Chapter 17 ~
Of course all the boys went to school. ...
Before they had attended school a week,
they saw what goats they had been not to remain on the island;
but it was too late now, and soon they settled down to being as ordinary as you or me. ...
It is sad to have to say that the power to fly gradually left them. ...
In time they could not even fly after their hats.
Want of practice, they called it; but what it really meant was that they no longer believed. ...
when Peter came for [Wendy] at the end of the first year.
She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and berries in the Neverland,
and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become;
but he never noticed, he had so much to say about himself.
She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times,
but new adventures had crowded the old ones from his mind.
"Who is Captain Hook?" he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.
"Don't you remember," she asked, amazed, "how you killed him and saved all our lives?"
"I forget them after I kill them," he replied carelessly.
When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her,
he said, "Who is Tinker Bell?"
"O Peter," she said, shocked; but even when she explained he could not remember.
"There are such a lot of them," he said. "I expect she is no more." ...
Wendy was pained too to find that the past year was but as yesterday to Peter;
it had seemed such a long year of waiting to her. ...
Next year he did not come for her.
She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet; but he never came. ...
Peter came next spring cleaning;
and the strange thing was that he never knew he had missed a year. ...
That was the last time the girl Wendy ever saw him. ...
years came and went without bringing the careless boy;
and when they met again Wendy was a married woman,
and Peter was no more to her than a little dust in the box in which she had kept her toys.
Wendy was grown up.
You need not be sorry for her.
She was one of the kind that likes to grow up. ...
"The last thing he ever said to me was,
`Just always be waiting for me, and then some night you will hear me crowing.' ...
But, alas, he forgot all about me," Wendy said it with a smile.
She was as grown up as that.
[she was no longer a girl when he visited her again]
"Peter," she said, faltering, "are you expecting me to fly away with you?"
"Of course; that is why I have come."
"I can't come," she said apologetically, "I have forgotten how to fly."
"I'll soon teach you again."
"O Peter, don't waste the fairy dust on me." ...
For almost the only time in his life that I know of, Peter was afraid. ...
She let her hands play in the hair of the tragic boy.
She was not a little girl heart-broken about him;
she was a grown woman smiling at it all, but they were wet eyed smiles.
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