Full text of Lost Princess of Oz

This Book is Dedicated To My Granddaughter OZMA BAUM

To My Readers

Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. Thispleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages toits present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discoverAmerica. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imaginationhas given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine andthe automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before theybecame realities. So I believe that dreams--day dreams, you know, withyour eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing--are likely tolead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will becomethe imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, andtherefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me thatfairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young.I believe it.

Among the letters I receive from children are many containingsuggestions of "what to write about in the next Oz Book." Some of theideas advanced are mighty interesting, while others are too extravagantto be seriously considered--even in a fairy tale. Yet I like them all,and I must admit that the main idea in "The Lost Princess of Oz" wassuggested to me by a sweet little girl of eleven who called to see meand to talk about the Land of Oz. Said she: "I s'pose if Ozma ever gotlost, or stolen, ev'rybody in Oz would be dreadful sorry."

That was all, but quite enough foundation to build this present storyon. If you happen to like the story, give credit to my little friend'sclever hint.

L. Frank Baum Royal Historian of Oz

LIST OF CHAPTERS

1 A Terrible Loss 2 The Troubles of Glinda the Good 3 The Robbery of Cayke the Cookie Cook 4 Among the Winkies 5 Ozma's Friends Are Perplexed 6 The Search Party 7 The Merry-Go-Round Mountains 8 The Mysterious City 9 The High Coco-Lorum of Thi 10 Toto Loses Something 11 Button-Bright Loses Himself 12 The Czarover of Herku 13 The Truth Pond 14 The Unhappy Ferryman 15 The Big Lavender Bear 16 The Little Pink Bear 17 The Meeting 18 The Conference 19 Ugu the Shoemaker 20 More Surprises 21 Magic Against Magic 22 In the Wicker Castle 23 The Defiance of Ugu the Shoemaker 24 The Little Pink Bear Speaks Truly 25 Ozma of Oz 26 Dorothy Forgives

THE LOST PRINCESS

BY L. FRANK BAUM

CHAPTER 1

A TERRIBLE LOSS

There could be no doubt of the fact: Princess Ozma, the lovely girlruler of the Fairyland of Oz, was lost. She had completelydisappeared. Not one of her subjects--not even her closestfriends--knew what had become of her. It was Dorothy who firstdiscovered it. Dorothy was a little Kansas girl who had come to theLand of Oz to live and had been given a delightful suite of rooms inOzma's royal palace just because Ozma loved Dorothy and wanted her tolive as near her as possible so the two girls might be much together.

Dorothy was not the only girl from the outside world who had beenwelcomed to Oz and lived in the royal palace. There was another namedBetsy Bobbin, whose adventures had led her to seek refuge with Ozma,and still another named Trot, who had been invited, together with herfaithful companion Cap'n Bill, to make her home in this wonderfulfairyland. The three girls all had rooms in the palace and were greatchums; but Dorothy was the dearest friend of their gracious Ruler andonly she at any hour dared to seek Ozma in her royal apartments. ForDorothy had lived in Oz much longer than the other girls and had beenmade a Princess of the realm.

Betsy was a year older than Dorothy and Trot was a year younger, yetthe three were near enough of an age to become great playmates and tohave nice times together. It was while the three were talking togetherone morning in Dorothy's room that Betsy proposed they make a journeyinto the Munchkin Country, which was one of the four great countries ofthe Land of Oz ruled by Ozma. "I've never been there yet," said BetsyBobbin, "but the Scarecrow once told me it is the prettiest country inall Oz."

"I'd like to go, too," added Trot.

"All right," said Dorothy. "I'll go and ask Ozma. Perhaps she willlet us take the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon, which would be much nicerfor us than having to walk all the way. This Land of Oz is a prettybig place when you get to all the edges of it."

So she jumped up and went along the halls of the splendid palace untilshe came to the royal suite, which filled all the front of the secondfloor. In a little waiting room sat Ozma's maid, Jellia Jamb, who wasbusily sewing. "Is Ozma up yet?" inquired Dorothy.

"I don't know, my dear," replied Jellia. "I haven't heard a word fromher this morning. She hasn't even called for her bath or herbreakfast, and it is far past her usual time for them."

"That's strange!" exclaimed the little girl.

"Yes," agreed the maid, "but of course no harm could have happened toher. No one can die or be killed in the Land of Oz, and Ozma isherself a powerful fairy, and she has no enemies so far as we know.Therefore I am not at all worried about her, though I must admit hersilence is unusual."

"Perhaps," said Dorothy thoughtfully, "she has overslept. Or she maybe reading or working out some new sort of magic to do good to herpeople."

"Any of these things may be true," replied Jellia Jamb, "so I haven'tdared disturb our royal mistress. You, however, are a privilegedcharacter, Princess, and I am sure that Ozma wouldn't mind at all ifyou went in to see her."

"Of course not," said Dorothy, and opening the door of the outerchamber, she went in. All was still here. She walked into anotherroom, which was Ozma's boudoir, and then, pushing back a heavy draperyrichly broidered with threads of pure gold, the girl entered thesleeping-room of the fairy Ruler of Oz. The bed of ivory and gold wasvacant; the room was vacant; not a trace of Ozma was to be found.

Very much surprised, yet still with no fear that anything had happenedto her friend, Dorothy returned through the boudoir to the other roomsof the suite. She went into the music room, the library, thelaboratory, the bath, the wardrobe, and even into the great throneroom, which adjoined the royal suite, but in none of these places couldshe find Ozma.

So she returned to the anteroom where she had left the maid, JelliaJamb, and said:

"She isn't in her rooms now, so she must have gone out."

"I don't understand how she could do that without my seeing her,"replied Jellia, "unless she made herself invisible."

"She isn't there, anyhow," declared Dorothy.

"Then let us go find her," suggested the maid, who appeared to be alittle uneasy. So they went into the corridors, and there Dorothyalmost stumbled over a queer girl who was dancing lightly along thepassage.

"Stop a minute, Scraps!" she called, "Have you seen Ozma this morning?"

"Not I!" replied the queer girl, dancing nearer. "I lost both my eyesin a tussle with the Woozy last night, for the creature scraped 'emboth off my face with his square paws. So I put the eyes in my pocket,and this morning Button-Bright led me to Aunt Em, who sewed 'em onagain. So I've seen nothing at all today, except during the last fiveminutes. So of course I haven't seen Ozma."

"Very well, Scraps," said Dorothy, looking curiously at the eyes, whichwere merely two round, black buttons sewed upon the girl's face.

There were other things about Scraps that would have seemed curious toone seeing her for the first time. She was commonly called "thePatchwork Girl" because her body and limbs were made from a gay-coloredpatchwork quilt which had been cut into shape and stuffed with cotton.Her head was a round ball stuffed in the same manner and fastened toher shoulders. For hair, she had a mass of brown yarn, and to make anose for her a part of the cloth had been pulled out into the shape ofa knob and tied with a string to hold it in place. Her mouth had beencarefully made by cutting a slit in the proper place and lining it withred silk, adding two rows of pearls for teeth and a bit of red flannelfor a tongue.

In spite of this queer make-up, the Patchwork Girl was magically aliveand had proved herself not the least jolly and agreeable of the manyquaint characters who inhabit the astonishing Fairyland of Oz. Indeed,Scraps was a general favorite, although she was rather flighty anderratic and did and said many things that surprised her friends. Shewas seldom still, but loved to dance, to turn handsprings andsomersaults, to climb trees and to indulge in many other active sports.

"I'm going to search for Ozma," remarked Dorothy, "for she isn't in herrooms, and I want to ask her a question."

"I'll go with you," said Scraps, "for my eyes are brighter than yours,and they can see farther."

"I'm not sure of that," returned Dorothy. "But come along, if youlike."

Together they searched all through the great palace and even to thefarthest limits of the palace grounds, which were quite extensive, butnowhere could they find a trace of Ozma. When Dorothy returned towhere Betsy and Trot awaited her, the little girl's face was rathersolemn and troubled, for never before had Ozma gone away withouttelling her friends where she was going, or without an escort thatbefitted her royal state. She was gone, however, and none had seen hergo. Dorothy had met and questioned the Scarecrow, Tik-Tok, the ShaggyMan, Button-Bright, Cap'n Bill, and even the wise and powerful Wizardof Oz, but not one of them had seen Ozma since she parted with herfriends the evening before and had gone to her own rooms.

"She didn't say anything las' night about going anywhere," observedlittle Trot.

"No, and that's the strange part of it," replied Dorothy. "UsuallyOzma lets us know of everything she does."

"Why not look in the Magic Picture?" suggested Betsy Bobbin. "Thatwill tell us where she is in just one second."

"Of course!" cried Dorothy. "Why didn't I think of that before?" Andat once the three girls hurried away to Ozma's boudoir, where the MagicPicture always hung. This wonderful Magic Picture was one of the royalOzma's greatest treasures. There was a large gold frame in the centerof which was a bluish-gray canvas on which various scenes constantlyappeared and disappeared. If one who stood before it wished to seewhat any person anywhere in the world was doing, it was only necessaryto make the wish and the scene in the Magic Picture would shift to thescene where that person was and show exactly what he or she was thenengaged in doing. So the girls knew it would be easy for them to wishto see Ozma, and from the picture they could quickly learn where shewas.

Dorothy advanced to the place where the picture was usually protectedby thick satin curtains and pulled the draperies aside. Then shestared in amazement, while her two friends uttered exclamations ofdisappointment.

The Magic Picture was gone. Only a blank space on the wall behind thecurtains showed where it had formerly hung.

CHAPTER 2

THE TROUBLES OF GLINDA THE GOOD

That same morning there was great excitement in the castle of thepowerful Sorceress of Oz, Glinda the Good. This castle, situated inthe Quadling Country, far south of the Emerald City where Ozma ruled,was a splendid structure of exquisite marbles and silver grilles. Herethe Sorceress lived, surrounded by a bevy of the most beautiful maidensof Oz, gathered from all the four countries of that fairyland as wellas from the magnificent Emerald City itself, which stood in the placewhere the four countries cornered. It was considered a great honor tobe allowed to serve the good Sorceress, whose arts of magic were usedonly to benefit the Oz people. Glinda was Ozma's most valued servant,for her knowledge of sorcery was wonderful, and she could accomplishalmost anything that her mistress, the lovely girl Ruler of Oz, wishedher to.

Of all the magical things which surrounded Glinda in her castle, therewas none more marvelous than her Great Book of Records. On the pagesof this Record Book were constantly being inscribed, day by day andhour by hour, all the important events that happened anywhere in theknown world, and they were inscribed in the book at exactly the momentthe events happened. Every adventure in the Land of Oz and in the bigoutside world, and even in places that you and I have never heard of,were recorded accurately in the Great Book, which never made a mistakeand stated only the exact truth. For that reason, nothing could beconcealed from Glinda the Good, who had only to look at the pages ofthe Great Book of Records to know everything that had taken place. Thatwas one reason she was such a great Sorceress, for the records made herwiser than any other living person.

This wonderful book was placed upon a big gold table that stood in themiddle of Glinda's drawing room. The legs of the table, which wereincrusted with precious gems, were firmly fastened to the tiled floor,and the book itself was chained to the table and locked with six stoutgolden padlocks, the keys to which Glinda carried on a chain that wassecured around her own neck. The pages of the Great Book were largerin size than those of an American newspaper, and although they wereexceedingly thin, there were so many of them that they made anenormous, bulky volume. With its gold cover and gold clasps, the bookwas so heavy that three men could scarcely have lifted it. Yet thismorning when Glinda entered her drawing room after breakfast, the goodSorceress was amazed to discover that her Great Book of Records hadmysteriously disappeared.

Advancing to the table, she found the chains had been cut with somesharp instrument, and this must have been done while all in the castleslept. Glinda was shocked and grieved. Who could have done thiswicked, bold thing? And who could wish to deprive her of her GreatBook of Records?

The Sorceress was thoughtful for a time, considering the consequencesof her loss. Then she went to her Room of Magic to prepare a charmthat would tell her who had stolen the Record Book. But when sheunlocked her cupboard and threw open the doors, all of her magicalinstruments and rare chemical compounds had been removed from theshelves. The Sorceress has now both angry and alarmed. She sat downin a chair and tried to think how this extraordinary robbery could havetaken place. It was evident that the thief was some person of verygreat power, or the theft could not have been accomplished without herknowledge. But who, in all the Land of Oz, was powerful and skillfulenough to do this awful thing? And who, having the power, could alsohave an object in defying the wisest and most talented Sorceress theworld has ever known?

Glinda thought over the perplexing matter for a full hour, at the endof which time she was still puzzled how to explain it. But althoughher instruments and chemicals were gone, her KNOWLEDGE of magic had notbeen stolen, by any means, since no thief, however skillful, can robone of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safesttreasure to acquire. Glinda believed that when she had time to gathermore magical herbs and elixirs and to manufacture more magicalinstruments, she would be able to discover who the robber was and whathad become of her precious Book of Records.

"Whoever has done this," she said to her maidens, "is a very foolishperson, for in time he is sure to be found out and will then beseverely punished."

She now made a list of the things she needed and dispatched messengersto every part of Oz with instructions to obtain them and bring them toher as soon as possible. And one of her messengers met the littleWizard of Oz, who was seated on the back of the famous live Sawhorseand was clinging to its neck with both his arms, for the Sawhorse wasspeeding to Glinda's castle with the velocity of the wind, bearing thenews that Royal Ozma, Ruler of all the great Land of Oz, had suddenlydisappeared and no one in the Emerald City knew what had become of her.

"Also," said the Wizard as he stood before the astonished Sorceress,"Ozma's Magic Picture is gone, so we cannot consult it to discoverwhere she is. So I came to you for assistance as soon as we realizedour loss. Let us look in the Great Book of Records."

"Alas," returned the Sorceress sorrowfully, "we cannot do that, for theGreat Book of Records has also disappeared!"

CHAPTER 3

THE ROBBERY OF CAYKE THE COOKIE COOK

One more important theft was reported in the Land of Oz that eventfulmorning, but it took place so far from either the Emerald City or thecastle of Glinda the Good that none of those persons we have mentionedlearned of the robbery until long afterward.

In the far southwestern corner of the Winkie Country is a broadtableland that can be reached only by climbing a steep hill, whicheverside one approaches it. On the hillside surrounding this tableland areno paths at all, but there are quantities of bramble bushes with sharpprickers on them, which prevent any of the Oz people who live downbelow from climbing up to see what is on top. But on top live theYips, and although the space they occupy is not great in extent, thewee country is all their own. The Yips had never--up to the time thisstory begins--left their broad tableland to go down into the Land ofOz, nor had the Oz people ever climbed up to the country of the Yips.

Living all alone as they did, the Yips had queer ways and notions oftheir own and did not resemble any other people of the Land of Oz.Their houses were scattered all over the flat surface; not like a city,grouped together, but set wherever their owners' fancy dictated, withfields here, trees there, and odd little paths connecting the housesone with another. It was here, on the morning when Ozma so strangelydisappeared from the Emerald City, that Cayke the Cookie Cookdiscovered that her diamond-studded gold dishpan had been stolen, andshe raised such a hue and cry over her loss and wailed and shrieked soloudly that many of the Yips gathered around her house to inquire whatwas the matter.

It was a serious thing in any part of the Land of Oz to accuse one ofstealing, so when the Yips heard Cayke the Cookie Cook declare that herjeweled dishpan had been stolen, they were both humiliated anddisturbed and forced Cayke to go with them to the Frogman to see whatcould be done about it. I do not suppose you have ever before heard ofthe Frogman, for like all other dwellers on that tableland, he hadnever been away from it, nor had anyone come up there to see him. TheFrogman was in truth descended from the common frogs of Oz, and when hewas first born he lived in a pool in the Winkie Country and was muchlike any other frog. Being of an adventurous nature, however, he soonhopped out of his pool and began to travel, when a big bird came alongand seized him in its beak and started to fly away with him to itsnest. When high in the air, the frog wriggled so frantically that hegot loose and fell down, down, down into a small hidden pool on thetableland of the Yips. Now that pool, it seems, was unknown to theYips because it was surrounded by thick bushes and was not near to anydwelling, and it proved to be an enchanted pool, for the frog grew veryfast and very big, feeding on the magic skosh which is found nowhereelse on earth except in that one pool. And the skosh not only made thefrog very big so that when he stood on his hind legs he was as tall asany Yip in the country, but it made him unusually intelligent, so thathe soon knew more than the Yips did and was able to reason and to arguevery well indeed.

No one could expect a frog with these talents to remain in a hiddenpool, so he finally got out of it and mingled with the people of thetableland, who were amazed at his appearance and greatly impressed byhis learning. They had never seen a frog before, and the frog hadnever seen a Yip before, but as there were plenty of Yips and only onefrog, the frog became the most important. He did not hop any more, butstood upright on his hind legs and dressed himself in fine clothes andsat in chairs and did all the things that people do, so he soon came tobe called the Frogman, and that is the only name he has ever had.After some years had passed, the people came to regard the Frogman astheir adviser in all matters that puzzled them. They brought all theirdifficulties to him, and when he did not know anything, he pretended toknow it, which seemed to answer just as well. Indeed, the Yips thoughtthe Frogman was much wiser than he really was, and he allowed them tothink so, being very proud of his position of authority.

There was another pool on the tableland which was not enchanted butcontained good, clear water and was located close to the dwellings.Here the people built the Frogman a house of his own, close to the edgeof the pool so that he could take a bath or a swim whenever he wished.He usually swam in the pool in the early morning before anyone else wasup, and during the day he dressed himself in his beautiful clothes andsat in his house and received the visits of all the Yips who came tohim to ask his advice. The Frogman's usual costume consisted ofknee-breeches made of yellow satin plush, with trimmings of gold braidand jeweled knee-buckles; a white satin vest with silver buttons inwhich were set solitaire rubies; a swallow-tailed coat of brightyellow; green stockings and red leather shoes turned up at the toes andhaving diamond buckles. He wore, when he walked out, a purple silk hatand carried a gold-headed cane. Over his eyes he wore great spectacleswith gold rims, not because his eyes were bad, but because thespectacles made him look wise, and so distinguished and gorgeous washis appearance that all the Yips were very proud of him.

There was no King or Queen in the Yip Country, so the simpleinhabitants naturally came to look upon the Frogman as their leader aswell as their counselor in all times of emergency. In his heart thebig frog knew he was no wiser than the Yips, but for a frog to know asmuch as a person was quite remarkable, and the Frogman was shrewdenough to make the people believe he was far more wise than he reallywas. They never suspected he was a humbug, but listened to his wordswith great respect and did just what he advised them to do.

Now when Cayke the Cookie Cook raised such an outcry over the theft ofher diamond-studded dishpan, the first thought of the people was totake her to the Frogman and inform him of the loss, thinking that ofcourse he would tell her where to find it. He listened to the storywith his big eyes wide open behind his spectacles, and said in hisdeep, croaking voice, "If the dishpan is stolen, somebody must havetaken it."

"But who?" asked Cayke anxiously. "Who is the thief?"

"The one who took the dishpan, of course," replied the Frogman, andhearing this all the Yips nodded their heads gravely and said to oneanother, "It is absolutely true!"

"But I want my dishpan!" cried Cayke.

"No one can blame you for that wish," remarked the Frogman.

"Then tell me where I may find it," she urged.

The look the Frogman gave her was a very wise look, and he rose fromhis chair and strutted up and down the room with his hands under hiscoattails in a very pompous and imposing manner. This was the firsttime so difficult a matter had been brought to him, and he wanted timeto think. It would never do to let them suspect his ignorance, and sohe thought very, very hard how best to answer the woman withoutbetraying himself. "I beg to inform you," said he, "that nothing inthe Yip Country has ever been stolen before."

"We know that already," answered Cayke the Cookie Cook impatiently.

"Therefore," continued the Frogman, "this theft becomes a veryimportant matter."

"Well, where is my dishpan?" demanded the woman.

"It is lost, but it must be found. Unfortunately, we have no policemenor detectives to unravel the mystery, so we must employ other means toregain the lost article. Cayke must first write a Proclamation andtack it to the door of her house, and the Proclamation must read thatwhoever stole the jeweled dishpan must return it at once."

"But suppose no one returns it," suggested Cayke.

"Then," said the Frogman, "that very fact will be proof that no one hasstolen it."

Cayke was not satisfied, but the other Yips seemed to approve the planhighly. They all advised her to do as the Frogman had told her to, soshe posted the sign on her door and waited patiently for someone toreturn the dishpan--which no one ever did. Again she went, accompaniedby a group of her neighbors, to the Frogman, who by this time had giventhe matter considerable thought. Said he to Cayke, "I am now convincedthat no Yip has taken your dishpan, and since it is gone from the YipCountry, I suspect that some stranger came from the world down below usin the darkness of night when all of us were asleep and took away yourtreasure. There can be no other explanation of its disappearance. Soif you wish to recover that golden, diamond-studded dishpan, you mustgo into the lower world after it."

This was indeed a startling proposition. Cayke and her friends went tothe edge of the flat tableland and looked down the steep hillside tothe plains below. It was so far to the bottom of the hill that nothingthere could be seen very distinctly, and it seemed to the Yips veryventuresome, if not dangerous, to go so far from home into an unknownland. However, Cayke wanted her dishpan very badly, so she turned toher friends and asked, "Who will go with me?"

No one answered the question, but after a period of silence one of theYips said, "We know what is here on the top of this flat hill, and itseems to us a very pleasant place, but what is down below we do notknow. The chances are it is not so pleasant, so we had best stay wherewe are."

"It may be a far better country than this is," suggested the CookieCook.

"Maybe, maybe," responded another Yip, "but why take chances?Contentment with one's lot is true wisdom. Perhaps in some othercountry there are better cookies than you cook, but as we have alwayseaten your cookies and liked them--except when they are burned on thebottom--we do not long for any better ones."

Cayke might have agreed to this argument had she not been so anxious tofind her precious dishpan, but now she exclaimed impatiently, "You arecowards, all of you! If none of you are willing to explore with me thegreat world beyond this small hill, I will surely go alone."

"That is a wise resolve," declared the Yips, much relieved. "It isyour dishpan that is lost, not ours. And if you are willing to riskyour life and liberty to regain it, no one can deny you the privilege."

While they were thus conversing, the Frogman joined them and lookeddown at the plain with his big eyes and seemed unusually thoughtful. Infact, the Frogman was thinking that he'd like to see more of the world.Here in the Yip Country he had become the most important creature ofthem all, and his importance was getting to be a little tame. It wouldbe nice to have other people defer to him and ask his advice, and thereseemed no reason so far as he could see why his fame should not spreadthroughout all Oz. He knew nothing of the rest of the world, but itwas reasonable to believe that there were more people beyond themountain where he now lived than there were Yips, and if he went amongthem he could surprise them with his display of wisdom and make thembow down to him as the Yips did. In other words, the Frogman wasambitious to become still greater than he was, which was impossible ifhe always remained upon this mountain. He wanted others to see hisgorgeous clothes and listen to his solemn sayings, and here was anexcuse for him to get away from the Yip Country. So he said to Caykethe Cookie Cook, "I will go with you, my good woman," which greatlypleased Cayke because she felt the Frogman could be of much assistanceto her in her search.

But now, since the mighty Frogman had decided to undertake the journey,several of the Yips who were young and daring at once made up theirminds to go along, so the next morning after breakfast the Frogman andCayke the Cookie Cook and nine of the Yips started to slide down theside of the mountain. The bramble bushes and cactus plants were veryprickly and uncomfortable to the touch, so the Frogman quicklycommanded the Yips to go first and break a path, so that when hefollowed them he would not tear his splendid clothes. Cayke, too, waswearing her best dress and was likewise afraid of the thorns andprickers, so she kept behind the Frogman.

They made rather slow progress and night overtook them before they werehalfway down the mountainside, so they found a cave in which theysought shelter until morning. Cayke had brought along a basket full ofher famous cookies, so they all had plenty to eat. On the second daythe Yips began to wish they had not embarked on this adventure. Theygrumbled a good deal at having to cut away the thorns to make the pathfor the Frogman and the Cookie Cook, for their own clothing sufferedmany tears, while Cayke and the Frogman traveled safely and in comfort.

"If it is true that anyone came to our country to steal your diamonddishpan," said one of the Yips to Cayke, "it must have been a bird, forno person in the form of a man, woman or child could have climbedthrough these bushes and back again."

"And, allowing he could have done so," said another Yip, "thediamond-studded gold dishpan would not have repaid him for his troublesand his tribulations."

"For my part," remarked a third Yip, "I would rather go back home anddig and polish some more diamonds and mine some more gold and make youanother dishpan than be scratched from head to heel by these dreadfulbushes. Even now, if my mother saw me, she would not know I am herson."

Cayke paid no heed to these mutterings, nor did the Frogman. Althoughtheir journey was slow, it was being made easy for them by the Yips, sothey had nothing to complain of and no desire to turn back. Quite nearto the bottom of the great hill they came upon a great gulf, the sidesof which were as smooth as glass. The gulf extended a longdistance--as far as they could see in either direction--and although itwas not very wide, it was far too wide for the Yips to leap across it.And should they fall into it, it was likely they might never get outagain. "Here our journey ends," said the Yips. "We must go back again."

Cayke the Cookie Cook began to weep.

"I shall never find my pretty dishpan again, and my heart will bebroken!" she sobbed.

The Frogman went to the edge of the gulf and with his eye carefullymeasured the distance to the other side. "Being a frog," said he, "Ican leap, as all frogs do, and being so big and strong, I am sure I canleap across this gulf with ease. But the rest of you, not being frogs,must return the way you came."

"We will do that with pleasure," cried the Yips, and at once theyturned and began to climb up the steep mountain, feeling they had hadquite enough of this unsatisfactory adventure. Cayke the Cookie Cookdid not go with them, however. She sat on a rock and wept and wailedand was very miserable.

"Well," said the Frogman to her, "I will now bid you goodbye. If Ifind your diamond-decorated gold dishpan, I will promise to see that itis safely returned to you."

"But I prefer to find it myself!" she said. "See here, Frogman, whycan't you carry me across the gulf when you leap it? You are big andstrong, while I am small and thin."

The Frogman gravely thought over this suggestion. It was a fact thatCayke the Cookie Cook was not a heavy person. Perhaps he could leapthe gulf with her on his back. "If you are willing to risk a fall,"said he, "I will make the attempt."

At once she sprang up and grabbed him around his neck with both herarms. That is, she grabbed him where his neck ought to be, for theFrogman had no neck at all. Then he squatted down, as frogs do whenthey leap, and with his powerful rear legs he made a tremendous jump.Over the gulf they sailed, with the Cookie Cook on his back, and he hadleaped so hard--to make sure of not falling in--that he sailed over alot of bramble bushes that grew on the other side and landed in a clearspace which was so far beyond the gulf that when they looked back theycould not see it at all.

Cayke now got off the Frogman's back and he stood erect again andcarefully brushed the dust from his velvet coat and rearranged hiswhite satin necktie.

"I had no idea I could leap so far," he said wonderingly. "Leaping isone more accomplishment I can now add to the long list of deeds I amable to perform."

"You are certainly fine at leap-frog," said the Cookie Cook admiringly,"but, as you say, you are wonderful in many ways. If we meet with anypeople down here, I am sure they will consider you the greatest andgrandest of all living creatures."

"Yes," he replied, "I shall probably astonish strangers, because theyhave never before had the pleasure of seeing me. Also, they willmarvel at my great learning. Every time I open my mouth, Cayke, I amliable to say something important."

"That is true," she agreed, "and it is fortunate your mouth is so verywide and opens so far, for otherwise all the wisdom might not be ableto get out of it."

"Perhaps nature made it wide for that very reason," said the Frogman."But come, let us now go on, for it is getting late and we must findsome sort of shelter before night overtakes us."

CHAPTER 4

AMONG THE WINKIES

The settled parts of the Winkie Country are full of happy and contentedpeople who are ruled by a tin Emperor named Nick Chopper, who in turnis a subject of the beautiful girl Ruler, Ozma of Oz. But not all ofthe Winkie Country is fully settled. At the east, which part liesnearest the Emerald City, there are beautiful farmhouses and roads, butas you travel west, you first come to a branch of the Winkie River,beyond which there is a rough country where few people live, and someof these are quite unknown to the rest of the world. After passingthrough this rude section of territory, which no one ever visits, youwould come to still another branch of the Winkie River, after crossingwhich you would find another well-settled part of the Winkie Countryextending westward quite to the Deadly Desert that surrounds all theLand of Oz and separates that favored fairyland from the more commonoutside world. The Winkies who live in this west section have many tinmines, from which metal they make a great deal of rich jewelry andother articles, all of which are highly esteemed in the Land of Ozbecause tin is so bright and pretty and there is not so much of it asthere is of gold and silver.

Not all the Winkies are miners, however, for some till the fields andgrow grains for food, and it was at one of these far-west Winkie farmsthat the Frogman and Cayke the Cookie Cook first arrived after they haddescended from the mountain of the Yips. "Goodness me!" cried Nellarythe Winkie wife when she saw the strange couple approaching her house."I have seen many queer creatures in the Land of Oz, but none morequeer than this giant frog who dresses like a man and walks on his hindlegs. Come here, Wiljon," she called to her husband, who was eatinghis breakfast, "and take a look at this astonishing freak."

Wiljon the Winkie came to the door and looked out. He was stillstanding in the doorway when the Frogman approached and said with ahaughty croak, "Tell me, my good man, have you seen a diamond-studdedgold dishpan?"

"No, nor have I seen a copper-plated lobster," replied Wiljon in anequally haughty tone.

The Frogman stared at him and said, "Do not be insolent, fellow!"

"No," added Cayke the Cookie Cook hastily, "you must be very polite tothe great Frogman, for he is the wisest creature in all the world."

"Who says that?" inquired Wiljon.

"He says so himself," replied Cayke, and the Frogman nodded andstrutted up and down, twirling his gold-headed cane very gracefully.

"Does the Scarecrow admit that this overgrown frog is the wisestcreature in the world?" asked Wiljon.

"I do not know who the Scarecrow is," answered Cayke the Cookie Cook.

"Well, he lives at the Emerald City, and he is supposed to have thefinest brains in all Oz. The Wizard gave them to him, you know."

"Mine grew in my head," said the Frogman pompously, "so I think theymust be better than any wizard brains. I am so wise that sometimes mywisdom makes my head ache. I know so much that often I have to forgetpart of it, since no one creature, however great, is able to contain somuch knowledge."

"It must be dreadful to be stuffed full of wisdom," remarked Wiljonreflectively and eyeing the Frogman with a doubtful look. "It is mygood fortune to know very little."

"I hope, however, you know where my jeweled dishpan is," said theCookie Cook anxiously.

"I do not know even that," returned the Winkie. "We have troubleenough in keeping track of our own dishpans without meddling with thedishpans of strangers."

Finding him so ignorant, the Frogman proposed that they walk on andseek Cayke's dishpan elsewhere. Wiljon the Winkie did not seem greatlyimpressed by the great Frogman, which seemed to that personage asstrange as it was disappointing. But others in this unknown land mightprove more respectful.

"I'd like to meet that Wizard of Oz," remarked Cayke as they walkedalong a path. "If he could give a Scarecrow brains, he might be ableto find my dishpan."

"Poof!" grunted the Frogman scornfully. "I am greater than any wizard.Depend on ME. If your dishpan is anywhere in the world, I am sure tofind it."

"If you do not, my heart will be broken," declared the Cookie Cook in asorrowful voice.

For a while the Frogman walked on in silence. Then he asked, "Why doyou attach so much importance to a dishpan?"

"It is the greatest treasure I possess," replied the woman. "Itbelonged to my mother and to all my grandmothers since the beginning oftime. It is, I believe, the very oldest thing in all the YipCountry--or was while it was there--and," she added, dropping her voiceto an awed whisper, "it has magic powers!"

"In what way?" inquired the Frogman, seeming to be surprised at thisstatement.

"Whoever has owned that dishpan has been a good cook, for one thing. Noone else is able to make such good cookies as I have cooked, as you andall the Yips know. Yet the very morning after my dishpan was stolen, Itried to make a batch of cookies and they burned up in the oven! Imade another batch that proved too tough to eat, and I was so ashamedof them that I buried them in the ground. Even the third batch ofcookies, which I brought with me in my basket, were pretty poor stuffand no better than any woman could make who does not own mydiamond-studded gold dishpan. In fact, my good Frogman, Cayke theCookie Cook will never be able to cook good cookies again until hermagic dishpan is restored to her."

"In that case," said the Frogman with a sigh, "I suppose we must manageto find it."

CHAPTER 5

OZMA'S FRIENDS ARE PERPLEXED

"Really," said Dorothy, looking solemn, "this is very s'prising. Wecan't even find a shadow of Ozma anywhere in the Em'rald City, andwherever she's gone, she's taken her Magic Picture with her." She wasstanding in the courtyard of the palace with Betsy and Trot, whileScraps, the Patchwork Girl, danced around the group, her hair flying inthe wind.

"P'raps," said Scraps, still dancing, "someone has stolen Ozma."

"Oh, they'd never dare do that!" exclaimed tiny Trot.

"And stolen the Magic Picture, too, so the thing can't tell where sheis," added the Patchwork Girl.

"That's nonsense," said Dorothy. "Why, ev'ryone loves Ozma. Thereisn't a person in the Land of Oz who would steal a single thing sheowns."

"Huh!" replied the Patchwork Girl. "You don't know ev'ry person in theLand of Oz."

"Why don't I?"

"It's a big country," said Scraps. "There are cracks and corners in itthat even Ozma doesn't know of."

"The Patchwork Girl's just daffy," declared Betsy.

"No, she's right about that," replied Dorothy thoughtfully. "There arelots of queer people in this fairyland who never come near Ozma or theEm'rald City. I've seen some of 'em myself, girls. But I haven't seenall, of course, and there MIGHT be some wicked persons left in Oz yet,though I think the wicked witches have all been destroyed."

Just then the Wooden Sawhorse dashed into the courtyard with the Wizardof Oz on his back. "Have you found Ozma?" cried the Wizard when theSawhorse stopped beside them.

"Not yet," said Dorothy. "Doesn't Glinda the Good know where she is?"

"No. Glinda's Book of Records and all her magic instruments are gone.Someone must have stolen them."

"Goodness me!" exclaimed Dorothy in alarm. "This is the biggest stealI ever heard of. Who do you think did it, Wizard?"

"I've no idea," he answered. "But I have come to get my own bag ofmagic tools and carry them to Glinda. She is so much more powerfulthan I that she may be able to discover the truth by means of my magicquicker and better than I could myself."

"Hurry, then," said Dorothy, "for we've all gotten terr'bly worried."

The Wizard rushed away to his rooms but presently came back with along, sad face. "It's gone!" he said.

"What's gone?" asked Scraps.

"My black bag of magic tools. Someone must have stolen it!"

They looked at one another in amazement.

"This thing is getting desperate," continued the Wizard. "All the magicthat belongs to Ozma or to Glinda or to me has been stolen."

"Do you suppose Ozma could have taken them, herself, for some purpose?"asked Betsy.

"No indeed," declared the Wizard. "I suspect some enemy has stolenOzma and for fear we would follow and recapture her has taken all ourmagic away from us."

"How dreadful!" cried Dorothy. "The idea of anyone wanting to injureour dear Ozma! Can't we do ANYthing to find her, Wizard?"

"I'll ask Glinda. I must go straight back to her and tell her that mymagic tools have also disappeared. The good Sorceress will be greatlyshocked, I know."

With this, he jumped upon the back of the Sawhorse again, and thequaint steed, which never tired, dashed away at full speed. The threegirls were very much disturbed in mind. Even the Patchwork Girl seemedto realize that a great calamity had overtaken them all. Ozma was afairy of considerable power, and all the creatures in Oz as well as thethree mortal girls from the outside world looked upon her as theirprotector and friend. The idea of their beautiful girl Ruler's beingoverpowered by an enemy and dragged from her splendid palace a captivewas too astonishing for them to comprehend at first. Yet what otherexplanation of the mystery could there be?

"Ozma wouldn't go away willingly, without letting us know about it,"asserted Dorothy, "and she wouldn't steal Glinda's Great Book ofRecords or the Wizard's magic, 'cause she could get them any time justby asking for 'em. I'm sure some wicked person has done all this."

"Someone in the Land of Oz?" asked Trot.

"Of course. No one could get across the Deadly Desert, you know, andno one but an Oz person could know about the Magic Picture and the Bookof Records and the Wizard's magic or where they were kept, and so beable to steal the whole outfit before we could stop 'em. It MUST besomeone who lives in the Land of Oz."

"But who--who--who?" asked Scraps. "That's the question. Who?"

"If we knew," replied Dorothy severely, "we wouldn't be standing heredoing nothing."

Just then two boys entered the courtyard and approached the group ofgirls. One boy was dressed in the fantastic Munchkin costume--a bluejacket and knickerbockers, blue leather shoes and a blue hat with ahigh peak and tiny silver bells dangling from its rim--and this was Ojothe Lucky, who had once come from the Munchkin Country of Oz and nowlived in the Emerald City. The other boy was an American fromPhiladelphia and had lately found his way to Oz in the company of Trotand Cap'n Bill. His name was Button-Bright; that is, everyone calledhim by that name and knew no other. Button-Bright was not quite as bigas the Munchkin boy, but he wore the same kind of clothes, only theywere of different colors. As the two came up to the girls, arm in arm,Button-Bright remarked, "Hello, Dorothy. They say Ozma is lost."

"WHO says so?" she asked.

"Ev'rybody's talking about it in the City," he replied.

"I wonder how the people found it out," Dorothy asked.

"I know," said Ojo. "Jellia Jamb told them. She has been askingeverywhere if anyone has seen Ozma."

"That's too bad," observed Dorothy, frowning.

"Why?" asked Button-Bright.

"There wasn't any use making all our people unhappy till we were deadcertain that Ozma can't be found."

"Pshaw," said Button-Bright, "it's nothing to get lost. I've been lostlots of times."

"That's true," admitted Trot, who knew that the boy had a habit ofgetting lost and then finding himself again, "but it's diff'rent withOzma. She's the Ruler of all this big fairyland, and we're 'fraid thatthe reason she's lost is because somebody has stolen her away."

"Only wicked people steal," said Ojo. "Do you know of any wickedpeople in Oz, Dorothy?"

"No," she replied.

"They're here, though," cried Scraps, dancing up to them and thencircling around the group. "Ozma's stolen; someone in Oz stole her;only wicked people steal; so someone in Oz is wicked!"

There was no denying the truth of this statement. The faces of all ofthem were now solemn and sorrowful. "One thing is sure," saidButton-Bright after a time, "if Ozma has been stolen, someone ought tofind her and punish the thief."

"There may be a lot of thieves," suggested Trot gravely, "and in thisfairy country they don't seem to have any soldiers or policemen."

"There is one soldier," claimed Dorothy.

"He has green whiskers and a gun and is a Major-General, but no one isafraid of either his gun or his whiskers, 'cause he's so tender-heartedthat he wouldn't hurt a fly."

"Well, a soldier is a soldier," said Betsy, "and perhaps he'd hurt awicked thief if he wouldn't hurt a fly. Where is he?"

"He went fishing about two months ago and hasn't come back yet,"explained Button-Bright.

"Then I can't see that he will be of much use to us in this trouble,"sighed little Trot. "But p'raps Ozma, who is a fairy, can get awayfrom the thieves without any help from anyone."

"She MIGHT be able to," answered Dorothy reflectively, "but if she hadthe power to do that, it isn't likely she'd have let herself be stolen.So the thieves must have been even more powerful in magic than ourOzma."

There was no denying this argument, and although they talked the matterover all the rest of that day, they were unable to decide how Ozma hadbeen stolen against her will or who had committed the dreadful deed.Toward evening the Wizard came back, riding slowly upon the Sawhorsebecause he felt discouraged and perplexed. Glinda came later in heraerial chariot drawn by twenty milk-white swans, and she also seemedworried and unhappy. More of Ozma's friends joined them, and thatevening they all had a big talk together. "I think," said Dorothy, "weought to start out right away in search of our dear Ozma. It seemscruel for us to live comf'tably in her palace while she is a pris'nerin the power of some wicked enemy."

"Yes," agreed Glinda the Sorceress, "someone ought to search for her. Icannot go myself, because I must work hard in order to create some newinstruments of sorcery by means of which I may rescue our fair Ruler.But if you can find her in the meantime and let me know who has stolenher, it will enable me to rescue her much more quickly."

"Then we'll start tomorrow morning," decided Dorothy. "Betsy and Trotand I won't waste another minute."

"I'm not sure you girls will make good detectives," remarked theWizard, "but I'll go with you to protect you from harm and to give youmy advice. All my wizardry, alas, is stolen, so I am now really nomore a wizard than any of you, but I will try to protect you from anyenemies you may meet."

"What harm could happen to us in Oz?" inquired Trot.

"What harm happened to Ozma?" returned the Wizard.

"If there is an Evil Power abroad in our fairyland, which is able tosteal not only Ozma and her Magic Picture, but Glinda's Book of Recordsand all her magic, and my black bag containing all my tricks ofwizardry, then that Evil Power may yet cause us considerable injury.Ozma is a fairy, and so is Glinda, so no power can kill or destroythem, but you girls are all mortals and so are Button-Bright and I, sowe must watch out for ourselves."

"Nothing can kill me," said Ojo the Munchkin boy.

"That is true," replied the Sorceress, "and I think it may be well todivide the searchers into several parties, that they may cover all theland of Oz more quickly. So I will send Ojo and Unc Nunkie and Dr.Pipt into the Munchkin Country, which they are well acquainted with;and I will send the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman into the QuadlingCountry, for they are fearless and brave and never tire; and to theGillikin Country, where many dangers lurk, I will send the Shaggy Manand his brother, with Tik-Tok and Jack Pumpkinhead. Dorothy may makeup her own party and travel into the Winkie Country. All of you mustinquire everywhere for Ozma and try to discover where she is hidden."

They thought this a very wise plan and adopted it without question. InOzma's absence, Glinda the Good was the most important person in Oz,and all were glad to serve under her direction.

CHAPTER 6

THE SEARCH PARTY

Next morning as soon as the sun was up, Glinda flew back to her castle,stopping on the way to instruct the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, whowere at that time staying at the college of Professor H. M. Wogglebug,T.E., and taking a course of his Patent Educational Pills.

On hearing of Ozma's loss, they started at once for the QuadlingCountry to search for her. As soon as Glinda had left the EmeraldCity, Tik-Tok and the Shaggy Man and Jack Pumpkinhead, who had beenpresent at the conference, began their journey into the GillikinCountry, and an hour later Ojo and Unc Nunkie joined Dr. Pipt andtogether they traveled toward the Munchkin Country. When all thesesearchers were gone, Dorothy and the Wizard completed their ownpreparations.

The Wizard hitched the Sawhorse to the Red Wagon, which would seat fourvery comfortably. He wanted Dorothy, Betsy, Trot and the PatchworkGirl to ride in the wagon, but Scraps came up to them mounted upon theWoozy, and the Woozy said he would like to join the party. Now thisWoozy was a most peculiar animal, having a square head, square body,square legs and square tail. His skin was very tough and hard,resembling leather, and while his movements were somewhat clumsy, thebeast could travel with remarkable swiftness. His square eyes were mildand gentle in expression, and he was not especially foolish. The Woozyand the Patchwork Girl were great friends, and so the Wizard agreed tolet the Woozy go with them.

Another great beast now appeared and asked to go along. This was noneother than the famous Cowardly Lion, one of the most interestingcreatures in all Oz. No lion that roamed the jungles or plains couldcompare in size or intelligence with this Cowardly Lion, who--like allanimals living in Oz--could talk and who talked with more shrewdnessand wisdom than many of the people did. He said he was cowardlybecause he always trembled when he faced danger, but he had faceddanger many times and never refused to fight when it was necessary.This Lion was a great favorite with Ozma and always guarded her throneon state occasions. He was also an old companion and friend of thePrincess Dorothy, so the girl was delighted to have him join the party.

"I'm so nervous over our dear Ozma," said the Cowardly Lion in hisdeep, rumbling voice, "that it would make me unhappy to remain behindwhile you are trying to find her. But do not get into any danger, Ibeg of you, for danger frightens me terribly."

"We'll not get into danger if we can poss'bly help it," promisedDorothy, "but we shall do anything to find Ozma, danger or no danger."

The addition of the Woozy and the Cowardly Lion to the party gave BetsyBobbin an idea, and she ran to the marble stables at the rear of thepalace and brought out her mule, Hank by name. Perhaps no mule youever saw was so lean and bony and altogether plain looking as thisHank, but Betsy loved him dearly because he was faithful and steady andnot nearly so stupid as most mules are considered to be. Betsy had asaddle for Hank, and he declared she would ride on his back, anarrangement approved by the Wizard because it left only four of theparty to ride on the seats of the Red Wagon--Dorothy and Button-Brightand Trot and himself.

An old sailor man who had one wooden leg came to see them off andsuggested that they put a supply of food and blankets in the Red Wagoninasmuch as they were uncertain how long they would be gone. Thissailor man was called Cap'n Bill. He was a former friend and comradeof Trot and had encountered many adventures in company with the littlegirl. I think he was sorry he could not go with her on this trip, butGlinda the Sorceress had asked Cap'n Bill to remain in the Emerald Cityand take charge of the royal palace while everyone else was away, andthe one-legged sailor had agreed to do so.

They loaded the back end of the Red Wagon with everything they thoughtthey might need, and then they formed a procession and marched from thepalace through the Emerald City to the great gates of the wall thatsurrounded this beautiful capital of the Land of Oz. Crowds ofcitizens lined the streets to see them pass and to cheer them and wishthem success, for all were grieved over Ozma's loss and anxious thatshe be found again. First came the Cowardly Lion, then the PatchworkGirl riding upon the Woozy, then Betsy Bobbin on her mule Hank, andfinally the Sawhorse drawing the Red Wagon, in which were seated theWizard and Dorothy and Button-Bright and Trot. No one was obliged todrive the Sawhorse, so there were no reins to his harness; one had onlyto tell him which way to go, fast or slow, and he understood perfectly.

It was about this time that a shaggy little black dog who had beenlying asleep in Dorothy's room in the palace woke up and discovered hewas lonesome. Everything seemed very still throughout the greatbuilding, and Toto--that was the little dog's name--missed thecustomary chatter of the three girls. He never paid much attention towhat was going on around him, and although he could speak, he seldomsaid anything, so the little dog did not know about Ozma's loss or thateveryone had gone in search of her. But he liked to be with people,and especially with his own mistress, Dorothy, and having yawned andstretched himself and found the door of the room ajar, he trotted outinto the corridor and went down the stately marble stairs to the hallof the palace, where he met Jellia Jamb.

"Where's Dorothy?" asked Toto.

"She's gone to the Winkie Country," answered the maid.

"When?"

"A little while ago," replied Jellia.

Toto turned and trotted out into the palace garden and down the longdriveway until he came to the streets of the Emerald City. Here hepaused to listen, and hearing sounds of cheering, he ran swiftly alonguntil he came in sight of the Red Wagon and the Woozy and the Lion andthe Mule and all the others. Being a wise little dog, he decided notto show himself to Dorothy just then, lest he be sent back home, but henever lost sight of the party of travelers, all of whom were so eagerto get ahead that they never thought to look behind them. When theycame to the gates in the city wall, the Guardian of the Gates came outto throw wide the golden portals and let them pass through.

"Did any strange person come in or out of the city on the night beforelast when Ozma was stolen?" asked Dorothy.

"No indeed, Princess," answered the Guardian of the Gates.

"Of course not," said the Wizard. "Anyone clever enough to steal allthe things we have lost would not mind the barrier of a wall like thisin the least. I think the thief must have flown through the air, forotherwise he could not have stolen from Ozma's royal palace andGlinda's faraway castle in the same night. Moreover, as there are noairships in Oz and no way for airships from the outside world to getinto this country, I believe the thief must have flown from place toplace by means of magic arts which neither Glinda nor I understand."

On they went, and before the gates closed behind them, Toto managed tododge through them. The country surrounding the Emerald City wasthickly settled, and for a while our friends rode over nicely pavedroads which wound through a fertile country dotted with beautifulhouses, all built in the quaint Oz fashion. In the course of a fewhours, however, they had left the tilled fields and entered the Countryof the Winkies, which occupies a quarter of all the territory in theLand of Oz but is not so well known as many other parts of Ozma'sfairyland. Long before night the travelers had crossed the WinkieRiver near to the Scarecrow's Tower (which was now vacant) and hadentered the Rolling Prairie where few people live. They asked everyonethey met for news of Ozma, but none in this district had seen her oreven knew that she had been stolen. And by nightfall they had passedall the farmhouses and were obliged to stop and ask for shelter at thehut of a lonely shepherd. When they halted, Toto was not far behind.The little dog halted, too, and stealing softly around the party, hehid himself behind the hut.

The shepherd was a kindly old man and treated the travelers with muchcourtesy. He slept out of doors that night, giving up his hut to thethree girls, who made their beds on the floor with the blankets theyhad brought in the Red Wagon. The Wizard and Button-Bright also sleptout of doors, and so did the Cowardly Lion and Hank the Mule. ButScraps and the Sawhorse did not sleep at all, and the Woozy could stayawake for a month at a time if he wished to, so these three sat in alittle group by themselves and talked together all through the night.

In the darkness, the Cowardly Lion felt a shaggy little form nestlingbeside his own, and he said sleepily, "Where did you come from, Toto?"

"From home," said the dog. "If you roll over, roll the other way so youwon't smash me."

"Does Dorothy know you are here?" asked the Lion.

"I believe not," admitted Toto, and he added a little anxiously, "Doyou think, friend Lion, we are now far enough from the Emerald City forme to risk showing myself, or will Dorothy send me back because Iwasn't invited?"

"Only Dorothy can answer that question," said the Lion. "For my part,Toto, I consider this affair none of my business, so you must act asyou think best." Then the huge beast went to sleep again, and Totosnuggled closer to the warm, hairy body and also slept. He was a wiselittle dog in his way, and didn't intend to worry when there wassomething much better to do.

In the morning the Wizard built a fire, over which the girls cooked avery good breakfast. Suddenly Dorothy discovered Toto sitting quietlybefore the fire, and the little girl exclaimed, "Goodness me, Toto!Where did YOU come from?"

"From the place you cruelly left me," replied the dog in a reproachfultone.

"I forgot all about you," admitted Dorothy, "and if I hadn't, I'dprob'ly left you with Jellia Jamb, seeing this isn't a pleasure tripbut stric'ly business. But now that you're here, Toto, I s'pose you'llhave to stay with us, unless you'd rather go back again. We may getourselves into trouble before we're done, Toto."

"Never mind that," said Toto, wagging his tail. "I'm hungry, Dorothy."

"Breakfas'll soon be ready, and then you shall have your share,"promised his little mistress, who was really glad to have her dog withher. She and Toto had traveled together before, and she knew he was agood and faithful comrade.

When the food was cooked and served, the girls invited the old shepherdto join them in the morning meal. He willingly consented, and whilethey ate he said to them, "You are now about to pass through a verydangerous country, unless you turn to the north or to the south toescape its perils."

"In that case," said the Cowardly Lion, "let us turn, by all means, forI dread to face dangers of any sort."

"What's the matter with the country ahead of us?" inquired Dorothy.

"Beyond this Rolling Prairie," explained the shepherd, "are theMerry-Go-Round Mountains, set close together and surrounded by deepgulfs so that no one is able to get past them. Beyond theMerry-Go-Round Mountains it is said the Thistle-Eaters and the Herkuslive."

"What are they like?" demanded Dorothy.

"No one knows, for no one has ever passed the Merry-Go-RoundMountains," was the reply, "but it is said that the Thistle-Eatershitch dragons to their chariots and that the Herkus are waited upon bygiants whom they have conquered and made their slaves."

"Who says all that?" asked Betsy.

"It is common report," declared the shepherd. "Everyone believes it."

"I don't see how they know," remarked little Trot, "if no one has beenthere."

"Perhaps the birds who fly over that country brought the news,"suggested Betsy.

"If you escaped those dangers," continued the shepherd, "you mightencounter others still more serious before you came to the next branchof the Winkie River. It is true that beyond that river there lies afine country inhabited by good people, and if you reached there, youwould have no further trouble. It is between here and the west branchof the Winkie River that all dangers lie, for that is the unknownterritory that is inhabited by terrible, lawless people."

"It may be, and it may not be," said the Wizard. "We shall know whenwe get there."

"Well," persisted the shepherd, "in a fairy country such as ours, everyundiscovered place is likely to harbor wicked creatures. If they werenot wicked, they would discover themselves and by coming among ussubmit to Ozma's rule and be good and considerate, as are all the Ozpeople whom we know."

"That argument," stated the little Wizard, "convinces me that it is ourduty to go straight to those unknown places, however dangerous they maybe, for it is surely some cruel and wicked person who has stolen ourOzma, and we know it would be folly to search among good people for theculprit. Ozma may not be hidden in the secret places of the WinkieCountry, it is true, but it is our duty to travel to every spot,however dangerous, where our beloved Ruler is likely to be imprisoned."

"You're right about that," said Button-Bright approvingly. "Dangersdon't hurt us. Only things that happen ever hurt anyone, and a dangeris a thing that might happen and might not happen, and sometimes don'tamount to shucks. I vote we go ahead and take our chances."

They were all of the same opinion, so they packed up and said goodbyeto the friendly shepherd and proceeded on their way.

CHAPTER 7

THE MERRY-GO-ROUND MOUNTAINS

The Rolling Prairie was not difficult to travel over, although it wasall uphill and downhill, so for a while they made good progress. Noteven a shepherd was to be met with now, and the farther they advancedthe more dreary the landscape became. At noon they stopped for a"picnic luncheon," as Betsy called it, and then they again resumedtheir journey. All the animals were swift and tireless, and even theCowardly Lion and the Mule found they could keep up with the pace ofthe Woozy and the Sawhorse.

It was the middle of the afternoon when first they came in sight of acluster of low mountains. These were cone-shaped, rising from broadbases to sharp peaks at the tops. From a distance the mountainsappeared indistinct and seemed rather small--more like hills thanmountains--but as the travelers drew nearer, they noted a most unusualcircumstance: the hills were all whirling around, some in one directionand some the opposite way.

"I guess these are the Merry-Go-Round Mountains, all right," saidDorothy.

"They must be," said the Wizard.

"They go 'round, sure enough," agreed Trot, "but they don't seem verymerry."

There were several rows of these mountains, extending both to the rightand to the left for miles and miles. How many rows there might be nonecould tell, but between the first row of peaks could be seen otherpeaks, all steadily whirling around one way or another. Continuing toride nearer, our friends watched these hills attentively, until atlast, coming close up, they discovered there was a deep but narrow gulfaround the edge of each mountain, and that the mountains were set soclose together that the outer gulf was continuous and barred fartheradvance. At the edge of the gulf they all dismounted and peered overinto its depths. There was no telling where the bottom was, if indeedthere was any bottom at all. From where they stood it seemed as if themountains had been set in one great hole in the ground, just closeenough together so they would not touch, and that each mountain wassupported by a rocky column beneath its base which extended far down inthe black pit below. From the land side it seemed impossible to getacross the gulf or, succeeding in that, to gain a foothold on any ofthe whirling mountains.

"This ditch is too wide to jump across," remarked Button-Bright.

"P'raps the Lion could do it," suggested Dorothy.

"What, jump from here to that whirling hill?" cried the Lionindignantly. "I should say not! Even if I landed there and could holdon, what good would it do? There's another spinning mountain beyondit, and perhaps still another beyond that. I don't believe any livingcreature could jump from one mountain to another when both are whirlinglike tops and in different directions."

"I propose we turn back," said the Wooden Sawhorse with a yawn of hischopped-out mouth as he stared with his knot eyes at the Merry-Go-RoundMountains.

"I agree with you," said the Woozy, wagging his square head.

"We should have taken the shepherd's advice," added Hank the Mule.

The others of the party, however they might be puzzled by the seriousproblem that confronted them, would not allow themselves to despair."If we once get over these mountains," said Button-Bright, "we couldprobably get along all right."

"True enough," agreed Dorothy. "So we must find some way, of course,to get past these whirligig hills. But how?"

"I wish the Ork was with us," sighed Trot.

"But the Ork isn't here," said the Wizard, "and we must depend uponourselves to conquer this difficulty. Unfortunately, all my magic hasbeen stolen, otherwise I am sure I could easily get over the mountains."

"Unfortunately," observed the Woozy, "none of us has wings. And we'rein a magic country without any magic."

"What is that around your waist, Dorothy?" asked the Wizard.

"That? Oh, that's just the Magic Belt I once captured from the NomeKing," she replied.

"A Magic Belt! Why, that's fine. I'm sure a Magic Belt would takeyou over these hills."

"It might if I knew how to work it," said the little girl. "Ozma knowsa lot of its magic, but I've never found out about it. All I know isthat while I am wearing it, nothing can hurt me."

"Try wishing yourself across and see if it will obey you," suggestedthe Wizard.

"But what good would that do?" asked Dorothy. "If I got across, itwouldn't help the rest of you, and I couldn't go alone among all thosegiants and dragons while you stayed here."

"True enough," agreed the Wizard sadly. And then, after looking aroundthe group, he inquired, "What is that on your finger, Trot?"

"A ring. The Mermaids gave it to me," she explained, "and if ever I'min trouble when I'm on the water, I can call the Mermaids and they'llcome and help me. But the Mermaids can't help me on the land, youknow, 'cause they swim, and--and--they haven't any legs."

"True enough," repeated the Wizard, more sadly.

There was a big, broad, spreading tree near the edge of the gulf, andas the sun was hot above them, they all gathered under the shade of thetree to study the problem of what to do next. "If we had a long rope,"said Betsy, "we could fasten it to this tree and let the other end ofit down into the gulf and all slide down it."

"Well, what then?" asked the Wizard.

"Then, if we could manage to throw the rope up the other side,"explained the girl, "we could all climb it and be on the other side ofthe gulf."

"There are too many 'if's' in that suggestion," remarked the littleWizard. "And you must remember that the other side is nothing butspinning mountains, so we couldn't possibly fasten a rope to them, evenif we had one."

"That rope idea isn't half bad, though," said the Patchwork Girl, whohad been dancing dangerously near to the edge of the gulf.

"What do you mean?" asked Dorothy.

The Patchwork Girl suddenly stood still and cast her button eyes aroundthe group. "Ha, I have it!" she exclaimed. "Unharness the Sawhorse,somebody. My fingers are too clumsy."

"Shall we?" asked Button-Bright doubtfully, turning to the others.

"Well, Scraps has a lot of brains, even if she IS stuffed with cotton,"asserted the Wizard. "If her brains can help us out of this trouble,we ought to use them."

So he began unharnessing the Sawhorse, and Button-Bright and Dorothyhelped him. When they had removed the harness, the Patchwork Girl toldthem to take it all apart and buckle the straps together, end to end.And after they had done this, they found they had one very long strapthat was stronger than any rope. "It would reach across the gulfeasily," said the Lion, who with the other animals had sat on hishaunches and watched this proceeding. "But I don't see how it could befastened to one of those dizzy mountains."

Scraps had no such notion as that in her baggy head. She told them tofasten one end of the strap to a stout limb of the tree, pointing toone which extended quite to the edge of the gulf. Button-Bright didthat, climbing the tree and then crawling out upon the limb until hewas nearly over the gulf. There he managed to fasten the strap, whichreached to the ground below, and then he slid down it and was caught bythe Wizard, who feared he might fall into the chasm. Scraps wasdelighted. She seized the lower end of the strap, and telling them allto get out of her way, she went back as far as the strap would reachand then made a sudden run toward the gulf. Over the edge she swung,clinging to the strap until it had gone as far as its length permitted,when she let go and sailed gracefully through the air until shealighted upon the mountain just in front of them.

Almost instantly, as the great cone continued to whirl, she was sentflying against the next mountain in the rear, and that one had onlyturned halfway around when Scraps was sent flying to the next mountainbehind it. Then her patchwork form disappeared from view entirely, andthe amazed watchers under the tree wondered what had become of her."She's gone, and she can't get back," said the Woozy.

"My, how she bounded from one mountain to another!" exclaimed the Lion.

"That was because they whirl so fast," the Wizard explained. "Scrapshad nothing to hold on to, and so of course she was tossed from onehill to another. I'm afraid we shall never see the poor Patchwork Girlagain."

"I shall see her," declared the Woozy. "Scraps is an old friend ofmine, and if there are really Thistle-Eaters and Giants on the otherside of those tops, she will need someone to protect her. So here Igo!" He seized the dangling strap firmly in his square mouth, and inthe same way that Scraps had done swung himself over the gulf. He letgo the strap at the right moment and fell upon the first whirlingmountain. Then he bounded to the next one back of it--not on his feet,but "all mixed up," as Trot said--and then he shot across to anothermountain, disappearing from view just as the Patchwork Girl had done.

"It seems to work, all right," remarked Button-Bright. "I guess I'lltry it."

"Wait a minute," urged the Wizard. "Before any more of us make thisdesperate leap into the beyond, we must decide whether all will go orif some of us will remain behind."

"Do you s'pose it hurt them much to bump against those mountains?"asked Trot.

"I don't s'pose anything could hurt Scraps or the Woozy," said Dorothy,"and nothing can hurt ME, because I wear the Magic Belt. So as I'manxious to find Ozma, I mean to swing myself across too."

"I'll take my chances," decided Button-Bright.

"I'm sure it will hurt dreadfully, and I'm afraid to do it," said theLion, who was already trembling, "but I shall do it if Dorothy does."

"Well, that will leave Betsy and the Mule and Trot," said the Wizard,"for of course I shall go that I may look after Dorothy. Do you twogirls think you can find your way back home again?" he asked,addressing Trot and Betsy.

"I'm not afraid. Not much, that is," said Trot. "It looks risky, Iknow, but I'm sure I can stand it if the others can."

"If it wasn't for leaving Hank," began Betsy in a hesitating voice.

But the Mule interrupted her by saying, "Go ahead if you want to, andI'll come after you. A mule is as brave as a lion any day."

"Braver," said the Lion, "for I'm a coward, friend Hank, and you arenot. But of course the Sawhorse--"

"Oh, nothing ever hurts ME," asserted the Sawhorse calmly. "There'snever been any question about my going. I can't take the Red Wagon,though."

"No, we must leave the wagon," said the wizard, "and also we must leaveour food and blankets, I fear. But if we can defy these Merry-Go-RoundMountains to stop us, we won't mind the sacrifice of some of ourcomforts."

"No one knows where we're going to land!" remarked the Lion in a voicethat sounded as if he were going to cry.

"We may not land at all," replied Hank, "but the best way to find outwhat will happen to us is to swing across as Scraps and the Woozy havedone."

"I think I shall go last," said the Wizard, "so who wants to go first?"

"I'll go," decided Dorothy.

"No, it's my turn first," said Button-Bright. "Watch me!"

Even as he spoke, the boy seized the strap, and after making a runswung himself across the gulf. Away he went, bumping from hill to hilluntil he disappeared. They listened intently, but the boy uttered nocry until he had been gone some moments, when they heard a faint"Hullo-a!" as if called from a great distance. The sound gave themcourage, however, and Dorothy picked up Toto and held him fast underone arm while with the other hand she seized the strap and bravelyfollowed after Button-Bright.

When she struck the first whirling mountain, she fell upon it quitesoftly, but before she had time to think, she flew through the air andlit with a jar on the side of the next mountain. Again she flew andalighted, and again and still again, until after five successive bumpsshe fell sprawling upon a green meadow and was so dazed and bewilderedby her bumpy journey across the Merry-Go-Round Mountains that she layquite still for a time to collect her thoughts. Toto had escaped fromher arms just as she fell, and he now sat beside her panting withexcitement. Then Dorothy realized that someone was helping her to herfeet, and here was Button-Bright on one side of her and Scraps on theother, both seeming to be unhurt. The next object her eyes fell uponwas the Woozy, squatting upon his square back end and looking at herreflectively, while Toto barked joyously to find his mistress unhurtafter her whirlwind trip.

"Good!" said the Woozy. "Here's another and a dog, both safe andsound. But my word, Dorothy, you flew some! If you could have seenyourself, you'd have been absolutely astonished."

"They say 'Time flies,'" laughed Button-Bright, "but Time never made aquicker journey than that."

Just then, as Dorothy turned around to look at the whirling mountains,she was in time to see tiny Trot come flying from the nearest hill tofall upon the soft grass not a yard away from where she stood. Trotwas so dizzy she couldn't stand at first, but she wasn't at all hurt,and presently Betsy came flying to them and would have bumped into theothers had they not retreated in time to avoid her. Then, in quicksuccession, came the Lion, Hank and the Sawhorse, bounding frommountain to mountain to fall safely upon the greensward. Only theWizard was now left behind, and they waited so long for him thatDorothy began to be worried.

But suddenly he came flying from the nearest mountain and tumbled heelsover head beside them. Then they saw that he had wound two of theirblankets around his body to keep the bumps from hurting him and hadfastened the blankets with some of the spare straps from the harness ofthe Sawhorse.

CHAPTER 8

THE MYSTERIOUS CITY

There they sat upon the grass, their heads still swimming from theirdizzy flights, and looked at one another in silent bewilderment. Butpresently, when assured that no one was injured, they grew more calmand collected, and the Lion said with a sigh of relief, "Who would havethought those Merry-Go-Round Mountains were made of rubber?"

"Are they really rubber?" asked Trot.

"They must be," replied the Lion, "for otherwise we would not havebounded so swiftly from one to another without getting hurt."

"That is all guesswork," declared the Wizard, unwinding the blanketsfrom his body, "for none of us stayed long enough on the mountains todiscover what they are made of. But where are we?"

"That's guesswork," said Scraps. "The shepherd said the Thistle-Eaterslive this side of the mountains and are waited on by giants."

"Oh no," said Dorothy, "it's the Herkus who have giant slaves, and theThistle-Eaters hitch dragons to their chariots."

"How could they do that?" asked the Woozy. "Dragons have long tails,which would get in the way of the chariot wheels."

"And if the Herkus have conquered the giants," said Trot, "they must beat least twice the size of giants. P'raps the Herkus are the biggestpeople in all the world!"

"Perhaps they are," assented the Wizard in a thoughtful tone of voice."And perhaps the shepherd didn't know what he was talking about. Letus travel on toward the west and discover for ourselves what the peopleof this country are like."

It seemed a pleasant enough country, and it was quite still andpeaceful when they turned their eyes away from the silently whirlingmountains. There were trees here and there and green bushes, whilethroughout the thick grass were scattered brilliantly colored flowers.About a mile away was a low hill that hid from them all the countrybeyond it, so they realized they could not tell much about the countryuntil they had crossed the hill. The Red Wagon having been leftbehind, it was now necessary to make other arrangements for traveling.The Lion told Dorothy she could ride upon his back as she had oftendone before, and the Woozy said he could easily carry both Trot and thePatchwork Girl. Betsy still had her mule, Hank, and Button-Bright andthe Wizard could sit together upon the long, thin back of the Sawhorse,but they took care to soften their seat with a pad of blankets beforethey started. Thus mounted, the adventurers started for the hill,which was reached after a brief journey.

As they mounted the crest and gazed beyond the hill, they discoverednot far away a walled city, from the towers and spires of which gaybanners were flying. It was not a very big city, indeed, but its wallswere very high and thick, and it appeared that the people who livedthere must have feared attack by a powerful enemy, else they would nothave surrounded their dwellings with so strong a barrier. There was nopath leading from the mountains to the city, and this proved that thepeople seldom or never visited the whirling hills, but our friendsfound the grass soft and agreeable to travel over, and with the citybefore them they could not well lose their way. When they drew nearerto the walls, the breeze carried to their ears the sound of music--dimat first, but growing louder as they advanced.

"That doesn't seem like a very terr'ble place," remarked Dorothy.

"Well, it LOOKS all right," replied Trot from her seat on the Woozy,"but looks can't always be trusted."

"MY looks can," said Scraps. "I LOOK patchwork, and I AM patchwork,and no one but a blind owl could ever doubt that I'm the PatchworkGirl." Saying which, she turned a somersault off the Woozy and,alighting on her feet, began wildly dancing about.

"Are owls ever blind?" asked Trot.

"Always, in the daytime," said Button-Bright. "But Scraps can seewith her button eyes both day and night. Isn't it queer?"

"It's queer that buttons can see at all," answered Trot. "But goodgracious! What's become of the city?"

"I was going to ask that myself," said Dorothy. "It's gone!"

"It's gone!"

The animals came to a sudden halt, for the city had really disappeared,walls and all, and before them lay the clear, unbroken sweep of thecountry. "Dear me!" exclaimed the Wizard. "This is ratherdisagreeable. It is annoying to travel almost to a place and then findit is not there."

"Where can it be, then?" asked Dorothy. "It cert'nly was there aminute ago."

"I can hear the music yet," declared Button-Bright, and when they alllistened, the strains of music could plainly be heard.

"Oh! There's the city over at the left," called Scraps, and turningtheir eyes, they saw the walls and towers and fluttering banners far tothe left of them.

"We must have lost our way," suggested Dorothy.

"Nonsense," said the Lion.

"I, and all the other animals, have been tramping straight toward thecity ever since we first saw it."

"Then how does it happen--"

"Never mind," interrupted the Wizard, "we are no farther from it thanwe were before. It is in a different direction, that's all, so let ushurry and get there before it again escapes us."

So on they went directly toward the city, which seemed only a couple ofmiles distant. But when they had traveled less than a mile, itsuddenly disappeared again. Once more they paused, somewhatdiscouraged, but in a moment the button eyes of Scraps again discoveredthe city, only this time it was just behind them in the direction fromwhich they had come. "Goodness gracious!" cried Dorothy. "There'ssurely something wrong with that city. Do you s'pose it's on wheels,Wizard?"

"It may not be a city at all," he replied, looking toward it with aspeculative glance.

"What COULD it be, then?"

"Just an illusion."

"What's that?" asked Trot.

"Something you think you see and don't see."

"I can't believe that," said Button-Bright. "If we only saw it, wemight be mistaken, but if we can see it and hear it, too, it must bethere."

"Where?" asked the Patchwork Girl.

"Somewhere near us," he insisted.

"We will have to go back, I suppose," said the Woozy with a sigh.

So back they turned and headed for the walled city until it disappearedagain, only to reappear at the right of them. They were constantlygetting nearer to it, however, so they kept their faces turned towardit as it flitted here and there to all points of the compass.Presently the Lion, who was leading the procession, halted abruptly andcried out, "Ouch!"

"What's the matter?" asked Dorothy.

"Ouch--Ouch!" repeated the Lion, and leaped backward so suddenly thatDorothy nearly tumbled from his back. At the same time Hank the Muleyelled "Ouch!"

"Ouch! Ouch!" repeated the Lion and leaped backward so suddenly thatDorothy nearly tumbled from his back. At the same time, Hank the Muleyelled "Ouch!" almost as loudly as the Lion had done, and he alsopranced backward a few paces.

"It's the thistles," said Betsy. "They prick their legs."

Hearing this, all looked down, and sure enough the ground was thickwith thistles, which covered the plain from the point where they stoodway up to the walls of the mysterious city. No pathways through themcould be seen at all; here the soft grass ended and the growth ofthistles began. "They're the prickliest thistles I ever felt,"grumbled the Lion. "My legs smart yet from their stings, though Ijumped out of them as quickly as I could."

"Here is a new difficulty," remarked the Wizard in a grieved tone. "Thecity has stopped hopping around, it is true, but how are we to get toit over this mass of prickers?"

"They can't hurt ME," said the thick-skinned Woozy, advancingfearlessly and trampling among the thistles.

"Nor me," said the Wooden Sawhorse.

"But the Lion and the Mule cannot stand the prickers," assertedDorothy, "and we can't leave them behind."

"Must we all go back?" asked Trot.

"Course not!" replied Button-Bright scornfully. "Always when there'strouble, there's a way out of it if you can find it."

"I wish the Scarecrow was here," said Scraps, standing on her head onthe Woozy's square back. "His splendid brains would soon show us howto conquer this field of thistles."

"What's the matter with YOUR brains?" asked the boy.

"Nothing," she said, making a flip-flop into the thistles and dancingamong them without feeling their sharp points. "I could tell you inhalf a minute how to get over the thistles if I wanted to."

"Tell us, Scraps!" begged Dorothy.

"I don't want to wear my brains out with overwork," replied thePatchwork Girl.

"Don't you love Ozma? And don't you want to find her?" asked Betsyreproachfully.

"Yes indeed," said Scraps, walking on her hands as an acrobat does atthe circus.

"Well, we can't find Ozma unless we get past these thistles," declaredDorothy.

Scraps danced around them two or three times without reply. Then shesaid, "Don't look at me, you stupid folks. Look at those blankets."

The Wizard's face brightened at once.

"Why didn't we think of those blankets before?"

"Because you haven't magic brains," laughed Scraps. "Such brains asyou have are of the common sort that grow in your heads, like weeds ina garden. I'm sorry for you people who have to be born in order to bealive."

But the Wizard was not listening to her. He quickly removed theblankets from the back of the Sawhorse and spread one of them upon thethistles, just next the grass. The thick cloth rendered the prickersharmless, so the Wizard walked over this first blanket and spread thesecond one farther on, in the direction of the phantom city. "Theseblankets," said he, "are for the Lion and the Mule to walk upon. TheSawhorse and the Woozy can walk on the thistles."

So the Lion and the Mule walked over the first blanket and stood uponthe second one until the Wizard had picked up the one they had passedover and spread it in front of them, when they advanced to that one andwaited while the one behind them was again spread in front. "This isslow work," said the Wizard, "but it will get us to the city after awhile."

"The city is a good half mile away yet," announced Button-Bright.

"And this is awful hard work for the Wizard," added Trot.

"Why couldn't the Lion ride on the Woozy's back?" asked Dorothy. "It'sa big, flat back, and the Woozy's mighty strong. Perhaps the Lionwouldn't fall off."

"You may try it if you like," said the Woozy to the Lion. "I can takeyou to the city in a jiffy and then come back for Hank."

"I'm--I'm afraid," said the Cowardly Lion. He was twice as big as theWoozy.

"Try it," pleaded Dorothy.

"And take a tumble among the thistles?" asked the Lion reproachfully.

But when the Woozy came close to him, the big beast suddenly boundedupon its back and managed to balance himself there, although forced tohold his four legs so close together that he was in danger of topplingover. The great weight of the monster Lion did not seem to affect theWoozy, who called to his rider, "Hold on tight!" and ran swiftly overthe thistles toward the city.

The others stood on the blanket and watched the strange sightanxiously. Of course, the Lion couldn't "hold on tight" because therewas nothing to hold to, and he swayed from side to side as if likely tofall off any moment. Still, he managed to stick to the Woozy's backuntil they were close to the walls of the city, when he leaped to theground. Next moment the Woozy came dashing back at full speed.

"There's a little strip of ground next the wall where there are nothistles," he told them when he had reached the adventurers once more."Now then, friend Hank, see if you can ride as well as the Lion did."

"Take the others first," proposed the Mule. So the Sawhorse and theWoozy made a couple of trips over the thistles to the city walls andcarried all the people in safety, Dorothy holding little Toto in herarms. The travelers then sat in a group on a little hillock justoutside the wall and looked at the great blocks of gray stone andwaited for the Woozy to bring Hank to them. The Mule was very awkward,and his legs trembled so badly that more than once they thought hewould tumble off, but finally he reached them in safety, and the entireparty was now reunited. More than that, they had reached the city thathad eluded them for so long and in so strange a manner.

"The gates must be around the other side," said the Wizard. "Let usfollow the curve of the wall until we reach an opening in it."

"Which way?" asked Dorothy.

"We must guess that," he replied. "Suppose we go to the left. Onedirection is as good as another." They formed in marching order andwent around the city wall to the left. It wasn't a big city, as I havesaid, but to go way around it outside the high wall was quite a walk,as they became aware. But around it our adventurers went withoutfinding any sign of a gateway or other opening. When they had returnedto the little mound from which they had started, they dismounted fromthe animals and again seated themselves on the grassy mound.

"It's mighty queer, isn't it?" asked Button-Bright.

"There must be SOME way for the people to get out and in," declaredDorothy. "Do you s'pose they have flying machines, Wizard?"

"No," he replied, "for in that case they would be flying all over theLand of Oz, and we know they have not done that. Flying machines areunknown here. I think it more likely that the people use ladders toget over the walls."

"It would be an awful climb over that high stone wall," said Betsy.

"Stone, is it?" Scraps, who was again dancing wildly around, for shenever tired and could never keep still for long.

"Course it's stone," answered Betsy scornfully. "Can't you see?"

"Yes," said Scraps, going closer. "I can SEE the wall, but I can'tFEEL it." And then, with her arms outstretched, she did a very queerthing. She walked right into the wall and disappeared.

"For goodness sake!" Dorothy, amazed, as indeed they all were.

CHAPTER 9

THE HIGH COCO-LORUM OF THI

And now the Patchwork Girl came dancing out of the wall again.

"Come on!" she called. "It isn't there. There isn't any wall at all."

"What? No wall?" exclaimed the Wizard.

"Nothing like it," said Scraps. "It's a make-believe. You see it, butit isn't. Come on into the city; we've been wasting our time."

With this, she danced into the wall again and once more disappeared.Button-Bright, who was rather venture-some, dashed away after her andalso became invisible to them. The others followed more cautiously,stretching out their hands to feel the wall and finding, to theirastonishment, that they could feel nothing because nothing opposedthem. They walked on a few steps and found themselves in the streetsof a very beautiful city. Behind them they again saw the wall, grimand forbidding as ever, but now they knew it was merely an illusionprepared to keep strangers from entering the city.

But the wall was soon forgotten, for in front of them were a number ofquaint people who stared at them in amazement as if wondering wherethey had come from. Our friends forgot their good manners for a timeand returned the stares with interest, for so remarkable a people hadnever before been discovered in all the remarkable Land of Oz.

Their heads were shaped like diamonds, and their bodies like hearts.All the hair they had was a little bunch at the tip top of theirdiamond-shaped heads, and their eyes were very large and round, andtheir noses and mouths very small. Their clothing was tight fittingand of brilliant colors, being handsomely embroidered in quaint designswith gold or silver threads; but on their feet they wore sandals withno stockings whatever. The expression of their faces was pleasantenough, although they now showed surprise at the appearance ofstrangers so unlike themselves, and our friends thought they seemedquite harmless.

"I beg your pardon," said the Wizard, speaking for his party, "forintruding upon you uninvited, but we are traveling on importantbusiness and find it necessary to visit your city. Will you kindlytell us by what name your city is called?"

They looked at one another uncertainly, each expecting some other toanswer. Finally, a short one whose heart-shaped body was very broadreplied, "We have no occasion to call our city anything. It is wherewe live, that is all."

"But by what name do others call your city?" asked the Wizard.

"We know of no others except yourselves," said the man. And then heinquired, "Were you born with those queer forms you have, or has somecruel magician transformed you to them from your natural shapes?"

"These are our natural shapes," declared the Wizard, "and we considerthem very good shapes, too."

The group of inhabitants was constantly being enlarged by others whojoined it. All were evidently startled and uneasy at the arrival ofstrangers.

"Have you a King?" asked Dorothy, who knew it was better to speak withsomeone in authority.

But the man shook his diamond-like head. "What is a King?" he asked.

"Isn't there anyone who rules over you?" inquired the Wizard.

"No," was the reply, "each of us rules himself, or at least tries to doso. It is not an easy thing to do, as you probably know."

The Wizard reflected.

"If you have disputes among you," said he after a little thought, "whosettles them?"

"The High Coco-Lorum," they answered in a chorus.

"And who is he?"

"The judge who enforces the laws," said the man who had first spoken.

"Then he is the principal person here?" continued the Wizard.

"Well, I would not say that," returned the man in a puzzled way. "TheHigh Coco-Lorum is a public servant. However, he represents the laws,which we must all obey."

"I think," said the Wizard, "we ought to see your High Coco-Lorum andtalk with him. Our mission here requires us to consult one high inauthority, and the High Coco-Lorum ought to be high, whatever else heis."

The inhabitants seemed to consider this proposition reasonable, forthey nodded their diamond-shaped heads in approval. So the broad onewho had been their spokesman said, "Follow me," and turning led the wayalong one of the streets. The entire party followed him, the nativesfalling in behind. The dwellings they passed were quite nicely plannedand seemed comfortable and convenient. After leading them a fewblocks, their conductor stopped before a house which was neither betternor worse than the others. The doorway was shaped to admit thestrangely formed bodies of these people, being narrow at the top, broadin the middle and tapering at the bottom. The windows were made inmuch the same way, giving the house a most peculiar appearance. Whentheir guide opened the gate, a music box concealed in the gatepostbegan to play, and the sound attracted the attention of the HighCoco-Lorum, who appeared at an open window and inquired, "What hashappened now?"

But in the same moment his eyes fell upon the strangers and he hastenedto open the door and admit them--all but the animals, which were leftoutside with the throng of natives that had now gathered. For a smallcity there seemed to be a large number of inhabitants, but they did nottry to enter the house and contented themselves with staring curiouslyat the strange animals. Toto followed Dorothy.

Our friends entered a large room at the front of the house, where theHigh Coco-Lorum asked them to be seated. "I hope your mission here isa peaceful one," he said, looking a little worried, "for the Thists arenot very good fighters and object to being conquered."

"Are your people called Thists?" asked Dorothy.

"Yes. I thought you knew that. And we call our city Thi."

"Oh!"

"We are Thists because we eat thistles, you know," continued the HighCoco-Lorum.

"Do you really eat those prickly things?" inquired Button-Brightwonderingly.

"Why not?" replied the other. "The sharp points of the thistles cannothurt us, because all our insides are gold-lined."

"Gold-lined!"

"To be sure. Our throats and stomachs are lined with solid gold, andwe find the thistles nourishing and good to eat. As a matter of fact,there is nothing else in our country that is fit for food. All aroundthe City of Thi grow countless thistles, and all we need do is to goand gather them. If we wanted anything else to eat, we would have toplant it, and grow it, and harvest it, and that would be a lot oftrouble and make us work, which is an occupation we detest."

"But tell me, please," said the Wizard, "how does it happen that yourcity jumps around so, from one part of the country to another?"

"The city doesn't jump. It doesn't move at all," declared the HighCoco-Lorum. "However, I will admit that the land that surrounds it hasa trick of turning this way or that, and so if one is standing upon theplain and facing north, he is likely to find himself suddenly facingwest or east or south. But once you reach the thistle fields, you areon solid ground."

"Ah, I begin to understand," said the Wizard, nodding his head. "But Ihave another question to ask: How does it happen that the Thists haveno King to rule over them?"

"Hush!" whispered the High Coco-Lorum, looking uneasily around to makesure they were not overheard. "In reality, I am the King, but thepeople don't know it. They think they rule themselves, but the fact isI have everything my own way. No one else knows anything about ourlaws, and so I make the laws to suit myself. If any oppose me orquestion my acts, I tell them it's the law and that settles it. If Icalled myself King, however, and wore a crown and lived in royal style,the people would not like me and might do me harm. As the HighCoco-Lorum of Thi, I am considered a very agreeable person."

"It seems a very clever arrangement," said the Wizard. "And now, asyou are the principal person in Thi, I beg you to tell us if the RoyalOzma is a captive in your city."

"No," answered the diamond-headed man. "We have no captives. Nostrangers but yourselves are here, and we have never before heard ofthe Royal Ozma."

"She rules over all of Oz," said Dorothy, "and so she rules your cityand you, because you are in the Winkie Country, which is a part of theLand of Oz."

"It may be," returned the High Coco-Lorum, "for we do not studygeography and have never inquired whether we live in the Land of Oz ornot. And any Ruler who rules us from a distance and unknown to us iswelcome to the job. But what has happened to your Royal Ozma?"

"Someone has stolen her," said the Wizard. "Do you happen to have anytalented magician among your people, one who is especially clever, youknow?"

"No, none especially clever. We do some magic, of course, but it isall of the ordinary kind. I do not think any of us has yet aspired tostealing Rulers, either by magic or otherwise."

"Then we've come a long way for nothing!" exclaimed Trot regretfully.

"But we are going farther than this," asserted the Patchwork Girl,bending her stuffed body backward until her yarn hair touched the floorand then walking around on her hands with her feet in the air.

The High Coco-Lorum watched Scraps admiringly.

"You may go farther on, of course," said he, "but I advise you not to.The Herkus live back of us, beyond the thistles and the twisting lands,and they are not very nice people to meet, I assure you."

"Are they giants?" asked Betsy.

"They are worse than that," was the reply. "They have giants for theirslaves and they are so much stronger than giants that the poor slavesdare not rebel for fear of being torn to pieces."

"How do you know?" asked Scraps.

"Everyone says so," answered the High Coco-Lorum.

"Have you seen the Herkus yourself?" inquired Dorothy.

"No, but what everyone says must be true, otherwise what would be theuse of their saying it?"

"We were told before we got here that you people hitch dragons to yourchariots," said the little girl.

"So we do," declared the High Coco-Lorum. "And that reminds me that Iought to entertain you as strangers and my guests by taking you for aride around our splendid City of Thi." He touched a button, and a bandbegan to play. At least, they heard the music of a band, but couldn'ttell where it came from. "That tune is the order to my charioteer tobring around my dragon-chariot," said the High Coco-Lorum. "Every timeI give an order, it is in music, which is a much more pleasant way toaddress servants than in cold, stern words."

"Does this dragon of yours bite?" asked Button-Bright.

"Mercy no! Do you think I'd risk the safety of my innocent people byusing a biting dragon to draw my chariot? I'm proud to say that mydragon is harmless, unless his steering gear breaks, and he wasmanufactured at the famous dragon factory in this City of Thi. Here hecomes, and you may examine him for yourselves."

They heard a low rumble and a shrill squeaking sound, and going out tothe front of the house, they saw coming around the corner a car drawnby a gorgeous jeweled dragon, which moved its head to right and leftand flashed its eyes like headlights of an automobile and uttered agrowling noise as it slowly moved toward them. When it stopped beforethe High Coco-Lorum's house, Toto barked sharply at the sprawlingbeast, but even tiny Trot could see that the dragon was not alive. Itsscales were of gold, and each one was set with sparkling jewels, whileit walked in such a stiff, regular manner that it could be nothing elsethan a machine. The chariot that trailed behind it was likewise ofgold and jewels, and when they entered it, they found there were noseats. Everyone was supposed to stand up while riding. The charioteerwas a little, diamond-headed fellow who straddled the neck of thedragon and moved the levers that made it go.

"This," said the High Coco-Lorum pompously, "is a wonderful invention.We are all very proud of our auto-dragons, many of which are in use byour wealthy inhabitants. Start the thing going, charioteer!"

The charioteer did not move.

"You forgot to order him in music," suggested Dorothy.

"Ah, so I did."

He touched a button and a music box in the dragon's head began to playa tune. At once the little charioteer pulled over a lever, and thedragon began to move, very slowly and groaning dismally as it drew theclumsy chariot after it. Toto trotted between the wheels. TheSawhorse, the Mule, the Lion and the Woozy followed after and had notrouble in keeping up with the machine. Indeed, they had to go slow tokeep from running into it. When the wheels turned, another music boxconcealed somewhere under the chariot played a lively march tune whichwas in striking contrast with the dragging movement of the strangevehicle, and Button-Bright decided that the music he had heard whenthey first sighted this city was nothing else than a chariot ploddingits weary way through the streets.

All the travelers from the Emerald City thought this ride the mostuninteresting and dreary they had ever experienced, but the HighCoco-Lorum seemed to think it was grand. He pointed out the differentbuildings and parks and fountains in much the same way that theconductor does on an American "sightseeing wagon" does, and beingguests they were obliged to submit to the ordeal. But they became alittle worried when their host told them he had ordered a banquetprepared for them in the City Hall.

"What are we going to eat?" asked Button-Bright suspiciously.

"Thistles," was the reply. "Fine, fresh thistles, gathered this veryday."

Scraps laughed, for she never ate anything, but Dorothy said in aprotesting voice, "OUR insides are not lined with gold, you know."

"How sad!" exclaimed the High Coco-Lorum, and then he added as anafterthought, "but we can have the thistles boiled, if you prefer."

"I'm 'fraid they wouldn't taste good even then," said little Trot."Haven't you anything else to eat?"

The High Coco-Lorum shook his diamond-shaped head.

"Nothing that I know of," said he. "But why should we have anythingelse when we have so many thistles? However, if you can't eat what weeat, don't eat anything. We shall not be offended, and the banquetwill be just as merry and delightful."

Knowing his companions were all hungry, the Wizard said, "I trust youwill excuse us from the banquet, sir, which will be merry enoughwithout us, although it is given in our honor. For, as Ozma is not inyour city, we must leave here at once and seek her elsewhere."

"Sure we must!" Dorothy, and she whispered to Betsy and Trot, "I'drather starve somewhere else than in this city, and who knows, we mayrun across somebody who eats reg'lar food and will give us some."

So when the ride was finished, in spite of the protests of the HighCoco-Lorum, they insisted on continuing their journey. "It will soonbe dark," he objected.

"We don't mind the darkness," replied the Wizard.

"Some wandering Herku may get you."

"Do you think the Herkus would hurt us?" asked Dorothy.

"I cannot say, not having had the honor of their acquaintance. Butthey are said to be so strong that if they had any other place to standupon they could lift the world."

"All of them together?" asked Button-Bright wonderingly.

"Any one of them could do it," said the High Coco-Lorum.

"Have you heard of any magicians being among them?" asked the Wizard,knowing that only a magician could have stolen Ozma in the way she hadbeen stolen.

"I am told it is quite a magical country," declared the HighCoco-Lorum, "and magic is usually performed by magicians. But I havenever heard that they have any invention or sorcery to equal ourwonderful auto-dragons."

They thanked him for his courtesy, and mounting their own animals rodeto the farther side of the city and right through the Wall of Illusionout into the open country. "I'm glad we got away so easily," saidBetsy. "I didn't like those queer-shaped people."

"Nor did I," agreed Dorothy. "It seems dreadful to be lined with sheetsof pure gold and have nothing to eat but thistles."

"They seemed happy and contented, though," remarked the Wizard, "andthose who are contented have nothing to regret and nothing more to wishfor."

CHAPTER 10

TOTO LOSES SOMETHING

For a while the travelers were constantly losing their direction, forbeyond the thistle fields they again found themselves upon theturning-lands, which swung them around one way and then another. Butby keeping the City of Thi constantly behind them, the adventurersfinally passed the treacherous turning-lands and came upon a stonycountry where no grass grew at all. There were plenty of bushes,however, and although it was now almost dark, the girls discovered somedelicious yellow berries growing upon the bushes, one taste of whichset them all to picking as many as they could find. The berriesrelieved their pangs of hunger for a time, and as it now became toodark to see anything, they camped where they were.

The three girls lay down upon one of the blankets--all in a row--andthe Wizard covered them with the other blanket and tucked them in.Button-Bright crawled under the shelter of some bushes and was asleepin half a minute. The Wizard sat down with his back to a big stone andlooked at the stars in the sky and thought gravely upon the dangerousadventure they had undertaken, wondering if they would ever be able tofind their beloved Ozma again. The animals lay in a group bythemselves, a little distance from the others.

"I've lost my growl!" said Toto, who had been very silent and sober allthat day. "What do you suppose has become of it?"

"If you had asked me to keep track of your growl, I might be able totell you," remarked the Lion sleepily. "But frankly, Toto, I supposedyou were taking care of it yourself."

"It's an awful thing to lose one's growl," said Toto, wagging his taildisconsolately. "What if you lost your roar, Lion? Wouldn't you feelterrible?"

"My roar," replied the Lion, "is the fiercest thing about me. I dependon it to frighten my enemies so badly that they won't dare to fight me."

"Once," said the Mule, "I lost my bray so that I couldn't call to Betsyto let her know I was hungry. That was before I could talk, you know,for I had not yet come into the Land of Oz, and I found it wascertainly very uncomfortable not to be able to make a noise."

"You make enough noise now," declared Toto. "But none of you haveanswered my question: Where is my growl?"

"You may search ME," said the Woozy. "I don't care for such things,myself."

"You snore terribly," asserted Toto.

"It may be," said the Woozy. "What one does when asleep one is notaccountable for. I wish you would wake me up sometime when I'm snoringand let me hear the sound. Then I can judge whether it is terrible ordelightful."

"It isn't pleasant, I assure you," said the Lion, yawning.

"To me it seems wholly unnecessary," declared Hank the Mule.

"You ought to break yourself of the habit," said the Sawhorse. "Younever hear me snore, because I never sleep. I don't even whinny asthose puffy meat horses do. I wish that whoever stole Toto's growl hadtaken the Mule's bray and the Lion's roar and the Woozy's snore at thesame time."

"Do you think, then, that my growl was stolen?"

"You have never lost it before, have you?" inquired inquired theSawhorse.

"Only once, when I had a sore throat from barking too long at the moon."

"Is your throat sore now?" asked the Woozy.

"No," replied the dog.

"I can't understand," said Hank, "why dogs bark at the moon. Theycan't scare the moon, and the moon doesn't pay any attention to thebark. So why do dogs do it?"

"Were you ever a dog?" asked Toto.

"No indeed," replied Hank. "I am thankful to say I was created amule--the most beautiful of all beasts--and have always remained one."

The Woozy sat upon his square haunches to examine Hank with care."Beauty," he said, "must be a matter of taste. I don't say yourjudgment is bad, friend Hank, or that you are so vulgar as to beconceited. But if you admire big, waggy ears and a tail like apaintbrush and hoofs big enough for an elephant and a long neck and abody so skinny that one can count the ribs with one eye shut--if that'syour idea of beauty, Hank, then either you or I must be much mistaken."

"You're full of edges," sneered the Mule. "If I were square as you are,I suppose you'd think me lovely."

"Outwardly, dear Hank, I would," replied the Woozy. "But to be reallylovely, one must be beautiful without and within."

The Mule couldn't deny this statement, so he gave a disgusted grunt androlled over so that his back was toward the Woozy. But the Lion,regarding the two calmly with his great, yellow eyes, said to the dog,"My dear Toto, our friends have taught us a lesson in humility. If theWoozy and the Mule are indeed beautiful creatures as they seem tothink, you and I must be decidedly ugly."

"Not to ourselves," protested Toto, who was a shrewd little dog. "Youand I, Lion, are fine specimens of our own races. I am a fine dog, andyou are a fine lion. Only in point of comparison, one with another,can we be properly judged, so I will leave it to the poor old Sawhorseto decide which is the most beautiful animal among us all. The Sawhorseis wood, so he won't be prejudiced and will speak the truth."

"I surely will," responded the Sawhorse, wagging his ears, which werechips set in his wooden head. "Are you all agreed to accept myjudgment?"

"We are!" they declared, each one hopeful.

"Then," said the Sawhorse, "I must point out to you the fact that youare all meat creatures, who tire unless they sleep and starve unlessthey eat and suffer from thirst unless they drink. Such animals mustbe very imperfect, and imperfect creatures cannot be beautiful. Now, Iam made of wood."

"You surely have a wooden head," said the Mule.

"Yes, and a wooden body and wooden legs, which are as swift as the windand as tireless. I've heard Dorothy say that 'handsome is as handsomedoes,' and I surely perform my duties in a handsome manner. Therefore,if you wish my honest judgment, I will confess that among us all I amthe most beautiful."

The Mule snorted, and the Woozy laughed; Toto had lost his growl andcould only look scornfully at the Sawhorse, who stood in his placeunmoved. But the Lion stretched himself and yawned, saying quietly,"Were we all like the Sawhorse, we would all be Sawhorses, which wouldbe too many of the kind. Were we all like Hank, we would be a herd ofmules; if like Toto, we would be a pack of dogs; should we all becomethe shape of the Woozy, he would no longer be remarkable for hisunusual appearance. Finally, were you all like me, I would consideryou so common that I would not care to associate with you. To beindividual, my friends, to be different from others, is the only way tobecome distinguished from the common herd. Let us be glad, therefore,that we differ from one another in form and in disposition. Variety isthe spice of life, and we are various enough to enjoy one another'ssociety; so let us be content."

"There is some truth in that speech," remarked Toto reflectively. "Buthow about my lost growl?"

"The growl is of importance only to you," responded the Lion, "so it isyour business to worry over the loss, not ours. If you love us, do notafflict your burdens on us; be unhappy all by yourself."

"If the same person stole my growl who stole Ozma," said the littledog, "I hope we shall find him very soon and punish him as he deserves.He must be the most cruel person in all the world, for to prevent a dogfrom growling when it is his nature to growl is just as wicked, in myopinion, as stealing all the magic in Oz."

CHAPTER 11

BUTTON-BRIGHT LOSES HIMSELF

The Patchwork Girl, who never slept and who could see very well in thedark, had wandered among the rocks and bushes all night long, with theresult that she was able to tell some good news the next morning. "Overthe crest of the hill before us," she said, "is a big grove of trees ofmany kinds on which all sorts of fruits grow. If you will go there,you will find a nice breakfast awaiting you." This made them eager tostart, so as soon as the blankets were folded and strapped to the backof the Sawhorse, they all took their places on the animals and set outfor the big grove Scraps had told them of.

As soon as they got over the brow of the hill, they discovered it to bea really immense orchard, extending for miles to the right and left ofthem. As their way led straight through the trees, they hurriedforward as fast as possible. The first trees they came to borequinces, which they did not like. Then there were rows of citron treesand then crab apples and afterward limes and lemons. But beyond thesethey found a grove of big, golden oranges, juicy and sweet, and thefruit hung low on the branches so they could pluck it easily.

They helped themselves freely and all ate oranges as they continued ontheir way. Then, a little farther along, they came to some treesbearing fine, red apples, which they also feasted on, and the Wizardstopped here long enough to tie a lot of the apples in one end of ablanket.

"We do not know what will happen to us after we leave this delightfulorchard," he said, "so I think it wise to carry a supply of apples withus. We can't starve as long as we have apples, you know."

Scraps wasn't riding the Woozy just now. She loved to climb the treesand swing herself by the branches from one tree to another. Some ofthe choicest fruit was gathered by the Patchwork Girl from the veryhighest limbs and tossed down to the others. Suddenly, Trot asked,"Where's Button-Bright?" and when the others looked for him, they foundthe boy had disappeared.

"Dear me!" cried Dorothy. "I guess he's lost again, and that will meanour waiting here until we can find him."

"It's a good place to wait," suggested Betsy, who had found a plum treeand was eating some of its fruit.

"How can you wait here and find Button-Bright at one and the sametime?" inquired the Patchwork Girl, hanging by her toes on a limb justover the heads of the three mortal girls.

"Perhaps he'll come back here," answered Dorothy.

"If he tries that, he'll prob'ly lose his way," said Trot. "I've knownhim to do that lots of times. It's losing his way that gets him lost."

"Very true," said the Wizard. "So all the rest of you must stay herewhile I go look for the boy."

"Won't YOU get lost, too?" asked Betsy.

"I hope not, my dear."

"Let ME go," said Scraps, dropping lightly to the ground. "I can't getlost, and I'm more likely to find Button-Bright than any of you."Without waiting for permission, she darted away through the trees andsoon disappeared from their view.

"Dorothy," said Toto, squatting beside his little mistress, "I've lostmy growl."

"How did that happen?" she asked.

"I don't know," replied Toto. "Yesterday morning the Woozy nearlystepped on me, and I tried to growl at him and found I couldn't growl abit."

"Can you bark?" inquired Dorothy.

"Oh, yes indeed."

"Then never mind the growl," said she.

"But what will I do when I get home to the Glass Cat and the PinkKitten?" asked the little dog in an anxious tone.

"They won't mind if you can't growl at them, I'm sure," said Dorothy."I'm sorry for you, of course, Toto, for it's just those things wecan't do that we want to do most of all; but before we get back, youmay find your growl again."

"Do you think the person who stole Ozma stole my growl?"

Dorothy smiled.

"Perhaps, Toto."

"Then he's a scoundrel!" cried the little dog.

"Anyone who would steal Ozma is as bad as bad can be," agreed Dorothy,"and when we remember that our dear friend, the lovely Ruler of Oz, islost, we ought not to worry over just a growl."

Toto was not entirely satisfied with this remark, for the more hethought upon his lost growl, the more important his misfortune became.When no one was looking, he went away among the trees and tried hisbest to growl--even a little bit--but could not manage to do so. Allhe could do was bark, and a bark cannot take the place of a growl, sohe sadly returned to the others.

Now Button-Bright had no idea that he was lost at first. He had merelywandered from tree to tree seeking the finest fruit until he discoveredhe was alone in the great orchard. But that didn't worry him justthen, and seeing some apricot trees farther on, he went to them. Thenhe discovered some cherry trees; just beyond these were sometangerines. "We've found 'most ev'ry kind of fruit but peaches," hesaid to himself, "so I guess there are peaches here, too, if I can findthe trees."

He searched here and there, paying no attention to his way, until hefound that the trees surrounding him bore only nuts. He put somewalnuts in his pockets and kept on searching, and at last--right amongthe nut trees--he came upon one solitary peach tree. It was agraceful, beautiful tree, but although it was thickly leaved, it boreno fruit except one large, splendid peach, rosy-cheeked and fuzzy andjust right to eat.

In his heart he doubted this statement, for this was a solitary peachtree, while all the other fruits grew upon many trees set close to oneanother; but that one luscious bite made him unable to resist eatingthe rest of it, and soon the peach was all gone except the pit.Button-Bright was about to throw this peach pit away when he noticedthat it was of pure gold. Of course, this surprised him, but so manythings in the Land of Oz were surprising that he did not give muchthought to the golden peach pit. He put it in his pocket, however, toshow to the girls, and five minutes afterward had forgotten all aboutit.

For now he realized that he was far separated from his companions, andknowing that this would worry them and delay their journey, he began toshout as loud as he could. His voice did not penetrate very far amongall those trees, and after shouting a dozen times and getting noanswer, he sat down on the ground and said, "Well, I'm lost again. It'stoo bad, but I don't see how it can be helped."

As he leaned his back against a tree, he looked up and saw a Bluefinchfly down from the sky and alight upon a branch just before him. Thebird looked and looked at him. First it looked with one bright eye andthen turned its head and looked at him with the other eye. Then,fluttering its wings a little, it said, "Oho! So you've eaten theenchanted peach, have you?"

"Was it enchanted?" asked Button-Bright.

"Of course," replied the Bluefinch. "Ugu the Shoemaker did that."

"But why? And how was it enchanted? And what will happen to one whoeats it?" questioned the boy.

"Ask Ugu the Shoemaker. He knows," said the bird, preening itsfeathers with its bill.

"And who is Ugu the Shoemaker?"

"The one who enchanted the peach and placed it here--in the exactcenter of the Great Orchard--so no one would ever find it. We birdsdidn't dare to eat it; we are too wise for that. But you areButton-Bright from the Emerald City, and you, YOU, YOU ate theenchanted peach! You must explain to Ugu the Shoemaker why you didthat."

And then, before the boy could ask any more questions, the bird flewaway and left him alone.

Button-Bright was not much worried to find that the peach he had eatenwas enchanted. It certainly had tasted very good, and his stomachdidn't ache a bit. So again he began to reflect upon the best way torejoin his friends. "Whichever direction I follow is likely to be thewrong one," he said to himself, "so I'd better stay just where I am andlet THEM find ME--if they can."

A White Rabbit came hopping through the orchard and paused a little wayoff to look at him. "Don't be afraid," said Button-Bright. "I won'thurt you."

"Oh, I'm not afraid for myself," returned the White Rabbit. "It's youI'm worried about."

"Yes, I'm lost," said the boy.

"I fear you are, indeed," answered the Rabbit. "Why on earth did youeat the enchanted peach?"

The boy looked at the excited little animal thoughtfully. "There weretwo reasons," he explained. "One reason was that I like peaches, andthe other reason was that I didn't know it was enchanted."

"That won't save you from Ugu the Shoemaker," declared the WhiteRabbit, and it scurried away before the boy could ask any morequestions.

"Rabbits and birds," he thought, "are timid creatures and seem afraidof this shoemaker, whoever he may be. If there was another peach halfas good as that other, I'd eat it in spite of a dozen enchantments or ahundred shoemakers!"

Just then, Scraps came dancing along and saw him sitting at the foot ofthe tree. "Oh, here you are!" she said. "Up to your old tricks, eh?Don't you know it's impolite to get lost and keep everybody waiting foryou? Come along, and I'll lead you back to Dorothy and the others."

Button-Bright rose slowly to accompany her.

"That wasn't much of a loss," he said cheerfully. "I haven't been gonehalf a day, so there's no harm done."

Dorothy, however, when the boy rejoined the party, gave him a goodscolding. "When we're doing such an important thing as searching forOzma," said she, "it's naughty for you to wander away and keep us fromgetting on. S'pose she's a pris'ner in a dungeon cell! Do you want tokeep our dear Ozma there any longer than we can help?"

"If she's in a dungeon cell, how are you going to get her out?"inquired the boy.

"Never you mind. We'll leave that to the Wizard. He's sure to find away."

The Wizard said nothing, for he realized that without his magic toolshe could do no more than any other person. But there was no usereminding his companions of that fact; it might discourage them. "Theimportant thing just now," he remarked, "is to find Ozma, and as ourparty is again happily reunited, I propose we move on."

As they came to the edge of the Great Orchard, the sun was setting andthey knew it would soon be dark. So it was decided to camp under thetrees, as another broad plain was before them. The Wizard spread theblankets on a bed of soft leaves, and presently all of them exceptScraps and the Sawhorse were fast asleep. Toto snuggled close to hisfriend the Lion, and the Woozy snored so loudly that the Patchwork Girlcovered his square head with her apron to deaden the sound.

CHAPTER 12

THE CZAROVER OF HERKU

Trot wakened just as the sun rose, and slipping out of the blankets,went to the edge of the Great Orchard and looked across the plain.Something glittered in the far distance. "That looks like anothercity," she said half aloud.

"And another city it is," declared Scraps, who had crept to Trot's sideunheard, for her stuffed feet made no sound. "The Sawhorse and I madea journey in the dark while you were all asleep, and we found overthere a bigger city than Thi. There's a wall around it, too, but ithas gates and plenty of pathways."

"Did you get in?" asked Trot.

"No, for the gates were locked and the wall was a real wall. So wecame back here again. It isn't far to the city. We can reach it intwo hours after you've had your breakfasts."

Trot went back, and finding the other girls now awake, told them whatScraps had said. So they hurriedly ate some fruit--there were plentyof plums and fijoas in this part of the orchard--and then they mountedthe animals and set out upon the journey to the strange city. Hank theMule had breakfasted on grass, and the Lion had stolen away and found abreakfast to his liking; he never told what it was, but Dorothy hopedthe little rabbits and the field mice had kept out of his way. Shewarned Toto not to chase birds and gave the dog some apple, with whichhe was quite content. The Woozy was as fond of fruit as of any otherfood except honey, and the Sawhorse never ate at all.

Except for their worry over Ozma, they were all in good spirits as theyproceeded swiftly over the plain. Toto still worried over his lostgrowl, but like a wise little dog kept his worry to himself. Beforelong, the city grew nearer and they could examine it with interest.

In outward appearance the place was more imposing than Thi, and it wasa square city, with a square, four-sided wall around it, and on eachside was a square gate of burnished copper. Everything about the citylooked solid and substantial; there were no banners flying, and thetowers that rose above the city wall seemed bare of any ornamentwhatever.

A path led from the fruit orchard directly to one of the city gates,showing that the inhabitants preferred fruit to thistles. Our friendsfollowed this path to the gate, which they found fast shut. But theWizard advanced and pounded upon it with his fist, saying in a loudvoice, "Open!"

At once there rose above the great wall a row of immense heads, all ofwhich looked down at them as if to see who was intruding. The size ofthese heads was astonishing, and our friends at once realized that theybelonged to giants who were standing within the city. All had thick,bushy hair and whiskers, on some the hair being white and on othersblack or red or yellow, while the hair of a few was just turning gray,showing that the giants were of all ages. However fierce the headsmight seem, the eyes were mild in expression, as if the creatures hadbeen long subdued, and their faces expressed patience rather thanferocity.

"What's wanted?" asked one old giant in a low, grumbling voice.

"We are strangers, and we wish to enter the city," replied the Wizard.

"Do you come in war or peace?" asked another.

"In peace, of course," retorted the Wizard, and he added impatiently,"Do we look like an army of conquest?"

"No," said the first giant who had spoken, "you look like innocenttramps; but you never can tell by appearances. Wait here until wereport to our masters. No one can enter here without the permission ofVig, the Czarover."

"Who's that?" inquired Dorothy.

But the heads had all bobbed down and disappeared behind the walls, sothere was no answer. They waited a long time before the gate rolledback with a rumbling sound, and a loud voice cried, "Enter!" But theylost no time in taking advantage of the invitation.

On either side of the broad street that led into the city from the gatestood a row of huge giants, twenty of them on a side and all standingso close together that their elbows touched. They wore uniforms ofblue and yellow and were armed with clubs as big around as treetrunks.Each giant had around his neck a broad band of gold, riveted on, toshow he was a slave.

As our friends entered riding upon the Lion, the Woozy, the Sawhorseand the Mule, the giants half turned and walked in two files on eitherside of them, as if escorting them on their way. It looked to Dorothyas if all her party had been made prisoners, for even mounted on theiranimals their heads scarcely reached to the knees of the marchinggiants. The girls and Button-Bright were anxious to know what sort ofa city they had entered, and what the people were like who had madethese powerful creatures their slaves. Through the legs of the giantsas they walked, Dorothy could see rows of houses on each side of thestreet and throngs of people standing on the sidewalks, but the peoplewere of ordinary size and the only remarkable thing about them was thefact that they were dreadfully lean and thin. Between their skin andtheir bones there seemed to be little or no flesh, and they were mostlystoop-shouldered and weary looking, even to the little children.

More and more, Dorothy wondered how and why the great giants had eversubmitted to become slaves of such skinny, languid masters, but therewas no chance to question anyone until they arrived at a big palacelocated in the heart of the city. Here the giants formed lines to theentrance and stood still while our friends rode into the courtyard ofthe palace. Then the gates closed behind them, and before them was askinny little man who bowed low and said in a sad voice, "If you willbe so obliging as to dismount, it will give me pleasure to lead youinto the presence of the World's Most Mighty Ruler, Vig the Czarover."

"I don't believe it!" said Dorothy indignantly.

"What don't you believe?" asked the man.

"I don't believe your Czarover can hold a candle to our Ozma."

"He wouldn't hold a candle under any circumstances, or to any livingperson," replied the man very seriously, "for he has slaves to do suchthings and the Mighty Vig is too dignified to do anything that otherscan do for him. He even obliges a slave to sneeze for him, if ever hecatches cold. However, if you dare to face our powerful ruler, followme."

"We dare anything," said the Wizard, "so go ahead."

Through several marble corridors having lofty ceilings they passed,finding each corridor and doorway guarded by servants. But theseservants of the palace were of the people and not giants, and they wereso thin that they almost resembled skeletons. Finally, they entered agreat circular room with a high, domed ceiling, where the Czarover saton a throne cut from a solid block of white marble and decorated withpurple silk hangings and gold tassels.

The ruler of these people was combing his eyebrows when our friendsentered the throne room and stood before him, but he put the comb inhis pocket and examined the strangers with evident curiosity. Then hesaid, "Dear me, what a surprise! You have really shocked me. For nooutsider has ever before come to our City of Herku, and I cannotimagine why you have ventured to do so."

"We are looking for Ozma, the Supreme Ruler of the Land of Oz," repliedthe Wizard.

"Do you see her anywhere around here?" asked the Czarover.

"Not yet, Your Majesty, but perhaps you may tell us where she is."

"No, I have my hands full keeping track of my own people. I find themhard to manage because they are so tremendously strong."

"They don't look very strong," said Dorothy. "It seems as if a goodwind would blow 'em way out of the city if it wasn't for the wall."

"Just so, just so," admitted the Czarover. "They really look that way,don't they? But you must never trust to appearances, which have a wayof fooling one. Perhaps you noticed that I prevented you from meetingany of my people. I protected you with my giants while you were on theway from the gates to my palace so that not a Herku got near you."

"Are your people so dangerous, then?" asked the Wizard.

"To strangers, yes. But only because they are so friendly. For ifthey shake hands with you, they are likely to break your arms or crushyour fingers to a jelly."

"Why?" asked Button-Bright.

"Because we are the strongest people in all the world."

"Pshaw!" exclaimed the boy. "That's bragging. You prob'ly don't knowhow strong other people are. Why, once I knew a man in Philadelphi'who could bend iron bars with just his hands!"

"But mercy me, it's no trick to bend iron bars," said His Majesty."Tell me, could this man crush a block of stone with his bare hands?"

"No one could do that," declared the boy.

"If I had a block of stone, I'd show you," said the Czarover, lookingaround the room. "Ah, here is my throne. The back is too high,anyhow, so I'll just break off a piece of that." He rose to his feetand tottered in an uncertain way around the throne. Then he took holdof the back and broke off a piece of marble over a foot thick. "This,"said he, coming back to his seat, "is very solid marble and much harderthan ordinary stone. Yet I can crumble it easily with my fingers, aproof that I am very strong."

Even as he spoke, he began breaking off chunks of marble and crumblingthem as one would a bit of earth. The Wizard was so astonished that hetook a piece in his own hands and tested it, finding it very hardindeed.

Just then one of the giant servants entered and exclaimed, "Oh, YourMajesty, the cook has burned the soup! What shall we do?"

"How dare you interrupt me?" asked the Czarover, and grasping theimmense giant by one of his legs, he raised him in the air and threwhim headfirst out of an open window. "Now, tell me," he said, turningto Button-Bright, "could your man in Philadelphia crumble marble in hisfingers?"

"I guess not," said Button-Bright, much impressed by the skinnymonarch's strength.

"What makes you so strong?" inquired Dorothy.

"It's the zosozo," he explained, "which is an invention of my own. Iand all my people eat zosozo, and it gives us tremendous strength.Would you like to eat some?"

"No thank you," replied the girl. "I--I don't want to get so thin."

"Well, of course one can't have strength and flesh at the same time,"said the Czarover. "Zosozo is pure energy, and it's the only compoundof its sort in existence. I never allow our giants to have it, youknow, or they would soon become our masters, since they are bigger thatwe; so I keep all the stuff locked up in my private laboratory. Once ayear I feed a teaspoonful of it to each of my people--men, women andchildren--so every one of them is nearly as strong as I am. Wouldn'tYOU like a dose, sir?" he asked, turning to the Wizard.

"Well," said the Wizard, "if you would give me a little zosozo in abottle, I'd like to take it with me on my travels. It might come inhandy on occasion."

"To be sure. I'll give you enough for six doses," promised theCzarover.

"But don't take more than a teaspoonful at a time. Once Ugu theShoemaker took two teaspoonsful, and it made him so strong that when heleaned against the city wall, he pushed it over, and we had to build itup again."

"Who is Ugu the Shoemaker?"

Button-Bright curiously, for he now remembered that the bird and therabbit had claimed Ugu the Shoemaker had enchanted the peach he hadeaten.

"Why, Ugu is a great magician who used to live here. But he's goneaway now," replied the Czarover.

"Where has he gone?" asked the Wizard quickly.

"I am told he lives in a wickerwork castle in the mountains to the westof here. You see, Ugu became such a powerful magician that he didn'tcare to live in our city any longer for fear we would discover some ofhis secrets. So he went to the mountains and built him a splendidwicker castle which is so strong that even I and my people could notbatter it down, and there he lives all by himself."

"This is good news," declared the Wizard, "for I think this is just themagician we are searching for. But why is he called Ugu the Shoemaker?"

"Once he was a very common citizen here and made shoes for a living,"replied the monarch of Herku. "But he was descended from the greatestwizard and sorcerer who ever lived in this or in any other country, andone day Ugu the Shoemaker discovered all the magical books and recipesof his famous great-grandfather, which had been hidden away in theattic of his house. So he began to study the papers and books and topractice magic, and in time he became so skillful that, as I said, hescorned our city and built a solitary castle for himself."

"Do you think," asked Dorothy anxiously, "that Ugu the Shoemaker wouldbe wicked enough to steal our Ozma of Oz?"

"And the Magic Picture?" asked Trot.

"And the Great Book of Records of Glinda the Good?" asked Betsy.

"And my own magic tools?" asked the Wizard.

"Well," replied the Czarover, "I won't say that Ugu is wicked, exactly,but he is very ambitious to become the most powerful magician in theworld, and so I suppose he would not be too proud to steal any magicthings that belonged to anybody else--if he could manage to do so."

"But how about Ozma? Why would he wish to steal HER?" questionedDorothy.

"Don't ask me, my dear. Ugu doesn't tell me why he does things, Iassure you."

"Then we must go and ask him ourselves," declared the little girl.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," advised the Czarover, looking firstat the three girls and then at the boy and the little Wizard andfinally at the stuffed Patchwork Girl. "If Ugu has really stolen yourOzma, he will probably keep her a prisoner, in spite of all yourthreats or entreaties. And with all his magical knowledge he would bea dangerous person to attack. Therefore, if you are wise, you will gohome again and find a new Ruler for the Emerald City and the Land ofOz. But perhaps it isn't Ugu the Shoemaker who has stolen your Ozma."

"The only way to settle that question," replied the Wizard, "is to goto Ugu's castle and see if Ozma is there. If she is, we will reportthe matter to the great Sorceress Glinda the Good, and I'm pretty sureshe will find a way to rescue our darling ruler from the Shoemaker."

"Well, do as you please," said the Czarover, "but if you are alltransformed into hummingbirds or caterpillars, don't blame me for notwarning you."

They stayed the rest of that day in the City of Herku and were fed atthe royal table of the Czarover and given sleeping rooms in his palace.The strong monarch treated them very nicely and gave the Wizard alittle golden vial of zosozo to use if ever he or any of his partywished to acquire great strength.

Even at the last, the Czarover tried to persuade them not to go nearUgu the Shoemaker, but they were resolved on the venture, and the nextmorning bade the friendly monarch a cordial goodbye and, mounting upontheir animals, left the Herkus and the City of Herku and headed for themountains that lay to the west.

CHAPTER 13

THE TRUTH POND

It seems a long time since we have heard anything of the Frogman andCayke the Cookie Cook, who had left the Yip Country in search of thediamond-studded dishpan which had been mysteriously stolen the samenight that Ozma had disappeared from the Emerald City. But you mustremember that while the Frogman and the Cookie Cook were preparing todescend from their mountaintop, and even while on their way to thefarmhouse of Wiljon the Winkie, Dorothy and the Wizard and theirfriends were encountering the adventures we have just related.

So it was that on the very morning when the travelers from the EmeraldCity bade farewell to the Czarover of the City of Herku, Cayke and theFrogman awoke in a grove in which they had passed the night sleeping onbeds of leaves. There were plenty of farmhouses in the neighborhood,but no one seemed to welcome the puffy, haughty Frogman or the littledried-up Cookie Cook, and so they slept comfortably enough underneaththe trees of the grove. The Frogman wakened first on this morning, andafter going to the tree where Cayke slept and finding her still wrappedin slumber, he decided to take a little walk and seek some breakfast.Coming to the edge of the grove, he observed half a mile away a prettyyellow house that was surrounded by a yellow picket fence, so he walkedtoward this house and on entering the yard found a Winkie woman pickingup sticks with which to build a fire to cook her morning meal.

"For goodness sake!" she exclaimed on seeing the Frogman. "What areyou doing out of your frog-pond?"

"I am traveling in search of a jeweled gold dishpan, my good woman," hereplied with an air of great dignity.

"You won't find it here, then," said she. "Our dishpans are tin, andthey're good enough for anybody. So go back to your pond and leave mealone." She spoke rather crossly and with a lack of respect thatgreatly annoyed the Frogman.

"Allow me to tell you, madam," said he, "that although I am a frog, Iam the Greatest and Wisest Frog in all the world. I may add that Ipossess much more wisdom than any Winkie--man or woman--in this land.Wherever I go, people fall on their knees before me and render homageto the Great Frogman! No one else knows so much as I; no one else isso grand, so magnificent!"

"If you know so much," she retorted, "why don't you know where yourdishpan is instead of chasing around the country after it?"

"Presently," he answered, "I am going where it is, but just now I amtraveling and have had no breakfast. Therefore I honor you by askingyou for something to eat."

"Oho! The Great Frogman is hungry as any tramp, is he? Then pick upthese sticks and help me to build the fire," said the womancontemptuously.

"Me! The Great Frogman pick up sticks?" he exclaimed in horror. "Inthe Yip Country where I am more honored and powerful than any Kingcould be, people weep with joy when I ask them to feed me."

"Then that's the place to go for your breakfast," declared the woman.

"I fear you do not realize my importance," urged the Frogman."Exceeding wisdom renders me superior to menial duties."

"It's a great wonder to me," remarked the woman, carrying her sticks tothe house, "that your wisdom doesn't inform you that you'll get nobreakfast here." And she went in and slammed the door behind her.

The Frogman felt he had been insulted, so he gave a loud croak ofindignation and turned away. After going a short distance, he cameupon a faint path which led across a meadow in the direction of a groveof pretty trees, and thinking this circle of evergreens must surround ahouse where perhaps he would be kindly received, he decided to followthe path. And by and by he came to the trees, which were set closetogether, and pushing aside some branches he found no house inside thecircle, but instead a very beautiful pond of clear water.

Now the Frogman, although he was so big and well educated and now apedthe ways and customs of human beings, was still a frog. As he gazed atthis solitary, deserted pond, his love for water returned to him withirresistible force. "If I cannot get a breakfast, I may at least havea fine swim," said he, and pushing his way between the trees, hereached the bank. There he took off his fine clothing, laying hisshiny purple hat and his gold-headed cane beside it. A moment later,he sprang with one leap into the water and dived to the very bottom ofthe pond.

The water was deliciously cool and grateful to his thick, rough skin,and the Frogman swam around the pond several times before he stopped torest. Then he floated upon the surface and examined the pond with Thebottom and sides were all lined with glossy tiles of a light pinkcolor; just one place in the bottom where the water bubbled up from ahidden spring had been left free. On the banks, the green grass grewto the edge of the pink tiling. And now, as the Frogman examined theplace, he found that on one side of the pool, just above the waterline, had been set a golden plate on which some words were deeplyengraved. He swam toward this plate, and on reaching it read thefollowing inscription:

_This is_ THE TRUTH POND _Whoever bathes in this water must always afterward tell_ THE TRUTH.

This statement startled the Frogman. It even worried him, so that heleaped upon the bank and hurriedly began to dress himself. "A greatmisfortune has befallen me," he told himself, "for hereafter I cannottell people I am wise, since it is not the truth. The truth is that myboasted wisdom is all a sham, assumed by me to deceive people and makethem defer to me. In truth, no living creature can know much more thanhis fellows, for one may know one thing, and another know anotherthing, so that wisdom is evenly scattered throughout the world.But--ah me!--what a terrible fate will now be mine. Even Cayke theCookie Cook will soon discover that my knowledge is no greater than herown, for having bathed in the enchanted water of the Truth Pond, I canno longer deceive her or tell a lie."

More humbled than he had been for many years, the Frogman went back tothe grove where he had left Cayke and found the woman now awake andwashing her face in a tiny brook. "Where has Your Honor been?" sheasked.

"To a farmhouse to ask for something to eat," said he, "but the womanrefused me."

"How dreadful!" she exclaimed. "But never mind, there are other houseswhere the people will be glad to feed the Wisest Creature in all theWorld."

"Do you mean yourself?" he asked.

"No, I mean you."

The Frogman felt strongly impelled to tell the truth, but struggledhard against it. His reason told him there was no use in letting Caykeknow he was not wise, for then she would lose much respect for him, buteach time he opened his mouth to speak, he realized he was about totell the truth and shut it again as quickly as possible. He tried totalk about something else, but the words necessary to undeceive thewoman would force themselves to his lips in spite of all his struggles.Finally, knowing that he must either remain dumb or let the truthprevail, he gave a low groan of despair and said, "Cayke, I am NOT theWisest Creature in all the World; I am not wise at all."

"Oh, you must be!" she protested. "You told me so yourself, only lastevening."

"Then last evening I failed to tell you the truth," he admitted,looking very shamefaced for a frog. "I am sorry I told you this lie,my good Cayke, but if you must know the truth, the whole truth andnothing but the truth, I am not really as wise as you are."

The Cookie Cook was greatly shocked to hear this, for it shattered oneof her most pleasing illusions. She looked at the gorgeously dressedFrogman in amazement. "What has caused you to change your mind sosuddenly?" she inquired.

"I have bathed in the Truth Pond," he said, "and whoever bathes in thatwater is ever afterward obliged to tell the truth."

"You were foolish to do that," declared the woman.

"It is often very embarrassing to tell the truth. I'm glad I didn'tbathe in that dreadful water!"

The Frogman looked at his companion thoughtfully. "Cayke," said he, "Iwant you to go to the Truth Pond and take a bath in its water. For ifwe are to travel together and encounter unknown adventures, it wouldnot be fair that I alone must always tell you the truth, while youcould tell me whatever you pleased. If we both dip in the enchantedwater, there will be no chance in the future of our deceiving oneanother."

"No," she asserted, shaking her head positively, "I won't do it, YourHonor. For if I told you the truth, I'm sure you wouldn't like me. NoTruth Pond for me. I'll be just as I am, an honest woman who can saywhat she wants to without hurting anyone's feelings."

With this decision the Frogman was forced to be content, although hewas sorry the Cookie Cook would not listen to his advice.

CHAPTER 14

THE UNHAPPY FERRYMAN

Leaving the grove where they had slept, the Frogman and the Cookie Cookturned to the east to seek another house, and after a short walk cameto one where the people received them very politely. The childrenstared rather hard at the big, pompous Frogman, but the woman of thehouse, when Cayke asked for something to eat, at once brought them foodand said they were welcome to it. "Few people in need of help passthis way," she remarked, "for the Winkies are all prosperous and loveto stay in their own homes. But perhaps you are not a Winkie," sheadded.

"No," said Cayke, "I am a Yip, and my home is on a high mountain at thesoutheast of your country."

"And the Frogman, is he also a Yip?"

"I do not know what he is, other than a very remarkable and highlyeducated creature," replied the Cookie Cook. "But he has lived manyyears among the Yips, who have found him so wise and intelligent thatthey always go to him for advice."

"May I ask why you have left your home and where you are going?" saidthe Winkie woman.

Then Cayke told her of the diamond-studded gold dishpan and how it hadbeen mysteriously stolen from her house, after which she had discoveredthat she could no longer cook good cookies. So she had resolved tosearch until she found her dishpan again, because a Cookie cook whocannot cook good cookies is not of much use. The Frogman, who hadwanted to see more of the world, had accompanied her to assist in thesearch. When the woman had listened to this story, she asked, "Thenyou have no idea as yet who has stolen your dishpan?"

"I only know it must have been some mischievous fairy, or a magician,or some such powerful person, because none other could have climbed thesteep mountain to the Yip Country. And who else could have carriedaway my beautiful magic dishpan without being seen?"

The woman thought about this during the time that Cayke and the Frogmanate their breakfast. When they had finished, she said, "Where are yougoing next?"

"We have not decided," answered the Cookie cook.

"Our plan," explained the Frogman in his important way, "is to travelfrom place to place until we learn where the thief is located and thento force him to return the dishpan to its proper owner."

"The plan is all right," agreed the woman, "but it may take you a longtime before you succeed, your method being sort of haphazard andindefinite. However, I advise you to travel toward the east."

"Why?" asked the Frogman.

"Because if you went west, you would soon come to the desert, and alsobecause in this part of the Winkie Country no one steals, so your timehere would be wasted. But toward the east, beyond the river, live manystrange people whose honesty I would not vouch for. Moreover, if youjourney far enough east and cross the river for a second time, you willcome to the Emerald City, where there is much magic and sorcery. TheEmerald City is ruled by a dear little girl called Ozma, who also rulesthe Emperor of the Winkies and all the Land of Oz. So, as Ozma is afairy, she may be able to tell you just who has taken your preciousdishpan. Provided, of course, you do not find it before you reach her."

"This seems to be to be excellent advice," said the Frogman, and Caykeagreed with him.

"The most sensible thing for you to do," continued the woman, "would beto return to your home and use another dishpan, learn to cook cookiesas other people cook cookies, without the aid of magic. But if youcannot be happy without the magic dishpan you have lost, you are likelyto learn more about it in the Emerald City than at any other place inOz."

They thanked the good woman, and on leaving her house faced the eastand continued in that direction all the way. Toward evening they cameto the west branch of the Winkie River and there, on the riverbank,found a ferryman who lived all alone in a little yellow house. Thisferryman was a Winkie with a very small head and a very large body. Hewas sitting in his doorway as the travelers approached him and did noteven turn his head to look at them.

"Good evening," said the Frogman.

The ferryman made no reply.

"We would like some supper and the privilege of sleeping in your houseuntil morning," continued the Frogman. "At daybreak, we would likesome breakfast, and then we would like to have you row us across theriver."

The ferryman neither moved nor spoke. He sat in his doorway and lookedstraight ahead. "I think he must be deaf and dumb," Cayke whispered toher companion. Then she stood directly in front of the ferryman, andputting her mouth close to his ear, she yelled as loudly as she could,"Good evening!"

The ferryman scowled.

"Why do you yell at me, woman?" he asked.

"Can you hear what I say?" asked in her ordinary tone of voice.

"Of course," replied the man.

"Then why didn't you answer the Frogman?"

"Because," said the ferryman, "I don't understand the frog language."

"He speaks the same words that I do and in the same way," declaredCayke.

"Perhaps," replied the ferryman, "but to me his voice sounded like afrog's croak. I know that in the Land of Oz animals can speak ourlanguage, and so can the birds and bugs and fishes; but in MY ears,they sound merely like growls and chirps and croaks."

"Why is that?" asked the Cookie Cook in surprise.

"Once, many years ago, I cut the tail off a fox which had taunted me,and I stole some birds' eggs from a nest to make an omelet with, andalso I pulled a fish from the river and left it lying on the bank togasp for lack of water until it died. I don't know why I did thosewicked things, but I did them. So the Emperor of the Winkies--who isthe Tin Woodman and has a very tender tin heart--punished me by denyingme any communication with beasts, birds or fishes. I cannot understandthem when they speak to me, although I know that other people can doso, nor can the creatures understand a word I say to them. Every timeI meet one of them, I am reminded of my former cruelty, and it makes mevery unhappy."

"Really," said Cayke, "I'm sorry for you, although the Tin Woodman isnot to blame for punishing you."

"What is he mumbling about?" asked the Frogman.

"He is talking to me, but you don't understand him," she replied. Andthen she told him of the ferryman's punishment and afterward explainedto the ferryman that they wanted to stay all night with him and be fed.

He gave them some fruit and bread, which was the only sort of food hehad, and he allowed Cayke to sleep in a room of his cottage. But theFrogman he refused to admit to his house, saying that the frog'spresence made him miserable and unhappy. At no time would he lookdirectly at the Frogman, or even toward him, fearing he would shedtears if he did so; so the big frog slept on the riverbank where hecould hear little frogs croaking in the river all the night through.But that did not keep him awake; it merely soothed him to slumber, forhe realized how much superior he was to them.

Just as the sun was rising on a new day, the ferryman rowed the twotravelers across the river--keeping his back to the Frogman all theway--and then Cayke thanked him and bade him goodbye and the ferrymanrowed home again.

On this side of the river, there were no paths at all, so it wasevident they had reached a part of the country little frequented bytravelers. There was a marsh at the south of them, sandhills at thenorth, and a growth of scrubby underbrush leading toward a forest atthe east. So the east was really the least difficult way to go, andthat direction was the one they had determined to follow.

Now the Frogman, although he wore green patent-leather shoes with rubybuttons, had very large and flat feet, and when he tramped through thescrub, his weight crushed down the underbrush and made a path for Cayketo follow him. Therefore they soon reached the forest, where the talltrees were set far apart but were so leafy that they shaded all thespaces between them with their branches. "There are no bushes here,"said Cayke, much pleased, "so we can now travel faster and with morecomfort."

CHAPTER 15

THE BIG LAVENDER BEAR

It was a pleasant place to wander, and the two travelers wereproceeding at a brisk pace when suddenly a voice shouted, "Halt!"

They looked around in surprise, seeing at first no one at all. Thenfrom behind a tree there stepped a brown, fuzzy bear whose head cameabout as high as Cayke's waist--and Cayke was a small woman. The bearwas chubby as well as fuzzy; his body was even puffy, while his legsand arms seemed jointed at the knees and elbows and fastened to hisbody by pins or rivets. His ears were round in shape and stuck out ina comical way, while his round, black eyes were bright and sparkling asbeads. Over his shoulder the little brown bear bore a gun with a tinbarrel. The barrel had a cork in the end of it, and a string wasattached to the cork and to the handle of the gun. Both the Frogmanand Cayke gazed hard at this curious bear, standing silent for sometime. But finally the Frogman recovered from his surprise andremarked, "It seems to me that you are stuffed with sawdust and oughtnot to be alive."

"That's all you know about it," answered the little Brown Bear in asqueaky voice. "I am stuffed with a very good quality of curled hair,and my skin is the best plush that was ever made. As for my beingalive, that is my own affair and cannot concern you at all, except thatit gives me the privilege to say you are my prisoners."

"Prisoners! Why do you speak such nonsense?" the Frogman angrily. "Doyou think we are afraid of a toy bear with a toy gun?"

"You ought to be," was the confident reply, "for I am merely the sentryguarding the way to Bear Center, which is a city containing hundreds ofmy race, who are ruled by a very powerful sorcerer known as theLavender Bear. He ought to be a purple color, you know, seeing he is aKing, but he's only light lavender, which is, of course, second cousinto royal purple. So unless you come with me peaceably as my prisoners,I shall fire my gun and bring a hundred bears of all sizes and colorsto capture you."

"Why do you wish to capture us?" inquired the Frogman, who had listenedto his speech with much astonishment.

"I don't wish to, as a matter of fact," replied the little Brown Bear,"but it is my duty to, because you are now trespassing on the domain ofHis Majesty, the King of Bear Center. Also, I will admit that thingsare rather quiet in our city just now, and the excitement of yourcapture, followed by your trial and execution, should afford us muchentertainment."

"We defy you!" said the Frogman.

"Oh no, don't do that," pleaded Cayke, speaking to her companion. "Hesays his King is a sorcerer, so perhaps it is he or one of his bearswho ventured to steal my jeweled dishpan. Let us go to the City of theBears and discover if my dishpan is there."

"I must now register one more charge against you," remarked the littleBrown Bear with evident satisfaction. "You have just accused us ofstealing, and that is such a dreadful thing to say that I am quite sureour noble King will command you to be executed."

"But how could you execute us?" inquired the Cookie Cook.

"I've no idea. But our King is a wonderful inventor, and there is nodoubt he can find a proper way to destroy you. So tell me, are yougoing to struggle, or will you go peaceably to meet your doom?"

It was all so ridiculous that Cayke laughed aloud, and even theFrogman's wide mouth curled in a smile. Neither was a bit afraid to goto the Bear City, and it seemed to both that there was a possibilitythey might discover the missing dishpan. So the Frogman said, "Leadthe way, little Bear, and we will follow without a struggle."

"That's very sensible of you, very sensible indeed," declared the BrownBear. "So for-ward, MARCH!" And with the command he turned around andbegan to waddle along a path that led between the trees.

Cayke and the Frogman, as they followed their conductor, could scarceforbear laughing at his stiff, awkward manner of walking, and althoughhe moved his stuffy legs fast, his steps were so short that they had togo slowly in order not to run into him. But after a time they reached alarge, circular space in the center of the forest, which was clear ofany stumps or underbrush. The ground was covered by a soft, gray moss,pleasant to tread upon. All the trees surrounding this space seemed tobe hollow and had round holes in their trunks, set a little way abovethe ground, but otherwise there was nothing unusual about the place andnothing, in the opinion of the prisoners, to indicate a settlement.But the little Brown Bear said in a proud and impressive voice(although it still squeaked), "This is the wonderful city known to fameas Bear Center!"

"But there are no houses, there are no bears living here at all!"exclaimed Cayke.

"Oh indeed!" retorted their captor, and raising his gun he pulled thetrigger. The cork flew out of the tin barrel with a loud "pop!" and atonce from every hole in every tree within view of the clearing appearedthe head of a bear. They were of many colors and of many sizes, butall were made in the same manner as the bear who had met and capturedthem.

At first a chorus of growls arose, and then a sharp voice cried, "Whathas happened, Corporal Waddle?"

"Captives, Your Majesty!" answered the Brown Bear. "Intruders upon ourdomain and slanderers of our good name."

"Ah, that's important," answered the voice.

Then from out the hollow trees tumbled a whole regiment of stuffedbears, some carrying tin swords, some popguns and others long spearswith gay ribbons tied to the handles. There were hundreds of them,altogether, and they quietly formed a circle around the Frogman and theCookie Cook, but kept at a distance and left a large space for theprisoners to stand in. Presently, this circle parted, and into thecenter of it stalked a huge toy bear of a lovely lavender color. Hewalked upon his hind legs, as did all the others, and on his head hewore a tin crown set with diamonds and amethysts, while in one paw hecarried a short wand of some glittering metal that resembled silver butwasn't.

"His Majesty the King!" Corporal Waddle, and all the bears bowed low.Some bowed so low that they lost their balance and toppled over, butthey soon scrambled up again, and the Lavender King squatted on hishaunches before the prisoners and gazed at them steadily with hisbright, pink eyes.

CHAPTER 16

THE LITTLE PINK BEAR

"One Person and one Freak," said the big Lavender Bear when he hadcarefully examined the strangers.

"I am sorry to hear you call poor Cayke the Cookie Cook a Freak,"remonstrated the Frogman.

"She is the Person," asserted the King. "Unless I am mistaken, it isyou who are the Freak."

The Frogman was silent, for he could not truthfully deny it.

"Why have you dared intrude in my forest?" demanded the Bear King.

"We didn't know it was your forest," said Cayke, "and we are on our wayto the far east, where the Emerald City is."

"Ah, it's a long way from here to the Emerald City," remarked the King."It is so far away, indeed, that no bear among us has even been there.But what errand requires you to travel such a distance?"

"Someone has stolen my diamond-studded gold dishpan," explained Cayke,"and as I cannot be happy without it, I have decided to search theworld over until I find it again. The Frogman, who is very learned andwonderfully wise, has come with me to give me his assistance. Isn't itkind of him?"

The King looked at the Frogman.

"What makes you so wonderfully wise?" he asked.

"I'm not," was the candid reply. "The Cookie Cook and some others inthe Yip Country think because I am a big frog and talk and act like aman that I must be very wise. I have learned more than a frog usuallyknows, it is true, but I am not yet so wise as I hope to become at somefuture time."

The King nodded, and when he did so, something squeaked in his chest.

"Did Your Majesty speak?" asked Cayke.

"Not just then," answered the Lavender Bear, seeming to be somewhatembarrassed. "I am so built, you must know, that when anything pushesagainst my chest, as my chin accidentally did just then, I make thatsilly noise. In this city it isn't considered good manners to notice.But I like your Frogman. He is honest and truthful, which is more thancan be said of many others. As for your late lamented dishpan, I'llshow it to you."

With this he waved three times the metal wand which he held in his paw,and instantly there appeared upon the ground midway between the Kingand Cayke a big, round pan made of beaten gold. Around the top edgewas a row of small diamonds; around the center of the pan was anotherrow of larger diamonds; and at the bottom was a row of exceedinglylarge and brilliant diamonds. In fact, they all sparkledmagnificently, and the pan was so big and broad that it took a lot ofdiamonds to go around it three times.

Cayke stared so hard that her eyes seemed about to pop out of her head."O-o-o-h!" she exclaimed, drawing a deep breath of delight.

"Is this your dishpan?" inquired the King.

"It is, it is!" cried the Cookie Cook, and rushing forward, she fell onher knees and threw her arms around the precious pan. But her armscame together without meeting any resistance at all. Cayke tried toseize the edge, but found nothing to grasp. The pan was surely there,she thought, for she could see it plainly; but it was not solid; shecould not feel it at all. With a moan of astonishment and despair, sheraised her head to look at the Bear King, who was watching her actionscuriously. Then she turned to the pan again, only to find it hadcompletely disappeared.

"Poor creature!" murmured the King pityingly. "You must have thought,for the moment, that you had actually recovered your dishpan. But whatyou saw was merely the image of it, conjured up by means of my magic.It is a pretty dishpan, indeed, though rather big and awkward tohandle. I hope you will some day find it."

Cayke was grievously disappointed. She began to cry, wiping her eyeson her apron. The King turned to the throng of toy bears surroundinghim and asked, "Has any of you ever seen this golden dishpan before?"

"No," they answered in a chorus.

The King seemed to reflect. Presently he inquired, "Where is theLittle Pink Bear?"

"At home, Your Majesty," was the reply.

"Fetch him here," commanded the King.

Several of the bears waddled over to one of the trees and pulled fromits hollow a tiny pink bear, smaller than any of the others. A big,white bear carried the pink one in his arms and set it down beside theKing, arranging the joints of its legs so that it would stand upright.

This Pink Bear seemed lifeless until the King turned a crank whichprotruded from its side, when the little creature turned its headstiffly from side to side and said in a small, shrill voice, "Hurrahfor the King of Bear Center!"

"Very good," said the big Lavender Bear. "He seems to be working verywell today. Tell me, my Pink Pinkerton, what has become of this lady'sjeweled dishpan?"

"U-u-u," said the Pink Bear, and then stopped short.

The King turned the crank again.

"U-g-u the Shoemaker has it," said the Pink Bear.

"Who is Ugu the Shoemaker?" demanded the King, again turning the crank.

"A magician who lives on a mountain in a wickerwork castle," was thereply.

"Where is the mountain?" was the next question.

"Nineteen miles and three furlongs from Bear Center to the northeast."

"And is the dishpan still at the castle of Ugu the Shoemaker?" askedthe King.

"It is."

The King turned to Cayke.

"You may rely on this information," said he. "The Pink Bear can tellus anything we wish to know, and his words are always words of truth."

"Is he alive?" asked the Frogman, much interested in the Pink Bear.

"Something animates him when you turn his crank," replied the King. "Ido not know if it is life or what it is or how it happens that theLittle Pink Bear can answer correctly every question put to him. Wediscovered his talent a long time ago, and whenever we wish to knowanything--which is not very often--we ask the Pink Bear. There is nodoubt whatever, madam, that Ugu the Magician has your dishpan, and ifyou dare to go to him, you may be able to recover it. But of that I amnot certain."

"Can't the Pink Bear tell?" asked Cayke anxiously.

"No, for that is in the future. He can tell anything that HAShappened, but nothing that is going to happen. Don't ask me why, for Idon't know."

"Well," said the Cookie Cook after a little thought, "I mean to go tothis magician, anyhow, and tell him I want my dishpan. I wish I knewwhat Ugu the Shoemaker is like."

"Then I'll show him to you," promised the King. "But do not befrightened. It won't be Ugu, remember, but only his image." Withthis, he waved his metal wand, and in the circle suddenly appeared athin little man, very old and skinny, who was seated on a wicker stoolbefore a wicker table. On the table lay a Great Book with gold clasps.The Book was open, and the man was reading in it. He wore greatspectacles which were fastened before his eyes by means of a ribbonthat passed around his head and was tied in a bow at the neck. His hairwas very thin and white; his skin, which clung fast to his bones, wasbrown and seared with furrows; he had a big, fat nose and little eyesset close together.

On no account was Ugu the Shoemaker a pleasant person to gaze at. Ashis image appeared before them, all were silent and intent untilCorporal Waddle, the Brown Bear, became nervous and pulled the triggerof his gun. Instantly, the cork flew out of the tin barrel with a loud"pop!" that made them all jump. And at this sound, the image of themagician vanished.

"So THAT'S the thief, is it?" said Cayke in an angry voice. "I shouldthink he'd be ashamed of himself for stealing a poor woman's diamonddishpan! But I mean to face him in his wicker castle and force him toreturn my property."

"To me," said the Bear King reflectively, "he looked like a dangerousperson. I hope he won't be so unkind as to argue the matter with you."

The Frogman was much disturbed by the vision of Ugu the Shoemaker, andCayke's determination to go to the magician filled her companion withmisgivings. But he would not break his pledged word to assist theCookie Cook, and after breathing a deep sigh of resignation, he askedthe King, "Will Your Majesty lend us this Pink Bear who answersquestions that we may take him with us on our journey? He would bevery useful to us, and we will promise to bring him safely back to you."

The King did not reply at once. He seemed to be thinking.

"PLEASE let us take the Pink Bear," begged Cayke. "I'm sure he wouldbe a great help to us."

"The Pink Bear," said the King, "is the best bit of magic I possess,and there is not another like him in the world. I do not care to lethim out of my sight, nor do I wish to disappoint you; so I believe Iwill make the journey in your company and carry my Pink Bear with me.He can walk when you wind the other side of him, but so slowly andawkwardly that he would delay you. But if I go along, I can carry himin my arms, so I will join your party. Whenever you are ready tostart, let me know."

"But Your Majesty!" exclaimed Corporal Waddle in protest, "I hope youdo not intend to let these prisoners escape without punishment."

"Of what crime do you accuse them?" inquired the King.

"Why, they trespassed on your domain, for one thing," said the BrownBear.

"We didn't know it was private property, Your Majesty," said the CookieCook. "And they asked if any of us had stolen the dishpan!" continuedCorporal Waddle indignantly. "That is the same thing as calling usthieves and robbers and bandits and brigands, is it not?"

"Every person has the right to ask questions," said the Frogman.

"But the Corporal is quite correct," declared the Lavender Bear. "Icondemn you both to death, the execution to take place ten years fromthis hour."

"But we belong in the Land of Oz, where no one ever dies," Caykereminded him.

"Very true," said the King. "I condemn you to death merely as a matterof form. It sounds quite terrible, and in ten years we shall haveforgotten all about it. Are you ready to start for the wicker castleof Ugu the Shoemaker?"

"Quite ready, Your Majesty."

"But who will rule in your place while you are gone?" asked a bigYellow Bear.

"I myself will rule while I am gone," was the reply.

"A King isn't required to stay at home forever, and if he takes anotion to travel, whose business is it but his own? All I ask is thatyou bears behave yourselves while I am away. If any of you is naughty,I'll send him to some girl or boy in America to play with."

This dreadful threat made all the toy bears look solemn. They assuredthe King in a chorus of growls that they would be good. Then the bigLavender Bear picked up the little Pink Bear, and after tucking itcarefully under one arm, he said, "Goodbye till I come back!" andwaddled along the path that led through the forest. The Frogman andCayke the Cookie Cook also said goodbye to the bears and then followedafter the King, much to the regret of the little Brown Bear, who pulledthe trigger of his gun and popped the cork as a parting salute.

CHAPTER 17

THE MEETING

While the Frogman and his party were advancing from the west, Dorothyand her party were advancing from the east, and so it happened that onthe following night they all camped at a little hill that was only afew miles from the wicker castle of Ugu the Shoemaker. But the twoparties did not see one another that night, for one camped on one sideof the hill while the other camped on the opposite side. But the nextmorning, the Frogman thought he would climb the hill and see what wason top of it, and at the same time Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, alsodecided to climb the hill to find if the wicker castle was visible fromits top. So she stuck her head over an edge just as the Frogman's headappeared over another edge, and both, being surprised, kept still whilethey took a good look at one another.

Scraps recovered from her astonishment first, and bounding upward, sheturned a somersault and landed sitting down and facing the big Frogman,who slowly advanced and sat opposite her. "Well met, Stranger!" criedthe Patchwork Girl with a whoop of laughter. "You are quite thefunniest individual I have seen in all my travels."

"Do you suppose I can be any funnier than you?" asked the Frogman,gazing at her in wonder.

"I'm not funny to myself, you know," returned Scraps. "I wish I were.And perhaps you are so used to your own absurd shape that you do notlaugh whenever you see your reflection in a pool or in a mirror."

"No," said the Frogman gravely, "I do not. I used to be proud of mygreat size and vain of my culture and education, but since I bathed inthe Truth Pond, I sometimes think it is not right that I should bedifferent from all other frogs."

"Right or wrong," said the Patchwork Girl, "to be different is to bedistinguished. Now in my case, I'm just like all other Patchwork Girlsbecause I'm the only one there is. But tell me, where did you comefrom?"

"The Yip Country," said he.

"Is that in the Land of Oz?"

"Of course," replied the Frogman.

"And do you know that your Ruler, Ozma of Oz, has been stolen?"

"I was not aware that I had a Ruler, so of course I couldn't know thatshe was stolen."

"Well, you have. All the people of Oz," explained Scraps, "are ruled byOzma, whether they know it or not. And she has been stolen. Aren't youangry? Aren't you indignant? Your Ruler, whom you didn't know youhad, has positively been stolen!"

"That is queer," remarked the Frogman thoughtfully. "Stealing is athing practically unknown in Oz, yet this Ozma has been taken, and afriend of mine has also had her dishpan stolen. With her I havetraveled all the way from the Yip Country in order to recover it."

"I don't see any connection between a Royal Ruler of Oz and a dishpan!"declared Scraps.

"They've both been stolen, haven't they?"

"True. But why can't your friend wash her dishes in another dishpan?"asked Scraps.

"Why can't you use another Royal Ruler? I suppose you prefer the onewho is lost, and my friend wants her own dishpan, which is made of goldand studded with diamonds and has magic powers."

"Magic, eh?" exclaimed Scraps. "THERE is a link that connects the twosteals, anyhow, for it seems that all the magic in the Land of Oz wasstolen at the same time, whether it was in the Emerald City of inGlinda's castle or in the Yip Country. Seems mighty strange andmysterious, doesn't it?"

"It used to seem that way to me," admitted the Frogman, "but we havenow discovered who took our dishpan. It was Ugu the Shoemaker."

"Ugu? Good gracious! That's the same magician we think has stolenOzma. We are now on our way to the castle of this Shoemaker."

"So are we," said the Frogman.

"Then follow me, quick! And let me introduce you to Dorothy and theother girls and to the Wizard of Oz and all the rest of us."

She sprang up and seized his coatsleeve, dragging him off the hilltopand down the other side from that whence he had come. And at the footof the hill, the Frogman was astonished to find the three girls and theWizard and Button-Bright, who were surrounded by a wooden Sawhorse, alean Mule, a square Woozy, and a Cowardly Lion. A little black dog ranup and smelled at the Frogman, but couldn't growl at him.

"I've discovered another party that has been robbed," shouted Scraps asshe joined them. "This is their leader, and they're all going to Ugu'scastle to fight the wicked Shoemaker!"

They regarded the Frogman with much curiosity and interest, and findingall eyes fixed upon him, the newcomer arranged his necktie and smoothedhis beautiful vest and swung his gold-headed cane like a regular dandy.The big spectacles over his eyes quite altered his froglike countenanceand gave him a learned and impressive look. Used as she was to seeingstrange creatures in the Land of Oz, Dorothy was amazed at discoveringthe Frogman. So were all her companions. Toto wanted to growl at him,but couldn't, and he didn't dare bark. The Sawhorse snorted rathercontemptuously, but the Lion whispered to the wooden steed, "Bear withthis strange creature, my friend, and remember he is no moreextraordinary than you are. Indeed, it is more natural for a frog tobe big than for a Sawhorse to be alive."

On being questioned, the Frogman told them the whole story of the lossof Cayke's highly prized dishpan and their adventures in search of it.When he came to tell of the Lavender Bear King and of the Little PinkBear who could tell anything you wanted to know, his hearers becameeager to see such interesting animals.

"It will be best," said the Wizard, "to unite our two parties and shareour fortunes together, for we are all bound on the same errand, and asone band we may more easily defy this shoemaker magician than ifseparate. Let us be allies."

"I will ask my friends about that," replied the Frogman, and he climbedover the hill to find Cayke and the toy bears. The Patchwork Girlaccompanied him, and when they came upon the Cookie Cook and theLavender Bear and the Pink Bear, it was hard to tell which of the lotwas the most surprised.

"Mercy me!" cried Cayke, addressing the Patchwork Girl. "However didyou come alive?"

Scraps stared at the bears.

"Mercy me!" she echoed, "You are stuffed, as I am, with cotton, and youappear to be living. That makes me feel ashamed, for I have pridedmyself on being the only live cotton-stuffed person in Oz."

"Perhaps you are," returned the Lavender Bear, "for I am stuffed withextra-quality curled hair, and so is the Little Pink Bear."

"You have relieved my mind of a great anxiety," declared the PatchworkGirl, now speaking more cheerfully. "The Scarecrow is stuffed withstraw and you with hair, so I am still the Original and OnlyCotton-Stuffed!"

"I hope I am too polite to criticize cotton as compared with curledhair," said the King, "especially as you seem satisfied with it."

Then the Frogman told of his interview with the party from the EmeraldCity and added that the Wizard of Oz had invited the bears and Caykeand himself to travel in company with them to the castle of Ugu theShoemaker. Cayke was much pleased, but the Bear King looked solemn. Heset the Little Pink Bear on his lap and turned the crank in its sideand asked, "Is it safe for us to associate with those people from theEmerald City?"

And the Pink Bear at once replied,

"Safe for you and safe for me; Perhaps no others safe will be."

"That 'perhaps' need not worry us," said the King, "so let us join theothers and offer them our protection."

Even the Lavender Bear was astonished, however, when on climbing overthe hill he found on the other side the group of queer animals and thepeople from the Emerald City. The bears and Cayke were received verycordially, although Button-Bright was cross when they wouldn't let himplay with the Little Pink Bear. The three girls greatly admired thetoy bears, and especially the pink one, which they longed to hold.

"You see," explained the Lavender King in denying them this privilege,"he's a very valuable bear, because his magic is a correct guide on alloccasions, and especially if one is in difficulties. It was the PinkBear who told us that Ugu the Shoemaker had stolen the Cookie Cook'sdishpan."

"And the King's magic is just as wonderful," added Cayke, "because itshowed us the Magician himself."

"What did he look like?" inquired Dorothy.

"He was dreadful!"

"He was sitting at a table and examining an immense Book which hadthree golden clasps," remarked the King.

"Why, that must have been Glinda's Great Book of Records!" exclaimedDorothy. "If it is, it proves that Ugu the Shoemaker stole Ozma, andwith her all the magic in the Emerald City."

"And my dishpan," said Cayke.

And the Wizard added, "It also proves that he is following ouradventures in the Book of Records, and therefore knows that we areseeking him and that we are determined to find him and reach Ozma atall hazards."

"If we can," added the Woozy, but everybody frowned at him.

The Wizard's statement was so true that the faces around him were veryserious until the Patchwork Girl broke into a peal of laughter.

"Wouldn't it be a rich joke if he made prisoners of us, too?" she said.

"No one but a crazy Patchwork Girl would consider that a joke,"grumbled Button-Bright.

And then the Lavender Bear King asked, "Would you like to see thismagical shoemaker?"

"Wouldn't he know it?" Dorothy inquired.

"No, I think not."

Then the King waved his metal wand and before them appeared a room inthe wicker castle of Ugu. On the wall of the room hung Ozma's MagicPicture, and seated before it was the Magician. They could see thePicture as well as he could, because it faced them, and in the Picturewas the hillside where they were not sitting, all their forms beingreproduced in miniature. And curiously enough, within the scene of thePicture was the scene they were now beholding, so they knew that theMagician was at this moment watching them in the Picture, and also thathe saw himself and the room he was in become visible to the people onthe hillside. Therefore he knew very well that they were watching himwhile he was watching them.

In proof of this, Ugu sprang from his seat and turned a scowling facein their direction; but now he could not see the travelers who wereseeking him, although they could still see him. His actions were sodistinct, indeed, that it seemed he was actually before them. "It isonly a ghost," said the Bear King. "It isn't real at all except thatit shows us Ugu just as he looks and tells us truly just what he isdoing."

"I don't see anything of my lost growl, though," said Toto as if tohimself.

Then the vision faded away, and they could see nothing but the grassand trees and bushes around them.

CHAPTER 18

THE CONFERENCE

"Now then," said the Wizard, "let us talk this matter over and decidewhat to do when we get to Ugu's wicker castle. There can be no doubtthat the Shoemaker is a powerful Magician, and his powers have beenincreased a hundredfold since he secured the Great Book of Records, theMagic Picture, all of Glinda's recipes for sorcery, and my own blackbag, which was full of tools of wizardry. The man who could rob us ofthose things and the man with all their powers at his command is onewho may prove somewhat difficult to conquer, therefore we should planour actions well before we venture too near to his castle."

"I didn't see Ozma in the Magic Picture," said Trot. "What do yousuppose Ugu has done with her?"

"Couldn't the Little Pink Bear tell us what he did with Ozma?" askedButton-Bright.

"To be sure," replied the Lavender King. "I'll ask him." So he turnedthe crank in the Little Pink Bear's side and inquired, "Did Ugu theShoemaker steal Ozma of Oz?"

"Yes," answered the Little Pink Bear.

"Then what did he do with her?" asked the King.

"Shut her up in a dark place," answered the Little Pink Bear.

"Oh, that must be a dungeon cell!" cried Dorothy, horrified. "Howdreadful!"

"Well, we must get her out of it," said the Wizard. "That is what wecame for, and of course we must rescue Ozma. But how?"

Each one looked at some other one for an answer, and all shook theirheads in a grave and dismal manner. All but Scraps, who danced aroundthem gleefully. "You're afraid," said the Patchwork Girl, "because somany things can hurt your meat bodies. Why don't you give it up and gohome? How can you fight a great magician when you have nothing tofight with?"

Dorothy looked at her reflectively.

"Scraps," said she, "you know that Ugu couldn't hurt you a bit,whatever he did, nor could he hurt ME, 'cause I wear the Gnome King'sMagic Belt. S'pose just we two go on together and leave the othershere to wait for us."

"No, no!" said the Wizard positively. "That won't do at all. Ozma ismore powerful than either of you, yet she could not defeat the wickedUgu, who has shut her up in a dungeon. We must go to the Shoemaker inone mighty band, for only in union is there strength."

"That is excellent advice," said the Lavender Bear approvingly.

"But what can we do when we get to Ugu?" inquired the Cookie Cookanxiously.

"Do not expect a prompt answer to that important question," replied theWizard, "for we must first plan our line of conduct. Ugu knows, ofcourse, that we are after him, for he has seen our approach in theMagic Picture, and he has read of all we have done up to the presentmoment in the Great Book of Records. Therefore we cannot expect totake him by surprise."

"Don't you suppose Ugu would listen to reason?" asked Betsy. "If weexplained to him how wicked he has been, don't you think he'd let poorOzma go?"

"And give me back my dishpan?" added the Cookie Cook eagerly.

"Yes, yes, won't he say he's sorry and get on his knees and beg ourpardon?" cried Scraps, turning a flip-flop to show her scorn of thesuggestion. "When Ugu the Shoemaker does that, please knock at thefront door and let me know."

The Wizard sighed and rubbed his bald head with a puzzled air. "I'mquite sure Ugu will not be polite to us," said he, "so we must conquerthis cruel magician by force, much as we dislike to be rude to anyone.But none of you has yet suggested a way to do that. Couldn't theLittle Pink Bear tell us how?" he asked, turning to the Bear King.

"No, for that is something that is GOING to happen," replied theLavender Bear. "He can only tell us what already HAS happened."

Again, they were grave and thoughtful. But after a time, Betsy said ina hesitating voice, "Hank is a great fighter. Perhaps HE could conquerthe magician."

The Mule turned his head to look reproachfully at his old friend, theyoung girl. "Who can fight against magic?" he asked.

"The Cowardly Lion could," said Dorothy.

The Lion, who was lying with his front legs spread out, his chin on hispaws, raised his shaggy head. "I can fight when I'm not afraid," saidhe calmly, "but the mere mention of a fight sets me to trembling."

"Ugu's magic couldn't hurt the Sawhorse," suggested tiny Trot.

"And the Sawhorse couldn't hurt the Magician," declared that woodenanimal.

"For my part," said Toto, "I am helpless, having lost my growl."

"Then," said Cayke the Cookie Cook, "we must depend upon the Frogman.His marvelous wisdom will surely inform him how to conquer the wickedMagician and restore to me my dishpan."

All eyes were now turned questioningly upon the Frogman. Findinghimself the center of observation, he swung his gold-headed cane,adjusted his big spectacles, and after swelling out his chest, sighedand said in a modest tone of voice:

"Respect for truth obliges me to confess that Cayke is mistaken inregard to my superior wisdom. I am not very wise. Neither have I hadany practical experience in conquering magicians. But let us considerthis case. What is Ugu, and what is a magician? Ugu is a renegadeshoemaker, and a magician is an ordinary man who, having learned how todo magical tricks, considers himself above his fellows. In this case,the Shoemaker has been naughty enough to steal a lot of magical toolsand things that did not belong to him, and he is more wicked to stealthan to be a magician. Yet with all the arts at his command, Ugu isstill a man, and surely there are ways in which a man may be conquered.How, do you say, how? Allow me to state that I don't know. In myjudgment, we cannot decide how best to act until we get to Ugu's castle.So let us go to it and take a look at it. After that, we may discoveran idea that will guide us to victory."

"That may not be a wise speech, but it sounds good," said Dorothyapprovingly. "Ugu the Shoemaker is not only a common man, but he's awicked man and a cruel man and deserves to be conquered. We mustn'thave any mercy on him till Ozma is set free. So let's go to his castleas the Frogman says and see what the place looks like."

No one offered any objection to this plan, and so it was adopted. Theybroke camp and were about to start on the journey to Ugu's castle whenthey discovered that Button-Bright was lost again. The girls and theWizard shouted his name, and the Lion roared and the Donkey brayed andthe Frogman croaked and the Big Lavender Bear growled (to the envy ofToto, who couldn't growl but barked his loudest), yet none of themcould make Button-Bright hear. So after vainly searching for the boy afull hour, they formed a procession and proceeded in the direction ofthe wicker castle of Ugu the Shoemaker.

"Button-Bright's always getting lost," said Dorothy. "And if he wasn'talways getting found again, I'd prob'ly worry. He may have gone aheadof us, and he may have gone back, but wherever he is, we'll find himsometime and somewhere, I'm almost sure."

CHAPTER 19

UGU THE SHOEMAKER

A curious thing about Ugu the Shoemaker was that he didn't suspect inthe least that he was wicked. He wanted to be powerful and great, andhe hoped to make himself master of all the Land of Oz that he mightcompel everyone in that fairy country to obey him, His ambition blindedhim to the rights of others, and he imagined anyone else would act justas he did if anyone else happened to be as clever as himself.

When he inhabited his little shoemaking shop in the City of Herku, hehad been discontented, for a shoemaker is not looked upon with highrespect, and Ugu knew that his ancestors had been famous magicians formany centuries past and therefore his family was above the ordinary.Even his father practiced magic when Ugu was a boy, but his father hadwandered away from Herku and had never come back again. So when Ugugrew up, he was forced to make shoes for a living, knowing nothing ofthe magic of his forefathers. But one day, in searching through theattic of his house, he discovered all the books of magical recipes andmany magical instruments which had formerly been in use in his family.From that day, he stopped making shoes and began to study magic.Finally, he aspired to become the greatest magician in Oz, and for daysand weeks and months he thought on a plan to render all the othersorcerers and wizards, as well as those with fairy powers, helpless tooppose him.

From the books of his ancestors, he learned the following facts:

(1) That Ozma of Oz was the fairy ruler of the Emerald City and theLand of Oz and that she could not be destroyed by any magic everdevised. Also, by means of her Magic Picture she would be able todiscover anyone who approached her royal palace with the idea ofconquering it.

(2) That Glinda the Good was the most powerful Sorceress in Oz, amongher other magical possessions being the Great Book of Records, whichtold her all that happened anywhere in the world. This Book of Recordswas very dangerous to Ugu's plans, and Glinda was in the service ofOzma and would use her arts of sorcery to protect the girl Ruler.

(3) That the Wizard of Oz, who lived in Ozma's palace, had been taughtmuch powerful magic by Glinda and had a bag of magic tools with whichhe might be able to conquer the Shoemaker.

(4) That there existed in Oz--in the Yip Country--a jeweled dishpanmade of gold, which dishpan would grow large enough for a man to sitinside it. Then, when he grasped both the golden handles, the dishpanwould transport him in an instant to any place he wished to go withinthe borders of the Land of Oz.

No one now living except Ugu knew of the powers of the Magic Dishpan,so after long study, the shoemaker decided that if he could manage tosecure the dishpan, he could by its means rob Ozma and Glinda and theWizard of Oz of all their magic, thus becoming himself the mostpowerful person in all the land. His first act was to go away from theCity of Herku and build for himself the Wicker Castle in the hills.Here he carried his books and instruments of magic, and here for a fullyear he diligently practiced all the magical arts learned from hisancestors. At the end of that time, he could do a good many wonderfulthings.

Then, when all his preparations were made, he set out for the YipCountry, and climbing the steep mountain at night he entered the houseof Cayke the Cookie Cook and stole her diamond-studded gold dishpanwhile all the Yips were asleep, Taking his prize outside, he set thepan upon the ground and uttered the required magic word. Instantly,the dishpan grew as large as a big washtub, and Ugu seated himself init and grasped the two handles. Then he wished himself in the greatdrawing room of Glinda the Good.

He was there in a flash. First he took the Great Book of Records andput it in the dishpan. Then he went to Glinda's laboratory and tookall her rare chemical compounds and her instruments of sorcery, placingthese also in the dishpan, which he caused to grow large enough to holdthem. Next he seated himself amongst the treasures he had stolen andwished himself in the room in Ozma's palace which the Wizard occupiedand where he kept his bag of magic tools. This bag Ugu added to hisplunder and then wished himself in the apartments of Ozma.

Here he first took the Magic Picture from the wall and then seized allthe other magical things which Ozma possessed. Having placed these inthe dishpan, he was about to climb in himself when he looked up and sawOzma standing beside him. Her fairy instinct had warned her thatdanger was threatening her, so the beautiful girl Ruler rose from hercouch and leaving her bedchamber at once confronted the thief.

Ugu had to think quickly, for he realized that if he permitted Ozma torouse the inmates of her palace, all his plans and his presentsuccesses were likely to come to naught. So he threw a scarf over thegirl's head so she could not scream, and pushed her into the dishpanand tied her fast so she could not move. Then he climbed in beside herand wished himself in his own wicker castle. The Magic Dishpan wasthere in an instant, with all its contents, and Ugu rubbed his handstogether in triumphant joy as he realized that he now possessed all theimportant magic in the Land of Oz and could force all the inhabitantsof that fairyland to do as he willed.

So quickly had his journey been accomplished that before daylight therobber magician had locked Ozma in a room, making her a prisoner, andhad unpacked and arranged all his stolen goods. The next day he placedthe Book of Records on his table and hung the Magic Picture on his walland put away in his cupboards and drawers all the elixirs and magiccompounds he had stolen. The magical instruments he polished andarranged, and this was fascinating work and made him very happy.

By turns the imprisoned Ruler wept and scolded the Shoemaker, haughtilythreatening him with dire punishment for the wicked deeds he had done.Ugu became somewhat afraid of his fairy prisoner, in spite of the factthat he believed he had robbed her of all her powers; so he performedan enchantment that quickly disposed of her and placed her out of hissight and hearing. After that, being occupied with other things, hesoon forgot her.

But now, when he looked into the Magic Picture and read the Great Bookof Records, the Shoemaker learned that his wickedness was not to gounchallenged. Two important expeditions had set out to find him andforce him to give up his stolen property. One was the party headed bythe Wizard and Dorothy, while the other consisted of Cayke and theFrogman. Others were also searching, but not in the right places.These two groups, however, were headed straight for the wicker castle,and so Ugu began to plan how best to meet them and to defeat theirefforts to conquer him.

CHAPTER 20

MORE SURPRISES

All that first day after the union of the two parties, our friendsmarched steadily toward the wicker castle of Ugu the Shoemaker. Whennight came, they camped in a little grove and passed a pleasant eveningtogether, although some of them were worried because Button-Bright wasstill lost.

"Perhaps," said Toto as the animals lay grouped together for the night,"this Shoemaker who stole my growl and who stole Ozma has also stolenButton-Bright."

"How do you know that the Shoemaker stole your growl?" demanded theWoozy.

"He has stolen about everything else of value in Oz, hasn't he?"replied the dog.

"He has stolen everything he wants, perhaps," agreed the Lion, "butwhat could anyone want with your growl?"

"Well," said the dog, wagging his tail slowly, "my recollection is thatit was a wonderful growl, soft and low and--and--"

"And ragged at the edges," said the Sawhorse.

"So," continued Toto, "if that magician hadn't any growl of his own, hemight have wanted mine and stolen it."

"And if he has, he will soon wish he hadn't," remarked the Mule. "Also,if he has stolen Button-Bright, he will be sorry."

"Don't you like Button-Bright, then?" asked the Lion in surprise.

"It isn't a question of liking him," replied the Mule. "It's aquestion of watching him and looking after him. Any boy who causes hisfriends so much worry isn't worth having around. I never get lost."

"If you did," said Toto, "no one would worry a bit. I thinkButton-Bright is a very lucky boy because he always gets found."

"See here," said the Lion, "this chatter is keeping us all awake, andtomorrow is likely to be a busy day. Go to sleep and forget yourquarrels."

"Friend Lion," retorted the dog, "if I hadn't lost my growl, you wouldhear it now. I have as much right to talk as you have to sleep."

The Lion sighed.

"If only you had lost your voice when you lost your growl," said he,"you would be a more agreeable companion."

But they quieted down after that, and soon the entire camp was wrappedin slumber. Next morning they made an early start, but had hardlyproceeded on their way an hour when, on climbing a slight elevation,they beheld in the distance a low mountain on top of which stood Ugu'swicker castle. It was a good-sized building and rather pretty becausethe sides, roofs and domes were all of wicker, closely woven as it isin fine baskets.

"I wonder if it is strong?" said Dorothy musingly as she eyed the queercastle.

"I suppose it is, since a magician built it," answered the Wizard."With magic to protect it, even a paper castle might be as strong as ifmade of stone. This Ugu must be a man of ideas, because he does thingsin a different way from other people."

"Yes. No one else would steal our dear Ozma," sighed tiny Trot.

"I wonder if Ozma is there?" said Betsy, indicating the castle with anod of her head.

"Where else could she be?" asked Scraps.

"Suppose we ask the Pink Bear," suggested Dorothy.

That seemed a good idea, so they halted the procession, and the BearKing held the little Pink Bear on his lap and turned the crank in itsside and asked, "Where is Ozma of Oz?"

And the little Pink Bear answered, "She is in a hole in the ground ahalf mile away at your left."

"Good gracious!" cried Dorothy.

"Then she is not in Ugu's castle at all."

"It is lucky we asked that question," said the Wizard, "for if we canfind Ozma and rescue her, there will be no need for us to fight thatwicked and dangerous magician."

"Indeed!" said Cayke. "Then what about my dishpan?"

The Wizard looked puzzled at her tone of remonstrance, so she added,"Didn't you people from the Emerald City promise that we would allstick together, and that you would help me to get my dishpan if I wouldhelp you to get your Ozma? And didn't I bring to you the little PinkBear, which has told you where Ozma is hidden?"

"She's right," said Dorothy to the Wizard.

"We must do as we agreed."

"Well, first of all, let us go and rescue Ozma," proposed the Wizard."Then our beloved Ruler may be able to advise us how to conquer Ugu theShoemaker." So they turned to the left and marched for half a mileuntil they came to a small but deep hole in the ground. At once, allrushed to the brim to peer into the hole, but instead of finding therePrincess Ozma of Oz, all that they saw was Button-Bright, who was lyingasleep on the bottom.

Their cries soon wakened the boy, who sat up and rubbed his eyes. Whenhe recognized his friends, he smiled sweetly, saying, "Found again!"

"Where is Ozma?" inquired Dorothy anxiously.

"I don't know," answered Button-Bright from the depths of the hole. "Igot lost yesterday, as you may remember, and in the night while I waswandering around in the moonlight trying to find my way back to you, Isuddenly fell into this hole."

"And wasn't Ozma in it then?"

"There was no one in it but me, and I was sorry it wasn't entirelyempty. The sides are so steep I can't climb out, so there was nothingto be done but sleep until someone found me. Thank you for coming. Ifyou'll please let down a rope, I'll empty this hole in a hurry."

"How strange!" said Dorothy, greatly disappointed.

"It's evident the Pink Bear didn't tell the truth."

"He never makes a mistake," declared the Lavender Bear King in a tonethat showed his feelings were hurt. And then he turned the crank ofthe little Pink Bear again and asked, "Is this the hole that Ozma of Ozis in?"

"Yes," answered the Pink Bear.

"That settles it," said the King positively. "Your Ozma is in thishole in the ground."

"Don't be silly," returned Dorothy impatiently. "Even your beady eyescan see there is no one in the hole but Button-Bright."

"Perhaps Button-Bright is Ozma," suggested the King.

"And perhaps he isn't! Ozma is a girl, and Button-Bright is a boy."

"Your Pink Bear must be out of order," said the Wizard, "for, this timeat least, his machinery has caused him to make an untrue statement."

The Bear King was so angry at this remark that he turned away, holdingthe Pink Bear in his paws, and refused to discuss the matter in anyfurther way.

"At any rate," said the Frogman, "the Pink Bear has led us to your boyfriend and so enabled you to rescue him."

Scraps was leaning so far over the hole trying to find Ozma in it thatsuddenly she lost her balance and pitched in head foremost. She fellupon Button-Bright and tumbled him over, but he was not hurt by hersoft, stuffed body and only laughed at the mishap. The Wizard buckledsome straps together and let one end of them down into the hole, andsoon both Scraps and the boy had climbed up and were standing safelybeside the others. They looked once more for Ozma, but the hole wasnow absolutely vacant. It was a round hole, so from the top they couldplainly see every part of it. Before they left the place, Dorothy wentto the Bear King and said, "I'm sorry we couldn't believe what thelittle Pink Bear said, 'cause we don't want to make you feel bad bydoubting him. There must be a mistake, somewhere, and we prob'ly don'tunderstand just what the little Pink Bear said. Will you let me askhim one more question?"

The Lavender Bear King was a good-natured bear, considering how he wasmade and stuffed and jointed, so he accepted Dorothy's apology andturned the crank and allowed the little girl to question his wee PinkBear.

"Is Ozma REALLY in this hole?" asked Dorothy.

"No," said the little Pink Bear.

This surprised everybody. Even the Bear King was now puzzled by thecontradictory statements of his oracle.

"Where IS she?" asked the King.

"Here, among you," answered the little Pink Bear.

"Well," said Dorothy, "this beats me entirely! I guess the little PinkBear has gone crazy."

"Perhaps," called Scraps, who was rapidly turning "cartwheels" allaround the perplexed group, "Ozma is invisible."

"Of course!" cried Betsy. "That would account for it."

"Well, I've noticed that people can speak, even when they've been madeinvisible," said the Wizard. And then he looked all around him andsaid in a solemn voice, "Ozma, are you here?"

There was no reply. Dorothy asked the question, too, and so didButton-Bright and Trot and Betsy, but none received any reply at all.

"It's strange, it's terrible strange!" muttered Cayke the Cookie Cook."I was sure that the little Pink Bear always tells the truth."

"I still believe in his honesty," said the Frogman, and this tribute sopleased the Bear King that he gave these last speakers grateful looks,but still gazed sourly on the others.

"Come to think of it," remarked the Wizard, "Ozma couldn't beinvisible, for she is a fairy, and fairies cannot be made invisibleagainst their will. Of course, she could be imprisoned by the magicianor enchanted or transformed, in spite of her fairy powers, but Ugucould not render her invisible by any magic at his command."

"I wonder if she's been transformed into Button-Bright?" said Dorothynervously. Then she looked steadily at the boy and asked, "Are youOzma? Tell me truly!"

Button-Bright laughed.

"You're getting rattled, Dorothy," he replied. "Nothing ever enchantsME. If I were Ozma, do you think I'd have tumbled into that hole?"

"Anyhow," said the Wizard, "Ozma would never try to deceive her friendsor prevent them from recognizing her in whatever form she happened tobe. The puzzle is still a puzzle, so let us go on to the wicker castleand question the magician himself. Since it was he who stole our Ozma,Ugu is the one who must tell us where to find her."

CHAPTER 21

MAGIC AGAINST MAGIC

The Wizard's advice was good, so again they started in the direction ofthe low mountain on the crest of which the wicker castle had beenbuilt. They had been gradually advancing uphill, so now the elevationseemed to them more like a round knoll than a mountaintop. However,the sides of the knoll were sloping and covered with green grass, sothere was a stiff climb before them yet.

Undaunted, they plodded on and had almost reached the knoll when theysuddenly observed that it was surrounded by a circle of flame. Atfirst, the flames barely rose above the ground, but presently they grewhigher and higher until a circle of flaming tongues of fire taller thanany of their heads quite surrounded the hill on which the wicker castlestood. When they approached the flames, the heat was so intense thatit drove them back again.

"This will never do for me!" exclaimed the Patchwork Girl. "I catchfire very easily."

"It won't do for me either," grumbled the Sawhorse, prancing to therear.

"I also strongly object to fire," said the Bear King, following theSawhorse to a safe distance and hugging the little Pink Bear with hispaws.

"I suppose the foolish Shoemaker imagines these blazes will stop us,"remarked the Wizard with a smile of scorn for Ugu. "But I am able toinform you that this is merely a simple magic trick which the robberstole from Glinda the Good, and by good fortune I know how to destroythese flames as well as how to produce them. Will some one of youkindly give me a match?"

You may be sure the girls carried no matches, nor did the Frogman orany of the animals. But Button-Bright, after searching carefullythrough his pockets, which contained all sorts of useful and uselessthings, finally produced a match and handed it to the Wizard, who tiedit to the end of a branch which he tore from a small tree growing nearthem. Then the little Wizard carefully lighted the match, and runningforward thrust it into the nearest flame. Instantly, the circle offire began to die away, and soon vanished completely leaving the wayclear for them to proceed.

"That was funny!" laughed Button-Bright.

"Yes," agreed the Wizard, "it seems odd that a little match coulddestroy such a great circle of fire, but when Glinda invented thistrick, she believed no one would ever think of a match being a remedyfor fire. I suppose even Ugu doesn't know how we managed to quench theflames of his barrier, for only Glinda and I know the secret. Glinda'sBook of Magic which Ugu stole told how to make the flames, but not howto put them out."

They now formed in marching order and proceeded to advance up the slopeof the hill, but had not gone far when before them rose a wall ofsteel, the surface of which was thickly covered with sharp, gleamingpoints resembling daggers. The wall completely surrounded the wickercastle, and its sharp points prevented anyone from climbing it. Eventhe Patchwork Girl might be ripped to pieces if she dared attempt it."Ah!" exclaimed the Wizard cheerfully, "Ugu is now using one of my owntricks against me. But this is more serious than the Barrier of Fire,because the only way to destroy the wall is to get on the other side ofit."

"How can that be done?" asked Dorothy.

The Wizard looked thoughtfully around his little party, and his facegrew troubled. "It's a pretty high wall," he sadly remarked. "I'mpretty sure the Cowardly Lion could not leap over it."

"I'm sure of that, too!" said the Lion with a shudder of fear. "If Ifoolishly tried such a leap, I would be caught on those dreadfulspikes."

"I think I could do it, sir," said the Frogman with a bow to theWizard. "It is an uphill jump as well as being a high jump, but I'mconsidered something of a jumper by my friends in the Yip Country, andI believe a good, strong leap will carry me to the other side."

"I'm sure it would," agreed the Cookie Cook.

"Leaping, you know, is a froglike accomplishment," continued theFrogman modestly, "but please tell me what I am to do when I reach theother side of the wall."

"You're a brave creature," said the Wizard admiringly. "Has anyone apin?"

Betsy had one, which she gave him. "All you need do," said the Wizardto the Frogman, giving him the pin, "is to stick this into the otherside of the wall."

"But the wall is of steel!" exclaimed the big frog.

"I know. At least, it SEEMS to be steel, but do as I tell you. Stickthe pin into the wall, and it will disappear."

The Frogman took off his handsome coat and carefully folded it and laidit on the grass. Then he removed his hat and laid it together with hisgold-headed cane beside the coat. He then went back a way and madethree powerful leaps in rapid succession. The first two leaps took himto the wall, and the third leap carried him well over it, to theamazement of all. For a short time, he disappeared from their view,but when he had obeyed the Wizard's injunction and had thrust the pininto the wall, the huge barrier vanished and showed them the form ofthe Frogman, who now went to where his coat lay and put it on again.

"We thank you very much," said the delighted Wizard.

"That was the most wonderful leap I ever saw, and it has saved us fromdefeat by our enemy. Let us now hurry on to the castle before Ugu theShoemaker thinks up some other means to stop us."

"We must have surprised him so far," declared Dorothy.

"Yes indeed. The fellow knows a lot of magic--all of our tricks andsome of his own," replied the Wizard. "So if he is half as clever ashe ought to be, we shall have trouble with him yet."

He had scarcely spoken these words when out from the gates of thewicker castle marched a regiment of soldiers, clad in gay uniforms andall bearing long, pointed spears and sharp battle axes. These soldierswere girls, and the uniforms were short skirts of yellow and blacksatin, golden shoes, bands of gold across their foreheads and necklacesof glittering jewels. Their jackets were scarlet, braided with silvercords. There were hundreds of these girl-soldiers, and they were moreterrible than beautiful, being strong and fierce in appearance. Theyformed a circle all around the castle and faced outward, their spearspointed toward the invaders, and their battle axes held over theirshoulders, ready to strike. Of course, our friends halted at once, forthey had not expected this dreadful array of soldiery. The Wizardseemed puzzled, and his companions exchanged discouraged looks.

"I'd no idea Ugu had such an army as that," said Dorothy. "The castledoesn't look big enough to hold them all."

"It isn't," declared the Wizard.

"But they all marched out of it."

"They seemed to, but I don't believe it is a real army at all. If Uguthe Shoemaker had so many people living with him, I'm sure the Czaroverof Herku would have mentioned the fact to us."

"They're only girls!" laughed Scraps.

"Girls are the fiercest soldiers of all," declared the Frogman. "Theyare more brave than men, and they have better nerves. That is probablywhy the magician uses them for soldiers and has sent them to oppose us."

No one argued this statement, for all were staring hard at the line ofsoldiers, which now, having taken a defiant position, remainedmotionless.

"Here is a trick of magic new to me," admitted the Wizard after a time."I do not believe the army is real, but the spears may be sharp enoughto prick us, nevertheless, so we must be cautious. Let us take time toconsider how to meet this difficulty."

While they were thinking it over, Scraps danced closer to the line ofgirl soldiers. Her button eyes sometimes saw more than did the naturaleyes of her comrades, and so after staring hard at the magician's army,she boldly advanced and danced right through the threatening line! Onthe other side, she waved her stuffed arms and called out, "Come on,folks. The spears can't hurt you." said the Wizard gaily. "An opticalillusion, as I thought. Let us all follow the Patchwork Girl." Thethree little girls were somewhat nervous in attempting to brave thespears and battle axes, but after the others had safely passed theline, they ventured to follow. And when all had passed through theranks of the girl army, the army itself magically disappeared from view.

All this time our friends had been getting farther up the hill andnearer to the wicker castle. Now, continuing their advance, theyexpected something else to oppose their way, but to their astonishmentnothing happened, and presently they arrived at the wicker gates, whichstood wide open, and boldly entered the domain of Ugu the Shoemaker.

CHAPTER 22

IN THE WICKER CASTLE

No sooner were the Wizard of Oz and his followers well within thecastle entrance when the big gates swung to with a clang and heavy barsdropped across them. They looked at one another uneasily, but no onecared to speak of the incident. If they were indeed prisoners in thewicker castle, it was evident they must find a way to escape, but theirfirst duty was to attend to the errand on which they had come and seekthe Royal Ozma, whom they believed to be a prisoner of the magician,and rescue her.

They found they had entered a square courtyard, from which an entranceled into the main building of the castle. No person had appeared togreet them so far, although a gaudy peacock perched upon the wallcackled with laughter and said in its sharp, shrill voice, "Poor fools!Poor fools!"

"I hope the peacock is mistaken," remarked the Frogman, but no one elsepaid any attention to the bird. They were a little awed by thestillness and loneliness of the place. As they entered the doors ofthe castle, which stood invitingly open, these also closed behind themand huge bolts shot into place. The animals had all accompanied theparty into the castle because they felt it would be dangerous for themto separate. They were forced to follow a zigzag passage, turning thisway and that, until finally they entered a great central hall, circularin form and with a high dome from which was suspended an enormouschandelier.

The Wizard went first, and Dorothy, Betsy and Trot followed him, Totokeeping at the heels of his little mistress. Then came the Lion, theWoozy and the Sawhorse, then Cayke the Cookie Cook and Button-Bright,then the Lavender Bear carrying the Pink Bear, and finally the Frogmanand the Patchwork Girl, with Hank the Mule tagging behind. So it wasthe Wizard who caught the first glimpse of the big, domed hall, but theothers quickly followed and gathered in a wondering group just withinthe entrance.

Upon a raised platform at one side was a heavy table on which layGlinda's Great Book of Records, but the platform was firmly fastened tothe floor and the table was fastened to the platform and the Book waschained fast to the table, just as it had been when it was kept inGlinda's palace. On the wall over the table hung Ozma's Magic Picture.On a row of shelves at the opposite side of the hall stood all thechemicals and essences of magic and all the magical instruments thathad been stolen from Glinda and Ozma and the Wizard, with glass doorscovering the shelves so that no one could get at them.

And in a far corner sat Ugu the Shoemaker, his feet lazily extended,his skinny hands clasped behind his head. He was leaning back at hisease and calmly smoking a long pipe. Around the magician was a sort ofcage, seemingly made of golden bars set wide apart, and at his feet,also within the cage, reposed the long-sought diamond-studded dishpanof Cayke the Cookie Cook. Princess Ozma of Oz was nowhere to be seen.

"Well, well," said Ugu when the invaders had stood in silence for amoment, staring about them. "This visit is an unexpected pleasure, Iassure you. I knew you were coming, and I know why you are here. Youare not welcome, for I cannot use any of you to my advantage, but asyou have insisted on coming, I hope you will make the afternoon call asbrief as possible. It won't take long to transact your business withme. You will ask me for Ozma, and my reply will be that you may findher--if you can."

"Sir," answered the Wizard in a tone of rebuke, "you are a very wickedand cruel person. I suppose you imagine, because you have stolen thispoor woman's dishpan and all the best magic in Oz, that you are morepowerful than we are and will be able to triumph over us."

"Yes," said Ugu the Shoemaker, slowly filling his pipe with freshtobacco from a silver bowl that stood beside him, "that is exactly whatI imagine. It will do you no good to demand from me the girl who wasformerly the Ruler of Oz, because I will not tell you where I havehidden her, and you can't guess in a thousand years. Neither will Irestore to you any of the magic I have captured. I am not so foolish.But bear this in mind: I mean to be the Ruler of Oz myself, hereafter,so I advise you to be careful how you address your future Monarch."

"Ozma is still Ruler of Oz, wherever you may have hidden her," declaredthe Wizard. "And bear this in mind, miserable Shoemaker: we intend tofind her and to rescue her in time, but our first duty and pleasurewill be to conquer you and then punish you for your misdeeds."

"Very well, go ahead and conquer," said Ugu. "I'd really like to seehow you can do it."

Now although the little Wizard had spoken so boldly, he had at themoment no idea how they might conquer the magician. He had thatmorning given the Frogman, at his request, a dose of zosozo from hisbottle, and the Frogman had promised to fight a good fight if it wasnecessary, but the Wizard knew that strength alone could not availagainst magical arts. The toy Bear King seemed to have some prettygood magic, however, and the Wizard depended to an extent on that. Butsomething ought to be done right away, and the Wizard didn't know whatit was.

While he considered this perplexing question and the others stoodlooking at him as their leader, a queer thing happened. The floor ofthe great circular hall on which they were standing suddenly began totip. Instead of being flat and level, it became a slant, and the slantgrew steeper and steeper until none of the party could manage to standupon it. Presently they all slid down to the wall, which was now underthem, and then it became evident that the whole vast room was slowlyturning upside down! Only Ugu the Shoemaker, kept in place by the barsof his golden cage, remained in his former position, and the wickedmagician seemed to enjoy the surprise of his victims immensely.

First they all slid down to the wall back of them, but as the roomcontinued to turn over, they next slid down the wall and foundthemselves at the bottom of the great dome, bumping against the bigchandelier which, like everything else, was now upside down. Theturning movement now stopped, and the room became stationary. Lookingfar up, they saw Ugu suspended in his cage at the very top, which hadonce been the floor.

"Ah," said he, grinning down at them, "the way to conquer is to act,and he who acts promptly is sure to win. This makes a very goodprison, from which I am sure you cannot escape. Please amuseyourselves in any way you like, but I must beg you to excuse me, as Ihave business in another part of my castle."

Saying this, he opened a trap door in the floor of his cage (which wasnow over his head) and climbed through it and disappeared from theirview. The diamond dishpan still remained in the cage, but the barskept it from falling down on their heads.

"Well, I declare," said the Patchwork Girl, seizing one of the bars ofthe chandelier and swinging from it, "we must peg one for theShoemaker, for he has trapped us very cleverly."

"Get off my foot, please," said the Lion to the Sawhorse.

"And oblige me, Mr. Mule," remarked the Woozy, "by taking your tailout of my left eye."

"It's rather crowded down here," explained Dorothy, "because the domeis rounding and we have all slid into the middle of it. But let uskeep as quiet as possible until we can think what's best to be done."

"Dear, dear!" wailed Cayke, "I wish I had my darling dishpan," and sheheld her arms longingly toward it.

"I wish I had the magic on those shelves up there," sighed the Wizard.

"Don't you s'pose we could get to it?" asked Trot anxiously.

"We'd have to fly," laughed the Patchwork Girl.

But the Wizard took the suggestion seriously, and so did the Frogman.They talked it over and soon planned an attempt to reach the shelveswhere the magical instruments were. First the Frogman lay against therounding dome and braced his foot on the stem of the chandelier; thenthe Wizard climbed over him and lay on the dome with his feet on theFrogman's shoulders; the Cookie Cook came next; then Button-Brightclimbed to the woman's shoulders; then Dorothy climbed up and Betsy andTrot, and finally the Patchwork Girl, and all their lengths made a longline that reached far up the dome, but not far enough for Scraps totouch the shelves.

"Wait a minute. Perhaps I can reach the magic," called the Bear King,and began scrambling up the bodies of the others. But when he came tothe Cookie Cook, his soft paws tickled her side so that she squirmedand upset the whole line. Down they came, tumbling in a heap againstthe animals, and although no one was much hurt, it was a bad mix-up,and the Frogman, who was at the bottom, almost lost his temper beforehe could get on his feet again.

Cayke positively refused to try what she called "the pyramid act"again, and as the Wizard was now convinced they could not reach themagic tools in that manner, the attempt was abandoned. "But SOMETHINGmust be done," said the Wizard, and then he turned to the Lavender Bearand asked, "Cannot Your Majesty's magic help us to escape from here?"

"My magic powers are limited," was the reply. "When I was stuffed, thefairies stood by and slyly dropped some magic into my stuffing.Therefore I can do any of the magic that's inside me, but nothing else.You, however, are a wizard, and a wizard should be able to do anything."

"Your Majesty forgets that my tools of magic have been stolen," saidthe Wizard sadly, "and a wizard without tools is as helpless as acarpenter without a hammer or saw."

"Don't give up," pleaded Button-Bright, "'cause if we can't get out ofthis queer prison, we'll all starve to death."

"Not I!" laughed the Patchwork Girl, now standing on top of thechandelier at the place that was meant to be the bottom of it.

"Don't talk of such dreadful things," said Trot, shuddering. "We camehere to capture the Shoemaker, didn't we?"

"Yes, and to save Ozma," said Betsy.

"And here we are, captured ourselves, and my darling dishpan up therein plain sight!" wailed the Cookie Cook, wiping her eyes on the tail ofthe Frogman's coat.

"Hush!" called the Lion with a low, deep growl. "Give the Wizard timeto think."

"He has plenty of time," said Scraps. "What he needs is the Scarecrow'sbrains."

After all, it was little Dorothy who came to their rescue, and herability to save them was almost as much a surprise to the girl as itwas to her friends. Dorothy had been secretly testing the powers ofher Magic Belt, which she had once captured from the Nome King, andexperimenting with it in various ways ever since she had started onthis eventful journey. At different times she had stolen away from theothers of her party and in solitude had tried to find out what theMagic Belt could do and what it could not do. There were a lot ofthings it could not do, she discovered, but she learned some thingsabout the Belt which even her girl friends did not suspect she knew.

For one thing, she had remembered that when the Nome King owned it, theMagic Belt used to perform transformations, and by thinking hard shehad finally recalled the way in which such transformations had beenaccomplished. Better than this, however, was the discovery that theMagic Belt would grant its wearer one wish a day. All she need do wasclose her right eye and wiggle her left toe and then draw a long breathand make her wish. Yesterday she had wished in secret for a box ofcaramels, and instantly found the box beside her. Today she had savedher daily wish in case she might need it in an emergency, and the timehad now come when she must use the wish to enable her to escape withher friends from the prison in which Ugu had caught them.

So without telling anyone what she intended to do--for she had onlyused the wish once and could not be certain how powerful the Magic Beltmight be--Dorothy closed her right eye and wiggled her left big toe anddrew a long breath and wished with all her might. The next moment theroom began to revolve again, as slowly as before, and by degrees theyall slid to the side wall and down the wall to the floor--all butScraps, who was so astonished that she still clung to the chandelier.When the big hall was in its proper position again and the others stoodfirmly upon the floor of it, they looked far up the dome and saw thePatchwork girl swinging from the chandelier.

"Good gracious!" cried Dorothy. "How ever will you get down?"

"Won't the room keep turning?" asked Scraps.

"I hope not. I believe it has stopped for good," said Princess Dorothy.

"Then stand from under, so you won't get hurt!" shouted the PatchworkGirl, and as soon as they had obeyed this request, she let go thechandelier and came tumbling down heels over head and twisting andturning in a very exciting manner. Plump! She fell on the tiledfloor, and they ran to her and rolled her and patted her into shapeagain.

CHAPTER 23

THE DEFIANCE OF UGU THE SHOEMAKER

The delay caused by Scraps had prevented anyone from running to theshelves to secure the magic instruments so badly needed. Even Caykeneglected to get her diamond-studded dishpan because she was watchingthe Patchwork Girl. And now the magician had opened his trap door andappeared in his golden cage again, frowning angrily because hisprisoners had been able to turn their upside-down prison right side up."Which of you has dared defy my magic?" he shouted in a terrible voice.

"It was I," answered Dorothy calmly.

"Then I shall destroy you, for you are only an Earth girl and nofairy," he said, and began to mumble some magic words.

Dorothy now realized that Ugu must be treated as an enemy, so sheadvanced toward the corner in which he sat, saying as she went, "I amnot afraid of you, Mr. Shoemaker, and I think you'll be sorry, prettysoon, that you're such a bad man. You can't destroy me, and I won'tdestroy you, but I'm going to punish you for your wickedness."

Ugu laughed, a laugh that was not nice to hear, and then he waved hishand. Dorothy was halfway across the room when suddenly a wall ofglass rose before her and stopped her progress. Through the glass shecould see the magician sneering at her because she was a weak littlegirl, and this provoked her. Although the glass wall obliged her tohalt, she instantly pressed both hands to her Magic Belt and cried in aloud voice, "Ugu the Shoemaker, by the magic virtues of the Magic Belt,I command you to become a dove!"

The magician instantly realized he was being enchanted, for he couldfeel his form changing. He struggled desperately against theenchantment, mumbling magic words and making magic passes with hishands. And in one way he succeeded in defeating Dorothy's purpose, forwhile his form soon changed to that of a gray dove, the dove was of anenormous size, bigger even than Ugu had been as a man, and this feat hehad been able to accomplish before his powers of magic wholly desertedhim.

And the dove was not gentle, as doves usually are, for Ugu was terriblyenraged at the little girl's success. His books had told him nothingof the Nome King's Magic Belt, the Country of the Nomes being outsidethe Land of Oz. He knew, however, that he was likely to be conqueredunless he made a fierce fight, so he spread his wings and rose in theair and flew directly toward Dorothy. The Wall of Glass haddisappeared the instant Ugu became transformed.

Dorothy had meant to command the Belt to transform the magician into aDove of Peace, but in her excitement she forgot to say more than"dove," and now Ugu was not a Dove of Peace by any means, but rather aspiteful Dove of War. His size made his sharp beak and claws verydangerous, but Dorothy was not afraid when he came darting toward herwith his talons outstretched and his sword-like beak open. She knewthe Magic Belt would protect its wearer from harm.

But the Frogman did not know that fact and became alarmed at the littlegirl's seeming danger. So he gave a sudden leap and leaped full uponthe back of the great dove. Then began a desperate struggle. The dovewas as strong as Ugu had been, and in size it was considerably biggerthan the Frogman. But the Frogman had eaten the zosozo, and it hadmade him fully as strong as Ugu the Dove. At the first leap he borethe dove to the floor, but the giant bird got free and began to biteand claw the Frogman, beating him down with its great wings whenever heattempted to rise. The thick, tough skin of the big frog was noteasily damaged, but Dorothy feared for her champion, and by again usingthe transformation power of the Magic Belt, she made the dove growsmall until it was no larger than a canary bird. Ugu had not lost hisknowledge of magic when he lost his shape as a man, and he now realizedit was hopeless to oppose the power of the Magic Belt and knew that hisonly hope of escape lay in instant action. So he quickly flew into thegolden jeweled dishpan he had stolen from Cayke the Cookie Cook, and asbirds can talk as well as beasts or men in the Fairyland of Oz, hemuttered the magic word that was required and wished himself in theCountry of the Quadlings, which was as far away from the wicker castleas he believed he could get.

Our friends did not know, of course, what Ugu was about to do. Theysaw the dishpan tremble an instant and then disappear, the dovedisappearing with it, and although they waited expectantly for someminutes for the magician's return, Ugu did not come back again. "Seemsto me," said the Wizard in a cheerful voice, "that we have conqueredthe wicked magician more quickly than we expected to."

"Don't say 'we.' Dorothy did it!" cried the Patchwork Girl, turningthree somersaults in succession and then walking around on her hands."Hurrah for Dorothy!"

"I thought you said you did not know how to use the magic of the NomeKing's Belt," said the Wizard to Dorothy.

"I didn't know at that time," she replied, "but afterward I rememberedhow the Nome King once used the Magic Belt to enchant people andtransform 'em into ornaments and all sorts of things, so I tried someenchantments in secret, and after a while I transformed the Sawhorseinto a potato masher and back again, and the Cowardly Lion into apussycat and back again, and then I knew the thing would work allright."

"When did you perform those enchantments?" asked the Wizard, muchsurprised.

"One night when all the rest of you were asleep but Scraps, and she hadgone chasing moonbeams."

"Well," remarked the Wizard, "your discovery has certainly saved us alot of trouble, and we must all thank the Frogman, too, for making sucha good fight. The dove's shape had Ugu's evil disposition inside it,and that made the monster bird dangerous."

The Frogman was looking sad because the bird's talons had torn hispretty clothes, but he bowed with much dignity at this well-deservedpraise. Cayke, however, had squatted on the floor and was sobbingbitterly. "My precious dishpan is gone!" she wailed. "Gone, just as Ihad found it again!"

"Never mind," said Trot, trying to comfort her, "it's sure to beSOMEWHERE, so we'll cert'nly run across it some day."

"Yes indeed," added Betsy, "now that we have Ozma's Magic Picture, wecan tell just where the Dove went with your dishpan. They allapproached the Magic Picture, and Dorothy wished it to show theenchanted form of Ugu the Shoemaker, wherever it might be. At oncethere appeared in the frame of the Picture a scene in the far QuadlingCountry, where the Dove was perched disconsolately on the limb of atree and the jeweled dishpan lay on the ground just underneath the limb.

"But where is the place? How far or how near?" asked Cayke anxiously.

"The Book of Records will tell us that," answered the Wizard. So theylooked in the Great Book and read the following:

"Ugu the Magician, being transformed into a dove by Princess Dorothy ofOz, has used the magic of the golden dishpan to carry him instantly tothe northeast corner of the Quadling Country."

"Don't worry, Cayke, for the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman are in thatpart of the country looking for Ozma, and they'll surely find yourdishpan."

"Good gracious!" exclaimed Button-Bright. "We've forgot all aboutOzma. Let's find out where the magician hid her."

Back to the Magic Picture they trooped, but when they wished to seeOzma wherever she might be hidden, only a round black spot appeared inthe center of the canvas. "I don't see how THAT can be Ozma!" saidDorothy, much puzzled.

"It seems to be the best the Magic Picture can do, however," said theWizard, no less surprised. "If it's an enchantment, looks as if themagician had transformed Ozma into a chunk of pitch."

CHAPTER 24

THE LITTLE PINK BEAR SPEAKS TRULY

For several minutes they all stood staring at the black spot on thecanvas of the Magic Picture, wondering what it could mean. "P'r'apswe'd better ask the little Pink Bear about Ozma," suggested Trot.

"Pshaw!" said Button-Bright. "HE don't know anything."

"He never makes a mistake," declared the King.

"He did once, surely," said Betsy. "But perhaps he wouldn't make amistake again."

"He won't have the chance," grumbled the Bear King.

"We might hear what he has to say," said Dorothy. "It won't do anyharm to ask the Pink Bear where Ozma is."

"I will not have him questioned," declared the King in a surly voice."I do not intend to allow my little Pink Bear to be again insulted byyour foolish doubts. He never makes a mistake."

"Didn't he say Ozma was in that hole in the ground?" asked Betsy.

"He did, and I am certain she was there," replied the Lavender Bear.

Scraps laughed jeeringly, and the others saw there was no use arguingwith the stubborn Bear King, who seemed to have absolute faith in hisPink Bear. The Wizard, who knew that magical things can usually bedepended upon and that the little Pink Bear was able to answerquestions by some remarkable power of magic, thought it wise toapologize to the Lavender Bear for the unbelief of his friends, at thesame time urging the King to consent to question the Pink Bear oncemore. Cayke and the Frogman also pleaded with the big Bear, whofinally agreed, although rather ungraciously, to put the little Bear'swisdom to the test once more. So he sat the little one on his knee andturned the crank, and the Wizard himself asked the questions in a veryrespectful tone of voice. "Where is Ozma?" was his first query.

"Here in this room," answered the little Pink Bear.

They all looked around the room, but of course did not see her. "Inwhat part of the room is she?" was the Wizard's next question.

"In Button-Bright's pocket," said the little Pink Bear.

This reply amazed them all, you may be sure, and although the threegirls smiled and Scraps yelled "Hoo-ray!" in derision, the Wizardturned to consider the matter with grave thoughtfulness. "In which oneof Button-Bright's pockets is Ozma?" he presently inquired.

"In the left-hand jacket pocket," said the little Pink Bear.

"The pink one has gone crazy!" exclaimed Button-Bright, staring hard atthe little bear on the big bear's knee.

"I am not so sure of that," declared the Wizard. "If Ozma proves to bereally in your pocket, then the little Pink Bear spoke truly when hesaid Ozma was in that hole in the ground. For at that time you werealso in the hole, and after we had pulled you out of it, the littlePink Bear said Ozma was not in the hole."

"He never makes a mistake," asserted the Bear King stoutly.

"Empty that pocket, Button-Bright, and let's see what's in it,"requested Dorothy.

So Button-Bright laid the contents of his left jacket pocket on thetable. These proved to be a peg top, a bunch of string, a small rubberball and a golden peach pit. "What's this?" asked the Wizard, pickingup the peach pit and examining it closely.

"Oh," said the boy, "I saved that to show to the girls, and then forgotall about it. It came out of a lonesome peach that I found in theorchard back yonder, and which I ate while I was lost. It looks likegold, and I never saw a peach pit like it before."

"Nor I," said the Wizard, "and that makes it seem suspicious."

All heads were bent over the golden peach pit. The Wizard turned itover several times and then took out his pocket knife and pried the pitopen. As the two halves fell apart, a pink, cloud-like haze camepouring from the golden peach pit, almost filling the big room, andfrom the haze a form took shape and settled beside them. Then, as thehaze faded away, a sweet voice said, "Thank you, my friends!" and therebefore them stood their lovely girl Ruler, Ozma of Oz.

With a cry of delight, Dorothy rushed forward and embraced her. Scrapsturned gleeful flipflops all around the room. Button-Bright gave a lowwhistle of astonishment. The Frogman took off his tall hat and bowedlow before the beautiful girl who had been freed from her enchantmentin so startling a manner. For a time, no sound was heard beyond thelow murmur of delight that came from the amazed group, but presentlythe growl of the big Lavender Bear grew louder, and he said in a toneof triumph, "He never makes a mistake!"

CHAPTER 25

OZMA OF OZ

"It's funny," said Toto, standing before his friend the Lion andwagging his tail, "but I've found my growl at last! I am positive nowthat it was the cruel magician who stole it."

"Let's hear your growl," requested the Lion.

"G-r-r-r-r-r!" said Toto.

"That is fine," declared the big beast. "It isn't as loud or as deepas the growl of the big Lavender Bear, but it is a very respectablegrowl for a small dog. Where did you find it, Toto?"

"I was smelling in the corner yonder," said Toto, "when suddenly amouse ran out--and I growled."

The others were all busy congratulating Ozma, who was very happy atbeing released from the confinement of the golden peach pit, where themagician had placed her with the notion that she never could be foundor liberated.

"And only to think," cried Dorothy, "that Button-Bright has beencarrying you in his pocket all this time, and we never knew it!"

"The little Pink Bear told you," said the Bear King, "but you wouldn'tbelieve him."

"Never mind, my dears," said Ozma graciously, "all is well that endswell, and you couldn't be expected to know I was inside the peach pit.Indeed, I feared I would remain a captive much longer than I did, forUgu is a bold and clever magician, and he had hidden me very securely."

"You were in a fine peach," said Button-Bright, "the best I ever ate."

"The magician was foolish to make the peach so tempting," remarked theWizard, "but Ozma would lend beauty to any transformation."

"How did you manage to conquer Ugu the Shoemaker?" inquired the girlRuler of Oz.

Dorothy started to tell the story, and Trot helped her, andButton-Bright wanted to relate it in his own way, and the Wizard triedto make it clear to Ozma, and Betsy had to remind them of importantthings they left out, and all together there was such a chatter that itwas a wonder that Ozma understood any of it. But she listenedpatiently, with a smile on her lovely face at their eagerness, andpresently had gleaned all the details of their adventures.

Ozma thanked the Frogman very earnestly for his assistance, and sheadvised Cayke the Cookie Cook to dry her weeping eyes, for she promisedto take her to the Emerald City and see that her cherished dishpan wasrestored to her. Then the beautiful Ruler took a chain of emeraldsfrom around her own neck and placed it around the neck of the littlePink Bear.

"Your wise answers to the questions of my friends," said she, "helpedthem to rescue me. Therefore I am deeply grateful to you and to yournoble King."

The bead eyes of the little Pink Bear stared unresponsive to thispraise until the Big Lavender Bear turned the crank in its side, whenit said in its squeaky voice, "I thank Your Majesty."

"For my part," returned the Bear King, "I realize that you were wellworth saving, Miss Ozma, and so I am much pleased that we could be ofservice to you. By means of my Magic Wand I have been creating exactimages of your Emerald City and your Royal Palace, and I must confessthat they are more attractive than any places I have ever seen--notexcepting Bear Center."

"I would like to entertain you in my palace," returned Ozma sweetly,"and you are welcome to return with me and to make me a long visit, ifyour bear subjects can spare you from your own kingdom."

"As for that," answered the King, "my kingdom causes me little worry,and I often find it somewhat tame and uninteresting. Therefore I amglad to accept your kind invitation. Corporal Waddle may be trusted tocare for my bears in my absence."

"And you'll bring the little Pink Bear?" asked Dorothy eagerly.

"Of course, my dear. I would not willingly part with him."

They remained in the wicker castle for three days, carefully packingall the magical things that had been stolen by Ugu and also takingwhatever in the way of magic the shoemaker had inherited from hisancestors. "For," said Ozma, "I have forbidden any of my subjectsexcept Glinda the Good and the Wizard of Oz to practice magical arts,because they cannot be trusted to do good and not harm. Therefore Ugumust never again be permitted to work magic of any sort."

"Well," remarked Dorothy cheerfully, "a dove can't do much in the wayof magic, anyhow, and I'm going to keep Ugu in the form of a dove untilhe reforms and becomes a good and honest shoemaker."

When everything was packed and loaded on the backs of the animals, theyset out for the river, taking a more direct route than that by whichCayke and the Frogman had come. In this way they avoided the Cities ofThi and Herku and Bear Center and after a pleasant journey reached theWinkie River and found a jolly ferryman who had a fine, big boat andwas willing to carry the entire party by water to a place quite near tothe Emerald City.

The river had many windings and many branches, and the journey did notend in a day, but finally the boat floated into a pretty lake which wasbut a short distance from Ozma's home. Here the jolly ferryman wasrewarded for his labors, and then the entire party set out in a grandprocession to march to the Emerald City. News that the Royal Ozma hadbeen found spread quickly throughout the neighborhood, and both sidesof the road soon became lined with loyal subjects of the beautiful andbeloved Ruler. Therefore Ozma's ears heard little but cheers, and hereyes beheld little else than waving handkerchiefs and banners duringall the triumphal march from the lake to the city's gates.

And there she met a still greater concourse, for all the inhabitants ofthe Emerald City turned out to welcome her return, and all the houseswere decorated with flags and bunting, and never before were the peopleso joyous and happy as at this moment when they welcomed home theirgirl Ruler. For she had been lost and was now found again, and surelythat was cause for rejoicing. Glinda was at the royal palace to meetthe returning party, and the good Sorceress was indeed glad to have herGreat Book of Records returned to her, as well as all the preciouscollection of magic instruments and elixirs and chemicals that had beenstolen from her castle. Cap'n Bill and the Wizard at once hung theMagic Picture upon the wall of Ozma's boudoir, and the Wizard was solight-hearted that he did several tricks with the tools in his blackbag to amuse his companions and prove that once again he was a powerfulwizard.

For a whole week there was feasting and merriment and all sorts ofjoyous festivities at the palace in honor of Ozma's safe return. TheLavender Bear and the little Pink Bear received much attention and werehonored by all, much to the Bear King's satisfaction. The Frogmanspeedily became a favorite at the Emerald City, and the Shaggy Man andTik-Tok and Jack Pumpkinhead, who had now returned from their search,were very polite to the big frog and made him feel quite at home. Eventhe Cookie Cook, because she was quite a stranger and Ozma's guest, wasshown as much deference as if she had been a queen.

"All the same, Your Majesty," said Cayke to Ozma, day after day withtiresome repetition, "I hope you will soon find my jeweled dishpan, fornever can I be quite happy without it."

CHAPTER 26

DOROTHY FORGIVES

The gray dove which had once been Ugu the Shoemaker sat on its tree inthe far Quadling Country and moped, chirping dismally and brooding overits misfortunes. After a time, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman camealong and sat beneath the tree, paying no heed to the mutterings of thegray dove. The Tin Woodman took a small oilcan from his tin pocket andcarefully oiled his tin joints with it.

While he was thus engaged, the Scarecrow remarked, "I feel much better,dear comrade, since we found that heap of nice, clean straw and youstuffed me anew with it."

"And I feel much better now that my joints are oiled," returned the TinWoodman with a sigh of pleasure. "You and I, friend Scarecrow, aremuch more easily cared for than those clumsy meat people, who spendhalf their time dressing in fine clothes and who must live in splendiddwellings in order to be contented and happy. You and I do not eat,and so we are spared the dreadful bother of getting three meals a day.Nor do we waste half our lives in sleep, a condition that causes themeat people to lose all consciousness and become as thoughtless andhelpless as logs of wood."

"You speak truly," responded the Scarecrow, tucking some wisps of strawinto his breast with his padded fingers. "I often feel sorry for themeat people, many of whom are my friends. Even the beasts are happierthan they, for they require less to make them content. And the birdsare the luckiest creatures of all, for they can fly swiftly where theywill and find a home at any place they care to perch. Their foodconsists of seeds and grains they gather from the fields, and theirdrink is a sip of water from some running brook. If I could not be aScarecrow or a Tin Woodman, my next choice would be to live as a birddoes."

The gray dove had listened carefully to this speech and seemed to findcomfort in it, for it hushed its moaning. And just then the TinWoodman discovered Cayke's dishpan, which was on the ground quite nearto him. "Here is a rather pretty utensil," he said, taking it in histin hand to examine it, "but I would not care to own it. Whoeverfashioned it of gold and covered it with diamonds did not add to itsusefulness, nor do I consider it as beautiful as the bright dishpans oftin one usually sees. No yellow color is ever so handsome as thesilver sheen of tin," and he turned to look at his tin legs and bodywith approval.

"I cannot quite agree with you there," replied the Scarecrow. "Mystraw stuffing has a light yellow color, and it is not only pretty tolook at, but it crunkles most delightfully when I move."

"Let us admit that all colors are good in their proper places," saidthe Tin Woodman, who was too kind-hearted to quarrel, "but you mustagree with me that a dishpan that is yellow is unnatural. What shallwe do with this one, which we have just found?"

"Let us carry it back to the Emerald City," suggested the Scarecrow."Some of our friends might like to have it for a foot-bath, and inusing it that way, its golden color and sparkling ornaments would notinjure its usefulness."

So they went away and took the jeweled dishpan with them. And afterwandering through the country for a day or so longer, they learned thenews that Ozma had been found. Therefore they straightway returned tothe Emerald City and presented the dishpan to Princess Ozma as a tokenof their joy that she had been restored to them. Ozma promptly gavethe diamond-studded gold dishpan to Cayke the Cookie Cook, who wasdelighted at regaining her lost treasure that she danced up and down inglee and then threw her skinny arms around Ozma's neck and kissed hergratefully. Cayke's mission was now successfully accomplished, but shewas having such a good time at the Emerald City that she seemed in nohurry to go back to the Country of the Yips.

It was several weeks after the dishpan had been restored to the CookieCook when one day, as Dorothy was seated in the royal gardens with Trotand Betsy beside her, a gray dove came flying down and alighted at thegirl's feet.

"I am Ugu the Shoemaker," said the dove in a soft, mourning voice, "andI have come to ask you to forgive me for the great wrong I did instealing Ozma and the magic that belonged to her and to others."

"Are you sorry, then?" asked Dorothy, looking hard at the bird.

"I am VERY sorry," declared Ugu. "I've been thinking over my misdeedsfor a long time, for doves have little else to do but think, and I'msurprised that I was such a wicked man and had so little regard for therights of others. I am now convinced that even had I succeeded inmaking myself ruler of all Oz, I should not have been happy, for manydays of quiet thought have shown me that only those things one acquireshonestly are able to render one content."

"I guess that's so," said Trot.

"Anyhow," said Betsy, "the bad man seems truly sorry, and if he has nowbecome a good and honest man, we ought to forgive him."

"I fear I cannot become a good MAN again," said Ugu, "for thetransformation I am under will always keep me in the form of a dove.But with the kind forgiveness of my former enemies, I hope to become avery good dove and highly respected."

"Wait here till I run for my Magic Belt," said Dorothy, "and I'lltransform you back to your reg'lar shape in a jiffy."

"No, don't do that!" pleaded the dove, fluttering its wings in anexcited way. "I only want your forgiveness. I don't want to be a managain. As Ugu the Shoemaker I was skinny and old and unlovely. As adove I am quite pretty to look at. As a man I was ambitious and cruel,while as a dove I can be content with my lot and happy in my simplelife. I have learned to love the free and independent life of a bird,and I'd rather not change back."

"Just as you like, Ugu," said Dorothy, resuming her seat. "Perhaps youare right, for you're certainly a better dove than you were a man, andif you should ever backslide an' feel wicked again, you couldn't domuch harm as a gray dove."

"Then you forgive me for all the trouble I caused you?" he askedearnestly.

"Of course. Anyone who's sorry just has to be forgiven."

"Thank you," said the gray dove, and flew away again.

THE END