Ozma of Oz
A Record of Her Adventures with Dorothy Gale of Kansas, the Yellow Hen, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Tiktok, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger; Besides Other Good People too Numerous to Mention Faithfully Recorded Herein
L. Frank Baum
The Author of The Wizard of Oz, The Land of Oz, etc.
1. The Girl in the Chicken Coop
2. The Yellow Hen
3. Letters in the Sand
4. Tiktok, the Machine Man
5. Dorothy Opens the Dinner Pail
6. The Heads of Langwidere
7. Ozma of Oz to the Rescue
8. The Hungry Tiger
9. The Royal Family of Ev
10. The Giant with the Hammer
11. The Nome King
12. The Eleven Guesses
13. The Nome King Laughs
14. Dorothy Tries to be Brave
15. Billina Frightens the Nome King
16. Purple, Green and Gold
17. The Scarecrow Wins the Fight
18. The Fate of the Tin Woodman
19. The King of Ev
20. The Emerald City
21. Dorothy's Magic Belt
My friends the children are responsible for this new "Oz Book," as theywere for the last one, which was called The Land of Oz. Their sweetlittle letters plead to know "more about Dorothy"; and they ask: "Whatbecame of the Cowardly Lion?" and "What did Ozma doafterward?"--meaning, of course, after she became the Ruler of Oz. Andsome of them suggest plots to me, saying: "Please have Dorothy go tothe Land of Oz again"; or, "Why don't you make Ozma and Dorothy meet,and have a good time together?" Indeed, could I do all that my littlefriends ask, I would be obliged to write dozens of books to satisfytheir demands. And I wish I could, for I enjoy writing these storiesjust as much as the children say they enjoy reading them.
Well, here is "more about Dorothy," and about our old friends theScarecrow and the Tin Woodman, and about the Cowardly Lion, and Ozma,and all the rest of them; and here, likewise, is a good deal about somenew folks that are queer and unusual. One little friend, who read thisstory before it was printed, said to me: "Billina is REAL OZZY, Mr.Baum, and so are Tiktok and the Hungry Tiger."
If this judgment is unbiased and correct, and the little folks findthis new story "real Ozzy," I shall be very glad indeed that I wroteit. But perhaps I shall get some more of those very welcome lettersfrom my readers, telling me just how they like "Ozma of Oz." I hopeso, anyway.
L. FRANK BAUM.
1. The Girl in the Chicken Coop
The wind blew hard and joggled the water of the ocean, sending ripplesacross its surface. Then the wind pushed the edges of the ripplesuntil they became waves, and shoved the waves around until they becamebillows. The billows rolled dreadfully high: higher even than the topsof houses. Some of them, indeed, rolled as high as the tops of talltrees, and seemed like mountains; and the gulfs between the greatbillows were like deep valleys.
All this mad dashing and splashing of the waters of the big ocean,which the mischievous wind caused without any good reason whatever,resulted in a terrible storm, and a storm on the ocean is liable to cutmany queer pranks and do a lot of damage.
At the time the wind began to blow, a ship was sailing far out upon thewaters. When the waves began to tumble and toss and to grow bigger andbigger the ship rolled up and down, and tipped sidewise--first one wayand then the other--and was jostled around so roughly that even thesailor-men had to hold fast to the ropes and railings to keepthemselves from being swept away by the wind or pitched headlong intothe sea.
And the clouds were so thick in the sky that the sunlight couldn't getthrough them; so that the day grew dark as night, which added to theterrors of the storm.
The Captain of the ship was not afraid, because he had seen stormsbefore, and had sailed his ship through them in safety; but he knewthat his passengers would be in danger if they tried to stay on deck,so he put them all into the cabin and told them to stay there untilafter the storm was over, and to keep brave hearts and not be scared,and all would be well with them.
Now, among these passengers was a little Kansas girl named DorothyGale, who was going with her Uncle Henry to Australia, to visit somerelatives they had never before seen. Uncle Henry, you must know, wasnot very well, because he had been working so hard on his Kansas farmthat his health had given way and left him weak and nervous. So heleft Aunt Em at home to watch after the hired men and to take care ofthe farm, while he traveled far away to Australia to visit his cousinsand have a good rest.
Dorothy was eager to go with him on this journey, and Uncle Henrythought she would be good company and help cheer him up; so he decidedto take her along. The little girl was quite an experienced traveller,for she had once been carried by a cyclone as far away from home as themarvelous Land of Oz, and she had met with a good many adventures inthat strange country before she managed to get back to Kansas again.So she wasn't easily frightened, whatever happened, and when the windbegan to howl and whistle, and the waves began to tumble and toss, ourlittle girl didn't mind the uproar the least bit.
"Of course we'll have to stay in the cabin," she said to Uncle Henryand the other passengers, "and keep as quiet as possible until thestorm is over. For the Captain says if we go on deck we may be blownoverboard."
No one wanted to risk such an accident as that, you may be sure; so allthe passengers stayed huddled up in the dark cabin, listening to theshrieking of the storm and the creaking of the masts and rigging andtrying to keep from bumping into one another when the ship tippedsidewise.
Dorothy had almost fallen asleep when she was aroused with a start tofind that Uncle Henry was missing. She couldn't imagine where he hadgone, and as he was not very strong she began to worry about him, andto fear he might have been careless enough to go on deck. In that casehe would be in great danger unless he instantly came down again.
The fact was that Uncle Henry had gone to lie down in his littlesleeping-berth, but Dorothy did not know that. She only rememberedthat Aunt Em had cautioned her to take good care of her uncle, so atonce she decided to go on deck and find him, in spite of the fact thatthe tempest was now worse than ever, and the ship was plunging in areally dreadful manner. Indeed, the little girl found it was as muchas she could do to mount the stairs to the deck, and as soon as she gotthere the wind struck her so fiercely that it almost tore away theskirts of her dress. Yet Dorothy felt a sort of joyous excitement indefying the storm, and while she held fast to the railing she peeredaround through the gloom and thought she saw the dim form of a manclinging to a mast not far away from her. This might be her uncle, soshe called as loudly as she could:
"Uncle Henry! Uncle Henry!"
But the wind screeched and howled so madly that she scarce heard herown voice, and the man certainly failed to hear her, for he did notmove.
Dorothy decided she must go to him; so she made a dash forward, duringa lull in the storm, to where a big square chicken-coop had been lashedto the deck with ropes. She reached this place in safety, but nosooner had she seized fast hold of the slats of the big box in whichthe chickens were kept than the wind, as if enraged because the littlegirl dared to resist its power, suddenly redoubled its fury. With ascream like that of an angry giant it tore away the ropes that held thecoop and lifted it high into the air, with Dorothy still clinging tothe slats. Around and over it whirled, this way and that, and a fewmoments later the chicken-coop dropped far away into the sea, where thebig waves caught it and slid it up-hill to a foaming crest and thendown-hill into a deep valley, as if it were nothing more than aplaything to keep them amused.
Dorothy had a good ducking, you may be sure, but she didn't lose herpresence of mind even for a second. She kept tight hold of the stoutslats and as soon as she could get the water out of her eyes she sawthat the wind had ripped the cover from the coop, and the poor chickenswere fluttering away in every direction, being blown by the wind untilthey looked like feather dusters without handles. The bottom of thecoop was made of thick boards, so Dorothy found she was clinging to asort of raft, with sides of slats, which readily bore up her weight.After coughing the water out of her throat and getting her breathagain, she managed to climb over the slats and stand upon the firmwooden bottom of the coop, which supported her easily enough.
"Why, I've got a ship of my own!" she thought, more amused thanfrightened at her sudden change of condition; and then, as the coopclimbed up to the top of a big wave, she looked eagerly around for theship from which she had been blown.
It was far, far away, by this time. Perhaps no one on board had yetmissed her, or knew of her strange adventure. Down into a valleybetween the waves the coop swept her, and when she climbed anothercrest the ship looked like a toy boat, it was such a long way off.Soon it had entirely disappeared in the gloom, and then Dorothy gave asigh of regret at parting with Uncle Henry and began to wonder what wasgoing to happen to her next.
Just now she was tossing on the bosom of a big ocean, with nothing tokeep her afloat but a miserable wooden hen-coop that had a plank bottomand slatted sides, through which the water constantly splashed andwetted her through to the skin! And there was nothing to eat when shebecame hungry--as she was sure to do before long--and no fresh water todrink and no dry clothes to put on.
"Well, I declare!" she exclaimed, with a laugh. "You're in a prettyfix, Dorothy Gale, I can tell you! and I haven't the least idea howyou're going to get out of it!"
As if to add to her troubles the night was now creeping on, and thegray clouds overhead changed to inky blackness. But the wind, as ifsatisfied at last with its mischievous pranks, stopped blowing thisocean and hurried away to another part of the world to blow somethingelse; so that the waves, not being joggled any more, began to quietdown and behave themselves.
It was lucky for Dorothy, I think, that the storm subsided; otherwise,brave though she was, I fear she might have perished. Many children,in her place, would have wept and given way to despair; but becauseDorothy had encountered so many adventures and come safely through themit did not occur to her at this time to be especially afraid. She waswet and uncomfortable, it is true; but, after sighing that one sigh Itold you of, she managed to recall some of her customary cheerfulnessand decided to patiently await whatever her fate might be.
By and by the black clouds rolled away and showed a blue sky overhead,with a silver moon shining sweetly in the middle of it and little starswinking merrily at Dorothy when she looked their way. The coop did nottoss around any more, but rode the waves more gently--almost like acradle rocking--so that the floor upon which Dorothy stood was nolonger swept by water coming through the slats. Seeing this, and beingquite exhausted by the excitement of the past few hours, the littlegirl decided that sleep would be the best thing to restore her strengthand the easiest way in which she could pass the time. The floor wasdamp and she was herself wringing wet, but fortunately this was a warmclimate and she did not feel at all cold.
So she sat down in a corner of the coop, leaned her back against theslats, nodded at the friendly stars before she closed her eyes, and wasasleep in half a minute.
2. The Yellow Hen
A strange noise awoke Dorothy, who opened her eyes to find that day haddawned and the sun was shining brightly in a clear sky. She had beendreaming that she was back in Kansas again, and playing in the oldbarn-yard with the calves and pigs and chickens all around her; and atfirst, as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, she really imagined shewas there.
"Kut-kut-kut, ka-daw-kut! Kut-kut-kut, ka-daw-kut!"
Ah; here again was the strange noise that had awakened her. Surely itwas a hen cackling! But her wide-open eyes first saw, through theslats of the coop, the blue waves of the ocean, now calm and placid,and her thoughts flew back to the past night, so full of danger anddiscomfort. Also she began to remember that she was a waif of thestorm, adrift upon a treacherous and unknown sea.
"What's that?" cried Dorothy, starting to her feet.
"Why, I've just laid an egg, that's all," replied a small, but sharpand distinct voice, and looking around her the little girl discovered ayellow hen squatting in the opposite corner of the coop.
"Dear me!" she exclaimed, in surprise; "have YOU been here all night,too?"
"Of course," answered the hen, fluttering her wings and yawning. "Whenthe coop blew away from the ship I clung fast to this corner, withclaws and beak, for I knew if I fell into the water I'd surely bedrowned. Indeed, I nearly drowned, as it was, with all that waterwashing over me. I never was so wet before in my life!"
"Yes," agreed Dorothy, "it was pretty wet, for a time, I know. But doyou feel comfor'ble now?"
"Not very. The sun has helped to dry my feathers, as it has yourdress, and I feel better since I laid my morning egg. But what's tobecome of us, I should like to know, afloat on this big pond?"
"I'd like to know that, too," said Dorothy. "But, tell me; how does ithappen that you are able to talk? I thought hens could only cluck andcackle."
"Why, as for that," answered the yellow hen thoughtfully, "I've cluckedand cackled all my life, and never spoken a word before this morning,that I can remember. But when you asked a question, a minute ago, itseemed the most natural thing in the world to answer you. So I spoke,and I seem to keep on speaking, just as you and other human beings do.Strange, isn't it?"
"Very," replied Dorothy. "If we were in the Land of Oz, I wouldn'tthink it so queer, because many of the animals can talk in that fairycountry. But out here in the ocean must be a good long way from Oz."
"How is my grammar?" asked the yellow hen, anxiously. "Do I speakquite properly, in your judgment?"
"Yes," said Dorothy, "you do very well, for a beginner."
"I'm glad to know that," continued the yellow hen, in a confidentialtone; "because, if one is going to talk, it's best to talk correctly.The red rooster has often said that my cluck and my cackle were quiteperfect; and now it's a comfort to know I am talking properly."
"I'm beginning to get hungry," remarked Dorothy. "It's breakfast time;but there's no breakfast."
"You may have my egg," said the yellow hen. "I don't care for it, youknow."
"Don't you want to hatch it?" asked the little girl, in surprise.
"No, indeed; I never care to hatch eggs unless I've a nice snug nest,in some quiet place, with a baker's dozen of eggs under me. That'sthirteen, you know, and it's a lucky number for hens. So you may aswell eat this egg."
"Oh, I couldn't POSS'BLY eat it, unless it was cooked," exclaimedDorothy. "But I'm much obliged for your kindness, just the same."
"Don't mention it, my dear," answered the hen, calmly, and beganpreening her feathers.
For a moment Dorothy stood looking out over the wide sea. She wasstill thinking of the egg, though; so presently she asked:
"Why do you lay eggs, when you don't expect to hatch them?"
"It's a habit I have," replied the yellow hen. "It has always been mypride to lay a fresh egg every morning, except when I'm moulting. Inever feel like having my morning cackle till the egg is properly laid,and without the chance to cackle I would not be happy."
"It's strange," said the girl, reflectively; "but as I'm not a hen Ican't be 'spected to understand that."
"Certainly not, my dear."
Then Dorothy fell silent again. The yellow hen was some company, and abit of comfort, too; but it was dreadfully lonely out on the big ocean,nevertheless.
After a time the hen flew up and perched upon the topmost slat of thecoop, which was a little above Dorothy's head when she was sitting uponthe bottom, as she had been doing for some moments past.
"Why, we are not far from land!" exclaimed the hen.
"Where? Where is it?" cried Dorothy, jumping up in great excitement.
"Over there a little way," answered the hen, nodding her head in acertain direction. "We seem to be drifting toward it, so that beforenoon we ought to find ourselves upon dry land again."
"I shall like that!" said Dorothy, with a little sigh, for her feet andlegs were still wetted now and then by the sea-water that came throughthe open slats.
"So shall I," answered her companion. "There is nothing in the worldso miserable as a wet hen."
The land, which they seemed to be rapidly approaching, since it grewmore distinct every minute, was quite beautiful as viewed by the littlegirl in the floating hen-coop. Next to the water was a broad beach ofwhite sand and gravel, and farther back were several rocky hills, whilebeyond these appeared a strip of green trees that marked the edge of aforest. But there were no houses to be seen, nor any sign of peoplewho might inhabit this unknown land.
"I hope we shall find something to eat," said Dorothy, looking eagerlyat the pretty beach toward which they drifted. "It's long pastbreakfast time, now."
"I'm a trifle hungry, myself," declared the yellow hen.
"Why don't you eat the egg?" asked the child. "You don't need to haveyour food cooked, as I do."
"Do you take me for a cannibal?" cried the hen, indignantly. "I do notknow what I have said or done that leads you to insult me!"
"I beg your pardon, I'm sure Mrs.--Mrs.--by the way, may I inquire yourname, ma'am?" asked the little girl.
"My name is Bill," said the yellow hen, somewhat gruffly.
"Bill! Why, that's a boy's name."
"What difference does that make?"
"You're a lady hen, aren't you?"
"Of course. But when I was first hatched out no one could tell whetherI was going to be a hen or a rooster; so the little boy at the farmwhere I was born called me Bill, and made a pet of me because I was theonly yellow chicken in the whole brood. When I grew up, and he foundthat I didn't crow and fight, as all the roosters do, he did not thinkto change my name, and every creature in the barn-yard, as well as thepeople in the house, knew me as 'Bill.' So Bill I've always beencalled, and Bill is my name."
"But it's all wrong, you know," declared Dorothy, earnestly; "and, ifyou don't mind, I shall call you 'Billina.' Putting the 'eena' on theend makes it a girl's name, you see."
"Oh, I don't mind it in the least," returned the yellow hen. "Itdoesn't matter at all what you call me, so long as I know the namemeans ME."
"Very well, Billina. MY name is Dorothy Gale--just Dorothy to myfriends and Miss Gale to strangers. You may call me Dorothy, if youlike. We're getting very near the shore. Do you suppose it is toodeep for me to wade the rest of the way?"
"Wait a few minutes longer. The sunshine is warm and pleasant, and weare in no hurry."
"But my feet are all wet and soggy," said the girl. "My dress is dryenough, but I won't feel real comfor'ble till I get my feet dried."
She waited, however, as the hen advised, and before long the big woodencoop grated gently on the sandy beach and the dangerous voyage was over.
It did not take the castaways long to reach the shore, you may be sure.The yellow hen flew to the sands at once, but Dorothy had to climb overthe high slats. Still, for a country girl, that was not much of afeat, and as soon as she was safe ashore Dorothy drew off her wet shoesand stockings and spread them upon the sun-warmed beach to dry.
Then she sat down and watched Billina, who was pick-pecking away withher sharp bill in the sand and gravel, which she scratched up andturned over with her strong claws.
"What are you doing?" asked Dorothy.
"Getting my breakfast, of course," murmured the hen, busily peckingaway.
"What do you find?" inquired the girl, curiously.
"Oh, some fat red ants, and some sand-bugs, and once in a while a tinycrab. They are very sweet and nice, I assure you."
"How dreadful!" exclaimed Dorothy, in a shocked voice.
"What is dreadful?" asked the hen, lifting her head to gaze with onebright eye at her companion.
"Why, eating live things, and horrid bugs, and crawly ants. You oughtto be 'SHAMED of yourself!"
"Goodness me!" returned the hen, in a puzzled tone; "how queer you are,Dorothy! Live things are much fresher and more wholesome than deadones, and you humans eat all sorts of dead creatures."
"We don't!" said Dorothy.
"You do, indeed," answered Billina. "You eat lambs and sheep and cowsand pigs and even chickens."
"But we cook 'em," said Dorothy, triumphantly.
"What difference does that make?"
"A good deal," said the girl, in a graver tone. "I can't just 'splainthe diff'rence, but it's there. And, anyhow, we never eat suchdreadful things as BUGS."
"But you eat the chickens that eat the bugs," retorted the yellow hen,with an odd cackle. "So you are just as bad as we chickens are."
This made Dorothy thoughtful. What Billina said was true enough, andit almost took away her appetite for breakfast. As for the yellow hen,she continued to peck away at the sand busily, and seemed quitecontented with her bill-of-fare.
Finally, down near the water's edge, Billina stuck her bill deep intothe sand, and then drew back and shivered.
"Ow!" she cried. "I struck metal, that time, and it nearly broke mybeak."
"It prob'bly was a rock," said Dorothy, carelessly.
"Nonsense. I know a rock from metal, I guess," said the hen. "There'sa different feel to it."
"But there couldn't be any metal on this wild, deserted seashore,"persisted the girl. "Where's the place? I'll dig it up, and prove toyou I'm right."
Billina showed her the place where she had "stubbed her bill," as sheexpressed it, and Dorothy dug away the sand until she felt somethinghard. Then, thrusting in her hand, she pulled the thing out, anddiscovered it to be a large sized golden key--rather old, but stillbright and of perfect shape.
"What did I tell you?" cried the hen, with a cackle of triumph. "Can Itell metal when I bump into it, or is the thing a rock?"
"It's metal, sure enough," answered the child, gazing thoughtfully atthe curious thing she had found. "I think it is pure gold, and it musthave lain hidden in the sand for a long time. How do you suppose itcame there, Billina? And what do you suppose this mysterious keyunlocks?"
"I can't say," replied the hen. "You ought to know more about locksand keys than I do."
Dorothy glanced around. There was no sign of any house in that part ofthe country, and she reasoned that every key must fit a lock and everylock must have a purpose. Perhaps the key had been lost by somebodywho lived far away, but had wandered on this very shore.
Musing on these things the girl put the key in the pocket of her dressand then slowly drew on her shoes and stockings, which the sun hadfully dried.
"I b'lieve, Billina," she said, "I'll have a look 'round, and see if Ican find some breakfast."
3. Letters in the Sand
Walking a little way back from the water's edge, toward the grove oftrees, Dorothy came to a flat stretch of white sand that seemed to havequeer signs marked upon its surface, just as one would write upon sandwith a stick.
"What does it say?" she asked the yellow hen, who trotted along besideher in a rather dignified fashion.
"How should I know?" returned the hen. "I cannot read."
"Oh! Can't you?"
"Certainly not; I've never been to school, you know."
"Well, I have," admitted Dorothy; "but the letters are big and farapart, and it's hard to spell out the words."
But she looked at each letter carefully, and finally discovered thatthese words were written in the sand:
"BEWARE THE WHEELERS!"
"That's rather strange," declared the hen, when Dorothy had read aloudthe words. "What do you suppose the Wheelers are?"
"Folks that wheel, I guess. They must have wheelbarrows, or baby-cabsor hand-carts," said Dorothy.
"Perhaps they're automobiles," suggested the yellow hen. "There is noneed to beware of baby-cabs and wheelbarrows; but automobiles aredangerous things. Several of my friends have been run over by them."
"It can't be auto'biles," replied the girl, "for this is a new, wildcountry, without even trolley-cars or tel'phones. The people herehaven't been discovered yet, I'm sure; that is, if there ARE anypeople. So I don't b'lieve there CAN be any auto'biles, Billina."
"Perhaps not," admitted the yellow hen. "Where are you going now?"
"Over to those trees, to see if I can find some fruit or nuts,"answered Dorothy.
She tramped across the sand, skirting the foot of one of the littlerocky hills that stood near, and soon reached the edge of the forest.
At first she was greatly disappointed, because the nearer trees wereall punita, or cotton-wood or eucalyptus, and bore no fruit or nuts atall. But, bye and bye, when she was almost in despair, the little girlcame upon two trees that promised to furnish her with plenty of food.
One was quite full of square paper boxes, which grew in clusters on allthe limbs, and upon the biggest and ripest boxes the word "Lunch" couldbe read, in neat raised letters. This tree seemed to bear all the yeararound, for there were lunch-box blossoms on some of the branches, andon others tiny little lunch-boxes that were as yet quite green, andevidently not fit to eat until they had grown bigger.
The leaves of this tree were all paper napkins, and it presented a verypleasing appearance to the hungry little girl.
But the tree next to the lunch-box tree was even more wonderful, for itbore quantities of tin dinner-pails, which were so full and heavy thatthe stout branches bent underneath their weight. Some were small anddark-brown in color; those larger were of a dull tin color; but thereally ripe ones were pails of bright tin that shone and glistenedbeautifully in the rays of sunshine that touched them.
Dorothy was delighted, and even the yellow hen acknowledged that shewas surprised.
The little girl stood on tip-toe and picked one of the nicest andbiggest lunch-boxes, and then she sat down upon the ground and eagerlyopened it. Inside she found, nicely wrapped in white papers, a hamsandwich, a piece of sponge-cake, a pickle, a slice of new cheese andan apple. Each thing had a separate stem, and so had to be picked offthe side of the box; but Dorothy found them all to be delicious, andshe ate every bit of luncheon in the box before she had finished.
"A lunch isn't zactly breakfast," she said to Billina, who sat besideher curiously watching. "But when one is hungry one can eat evensupper in the morning, and not complain."
"I hope your lunch-box was perfectly ripe," observed the yellow hen, ina anxious tone. "So much sickness is caused by eating green things."
"Oh, I'm sure it was ripe," declared Dorothy, "all, that is, 'cept thepickle, and a pickle just HAS to be green, Billina. But everythingtasted perfectly splendid, and I'd rather have it than a church picnic.And now I think I'll pick a dinner-pail, to have when I get hungryagain, and then we'll start out and 'splore the country, and see wherewe are."
"Haven't you any idea what country this is?" inquired Billina.
"None at all. But listen: I'm quite sure it's a fairy country, or suchthings as lunch-boxes and dinner-pails wouldn't be growing upon trees.Besides, Billina, being a hen, you wouldn't be able to talk in anyciv'lized country, like Kansas, where no fairies live at all."
"Perhaps we're in the Land of Oz," said the hen, thoughtfully.
"No, that can't be," answered the little girl; "because I've been tothe Land of Oz, and it's all surrounded by a horrid desert that no onecan cross."
"Then how did you get away from there again?" asked Billina.
"I had a pair of silver shoes, that carried me through the air; but Ilost them," said Dorothy.
"Ah, indeed," remarked the yellow hen, in a tone of unbelief.
"Anyhow," resumed the girl, "there is no seashore near the Land of Oz,so this must surely be some other fairy country."
While she was speaking she selected a bright and pretty dinner-pailthat seemed to have a stout handle, and picked it from its branch.Then, accompanied by the yellow hen, she walked out of the shadow ofthe trees toward the sea-shore.
They were part way across the sands when Billina suddenly cried, in avoice of terror:
Dorothy turned quickly around, and saw coming out of a path that ledfrom between the trees the most peculiar person her eyes had everbeheld.
It had the form of a man, except that it walked, or rather rolled, uponall fours, and its legs were the same length as its arms, giving themthe appearance of the four legs of a beast. Yet it was no beast thatDorothy had discovered, for the person was clothed most gorgeously inembroidered garments of many colors, and wore a straw hat perchedjauntily upon the side of its head. But it differed from human beingsin this respect, that instead of hands and feet there grew at the endof its arms and legs round wheels, and by means of these wheels itrolled very swiftly over the level ground. Afterward Dorothy foundthat these odd wheels were of the same hard substance that ourfinger-nails and toe-nails are composed of, and she also learned thatcreatures of this strange race were born in this queer fashion. Butwhen our little girl first caught sight of the first individual of arace that was destined to cause her a lot of trouble, she had an ideathat the brilliantly-clothed personage was on roller-skates, which wereattached to his hands as well as to his feet.
"Run!" screamed the yellow hen, fluttering away in great fright. "It'sa Wheeler!"
"A Wheeler?" exclaimed Dorothy. "What can that be?"
"Don't you remember the warning in the sand: 'Beware the Wheelers'?Run, I tell you--run!"
So Dorothy ran, and the Wheeler gave a sharp, wild cry and came afterher in full chase.
Looking over her shoulder as she ran, the girl now saw a greatprocession of Wheelers emerging from the forest--dozens and dozens ofthem--all clad in splendid, tight-fitting garments and all rollingswiftly toward her and uttering their wild, strange cries.
"They're sure to catch us!" panted the girl, who was still carrying theheavy dinner-pail she had picked. "I can't run much farther, Billina."
"Climb up this hill,--quick!" said the hen; and Dorothy found she wasvery near to the heap of loose and jagged rocks they had passed ontheir way to the forest. The yellow hen was even now fluttering amongthe rocks, and Dorothy followed as best she could, half climbing andhalf tumbling up the rough and rugged steep.
She was none too soon, for the foremost Wheeler reached the hill amoment after her; but while the girl scrambled up the rocks thecreature stopped short with howls of rage and disappointment.
Dorothy now heard the yellow hen laughing, in her cackling, henny way.
"Don't hurry, my dear," cried Billina. "They can't follow us amongthese rocks, so we're safe enough now."
Dorothy stopped at once and sat down upon a broad boulder, for she wasall out of breath.
The rest of the Wheelers had now reached the foot of the hill, but itwas evident that their wheels would not roll upon the rough and jaggedrocks, and therefore they were helpless to follow Dorothy and the hento where they had taken refuge. But they circled all around the littlehill, so the child and Billina were fast prisoners and could not comedown without being captured.
Then the creatures shook their front wheels at Dorothy in a threateningmanner, and it seemed they were able to speak as well as to make theirdreadful outcries, for several of them shouted:
"We'll get you in time, never fear! And when we do get you, we'll tearyou into little bits!"
"Why are you so cruel to me?" asked Dorothy. "I'm a stranger in yourcountry, and have done you no harm."
"No harm!" cried one who seemed to be their leader. "Did you not pickour lunch-boxes and dinner-pails? Have you not a stolen dinner-pailstill in your hand?"
"I only picked one of each," she answered. "I was hungry, and I didn'tknow the trees were yours."
"That is no excuse," retorted the leader, who was clothed in a mostgorgeous suit. "It is the law here that whoever picks a dinner-pailwithout our permission must die immediately."
"Don't you believe him," said Billina. "I'm sure the trees do notbelong to these awful creatures. They are fit for any mischief, andit's my opinion they would try to kill us just the same if you hadn'tpicked a dinner-pail."
"I think so, too," agreed Dorothy. "But what shall we do now?"
"Stay where we are," advised the yellow hen. "We are safe from theWheelers until we starve to death, anyhow; and before that time comes agood many things can happen."
4. Tiktok the Machine Man
After an hour or so most of the band of Wheelers rolled back into theforest, leaving only three of their number to guard the hill. Thesecurled themselves up like big dogs and pretended to go to sleep on thesands; but neither Dorothy nor Billina were fooled by this trick, sothey remained in security among the rocks and paid no attention totheir cunning enemies.
Finally the hen, fluttering over the mound, exclaimed: "Why, here's apath!"
So Dorothy at once clambered to where Billina sat, and there, sureenough, was a smooth path cut between the rocks. It seemed to windaround the mound from top to bottom, like a cork-screw, twisting hereand there between the rough boulders but always remaining level andeasy to walk upon.
Indeed, Dorothy wondered at first why the Wheelers did not roll up thispath; but when she followed it to the foot of the mound she found thatseveral big pieces of rock had been placed directly across the end ofthe way, thus preventing any one outside from seeing it and alsopreventing the Wheelers from using it to climb up the mound.
Then Dorothy walked back up the path, and followed it until she came tothe very top of the hill, where a solitary round rock stood that wasbigger than any of the others surrounding it. The path came to an endjust beside this great rock, and for a moment it puzzled the girl toknow why the path had been made at all. But the hen, who had beengravely following her around and was now perched upon a point of rockbehind Dorothy, suddenly remarked:
"It looks something like a door, doesn't it?"
"What looks like a door?" enquired the child.
"Why, that crack in the rock, just facing you," replied Billina, whoselittle round eyes were very sharp and seemed to see everything. "Itruns up one side and down the other, and across the top and the bottom."
"Why, the crack. So I think it must be a door of rock, although I donot see any hinges."
"Oh, yes," said Dorothy, now observing for the first time the crack inthe rock. "And isn't this a key-hole, Billina?" pointing to a round,deep hole at one side of the door.
"Of course. If we only had the key, now, we could unlock it and seewhat is there," replied the yellow hen. "May be it's a treasurechamber full of diamonds and rubies, or heaps of shining gold, or--"
"That reminds me," said Dorothy, "of the golden key I picked up on theshore. Do you think that it would fit this key-hole, Billina?"
"Try it and see," suggested the hen.
So Dorothy searched in the pocket of her dress and found the goldenkey. And when she had put it into the hole of the rock, and turned it,a sudden sharp snap was heard; then, with a solemn creak that made theshivers run down the child's back, the face of the rock fell outward,like a door on hinges, and revealed a small dark chamber just inside.
"Good gracious!" cried Dorothy, shrinking back as far as the narrowpath would let her.
For, standing within the narrow chamber of rock, was the form of aman--or, at least, it seemed like a man, in the dim light. He was onlyabout as tall as Dorothy herself, and his body was round as a ball andmade out of burnished copper. Also his head and limbs were copper, andthese were jointed or hinged to his body in a peculiar way, with metalcaps over the joints, like the armor worn by knights in days of old.He stood perfectly still, and where the light struck upon his form itglittered as if made of pure gold.
"Don't be frightened," called Billina, from her perch. "It isn'talive."
"I see it isn't," replied the girl, drawing a long breath.
"It is only made out of copper, like the old kettle in the barn-yard athome," continued the hen, turning her head first to one side and thento the other, so that both her little round eyes could examine theobject.
"Once," said Dorothy, "I knew a man made out of tin, who was a woodmannamed Nick Chopper. But he was as alive as we are, 'cause he was borna real man, and got his tin body a little at a time--first a leg andthen a finger and then an ear--for the reason that he had so manyaccidents with his axe, and cut himself up in a very careless manner."
"Oh," said the hen, with a sniff, as if she did not believe the story.
"But this copper man," continued Dorothy, looking at it with big eyes,"is not alive at all, and I wonder what it was made for, and why it waslocked up in this queer place."
"That is a mystery," remarked the hen, twisting her head to arrange herwing-feathers with her bill.
Dorothy stepped inside the little room to get a back view of the copperman, and in this way discovered a printed card that hung between hisshoulders, it being suspended from a small copper peg at the back ofhis neck. She unfastened this card and returned to the path, where thelight was better, and sat herself down upon a slab of rock to read theprinting.
"What does it say?" asked the hen, curiously.
Dorothy read the card aloud, spelling out the big words with somedifficulty; and this is what she read:
+-----------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | SMITH & TINKER'S | | Patent Double-Action, Extra-Responsive, | | Thought-Creating, Perfect-Talking | | MECHANICAL MAN | | Fitted with our Special Clock-Work Attachment. | | Thinks, Speaks, Acts, and Does Everything but Live. | | Manufactured only at our Works at Evna, Land of Ev. | | All infringements will be promptly Prosecuted according to Law. | | | +-----------------------------------------------------------------+
"How queer!" said the yellow hen. "Do you think that is all true, mydear?"
"I don't know," answered Dorothy, who had more to read. "Listen tothis, Billina:"
+--------------------------------------------------+ | | | DIRECTIONS FOR USING: | | For THINKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his | | left arm, (marked No. 1.) | | For SPEAKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his | | right arm, (marked No. 2.) | | For WALKING and ACTION:--Wind Clock-work in the | | middle of his back, (marked No. 3.) | | N. B.--This Mechanism is guaranteed to work | | perfectly for a thousand years. | | | +--------------------------------------------------+
"Well, I declare!" gasped the yellow hen, in amazement; "if the copperman can do half of these things he is a very wonderful machine. But Isuppose it is all humbug, like so many other patented articles."
"We might wind him up," suggested Dorothy, "and see what he'll do."
"Where is the key to the clock-work?" asked Billina.
"Hanging on the peg where I found the card."
"Then," said the hen, "let us try him, and find out if he will go. Heis warranted for a thousand years, it seems; but we do not know howlong he has been standing inside this rock."
Dorothy had already taken the clock key from the peg.
"Which shall I wind up first?" she asked, looking again at thedirections on the card.
"Number One, I should think," returned Billina. "That makes him think,doesn't it?"
"Yes," said Dorothy, and wound up Number One, under the left arm.
"He doesn't seem any different," remarked the hen, critically.
"Why, of course not; he is only thinking, now," said Dorothy.
"I wonder what he is thinking about."
"I'll wind up his talk, and then perhaps he can tell us," said the girl.
So she wound up Number Two, and immediately the clock-work man said,without moving any part of his body except his lips:
"Good morn-ing, lit-tle girl. Good morn-ing, Mrs. Hen."
The words sounded a little hoarse and creaky, and they were uttered allin the same tone, without any change of expression whatever; but bothDorothy and Billina understood them perfectly.
"Good morning, sir," they answered, politely.
"Thank you for res-cu-ing me," continued the machine, in the samemonotonous voice, which seemed to be worked by a bellows inside of him,like the little toy lambs and cats the children squeeze so that theywill make a noise.
"Don't mention it," answered Dorothy. And then, being very curious,she asked: "How did you come to be locked up in this place?"
"It is a long sto-ry," replied the copper man; "but I will tell it toyou brief-ly. I was pur-chased from Smith & Tin-ker, myman-u-fac-tur-ers, by a cru-el King of Ev, named Ev-ol-do, who used tobeat all his serv-ants un-til they died. How-ev-er, he was not a-bleto kill me, be-cause I was not a-live, and one must first live inor-der to die. So that all his beat-ing did me no harm, and mere-lykept my cop-per bod-y well pol-ished.
"This cru-el king had a love-ly wife and ten beau-ti-fulchil-dren--five boys and five girls--but in a fit of an-ger he soldthem all to the Nome King, who by means of his mag-ic arts changed themall in-to oth-er forms and put them in his un-der-ground pal-ace toor-na-ment the rooms.
"Af-ter-ward the King of Ev re-gret-ted his wick-ed ac-tion, and triedto get his wife and chil-dren a-way from the Nome King, but with-outa-vail. So, in de-spair, he locked me up in this rock, threw the keyin-to the o-cean, and then jumped in af-ter it and was drowned."
"How very dreadful!" exclaimed Dorothy.
"It is, in-deed," said the machine. "When I found my-self im-pris-onedI shout-ed for help un-til my voice ran down; and then I walked backand forth in this lit-tle room un-til my ac-tion ran down; and then Istood still and thought un-til my thoughts ran down. Af-ter that Ire-mem-ber noth-ing un-til you wound me up a-gain."
"It's a very wonderful story," said Dorothy, "and proves that the Landof Ev is really a fairy land, as I thought it was."
"Of course it is," answered the copper man. "I do not sup-pose such aper-fect ma-chine as I am could be made in an-y place but a fair-yland."
"I've never seen one in Kansas," said Dorothy.
"But where did you get the key to un-lock this door?" asked theclock-work voice.
"I found it on the shore, where it was prob'ly washed up by the waves,"she answered. "And now, sir, if you don't mind, I'll wind up youraction."
"That will please me ve-ry much," said the machine.
So she wound up Number Three, and at once the copper man in a somewhatstiff and jerky fashion walked out of the rocky cavern, took off hiscopper hat and bowed politely, and then kneeled before Dorothy. Saidhe:
"From this time forth I am your o-be-di-ent ser-vant. What-ev-er youcom-mand, that I will do will-ing-ly--if you keep me wound up."
"What is your name?" she asked.
"Tik-tok," he replied. "My for-mer mas-ter gave me that name be-causemy clock-work al-ways ticks when it is wound up."
"I can hear it now," said the yellow hen.
"So can I," said Dorothy. And then she added, with some anxiety: "Youdon't strike, do you?"
"No," answered Tiktok; "and there is no a-larm con-nec-ted with myma-chin-er-y. I can tell the time, though, by speak-ing, and as Inev-er sleep I can wak-en you at an-y hour you wish to get up in themorn-ing."
"That's nice," said the little girl; "only I never wish to get up inthe morning."
"You can sleep until I lay my egg," said the yellow hen. "Then, when Icackle, Tiktok will know it is time to waken you."
"Do you lay your egg very early?" asked Dorothy.
"About eight o'clock," said Billina. "And everybody ought to be up bythat time, I'm sure."
5. Dorothy Opens the Dinner Pail
"Now Tiktok," said Dorothy, "the first thing to be done is to find away for us to escape from these rocks. The Wheelers are down below,you know, and threaten to kill us."
"There is no rea-son to be a-fraid of the Wheel-ers," said Tiktok, thewords coming more slowly than before.
"Why not?" she asked.
"Be-cause they are ag-g-g--gr-gr-r-r-"
He gave a sort of gurgle and stopped short, waving his handsfrantically until suddenly he became motionless, with one arm in theair and the other held stiffly before him with all the copper fingersof the hand spread out like a fan.
"Dear me!" said Dorothy, in a frightened tone. "What can the matterbe?"
"He's run down, I suppose," said the hen, calmly. "You couldn't havewound him up very tight."
"I didn't know how much to wind him," replied the girl; "but I'll tryto do better next time."
She ran around the copper man to take the key from the peg at the backof his neck, but it was not there.
"It's gone!" cried Dorothy, in dismay.
"What's gone?" asked Billina.
"It probably fell off when he made that low bow to you," returned thehen. "Look around, and see if you cannot find it again."
Dorothy looked, and the hen helped her, and by and by the girldiscovered the clock-key, which had fallen into a crack of the rock.
At once she wound up Tiktok's voice, taking care to give the key asmany turns as it would go around. She found this quite a task, as youmay imagine if you have ever tried to wind a clock, but the machineman's first words were to assure Dorothy that he would now run for atleast twenty-four hours.
"You did not wind me much, at first," he calmly said, "and I told youthat long sto-ry a-bout King Ev-ol-do; so it is no won-der that I randown."
She next rewound the action clock-work, and then Billina advised her tocarry the key to Tiktok in her pocket, so it would not get lost again.
"And now," said Dorothy, when all this was accomplished, "tell me whatyou were going to say about the Wheelers."
"Why, they are noth-ing to be fright-en'd at," said the machine. "Theytry to make folks be-lieve that they are ver-y ter-ri-ble, but as amat-ter of fact the Wheel-ers are harm-less e-nough to an-y one thatdares to fight them. They might try to hurt a lit-tle girl like you,per-haps, be-cause they are ver-y mis-chiev-ous. But if I had a clubthey would run a-way as soon as they saw me."
"Haven't you a club?" asked Dorothy.
"No," said Tiktok.
"And you won't find such a thing among these rocks, either," declaredthe yellow hen.
"Then what shall we do?" asked the girl.
"Wind up my think-works tight-ly, and I will try to think of someoth-er plan," said Tiktok.
So Dorothy rewound his thought machinery, and while he was thinking shedecided to eat her dinner. Billina was already pecking away at thecracks in the rocks, to find something to eat, so Dorothy sat down andopened her tin dinner-pail.
In the cover she found a small tank that was full of very nicelemonade. It was covered by a cup, which might also, when removed, beused to drink the lemonade from. Within the pail were three slices ofturkey, two slices of cold tongue, some lobster salad, four slices ofbread and butter, a small custard pie, an orange and nine largestrawberries, and some nuts and raisins. Singularly enough, the nutsin this dinner-pail grew already cracked, so that Dorothy had notrouble in picking out their meats to eat.
She spread the feast upon the rock beside her and began her dinner,first offering some of it to Tiktok, who declined because, as he said,he was merely a machine. Afterward she offered to share with Billina,but the hen murmured something about "dead things" and said shepreferred her bugs and ants.
"Do the lunch-box trees and the dinner-pail trees belong to theWheelers?" the child asked Tiktok, while engaged in eating her meal.
"Of course not," he answered. "They be-long to the roy-al fam-il-y ofEv, on-ly of course there is no roy-al fam-il-y just now be-cause KingEv-ol-do jumped in-to the sea and his wife and ten chil-dren have beentrans-formed by the Nome King. So there is no one to rule the Land ofEv, that I can think of. Per-haps it is for this rea-son that theWheel-ers claim the trees for their own, and pick the lunch-eons anddin-ners to eat them-selves. But they be-long to the King, and youwill find the roy-al "E" stamped up-on the bot-tom of ev-er-y din-nerpail."
Dorothy turned the pail over, and at once discovered the royal markupon it, as Tiktok had said.
"Are the Wheelers the only folks living in the Land of Ev?" enquiredthe girl.
"No; they on-ly in-hab-it a small por-tion of it just back of thewoods," replied the machine. "But they have al-ways been mis-chiev-ousand im-per-ti-nent, and my old mas-ter, King Ev-ol-do, used to car-ry awhip with him, when he walked out, to keep the crea-tures in or-der.When I was first made the Wheel-ers tried to run o-ver me, and butt mewith their heads; but they soon found I was built of too sol-id ama-ter-i-al for them to in-jure."
"You seem very durable," said Dorothy. "Who made you?"
"The firm of Smith & Tin-ker, in the town of Evna, where the roy-alpal-ace stands," answered Tiktok.
"Did they make many of you?" asked the child.
"No; I am the on-ly au-to-mat-ic me-chan-i-cal man they ev-ercom-plet-ed," he replied. "They were ver-y won-der-ful in-ven-tors,were my mak-ers, and quite ar-tis-tic in all they did."
"I am sure of that," said Dorothy. "Do they live in the town of Evnanow?"
"They are both gone," replied the machine. "Mr. Smith was an art-ist,as well as an in-vent-or, and he paint-ed a pic-ture of a riv-er whichwas so nat-ur-al that, as he was reach-ing a-cross it to paint someflow-ers on the op-po-site bank, he fell in-to the wa-ter and wasdrowned."
"Oh, I'm sorry for that!" exclaimed the little girl.
"Mis-ter Tin-ker," continued Tiktok, "made a lad-der so tall that hecould rest the end of it a-gainst the moon, while he stood on thehigh-est rung and picked the lit-tle stars to set in the points of theking's crown. But when he got to the moon Mis-ter Tin-ker found itsuch a love-ly place that he de-cid-ed to live there, so he pulled upthe lad-der af-ter him and we have nev-er seen him since."
"He must have been a great loss to this country," said Dorothy, who wasby this time eating her custard pie.
"He was," acknowledged Tiktok. "Also he is a great loss to me. For ifI should get out of or-der I do not know of an-y one a-ble to re-pairme, be-cause I am so com-pli-cat-ed. You have no i-de-a how full ofma-chin-er-y I am."
"I can imagine it," said Dorothy, readily.
"And now," continued the machine, "I must stop talk-ing and be-ginthink-ing a-gain of a way to es-cape from this rock." So he turnedhalf way around, in order to think without being disturbed.
"The best thinker I ever knew," said Dorothy to the yellow hen, "was ascarecrow."
"Nonsense!" snapped Billina.
"It is true," declared Dorothy. "I met him in the Land of Oz, and hetraveled with me to the city of the great Wizard of Oz, so as to getsome brains, for his head was only stuffed with straw. But it seemedto me that he thought just as well before he got his brains as he didafterward."
"Do you expect me to believe all that rubbish about the Land of Oz?"enquired Billina, who seemed a little cross--perhaps because bugs werescarce.
"What rubbish?" asked the child, who was now finishing her nuts andraisins.
"Why, your impossible stories about animals that can talk, and a tinwoodman who is alive, and a scarecrow who can think."
"They are all there," said Dorothy, "for I have seen them."
"I don't believe it!" cried the hen, with a toss of her head.
"That's 'cause you're so ign'rant," replied the girl, who was a littleoffended at her friend Billina's speech.
"In the Land of Oz," remarked Tiktok, turning toward them, "an-y-thingis pos-si-ble. For it is a won-der-ful fair-y coun-try."
"There, Billina! what did I say?" cried Dorothy. And then she turnedto the machine and asked in an eager tone: "Do you know the Land of Oz,Tiktok?"
"No; but I have heard a-bout it," said the cop-per man. "For it ison-ly sep-a-ra-ted from this Land of Ev by a broad des-ert."
Dorothy clapped her hands together delightedly.
"I'm glad of that!" she exclaimed. "It makes me quite happy to be sonear my old friends. The scarecrow I told you of, Billina, is the Kingof the Land of Oz."
"Par-don me. He is not the king now," said Tiktok.
"He was when I left there," declared Dorothy.
"I know," said Tiktok, "but there was a rev-o-lu-tion in the Land ofOz, and the Scare-crow was de-posed by a sol-dier wo-man namedGen-er-al Jin-jur. And then Jin-jur was de-posed by a lit-tle girlnamed Oz-ma, who was the right-ful heir to the throne and now rules theland un-der the ti-tle of Oz-ma of Oz."
"That is news to me," said Dorothy, thoughtfully. "But I s'pose lotsof things have happened since I left the Land of Oz. I wonder what hasbecome of the Scarecrow, and of the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion.And I wonder who this girl Ozma is, for I never heard of her before."
But Tiktok did not reply to this. He had turned around again to resumehis thinking.
Dorothy packed the rest of the food back into the pail, so as not to bewasteful of good things, and the yellow hen forgot her dignity farenough to pick up all of the scattered crumbs, which she ate rathergreedily, although she had so lately pretended to despise the thingsthat Dorothy preferred as food.
By this time Tiktok approached them with his stiff bow.
"Be kind e-nough to fol-low me," he said, "and I will lead you a-wayfrom here to the town of Ev-na, where you will be more com-for-ta-ble,and al-so I will pro-tect you from the Wheel-ers."
"All right," answered Dorothy, promptly. "I'm ready!"
6. The Heads of Langwidere
They walked slowly down the path between the rocks, Tiktok going first,Dorothy following him, and the yellow hen trotting along last of all.
At the foot of the path the copper man leaned down and tossed asidewith ease the rocks that encumbered the way. Then he turned to Dorothyand said:
"Let me car-ry your din-ner-pail."
She placed it in his right hand at once, and the copper fingers closedfirmly over the stout handle.
Then the little procession marched out upon the level sands.
As soon as the three Wheelers who were guarding the mound saw them,they began to shout their wild cries and rolled swiftly toward thelittle group, as if to capture them or bar their way. But when theforemost had approached near enough, Tiktok swung the tin dinner-pailand struck the Wheeler a sharp blow over its head with the queerweapon. Perhaps it did not hurt very much, but it made a great noise,and the Wheeler uttered a howl and tumbled over upon its side. Thenext minute it scrambled to its wheels and rolled away as fast as itcould go, screeching with fear at the same time.
"I told you they were harm-less," began Tiktok; but before he could saymore another Wheeler was upon them. Crack! went the dinner-pailagainst its head, knocking its straw hat a dozen feet away; and thatwas enough for this Wheeler, also. It rolled away after the first one,and the third did not wait to be pounded with the pail, but joined itsfellows as quickly as its wheels would whirl.
The yellow hen gave a cackle of delight, and flying to a perch uponTiktok's shoulder, she said:
"Bravely done, my copper friend! and wisely thought of, too. Now weare free from those ugly creatures."
But just then a large band of Wheelers rolled from the forest, andrelying upon their numbers to conquer, they advanced fiercely uponTiktok. Dorothy grabbed Billina in her arms and held her tight, andthe machine embraced the form of the little girl with his left arm, thebetter to protect her. Then the Wheelers were upon them.
Rattlety, bang! bang! went the dinner-pail in every direction, and itmade so much clatter bumping against the heads of the Wheelers thatthey were much more frightened than hurt and fled in a great panic.All, that is, except their leader. This Wheeler had stumbled againstanother and fallen flat upon his back, and before he could get hiswheels under him to rise again, Tiktok had fastened his copper fingersinto the neck of the gorgeous jacket of his foe and held him fast.
"Tell your peo-ple to go a-way," commanded the machine.
The leader of the Wheelers hesitated to give this order, so Tiktokshook him as a terrier dog does a rat, until the Wheeler's teethrattled together with a noise like hailstones on a window pane. Then,as soon as the creature could get its breath, it shouted to the othersto roll away, which they immediately did.
"Now," said Tiktok, "you shall come with us and tell me what I want toknow."
"You'll be sorry for treating me in this way," whined the Wheeler."I'm a terribly fierce person."
"As for that," answered Tiktok, "I am only a ma-chine, and can-not feelsor-row or joy, no mat-ter what hap-pens. But you are wrong to thinkyour-self ter-ri-ble or fierce."
"Why so?" asked the Wheeler.
"Be-cause no one else thinks as you do. Your wheels make you help-lessto in-jure an-y one. For you have no fists and can not scratch ore-ven pull hair. Nor have you an-y feet to kick with. All you can dois to yell and shout, and that does not hurt an-y one at all."
The Wheeler burst into a flood of tears, to Dorothy's great surprise.
"Now I and my people are ruined forever!" he sobbed; "for you havediscovered our secret. Being so helpless, our only hope is to makepeople afraid of us, by pretending we are very fierce and terrible, andwriting in the sand warnings to Beware the Wheelers. Until now we havefrightened everyone, but since you have discovered our weakness ourenemies will fall upon us and make us very miserable and unhappy."
"Oh, no," exclaimed Dorothy, who was sorry to see this beautifullydressed Wheeler so miserable; "Tiktok will keep your secret, and sowill Billina and I. Only, you must promise not to try to frightenchildren any more, if they come near to you."
"I won't--indeed I won't!" promised the Wheeler, ceasing to cry andbecoming more cheerful. "I'm not really bad, you know; but we have topretend to be terrible in order to prevent others from attacking us."
"That is not ex-act-ly true," said Tiktok, starting to walk toward thepath through the forest, and still holding fast to his prisoner, whorolled slowly along beside him. "You and your peo-ple are full ofmis-chief, and like to both-er those who fear you. And you are of-tenim-pu-dent and dis-a-gree-a-ble, too. But if you will try to curethose faults I will not tell any-one how help-less you are."
"I'll try, of course," replied the Wheeler, eagerly. "And thank you,Mr. Tiktok, for your kindness."
"I am on-ly a ma-chine," said Tiktok. "I can not be kind an-y morethan I can be sor-ry or glad. I can on-ly do what I am wound up to do."
"Are you wound up to keep my secret?" asked the Wheeler, anxiously.
"Yes; if you be-have your-self. But tell me: who rules the Land of Evnow?" asked the machine.
"There is no ruler," was the answer, "because every member of the royalfamily is imprisoned by the Nome King. But the Princess Langwidere,who is a niece of our late King Evoldo, lives in a part of the royalpalace and takes as much money out of the royal treasury as she canspend. The Princess Langwidere is not exactly a ruler, you see,because she doesn't rule; but she is the nearest approach to a ruler wehave at present."
"I do not re-mem-ber her," said Tiktok. "What does she look like?"
"That I cannot say," replied the Wheeler, "although I have seen hertwenty times. For the Princess Langwidere is a different person everytime I see her, and the only way her subjects can recognize her at allis by means of a beautiful ruby key which she always wears on a chainattached to her left wrist. When we see the key we know we arebeholding the Princess."
"That is strange," said Dorothy, in astonishment. "Do you mean to saythat so many different princesses are one and the same person?"
"Not exactly," answered the Wheeler. "There is, of course, but oneprincess; but she appears to us in many forms, which are all more orless beautiful."
"She must be a witch," exclaimed the girl.
"I do not think so," declared the Wheeler. "But there is some mysteryconnected with her, nevertheless. She is a very vain creature, andlives mostly in a room surrounded by mirrors, so that she can admireherself whichever way she looks."
No one answered this speech, because they had just passed out of theforest and their attention was fixed upon the scene before them--abeautiful vale in which were many fruit trees and green fields, withpretty farm-houses scattered here and there and broad, smooth roadsthat led in every direction.
In the center of this lovely vale, about a mile from where our friendswere standing, rose the tall spires of the royal palace, whichglittered brightly against their background of blue sky. The palacewas surrounded by charming grounds, full of flowers and shrubbery.Several tinkling fountains could be seen, and there were pleasant walksbordered by rows of white marble statuary.
All these details Dorothy was, of course, unable to notice or admireuntil they had advanced along the road to a position quite near to thepalace, and she was still looking at the pretty sights when her littleparty entered the grounds and approached the big front door of theking's own apartments. To their disappointment they found the doortightly closed. A sign was tacked to the panel which read as follows:
+----------------------------+ | | | OWNER ABSENT. | | | | Please Knock at the Third | | Door in the Left Wing. | | | +----------------------------+
"Now," said Tiktok to the captive Wheeler, "you must show us the way tothe Left Wing."
"Very well," agreed the prisoner, "it is around here at the right."
"How can the left wing be at the right?" demanded Dorothy, who fearedthe Wheeler was fooling them.
"Because there used to be three wings, and two were torn down, so theone on the right is the only one left. It is a trick of the PrincessLangwidere to prevent visitors from annoying her."
Then the captive led them around to the wing, after which the machineman, having no further use for the Wheeler, permitted him to depart andrejoin his fellows. He immediately rolled away at a great pace and wassoon lost to sight.
Tiktok now counted the doors in the wing and knocked loudly upon thethird one.
It was opened by a little maid in a cap trimmed with gay ribbons, whobowed respectfully and asked:
"What do you wish, good people?"
"Are you the Princess Langwidere?" asked Dorothy.
"No, miss; I am her servant," replied the maid.
"May I see the Princess, please?"
"I will tell her you are here, miss, and ask her to grant you anaudience," said the maid. "Step in, please, and take a seat in thedrawing-room."
So Dorothy walked in, followed closely by the machine. But as theyellow hen tried to enter after them, the little maid cried "Shoo!" andflapped her apron in Billina's face.
"Shoo, yourself!" retorted the hen, drawing back in anger and rufflingup her feathers. "Haven't you any better manners than that?"
"Oh, do you talk?" enquired the maid, evidently surprised.
"Can't you hear me?" snapped Billina. "Drop that apron, and get out ofthe doorway, so that I may enter with my friends!"
"The Princess won't like it," said the maid, hesitating.
"I don't care whether she likes it or not," replied Billina, andfluttering her wings with a loud noise she flew straight at the maid'sface. The little servant at once ducked her head, and the hen reachedDorothy's side in safety.
"Very well," sighed the maid; "if you are all ruined because of thisobstinate hen, don't blame me for it. It isn't safe to annoy thePrincess Langwidere."
"Tell her we are waiting, if you please," Dorothy requested, withdignity. "Billina is my friend, and must go wherever I go."
Without more words the maid led them to a richly furnisheddrawing-room, lighted with subdued rainbow tints that came in throughbeautiful stained-glass windows.
"Remain here," she said. "What names shall I give the Princess?"
"I am Dorothy Gale, of Kansas," replied the child; "and this gentlemanis a machine named Tiktok, and the yellow hen is my friend Billina."
The little servant bowed and withdrew, going through several passagesand mounting two marble stairways before she came to the apartmentsoccupied by her mistress.
Princess Langwidere's sitting-room was paneled with great mirrors,which reached from the ceiling to the floor; also the ceiling wascomposed of mirrors, and the floor was of polished silver thatreflected every object upon it. So when Langwidere sat in her easychair and played soft melodies upon her mandolin, her form was mirroredhundreds of times, in walls and ceiling and floor, and whichever waythe lady turned her head she could see and admire her own features.This she loved to do, and just as the maid entered she was saying toherself:
"This head with the auburn hair and hazel eyes is quite attractive. Imust wear it more often than I have done of late, although it may notbe the best of my collection."
"You have company, Your Highness," announced the maid, bowing low.
"Who is it?" asked Langwidere, yawning.
"Dorothy Gale of Kansas, Mr. Tiktok and Billina," answered the maid.
"What a queer lot of names!" murmured the Princess, beginning to be alittle interested. "What are they like? Is Dorothy Gale of Kansaspretty?"
"She might be called so," the maid replied.
"And is Mr. Tiktok attractive?" continued the Princess.
"That I cannot say, Your Highness. But he seems very bright. WillYour Gracious Highness see them?"
"Oh, I may as well, Nanda. But I am tired admiring this head, and ifmy visitor has any claim to beauty I must take care that she does notsurpass me. So I will go to my cabinet and change to No. 17, which Ithink is my best appearance. Don't you?"
"Your No. 17 is exceedingly beautiful," answered Nanda, with anotherbow.
Again the Princess yawned. Then she said:
"Help me to rise."
So the maid assisted her to gain her feet, although Langwidere was thestronger of the two; and then the Princess slowly walked across thesilver floor to her cabinet, leaning heavily at every step upon Nanda'sarm.
Now I must explain to you that the Princess Langwidere had thirtyheads--as many as there are days in the month. But of course she couldonly wear one of them at a time, because she had but one neck. Theseheads were kept in what she called her "cabinet," which was a beautifuldressing-room that lay just between Langwidere's sleeping-chamber andthe mirrored sitting-room. Each head was in a separate cupboard linedwith velvet. The cupboards ran all around the sides of thedressing-room, and had elaborately carved doors with gold numbers onthe outside and jeweled-framed mirrors on the inside of them.
When the Princess got out of her crystal bed in the morning she went toher cabinet, opened one of the velvet-lined cupboards, and took thehead it contained from its golden shelf. Then, by the aid of themirror inside the open door, she put on the head--as neat and straightas could be--and afterward called her maids to robe her for the day.She always wore a simple white costume, that suited all the heads.For, being able to change her face whenever she liked, the Princess hadno interest in wearing a variety of gowns, as have other ladies who arecompelled to wear the same face constantly.
Of course the thirty heads were in great variety, no two formed alikebut all being of exceeding loveliness. There were heads with goldenhair, brown hair, rich auburn hair and black hair; but none with grayhair. The heads had eyes of blue, of gray, of hazel, of brown and ofblack; but there were no red eyes among them, and all were bright andhandsome. The noses were Grecian, Roman, retrousse and Oriental,representing all types of beauty; and the mouths were of assorted sizesand shapes, displaying pearly teeth when the heads smiled. As fordimples, they appeared in cheeks and chins, wherever they might be mostcharming, and one or two heads had freckles upon the faces to contrastthe better with the brilliancy of their complexions.
One key unlocked all the velvet cupboards containing these treasures--acurious key carved from a single blood-red ruby--and this was fastenedto a strong but slender chain which the Princess wore around her leftwrist.
When Nanda had supported Langwidere to a position in front of cupboardNo. 17, the Princess unlocked the door with her ruby key and afterhanding head No. 9, which she had been wearing, to the maid, she tookNo. 17 from its shelf and fitted it to her neck. It had black hair anddark eyes and a lovely pearl-and-white complexion, and when Langwiderewore it she knew she was remarkably beautiful in appearance.
There was only one trouble with No. 17; the temper that went with it(and which was hidden somewhere under the glossy black hair) was fiery,harsh and haughty in the extreme, and it often led the Princess to dounpleasant things which she regretted when she came to wear her otherheads.
But she did not remember this today, and went to meet her guests in thedrawing-room with a feeling of certainty that she would surprise themwith her beauty.
However, she was greatly disappointed to find that her visitors weremerely a small girl in a gingham dress, a copper man that would only gowhen wound up, and a yellow hen that was sitting contentedly inLangwidere's best work-basket, where there was a china egg used fordarning stockings. (It may surprise you to learn that a princess everdoes such a common thing as darn stockings. But, if you will stop tothink, you will realize that a princess is sure to wear holes in herstockings, the same as other people; only it isn't considered quitepolite to mention the matter.)
"Oh!" said Langwidere, slightly lifting the nose of No. 17. "I thoughtsome one of importance had called."
"Then you were right," declared Dorothy. "I'm a good deal of 'portancemyself, and when Billina lays an egg she has the proudest cackle youever heard. As for Tiktok, he's the--"
"Stop--Stop!" commanded the Princess, with an angry flash of hersplendid eyes. "How dare you annoy me with your senseless chatter?"
"Why, you horrid thing!" said Dorothy, who was not accustomed to beingtreated so rudely.
The Princess looked at her more closely.
"Tell me," she resumed, "are you of royal blood?"
"Better than that, ma'am," said Dorothy. "I came from Kansas."
"Huh!" cried the Princess, scornfully. "You are a foolish child, and Icannot allow you to annoy me. Run away, you little goose, and bothersome one else."
Dorothy was so indignant that for a moment she could find no words toreply. But she rose from her chair, and was about to leave the roomwhen the Princess, who had been scanning the girl's face, stopped herby saying, more gently:
"Come nearer to me."
Dorothy obeyed, without a thought of fear, and stood before thePrincess while Langwidere examined her face with careful attention.
"You are rather attractive," said the lady, presently. "Not at allbeautiful, you understand, but you have a certain style of prettinessthat is different from that of any of my thirty heads. So I believeI'll take your head and give you No. 26 for it."
"Well, I b'lieve you won't!" exclaimed Dorothy.
"It will do you no good to refuse," continued the Princess; "for I needyour head for my collection, and in the Land of Ev my will is law. Inever have cared much for No. 26, and you will find that it is verylittle worn. Besides, it will do you just as well as the one you'rewearing, for all practical purposes."
"I don't know anything about your No. 26, and I don't want to," saidDorothy, firmly. "I'm not used to taking cast-off things, so I'll justkeep my own head."
"You refuse?" cried the Princess, with a frown.
"Of course I do," was the reply.
"Then," said Langwidere, "I shall lock you up in a tower until youdecide to obey me. Nanda," turning to her maid, "call my army."
Nanda rang a silver bell, and at once a big fat colonel in a bright reduniform entered the room, followed by ten lean soldiers, who all lookedsad and discouraged and saluted the princess in a very melancholyfashion.
"Carry that girl to the North Tower and lock her up!" cried thePrincess, pointing to Dorothy.
"To hear is to obey," answered the big red colonel, and caught thechild by her arm. But at that moment Tiktok raised his dinner-pail andpounded it so forcibly against the colonel's head that the big officersat down upon the floor with a sudden bump, looking both dazed and verymuch astonished.
"Help!" he shouted, and the ten lean soldiers sprang to assist theirleader.
There was great excitement for the next few moments, and Tiktok hadknocked down seven of the army, who were sprawling in every directionupon the carpet, when suddenly the machine paused, with the dinner-pailraised for another blow, and remained perfectly motionless.
"My ac-tion has run down," he called to Dorothy. "Wind me up, quick."
She tried to obey, but the big colonel had by this time managed to getupon his feet again, so he grabbed fast hold of the girl and she washelpless to escape.
"This is too bad," said the machine. "I ought to have run six hourslon-ger, at least, but I sup-pose my long walk and my fight with theWheel-ers made me run down fast-er than us-u-al."
"Well, it can't be helped," said Dorothy, with a sigh.
"Will you exchange heads with me?" demanded the Princess.
"No, indeed!" cried Dorothy.
"Then lock her up," said Langwidere to her soldiers, and they ledDorothy to a high tower at the north of the palace and locked hersecurely within.
The soldiers afterward tried to lift Tiktok, but they found the machineso solid and heavy that they could not stir it. So they left himstanding in the center of the drawing-room.
"People will think I have a new statue," said Langwidere, "so it won'tmatter in the least, and Nanda can keep him well polished."
"What shall we do with the hen?" asked the colonel, who had justdiscovered Billina in the work-basket.
"Put her in the chicken-house," answered the Princess. "Someday I'llhave her fried for breakfast."
"She looks rather tough, Your Highness," said Nanda, doubtfully.
"That is a base slander!" cried Billina, struggling frantically in thecolonel's arms. "But the breed of chickens I come from is said to bepoison to all princesses."
"Then," remarked Langwidere, "I will not fry the hen, but keep her tolay eggs; and if she doesn't do her duty I'll have her drowned in thehorse trough."
7. Ozma of Oz to the Rescue
Nanda brought Dorothy bread and water for her supper, and she sleptupon a hard stone couch with a single pillow and a silken coverlet.
In the morning she leaned out of the window of her prison in the towerto see if there was any way to escape. The room was not so very highup, when compared with our modern buildings, but it was far enoughabove the trees and farm houses to give her a good view of thesurrounding country.
To the east she saw the forest, with the sands beyond it and the oceanbeyond that. There was even a dark speck upon the shore that shethought might be the chicken-coop in which she had arrived at thissingular country.
Then she looked to the north, and saw a deep but narrow valley lyingbetween two rocky mountains, and a third mountain that shut off thevalley at the further end.
Westward the fertile Land of Ev suddenly ended a little way from thepalace, and the girl could see miles and miles of sandy desert thatstretched further than her eyes could reach. It was this desert, shethought, with much interest, that alone separated her from thewonderful Land of Oz, and she remembered sorrowfully that she had beentold no one had ever been able to cross this dangerous waste butherself. Once a cyclone had carried her across it, and a magical pairof silver shoes had carried her back again. But now she had neither acyclone nor silver shoes to assist her, and her condition was sadindeed. For she had become the prisoner of a disagreeable princess whoinsisted that she must exchange her head for another one that she wasnot used to, and which might not fit her at all.
Really, there seemed no hope of help for her from her old friends inthe Land of Oz. Thoughtfully she gazed from her narrow window. On allthe desert not a living thing was stirring.
Wait, though! Something surely WAS stirring on the desert--somethingher eyes had not observed at first. Now it seemed like a cloud; now itseemed like a spot of silver; now it seemed to be a mass of rainbowcolors that moved swiftly toward her.
What COULD it be, she wondered?
Then, gradually, but in a brief space of time nevertheless, the visiondrew near enough to Dorothy to make out what it was.
A broad green carpet was unrolling itself upon the desert, whileadvancing across the carpet was a wonderful procession that made thegirl open her eyes in amazement as she gazed.
First came a magnificent golden chariot, drawn by a great Lion and animmense Tiger, who stood shoulder to shoulder and trotted along asgracefully as a well-matched team of thoroughbred horses. And standingupright within the chariot was a beautiful girl clothed in flowingrobes of silver gauze and wearing a jeweled diadem upon her daintyhead. She held in one hand the satin ribbons that guided herastonishing team, and in the other an ivory wand that separated at thetop into two prongs, the prongs being tipped by the letters "O" and"Z", made of glistening diamonds set closely together.
The girl seemed neither older nor larger than Dorothy herself, and atonce the prisoner in the tower guessed that the lovely driver of thechariot must be that Ozma of Oz of whom she had so lately heard fromTiktok.
Following close behind the chariot Dorothy saw her old friend theScarecrow, riding calmly astride a wooden Saw-Horse, which pranced andtrotted as naturally as any meat horse could have done.
And then came Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman, with his funnel-shaped captipped carelessly over his left ear, his gleaming axe over his rightshoulder, and his whole body sparkling as brightly as it had ever donein the old days when first she knew him.
The Tin Woodman was on foot, marching at the head of a company oftwenty-seven soldiers, of whom some were lean and some fat, some shortand some tall; but all the twenty-seven were dressed in handsomeuniforms of various designs and colors, no two being alike in anyrespect.
Behind the soldiers the green carpet rolled itself up again, so thatthere was always just enough of it for the procession to walk upon, inorder that their feet might not come in contact with the deadly,life-destroying sands of the desert.
Dorothy knew at once it was a magic carpet she beheld, and her heartbeat high with hope and joy as she realized she was soon to be rescuedand allowed to greet her dearly beloved friends of Oz--the Scarecrow,the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion.
Indeed, the girl felt herself as good as rescued as soon as sherecognized those in the procession, for she well knew the courage andloyalty of her old comrades, and also believed that any others who camefrom their marvelous country would prove to be pleasant and reliableacquaintances.
As soon as the last bit of desert was passed and all the procession,from the beautiful and dainty Ozma to the last soldier, had reached thegrassy meadows of the Land of Ev, the magic carpet rolled itselftogether and entirely disappeared.
Then the chariot driver turned her Lion and Tiger into a broad roadwayleading up to the palace, and the others followed, while Dorothy stillgazed from her tower window in eager excitement.
They came quite close to the front door of the palace and then halted,the Scarecrow dismounting from his Saw-Horse to approach the signfastened to the door, that he might read what it said.
Dorothy, just above him, could keep silent no longer.
"Here I am!" she shouted, as loudly as she could. "Here's Dorothy!"
"Dorothy who?" asked the Scarecrow, tipping his head to look upwarduntil he nearly lost his balance and tumbled over backward.
"Dorothy Gale, of course. Your friend from Kansas," she answered.
"Why, hello, Dorothy!" said the Scarecrow. "What in the world are youdoing up there?"
"Nothing," she called down, "because there's nothing to do. Save me,my friend--save me!"
"You seem to be quite safe now," replied the Scarecrow.
"But I'm a prisoner. I'm locked in, so that I can't get out," shepleaded.
"That's all right," said the Scarecrow. "You might be worse off,little Dorothy. Just consider the matter. You can't get drowned, orbe run over by a Wheeler, or fall out of an apple-tree. Some folkswould think they were lucky to be up there."
"Well, I don't," declared the girl, "and I want to get down immed'i'tlyand see you and the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion."
"Very well," said the Scarecrow, nodding. "It shall be just as yousay, little friend. Who locked you up?"
"The princess Langwidere, who is a horrid creature," she answered.
At this Ozma, who had been listening carefully to the conversation,called to Dorothy from her chariot, asking:
"Why did the Princess lock you up, my dear?"
"Because," exclaimed Dorothy, "I wouldn't let her have my head for hercollection, and take an old, cast-off head in exchange for it."
"I do not blame you," exclaimed Ozma, promptly. "I will see thePrincess at once, and oblige her to liberate you."
"Oh, thank you very, very much!" cried Dorothy, who as soon as sheheard the sweet voice of the girlish Ruler of Oz knew that she wouldsoon learn to love her dearly.
Ozma now drove her chariot around to the third door of the wing, uponwhich the Tin Woodman boldly proceeded to knock.
As soon as the maid opened the door Ozma, bearing in her hand her ivorywand, stepped into the hall and made her way at once to thedrawing-room, followed by all her company, except the Lion and theTiger. And the twenty-seven soldiers made such a noise and a clatterthat the little maid Nanda ran away screaming to her mistress,whereupon the Princess Langwidere, roused to great anger by this rudeinvasion of her palace, came running into the drawing-room without anyassistance whatever.
There she stood before the slight and delicate form of the little girlfrom Oz and cried out;--
"How dare you enter my palace unbidden? Leave this room at once, or Iwill bind you and all your people in chains, and throw you into mydarkest dungeons!"
"What a dangerous lady!" murmured the Scarecrow, in a soft voice.
"She seems a little nervous," replied the Tin Woodman.
But Ozma only smiled at the angry Princess.
"Sit down, please," she said, quietly. "I have traveled a long way tosee you, and you must listen to what I have to say."
"Must!" screamed the Princess, her black eyes flashing with fury--forshe still wore her No. 17 head. "Must, to ME!"
"To be sure," said Ozma. "I am Ruler of the Land of Oz, and I ampowerful enough to destroy all your kingdom, if I so wish. Yet I didnot come here to do harm, but rather to free the royal family of Evfrom the thrall of the Nome King, the news having reached me that he isholding the Queen and her children prisoners."
Hearing these words, Langwidere suddenly became quiet.
"I wish you could, indeed, free my aunt and her ten royal children,"said she, eagerly. "For if they were restored to their proper formsand station they could rule the Kingdom of Ev themselves, and thatwould save me a lot of worry and trouble. At present there are atleast ten minutes every day that I must devote to affairs of state, andI would like to be able to spend my whole time in admiring my beautifulheads."
"Then we will presently discuss this matter," said Ozma, "and try tofind a way to liberate your aunt and cousins. But first you mustliberate another prisoner--the little girl you have locked up in yourtower."
"Of course," said Langwidere, readily. "I had forgotten all about her.That was yesterday, you know, and a Princess cannot be expected toremember today what she did yesterday. Come with me, and I willrelease the prisoner at once."
So Ozma followed her, and they passed up the stairs that led to theroom in the tower.
While they were gone Ozma's followers remained in the drawing-room, andthe Scarecrow was leaning against a form that he had mistaken for acopper statue when a harsh, metallic voice said suddenly in his ear:
"Get off my foot, please. You are scratch-ing my pol-ish."
"Oh, excuse me!" he replied, hastily drawing back. "Are you alive?"
"No," said Tiktok, "I am on-ly a ma-chine. But I can think and speakand act, when I am pro-per-ly wound up. Just now my ac-tion is rundown, and Dor-o-thy has the key to it."
"That's all right," replied the Scarecrow. "Dorothy will soon be free,and then she'll attend to your works. But it must be a greatmisfortune not to be alive. I'm sorry for you."
"Why?" asked Tiktok.
"Because you have no brains, as I have," said the Scarecrow.
"Oh, yes, I have," returned Tiktok. "I am fit-ted with Smith &Tin-ker's Im-proved Com-bi-na-tion Steel Brains. They are what make methink. What sort of brains are you fit-ted with?"
"I don't know," admitted the Scarecrow. "They were given to me by thegreat Wizard of Oz, and I didn't get a chance to examine them before heput them in. But they work splendidly and my conscience is veryactive. Have you a conscience?"
"No," said Tiktok.
"And no heart, I suppose?" added the Tin Woodman, who had beenlistening with interest to this conversation.
"No," said Tiktok.
"Then," continued the Tin Woodman, "I regret to say that you aregreatly inferior to my friend the Scarecrow, and to myself. For we areboth alive, and he has brains which do not need to be wound up, while Ihave an excellent heart that is continually beating in my bosom."
"I con-grat-u-late you," replied Tiktok. "I can-not help be-ing yourin-fer-i-or for I am a mere ma-chine. When I am wound up I do my du-tyby go-ing just as my ma-chin-er-y is made to go. You have no i-de-ahow full of ma-chin-er-y I am."
"I can guess," said the Scarecrow, looking at the machine mancuriously. "Some day I'd like to take you apart and see just how youare made."
"Do not do that, I beg of you," said Tiktok; "for you could not put meto-geth-er a-gain, and my use-ful-ness would be de-stroyed."
"Oh! are you useful?" asked the Scarecrow, surprised.
"Ve-ry," said Tiktok.
"In that case," the Scarecrow kindly promised, "I won't fool with yourinterior at all. For I am a poor mechanic, and might mix you up."
"Thank you," said Tiktok.
Just then Ozma re-entered the room, leading Dorothy by the hand andfollowed closely by the Princess Langwidere.
8. The Hungry Tiger
The first thing Dorothy did was to rush into the embrace of theScarecrow, whose painted face beamed with delight as he pressed herform to his straw-padded bosom. Then the Tin Woodman embracedher--very gently, for he knew his tin arms might hurt her if hesqueezed too roughly.
These greetings having been exchanged, Dorothy took the key to Tiktokfrom her pocket and wound up the machine man's action, so that he couldbow properly when introduced to the rest of the company. While doingthis she told them how useful Tiktok had been to her, and both theScarecrow and the Tin Woodman shook hands with the machine once moreand thanked him for protecting their friend.
Then Dorothy asked: "Where is Billina?"
"I don't know," said the Scarecrow. "Who is Billina?"
"She's a yellow hen who is another friend of mine," answered the girl,anxiously. "I wonder what has become of her?"
"She is in the chicken house, in the back yard," said the Princess."My drawing-room is no place for hens."
Without waiting to hear more Dorothy ran to get Billina, and justoutside the door she came upon the Cowardly Lion, still hitched to thechariot beside the great Tiger. The Cowardly Lion had a big bow ofblue ribbon fastened to the long hair between his ears, and the Tigerwore a bow of red ribbon on his tail, just in front of the bushy end.
In an instant Dorothy was hugging the huge Lion joyfully.
"I'm SO glad to see you again!" she cried.
"I am also glad to see you, Dorothy," said the Lion. "We've had somefine adventures together, haven't we?"
"Yes, indeed," she replied. "How are you?"
"As cowardly as ever," the beast answered in a meek voice. "Everylittle thing scares me and makes my heart beat fast. But let meintroduce to you a new friend of mine, the Hungry Tiger."
"Oh! Are you hungry?" she asked, turning to the other beast, who wasjust then yawning so widely that he displayed two rows of terribleteeth and a mouth big enough to startle anyone.
"Dreadfully hungry," answered the Tiger, snapping his jaws togetherwith a fierce click.
"Then why don't you eat something?" she asked.
"It's no use," said the Tiger sadly. "I've tried that, but I alwaysget hungry again."
"Why, it is the same with me," said Dorothy. "Yet I keep on eating."
"But you eat harmless things, so it doesn't matter," replied the Tiger."For my part, I'm a savage beast, and have an appetite for all sorts ofpoor little living creatures, from a chipmunk to fat babies."
"How dreadful!" said Dorothy.
"Isn't it, though?" returned the Hungry Tiger, licking his lips withhis long red tongue. "Fat babies! Don't they sound delicious? ButI've never eaten any, because my conscience tells me it is wrong. If Ihad no conscience I would probably eat the babies and then get hungryagain, which would mean that I had sacrificed the poor babies fornothing. No; hungry I was born, and hungry I shall die. But I'll nothave any cruel deeds on my conscience to be sorry for."
"I think you are a very good tiger," said Dorothy, patting the hugehead of the beast.
"In that you are mistaken," was the reply. "I am a good beast,perhaps, but a disgracefully bad tiger. For it is the nature of tigersto be cruel and ferocious, and in refusing to eat harmless livingcreatures I am acting as no good tiger has ever before acted. That iswhy I left the forest and joined my friend the Cowardly Lion."
"But the Lion is not really cowardly," said Dorothy. "I have seen himact as bravely as can be."
"All a mistake, my dear," protested the Lion gravely. "To others I mayhave seemed brave, at times, but I have never been in any danger that Iwas not afraid."
"Nor I," said Dorothy, truthfully. "But I must go and set free Billina,and then I will see you again."
She ran around to the back yard of the palace and soon found thechicken house, being guided to it by a loud cackling and crowing and adistracting hubbub of sounds such as chickens make when they areexcited.
Something seemed to be wrong in the chicken house, and when Dorothylooked through the slats in the door she saw a group of hens androosters huddled in one corner and watching what appeared to be awhirling ball of feathers. It bounded here and there about the chickenhouse, and at first Dorothy could not tell what it was, while thescreeching of the chickens nearly deafened her.
But suddenly the bunch of feathers stopped whirling, and then, to heramazement, the girl saw Billina crouching upon the prostrate form of aspeckled rooster. For an instant they both remained motionless, andthen the yellow hen shook her wings to settle the feathers and walkedtoward the door with a strut of proud defiance and a cluck of victory,while the speckled rooster limped away to the group of other chickens,trailing his crumpled plumage in the dust as he went.
"Why, Billina!" cried Dorothy, in a shocked voice; "have you beenfighting?"
"I really think I have," retorted Billina. "Do you think I'd let thatspeckled villain of a rooster lord it over ME, and claim to run thischicken house, as long as I'm able to peck and scratch? Not if my nameis Bill!"
"It isn't Bill, it's Billina; and you're talking slang, which is veryundig'n'fied," said Dorothy, reprovingly. "Come here, Billina, andI'll let you out; for Ozma of Oz is here, and has set us free."
So the yellow hen came to the door, which Dorothy unlatched for her topass through, and the other chickens silently watched them from theircorner without offering to approach nearer.
The girl lifted her friend in her arms and exclaimed:
"Oh, Billina! how dreadful you look. You've lost a lot of feathers,and one of your eyes is nearly pecked out, and your comb is bleeding!"
"That's nothing," said Billina. "Just look at the speckled rooster!Didn't I do him up brown?"
Dorothy shook her head.
"I don't 'prove of this, at all," she said, carrying Billina awaytoward the palace. "It isn't a good thing for you to 'sociate withthose common chickens. They would soon spoil your good manners, andyou wouldn't be respec'able any more."
"I didn't ask to associate with them," replied Billina. "It is thatcross old Princess who is to blame. But I was raised in the UnitedStates, and I won't allow any one-horse chicken of the Land of Ev torun over me and put on airs, as long as I can lift a claw inself-defense."
"Very well, Billina," said Dorothy. "We won't talk about it any more."
Soon they came to the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger to whom thegirl introduced the Yellow Hen.
"Glad to meet any friend of Dorothy's," said the Lion, politely. "Tojudge by your present appearance, you are not a coward, as I am."
"Your present appearance makes my mouth water," said the Tiger, lookingat Billina greedily. "My, my! how good you would taste if I could onlycrunch you between my jaws. But don't worry. You would only appeasemy appetite for a moment; so it isn't worth while to eat you."
"Thank you," said the hen, nestling closer in Dorothy's arms.
"Besides, it wouldn't be right," continued the Tiger, looking steadilyat Billina and clicking his jaws together.
"Of course not," cried Dorothy, hastily. "Billina is my friend, andyou mustn't ever eat her under any circ'mstances."
"I'll try to remember that," said the Tiger; "but I'm a littleabsent-minded, at times."
Then Dorothy carried her pet into the drawing-room of the palace, whereTiktok, being invited to do so by Ozma, had seated himself between theScarecrow and the Tin Woodman. Opposite to them sat Ozma herself andthe Princess Langwidere, and beside them there was a vacant chair forDorothy.
Around this important group was ranged the Army of Oz, and as Dorothylooked at the handsome uniforms of the Twenty-Seven she said:
"Why, they seem to be all officers."
"They are, all except one," answered the Tin Woodman. "I have in myArmy eight Generals, six Colonels, seven Majors and five Captains,besides one private for them to command. I'd like to promote theprivate, for I believe no private should ever be in public life; andI've also noticed that officers usually fight better and are morereliable than common soldiers. Besides, the officers are moreimportant looking, and lend dignity to our army."
"No doubt you are right," said Dorothy, seating herself beside Ozma.
"And now," announced the girlish Ruler of Oz, "we will hold a solemnconference to decide the best manner of liberating the royal family ofthis fair Land of Ev from their long imprisonment."
9. The Royal Family of Ev
The Tin Woodman was the first to address the meeting.
"To begin with," said he, "word came to our noble and illustriousRuler, Ozma of Oz, that the wife and ten children--five boys and fivegirls--of the former King of Ev, by name Evoldo, have been enslaved bythe Nome King and are held prisoners in his underground palace. Alsothat there was no one in Ev powerful enough to release them. Naturallyour Ozma wished to undertake the adventure of liberating the poorprisoners; but for a long time she could find no way to cross the greatdesert between the two countries. Finally she went to a friendlysorceress of our land named Glinda the Good, who heard the story and atonce presented Ozma a magic carpet, which would continually unrollbeneath our feet and so make a comfortable path for us to cross thedesert. As soon as she had received the carpet our gracious Rulerordered me to assemble our army, which I did. You behold in these boldwarriors the pick of all the finest soldiers of Oz; and, if we areobliged to fight the Nome King, every officer as well as the private,will battle fiercely unto death."
Then Tiktok spoke.
"Why should you fight the Nome King?" he asked. "He has done no wrong."
"No wrong!" cried Dorothy. "Isn't it wrong to imprison a queen motherand her ten children?"
"They were sold to the Nome King by King Ev-ol-do," replied Tiktok."It was the King of Ev who did wrong, and when he re-al-ized what hehad done he jumped in-to the sea and drowned him-self."
"This is news to me," said Ozma, thoughtfully. "I had supposed theNome King was all to blame in the matter. But, in any case, he must bemade to liberate the prisoners."
"My uncle Evoldo was a very wicked man," declared the PrincessLangwidere. "If he had drowned himself before he sold his family, noone would have cared. But he sold them to the powerful Nome King inexchange for a long life, and afterward destroyed the life by jumpinginto the sea."
"Then," said Ozma, "he did not get the long life, and the Nome Kingmust give up the prisoners. Where are they confined?"
"No one knows, exactly," replied the Princess. "For the king, whosename is Roquat of the Rocks, owns a splendid palace underneath thegreat mountain which is at the north end of this kingdom, and he hastransformed the queen and her children into ornaments and bric-a-bracwith which to decorate his rooms."
"I'd like to know," said Dorothy, "who this Nome King is?"
"I will tell you," replied Ozma. "He is said to be the Ruler of theUnderground World, and commands the rocks and all that the rockscontain. Under his rule are many thousands of the Nomes, who arequeerly shaped but powerful sprites that labor at the furnaces andforges of their king, making gold and silver and other metals whichthey conceal in the crevices of the rocks, so that those living uponthe earth's surface can only find them with great difficulty. Alsothey make diamonds and rubies and emeralds, which they hide in theground; so that the kingdom of the Nomes is wonderfully rich, and allwe have of precious stones and silver and gold is what we take from theearth and rocks where the Nome King has hidden them."
"I understand," said Dorothy, nodding her little head wisely.
"For the reason that we often steal his treasures," continued Ozma,"the Ruler of the Underground World is not fond of those who live uponthe earth's surface, and never appears among us. If we wish to seeKing Roquat of the Rocks, we must visit his own country, where he isall powerful, and therefore it will be a dangerous undertaking."
"But, for the sake of the poor prisoners," said Dorothy, "we ought todo it."
"We shall do it," replied the Scarecrow, "although it requires a lot ofcourage for me to go near to the furnaces of the Nome King. For I amonly stuffed with straw, and a single spark of fire might destroy meentirely."
"The furnaces may also melt my tin," said the Tin Woodman; "but I amgoing."
"I can't bear heat," remarked the Princess Langwidere, yawning lazily,"so I shall stay at home. But I wish you may have success in yourundertaking, for I am heartily tired of ruling this stupid kingdom, andI need more leisure in which to admire my beautiful heads."
"We do not need you," said Ozma. "For, if with the aid of my bravefollowers I cannot accomplish my purpose, then it would be useless foryou to undertake the journey."
"Quite true," sighed the Princess. "So, if you'll excuse me, I willnow retire to my cabinet. I've worn this head quite awhile, and I wantto change it for another."
When she had left them (and you may be sure no one was sorry to see hergo) Ozma said to Tiktok:
"Will you join our party?"
"I am the slave of the girl Dor-oth-y, who rescued me from pris-on,"replied the machine. "Where she goes I will go."
"Oh, I am going with my friends, of course," said Dorothy, quickly. "Iwouldn't miss the fun for anything. Will you go, too, Billina?"
"To be sure," said Billina in a careless tone. She was smoothing downthe feathers of her back and not paying much attention.
"Heat is just in her line," remarked the Scarecrow. "If she is nicelyroasted, she will be better than ever."
"Then" said Ozma, "we will arrange to start for the Kingdom of theNomes at daybreak tomorrow. And, in the meantime, we will rest andprepare ourselves for the journey."
Although Princess Langwidere did not again appear to her guests, thepalace servants waited upon the strangers from Oz and did everything intheir power to make the party comfortable. There were many vacantrooms at their disposal, and the brave Army of twenty-seven was easilyprovided for and liberally feasted.
The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger were unharnessed from thechariot and allowed to roam at will throughout the palace, where theynearly frightened the servants into fits, although they did no harm atall. At one time Dorothy found the little maid Nanda crouching interror in a corner, with the Hungry Tiger standing before her.
"You certainly look delicious," the beast was saying. "Will you kindlygive me permission to eat you?"
"No, no, no!" cried the maid in reply.
"Then," said the Tiger, yawning frightfully, "please to get me aboutthirty pounds of tenderloin steak, cooked rare, with a peck of boiledpotatoes on the side, and five gallons of ice-cream for dessert."
"I--I'll do the best I can!" said Nanda, and she ran away as fast asshe could go.
"Are you so very hungry?" asked Dorothy, in wonder.
"You can hardly imagine the size of my appetite," replied the Tiger,sadly. "It seems to fill my whole body, from the end of my throat tothe tip of my tail. I am very sure the appetite doesn't fit me, and istoo large for the size of my body. Some day, when I meet a dentistwith a pair of forceps, I'm going to have it pulled."
"What, your tooth?" asked Dorothy.
"No, my appetite," said the Hungry Tiger.
The little girl spent most of the afternoon talking with the Scarecrowand the Tin Woodman, who related to her all that had taken place in theLand of Oz since Dorothy had left it. She was much interested in thestory of Ozma, who had been, when a baby, stolen by a wicked old witchand transformed into a boy. She did not know that she had ever been agirl until she was restored to her natural form by a kind sorceress.Then it was found that she was the only child of the former Ruler ofOz, and was entitled to rule in his place. Ozma had many adventures,however, before she regained her father's throne, and in these she wasaccompanied by a pumpkin-headed man, a highly magnified and thoroughlyeducated Woggle-Bug, and a wonderful sawhorse that had been brought tolife by means of a magic powder. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman hadalso assisted her; but the Cowardly Lion, who ruled the great forest asthe King of Beasts, knew nothing of Ozma until after she became thereigning princess of Oz. Then he journeyed to the Emerald City to seeher, and on hearing she was about to visit the Land of Ev to set freethe royal family of that country, the Cowardly Lion begged to go withher, and brought along his friend, the Hungry Tiger, as well.
Having heard this story, Dorothy related to them her own adventures,and then went out with her friends to find the Sawhorse, which Ozma hadcaused to be shod with plates of gold, so that its legs would not wearout.
They came upon the Sawhorse standing motionless beside the garden gate,but when Dorothy was introduced to him he bowed politely and blinkedhis eyes, which were knots of wood, and wagged his tail, which was onlythe branch of a tree.
"What a remarkable thing, to be alive!" exclaimed Dorothy.
"I quiet agree with you," replied the Sawhorse, in a rough but notunpleasant voice. "A creature like me has no business to live, as weall know. But it was the magic powder that did it, so I cannot justlybe blamed."
"Of course not," said Dorothy. "And you seem to be of some use, 'causeI noticed the Scarecrow riding upon your back."
"Oh, yes; I'm of use," returned the Sawhorse; "and I never tire, neverhave to be fed, or cared for in any way."
"Are you intel'gent?" asked the girl.
"Not very," said the creature. "It would be foolish to wasteintelligence on a common Sawhorse, when so many professors need it.But I know enough to obey my masters, and to gid-dup, or whoa, when I'mtold to. So I'm pretty well satisfied."
That night Dorothy slept in a pleasant little bed-chamber next to thatoccupied by Ozma of Oz, and Billina perched upon the foot of the bedand tucked her head under her wing and slept as soundly in thatposition as did Dorothy upon her soft cushions.
But before daybreak every one was awake and stirring, and soon theadventurers were eating a hasty breakfast in the great dining-room ofthe palace. Ozma sat at the head of a long table, on a raisedplatform, with Dorothy on her right hand and the Scarecrow on her left.The Scarecrow did not eat, of course; but Ozma placed him near her sothat she might ask his advice about the journey while she ate.
Lower down the table were the twenty-seven warriors of Oz, and at theend of the room the Lion and the Tiger were eating out of a kettle thathad been placed upon the floor, while Billina fluttered around to pickup any scraps that might be scattered.
It did not take long to finish the meal, and then the Lion and theTiger were harnessed to the chariot and the party was ready to startfor the Nome King's Palace.
First rode Ozma, with Dorothy beside her in the golden chariot andholding Billina fast in her arms. Then came the Scarecrow on theSawhorse, with the Tin Woodman and Tiktok marching side by side justbehind him. After these tramped the Army, looking brave and handsomein their splendid uniforms. The generals commanded the colonels andthe colonels commanded the majors and the majors commanded the captainsand the captains commanded the private, who marched with an air ofproud importance because it required so many officers to give him hisorders.
And so the magnificent procession left the palace and started along theroad just as day was breaking, and by the time the sun came out theyhad made good progress toward the valley that led to the Nome King'sdomain.
10. The Giant with the Hammer
The road led for a time through a pretty farm country, and then past apicnic grove that was very inviting. But the procession continued tosteadily advance until Billina cried in an abrupt and commanding manner:
Ozma stopped her chariot so suddenly that the Scarecrow's Sawhorsenearly ran into it, and the ranks of the army tumbled over one anotherbefore they could come to a halt. Immediately the yellow hen struggledfrom Dorothy's arms and flew into a clump of bushes by the roadside.
"What's the matter?" called the Tin Woodman, anxiously.
"Why, Billina wants to lay her egg, that's all," said Dorothy.
"Lay her egg!" repeated the Tin Woodman, in astonishment.
"Yes; she lays one every morning, about this time; and it's quitefresh," said the girl.
"But does your foolish old hen suppose that this entire cavalcade,which is bound on an important adventure, is going to stand still whileshe lays her egg?" enquired the Tin Woodman, earnestly.
"What else can we do?" asked the girl. "It's a habit of Billina's andshe can't break herself of it."
"Then she must hurry up," said the Tin Woodman, impatiently.
"No, no!" exclaimed the Scarecrow. "If she hurries she may layscrambled eggs."
"That's nonsense," said Dorothy. "But Billina won't be long, I'm sure."
So they stood and waited, although all were restless and anxious toproceed. And by and by the yellow hen came from the bushes saying:
"Kut-kut, kut, ka-daw-kutt! Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kut!"
"What is she doing--singing her lay?" asked the Scarecrow.
"For-ward--march!" shouted the Tin Woodman, waving his axe, and theprocession started just as Dorothy had once more grabbed Billina in herarms.
"Isn't anyone going to get my egg?" cried the hen, in great excitement.
"I'll get it," said the Scarecrow; and at his command the Sawhorsepranced into the bushes. The straw man soon found the egg, which heplaced in his jacket pocket. The cavalcade, having moved rapidly on,was even then far in advance; but it did not take the Sawhorse long tocatch up with it, and presently the Scarecrow was riding in hisaccustomed place behind Ozma's chariot.
"What shall I do with the egg?" he asked Dorothy.
"I do not know," the girl answered. "Perhaps the Hungry Tiger wouldlike it."
"It would not be enough to fill one of my back teeth," remarked theTiger. "A bushel of them, hard boiled, might take a little of the edgeoff my appetite; but one egg isn't good for anything at all, that Iknow of."
"No; it wouldn't even make a sponge cake," said the Scarecrow,thoughtfully. "The Tin Woodman might carry it with his axe and hatchit; but after all I may as well keep it myself for a souvenir." So heleft it in his pocket.
They had now reached that part of the valley that lay between the twohigh mountains which Dorothy had seen from her tower window. At thefar end was the third great mountain, which blocked the valley and wasthe northern edge of the Land of Ev. It was underneath this mountainthat the Nome King's palace was said to be; but it would be some timebefore they reached that place.
The path was becoming rocky and difficult for the wheels of the chariotto pass over, and presently a deep gulf appeared at their feet whichwas too wide for them to leap. So Ozma took a small square of greencloth from her pocket and threw it upon the ground. At once it becamethe magic carpet, and unrolled itself far enough for all the cavalcadeto walk upon. The chariot now advanced, and the green carpet unrolledbefore it, crossing the gulf on a level with its banks, so that allpassed over in safety.
"That's easy enough," said the Scarecrow. "I wonder what will happennext."
He was not long in making the discovery, for the sides of the mountaincame closer together until finally there was but a narrow path betweenthem, along which Ozma and her party were forced to pass in single file.
They now heard a low and deep "thump!--thump!--thump!" which echoedthroughout the valley and seemed to grow louder as they advanced.Then, turning a corner of rock, they saw before them a huge form, whichtowered above the path for more than a hundred feet. The form was thatof a gigantic man built out of plates of cast iron, and it stood withone foot on either side of the narrow road and swung over its rightshoulder an immense iron mallet, with which it constantly pounded theearth. These resounding blows explained the thumping sounds they hadheard, for the mallet was much bigger than a barrel, and where itstruck the path between the rocky sides of the mountain it filled allthe space through which our travelers would be obliged to pass.
Of course they at once halted, a safe distance away from the terribleiron mallet. The magic carpet would do them no good in this case, forit was only meant to protect them from any dangers upon the groundbeneath their feet, and not from dangers that appeared in the air abovethem.
"Wow!" said the Cowardly Lion, with a shudder. "It makes me dreadfullynervous to see that big hammer pounding so near my head. One blowwould crush me into a door-mat."
"The ir-on gi-ant is a fine fel-low," said Tiktok, "and works asstead-i-ly as a clock. He was made for the Nome King by Smith &Tin-ker, who made me, and his du-ty is to keep folks from find-ing theun-der-ground pal-ace. Is he not a great work of art?"
"Can he think, and speak, as you do?" asked Ozma, regarding the giantwith wondering eyes.
"No," replied the machine; "he is on-ly made to pound the road, and hasno think-ing or speak-ing at-tach-ment. But he pounds ve-ry well, Ithink."
"Too well," observed the Scarecrow. "He is keeping us from goingfarther. Is there no way to stop his machinery?"
"On-ly the Nome King, who has the key, can do that," answered Tiktok.
"Then," said Dorothy, anxiously, "what shall we do?"
"Excuse me for a few minutes," said the Scarecrow, "and I will think itover."
He retired, then, to a position in the rear, where he turned hispainted face to the rocks and began to think.
Meantime the giant continued to raise his iron mallet high in the airand to strike the path terrific blows that echoed through the mountainslike the roar of a cannon. Each time the mallet lifted, however, therewas a moment when the path beneath the monster was free, and perhapsthe Scarecrow had noticed this, for when he came back to the others hesaid:
"The matter is a very simple one, after all. We have but to run underthe hammer, one at a time, when it is lifted, and pass to the otherside before it falls again."
"It will require quick work, if we escape the blow," said the TinWoodman, with a shake of his head. "But it really seems the only thingto be done. Who will make the first attempt?"
They looked at one another hesitatingly for a moment. Then theCowardly Lion, who was trembling like a leaf in the wind, said to them:
"I suppose the head of the procession must go first--and that's me.But I'm terribly afraid of the big hammer!"
"What will become of me?" asked Ozma. "You might rush under the hammeryourself, but the chariot would surely be crushed."
"We must leave the chariot," said the Scarecrow. "But you two girlscan ride upon the backs of the Lion and the Tiger."
So this was decided upon, and Ozma, as soon as the Lion was unfastenedfrom the chariot, at once mounted the beast's back and said she wasready.
"Cling fast to his mane," advised Dorothy. "I used to ride him myself,and that's the way I held on."
So Ozma clung fast to the mane, and the lion crouched in the path andeyed the swinging mallet carefully until he knew just the instant itwould begin to rise in the air.
Then, before anyone thought he was ready, he made a sudden leapstraight between the iron giant's legs, and before the mallet struckthe ground again the Lion and Ozma were safe on the other side.
The Tiger went next. Dorothy sat upon his back and locked her armsaround his striped neck, for he had no mane to cling to. He made theleap straight and true as an arrow from a bow, and ere Dorothy realizedit she was out of danger and standing by Ozma's side.
Now came the Scarecrow on the Sawhorse, and while they made the dash insafety they were within a hair's breadth of being caught by thedescending hammer.
Tiktok walked up to the very edge of the spot the hammer struck, and asit was raised for the next blow he calmly stepped forward and escapedits descent. That was an idea for the Tin Woodman to follow, and healso crossed in safety while the great hammer was in the air. But whenit came to the twenty-six officers and the private, their knees were soweak that they could not walk a step.
"In battle we are wonderfully courageous," said one of the generals,"and our foes find us very terrible to face. But war is one thing andthis is another. When it comes to being pounded upon the head by aniron hammer, and smashed into pancakes, we naturally object."
"Make a run for it," urged the Scarecrow.
"Our knees shake so that we cannot run," answered a captain. "If weshould try it we would all certainly be pounded to a jelly."
"Well, well," sighed the Cowardly Lion, "I see, friend Tiger, that wemust place ourselves in great danger to rescue this bold army. Comewith me, and we will do the best we can."
So, Ozma and Dorothy having already dismounted from their backs, theLion and the Tiger leaped back again under the awful hammer andreturned with two generals clinging to their necks. They repeated thisdaring passage twelve times, when all the officers had been carriedbeneath the giant's legs and landed safely on the further side. Bythat time the beasts were very tired, and panted so hard that theirtongues hung out of their great mouths.
"But what is to become of the private?" asked Ozma.
"Oh, leave him there to guard the chariot," said the Lion. "I'm tiredout, and won't pass under that mallet again."
The officers at once protested that they must have the private withthem, else there would be no one for them to command. But neither theLion or the Tiger would go after him, and so the Scarecrow sent theSawhorse.
Either the wooden horse was careless, or it failed to properly time thedescent of the hammer, for the mighty weapon caught it squarely uponits head, and thumped it against the ground so powerfully that theprivate flew off its back high into the air, and landed upon one of thegiant's cast-iron arms. Here he clung desperately while the arm roseand fell with each one of the rapid strokes.
The Scarecrow dashed in to rescue his Sawhorse, and had his left footsmashed by the hammer before he could pull the creature out of danger.They then found that the Sawhorse had been badly dazed by the blow; forwhile the hard wooden knot of which his head was formed could not becrushed by the hammer, both his ears were broken off and he would beunable to hear a sound until some new ones were made for him. Also hisleft knee was cracked, and had to be bound up with a string.
Billina having fluttered under the hammer, it now remained only torescue the private who was riding upon the iron giant's arm, high inthe air.
The Scarecrow lay flat upon the ground and called to the man to jumpdown upon his body, which was soft because it was stuffed with straw.This the private managed to do, waiting until a time when he wasnearest the ground and then letting himself drop upon the Scarecrow.He accomplished the feat without breaking any bones, and the Scarecrowdeclared he was not injured in the least.
Therefore, the Tin Woodman having by this time fitted new ears to theSawhorse, the entire party proceeded upon its way, leaving the giant topound the path behind them.
11. The Nome King
By and by, when they drew near to the mountain that blocked their pathand which was the furthermost edge of the Kingdom of Ev, the way grewdark and gloomy for the reason that the high peaks on either side shutout the sunshine. And it was very silent, too, as there were no birdsto sing or squirrels to chatter, the trees being left far behind themand only the bare rocks remaining.
Ozma and Dorothy were a little awed by the silence, and all the otherswere quiet and grave except the Sawhorse, which, as it trotted alongwith the Scarecrow upon his back, hummed a queer song, of which thiswas the chorus:
"Would a wooden horse in a woodland go? Aye, aye! I sigh, he would, although Had he not had a wooden head He'd mount the mountain top instead."
But no one paid any attention to this because they were now close tothe Nome King's dominions, and his splendid underground palace couldnot be very far away.
Suddenly they heard a shout of jeering laughter, and stopped short.They would have to stop in a minute, anyway, for the huge mountainbarred their further progress and the path ran close up to a wall ofrock and ended.
"Who was that laughing?" asked Ozma.
There was no reply, but in the gloom they could see strange forms flitacross the face of the rock. Whatever the creations might be theyseemed very like the rock itself, for they were the color of rocks andtheir shapes were as rough and rugged as if they had been broken awayfrom the side of the mountain. They kept close to the steep clifffacing our friends, and glided up and down, and this way and that, witha lack of regularity that was quite confusing. And they seemed not toneed places to rest their feet, but clung to the surface of the rock asa fly does to a window-pane, and were never still for a moment.
"Do not mind them," said Tiktok, as Dorothy shrank back. "They areon-ly the Nomes."
"And what are Nomes?" asked the girl, half frightened.
"They are rock fair-ies, and serve the Nome King," replied the machine."But they will do us no harm. You must call for the King, be-causewith-out him you can ne-ver find the en-trance to the pal-ace."
"YOU call," said Dorothy to Ozma.
Just then the Nomes laughed again, and the sound was so weird anddisheartening that the twenty-six officers commanded the private to"right-about-face!" and they all started to run as fast as they could.
The Tin Woodman at once pursued his army and cried "halt!" and whenthey had stopped their flight he asked: "Where are you going?"
"I--I find I've forgotten the brush for my whiskers," said a general,trembling with fear. "S-s-so we are g-going back after it!"
"That is impossible," replied the Tin Woodman. "For the giant with thehammer would kill you all if you tried to pass him."
"Oh! I'd forgotten the giant," said the general, turning pale.
"You seem to forget a good many things," remarked the Tin Woodman. "Ihope you won't forget that you are brave men."
"Never!" cried the general, slapping his gold-embroidered chest.
"Never!" cried all the other officers, indignantly slapping theirchests.
"For my part," said the private, meekly, "I must obey my officers; sowhen I am told to run, I run; and when I am told to fight, I fight."
"That is right," agreed the Tin Woodman. "And now you must all comeback to Ozma, and obey HER orders. And if you try to run away again Iwill have her reduce all the twenty-six officers to privates, and makethe private your general."
This terrible threat so frightened them that they at once returned towhere Ozma was standing beside the Cowardly Lion.
Then Ozma cried out in a loud voice:
"I demand that the Nome King appear to us!"
There was no reply, except that the shifting Nomes upon the mountainlaughed in derision.
"You must not command the Nome King," said Tiktok, "for you do not rulehim, as you do your own peo-ple."
So Ozma called again, saying:
"I request the Nome King to appear to us."
Only the mocking laughter replied to her, and the shadowy Nomescontinued to flit here and there upon the rocky cliff.
"Try en-treat-y," said Tiktok to Ozma. "If he will not come at yourre-quest, then the Nome King may list-en to your plead-ing."
Ozma looked around her proudly.
"Do you wish your ruler to plead with this wicked Nome King?" sheasked. "Shall Ozma of Oz humble herself to a creature who lives in anunderground kingdom?"
"No!" they all shouted, with big voices; and the Scarecrow added:
"If he will not come, we will dig him out of his hole, like a fox, andconquer his stubbornness. But our sweet little ruler must alwaysmaintain her dignity, just as I maintain mine."
"I'm not afraid to plead with him," said Dorothy. "I'm only a littlegirl from Kansas, and we've got more dignity at home than we know whatto do with. I'LL call the Nome King."
"Do," said the Hungry Tiger; "and if he makes hash of you I'llwillingly eat you for breakfast tomorrow morning."
So Dorothy stepped forward and said:
"PLEASE Mr. Nome King, come here and see us."
The Nomes started to laugh again; but a low growl came from themountain, and in a flash they had all vanished from sight and weresilent.
Then a door in the rock opened, and a voice cried:
"Isn't it a trick?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"Never mind," replied Ozma. "We came here to rescue the poor Queen ofEv and her ten children, and we must run some risks to do so."
"The Nome King is hon-est and good na-tured," said Tiktok. "You cantrust him to do what is right."
So Ozma led the way, hand in hand with Dorothy, and they passed throughthe arched doorway of rock and entered a long passage which was lightedby jewels set in the walls and having lamps behind them. There was noone to escort them, or to show them the way, but all the party pressedthrough the passage until they came to a round, domed cavern that wasgrandly furnished.
In the center of this room was a throne carved out of a solid boulderof rock, rude and rugged in shape but glittering with great rubies anddiamonds and emeralds on every part of its surface. And upon thethrone sat the Nome King.
This important monarch of the Underground World was a little fat manclothed in gray-brown garments that were the exact color of the rockthrone in which he was seated. His bushy hair and flowing beard werealso colored like the rocks, and so was his face. He wore no crown ofany sort, and his only ornament was a broad, jewel-studded belt thatencircled his fat little body. As for his features, they seemed kindlyand good humored, and his eyes were turned merrily upon his visitors asOzma and Dorothy stood before him with their followers ranged in closeorder behind them.
"Why, he looks just like Santa Claus--only he isn't the same color!"whispered Dorothy to her friend; but the Nome King heard the speech,and it made him laugh aloud.
"'He had a red face and a round little belly That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly!'"
quoth the monarch, in a pleasant voice; and they could all see that hereally did shake like jelly when he laughed.
Both Ozma and Dorothy were much relieved to find the Nome King sojolly, and a minute later he waved his right hand and the girls eachfound a cushioned stool at her side.
"Sit down, my dears," said the King, "and tell me why you have come allthis way to see me, and what I can do to make you happy."
While they seated themselves the Nome King picked up a pipe, and takinga glowing red coal out of his pocket he placed it in the bowl of thepipe and began puffing out clouds of smoke that curled in rings abovehis head. Dorothy thought this made the little monarch look more likeSanta Claus than ever; but Ozma now began speaking, and every onelistened intently to her words.
"Your Majesty," said she, "I am the ruler of the Land of Oz, and I havecome here to ask you to release the good Queen of Ev and her tenchildren, whom you have enchanted and hold as your prisoners."
"Oh, no; you are mistaken about that," replied the King. "They are notmy prisoners, but my slaves, whom I purchased from the King of Ev."
"But that was wrong," said Ozma.
"According to the laws of Ev, the king can do no wrong," answered themonarch, eying a ring of smoke he had just blown from his mouth; "sothat he had a perfect right to sell his family to me in exchange for along life."
"You cheated him, though," declared Dorothy; "for the King of Ev didnot have a long life. He jumped into the sea and was drowned."
"That was not my fault," said the Nome King, crossing his legs andsmiling contentedly. "I gave him the long life, all right; but hedestroyed it."
"Then how could it be a long life?" asked Dorothy.
"Easily enough," was the reply. "Now suppose, my dear, that I gave youa pretty doll in exchange for a lock of your hair, and that after youhad received the doll you smashed it into pieces and destroyed it.Could you say that I had not given you a pretty doll?"
"No," answered Dorothy.
"And could you, in fairness, ask me to return to you the lock of hair,just because you had smashed the doll?"
"No," said Dorothy, again.
"Of course not," the Nome King returned. "Nor will I give up the Queenand her children because the King of Ev destroyed his long life byjumping into the sea. They belong to me and I shall keep them."
"But you are treating them cruelly," said Ozma, who was much distressedby the King's refusal.
"In what way?" he asked.
"By making them your slaves," said she.
"Cruelty," remarked the monarch, puffing out wreathes of smoke andwatching them float into the air, "is a thing I can't abide. So, asslaves must work hard, and the Queen of Ev and her children weredelicate and tender, I transformed them all into articles of ornamentand bric-a-brac and scattered them around the various rooms of mypalace. Instead of being obliged to labor, they merely decorate myapartments, and I really think I have treated them with great kindness."
"But what a dreadful fate is theirs!" exclaimed Ozma, earnestly. "Andthe Kingdom of Ev is in great need of its royal family to govern it.If you will liberate them, and restore them to their proper forms, Iwill give you ten ornaments to replace each one you lose."
The Nome King looked grave.
"Suppose I refuse?" he asked.
"Then," said Ozma, firmly, "I am here with my friends and my army toconquer your kingdom and oblige you to obey my wishes."
The Nome King laughed until he choked; and he choked until he coughed;and he coughed until his face turned from grayish-brown to bright red.And then he wiped his eyes with a rock-colored handkerchief and grewgrave again.
"You are as brave as you are pretty, my dear," he said to Ozma. "Butyou have little idea of the extent of the task you have undertaken.Come with me for a moment."
He arose and took Ozma's hand, leading her to a little door at one sideof the room. This he opened and they stepped out upon a balcony, fromwhence they obtained a wonderful view of the Underground World.
A vast cave extended for miles and miles under the mountain, and inevery direction were furnaces and forges glowing brightly and Nomeshammering upon precious metals or polishing gleaming jewels. Allaround the walls of the cave were thousands of doors of silver andgold, built into the solid rock, and these extended in rows far awayinto the distance, as far as Ozma's eyes could follow them.
While the little maid from Oz gazed wonderingly upon this scene theNome King uttered a shrill whistle, and at once all the silver and golddoors flew open and solid ranks of Nome soldiers marched out from everyone. So great were their numbers that they quickly filled the immenseunderground cavern and forced the busy workmen to abandon their tasks.
Although this tremendous army consisted of rock-colored Nomes, allsquat and fat, they were clothed in glittering armor of polished steel,inlaid with beautiful gems. Upon his brow each wore a brilliantelectric light, and they bore sharp spears and swords and battle-axesof solid bronze. It was evident they were perfectly trained, for theystood in straight rows, rank after rank, with their weapons held erectand true, as if awaiting but the word of command to level them upontheir foes.
"This," said the Nome King, "is but a small part of my army. No rulerupon Earth has ever dared to fight me, and no ruler ever will, for I amtoo powerful to oppose."
He whistled again, and at once the martial array filed through thesilver and gold doorways and disappeared, after which the workmen againresumed their labors at the furnaces.
Then, sad and discouraged, Ozma of Oz turned to her friends, and theNome King calmly reseated himself on his rock throne.
"It would be foolish for us to fight," the girl said to the TinWoodman. "For our brave Twenty-Seven would be quickly destroyed. I'msure I do not know how to act in this emergency."
"Ask the King where his kitchen is," suggested the Tiger. "I'm hungryas a bear."
"I might pounce upon the King and tear him in pieces," remarked theCowardly Lion.
"Try it," said the monarch, lighting his pipe with another hot coalwhich he took from his pocket.
The Lion crouched low and tried to spring upon the Nome King; but hehopped only a little way into the air and came down again in the sameplace, not being able to approach the throne by even an inch.
"It seems to me," said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully, "that our best planis to wheedle his Majesty into giving up his slaves, since he is toogreat a magician to oppose."
"This is the most sensible thing any of you have suggested," declaredthe Nome King. "It is folly to threaten me, but I'm so kind-heartedthat I cannot stand coaxing or wheedling. If you really wish toaccomplish anything by your journey, my dear Ozma, you must coax me."
"Very well," said Ozma, more cheerfully. "Let us be friends, and talkthis over in a friendly manner."
"To be sure," agreed the King, his eyes twinkling merrily.
"I am very anxious," she continued, "to liberate the Queen of Ev andher children who are now ornaments and bric-a-brac in your Majesty'spalace, and to restore them to their people. Tell me, sir, how thismay be accomplished."
The king remained thoughtful for a moment, after which he asked:
"Are you willing to take a few chances and risks yourself, in order toset free the people of Ev?"
"Yes, indeed!" answered Ozma, eagerly.
"Then," said the Nome King, "I will make you this offer: You shall goalone and unattended into my palace and examine carefully all that therooms contain. Then you shall have permission to touch elevendifferent objects, pronouncing at the time the word 'Ev,' and if anyone of them, or more than one, proves to be the transformation of theQueen of Ev or any of her ten children, then they will instantly berestored to their true forms and may leave my palace and my kingdom inyour company, without any objection whatever. It is possible for you,in this way, to free the entire eleven; but if you do not guess all theobjects correctly, and some of the slaves remain transformed, then eachone of your friends and followers may, in turn, enter the palace andhave the same privileges I grant you."
"Oh, thank you! thank you for this kind offer!" said Ozma, eagerly.
"I make but one condition," added the Nome King, his eyes twinkling.
"What is it?" she enquired.
"If none of the eleven objects you touch proves to be thetransformation of any of the royal family of Ev, then, instead offreeing them, you will yourself become enchanted, and transformed intoan article of bric-a-brac or an ornament. This is only fair and just,and is the risk you declared you were willing to take."
12. The Eleven Guesses
Hearing this condition imposed by the Nome King, Ozma became silent andthoughtful, and all her friends looked at her uneasily.
"Don't you do it!" exclaimed Dorothy. "If you guess wrong, you will beenslaved yourself."
"But I shall have eleven guesses," answered Ozma. "Surely I ought toguess one object in eleven correctly; and, if I do, I shall rescue oneof the royal family and be safe myself. Then the rest of you mayattempt it, and soon we shall free all those who are enslaved."
"What if we fail?" enquired the Scarecrow. "I'd look nice as a pieceof bric-a-brac, wouldn't I?"
"We must not fail!" cried Ozma, courageously. "Having come all thisdistance to free these poor people, it would be weak and cowardly in usto abandon the adventure. Therefore I will accept the Nome King'soffer, and go at once into the royal palace."
"Come along, then, my dear," said the King, climbing down from histhrone with some difficulty, because he was so fat; "I'll show you theway."
He approached a wall of the cave and waved his hand. Instantly anopening appeared, through which Ozma, after a smiling farewell to herfriends, boldly passed.
She found herself in a splendid hall that was more beautiful and grandthan anything she had ever beheld. The ceilings were composed of greatarches that rose far above her head, and all the walls and floors wereof polished marble exquisitely tinted in many colors. Thick velvetcarpets were on the floor and heavy silken draperies covered the archesleading to the various rooms of the palace. The furniture was made ofrare old woods richly carved and covered with delicate satins, and theentire palace was lighted by a mysterious rosy glow that seemed to comefrom no particular place but flooded each apartment with its soft andpleasing radiance.
Ozma passed from one room to another, greatly delighted by all she saw.The lovely palace had no other occupant, for the Nome King had left herat the entrance, which closed behind her, and in all the magnificentrooms there appeared to be no other person.
Upon the mantels, and on many shelves and brackets and tables, wereclustered ornaments of every description, seemingly made out of allsorts of metals, glass, china, stones and marbles. There were vases,and figures of men and animals, and graven platters and bowls, andmosaics of precious gems, and many other things. Pictures, too, wereon the walls, and the underground palace was quite a museum of rare andcurious and costly objects.
After her first hasty examination of the rooms Ozma began to wonderwhich of all the numerous ornaments they contained were thetransformations of the royal family of Ev. There was nothing to guideher, for everything seemed without a spark of life. So she must guessblindly; and for the first time the girl came to realize how dangerouswas her task, and how likely she was to lose her own freedom instriving to free others from the bondage of the Nome King. No wonderthe cunning monarch laughed good naturedly with his visitors, when heknew how easily they might be entrapped.
But Ozma, having undertaken the venture, would not abandon it. Shelooked at a silver candelabra that had ten branches, and thought: "Thismay be the Queen of Ev and her ten children." So she touched it anduttered aloud the word "Ev," as the Nome King had instructed her to dowhen she guessed. But the candelabra remained as it was before.
Then she wandered into another room and touched a china lamb, thinkingit might be one of the children she sought. But again she wasunsuccessful. Three guesses; four guesses; five, six, seven, eight,nine and ten she made, and still not one of them was right!
The girl shivered a little and grew pale even under the rosy light; fornow but one guess remained, and her own fate depended upon the result.
She resolved not to be hasty, and strolled through all the rooms oncemore, gazing earnestly upon the various ornaments and trying to decidewhich she would touch. Finally, in despair, she decided to leave itentirely to chance. She faced the doorway of a room, shut her eyestightly, and then, thrusting aside the heavy draperies, she advancedblindly with her right arm outstretched before her.
Slowly, softly she crept forward until her hand came in contact with anobject upon a small round table. She did not know what it was, but ina low voice she pronounced the word "Ev."
The rooms were quite empty of life after that. The Nome King hadgained a new ornament. For upon the edge of the table rested a prettygrasshopper, that seemed to have been formed from a single emerald. Itwas all that remained of Ozma of Oz.
In the throne room just beyond the palace the Nome King suddenly lookedup and smiled.
"Next!" he said, in his pleasant voice.
Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, who had been sitting inanxious silence, each gave a start of dismay and stared into oneanother's eyes.
"Has she failed?" asked Tiktok.
"So it seems," answered the little monarch, cheerfully. "But that isno reason one of you should not succeed. The next may have twelveguesses, instead of eleven, for there are now twelve personstransformed into ornaments. Well, well! Which of you goes next?"
"I'll go," said Dorothy.
"Not so," replied the Tin Woodman. "As commander of Ozma's army, it ismy privilege to follow her and attempt her rescue."
"Away you go, then," said the Scarecrow. "But be careful, old friend."
"I will," promised the Tin Woodman; and then he followed the Nome Kingto the entrance to the palace and the rock closed behind him.
13. The Nome King Laughs
In a moment the King returned to his throne and relighted his pipe, andthe rest of the little band of adventurers settled themselves foranother long wait. They were greatly disheartened by the failure oftheir girl Ruler, and the knowledge that she was now an ornament in theNome King's palace--a dreadful, creepy place in spite of all itsmagnificence. Without their little leader they did not know what to donext, and each one, down to the trembling private of the army, began tofear he would soon be more ornamental than useful.
Suddenly the Nome King began laughing.
"Ha, ha, ha! He, he, he! Ho, ho, ho!"
"What's happened?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Why, your friend, the Tin Woodman, has become the funniest thing youcan imagine," replied the King, wiping the tears of merriment from hiseyes. "No one would ever believe he could make such an amusingornament. Next!"
They gazed at each other with sinking hearts. One of the generalsbegan to weep dolefully.
"What are you crying for?" asked the Scarecrow, indignant at such adisplay of weakness.
"He owed me six weeks back pay," said the general, "and I hate to losehim."
"Then you shall go and find him," declared the Scarecrow.
"Me!" cried the general, greatly alarmed.
"Certainly. It is your duty to follow your commander. March!"
"I won't," said the general. "I'd like to, of course; but I justsimply WON'T."
The Scarecrow looked enquiringly at the Nome King.
"Never mind," said the jolly monarch. "If he doesn't care to enter thepalace and make his guesses I'll throw him into one of my fieryfurnaces."
"I'll go!--of course I'm going," yelled the general, as quick as scat."Where is the entrance--where is it? Let me go at once!"
So the Nome King escorted him into the palace, and again returned toawait the result. What the general did, no one can tell; but it wasnot long before the King called for the next victim, and a colonel wasforced to try his fortune.
Thus, one after another, all of the twenty-six officers filed into thepalace and made their guesses--and became ornaments.
Meantime the King ordered refreshments to be served to those waiting,and at his command a rudely shaped Nome entered, bearing a tray. ThisNome was not unlike the others that Dorothy had seen, but he wore aheavy gold chain around his neck to show that he was the Chief Stewardof the Nome King, and he assumed an air of much importance, and eventold his majesty not to eat too much cake late at night, or he would beill.
Dorothy, however, was hungry, and she was not afraid of being ill; soshe ate several cakes and found them good, and also she drank a cup ofexcellent coffee made of a richly flavored clay, browned in thefurnaces and then ground fine, and found it most refreshing and not atall muddy.
Of all the party which had started upon this adventure, the littleKansas girl was now left alone with the Scarecrow, Tiktok, and theprivate for counsellors and companions. Of course the Cowardly Lionand the Hungry Tiger were still there, but they, having also eaten someof the cakes, had gone to sleep at one side of the cave, while upon theother side stood the Sawhorse, motionless and silent, as became a merething of wood. Billina had quietly walked around and picked up thecrumbs of cake which had been scattered, and now, as it was long afterbed-time, she tried to find some dark place in which to go to sleep.
Presently the hen espied a hollow underneath the King's rocky throne,and crept into it unnoticed. She could still hear the chattering ofthose around her, but it was almost dark underneath the throne, so thatsoon she had fallen fast asleep.
"Next!" called the King, and the private, whose turn it was to enterthe fatal palace, shook hands with Dorothy and the Scarecrow and badethem a sorrowful good-bye, and passed through the rocky portal.
They waited a long time, for the private was in no hurry to become anornament and made his guesses very slowly. The Nome King, who seemedto know, by some magical power, all that took place in his beautifulrooms of his palace, grew impatient finally and declared he would situp no longer.
"I love ornaments," said he, "but I can wait until tomorrow to get moreof them; so, as soon as that stupid private is transformed, we will allgo to bed and leave the job to be finished in the morning."
"Is it so very late?" asked Dorothy.
"Why, it is after midnight," said the King, "and that strikes me asbeing late enough. There is neither night nor day in my kingdom,because it is under the earth's surface, where the sun does not shine.But we have to sleep, just the same as the up-stairs people do, and formy part I'm going to bed in a few minutes."
Indeed, it was not long after this that the private made his lastguess. Of course he guessed wrongly, and of course he at once becamean ornament. So the King was greatly pleased, and clapped his hands tosummon his Chief Steward.
"Show these guests to some of the sleeping apartments," he commanded,"and be quick about it, too, for I'm dreadfully sleepy myself."
"You've no business to sit up so late," replied the Steward, gruffly."You'll be as cross as a griffin tomorrow morning."
His Majesty made no answer to this remark, and the Chief Steward ledDorothy through another doorway into a long hall, from which severalplain but comfortable sleeping rooms opened. The little girl was giventhe first room, and the Scarecrow and Tiktok the next--although theynever slept--and the Lion and the Tiger the third. The Sawhorsehobbled after the Steward into a fourth room, to stand stiffly in thecenter of it until morning. Each night was rather a bore to theScarecrow, Tiktok and the Sawhorse; but they had learned fromexperience to pass the time patiently and quietly, since all theirfriends who were made of flesh had to sleep and did not like to bedisturbed.
When the Chief Steward had left them alone the Scarecrow remarked,sadly:
"I am in great sorrow over the loss of my old comrade, the Tin Woodman.We have had many dangerous adventures together, and escaped them all,and now it grieves me to know he has become an ornament, and is lost tome forever."
"He was al-ways an or-na-ment to so-ci-e-ty," said Tiktok.
"True; but now the Nome King laughs at him, and calls him the funniestornament in all the palace. It will hurt my poor friend's pride to belaughed at," continued the Scarecrow, sadly.
"We will make rath-er ab-surd or-na-ments, our-selves, to-mor-row,"observed the machine, in his monotonous voice.
Just then Dorothy ran into their room, in a state of great anxiety,crying:
"Where's Billina? Have you seen Billina? Is she here?"
"No," answered the Scarecrow.
"Then what has become of her?" asked the girl.
"Why, I thought she was with you," said the Scarecrow. "Yet I do notremember seeing the yellow hen since she picked up the crumbs of cake."
"We must have left her in the room where the King's throne is," decidedDorothy, and at once she turned and ran down the hall to the doorthrough which they had entered. But it was fast closed and locked onthe other side, and the heavy slab of rock proved to be so thick thatno sound could pass through it. So Dorothy was forced to return to herchamber.
The Cowardly Lion stuck his head into her room to try to console thegirl for the loss of her feathered friend.
"The yellow hen is well able to take care of herself," said he; "sodon't worry about her, but try to get all the sleep you can. It hasbeen a long and weary day, and you need rest."
"I'll prob'ly get lots of rest tomorrow, when I become an orn'ment,"said Dorothy, sleepily. But she lay down upon her couch, nevertheless,and in spite of all her worries was soon in the land of dreams.
14. Dorothy Tries to be Brave
Meantime the Chief Steward had returned to the throne room, where hesaid to the King:
"You are a fool to waste so much time upon these people."
"What!" cried his Majesty, in so enraged a voice that it awoke Billina,who was asleep under his throne. "How dare you call me a fool?"
"Because I like to speak the truth," said the Steward. "Why didn't youenchant them all at once, instead of allowing them to go one by oneinto the palace and guess which ornaments are the Queen of Ev and herchildren?"
"Why, you stupid rascal, it is more fun this way," returned the King,"and it serves to keep me amused for a long time."
"But suppose some of them happen to guess aright," persisted theSteward; "then you would lose your old ornaments and these new ones,too."
"There is no chance of their guessing aright," replied the monarch,with a laugh. "How could they know that the Queen of Ev and her familyare all ornaments of a royal purple color?"
"But there are no other purple ornaments in the palace," said theSteward.
"There are many other colors, however, and the purple ones arescattered throughout the rooms, and are of many different shapes andsizes. Take my word for it, Steward, they will never think of choosingthe purple ornaments."
Billina, squatting under the throne, had listened carefully to all thistalk, and now chuckled softly to herself as she heard the King disclosehis secret.
"Still, you are acting foolishly by running the chance," continued theSteward, roughly; "and it is still more foolish of you to transform allthose people from Oz into green ornaments."
"I did that because they came from the Emerald City," replied the King;"and I had no green ornaments in my collection until now. I think theywill look quite pretty, mixed with the others. Don't you?"
The Steward gave an angry grunt.
"Have your own way, since you are the King," he growled. "But if youcome to grief through your carelessness, remember that I told you so.If I wore the magic belt which enables you to work all yourtransformations, and gives you so much other power, I am sure I wouldmake a much wiser and better King than you are."
"Oh, cease your tiresome chatter!" commanded the King, getting angryagain. "Because you are my Chief Steward you have an idea you canscold me as much as you please. But the very next time you becomeimpudent, I will send you to work in the furnaces, and get another Nometo fill your place. Now follow me to my chamber, for I am going tobed. And see that I am wakened early tomorrow morning. I want toenjoy the fun of transforming the rest of these people into ornaments."
"What color will you make the Kansas girl?" asked the Steward.
"Gray, I think," said his Majesty.
"And the Scarecrow and the machine man?"
"Oh, they shall be of solid gold, because they are so ugly in reallife."
Then the voices died away, and Billina knew that the King and hisSteward had left the room. She fixed up some of her tail feathers thatwere not straight, and then tucked her head under her wing again andwent to sleep.
In the morning Dorothy and the Lion and Tiger were given theirbreakfast in their rooms, and afterward joined the King in his throneroom. The Tiger complained bitterly that he was half starved, andbegged to go into the palace and become an ornament, so that he wouldno longer suffer the pangs of hunger.
"Haven't you had your breakfast?" asked the Nome King.
"Oh, I had just a bite," replied the beast. "But what good is a bite,to a hungry tiger?"
"He ate seventeen bowls of porridge, a platter full of fried sausages,eleven loaves of bread and twenty-one mince pies," said the Steward.
"What more do you want?" demanded the King.
"A fat baby. I want a fat baby," said the Hungry Tiger. "A nice,plump, juicy, tender, fat baby. But, of course, if I had one, myconscience would not allow me to eat it. So I'll have to be anornament and forget my hunger."
"Impossible!" exclaimed the King. "I'll have no clumsy beasts enter mypalace, to overturn and break all my pretty nick-nacks. When the restof your friends are transformed you can return to the upper world, andgo about your business."
"As for that, we have no business, when our friends are gone," said theLion. "So we do not care much what becomes of us."
Dorothy begged to be allowed to go first into the palace, but Tiktokfirmly maintained that the slave should face danger before themistress. The Scarecrow agreed with him in that, so the Nome Kingopened the door for the machine man, who tramped into the palace tomeet his fate. Then his Majesty returned to his throne and puffed hispipe so contentedly that a small cloud of smoke formed above his head.
Bye and bye he said:
"I'm sorry there are so few of you left. Very soon, now, my fun willbe over, and then for amusement I shall have nothing to do but admiremy new ornaments."
"It seems to me," said Dorothy, "that you are not so honest as youpretend to be."
"How's that?" asked the King.
"Why, you made us think it would be easy to guess what ornaments thepeople of Ev were changed into."
"It IS easy," declared the monarch, "if one is a good guesser. But itappears that the members of your party are all poor guessers."
"What is Tiktok doing now?" asked the girl, uneasily.
"Nothing," replied the King, with a frown. "He is standing perfectlystill, in the middle of a room."
"Oh, I expect he's run down," said Dorothy. "I forgot to wind him upthis morning. How many guesses has he made?"
"All that he is allowed except one," answered the King. "Suppose yougo in and wind him up, and then you can stay there and make your ownguesses."
"All right," said Dorothy.
"It is my turn next," declared the Scarecrow.
"Why, you don't want to go away and leave me all alone, do you?" askedthe girl. "Besides, if I go now I can wind up Tiktok, so that he canmake his last guess."
"Very well, then," said the Scarecrow, with a sigh. "Run along, littleDorothy, and may good luck go with you!"
So Dorothy, trying to be brave in spite of her fears, passed throughthe doorway into the gorgeous rooms of the palace. The stillness ofthe place awed her, at first, and the child drew short breaths, andpressed her hand to her heart, and looked all around with wonderingeyes.
Yes, it was a beautiful place; but enchantments lurked in every nookand corner, and she had not yet grown accustomed to the wizardries ofthese fairy countries, so different from the quiet and sensiblecommon-places of her own native land.
Slowly she passed through several rooms until she came upon Tiktok,standing motionless. It really seemed, then, that she had found afriend in this mysterious palace, so she hastened to wind up themachine man's action and speech and thoughts.
"Thank you, Dor-oth-y," were his first words. "I have now one moreguess to make."
"Oh, be very careful, Tiktok; won't you?" cried the girl.
"Yes. But the Nome King has us in his power, and he has set a trap forus. I fear we are all lost." he answered.
"I fear so, too," said Dorothy, sadly.
"If Smith & Tin-ker had giv-en me a guess-ing clock-work at-tach-ment,"continued Tiktok, "I might have de-fied the Nome King. But my thoughtsare plain and sim-ple, and are not of much use in this case."
"Do the best you can," said Dorothy, encouragingly, "and if you fail Iwill watch and see what shape you are changed into."
So Tiktok touched a yellow glass vase that had daisies painted on oneside, and he spoke at the same time the word "Ev."
In a flash the machine man had disappeared, and although the girllooked quickly in every direction, she could not tell which of the manyornaments the room contained had a moment before been her faithfulfriend and servant.
So all she could do was to accept the hopeless task set her, and makeher guesses and abide by the result.
"It can't hurt very much," she thought, "for I haven't heard any ofthem scream or cry out--not even the poor officers. Dear me! I wonderif Uncle Henry or Aunt Em will ever know I have become an orn'ment inthe Nome King's palace, and must stand forever and ever in one placeand look pretty--'cept when I'm moved to be dusted. It isn't the way Ithought I'd turn out, at all; but I s'pose it can't be helped."
She walked through all the rooms once more, and examined with care allthe objects they contained; but there were so many, they bewilderedher, and she decided, after all, as Ozma had done, that it could beonly guess work at the best, and that the chances were much against herguessing aright.
Timidly she touched an alabaster bowl and said: "Ev."
"That's one failure, anyhow," she thought. "But how am I to know whichthing is enchanted, and which is not?"
Next she touched the image of a purple kitten that stood on the cornerof a mantel, and as she pronounced the word "Ev" the kittendisappeared, and a pretty, fair-haired boy stood beside her. At thesame time a bell rang somewhere in the distance, and as Dorothy startedback, partly in surprise and partly in joy, the little one exclaimed:
"Where am I? And who are you? And what has happened to me?"
"Well, I declare!" said Dorothy. "I've really done it."
"Done what?" asked the boy.
"Saved myself from being an ornament," replied the girl, with a laugh,"and saved you from being forever a purple kitten."
"A purple kitten?" he repeated. "There IS no such thing."
"I know," she answered. "But there was, a minute ago. Don't youremember standing on a corner of the mantel?"
"Of course not. I am a Prince of Ev, and my name is Evring," thelittle one announced, proudly. "But my father, the King, sold mymother and all her children to the cruel ruler of the Nomes, and afterthat I remember nothing at all."
"A purple kitten can't be 'spected to remember, Evring," said Dorothy."But now you are yourself again, and I'm going to try to save some ofyour brothers and sisters, and perhaps your mother, as well. So comewith me."
She seized the child's hand and eagerly hurried here and there, tryingto decide which object to choose next. The third guess was anotherfailure, and so was the fourth and the fifth.
Little Evring could not imagine what she was doing, but he trottedalong beside her very willingly, for he liked the new companion he hadfound.
Dorothy's further quest proved unsuccessful; but after her firstdisappointment was over, the little girl was filled with joy andthankfulness to think that after all she had been able to save onemember of the royal family of Ev, and could restore the little Princeto his sorrowing country. Now she might return to the terrible NomeKing in safety, carrying with her the prize she had won in the personof the fair-haired boy.
So she retraced her steps until she found the entrance to the palace,and as she approached, the massive doors of rock opened of their ownaccord, allowing both Dorothy and Evring to pass the portals and enterthe throne room.
15. Billina Frightens the Nome King
Now when Dorothy had entered the palace to make her guesses and theScarecrow was left with the Nome King, the two sat in moody silence forseveral minutes. Then the monarch exclaimed, in a tone of satisfaction:
"Who is very good?" asked the Scarecrow.
"The machine man. He won't need to be wound up any more, for he hasnow become a very neat ornament. Very neat, indeed."
"How about Dorothy?" the Scarecrow enquired.
"Oh, she will begin to guess, pretty soon," said the King, cheerfully."And then she will join my collection, and it will be your turn."
The good Scarecrow was much distressed by the thought that his littlefriend was about to suffer the fate of Ozma and the rest of theirparty; but while he sat in gloomy reverie a shrill voice suddenly cried:
"Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kutt! Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kutt!"
The Nome King nearly jumped off his seat, he was so startled.
"Good gracious! What's that?" he yelled.
"Why, it's Billina," said the Scarecrow.
"What do you mean by making a noise like that?" shouted the King,angrily, as the yellow hen came from under the throne and struttedproudly about the room.
"I've got a right to cackle, I guess," replied Billina. "I've justlaid my egg."
"What! Laid an egg! In my throne room! How dare you do such athing?" asked the King, in a voice of fury.
"I lay eggs wherever I happen to be," said the hen, ruffling herfeathers and then shaking them into place.
"But--thunder-ation! Don't you know that eggs are poison?" roared theKing, while his rock-colored eyes stuck out in great terror.
"Poison! well, I declare," said Billina, indignantly. "I'll have youknow all my eggs are warranted strictly fresh and up to date. Poison,indeed!"
"You don't understand," retorted the little monarch, nervously. "Eggsbelong only to the outside world--to the world on the earth's surface,where you came from. Here, in my underground kingdom, they are rankpoison, as I said, and we Nomes can't bear them around."
"Well, you'll have to bear this one around," declared Billina; "forI've laid it."
"Where?" asked the King.
"Under your throne," said the hen.
The King jumped three feet into the air, so anxious was he to get awayfrom the throne.
"Take it away! Take it away at once!" he shouted.
"I can't," said Billina. "I haven't any hands."
"I'll take the egg," said the Scarecrow. "I'm making a collection ofBillina's eggs. There's one in my pocket now, that she laid yesterday."
Hearing this, the monarch hastened to put a good distance betweenhimself and the Scarecrow, who was about to reach under the throne forthe egg when the hen suddenly cried:
"What's wrong?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Don't take the egg unless the King will allow me to enter the palaceand guess as the others have done," said Billina.
"Pshaw!" returned the King. "You're only a hen. How could you guessmy enchantments?"
"I can try, I suppose," said Billina. "And, if I fail, you will haveanother ornament."
"A pretty ornament you'd make, wouldn't you?" growled the King. "Butyou shall have your way. It will properly punish you for daring to layan egg in my presence. After the Scarecrow is enchanted you shallfollow him into the palace. But how will you touch the objects?"
"With my claws," said the hen; "and I can speak the word 'Ev' asplainly as anyone. Also I must have the right to guess theenchantments of my friends, and to release them if I succeed."
"Very well," said the King. "You have my promise."
"Then," said Billina to the Scarecrow, "you may get the egg."
He knelt down and reached underneath the throne and found the egg,which he placed in another pocket of his jacket, fearing that if botheggs were in one pocket they would knock together and get broken.
Just then a bell above the throne rang briskly, and the King gaveanother nervous jump.
"Well, well!" said he, with a rueful face; "the girl has actually doneit."
"Done what?" asked the Scarecrow.
"She has made one guess that is right, and broken one of my neatestenchantments. By ricketty, it's too bad! I never thought she would doit."
"Do I understand that she will now return to us in safety?" enquiredthe Scarecrow, joyfully wrinkling his painted face into a broad smile.
"Of course," said the King, fretfully pacing up and down the room. "Ialways keep my promises, no matter how foolish they are. But I shallmake an ornament of the yellow hen to replace the one I have just lost."
"Perhaps you will, and perhaps you won't," murmured Billina, calmly."I may surprise you by guessing right."
"Guessing right?" snapped the King. "How could you guess right, whereyour betters have failed, you stupid fowl?"
Billina did not care to answer this question, and a moment later thedoors flew open and Dorothy entered, leading the little Prince Evringby the hand.
The Scarecrow welcomed the girl with a close embrace, and he would haveembraced Evring, too, in his delight. But the little Prince was shy,and shrank away from the painted Scarecrow because he did not yet knowhis many excellent qualities.
But there was little time for the friends to talk, because theScarecrow must now enter the palace. Dorothy's success had greatlyencouraged him, and they both hoped he would manage to make at leastone correct guess.
However, he proved as unfortunate as the others except Dorothy, andalthough he took a good deal of time to select his objects, not one didthe poor Scarecrow guess aright.
So he became a solid gold card-receiver, and the beautiful but terriblepalace awaited its next visitor.
"It's all over," remarked the King, with a sigh of satisfaction; "andit has been a very amusing performance, except for the one good guessthe Kansas girl made. I am richer by a great many pretty ornaments."
"It is my turn, now," said Billina, briskly.
"Oh, I'd forgotten you," said the King. "But you needn't go if youdon't wish to. I will be generous, and let you off."
"No you won't," replied the hen. "I insist upon having my guesses, asyou promised."
"Then go ahead, you absurd feathered fool!" grumbled the King, and hecaused the opening that led to the palace to appear once more.
"Don't go, Billina," said Dorothy, earnestly. "It isn't easy to guessthose orn'ments, and only luck saved me from being one myself. Staywith me and we'll go back to the Land of Ev together. I'm sure thislittle Prince will give us a home."
"Indeed I will," said Evring, with much dignity.
"Don't worry, my dear," cried Billina, with a cluck that was meant fora laugh. "I may not be human, but I'm no fool, if I AM a chicken."
"Oh, Billina!" said Dorothy, "you haven't been a chicken in a longtime. Not since you--you've been--grown up."
"Perhaps that's true," answered Billina, thoughtfully. "But if aKansas farmer sold me to some one, what would he call me?--a hen or achicken!"
"You are not a Kansas farmer, Billina," replied the girl, "and yousaid--"
"Never mind that, Dorothy. I'm going. I won't say good-bye, becauseI'm coming back. Keep up your courage, for I'll see you a littlelater."
Then Billina gave several loud "cluck-clucks" that seemed to make thefat little King MORE nervous than ever, and marched through theentrance into the enchanted palace.
"I hope I've seen the last of THAT bird," declared the monarch, seatinghimself again in his throne and mopping the perspiration from hisforehead with his rock-colored handkerchief. "Hens are bothersomeenough at their best, but when they can talk they're simply dreadful."
"Billina's my friend," said Dorothy quietly. "She may not always be'zactly polite; but she MEANS well, I'm sure."
16. Purple, Green, and Gold
The yellow hen, stepping high and with an air of vast importance,walked slowly over the rich velvet carpets of the splendid palace,examining everything she met with her sharp little eyes.
Billina had a right to feel important; for she alone shared the NomeKing's secret and knew how to tell the objects that weretransformations from those that had never been alive. She was verysure that her guesses would be correct, but before she began to makethem she was curious to behold all the magnificence of this undergroundpalace, which was perhaps one of the most splendid and beautiful placesin any fairyland.
As she went through the rooms she counted the purple ornaments; andalthough some were small and hidden in queer places, Billina spied themall, and found the entire ten scattered about the various rooms. Thegreen ornaments she did not bother to count, for she thought she couldfind them all when the time came.
Finally, having made a survey of the entire palace and enjoyed itssplendor, the yellow hen returned to one of the rooms where she hadnoticed a large purple footstool. She placed a claw upon this and said"Ev," and at once the footstool vanished and a lovely lady, tall andslender and most beautifully robed, stood before her.
The lady's eyes were round with astonishment for a moment, for shecould not remember her transformation, nor imagine what had restoredher to life.
"Good morning, ma'am," said Billina, in her sharp voice. "You'relooking quite well, considering your age."
"Who speaks?" demanded the Queen of Ev, drawing herself up proudly.
"Why, my name's Bill, by rights," answered the hen, who was now perchedupon the back of a chair; "although Dorothy has put scollops on it andmade it Billina. But the name doesn't matter. I've saved you from theNome King, and you are a slave no longer."
"Then I thank you for the gracious favor," said the Queen, with agraceful courtesy. "But, my children--tell me, I beg of you--where aremy children?" and she clasped her hands in anxious entreaty.
"Don't worry," advised Billina, pecking at a tiny bug that was crawlingover the chair back. "Just at present they are out of mischief andperfectly safe, for they can't even wiggle."
"What mean you, O kindly stranger?" asked the Queen, striving torepress her anxiety.
"They're enchanted," said Billina, "just as you have been--all, thatis, except the little fellow Dorothy picked out. And the chances arethat they have been good boys and girls for some time, because theycouldn't help it."
"Oh, my poor darlings!" cried the Queen, with a sob of anguish.
"Not at all," returned the hen. "Don't let their condition make youunhappy, ma'am, because I'll soon have them crowding 'round to botherand worry you as naturally as ever. Come with me, if you please, andI'll show you how pretty they look."
She flew down from her perch and walked into the next room, the Queenfollowing. As she passed a low table a small green grasshopper caughther eye, and instantly Billina pounced upon it and snapped it up in hersharp bill. For grasshoppers are a favorite food with hens, and theyusually must be caught quickly, before they can hop away. It mighteasily have been the end of Ozma of Oz, had she been a real grasshopperinstead of an emerald one. But Billina found the grasshopper hard andlifeless, and suspecting it was not good to eat she quickly dropped itinstead of letting it slide down her throat.
"I might have known better," she muttered to herself, "for where thereis no grass there can be no live grasshoppers. This is probably one ofthe King's transformations."
A moment later she approached one of the purple ornaments, and whilethe Queen watched her curiously the hen broke the Nome King'senchantment and a sweet-faced girl, whose golden hair fell in a cloudover her shoulders, stood beside them.
"Evanna!" cried the Queen, "my own Evanna!" and she clasped the girl toher bosom and covered her face with kisses.
"That's all right," said Billina, contentedly. "Am I a good guesser,Mr. Nome King? Well, I guess!"
Then she disenchanted another girl, whom the Queen addressed as Evrose,and afterwards a boy named Evardo, who was older than his brotherEvring. Indeed, the yellow hen kept the good Queen exclaiming andembracing for some time, until five Princesses and four Princes, alllooking very much alike except for the difference in size, stood in arow beside their happy mother.
The Princesses were named, Evanna, Evrose, Evella, Evirene and Evedna,while the Princes were Evrob, Evington, Evardo and Evroland. Of theseEvardo was the eldest and would inherit his father's throne and becrowned King of Ev when he returned to his own country. He was a graveand quiet youth, and would doubtless rule his people wisely and withjustice.
Billina, having restored all of the royal family of Ev to their properforms, now began to select the green ornaments which were thetransformations of the people of Oz. She had little trouble in findingthese, and before long all the twenty-six officers, as well as theprivate, were gathered around the yellow hen, joyfully congratulatingher upon their release. The thirty-seven people who were now alive inthe rooms of the palace knew very well that they owed their freedom tothe cleverness of the yellow hen, and they were earnest in thanking herfor saving them from the magic of the Nome King.
"Now," said Billina, "I must find Ozma. She is sure to be here,somewhere, and of course she is green, being from Oz. So look around,you stupid soldiers, and help me in my search."
For a while, however, they could discover nothing more that was green.But the Queen, who had kissed all her nine children once more and couldnow find time to take an interest in what was going on, said to the hen:
"Mayhap, my gentle friend, it is the grasshopper whom you seek."
"Of course it's the grasshopper!" exclaimed Billina. "I declare, I'mnearly as stupid as these brave soldiers. Wait here for me, and I'llgo back and get it."
So she went into the room where she had seen the grasshopper, andpresently Ozma of Oz, as lovely and dainty as ever, entered andapproached the Queen of Ev, greeting her as one high born princessgreets another.
"But where are my friends, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman?" askedthe girl Ruler, when these courtesies had been exchanged.
"I'll hunt them up," replied Billina. "The Scarecrow is solid gold,and so is Tiktok; but I don't exactly know what the Tin Woodman is,because the Nome King said he had been transformed into somethingfunny."
Ozma eagerly assisted the hen in her quest, and soon the Scarecrow andthe machine man, being ornaments of shining gold, were discovered andrestored to their accustomed forms. But, search as they might, in noplace could they find a funny ornament that might be the transformationof the Tin Woodman.
"Only one thing can be done," said Ozma, at last, "and that is toreturn to the Nome King and oblige him to tell us what has become ofour friend."
"Perhaps he won't," suggested Billina.
"He must," returned Ozma, firmly. "The King has not treated ushonestly, for under the mask of fairness and good nature he entrappedus all, and we would have been forever enchanted had not our wise andclever friend, the yellow hen, found a way to save us."
"The King is a villain," declared the Scarecrow.
"His laugh is worse than another man's frown," said the private, with ashudder.
"I thought he was hon-est, but I was mis-tak-en," remarked Tiktok. "Mythoughts are us-u-al-ly cor-rect, but it is Smith & Tin-ker's fault ifthey some-times go wrong or do not work prop-er-ly."
"Smith & Tinker made a very good job of you," said Ozma, kindly. "I donot think they should be blamed if you are not quite perfect."
"Thank you," replied Tiktok.
"Then," said Billina, in her brisk little voice, "let us all go back tothe Nome King, and see what he has to say for himself."
So they started for the entrance, Ozma going first, with the Queen andher train of little Princes and Princesses following. Then cameTiktok, and the Scarecrow with Billina perched upon his straw-stuffedshoulder. The twenty-seven officers and the private brought up therear.
As they reached the hall the doors flew open before them; but then theyall stopped and stared into the domed cavern with faces of astonishmentand dismay. For the room was filled with the mail-clad warriors of theNome King, rank after rank standing in orderly array. The electriclights upon their brows gleamed brightly, their battle-axes were poisedas if to strike down their foes; yet they remained motionless asstatues, awaiting the word of command.
And in the center of this terrible army sat the little King upon histhrone of rock. But he neither smiled nor laughed. Instead, his facewas distorted with rage, and most dreadful to behold.
17. The Scarecrow Wins the Fight
After Billina had entered the palace Dorothy and Evring sat down toawait the success or failure of her mission, and the Nome King occupiedhis throne and smoked his long pipe for a while in a cheerful andcontented mood.
Then the bell above the throne, which sounded whenever an enchantmentwas broken, began to ring, and the King gave a start of annoyance andexclaimed, "Rocketty-ricketts!"
When the bell rang a second time the King shouted angrily, "Smudge andblazes!" and at a third ring he screamed in a fury, "Hippikaloric!"which must be a dreadful word because we don't know what it means.
After that the bell went on ringing time after time; but the King wasnow so violently enraged that he could not utter a word, but hopped outof his throne and all around the room in a mad frenzy, so that hereminded Dorothy of a jumping-jack.
The girl was, for her part, filled with joy at every peal of the bell,for it announced the fact that Billina had transformed one moreornament into a living person. Dorothy was also amazed at Billina'ssuccess, for she could not imagine how the yellow hen was able to guesscorrectly from all the bewildering number of articles clustered in therooms of the palace. But after she had counted ten, and the bellcontinued to ring, she knew that not only the royal family of Ev, butOzma and her followers also, were being restored to their naturalforms, and she was so delighted that the antics of the angry King onlymade her laugh merrily.
Perhaps the little monarch could not be more furious than he wasbefore, but the girl's laughter nearly drove him frantic, and he roaredat her like a savage beast. Then, as he found that all hisenchantments were likely to be dispelled and his victims every one setfree, he suddenly ran to the little door that opened upon the balconyand gave the shrill whistle that summoned his warriors.
At once the army filed out of the gold and silver doors in greatnumbers, and marched up a winding stairs and into the throne room, ledby a stern featured Nome who was their captain. When they had nearlyfilled the throne room they formed ranks in the big underground cavernbelow, and then stood still until they were told what to do next.
Dorothy had pressed back to one side of the cavern when the warriorsentered, and now she stood holding little Prince Evring's hand whilethe great Lion crouched upon one side and the enormous Tiger crouchedon the other side.
"Seize that girl!" shouted the King to his captain, and a group ofwarriors sprang forward to obey. But both the Lion and Tiger snarledso fiercely and bared their strong, sharp teeth so threateningly, thatthe men drew back in alarm.
"Don't mind them!" cried the Nome King; "they cannot leap beyond theplaces where they now stand."
"But they can bite those who attempt to touch the girl," said thecaptain.
"I'll fix that," answered the King. "I'll enchant them again, so thatthey can't open their jaws."
He stepped out of the throne to do this, but just then the Sawhorse ranup behind him and gave the fat monarch a powerful kick with both hiswooden hind legs.
"Ow! Murder! Treason!" yelled the King, who had been hurled againstseveral of his warriors and was considerably bruised. "Who did that?"
"I did," growled the Sawhorse, viciously. "You let Dorothy alone, orI'll kick you again."
"We'll see about that," replied the King, and at once he waved his handtoward the Sawhorse and muttered a magical word. "Aha!" he continued;"NOW let us see you move, you wooden mule!"
But in spite of the magic the Sawhorse moved; and he moved so quicklytoward the King, that the fat little man could not get out of his way.Thump--BANG! came the wooden heels, right against his round body, andthe King flew into the air and fell upon the head of his captain, wholet him drop flat upon the ground.
"Well, well!" said the King, sitting up and looking surprised. "Whydidn't my magic belt work, I wonder?"
"The creature is made of wood," replied the captain. "Your magic willnot work on wood, you know."
"Ah, I'd forgotten that," said the King, getting up and limping to histhrone. "Very well, let the girl alone. She can't escape us, anyway."
The warriors, who had been rather confused by these incidents, nowformed their ranks again, and the Sawhorse pranced across the room toDorothy and took a position beside the Hungry Tiger.
At that moment the doors that led to the palace flew open and thepeople of Ev and the people of Oz were disclosed to view. They paused,astonished, at sight of the warriors and the angry Nome King, seated intheir midst.
"Surrender!" cried the King, in a loud voice. "You are my prisoners."
"Go 'long!" answered Billina, from the Scarecrow's shoulder. "Youpromised me that if I guessed correctly my friends and I might departin safety. And you always keep your promises."
"I said you might leave the palace in safety," retorted the King; "andso you may, but you cannot leave my dominions. You are my prisoners,and I will hurl you all into my underground dungeons, where thevolcanic fires glow and the molten lava flows in every direction, andthe air is hotter than blue blazes."
"That will be the end of me, all right," said the Scarecrow,sorrowfully. "One small blaze, blue or green, is enough to reduce meto an ash-heap."
"Do you surrender?" demanded the King.
Billina whispered something in the Scarecrow's ear that made him smileand put his hands in his jacket pockets.
"No!" returned Ozma, boldly answering the King. Then she said to herarmy:
"Forward, my brave soldiers, and fight for your Ruler and yourselves,unto death!"
"Pardon me, Most Royal Ozma," replied one of her generals; "but I findthat I and my brother officers all suffer from heart disease, and theslightest excitement might kill us. If we fight we may get excited.Would it not be well for us to avoid this grave danger?"
"Soldiers should not have heart disease," said Ozma.
"Private soldiers are not, I believe, afflicted that way," declaredanother general, twirling his moustache thoughtfully. "If your RoyalHighness desires, we will order our private to attack yonder warriors."
"Do so," replied Ozma.
"For-ward--march!" cried all the generals, with one voice."For-ward--march!" yelled the colonels. "For-ward--march!" shouted themajors. "For-ward--march!" commanded the captains.
And at that the private leveled his spear and dashed furiously upon thefoe.
The captain of the Nomes was so surprised by this sudden onslaught thathe forgot to command his warriors to fight, so that the ten men in thefirst row, who stood in front of the private's spear, fell over like somany toy soldiers. The spear could not go through their steel armor,however, so the warriors scrambled to their feet again, and by thattime the private had knocked over another row of them.
Then the captain brought down his battle-axe with such a strong blowthat the private's spear was shattered and knocked from his grasp, andhe was helpless to fight any longer.
The Nome King had left his throne and pressed through his warriors tothe front ranks, so he could see what was going on; but as he facedOzma and her friends the Scarecrow, as if aroused to action by thevalor of the private, drew one of Billina's eggs from his right jacketpocket and hurled it straight at the little monarch's head.
It struck him squarely in his left eye, where the egg smashed andscattered, as eggs will, and covered his face and hair and beard withits sticky contents.
"Help, help!" screamed the King, clawing with his fingers at the egg,in a struggle to remove it.
"An egg! an egg! Run for your lives!" shouted the captain of theNomes, in a voice of horror.
And how they DID run! The warriors fairly tumbled over one another intheir efforts to escape the fatal poison of that awful egg, and thosewho could not rush down the winding stair fell off the balcony into thegreat cavern beneath, knocking over those who stood below them.
Even while the King was still yelling for help his throne room becameemptied of every one of his warriors, and before the monarch hadmanaged to clear the egg away from his left eye the Scarecrow threw thesecond egg against his right eye, where it smashed and blinded himentirely. The King was unable to flee because he could not see whichway to run; so he stood still and howled and shouted and screamed inabject fear.
While this was going on, Billina flew over to Dorothy, and perchingherself upon the Lion's back the hen whispered eagerly to the girl:
"Get his belt! Get the Nome King's jeweled belt! It unbuckles in theback. Quick, Dorothy--quick!"
18. The Fate of the Tin Woodman
Dorothy obeyed. She ran at once behind the Nome King, who was stilltrying to free his eyes from the egg, and in a twinkling she hadunbuckled his splendid jeweled belt and carried it away with her to herplace beside the Tiger and Lion, where, because she did not know whatelse to do with it, she fastened it around her own slim waist.
Just then the Chief Steward rushed in with a sponge and a bowl ofwater, and began mopping away the broken eggs from his master's face.In a few minutes, and while all the party stood looking on, the Kingregained the use of his eyes, and the first thing he did was to glarewickedly upon the Scarecrow and exclaim:
"I'll make you suffer for this, you hay-stuffed dummy! Don't you knoweggs are poison to Nomes?"
"Really," said the Scarecrow, "they DON'T seem to agree with you,although I wonder why."
"They were strictly fresh and above suspicion," said Billina. "Youought to be glad to get them."
"I'll transform you all into scorpions!" cried the King, angrily, andbegan waving his arms and muttering magic words.
But none of the people became scorpions, so the King stopped and lookedat them in surprise.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Why, you are not wearing your magic belt," replied the Chief Steward,after looking the King over carefully. "Where is it? What have youdone with it?"
The Nome King clapped his hand to his waist, and his rock colored faceturned white as chalk.
"It's gone," he cried, helplessly. "It's gone, and I am ruined!"
Dorothy now stepped forward and said:
"Royal Ozma, and you, Queen of Ev, I welcome you and your people backto the land of the living. Billina has saved you from your troubles,and now we will leave this drea'ful place, and return to Ev as soon asposs'ble."
While the child spoke they could all see that she wore the magic belt,and a great cheer went up from all her friends, which was led by thevoices of the Scarecrow and the private. But the Nome King did notjoin them. He crept back onto his throne like a whipped dog, and laythere bitterly bemoaning his defeat.
"But we have not yet found my faithful follower, the Tin Woodman," saidOzma to Dorothy, "and without him I do not wish to go away."
"Nor I," replied Dorothy, quickly. "Wasn't he in the palace?"
"He must be there," said Billina; "but I had no clue to guide me inguessing the Tin Woodman, so I must have missed him."
"We will go back into the rooms," said Dorothy. "This magic belt, I amsure, will help us to find our dear old friend."
So she re-entered the palace, the doors of which still stood open, andeveryone followed her except the Nome King, the Queen of Ev and PrinceEvring. The mother had taken the little Prince in her lap and wasfondling and kissing him lovingly, for he was her youngest born.
But the others went with Dorothy, and when she came to the middle ofthe first room the girl waved her hand, as she had seen the King do,and commanded the Tin Woodman, whatever form he might then have, toresume his proper shape. No result followed this attempt, so Dorothywent into another room and repeated it, and so through all the rooms ofthe palace. Yet the Tin Woodman did not appear to them, nor could theyimagine which among the thousands of ornaments was their transformedfriend.
Sadly they returned to the throne room, where the King, seeing thatthey had met with failure, jeered at Dorothy, saying:
"You do not know how to use my belt, so it is of no use to you. Giveit back to me and I will let you go free--you and all the people whocame with you. As for the royal family of Ev, they are my slaves, andshall remain here."
"I shall keep the belt," said Dorothy.
"But how can you escape, without my consent?" asked the King.
"Easily enough," answered the girl. "All we need to do is to walk outthe way that we came in."
"Oh, that's all, is it?" sneered the King. "Well, where is the passagethrough which you entered this room?"
They all looked around, but could not discover the place, for it hadlong since been closed. Dorothy, however, would not be dismayed. Shewaved her hand toward the seemingly solid wall of the cavern and said:
"I command the passage to open!"
Instantly the order was obeyed; the opening appeared and the passagelay plainly before them.
The King was amazed, and all the others overjoyed.
"Why, then, if the belt obeys you, were we unable to discover the TinWoodman?" asked Ozma.
"I can't imagine," said Dorothy.
"See here, girl," proposed the King, eagerly; "give me the belt, and Iwill tell you what shape the Tin Woodman was changed into, and then youcan easily find him."
Dorothy hesitated, but Billina cried out:
"Don't you do it! If the Nome King gets the belt again he will makeevery one of us prisoners, for we will be in his power. Only bykeeping the belt, Dorothy, will you ever be able to leave this place insafety."
"I think that is true," said the Scarecrow. "But I have another idea,due to my excellent brains. Let Dorothy transform the King into agoose-egg unless he agrees to go into the palace and bring out to usthe ornament which is our friend Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman."
"A goose-egg!" echoed the horrified King. "How dreadful!"
"Well, a goose-egg you will be unless you go and fetch us the ornamentwe want," declared Billina, with a joyful chuckle.
"You can see for yourself that Dorothy is able to use the magic beltall right," added the Scarecrow.
The Nome King thought it over and finally consented, for he did notwant to be a goose-egg. So he went into the palace to get the ornamentwhich was the transformation of the Tin Woodman, and they all awaitedhis return with considerable impatience, for they were anxious to leavethis underground cavern and see the sunshine once more. But when theNome King came back he brought nothing with him except a puzzled andanxious expression upon his face.
"He's gone!" he said. "The Tin Woodman is nowhere in the palace."
"Are you sure?" asked Ozma, sternly.
"I'm very sure," answered the King, trembling, "for I know just what Itransformed him into, and exactly where he stood. But he is not there,and please don't change me into a goose-egg, because I've done the bestI could."
They were all silent for a time, and then Dorothy said:
"There is no use punishing the Nome King any more, and I'm 'fraid we'llhave to go away without our friend."
"If he is not here, we cannot rescue him," agreed the Scarecrow, sadly."Poor Nick! I wonder what has become of him."
"And he owed me six weeks back pay!" said one of the generals, wipingthe tears from his eyes with his gold-laced coat sleeve.
Very sorrowfully they determined to return to the upper world withouttheir former companion, and so Ozma gave the order to begin the marchthrough the passage.
The army went first, and then the royal family of Ev, and afterwardcame Dorothy, Ozma, Billina, the Scarecrow and Tiktok.
They left the Nome King scowling at them from his throne, and had nothought of danger until Ozma chanced to look back and saw a largenumber of the warriors following them in full chase, with their swordsand spears and axes raised to strike down the fugitives as soon as theydrew near enough.
Evidently the Nome King had made this last attempt to prevent theirescaping him; but it did him no good, for when Dorothy saw the dangerthey were in she stopped and waved her hand and whispered a command tothe magic belt.
Instantly the foremost warriors became eggs, which rolled upon thefloor of the cavern in such numbers that those behind could not advancewithout stepping upon them. But, when they saw the eggs, all desire toadvance departed from the warriors, and they turned and fled madly intothe cavern, and refused to go back again.
Our friends had no further trouble in reaching the end of the passage,and soon were standing in the outer air upon the gloomy path betweenthe two high mountains. But the way to Ev lay plainly before them, andthey fervently hoped that they had seen the last of the Nome King andof his dreadful palace.
The cavalcade was led by Ozma, mounted on the Cowardly Lion, and theQueen of Ev, who rode upon the back of the Tiger. The children of theQueen walked behind her, hand in hand. Dorothy rode the Sawhorse,while the Scarecrow walked and commanded the army in the absence of theTin Woodman.
Presently the way began to lighten and more of the sunshine to come inbetween the two mountains. And before long they heard the "thump!thump! thump!" of the giant's hammer upon the road.
"How may we pass the monstrous man of iron?" asked the Queen, anxiousfor the safety of her children. But Dorothy solved the problem by aword to the magic belt.
The giant paused, with his hammer held motionless in the air, thusallowing the entire party to pass between his cast-iron legs in safety.
19. The King of Ev
If there were any shifting, rock-colored Nomes on the mountain sidenow, they were silent and respectful, for our adventurers were notannoyed, as before, by their impudent laughter. Really the Nomes hadnothing to laugh at, since the defeat of their King.
On the other side they found Ozma's golden chariot, standing as theyhad left it. Soon the Lion and the Tiger were harnessed to thebeautiful chariot, in which was enough room for Ozma and the Queen andsix of the royal children.
Little Evring preferred to ride with Dorothy upon the Sawhorse, whichhad a long back. The Prince had recovered from his shyness and hadbecome very fond of the girl who had rescued him, so they were fastfriends and chatted pleasantly together as they rode along. Billinawas also perched upon the head of the wooden steed, which seemed not tomind the added weight in the least, and the boy was full of wonder thata hen could talk, and say such sensible things.
When they came to the gulf, Ozma's magic carpet carried them all overin safety; and now they began to pass the trees, in which birds weresinging; and the breeze that was wafted to them from the farms of Evwas spicy with flowers and new-mown hay; and the sunshine fell fullupon them, to warm them and drive away from their bodies the chill anddampness of the underground kingdom of the Nomes.
"I would be quite content," said the Scarecrow to Tiktok, "were onlythe Tin Woodman with us. But it breaks my heart to leave him behind."
"He was a fine fel-low," replied Tiktok, "al-though his ma-ter-i-al wasnot ve-ry du-ra-ble."
"Oh, tin is an excellent material," the Scarecrow hastened to say; "andif anything ever happened to poor Nick Chopper he was always easilysoldered. Besides, he did not have to be wound up, and was not liableto get out of order."
"I some-times wish," said Tiktok, "that I was stuffed with straw, asyou are. It is hard to be made of cop-per."
"I have no reason to complain of my lot," replied the Scarecrow. "Alittle fresh straw, now and then, makes me as good as new. But I cannever be the polished gentleman that my poor departed friend, the TinWoodman, was."
You may be sure the royal children of Ev and their Queen mother weredelighted at seeing again their beloved country; and when the towers ofthe palace of Ev came into view they could not forbear cheering at thesight. Little Evring, riding in front of Dorothy, was so overjoyedthat he took a curious tin whistle from his pocket and blew a shrillblast that made the Sawhorse leap and prance in sudden alarm.
"What is that?" asked Billina, who had been obliged to flutter herwings in order to keep her seat upon the head of the frightenedSawhorse.
"That's my whistle," said Prince Evring, holding it out upon his hand.
It was in the shape of a little fat pig, made of tin and painted green.The whistle was in the tail of the pig.
"Where did you get it?" asked the yellow hen, closely examining the toywith her bright eyes.
"Why, I picked it up in the Nome King's palace, while Dorothy wasmaking her guesses, and I put it in my pocket," answered the littlePrince.
Billina laughed; or at least she made the peculiar cackle that servedher for a laugh.
"No wonder I couldn't find the Tin Woodman," she said; "and no wonderthe magic belt didn't make him appear, or the King couldn't find him,either!"
"What do you mean?" questioned Dorothy.
"Why, the Prince had him in his pocket," cried Billina, cackling again.
"I did not!" protested little Evring. "I only took the whistle."
"Well, then, watch me," returned the hen, and reaching out a claw shetouched the whistle and said "Ev."
"Good afternoon," said the Tin Woodman, taking off his funnel cap andbowing to Dorothy and the Prince. "I think I must have been asleep forthe first time since I was made of tin, for I do not remember ourleaving the Nome King."
"You have been enchanted," answered the girl, throwing an arm aroundher old friend and hugging him tight in her joy. "But it's all right,now."
"I want my whistle!" said the little Prince, beginning to cry.
"Hush!" cautioned Billina. "The whistle is lost, but you may haveanother when you get home."
The Scarecrow had fairly thrown himself upon the bosom of his oldcomrade, so surprised and delighted was he to see him again, and Tiktoksqueezed the Tin Woodman's hand so earnestly that he dented some of hisfingers. Then they had to make way for Ozma to welcome the tin man,and the army caught sight of him and set up a cheer, and everybody wasdelighted and happy.
For the Tin Woodman was a great favorite with all who knew him, and hissudden recovery after they had thought he was lost to them forever wasindeed a pleasant surprise.
Before long the cavalcade arrived at the royal palace, where a greatcrowd of people had gathered to welcome their Queen and her tenchildren. There was much shouting and cheering, and the people threwflowers in their path, and every face wore a happy smile.
They found the Princess Langwidere in her mirrored chamber, where shewas admiring one of her handsomest heads--one with rich chestnut hair,dreamy walnut eyes and a shapely hickorynut nose. She was very glad tobe relieved of her duties to the people of Ev, and the Queen graciouslypermitted her to retain her rooms and her cabinet of heads as long asshe lived.
Then the Queen took her eldest son out upon a balcony that overlookedthe crowd of subjects gathered below, and said to them:
"Here is your future ruler, King Evardo Fifteenth. He is fifteen yearsof age, has fifteen silver buckles on his jacket and is the fifteenthEvardo to rule the land of Ev."
The people shouted their approval fifteen times, and even the Wheelers,some of whom were present, loudly promised to obey the new King.
So the Queen placed a big crown of gold, set with rubies, upon Evardo'shead, and threw an ermine robe over his shoulders, and proclaimed himKing; and he bowed gratefully to all his subjects and then went away tosee if he could find any cake in the royal pantry.
Ozma of Oz and her people, as well as Dorothy, Tiktok and Billina, weresplendidly entertained by the Queen mother, who owed all her happinessto their kind offices; and that evening the yellow hen was publiclypresented with a beautiful necklace of pearls and sapphires, as a tokenof esteem from the new King.
20. The Emerald City
Dorothy decided to accept Ozma's invitation to return with her to theLand of Oz. There was no greater chance of her getting home from Evthan from Oz, and the little girl was anxious to see once more thecountry where she had encountered such wonderful adventures. By thistime Uncle Henry would have reached Australia in his ship, and hadprobably given her up for lost; so he couldn't worry any more than hedid if she stayed away from him a while longer. So she would go to Oz.
They bade good-bye to the people of Ev, and the King promised Ozma thathe would ever be grateful to her and render the Land of Oz any servicethat might lie within his power.
And then they approached the edge of the dangerous desert, and Ozmathrew down the magic carpet, which at once unrolled far enough for allof them to walk upon it without being crowded.
Tiktok, claiming to be Dorothy's faithful follower because he belongedto her, had been permitted to join the party, and before they startedthe girl wound up his machinery as far as possible, and the copper manstepped off as briskly as any one of them.
Ozma also invited Billina to visit the Land of Oz, and the yellow henwas glad enough to go where new sights and scenes awaited her.
They began the trip across the desert early in the morning, and as theystopped only long enough for Billina to lay her daily egg, beforesunset they espied the green slopes and wooded hills of the beautifulLand of Oz. They entered it in the Munchkin territory, and the King ofthe Munchkins met them at the border and welcomed Ozma with greatrespect, being very pleased by her safe return. For Ozma of Oz ruledthe King of the Munchkins, the King of the Winkies, the King of theQuadlings and the King of the Gillikins just as those kings ruled theirown people; and this supreme ruler of the Land of Oz lived in a greattown of her own, called the Emerald City, which was in the exact centerof the four kingdoms of the Land of Oz.
The Munchkin king entertained them at his palace that night, and in themorning they set out for the Emerald City, travelling over a road ofyellow brick that led straight to the jewel-studded gates. Everywherethe people turned out to greet their beloved Ozma, and to hail joyfullythe Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion, who were popularfavorites. Dorothy, too, remembered some of the people, who hadbefriended her on the occasion of her first visit to Oz, and they werewell pleased to see the little Kansas girl again, and showered her withcompliments and good wishes.
At one place, where they stopped to refresh themselves, Ozma accepted abowl of milk from the hands of a pretty dairy-maid. Then she looked atthe girl more closely, and exclaimed:
"Why, it's Jinjur--isn't it!"
"Yes, your Highness," was the reply, as Jinjur dropped a low curtsy.And Dorothy looked wonderingly at this lively appearing person, who hadonce assembled an army of women and driven the Scarecrow from thethrone of the Emerald City, and even fought a battle with the powerfularmy of Glinda the Sorceress.
"I've married a man who owns nine cows," said Jinjur to Ozma, "and nowI am happy and contented and willing to lead a quiet life and mind myown business."
"Where is your husband?" asked Ozma.
"He is in the house, nursing a black eye," replied Jinjur, calmly."The foolish man would insist upon milking the red cow when I wantedhim to milk the white one; but he will know better next time, I amsure."
Then the party moved on again, and after crossing a broad river on aferry and passing many fine farm houses that were dome shaped andpainted a pretty green color, they came in sight of a large buildingthat was covered with flags and bunting.
"I don't remember that building," said Dorothy. "What is it?"
"That is the College of Art and Athletic Perfection," replied Ozma. "Ihad it built quite recently, and the Woggle-Bug is its president. Itkeeps him busy, and the young men who attend the college are no worseoff than they were before. You see, in this country are a number ofyouths who do not like to work, and the college is an excellent placefor them."
And now they came in sight of the Emerald City, and the people flockedout to greet their lovely ruler. There were several bands and manyofficers and officials of the realm, and a crowd of citizens in theirholiday attire.
Thus the beautiful Ozma was escorted by a brilliant procession to herroyal city, and so great was the cheering that she was obliged toconstantly bow to the right and left to acknowledge the greetings ofher subjects.
That evening there was a grand reception in the royal palace, attendedby the most important persons of Oz, and Jack Pumpkinhead, who was alittle overripe but still active, read an address congratulating Ozmaof Oz upon the success of her generous mission to rescue the royalfamily of a neighboring kingdom.
Then magnificent gold medals set with precious stones were presented toeach of the twenty-six officers; and the Tin Woodman was given a newaxe studded with diamonds; and the Scarecrow received a silver jar ofcomplexion powder. Dorothy was presented with a pretty coronet andmade a Princess of Oz, and Tiktok received two bracelets set with eightrows of very clear and sparkling emeralds.
Afterward they sat down to a splendid feast, and Ozma put Dorothy ather right and Billina at her left, where the hen sat upon a goldenroost and ate from a jeweled platter. Then were placed the Scarecrow,the Tin Woodman and Tiktok, with baskets of lovely flowers before them,because they did not require food. The twenty-six officers were at thelower end of the table, and the Lion and the Tiger also had seats, andwere served on golden platters, that held a half a bushel at one time.
The wealthiest and most important citizens of the Emerald City wereproud to wait upon these famous adventurers, and they were assisted bya sprightly little maid named Jellia Jamb, whom the Scarecrow pinchedupon her rosy cheeks and seemed to know very well.
During the feast Ozma grew thoughtful, and suddenly she asked:
"Where is the private?"
"Oh, he is sweeping out the barracks," replied one of the generals, whowas busy eating a leg of a turkey. "But I have ordered him a dish ofbread and molasses to eat when his work is done."
"Let him be sent for," said the girl ruler.
While they waited for this command to be obeyed, she enquired:
"Have we any other privates in the armies?"
"Oh, yes," replied the Tin Woodman, "I believe there are three,altogether."
The private now entered, saluting his officers and the royal Ozma veryrespectfully.
"What is your name, my man?" asked the girl.
"Omby Amby," answered the private.
"Then, Omby Amby," said she, "I promote you to be Captain General ofall the armies of my kingdom, and especially to be Commander of my BodyGuard at the royal palace."
"It is very expensive to hold so many offices," said the private,hesitating. "I have no money with which to buy uniforms."
"You shall be supplied from the royal treasury," said Ozma.
Then the private was given a seat at the table, where the otherofficers welcomed him cordially, and the feasting and merriment wereresumed.
Suddenly Jellia Jamb exclaimed:
"There is nothing more to eat! The Hungry Tiger has consumedeverything!"
"But that is not the worst of it," declared the Tiger, mournfully."Somewhere or somehow, I've actually lost my appetite!"
21. Dorothy's Magic Belt
Dorothy passed several very happy weeks in the Land of Oz as the guestof the royal Ozma, who delighted to please and interest the littleKansas girl. Many new acquaintances were formed and many old onesrenewed, and wherever she went Dorothy found herself among friends.
One day, however, as she sat in Ozma's private room, she noticedhanging upon the wall a picture which constantly changed in appearance,at one time showing a meadow and at another time a forest, a lake or avillage.
"How curious!" she exclaimed, after watching the shifting scenes for afew moments.
"Yes," said Ozma, "that is really a wonderful invention in magic. If Iwish to see any part of the world or any person living, I need onlyexpress the wish and it is shown in the picture."
"May I use it?" asked Dorothy, eagerly.
"Of course, my dear."
"Then I'd like to see the old Kansas farm, and Aunt Em," said the girl.
Instantly the well remembered farmhouse appeared in the picture, andAunt Em could be seen quite plainly. She was engaged in washing dishesby the kitchen window and seemed quite well and contented. The hiredmen and the teams were in the harvest fields behind the house, and thecorn and wheat seemed to the child to be in prime condition. On theside porch Dorothy's pet dog, Toto, was lying fast asleep in the sun,and to her surprise old Speckles was running around with a brood oftwelve new chickens trailing after her.
"Everything seems all right at home," said Dorothy, with a sigh ofrelief. "Now I wonder what Uncle Henry is doing."
The scene in the picture at once shifted to Australia, where, in apleasant room in Sydney, Uncle Henry was seated in an easy chair,solemnly smoking his briar pipe. He looked sad and lonely, and hishair was now quite white and his hands and face thin and wasted.
"Oh!" cried Dorothy, in an anxious voice, "I'm sure Uncle Henry isn'tgetting any better, and it's because he is worried about me. Ozma,dear, I must go to him at once!"
"How can you?" asked Ozma.
"I don't know," replied Dorothy; "but let us go to Glinda the Good.I'm sure she will help me, and advise me how to get to Uncle Henry."
Ozma readily agreed to this plan and caused the Sawhorse to beharnessed to a pretty green and pink phaeton, and the two girls rodeaway to visit the famous sorceress.
Glinda received them graciously, and listened to Dorothy's story withattention.
"I have the magic belt, you know," said the little girl. "If I buckledit around my waist and commanded it to take me to Uncle Henry, wouldn'tit do it?"
"I think so," replied Glinda, with a smile.
"And then," continued Dorothy, "if I ever wanted to come back hereagain, the belt would bring me."
"In that you are wrong," said the sorceress. "The belt has magicalpowers only while it is in some fairy country, such as the Land of Oz,or the Land of Ev. Indeed, my little friend, were you to wear it andwish yourself in Australia, with your uncle, the wish would doubtlessbe fulfilled, because it was made in fairyland. But you would not findthe magic belt around you when you arrived at your destination."
"What would become of it?" asked the girl.
"It would be lost, as were your silver shoes when you visited Ozbefore, and no one would ever see it again. It seems too bad todestroy the use of the magic belt in that way, doesn't it?"
"Then," said Dorothy, after a moment's thought, "I will give the magicbelt to Ozma, for she can use it in her own country. And she can wishme transported to Uncle Henry without losing the belt."
"That is a wise plan," replied Glinda.
So they rode back to the Emerald City, and on the way it was arrangedthat every Saturday morning Ozma would look at Dorothy in her magicpicture, wherever the little girl might chance to be. And, if she sawDorothy make a certain signal, then Ozma would know that the littleKansas girl wanted to revisit the Land of Oz, and by means of the NomeKing's magic belt would wish that she might instantly return.
This having been agreed upon, Dorothy bade good-bye to all her friends.Tiktok wanted to go to Australia; too, but Dorothy knew that themachine man would never do for a servant in a civilized country, andthe chances were that his machinery wouldn't work at all. So she lefthim in Ozma's care.
Billina, on the contrary, preferred the Land of Oz to any othercountry, and refused to accompany Dorothy.
"The bugs and ants that I find here are the finest flavored in theworld," declared the yellow hen, "and there are plenty of them. Sohere I shall end my days; and I must say, Dorothy, my dear, that youare very foolish to go back into that stupid, humdrum world again."
"Uncle Henry needs me," said Dorothy, simply; and every one exceptBillina thought it was right that she should go.
All Dorothy's friends of the Land of Oz--both old and new--gathered ina group in front of the palace to bid her a sorrowful good-bye and towish her long life and happiness. After much hand shaking, Dorothykissed Ozma once more, and then handed her the Nome King's magic belt,saying:
"Now, dear Princess, when I wave my handkerchief, please wish me withUncle Henry. I'm aw'fly sorry to leave you--and the Scarecrow--and theTin Woodman--and the Cowardly Lion--and Tiktok--and--and everybody--butI do want my Uncle Henry! So good-bye, all of you."
Then the little girl stood on one of the big emeralds which decoratedthe courtyard, and after looking once again at each of her friends,waved her handkerchief.
"No," said Dorothy, "I wasn't drowned at all. And I've come to nurseyou and take care of you, Uncle Henry, and you must promise to get wellas soon as poss'ble."
Uncle Henry smiled and cuddled his little niece close in his lap.
"I'm better already, my darling," said he.