Peter was such a small boy that one tends to wonder at the man's hatred
of him. True he had flung Hook's arm to the crocodile, but even this
and the increased insecurity of life to which it led, owing to
the crocodile's pertinacity [persistance], hardly account for a
vindictiveness so relentless and malignant. The truth is that there was
a something about Peter which goaded the pirate captain to frenzy. It
was not his courage, it was not his engaging appearance, it was not--.
There is no beating about the bush, for we know quite well what it was,
and have got to tell. It was Peter's cockiness.
This had got on Hook's nerves; it made his iron claw twitch, and at
night it disturbed him like an insect. While Peter lived, the tortured
man felt that he was a lion in a cage into which a sparrow had come.