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TOMMY AND GRIZEL

BY

J. M. BARRIE

ILLUSTRATED BY BERNARD PARTRIDGE

1900, 1912





CONTENTS


PART I

CHAPTER

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

XIV ELSPETH

XV BY PROSEN WATER

XVI "HOW COULD YOU HURT YOUR GRIZEL SO!"

XVII HOW TOMMY SAVED THE FLAG


PART II

CHAPTER

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




ILLUSTRATIONS


PART I

And clung to it, his teeth set.

"She is standing behind that tree looking at us."

She did not look up, she waited.


PART II

"I sit still by his arm-chair and tell him what is happening to his
Grizel."

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 danced
around him in numbers.




TOMMY AND GRIZEL





PART I




CHAPTER I

HOW TOMMY FOUND A WAY


O.P. Pym, the colossal Pym, that vast and rolling figure, who never
knew what he was to write about until he dipped grandly, an author in
such demand that on the foggy evening which starts our story his
publishers have had his boots removed lest he slip thoughtlessly round
the corner before his work is done, as was the great man's way - shall
we 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, as
we are about to see, who in the beginning held Tommy up to the public
gaze, Pym who first noticed his remarkable indifference to female
society, Pym who gave him - - But alack! does no one remember Pym for
himself? Is the king of the _Penny Number_ already no more than a
button that once upon a time kept Tommy's person together? And we are
at the night when they first met! Let us hasten into Marylebone before
little Tommy arrives and Pym is swallowed like an oyster.

This is the house, 22 Little Owlet Street, Marylebone, but which were
his rooms it is less easy to determine, for he was a lodger who
flitted placidly from floor to floor according to the state of his
finances, carrying his apparel and other belongings in one great
armful, and spilling by the way. On this particular evening he was on
the second floor front, which had a fireplace in the corner, furniture
all his landlady's and mostly horsehair, little to suggest his calling
save 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 could
find nowhere, thrust between the buttons of his waistcoat, an
agreeable pipe-rack. He wore a yellow dressing-gown, or could scarcely
be said to wear it, for such of it as was not round his neck he had
converted into a cushion for his head, which is perhaps the part of
him we should have turned to first It was a big round head, the
plentiful gray hair in tangles, possibly because in Pym's last
flitting the comb had dropped over the banisters; the features were
ugly and beyond life-size, yet the forehead had altered little except
in colour since the day when he was near being made a fellow of his
college; there was sensitiveness left in the thick nose, humour in the
eyes, though they so often watered; the face had gone to flabbiness at
last, but not without some lines and dents, as if the head had
resisted the body for a space before the whole man rolled contentedly
downhill.

He had no beard. "Young man, let your beard grow." Those who have
forgotten all else about Pym may recall him in these words. They were
his one counsel to literary aspirants, who, according as they took it,
are now bearded and prosperous or shaven and on the rates. To shave
costs threepence, another threepence for loss of time - nearly ten
pounds a year, three hundred pounds since Pym's chin first bristled.
With his beard he could have bought an annuity or a cottage in the
country, he could have had a wife and children, and driven his
dog-cart, and been made a church-warden. All gone, all shaved, and for
what? When he asked this question he would move his hand across his
chin with a sigh, and so, bravely to the barber's.

Pym was at present suffering from an ailment that had spread him out
on that sofa again and again - acute disinclination to work.

Meanwhile all the world was waiting for his new tale; so the
publishers, two little round men, have told him. They have blustered,
they have fawned, they have asked each other out to talk it over
behind 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 see
what will happen.

He declined to do even that. While all the world waited, this was
Pym's ultimatum:

"I shall begin the damned thing at eight o'clock."

Outside, the fog kept changing at intervals from black to white, as
lazily from white to black (the monster blinking); there was not a
sound from the street save of pedestrians tapping with their sticks on
the pavement as they moved forward warily, afraid of an embrace with
the unknown; it might have been a city of blind beggars, one of them a
boy.

At eight o'clock Pym rose with a groan and sat down in his
stocking-soles to write his delicious tale. He was now alone. But
though his legs were wound round his waste-paper basket, and he dipped
often 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 still
dipping for inspiration when T. Sandys, who had been told to find the
second floor for himself, knocked at the door, and entered, quaking.

"I remember it vividly," Pym used to say when questioned in the after
years about this his first sight of Tommy, "and I hesitate to decide
which impressed me more, the richness of his voice, so remarkable in a
boy 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 biography
difficult. 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 noble
forehead 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 of
an appearance mysteriously plain; hair light brown, and waving
defiance to the brush; nothing startling about him but the expression
of his face, which was almost fearsomely solemn and apparently
unchangeable. He wore his Sunday blacks, of which the trousers might
with advantage have borrowed from the sleeves; and he was so nervous
that he had to wet his lips before he could speak. He had left the
door ajar for a private reason; but Pym, misunderstanding, thought he
did it to fly the more readily if anything was flung at him, and so
concluded that he must be a printer's devil. Pym had a voice that
shook his mantelpiece ornaments; he was all on the same scale as his
ink-pot. "Your Christian name, boy?" he roared hopefully, for it was
thus he sometimes got the idea that started him.

"Thomas," replied the boy.

Pym gave him a look of disgust "You may go," he said. But when he
looked up presently, Thomas was still there. He was not only there,
but whistling - a short, encouraging whistle that seemed to be directed
at the door. He stopped quickly when Pym looked up, but during the
remainder of the interview he emitted this whistle at intervals,
always with that anxious glance at his friend the door; and its
strained joviality was in odd contrast with his solemn face, like a
cheery tune played on the church organ.

"Begone!" cried Pym.

"My full name," explained Tommy, who was speaking the English
correctly, but with a Scots accent, "is Thomas Sandys. And fine you
know who that is," he added, exasperated by Pym's indifference. "I'm
the T. Sandys that answered your advertisement."

Pym knew who he was now. "You young ruffian," he gasped, "I never
dreamt that you would come!"

"I have your letter engaging me in my pocket," said Tommy, boldly, and
he laid it on the table. Pym surveyed it and him in comic dismay,
then with a sudden thought produced nearly a dozen letters from a
drawer, and dumped them down beside the other. It was now his turn to
look triumphant and Tommy aghast.

Pym's letters were all addressed from the Dubb of Prosen Farm, near
Thrums, N.B., to different advertisers, care of a London agency, and
were Tommy's answers to the "wants" in a London newspaper which had
found its way to the far North. "X Y Z" was in need of a chemist's
assistant, and from his earliest years, said one of the letters,
chemistry had been the study of studies for T. Sandys. He was glad to
read, was T. Sandys, that one who did not object to long hours would
be preferred, for it seemed to him that those who objected to long
hours did not really love their work, their heart was not in it, and
only 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 under
twenty. "I am a little over fourteen, but I look less," wrote T.
Sandys to "123"; "I am a little under twenty," he wrote to "Glasgow
Man," "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 to
political 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 the
secretaryship of a charitable society, salary to begin at once, but
the candidate selected must deposit one hundred pounds. The
application was noble in its offer to make the work a labour of love,
and almost nobler in its argument that the hundred pounds was
unnecessary.

"Rex" had a vacancy in his drapery department. T. Sandys had made a
unique study of drapery.

Lastly, "Anon" wanted an amanuensis. "Salary," said "Anon," who seemed
to be a humourist, "salary large but uncertain." He added with equal
candour: "Drudgery great, but to an intelligent man the pickings may
be considerable." Pickings! Is there a finer word in the language? T.
Sandys had felt that he was particularly good at pickings. But
amanuensis? The thing was unknown to him; no one on the farm could
tell him what it was. But never mind; his heart was in it.

All this correspondence had produced one reply, the letter on which
Tommy's hand still rested. It was a brief note, signed "O.P. Pym," and
engaging Mr. Sandys on his own recommendation, "if he really felt
quite certain that his heart (treasure included) was in the work." So
far good, Tommy had thought when he received this answer, but there
was nothing in it to indicate the nature of the work, nothing to show
whether O.P. Pym was "Scholastic," or "123," or "Rex," or any other
advertiser in particular. Stop, there was a postscript: "I need not go
into details about your duties, as you assure me you are so well
acquainted 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 and
risk it. The letter said plainly that he was engaged; what for he must
find out slyly when he came to London. So he had put his letter firmly
on Pym's table; but it was a staggerer to find that gentleman in
possession of the others.

One of these was Pym's by right; the remainder were a humourous gift
from the agent who was accustomed to sift the correspondence of his
clients. Pym had chuckled over them, and written a reply that he
flattered himself would stump the boy; then he had unexpectedly come
into funds (he found a forgotten check while searching his old pockets
for 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 challenge
Tommy, 'ware that red light!

"Well, which am I?" demanded Pym, almost amused, Tommy was so
obviously in a struggle with the problem.

The saucer and the blank pages told nothing. "Whichever you are," the
boy answered heavily, "it's not herding nor foddering cattle, and so
long as it's not that, I'll put my heart in it, and where the heart
is, there the treasure - "

He suddenly remembered that his host must be acquainted with the
sentiment.

Easy-going Pym laughed, then said irritably, "Of what use could a mere
boy 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 schoolmaster
has 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 I
did. 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 a
glass 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 your
gown," continued Tommy, thoughtfully, "and if you had been 'Glasgow
Man' you would have sucked it off, and if you had been the charitable
society you wouldn't swear in company." He flung out his hand. "I'll
tell you who you are," he said sternly, "you're 'Anon.'"

Under this broadside Pym succumbed. He sat down feebly. "Right," he
said, with a humourous groan, "and I shall tell you who you are. I am
afraid you are my amanuensis!"

Tommy immediately whistled, a louder and more glorious note than
before.

"Don't be so cocky," cried Pym, in sudden rebellion. "You are only my
amanuensis 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 was
when you answered my advertisement," he said.

"As soon as I got to London," Tommy answered, "I went into a
bookseller's shop, pretending I wanted to buy a dictionary, and I
looked 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 asked
awkwardly, "that I sometimes whistle?"

"Don't tell me," said Pym, "that you have a dog out there."

"It's not a dog," Tommy replied cautiously.

Pym had resumed his seat at the table and was once more toying with
his pen. "Open the door," he commanded, "and let me see what you have
brought with you."

Tommy obeyed gingerly, and then Pym gaped, for what the open door
revealed to him was a tiny roped box with a girl of twelve sitting on
it. She was dressed in some dull-coloured wincey, and looked cold and
patient and lonely, and as she saw the big man staring at her she
struggled in alarm to her feet, and could scarce stand on them. Tommy
was 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, and
did you think I could have the heart to leave Elspeth behind?" He took
her stoutly by the hand.

"And he never will marry," said little Elspeth, almost fiercely; "will
you, Tommy?"

"Never!" said Tommy, patting her and glaring at Pym.

But Pym would not have it. "Married!" he shouted. "Magnificent!" And
he dipped exultantly, for he had got his idea at last. Forgetting even
that 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 couldna
manage?" he whispered, top-heavy with conceit.

"There was Grizel," Elspeth said, rather thoughtlessly; and then
Tommy frowned.




CHAPTER II

THE SEARCH FOR THE TREASURE


Six years afterwards Tommy was a famous man, as I hope you do not need
to be told; but you may be wondering how it came about. The whole
question, in Pym's words, resolves itself into how the solemn little
devil got to know so much about women. It made the world marvel when
they learned his age, but no one was quite so staggered as Pym, who
had seen him daily for all those years, and been damning him for his
indifference to the sex during the greater part of them.

It began while he was still no more than an amanuensis, sitting with
his feet in the waste-paper basket, Pym dictating from the sofa, and
swearing when the words would not come unless he was perpendicular.
Among the duties of this amanuensis was to remember the name of the
heroine, her appearance, and other personal details; for Pym
constantly forgot them in the night, and he had to go searching back
through his pages for them, cursing her so horribly that Tommy signed
to Elspeth to retire to her tiny bedroom at the top of the house. He
was always most careful of Elspeth, and with the first pound he earned
he insured his life, leaving all to her, but told her nothing about
it, lest she should think it meant his early death. As she grew older
he also got good dull books for her from a library, and gave her a
piano on the hire system, and taught her many things about life, very
carefully selected from his own discoveries.

Elspeth out of the way, he could give Pym all the information wanted.
"Her name is Felicity," he would say at the right moment; "she has
curly brown hair in which the sun strays, and a blushing neck, and her
eyes are like blue lakes."

"Height!" roared Pym. "Have I mentioned it?"

"No; but she is about five feet six."

"How the - - could you know that?"

"You tell Percy's height in his stocking-soles, and when she reached
to his mouth and kissed him she had to stand on her tiptoes so to do."

Tommy said this in a most businesslike tone, but could not help
smacking his lips. He smacked them again when he had to write: "Have
no fear, little woman; I am by your side." Or, "What a sweet child you
are!"

Pym had probably fallen into the way of making the Percys revel in
such epithets because he could not remember the girl's name; but this
delicious use of the diminutive, as addressed to full-grown ladies,
went to Tommy's head. His solemn face kept his secret, but he had some
narrow escapes; as once, when saying good-night to Elspeth, he kissed
her on mouth, eyes, nose, and ears, and said: "Shall I tuck you in,
little woman?" He came to himself with a start.

"I forgot," he said hurriedly, and got out of the room without telling
her what he had forgotten.

Pym's publishers knew their man, and their arrangement with him was
that he was paid on completion of the tale. But always before he
reached the middle he struck for what they called his honorarium; and
this troubled them, for the tale was appearing week by week as it was
written. If they were obdurate, he suddenly concluded his story in
such words as these:

"Several years have passed since these events took place, and the
scene changes to a lovely garden by the bank of old Father Thames. A
young man sits by the soft-flowing stream, and he is calm as the scene
itself; for the storm has passed away, and Percy (for it is no other)
has found an anchorage. As he sits musing over the past, Felicity
steals out by the French window and puts her soft arms around his
neck. 'My little wife!' he murmurs. _The End - unless you pay up by
messenger._"

This last line, which was not meant for the world (but little would
Pym have cared though it had been printed), usually brought his
employers to their knees; and then, as Tommy advanced in experience,
came the pickings - for Pym, with money in his pockets, had important
engagements round the corner, and risked intrusting his amanuensis
with the writing of the next instalment, "all except the bang at the
end."

Smaller people, in Tommy's state of mind, would have hurried straight
to the love-passages; but he saw the danger, and forced his Pegasus
away from them. "Do your day's toil first," he may be conceived saying
to that animal, "and at evenfall I shall let you out to browse." So,
with this reward in front, he devoted many pages to the dreary
adventures of pretentious males, and even found a certain pleasure in
keeping the lady waiting. But as soon as he reached her he lost his
head again.

"Oh, you beauty! oh, you small pet!" he said to himself, with solemn
transport.

As the artist in him was stirred, great problems presented themselves;
for instance, in certain circumstances was "darling" or "little one"
the better phrase? "Darling" in solitary grandeur is more pregnant of
meaning than "little one," but "little" has a flavour of the
patronizing which "darling" perhaps lacks. He wasted many sheets over
such questions; but they were in his pocket when Pym or Elspeth opened
the door. It is wonderful how much you can conceal between the touch
on the handle and the opening of the door, if your heart is in it.

Despite this fine practice, however, he was the shyest of mankind in
the presence of women, and this shyness grew upon him with the years.
Was it because he never tried to uncork himself? Oh, no! It was about
this time that he, one day, put his arm round Clara, the servant - not
passionately, but with deliberation, as if he were making an
experiment with machinery. He then listened, as if to hear Clara
ticking. He wrote an admirable love-letter - warm, dignified,
sincere - to nobody in particular, and carried it about in his pocket
in readiness. But in love-making, as in the other arts, those do it
best who cannot tell how it is done; and he was always stricken with a
palsy when about to present that letter. It seemed that he was only
able to speak to ladies when they were not there. Well, if he could
not speak, he thought the more; he thought so profoundly that in time
the heroines of Pym ceased to thrill him.

This was because he had found out that they were not flesh and blood.
But he did not delight in his discovery: it horrified him; for what he
wanted was the old thrill. To make them human so that they could be
his little friends again - nothing less was called for. This meant
slaughter here and there of the great Pym's brain-work, and Tommy
tried to keep his hands off; but his heart was in it. In Pym's pages
the ladies were the most virtuous and proper of their sex (though
dreadfully persecuted), but he merely told you so at the beginning,
and now and again afterwards to fill up, and then allowed them to act
with what may be called rashness, so that the story did not really
suffer. Before Tommy was nineteen he changed all that. Out went this
because she would not have done it, and that because she could not
have done it. Fathers might now have taken a lesson from T. Sandys in
the upbringing of their daughters. He even sternly struck out the
diminutives. With a pen in his hand and woman in his head, he had such
noble thoughts that his tears of exaltation damped the pages as he
wrote, and the ladies must have been astounded as well as proud to see



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