Tessa was nearly five, her sister Daffy was eight, and Pete, who had just come to live next door, was six – almost seven. The three made friends almost at once. Eric and Colin, two bigger boys who lived close by, made fun of Pete because he liked Daffy and Tessa, but Pete was tough and stuck to his friendship. When the summer ended and he started at his new school, he would meet other boys and make more friends, but for the moment he was quite content with the girls next door.
They had great fun that summer. Sometimes Pete and Tessa played together, and sometimes it was all three of them. They made masks, went flower-hunting, played Captain and Crew, planted seeds which Catty promptly scratched up again. But they had fun on their own, too: Daffy made a tremendous discovery; Pete made another, quite different, one; but perhaps Tessa made the best of all – for she found that at last she could keep a secret.
"Two's company, three's none", according to the proverb; but for Daffy and Tessa and Pete that wasn't true at all.