- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Ships from: Chatham, NJ
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from: acton, MA
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Peter Pevensie tried his best to look interested.
"Come on, Peter," said Susan, his sister. She was holding an open dictionary. "Gastrovascular."
"Is it Latin?" asked his brother, Edmund, stifling a yawn. "For 'worst game ever invented'?"
Susan shut the dictionary with a thump.
"We could play hide-and-seek," said Lucy, the youngest.
"But we're already having so much fun." Peter sighed.
"Hide-and-seek's for children," Edmund added.
Lucy jumped to her feet.
"Come on, Peter!" she cried. "Please?"
Peter sighed again, then covered his eyes.
"One, two, three, four . . ."
As he counted, Peter thought about how he and his brother and sisters had come to be here, miles from home and living with people they didn't even know. Air raids had made London a dangerous place, so many of the city's children were evacuated to the country. Peter's mother had taken them to the railway station with their luggage and boarded them onto a train.
"Promise me you'll look after the others," she had said to Peter, tears in her eyes.
"I will, Mum," he said, hugging her.
The house they were staying in belonged to Professor Kirke. It wasa big, old mansion with stained glass windows. The Professor lived alone, except for his housekeeper, Mrs. Macready, so there was plenty of room for them all. They hadn't seen the Professor yet, as he was always working, but Mrs. Macready seemed a little grumpy. She had already warned them against shouting, running, sliding down the banisters and touching the Professor's things.
"Ninety-nine, one hundred. Ready or not, here I come!"
Peter opened his eyes. No one was in the room. He stepped out into the hail.
"It's all right!" cried Lucy, bursting out of a big wardrobe. "I'm back!"
Edmund stuck his head out from behind a curtain. "Shut up! He's coming."
"I'm not sure you two have quite got the idea of this game!" Peter laughed.
"Weren't you wondering where I was?" asked Lucy. "I was hiding in the wardrobe, and the next thing I knew, I was in a wood and I met a Faun named Mr. Tumnus. I've been gone for hours!"
Peter looked at her, disbelieving. There was nothing inside the wardrobe but coats.
Peter messed up Lucy's hair.
"One game at a time, Lu." He laughed. "We don't all have your imagination."
"But I wasn't imagining!" said Lucy. "I wouldn't lie about this!"
"I believe you," said Edmund.
Lucy turned to him eagerly.
"Sure." He grinned. "Didn't I tell you about the football field in the bathroom cupboard?"
Peter shoved Edmund. "You just have to make everything worse, don't you?" cried Peter, angrily.
"It was a joke," said Edmund, stomping off down the hail.
"When are you going to grow up?" shouted Peter.
"Shut up! You think you're Dad, but you're not," replied Edmund.
"That was nicely handled," said Susan, quietly.
Peter sighed. He wasn't doing very well with his promise to Mum.
Later, in the middle of the night, Peter was awakened by an excited Lucy, shaking him roughly.
"Peter! Wake up!" she cried. "It's there! It's really there!"
Peter lifted himself onto his elbows.
"What are you talking about?"
"Narnia! Mr. Tumnus! It's all in the wardrobe like I told you!"
Lucy was jumping up and down.
"You've just been dreaming, Lucy," said Susan, who was awakened by all the noise.
"But I haven't," said Lucy, grinning triumphantly, and this time, Edmund went, too."
Peter turned to Edmund, who looked a little anxious.
Eventually, he spoke. "I was just playing along."
Peter glanced at Lucy. She seemed confused.
"But you know how little children are," Edmund went on. "They just don't know when to stop pretending."
Lucy sobbed and ran from the room. Peter glared at Edmund, then followed her out of the room, with Susan close behind.
In the hallway, they found Lucy being consoled by a kind-looking old man who Peter decided must be the Professor. Mrs. Macready was there, too, hastily wrapping her dressing gown around herself.
"Professor, I'm sorry. I told them you were not to be disturbed," she grumbled.
"It's all right, Mrs. Macready. I'm sure there's an explanation," said the Professor. He unwrapped Lucy's arms from his waist and pointed her in Mrs. Macready's direction. "I think this one is in need of a little hot chocolate."
Lucy took Mrs. Macready's hand and went downstairs with her.
The Professor beckoned Peter and Susan to follow him.
He led them into his study. The walls were shelved from floor to ceiling and crammed with books and ancient artifacts. There was a desk piled high with paper.
"You seem to have upset the delicate internal balance of my housekeeper," he said, looking at Peter over the top of his glasses.
"We're very sorry, sir," said Peter. "It won't happen again."
He turned to leave.
"It's Lucy, sir," said Susan.
Peter glared at her.
"The crying one?"
"Yes, sir," she continued. "She's upset."
"It's nothing," Peter said firmly. "We can handle it."
The Professor smiled. "Oh, I can see that."
Susan glanced at Peter and blurted out, "She says she's found a magical land in the upstairs wardrobe."
"What did you say?" asked the Professor, his eyes sparkling.
Peter felt very uncomfortable. "Urn, the wardrobe upstairs ... Lucy thinks she found a forest inside."
"She won't stop going on about it," added Susan.
"What was it like?"
Peter couldn't believe his ears.
"You're not saying you believe her?" he asked, incredulous. "Edmund said she was only pretending."
The Professor nodded. "And he's usually the more truthful one?"
Peter paused. "No ... this would be the first time."
"So you think Lucy's crazy? Out of her mind, as they say?"
Susan shook her head. "I wouldn't go that far."
The Professor smiled.
"Well, if Lucy's not lying, and if she's not crazy, then logically, we must assume she's telling the truth."
"You're saying we should believe her?" Peter gawked at him. The Professor sat down and leaned toward them.
"Of course. She's your sister. You're family."
Excerpted from Peter's Destiny by Craig Graham Copyright © 2006 by Craig Graham. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.