The Very Worst Childrens Story Ever: Peter the Rocks Adventure
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.
5 Reasons Why Peter Pan is Probably a Monster
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.
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There was a gleam of legs, and instantly the lagoon seemed deserted. 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?
They had caught her boarding the pirate ship with a knife in her mouth. 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 there 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. 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: An easy way would have been to wait until the pirates had gone, but he was never one to choose the easy way. He was swimming to the boat, and as his men showed a light to guide him he had soon reached them. 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. It was the nest I have told you of, floating on the lagoon, and the Never bird was sitting on it.
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.
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But they could see nothing. They thought it must have been but a leaf in the wind. Hook raised his voice, but there was a quiver in it. Of course Peter should have kept quiet, but of course he did not.
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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.
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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. 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.
Peter and Wendy, by J. M. Barrie : Chapter VIII
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 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.
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. Some of the greatest heroes have confessed that just before they fell to they had a sinking.
Had it been so with Peter at that moment I would admit it.
After all, this 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. It would not have been fighting fair. That must suck for the Lost Boys, right?
Peter even seems indifferent to his own mortality. A tremour ran through him, like a shudder passing over the sea; but on the sea one shudder follows another till there are hundreds of them, and Peter felt just the one. Next moment he was standing erect on the rock again, with that smile on his face and a drum beating within him. Darling has some fuzzy memories that seem to back this up.
Darling did not know, but after thinking back into her childhood she just remembered a Peter Pan who was said to live with the fairies. There were odd stories about him, as that when children died he went part of the way with them, so that they should not be frightened. She had believed in him at the time, but now that she was married and full of sense she quite doubted whether there was any such person.
He might already be dead. Here are five reasons why Peter Pan is a much darker character than you remember. Peter is a child abductor. This is a grown man, as Peter himself hints during an argument with Wendy: Pete really hates adults.