who understood them best, often cuffed [slapped] them. It would not be sufficiently respectful.

They were all delighted. Gut our house. Be sharp. In a moment they were as busy as tailors the night before a wedding. They skurried this way and that, down for bedding, up for firewood, and while they were at it, who should appear but John and Michael.

As they dragged along the ground they fell asleep standing, stopped, woke up, moved another step and slept again. Where is Nana, John, and mother?

He was very busy at the moment measuring Wendy with his feet to see how large a house she would need. Of course he meant to leave room for chairs and a table.

John and Michael watched him. The astounded brothers were dragged away to hack and hew and carry. Peter thought of everything.

But he knew Peter must be obeyed, and he returned in a moment, wearing John's hat and looking solemn.

The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing.

This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners. It was an anxious moment when the glass thing was withdrawn.

In the meantime the wood had been alive with the sound of axes; almost everything needed for a cosy dwelling already lay at Wendy's feet. They gurgled with joy at this, for by the greatest good luck the branches they had brought were sticky with red sap, and all the ground was carpeted with moss.

As they rattled up the little house they broke into song themselves:. With a blow of their fists they made windows, and large yellow leaves were the blinds.

But roses—? Peter, seeing this to be a good idea, at once pretended that it was his own. The house was quite beautiful, and no doubt Wendy was very cosy within, though, of course, they could no longer see her.

Peter strode up and down, ordering finishing touches. Nothing escaped his eagle eyes. Just when it seemed absolutely finished:. They were very ashamed, but Tootles gave the sole of his shoe, and it made an excellent knocker.

Not of bit of it. This gave Peter an idea. He snatched the hat off John's head, knocked out the bottom [top], and put the hat on the roof.

The little house was so pleased to have such a capital chimney that, as if to say thank you, smoke immediately began to come out of the hat.

He was glad no one asked him what first impressions are; they were all too busy looking their best. He knocked politely, and now the wood was as still as the children, not a sound to be heard except from Tinker Bell, who was watching from a branch and openly sneering.

What the boys were wondering was, would any one answer the knock? If a lady, what would she be like? The door opened and a lady came out.

It was Wendy. They all whipped off their hats. She looked properly surprised, and this was just how they had hoped she would look.

Of course Slightly was the first to get his word in. I have no real experience. Come inside at once, you naughty children; I am sure your feet are damp.

And before I put you to bed I have just time to finish the story of Cinderella. In they went; I don't know how there was room for them, but you can squeeze very tight in the Neverland.

And that was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy. By and by she tucked them up in the great bed in the home under the trees, but she herself slept that night in the little house, and Peter kept watch outside with drawn sword, for the pirates could be heard carousing far away and the wolves were on the prowl.

The little house looked so cosy and safe in the darkness, with a bright light showing through its blinds, and the chimney smoking beautifully, and Peter standing on guard.

After a time he fell asleep, and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed, but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on.

One of the first things Peter did next day was to measure Wendy and John and Michael for hollow trees. Hook, you remember, had sneered at the boys for thinking they needed a tree apiece, but this was ignorance, for unless your tree fitted you it was difficult to go up and down, and no two of the boys were quite the same size.

Once you fitted, you drew in [let out] your breath at the top, and down you went at exactly the right speed, while to ascend you drew in and let out alternately, and so wriggled up.

Of course, when you have mastered the action you are able to do these things without thinking of them, and nothing can be more graceful.

But you simply must fit, and Peter measures you for your tree as carefully as for a suit of clothes: the only difference being that the clothes are made to fit you, while you have to be made to fit the tree.

Usually it is done quite easily, as by your wearing too many garments or too few, but if you are bumpy in awkward places or the only available tree is an odd shape, Peter does some things to you, and after that you fit.

Once you fit, great care must be taken to go on fitting, and this, as Wendy was to discover to her delight, keeps a whole family in perfect condition.

Wendy and Michael fitted their trees at the first try, but John had to be altered a little. After a few days' practice they could go up and down as gaily as buckets in a well.

And how ardently they grew to love their home under the ground; especially Wendy. It consisted of one large room, as all houses should do, with a floor in which you could dig [for worms] if you wanted to go fishing, and in this floor grew stout mushrooms of a charming colour, which were used as stools.

A Never tree tried hard to grow in the centre of the room, but every morning they sawed the trunk through, level with the floor. By tea-time it was always about two feet high, and then they put a door on top of it, the whole thus becoming a table; as soon as they cleared away, they sawed off the trunk again, and thus there was more room to play.

There was an enormous fireplace which was in almost any part of the room where you cared to light it, and across this Wendy stretched strings, made of fibre, from which she suspended her washing.

The bed was tilted against the wall by day, and let down at , when it filled nearly half the room; and all the boys slept in it, except Michael, lying like sardines in a tin.

There was a strict rule against turning round until one gave the signal, when all turned at once. Michael should have used it also, but Wendy would have [desired] a baby, and he was the littlest, and you know what women are, and the short and long of it is that he was hung up in a basket.

It was rough and simple, and not unlike what baby bears would have made of an underground house in the same circumstances.

But there was one recess in the wall, no larger than a bird-cage, which was the private apartment of Tinker Bell. It could be shut off from the rest of the house by a tiny curtain, which Tink, who was most fastidious [particular], always kept drawn when dressing or undressing.

No woman, however large, could have had a more exquisite boudoir [dressing room] and bed-chamber combined. The couch, as she always called it, was a genuine Queen Mab, with club legs; and she varied the bedspreads according to what fruit-blossom was in season.

Her mirror was a Puss-in-Boots, of which there are now only three, unchipped, known to fairy dealers; the washstand was Pie-crust and reversible, the chest of drawers an authentic Charming the Sixth, and the carpet and rugs the best the early period of Margery and Robin.

There was a chandelier from Tiddlywinks for the look of the thing, but of course she lit the residence herself. Tink was very contemptuous of the rest of the house, as indeed was perhaps inevitable, and her chamber, though beautiful, looked rather conceited, having the appearance of a nose permanently turned up.

I suppose it was all especially entrancing to Wendy, because those rampagious boys of hers gave her so much to do.

Really there were whole weeks when, except perhaps with a stocking in the evening, she was never above ground. The cooking, I can tell you, kept her nose to the pot, and even if there was nothing in it, even if there was no pot, she had to keep watching that it came aboil just the same.

You never exactly knew whether there would be a real meal or just a make-believe, it all depended upon Peter's whim: he could eat, really eat, if it was part of a game, but he could not stodge [cram down the food] just to feel stodgy [stuffed with food], which is what most children like better than anything else; the next best thing being to talk about it.

Make-believe was so real to him that during a meal of it you could see him getting rounder. Of course it was trying, but you simply had to follow his lead, and if you could prove to him that you were getting loose for your tree he let you stodge.

Wendy's favourite time for sewing and darning was after they had all gone to bed. Then, as she expressed it, she had a breathing time for herself; and she occupied it in making new things for them, and putting double pieces on the knees, for they were all most frightfully hard on their knees.

You remember about her pet wolf. Well, it very soon discovered that she had come to the island and it found her out, and they just ran into each other's arms.

After that it followed her about everywhere. As time wore on did she think much about the beloved parents she had left behind her? This is a difficult question, because it is quite impossible to say how time does wear on in the Neverland, where it is calculated by moons and suns, and there are ever so many more of them than on the mainland.

But I am afraid that Wendy did not really worry about her father and mother; she was absolutely confident that they would always keep the window open for her to fly back by, and this gave her complete ease of mind.

What did disturb her at times was that John remembered his parents vaguely only, as people he had once known, while Michael was quite willing to believe that she was really his mother.

These things scared her a little, and nobly anxious to do her duty, she tried to fix the old life in their minds by setting them examination papers on it, as like as possible to the ones she used to do at school.

The other boys thought this awfully interesting, and insisted on joining, and they made slates for themselves, and sat round the table, writing and thinking hard about the questions she had written on another slate and passed round.

Which was taller, Father or Mother? Was Mother blonde or brunette? Answer all three questions if possible. Only one of these to be attempted.

They were just everyday questions like these, and when you could not answer them you were told to make a cross; and it was really dreadful what a number of crosses even John made.

Of course the only boy who replied to every question was Slightly, and no one could have been more hopeful of coming out first, but his answers were perfectly ridiculous, and he really came out last: a melancholy thing.

Peter did not compete. For one thing he despised all mothers except Wendy, and for another he was the only boy on the island who could neither write nor spell; not the smallest word.

He was above all that sort of thing. By the way, the questions were all written in the past tense. What was the colour of Mother's eyes, and so on.

Wendy, you see, had been forgetting, too. Adventures, of course, as we shall see, were of daily occurrence; but about this time Peter invented, with Wendy's help, a new game that fascinated him enormously, until he suddenly had no more interest in it, which, as you have been told, was what always happened with his games.

It consisted in pretending not to have adventures, in doing the sort of thing John and Michael had been doing all their lives, sitting on stools flinging balls in the air, pushing each other, going out for walks and coming back without having killed so much as a grizzly.

To see Peter doing nothing on a stool was a great sight; he could not help looking solemn at such times, to sit still seemed to him such a comic thing to do.

He boasted that he had gone walking for the good of his health. For several suns these were the most novel of all adventures to him; and John and Michael had to pretend to be delighted also; otherwise he would have treated them severely.

He often went out alone, and when he came back you were never absolutely certain whether he had had an adventure or not.

He might have forgotten it so completely that he said nothing about it; and then when you went out you found the body; and, on the other hand, he might say a great deal about it, and yet you could not find the body.

Sometimes he came home with his head bandaged, and then Wendy cooed over him and bathed it in lukewarm water, while he told a dazzling tale.

But she was never quite sure, you know. There were, however, many adventures which she knew to be true because she was in them herself, and there were still more that were at least partly true, for the other boys were in them and said they were wholly true.

To describe them all would require a book as large as an English-Latin, Latin-English Dictionary, and the most we can do is to give one as a specimen of an average hour on the island.

The difficulty is which one to choose. Should we take the brush with the redskins at Slightly Gulch? It was a sanguinary affair, and especially interesting as showing one of Peter's peculiarities, which was that in the middle of a fight he would suddenly change sides.

The extraordinary upshot of this adventure was—but we have not decided yet that this is the adventure we are to narrate. Perhaps a better one would be the night attack by the redskins on the house under the ground, when several of them stuck in the hollow trees and had to be pulled out like corks.

Or we might tell how Peter saved Tiger Lily's life in the Mermaids' Lagoon, and so made her his ally. Or we could tell of that cake the pirates cooked so that the boys might eat it and perish; and how they placed it in one cunning spot after another; but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children, so that in time it lost its succulence, and became as hard as a stone, and was used as a missile, and Hook fell over it in the dark.

Or suppose we tell of the birds that were Peter's friends, particularly of the Never bird that built in a tree overhanging the lagoon, and how the nest fell into the water, and still the bird sat on her eggs, and Peter gave orders that she was not to be disturbed.

That is a pretty story, and the end shows how grateful a bird can be; but if we tell it we must also tell the whole adventure of the lagoon, which would of course be telling two adventures rather than just one.

A shorter adventure, and quite as exciting, was Tinker Bell's attempt, with the help of some street fairies, to have the sleeping Wendy conveyed on a great floating leaf to the mainland.

Fortunately the leaf gave way and Wendy woke, thinking it was bath-time, and swam back. Or again, we might choose Peter's defiance of the lions, when he drew a circle round him on the ground with an arrow and dared them to cross it; and though he waited for hours, with the other boys and Wendy looking on breathlessly from trees, not one of them dared to accept his challenge.

I have tossed, and the lagoon has won. This almost makes one wish that the gulch or the cake or Tink's leaf had won.

Of course I could do it again, and make it best out of three; however, perhaps fairest to stick to the lagoon. If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire.

But just before they go on fire you see the lagoon. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland, just one heavenly moment; if there could be two moments you might see the surf and hear the mermaids singing.

The children often spent long summer days on this lagoon, swimming or floating most of the time, playing the mermaid games in the water, and so forth.

You must not think from this that the mermaids were on friendly terms with them: on the contrary, it was among Wendy's lasting regrets that all the time she was on the island she never had a civil word from one of them.

When she stole softly to the edge of the lagoon she might see them by the score, especially on Marooners' Rock, where they loved to bask, combing out their hair in a lazy way that quite irritated her; or she might even swim, on tiptoe as it were, to within a yard of them, but then they saw her and dived, probably splashing her with their tails, not by accident, but intentionally.

They treated all the boys in the same way, except of course Peter, who chatted with them on Marooners' Rock by the hour, and sat on their tails when they got cheeky.

He gave Wendy one of their combs. The most haunting time at which to see them is at the turn of the moon, when they utter strange wailing cries; but the lagoon is dangerous for mortals then, and until the evening of which we have now to tell, Wendy had never seen the lagoon by moonlight, less from fear, for of course Peter would have accompanied her, than because she had strict rules about every one being in bed by seven.

She was often at the lagoon, however, on sunny days after rain, when the mermaids come up in extraordinary numbers to play with their bubbles.

The bubbles of many colours made in rainbow water they treat as balls, hitting them gaily from one to another with their tails, and trying to keep them in the rainbow till they burst.

The goals are at each end of the rainbow, and the keepers only are allowed to use their hands. Sometimes a dozen of these games will be going on in the lagoon at a time, and it is quite a pretty sight.

But the moment the children tried to join in they had to play by themselves, for the mermaids immediately disappeared.

Nevertheless we have proof that they secretly watched the interlopers, and were not above taking an idea from them; for John introduced a new way of hitting the bubble, with the head instead of the hand, and the mermaids adopted it.

This is the one mark that John has left on the Neverland. It must also have been rather pretty to see the children resting on a rock for half an hour after their mid-day meal.

Wendy insisted on their doing this, and it had to be a real rest even though the meal was make-believe. So they lay there in the sun, and their bodies glistened in it, while she sat beside them and looked important.

It was one such day, and they were all on Marooners' Rock. The rock was not much larger than their great bed, but of course they all knew how not to take up much room, and they were dozing, or at least lying with their eyes shut, and pinching occasionally when they thought Wendy was not looking.

She was very busy, stitching. While she stitched a change came to the lagoon. Little shivers ran over it, and the sun went away and shadows stole across the water, turning it cold.

Wendy could no longer see to thread her needle, and when she looked up, the lagoon that had always hitherto been such a laughing place seemed formidable and unfriendly.

It was not, she knew, that night had come, but something as dark as night had come. No, worse than that.

It had not come, but it had sent that shiver through the sea to say that it was coming. What was it? There crowded upon her all the stories she had been told of Marooners' Rock, so called because evil captains put sailors on it and leave them there to drown.

They drown when the tide rises, for then it is submerged. Of course she should have roused the children at once; not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, but because it was no longer good for them to sleep on a rock grown chilly.

But she was a young mother and she did not know this; she thought you simply must stick to your rule about half an hour after the mid-day meal.

So, though fear was upon her, and she longed to hear male voices, she would not waken them. Even when she heard the sound of muffled oars, though her heart was in her mouth, she did not waken them.

She stood over them to let them have their sleep out. Was it not brave of Wendy? It was well for those boys then that there was one among them who could sniff danger even in his sleep.

Peter sprang erect, as wide awake at once as a dog, and with one warning cry he roused the others. The others came closer to him. A strange smile was playing about his face, and Wendy saw it and shuddered.

While that smile was on his face no one dared address him; all they could do was to stand ready to obey.

The order came sharp and incisive. There was a gleam of legs, and instantly the lagoon seemed deserted. Marooners' Rock stood alone in the forbidding waters as if it were itself marooned.

The boat drew nearer. It was the pirate dinghy, with three figures in her, Smee and Starkey, and the third a captive, no other than Tiger Lily.

Her hands and ankles were tied, and she knew what was to be her fate. She was to be left on the rock to perish, an end to one of her race more terrible than death by fire or torture, for is it not written in the book of the tribe that there is no path through water to the happy hunting-ground?

Yet her face was impassive; she was the daughter of a chief, she must die as a chief's daughter, it is enough. They had caught her boarding the pirate ship with a knife in her mouth.

No watch was kept on the ship, it being Hook's boast that the wind of his name guarded the ship for a mile around. Now her fate would help to guard it also.

One more wail would go the round in that wind by night. In the gloom that they brought with them the two pirates did not see the rock till they crashed into it.

Now, then, what we have to do is to hoist the redskin on to it and leave her here to drown. It was the work of one brutal moment to land the beautiful girl on the rock; she was too proud to offer a vain resistance.

Quite near the rock, but out of sight, two heads were bobbing up and down, Peter's and Wendy's. Wendy was crying, for it was the first tragedy she had seen.

Peter had seen many tragedies, but he had forgotten them all. He was less sorry than Wendy for Tiger Lily: it was two against one that angered him, and he meant to save her.

An easy way would have been to wait until the pirates had gone, but he was never one to choose the easy way. At once like an eel she slid between Starkey's legs into the water.

Of course Wendy was very elated over Peter's cleverness; but she knew that he would be elated also and very likely crow and thus betray himself, so at once her hand went out to cover his mouth.

Peter may have been about to crow, but his face puckered in a whistle of surprise instead. He was swimming to the boat, and as his men showed a light to guide him he had soon reached them.

In the light of the lantern Wendy saw his hook grip the boat's side; she saw his evil swarthy face as he rose dripping from the water, and, quaking, she would have liked to swim away, but Peter would not budge.

He was tingling with life and also top-heavy with conceit. The two pirates were very curious to know what had brought their captain to them, but he sat with his head on his hook in a position of profound melancholy.

Wendy was so shocked that she exclaimed. It was the nest I have told you of, floating on the lagoon, and the Never bird was sitting on it.

What a lesson! The nest must have fallen into the water, but would the mother desert her eggs? 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.

But they could see nothing. They thought it must have been a leaf in the wind. They all swore. By this time they were on the rock, and suddenly Hook remembered Tiger Lily.

Hook raised his voice, but there was a quiver in it. Of course Peter should have kept quiet, but of course he did not. He immediately answered in Hook's voice:.

In that supreme moment Hook did not blanch, even at the gills, but Smee and Starkey clung to each other in terror. Hook tried a more ingratiating manner.

He saw his men draw back from him. They were his dogs snapping at him, but, tragic figure though he had become, he scarcely heeded them.

Against such fearful evidence it was not their belief in him that he needed, it was his own. He felt his ego slipping from him.

In his dark nature there was a touch of the feminine, as in all the great pirates, and it sometimes gave him intuitions. Suddenly he tried the guessing game.

Hook was completely puzzled. Of course in his pride he was carrying the game too far, and the miscreants [villains] saw their chance.

In a moment Hook was himself again, and Smee and Starkey were his faithful henchmen. Starkey, mind the boat. Take him dead or alive!

The fight was short and sharp. First to draw blood was John, who gallantly climbed into the boat and held Starkey. There was fierce struggle, in which the cutlass was torn from the pirate's grasp.

He wriggled overboard and John leapt after him. The dinghy drifted away. Here and there a head bobbed up in the water, and there was a flash of steel followed by a cry or a whoop.

In the confusion some struck at their own side. The corkscrew of Smee got Tootles in the fourth rib, but he was himself pinked [nicked] in turn by Curly.

Farther from the rock Starkey was pressing Slightly and the twins hard. The others were all brave boys, and they must not be blamed for backing from the pirate captain.

His iron claw made a circle of dead water round him, from which they fled like affrighted fishes. But there was one who did not fear him: there was one prepared to enter that circle.

Strangely, it was not in the water that they met. Hook rose to the rock to breathe, and at the same moment Peter scaled it on the opposite side.

The rock was slippery as a ball, and they had to crawl rather than climb. Neither knew that the other was coming. Each feeling for a grip met the other's arm: in surprise they raised their heads; their faces were almost touching; so they met.

Some of the greatest heroes have confessed that just before they fell to [began combat] they had a sinking [feeling in the stomach].

Had it been so with Peter at that moment I would admit it. After all, he was the only man that the Sea-Cook had feared. But Peter had no sinking, he had one feeling only, gladness; and he gnashed his pretty teeth with joy.

Quick as thought he snatched a knife from Hook's belt and was about to drive it home, when he saw that he was higher up the rock than his foe.

It would not have been fighting fair. He gave the pirate a hand to help him up. Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter.

It made him quite helpless. He could only stare, horrified. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly.

All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours is fairness. After you have been unfair to him he will love you again, but will never afterwards be quite the same boy.

No one ever gets over the first unfairness; no one except Peter. He often met it, but he always forgot it. I suppose that was the real difference between him and all the rest.

So when he met it now it was like the first time; and he could just stare, helpless. Twice the iron hand clawed him. A few moments afterwards the other boys saw Hook in the water striking wildly for the ship; no elation on the pestilent face now, only white fear, for the crocodile was in dogged pursuit of him.

On ordinary occasions the boys would have swum alongside cheering; but now they were uneasy, for they had lost both Peter and Wendy, and were scouring the lagoon for them, calling them by name.

They were not very anxious, because they had such faith in Peter. They chuckled, boylike, because they would be late for bed; and it was all mother Wendy's fault!

When their voices died away there came cold silence over the lagoon, and then a feeble cry. Two small figures were beating against the rock; the girl had fainted and lay on the boy's arm.

With a last effort Peter pulled her up the rock and then lay down beside her. Even as he also fainted he saw that the water was rising.

He knew that they would soon be drowned, but he could do no more. As they lay side by side a mermaid caught Wendy by the feet, and began pulling her softly into the water.

Peter, feeling her slip from him, woke with a start, and was just in time to draw her back.

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2 Comments

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