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ANON: A PLAY (complete text)

The following is an orginal piece by J M Barrie

1 March 1904

"Anon: A Play", being Barrie's original draft of "Peter Pan", dated 1 March 1904. Here is the complete text, as transcribed by us from the original manuscript at the Lilly Library at Indiana University ...

ANON: A PLAY (complete text)

SCENE 1

THE NIGHT NURSERY OF THE DARLING FAMILY

The room is shaped as in diagram, and if set on a large stage it should be made to look as snug and small as possible. Thus it should not be a deep scene. The chief articles of furniture are indicated above, but all the accessories of a cosy nursery in a middle-class family are to be included. There is a frieze around the walls, representing pictorially a fairy tale. The wall, where Fire is, takes an angle, as in diagram, so that a person could sit naturally at it and yet be well seen by the audience. In front of the fire the usual tall guard-fender. The house is in a London street in Bloomsbury and the houses opposite may be vaguely seen through the windows. It is Winter-time but there is no snow. The fire is burning brightly and gives a certain light to the room which is otherwise obscure, the hour being early evening. Time: the present.

Curtain rises on NANA, the nurse, on hearth-rug by the fire, asleep. Nana is a Newfoundland dog of the black-and-white variety - called Landseers. Throughout the play though she has unusual things to do. She must do them strictly as a real dog of brains would act and never as a gymnast. The part will be played by a boy and must be drilled into acting as a dog would act. He must never do anything that a clever dog could not be trained to do. Unless otherwise indicated in this text, he must always walk on four legs and if he is ever on two legs only, he must be as awkward on them as the real dog would be. Naturalness must be his one aim from first to last. But, despite this he acts throughout like an ordinary nurse, not like one new to the business, but who does tonight, precisely as he has been doing every night for the last year.

The light of the fire shows Nana vividly: he is dreaming and makes the sounds dogs make at such times, — it is not a bark. He wakes up, slightly changes position lazily, and sleeps again. The grandfather clock at back gives the warning whir common to such clocks before they strike. Nana jumps up suddenly, wide awake with the lightning rapidity of dogs; looks straight before him for a moment, then walks slowly to R. down stage and putting front paws against wall by side of door switches on electric light with his mouth. He does not do this, or anything else, as a feat but simply as part of his daily humdrum work. He then goes nearer clock and listens to its striking. At each strike he gives one wag of his tail, which shows that he is counting. His back is to the audience. Clock strikes six. He next (in the ordinary, quiet, businesslike way of a nurse) turns down the bed-clothes with his mouth, from all three beds, brings in his mouth, from child's cot a suit of pyjamas for a child (all in one piece), hangs this over fender to air it. He throws open door to bathroom in same way as he had switched on light. The door being open the bath and taps are seen. He turns on a tap with his mouth and water is seen pouring into bath. Steam rises showing it is hot water. He puts paw into water to test it: evidently it is hot for he scalds his hands. He turns on another tap of cold water and lets the two run together. He takes from his mouth a tin and sprinkles (as from pepper-pot) into bath. He gets from bathroom a wire arrangement containing soap and a sponge and hangs it on edge of the bath, lays out a large bath towel, conveniently, then walks across room and exits at door L. He reenters accompanied by ALEXANDER DARLING. Alexander is as small a boy as possible and his manners, dress and speech are those of a boy of seven. He and Nana enter side by side, Nana is not holding him but keeps close to him. They walk to C.

ALEX (sulkily): I won't go to bed - I won't, I won't. (Argumentatively.) Nana, it isn't six o'clock yet - it isn't six o'clock. Nana, Nana, it isn't six o'clock. (Nana, like an experienced nurse pays no attention to his words, has pushed him into a chair and is unloosening his boots with mouth. He beats her in sudden passion but she placidly goes on taking off his boots.) I shan't love you any more Nana - Nana I shan't love you any more. I shan't love you Nana - I shan't I shan't. (He is standing now and she is taking off his belt, pinafore and an under garment. He is now in shirt and braces and breeches.) I won't be bathed - Nana I just tell you I won't be bathed. I just won't.

(Nana picks up his pyjamas in mouth, and he gets on her back, still complaining, and she walks to bathroom, for though she neither pulls nor pushes him, her moral influence is irresistible. When they have entered bathroom she shuts door — Outside the window C. at back, Peter Pan is seen mysteriously. He pulls himself on to ledge, his hands finger window as if he was seeking for a way of opening it — At that moment enters MRS DARLING R. She is a young, beautiful woman in evening dress and is coming forward, gaily, when she sees the face at the window.)

MRS DARLING (stopping in alarm): Who are you? (Peter disappears - she runs to window, opens it, looks out, shuts window, crosses slowly). No one there - and yet I felt sure I saw a face. (With sudden alarm.) My children! Are they safe?

(Opens bathroom door. Alex's head is seen over top of bath. He sprays water and calls "Mummy!" She blows kisses to him, shuts bathroom door and calls L. anxiously "Wendy" — "John" Wendy calls unseen "Coming Mother". Mrs D. says "All safe!" Enter WENDY and JOHN, arm in arm, acting grown-up people.)

WENDY (breaking away): Oh Mummy, let me look! The beauty, beauty frock and the lovely mummy.

MRS D.: I'm so glad you like it, Wendy.

JOHN (annoyed at this interruption): You mustn't call her Wendy. We are playing at being you and father. I'm father (imitating father). A little less noise there — little less noise. I can't find my shaving soap anywhere. I put it down just there and it's gone. I never saw such a house.

WENDY *(imitating a mother): Why you foolish dear, it is in your hand.

JOHN: So it is. Very strange thing. Women are so unreasonable. Now let's have a baby. (This in own voice.)

WENDY (in own voice): You tell me, first.

JOHN: I am happy to inform of you, Mrs Darling, you are now a mother.

WENDY: OO! OO! OO! (Jumps with joy.)

JOHN: You missed the chief thing. You haven't asked, Boy or Girl.

WENDY: I'm so glad to have one at all, I don't care which it is.

JOHN: That's just the difference between gentlemen and ladies. Now you tell me.

WENDY: I am happy to acquaint you, Mr Darling, you are now a father.

JOHN: Boy or Girl?

WENDY: Girl. (John straddles legs, puts hands in pockets and is picture of depression) You horrid!

JOHN (sternly): Go on.

WENDY: Boy. (John struts, gloriously.) Mummy, it's hateful of him. (Alex has come from bathroom in his pyjamas and is looking on eagerly.)

ALEX: Now John have me.

JOHN: We don't want any more.

ALEX (plaintively): Am I not to be born at all?

JOHN: Two's enough.

ALEX: Come John — Boy, John.

JOHN: Oh, rot.

ALEX (sadly): Nobody wants me.

MRS D.: I do. I so want to have a third child.

ALEX: Boy or girl?

MRS D.: Boy.

ALEX (in shy rapture): I am happy to inform of you, Mrs Darling, it is a boy.

MRS D.: Oh how I wonder what his name is.

ALEX (shyly): Alexander! (She seizes him in her arms and hugs him — he speaks with grave curiosity) Mummy, how did you get to know me?

(Enter R. MR DARLING in evening dress, except that he is without his coat and carries his white tie, not made up, in his hand.)

MRS D.: Why, what's the matter, Father dear?

DARLING: Mother! The matter is that I'm a desperate man. This tie — it will not tie. Not round my neck. Round the bed-post, oh yes, twenty times have I made it up round the post, but round my neck, no. (With savage politeness to tie.) Oh, dear no, — begs to be excused!

ALEX (delighted with father's funny voice and manner): Say it again, Favver, say it again!

DARLING (with awful politeness to Alex): Thank you! (Mother seizes Alex.) I warn you of this, Mother, that unless this is round my neck we don't go out to dinner tonight and if I don't go out to dinner tonight, I never go to the office again, and if I don't go to the office again you and I starve and our children will be flung out into the streets. (The children weep.)

MRS D. (placidly): Let me try, dear. (She proceeds to tie it round his neck while the children stand around in an agony of suspense — she succeeds.) There!

DARLING (carelessly): Thanks. (The children skip with joy. Darling is now in indulgent good humour.) Little less noise there — isn't it time for somebody to go to by-by? (Lifts Alex on to his shoulders.)

ALEX: I'm bigger than Favver! (Nana appears at bathroom door.)

JOHN: Bother! (Nana comes and undresses him to an extent L.)

MRS D.: And Wendy, it's your time, too, you know.

WENDY: Mummy, couldn't I stay up just a teeny bit longer?

MRS D.: Sweetheart, I want to tuck you all in before I go. (Exit Wendy L.)

ALEX (whom Father has dropped into bed): Look Favver! (Tries to stand on head, fails, but looks up gloriously.)

MRS D.: Alexander! (She tucks him in — then sweetly modest to Mr D.) They are rather sweet, don't you think, Father?

DARLING (stoutly): They are great.

MRS D.: Are you proud of your children, George?

DARLING (patting her fondly): Ah! (On way to bathroom with John Nana strikes against Mr D. He is pettish.) Mother, just look at this! Covered with hairs! It's too bad! (John has gone on to bathroom, but Nana brings a brush in mouth and stands beside Mr D. with it. He takes it a matter of course way. Nana exits into bathroom, slowly, looking round at times and finding Mr D. looking sulkily at her.) Clumsy! clumsy! (Exit Nana with tail between her legs.)

MRS D.: Let me brush you, dear. (Does so.)

DARLING: Mother: I sometimes think it's a mistake to have a dog for a nurse.

MRS D.: George, Nana is a treasure.

DARLING: No doubt, but — I have an uneasy feeling at times that she looks upon the children as puppies.

MRS D.: Oh no, dear, I am sure she knows they have souls.

DARLING (meditatively): I wonder. I wonder, Mary.

MRS D. (anxious): George, we must keep Nana — I shall tell you why. (She signs to him to come further from Alex. Go to fire.)

DARLING: Well?

MRS D.: George, when I came into the room tonight, I saw — a face at the window.

DARLING: A face at the window, four floors up?

MRS D.: It was the face of a little boy — he was trying to get in.

DARLING: Incredible you can't be well, Mary. How many fingers am I holding up? (Holds up a whole hand.)

MRS D. : Five.

DARLING: How many now? (Holds up one finger.)

MRS D.: One.

DARLING: You seem to be all right.

MRS D.: Oh George, this is not the first time I have seen that boy.

DARLING: Who?

MRS D.: The first time was a week ago. I had been drowsing here by the fire when suddenly I felt a draught — as if the window was open. I looked around and saw that boy in the room.

DARLING: In the room?

MRS D.: I screamed. Nana was in her kennel over there, she sprang up and with a fierce bark sprang at him. The boy leapt at the window, Nana pulled it down quickly, but was too late to catch him.

DARLING: I thought so.

MRS D.: Wait. He escaped, but his shadow hadn't time to get out. Down came the window and cut it clean off.

DARLING: Mary, Mary, why didn't you keep that shadow?

MRS D.: I did. I rolled it up, Father, and here it is. (Produces shadow from drawers L down stage. It is dark and made of some material so light that when unrolled it floats. She unrolls it.)

DARLING (examining): Ha! ha! It's nobody I know — but he does look a scoundrel.

MRS D.: I think he comes back trying to get his shadow, George.

DARLING: I daresay — I daresay!

MRS D.: Perhaps I should fling it out of the window?

DARLING: Certainly not! There's money in this, my love. (He puts it back in drawers.) I shall take it to the British Museum tomorrow and have it priced.

MRS D.: Father: I haven't told you quite all, I am afraid to.

DARLING: Little cowardly custard!

MRS D.: The boy was not quite alone. He was accompanied by — I don't know how to describe it — by a ball of light — it was like a flame that had escaped from the fire. Not as big as your hand but it darted about the room like a living thing.

DARLING: That's very unusual. It escaped with the boy?

MRS D.: Yes, Father, what can all this mean?

DARLING (after seeming about to say a profound thing): What indeed. (Bathroom door opens again.)

MRS D.: Don't alarm the children.

DARLING: Not a word. (Nana comes in with a bottle in mouth — John is seen in bathroom enveloped in towel.)

MRS D.: What is that, Nana? (Takes bottle.) Of course, — the medicine. (Returns it to Nana.) Alexander: it is your medicine.

ALEX (in cot): Won't take it. Boo — oo — oo.

MRS D.: My precious, it is to make you well.

DARLING: Be a man, Alexander.

(Nana has put spoon on chair, poured into it from bottle in mouth, & brings spoon in mouth to Alex. John has now disappeared in bathroom.)

ALEX: Won't — won't.

MRS D.: Here's a lovely big chocky to take after it.

ALEX: It's not a very big one.

DARLING: Mother, don't pamper him. Alexander when I was your age I took my medicine without a murmur. I said "Thank you kind parents, for giving me bottles to make me well." (Wendy has come in nightgown and John in pyjamas from bathroom.)

WENDY (quite honestly): That medicine you sometimes take, father, is much nastier, isn't it?

DARLING: Ever so much nastier.

ALEX: Let me see you take it.

DARLING: I would take it, Alexander, with pleasure, just as an example to you my lad, but somehow it has got lost — very annoying.

WENDY (innocently): I know where it is, father, it's beneath your bed.

DARLING: Now who could have put it there?

MRS D.: George!

WENDY: Mummy, come and see. Father I shall bring it to you. (Exeunt Mrs D. and Wendy R.)

DARLING: John it's the most beastly stuff! It's that — — that sticky, sweet kind!

JOHN: It'll soon be over, father. (Wendy runs in with a wine-glass and bottle containing whitish liquid.)

WENDY: I've been as quick as I could.

DARLING (with vindictive politeness): You have been wonderfully quick — precious quick.

WENDY (pouring it into wine-glass and giving it to father and still under impression that father is grateful to her): Now Alexander, you will see how father takes it.

DARLING: Alexander, first.

ALEX: Favver, first.

DARLING (threateningly): It will make me sick, you know.

JOHN: Come on, father.

DARLING: Hold your tongue.

ALEX: Favver, I'm waiting.

DARLING: It's easy to say you're waiting — so am I waiting.

WENDY: I thought you took it quite easily, father.

DARLING: That's not the point — the point is there's more in my glass than in Alexander's spoon. (Fiercely.) And it isn't fair. I say it, tho' it was with my last breath: it isn't fair.

WENDY: Why not both take it at the same time.

DARLING: Certainly. Are you ready, Alexander? One — two (Suspiciously.) I don't believe you're going to take it.

ALEX (with mouth over spoon): I am — I am.

WENDY: One — two — three. (Darling pretends to take it — Alex takes his.)

ALEX: Quickly, chocky! (Wendy gets a chocolate and Nana returns to bathroom where she is seen rinsing spoon.)

JOHN: Father hasn't taken his!

ALEX: Boo — oo — oo! (Weeps.)

WENDY: Oh, Father!

DARLING: What do you mean by "Oh Father"? Stop that row, Alexander. I meant to take mine but — I missed it.

JOHN: You promised.

DARLING: No use my taking it now. (Alex howls.) Stop it! (Craftily.) I say, look here — all of you — I've just thought of a splendid joke! (They are eager.) You see, I shall pour it into Nana's bowl and she'll drink it thinking it's milk (They hang their heads in shame.) What do you mean, you silly little things! (He pours medicine into dog's bowl on floor' it has NURSE printed on it instead of DOG.) What a joke!

WENDY: Darling Nana!

DARLING: To your beds, everyone of you — I am ashamed of you. (They get into their beds — Enter Mrs D. R.)

MRS D.: Well, is it over?

DARLING: All over, mother — quite satisfactory.

ALEX: Favver —

DARLING (aside): Alexander, if you don't tell on me I'll give you a knife on Monday. (Nana comes down.) Nana, good dog! (Pats Nana.) Good old girl. I have put a little milk in your bowl, Nana.

(Nana shakes hands gratefully and licks his hand, then hurries to bowl, begins to lap, breaks away looks reproachfully at Mr D. and goes into kennel. Children ashamed — he turns to brazen it out.)

MRS D.: What's the matter, Nana?

DARLING: Nothing, Nothing!

MRS D. (examining bowl): George, it's your medicine! (Children sob.)

DARLING: It was only a joke. Much good my wearing myself to the bone, trying to be funny in this house. (Nana moans and he is savagely polite to her.) Oh, indeed, you think so do you? You are mighty fine, I suppose! Who has to walk on four legs! Who has no pockets!

WENDY (hugging dog): Father, she's crying!

DARLING: Cuddle her! Nobody cuddles me! Oh, dear no, I am only the breadwinner. Why should I be cuddled? *(Loudly.) Why, why, why?

MRS D.: George, not so loud — the servants will hear you.

DARLING (wildly): Let them. Bring them in, bring in the whole world. I never enter this room but I see her looking at me with the cold eye of disapproval. And why not? says my wife, why not? say my children. Very well, then, the worm turns, and I refuse to allow that dog to lord it in my nursery for one hour longer. (Nana begs to him.) In vain, in vain! The proper place for you is the yard and there you go to be tied up, this instant. (Sensation — the children have arms around Nana.)

MRS D.: George, George, remember what I told you — that boy!

DARLING: Pooh, pshaw! Am I master in this house or is she? Come along, Come! (He wheedles "Good dog" &c — she emerges deceived, he seizes her. Exit R. dragging dog. Agony of children.)

MRS D.: Come, dears, come to by-by. Don't cry. I'm sure father will let Nana come back in the morning. (She carries Alex to bed and the others get into theirs) Wendy, be brave.

WENDY: He's chaining Nana up. (Mrs D. lights three night-lights one at top of each bed — Nana is heard barking.)

JOHN: She's awfully unhappy.

WENDY: That's not Nana's unhappy bark — that's her bark when she smells danger.

MRS D.: Danger! Are you sure, Wendy?

WENDY: Oh yes. (Mrs D. looks out nervously, at window.) Is there anything there, Mama?

MRS D.: All quite quiet and still. Oh, how I wish I weren't going out to dinner.

ALEX : Can anything harm us, Mummy, after the night-lights are lit?

MRS D.: Nothing, precious. They are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children. (She sings lullaby song about night-lights, beginning at foot of Alex's bed, then when he's asleep kissing him and continuing at John's bed, then at Wendy's — all are now asleep.) Dear night-lights that protect my sleeping babies, burn clear and steadfast tonight. (She steals to door R. turns out electric light and exits R. closing door.)

(The room is now dimly lit by night-lights and fire. Pause. Then night-lights go out one by one, a slight noise of window opening is heard. Suspense. Then TIPPYTOE darts in. All that enters under this name is a gleam of light, not much larger than a human finger. It flashes about the room zigzagging hither and thither in air, then it is standing still there is seen as it were within this light a tiny figure of a fairy woman. In actual working it is merely a flash-light that moves about. The little figure is pushed unseen this work to be visible only when light stands still behind it, but the illusion is that the figure is always in the light, a living fairy. Having done this, Tippytoe, which name we shall give to the flame, pops into a vase on cupboard R. upstage. The vase is now vaguely lighted: no figure is seen. Nana is barking excitedly.

Enter at window, PETER PAN, an elfish looking boy in woodland garments, picturesquely ragged. In this scene the lighting must be such that he casts no shadow. A flying wire is attached to him at present, but in the gloom it is not visible. He is of extraordinary quick movements as if made of air. He steals forward, cautiously, on his feet. John moves in sleep. Peter flies for fist time to top of clock where he sits. He then flies and alights on foot of John's bed. Wendy moves. Peter flies behind window-curtains. While here the wire is removed from him — he re-enters, looks about him cautiously.)

PETER (in low tones): Tippy-toe! Tippy, where are you? (A musical tinkle of plaintive little bells is heard in answer. This is Tippytoe's reply in fairy language, which Peter understands.) Oh, there! Do come out of that jug. (Tippy darts out this way and that.) Tippy, do you know where they put it? (Bells reply.) Which big box? (Bells reply.) This one here? (Examining drawers L. down stage.) But which drawer? (Bells reply.) Yes, do show me! (The light darts at a drawer.) Ah! (Peter pulls drawer open, flings other articles on to floor, seizes his shadow and closes drawer, unknowingly with Tippy inside it. With great delight he tries to fix on his shadow to his foot. He fails. He glides to wash-stand, gets soap — returns to hearth-rug, tries to gum on his shadow to his foot with soap, fails, loses hope, wits bowed on hearth-rug, sobbing audibly. This wakens Wendy, she sits up in bed, sees the stranger, gets out of bed and is going to door R. changes mind and crossing goes to Peter who is still sobbing and ignorant that anyone has awaked.)

WENDY: Boy, why are you crying? (Peter jumps up — not frightened, but with the politeness of one addressed by a lady, and lifts his cap to her, keeps it in his hand. She is surprised but pleased by this politeness and curtseys to him.)

PETER: What's your name?

WENDY: Wendy Maria Elizabeth Darling. What is your name?

PETER: Peter Pan.

WENDY: Is that all?

PETER (ashamed): Yes.

WENDY (kindly): I'm so sorry.

PETER (bravely stifling shame): It doesn't matter.

WENDY: Where do you live?

PETER: Second to the right and then straight on till morning.

WENDY: What a funny address!

PETER (tartly): No it isn't.

WENDY: I mean is that what they put on the letters?

PETER: Don't get any letters.

WENDY: But your mother gets letters.

PETER: Don't have a mother.

WENDY (in tragic pity): Oh, Peter!

PETER (with a gulp): Doesn't matter.

WENDY: No wonder you were crying!

PETER: Wasn't crying about that. Was crying because I can't get my shadow to stick on.

WENDY (examining it): It has come off! How awful! Why Peter, you have been trying to stick it on with soap!

PETER (touchily): Well, then?

WENDY: It must be sewn on.

PETER: What's sew?

WENDY: You're dreadfully ignorant.

PETER (hotly): No, I'm not.

WENDY (in matronly matter): I shall sew it on for you, my little man.

PETER (from his soul): Thank you!

WENDY (crossing and now very womanly): But we must have a little more light. (Turns up electric light — brings her housewife.) Sit there. (He sits in chair and she kneels and taking up one foot, proceeds to sew on his shadow.) I daresay it will hurt a little.

PETER: I shan't cry. (He winces a little but is brave. She sews — business.)

WENDY: There! (Peter jumps about making gleeful sounds, then, seeing shadow doesn't properly respond.)

PETER: Wendy, it won't do anything. (Huskily.) Do you think it's dead?

WENDY: I see what's the matter. It's all crinkled from being rolled up. Peter: I shall iron it! (Gets iron from fire, prepares it in business like manner, irons shadow — the heat of it on shadow makes Peter wince, but he knits teeth and endures.) It looks better now. Move about slowly, Peter. (He does so, going up stage.)

PETER: Wendy, I believe it moved its arm!

WENDY: Of course, it would naturally be stiff at first, Peter.

PETER: Oh, it's much better. (He has got towards door L. practising it. Here it is removed, unseen by the audience and the lights are flung so that his real shadow takes its place. As he comes into view of audience it should look as like as possible to the same shadow and he pulls it along without moving arms or head.) It's quite lively, Wendy, I shall make it go up the wall! (He does so but makes it stick where floor and wall meet.) It's stuck!

WENDY: Dear, dear shadow, do climb!

PETER (backing into middle of room): Won't do it.

WENDY: Peter, it might follow mine. (She moves toward wall, with her shadow in front of his.) Come along, that's beautiful. Oh how nicely you move, you clever thing.

PETER (despairing): Stuck again! Wendy, pull it up. (She seems to pull shadow up wall.) Done it! Look at it! Look! (Dances.) I'm clever! Oh, the cleverness of me! (He crows like a rooster once — it seems to come out of him without his knowing.)

WENDY: You conceit! Of course I did nothing!

PETER: You did a little.

WENDY: A little! If I am no use I can at least withdraw. (Bows & with dignity gets into bed and retires beneath the blankets, head and all.)

PETER: Wendy! (He sits on end of bed and cajoles.) Wendy, don't withdraw. I can't help crowing, Wendy, when I'm very pleased with myself. I don't mean to do it. It's just as if a rooster wakes up inside me. Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys.

WENDY (Looking out, gratified): Do you really think so, Peter?

PETER (stoutly): Yes, I do.

WENDY: I think it's perfectly sweet of you and I'll get up again. (They sit together on side of bed, legs dangling.) I shall give you a kiss, Peter, if you like.

PETER: Thank you. (Holds out hand.)

WENDY (aghast): Don't you know what a kiss is?

PETER: I shall when you give it to me. (Not to hurt his feelings she gives him a thimble off her finger, he gravely puts it on his finger.) Now, shall I give you a kiss?

WENDY: If you please. (He gives her button off his clothes.) Peter, I shall wear it on this chain around my neck. (She puts it on chain. Sorry for him.) But oh, Peter, where were you brought up?

PETER: I was never brought up.

WENDY: How sad.

PETER: Doesn't matter. I was born all right, Wendy, in a room like this — long, long ago. (Fearfully.) Not very long ago. I'm quite young. (Eager.) Wendy, say I'm quite a little boy — quick!

WENDY: Yes, of course — but how old are you?

PETER: I don't know — but quite young. Wendy, I flew away!

WENDY: Flew!

PETER: You see I hadn't been weighed. You know babies can fly until they are weighed. That is why mothers are so quick to weigh them.

WENDY: Yes, I know.

PETER: Well, my mother forgot to weigh me.

WENDY (indignant): Oh careless, careless! Why did you fly away, Peter?

PETER (violently agitated): Because I heard Father and Mother talking about what I was to be when I became a man. Wendy, I was frightened. I didn't want to be a man. I want always to be a little boy and have fun. So I flew away, and I lived a long, long time among the fairies.

WENDY (delirious with admiration): Peter! You know fairies!

PETER: I have known millions of them.

WENDY: Oh! Don't you know them still?

PETER: They are nearly all dead now. You see, Wendy, whenever a baby laughs for the first time, a fairy is born, and so there ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl.

WENDY: Ought to be? Isn't there?

PETER (shakes head): You see children know such a lot now. They soon don't believe in fairies, and every time a child says "I don't believe in fairies" there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead. They just crumple up like that. (Bending a finger.)

WENDY: How tragic!

PETER: There's only the one fairy left, now.

WENDY: Only one?

PETER (restlessly): I can't think where she has gone to. (Calls.) Tippy — Tippy!

WENDY (clutching him): Peter, you don't mean to tell me that there is a fairy in this room!

PETER: She was here. (Suddenly.) Wendy, you believe in fairies, don't you?

WENDY: Yes, indeed.

PETER (relieved): I'm glad because if she happened to be your fairy —

WENDY: Oh, how delicious!

PETER: And if you had said you didn't believe in them, she would be lying all crumpled by this time.

WENDY: Oh!

PETER: Tippy! You don't hear her, do you?

WENDY: No, the only sound I hear is — like a tinkle of bells.

PETER: That's Tippy — that's the fairy language. I hear it too! Tippy.

WENDY: It seems to come from over there. (Pointing to drawers L. down stage.)

PETER: Wendy, I believe I shut her up in the drawer. (He opens drawer — Tippy darts out and flashes this way and that and ring talking — ie. ringing bells — in a rage.) You needn't say that. I'm very sorry, but how could I know you were in the drawer.

WENDY: Oh, Peter, if she would only stand still and let me see her.

PETER: She hardly ever stands still. (For a moment Tippy is still and her figure is seen.)

WENDY: I see her! The lovely! (Tippy darts again and disappears.) Where is she now?

PETER: She's behind the basin. (To Tippy, unseen.) Tippy, this lady thinks that perhaps you are her fairy. (Bells reply.)

WENDY: What did she say?

PETER (awkwardly): She's not very polite. She says you are a great ugly girl — and that she's my fairy.

WENDY: Oh!

PETER: You know, you can't be my fairy, Tippy, because I'm a gentleman and you're a lady. (Bells reply.) Oh, indeed!

WENDY: What did she say?

PETER: She said "You silly ass!".

WENDY: Oh! Peter: if you don't live with the fairies now, where do you live?

PETER: I live with the lost children.

WENDY (sitting beside him on same chair at fire — their legs dangle): Who are they?

PETER: They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Never Never Land to defray expenses. I'm Captain.

WENDY: What fun it must be!

PETER: Yes, but we're rather lonely. You see we have no female companionship.

WENDY: Are none of the others girls?

PETER: Oh no — girls you know are much too clever to fall out.

WENDY: Peter, it's perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls. John, there, just despises us. (Peter rises gravely and kicks John out of bed. John continues to sleep on floor.) Peter you wicked! You're not captain here! (Peter is abject — she relents.) After all, he hasn't waked, and you meant to be kind — Peter, you may give me a kiss.

PETER (little bitterly): I thought you would want it back. (Offers the thimble.)

WENDY: Oh, dear! Peter, I don't mean a kiss — I mean a thimble.

PETER: What's that?

WENDY: It's like this. (Kisses him.)

PETER (stolidly): Now shall I give you a thimble?

WENDY: If you please. (He kisses her, pauses, then Tippy darts at Wendy and vanishes. Wendy jumps up, screaming.)

PETER: What is it?

WENDY: It was exactly as if somebody was pulling my hair.

PETER: That must have been Tippy. Never knew her so naughty. (Bells speak.) Oh, is that it?

WENDY: What does she say?

PETER: She says she'll do that to you every time I give you a thimble.

WENDY: But, why?

PETER: Why, Tippy? (Bells.) She says "You silly ass" again.

WENDY: She's very unkind. (Goes further off.) Peter, did you come here to see me?

PETER: I didn't know there was a you. I came to listen at nursery windows.

WENDY: Why?

PETER: To try to hear stories. I don't know any stories. None of us lost boys know any stories.

WENDY: How perfectly awful!

PETER: Do you know why swallows build in houses? It is to listen to the stories. Oh Wendy, your mother was telling you such a lovely story and I do so want to know the end. That's what I came here for.

WENDY: Which story is it?

PETER: The Prince couldn't find the lady who wore the glass slipper.

WENDY: That's Cinderella! Peter, he found her, and they were happy, ever after!

PETER (immensely relieved): I am glad. (He is going.)

WENDY: Where are you going, Peter.

PETER: To tell the other boys. They are so frightfully anxious about Cinderella.

WENDY: Don't go, Peter. I know such lots and lots of stories.

PETER (breathless): Do you! (His hands begin to claw her.)

WENDY: The stories I could tell to the boys!

PETER: Wendy, come with me and tell them.

WENDY: Oh, dear, I can't. Think of Mummy.

PETER: You shall! You shall! (Seizes her.)

WENDY: Let go, Peter Pan. (He does so dejectedly.) Besides, I can't fly.

PETER: It's so easy. Wendy, I'll teach you.

WENDY: How lovely to fly! But tho' I learn, mind you, I won't go away with you.

PETER: You won't be able to help it — it's so delicious to fly.

WENDY: Then I won't learn.

PETER: Oh, Wendy, how we should all respect you. You would tuck us in every night, Wendy. Not one of us has ever been tucked in at night.

WENDY (hesitating): Of course, it's awfully fascinating.

PETER: Wendy, I have just to rub your shoulders, and then you can fly.

WENDY: Oh! Will you teach John and Alexander, also?

PETER (indifferent): If you like.

WENDY: Mind you, I don't promise to go away with you. I don't think there's the least chance of my going.

PETER (craftily): All right.

WENDY (wakening John): John, wake up. There is a boy here who is going to teach us how to fly.

JOHN: Is there? Then I shall get up. (Finds that he is on the floor.) I say, I am up.

WENDY: Alexander, this boy is to teach us to fly. (Nana begins to bark again. Wendy is conscience-stricken.) Nana doesn't want us to learn.

PETER: Hsh! Someone's coming.

JOHN: Out with the light. (He turns it off.) Hide quick!

(Wendy and Peter exeunt L. John and Alex into bathroom. Enter R. HELEN, a servant, holding Nana by collar. Nana growling. They remain near door R.)

HELEN: There you suspicious brute! They are perfectly safe, aren't they! Every one of the little angels sound asleep in bed — Listen to their gentle breathing. (Nana growls.) Now, no more of it, Nana. I warn you if you bark again, I shall go straight for Master and Missus and bring them home from the party, and the, oh, won't Master whip you just! (Tippy darts at her leg.) Oh! Oh! What's that nipping my leg? (Tippy darts at her head.) Oh! Oh! Come along, you growling brute! (She exits, dragging Nana with her — the children emerge — the wires are now attached to them and are invisible in the gloom.)

ALEX: What was it nipped Helen?

PETER: It had been Tippy.

JOHN: Who's Tippy?

WENDY: John, she's a fairy!

JOHN: Oh, rot, there are no fairies. (Tippy darts at him, he staggers back.) Who did that? Who hit me here? (Covering his stomach.)

PETER: It had been Tippy.

JOHN (Tippy darts: staggering again): There it is again.

WENDY: John, quick, say you believe in fairies and then she may stop.

JOHN: I don't. (Gets another whack.) Yes, I do — I do — (The persecution stops.) I say, can you really fly? (Peter flies.) How splendid!

WENDY: Oh, how sweet!

PETER (in ecstasy as he flies): I'm sweet, sweet — oh I am sweet!

JOHN (trying to fly): How do you do it?

PETER: I must rub you, first. (He rubs their shoulders with his.) Now try — try from the bed.

ALEX: Me first!

JOHN (pushing Alex down): Me first! (Tries to launch himself into space — jumps down tamely.)

PETER (flying): Just wriggle your shoulders this way and let them go. (Wendy does as John did — Alex flies a yard.)

ALEX: I flewed! (The three jump on to different beds to practice. Amid the exclamations of delight they begin to be able to fly, at first, awkwardly — then they get better at it.)

JOHN (sailing round): Look at me — look — look!

ALEX: Look at me!

JOHN: I say, why shouldn't we go out!

WENDY: No, no, we mustn't — oh it's heavenly! But we mustn't — that's what he wants, to takes away over the sea.

PETER: There are Pirates!

JOHN: Pirates! Let's go at once.

WENDY: No, John, no.

JOHN: You stay at home — girls are only in the way.

PETER: No, they're not.

JOHN: You like girls? Oh you muff!

ALEX: Muff, muff, muff!

WENDY: Peter, it's sweet of you. (He and she fly together — all circle round.)

PETER: Tippy, Tippy, come along. (Tippy's light darts about and trembles — bells ring, plaintively.) That's Tippy crying!

WENDY: Oh!

PETER: She says she's crying because I am holding your hand. (Bells again.) She says she'll come if I let go your hand.

(Wendy and Peter let go hands. Bell rings gaily.) She's happy now. (All circle round with cries of delight. Tippy's light does as they do. Finally all stream out of window and disappear. Nana has been barking fiercely again. She now bursts through door R. wrecking it: with broken chain attached to her, rushes to window and stands with front feet up, looking out. Mrs D. and Darling have rushed in after her. Darling turns up electric light — all are just in time to see the last of the children disappear.)

MRS D. (distraught): My children! All gone — all gone!

DARLING (equally distressed): Oh, Mother!

MRS D.: They would all have been here if you had left Nana to take care of them! Oh, why do men interfere in the affairs of the nursery! (She half falls, leaning on kennel.)

DARLING (full of remorse): My fault! My fault! Mea culpa — my fault! Mary, from this hour, until my children come back Nana and I change places. She becomes head of the house and I go into the kennel. (He goes into kennel and sits with head out. Nana comes down and stands looking at him.)

CURTAIN

Here appears drawing of The Never Land.

SCENE 2

THE HOUSE THEY BUILT FOR WENDY

The scene is a mysterious Forest, with a river running through it as in diagram. On back cloth another twist of river is seen. The time is a winter evening with a brilliant sunset and all the trees &c are tipped with frost. The river is frozen. The chief trees are marked on diagram. These have practicable hollow trunks, and in each trunk is a little door about two feet high, which, when open shows steps leading downward. All these doors lead to one room beneath the earth, and it has a smoking chimney visible R. in ground.

Curtain rises on SLIGHTLY reclining beside his tree. His door is open — all the others are shut: he wears woodland garments including a red cloak such as charity-children wear and this kind of dress is worn by the others also. All are dressed precisely alike to suggest a charity-school. Slightly is playing melancholy music on a shepherd's reed, and evidently thinks it very beautiful. Rabbits, of real rabbit size, peep out of their holes at him. Two squirrels run up Peter's tree and disappear. A bird large enough to be played by a boy, waddles on and mimics Slightly. He threatens it and it goes. He thinks it is in front of him and stalks it — It is really following him, humorously. Suddenly an eerie wail is heard — it might be of some strange bird. Slightly, alarmed, looks L. down stage, quickly puts a hollow trunk over chimney to prevent smoke coming out, and climbs up his tree and watches in terror. From L. down stage appears TIGER LILY, an Indian girl, and glides to point marked X in diagram, which is a projection, where she stands, a statuesque figure, looking this way and that. She sees marks on the ice that excite her; she makes the cry already heard and OTHER INDIANS, both men and women, glide on, she points to marks — excitement.

TIGER LILY: Palefaces.

SEVERAL: Wah! Wah! Wah! (They examine, on knees &c.)

TIGER LILY: Tiger Lily have war council! (All squat quickly on river in a circle. A pipe is passed around at which each takes one puff.) Me Tiger Lily, you Tiger Lily's braves. Palefaces come, take my land — what me do now? Tiger Lily has spoken. (Sits.)

PANTHER (played by a man): Me Great Big Little Panther. Me heap brave man. Me say: sleep no more, eat no more, drink no more. Kill Paleface scalp hang here. Great Big Little Panther has spoken. (Several shouts of approval &c "Wah — ugh ugh" brandishing of weapons and they dance the war-dance to music of tom-tom. Finally all exeunt up river in single file after Tiger Lily and following tracks. Slightly comes down tree terrified, looks after them. NIBS, wearing skates, rises from brushwood on other side of river. They talk across river.)

SLIGHTLY: Nibs they are following the marks of your skates!

NIBS: Oh, Slightly, they'll scalp me! I would rather be caught by the Pirates than by Redskins. How I wish Peter was back.

SLIGHTLY: What's to be done, Nibs?

NIBS: What would Peter tell us to do? That's the thing to do.

SLIGHTLY: I'm sure Peter would say to me "Go to your tree, Slightly, and hide", and to you, Nibs, go up the river and scout.

NIBS: But I'm frightened.

SLIGHTLY: I'm to obey Peter's orders — you can do as you choose.

(Exit Slightly into his tree. Nibs hesitatingly skates out of sight up river. From R. FOUR PIRATES come into sight. CAPTAIN HOOK is a fearsome, black bearded man, sometimes very fierce and at other times horribly oily in manner. The most dreadful part of him is an iron hook fixed in his right elbow, at which point his arm has been cut off. He can brandish this and grip people with it. STARKEY, his lieutenant, is thin and wizened and all his movements are wriggles. SMEE is an English pirate and CECCO an Italian. Cecco, seeing Nibs disappearing, kneels on river to fire at him with pistol, but Hook grips Cecco with his hook.)

CECCO (groaning): Captain, let go!

HOOK: Put back that pistol first. (Cecco does so and Hook releases him.)

CECCO: It was one of those boys you hate. I could have shot him dead.

HOOK: Ay, and have brought Tiger Lily's Redskins upon us!

STARKEY: That's true. Shall I after him Captain and tickle him with Johnny Corkscrew? (Wriggling cutlass.) Johnny's a silent fellow.

HOOK: Not now. He's only one and I want all the seven. They must live somewhere near here. Scatter and look for them. (Smee and Cecco exeunt R. and L., while Hook and Starkey move towards the trees.) Most of all I want their captain, Peter Pan. T'was he cut off my arm. I've waited long to shake his hand with this. (Brandishing hook.) Oh, I'll tear him!

STARKEY: Yet I've oft hear you say that hook was worth a score of arms.

HOOK: Ay, if I was a mother, Starkey, I'd pray to have my children born with this (indicating hook) instead of that (indicating left hand).

STARKEY: Then why such ill-will to Peter Pan for cutting off your arm?

HOOK: Not for cutting it off, but for what he did with it when t'was off. He flung it, Starkey, to a crocodile that was looking on.

STARKEY: I have often noticed that you, who are afraid of nothing else, have a strange dread of crocodiles.

HOOK: Not of crocodiles, but of that one crocodile. (Agitated.) He liked my arm so much, Starkey, that he has followed me ever since. From sea to sea, he follows the ship, licking his lips for the rest of me.

STARKEY: In a way it's a sort of compliment.

HOOK: I want no such compliments. I want Peter Pan, who first gave the beast its taste for me. (He has been sitting on root that is over chimney.) This seat's hot — it's very hot! (Rises, lifts root, smoke emerges — sensation — then realises situation, points to doors in trees &c — they listen down chimney.)

STARKEY: You hear! They say Redskins passed this way.

HOOK: Ay, but they also say Peter Pan's from home. Call back the men.

STARKEY (whistling for men): What's your plan, Captain?

HOOK: To watch in the wood until they are all in their hole. Starkey, there can be but one room down here, for there's but one chimney. The little fools hadn't the sense to see that they didn't need a door apiece. That shows they've no mother! When Peter has come home and they are hot and excited we'll creep back carrying a pail of ice-cold water. We'll leave it here. They'll drunk it, because having no mother they don't know how dangerous tis to drink cold water when you're hot! They'll die!

STARKEY: It's the wickedest cleverest plot ever I heard of.

HOOK: Shake hands on't Starkey. (Clawing with hook.)

STARKEY (terrified): No, Captain, no! (In the meantime a great crocodile has emerged from side of river and almost reached them.)

HOOK: That's him! That's him! (They rush off up stage R. crocodile slowly after them. TOOTLES comes out of his door and sits gloomily. He is meek and sweet-faced. the TWINS emerge from their tree.)

FIRST TWIN (hearing Tootles groan): What's the matter, Tootles?

TOOTLES: Twin, I'm suffering from severe depression.

SECOND TWIN: What is depression?

TOOTLES: I don't know — that's the awful thing about it. (Enter Slightly from his tree.)

FIRST TWIN: Slightly, Tootles has severe depression.

SLIGHTLY: That's because I told you the Redskins were here.

TOOTLES: No, I don't think they will come back. I think it's because I can't get that poor Cinderella out of my head. I do hope Peter has heard what became of her. (All are sitting.)

SECOND TWIN: I dreamed last night that the Prince found her. (CURLY comes from his tree.)

FIRST TWIN: Twin, I think you shouldn't have dreamt that for I didn't, and I fear Peter will say we oughtn't to dream differently, being twins you know.

CURLY: I have always hoped that the slipper would help the Prince to find her. (They are all seated by this time.)

SLIGHTLY (cynically): How could it, Curly!

CURLY: I don't know.

SECOND TWIN: Poor Cinderella, she was so gay that night at the ball.

TOOTLES: She was so awfully fond of him, Twin.

SLIGHTLY: Perhaps Peter has heard that she married some other body.

TOOTLES: I couldn't bear that. (Sober.) You see, not knowing anything about my own mother, I am fond of thinking that she was rather like Cinderella.

CURLY: All I remember about my mother is that she often said to Father, "Oh how I wish I had a cheque book of my own!" I don't know what a cheque book is but I should just love to give my mother one.

SLIGHTLY: My mother was fonder of me than your mothers were of you.

FIRST TWIN: No, she wasn't.

SLIGHTLY: Yes, she was. Peter had to make up names for you, but my mother had wrote my name on the pinafore I was lost in: "Slightly Soiled" — that's my name. (Gives himself airs.)

SECOND TWIN: H'sh! (All stand up as a distant baying of wild animals is heard from up river.) It's wolves! (They rush towards Tootles' tree, all except Curly who has stolen to river and looked up it.)

CURLY: The wolves! And they're chasing Nibs!

(He runs to the others — the baying increases in volume. Then Nibs appears, skating for his life, down river pursued by at least a dozen wolves — played by boys — He flings himself on bank between Nibs' tree and that of the twins and lies gasping while the wolves snap and growl very close to him.)

NIBS: Save me! Save me!

SLIGHTLY: What should we do?

SECOND TWIN: What would Peter do?

TOOTLES: Peter would look at them through his legs.

CURLY: Let's do what Peter would do.

(All quickly present backs to wolves and look at them through legs. The wolves hang back in alarm. The boys march on them in this position: the wolves back. The boys go then up river after them. The wolves exeunt up river in terror. They come back, cockily, address Nibs from river.)

FIRST TWIN: We've saved you, Nibs. Did you follow the Redskins?

NIBS (taking off skates): Yes, I lost sight of them but I saw a wonderfuller thing, Twin.

SLIGHTLY: What?

NIBS: The loveliest great white bird: it's flying this way.

TOOTLES: What kind of bird, do you think?

NIBS: I know not but it looks so wearied and as it flies it moans "Poor Wendy!"

SECOND TWIN: Poor Wendy?

SLIGHTLY: My name being write upon my clothes, I remember things better than you do and I remember now there are birds called Wendies.

FIRST TWIN: See, it comes — the Wendy comes. How white it is!

SECOND TWIN: The snow is coming with it. (A few flakes begin to fall.)

TOOTLES: Perhaps it's the mother of snow.

CURLY: You are always thinking of mothers.

(Wendy flies on aloft. She may be some other person disguised to look like the actress of Wendy. She flies wearily and undecided like one who has lost her way. She comes from L. upstage and Tippy darts after pecking her viciously — ie. the light makes darts at her.)

CURLY: It's Tippy! Tippy is trying to hurt the Wendy. Hallo, Tippy. (Bells answer.) She says Peter wants us to shoot the Wendy.

NIBS: Let's do what Peter wishes!

SLIGHTLY: Ay, shoot it! Quick, bows and harries! (All disappear into their trees except Tootles who has his bow and arrows on him.)

TOOTLES: Tippy, out of the way, I'll shoot it. (Tootles fires, an arrow is seen in Wendy's chest, she flutters to ground in such a spot that the real Wendy can come on in her place, stagger forward and fall in centre ground between the boys' trees.) Tippy, I've shot the Wendy. Peter will be so pleased with me. (Tippy rings.) Why do you say I'm a silly ass? (Tippy darts out of sight as the boys emerge with bows.) I've killed it. (Slightly is the first to reach the fallen Wendy, he realises what has happened & pulls off his cap. A slight snow is now falling.)

SLIGHTLY: This is no bird. I think it must be a lady!

TOOTLES: A lady!

NIBS: And we have killed her. (Take off hats.)

CURLY: Now I see! Peter was bringing her to us.

SECOND TWIN: A lady — to take care of us at last! And you have killed her!

FIRST TWIN: Oh Tootles!

TOOTLES (huskily): I did it! (Quietly.) Friends, in all these years I have thought of ladies with loving respect and when they came to me in dreams I said "Pretty mother, pretty mother!". But when at last a lady came — I shot her. Oh now may my mother never again come to me, even in my dreams, lest in her heart I see an arrow which I have fired. Friends, goodbye!

FIRST TWIN: Don't go away.

TOOTLES: I must. I am so afraid of Peter.

(He is going L. and is on middle of river when Peter is heard crowing. All cry "Peter!". He appears on other side of river, supporting John and Alex who are both dazed with weariness.)

PETER (grandly, L.): Greeting, my boys!

SEVERAL: (uneasily): Peter.

PETER: I'm back. Why do you not cheer? (They get in front of Wendy to hide her from him.) Why do you stand so? Great news, boys! I have brought at last the thing we've always longed for — a mother for us all!

TOOTLES: Ah me!

CURLY: These sleeping boys? (John and Alex have fallen asleep against him.)

PETER: Are they asleep again? Well, let them sleep, they are dog-weary. They are her brothers and I fell behind her because they clung to me as we flew across the sea. But Wendy — she came this way, have you not seen her? (Coming near Tootles.)

FIRST TWIN: Oh, mournful day!

TOOTLES: Peter I'll show her to you. (They would prevent.) No Twins, back; let Peter see! (Peter sees.)

PETER: Wendy — Wendy! An arrow in her heart! (Is overcome — takes out the arrow — is stern.) Whose arrow?

TOOTLES (on river): Mine, Peter.

PETER: Oh dastard hand! (Raises arrow to use it as dagger.)

TOOTLES (exposing breast): Strike, Peter — strike true. (Wendy's arm rises unseen.)

PETER (whose back is to her): I cannot strike. (Drops arrow.) There's something stays my hand.

NIBS: It's she — the Wendy lady. See her arm. I think she said "Poor Tootles".

PETER: She lives!

SLIGHTLY: The Wendy lady lives.

PETER (holding up the button on chain): See the arrow struck against this. It is a kiss I gave her. It has saved her life!

SLIGHTLY: I remember kisses — let me see it — ay, that's a kiss. (Tippy darts about and the bells ring gaily.)

CURLY: Hear Tippy singing. It's because she thinks the Wendy's dead! Tippy the Wendy lives! (The bells are now sorrowful.) She's crying because the Wendy lives!

PETER: What's that?

FIRST TWIN: She hates the Wendy. She was pecking at her.

SECOND TWIN: It was she cried to us Peter wants you to shoot the Wendy!

PETER: Tippy did that. Then Tippy, listen: I am your friend no more. (Tippy rings sorrowfully.) Begone from me forever. (Tippy rings plaintively.)

TOOTLES: She says she's your fairy.

PETER: If you're my fairy I have you in my power for if you don't go at once I'll say I don't believe in fairies and then you'll drop down dead. (She rings.) Begone, begone! Well not forever but for a whole week. (Tippy flies away ringing mournfully.) Now what should we do with Wendy?

CURLY: Let's carry her down into the house.

SLIGHTLY: Ay, that's what one does with ladies.

PETER: No, no, you mustn't touch her — it wouldn't be sufficiently respectful.

SLIGHTLY: That's what I was thinking.

TOOTLES: But if she lies there, she'll die.

SLIGHTLY: Ay, she'll die. It's a pity but there's no way out.

PETER: Yes, there is. Let's build a house round her!

CURLY: A house?

PETER: Leave all to me. Quick, bring me each the best of what we have. *Gut out house. Be sharp! (All disappear into their trees. Alex totters and it wakes him up.)

ALEX: John, John wake up. Where's Nana, John and Mother?

JOHN (rubbing his eyes): It's true — we did fly! There's Peter! Peter! Is this the place?

PETER: Yes.

ALEX: Where's Wendy?

PETER: Here. (They cross.)

JOHN: Is she asleep?

PETER: Yes.

ALEX: John let's wake her up and get her to make supper for us. (The six emerge from trees, carrying furniture, pieces of walls, etc.) Look at them.

PETER: Curly, take these boys within. Give each a cloak, then see that they help in the building of the house.

JOHN: Build a house?

CURLY: For the Wendy.

JOHN: For Wendy? Why she's just a girl.

CURLY: That is why we are her servants.

JOHN: You — Wendy's servants?

PETER: And you also, henceforth. Away with them. (Curly marches John and Alex into his tree. Peter measures, directs, etc.) Chairs, rugs and a fender first. Then we'll build the walls around them.

SLIGHTLY: Ay, that's how a house is built. It all comes back to me.

(They place things for a house about 4ft by 6ft. The furniture is home made and of quaintly small size and as it is placed Tippy flies back but is waved away by Peter. Among the articles brought is a red umbrella, the covering oblong in shape instead of round and Peter hands it to Alex.)

PETER: Hold this over her till we raise a roof. (Rejects some articles.) These are not good enough for Wendy. How I wish I knew the kind of house that Wendy would prefer.

JOHN: I like them large and showy.

PETER: Then we'll be safe to make it small and modest. (Some are by this time erecting back and side walls.) But the decorations! In London as soon as one style's in it's out, and if you follow it they say you like *at chop houses. Oh how I wish I knew the correct artistic thing for this evening.

FIRST TWIN: Peter, she's moving in her sleep.

TOOTLES: Her mouth opens — oh lovely!

PETER: Perhaps she's to sing in her sleep. Oh Wendy, sing the kind of house you would like to have!

(This part of scene will be written more exactly when the time necessary for building house is known. It will be about five minutes and the scene will be on the following lines. Wendy's song is in three verses and they sing chorus to it and the harmonizing &c. is also in chorus. When she mentions that she likes her room to have green walls, one dashes in with green paint-pot and is busy painting till the building hides him from view. So in other details. She sings of liking flowers outside and they are made — walls with red caps &c. after the way such things have been done in music halls. When she sings of loving to have children playing outside they take this to mean themselves. There are several finishing touches such as a door-knocker which is really the sole of one of Tootles' shoes. A second umbrella put at an angle to first makes red roof. The last touch is the chimney. John has come in his tall Eton hat. The top is knocked in — hat is hoisted on end of house and immediately smoke begins to come out of it. They are delighted with this cleverness — Peter signs that all is complete then he knocks.)

PETER (whispering): Look your best — the first impression is awfully important.

FIRST TWIN: What's impression? (All look their best. The snow has now ceased to fall. The sun is now setting brilliantly. Wendy opens door. All whip off caps.)

WENDY (surprised): Where am I?

SLIGHTLY: Wendy lady for you we built this house!

NIBS: Oh, say you're pleased.

WENDY: Lovely, darling house.

FIRST TWIN: And we're your children.

CURLY: Oh Wendy lady be our mother! (They go on knees, backs to audience.)

WENDY: Ought I? Of course it's frightfully fascinating, but you see I am only a little girl. I have no real experience.

TOOTLES: That doesn't matter. What we so sorely need is just a nice motherly person.

WENDY: Oh dear! You see I feel that's just exactly what I am.

SEVERAL: It is — it is — we saw it at once.

WENDY: Very well, then I shall do my best. (In motherly manner.) 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.

(All follow her into house simpering with happiness. The door is shut and blinds pulled and the house is lit from inside, sun having now set. Far away in wood R. upstage a tiny light moves, as it comes near it proves to be a lamp carried by Captain Hook. He waves it as signal & the other Pirates steal forward, two carrying a pail of water. There is a Skull and Crossbones painted on the pail. There is sensation when they see the house. Hook signs to starkey who peeps through board of house then whispers to Hook.)

HOOK (in reply): They are all there. (Starkey nods.) And Peter too? (Starkey nods.) And all hot and flushed? (Starkey nods.) Then we have them.

STARKEY: No, Captain, no — the game's up. They've found a mother.

HOOK: A mother? Then that water's no use. She won't let them drink it. A mother! Foiled! (All grind teeth.) *I have another plan. That dry grass — pile it here, then we'll set the house afire and smoke them out. When they come running out give them Johnny Corkscrew. But leave Peter Pan to me! (They pile dry grass round house. As they do so some strange cry is heard in the wood that heralds the approach of the Indians. Then silence.)

STARKEY: What was that?

HOOK: Only some night bird. (Strikes light, gives it to Starkey who creeps forward to set fire to grass. He suddenly moans — shows an arrow in his side. The effect got as in Ulysses —) What's the matter? Shot?

STARKEY: The Redskins. (On opposite side of the river the Indians are seen vaguely brandishing weapons. They should be as shadowy as possible.)

SMEE: They're four to one — we're lost. Oh! (An arrow is seen in him.)

HOOK: Back to the ship. Keep together.

(They disappear R. upstage. For a moment they are seen trying to cross river higher up. Indians dart at them. There is a moment's struggle then Pirates fly — Indians pursuing. Indians reappear stealing to house threateningly with tomahawks and knives.)

PANTHER (pointing to house): More Palefaces. Take scalps.

TIGER LILY (after peering in): No men — papooses — little boys. Tiger Lily's braves no scalp little boys. (They put aside weapons.)

PANTHER (after listening): Lil' white squaw tell boys story — lovely story.

OTHERS: Story! Story!

TIGER LILY: Red men sit here listen lovely story. No let Pirates hurt lil' boys. (All hunker and listen round walls.)

PANTHER: Red man come here every night, protect lil' boys and listen white squaw's lovely stories! (All listen delighted.)

OTHERS: Wah! Wah! Ugh! Ugh! (Perhaps also animals come and listen.)

CURTAIN

SCENE 3

A SATURDAY NIGHT

The scene is as it were on two floors. Below — ie. on stage level — is the children's underground house and above is the upper world, viz. the wood, river, little house &c. of Scene 1 of this act. The underground room should be a shallow room to enable gallery &c. to see it, and the action above ground takes place well down stage so that it is visible to front of stalls. The height of underground room and the slope of ground above must be treated with regard to the seeing capacity of the various parts of the house. As no action will take place above ground, except well down stage, the back part need not be strong, but the part actually above room must be strong to support people.

The underground room is an irregular semi-circle with walls of earth and rock kept in place by the roots of the trees in a fantastic manner. Each tree has a door and it is seen that by entering and ascending you would emerge by the door in the same tree above. There are no windows in the walls proper but the roof slopes and in it is one small sky-light window. The room of course occupies the whole breadth of the stage and in L.C. of it stands a hollow tree trunk, the continuation of which above ground is the chimney. In this trunk is fireplace with a great fire burning and in front of it suspended on a string are articles of boys' clothing, such as stockings, shirt, &c. Through the room flows a tiny stream not more than two feet wide. It comes out of back wall with a fall of two feet and exits R. downstage. The effect is got by lighting. In back wall C. at such a height as to be visible from all parts of the house, is a room about two feet square and one foot deep which is at present closed by a little curtain but is really Tippy's bedroom — a sort of doll's room. The room is lighted by night-lights in saucers.

Curtain rises and above are seen a dozen Redskins both men and women sitting in semi-circle and listening through ground to what is going on below. Tiger Lily is conspicuous among them. Down below Wendy and all the boys except Peter are sitting over an imaginary tea. The table is a removable oblong board standing on a tree trunk in the middle of the room and this tree trunk has certain peculiar properties to be explained presently. Wendy wears romantic woodland garments of her own devising and the boys are also quaintly dressed. She is sitting at L. end of table. The seat at R. end is empty. There are rough armchairs. The boys sit around on stools. Curly is on a sort of baby chair next to Wendy. The whole meal is entirely make-believe, there being nothing whatever on the table, but all pretend to eat imaginary food and to drink from imaginary cups. Wendy has the airs of a mother presiding at imaginary tea-tray. All make believe very realistically.

WENDY: Is your mug empty, Slightly darling?

SLIGHTLY: Not quite empty yet.

NIBS: Mummy, he hasn't even begun to drink his milk.

WENDY: Slightly, how very naughty of you. (Slightly takes great gulps and passes up imaginary mug which Wendy fills. John holds up hand.) Well?

JOHN: May I sit in Peter's chair as he's not here?

WENDY: In your father's chair, certainly not.

JOHN: *(bitterly): He's not really our father. He didn't even know how to be a father till I showed him.

WENDY: John! (Tootles holds up hand.) Well dear?

TOOTLES (rising as if to make a speech): I don't suppose I could be father?

WENDY: No, Tootles.

TOOTLES: As I can't be father, I don't suppose Curly you would let me be baby.

CURLY: No I won't.

TOOTLES: As I can't be baby do you think I could be a twin?

FIRST TWIN: Not you. It's awfully difficult to be a twin.

TOOTLES: As I can't be anything important, would any of you like to see me do a trick?

BOYS: No.

TOOTLES (sweetly but sadly): I hadn't really any hope. (Resumes seat.)

SECOND TWIN: Alexander is coughing on the table.

ALEX: The twins began with cheese-cakes.

NIBS: Curly is taking both butter and honey.

CURLY: Nibs is speaking with his mouth full.

WENDY: Oh dear, oh dear, I'm sure I sometimes think that youngsters are to be envied. Alexander, we are waiting for you. (Alex goes to her side.)

ALEX (simply): Here a little child I stand

Heaving up my either hand

Cold as paddocks though they be

Here I lift them up to thee

For a benison to fall

On our meat and on us all. Amen.

WENDY (rising): Now you may clear away. Slightly bring me my work basket. (While the others are clearing she goes to chair by fire where Slightly brings her a great basket full of stockings. She lifts a pile.) And every heel with a hole in it!

(She sits happily darning while the boys skip about as light as fairies putting away imaginary dishes, folding up imaginary table-cloth, &c. They also lift the table-board and stools out of the way. Then they get rid of the tree-trunk which formed support of table by pushing it down. It collapses like a concertina or opera hat but is very stiff and once it springs up sending two boys on top of it, sprawling. At last they get it level with the ground and put a bolt in. During this silent scene an incident takes place above. Peter enters from L. carrying gun and game-bag and the Indians prostrate themselves before him.)

PETER (a little lordly in manner): The Great White Father is glad to see the Piccaninny Warriors protecting his wigwam from the Pirates.

SEVERAL OF INDIANS: Wah! It is good.

TIGER LILY: These Tiger Lily's braves. Me Tiger Lily.

PETER: Yes, lady, the Great White Father knows that these are your braves.

TIGER LILY: Me great lady — you great man.

PETER: Yes, I know.

TIGER LILY (devoted to Peter): Sometimes Injin girl runs into wood, Injin brave runs after her — Injin brave catch her. Then she Injin brave's squaw. Is it not so? (To Indians.)

INDIANS: Ugh! Ugh!

TIGER LILY: If Paleface runs after Injin girl — catch her — then she Paleface's squaw.

INDIANS: Ugh! Ugh!

TIGER LILY: Suppose Tiger Lily runs into wood — Peter Paleface catch her — what then?

PETER (bewildered): Paleface can never catch Indian girls they run too fast.

TIGER LILY: If Peter Paleface chases Tiger Lily she no run very fast — she tumble in a heap — what then? (Peter puzzled. She addresses Indians.) What then?

AN INDIAN: She him's squaw.

ALL: Wah! Ugh! Ugh!

PETER: The Great Father of the Palefaces doesn't quite understand what you mean. Are you wanting to be my mother, Tiger Lily?

TIGER LILY: No mother!

PETER: Then I don't understand you. Goodnight Tiger Lily. Goodnight braves. (Tiger Lily is disconsolate. Peter goes into tree.)

PANTHER (distressed because Tiger Lily is weeping): Tiger Lily's braves bring Paleface back? (Lifting weapon.)

TIGER LILY: No — no, hurt him. Him no understand — Tiger Lily explain more clear next time.

INDIAN: Huh! (Meaning that something is happening beneath. All listen. Wendy has started up.)

WENDY: Children, I hear your father's step! He likes you to meet him at the door.

(All boys except John and Alex run to door and meet Peter entering below by his tree. He has the manner of a cheery father returning from the day's toil.)

ALL: Dad, Dad!

PETER: You rogues! No, I won't let one of you into my pockets till I know whether you have been good boys.

SEVERAL: We have. We have.

PETER: Then in you go! (Several get fruit from his pockets.)

WENDY (standing smiling at fire): Peter, you just spoil them, you know.

PETER (laying aside gun and bag and going to her): Ah, old lady.

JOHN (to Alex): It was me told him mothers are called old lady.

PETER: Got a thimble for me little woman? (Kisses her.)

ALEX (to John): It was me told him they are called little woman.

FIRST TWIN: Father we want to dance.

PETER: Dance away, my little man.

FIRST TWIN: But we want you to dance.

PETER: Me? My old bones would rattle.

NIBS: And Mummy too.

WENDY (scandalized): A pretty figure I should cut dancing! A mother of such an armful dance!

SLIGHTLY: But on a Saturday night?

WENDY (hesitating): Of course, it is Saturday night, Peter?

PETER: People of our figure, Wendy?

WENDY: But it's only among our own progeny.

PETER: True, true! But mind you, you must all promise to go to bed immediately afterwards.

ALL: We promise.

PETER: Well, well, well.

NIBS: We'll sing, too.

WENDY: But what?

NIBS: "Of all the girls that are so smart" and mother, you'll be Sally.

(They sing, either an original song or Sally in our Alley, different ones singing different verses with business of marching and dancing between verses. Above the Indians join in the music *being from their tom-toms and Tiger Lily sings a verse of Sally in Indian. The children below listen and join in and all ends in dance both above and below at end of which all exeunt into trees except Peter and Wendy, while the Indians suddenly become solemn again. Wendy and Peter still feeling themselves an aged couple have returned to fire, Peter sitting in nook on L. of it.)

WENDY: And now, Peter, your slippers. (She affects to take off his boots and put on his slippers.) And your pipe, Peter: I love to fill it. (She fills imaginary pipe, gives it him, holds a real lighted paper and he affects to light and smoke with enjoyment. She sits with darning in the other nook by the fire.)

PETER: Ah, old lady, there's nothing pleasanter of an evening when the day's toil is over than to sit by the fire with one's smiling missus in the opposite chair and the little ones clustering round me.

WENDY (beaming): It is sweet. Peter, isn't it! Peter, I think Curly has your nose.

PETER: Nibs takes after you.

WENDY: Dear Peter, with such a large family, of course I have now passed my best, but you don't want to change me, do you? We are an old couple now, Peter, but am I still your Jo?

PETER: Always my Jo, Wendy.

(Sitting by the fire, Wendy sings the first verse of John Anderson, My Jo John, and Peter sings the second verse, changing the word John to Jean. Up above the Indians in couples, a woman and a man in each, go through the pantomime of the scene. When the song finishes Peter moves away, looking scared as if he had wakened up.)

WENDY (going to him): Peter, what is it?

PETER: I was just thinking — it's only make-believe, isn't it, that I'm their father.

WENDY (pained): Oh, yes.

PETER: You see it would make me so old to be their real father.

WENDY: But they are ours, Peter, yours and mine.

PETER (anxious): But not really.

WENDY (bravely): Not if you don't wish it — you know, Peter, everybody grows up, except clowns.

PETER: Then I want to be a clown. How can one become a clown, Wendy?

WENDY: I'm not sure. I think if you are funny too long, you just can't help becoming a clown.

PETER: It sounds easy.

WENDY: But it's not very dignified and oh Peter I have other views for you. Peter what are your exact feelings for me?

PETER: Those of a devoted son, Wendy.

WENDY: I thought so. (Crosses sadly to fire.)

PETER: You love me as a mother, don't you?

WENDY: If that's all you wish, Peter.

PETER: All I wish? What could be nicer, Wendy, than to be my mother?

WENDY: Oh Peter!

PETER: You're so puzzling. Tiger Lily's just the same. There's something she wants me to be, but she says it's not my mother.

WENDY: No, it isn't. Indeed it isn't. (Tiger Lily is listening eagerly.)

PETER: Wendy, what is it you want me to be?

WENDY: That's a question no gentleman ought to put to a lady.

PETER (huffily): Oh, very well. Perhaps Tippy will tell me.

WENDY (with spirit): Oh yes, Tippy will tell you. She has no scruples. She hugs you openly, though she can't go a twentieth part of the way round — Tippy's an abandoned little creature. (Tippy darts about.)

PETER: She has been listening. (Tippy rings.) She says she knows she's an abandoned little creature and that like a true woman, she glories in it. I suppose she means that she wants to be my mother. (Tippy rings "You silly ass" which the audience can now understand for itself.)

WENDY (with spirit): I almost agree with her! (Peter is hurt. Tippy darts at Wendy and evidently pinches and pulls her hair.) Oh! Oh! Oh!

PETER: Stop it Tippy. I'm very angry. Go to bed at once, you're in disgrace. (Tippy rings defiantly.) But you shall go! (Pulls curtain of recess open disclosing Tippy's room.) Come! Do you hear. (Tippy at last flies into recess and curtains are pulled from inside as if she were in a passion. The children all come running in wearing pyjamas.)

NIBS: Now Mums you promised to tell us a story as soon as we got to bed.

WENDY: I may be wrong, children, but as far as I can see you are not in bed yet.

SEVERAL: The bed! The bed!

(Rushing about like gay sprites they bring the bed into view. This is done by releasing ropes and pulling it down from ceiling, which would be the best way, or it is pulled out from wall. But whichever it is, it must come as a surprise to the audience, who have been unaware of its existence. It is on R. of stage and all except Peter and Wendy jump into it. It is large enough to hold the eight packed like sardines. Wendy takes a stool beside them, but Peter remains thinking by fire though sometimes the interest of the story draws him forward. The Indians listen to the story through the ground, entranced.)

CURLY: I do hope there will be a mother in the story.

WENDY: Quiet, Curly. Well, there was once a gentleman —

CURLY: I had rather he had been a lady.

NIBS: Do be quiet, Curly, how could a gentleman be a lady?

WENDY: You mustn't interrupt. And there was a lady, also.

CURLY: Oho, there was a lady.

FIRST TWIN: Excuse me interrupting you, Mummy, but you say there was a lady. You mean that there is a lady also, don't you? (Anxiously.) She's not dead, is she?

WENDY: Oh, no.

TOOTLES: I'm awfully glad she's not dead. Are you glad, John?

JOHN: Of course I am.

TOOTLES: Are you glad, Slightly?

SLIGHTLY: Rather!

TOOTLES: Are you glad, twins?

SECOND TWIN: We are just glad.

WENDY: Oh, dear!

PETER: Little less noise there.

WENDY: The gentleman's name was Mr Darling, and her name was Mrs Darling.

JOHN: I knew them.

ALEX: I think I knew them.

WENDY: They were married, you know, and what do you think they had.

TOOTLES: It's awfully puzzling.

WENDY: They had three descendants.

SLIGHTLY: What's descendants?

WENDY: Well, you are one.

SLIGHTLY (conceited): You hear that Twins? I am a descendant.

JOHN: Descendants are just children.

CURLY: I had rather they had been white rats.

WENDY: Well, they are descendants also, almost everything's a descendant. Now these three children had a dear faithful nurse called Nana, but Mr Darling was angry with her so he chained her up in the yard and so all the children flew away.

NIBS: It's an awfully good story.

WENDY: They flew away to the Never Never Land where the lost children are.

CURLY (excited): I just thought they did — I don't know how it is, but I just thought they did.

TOOTLES: Oh Wendy was one of the children called Tootles?

WENDY: Yes, he was.

TOOTLES: Am I in a story? Slightly, I'm in a story! Wendy, tell us what Tootles did, tell us what Tootles said, tell us what Tootles was like!

WENDY: No, I want you to consider the feelings of the unhappy parents with all the children flown away. Oh think of the empty beds! Oh think of the poor Mummy! Oh think!

FIRST TWIN: It's awfully sad.

SECOND TWIN: I don't see how it can have a happy ending, do you Nibs?

NIBS: I'm frightfully anxious.

WENDY: If you knew how great is a mother's love you would have no fear.

CURLY: I do like a mother's love. Do you like a mother's love, Slightly?

SLIGHTLY: I do just.

WENDY: You see our heroine knew that the mother would always leave the window open for her children to fly back by. So they stayed away for years, and had a lovely time.

FIRST TWIN: Did they ever go back?

WENDY: Let us now take a peep into the future. Years have rolled by, and who is this elegant lady of uncertain age, alighting at London station?

NIBS: Oh Wendy, who is she?

WENDY: Can it be — yes — no — it is — the fair Wendy! Who are the two noble, portly figures accompanying her — now grown to man's estate? Can they be John and Alexander? They are! "See, dear brothers," says Wendy, pointing upward. "There is the window still standing open. Ah now we are rewarded for our sublime faith in a mother's love." So up they flew to their Mummy and their Daddy, and pen cannot describe the happy scene over which we draw a veil. (Peter who has come forward, listening intently, now gives utterance to a cry — Wendy goes to him.) Peter, what is it? (He gulps.) Peter, where is it? (Feeling him like a mother searching for the seat of pain.)

PETER: It isn't that kind of pain.

WENDY: Then what — oh what is it?

PETER: Oh Wendy, you are wrong about mothers. Long ago I thought, like you, that my mother would always keep the window open for me, so I stayed away for years, and then I flew back but the window was barred, for Mother had forgotten all about me, and there was another little boy sleeping in my bed.

JOHN: Wendy, let's go home!

WENDY: Are you sure mothers are like that?

PETER: Yes.

WENDY: John, Alexander! (Clutching them.)

FIRST TWIN: You are not to leave us, Wendy!

WENDY: I must.

NIBS: Not tonight?

WENDY: I'm frightened to stay another moment. Peter, will you make all the necessary arrangements?

PETER (huskily): If you wish it.

(He exits and is seen emerging on top and arranging things with the Indians who have followed all the incidents below with as much interest as the children.)

TOOTLES: If there is anything we could do, Wendy, to make you more comfortable.

CURLY: We would darn our own stockings, Wendy.

SLIGHTLY: We would build you a bigger house.

WENDY: I love my little house!

FIRST TWIN: It will be worse than before she came!

SLIGHTLY: We shan't let her go!

NIBS: Let's keep her prisoner.

FIRST TWIN: Let's chain her.

SECOND TWIN: Wendy it's because we love you so. (They are threatening.)

WENDY: Oh back! Tootles, I appeal to you.

TOOTLES (much moved): I'm just Tootles and nobody minds me much. But the first who does not behave to Wendy like an English gentleman, I will blood him severely. (Draws knife.) What are you, Slightly.

SLIGHTLY: English gentleman.

TOOTLES: What are you, Nibs?

NIBS: English gentleman.

TOOTLES: What are you, Curly?

CURLY: English gentleman.

TOOTLES: What are you, Twins?

TWINS: English gentlemen.

WENDY: Dear, dear boys! (Peter re-enters.)

PETER: Wendy, I have asked the Redskins to guide you through the wood as flying tires you so.

WENDY: Thank you, Peter.

PETER: They will put you into a boat when you come to the sea and Tippy will take it it to London. Wake her, Nibs.

NIBS (knocking at side of recess): Tippy! Tippy! You are to get up and take Wendy on a journey. (Bells.) She says she won't.

PETER (at curtain): Tippy if you don't get up and dress at once I shall open the curtains and then we shall all see you in your negligée. (Bells.) She says she's getting up.

WENDY: Dear ones, I have had such a splendid thought. If you will all come with me, I feel almost sure I can find your mothers for you!

SEVERAL: Oh! Oh!

WENDY: You see I know a good deal about them already. They are the loveliest mothers in the world — you all say you remember that.

TOOTLES: Mine was lovely. What was yours like, Nibs?

NIBS: Lovely. What was yours like, Curly?

CURLY: Lovely. What was yours like, Twins?

TWINS: Lovely. What was yours like, Slightly?

SLIGHTLY: Lovely.

WENDY: That will be a help. I shall gather all the loveliest mothers and then watch them, and if they do the slightest thing wrong they are not your mothers, but if they do anything just so, then they are your mothers.

SECOND TWIN: Oh, Peter, can we go?

PETER: All right!

TOOTLES: Let's put on our blacks — first impressions are so important.

WENDY: No, your mothers will excuse your pyjamas, but there is one thing you must all bring: the baby clothes you were lost in.

SLIGHTLY: Let's make parcels of them! (All exeunt by different doors except Wendy and Peter.)

WENDY: Get yours too, Peter.

PETER: But I'm not going with you, Wendy.

WENDY: Yes, Peter.

PETER: Oh no.

WENDY: Peter, to find your mother.

PETER (frightened): No — no — perhaps she would say I was old, Wendy! I just want you to be my mother.

WENDY: Your mother! Oh dear!

(All the children come bounding back, each carrying a stick over shoulder with bundle tied in handkerchief on it. John and alexander have no bundles.)

NIBS: They are in our handkerchiefs, Wendy.

WENDY: But — but Peter isn't coming!

SEVERAL: Peter not coming?

PETER: No. Now then, no fuss — no blubbering. Are you ready, Tippy? (Tippy pulls back curtains and flies out ringing.) Lead the way.

(Tippy exits at Peter's door but does not appear above. In the meantime the Pirates — about a dozen of them have crept unseen upon the Indians and suddenly the air is full of cries as the two parties engage in mortal conflict with cutlasses and tomahawks. Consternation below.)

TOOTLES: It must be the Pirates!

PETER: The Indians are fighting them. I must help them!

WENDY: Peter, don't leave me!

SEVERAL: Don't leave us, Peter!

(Peter with drawn knife stands ready to defend all. They listen breathlessly. The fight is grim and realistic and Capt. Hook's hook plays a prominent part but soon it is over. The Indians wounded &c, fly away R. Pirates remain victorious. There is sudden stillness — Pirates sign caution and listen to what is going on below.)

PETER: It's over!

WENDY: But who has won?

SLIGHTLY: If the Pirates have they will attack us!

PETER: H'sh! If the Indians have won they will beat the tom-tom. That's always their sign of victory. Listen! (Hook signs triumphantly to Starkey who brings him tom-tom flung down by Indians. Hook beats it.) The tom-tom! An Indian victory.

ALL (below): Hurrah! Hurrah!

PETER: You are quite safe now Wendy for the Redskins will guide you safely. Boys, goodbye, I hope you will like your mothers. Wendy. (He breaks down.)

HOOK (whispering): A man to every tree.

STARKEY: Shall we give them Johnny Corkscrew?

HOOK: No. Gag them and take them to the ship. (At a sign a man steals to each tree.)

PETER (to boys): All turn away your faces so that you can't see your Captain crying. (They do so.) Goodbye Wendy. (Kisses her.)

WENDY: Peter, you will remember about changing your flannels, won't you?

PETER: Yes.

WENDY: And that is your medicine, you know. (Pointing to bottle.)

PETER: I won't forget it.

WENDY: I shall sometimes come back to see you, Peter.

PETER: You will never come back.

WENDY: You will sometimes come to my window, won't you?

PETER: Sometimes, but I shall never let you know I'm there.

WENDY: Peter, what are you to me? You are my — what?

PETER: Your son, Wendy.

WENDY: Oh! Goodbye.

(All exeunt by various trees leaving Peter alone. He sits gloomily, head in hand. As each emerges he is seized by Pirates, gagged and thrust into the little house and door locked. The children get out of house at back unknown to audience and the house, for a reason presently to be seen, has now a floor. Peter, unaware of what has happened above, locks all the doors, pours his medicine into glass and puts it near bed but forgets to take it. He puts out all lights except one near bed, gets into bed sadly and sleeps. Hook signs to his men and they go down trees trying to get Peter and rattle the lower doors but can't open them. Hook's right arm and hook are inserted at window, clawing for Peter, but just fail to reach him. Cecco appears on tip carrying a tin cup.)

STARKEY: What's that?

CECCO: Ice-cold water — the captain wants it for Peter Pan. (Disappears at back.)

STARKEY: I see! The captain's to pour it into his medicine-glass Peter will drink it for he has no mother now, and the boy, who when he's flushed drinks cold waters, dies. It works like poison.

(Hook is seen through window emptying medicine glass and pouring cold water into it. He reappears above exulting, signs to his men, four of them lift the little house like a sedan chair and exeunt all Pirates carrying it L. The crocodile appears R. and exits after them L. There is a cautious tapping at Peter's door below.)

PETER (waking up): Who's that? (No answer — then a knock.) Is anyone there? (Silence — then more knocking.) I won't open unless you speak. (Silence — knocking. He gets pistol — cautiously opens door and Tippy darts in ringing. It should be noticed that Tippy has not emerged at top. She rings excitedly.) What? The Redskins were defeated and Wendy and the boys have been captured by the Pirates! Oh! Oh! I'll rescue her — I'll rescue her. (Rushes about getting weapons. Tippy rings.) What? Oh it's just my medicine. (Bells.) Poisoned? Nonsense! Who could have poisoned it? I promised Wendy to take and I'm going to as soon as ever I've sharpened my dagger. (He is sharpening it on a revolving grindstone. Tippy darts to glass and is seen apparently drinking it but the poison really goes down stem.) *No then, Tippy you've drunk my medicine. (Tippy darts about strangely.) What's the matter with you? (Bells.) It was poison! You drank it to save my life? Tippy, dear Tippy are you dying? (Tippy flies to her little room and to bed — rings feebly.) She's dying! (To audience.) Her light's growing faint and if it goes out that means she's dead. Her voice is so low I can scarcely tell what she's saying. (Weak bells — he runs between her and audience.) She says she thinks she could get well again if children believe if fairies. Do you believe? Say quick that you believe! (The light has been flickering but now children in audience are expected to begin to demonstrate.) Wave your handkerchiefs so that she may see you believe — Don't let Tippy die. The light's getting stronger — wave, wave, wave. She's much better. She's all right now — oh thank you, thank you , and now to rescue Wendy!

(He puts a mask over his face, rushes upstairs and off L. looking for track. Tippy darts about gaily, ringing in bell language the air of Sally in our Alley then darts upstairs and off L.)

CURTAIN

SCENE 4

THE PIRATE RIVER

Curtain rises on a scene shrouded in mist and as this slowly breaks the scene is disclosed as a mysterious river of the South American kind. The river — which should perhaps be red — flows slowly and sullenly from R. to L. It is not real water but merely an effect of lighting, and the direction of the flow is indicated by drift-wood, broken water plants, &c. The river is nearly the whole depth of the stage but not quite. On the far bank is practical ground much covered by reeds &c. Beyond this — on back cloth — is the boundless, gloomy forest. On the near bank of river is also a strip of practical ground with reeds &c growing on it, and at L. and R. two trees whose branches meet high overhead, and from these hang *parasticial growth, through which — it merely consists of long, thin, dangling streamers — the audience looks upon the river. In the water, near centre of stage a tree is growing, from which a branch stretches to the far bank, and this branch is strong enough for certain feats that are to be performed on it. To help certain business, two clumps of grass are growing in the water, and on the clump near this tree, a great bird has a nest on which it is sitting at rise of curtain. This bird is played by an actor, supported by flying wires. Water lilies of great size grow in the other clump. The time is evening. A deadly stillness pervades the scene and not a sound should be heard except when especially indicated.

Among the brushwood on far side of river, some wolves are seen passing. The effect here will be increased the more vaguely the animals are seen — half hidden by the undergrowth, stealing about like shadows, &c. After they disappear a lion comes and drinks. The great bird flies away down river, out of sight. A snake which has been twined round the tree growing in water drops into river with a soft plop and disappears. The lion goes away. A crocodile's head rises near second clump of grass and disappears. From L. a raft comes into view lit by a pirate lantern. In the front are piled like a load of merchandise, all the boys gagged. In the stern sits Capt. Hook with Wendy gagged. Starkey is punting. Hook whistles as a signal and Cecco appears on near bank and Smee on far bank. Hook signs to them to hide and the raft goes on out of sight. Smee disappears on his bank, but Cecco crouches in reeds partly visible to audience. The great bird flies up river and out of sight. Suddenly and with no warning to the audience, a jaguar which has been, unknown to them, crouching in tree on near side of river, leaps upon Cecco. They disappear together, presumable into water. There is no scream from Cecco, all is stillness.

Peter in a small boat with sails appears L. He is wearing his mask and the reason for the mask is that his place is now taken by a substitute who passes to the audience as Peter who is really a gymnast. As he appears a crocodile raises its open mouth, barring the way and Peter saves himself by leaping and catching the branch overhanging river, to which he hangs. The bow of the boat goes into crocodile's mouth which breaks it in pieces. The bits of boat are borne backwards out of sight, crocodile sinks in river and Peter works his way along branch to far side of river and alights on ground. He disappears for a second in wood and reappears. This is to let the real Peter take his place. Tiger Lily appears L. standing erect, paddle in hand, in bark canoe.

PETER: H'sh!

TIGER LILY: Peter Paleface! (She brings canoe close to bank on far side.)

PETER: The heart of the Great White Chief is sad, for he has lost his boat.

TIGER LILY: Sad is the heart of Tiger Lily for the Pirates have killed many of her braves. (She lands.) Wah-wah-wah. (This is a dirge for the dead. Peter takes her hand. She becomes cheerful.) Us no be sad no more. Tiger Lily with Peter Paleface — Peter Paleface with Tiger Lily — now we rub noses. (Does so.) Now us dance with joy!

PETER: Not till I save Wendy! (She stamps angrily.) Will Tiger Lily give the Great White Chief her canoe that he may rescue Wendy?

TIGER LILY: Tiger Ligly take Peter Paleface in her canoe.

PETER: Oh, thank you, Tiger Lily — I'll rub noses again. (They do so.)

TIGER LILY: Tiger Lily takes Peter Paleface in her canoe that way. (Pointing L.)

PETER: No, the Pirates took her that way. (Pointing R.)

TIGER LILY: This Wendy. (Pointing to herself.)

PETER: No, you're not.

TIGER LILY (cajoling): Tiger Lily wants to be your Wendy! Peter Paleface come with me, be Great Indian White Chief, and this (pointing to her self) your squaw.

PETER: Deserrt Wendy? Never!

TIGER LILY (fiercely): No let Wendy have you! (Claps hands, two Indians appear on far bank.) Tie him tree. (They seize Peter and tie him to tree, threaten, dancing round him with tomahawks.)

INDIANS: Have him's scalp?

TIGER LILY: Go — wait. (They disappear down bank.) Tiger Lily loves Peter Paleface.

PETER: You have a queer way of showing it.

TIGER LILY: This Indian girl's way. Me cut cord if you come with me.

PETER: Never!

TIGER LILY: Me scalp you myself if you no nice to me!

PETER: I don't care. Wendy is my only mother.

TIGER LILY: Then Tiger Lily leave you here — you starve or else wild beasts come eat you — little bit here, little bit there.

PETER: Whatever happens I'll be true to Wendy! (She meditates tomahawking behind him but eventually goes away in canoe, back the way she had come. The cries of wild beasts are now heard in distance. Then Tippy comes into view L. darting up river — Peter sees her.) Tippy! (She darts to him, ringing.) Tippy, Tippy, do you think your little teeth could bite through these cords? (Tippy alights on cords and is seen moving about them. The cries of beasts increase — Peter is soon free.) Dear, dear Tippy! (Bells.) I can't tell you now, but come into my pocket, & I'll tell you as we go.

(Tippy gets into his pocket. He rushes off R. but immediately reappears — it is the substitute who comes now — evidently pursued. He springs on the branch and works his way along it to the tree in the middle of stream. He is pursued by Smee, knife in mouth, and a chase among the trees takes place. When Smee is out of sight, Peter comes down the trunk, in river, and leaps onto grass where great nest is. There are three eggs in it. he puts his hat on grass, puts eggs in it, gets into nest, and with a stick he finds there, punts himself off with difficulty R. out of sight and uttering a crow. The great bird flies back and sits on hat.

Mist again falls. Now is heard drawing near a rabble of wicked song and music, which, when the mist clears, is seen to come from the pirate ship whch now occupies most of the stage. It is as far back as possible to allow there being some of river between it and the near bank. Not all of it is seen, as the stern is out of sight L. The ship — to be described in full afterward — is an evil looking rakish craft and its side is presented to audience. Level with the stage is R. the bow of the ship and C. the cabin which is open to the audience's view — ie. there are no windows to it. Also L. is a hold which is closed to view. A door from cabin leads into it. It has a small round window space facing audience, but through this nothing can be seen save blackness. Above cabin and hold and stretching L. out of sight is upper deck. It is reached by a ladder from bow. The ship is flying the Skull and Crossbones. On deck Starkey is keeping watch and two Pirates loll about. At bow are a number of Pirates singing to accordian played by COOKSON, a pirate. Others play cards. In cabin Capt. Hook seated at small table with two Pirates beside him is questioning the eight boys whose hands & legs are tied but mouths free.)

HOOK (starting up & threatening singers): Quiet, you dogs, or I'll cast anchor in you! (Raising hook — they are very afraid of him & stop singing, but the card playing goes on —he returns to boys.) Now then, I've told you, six of you walks the plank this night, but I have room for two cabin-boys — which of you is it to be?

TOOTLES: You see, sir, I don't think my mohter would like me to be a pirate, would your mother like you to be a pirate, Slightly?

SLIGHTLY: I don't think so. Would you mother like you to be a pirate, Twin?

FIRST TWIN: I don't think so. Nibs, would you mother — —

HOOK: Stow this gab! You boy (to John) you look as if you had a little pluck in you. Didst ever want to be a pirate, my hearty?

JOHN: When I was at school I rather wanted to be a pirate. I thought of calling myself Red Handed Jack.

HOOK: And a good name too. We'll call you that here, Bully, if you join.

JOHN: Alexander, what do you think?

ALEX: What would you call me if I join?

HOOK: You should be Blackbeard Joe.

ALEX: John, what do you think?

JOHN: Shall we still be loyal subjects of King Edward?

HOOK: You would have to swear, "Down with King Edward".

JOHN (banging table): Then I refuse.

ALEX (banging table): And I refuse.

TOOTLES (excitedly): Rule Britannia. (Pirates buffet him.)

HOOK: That seals your doom. (To pirate.) Bring in their mother. (Exit pirate into hold L.) Get the plank ready. (To those at bow.)

BOATSWAIN: Ay, ay, sir — tumble up, you lubbers. (Several hurry up ladder to deck, and get plank ready — It protrudes from deck towards audience — Wendy is brought into cabin from hold.)

ALEX (running to her): Wendy! (All boys gather round her for protection.)

WENDY: You wicked man, why have you sent for me?

HOOK: I thought, my hearty, you would like to say goodbye to your cubs.

WENDY: Are they to die?

SECOND TWIN: Wendy, he is to make us walk the plank.

WENDY: What's that?

JUKES: She don't know what it is, Captain!

MULLINS: Here's ignorance!

JUKES: Shall I take her up on deck and then she'll see Johnny Plank?

HOOK: Ay, but silence, first, for a mother's last words to her children.

WENDY: These are my last words. Dear, dear boys, I feel that I have a message to you from your real mothers, and it's this — we hope our sons will die like English gentlemen. (She is thrust up on to deck.)

TOOTLES: I'm going to do what my mother hopes. What are you to do, Nibs?

NIBS: What my mother hopes. What are you to do, Curtly?

CURLY: What my mother hopes. John, what are — —

HOOK: Silence!

STARKEY (on deck to Wendy): Ay, that's Johnny Plank.

WENDY: Oh, horrible.

STARKEY: See here, honey, I'll save you if you tell me a story. Tell me about the Babes in the Wood.

WENDY: Tell a story to such as you! I'd rather die.

STARKEY: Then die you shall! (He ties her to mast — during this scene between Wendy and Starkey, Peter steals along side vessel below from L. with a knife in his mouth, climbs in at port hole of hold and is lost to view.) Avast there, the plank is waiting.

COOKSON: All's ready, Captain.

HOOK (drinking): Then, here's to Johnny Plank. (Sings.)

Oh tooral loo the English brig

We took & quickly sank

And for a warning to the crew

We made them walk the plank

Yo ho, yo ho the frisky plank

You walks along it so

Till it goes down and you goes down

To tooral looral lo.

(All Pirates wherever they are repeat the last lines with action — when it's finished the boys strike up God Save the King.)

HOOK: Stow that! D'you want a touch of the cat to make you skip up the ladder? Fetch it, Jukes — it's in the hold. (Exit Jukes L. into hold with lighted match.)

Yo ho, yo ho, the scratching cat

Its tails are n ine, you know,

And when they're writ upon your back

You're fit to go below.

So here's to — —

(Peter's victorious crow is heard from hold — Pirates are startled for they don't understand what it means, though the boys do.)

WENDY (to herself): Peter!

HOOK: What was that? (Mullins rushed into hold — he staggers out.) What's the matter with Bill Jukes, you dog?

MULLINS: The matter wi' him is he's dead — he's lying stark there wi' a knife in him. (Sensation.)

COOKSON: Bill Jukes — him as was here this minute a hearty man — dead!

MULLINS: The hold's as black as a pit, but there's something terrible in there — the thing you heard crowing.

HOOK: Ay, Mullins, go back and fetch me out that doodle-doo.

MULLINS (frightened): Captain!

HOOK (with horrible softness): Did you say you would go, Mullins? (Mullins re-enters hold in fear — pause — then crowing again — panic.) Who is to bring me that doodle-doo?

COOKSON: Wait till Bill Mullins comes out.

SEVERAL: Ay, wait for Bill.

HOOK: I think I heard you volunteer, Cookson?

COOKSON: No, by thunder!

HOOK (softly): My hook thinks you did — I wonder if it wouldn't be advisable, Cookson, to humour the hook?

COOKSON: I'll swing before I go in there.

SEVERAL: And so say we.

HOOK: Is't mutiny? (They murmur threateningly.) Cookson's ringleader! Shake hands, Cookson. (Offering hook — Cookson recoils — Hook follows — Cookson in terror, jumps overboard.) Your hand, Cookson, your hand! (Cookson disappears.) Who else said mutiny? (They cower before him — he seizes lamp.) I'll bring out that doodle-doo. (He enters hold — suspense — he returns looking scared — light of lantern out.) Something blew out the light.

FIRST PIRATE: Some thing?

SECOND PIRATE: What of Bill Mullins?

HOOK: He's dead. (Panic.)

THIRD PIRATE: They do say as the surest sign of a ship's accurst is when there's one on board more than can be accounted for.

FIRST PIRATE: I've heard he allus boards the pirate craft at last. Had he a tail, Captain?

SECOND PIRATE: They say that when he comes it's in the likeness of the wickedest man aboard.

THIRD PIRATE: Had he a hook, Captain?

SEVERAL: The ship's doomed. (The captain sees boys looking delighted.)

HOOK (fiercely): You like it do you! (To Pirates.) Lads, here's a notion. Open the door — drive them in. Let them fight the doodle-doo for their lives. If they kill him we're so much the better — if he kills them we're none the worse.

FIRST PIRATE: Ay, that's a notion!

SEVERAL: In with them! (The boys pretending fear are driven into hold and door shut on them.)

HOOK: Listen!

SEVERAL: No! No!

(All put hands over ears, retreat to bow — business, half listening &c — In this silence all the boys preceded by Peter and now untied creep out at hold window with knives in their mouths and disappear along side of ship L.)

STARKEY (on deck to Wendy): Tell me a story, missy, and I'll save you yet. Tell me of men who go to church on Sundays, and unbelievable things like that.

WENDY: Begone, bad man, oh, Peter, Peter, Peter!

STARKEY: Ay, that for Peter. (Snaps fingers.)

FIRST PIRATE: Not a sound!

SECOND PIRATE: I tell you they're all lying there stark. The ship's bewitched.

HOOK: I've thought it out. There's a Jonah aboard!

THIRD PIRATE: Ay, a man wi' a hook. (They look at Hook threateningly.)

HOOK: No, lads, no — it's the girl. Never was luck on a pirate ship wi' a woman on board.

FIRST PIRATE: Ay, Blackbeard and Kid, they both said that.

HOOK: We'll right the ship when she's gone overboard.

SECOND PIRATE: It's worth trying.

HOOK (calling): Starkey!

STARKEY: Ay, ay!

HOOK: Fling the girl overboard.

STARKEY: Ay, ay. Come, missy, Davy Jones is calling.

WENDY: Peter, Peter, Peter!

(Peter steals along deck from L. — he seizes Starkey. The real Starkey has disappeared — a stuffed figure like him is in its place. It is this that Peter seizes, he flings it far out into the river — it goes down with a splash. Peter crows. Panic among Pirates below. Peter disappears L. with Wendy.)

HOOK (trying to drive Pirates up ladder): On deck — on deck!

SEVERAL: Back — back — the ship's accurst!

PETER (head unseen): Down with them — no quater to the Pirates!

(He and the boys rush along deck — Pirates fall down ladder, cries of fear. They rush through cabin and into hold, and the idea is that they get thro' hold to stern out of sight, pursued by boys. Wendy appears on deck from L. excitedly — three Pirates pursued by Tootles and the twins rush from the hold to bow & overboard, where pursuers do not follow them — Alexander appears on deck from L. with a knife and drunk with valour.)

WENDY: Oh, Alexander, stay with me, protect me!

ALEX: Wendy, I've killed a pirate.

WENDY: It's awful, awful!

ALEX: No, it's not, I like it! Oh, Wendy I like it very, very much!

(Disappears L. as Capt. Hook is driven forward L. by Curly, Nibs & Slightly — Peter appears.)

PETER (with authority to his boys): Put up your knives — this man's mine. (He & Capt. H face each other.)

HOOK: So it's you, Pan — it's all your doing!

PETER: Ay, it's my doing, Hook — Peter Pan, the avenger!

HOOK: Proud and insolent youth, prepare to meet thy fate.

PETER: Dark and sinister man, have at thee!

(They fight, mist falls, when it rises Hook is stealing away with Wendy flung over his shoulder.)

WENDY: Peter!

(Fight resumed, Wendy still on Hook's shoulder — Mist again — when it clears they are still fighting but Wendy is now on Peter's shoulder — Finally Hook leaps overboard — the crocodile rears its head in water.)

PETER: Leave him to the crocodile. (Peter is very swollen with pride in himself.) Forward Tootles. (Tootles rushes forward and goes on his knees, like all the others he has become very nautical in manner, wearing pirate's boots &c.) What's your name, my man?

TOOTLES: Tootles.

PETER: Rise Lieutenant Tootles. I shall mention you in dispatches. How goes the day?

TOOTLES: All stabbed but six, and they are prisoners.

PETER: Bring the prisoners forward.

TOOTLES: Ay, ay Captain. (Exit L. — the others are gazing admiringly at Peter.)

WENDY: Oh, Peter, I think you are the bravest boy in all the world!

PETER: Yes, I am — I am — the bravest and the cleverst ! Oh, I'm a wonder — oh the wonder that I am! (He stints deck & they gaze — reproducing the picture of Napoleon on the Bellerophon — Peter crows — Tootles &c push forward the six prisoners thro' cabin to bow.) You dogs, there, do you repent all your wicked piracies?

ALEX (wandering about with a knife): Let me repent them, Peter, with Johnny Corkscrew!

Pirates: We repent! Mercy, we repent!

PETER: They repent! Rule Britannia! (The boys & Wendy sing the chorus of Rule Britannia.)

WENDY: I'm so glad they didn't die before they repented.

PETER: Ay, ay, and now drown them all before they have time to stop repenting!

(Pirates are pushed into water. Again Rule Britannia is sung & while singing the boys hit with oars &c the Pirates heads bobbing up and down in water. The Skull and Crossbones is pulled down at same time, and Union Jack hoisted.)

CURTAIN

SCENE 5

The Scene is the night nursery again, and everything is as before. It is again early evening. the window is open. In arm chair by the fire Mrs Darling sits dozing. Nana lies asleep at foot of Wendy's bed — on the bed. The children's pyjamas are airing on fender. The light is on. Mrs D is dreaming of her children.

MRS D. (starting up in transport of delight): Wendy, John, Alexander — my children! (Nana jumps off bed — Mrs D. realises it is only a dream.) Oh, Nana, it is only a dream! (Sits again.) I dreamt my children had come back! (Nana sits beside her and puts a paw on her lap — Mrs D. sees night-clothes on fender.) You have put their night-things out again! Oh, Nana, it has touched my heart to see you do that night after night, as if you expected my children to come back — but they will never come back! (They weep together, using the same handkerchief — enter Helen R.)

HELEN: Nana's dinner is served. (Exit Nana sedately R.)

MRS D.: Is the master's own dinner ready yet, Helen?

HELEN (pointing to a bowl on table): It's there.

MRS D. (with gentle reproof): On the table! Why not put it in the only place where you know he will take it? (Helen indignantly puts the bowl on floor.) And his water dish? (Helen pushes dog's water dish near the bowl & puts a bottle of stout beside it.)

HELEN (bursting forth): I want to give notice!

MRS D. (pained): Oh, Helen — is it the stairs?

HELEN: No. Ma'am, it's the master. A master as lives in a dog-kennel!

MRS D.: Out of remorse, Helen.

HELEN: And goes to his office in a kennel — on top of a cab — with all the street-boys running along side cheering! (Cheers outside.) There! That's him come back!

(Enter a cabby and a street-hoist carrying kennel in which is Mr Darling in his office clothes. They are exhausted, but he is in imperturbable good humour.

DARLING: Thank you, my men. (They exeunt — he addresses wife gaily from kennel.) Ah, old lady, got any little trifle for me? (She stoops and gives him a kiss.) That's right, Helen, if you will be so good. (Taking off coat and silk hat and giving them to her while she gives him a house jacket — more cheering.) Listen to them! It's very gratifying!

HELEN: Lot of little boys!

DARLING: There are several adults today.

HELEN: Poof! (Exits scornfully.)

DARLING: Jealous cat! (He falls to with relish on his meal, supping from bowl with spoon — in basin is a saucer from which he drinks.)

MRS D. (sitting on a low stool beside him): What sort of day have you had, George?

DARLING: Superb! There was never less than a hundred running along side the cab and when we were passing the Stock Exchange the whole of the members came out and cheered me. They simply would have a speech.

MRS D.: I am so proud, dear.

DARLING: The papers are finding me out — seven interviewers! And a deputation of ladies, so affected by my receiving them in the kennel that they wept. Twelve autograph books and six invitations to dinner from leaders of society, all saying "Do come in the kennel." I think you've married pretty well, Mary, pretty well — ah? — ha? ah?

MRS D.: I do hope your head won't be turned, George.

DARLING: If I had been a weak man, my dear — good heavens, if I had been a weak man! Where's my pipe — where's my backy? I never knew such a kennel! (Finds them in it — lights pipe.) Ah! Mary, we should never have been such celebrities if the children hadn't flown away. How strangely things turn out for the best.

MRS D.: Oh, George, you are sorry the children have gone, aren't you?

DARLING: Sorry! Isn't all this dreadful punishment for them!

MRS D.: You are sure it is punishment, George? You are sure you are not enjoying it, dear?

DARLING: Mary, how can you?

MRS D.: Forgive me, dear one.

DARLING: There, there! And now I feel like a snooze. Won't you play me to sleep on the nursery piano?

MRS D. (rising): Very well.

DARLING: And shut that window. I feel a draught.

MRS D.: Oh, George, never ask me to do that. The window must always be left open for them. (Hesitating.) George, those ladies who wept over you — you didn't kiss them, did you?

DARLING: My love, they kept asking for something to remember me by — and I am a poor man.

(Mrs D. exits into day nursery, from which unseen she is heard playing Home Sweet Home — Darling retires into kennel and sleeps. The music goes on while Wendy, John and Alexander enter by window — Wendy and John in suppressed excitement — Alex dazed.)

ALEX (speaking in a low voice, as the others do also): John, I think I have been here before.

JOHN: It's your home, you silly.

WENDY: There is your old bed, Alexander.

ALEX: I had nearly forgotten.

JOHN: I say! The kennel!

WENDY: How odd! Perhaps Nana's in it.

JOHN (peeping): There's a man asleep in it.

WENDY: It's Father.

JOHN: So it is!

ALEX: Let me see Father. He's not so big as the pirate I killed.

JOHN: Wendy, surely Father didn't use to sleep in a kennel?

WENDY: Oh, John, I'm so afraid that perhaps we don't remember the old life as well as we thought we did!

JOHN (chilled): It's very careless of Mother not to be here when we come back.

WENDY: H'sh! (Pointing through door L.) That's her playing.

ALEX (looking): Who is that lady?

JOHN: It's Mother.

ALEX: Then are you not really our mother, Wendy?

WENDY: Oh dear! It was quite time we came back.

JOHN: Let's creep in and put our hands over her eyes.

WENDY: No, she mustn't know we are back all at once. Let us break it to her gently.

(She whispers a plan to them — then all get into their own beds and cover selves with the clothes except their heads. They lie with eyes open exulting till music stops — then at sign from Wendy they shut eyes and pretend to sleep — Enter Mrs D. R.)

MRS D. (softly): Are you asleep, George? (She sees Wendy in bed and puts her hand to her heart, for she does not believe that is is really Wendy — she repeats same action on seeing John and Alex — she looks away from them.) I see them in their beds — so often — in my dreams — that I seem still to see them when I am awake, and all the time I know they are not there. (Sits C.) I'll not look again. So often in my dreams their silver voices call me.

WENDY (softly): Mother!

MRS D. (without looking — mournfully): That's Wendy!

JOHN (softly): Mother!

MRS D.: Now it's John!

ALEX (softly): Mother!

MRS D.: Now little Alexander! (As they speak they sit up with outstretched arms, but she is not looking at them.) And when they call I stretch out my arms to them (does so — brings arms together, drops them), but they never come. They never come!

(Again her arms are outstretched — the children have risen & stolen towards her. Wendy slips into the space between her arms, then John then Alex, so that her arms close on the three of them — Rapture, or possibly there may be a dramatic song here.)

CHILDREN: Mother, Mother, Mother!

MRS D.: It can't be true!

ALEX: Mummy, pinch me and I'll pinch you — and so you see it's true. (Repeated endearments — Darling peeps out of kennel.)

MRS D.: George, they have come back!

WENDY: Father, why are you in the kennel?

DARLING: It's a long story Wendy, but —

WENDY: If it's very long, Father, we'll excuse your telling it, but do come out! (He is reluctant.)

MRS D.: George! (She makes the sounds with which one wheedles a dog — so do the others. John whistles — Darling slowly emerges with some straw sticking on him.)

DARLING (feeling awkward): I feel as if I were standing on my hind legs.

MRS D.: Dear, the children are waiting.

DARLING: One moment, while I say goodbye to an old friend. (Looking at kennel.) In those days of hard competition, it was rather jolly in there. (Putting hand on kennel.) Old friend — old home — never again! (Stretching out arms.) My children! (Embraces them — Nana enters R.)

CHILDREN: Nana, it's yours again. (Nana joyfully goes into kennel — looks out with French novel in mouth.)

*DARLING (taking it): Thank you.

JOHN: Father, we've had such adventures!

ALEX: I killed a pirate, father!

DARLING (a little bitterly): Alexander will sign the autograph books now!

TOOTLES (appearing at Wendy): Wendy — we can't hold on to the spout any longer.

MRS D. (startled): Why — who — what —

WENDY: It's all right, Mummy, they are just a few motherless boys we have brought back with us.

MRS D.: But, my love —

WENDY: Come in, boys. (All come in hat in hand and carrying their bundles — they stand timidly in a respectful row.) Boys, this is my mother.

SLIGHTLY: She's a beauty!

TOOTLES: I choose that one — which one do you choose, Nibs?

NIBS: That one. Which one do you choose, Curly?

CURLY: That one. Twin, which —

WENDY: Boys, I'm very disappointed in you after all I've told you. You don't choose a real mother — you — you just get her. Isn't that the way, Father?

DARLING: That's the usual way, boys, and if you will — ah — sit down —

TOOTLES: Please, sir, we think Peter wouldn't like us to sit down till he tells us?

DARLING: Peter? Is there another one?

WENDY: Oh yes, Father, and he's frightfully important. (The noise of a great crowd is heard without — Darling runs to window & looks out.)

DARLING: The street is crowded with ladies — all trying to get in at our door!

WENDY: That's the beautiful mothers. We advertised that if the twenty most beautiful mothers would come to this house they would hear something to their advantage.

DARLING: Twenty! There are thousands of them. Helen and the cook are charging them with brooms, and some of them are not so beautiful as they were. There's a little boy, what's he doing?

WENDY: That's Peter, and he's picking out the twenty prettiest ones. Of course you'll be careful what you say to Peter — he doesn't lilke to be contradicted.

DARLING: I shall be very careful.

WENDY: And Mummy, Peter thinks he knows all about mothers but he — he doesn't. I shall really find their mothers for them, but I must pretend to think it's he who finds.

MRS D.: Very well, Wendy — I know the kind of man. Wendy, shall I give Peter a kiss?

WENDY: He calls kisses thimbles. But I think, Mother, it would be better — perhaps — to let him take the first step. (Helen enters R.)

HELEN: Captain Pan. (Enter Peter importantly.)

DARLING: Proud to see you here, Captain.

PETER: Thank you. Is this your mother, Wendy?

WENDY (anxiously): Yes.

PETER (after examining her): I like her.

WENDY (relieved): You can do it now, Mummy. (Mrs D kisses him.)

PETER: Thank you, Granny.

MRS D.: Granny?

PETER: You are my granny, aren't you? Wendy's my mother, you know.

DARLING: No, we didn't know. Then I —

PETER: You're Grandpa.

DARLING: Oh!

PETER: We're all ready, Wendy — stand back everybody — I'm captain, you see — servant, show them in.

HELEN (announcing): The Countess of Copley. (Enters countess — Peter and Wendy shake hands with her like host and hostess.)

NIBS: Oh, what a lovely one — that's my one. Is that your one, Twin?

FIRST TWIN: Yes, she is loveley, is that —

PETER: Silence — over there, lady. (Points to back L. children being back R.)

HELEN: Mrs Fitz Reynolds. (Business repeated as this lady enters.) Madame Villion. (Third enters.) Lady Eliza Verral. (Fourth enters.)

SLIGHTLY: That's mine — Tootles you mustn't speak to me when I'm a lord.

PETER: Silence.

HELEN: Mrs William P. Danks. (Fifth enters.) Prefers to remain anonymous. (Sixth enters.)

PETER: You needn't say their names, servant. (The remainder of the twenty are ushered in and go up L. so that Wendy and Peter have down stage and especially L. down stage to themselves.) Now ladies you are not to say a woard — I'm captain. (To Wendy.) What next?

WENDY (whispers): Those who are not affected by the sight of baby clothes can't be fine mothers.

PETER: Oh, yes. (To boys.) Baby clothes! (Boys display contents of their bundles — Peter and Wendy watch affect on mothers — most are affected, cry "oh" &c.) That green one's not affected.

WENDY: Nor the little one.

TOOTLES: Peter, the yellow one is just yawninig!

PETER: You green one, you yellow one, and you little one, come here. (They step forward.) You are not true mothers — the door! Servant! (The three indignant are shown out.) Curly, come. (Curly steps forward.) What next?

WENDY: A true mother always thinks her own boy the prettiest, so the one who thinks Curly the prettiest, that one will be his mother.

PETER: The lady who thinks this boy the prettiest, forward. (Four ladies come.) Four of them!

WENDY (aside to Peter): A true mother has shiny eyes when she looks at her offspring.

PETER: Oho! All you four look hard at Curly. (They do so.) Harder — harder! (Their eyes nearly stand out of their heads. Peter and Wendy examine them.) You one — and you one who don't have shiny eyes — go away! Servant! (Two exeunt.) There's two yet!

WENDY (after thinking hard) Curly, lie down on that bed — and sleep. (He does so — to ladies.) Now we want to see you give that sleeping boy a — a thimble.

ONE LADY: A thimble?

PETER: It's like this. (Kisses her.)

LADY: Oh! (She gives Curly such a smack of a kiss that he sits up.)

PETER: That's her, that's Curly's one.

TOOTLES: Curly's got his!

WENDY: Wait! This other one must get her chance. Sleep again, Curly. (He does so.) Now! (Second lady kisses Curly so softly that he doesn't open his eyes.) There! (Peter is puzzled. Wendy whispers to him.)

PETER: Oh! (Publicly.) You see this lady gave him a smack that wakened him — but a true mother does it without wakening him. (To first lady.) Go away, lady. (She goes — to Curly.) Curly, this is you mother — lady, this is your long lost son. Go and hug him in the day nursery. (Lady exits L. with brave Curly and other boys cheer.) Nibs next. (Nibs comes down.) Come here those who think Nibs the prettiest. (Three come.) The others turn your backs. (They do so — to Wendy.) Shall we have animal instincts this time?

WENDY: Yes

PETER (to ladies): Do animal instincts! (They are puzzled.) They're not doing them.

WENDY: You forgot — the fire!

PETER: Oh! Nibs stand here. (Indicating inside fender — Nibs does so.) Nibs is being burned! (All three rush forward and save him.) They all did it, Wendy!

WENDY (whispering): You see any kind lady would do it if she wasn't in danger herself, but — (Whispers.)

PETER: Yes! All stand here — you too, Nibs. (All get into fender.) You are all being burned! Save yourselves! (Two rush out of danger, but the third helps Nibs before herself.) Nibs, this is your mother! (Waves them to day nursery.) You two, go home. (They exeunt — cheer from boys.) Slightly next. (Slightly comes down hopefully.)

WENDY: Oh, you naughty Slightly, you have been biting your knuckles again — see how they are bleeding!

PETER: Those who think Slightly is the prettiest, come. (Slightly is expectant, but nobody comes.) Oh!

WENDY: Oh dear! (Slightly nearly cries.)

PETER: Those who write their names on their children's clothes, come. (Lady Elizabeth and another come.)

SLIGHTLY (proud of Lady El): I knew that was my one, Peter, shall she take me into the day nursery and hug me?

PETER: Silence! wendy, what next?

WENDY (whispering): His knuckles are bleeding. Now a true mother would know at once if her boy's knuckles were bleeding.

PETER (to the two): Do you notice anything about Slightly? (They notice nothing.) Go away. (They exeunt.) It's not going to do this time, Wendy.

WENDY: Oh dear! Slightly, walk past those other ladies — just in case it should be one of them. (Slightly does so — in vain — he is a forlorn figure.) It's very disappointing, Peter.

PETER: Servant, put this boy out.

HELEN (about to do so): Oh, Miss Wendy, his poor little knuckles are bleeding!

PETER (quickly): When did you see they were bleeding?

HELEN: I didn't see it — I just feel it in my bones.

PETER: Servant, you are his mother! Day nursery! (They go.) First Twin next. (First Twin comes.)

WENDY: Both twins!

PETER: We can't do more than one at a time.

WENDY (not knowing how to explain): Oh dear!

PETER: Come here those who think this boy the prettiest. (One comes.) There's just one, so she's your mother. Lady, take him into the day nursery. (She is going.) Second Twin. (Second Twin comes.)

WENDY: But, Peter, we — they are twins, you know.

PETER: Of course they are twins.

WENDY: Yes, but you see — twins — it's so awkward to me to have to explain. You know waht twins are, don't you, Peter?

PETER: Nobody really knows what twins are.

WENDY: Oh! Father!

DARLING (coming to her assistance): With regard to this suject, Captain, you see, life is like this, sometimes it's one at a time, and sometimes it's two at a time. Oh, if that doesn't make it clear to you I give up.

WENDY: Mummy!

MRS D.: Peter, when a lady — Wendy, I can't, his innocence is so touching.

WENDY: Isn't it dear of him, Mummy, not to know? It's quite a woman's subject, isn't it?

PETER (to stand no more nonsense): Those who think this boy the prettiest, come.

DARLING: There will be a grave miscarriage of justice here. (The same lady comes with First Twin.)

PETER: You've had one already. All turn backs. (They do so.) Wendy, she has had the other twin but she's the only one who stepped forward, so what do you say to pretending she's the second twin's mother too!

WENDY: Yes, Peter, yes!

PETER: Lady, you are the mother of both the twins. (She takes both L. to Peter's entertainment.) Oh, what a joke! Tootles is the last. (Tootles comes.) Now all you ladies lie down on the beds and sleep. (The seven ladies left do so.) Now Tootles stand here and say in a whiper so low that nobody can hear it, "Mother, I feel flushed!" But how can that help, Wendy?

WENDY: You see though a mother is sleeping ever so soundly if her boy says "I feel flushed" it wakes her up at once.

PETER: Say it Tootles. (Tootles lips are seen saying it — three ladies start up — Peter addresses the four who remain sleeping.) Ladies, wake up and go home. (The four exeunt.)

WENDY: Shoe now, Peter.

PETER: Oh, yes. Tootles — (Whispers to him — Tootles sits down and kicks off one shoe — Peter addresses a lady.) You, lady, put on Tootles' shoe. (She does so — he again kicks it off — she puts it on — this is repeated.)

LADY (angrily): Oh, I've lost patience with you.

PETER: Then you are not his mother — go.

TOOTLES: I'm very sorry for you, lady. (She goes.)

PETER: There's two yet. You can't have two mothers, can you?

WENDY: No, not in England.

PETER: Now, then, Tootles, go to these ladies, and box their ears hard.

TOOTLES: Oh Peter!

PETER: This is your last chance. (Tootles apparently cuffs a lady hard.)

LADY (taken aback indignantly): How dare you, boy!

PETER: Lady — (Signs the door — she goes.) I don't believe you are to get one, Tootles — but try this lady.

TOOTLES: Peter, I don't know how it is, but I feel I can't hit tht one.

PETER: That shows she can't be your mother. (Tootles cuffs her — she is the countess.)

COUNTESS: Oh, Tootles dear, I hope you haven't hurt you hand!

WENDY: She's his mother, Peter!

PETER: Tootles, you're a lord. That's them all, Wendy.

DARLING: Captain, I congratulate you heartily.

PETER: Thank you, Grandpa. (Darling winces.) Wendy, you didn't have to help me a bit! I did it all myself!

WENDY: Yes, peter.

(Peter crows — the happy mothers and their children return from R. — the boys wrapped in cravats &c of John's — possibly song and dance here.)

COUNTESS: Do you think I could have a cab now?

DARLING: Certainly.

PETER (brushing him aside): H'sh! Yes, lady, you can have a cab. You can all have cabs.

DARLING (annoyed): See her, Peter, this is my house, and I naturally expect to be captain here.

WENDY: Oh, Father, is this reasonable!

PETER (fixing him): Go at once and whistle for five cabs. (Darling would like to rebel but dare not.)

COUNTESS: Four-wheelers, please.

NIBS: A hansom, Mother.

FIRST TWIN: I do want a hansom.

PETER: Five handsomes. (Darling would like to defy him, then exits R. cowed.)

TOOTLES (in loud voice that all hear): I'm awfully fond of my mother. Are you fond of yours, Curly?

CURLY: Awfully! Are you fond of yours, Slightly?

SLIGHTLY: Awfully. What's yours like, Nibs?

NIBS: I've an awfully good one. Have you a good one, Twin?

SECOND TWIN: Awfully good. (Whistling for hansoms is heard.)

NIBS: My mother says I'm going to school.

SLIGHTLY: My mother says I'm done with school.

TOOTLES: My mother says I'm nearly a man.

PETER (startled): Does she! (He is suddenly subdued.) Goodbye all of you. I'm glad you like your mothers. I hope you'll go on liking them. I hope you'll like — going to school and — growing into men. (They salute — enter Darling R.)

DARLING: Five hansons.

WENDY: Goodbye, dear dear boys — oh, this parting is terrible! (They weep.)

DARLING: Courage, Wendy — you must remember that it is their bread and butter.

TOOTLES (appealing): You see it's our bread and butter, Wendy.

WENDY: I know. (To mothers.) You'll take great care of them, won't you? (Aside to Helen.) I tied Slightly's ears back at night. They are rather prominent. (Breaking down.) Boys, goodbye.

(She kisses them — all mothers and sons exeunt — John and Alex go into room L. — Peter is standing L. down stage still crushed — Wendy goes to him and Darling at sign from Mrs D. goes with her up stage.)

PETER: Oh, Wendy, did you hear what Tootles' mother said, that he would soon be a man! (In agony.) Wendy, I've never told you, but I think I am nearly as old as Tootles!

WENDY: I wish you hadn't been so afraid of being a man Peter — it's — rather hard on me.

PETER: I want always just to be a wonderful boy, and to have fun.

WENDY: That's what you'll always be, dear Peter.

MRS D.: Poor Wendy, I see now what her secret sorrow is! (Wendy signs silence.)

DARLING: I don't see.

MRS D.: Ah, my dear, you are only a man.

DARLING: My love, I don't quite like that phrase.

PETER: I didn't know you were there — goodbye.

MRS D.: But we hoped you were to make a long stay, Peter.

PETER: I'm going to live with Tippy in a little house we built for Wendy. Tippy is bringing it to Kensington Gardens, so that Wendy may sometimes come to see me.

DARLING: Might I ask who Tippy is?

PETER: She's a fairy, you know.

DARLING: No, I didn't know.

PETER: Goodbye, Wendy.

WENDY (huskily): Goodbye.

PETER (huskily): I'm going away, Wendy.

WENDY: I don't see how — you can go alone— you're so subject to draughts — and you're sure to forget to put on your chest protector.

PETER: It's just a mother that can remember these things.

WENDY (who is sitting, pulls him on to her knee): My boy — my boy, Peter!

PETER: Wendy, come and take care of me!

WENDY: Mother — Father — may I? (Parents are genuinely affected.)

MRS D.: Heaven forbid that I should ever interfere between a mother and her child.

DARLING: Or I in the affairs of the nursery. If there is a father anywhere who thnks he is captain in the nursery, I am willing to lend him the kennel.

WENDY: Peter, it's all right, I'm going with you!

PETER: And you'll never send me to school, Mother?

WENDY: Never! Father, do you thnk we could have a hansom?

DARLING: Certainly, my dear. (Exit R.)

MRS D.: I'll often come to see you. (Embracing.)

WENDY: Oh, Mother, there's just one thing — we don't have any money, and I think the fare to Kensington Gardens is one and six. (Whistling for cab heard.)

MRS D.: I'm so sorry, my love, but — we have only twopence in the house.

PETER: Wendy, you can give the cabman a thimble. I'm sure he will like it much better than money.

WENDY: What do you think, Mother?

MRS D.: My pet! I'm told it's sometimes done.

(They exeunt R. together — clock begins to strike six — Nana comes out of kennel — goes to bathroom, lights it, turns on water and prepares to bathe John and Alexander.)

CURTAIN

SCENE 6

KENSINGTON GARDENS

First a front scene with one of the garden walks running from R. to L. On back cloth a view of the Round Pond. Two boys run by with hoops. A ticket collector hurries by.

A boarding school of six girls passes with a starchy governess — all are played by the mothers of previous scene.

A scavenger from R. sweeps leaves and rubbish into a heap C. leaves them and exits L. sweeping as enter R. nurse wheeling pram. A soldier enters L. in military uniform, he smiles as passes nurse, both look behind at each other — he sniggers proudly and exits R. — she leaves pram and exits after him admiringly. A man carrying yacht which is too heavy for him enters R. sees pram, lays the baby in it on ground, puts yacht in baby's place and exits thankfully wheeling pram L. Scavenger returns L. still sweeping — sweeps all rubbish into the pile he has left, including the baby and exits sweeping R.

The twins in Eton suits enter R. with their mother and meet Slightly — entering L. He is a street arab carrying a cluster of balloons.

SLIGHTLY: Buy a b'loon, ma'am?

LADY: Go away, vulgar boy.

SLIGHTLY: My wife is ill, ma'am, and I have ten starving children.

FIRST TWIN (now very classy): Mama, it's Slightly.

SECOND TWIN: Hello, Slightly!

SLIGHTLY (mimicking them): How de do, Twins?

LADY: How often have I forbid you to talk to that vulgar boy! you may give him a penny, but you mustn't talk to him.

(She gives them pennies which they give him. As they exeunt L. Peter steals on dressed and made up as clown and rubs them with red hot poker — they jump and he behaves in traditional clown manner — Slightly sits depressed on rail — Enter Tootles R. — a man of fashion — cane, cigarette, small moustache — Neither of them sees Peter.)

TOOTLES: Do, Slightly? Don't you know me, Slightly?

SLIGHTLY: Yes, my lord, but you being a swell now I though you lordship wouldn't like me to let on as I knowed you.

TOOTLES: Rot! I say, slightly, there's nobody looking. I'll shake hands with you. (Does so.) And you can have that. (Gives him cigarette end.) How do I look Slightly?

SLIGHTLY: Splendid, your lordship.

TOOTLES: Look at that, Slightly, and that. (Pointing to his moustache — a prim lady and gentleman enter R. — he is holding parasol over her.) Excuse me, lady and gentleman, I don't have the pleasure of knowing you, but look at that, and that! (Exits R. delighted with himself and exit slightly L. much admiring.)

LADY: The impertinence!

GENTLEMAN: Outrageous!

(Peter from behind takes parasol and puts poker in its place without their knowing — they exeunt L. the man holding up poker — Peter grins — Wendy dances on from R. dressed as a columbine.)

WENDY (suddenly): Peter, the keeper!

PETER: Hide, Wendy!

(They hide at each side as enter Keeper L. He meets Hook entering R. dressed as schoolmaster in cap and gown and carrying birch. The hook is hidden.)

STARKEY (shaking): Captain Hook! (Goes on knees.)

HOOK: You know me! Who are you? (Starkey pulls off his beard.) Starkey! So you escaped also!

STARKEY: Ay, I swam ashore, but I thought your crocodile had got you.

HOOK: No, I gave him this in the eye (holding up Hook) and he had to let go. Starkey, you're now an honest man — for shame!

STARKEY (cringing): Times are so hard. T'was those boys did for us.

HOOK: That's why I'm a schoolmaster — to revenge myself on boys! I hook them so, Starkey (indicating how he lifts them by waist) and then I lay on like this! When it was found out what a useful hook I had every school in merry England clamored for my services.

STARKEY: What's clamored?

HOOK: Yelled. But that's not enough — I want Peter Pan himself. Starkey, I dream at nights that I'm laying on to Peter Pan. I'll have him yet — he's here!

STARKEY: Here?

HOOK: He paints his face that none may recognise him as a boy who ought to be at school.

STARKEY: A boy who, they say, lives here both night and day?

HOOK: In some magic house. That's Peter.

STARKEY: Now I know him — and his mother too.

HOOK: That's Wendy, and she has broke the law by not sending her boy to school. Come, bully, let's catch them — Peter I'll look after, and Mother Wendy, she shall go to jail! They can't escape me, I have assistant masters watching at all the gates. (Exeunt L. — Peter and Wendy emerge quaking — Tippy has been darting about.)

PETER: He's bound to get us! Oh, I wish I hadn't become a clown. Boys oughtn't to be too funny, but just funny enough.

WENDY: Our dress makes us so conspicuous.

PETER: What's conspicuous?

WENDY: Easy to pick out.

PETER: School, Wendy!

WENDY: Jail, Peter! Tippy alone can save us.

PETER: Tippy! (They go on knees to Tippy who has alighted in grass — Tippy rings.) She says she will save me but not you.

WENDY: Oh!

PETER (rising): Tippy, I refuse.

WENDY: Where are you going?

PETER: To give myself up to Hook if he promises to spare you.

WENDY: No, Peter, no, take Tippy's help and let me go to Jail.

PETER: Never! Goodbye! (They embrace tragically — bells.) She says "Stop that thimbling and I'll save you both!"

WENDY: Dear fairy!

PETER: Tippy, be quick. (Tippy darts away L.)

WENDY: I wonder how she'll do it? (A sound as of a cracker being pulled is heard.) What's that? It sounds like someone pulling crackers! (Another — then the two boys with hoops run by — they are now in clown make-up and dress.)

PETER: Wendy, I believe she's making them all like me so that Hook won't be able to pick me out. (Another cracker.) Oh look! (A nursery maid dressed as columbine enters L. with pram.) Do you think she knows she's like that?

WENDY: Excuse me, nurse — do you know you're like that?

NURSE: Like what? (Looks down and is astounded.) Lawks! (She dances, then in sudden alarm lifts child in pram — it is now a clown.) Oh! What will mussus say!

(Exits R. — a fusilade of crackers, and the boarding school walks by, all as columbines and prim mistress is a harlequin.)

LADY (looking behind): What disgraceful dresses for school-girls, Charles!

GENTLEMAN: Monstrous, my love.

WENDY: Peter, you can break it to that one.

PETER: Lady, look down. (Sensation.)

LADY: Charles!

GENTLEMAN: Katie, for shame.

LADY: Charles, take me home!

GENTLEMAN: No, Katie, for the children's sake I can never take you home again. Farewell, for ever! (Exit L.)

LADY: Charles! (Rushes after him.)

PETER (imitating her): Charles — Charles —

(Exits after with comic burlesque of her — and seems to return still burlesquing her, but not quaking — It is, however, another clown like him in appearance who comes on — the idea being to deceive the audience into thinking this is still Peter.)

WENDY: Oh, Peter, how naughty of you! (She suddenly sees Hook coming L.) Run, Peter, run!

(As Hook enters L. Wendy rushes off R. eluding starkey who enters R. — Hook and Starkey bar Peter's way — he dodges, &c but they at last clutch him.)

HOOK: I have him now!

STARKEY: Are you sure it's Peter?

HOOK: I'll soon show you it's Peter. (Wipes the make-up off boy's face and he stands revealed as another boy — perhaps Alex, John or one of the lost children. Hook and Starkey stare — exit boy impudently.) I'll have him yet!

(Signs L. and a number of assistant masters in cap and gown and birch enter and follwo him andStarkey out R. stealthily, and with pantomime business — The crocodile appears and exits doggedly after them.

The Scene changes to another scene in the Kensington Gardens, the whole stage now being used and this is got merely by raisng back cloth of first scene. The Serpentine is new scene on back cloth — Up stage C. is the little house. The centre is turf under trees, and it is covered with clowns, pantaloons, columbines and harlequins, very gay and animated and all engaged in a dance in character ie. is to say it is a dance in which clowns do polka business, columbines run up harlequins, pantaloons are knocked down &c — Hook is seen hiding in a prctical tree R. half down stage — As the dance goes on, assistant masters occasionally rush forward, capture a clown and rub his face when he always turns out not to be Peter. There is a dramatic pause in dance at these times, and then it is gaily resumed suddenly a clang makes all stop.

ONE (as in Crichton): Was that a ship's gun, Gov? (Clang.)

ANOTHER: It was the closing of the gates!

TOOTLES: I don't want to be shut up here all night — do you, Twins?

FIRST TWIN: Rather not.

TOOTLES: Do you, Curly?

CURLY: Rather not.

TOOTLES: Do you, John?

JOHN : Rather not.

TOOTLES: Do you, Alexander?

ALEX: Rather not.

TOOTLES: Do you, Peter?

(Dramatic pause as masters creep forward to see who will answer — clang of gates and everybody rushes away except Hook in tree — Peter with face clean comes out of little house and sits at door playing childishly on a whistle — Hook is triumphant and prepares to come down tree and seize him — the crocodile emerges from Serpentine, comes down and rears forepart of his monstrous body against tree with great mouth open — Hook unconscious of his danger comes down feet foremost, his feet, legs &c enter crocodile — he just realises his position as his head is also going down. Crocodile closes mouth. Peter has been looking on unconcernedly at the incident and still whistling. On crodocile's way back to Serpentine it opens its mouth and Hook looks out.)

HOOK (to Peter): No words of mine can indicate my utter contempt for you.

PETER; Thou not altogether unheroic figure, farewell.

HOOK: Peter, do you think you could get me a pack of cards quick, Peter?

(Crocodile shuts mouth — Peter crows — Crocodile disappears in Serpentine. The little house lights up from inside and Wendy and Mrs D. emerge. The latter is in ordinary dress — all has been fantastic so far, but now they are strictly matter of fact.)

MRS D.: Well, goodbye, Wendy — I'm very glad to find you so comfortable.

WENDY: you really do like the house?

MRS D.: Immensely, of course it's small, Wendy.

WENDY: It is small — Peter, don't bite your nails. But you see, Mother, I didn't want a tall house. Stairs are such a bother to servants.

MRS D.: Yes indeed, still, as you don't have any servants, my love?

WENDY: True, true. But you see, Mummy, it isn't as if we meant to entertain.

MRS D.: Quite so. And after all, you're a small family.

WENDY: That's just what I say. Most people our size wouldn't have a house at all. Peter, where do boys who touzle their hair go to? (Darling comes from house in ordinary clothes.)

DARLING: I like your house, Wendy. Gravel soil — south aspect.

WENDY: And the cupboard accomodation is so good, Father. I made a point of that. Besides, we pay no rent.

DARLING: And that's a consideration. Though how the keepers allow it, Wendy —

WENDY: They don't, but when they try to meddle, Tippy makes the house disappear, you know.

DARLING: She's certainly a clever little creature. (Tippy darts and rings.)

PETER: Tippy says she'll let you out if you go now, Grandpa.

DARLING: Grandpa! Yes, well, bye bye, Peter — Wendy, a penny?

WENDY: Thank you, Father, it will be very useful — of course our expenses are rather heavy just now.

MRS D.: But where is Nana? (Calling.) Nana, we are going. I must say Nana hasn't been nearly such a good nurse since she had puppies of her own.

(Enter Nana followed by two real Newfoundland puppies — leave-takings and exeunt all but Peter and Wendy who kiss hands and wave — clock in little house strikes six.)

WENDY: Peter, sweetest, bath time! (Lifts him up in her arms.)

PETER: Are you so glad, glad glad, Mummy, that I'm your son?

WENDY: Peter, I consider it such a privilege!

(Hugs him in motherly way. They wave handkerchiefs to audience, as it were, from door of little house. There is no moon but many stars — these twinkle violently. For a moment many go out leaving stage dark, and in this moment the house is removed and Peter and Wendy exeunt. At same time the house is flung on stage by the Peppers ghost illustion and also Peter and Wendy are flung by same illusion so that as stars beam again it seems to audience that the house is still there and that the children are still at door waving. Footsteps are heard. They are the steps of Starkey as keeper with lantern. As he appears trudging by the house and children are no longer there. When he has passed, they are there again. Stars all go out. Blackness.

CURTAIN

March 1 1904.

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Post Date - 10.10.2019 | Report
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Tom Owen

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla.

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