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