Full text for Glinda of Oz
In which are related the Exciting Experiences of Princess Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy, in their hazardous journey to the home of the Flatheads, and to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers, and how they were rescued from dire peril by the sorcery of Glinda the Good
by L. FRANK BAUM "Royal Historian of Oz"
This Book is Dedicated to My Son Robert Stanton Baum
LIST OF CHAPTERS
1 The Call to Duty 2 Ozma and Dorothy 3 The Mist Maidens 4 The Magic Tent 5 The Magic Stairway 6 Flathead Mountain 7 The Magic Isle 8 Queen Coo-ee-oh 9 Lady Aurex 10 Under Water 11 The Conquest of the Skeezers 12 The Diamond Swan 13 The Alarm Bell 14 Ozma's Counsellors 15 The Great Sorceress 16 The Enchanted Fishes 17 Under the Great Dome 18 The Cleverness of Ervic 19 Red Reera, the Yookoohoo 20 A Puzzling Problem 21 The Three Adepts 22 The Sunken Island 23 The Magic Words 24 Glinda's Triumph
The Call to Duty
Glinda, the good Sorceress of Oz, sat in the grand court of her palace,surrounded by her maids of honor--a hundred of the most beautiful girlsof the Fairyland of Oz. The palace court was built of rare marbles,exquisitely polished. Fountains tinkled musically here and there; thevast colonnade, open to the south, allowed the maidens, as they raisedtheir heads from their embroideries, to gaze upon a vista of rose-huedfields and groves of trees bearing fruits or laden with sweet-scentedflowers. At times one of the girls would start a song, the othersjoining in the chorus, or one would rise and dance, gracefully swayingto the music of a harp played by a companion. And then Glinda smiled,glad to see her maids mixing play with work.
Presently among the fields an object was seen moving, threading thebroad path that led to the castle gate. Some of the girls looked uponthis object enviously; the Sorceress merely gave it a glance and noddedher stately head as if pleased, for it meant the coming of her friendand mistress--the only one in all the land that Glinda bowed to.
Then up the path trotted a wooden animal attached to a red wagon, andas the quaint steed halted at the gate there descended from the wagontwo young girls, Ozma, Ruler of Oz, and her companion, PrincessDorothy. Both were dressed in simple white muslin gowns, and as theyran up the marble steps of the palace they laughed and chatted as gailyas if they were not the most important persons in the world's loveliestfairyland.
The maids of honor had risen and stood with bowed heads to greet theroyal Ozma, while Glinda came forward with outstretched arms to greether guests.
"We've just come on a visit, you know," said Ozma. "Both Dorothy and Iwere wondering how we should pass the day when we happened to thinkwe'd not been to your Quadling Country for weeks, so we took theSawhorse and rode straight here."
"And we came so fast," added Dorothy, "that our hair is blown allfuzzy, for the Sawhorse makes a wind of his own. Usually it's a day'sjourney from the Em'rald City, but I don't s'pose we were two hours onthe way."
"You are most welcome," said Glinda the Sorceress, and led them throughthe court to her magnificent reception hall. Ozma took the arm of herhostess, but Dorothy lagged behind, kissing some of the maids she knewbest, talking with others, and making them all feel that she was theirfriend. When at last she joined Glinda and Ozma in the reception hall,she found them talking earnestly about the condition of the people, andhow to make them more happy and contented--although they were alreadythe happiest and most contented folks in all the world.
This interested Ozma, of course, but it didn't interest Dorothy verymuch, so the little girl ran over to a big table on which was lyingopen Glinda's Great Book of Records.
This Book is one of the greatest treasures in Oz, and the Sorceressprizes it more highly than any of her magical possessions. That is thereason it is firmly attached to the big marble table by means of goldenchains, and whenever Glinda leaves home she locks the Great Booktogether with five jeweled padlocks, and carries the keys safely hiddenin her bosom.
I do not suppose there is any magical thing in any fairyland to comparewith the Record Book, on the pages of which are constantly beingprinted a record of every event that happens in any part of the world,at exactly the moment it happens. And the records are always truthful,although sometimes they do not give as many details as one could wish.But then, lots of things happen, and so the records have to be brief oreven Glinda's Great Book could not hold them all.
Glinda looked at the records several times each day, and Dorothy,whenever she visited the Sorceress, loved to look in the Book and seewhat was happening everywhere. Not much was recorded about the Land ofOz, which is usually peaceful and uneventful, but today Dorothy foundsomething which interested her. Indeed, the printed letters wereappearing on the page even while she looked.
"This is funny!" she exclaimed. "Did you know, Ozma, that there werepeople in your Land of Oz called Skeezers?"
"Yes," replied Ozma, coming to her side, "I know that on ProfessorWogglebug's Map of the Land of Oz there is a place marked 'Skeezer,'but what the Skeezers are like I do not know. No one I know has everseen them or heard of them. The Skeezer Country is 'way at the upperedge of the Gillikin Country, with the sandy, impassable desert on oneside and the mountains of Oogaboo on another side. That is a part ofthe Land of Oz of which I know very little."
"I guess no one else knows much about it either, unless it's theSkeezers themselves," remarked Dorothy. "But the Book says: 'TheSkeezers of Oz have declared war on the Flatheads of Oz, and there islikely to be fighting and much trouble as the result.'"
"Is that all the Book says?" asked Ozma.
"Every word," said Dorothy, and Ozma and Glinda both looked at theRecord and seemed surprised and perplexed.
"Tell me, Glinda," said Ozma, "who are the Flatheads?"
"I cannot, your Majesty," confessed the Sorceress. "Until now I neverhave heard of them, nor have I ever heard the Skeezers mentioned. Inthe faraway corners of Oz are hidden many curious tribes of people, andthose who never leave their own countries and never are visited bythose from our favored part of Oz, naturally are unknown to me.However, if you so desire, I can learn through my arts of sorcerysomething of the Skeezers and the Flatheads."
"I wish you would," answered Ozma seriously. "You see, Glinda, if theseare Oz people they are my subjects and I cannot allow any wars ortroubles in the Land I rule, if I can possibly help it."
"Very well, your Majesty," said the Sorceress, "I will try to get someinformation to guide you. Please excuse me for a time, while I retireto my Room of Magic and Sorcery."
"May I go with you?" asked Dorothy, eagerly.
"No, Princess," was the reply. "It would spoil the charm to have anyonepresent."
So Glinda locked herself in her own Room of Magic and Dorothy and Ozmawaited patiently for her to come out again.
In about an hour Glinda appeared, looking grave and thoughtful.
"Your Majesty," she said to Ozma, "the Skeezers live on a Magic Isle ina great lake. For that reason--because the Skeezers deal in magic--Ican learn little about them."
"Why, I didn't know there was a lake in that part of Oz," exclaimedOzma. "The map shows a river running through the Skeezer Country, butno lake."
"That is because the person who made the map never had visited thatpart of the country," explained the Sorceress. "The lake surely isthere, and in the lake is an island--a Magic Isle--and on that islandlive the people called the Skeezers."
"What are they like?" inquired the Ruler of Oz.
"My magic cannot tell me that," confessed Glinda, "for the magic of theSkeezers prevents anyone outside of their domain knowing anything aboutthem."
"The Flatheads must know, if they're going to fight the Skeezers,"suggested Dorothy.
"Perhaps so," Glinda replied, "but I can get little informationconcerning the Flatheads, either. They are people who inhabit amountain just south of the Lake of the Skeezers. The mountain has steepsides and a broad, hollow top, like a basin, and in this basin theFlatheads have their dwellings. They also are magic-workers and usuallykeep to themselves and allow no one from outside to visit them. I havelearned that the Flatheads number about one hundred people--men, womenand children--while the Skeezers number just one hundred and one."
"What did they quarrel about, and why do they wish to fight oneanother?" was Ozma's next question.
"I cannot tell your Majesty that," said Glinda.
"But see here!" cried Dorothy, "it's against the law for anyone butGlinda and the Wizard to work magic in the Land of Oz, so if these twostrange people are magic-makers they are breaking the law and ought tobe punished!" Ozma smiled upon her little friend.
"Those who do not know me or my laws," she said, "cannot be expected toobey my laws. If we know nothing of the Skeezers or the Flatheads, itis likely that they know nothing of us."
"But they ought to know, Ozma, and we ought to know. Who's going totell them, and how are we going to make them behave?"
"That," returned Ozma, "is what I am now considering. What would youadvise, Glinda?"
The Sorceress took a little time to consider this question, before shemade reply. Then she said: "Had you not learned of the existence of theFlatheads and the Skeezers, through my Book of Records, you would neverhave worried about them or their quarrels. So, if you pay no attentionto these peoples, you may never hear of them again."
"But that wouldn't be right," declared Ozma. "I am Ruler of all theLand of Oz, which includes the Gillikin Country, the Quadling Country,the Winkie Country and the Munchkin Country, as well as the EmeraldCity, and being the Princess of this fairyland it is my duty to makeall my people--wherever they may be--happy and content and to settletheir disputes and keep them from quarreling. So, while the Skeezersand Flatheads may not know me or that I am their lawful Ruler, I nowknow that they inhabit my kingdom and are my subjects, so I would notbe doing my duty if I kept away from them and allowed them to fight."
"That's a fact, Ozma," commented Dorothy. "You've got to go up tothe Gillikin Country and make these people behave themselves and makeup their quarrels. But how are you going to do it?"
"That is what is puzzling me also, your Majesty," said the Sorceress."It may be dangerous for you to go into those strange countries, wherethe people are possibly fierce and warlike."
"I am not afraid," said Ozma, with a smile.
"'Tisn't a question of being 'fraid," argued Dorothy. "Of course weknow you're a fairy, and can't be killed or hurt, and we know you've alot of magic of your own to help you. But, Ozma dear, in spite of allthis you've been in trouble before, on account of wicked enemies, andit isn't right for the Ruler of all Oz to put herself in danger."
"Perhaps I shall be in no danger at all," returned Ozma, with a littlelaugh. "You mustn't imagine danger, Dorothy, for one should onlyimagine nice things, and we do not know that the Skeezers and Flatheadsare wicked people or my enemies. Perhaps they would be good and listento reason."
"Dorothy is right, your Majesty," asserted the Sorceress. "It is truewe know nothing of these faraway subjects, except that they intend tofight one another, and have a certain amount of magic power at theircommand. Such folks do not like to submit to interference and they aremore likely to resent your coming among them than to receive you kindlyand graciously, as is your due."
"If you had an army to take with you," added Dorothy, "it wouldn't beso bad; but there isn't such a thing as an army in all Oz."
"I have one soldier," said Ozma.
"Yes, the soldier with the green whiskers; but he's dreadful 'fraid ofhis gun and never loads it. I'm sure he'd run rather than fight. Andone soldier, even if he were brave, couldn't do much against twohundred and one Flatheads and Skeezers."
"What then, my friends, would you suggest?" inquired Ozma.
"I advise you to send the Wizard of Oz to them, and let him inform themthat it is against the laws of Oz to fight, and that you command themto settle their differences and become friends," proposed Glinda. "Letthe Wizard tell them they will be punished if they refuse to obey thecommands of the Princess of all the Land of Oz."
Ozma shook her head, to indicate that the advice was not to hersatisfaction.
"If they refuse, what then?" she asked. "I should be obliged to carryout my threat and punish them, and that would be an unpleasant anddifficult thing to do. I am sure it would be better for me to gopeacefully, without an army and armed only with my authority as Ruler,and plead with them to obey me. Then, if they prove obstinate I couldresort to other means to win their obedience."
"It's a ticklish thing, anyhow you look at it," sighed Dorothy. "I'msorry now that I noticed the Record in the Great Book."
"But can't you realize, my dear, that I must do my duty, now that I amaware of this trouble?" asked Ozma. "I am fully determined to go atonce to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers and to the enchanted mountain ofthe Flatheads, and prevent war and strife between their inhabitants.The only question to decide is whether it is better for me to go alone,or to assemble a party of my friends and loyal supporters to accompanyme."
"If you go I want to go, too," declared Dorothy. "Whatever happens it'sgoing to be fun--'cause all excitement is fun--and I wouldn't miss itfor the world!"
Neither Ozma nor Glinda paid any attention to this statement, for theywere gravely considering the serious aspect of this proposed adventure.
"There are plenty of friends who would like to go with you," said theSorceress, "but none of them would afford your Majesty any protectionin case you were in danger. You are yourself the most powerful fairy inOz, although both I and the Wizard have more varied arts of magic atour command. However, you have one art that no other in all the worldcan equal--the art of winning hearts and making people love to bow toyour gracious presence. For that reason I believe you can accomplishmore good alone than with a large number of subjects in your train."
"I believe that also," agreed the Princess. "I shall be quite able totake care of myself, you know, but might not be able to protect othersso well. I do not look for opposition, however. I shall speak to thesepeople in kindly words and settle their dispute--whatever it may be--ina just manner."
"Aren't you going to take me?" pleaded Dorothy. "You'll need somecompanion, Ozma."
The Princess smiled upon her little friend.
"I see no reason why you should not accompany me," was her reply. "Twogirls are not very warlike and they will not suspect us of being on anyerrand but a kindly and peaceful one. But, in order to prevent war andstrife between these angry peoples, we must go to them at once. Let usreturn immediately to the Emerald City and prepare to start on ourjourney early tomorrow morning."
Glinda was not quite satisfied with this plan, but could not think ofany better way to meet the problem. She knew that Ozma, with all hergentleness and sweet disposition, was accustomed to abide by anydecision she had made and could not easily be turned from her purpose.Moreover she could see no great danger to the fairy Ruler of Oz in theundertaking, even though the unknown people she was to visit provedobstinate. But Dorothy was not a fairy; she was a little girl who hadcome from Kansas to live in the Land of Oz. Dorothy might encounterdangers that to Ozma would be as nothing but to an "Earth child" wouldbe very serious.
The very fact that Dorothy lived in Oz, and had been made a Princess byher friend Ozma, prevented her from being killed or suffering any greatbodily pain as long as she lived in that fairyland. She could not growbig, either, and would always remain the same little girl who had cometo Oz, unless in some way she left that fairyland or was spirited awayfrom it. But Dorothy was a mortal, nevertheless, and might possibly bedestroyed, or hidden where none of her friends could ever find her. Shecould, for instance be cut into pieces, and the pieces, while stillalive and free from pain, could be widely scattered; or she might beburied deep underground or "destroyed" in other ways by evil magicians,were she not properly protected. These facts Glinda was consideringwhile she paced with stately tread her marble hall.
Finally the good Sorceress paused and drew a ring from her finger,handing it to Dorothy.
"Wear this ring constantly until your return," she said to the girl."If serious danger threatens you, turn the ring around on your fingeronce to the right and another turn to the left. That will ring thealarm bell in my palace and I will at once come to your rescue. But donot use the ring unless you are actually in danger of destruction.While you remain with Princess Ozma I believe she will be able toprotect you from all lesser ills."
"Thank you, Glinda," responded Dorothy gratefully, as she placed thering on her finger. "I'm going to wear my Magic Belt which I took fromthe Nome King, too, so I guess I'll be safe from anything the Skeezersand Flatheads try to do to me."
Ozma had many arrangements to make before she could leave her throneand her palace in the Emerald City, even for a trip of a few days, soshe bade goodbye to Glinda and with Dorothy climbed into the Red Wagon.A word to the wooden Sawhorse started that astonishing creature on thereturn journey, and so swiftly did he run that Dorothy was unable totalk or do anything but hold tight to her seat all the way back to theEmerald City.
Ozma and Dorothy
Residing in Ozma's palace at this time was a live Scarecrow, a mostremarkable and intelligent creature who had once ruled the Land of Ozfor a brief period and was much loved and respected by all the people.Once a Munchkin farmer had stuffed an old suit of clothes with strawand put stuffed boots on the feet and used a pair of stuffed cottongloves for hands. The head of the Scarecrow was a stuffed sack fastenedto the body, with eyes, nose, mouth and ears painted on the sack. Whena hat had been put on the head, the thing was a good imitation of aman. The farmer placed the Scarecrow on a pole in his cornfield and itcame to life in a curious manner. Dorothy, who was passing by thefield, was hailed by the live Scarecrow and lifted him off his pole. Hethen went with her to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz gave himsome excellent brains, and the Scarecrow soon became an importantpersonage.
Ozma considered the Scarecrow one of her best friends and most loyalsubjects, so the morning after her visit to Glinda she asked him totake her place as Ruler of the Land of Oz while she was absent on ajourney, and the Scarecrow at once consented without asking anyquestions.
Ozma had warned Dorothy to keep their journey a secret and say nothingto anyone about the Skeezers and Flatheads until their return, andDorothy promised to obey. She longed to tell her girl friends, tinyTrot and Betsy Bobbin, of the adventure they were undertaking, butrefrained from saying a word on the subject although both these girlslived with her in Ozma's palace.
Indeed, only Glinda the Sorceress knew they were going, until afterthey had gone, and even the Sorceress didn't know what their errandmight be.
Princess Ozma took the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon, although she was notsure there was a wagon road all the way to the Lake of the Skeezers.The Land of Oz is a pretty big place, surrounded on all sides by aDeadly Desert which it is impossible to cross, and the Skeezer Country,according to the map, was in the farthest northwestern part of Oz,bordering on the north desert. As the Emerald City was exactly in thecenter of Oz, it was no small journey from there to the Skeezers.
Around the Emerald City the country is thickly settled in everydirection, but the farther away you get from the city the fewer peoplethere are, until those parts that border on the desert have smallpopulations. Also those faraway sections are little known to the Ozpeople, except in the south, where Glinda lives and where Dorothy hasoften wandered on trips of exploration.
The least known of all is the Gillikin Country, which harbors manystrange bands of people among its mountains and valleys and forests andstreams, and Ozma was now bound for the most distant part of theGillikin Country.
"I am really sorry," said Ozma to Dorothy, as they rode away in the RedWagon, "not to know more about the wonderful Land I rule. It is my dutyto be acquainted with every tribe of people and every strange andhidden country in all Oz, but I am kept so busy at my palace makinglaws and planning for the comforts of those who live near the EmeraldCity, that I do not often find time to make long journeys."
"Well," replied Dorothy, "we'll prob'bly find out a lot on this trip,and we'll learn all about the Skeezers and Flatheads, anyhow. Timedoesn't make much diff'rence in the Land of Oz, 'cause we don't growup, or get old, or become sick and die, as they do other places; so, ifwe explore one place at a time, we'll by-an'-by know all about everynook and corner in Oz."
Dorothy wore around her waist the Nome King's Magic Belt, whichprotected her from harm, and the Magic Ring which Glinda had given herwas on her finger. Ozma had merely slipped a small silver wand into thebosom of her gown, for fairies do not use chemicals and herbs and thetools of wizards and sorcerers to perform their magic. The Silver Wandwas Ozma's one weapon of offense and defense and by its use she couldaccomplish many things.
They had left the Emerald City just at sunrise and the Sawhorsetraveled very swiftly over the roads towards the north, but in a fewhours the wooden animal had to slacken his pace because the farm houseshad become few and far between and often there were no paths at all inthe direction they wished to follow. At such times they crossed thefields, avoiding groups of trees and fording the streams and rivuletswhenever they came to them. But finally they reached a broad hillsideclosely covered with scrubby brush, through which the wagon could notpass.
"It will be difficult even for you and me to get through withouttearing our dresses," said Ozma, "so we must leave the Sawhorse and theWagon here until our return."
"That's all right," Dorothy replied, "I'm tired riding, anyhow. Do yous'pose, Ozma, we're anywhere near the Skeezer Country?"
"I cannot tell, Dorothy dear, but I know we've been going in the rightdirection, so we are sure to find it in time."
The scrubby brush was almost like a grove of small trees, for itreached as high as the heads of the two girls, neither of whom was verytall. They were obliged to thread their way in and out, until Dorothywas afraid they would get lost, and finally they were halted by acurious thing that barred their further progress. It was a huge web--asif woven by gigantic spiders--and the delicate, lacy film was fastenedstoutly to the branches of the bushes and continued to the right andleft in the form of a half circle. The threads of this web were of abrilliant purple color and woven into numerous artistic patterns, butit reached from the ground to branches above the heads of the girls andformed a sort of fence that hedged them in.
"It doesn't look very strong, though," said Dorothy. "I wonder if wecouldn't break through." She tried but found the web stronger than itseemed. All her efforts could not break a single thread.
"We must go back, I think, and try to get around this peculiar web,"Ozma decided.
So they turned to the right and, following the web found that it seemedto spread in a regular circle. On and on they went until finally Ozmasaid they had returned to the exact spot from which they had started."Here is a handkerchief you dropped when we were here before," she saidto Dorothy.
"In that case, they must have built the web behind us, after we walkedinto the trap," exclaimed the little girl.
"True," agreed Ozma, "an enemy has tried to imprison us."
"And they did it, too," said Dorothy. "I wonder who it was."
"It's a spider-web, I'm quite sure," returned Ozma, "but it must be thework of enormous spiders."
"Quite right!" cried a voice behind them. Turning quickly around theybeheld a huge purple spider sitting not two yards away and regardingthem with its small bright eyes.
Then there crawled from the bushes a dozen more great purple spiders,which saluted the first one and said:
"The web is finished, O King, and the strangers are our prisoners."
Dorothy did not like the looks of these spiders at all. They had bigheads, sharp claws, small eyes and fuzzy hair all over their purplebodies.
"They look wicked," she whispered to Ozma. "What shall we do?"
Ozma gazed upon the spiders with a serious face.
"What is your object in making us prisoners?" she inquired.
"We need someone to keep house for us," answered the Spider King."There is sweeping and dusting to be done, and polishing and washing ofdishes, and that is work my people dislike to do. So we decided that ifany strangers came our way we would capture them and make them ourservants."
"I am Princess Ozma, Ruler of all Oz," said the girl with dignity.
"Well, I am King of all Spiders," was the reply, "and that makes meyour master. Come with me to my palace and I will instruct you in yourwork."
"I won't," said Dorothy indignantly. "We won't have anything to do withyou."
"We'll see about that," returned the Spider in a severe tone, and thenext instant he made a dive straight at Dorothy, opening the claws inhis legs as if to grab and pinch her with the sharp points. But thegirl was wearing her Magic Belt and was not harmed. The Spider Kingcould not even touch her. He turned swiftly and made a dash at Ozma,but she held her Magic Wand over his head and the monster recoiled asif it had been struck.
"You'd better let us go," Dorothy advised him, "for you see you can'thurt us."
"So I see," returned the Spider King angrily. "Your magic is greaterthan mine. But I'll not help you to escape. If you can break the magicweb my people have woven you may go; if not you must stay here andstarve." With that the Spider King uttered a peculiar whistle and allthe spiders disappeared.
"There is more magic in my fairyland than I dreamed of," remarked thebeautiful Ozma, with a sigh of regret. "It seems that my laws have notbeen obeyed, for even these monstrous spiders defy me by means ofMagic."
"Never mind that now," said Dorothy; "let's see what we can do to getout of this trap."
They now examined the web with great care and were amazed at itsstrength. Although finer than the finest silken hairs, it resisted alltheir efforts to work through, even though both girls threw all theirweight against it.
"We must find some instrument which will cut the threads of the web,"said Ozma, finally. "Let us look about for such a tool."
So they wandered among the bushes and finally came to a shallow pool ofwater, formed by a small bubbling spring. Dorothy stooped to get adrink and discovered in the water a green crab, about as big as herhand. The crab had two big, sharp claws, and as soon as Dorothy sawthem she had an idea that those claws could save them.
"Come out of the water," she called to the crab; "I want to talk toyou."
Rather lazily the crab rose to the surface and caught hold of a bit ofrock. With his head above the water he said in a cross voice:
"What do you want?"
"We want you to cut the web of the purple spiders with your claws, sowe can get through it," answered Dorothy. "You can do that, can't you?"
"I suppose so," replied the crab. "But if I do what will you give me?"
"What do you wish?" Ozma inquired.
"I wish to be white, instead of green," said the crab. "Green crabs arevery common, and white ones are rare; besides the purple spiders, whichinfest this hillside, are afraid of white crabs. Could you make mewhite if I should agree to cut the web for you?"
"Yes," said Ozma, "I can do that easily. And, so you may know I amspeaking the truth, I will change your color now."
She waved her silver wand over the pool and the crab instantly becamesnow-white--all except his eyes, which remained black. The creature sawhis reflection in the water and was so delighted that he at onceclimbed out of the pool and began moving slowly toward the web, bybacking away from the pool. He moved so very slowly that Dorothy criedout impatiently: "Dear me, this will never do!" Caching the crab in herhands she ran with him to the web.
She had to hold him up even then, so he could reach with his clawsstrand after strand of the filmy purple web, which he was able to severwith one nip.
When enough of the web had been cut to allow them to pass, Dorothy ranback to the pool and placed the white crab in the water, after whichshe rejoined Ozma. They were just in time to escape through the web,for several of the purple spiders now appeared, having discovered thattheir web had been cut, and had the girls not rushed through theopening the spiders would have quickly repaired the cuts and againimprisoned them.
Ozma and Dorothy ran as fast as they could and although the angryspiders threw a number of strands of web after them, hoping to lassothem or entangle them in the coils, they managed to escape and clamberto the top of the hill.
The Mist Maidens
From the top of the hill Ozma and Dorothy looked down into the valleybeyond and were surprised to find it filled with a floating mist thatwas as dense as smoke. Nothing in the valley was visible except theserolling waves of mist, but beyond, on the other side, rose a grassyhill that appeared quite beautiful.
"Well," said Dorothy, "what are we to do, Ozma? Walk down into thatthick fog, an' prob'bly get lost in it, or wait till it clears away?"
"I'm not sure it will clear away, however long we wait," replied Ozma,doubtfully. "If we wish to get on, I think we must venture into themist."
"But we can't see where we're going, or what we're stepping on,"protested Dorothy. "There may be dreadful things mixed up in that fog,an' I'm scared just to think of wading into it."
Even Ozma seemed to hesitate. She was silent and thoughtful for alittle while, looking at the rolling drifts that were so gray andforbidding. Finally she said:
"I believe this is a Mist Valley, where these moist clouds alwaysremain, for even the sunshine above does not drive them away. Thereforethe Mist Maids must live here, and they are fairies and should answermy call."
She placed her two hands before her mouth, forming a hollow with them,and uttered a clear, thrilling, bird-like cry. It floated far out overthe mist waves and presently was answered by a similar sound, as of afar-off echo.
Dorothy was much impressed. She had seen many strange things sincecoming to this fairy country, but here was a new experience. Atordinary times Ozma was just like any little girl one might chance tomeet--simple, merry, lovable as could be--yet with a certain reservethat lent her dignity in her most joyous moods. There were times,however, when seated on her throne and commanding her subjects, or whenher fairy powers were called into use, when Dorothy and all othersabout her stood in awe of their lovely girl Ruler and realized hersuperiority.
Ozma waited. Presently out from the billows rose beautiful forms,clothed in fleecy, trailing garments of gray that could scarcely bedistinguished from the mist. Their hair was mist-color, too; only theirgleaming arms and sweet, pallid faces proved they were living,intelligent creatures answering the call of a sister fairy.
Like sea nymphs they rested on the bosom of the clouds, their eyesturned questioningly upon the two girls who stood upon the bank. Onecame quite near and to her Ozma said:
"Will you please take us to the opposite hillside? We are afraid toventure into the mist. I am Princess Ozma of Oz, and this is my friendDorothy, a Princess of Oz."
The Mist Maids came nearer, holding out their arms. Without hesitationOzma advanced and allowed them to embrace her and Dorothy plucked upcourage to follow. Very gently the Mist Maids held them. Dorothythought the arms were cold and misty--they didn't seem real at all--yetthey supported the two girls above the surface of the billows andfloated with them so swiftly to the green hillside opposite that thegirls were astonished to find themselves set upon the grass before theyrealized they had fairly started.
"Thank you!" said Ozma gratefully, and Dorothy also added her thanksfor the service.
The Mist Maids made no answer, but they smiled and waved their hands ingood-bye as again they floated out into the mist and disappeared fromview.
The Magic Tent
"Well," said Dorothy with a laugh, "that was easier than I expected.It's worth while, sometimes, to be a real fairy. But I wouldn't like tobe that kind, and live in a dreadful fog all the time."
They now climbed the bank and found before them a delightful plain thatspread for miles in all directions. Fragrant wild flowers werescattered throughout the grass; there were bushes bearing lovelyblossoms and luscious fruits; now and then a group of stately treesadded to the beauty of the landscape. But there were no dwellings orsigns of life.
The farther side of the plain was bordered by a row of palms, and justin front of the palms rose a queerly shaped hill that towered above theplain like a mountain. The sides of this hill were straight up anddown; it was oblong in shape and the top seemed flat and level.
"Oh, ho!" cried Dorothy; "I'll bet that's the mountain Glinda told usof, where the Flatheads live."
"If it is," replied Ozma, "the Lake of the Skeezers must be just beyondthe line of palm trees. Can you walk that far, Dorothy?"
"Of course, in time," was the prompt answer. "I'm sorry we had to leavethe Sawhorse and the Red Wagon behind us, for they'd come in handy justnow; but with the end of our journey in sight a tramp across thesepretty green fields won't tire us a bit."
It was a longer tramp than they suspected, however, and night overtookthem before they could reach the flat mountain. So Ozma proposed theycamp for the night and Dorothy was quite ready to approve. She didn'tlike to admit to her friend she was tired, but she told herself thather legs "had prickers in 'em," meaning they had begun to ache.
Usually when Dorothy started on a journey of exploration or adventure,she carried with her a basket of food, and other things that a travelerin a strange country might require, but to go away with Ozma was quitea different thing, as experience had taught her. The fairy Ruler of Ozonly needed her silver wand--tipped at one end with a great sparklingemerald--to provide through its magic all that they might need.Therefore Ozma, having halted with her companion and selected a smooth,grassy spot on the plain, waved her wand in graceful curves and chantedsome mystic words in her sweet voice, and in an instant a handsome tentappeared before them. The canvas was striped purple and white, and fromthe center pole fluttered the royal banner of Oz.
"Come, dear," said Ozma, taking Dorothy's hand, "I am hungry and I'msure you must be also; so let us go in and have our feast."
On entering the tent they found a table set for two, with snowy linen,bright silver and sparkling glassware, a vase of roses in the centerand many dishes of delicious food, some smoking hot, waiting to satisfytheir hunger. Also, on either side of the tent were beds, with satinsheets, warm blankets and pillows filled with swansdown. There werechairs, too, and tall lamps that lighted the interior of the tent witha soft, rosy glow.
Dorothy, resting herself at her fairy friend's command, and eating herdinner with unusual enjoyment, thought of the wonders of magic. If onewere a fairy and knew the secret laws of nature and the mystic wordsand ceremonies that commanded those laws, then a simple wave of asilver wand would produce instantly all that men work hard andanxiously for through weary years. And Dorothy wished in her kindly,innocent heart, that all men and women could be fairies with silverwands, and satisfy all their needs without so much work and worry, forthen, she imagined, they would have all their working hours to be happyin. But Ozma, looking into her friend's face and reading thosethoughts, gave a laugh and said:
"No, no, Dorothy, that wouldn't do at all. Instead of happiness yourplan would bring weariness to the world. If every one could wave a wandand have his wants fulfilled there would be little to wish for. Therewould be no eager striving to obtain the difficult, for nothing wouldthen be difficult, and the pleasure of earning something longed for,and only to be secured by hard work and careful thought, would beutterly lost. There would be nothing to do you see, and no interest inlife and in our fellow creatures. That is all that makes life worth ourwhile--to do good deeds and to help those less fortunate thanourselves."
"Well, you're a fairy, Ozma. Aren't you happy?" asked Dorothy.
"Yes, dear, because I can use my fairy powers to make others happy. HadI no kingdom to rule, and no subjects to look after, I would bemiserable. Also, you must realize that while I am a more powerful fairythan any other inhabitant of Oz, I am not as powerful as Glinda theSorceress, who has studied many arts of magic that I know nothing of.Even the little Wizard of Oz can do some things I am unable toaccomplish, while I can accomplish things unknown to the Wizard. Thisis to explain that I'm not all-powerful, by any means. My magic issimply fairy magic, and not sorcery or wizardry."
"All the same," said Dorothy, "I'm mighty glad you could make this tentappear, with our dinners and beds all ready for us."
"Yes, it is indeed wonderful," she agreed. "Not all fairies know thatsort of magic, but some fairies can do magic that fills me withastonishment. I think that is what makes us modest and unassuming--thefact that our magic arts are divided, some being given each of us. I'mglad I don't know everything, Dorothy, and that there still are thingsin both nature and in wit for me to marvel at."
Dorothy couldn't quite understand this, so she said nothing more on thesubject and presently had a new reason to marvel. For when they hadquite finished their meal table and contents disappeared in a flash.
"No dishes to wash, Ozma!" she said with a laugh. "I guess you'd make alot of folks happy if you could teach 'em just that one trick."
For an hour Ozma told stories, and talked with Dorothy about variouspeople in whom they were interested. And then it was bedtime, and theyundressed and crept into their soft beds and fell asleep almost as soonas their heads touched their pillows.
The Magic Stairway
The flat mountain looked much nearer in the clear light of the morningsun, but Dorothy and Ozma knew there was a long tramp before them, evenyet. They finished dressing only to find a warm, delicious breakfastawaiting them, and having eaten they left the tent and started towardthe mountain which was their first goal. After going a little wayDorothy looked back and found that the fairy tent had entirelydisappeared. She was not surprised, for she knew this would happen.
"Can't your magic give us a horse an' wagon, or an automobile?"inquired Dorothy.
"No, dear; I'm sorry that such magic is beyond my power," confessed herfairy friend.
"Perhaps Glinda could," said Dorothy thoughtfully.
"Glinda has a stork chariot that carries her through the air," saidOzma, "but even our great Sorceress cannot conjure up other modes oftravel. Don't forget what I told you last night, that no one ispowerful enough to do everything."
"Well, I s'pose I ought to know that, having lived so long in the Landof Oz," replied Dorothy; "but I can't do any magic at all, an' so Ican't figure out e'zactly how you an' Glinda an' the Wizard do it."
"Don't try," laughed Ozma. "But you have at least one magical art,Dorothy: you know the trick of winning all hearts."
"No, I don't," said Dorothy earnestly. "If I really can do it, Ozma, Iam sure I don't know how I do it."
It took them a good two hours to reach the foot of the round, flatmountain, and then they found the sides so steep that they were likethe wall of a house.
"Even my purple kitten couldn't climb 'em," remarked Dorothy, gazingupward.
"But there is some way for the Flatheads to get down and up again,"declared Ozma; "otherwise they couldn't make war with the Skeezers, oreven meet them and quarrel with them."
"That's so, Ozma. Let's walk around a ways; perhaps we'll find a ladderor something."
They walked quite a distance, for it was a big mountain, and as theycircled around it and came to the side that faced the palm trees, theysuddenly discovered an entrance way cut out of the rock wall. Thisentrance was arched overhead and not very deep because it merely led toa short flight of stone stairs.
"Oh, we've found a way to the top at last," announced Ozma, and the twogirls turned and walked straight toward the entrance. Suddenly theybumped against something and stood still, unable to proceed farther.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Dorothy, rubbing her nose, which had strucksomething hard, although she could not see what it was; "this isn't aseasy as it looks. What has stopped us, Ozma? Is it magic of some sort?"
Ozma was feeling around, her bands outstretched before her.
"Yes, dear, it is magic," she replied. "The Flatheads had to have a wayfrom their mountain top from the plain below, but to prevent enemiesfrom rushing up the stairs to conquer them, they have built, at a smalldistance before the entrance a wall of solid stone, the stones beingheld in place by cement, and then they made the wall invisible."
"I wonder why they did that?" mused Dorothy. "A wall would keep folksout anyhow, whether it could be seen or not, so there wasn't any usemaking it invisible. Seems to me it would have been better to have leftit solid, for then no one would have seen the entrance behind it. Nowanybody can see the entrance, as we did. And prob'bly anybody thattries to go up the stairs gets bumped, as we did."
Ozma made no reply at once. Her face was grave and thoughtful.
"I think I know the reason for making the wall invisible," she saidafter a while. "The Flatheads use the stairs for coming down and goingup. If there was a solid stone wall to keep them from reaching theplain they would themselves be imprisoned by the wall. So they had toleave some place to get around the wall, and, if the wall was visible,all strangers or enemies would find the place to go around it and thenthe wall would be useless. So the Flatheads cunningly made their wallinvisible, believing that everyone who saw the entrance to the mountainwould walk straight toward it, as we did, and find it impossible to goany farther. I suppose the wall is really high and thick, and can't bebroken through, so those who find it in their way are obliged to goaway again."
"Well," said Dorothy, "if there's a way around the wall, where is it?"
"We must find it," returned Ozma, and began feeling her way along thewall. Dorothy followed and began to get discouraged when Ozma hadwalked nearly a quarter of a mile away from the entrance. But now theinvisible wall curved in toward the side of the mountain and suddenlyended, leaving just space enough between the wall and the mountain foran ordinary person to pass through.
The girls went in, single file, and Ozma explained that they were nowbehind the barrier and could go back to the entrance. They met nofurther obstructions.
"Most people, Ozma, wouldn't have figured this thing out the way youdid," remarked Dorothy. "If I'd been alone the invisible wall surelywould have stumped me."
Reaching the entrance they began to mount the stone stairs. They wentup ten stairs and then down five stairs, following a passage cut fromthe rock. The stairs were just wide enough for the two girls to walkabreast, arm in arm. At the bottom of the five stairs the passageturned to the right, and they ascended ten more stairs, only to find atthe top of the flight five stairs leading straight down again. Againthe passage turned abruptly, this time to the left, and ten more stairsled upward.
The passage was now quite dark, for they were in the heart of themountain and all daylight had been shut out by the turns of thepassage. However, Ozma drew her silver wand from her bosom and thegreat jewel at its end gave out a lustrous, green-tinted light whichlighted the place well enough for them to see their way plainly.
Ten steps up, five steps down, and a turn, this way or that. That wasthe program, and Dorothy figured that they were only gaining fivestairs upward each trip that they made.
"Those Flatheads must be funny people," she said to Ozma. "They don'tseem to do anything in a bold straightforward manner. In making thispassage they forced everyone to walk three times as far as isnecessary. And of course this trip is just as tiresome to the Flatheadsas it is to other folks."
"That is true," answered Ozma; "yet it is a clever arrangement toprevent their being surprised by intruders. Every time we reach thetenth step of a flight, the pressure of our feet on the stone makes abell ring on top of the mountain, to warn the Flatheads of our coming."
"How do you know that?" demanded Dorothy, astonished.
"I've heard the bell ever since we started," Ozma told her. "You couldnot hear it, I know, but when I am holding my wand in my hand I canhear sounds a great distance off."
"Do you hear anything on top of the mountain 'cept the bell?" inquiredDorothy.
"Yes. The people are calling to one another in alarm and many footstepsare approaching the place where we will reach the flat top of themountain."
This made Dorothy feel somewhat anxious. "I'd thought we were going tovisit just common, ordinary people," she remarked, "but they're prettyclever, it seems, and they know some kinds of magic, too. They may bedangerous, Ozma. P'raps we'd better stayed at home."
Finally the upstairs-and-downstairs passage seemed coming to an end,for daylight again appeared ahead of the two girls and Ozma replacedher wand in the bosom of her gown. The last ten steps brought them tothe surface, where they found themselves surrounded by such a throng ofqueer people that for a time they halted, speechless, and stared intothe faces that confronted them.
Dorothy knew at once why these mountain people were called Flatheads.Their heads were really flat on top, as if they had been cut off justabove the eyes and ears. Also the heads were bald, with no hair on topat all, and the ears were big and stuck straight out, and the noseswere small and stubby, while the mouths of the Flatheads were wellshaped and not unusual. Their eyes were perhaps their best feature,being large and bright and a deep violet in color.
The costumes of the Flatheads were all made of metals dug from theirmountain. Small gold, silver, tin and iron discs, about the size ofpennies, and very thin, were cleverly wired together and made to formknee trousers and jackets for the men and skirts and waists for thewomen. The colored metals were skillfully mixed to form stripes andchecks of various sorts, so that the costumes were quite gorgeous andreminded Dorothy of pictures she had seen of Knights of old clothedarmor.
Aside from their flat heads, these people were not really bad looking.The men were armed with bows and arrows and had small axes of steelstuck in their metal belts. They wore no hats nor ornaments.
When they saw that the intruders on their mountain were only two littlegirls, the Flatheads grunted with satisfaction and drew back,permitting them to see what the mountain top looked like. It was shapedlike a saucer, so that the houses and other buildings--all made ofrocks--could not be seen over the edge by anyone standing in the plainbelow.
But now a big fat Flathead stood before the girls and in a gruff voicedemanded:
"What are you doing here? Have the Skeezers sent you to spy upon us?"
"I am Princess Ozma, Ruler of all the Land of Oz."
"Well, I've never heard of the Land of Oz, so you may be what youclaim," returned the Flathead.
"This is the Land of Oz--part of it, anyway," exclaimed Dorothy. "SoPrincess Ozma rules you Flathead people, as well as all the otherpeople in Oz."
The man laughed, and all the others who stood around laughed, too. Someone in the crowd called:
"She'd better not tell the Supreme Dictator about ruling the Flatheads.Eh, friends?"
"No, indeed!" they all answered in positive tones.
"Who is your Supreme Dictator?" answered Ozma.
"I think I'll let him tell you that himself," answered the man who hadfirst spoken. "You have broken our laws by coming here; and whoever youare the Supreme Dictator must fix your punishment. Come along with me."
He started down a path and Ozma and Dorothy followed him withoutprotest, as they wanted to see the most important person in this queercountry. The houses they passed seemed pleasant enough and each had alittle yard in which were flowers and vegetables. Walls of rockseparated the dwellings, and all the paths were paved with smooth slabsof rock. This seemed their only building material and they utilized itcleverly for every purpose.
Directly in the center of the great saucer stood a larger buildingwhich the Flathead informed the girls was the palace of the SupremeDictator. He led them through an entrance hall into a big receptionroom, where they sat upon stone benches and awaited the coming of theDictator. Pretty soon he entered from another room--a rather lean andrather old Flathead, dressed much like the others of this strange race,and only distinguished from them by the sly and cunning expression ofhis face. He kept his eyes half closed and looked through the slits ofthem at Ozma and Dorothy, who rose to receive him.
"Are you the Supreme Dictator of the Flatheads?" inquired Ozma.
"Yes, that's me," he said, rubbing his hands slowly together. "My wordis law. I'm the head of the Flatheads on this flat headland."
"I am Princess Ozma of Oz, and I have come from the Emerald City to--"
"Stop a minute," interrupted the Dictator, and turned to the man whohad brought the girls there. "Go away, Dictator Felo Flathead!" hecommanded. "Return to your duty and guard the Stairway. I will lookafter these strangers." The man bowed and departed, and Dorothy askedwonderingly:
"Is he a Dictator, too?"
"Of course," was the answer. "Everybody here is a dictator of somethingor other. They're all office holders. That's what keeps them contented.But I'm the Supreme Dictator of all, and I'm elected once a year. Thisis a democracy, you know, where the people are allowed to vote fortheir rulers. A good many others would like to be Supreme Dictator, butas I made a law that I am always to count the votes myself, I am alwayselected."
"What is your name?" asked Ozma.
"I am called the Su-dic, which is short for Supreme Dictator. I sentthat man away because the moment you mentioned Ozma of Oz, and theEmerald City, I knew who you are. I suppose I'm the only Flathead thatever heard of you, but that's because I have more brains than the rest."
Dorothy was staring hard at the Su-dic.
"I don't see how you can have any brains at all," she remarked,"because the part of your head is gone where brains are kept."
"I don't blame you for thinking that," he said. "Once the Flatheads hadno brains because, as you say, there is no upper part to their heads,to hold brains. But long, long ago a band of fairies flew over thiscountry and made it all a fairyland, and when they came to theFlatheads the fairies were sorry to find them all very stupid and quiteunable to think. So, as there was no good place in their bodies inwhich to put brains the Fairy Queen gave each one of us a nice can ofbrains to carry in his pocket and that made us just as intelligent asother people. See," he continued, "here is one of the cans of brainsthe fairies gave us." He took from a pocket a bright tin can having apretty red label on it which said: "Concentrated Brains, Extra Quality."
"And does every Flathead have the same kind of brains?" asked Dorothy.
"Yes, they're all alike. Here's another can." From another pocket heproduced a second can of brains.
"Did the fairies give you a double supply?" inquired Dorothy.
"No, but one of the Flatheads thought he wanted to be the Su-dic andtried to get my people to rebel against me, so I punished him by takingaway his brains. One day my wife scolded me severely, so I took awayher can of brains. She didn't like that and went out and robbed severalwomen of their brains. Then I made a law that if anyone stole another'sbrains, or even tried to borrow them, he would forfeit his own brainsto the Su-dic. So each one is content with his own canned brains and mywife and I are the only ones on the mountain with more than one can. Ihave three cans and that makes me very clever--so clever that I'm agood Sorcerer, if I do say it myself. My poor wife had four cans ofbrains and became a remarkable witch, but alas! that was before thoseterrible enemies, the Skeezers, transformed her into a Golden Pig."
"Good gracious!" cried Dorothy; "is your wife really a Golden Pig?"
"She is. The Skeezers did it and so I have declared war on them. Inrevenge for making my wife a Pig I intend to ruin their Magic Islandand make the Skeezers the slaves of the Flatheads!"
The Su-dic was very angry now; his eyes flashed and his face took on awicked and fierce expression. But Ozma said to him, very sweetly and ina friendly voice:
"I am sorry to hear this. Will you please tell me more about yourtroubles with the Skeezers? Then perhaps I can help you."
She was only a girl, but there was dignity in her pose and speech whichimpressed the Su-dic.
"If you are really Princess Ozma of Oz," the Flathead said, "you areone of that band of fairies who, under Queen Lurline, made all Oz aFairyland. I have heard that Lurline left one of her own fairies torule Oz, and gave the fairy the name of Ozma."
"If you knew this why did you not come to me at the Emerald City andtender me your loyalty and obedience?" asked the Ruler of Oz.
"Well, I only learned the fact lately, and I've been too busy to leavehome," he explained, looking at the floor instead of into Ozma's eyes.She knew he had spoken a falsehood, but only said:
"Why did you quarrel with the Skeezers?"
"It was this way," began the Su-dic, glad to change the subject. "WeFlatheads love fish, and as we have no fish on this mountain we wouldsometimes go to the Lake of the Skeezers to catch fish. This made theSkeezers angry, for they declared the fish in their lake belonged tothem and were under their protection and they forbade us to catch them.That was very mean and unfriendly in the Skeezers, you must admit, andwhen we paid no attention to their orders they set a guard on the shoreof the lake to prevent our fishing.
"Now, my wife, Rora Flathead, having four cans of brains, had become awonderful witch, and fish being brain food, she loved to eat fishbetter than any one of us. So she vowed she would destroy every fish inthe lake, unless the Skeezers let us catch what we wanted. They defiedus, so Rora prepared a kettleful of magic poison and went down to thelake one night to dump it all in the water and poison the fish. It wasa clever idea, quite worthy of my dear wife, but the Skeezer Queen--ayoung lady named Coo-ee-oh--hid on the bank of the lake and taking Roraunawares, transformed her into a Golden Pig. The poison was spilled onthe ground and wicked Queen Coo-ee-oh, not content with her crueltransformation, even took away my wife's four cans of brains, so she isnow a common grunting pig without even brains enough to know her ownname."
"Then," said Ozma thoughtfully, "the Queen of the Skeezers must be aSorceress."
"Yes," said the Su-dic, "but she doesn't know much magic, after all.She is not as powerful as Rora Flathead was, nor half as powerful as Iam now, as Queen Coo-ee-oh will discover when we fight our great battleand destroy her."
"The Golden Pig can't be a witch any more, of course," observed Dorothy.
"No; even had Queen Coo-ee-oh left her the four cans of brains, poorRora, in a pig's shape, couldn't do any witchcraft. A witch has to useher fingers, and a pig has only cloven hoofs."
"It seems a sad story," was Ozma's comment, "and all the trouble arosebecause the Flatheads wanted fish that did not belong to them."
"As for that," said the Su-dic, again angry, "I made a law that any ofmy people could catch fish in the Lake of the Skeezers, whenever theywanted to. So the trouble was through the Skeezers defying my law."
"You can only make laws to govern your own people," asserted Ozmasternly. "I, alone, am empowered to make laws that must be obeyed byall the peoples of Oz."
"Pooh!" cried the Su-dic scornfully. "You can't make me obey your laws,I assure you. I know the extent of your powers, Princess Ozma of Oz,and I know that I am more powerful than you are. To prove it I shallkeep you and your companion prisoners in this mountain until after wehave fought and conquered the Skeezers. Then, if you promise to begood, I may let you go home again."
Dorothy was amazed by this effrontery and defiance of the beautifulgirl Ruler of Oz, whom all until now had obeyed without question. ButOzma, still unruffled and dignified, looked at the Su-dic and said:
"You did not mean that. You are angry and speak unwisely, withoutreflection. I came here from my palace in the Emerald City to preventwar and to make peace between you and the Skeezers. I do not approve ofQueen Coo-ee-oh's action in transforming your wife Rora into a pig, nordo I approve of Rora's cruel attempt to poison the fishes in the lake.No one has the right to work magic in my dominions without my consent,so the Flatheads and the Skeezers have both broken my laws--which mustbe obeyed."
"If you want to make peace," said the Su-dic, "make the Skeezersrestore my wife to her proper form and give back her four cans ofbrains. Also make them agree to allow us to catch fish in their lake."
"No," returned Ozma, "I will not do that, for it would be unjust. Iwill have the Golden Pig again transformed into your wife Rora, andgive her one can of brains, but the other three cans must be restoredto those she robbed. Neither may you catch fish in the Lake of theSkeezers, for it is their lake and the fish belong to them. Thisarrangement is just and honorable, and you must agree to it."
"Never!" cried the Su-dic. Just then a pig came running into the room,uttering dismal grunts. It was made of solid gold, with joints at thebends of the legs and in the neck and jaws. The Golden Pig's eyes wererubies, and its teeth were polished ivory.
"There!" said the Su-dic, "gaze on the evil work of Queen Coo-ee-oh,and then say if you can prevent my making war on the Skeezers. Thatgrunting beast was once my wife--the most beautiful Flathead on ourmountain and a skillful witch. Now look at her!"
"Fight the Skeezers, fight the Skeezers, fight the Skeezers!" gruntedthe Golden Pig.
"I will fight the Skeezers," exclaimed the Flathead chief, "and if adozen Ozmas of Oz forbade me I would fight just the same."
"Not if I can prevent it!" asserted Ozma.
"You can't prevent it. But since you threaten me, I'll have youconfined in the bronze prison until the war is over," said the Su-dic.He whistled and four stout Flatheads, armed with axes and spears,entered the room and saluted him. Turning to the men he said: "Takethese two girls, bind them with wire ropes and cast them into thebronze prison."
The four men bowed low and one of them asked:
"Where are the two girls, most noble Su-dic?"
The Su-dic turned to where Ozma and Dorothy had stood but they hadvanished!
The Magic Isle
Ozma, seeing it was useless to argue with the Supreme Dictator of theFlatheads, had been considering how best to escape from his power. Sherealized that his sorcery might be difficult to overcome, and when hethreatened to cast Dorothy and her into a bronze prison she slipped herhand into her bosom and grasped her silver wand. With the other handshe grasped the hand of Dorothy, but these motions were so natural thatthe Su-dic did not notice them. Then when he turned to meet his foursoldiers, Ozma instantly rendered both herself and Dorothy invisibleand swiftly led her companion around the group of Flatheads and out ofthe room. As they reached the entry and descended the stone steps, Ozmawhispered:
"Let us run, dear! We are invisible, so no one will see us."
Dorothy understood and she was a good runner. Ozma had marked the placewhere the grand stairway that led to the plain was located, so theymade directly for it. Some people were in the paths but these theydodged around. One or two Flatheads heard the pattering of footsteps ofthe girls on the stone pavement and stopped with bewildered looks togaze around them, but no one interfered with the invisible fugitives.
The Su-dic had lost no time in starting the chase. He and his men ranso fast that they might have overtaken the girls before they reachedthe stairway had not the Golden Pig suddenly run across their path. TheSu-dic tripped over the pig and fell flat, and his four men trippedover him and tumbled in a heap. Before they could scramble up and reachthe mouth of the passage it was too late to stop the two girls.
There was a guard on each side of the stairway, but of course they didnot see Ozma and Dorothy as they sped past and descended the steps.Then they had to go up five steps and down another ten, and so on, inthe same manner in which they had climbed to the top of the mountain.Ozma lighted their way with her wand and they kept on without relaxingtheir speed until they reached the bottom. Then they ran to the rightand turned the corner of the invisible wall just as the Su-dic and hisfollowers rushed out of the arched entrance and looked around in anattempt to discover the fugitives.
Ozma now knew they were safe, so she told Dorothy to stop and both ofthem sat down on the grass until they could breathe freely and becomerested from their mad flight.
As for the Su-dic, he realized he was foiled and soon turned andclimbed his stairs again. He was very angry--angry with Ozma and angrywith himself--because, now that he took time to think, he rememberedthat he knew very well the art of making people invisible, and visibleagain, and if he had only thought of it in time he could have used hismagic knowledge to make the girls visible and so have captured themeasily. However, it was now too late for regrets and he determined tomake preparations at once to march all his forces against the Skeezers.
"What shall we do next?" asked Dorothy, when they were rested.
"Let us find the Lake of the Skeezers," replied Ozma. "From what thatdreadful Su-dic said I imagine the Skeezers are good people and worthyof our friendship, and if we go to them we may help them to defeat theFlatheads."
"I s'pose we can't stop the war now," remarked Dorothy reflectively, asthey walked toward the row of palm trees.
"No; the Su-dic is determined to fight the Skeezers, so all we can dois to warn them of their danger and help them as much as possible."
"Of course you'll punish the Flatheads," said Dorothy.
"Well, I do not think the Flathead people are as much to blame as theirSupreme Dictator," was the answer. "If he is removed from power and hisunlawful magic taken from him, the people will probably be good andrespect the laws of the Land of Oz, and live at peace with all theirneighbors in the future."
"I hope so," said Dorothy with a sigh of doubt
The palms were not far from the mountain and the girls reached themafter a brisk walk. The huge trees were set close together, in threerows, and had been planted so as to keep people from passing them, butthe Flatheads had cut a passage through this barrier and Ozma found thepath and led Dorothy to the other side.
Beyond the palms they discovered a very beautiful scene. Bordered by agreen lawn was a great lake fully a mile from shore to shore, thewaters of which were exquisitely blue and sparkling, with littlewavelets breaking its smooth surface where the breezes touched it. Inthe center of this lake appeared a lovely island, not of great extentbut almost entirely covered by a huge round building with glass wallsand a high glass dome which glittered brilliantly in the sunshine.Between the glass building and the edge of the island was no grass,flowers or shrubbery, but only an expanse of highly polished whitemarble. There were no boats on either shore and no signs of life couldbe seen anywhere on the island.
"Well," said Dorothy, gazing wistfully at the island, "we've found theLake of the Skeezers and their Magic Isle. I guess the Skeezers are inthat big glass palace, but we can't get at 'em."
Princess Ozma considered the situation gravely. Then she tied herhandkerchief to her wand and, standing at the water's edge, waved thehandkerchief like a flag, as a signal. For a time they could observe noresponse.
"I don't see what good that will do," said Dorothy. "Even if theSkeezers are on that island and see us, and know we're friends, theyhaven't any boats to come and get us."
But the Skeezers didn't need boats, as the girls soon discovered. Foron a sudden an opening appeared at the base of the palace and from theopening came a slender shaft of steel, reaching out slowly but steadilyacross the water in the direction of the place where they stood. To thegirls this steel arrangement looked like a triangle, with the basenearest the water. It came toward them in the form of an arch,stretching out from the palace wall until its end reached the bank andrested there, while the other end still remained on the island.
Then they saw that it was a bridge, consisting of a steel footway justbroad enough to walk on, and two slender guide rails, one on eitherside, which were connected with the footway by steel bars. The bridgelooked rather frail and Dorothy feared it would not bear their weight,but Ozma at once called, "Come on!" and started to walk across, holdingfast to the rail on either side. So Dorothy summoned her courage andfollowed after. Before Ozma had taken three steps she halted and soforced Dorothy to halt, for the bridge was again moving and returningto the island.
"We need not walk after all," said Ozma. So they stood still in theirplaces and let the steel bridge draw them onward. Indeed, the bridgedrew them well into the glass-domed building which covered the island,and soon they found themselves standing in a marble room where twohandsomely dressed young men stood on a platform to receive them.
Ozma at once stepped from the end of the bridge to the marble platform,followed by Dorothy, and then the bridge disappeared with a slightclang of steel and a marble slab covered the opening from which it hademerged.
The two young men bowed profoundly to Ozma, and one of them said:
"Queen Coo-ee-oh bids you welcome, O Strangers. Her Majesty is waitingto receive you in her palace."
"Lead on," replied Ozma with dignity.
But instead of "leading on," the platform of marble began to rise,carrying them upward through a square hole above which just fitted it.A moment later they found themselves within the great glass dome thatcovered almost all of the island.
Within this dome was a little village, with houses, streets, gardensand parks. The houses were of colored marbles, prettily designed, withmany stained-glass windows, and the streets and gardens seemed wellcared for. Exactly under the center of the lofty dome was a small parkfilled with brilliant flowers, with an elaborate fountain, and facingthis park stood a building larger and more imposing than the others.Toward this building the young men escorted Ozma and Dorothy.
On the streets and in the doorways or open windows of the houses weremen, women and children, all richly dressed. These were much like otherpeople in different parts of the Land of Oz, except that instead ofseeming merry and contented they all wore expressions of much solemnityor of nervous irritation. They had beautiful homes, splendid clothes,and ample food, but Dorothy at once decided something was wrong withtheir lives and that they were not happy. She said nothing, however,but looked curiously at the Skeezers.
At the entrance of the palace Ozma and Dorothy were met by two otheryoung men, in uniform and armed with queer weapons that seemed abouthalfway between pistols and guns, but were like neither. Theirconductors bowed and left them, and the two in uniforms led the girlsinto the palace.
In a beautiful throne room, surrounded by a dozen or more young men andwomen, sat the Queen of the Skeezers, Coo-ee-oh. She was a girl wholooked older than Ozma or Dorothy--fifteen or sixteen, at least--andalthough she was elaborately dressed as if she were going to a ball shewas too thin and plain of feature to be pretty. But evidently QueenCoo-ee-oh did not realize this fact, for her air and manner betrayedher as proud and haughty and with a high regard for her own importance.Dorothy at once decided she was "snippy" and that she would not likeQueen Coo-ee-oh as a companion.
The Queen's hair was as black as her skin was white and her eyes wereblack, too. The eyes, as she calmly examined Ozma and Dorothy, had asuspicious and unfriendly look in them, but she said quietly:
"I know who you are, for I have consulted my Magic Oracle, which toldme that one calls herself Princess Ozma, the Ruler of all the Land ofOz, and the other is Princess Dorothy of Oz, who came from a countrycalled Kansas. I know nothing of the Land of Oz, and I know nothing ofKansas."
"Why, this is the Land of Oz!" cried Dorothy. "It's a part of the Landof Oz, anyhow, whether you know it or not."
"Oh, in-deed!" answered Queen Coo-ee-oh, scornfully. "I suppose youwill claim next that this Princess Ozma, ruling the Land of Oz, rulesme!"
"Of course," returned Dorothy. "There's no doubt of it."
The Queen turned to Ozma.
"Do you dare make such a claim?" she asked.
By this time Ozma had made up her mind as to the character of thishaughty and disdainful creature, whose self-pride evidently led her tobelieve herself superior to all others.
"I did not come here to quarrel with your Majesty," said the girl Rulerof Oz, quietly. "What and who I am is well established, and myauthority comes from the Fairy Queen Lurline, of whose band I was amember when Lurline made all Oz a Fairyland. There are severalcountries and several different peoples in this broad land, each ofwhich has its separate rulers, Kings, Emperors and Queens. But allthese render obedience to my laws and acknowledge me as the supremeRuler."
"If other Kings and Queens are fools that does not interest me in theleast," replied Coo-ee-oh, disdainfully. "In the Land of the Skeezers Ialone am supreme. You are impudent to think I would defer to you--or toanyone else."
"Let us not speak of this now, please," answered Ozma. "Your island isin danger, for a powerful foe is preparing to destroy it."
"Pah! The Flatheads. I do not fear them."
"Their Supreme Dictator is a Sorcerer."
"My magic is greater than his. Let the Flatheads come! They will neverreturn to their barren mountain-top. I will see to that."
Ozma did not like this attitude, for it meant that the Skeezers wereeager to fight the Flatheads, and Ozma's object in coming here was toprevent fighting and induce the two quarrelsome neighbors to makepeace. She was also greatly disappointed in Coo-ee-oh, for the reportsof Su-dic had led her to imagine the Queen more just and honorable thanwere the Flatheads. Indeed Ozma reflected that the girl might be betterat heart than her self-pride and overbearing manner indicated, and inany event it would be wise not to antagonize her but to try to win herfriendship.
"I do not like wars, your Majesty," said Ozma. "In the Emerald City,where I rule thousands of people, and in the countries near to theEmerald City, where thousands more acknowledge my rule, there is noarmy at all, because there is no quarreling and no need to fight. Ifdifferences arise between my people, they come to me and I judge thecases and award justice to all. So, when I learned there might be warbetween two faraway people of Oz, I came here to settle the dispute andadjust the quarrel."
"No one asked you to come," declared Queen Coo-ee-oh. "It is mybusiness to settle this dispute, not yours. You say my island is a partof the Land of Oz, which you rule, but that is all nonsense, for I'venever heard of the Land of Oz, nor of you. You say you are a fairy, andthat fairies gave you command over me. I don't believe it! What I dobelieve is that you are an impostor and have come here to stir uptrouble among my people, who are already becoming difficult to manage.You two girls may even be spies of the vile Flatheads, for all I know,and may be trying to trick me. But understand this," she added, proudlyrising from her jeweled throne to confront them, "I have magic powersgreater than any fairy possesses, and greater than any Flatheadpossesses. I am a Krumbic Witch--the only Krumbic Witch in theworld--and I fear the magic of no other creature that exists! You sayyou rule thousands. I rule one hundred and one Skeezers. But every oneof them trembles at my word. Now that Ozma of Oz and Princess Dorothyare here, I shall rule one hundred and three subjects, for you alsoshall bow before my power. More than that, in ruling you I also rulethe thousands you say you rule."
Dorothy was very indignant at this speech.
"I've got a pink kitten that sometimes talks like that," she said, "butafter I give her a good whipping she doesn't think she's so high andmighty after all. If you only knew who Ozma is you'd be scared to deathto talk to her like that!"
Queen Coo-ee-oh gave the girl a supercilious look. Then she turnedagain to Ozma.
"I happen to know," said she, "that the Flatheads intend to attack ustomorrow, but we are ready for them. Until the battle is over, I shallkeep you two strangers prisoners on my island, from which there is nochance for you to escape."
She turned and looked around the band of courtiers who stood silentlyaround her throne.
"Lady Aurex," she continued, singling out one of the young women, "takethese children to your house and care for them, giving them food andlodging. You may allow them to wander anywhere under the Great Dome,for they are harmless. After I have attended to the Flatheads I willconsider what next to do with these foolish girls."
She resumed her seat and the Lady Aurex bowed low and said in a humblemanner:
"I obey your Majesty's commands." Then to Ozma and Dorothy she added,"Follow me," and turned to leave the throne room.
Dorothy looked to see what Ozma would do. To her surprise and a littleto her disappointment Ozma turned and followed Lady Aurex. So Dorothytrailed after them, but not without giving a parting, haughty looktoward Queen Coo-ee-oh, who had her face turned the other way and didnot see the disapproving look.
Lady Aurex led Ozma and Dorothy along a street to a pretty marble housenear to one edge of the great glass dome that covered the village. Shedid not speak to the girls until she had ushered them into a pleasantroom, comfortably furnished, nor did any of the solemn people they meton the street venture to speak.
When they were seated Lady Aurex asked if they were hungry, and findingthey were summoned a maid and ordered food to be brought.
This Lady Aurex looked to be about twenty years old, although in theLand of Oz where people have never changed in appearance since thefairies made it a fairyland--where no one grows old or dies--it isalways difficult to say how many years anyone has lived. She had apleasant, attractive face, even though it was solemn and sad as thefaces of all Skeezers seemed to be, and her costume was rich andelaborate, as became a lady in waiting upon the Queen.
Ozma had observed Lady Aurex closely and now asked her in a gentle tone:
"Do you, also, believe me to be an impostor?"
"I dare not say," replied Lady Aurex in a low tone.
"Why are you afraid to speak freely?" inquired Ozma.
"The Queen punishes us if we make remarks that she does not like."
"Are we not alone then, in this house?"
"The Queen can hear everything that is spoken on this island--even theslightest whisper," declared Lady Aurex. "She is a wonderful witch, asshe has told you, and it is folly to criticise her or disobey hercommands."
Ozma looked into her eyes and saw that she would like to say more ifshe dared. So she drew from her bosom her silver wand, and havingmuttered a magic phrase in a strange tongue, she left the room andwalked slowly around the outside of the house, making a complete circleand waving her wand in mystic curves as she walked. Lady Aurex watchedher curiously and, when Ozma had again entered the room and seatedherself, she asked:
"What have you done?"
"I've enchanted this house in such a manner that Queen Coo-ee-oh, withall her witchcraft, cannot hear one word we speak within the magiccircle I have made," replied Ozma. "We may now speak freely and asloudly as we wish, without fear of the Queen's anger."
Lady Aurex brightened at this.
"Can I trust you?" she asked.
"Ev'rybody trusts Ozma," exclaimed Dorothy. "She is true and honest,and your wicked Queen will be sorry she insulted the powerful Ruler ofall the Land of Oz."
"The Queen does not know me yet," said Ozma, "but I want you to knowme, Lady Aurex, and I want you to tell me why you, and all theSkeezers, are unhappy. Do not fear Coo-ee-oh's anger, for she cannothear a word we say, I assure you."
Lady Aurex was thoughtful a moment; then she said: "I shall trust you,Princess Ozma, for I believe you are what you say you are--our supremeRuler. If you knew the dreadful punishments our Queen inflicts upon us,you would not wonder we are so unhappy. The Skeezers are not badpeople; they do not care to quarrel and fight, even with their enemiesthe Flatheads; but they are so cowed and fearful of Coo-ee-oh that theyobey her slightest word, rather than suffer her anger."
"Hasn't she any heart, then?" asked Dorothy.
"She never displays mercy. She loves no one but herself," asserted LadyAurex, but she trembled as she said it, as if afraid even yet of herterrible Queen.
"That's pretty bad," said Dorothy, shaking her head gravely. "I seeyou've a lot to do here, Ozma, in this forsaken corner of the Land ofOz. First place, you've got to take the magic away from QueenCoo-ee-oh, and from that awful Su-dic, too. My idea is that neither ofthem is fit to rule anybody, 'cause they're cruel and hateful. Soyou'll have to give the Skeezers and Flatheads new rulers and teach alltheir people that they're part of the Land of Oz and must obey, aboveall, the lawful Ruler, Ozma of Oz. Then, when you've done that, we cango back home again."
Ozma smiled at her little friend's earnest counsel, but Lady Aurex saidin an anxious tone:
"I am surprised that you suggest these reforms while you are yetprisoners on this island and in Coo-ee-oh's power. That these thingsshould be done, there is no doubt, but just now a dreadful war islikely to break out, and frightful things may happen to us all. OurQueen has such conceit that she thinks she can overcome the Su-dic andhis people, but it is said Su-dic's magic is very powerful, althoughnot as great as that possessed by his wife Rora, before Coo-ee-ohtransformed her into a Golden Pig."
"I don't blame her very much for doing that," remarked Dorothy, "forthe Flatheads were wicked to try to catch your beautiful fish and theWitch Rora wanted to poison all the fishes in the lake."
"Do you know the reason?" asked the Lady Aurex.
"I don't s'pose there was any reason, 'cept just wickedness," repliedDorothy.
"Tell us the reason," said Ozma earnestly.
"Well, your Majesty, once--a long time ago--the Flatheads and theSkeezers were friendly. They visited our island and we visited theirmountain, and everything was pleasant between the two peoples. At thattime the Flatheads were ruled by three Adepts in Sorcery, beautifulgirls who were not Flatheads, but had wandered to the Flat Mountain andmade their home there. These three Adepts used their magic only forgood, and the mountain people gladly made them their rulers. Theytaught the Flatheads how to use their canned brains and how to workmetals into clothing that would never wear out, and many other thingsthat added to their happiness and content.
"Coo-ee-oh was our Queen then, as now, but she knew no magic and so hadnothing to be proud of. But the three Adepts were very kind toCoo-ee-oh. They built for us this wonderful dome of glass and ourhouses of marble and taught us to make beautiful clothing and manyother things. Coo-ee-oh pretended to be very grateful for these favors,but it seems that all the time she was jealous of the three Adepts andsecretly tried to discover their arts of magic. In this she was moreclever than anyone suspected. She invited the three Adepts to a banquetone day, and while they were feasting Coo-ee-oh stole their charms andmagical instruments and transformed them into three fishes--a goldfish, a silver fish and a bronze fish. While the poor fishes weregasping and flopping helplessly on the floor of the banquet room one ofthem said reproachfully: 'You will be punished for this, Coo-ee-oh, forif one of us dies or is destroyed, you will become shrivelled andhelpless, and all your stolen magic will depart from you.' Frightenedby this threat, Coo-ee-oh at once caught up the three fish and ran withthem to the shore of the lake, where she cast them into the water. Thisrevived the three Adepts and they swam away and disappeared.
"I, myself, witnessed this shocking scene," continued Lady Aurex, "andso did many other Skeezers. The news was carried to the Flatheads, whothen turned from friends to enemies. The Su-dic and his wife Rora werethe only ones on the mountain who were glad the three Adepts had beenlost to them, and they at once became Rulers of the Flatheads and stoletheir canned brains from others to make themselves the more powerful.Some of the Adepts' magic tools had been left on the mountain, andthese Rora seized and by the use of them she became a witch.
"The result of Coo-ee-oh's treachery was to make both the Skeezers andthe Flatheads miserable instead of happy. Not only were the Su-dic andhis wife cruel to their people, but our Queen at once became proud andarrogant and treated us very unkindly. All the Skeezers knew she hadstolen her magic powers and so she hated us and made us humbleourselves before her and obey her slightest word. If we disobeyed, ordid not please her, or if we talked about her when we were in our ownhomes she would have us dragged to the whipping post in her palace andlashed with knotted cords. That is why we fear her so greatly."
This story filled Ozma's heart with sorrow and Dorothy's heart withindignation.
"I now understand," said Ozma, "why the fishes in the lake have broughtabout war between the Skeezers and the Flatheads."
"Yes," Lady Aurex answered, "now that you know the story it is easy tounderstand. The Su-dic and his wife came to our lake hoping to catchthe silver fish, or gold fish, or bronze fish--any one of them woulddo--and by destroying it deprive Coo-ee-oh of her magic. Then theycould easily conquer her. Also they had another reason for wanting tocatch the fish--they feared that in some way the three Adepts mightregain their proper forms and then they would be sure to return to themountain and punish Rora and the Su-dic. That was why Rora finallytried to poison all the fishes in the lake, at the time Coo-ee-ohtransformed her into a Golden Pig. Of course this attempt to destroythe fishes frightened the Queen, for her safety lies in keeping thethree fishes alive."
"I s'pose Coo-ee-oh will fight the Flatheads with all her might,"observed Dorothy.
"And with all her magic," added Ozma, thoughtfully.
"I do not see how the Flatheads can get to this island to hurt us,"said Lady Aurex.
"They have bows and arrows, and I guess they mean to shoot the arrowsat your big dome, and break all the glass in it," suggested Dorothy.
But Lady Aurex shook her head with a smile.
"They cannot do that," she replied.
"I dare not tell you why, but if the Flatheads come to-morrow morningyou will yourselves see the reason."
"I do not think they will attempt to harm the island," Ozma declared."I believe they will first attempt to destroy the fishes, by poison orsome other means. If they succeed in that, the conquest of the islandwill not be difficult."
"They have no boats," said Lady Aurex, "and Coo-ee-oh, who has longexpected this war, has been preparing for it in many astonishing ways.I almost wish the Flatheads would conquer us, for then we would be freefrom our dreadful Queen; but I do not wish to see the three transformedfishes destroyed, for in them lies our only hope of future happiness."
"Ozma will take care of you, whatever happens," Dorothy assured her.But the Lady Aurex, not knowing the extent of Ozma's power--which was,in fact, not so great as Dorothy imagined--could not take much comfortin this promise.
It was evident there would be exciting times on the morrow, if theFlatheads really attacked the Skeezers of the Magic Isle.
When night fell all the interior of the Great Dome, streets and houses,became lighted with brilliant incandescent lamps, which rendered itbright as day. Dorothy thought the island must look beautiful by nightfrom the outer shore of the lake. There was revelry and feasting in theQueen's palace, and the music of the royal band could be plainly heardin Lady Aurex's house, where Ozma and Dorothy remained with theirhostess and keeper. They were prisoners, but treated with muchconsideration.
Lady Aurex gave them a nice supper and when they wished to retireshowed them to a pretty room with comfortable beds and wished them agood night and pleasant dreams.
"What do you think of all this, Ozma?" Dorothy anxiously inquired whenthey were alone.
"I am glad we came," was the reply, "for although there may be mischiefdone to-morrow, it was necessary I should know about these people,whose leaders are wild and lawless and oppress their subjects withinjustice and cruelties. My task, therefore, is to liberate theSkeezers and the Flatheads and secure for them freedom and happiness. Ihave no doubt I can accomplish this in time."
"Just now, though, we're in a bad fix," asserted Dorothy. "If QueenCoo-ee-oh conquers to-morrow, she won't be nice to us, and if theSu-dic conquers, he'll be worse."
"Do not worry, dear," said Ozma, "I do not think we are in danger,whatever happens, and the result of our adventure is sure to be good."
Dorothy was not worrying, especially. She had confidence in her friend,the fairy Princess of Oz, and she enjoyed the excitement of the eventsin which she was taking part. So she crept into bed and fell asleep aseasily as if she had been in her own cosy room in Ozma's palace.
A sort of grating, grinding sound awakened her. The whole island seemedto tremble and sway, as it might do in an earthquake. Dorothy sat up inbed, rubbing her eyes to get the sleep out of them, and then found itwas daybreak.
Ozma was hurriedly dressing herself.
"What is it?" asked Dorothy, jumping out of bed.
"I'm not sure," answered Ozma "but it feels as if the island issinking."
As soon as possible they finished dressing, while the creaking andswaying continued. Then they rushed into the living room of the houseand found Lady Aurex, fully dressed, awaiting them.
"Do not be alarmed," said their hostess. "Coo-ee-oh has decided tosubmerge the island, that is all. But it proves the Flatheads arecoming to attack us."
"What do you mean by sub-sub-merging the island?" asked Dorothy.
"Come here and see," was the reply.
Lady Aurex led them to a window which faced the side of the great domewhich covered all the village, and they could see that the island wasindeed sinking, for the water of the lake was already half way up theside of the dome. Through the glass could be seen swimming fishes, andtall stalks of swaying seaweeds, for the water was clear as crystal andthrough it they could distinguish even the farther shore of the lake.
"The Flatheads are not here yet," said Lady Aurex. "They will comesoon, but not until all of this dome is under the surface of the water."
"Won't the dome leak?" Dorothy inquired anxiously.
"Was the island ever sub-sub-sunk before?"
"Oh, yes; on several occasions. But Coo-ee-oh doesn't care to do thatoften, for it requires a lot of hard work to operate the machinery. Thedome was built so that the island could disappear. I think," shecontinued, "that our Queen fears the Flatheads will attack the islandand try to break the glass of the dome."
"Well, if we're under water, they can't fight us, and we can't fightthem," asserted Dorothy.
"They could kill the fishes, however," said Ozma gravely.
"We have ways to fight, also, even though our island is under water,"claimed Lady Aurex. "I cannot tell you all our secrets, but this islandis full of surprises. Also our Queen's magic is astonishing."
"Did she steal it all from the three Adepts in Sorcery that are nowfishes?"
"She stole the knowledge and the magic tools, but she has used them asthe three Adepts never would have done."
By this time the top of the dome was quite under water and suddenly theisland stopped sinking and became stationary.
"See!" cried Lady Aurex, pointing to the shore. "The Flatheads havecome."
On the bank, which was now far above their heads, a crowd of darkfigures could be seen.
"Now let us see what Coo-ee-oh will do to oppose them," continued LadyAurex, in a voice that betrayed her excitement.
* * * * *
The Flatheads, pushing their way through the line of palm trees, hadreached the shore of the lake just as the top of the island's domedisappeared beneath the surface. The water now flowed from shore toshore, but through the clear water the dome was still visible and thehouses of the Skeezers could be dimly seen through the panes of glass.
"Good!" exclaimed the Su-dic, who had armed all his followers and hadbrought with him two copper vessels, which he carefully set down uponthe ground beside him. "If Coo-ee-oh wants to hide instead of fightingour job will be easy, for in one of these copper vessels I have enoughpoison to kill every fish in the lake."
"Kill them, then, while we have time, and then we can go home again,"advised one of the chief officers.
"Not yet," objected the Su-dic. "The Queen of the Skeezers has defiedme, and I want to get her into my power, as well as to destroy hermagic. She transformed my poor wife into a Golden Pig, and I must haverevenge for that, whatever else we do."
"Look out!" suddenly exclaimed the officers, pointing into the lake;"something's going to happen."
From the submerged dome a door opened and something black shot swiftlyout into the water. The door instantly closed behind it and the darkobject cleaved its way through the water, without rising to thesurface, directly toward the place where the Flatheads were standing.
"What is that?" Dorothy asked the Lady Aurex.
"That is one of the Queen's submarines," was the reply. "It is allenclosed, and can move under water. Coo-ee-oh has several of theseboats which are kept in little rooms in the basement under our village.When the island is submerged, the Queen uses these boats to reach theshore, and I believe she now intends to fight the Flatheads with them."
The Su-dic and his people knew nothing of Coo-ee-oh's submarines, sothey watched with surprise as the under-water boat approached them.When it was quite near the shore it rose to the surface and the topparted and fell back, disclosing a boat full of armed Skeezers. At thehead was the Queen, standing up in the bow and holding in one hand acoil of magic rope that gleamed like silver.
The boat halted and Coo-ee-oh drew back her arm to throw the silverrope toward the Su-dic, who was now but a few feet from her. But thewily Flathead leader quickly realized his danger and before the Queencould throw the rope he caught up one of the copper vessels and dashedits contents full in her face!
The Conquest of the Skeezers
Queen Coo-ee-oh dropped the rope, tottered and fell headlong into thewater, sinking beneath the surface, while the Skeezers in the submarineassist her and only stared at the ripples in the water where she haddisappeared. A moment later there arose to the surface a beautifulWhite Swan. This Swan was of large size, very gracefully formed, andscattered all over its white feathers were tiny diamonds, so thicklyplaced that as the rays of the morning sun fell upon them the entirebody of the Swan glistened like one brilliant diamond. The head of theDiamond Swan had a bill of polished gold and its eyes were twosparkling amethysts.
"Hooray!" cried the Su-dic, dancing up and down with wicked glee. "Mypoor wife, Rora, is avenged at last. You made her a Golden Pig,Coo-ee-oh, and now I have made you a Diamond Swan. Float on your lakeforever, if you like, for your web feet can do no more magic and youare as powerless as the Pig you made of my wife!
"Villain! Scoundrel!" croaked the Diamond Swan. "You will be punishedfor this. Oh, what a fool I was to let you enchant me!
"A fool you were, and a fool you are!" laughed the Su-dic, dancingmadly in his delight. And then he carelessly tipped over the othercopper vessel with his heel and its contents spilled on the sands andwere lost to the last drop.
The Su-dic stopped short and looked at the overturned vessel with arueful countenance.
"That's too bad--too bad!" he exclaimed sorrowfully. "I've lost all thepoison I had to kill the fishes with, and I can't make any more becauseonly my wife knew the secret of it, and she is now a foolish Pig andhas forgotten all her magic."
"Very well," said the Diamond Swan scornfully, as she floated upon thewater and swam gracefully here and there. "I'm glad to see you arefoiled. Your punishment is just beginning, for although you haveenchanted me and taken away my powers of sorcery you have still thethree magic fishes to deal with, and they'll destroy you in time, markmy words."
The Su-dic stared at the Swan a moment. Then he yelled to his men:
"Shoot her! Shoot the saucy bird!"
They let fly some arrows at the Diamond Swan, but she dove under thewater and the missiles fell harmless. When Coo-ce-oh rose to thesurface she was far from the shore and she swiftly swam across the laketo where no arrows or spears could reach her.
The Su-dic rubbed his chin and thought what to do next. Near by floatedthe submarine in which the Queen had come, but the Skeezers who were init were puzzled what to do with themselves. Perhaps they were not sorrytheir cruel mistress had been transformed into a Diamond Swan, but thetransformation had left them quite helpless. The under-water boat wasnot operated by machinery, but by certain mystic words uttered byCoo-ee-oh. They didn't know how to submerge it, or how to make thewater-tight shield cover them again, or how to make the boat go back tothe castle, or make it enter the little basement room where it wasusually kept. As a matter of fact, they were now shut out of theirvillage under the Great Dome and could not get back again. So one ofthe men called to the Supreme Dictator of the Flatheads, saying:
"Please make us prisoners and take us to your mountain, and feed andkeep us, for we have nowhere to go."
Then the Su-dic laughed and answered:
"Not so. I can't be bothered by caring for a lot of stupid Skeezers.Stay where you are, or go wherever you please, so long as you keep awayfrom our mountain." He turned to his men and added: "We have conqueredQueen Coo-ee-oh and made her a helpless swan. The Skeezers are underwater and may stay there. So, having won the war, let us go home againand make merry and feast, having after many years proved the Flatheadsto be greater and more powerful than the Skeezers."
So the Flatheads marched away and passed through the row of palms andwent back to their mountain, where the Su-dic and a few of his officersfeasted and all the others were forced to wait on them.
"I'm sorry we couldn't have roast pig," said the Su-dic, "but as theonly pig we have is made of gold, we can't eat her. Also the Golden Pighappens to be my wife, and even were she not gold I am sure she wouldbe too tough to eat."
The Diamond Swan
When the Flatheads had gone away the Diamond Swan swam back to the boatand one of the young Skeezers named Ervic said to her eagerly:
"How can we get back to the island, your Majesty?"
"Am I not beautiful?" asked Coo-ee-oh, arching her neck gracefully andspreading her diamond-sprinkled wings. "I can see my reflection in thewater, and I'm sure there is no bird nor beast, nor human asmagnificent as I am!"
"How shall we get back to the island, your Majesty?" pleaded Ervic.
"When my fame spreads throughout the land, people will travel from allparts of this lake to look upon my loveliness," said Coo-ee-oh, shakingher feathers to make the diamonds glitter more brilliantly.
"But, your Majesty, we must go home and we do not know how to getthere," Ervic persisted.
"My eyes," remarked the Diamond Swan, "are wonderfully blue and brightand will charm all beholders."
"Tell us how to make the boat go--how to get back into the island,"begged Ervic and the others cried just as earnestly: "Tell us,Coo-ee-oh; tell us!"
"I don't know," replied the Queen in a careless tone.
"You are a magic-worker, a sorceress, a witch!"
"I was, of course, when I was a girl," she said, bending her head overthe clear water to catch her reflection in it; "but now I've forgottenall such foolish things as magic. Swans are lovelier than girls,especially when they're sprinkled with diamonds. Don't you think so?"And she gracefully swam away, without seeming to care whether theyanswered or not.
Ervic and his companions were in despair. They saw plainly thatCoo-ee-oh could not or would not help them. The former Queen had nofurther thought for her island, her people, or her wonderful magic; shewas only intent on admiring her own beauty.
"Truly," said Ervic, in a gloomy voice, "the Flatheads have conqueredus!"
* * * * *
Some of these events had been witnessed by Ozma and Dorothy and LadyAurex, who had left the house and gone close to the glass of the dome,in order to see what was going on. Many of the Skeezers had alsocrowded against the dome, wondering what would happen next. Althoughtheir vision was to an extent blurred by the water and the necessity oflooking upward at an angle, they had observed the main points of thedrama enacted above. They saw Queen Coo-ee-oh's submarine come to thesurface and open; they saw the Queen standing erect to throw her magicrope; they saw her sudden transformation into a Diamond Swan, and a cryof amazement went up from the Skeezers inside the dome.
"Good!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I hate that old Su-dic, but I'm gladCoo-ee-oh is punished."
"This is a dreadful misfortune!" cried Lady Aurex, pressing her handsupon her heart.
"Yes," agreed Ozma, nodding her head thoughtfully; "Coo-ee-oh'smisfortune will prove a terrible blow to her people."
"What do you mean by that?" asked Dorothy in surprise. "Seems to me theSkeezers are in luck to lose their cruel Queen."
"If that were all you would be right," responded Lady Aurex; "and ifthe island were above water it would not be so serious. But here we allare, at the bottom of the lake, and fast prisoners in this dome."
"Can't you raise the island?" inquired Dorothy.
"No. Only Coo-ee-oh knew how to do that," was the answer.
"We can try," insisted Dorothy. "If it can be made to go down, it canbe made to come up. The machinery is still here, I suppose.
"Yes; but the machinery works by magic, and Coo-ee-oh would never shareher secret power with any one of us."
Dorothy's face grew grave; but she was thinking.
"Ozma knows a lot of magic," she said.
"But not that kind of magic," Ozma replied.
"Can't you learn how, by looking at the machinery?"
"I'm afraid not, my dear. It isn't fairy magic at all; it iswitchcraft."
"Well," said Dorothy, turning to Lady Aurex, "you say there are othersub-sub-sinking boats. We can get in one of those, and shoot out to thetop of the water, like Coo-ee-oh did, and so escape. And then we canhelp to rescue all the Skeezers down here."
"No one knows how to work the under-water boats but the Queen,"declared Lady Aurex.
"Isn't there any door or window in this dome that we could open?"
"No; and, if there were, the water would rush in to flood the dome, andwe could not get out."
"The Skeezers," said Ozma, "could not drown; they only get wet andsoggy and in that condition they would be very uncomfortable andunhappy. But you are a mortal girl, Dorothy, and if your Magic Beltprotected you from death you would have to lie forever at the bottom ofthe lake."
"No, I'd rather die quickly," asserted the little girl. "But there aredoors in the basement that open--to let out the bridges and theboats--and that would not flood the dome, you know."
"Those doors open by a magic word, and only Coo-ee-oh knows the wordthat must be uttered," said Lady Aurex.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Dorothy, "that dreadful Queen's witchcraft upsetsall my plans to escape. I guess I'll give it up, Ozma, and let you saveus."
Ozma smiled, but her smile was not so cheerful as usual. The Princessof Oz found herself confronted with a serious problem, and although shehad no thought of despairing she realized that the Skeezers and theirisland, as well as Dorothy and herself, were in grave trouble and thatunless she could find a means to save them they would be lost to theLand of Oz for all future time.
"In such a dilemma," said she, musingly, "nothing is gained by haste.Careful thought may aid us, and so may the course of events. Theunexpected is always likely to happen, and cheerful patience is betterthan reckless action."
"All right," returned Dorothy; "take your time, Ozma; there's no hurry.How about some breakfast, Lady Aurex?"
Their hostess led them back to the house, where she ordered hertrembling servants to prepare and serve breakfast. All the Skeezerswere frightened and anxious over the transformation of their Queen intoa swan. Coo-ee-oh was feared and hated, but they had depended on hermagic to conquer the Flatheads and she was the only one who could raisetheir island to the surface of the lake again.
Before breakfast was over several of the leading Skeezers came to Aurexto ask her advice and to question Princess Ozma, of whom they knewnothing except that she claimed to be a fairy and the Ruler of all theland, including the Lake of the Skeezers.
"If what you told Queen Coo-ee-oh was the truth," they said to her,"you are our lawful mistress, and we may depend on you to get us out ofour difficulties."
"I will try to do that," Ozma graciously assured them, "but you mustremember that the powers of fairies are granted them to bring comfortand happiness to all who appeal to them. On the contrary, such magic asCoo-ee-oh knew and practiced is unlawful witchcraft and her arts aresuch as no fairy would condescend to use. However, it is sometimesnecessary to consider evil in order to accomplish good, and perhaps bystudying Coo-ee-oh's tools and charms of witchcraft I may be able tosave us. Do you promise to accept me as your Ruler and to obey mycommands?"
They promised willingly.
"Then," continued Ozma, "I will go to Coo-ee-oh's palace and takepossession of it. Perhaps what I find there will be of use to me. Inthe meantime tell all the Skeezers to fear nothing, but have patience.Let them return to their homes and perform their daily tasks as usual.Coo-ee-oh's loss may not prove a misfortune, but rather a blessing."
This speech cheered the Skeezers amazingly. Really, they had no one nowto depend upon but Ozma, and in spite of their dangerous position theirhearts were lightened by the transformation and absence of their cruelQueen.
They got out their brass band and a grand procession escorted Ozma andDorothy to the palace, where all of Coo-ee-oh's former servants wereeager to wait upon them. Ozma invited Lady Aurex to stay at the palacealso, for she knew all about the Skeezers and their island and had alsobeen a favorite of the former Queen, so her advice and information weresure to prove valuable.
Ozma was somewhat disappointed in what she found in the palace. Oneroom of Coo-ee-oh's private suite was entirely devoted to the practiceof witchcraft, and here were countless queer instruments and jars ofointments and bottles of potions labeled with queer names, and strangemachines that Ozma could not guess the use of, and pickled toads andsnails and lizards, and a shelf of books that were written in blood,but in a language which the Ruler of Oz did not know.
"I do not see," said Ozma to Dorothy, who accompanied her in hersearch, "how Coo-ee-oh knew the use of the magic tools she stole fromthe three Adept Witches. Moreover, from all reports these Adeptspracticed only good witchcraft, such as would be helpful to theirpeople, while Coo-ee-oh performed only evil."
"Perhaps she turned the good things to evil uses?" suggested Dorothy.
"Yes, and with the knowledge she gained Coo-ee-oh doubtless inventedmany evil things quite unknown to the good Adepts, who are now fishes,"added Ozma. "It is unfortunate for us that the Queen kept her secretsso closely guarded, for no one but herself could use any of thesestrange things gathered in this room."
"Couldn't we capture the Diamond Swan and make her tell the secrets?"asked Dorothy.
"No; even were we able to capture her, Coo-ee-oh now has forgotten allthe magic she ever knew. But until we ourselves escape from this domewe could not capture the Swan, and were we to escape we would have nouse for Coo-ee-oh's magic."
"That's a fact," admitted Dorothy. "But--say, Ozma, here's a good idea!Couldn't we capture the three fishes--the gold and silver and bronzeones, and couldn't you transform 'em back to their own shapes, and thencouldn't the three Adepts get us out of here?"
"You are not very practical, Dorothy dear. It would be as hard for usto capture the three fishes, from among all the other fishes in thelake, as to capture the Swan."
"But if we could, it would be more help to us," persisted the littlegirl.
"That is true," answered Ozma, smiling at her friend's eagerness. "Youfind a way to catch the fish, and I'll promise when they are caught torestore them to their proper forms."
"I know you think I can't do it," replied Dorothy, "but I'm going totry."
She left the palace and went to a place where she could look through aclear pane of the glass dome into the surrounding water. Immediatelyshe became interested in the queer sights that met her view.
The Lake of the Skeezers was inhabited by fishes of many kinds and manysizes. The water was so transparent that the girl could see for a longdistance and the fishes came so close to the glass of the dome thatsometimes they actually touched it. On the white sands at the bottom ofthe lake were star-fish, lobsters, crabs and many shell fish of strangeshapes and with shells of gorgeous hues. The water foliage was ofbrilliant colors and to Dorothy it resembled a splendid garden.
But the fishes were the most interesting of all. Some were big andlazy, floating slowly along or lying at rest with just their finswaving. Many with big round eyes looked full at the girl as she watchedthem and Dorothy wondered if they could hear her through the glass ifshe spoke to them. In Oz, where all the animals and birds can talk,many fishes are able to talk also, but usually they are more stupidthan birds and animals because they think slowly and haven't much totalk about.
In the Lake of the Skeezers the fish of smaller size were more activethan the big ones and darted quickly in and out among the swayingweeds, as if they had important business and were in a hurry. It wasamong the smaller varieties that Dorothy hoped to spy the gold andsilver and bronze fishes. She had an idea the three would keeptogether, being companions now as they were in their natural forms, butsuch a multitude of fishes constantly passed, the scene shifting everymoment, that she was not sure she would notice them even if theyappeared in view. Her eyes couldn't look in all directions and thefishes she sought might be on the other side of the dome, or far awayin the lake.
"P'raps, because they were afraid of Coo-ee-oh, they've hid themselvessomewhere, and don't know their enemy has been transformed," shereflected.
She watched the fishes for a long time, until she became hungry andwent back to the palace for lunch. But she was not discouraged.
"Anything new, Ozma?" she asked.
"No, dear. Did you discover the three fishes?"
"Not yet. But there isn't anything better for me to do, Ozma, so Iguess I'll go back and watch again."
The Alarm Bell
Glinda, the Good, in her palace in the Quadling Country, had manythings to occupy her mind, for not only did she look after the weavingand embroidery of her bevy of maids, and assist all those who came toher to implore her help--beasts and birds as well as people--but shewas a close student of the arts of sorcery and spent much time in herMagical Laboratory, where she strove to find a remedy for every eviland to perfect her skill in magic.
Nevertheless, she did not forget to look in the Great Book of Recordseach day to see if any mention was made of the visit of Ozma andDorothy to the Enchanted Mountain of the Flatheads and the Magic Isleof the Skeezers. The Records told her that Ozma had arrived at themountain, that she had escaped, with her companion, and gone to theisland of the Skeezers, and that Queen Coo-ee-oh had submerged theisland so that it was entirely under water. Then came the statementthat the Flatheads had come to the lake to poison the fishes and thattheir Supreme Dictator had transformed Queen Coo-ee-oh into a swan.
No other details were given in the Great Book and so Glinda did notknow that since Coo-ee-oh had forgotten her magic none of the Skeezersknew how to raise the island to the surface again. So Glinda was notworried about Ozma and Dorothy until one morning, while she sat withher maids, there came a sudden clang of the great alarm bell. This wasso unusual that every maid gave a start and even the Sorceress for amoment could not think what the alarm meant.
Then she remembered the ring she had given Dorothy when she left thepalace to start on her venture. In giving the ring Glinda had warnedthe little girl not to use its magic powers unless she and Ozma were inreal danger, but then she was to turn it on her finger once to theright and once to the left and Glinda's alarm bell would ring.
So the Sorceress now knew that danger threatened her beloved Ruler andPrincess Dorothy, and she hurried to her magic room to seek informationas to what sort of danger it was. The answer to her question was notvery satisfactory, for it was only: "Ozma and Dorothy are prisoners inthe great Dome of the Isle of the Skeezers, and the Dome is under thewater of the lake."
"Hasn't Ozma the power to raise the island to the surface?" inquiredGlinda.
"No," was the reply, and the Record refused to say more except thatQueen Coo-ee-oh, who alone could command the island to rise, had beentransformed by the Flathead Su-dic into a Diamond Swan.
Then Glinda consulted the past records of the Skeezers in the GreatBook. After diligent search she discovered that Coo-ee-oh was apowerful sorceress who had gained most of her power by treacherouslytransforming the Adepts of Magic, who were visiting her, into threefishes--gold, silver and bronze--after which she had them cast into thelake.
Glinda reflected earnestly on this information and decided that someonemust go to Ozma's assistance. While there was no great need of haste,because Ozma and Dorothy could live in a submerged dome a long time, itwas evident they could not get out until someone was able to raise theisland.
The Sorceress looked through all her recipes and books of sorcery, butcould find no magic that would raise a sunken island. Such a thing hadnever before been required in sorcery. Then Glinda made a littleisland, covered by a glass dome, and sunk it in a pond near her castle,and experimented in magical ways to bring it to the surface. She madeseveral such experiments, but all were failures. It seemed a simplething to do, yet she could not do it.
Nevertheless, the wise Sorceress did not despair of finding a way toliberate her friends. Finally she concluded that the best thing to dowas to go to the Skeezer country and examine the lake. While there shewas more likely to discover a solution to the problem that botheredher, and to work out a plan for the rescue of Ozma and Dorothy.
So Glinda summoned her storks and her aerial chariot, and telling hermaids she was going on a journey and might not soon return, she enteredthe chariot and was carried swiftly to the Emerald City.
In Princess Ozma's palace the Scarecrow was now acting as Ruler of theLand of Oz. There wasn't much for him to do, because all the affairs ofstate moved so smoothly, but he was there in case anything unforeseenshould happen.
Glinda found the Scarecrow playing croquet with Trot and Betsy Bobbin,two little girls who lived at the palace under Ozma's protection andwere great friends of Dorothy and much loved by all the Oz people.
"Something's happened!" cried Trot, as the chariot of the Sorceressdescended near them. "Glinda never comes here 'cept something's gonewrong."
"I hope no harm has come to Ozma, or Dorothy," said Betsy anxiously, asthe lovely Sorceress stepped down from her chariot.
Glinda approached the Scarecrow and told him of the dilemma of Ozma andDorothy and she added: "We must save them, somehow, Scarecrow."
"Of course," replied the Scarecrow, stumbling over a wicket and fallingflat on his painted face.
The girls picked him up and patted his straw stuffing into shape, andhe continued, as if nothing had occurred: "But you'll have to tell mewhat to do, for I never have raised a sunken island in all my life."
"We must have a Council of State as soon as possible," proposed theSorceress. "Please send messengers to summon all of Ozma's counsellorsto this palace. Then we can decide what is best to be done."
The Scarecrow lost no time in doing this. Fortunately most of the royalcounsellors were in the Emerald City or near to it, so they all met inthe throne room of the palace that same evening.
No Ruler ever had such a queer assortment of advisers as the PrincessOzma had gathered about her throne. Indeed, in no other country couldsuch amazing people exist. But Ozma loved them for their peculiaritiesand could trust every one of them.
First there was the Tin Woodman. Every bit of him was tin, brightlypolished. All his joints were kept well oiled and moved smoothly. Hecarried a gleaming axe to prove he was a woodman, but seldom had causeto use it because he lived in a magnificent tin castle in the WinkieCountry of Oz and was the Emperor of all the Winkies. The Tin Woodman'sname was Nick Chopper. He had a very good mind, but his heart was notof much account, so he was very careful to do nothing unkind or to hurtanyone's feelings.
Another counsellor was Scraps, the Patchwork Girl of Oz, who was madeof a gaudy patchwork quilt, cut into shape and stuffed with cotton.This Patchwork Girl was very intelligent, but so full of fun and madpranks that a lot of more stupid folks thought she must be crazy.Scraps was jolly under all conditions, however grave they might be, buther laughter and good spirits were of value in cheering others and inher seemingly careless remarks much wisdom could often be found.
Then there was the Shaggy Man--shaggy from head to foot, hair andwhiskers, clothes and shoes--but very kind and gentle and one of Ozma'smost loyal supporters.
Tik-Tok was there, a copper man with machinery inside him, so cleverlyconstructed that he moved, spoke and thought by three separateclock-works. Tik-Tok was very reliable because he always did exactlywhat he was wound up to do, but his machinery was liable to run down attimes and then he was quite helpless until wound up again.
A different sort of person was Jack Pumpkinhead, one of Ozma's oldestfriends and her companion on many adventures. Jack's body was verycrude and awkward, being formed of limbs of trees of different sizes,jointed with wooden pegs. But it was a substantial body and not likelyto break or wear out, and when it was dressed the clothes covered muchof its roughness. The head of Jack Pumpkinhead was, as you haveguessed, a ripe pumpkin, with the eyes, nose and mouth carved upon oneside. The pumpkin was stuck on Jack's wooden neck and was liable to getturned sidewise or backward and then he would have to straighten itwith his wooden hands.
The worst thing about this sort of a head was that it did not keep welland was sure to spoil sooner or later. So Jack's main business was togrow a field of fine pumpkins each year, and always before his old headspoiled he would select a fresh pumpkin from the field and carve thefeatures on it very neatly, and have it ready to replace the old headwhenever it became necessary. He didn't always carve it the same way,so his friends never knew exactly what sort of an expression they wouldfind on his face. But there was no mistaking him, because he was theonly pumpkin-headed man alive in the Land of Oz.
A one-legged sailor-man was a member of Ozma's council. His name wasCap'n Bill and he had come to the Land of Oz with Trot, and had beenmade welcome on account of his cleverness, honesty and good nature. Hewore a wooden leg to replace the one he had lost and was a great friendof all the children in Oz because he could whittle all sorts of toysout of wood with his big jack-knife.
Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T. E., was another member of the council.The "H. M." meant Highly Magnified, for the Professor was once a littlebug, who became magnified to the size of a man and always remained so.The "T. E." meant that he was Thoroughly Educated. He was at the headof Princess Ozma's Royal Athletic College, and so that the studentswould not have to study and so lose much time that could be devoted toathletic sports, such as football, baseball and the like, ProfessorWogglebug had invented the famous Educational Pills. If one of thecollege students took a Geography Pill after breakfast, he knew hisgeography lesson in an instant; if he took a Spelling Pill he at onceknew his spelling lesson, and an Arithmetic Pill enabled the student todo any kind of sum without having to think about it.
These useful pills made the college very popular and taught the boysand girls of Oz their lessons in the easiest possible way. In spite ofthis, Professor Wogglebug was not a favorite outside his college, forhe was very conceited and admired himself so much and displayed hiscleverness and learning so constantly, that no one cared to associatewith him. Ozma found him of value in her councils, nevertheless.
Perhaps the most splendidly dressed of all those present was a greatfrog as large as a man, called the Frogman, who was noted for his wisesayings. He had come to the Emerald City from the Yip Country of Oz andwas a guest of honor. His long-tailed coat was of velvet, his vest ofsatin and his trousers of finest silk. There were diamond buckles onhis shoes and he carried a gold-headed cane and a high silk hat. All ofthe bright colors were represented in his rich attire, so it tiredone's eyes to look at him for long, until one became used to hissplendor.
The best farmer in all Oz was Uncle Henry, who was Dorothy's own uncle,and who now lived near the Emerald City with his wife Aunt Em. UncleHenry taught the Oz people how to grow the finest vegetables and fruitsand grains and was of much use to Ozma in keeping the Royal Storehouseswell filled. He, too, was a counsellor.
The reason I mention the little Wizard of Oz last is because he was themost important man in the Land of Oz. He wasn't a big man in size buthe was a man in power and intelligence and second only to Glinda theGood in all the mystic arts of magic. Glinda had taught him, and theWizard and the Sorceress were the only ones in Oz permitted by law topractice wizardry and sorcery, which they applied only to good uses andfor the benefit of the people.
The Wizard wasn't exactly handsome but he was pleasant to look at. Hisbald head was as shiny as if it had been varnished; there was always amerry twinkle in his eyes and he was as spry as a schoolboy. Dorothysays the reason the Wizard is not as powerful as Glinda is becauseGlinda didn't teach him all she knows, but what the Wizard knows heknows very well and so he performs some very remarkable magic. The tenI have mentioned assembled, with the Scarecrow and Glinda, in Ozma'sthrone room, right after dinner that evening, and the Sorceress toldthem all she knew of the plight of Ozma and Dorothy.
"Of course we must rescue them," she continued, "and the sooner theyare rescued the better pleased they will be; but what we must nowdetermine is how they can be saved. That is why I have called youtogether in council."
"The easiest way," remarked the Shaggy Man, "is to raise the sunkenisland of the Skeezers to the top of the water again."
"Tell me how?" said Glinda.
"I don't know how, your Highness, for I have never raised a sunkenisland."
"We might all get under it and lift," suggested Professor Wogglebug.
"How can we get under it when it rests on the bottom of the lake?"asked the Sorceress.
"Couldn't we throw a rope around it and pull it ashore?" inquired JackPumpkinhead.
"Why not pump the water out of the lake?" suggested the Patchwork Girlwith a laugh.
"Do be sensible!" pleaded Glinda. "This is a serious matter, and wemust give it serious thought."
"How big is the lake and how big is the island?" was the Frogman'squestion.
"None of us can tell, for we have not been there."
"In that case," said the Scarecrow, "it appears to me we ought to go tothe Skeezer country and examine it carefully."
"Quite right," agreed the Tin Woodman.
"We-will-have-to-go-there-any-how," remarked Tik-Tok in his jerkymachine voice.
"The question is which of us shall go, and how many of us?" said theWizard.
"I shall go of course," declared the Scarecrow.
"And I," said Scraps.
"It is my duty to Ozma to go," asserted the Tin Woodman.
"I could not stay away, knowing our loved Princess is in danger," saidthe Wizard.
"We all feel like that," Uncle Henry said.
Finally one and all present decided to go to the Skeezer country, withGlinda and the little Wizard to lead them. Magic must meet magic inorder to conquer it, so these two skillful magic-workers were necessaryto insure the success of the expedition.
They were all ready to start at a moment's notice, for none had anyaffairs of importance to attend to. Jack was wearing a newly madePumpkin-head and the Scarecrow had recently been stuffed with freshstraw. Tik-Tok's machinery was in good running order and the TinWoodman always was well oiled.
"It is quite a long journey," said Glinda, "and while I might travelquickly to the Skeezer country by means of my stork chariot the rest ofyou will be obliged to walk. So, as we must keep together, I will sendmy chariot back to my castle and we will plan to leave the Emerald Cityat sunrise to-morrow."
The Great Sorceress
Betsy and Trot, when they heard of the rescue expedition, begged theWizard to permit them to join it and he consented. The Glass Cat,overhearing the conversation, wanted to go also and to this the Wizardmade no objection.
This Glass Cat was one of the real curiosities of Oz. It had been madeand brought to life by a clever magician named Dr. Pipt, who was notnow permitted to work magic and was an ordinary citizen of the EmeraldCity. The cat was of transparent glass, through which one could plainlysee its ruby heart beating and its pink brains whirling around in thetop of the head.
The Glass Cat's eyes were emeralds; its fluffy tail was of spun glassand very beautiful. The ruby heart, while pretty to look at, was hardand cold and the Glass Cat's disposition was not pleasant at all times.It scorned to catch mice, did not eat, and was extremely lazy. If youcomplimented the remarkable cat on her beauty, she would be veryfriendly, for she loved admiration above everything. The pink brainswere always working and their owner was indeed more intelligent thanmost common cats.
Three other additions to the rescue party were made the next morning,just as they were setting out upon their journey. The first was alittle boy called Button Bright, because he had no other name thatanyone could remember. He was a fine, manly little fellow, wellmannered and good humored, who had only one bad fault. He wascontinually getting lost. To be sure, Button Bright got found as oftenas he got lost, but when he was missing his friends could not helpbeing anxious about him.
"Some day," predicted the Patchwork Girl, "he won't be found, and thatwill be the last of him." But that didn't worry Button Bright, who wasso careless that he did not seem to be able to break the habit ofgetting lost.
The second addition to the party was a Munchkin boy of about ButtonBright's age, named Ojo. He was often called "Ojo the Lucky," becausegood fortune followed him wherever he went. He and Button Bright wereclose friends, although of such different natures, and Trot and Betsywere fond of both.
The third and last to join the expedition was an enormous lion, one ofOzma's regular guardians and the most important and intelligent beastin all Oz. He called himself the Cowardly Lion, saying that everylittle danger scared him so badly that his heart thumped against hisribs, but all who knew him knew that the Cowardly Lion's fears werecoupled with bravery and that however much he might be frightened hesummoned courage to meet every danger he encountered. Often he hadsaved Dorothy and Ozma in times of peril, but afterward he moaned andtrembled and wept because he had been so scared.
"If Ozma needs help, I'm going to help her," said the great beast."Also, I suspect the rest of you may need me on the journey--especiallyTrot and Betsy--for you may pass through a dangerous part of thecountry. I know that wild Gillikin country pretty well. Its forestsharbor many ferocious beasts."
They were glad the Cowardly Lion was to join them, and in good spiritsthe entire party formed a procession and marched out of the EmeraldCity amid the shouts of the people, who wished them success and a safereturn with their beloved Ruler.
They followed a different route from that taken by Ozma and Dorothy,for they went through the Winkie Country and up north toward Oogaboo.But before they got there they swerved to the left and entered theGreat Gillikin Forest, the nearest thing to a wilderness in all Oz.Even the Cowardly Lion had to admit that certain parts of this forestwere unknown to him, although he had often wandered among the trees,and the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, who were great travelers, never hadbeen there at all.
The forest was only reached after a tedious tramp, for some of theRescue Expedition were quite awkward on their feet. The Patchwork Girlwas as light as a feather and very spry; the Tin Woodman covered theground as easily as Uncle Henry and the Wizard; but Tik-Tok movedslowly and the slightest obstruction in the road would halt him untilthe others cleared it away. Then, too, Tik-Tok's machinery kept runningdown, so Betsy and Trot took turns in winding it up.
The Scarecrow was more clumsy but less bother, for although he oftenstumbled and fell he could scramble up again and a little patting ofhis straw-stuffed body would put him in good shape again.
Another awkward one was Jack Pumpkinhead, for walking would jar hishead around on his neck and then he would be likely to go in the wrongdirection. But the Frogman took Jack's arm and then he followed thepath more easily.
Cap'n Bill's wooden leg didn't prevent him from keeping up with theothers and the old sailor could walk as far as any of them.
When they entered the forest the Cowardly Lion took the lead. There wasno path here for men, but many beasts had made paths of their own whichonly the eyes of the Lion, practiced in woodcraft, could discern. So hestalked ahead and wound his way in and out, the others following insingle file, Glinda being next to the Lion.
There are dangers in the forest, of course, but as the huge Lion headedthe party he kept the wild denizens of the wilderness from botheringthe travelers. Once, to be sure, an enormous leopard sprang upon theGlass Cat and caught her in his powerful jaws, but he broke several ofhis teeth and with howls of pain and dismay dropped his prey andvanished among the trees.
"Are you hurt?" Trot anxiously inquired of the Glass Cat.
"How silly!" exclaimed the creature in an irritated tone of voice;"nothing can hurt glass, and I'm too solid to break easily. But I'mannoyed at that leopard's impudence. He has no respect for beauty orintelligence. If he had noticed my pink brains work, I'm sure he wouldhave realized I'm too important to be grabbed in a wild beast's jaws."
"Never mind," said Trot consolingly; "I'm sure he won't do it again."
They were almost in the center of the forest when Ojo, the Munchkinboy, suddenly said: "Why, where's Button Bright?"
They halted and looked around them. Button Bright was not with theparty.
"Dear me," remarked Betsy, "I expect he's lost again!"
"When did you see him last, Ojo?" inquired Glinda.
"It was some time ago," replied Ojo. "He was trailing along at the endand throwing twigs at the squirrels in the trees. Then I went to talkto Betsy and Trot, and just now I noticed he was gone."
"This is too bad," declared the Wizard, "for it is sure to delay ourjourney. We must find Button Bright before we go any farther, for thisforest is full of ferocious beasts that would not hesitate to tear theboy to pieces."
"But what shall we do?" asked the Scarecrow. "If any of us leaves theparty to search for Button Bright he or she might fall a victim to thebeasts, and if the Lion leaves us we will have no protector.
"The Glass Cat could go," suggested the Frogman. "The beasts can do herno harm, as we have discovered."
The Wizard turned to Glinda.
"Cannot your sorcery discover where Button Bright is?" he asked.
"I think so," replied the Sorceress.
She called to Uncle Henry, who had been carrying her wicker box, tobring it to her, and when he obeyed she opened it and drew out a smallround mirror. On the surface of the glass she dusted a white powder andthen wiped it away with her handkerchief and looked in the mirror. Itreflected a part of the forest, and there, beneath a wide-spreadingtree, Button Bright was lying asleep. On one side of him crouched atiger, ready to spring; on the other side was a big gray wolf, itsbared fangs glistening in a wicked way.
"Goodness me!" cried Trot, looking over Glinda's shoulder. "They'llcatch and kill him sure."
Everyone crowded around for a glimpse at the magic mirror.
"Pretty bad--pretty bad!" said the Scarecrow sorrowfully.
"Comes of getting lost!" said Cap'n Bill, sighing.
"Guess he's a goner!" said the Frogman, wiping his eyes on his purplesilk handkerchief.
"But where is he? Can't we save him?" asked Ojo the Lucky.
"If we knew where he is we could probably save him," replied the littleWizard, "but that tree looks so much like all the other trees, that wecan't tell whether it's far away or near by."
"Look at Glinda!" exclaimed Betsy
Glinda, having handed the mirror to the Wizard, had stepped aside andwas making strange passes with her outstretched arms and reciting inlow, sweet tones a mystical incantation. Most of them watched theSorceress with anxious eyes, despair giving way to the hope that shemight be able to save their friend. The Wizard, however, watched thescene in the mirror, while over his shoulders peered Trot, theScarecrow and the Shaggy Man.
What they saw was more strange than Glinda's actions. The tiger startedto spring on the sleeping boy, but suddenly lost its power to move andlay flat upon the ground. The gray wolf seemed unable to lift its feetfrom the ground. It pulled first at one leg and then at another, andfinding itself strangely confined to the spot began to back and snarlangrily. They couldn't hear the barkings and snarls, but they could seethe creature's mouth open and its thick lips move. Button Bright,however, being but a few feet away from the wolf, heard its cries ofrage, which wakened him from his untroubled sleep. The boy sat up andlooked first at the tiger and then at the wolf. His face showed thatfor a moment he was quite frightened, but he soon saw that the beastswere unable to approach him and so he got upon his feet and examinedthem curiously, with a mischievous smile upon his face. Then hedeliberately kicked the tiger's head with his foot and catching up afallen branch of a tree he went to the wolf and gave it a goodwhacking. Both the beasts were furious at such treatment but could notresent it.
Button Bright now threw down the stick and with his hands in hispockets wandered carelessly away.
"Now," said Glinda, "let the Glass Cat run and find him. He is in thatdirection," pointing the way, "but how far off I do not know. Makehaste and lead him back to us as quickly as you can."
The Glass Cat did not obey everyone's orders, but she really feared thegreat Sorceress, so as soon as the words were spoken the crystal animaldarted away and was quickly lost to sight.
The Wizard handed the mirror back to Glinda, for the woodland scene hadnow faded from the glass. Then those who cared to rest sat down toawait Button Bright's coming. It was not long before hye appearedthrough the trees and as he rejoined his friends he said in a peevishtone:
"Don't ever send that Glass Cat to find me again. She was very impoliteand, if we didn't all know that she had no manners, I'd say sheinsulted me."
Glinda turned upon the boy sternly.
"You have caused all of us much anxiety and annoyance," said she. "Onlymy magic saved you from destruction. I forbid you to get lost again."
"Of course," he answered. "It won't be my fault if I get lost again;but it wasn't my fault this time."
The Enchanted Fishes
I must now tell you what happened to Ervic and the three other Skeezerswho were left floating in the iron boat after Queen Coo-ee-oh had beentransformed into a Diamond Swan by the magic of the Flathead Su-dic.
The four Skeezers were all young men and their leader was Ervic.Coo-ee-oh had taken them with her in the boat to assist her if shecaptured the Flathead chief, as she hoped to do by means of her silverrope. They knew nothing about the witchcraft that moved the submarineand so, when left floating upon the lake, were at a loss what to do.The submarine could not be submerged by them or made to return to thesunken island. There were neither oars nor sails in the boat, which wasnot anchored but drifted quietly upon the surface of the lake.
The Diamond Swan had no further thought or care for her people. She hadsailed over to the other side of the lake and all the calls andpleadings of Ervic and his companions were unheeded by the vain bird.As there was nothing else for them to do, they sat quietly in theirboat and waited as patiently as they could for someone to come to theiraid.
The Flatheads had refused to help them and had gone back to theirmountain. All the Skeezers were imprisoned in the Great Dome and couldnot help even themselves. When evening came, they saw the Diamond Swan,still keeping to the opposite shore of the lake, walk out of the waterto the sands, shake her diamond-sprinkled feathers, and then disappearamong the bushes to seek a resting place for the night.
"I'm hungry," said Ervic.
"I'm cold," said another Skeezer.
"I'm tired," said a third.
"I'm afraid," said the last one of them.
But it did them no good to complain. Night fell and the moon rose andcast a silvery sheen over the surface of the water.
"Go to sleep," said Ervic to his companions. "I'll stay awake andwatch, for we may be rescued in some unexpected way."
So the other three laid themselves down in the bottom of the boat andwere soon fast asleep.
Ervic watched. He rested himself by leaning over the bow of the boat,his face near to the moonlit water, and thought dreamily of the day'ssurprising events and wondered what would happen to the prisoners inthe Great Dome.
Suddenly a tiny goldfish popped its head above the surface of the lake,not more than a foot from his eyes. A silverfish then raised its headbeside that of the goldfish, and a moment later a bronzefish lifted itshead beside the others. The three fish, all in a row, looked earnestlywith their round, bright eyes into the astonished eyes of Ervic theSkeezer.
"We are the three Adepts whom Queen Coo-ee-oh betrayed and wickedlytransformed," said the goldfish, its voice low and soft but distinctlyheard in the stillness of the night.
"I know of our Queen's treacherous deed," replied Ervic, "and I amsorry for your misfortune. Have you been in the lake ever since?"
"Yes," was the reply.
"I--I hope you are well--and comfortable," stammered Ervic, not knowingwhat else to say.
"We knew that some day Coo-ee-oh would meet with the fate she so richlydeserves," declared the bronzefish. "We have waited and watched forthis time. Now if you will promise to help us and will be faithful andtrue, you can aid us in regaining our natural forms, and save yourselfand all your people from the dangers that now threaten you."
"Well," said Ervic, "you can depend on my doing the best I can. But I'mno witch, nor magician, you must know."
"All we ask is that you obey our instructions," returned thesilverfish. "We know that you are honest and that you served Coo-ee-ohonly because you were obliged to in order to escape her anger. Do as wecommand and all will be well."
"I promise!" exclaimed the young man. "Tell me what I am to do first."
"You will find in the bottom of your boat the silver cord which droppedfrom Coo-ee-oh's hand when she was transformed," said the goldfish."Tie one end of that cord to the bow of your boat and drop the otherend to us in the water. Together we will pull your boat to the shore."
Ervic much doubted that the three small fishes could move so heavy aboat, but he did as he was told and the fishes all seized their end ofthe silver cord in their mouths and headed toward the nearest shore,which was the very place where the Flatheads had stood when theyconquered Queen Coo-ee-oh.
At first the boat did not move at all, although the fishes pulled withall their strength. But presently the strain began to tell. Very slowlythe boat crept toward the shore, gaining more speed at every moment. Acouple of yards away from the sandy beach the fishes dropped the cordfrom their mouths and swam to one side, while the iron boat, being nowunder way, continued to move until its prow grated upon the sands.
Ervic leaned over the side and said to the fishes: "What next?"
"You will find upon the sand," said the silverfish, "a copper kettle,which the Su-dic forgot when he went away. Cleanse it thoroughly in thewater of the lake, for it has had poison in it. When it is cleaned,fill it with fresh water and hold it over the side of the boat, so thatwe three may swim into the kettle. We will then instruct you further."
"Do you wish me to catch you, then?" asked Ervic in surprise.
"Yes," was the reply.
So Ervic jumped out of the boat and found the copper kettle. Carryingit a little way down the beach, he washed it well, scrubbing away everydrop of the poison it had contained with sand from the shore.
Then he went back to the boat.
Ervic's comrades were still sound asleep and knew nothing of the threefishes or what strange happenings were taking place about them. Ervicdipped the kettle in the lake, holding fast to the handle until it wasunder water. The gold and silver and bronze fishes promptly swam intothe kettle. The young Skeezer then lifted it, poured out a little ofthe water so it would not spill over the edge, and said to the fishes:"What next?"
"Carry the kettle to the shore. Take one hundred steps to the east,along the edge of the lake, and then you will see a path leadingthrough the meadows, up hill and down dale. Follow the path until youcome to a cottage which is painted a purple color with white trimmings.When you stop at the gate of this cottage we will tell you what to donext. Be careful, above all, not to stumble and spill the water fromthe kettle, or you would destroy us and all you have done would be invain."
The goldfish issued these commands and Ervic promised to be careful andstarted to obey. He left his sleeping comrades in the boat, steppingcautiously over their bodies, and on reaching the shore took exactlyone hundred steps to the east. Then he looked for the path and themoonlight was so bright that he easily discovered it, although it washidden from view by tall weeds until one came full upon it. This pathwas very narrow and did not seem to be much used, but it was quitedistinct and Ervic had no difficulty in following it. He walked througha broad meadow, covered with tall grass and weeds, up a hill and downinto a valley and then up another hill and down again.
It seemed to Ervic that he had walked miles and miles. Indeed the moonsank low and day was beginning to dawn when finally he discovered bythe roadside a pretty little cottage, painted purple with whitetrimmings. It was a lonely place--no other buildings were anywhereabout and the ground was not tilled at all. No farmer lived here, thatwas certain. Who would care to dwell in such an isolated place?
But Ervic did not bother his head long with such questions. He went upto the gate that led to the cottage, set the copper kettle carefullydown and bending over it asked:
Under the Great Dome
When Glinda the Good and her followers of the Rescue Expedition came insight of the Enchanted Mountain of the Flatheads, it was away to theleft of them, for the route they had taken through the Great Forest wassome distance from that followed by Ozma and Dorothy.
They halted awhile to decide whether they should call upon the SupremeDictator first, or go on to the Lake of the Skeezers.
"If we go to the mountain," said the Wizard, "we may get into troublewith that wicked Su-dic, and then we would be delayed in rescuing Ozmaand Dorothy. So I think our best plan will be to go to the SkeezerCountry, raise the sunken island and save our friends and theimprisoned Skeezers. Afterward we can visit the mountain and punish thecruel magician of the Flatheads."
"That is sensible," approved the Shaggy Man. "I quite agree with you."
The others, too, seemed to think the Wizard's plan the best, and Glindaherself commended it, so on they marched toward the line of palm treesthat hid the Skeezers' lake from view.
Pretty soon they came to the palms. These were set closely together,the branches, which came quite to the ground, being so tightlyinterlaced that even the Glass Cat could scarcely find a place tosqueeze through. The path which the Flatheads used was some distanceaway.
"Here's a job for the Tin Woodman," said the Scarecrow.
So the Tin Woodman, who was always glad to be of use, set to work withhis sharp, gleaming axe, which he always carried, and in a surprisinglyshort time had chopped away enough branches to permit them all to passeasily through the trees.
Now the clear waters of the beautiful lake were before them and bylooking closely they could see the outlines of the Great Dome of thesunken island, far from shore and directly in the center of the lake.
Of course every eye was at first fixed upon this dome, where Ozma andDorothy and the Skeezers were still fast prisoners. But soon theirattention was caught by a more brilliant sight, for here was theDiamond Swan swimming just before them, its long neck arched proudly,the amethyst eyes gleaming and all the diamond-sprinkled feathersglistening splendidly under the rays of the sun.
"That," said Glinda, "is the transformation of Queen Coo-ce-oh, thehaughty and wicked witch who betrayed the three Adepts at Magic andtreated her people like slaves."
"She's wonderfully beautiful now," remarked the Frogman.
"It doesn't seem like much of a punishment," said Trot. "The FlatheadSu-dic ought to have made her a toad."
"I am sure Coo-ee-oh is punished," said Glinda, "for she has lost allher magic power and her grand palace and can no longer misrule the poorSkeezers."
"Let us call to her, and hear what she has to say," proposed the Wizard.
So Glinda beckoned the Diamond Swan, which swam gracefully to aposition near them. Before anyone could speak Coo-ee-oh called to themin a rasping voice--for the voice of a swan is always harsh andunpleasant--and said with much pride:
"Admire me, Strangers! Admire the lovely Coo-ee-oh, the handsomestcreature in all Oz. Admire me!"
"Handsome is as handsome does," replied the Scarecrow. "Are your deedslovely, Coo-ce-oh?"
"Deeds? What deeds can a swan do but swim around and give pleasure toall beholders?" said the sparkling bird.
"Have you forgotten your former life? Have you forgotten your magic andwitchcraft?" inquired the Wizard.
"Magic--witchcraft? Pshaw, who cares for such silly things?" retortedCoo-ee-oh. "As for my past life, it seems like an unpleasant dream. Iwouldn't go back to it if I could. Don't you admire my beauty,Strangers?"
"Tell us, Coo-ee-oh," said Glinda earnestly, "if you can recall enoughof your witchcraft to enable us to raise the sunken island to thesurface of the lake. Tell us that and I'll give you a string of pearlsto wear around your neck and add to your beauty."
"Nothing can add to my beauty, for I'm the most beautiful creatureanywhere in the whole world."
"But how can we raise the island?"
"I don't know and I don't care. If ever I knew I've forgotten, and I'mglad of it," was the response. "Just watch me circle around and see meglitter!
"It's no use," said Button Bright; "the old Swan is too much in lovewith herself to think of anything else."
"That's a fact," agreed Betsy with a sigh; "but we've got to get Ozmaand Dorothy out of that lake, somehow or other."
"And we must do it in our own way," added the Scarecrow.
"But how?" asked Uncle Henry in a grave voice, for he could not bear tothink of his dear niece Dorothy being out there under water; "how shallwe do it?"
"Leave that to Glinda," advised the Wizard, realizing he was helplessto do it himself.
"If it were just an ordinary sunken island," said the powerfulsorceress, "there would be several ways by which I might bring it tothe surface again. But this is a Magic Isle, and by some curious art ofwitchcraft, unknown to any but Queen Coo-ce-oh, it obeys certaincommands of magic and will not respond to any other. I do not despairin the least, but it will require some deep study to solve thisdifficult problem. If the Swan could only remember the witchcraft thatshe invented and knew as a woman, I could force her to tell me thesecret, but all her former knowledge is now forgotten."
"It seems to me," said the Wizard after a brief silence had followedGlinda's speech, "that there are three fishes in this lake that used tobe Adepts at Magic and from whom Coo-ee-oh stole much of her knowledge.If we could find those fishes and return them to their former shapes,they could doubtless tell us what to do to bring the sunken island tothe surface."
"I have thought of those fishes," replied Glinda, "but among so manyfishes as this lake contains how are we to single them out?"
You will understand, of course, that had Glinda been at home in hercastle, where the Great Book of Records was, she would have known thatErvic the Skeezer already had taken the gold and silver and bronzefishes from the lake. But that act had been recorded in the Book afterGlinda had set out on this journey, so it was all unknown to her.
"I think I see a boat yonder on the shore," said Ojo the Munchkin boy,pointing to a place around the edge of the lake. "If we could get thatboat and row all over the lake, calling to the magic fishes, we mightbe able to find them."
"Let us go to the boat," said the Wizard.
They walked around the lake to where the boat was stranded upon thebeach, but found it empty. It was a mere shell of blackened steel, witha collapsible roof that, when in position, made the submarinewatertight, but at present the roof rested in slots on either side ofthe magic craft. There were no oars or sails, no machinery to make theboat go, and although Glinda promptly realized it was meant to beoperated by witchcraft, she was not acquainted with that sort of magic.
"However," said she, "the boat is merely a boat, and I believe I canmake it obey a command of sorcery, as well as it did the command ofwitchcraft. After I have given a little thought to the matter, the boatwill take us wherever we desire to go."
"Not all of us," returned the Wizard, "for it won't hold so many. But,most noble Sorceress, provided you can make the boat go, of what usewill it be to us?"
"Can't we use it to catch the three fishes?" asked Button Bright.
"It will not be necessary to use the boat for that purpose," repliedGlinda. "Wherever in the lake the enchanted fishes may be, they willanswer to my call. What I am trying to discover is how the boat came tobe on this shore, while the island on which it belongs is under wateryonder. Did Coo-ee-oh come here in the boat to meet the Flatheadsbefore the island was sunk, or afterward?"
No one could answer that question, of course; but while they ponderedthe matter three young men advanced from the line of trees, and rathertimidly bowed to the strangers.
"Who are you, and where did you come from?" inquired the Wizard.
"We are Skeezers," answered one of them, "and our home is on the MagicIsle of the Lake. We ran away when we saw you coming, and hid behindthe trees, but as you are Strangers and seem to be friendly we decidedto meet you, for we are in great trouble and need assistance."
"If you belong on the island, why are you here?" demanded Glinda.
So they told her all the story: How the Queen had defied the Flatheadsand submerged the whole island so that her enemies could not get to itor destroy it; how, when the Flatheads came to the shore, Coo-ee-oh hadcommanded them, together with their friend Ervic, to go with her in thesubmarine to conquer the Su-dic, and how the boat had shot out from thebasement of the sunken isle, obeying a magic word, and risen to thesurface, where it opened and floated upon the water.
Then followed the account of how the Su-dic had transformed Coo-ee-ohinto a swan, after which she had forgotten all the witchcraft she everknew. The young men told how, in the night when they were asleep, theircomrade Ervic had mysteriously disappeared, while the boat in somestrange manner had floated to the shore and stranded upon the beach.
That was all they knew. They had searched in vain for three days forErvic. As their island was under water and they could not get back toit, the three Skeezers had no place to go, and so had waited patientlybeside their boat for something to happen.
Being questioned by Glinda and the Wizard, they told all they knewabout Ozma and Dorothy and declared the two girls were still in thevillage under the Great Dome. They were quite safe and would be wellcared for by Lady Aurex, now that the Queen who opposed them was out ofthe way.
When they had gleaned all the information they could from theseSkeezers, the Wizard said to Glinda:
"If you find you can make this boat obey your sorcery, you could haveit return to the island, submerge itself, and enter the door in thebasement from which it came. But I cannot see that our going to thesunken island would enable our friends to escape. We would only Jointhem as prisoners."
"Not so, friend Wizard," replied Glinda. "If the boat would obey mycommands to enter the basement door, it would also obey my commands tocome out again, and I could bring Ozma and Dorothy back with me."
"And leave all of our people still imprisoned?" asked one of theSkeezers reproachfully.
"By making several trips in the boat, Glinda could fetch all yourpeople to the shore," replied the Wizard.
"But what could they do then?" inquired another Skeezer. "They wouldhave no homes and no place to go, and would be at the mercy of theirenemies, the Flatheads."
"That is true," said Glinda the Good. "And as these people are Ozma'ssubjects, I think she would refuse to escape with Dorothy and leave theothers behind, or to abandon the island which is the lawful home of theSkeezers. I believe the best plan will be to summon the three fishesand learn from them how to raise the island."
The little Wizard seemed to think that this was rather a forlorn hope.
"How will you summon them," he asked the lovely Sorceress, "and how canthey hear you?"
"That is something we must consider carefully," responded statelyGlinda, with a serene smile. "I think I can find a way."
All of Ozma's counsellors applauded this sentiment, for they knew wellthe powers of the Sorceress.
"Very well," agreed the Wizard. "Summon them, most noble Glinda."
The Cleverness of Ervic
We must now return to Ervic the Skeezer, who, when he had set down thecopper kettle containing the three fishes at the gate of the lonelycottage, had asked, "What next?"
The goldfish stuck its head above the water in the kettle and said inits small but distinct voice:
"You are to lift the latch, open the door, and walk boldly into thecottage. Do not be afraid of anything you see, for however you seem tobe threatened with dangers, nothing can harm you. The cottage is thehome of a powerful Yookoohoo, named Reera the Red, who assumes allsorts of forms, sometimes changing her form several times in a day,according to her fancy. What her real form may be we do not know. Thisstrange creature cannot be bribed with treasure, or coaxed throughfriendship, or won by pity. She has never assisted anyone, or donewrong to anyone, that we know of. All her wonderful powers are used forher own selfish amusement. She will order you out of the house but youmust refuse to go. Remain and watch Reera closely and try to see whatshe uses to accomplish her transformations. If you can discover thesecret whisper it to us and we will then tell you what to do next."
"That sounds easy," returned Ervic, who had listened carefully. "Butare you sure she will not hurt me, or try to transform me?"
"She may change your form," replied the goldfish, "but do not worry ifthat happens, for we can break that enchantment easily. You may be surethat nothing will harm you, so you must not be frightened at anythingyou see or hear."
Now Ervic was as brave as any ordinary young man, and he knew thefishes who spoke to him were truthful and to be relied upon,nevertheless he experienced a strange sinking of the heart as he pickedup the kettle and approached the door of the cottage. His hand trembledas he raised the latch, but he was resolved to obey his instructions.He pushed the door open, took three strides into the middle of the oneroom the cottage contained, and then stood still and looked around him.
The sights that met his gaze were enough to frighten anyone who had notbeen properly warned. On the floor just before Ervic lay a greatcrocodile, its red eyes gleaming wickedly and its wide open mouthdisplaying rows of sharp teeth. Horned toads hopped about; each of thefour upper corners of the room was festooned with a thick cobweb, inthe center of which sat a spider as big around as a washbasin, andarmed with pincher-like claws; a red-and-green lizard was stretched atfull length on the window-sill and black rats darted in and out of theholes they had gnawed in the floor of the cottage.
But the most startling thing was a huge gray ape which sat upon a benchand knitted. It wore a lace cap, such as old ladies wear, and a littleapron of lace, but no other clothing. Its eyes were bright and lookedas if coals were burning in them. The ape moved as naturally as anordinary person might, and on Ervic's entrance stopped knitting andraised its head to look at him.
"Get out!" cried a sharp voice, seeming to come from the ape's mouth.
Ervic saw another bench, empty, just beyond him, so he stepped over thecrocodile, sat down upon the bench and carefully placed the kettlebeside him.
"Get out!" again cried the voice.
Ervic shook his head.
"No," said he, "I'm going to stay."
The spiders left their four corners, dropped to the floor and made arush toward the young Skeezer, circling around his legs with theirpinchers extended. Ervic paid no attention to them. An enormous blackrat ran up Ervic's body, passed around his shoulders and utteredpiercing squeals in his ears, but he did not wince. The green-and-redlizard, coming from the window-sill, approached Ervic and beganspitting a flaming fluid at him, but Ervic merely stared at thecreature and its flame did not touch him.
The crocodile raised its tail and, swinging around, swept Ervic off thebench with a powerful blow. But the Skeezer managed to save the kettlefrom upsetting and he got up, shook off the horned toads that werecrawling over him and resumed his seat on the bench.
All the creatures, after this first attack, remained motionless, as ifawaiting orders. The old gray ape knitted on, not looking toward Ervicnow, and the young Skeezer stolidly kept his seat. He expectedsomething else to happen, but nothing did. A full hour passed and Ervicwas growing nervous.
"What do you want?" the ape asked at last.
"Nothing," said Ervic.
"You may have that!" retorted the ape, and at this all the strangecreatures in the room broke into a chorus of cackling laughter.
Another long wait.
"Do you know who I am?" questioned the ape.
"You must be Reera the Red--the Yookoohoo," Ervic answered.
"Knowing so much, you must also know that I do not like strangers. Yourpresence here in my home annoys me. Do you not fear my anger?"
"No," said the young man.
"Do you intend to obey me, and leave this house?" "No," replied Ervic,just as quietly as the Yookoohoo had spoken.
The ape knitted for a long time before resuming the conversation.
"Curiosity," it said, "has led to many a man's undoing. I suppose insome way you have learned that I do tricks of magic, and so throughcuriosity you have come here. You may have been told that I do notinjure anyone, so you are bold enough to disobey my commands to goaway. You imagine that you may witness some of the rites of witchcraft,and that they may amuse you. Have I spoken truly?"
"Well," remarked Ervic, who had been pondering on the strangecircumstances of his coming here, "you are right in some ways, but notin others. I am told that you work magic only for your own amusement.That seems to me very selfish. Few people understand magic. I'm toldthat you are the only real Yookoohoo in all Oz. Why don't you amuseothers as well as yourself?"
"What right have you to question my actions?"
"None at all."
"And you say you are not here to demand any favors of me?"
"For myself I want nothing from you."
"You are wise in that. I never grant favors."
"That doesn't worry me," declared Ervic.
"But you are curious? You hope to witness some of my magictransformations?"
"If you wish to perform any magic, go ahead," said Ervic. "It mayinterest me and it may not. If you'd rather go on with your knitting,it's all the same to me. I am in no hurry at all."
This may have puzzled Red Reera, but the face beneath the lace capcould show no expression, being covered with hair. Perhaps in all hercareer the Yookoohoo had never been visited by anyone who, like thisyoung man, asked for nothing, expected nothing, and had no reason forcoming except curiosity. This attitude practically disarmed the witchand she began to regard the Skeezer in a more friendly way. She knittedfor some time, seemingly in deep thought, and then she arose and walkedto a big cupboard that stood against the wall of the room. When thecupboard door was opened Ervic could see a lot of drawers inside, andinto one of these drawers--the second from the bottom--Reera thrust ahairy hand.
Until now Ervic could see over the bent form of the ape, but suddenlythe form, with its back to him, seemed to straighten up and blot outthe cupboard of drawers. The ape had changed to the form of a woman,dressed in the pretty Gillikin costume, and when she turned around hesaw that it was a young woman, whose face was quite attractive.
"Do you like me better this way?" Reera inquired with a smile.
"You look better," he said calmly, "but I'm not sure I like you anybetter."
She laughed, saying: "During the heat of the day I like to be an ape,for an ape doesn't wear any clothes to speak of. But if one hasgentlemen callers it is proper to dress up."
Ervic noticed her right hand was closed, as if she held something init. She shut the cupboard door, bent over the crocodile and in a momentthe creature had changed to a red wolf. It was not pretty even now, andthe wolf crouched beside its mistress as a dog might have done. Itsteeth looked as dangerous as had those of the crocodile.
Next the Yookoohoo went about touching all the lizards and toads, andat her touch they became kittens. The rats she changed into chipmunks.Now the only horrid creatures remaining were the four great spiders,which hid themselves behind their thick webs.
"There!" Reera cried, "now my cottage presents a more comfortableappearance. I love the toads and lizards and rats, because most peoplehate them, but I would tire of them if they always remained the same.Sometimes I change their forms a dozen times a day."
"You are clever," said Ervic. "I did not hear you utter anyincantations or magic words. All you did was to touch the creatures."
"Oh, do you think so?" she replied. "Well, touch them yourself, if youlike, and see if you can change their forms."
"No," said the Skeezer, "I don't understand magic and if I did I wouldnot try to imitate your skill. You are a wonderful Yookoohoo, while Iam only a common Skeezer."
This confession seemed to please Reera, who liked to have herwitchcraft appreciated.
"Will you go away now?" she asked. "I prefer to be alone."
"I prefer to stay here," said Ervic.
"In another person's home, where you are not wanted?"
"Is not your curiosity yet satisfied?" demanded Reera, with a smile.
"I don't know. Is there anything else you can do?"
"Many things. But why should I exhibit my powers to a stranger?"
"I can think of no reason at all," he replied.
She looked at him curiously.
"You want no power for yourself, you say, and you're too stupid to beable to steal my secrets. This isn't a pretty cottage, while outsideare sunshine, broad prairies and beautiful wildflowers. Yet you insiston sitting on that bench and annoying me with your unwelcome presence.What have you in that kettle?"
"Three fishes," he answered readily.
"Where did you get them?"
"I caught them in the Lake of the Skeezers."
"What do you intend to do with the fishes?"
"I shall carry them to the home of a friend of mine who has threechildren. The children will love to have the fishes for pets."
She came over to the bench and looked into the kettle, where the threefishes were swimming quietly in the water.
"They're pretty," said Reera. "Let me transform them into somethingelse."
"No," objected the Skeezer.
"I love to transform things; it's so interesting. And I've nevertransformed any fishes in all my life."
"Let them alone," said Ervic.
"What shapes would you prefer them to have? I can make them turtles, orcute little sea-horses; or I could make them piglets, or rabbits, orguinea-pigs; or, if you like I can make chickens of them, or eagles, orbluejays."
"Let them alone!" repeated Ervic.
"You're not a very pleasant visitor," laughed Red Reera. "People accuseme of being cross and crabbed and unsociable, and they are quite right.If you had come here pleading and begging for favors, and half afraidof my Yookoohoo magic, I'd have abused you until you ran away; butyou're quite different from that. You're the unsociable and crabbed anddisagreeable one, and so I like you, and bear with your grumpiness.It's time for my midday meal; are you hungry?"
"No," said Ervic, although he really desired food.
"Well, I am," Reera declared and clapped her hands together. Instantlya table appeared, spread with linen and bearing dishes of variousfoods, some smoking hot. There were two plates laid, one at each end ofthe table, and as soon as Reera seated herself all her creaturesgathered around her, as if they were accustomed to be fed when she ate.The wolf squatted at her right hand and the kittens and chipmunksgathered at her left.
"Come, Stranger, sit down and eat," she called cheerfully, "and whilewe're eating let us decide into what forms we shall change your fishes."
"They're all right as they are," asserted Ervic, drawing up his benchto the table. "The fishes are beauties--one gold, one silver and onebronze. Nothing that has life is more lovely than a beautiful fish."
"What! Am I not more lovely?" Reera asked, smiling at his serious face.
"I don't object to you--for a Yookoohoo, you know," he said, helpinghimself to the food and eating with good appetite.
"And don't you consider a beautiful girl more lovely than a fish,however pretty the fish may be?"
"Well," replied Ervic, after a period of thought, "that might be. Ifyou transformed my three fish into three girls--girls who would beAdepts at Magic, you know they might please me as well as the fish do.You won't do that of course, because you can't, with all your skill.And, should you be able to do so, I fear my troubles would be more thanI could bear. They would not consent to be my slaves--especially ifthey were Adepts at Magic--and so they would command me to obey them.No, Mistress Reera, let us not transform the fishes at all."
The Skeezer had put his case with remarkable cleverness. He realizedthat if he appeared anxious for such a transformation the Yookoohoowould not perform it, yet he had skillfully suggested that they be madeAdepts at Magic.
Red Reera, the Yookoohoo
After the meal was over and Reera had fed her pets, including the fourmonster spiders which had come down from their webs to secure theirshare, she made the table disappear from the floor of the cottage.
"I wish you'd consent to my transforming your fishes," she said, as shetook up her knitting again.
The Skeezer made no reply. He thought it unwise to hurry matters. Allduring the afternoon they sat silent. Once Reera went to her cupboardand after thrusting her hand into the same drawer as before, touchedthe wolf and transformed it into a bird with gorgeous colored feathers.This bird was larger than a parrot and of a somewhat different form,but Ervic had never seen one like it before.
"Sing!" said Reera to the bird, which had perched itself on a bigwooden peg--as if it had been in the cottage before and knew just whatto do.
And the bird sang jolly, rollicking songs with words to them--just as aperson who had been carefully trained might do. The songs wereentertaining and Ervic enjoyed listening to them. In an hour or so thebird stopped singing, tucked its head under its wing and went to sleep.Reera continued knitting but seemed thoughtful.
Now Ervic had marked this cupboard drawer well and had concluded thatReera took something from it which enabled her to perform hertransformations. He thought that if he managed to remain in thecottage, and Reera fell asleep, he could slyly open the cupboard, takea portion of whatever was in the drawer, and by dropping it into thecopper kettle transform the three fishes into their natural shapes.Indeed, he had firmly resolved to carry out this plan when theYookoohoo put down her knitting and walked toward the door.
"I'm going out for a few minutes," said she; "do you wish to go withme, or will you remain here?"
Ervic did not answer but sat quietly on his bench. So Reera went outand closed the cottage door.
As soon as she was gone, Ervic rose and tiptoed to the cupboard.
"Take care! Take care!" cried several voices, coming from the kittensand chipmunks. "If you touch anything we'll tell the Yookoohoo!"
Ervic hesitated a moment but, remembering that he need not considerReera's anger if he succeeded in transforming the fishes, he was aboutto open the cupboard when he was arrested by the voices of the fishes,which stuck their heads above the water in the kettle and called out:
"Come here, Ervic!"
So he went back to the kettle and bent over it
"Let the cupboard alone," said the goldfish to him earnestly. "Youcould not succeed by getting that magic powder, for only the Yookoohooknows how to use it. The best way is to allow her to transform us intothree girls, for then we will have our natural shapes and be able toperform all the Arts of Magic we have learned and well understand. Youare acting wisely and in the most effective manner. We did not know youwere so intelligent, or that Reera could be so easily deceived by you.Continue as you have begun and try to persuade her to transform us. Butinsist that we be given the forms of girls."
The goldfish ducked its head down just as Reera re-entered the cottage.She saw Ervic bent over the kettle, so she came and joined him.
"Can your fishes talk?" she asked.
"Sometimes," he replied, "for all fishes in the Land of Oz know how tospeak. Just now they were asking me for some bread. They are hungry."
"Well, they can have some bread," said Reera. "But it is nearlysupper-time, and if you would allow me to transform your fishes intogirls they could join us at the table and have plenty of food muchnicer than crumbs. Why not let me transform them?"
"Well," said Ervic, as if hesitating, "ask the fishes. If they consent,why--why, then, I'll think it over."
Reera bent over the kettle and asked:
"Can you hear me, little fishes?"
All three popped their heads above water.
"We can hear you," said the bronzefish.
"I want to give you other forms, such as rabbits, or turtles or girls,or something; but your master, the surly Skeezer, does not wish me to.However, he has agreed to the plan if you will consent."
"We'd like to be girls," said the silverfish.
"No, no!" exclaimed Ervic.
"If you promise to make us three beautiful girls, we will consent,"said the goldfish.
"No, no!" exclaimed Ervic again.
"Also make us Adepts at Magic," added the bronzefish.
"I don't know exactly what that means," replied Reera musingly, "but asno Adept at Magic is as powerful as Yookoohoo, I'll add that to thetransformation."
"We won't try to harm you, or to interfere with your magic in any way,"promised the goldfish. "On the contrary, we will be your friends."
"Will you agree to go away and leave me alone in my cottage, whenever Icommand you to do so?" asked Reera.
"We promise that," cried the three fishes.
"Don't do it! Don't consent to the transformation," urged Ervic.
"They have already consented," said the Yookoohoo, laughing in hisface, "and you have promised me to abide by their decision. So, friendSkeezer, I shall perform the transformation whether you like it or not."
Ervic seated himself on the bench again, a deep scowl on his face butjoy in his heart. Reera moved over to the cupboard, took something fromthe drawer and returned to the copper kettle. She was clutchingsomething tightly in her right hand, but with her left she reachedwithin the kettle, took out the three fishes and laid them carefully onthe floor, where they gasped in distress at being out of water.
Reera did not keep them in misery more than a few seconds, for shetouched each one with her right hand and instantly the fishes weretransformed into three tall and slender young women, with fine,intelligent faces and clothed in handsome, clinging gowns. The one whohad been a goldfish had beautiful golden hair and blue eyes and wasexceedingly fair of skin; the one who had been a bronzefish had darkbrown hair and clear gray eyes and her complexion matched these lovelyfeatures. The one who had been a silverfish had snow-white hair of thefinest texture and deep brown eyes. The hair contrasted exquisitelywith her pink cheeks and ruby-red lips, nor did it make her look a dayolder than her two companions.
As soon as they secured these girlish shapes, all three bowed low tothe Yookoohoo and said:
"We thank you, Reera."
Then they bowed to the Skeezer and said:
"We thank you, Ervic."
"Very good!" cried the Yookoohoo, examining her work with criticalapproval. "You are much better and more interesting than fishes, andthis ungracious Skeezer would scarcely allow me to do thetransformations. You surely have nothing to thank him for. But now letus dine in honor of the occasion."
She clapped her hands together and again a table loaded with foodappeared in the cottage. It was a longer table, this time, and placeswere set for the three Adepts as well as for Reera and Ervic.
"Sit down, friends, and eat your fill," said the Yookoohoo, but insteadof seating herself at the head of the table she went to the cupboard,saying to the Adepts: "Your beauty and grace, my fair friends, quiteoutshine my own. So that I may appear properly at the banquet table Iintend, in honor of this occasion, to take upon myself my naturalshape."
Scarcely had she finished this speech when Reera transformed herselfinto a young woman fully as lovely as the three Adepts. She was notquite so tall as they, but her form was more rounded and morehandsomely clothed, with a wonderful jeweled girdle and a necklace ofshining pearls. Her hair was a bright auburn red, and her eyes largeand dark.
"Do you claim this is your natural form?" asked Ervic of the Yookoohoo.
"Yes," she replied. "This is the only form I am really entitled towear. But I seldom assume it because there is no one here to admire orappreciate it and I get tired admiring it myself."
"I see now why you are named Reera the Red," remarked Ervic.
"It is on account of my red hair," she explained smiling. "I do notcare for red hair myself, which is one reason I usually wear otherforms."
"It is beautiful," asserted the young man; and then remembering theother women present he added: "But, of course, all women should nothave red hair, because that would make it too common. Gold and silverand brown hair are equally handsome."
The smiles that he saw interchanged between the four filled the poorSkeezer with embarrassment, so he fell silent and attended to eatinghis supper, leaving the others to do the talking. The three Adeptsfrankly told Reera who they were, how they became fishes and how theyhad planned secretly to induce the Yookoohoo to transform them. Theyadmitted that they had feared, had they asked her to help, that shewould have refused them.
"You were quite right," returned the Yookoohoo. "I make it my rulenever to perform magic to assist others, for if I did there wouldalways be crowd at my cottage demanding help and I hate crowds and wantto be left alone."
"However, now that you are restored to your proper shapes, I do notregret my action and I hope you will be of use in saving the Skeezerpeople by raising their island to the surface of the lake, where itreally belongs. But you must promise me that after you go away you willnever come here again, nor tell anyone what I have done for you."
The three Adepts and Ervic thanked the Yookoohoo warmly. They promisedto remember her wish that they should not come to her cottage again andso, with a good-bye, took their departure.
A Puzzling Problem
Glinda the Good, having decided to try her sorcery upon the abandonedsubmarine, so that it would obey her commands, asked all of her party,including the Skeezers, to withdraw from the shore of the take to theline of palm trees. She kept with her only the little Wizard of Oz, whowas her pupil and knew how to assist her in her magic rites. When theytwo were alone beside the stranded boat, Glinda said to the Wizard:
"I shall first try my magic recipe No. 1163, which is intended to makeinanimate objects move at my command. Have you a skeropythrope withyou?"
"Yes, I always carry one in my bag," replied the Wizard. He opened hisblack bag of magic tools and took out a brightly polishedskeropythrope, which he handed to the Sorceress. Glinda had alsobrought a small wicker bag, containing various requirements of sorcery,and from this she took a parcel of powder and a vial of liquid. Shepoured the liquid into the skeropythrope and added the powder. At oncethe skeropythrope began to sputter and emit sparks of a violet color,which spread in all directions. The Sorceress instantly stepped intothe middle of the boat and held the instrument so that the sparks fellall around her and covered every bit of the blackened steel boat. Atthe same time Glinda crooned a weird incantation in the language ofsorcery, her voice sounding low and musical.
After a little the violet sparks ceased, and those that had fallen uponthe boat had disappeared and left no mark upon its surface. Theceremony was ended and Glinda returned the skeropythrope to the Wizard,who put it away in his black bag.
"That ought to do the business all right," he said confidently.
"Let us make a trial and see," she replied.
So they both entered the boat and seated themselves.
Speaking in a tone of command the Sorceress said to the boat: "Carry usacross the lake, to the farther shore."
At once the boat backed off the sandy beach, turned its prow and movedswiftly over the water.
"Very good--very good indeed!" cried the Wizard, when the boat slowedup at the shore opposite from that whence they had departed. "EvenCoo-ee-oh, with all her witchcraft, could do no better."
The Sorceress now said to the boat:
"Close up, submerge and carry us to the basement door of the sunkenisland--the door from which you emerged at the command of QueenCoo-ee-oh."
The boat obeyed. As it sank into the water the top sections rose fromthe sides and joined together over the heads of Glinda and the Wizard,who were thus enclosed in a water-proof chamber. There were four glasswindows in this covering, one on each side and one on either end, sothat the passengers could see exactly where they were going. Movingunder water more slowly than on the surface, the submarine graduallyapproached the island and halted with its bow pressed against the hugemarble door in the basement under the Dome. This door was tightlyclosed and it was evident to both Glinda and the Wizard that it wouldnot open to admit the underwater boat unless a magic word was spoken bythem or someone from within the basement of the island. But what wasthis magic word? Neither of them knew.
"I'm afraid," said the Wizard regretfully, "that we can't get in, afterall. Unless your sorcery can discover the word to open the marble door."
"That is probably some word only known to Coo-ce-oh," replied theSorceress. "I may be able to discover what it is, but that will requiretime. Let us go back again to our companions."
"It seems a shame, after we have made the boat obey us, to be balked byjust a marble door," grumbled the Wizard.
At Glinda's command the boat rose until it was on a level with theglass dome that covered the Skeezer village, when the Sorceress made itslowly circle all around the Great Dome.
Many faces were pressed against the glass from the inside, eagerlywatching the submarine, and in one place were Dorothy and Ozma, whoquickly recognized Glinda and the Wizard through the glass windows ofthe boat. Glinda saw them, too, and held the boat close to the Domewhile the friends exchanged greetings in pantomime. Their voices,unfortunately, could not be heard through the Dome and the water andthe side of the boat. The Wizard tried to make the girls understand,through signs, that he and Glinda had come to their rescue, and Ozmaand Dorothy understood this from the very fact that the Sorceress andthe Wizard had appeared. The two girl prisoners were smiling and insafety, and knowing this Glinda felt she could take all the timenecessary in order to effect their final rescue.
As nothing more could be done just then, Glinda ordered the boat toreturn to shore and it obeyed readily. First it ascended to the surfaceof the water, then the roof parted and fell into the slots at the sideof the boat, and then the magic craft quickly made the shore andbeached itself on the sands at the very spot from which it had departedat Glinda's command. All the Oz people and the Skeezers at once ran tothe boat to ask if they had reached the island, and whether they hadseen Ozma and Dorothy. The Wizard told them of the obstacle they hadmet in the way of a marble door, and how Glinda would now undertake tofind a magic way to conquer the door.
Realizing that it would require several days to succeed in reaching theisland raising it and liberating their friends and the Skeezer people,Glinda now prepared a camp half way between the lake shore and the palmtrees.
The Wizard's wizardry made a number of tents appear and the sorcery ofthe Sorceress furnished these tents all complete, with beds, chairs,tables, flags, lamps and even books with which to pass idle hours. Allthe tents had the Royal Banner of Oz flying from the centerpoles andone big tent, not now occupied, had Ozma's own banner moving in thebreeze.
Betsy and Trot had a tent to themselves, and Button Bright and Ojo hadanother. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman paired together in one tentand so did Jack Pumpkinhead and the Shaggy Man, Cap'n Bill and UncleHenry, Tik-Tok and Professor Wogglebug. Glinda had the most splendidtent of all, except that reserved for Ozma, while the Wizard had alittle one of his own. Whenever it was meal time, tables loaded withfood magically appeared in the tents of those who were in the habit ofeating, and these complete arrangements made the rescue party justcomfortable as they would have been in their own homes.
Far into the night Glinda sat in her tent studying a roll of mysticscrolls in search of a word that would open the basement door of theisland and admit her to the Great Dome. She also made many magicalexperiments, hoping to discover something that would aid her. Yet themorning found the powerful Sorceress still unsuccessful.
Glinda's art could have opened any ordinary door, you may be sure, butyou must realize that this marble door of the island had been commandednot to open save in obedience to one magic word, and therefore allother magic words could have no effect upon it. The magic word thatguarded the door had probably been invented by Coo-ee-oh, who had nowforgotten it. The only way, then, to gain entrance to the sunken islandwas to break the charm that held the door fast shut. If this could bedone no magic would be required to open it.
The next day the Sorceress and the Wizard again entered the boat andmade it submerge and go to the marble door, which they tried in variousways to open, but without success.
"We shall have to abandon this attempt, I think," said Glinda. "Theeasiest way to raise the island would be for us to gain admittance tothe Dome and then descend to the basement and see in what mannerCoo-ee-oh made the entire island sink or rise at her command. Itnaturally occurred to me that the easiest way to gain admittance wouldbe by having the boat take us into the basement through the marble doorfrom which Coo-ee-oh launched it. But there must be other ways to getinside the Dome and join Ozma and Dorothy, and such ways we must findby study and the proper use of our powers of magic."
"It won't be easy," declared the Wizard, "for we must not forget thatOzma herself understands considerable magic, and has doubtless tried toraise the island or find other means of escape from it and failed."
"That is true," returned Glinda, "but Ozma's magic is fairy magic,while you are a Wizard and I am a Sorceress. In this way the three ofus have a great variety of magic to work with, and if we should allfail it will be because the island is raised and lowered by a magicpower none of us is acquainted with. My idea therefore is to seek--bysuch magic as we possess--to accomplish our object in another way."
They made the circle of the Dome again in their boat, and once more sawOzma and Dorothy through their windows and exchanged signals with thetwo imprisoned girls.
Ozma realized that her friends were doing all in their power to rescueher and smiled an encouragement to their efforts. Dorothy seemed alittle anxious but was trying to be as brave as her companion.
After the boat had returned to the camp and Glinda was seated in hertent, working out various ways by which Ozma and Dorothy could berescued, the Wizard stood on the shore dreamily eying the outlines ofthe Great Dome which showed beneath the clear water, when he raised hiseyes and saw a group of strange people approaching from around thelake. Three were young women of stately presence, very beautifullydressed, who moved with remarkable grace. They were followed at alittle distance by a good-looking young Skeezer.
The Wizard saw at a glance that these people might be very important,so he advanced to meet them. The three maidens received him graciouslyand the one with the golden hair said:
"I believe you are the famous Wizard of Oz, of whom I have often heard.We are seeking Glinda, the Sorceress, and perhaps you can lead us toher."
"I can, and will, right gladly," answered the Wizard. "Follow me,please."
The little Wizard was puzzled as to the identity of the three lovelyvisitors but he gave no sign that might embarrass them.
He understood they did not wish to be questioned, and so he made noremarks as he led the way to Glinda's tent.
With a courtly bow the Wizard ushered the three visitors into thegracious presence of Glinda, the Good.
The Three Adepts
The Sorceress looked up from her work as the three maidens entered, andsomething in their appearance and manner led her to rise and bow tothem in her most dignified manner. The three knelt an instant beforethe great Sorceress and then stood upright and waited for her to speak.
"Whoever you may be," said Glinda, "I bid you welcome."
"My name is Audah," said one.
"My name is Aurah," said another.
"My name is Aujah," said the third.
Glinda had never heard these names before, but looking closely at thethree she asked:
"Are you witches or workers in magic?"
"Some of the secret arts we have gleaned from Nature," replied thebrownhaired maiden modestly, "but we do not place our skill beside thatof the Great Sorceress, Glinda the Good."
"I suppose you are aware it is unlawful to practice magic in the Landof Oz, without the permission of our Ruler, Princess Ozma?"
"No, we were not aware of that," was the reply. "We have heard ofOzma, who is the appointed Ruler of all this great fairyland, but herlaws have not reached us, as yet."
Glinda studied the strange maidens thoughtfully; then she said to them:
"Princess Ozma is even now imprisoned in the Skeezer village, for thewhole island with its Great Dome, was sunk to the bottom of the lake bythe witchcraft of Coo-ee-oh, whom the Flathead Su-dic transformed intoa silly swan. I am seeking some way to overcome Coo-ee-oh's magic andraise the isle to the surface again. Can you help me do this?"
The maidens exchanged glances, and the white-haired one replied:
"We do not know; but we will try to assist you."
"It seems," continued Glinda musingly, "that Coo-ee-oh derived most ofher witchcraft from three Adepts at Magic, who at one time ruled theFlatheads. While the Adepts were being entertained by Coo-ee-oh at abanquet in her palace, she cruelly betrayed them and after transformingthem into fishes cast them into the lake.
"If I could find these three fishes and return them to their naturalshapes--they might know what magic Coo-ee-oh used to sink the island. Iwas about to go to the shore and call these fishes to me when youarrived. So, if you will join me, we will try to find them."
The maidens exchanged smiles now, and the golden-haired one, Audah,said to Glinda:
"It will not be necessary to go to the lake. We are the three fishes."
"Indeed!" cried Glinda. "Then you are the three Adepts at Magic,restored to your proper forms?"
"We are the three Adepts," admitted Aujah.
"Then," said Glinda, "my task is half accomplished. But who destroyedthe transformation that made you fishes?"
"We have promised not to tell," answered Aurah; "but this young Skeezerwas largely responsible for our release; he is brave and clever, and weowe him our gratitude."
Glinda looked at Ervic, who stood modestly behind the Adepts, hat inhand. "He shall be properly rewarded," she declared, "for in helpingyou he has helped us all, and perhaps saved his people from beingimprisoned forever in the sunken isle."
The Sorceress now asked her guests to seat themselves and a long talkfollowed, in which the Wizard of Oz shared.
"We are quite certain," said Aurah, "that if we could get inside theDome we could discover Coo-ee-oh's secrets, for in all her work, afterwe became fishes, she used the formulas and incantations and arts thatshe stole from us. She may have added to these things, but they werethe foundation of all her work."
"What means do you suggest for our getting into the Dome?" inquiredGlinda.
The three Adepts hesitated to reply, for they had not yet consideredwhat could be done to reach the inside of the Great Dome. While theywere in deep thought, and Glinda and the Wizard were quietly awaitingtheir suggestions, into the tent rushed Trot and Betsy, draggingbetween them the Patchwork Girl.
"Oh, Glinda," cried Trot, "Scraps has thought of a way to rescue Ozmaand Dorothy and all of the Skeezers."
The three Adepts could not avoid laughing merrily, for not only werethey amused by the queer form of the Patchwork Girl, but Trot'senthusiastic speech struck them as really funny. If the Great Sorceressand the famous Wizard and the three talented Adepts at Magic wereunable as yet to solve the important problem of the sunken isle, therewas little chance for a patched girl stuffed with cotton to succeed.
But Glinda, smiling indulgently at the earnest faces turned toward her,patted the children's heads and said:
"Scraps is very clever. Tell us what she has thought of, my dear."
"Well," said Trot, "Scraps says that if you could dry up all the waterin the lake the island would be on dry land, an' everyone could comeand go whenever they liked."
Glinda smiled again, but the Wizard said to the girls:
"If we should dry up the lake, what would become of all the beautifulfishes that now live in the water?"
"Dear me! That's so," admitted Betsy, crestfallen; "we never thought ofthat, did we Trot?"
"Couldn't you transform 'em into polliwogs?" asked Scraps, turning asomersault and then standing on one leg. "You could give them a little,teeny pond to swim in, and they'd be just as happy as they are asfishes."
"No indeed!" replied the Wizard, severely. "It is wicked to transformany living creatures without their consent, and the lake is the home ofthe fishes and belongs to them."
"All right," said Scraps, making a face at him; "I don't care."
"It's too bad," sighed Trot, "for I thought we'd struck a splendididea."
"So you did," declared Glinda, her face now grave and thoughtful."There is something in the Patchwork Girl's idea that may be of realvalue to us."
"I think so, too," agreed the golden-haired Adept. "The top of theGreat Dome is only a few feet below the surface of the water. If wecould reduce the level of the lake until the Dome sticks a little abovethe water, we could remove some of the glass and let ourselves downinto the village by means of ropes."
"And there would be plenty of water left for the fishes to swim in,"added the white-haired maiden.
"If we succeed in raising the island we could fill up the lake again,"suggested the brown-haired Adept.
"I believe," said the Wizard, rubbing his hands together in delight,"that the Patchwork Girl has shown us the way to success."
The girls were looking curiously at the three beautiful Adepts,wondering who they were, so Glinda introduced them to Trot and Betsyand Scraps, and then sent the children away while she considered how tocarry the new idea into effect.
Not much could be done that night, so the Wizard prepared another tentfor the Adepts, and in the evening Glinda held a reception and invitedall her followers to meet the new arrivals. The Adepts were greatlyastonished at the extraordinary personages presented to them, andmarveled that Jack Pumpkinhead and the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodmanand Tik-Tok could really live and think and talk just like otherpeople. They were especially pleased with the lively Patchwork Girl andloved to watch her antics.
It was quite a pleasant party, for Glinda served some daintyrefreshments to those who could eat, and the Scarecrow recited somepoems, and the Cowardly Lion sang a song in his deep bass voice. Theonly thing that marred their joy was the thought that their belovedOzma and dear little Dorothy were yet confined in the Great Dome of theSunken island.
The Sunken Island
As soon as they had breakfasted the next morning, Glinda and the Wizardand the three Adepts went down to the shore of the lake and formed aline with their faces toward the submerged island. All the others cameto watch them, but stood at a respectful distance in the background.
At the right of the Sorceress stood Audah and Aurah, while at the leftstood the Wizard and Aujah. Together they stretched their arms over thewater's edge and in unison the five chanted a rhythmic incantation.
This chant they repeated again and again, swaying their arms gentlyfrom side to side, and in a few minutes the watchers behind themnoticed that the lake had begun to recede from the shore. Before longthe highest point of the dome appeared above the water. Gradually thewater fell, making the dome appear to rise. When it was three or fourfeet above the surface Glinda gave the signal to stop, for their workhad been accomplished.
The blackened submarine was now entirely out of water, but Uncle Henryand Cap'n Bill managed to push it into the lake. Glinda, the Wizard,Ervic and the Adepts got into the boat, taking with them a coil ofstrong rope, and at the command of the Sorceress the craft cleaved itsway through the water toward the part of the Dome which was now visible.
"There's still plenty of water for the fish to swim in," observed theWizard as they rode along. "They might like more but I'm sure they canget along until we have raised the island and can fill up the lakeagain."
The boat touched gently on the sloping glass of the Dome, and theWizard took some tools from his black bag and quickly removed one largepane of glass, thus making a hole large enough for their bodies to passthrough. Stout frames of steel supported the glass of the Dome, andaround one of these frames the Wizard tied the end of a rope.
"I'll go down first," said he, "for while I'm not as spry as Cap'n BillI'm sure I can manage it easily. Are you sure the rope is long enoughto reach the bottom?"
"Quite sure," replied the Sorceress.
So the Wizard let down the rope and climbing through the openinglowered himself down, hand over hand, clinging to the rope with hislegs and feet. Below in the streets of the village were gathered allthe Skeezers, men, women and children, and you may be sure that Ozmaand Dorothy, with Lady Aurex, were filled with joy that their friendswere at last coming to their rescue.
The Queen's palace, now occupied by Ozma, was directly in the center ofthe Dome, so that when the rope was let down the end of it came just infront of the palace entrance. Several Skeezers held fast to the rope'send to steady it and the Wizard reached the ground in safety. He huggedfirst Ozma and then Dorothy, while all the Skeezers cheered as loud asthey could.
The Wizard now discovered that the rope was long enough to reach fromthe top of the Dome to the ground when doubled, so he tied a chair toone end of the rope and called to Glinda to sit in the chair while heand some of the Skeezers lowered her to the pavement. In this way theSorceress reached the ground quite comfortably and the three Adepts andErvic soon followed her.
The Skeezers quickly recognized the three Adepts at Magic, whom theyhad learned to respect before their wicked Queen betrayed them, andwelcomed them as friends. All the inhabitants of the village had beengreatly frightened by their imprisonment under water, but now realizedthat an attempt was to be made to rescue them.
Glinda, the Wizard and the Adepts followed Ozma and Dorothy into thepalace, and they asked Lady Aurex and Ervic to join them. After Ozmahad told of her adventures in trying to prevent war between theFlatheads and the Skeezers, and Glinda had told all about the RescueExpedition and the restoration of the three Adepts by the help ofErvic, a serious consultation was held as to how the island could bemade to rise.
"I've tried every way in my power," said Ozma, "but Coo-ee-oh used avery unusual sort of magic which I do not understand. She seems to haveprepared her witchcraft in such a way that a spoken word is necessaryto accomplish her designs, and these spoken words are known only toherself."
"That is a method we taught her," declared Aurah the Adept.
"I can do no more, Glinda," continued Ozma, "so I wish you would trywhat your sorcery can accomplish."
"First, then," said Glinda, "let us visit the basement of the island,which I am told is underneath the village."
A flight of marble stairs led from one of Coo-ee-oh's private roomsdown to the basement, but when the party arrived all were puzzled bywhat they saw. In the center of a broad, low room, stood a mass ofgreat cog-wheels, chains and pulleys, all interlocked and seeming toform a huge machine; but there was no engine or other motive power tomake the wheels turn.
"This, I suppose, is the means by which the island is lowered orraised," said Ozma, "but the magic word which is needed to move themachinery is unknown to us."
The three Adepts were carefully examining the mass of wheels, and soonthe golden-haired one said:
"These wheels do not control the island at all. On the contrary, oneset of them is used to open the doors of the little rooms where thesubmarines are kept, as may be seen from the chains and pulleys used.Each boat is kept in a little room with two doors, one to the basementroom where we are now and the other letting into the lake.
"When Coo-ee-oh used the boat in which she attacked the Flatheads, shefirst commanded the basement door to open and with her followers shegot into the boat and made the top close over them. Then the basementdoor being closed, the outer door was slowly opened, letting the waterfill the room to float the boat, which then left the island, keepingunder water."
"But how could she expect to get back again?" asked the Wizard.
"Why the boat would enter the room filled with water and after theouter door was closed a word of command started a pump which pumped allthe water from the room. Then the boat would open and Coo-ee-oh couldenter the basement."
"I see," said the Wizard. "It is a clever contrivance, but won't workunless one knows the magic words."
"Another part of this machinery," explained the white-haired Adept, "isused to extend the bridge from the island to the mainland. The steelbridge is in a room much like that in which the boats are kept, and atCoo-ce-oh's command it would reach out, joint by joint, until its farend touched the shore of the lake. The same magic command would makethe bridge return to its former position. Of course the bridge couldnot be used unless the island was on the surface of the water."
"But how do you suppose Coo-ee-oh managed to sink the island, and makeit rise again?" inquired Glinda.
This the Adepts could not yet explain. As nothing more could be learnedfrom the basement they mounted the steps to the Queen's private suiteagain, and Ozma showed them to a special room where Coo-ee-oh kept hermagical instruments and performed all her arts of witchcraft.
The Magic Words
Many interesting things were to be seen in the Room of Magic, includingmuch that had been stolen from the Adepts when they were transformed tofishes, but they had to admit that Coo-ee-oh had a rare genius formechanics, and had used her knowledge in inventing a lot of mechanicalapparatus that ordinary witches, wizards and sorcerers could notunderstand.
They all carefully inspected this room, taking care to examine everyarticle they came across.
"The island," said Glinda thoughtfully, "rests on a base of solidmarble. When it is submerged, as it is now, the base of the island isupon the bottom of the lake. What puzzles me is how such a great weightcan be lifted and suspended in the water, even by magic."
"I now remember," returned Aujah, "that one of the arts we taughtCoo-ee-oh was the way to expand steel, and I think that explains howthe island is raised and lowered. I noticed in the basement a big steelpillar that passed through the floor and extended upward to thispalace. Perhaps the end of it is concealed in this very room. If thelower end of the steel pillar is firmly embedded in the bottom of thelake, Coo-ee-oh could utter a magic word that would make the pillarexpand, and so lift the entire island to the level of the water."
"I've found the end of the steel pillar. It's just here," announced theWizard, pointing to one side of the room where a great basin ofpolished steel seemed to have been set upon the floor.
They all gathered around, and Ozma said:
"Yes, I am quite sure that is the upper end of the pillar that supportsthe island. I noticed it when I first came here. It has been hollowedout, you see, and something has been burned in the basin, for the firehas left its marks. I wondered what was under the great basin and gotseveral of the Skeezers to come up here and try to lift it for me. Theywere strong men, but could not move it at all."
"It seems to me," said Audah the Adept, "that we have discovered themanner in which Coo-ee-oh raised the island. She would burn some sortof magic powder in the basin, utter the magic word, and the pillarwould lengthen out and lift the island with it."
"What's this?" asked Dorothy, who had been searching around with theothers, and now noticed a slight hollow in the wall, near to where thesteel basin stood. As she spoke Dorothy pushed her thumb into thehollow and instantly a small drawer popped out from the wall.
The three Adepts, Glinda and the Wizard sprang forward and peered intothe drawer. It was half filled with a grayish powder, the tiny grainsof which constantly moved as if impelled by some living force.
"It may be some kind of radium," said the Wizard.
"No," replied Glinda, "it is more wonderful than even radium, for Irecognize it as a rare mineral powder called Gaulau by the sorcerers. Iwonder how Coo-ee-oh discovered it and where she obtained it."
"There is no doubt," said Aujah the Adept, "that this is the magicpowder Coo-ee-oh burned in the basin. If only we knew the magic word, Iam quite sure we could raise the island."
"How can we discover the magic word?" asked Ozma, turning to Glinda asshe spoke.
"That we must now seriously consider," answered the Sorceress.
So all of them sat down in the Room of Magic and began to think. It wasso still that after a while Dorothy grew nervous. The little girl nevercould keep silent for long, and at the risk of displeasing hermagic-working friends she suddenly said:
"Well, Coo-ee-oh used just three magic words, one to make the bridgework, and one to make the submarines go out of their holes, and one toraise and lower the island. Three words. And Coo-ee-oh's name is madeup of just three words. One is 'Coo,' and one is 'ee,' and one is 'oh.'"
The Wizard frowned but Glinda looked wonderingly at the young girl andOzma cried out:
"A good thought, Dorothy dear! You may have solved our problem."
"I believe it is worth a trial," agreed Glinda. "It would be quitenatural for Coo-ee-oh to divide her name into three magic syllables,and Dorothy's suggestion seems like an inspiration."
The three Adepts also approved the trial but the brown-haired one said:
"We must be careful not to use the wrong word, and send the bridge outunder water. The main thing, if Dorothy's idea is correct, is to hitupon the one word that moves the island."
"Let us experiment," suggested the Wizard.
In the drawer with the moving gray powder was a tiny golden cup, whichthey thought was used for measuring. Glinda filled this cup with thepowder and carefully poured it into the shallow basin, which was thetop of the great steel pillar supporting the island. Then Aurah theAdept lighted a taper and touched it to the powder, which instantlyglowed fiery red and tumbled about the basin with astonishing energy.While the grains of powder still glowed red the Sorceress bent over itand said in a voice of command: "Coo!"
They waited motionless to see what would happen. There was a gratingnoise and a whirl of machinery, but the island did not move a particle.
Dorothy rushed to the window, which overlooked the glass side of thedome.
"The boats!" she exclaimed. "The boats are all loose an' sailing underwater."
"We've made a mistake," said the Wizard gloomily.
"But it's one which shows we are on the right track," declared Aujahthe Adept. "We know now that Coo-ee-oh used the syllables of her namefor the magic words."
"If 'Coo' sends out the boats, it is probable that ee' works thebridge," suggested Ozma. "So the last part of the name may raise theisland."
"Let us try that next then," proposed the Wizard.
He scraped the embers of the burned powder out of the basin and Glindaagain filled the golden cup from the drawer and placed it on top thesteel pillar. Aurah lighted it with her taper and Ozma bent over thebasin and murmured the long drawn syllable: "Oh-h-h!"
Instantly the island trembled and with a weird groaning noise it movedupward--slowly, very slowly, but with a steady motion, while all thecompany stood by in awed silence. It was a wonderful thing, even tothose skilled in the arts of magic, wizardry and sorcery, to realizethat a single word could raise that great, heavy island, with itsimmense glass Dome.
"Why, we're way above the lake now!" exclaimed Dorothy from the window,when at last the island ceased to move.
"That is because we lowered the level of the water," explained Glinda.
They could hear the Skeezers cheering lustily in the streets of thevillage as they realized that they were saved.
"Come," said Ozma eagerly, "let us go down and join the people."
"Not just yet," returned Glinda, a happy smile upon her lovely face,for she was overjoyed at their success. "First let us extend the bridgeto the mainland, where our friends from the Emerald City are waiting."
It didn't take long to put more powder in the basin, light it and utterthe syllable "EE!" The result was that a door in the basement openedand the steel bridge moved out, extended itself joint by joint, andfinally rested its far end on the shore of the lake just in front ofthe encampment.
"Now," said Glinda, "we can go up and receive the congratulations ofthe Skeezers and of our friends of the Rescue Expedition."
Across the water, on the shore of the lake, the Patchwork Girl waswaving them a welcome.
Of course all those who had joined Glinda's expedition at once crossedthe bridge to the island, where they were warmly welcomed by theSkeezers. Before all the concourse of people Princess Ozma made aspeech from a porch of the palace and demanded that they recognize heras their lawful Ruler and promise to obey the laws of the Land of Oz.In return she agreed to protect them from all future harm and declaredthey would no longer be subjected to cruelty and abuse.
This pleased the Skeezers greatly, and when Ozma told them they mightelect a Queen to rule over them, who in turn would be subject to Ozmaof Oz, they voted for Lady Aurex, and that same day the ceremony ofcrowning the new Queen was held and Aurex was installed as mistress ofthe palace.
For her Prime Minister the Queen selected Ervic, for the three Adeptshad told of his good judgment, faithfulness and cleverness, and all theSkeezers approved the appointment.
Glinda, the Wizard and the Adepts stood on the bridge and recited anincantation that quite filled the lake with water again, and theScarecrow and the Patchwork Girl climbed to the top of the Great Domeand replaced the pane of glass that had been removed to allow Glindaand her followers to enter.
When evening came Ozma ordered a great feast prepared, to which everySkeezer was invited. The village was beautifully decorated andbrilliantly lighted and there was music and dancing until a late hourto celebrate the liberation of the people. For the Skeezers had beenfreed, not only from the water of the lake but from the cruelty oftheir former Queen.
As the people from the Emerald City prepared the next morning to departQueen Aurex said to Ozma:
"There is only one thing I now fear for my people, and that is theenmity of the terrible Su-dic of the Flatheads. He is liable to comehere at any time and try to annoy us, and my Skeezers are peacefulfolks and unable to fight the wild and wilful Flatheads."
"Do not worry," returned Ozma, reassuringly. "We intend to stop on ourway at the Flatheads' Enchanted Mountain and punish the Su-dic for hismisdeeds."
That satisfied Aurex and when Ozma and her followers trooped over thebridge to the shore, having taken leave of their friends, all theSkeezers cheered them and waved their hats and handkerchiefs, and theband played and the departure was indeed a ceremony long to beremembered.
The three Adepts at Magic, who had formerly ruled the Flatheads wiselyand considerately, went with Princess Ozma and her people, for they hadpromised Ozma to stay on the mountain and again see that the laws wereenforced.
Glinda had been told all about the curious Flatheads and she hadconsulted with the Wizard and formed a plan to render them moreintelligent and agreeable.
When the party reached the mountain Ozma and Dorothy showed them how topass around the invisible wall--which had been built by the Flatheadsafter the Adepts were transformed--and how to gain the up-and-downstairway that led to the mountain top.
The Su-dic had watched the approach of the party from the edge of themountain and was frightened when he saw that the three Adepts hadrecovered their natural forms and were coming back to their formerhome. He realized that his power would soon be gone and yet hedetermined to fight to the last. He called all the Flatheads togetherand armed them, and told them to arrest all who came up the stairwayand hurl them over the edge of the mountain to the plain below. Butalthough they feared the Supreme Dictator, who had threatened to punishthem if they did not obey his commands, as soon as they saw the threeAdepts they threw down their arms and begged their former rulers toprotect them.
The three Adepts assured the excited Flatheads that they had nothing tofear.
Seeing that his people had rebelled the Su-dic ran away and tried tohide, but the Adepts found him and had him cast into a prison, all hiscans of brains being taken away from him.
After this easy conquest of the Su-dic, Glinda told the Adepts of herplan, which had already been approved by Ozma of Oz, and they joyfullyagreed to it. So, during the next few days, the great Sorceresstransformed, in a way, every Flathead on the mountain.
Taking them one at a time, she had the can of brains that belonged toeach one opened and the contents spread on the flat head, after which,by means of her arts of sorcery, she caused the head to grow over thebrains--in the manner most people wear them--and they were thusrendered as intelligent and good looking as any of the otherinhabitants of the Land of Oz.
When all had been treated in this manner there were no more Flatheadsat all, and the Adepts decided to name their people Mountaineers. Onegood result of Glinda's sorcery was that no one could now be deprivedof the brains that belonged to him and each person had exactly theshare he was entitled to.
Even the Su-dic was given his portion of brains and his flat head maderound, like the others, but he was deprived of all power to workfurther mischief, and with the Adepts constantly watching him he wouldbe forced to become obedient and humble.
The Golden Pig, which ran grunting about the streets, with no brains atall, was disenchanted by Glinda, and in her woman's form was givenbrains and a round head. This wife of the Su-dic had once been evenmore wicked than her evil husband, but she had now forgotten all herwickedness and was likely to be a good woman thereafter.
These things being accomplished in a satisfactory manner, Princess Ozmaand her people bade farewell to the three Adepts and departed for theEmerald City, well pleased with their interesting adventures.
They returned by the road over which Ozma and Dorothy had come,stopping to get the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon where they had left them.
"I'm very glad I went to see these peoples," said Princess Ozma, "for Inot only prevented any further warfare between them, but they have beenfreed from the rule of the Su-dic and Coo-ee-oh and are now happy andloyal subjects of the Land of Oz. Which proves that it is always wiseto do one's duty, however unpleasant that duty may seem to be."