rites 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,
This semi-autobiographical novel by the author of "Peter Pan" follows the life of a fanciful little boy in a small Scottish town. Tommy is apt to lose himself in his own imaginings and to empathize so with whoever he's with that he become whatever they expect to see.
The novel's heavy use of Scots dialect makes it slow reading, and though Tommy might sometimes be an engaging scamp, he's rarely a sympathetic character. There's a sequel, "Tommy and Grizel," but while this one makes it clear that Tommy goes on to better things, it's hard to care what happens to him.