The Adventures of Peter Pan
Chapter 5. The Island Come True
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
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. 'Ware Tinker Bell.
Would that he could hear us, but we are not really on the island, and he passes by, biting