Peter Pan and Captain Hook: Thus suddenly Hook found himself face to face with Peter. The others drew back and formed a ring round them.
For long the two enemies looked at one another; Hook shuddering slightly, and Peter with the strange smile upon his face.
'So, Pan,' said Hook at last, 'this is all your doing.'
'Ay, James Hook,' came the stern answer, 'it is all my doing.'
'Proud and insolent youth,' said Hook, 'prepare to meet thy doom.'
'Dark and sinister man,' Peter answered, 'have at thee.'
Without more words they fell to, and for a space there was no advantage to either blade. Peter was a superb swordsman, and parried with dazzling rapidity; ever and anon he followed up a feint with a lunge that got past his foe's defence, but his shorter reach stood him[Pg 227] in ill stead, and he could not drive the steel home. Hook, scarcely his inferior in brilliancy, but not quite so nimble in wrist play, forced him back by the weight of his onset, hoping suddenly to end all with a favourite thrust, taught him long ago by Barbecue at Rio; but to his astonishment he found this thrust turned aside again and again. Then he sought to close and give the quietus with his iron hook, which all this time had been pawing the air; but Peter doubled under it and, lunging fiercely, pierced him in the ribs. At sight of his own blood, whose peculiar colour, you remember, was offensive to him, the sword fell from Hook's hand, and he was at Peter's mercy.
'Now!' cried all the boys; but with a magnificent gesture Peter invited his opponent to pick up his sword. Hook did so instantly, but with a tragic feeling that Peter was showing good form.
Hitherto he had thought it was some fiend fighting him, but darker suspicions assailed him now.
'Pan, who and what art thou?' he cried huskily.
Title: Peter and Wendy. Author: James Matthew Barrie. Illustrator: Francis Donkin Bedford (1864–1954).
Author(s): J. M. Barrie. Illustrator: F. D. Bedford. Country: United Kingdom. Language: English. Genre(s): Fantasy. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Charles Scribner's Sons (USA). Publication date: 11 October 1911 (UK) & (USA). Media type: Print. Pages: 267 pp.; Frontispiece and 11 half-tone plates
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