When Wendy Grew Up

I hope you want to know what became of the other boys. They were waiting below to give Wendy time to explain about them; and when they had counted five hundred they went up. They went up by the stair, because they thought this would make a better impression. They stood in a row in front of Mrs Darling, with their hats off, and wishing they were not wearing their pirate clothes. They said nothing, but their eyes asked her to have them. They ought to have looked at Mr Darling also, but they forgot about him.

Of course Mrs Darling said at once that she would have them; but Mr Darling was curiously depressed, and they saw that he considered six a rather large number.

‘I must say,’ he said to Wendy, ‘that you don’t do things by halves,’ a grudging remark which the twins thought was pointed at them.

The first twin was the proud one, and he asked, flushing, ‘Do you think we should be too much of a handful, sir? Because if so we can go away.’

‘Father!’ Wendy cried, shocked; but still the cloud was on him. He knew he was behaving unworthily, but he could not help it.

‘We could lie doubled up,’ said Nibs.

‘I always cut their hair myself,’ said Wendy.

‘George!’ Mrs Darling exclaimed, pained to see her dear one showing himself in such an unfavourable light.

Then he burst into tears, and the truth came out. He was as glad to have them as she was, he said, but he thought they should have asked his consent as well as hers, instead of treating him as a cypher in his own house.

‘I don’t think he is a cypher,’ Tootles cried instantly. ‘Do you think he is a cypher, Curly?’

‘No, I don’t. Do you think he is a cypher, Slightly?’

‘Rather not. Twin, what do you think?’

It turned out that not one of them thought him a cypher; and he was absurdly gratified, and said he would find space for them all in the drawing-room if they fitted in.

‘We’ll fit in, sir,’ they assured him.

‘Then follow the leader,’ he cried gaily. ‘Mind you, I am not sure that we have a drawing-room, but we pretend we have, and it’s all the same. Hoop la!’

He went off dancing through the house, and they all cried ‘Hoop la!’ and danced after him, searching for the drawing-room; and I forget whether they found it, but at any rate they found corners, and they all fitted in.

As for Peter, he saw Wendy once again before he flew away. He did not exactly come to the window, but he brushed against it in passing, so that she could open it if she liked and call to him. That was what she did.

‘Hullo, Wendy, good-bye, ’he said.

‘Oh dear, are you going away?’


  By PanEris using Melati.

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