girl repeated, docilely, but when she looked again, "Ma-ma, ma-ma," she insisted, and this was Tommy's first lesson that however young you catch them they will never listen to reason.
She seemed of a mind to trip off to this woman, and as long as his own mother was safe, it did not greatly matter to Tommy whom she chose, but if it was this one, she was going the wrong way about it. You cannot snap them up in the street.
The proper course was to track her to her house, which he proceeded to do, and his quarry, who was looking about her anxiously, as if she had lost something, gave him but a short chase. In the next street to the one in which they had first seen her, a street so like it that Tommy might have admired her for knowing the difference, she opened the door with a key and entered, shutting the door behind her. Odd to tell, the child had pointed to this door as the one she would stop at, which surprised Tommy very much.
On the steps he gave her his final instructions, and she dimpled and gurg
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.