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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