“Who are they?”
“They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way[29 - to look the other way – смотреть в другую сторону]. If they are not claimed[30 - If they are not claimed – Если никто не потребует их обратно] in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expenses. I’m their Captain.”
“Oh! What fun!”
“Yes,” said Peter, “but we are rather lonely. You see we have no girls there.”
“Are none of the others girls?”
“Oh, no; girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out of their prams.”
“You are very kind,” said Wendy, “so you may give me a kiss. It’s like this.” She kissed him.
“Funny!” said Peter gravely. “Now shall I give you a kiss?”
“If you wish to,” said Wendy.
But suddenly Wendy cried, “Somebody was pulling my hair.”
“That must be Tink. I never knew her so naughty before.”
“Oh! But, Peter, why did you come to our nursery window?”
“You see, I don’t know any stories. None of the Lost Boys knows any stories.”
“How perfectly awful,” Wendy said.
Peter came to listen to the lovely stories Wendy’s mother related to her children, for the Lost Boys had no mothers, and no one to tell them any stories. He also told her how he led them against their enemies, the pirates and the wolves, and how they liked to bath in the Lagoon, where beautiful mermaids sang and swam all day long.
“O Wendy, your mother was telling you such a lovely story!”
“Which story was it?”
“About the prince who couldn’t find the lady who wore the glass slipper.”
“Peter,” said Wendy excitedly, “that was Cinderella[31 - Cinderella – Золушка], and he found her, and they lived happily ever after.”
Peter was so glad that he rose from the floor, where they were sitting, and hurried to the window.
“Where are you going?” she cried.
“I must go back now, the boys will be anxious to hear the end of the story about the Prince and the Glass Slipper. I told them as much as I knew, and they want to hear the rest[32 - want to hear the rest – хотят услышать, что было дальше].”
“Don’t go Peter,” she entreated, “I know such lots of stories. I’ll tell you lots more, ever so many stories.”
Wendy begged him to stay. He came back, and there was a greedy look in his eyes. Peter gripped her and began to draw her toward the window.
“Let me go![33 - Let me go! – Отпусти меня!]” she ordered him.
“Come, Wendy! Come with me and tell the other boys. You can tell us all the stories there, and darn our clothes, and tuck us in at night.”
“Oh dear, I can’t. Think of Mummy! Besides, I can’t fly.”
“I’ll teach you. I’ll teach you how to jump on the wind’s back, and then away we go.”
This was too much for her. “Oo!” she exclaimed.
“Wendy, Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed you could fly with me and talk to the stars.”
“And, Wendy, there are mermaids.”
“Mermaids! With tails?”
“Such long tails.”
“Oh,” cried Wendy, “to see a mermaid!”
“Wendy,” said Peter, “we shall all respect you.”
“Peter, will you teach John and Michael to fly as well?”
“Yes, if you like,” he said indifferently, and she ran to John and Michael and shook them. “Wake up,” she cried, “Peter Pan is here, and he will teach us to fly.”
John rubbed his eyes. “Then I shall get up,” he said. Of course he was on the floor already. “Hallo,” he said. Michael woke up, too.
“Peter,” asked John. “Can you really fly?”
Peter flew around the room.
“How sweet![34 - How sweet! – Как мило!]” cried Wendy.
“Yes, I’m sweet, oh, I am sweet!” said Peter.
Children tried to fly from the floor and then from the beds, but they always went down instead of up.
“How do you do it?” asked John. He was quite a practical boy.
“I must blow the fairy dust on you,” and Peter blew some on each of them.
“Now just wiggle your shoulders,” he said, “and let go.”
So they tried, and found that they could fly; just a little at first, from the bed to the floor and back again; then over the bed and across the room. “Oh, lovely! We can fly! Look at me!”
“Look at me!”
“Look at me!”
“Let’s fly out!” cried John.
Michael was ready, but Wendy hesitated.
“Mermaids!” said Peter again.
“And there are pirates.”
“Pirates,” cried John “let us go at once[35 - let us go at once – летим немедленно].”
“Tink, lead the way!” called Peter. None of the children had time to put on their day clothes, but John snatched his top hat as he flew out of the window, followed by Michael. Peter Pan held Wendy’s hand, and away they floated into the dark blue depths of the starry night.