h advantage have borrowed from the sleeves; and he was so nervousthat he had to wet his lips before he could speak. He had left thedoor ajar for a private reason; but Pym, misunderstanding, thought hedid it to fly the more readily if anything was flung at him, and soconcluded that he must be a printer's devil. Pym had a voice thatshook his mantelpiece ornaments; he was all on the same scale as hisink-pot. "Your Christian name, boy?" he roared hopefully, for it wasthus he sometimes got the idea that started him.
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Sandra Bannatyne and PG DistributedProofreaders
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
J. M. BARRIE
ILLUSTRATED BY BERNARD PARTRIDGE
I HOW TOMMY FOUND A WAY
II THE SEARCH FOR THE TREASURE
III SANDYS ON WOMAN
IV GRIZEL OF THE CROOKED SMILE
V THE TOMMY MYTH
VI GHOSTS THAT HAUNT THE DEN
VII THE BEGINNING OF THE DUEL
VIII WHAT GRIZEL'S EYES SAID
IX GALLANT BEHAVIOUR OF T. SANDYS
X GAVINIA ON THE TRACK
XI THE TEA-PARTY
XII IN WHICH A COMEDIAN CHALLENGES TRAGEDY TO BOWLS
XIII LITTLE WELLS OF GLADNESS
XV BY PROSEN WATER
XVI "HOW COULD YOU HURT YOUR GRIZEL SO!"
XVII HOW TOMMY SAVED THE FLAG
XVIII THE GIRL SHE HAD BEEN
XIX OF THE CHANGE IN THOMAS
XX A LOVE-LETTER
XXI THE ATTEMPT TO CARRY ELSPETH BY NUMBERS
XXII GRIZEL'S GLORIOUS HOUR
XXIII TOMMY LOSES GRIZEL
XXIV THE MONSTER
XXV MR. T. SANDYS HAS RETURNED TO TOWN
XXVI GRIZEL ALL ALONE
XXVII GRIZEL'S JOURNEY
XXVIII TWO OF THEM
XXIX THE RED LIGHT
XXX THE LITTLE GODS DESERT HIM
XXXI "THE MAN WITH THE GREETIN' EYES"
XXXII TOMMY'S BEST WORK
XXXIII THE LITTLE GODS RETURN WITH A LADY
XXXIV A WAY IS FOUND FOR TOMMY
XXXV THE PERFECT LOVER
And clung to it, his teeth set.
"She is standing behind that tree looking at us."
She did not look up, she waited.
"I sit still by his arm-chair and tell him what is happening to hisGrizel."
They told Aaron something.
"But my friends still call me Mrs. Jerry," she said softly.
"I woke up," she said He heard their seductive voices, they dancedaround him in numbers.
TOMMY AND GRIZEL
HOW TOMMY FOUND A WAY
O.P. Pym, the colossal Pym, that vast and rolling figure, who neverknew what he was to write about until he dipped grandly, an author insuch demand that on the foggy evening which starts our story hispublishers have had his boots removed lest he slip thoughtlessly roundthe corner before his work is done, as was the great man's way--shallwe begin with him, or with Tommy, who has just arrived in London,carrying his little box and leading a lady by the hand? It was Pym, aswe are about to see, who in the beginning held Tommy up to the publicgaze, Pym who first noticed his remarkable indifference to femalesociety, Pym who gave him----But alack! does no one remember Pym forhimself? Is the king of the _Penny Number_ already no more than abutton that once upon a time kept Tommy's person together? And we areat the night when they first met! Let us hasten into Marylebone beforelittle Tommy arrives and Pym is swallowed like an oyster.
This is the house, 22 Little Owlet Street, Marylebone, but which werehis rooms it is less easy to determine, for he was a lodger whoflitted placidly from floor to floor according to the state of hisfinances, carrying his apparel and other belongings in one greatarmful, and spilling by the way. On this particular evening he was onthe second floor front, which had a fireplace in the corner, furnitureall his landlady's and mostly horsehair, little to suggest his callingsave a noble saucerful of ink, and nothing to draw attention from Pym,who lolled, gross and massive, on a sofa, one leg over the back of it,the other drooping, his arms extended, and his pipe, which he couldfind nowhere, thrust between the buttons of his waistcoat, anagreeable pipe-rack. He wore a yellow dressing-gown, or could scarcelybe said to wear it, for such of it as was not round his neck he hadconverted into a cushion for his head, which is perhaps the part ofhim we should have turned to first It was a big round head, theplentiful gray hair in tangles, possibly because in Pym's lastflitting the comb had dropped over the banisters; the features wereugly and beyond life-size, yet the forehead had altered little exceptin colour since the day when he was near being made a fellow of hiscollege; there was sensitiveness left in the thick nose, humour in theeyes, though they so often watered; the face had gone to flabbiness atlast, but not without some lines and dents, as if the head hadresisted the body for a space before the whole man rolled contentedlydownhill.
He had no beard. "Young man, let your beard grow." Those who haveforgotten all else about Pym may recall him in these words. They werehis one counsel to literary aspirants, who, according as they took it,are now bearded and prosperous or shaven and on the rates. To shavecosts threepence, another threepence for loss of time--nearly tenpounds a year, three hundred pounds since Pym's chin first bristled.With his beard he could have bought an annuity or a cottage in thecountry, he could have had a wife and children, and driven hisdog-cart, and been made a church-warden. All gone, all shaved, and forwhat? When he asked this question he would move his hand across hischin with a sigh, and so, bravely to the barber's.
Pym was at present suffering from an ailment that had spread him outon that sofa again and again--acute disinclination to work.
Meanwhile all the world was waiting for his new tale; so thepublishers, two little round men, have told him. They have blustered,they have fawned, they have asked each other out to talk it overbehind the door.
Has he any idea of what the story is to be about?
He has no idea.
Then at least, Pym--excellent Pym--sit down and dip, and let us seewhat will happen.
He declined to do even that. While all the world waited, this wasPym's ultimatum:
"I shall begin the damned thing at eight o'clock."
Outside, the fog kept changing at intervals from black to white, aslazily from white to black (the monster blinking); there was not asound from the street save of pedestrians tapping with their sticks onthe pavement as they moved forward warily, afraid of an embrace withthe unknown; it might have been a city of blind beggars, one of them aboy.
At eight o'clock Pym rose with a groan and sat down in hisstocking-soles to write his delicious tale. He was now alone. Butthough his legs were wound round his waste-paper basket, and he dippedoften and loudly in the saucer, like one ringing at the door of Fancy,he could not get the idea that would set him going. He was stilldipping for inspiration when T. Sandys, who had been told to find thesecond floor for himself, knocked at the door, and entered, quaking.
"I remember it vividly," Pym used to say when questioned in the afteryears about this his first sight of Tommy, "and I hesitate to decidewhich impressed me more, the richness of his voice, so remarkable in aboy of sixteen, or his serene countenance, with its noble forehead,behind which nothing base could lurk."
Pym, Pym! it is such as you that makes the writing of biographydifficult. The richness of Tommy's voice could not have struck you,for at that time it was a somewhat squeaky voice; and as for the nobleforehead behind which nothing base could lurk, how could you say that,Pym, you who had a noble forehead yourself?
No; all that Pym saw was a pasty-faced boy sixteen years old, and ofan appearance mysteriously plain; hair light brown, and wavingdefiance to the brush; nothing startling about him but the expressionof his face, which was almost fearsomely solemn and apparentlyunchangeable. He wore his Sunday blacks, of which the trousers mightwit
"Thomas," replied the boy.
Pym gave him a look of disgust "You may go," he said. But when helooked up presently, Thomas was still there. He was not only there,but whistling--a short, encouraging whistle that seemed to be directedat the door. He stopped quickly when Pym looked up, but during theremainder of the interview he emitted this whistle at intervals,always with that anxious glance at his friend the door; and itsstrained joviality was in odd contrast with his solemn face, like acheery tune played on the church organ.
"Begone!" cried Pym.
"My full name," explained Tommy, who was speaking the Englishcorrectly, but with a Scots accent, "is Thomas Sandys. And fine youknow who that is," he added, exasperated by Pym's indifference. "I'mthe T. Sandys that answered your advertisement."
Pym knew who he was now. "You young ruffian," he gasped, "I neverdreamt that you would come!"
"I have your letter engaging me in my pocket," said Tommy, boldly, andhe laid it on the table. Pym surveyed it and him in comic dismay,then with a sudden thought produced nearly a dozen letters from adrawer, and dumped them down beside the other. It was now his turn tolook triumphant and Tommy aghast.
Pym's letters were all addressed from the Dubb of Prosen Farm, nearThrums, N.B., to different advertisers, care of a London agency, andwere Tommy's answers to the "wants" in a London newspaper which hadfound its way to the far North. "X Y Z" was in need of a chemist'sassistant, and from his earliest years, said one of the letters,chemistry had been the study of studies for T. Sandys. He was glad toread, was T. Sandys, that one who did not object to long hours wouldbe preferred, for it seemed to him that those who objected to longhours did not really love their work, their heart was not in it, andonly where the heart is can the treasure be found.
"123" had a vacancy for a page-boy, "Glasgow Man" for a photographer;page-boy must not be over fourteen, photographer must not be undertwenty. "I am a little over fourteen, but I look less," wrote T.Sandys to "123"; "I am a little under twenty," he wrote to "GlasgowMan," "but I look more." His heart was in the work.
To be a political organizer! If "H and H," who advertised for one,only knew how eagerly the undersigned desired to devote his life topolitical organizing!
In answer to "Scholastic's" advertisement for janitor in a boys'school, T. Sandys begged to submit his name for consideration.
Undoubtedly the noblest letter was the one applying for thesecretaryship of a charitable society, salary to begin at once, butthe candidate selected must deposit one hundred pounds. Theapplication was noble in its offer to make the work a labour of love,and almost nobler in its argument that the hundred pounds wasunnecessary.
"Rex" had a vacancy in his drapery department. T. Sandys had made aunique study of drapery.
Lastly, "Anon" wanted an amanuensis. "Salary," said "Anon," who seemedto be a humourist, "salary large but uncertain." He added with equalcandour: "Drudgery great, but to an intelligent man the pickings maybe considerable." Pickings! Is there a finer word in the language? T.Sandys had felt that he was particularly good at pickings. Butamanuensis? The thing was unknown to him; no one on the farm couldtell him what it was. But never mind; his heart was in it.
All this correspondence had produced one reply, the letter on whichTommy's hand still rested. It was a brief note, signed "O.P. Pym," andengaging Mr. Sandys on his own recommendation, "if he really feltquite certain that his heart (treasure included) was in the work." Sofar good, Tommy had thought when he received this answer, but therewas nothing in it to indicate the nature of the work, nothing to showwhether O.P. Pym was "Scholastic," or "123," or "Rex," or any otheradvertiser in particular. Stop, there was a postscript: "I need not gointo details about your duties, as you assure me you are so wellacquainted with them, but before you join me please send (in writing)a full statement of what you think they are."
There were delicate reasons why Mr. Sandys could not do that, but oh,he was anxious to be done with farm labour, so he decided to pack andrisk it. The letter said plainly that he was engaged; what for he mustfind out slyly when he came to London. So he had put his letter firmlyon Pym's table; but it was a staggerer to find that gentleman inpossession of the others.
One of these was Pym's by right; the remainder were a humourous giftfrom the agent who was accustomed to sift the correspondence of hisclients. Pym had chuckled over them, and written a reply that heflattered himself would stump the boy; then he had unexpectedly comeinto funds (he found a forgotten check while searching his old pocketsfor tobacco-crumbs), and in that glory T. Sandys escaped his memory.Result, that they were now face to face.
A tiny red spot, not noticeable before, now appeared in Tommy's eyes.It was never there except when he was determined to have his way. Pym,my friend, yes, and everyone of you who is destined to challengeTommy, 'ware that red light!
"Well, which am I?" demanded Pym, almost amused, Tommy was soobviously in a struggle with the problem.
The saucer and the blank pages told nothing. "Whichever you are," theboy answered heavily, "it's not herding nor foddering cattle, and solong as it's not that, I'll put my heart in it, and where the heartis, there the treasure--"
He suddenly remembered that his host must be acquainted with thesentiment.
Easy-going Pym laughed, then said irritably, "Of what use could a mereboy be to me?"
"Then it's not the page-boy!" exclaimed Tommy, thankfully.
"Perhaps I am 'Scholastic,'" suggested Pym.
"No," said Tommy, after a long study of his face.
Pym followed this reasoning, and said touchily, "Many a schoolmasterhas a red face."
"Not that kind of redness," explained Tommy, without delicacy.
"I am 'H and H,'" said Pym.
"You forget you wrote to me as one person," replied Tommy. "So Idid. That was because I am the chemist; and I must ask you, Thomas,for your certificate."
Tommy believed him this time, and Pym triumphantly poured himself aglass of whisky, spilling some of it on his dressing-gown.
"Not you," said Tommy, quickly; "a chemist has a steady hand."
"Confound you!" cried Pym, "what sort of a boy is this?"
"If you had been the draper you would have wiped the drink off yourgown," continued Tommy, thoughtfully, "and if you had been 'GlasgowMan' you would have sucked it off, and if you had been the charitablesociety you wouldn't swear in company." He flung out his hand. "I'lltell you who you are," he said sternly, "you're 'Anon.'"
Under this broadside Pym succumbed. He sat down feebly. "Right," hesaid, with a humourous groan, "and I shall tell you who you are. I amafraid you are my amanuensis!"
Tommy immediately whistled, a louder and more glorious note thanbefore.
"Don't be so cocky," cried Pym, in sudden rebellion. "You are only myamanuensis if you can tell me what that is. If you can't--out you go!"
He had him at last! Not he!
"An amanuensis," said Tommy, calmly, "is one who writes to dictation.Am I to bring in my box? It's at the door."
This made Pym sit down again. "You didn't know what an amanuensis waswhen you answered my advertisement," he said.
"As soon as I got to London," Tommy answered, "I went into abookseller's shop, pretending I wanted to buy a dictionary, and Ilooked the word up."
"Bring in your box," Pym said, with a groan.
But it was now Tommy's turn to hesitate. "Have you noticed," he askedawkwardly, "that I sometimes whistle?"
"Don't tell me," said Pym, "that you have a dog out there."
"It's not a dog," Tomm
y replied cautiously.
Pym had resumed his seat at the table and was once more toying withhis pen. "Open the door," he commanded, "and let me see what you havebrought with you."
Tommy obeyed gingerly, and then Pym gaped, for what the open doorrevealed to him was a tiny roped box with a girl of twelve sitting onit. She was dressed in some dull-coloured wincey, and looked cold andpatient and lonely, and as she saw the big man staring at her shestruggled in alarm to her feet, and could scarce stand on them. Tommywas looking apprehensively from her to Pym.
"Good God, boy!" roared Pym, "are you married?"
"No," cried Tommy, in agony, "she's my sister, and we're orphans, anddid you think I could have the heart to leave Elspeth behind?" He tookher stoutly by the hand.
"And he never will marry," said little Elspeth, almost fiercely; "willyou, Tommy?"
"Never!" said Tommy, patting her and glaring at Pym.
But Pym would not have it. "Married!" he shouted. "Magnificent!" Andhe dipped exultantly, for he had got his idea at last. Forgetting eventhat he had an amanuensis, he wrote on and on and on.
"He smells o' drink," Elspeth whispered.
"All the better," replied Tommy, cheerily. "Make yourself at home,Elspeth; he's the kind I can manage. Was there ever a kind I couldnamanage?" he whispered, top-heavy with conceit.
"There was Grizel," Elspeth said, rather thoughtlessly; and thenTommy frowned.