Full text of Magic of Oz
A Faithful Record of the Remarkable Adventures of Dorothy and Trot and the Wizard of Oz, together with the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger and Cap'n Bill, in their successful search for a Magical and Beautiful Birthday Present for Princess Ozma of Oz
L. Frank Baum
"Royal Historian of Oz"
--To My Readers-- 1. Mount Munch 2. The Hawk 3. Two Bad Ones 4. Conspirators 5. A Happy Corner of Oz 6. Ozma's Birthday Presents 7. The Forest of Gugu 8. The Li-Mon-Eags Make Trouble 9. The Isle of the Magic Flower 10. Stuck Fast 11. The Beasts of the Forest of Gugu 12. Kiki Uses His Magic 13. The Loss of the Black Bag 14. The Wizard Learns the Magic Word 15. The Lonesome Duck 16. The Glass Cat Finds the Black Bag 17. A Remarkable Journey 18. The Magic of the Wizard 19. Dorothy and the Bumble Bees 20. The Monkeys Have Trouble 21. The College of Athletic Arts 22. Ozma's Birthday Party 23. The Fountain of Oblivion
To My Readers
Curiously enough, in the events which have taken place in the last fewyears in our "great outside world," we may find incidents so marvelousand inspiring that I cannot hope to equal them with stories of The Landof Oz.
However, "The Magic of Oz" is really more strange and unusual thananything I have read or heard about on our side of The Great SandyDesert which shuts us off from The Land of Oz, even during the pastexciting years, so I hope it will appeal to your love of novelty.
A long and confining illness has prevented my answering all the goodletters sent me--unless stamps were enclosed--but from now on I hope tobe able to give prompt attention to each and every letter with which myreaders favor me.
Assuring you that my love for you has never faltered and hoping the OzBooks will continue to give you pleasure as long as I am able to writethem, I am
L. FRANK BAUM, "Royal Historian of Oz." "OZCOT" at HOLLYWOOD in CALIFORNIA 1919
1. Mount Munch
On the east edge of the Land of Oz, in the Munchkin Country, is a big,tall hill called Mount Munch. One one side, the bottom of this hilljust touches the Deadly Sandy Desert that separates the Fairyland of Ozfrom all the rest of the world, but on the other side, the hill touchesthe beautiful, fertile Country of the Munchkins.
The Munchkin folks, however, merely stand off and look at Mount Munchand know very little about it; for, about a third of the way up, itssides become too steep to climb, and if any people live upon the top ofthat great towering peak that seems to reach nearly to the skies, theMunchkins are not aware of the fact.
But people DO live there, just the same. The top of Mount Munch isshaped like a saucer, broad and deep, and in the saucer are fieldswhere grains and vegetables grow, and flocks are fed, and brooks flowand trees bear all sorts of things. There are houses scattered hereand there, each having its family of Hyups, as the people callthemselves. The Hyups seldom go down the mountain, for the same reasonthat the Munchkins never climb up: the sides are too steep.
In one of the houses lived a wise old Hyup named Bini Aru, who used tobe a clever Sorcerer. But Ozma of Oz, who rules everyone in the Landof Oz, had made a decree that no one should practice magic in herdominions except Glinda the Good and the Wizard of Oz, and when Glindasent this royal command to the Hyups by means of a strong-winged Eagle,old Bini Aru at once stopped performing magical arts. He destroyedmany of his magic powders and tools of magic, and afterward honestlyobeyed the law. He had never seen Ozma, but he knew she was his Rulerand must be obeyed.
There was only one thing that grieved him. He had discovered a new andsecret method of transformations that was unknown to any otherSorcerer. Glinda the Good did not know it, nor did the little Wizardof Oz, nor Dr. Pipt nor old Mombi, nor anyone else who dealt in magicarts. It was Bini Aru's own secret. By its means, it was the simplestthing in the world to transform anyone into beast, bird or fish, oranything else, and back again, once you know how to pronounce themystical word: "Pyrzqxgl."
Bini Aru had used this secret many times, but not to cause evil orsuffering to others. When he had wandered far from home and washungry, he would say: "I want to become a cow--Pyrzqxgl!" In an instanthe would be a cow, and then he would eat grass and satisfy his hunger.All beasts and birds can talk in the Land of Oz, so when the cow was nolonger hungry, it would say: "I want to be Bini Aru again: Pyrzqxgl!"and the magic word, properly pronounced, would instantly restore him tohis proper form.
Now, of course, I would not dare to write down this magic word soplainly if I thought my readers would pronounce it properly and so beable to transform themselves and others, but it is a fact that no onein all the world except Bini Aru, had ever (up to the time this storybegins) been able to pronounce "Pyrzqxgl!" the right way, so I think itis safe to give it to you. It might be well, however, in reading thisstory aloud, to be careful not to pronounce Pyrzqxgl the proper way,and thus avoid all danger of the secret being able to work mischief.
Bini Aru, having discovered the secret of instant transformation, whichrequired no tools or powders or other chemicals or herbs and alwaysworked perfectly, was reluctant to have such a wonderful discoveryentirely unknown or lost to all human knowledge. He decided not to useit again, since Ozma had forbidden him to do so, but he reflected thatOzma was a girl and some time might change her mind and allow hersubjects to practice magic, in which case Bini Aru could againtransform himself and others at will,--unless, of course, he forgot howto pronounce Pyrzqxgl in the meantime.
After giving the matter careful thought, he decided to write the word,and how it should be pronounced, in some secret place, so that he couldfind it after many years, but where no one else could ever find it.
That was a clever idea, but what bothered the old Sorcerer was to finda secret place. He wandered all over the Saucer at the top of MountMunch, but found no place in which to write the secret word whereothers might not be likely to stumble upon it. So finally he decidedit must be written somewhere in his own house.
Bini Aru had a wife named Mopsi Aru who was famous for making finehuckleberry pies, and he had a son named Kiki Aru who was not famous atall. He was noted as being cross and disagreeable because he was nothappy, and he was not happy because he wanted to go down the mountainand visit the big world below and his father would not let him. No onepaid any attention to Kiki Aru, because he didn't amount to anything,anyway.
Once a year there was a festival on Mount Munch which all the Hyupsattended. It was held in the center of the saucer-shaped country, andthe day was given over to feasting and merry-making. The young folksdanced and sang songs; the women spread the tables with good things toeat, and the men played on musical instruments and told fairy tales.
Kiki Aru usually went to these festivals with his parents, and then satsullenly outside the circle and would not dance or sing or even talk tothe other young people. So the festival did not make him any happierthan other days, and this time he told Bini Aru and Mopsi Aru that hewould not go. He would rather stay at home and be unhappy all byhimself, he said, and so they gladly let him stay.
But after he was left alone Kiki decided to enter his father's privateroom, where he was forbidden to go, and see if he could find any of themagic tools Bini Aru used to work with when he practiced sorcery. Ashe went in Kiki stubbed his toe on one of the floor boards. Hesearched everywhere but found no trace of his father's magic. All hadbeen destroyed.
Much disappointed, he started to go out again when he stubbed his toeon the same floor board. That set him thinking. Examining the boardmore closely, Kiki found it had been pried up and then nailed downagain in such a manner that it was a little higher than the otherboards. But why had his father taken up the board? Had he hidden someof his magic tools underneath the floor?
Kiki got a chisel and pried up the board, but found nothing under it.He was just about to replace the board when it slipped from his handand turned over, and he saw something written on the underside of it.The light was rather dim, so he took the board to the window andexamined it, and found that the writing described exactly how topronounce the magic word Pyrzqxgl, which would transform anyone intoanything instantly, and back again when the word was repeated.
Now, at first, Kiki Aru didn't realize what a wonderful secret he haddiscovered; but he thought it might be of use to him and so he took apiece of paper and made on it an exact copy of the instructions forpronouncing Pyrzqxgl. Then he folded the paper and put it in hispocket, and replaced the board in the floor so that no one wouldsuspect it had been removed.
After this Kiki went into the garden and sitting beneath a tree made acareful study of the paper. He had always wanted to get away fromMount Munch and visit the big world--especially the Land of Oz--and theidea now came to him that if he could transform himself into a bird, hecould fly to any place he wished to go and fly back again whenever hecared to. It was necessary, however, to learn by heart the way topronounce the magic word, because a bird would have no way to carry apaper with it, and Kiki would be unable to resume his proper shape ifhe forgot the word or its pronunciation.
So he studied it a long time, repeating it a hundred times in his minduntil he was sure he would not forget it. But to make safety doublysure he placed the paper in a tin box in a neglected part of the gardenand covered the box with small stones.
By this time it was getting late in the day and Kiki wished to attempthis first transformation before his parents returned from the festival.So he stood on the front porch of his home and said:
"I want to become a big, strong bird, like a hawk--Pyrzqxgl!" Hepronounced it the right way, so in a flash he felt that he wascompletely changed in form. He flapped his wings, hopped to the porchrailing and said: "Caw-oo! Caw-oo!"
Then he laughed and said half aloud: "I suppose that's the funny soundthis sort of a bird makes. But now let me try my wings and see if I'mstrong enough to fly across the desert."
For he had decided to make his first trip to the country outside theLand of Oz. He had stolen this secret of transformation and he knew hehad disobeyed the law of Oz by working magic. Perhaps Glinda or theWizard of Oz would discover him and punish him, so it would be goodpolicy to keep away from Oz altogether.
Slowly Kiki rose into the air, and resting on his broad wings, floatedin graceful circles above the saucer-shaped mountain-top. From hisheight, he could see, far across the burning sands of the DeadlyDesert, another country that might be pleasant to explore, so he headedthat way, and with strong, steady strokes of his wings, began the longflight.
2. The Hawk
Even a hawk has to fly high in order to cross the Deadly Desert, fromwhich poisonous fumes are constantly rising. Kiki Aru felt sick andfaint by the time he reached good land again, for he could not quiteescape the effects of the poisons. But the fresh air soon restored himand he alighted in a broad table-land which is called Hiland. Justbeyond it is a valley known as Loland, and these two countries areruled by the Gingerbread Man, John Dough, with Chick the Cherub as hisPrime Minister. The hawk merely stopped here long enough to rest, andthen he flew north and passed over a fine country called Merryland,which is ruled by a lovely Wax Doll. Then, following the curve of theDesert, he turned north and settled on a tree-top in the Kingdom ofNoland.
Kiki was tired by this time, and the sun was now setting, so he decidedto remain here till morning. From his tree-top he could see a housenear by, which looked very comfortable. A man was milking a cow in theyard and a pleasant-faced woman came to the door and called him tosupper.
That made Kiki wonder what sort of food hawks ate. He felt hungry, butdidn't know what to eat or where to get it. Also he thought a bedwould be more comfortable than a tree-top for sleeping, so he hopped tothe ground and said: "I want to become Kiki Aru again--Pyrzqxgl!"
Instantly he had resumed his natural shape, and going to the house, heknocked upon the door and asked for some supper.
"Who are you?" asked the man of the house.
"A stranger from the Land of Oz," replied Kiki Aru.
"Then you are welcome," said the man.
Kiki was given a good supper and a good bed, and he behaved very well,although he refused to answer all the questions the good people ofNoland asked him. Having escaped from his home and found a way to seethe world, the young man was no longer unhappy, and so he was no longercross and disagreeable. The people thought him a very respectableperson and gave him breakfast next morning, after which he started onhis way feeling quite contented.
Having walked for an hour or two through the pretty country that isruled by King Bud, Kiki Aru decided he could travel faster and see moreas a bird, so he transformed himself into a white dove and visited thegreat city of Nole and saw the King's palace and gardens and many otherplaces of interest. Then he flew westward into the Kingdom of Ix, andafter a day in Queen Zixi's country went on westward into the Land ofEv. Every place he visited he thought was much more pleasant than thesaucer-country of the Hyups, and he decided that when he reached thefinest country of all he would settle there and enjoy his future lifeto the utmost.
In the land of Ev he resumed his own shape again, for the cities andvillages were close together and he could easily go on foot from one toanother of them.
Toward evening he came to a good Inn and asked the inn-keeper if hecould have food and lodging.
"You can if you have the money to pay," said the man, "otherwise youmust go elsewhere."
This surprised Kiki, for in the Land of Oz they do not use money atall, everyone being allowed to take what he wishes without price. Hehad no money, therefore, and so he turned away to seek hospitalityelsewhere. Looking through an open window into one of the rooms of theInn, as he passed along, he saw an old man counting on a table a bigheap of gold pieces, which Kiki thought to be money. One of thesewould buy him supper and a bed, he reflected, so he transformed himselfinto a magpie and, flying through the open window, caught up one of thegold pieces in his beak and flew out again before the old man couldinterfere. Indeed, the old man who was robbed was quite helpless, forhe dared not leave his pile of gold to chase the magpie, and before hecould place the gold in a sack in his pocket the robber bird was out ofsight and to seek it would be folly.
Kiki Aru flew to a group of trees and, dropping the gold piece to theground, resumed his proper shape, and then picked up the money and putit in his pocket.
"You'll be sorry for this!" exclaimed a small voice just over his head.
Kiki looked up and saw that a sparrow, perched upon a branch, waswatching him.
"Sorry for what?" he demanded.
"Oh, I saw the whole thing," asserted the sparrow. "I saw you look inthe window at the gold, and then make yourself into a magpie and robthe poor man, and then I saw you fly here and make the bird into yourformer shape. That's magic, and magic is wicked and unlawful; and youstole money, and that's a still greater crime. You'll be sorry, someday."
"I don't care," replied Kiki Aru, scowling.
"Aren't you afraid to be wicked?" asked the sparrow.
"No, I didn't know I was being wicked," said Kiki, "but if I was, I'mglad of it. I hate good people. I've always wanted to be wicked, butI didn't know how."
"Haw, haw, haw!" laughed someone behind him, in a big voice; "that'sthe proper spirit, my lad! I'm glad I've met you; shake hands."
The sparrow gave a frightened squeak and flew away.
3. Two Bad Ones
Kiki turned around and saw a queer old man standing near. He didn'tstand straight, for he was crooked. He had a fat body and thin legsand arms. He had a big, round face with bushy, white whiskers thatcame to a point below his waist, and white hair that came to a point ontop of his head. He wore dull-gray clothes that were tight fitting,and his pockets were all bunched out as if stuffed full of something.
"I didn't know you were here," said Kiki.
"I didn't come until after you did," said the queer old man.
"Who are you?" asked Kiki.
"My name's Ruggedo. I used to be the Nome King; but I got kicked outof my country, and now I'm a wanderer."
"What made them kick you out?" inquired the Hyup boy.
"Well, it's the fashion to kick kings nowadays. I was a pretty goodKing--to myself--but those dreadful Oz people wouldn't let me alone.So I had to abdicate."
"What does that mean?"
"It means to be kicked out. But let's talk about something pleasant.Who are you and where did you come from?"
"I'm called Kiki Aru. I used to live on Mount Munch in the Land of Oz,but now I'm a wanderer like yourself."
The Nome King gave him a shrewd look.
"I heard that bird say that you transformed yourself into a magpie andback again. Is that true?"
Kiki hesitated, but saw no reason to deny it. He felt that it wouldmake him appear more important.
"Well--yes," he said.
"Then you're a wizard?"
"No; I only understand transformations," he admitted.
"Well, that's pretty good magic, anyhow," declared old Ruggedo. "Iused to have some very fine magic, myself, but my enemies took it allaway from me. Where are you going now?"
"I'm going into the inn, to get some supper and a bed," said Kiki.
"Have you the money to pay for it?" asked the Nome.
"I have one gold piece."
"Which you stole. Very good. And you're glad that you're wicked.Better yet. I like you, young man, and I'll go to the inn with you ifyou'll promise not to eat eggs for supper."
"Don't you like eggs?" asked Kiki.
"I'm afraid of 'em; they're dangerous!" said Ruggedo, with a shudder.
"All right," agreed Kiki; "I won't ask for eggs."
"Then come along," said the Nome.
When they entered the inn, the landlord scowled at Kiki and said:
"I told you I would not feed you unless you had money."
Kiki showed him the gold piece.
"And how about you?" asked the landlord, turning to Ruggedo. "Have youmoney?"
"I've something better," answered the old Nome, and taking a bag fromone of his pockets he poured from it upon the table a mass ofglittering gems--diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
The landlord was very polite to the strangers after that. He servedthem an excellent supper, and while they ate it, the Hyup boy asked hiscompanion:
"Where did you get so many jewels?"
"Well, I'll tell you," answered the Nome. "When those Oz people tookmy kingdom away from me--just because it was my kingdom and I wanted torun it to suit myself--they said I could take as many precious stonesas I could carry. So I had a lot of pockets made in my clothes andloaded them all up. Jewels are fine things to have with you when youtravel; you can trade them for anything."
"Are they better than gold pieces?" asked Kiki.
"The smallest of these jewels is worth a hundred gold pieces such asyou stole from the old man."
"Don't talk so loud," begged Kiki, uneasily. "Some one else might hearwhat you are saying."
After supper they took a walk together, and the former Nome King said:
"Do you know the Shaggy Man, and the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman,and Dorothy, and Ozma and all the other Oz people?"
"No," replied the boy, "I have never been away from Mount Munch until Iflew over the Deadly Desert the other day in the shape of a hawk."
"Then you've never seen the Emerald City of Oz?"
"Well," said the Nome, "I knew all the Oz people, and you can guess Ido not love them. All during my wanderings I have brooded on how I canbe revenged on them. Now that I've met you I can see a way to conquerthe Land of Oz and be King there myself, which is better than beingKing of the Nomes."
"How can you do that?" inquired Kiki Aru, wonderingly.
"Never mind how. In the first place, I'll make a bargain with you.Tell me the secret of how to perform transformations and I will giveyou a pocketful of jewels, the biggest and finest that I possess."
"No," said Kiki, who realized that to share his power with anotherwould be dangerous to himself.
"I'll give you TWO pocketsful of jewels," said the Nome.
"No," answered Kiki.
"I'll give you every jewel I possess."
"No, no, no!" said Kiki, who was beginning to be frightened.
"Then," said the Nome, with a wicked look at the boy, "I'll tell theinn-keeper that you stole that gold piece and he will have you put inprison."
Kiki laughed at the threat.
"Before he can do that," said he, "I will transform myself into a lionand tear him to pieces, or into a bear and eat him up, or into a flyand fly away where he could not find me."
"Can you really do such wonderful transformations?" asked the old Nome,looking at him curiously.
"Of course," declared Kiki. "I can transform you into a stick of wood,in a flash, or into a stone, and leave you here by the roadside."
"The wicked Nome shivered a little when he heard that, but it made himlong more than ever to possess the great secret. After a while he said:
"I'll tell you what I'll do. If you will help me to conquer Oz and totransform the Oz people, who are my enemies, into sticks or stones, bytelling me your secret, I'll agree to make YOU the Ruler of all Oz, andI will be your Prime Minister and see that your orders are obeyed."
"I'll help do that," said Kiki, "but I won't tell you my secret."
The Nome was so furious at this refusal that he jumped up and down withrage and spluttered and choked for a long time before he could controlhis passion. But the boy was not at all frightened. He laughed at thewicked old Nome, which made him more furious than ever.
"Let's give up the idea," he proposed, when Ruggedo had quietedsomewhat. "I don't know the Oz people you mention and so they are notmy enemies. If they've kicked you out of your kingdom, that's youraffair--not mine."
"Wouldn't you like to be king of that splendid fairyland?" askedRuggedo.
"Yes, I would," replied Kiki Aru; "but you want to be king yourself,and we would quarrel over it."
"No," said the Nome, trying to deceive him. "I don't care to be Kingof Oz, come to think it over. I don't even care to live in thatcountry. What I want first is revenge. If we can conquer Oz, I'll getenough magic then to conquer my own Kingdom of the Nomes, and I'll goback and live in my underground caverns, which are more home-like thanthe top of the earth. So here's my proposition: Help me conquer Oz andget revenge, and help me get the magic away from Glinda and the Wizard,and I'll let you be King of Oz forever afterward."
"I'll think it over," answered Kiki, and that is all he would say thatevening.
In the night when all in the Inn were asleep but himself, old Ruggedothe Nome rose softly from his couch and went into the room of Kiki Aruthe Hyup, and searched everywhere for the magic tool that performed histransformations. Of course, there was no such tool, and althoughRuggedo searched in all the boy's pockets, he found nothing magicalwhatever. So he went back to his bed and began to doubt that Kikicould perform transformations.
Next morning he said:
"Which way do you travel to-day?"
"I think I shall visit the Rose Kingdom," answered the boy.
"That is a long journey," declared the Nome.
"I shall transform myself into a bird," said Kiki, "and so fly to theRose Kingdom in an hour."
"Then transform me, also, into a bird, and I will go with you,"suggested Ruggedo. "But, in that case, let us fly together to the Landof Oz, and see what it looks like."
Kiki thought this over. Pleasant as were the countries he had visited,he heard everywhere that the Land of Oz was more beautiful anddelightful. The Land of Oz was his own country, too, and if there wasany possibility of his becoming its King, he must know something aboutit.
While Kiki the Hyup thought, Ruggedo the Nome was also thinking. Thisboy possessed a marvelous power, and although very simple in some ways,he was determined not to part with his secret. However, if Ruggedocould get him to transport the wily old Nome to Oz, which he couldreach in no other way, he might then induce the boy to follow hisadvice and enter into the plot for revenge, which he had alreadyplanned in his wicked heart.
"There are wizards and magicians in Oz," remarked Kiki, after a time."They might discover us, in spite of our transformations."
"Not if we are careful," Ruggedo assured him. "Ozma has a MagicPicture, in which she can see whatever she wishes to see; but Ozma willknow nothing of our going to Oz, and so she will not command her MagicPicture to show where we are or what we are doing. Glinda the Good hasa Great Book called the Book of Records, in which is magically writteneverything that people do in the Land of Oz, just the instant they doit."
"Then," said Kiki, "there is no use our attempting to conquer thecountry, for Glinda would read in her book all that we do, and as hermagic is greater than mine, she would soon put a stop to our plans."
"I said 'people,' didn't I?" retorted the Nome. "The book doesn't makea record of what birds do, or beasts. It only tells the doings ofpeople. So, if we fly into the country as birds, Glinda won't knowanything about it."
"Two birds couldn't conquer the Land of Oz," asserted the boy,scornfully.
"No; that's true," admitted Ruggedo, and then he rubbed his foreheadand stroked his long pointed beard and thought some more.
"Ah, now I have the idea!" he declared. "I suppose you can transformus into beasts as well as birds?"
"And can you make a bird a beast, and a beast a bird again, withouttaking a human form in between?"
"Certainly," said Kiki. "I can transform myself or others intoanything that can talk. There's a magic word that must be spoken inconnection with the transformations, and as beasts and birds anddragons and fishes can talk in Oz, we may become any of these we desireto. However, if I transformed myself into a tree, I would alwaysremain a tree, because then I could not utter the magic word to changethe transformation."
"I see; I see," said Ruggedo, nodding his bushy, white head until thepoint of his hair waved back and forth like a pendulum. "That fits inwith my idea, exactly. Now, listen, and I'll explain to you my plan.We'll fly to Oz as birds and settle in one of the thick forests in theGillikin Country. There you will transform us into powerful beasts,and as Glinda doesn't keep any track of the doings of beasts we can actwithout being discovered."
"But how can two beasts raise an army to conquer the powerful people ofOz?" inquired Kiki.
"That's easy. But not an army of PEOPLE, mind you. That would bequickly discovered. And while we are in Oz you and I will never resumeour human forms until we've conquered the country and destroyed Glinda,and Ozma, and the Wizard, and Dorothy, and all the rest, and so havenothing more to fear from them."
"It is impossible to kill anyone in the Land of Oz," declared Kiki.
"It isn't necessary to kill the Oz people," rejoined Ruggedo.
"I'm afraid I don't understand you," objected the boy. "What willhappen to the Oz people, and what sort of an army could we gettogether, except of people?"
"I'll tell you. The forests of Oz are full of beasts. Some of them,in the far-away places, are savage and cruel, and would gladly follow aleader as savage as themselves. They have never troubled the Oz peoplemuch, because they had no leader to urge them on, but we will tell themto help us conquer Oz and as a reward we will transform all the beastsinto men and women, and let them live in the houses and enjoy all thegood things; and we will transform all the people of Oz into beasts ofvarious sorts, and send them to live in the forests and the jungles.That is a splendid idea, you must admit, and it's so easy that we won'thave any trouble at all to carry it through to success."
"Will the beasts consent, do you think?" asked the boy.
"To be sure they will. We can get every beast in Oz on ourside--except a few who live in Ozma's palace, and they won't count."
Kiki Aru didn't know much about Oz and didn't know much about thebeasts who lived there, but the old Nome's plan seemed to him to bequite reasonable. He had a faint suspicion that Ruggedo meant to getthe best of him in some way, and he resolved to keep a close watch onhis fellow-conspirator. As long as he kept to himself the secret wordof the transformations, Ruggedo would not dare to harm him, and hepromised himself that as soon as they had conquered Oz, he wouldtransform the old Nome into a marble statue and keep him in that formforever.
Ruggedo, on his part, decided that he could, by careful watching andlistening, surprise the boy's secret, and when he had learned the magicword he would transform Kiki Aru into a bundle of faggots and burn himup and so be rid of him.
This is always the way with wicked people. They cannot be trusted evenby one another. Ruggedo thought he was fooling Kiki, and Kiki thoughthe was fooling Ruggedo; so both were pleased.
"It's a long way across the Desert," remarked the boy, "and the sandsare hot and send up poisonous vapors. Let us wait until evening andthen fly across in the night when it will be cooler."
The former Nome King agreed to this, and the two spent the rest of thatday in talking over their plans. When evening came they paid theinn-keeper and walked out to a little grove of trees that stood near by.
"Remain here for a few minutes and I'll soon be back," said Kiki, andwalking swiftly away, he left the Nome standing in the grove. Ruggedowondered where he had gone, but stood quietly in his place until, allof a sudden, his form changed to that of a great eagle, and he uttereda piercing cry of astonishment and flapped his wings in a sort ofpanic. At once his eagle cry was answered from beyond the grove, andanother eagle, even larger and more powerful than the transformedRuggedo, came sailing through the trees and alighted beside him.
"Now we are ready for the start," said the voice of Kiki, coming fromthe eagle.
Ruggedo realized that this time he had been outwitted. He had thoughtKiki would utter the magic word in his presence, and so he would learnwhat it was, but the boy had been too shrewd for that.
As the two eagles mounted high into the air and began their flightacross the great Desert that separates the Land of Oz from all the restof the world, the Nome said:
"When I was King of the Nomes I had a magic way of workingtransformations that I thought was good, but it could not compare withyour secret word. I had to have certain tools and make passes and saya lot of mystic words before I could transform anybody."
"What became of your magic tools?" inquired Kiki.
"The Oz people took them all away from me--that horrid girl, Dorothy,and that terrible fairy, Ozma, the Ruler of Oz--at the time they tookaway my underground kingdom and kicked me upstairs into the cold,heartless world."
"Why did you let them do that?" asked the boy.
"Well," said Ruggedo, "I couldn't help it. They rolled eggs atme--EGGS--dreadful eggs!--and if an egg even touches a Nome, he isruined for life."
"Is any kind of an egg dangerous to a Nome?"
"Any kind and every kind. An egg is the only thing I'm afraid of."
5. A Happy Corner of Oz
There is no other country so beautiful as the Land of Oz. There are noother people so happy and contented and prosperous as the Oz people.They have all they desire; they love and admire their beautiful girlRuler, Ozma of Oz, and they mix work and play so justly that both aredelightful and satisfying and no one has any reason to complain. Oncein a while something happens in Oz to disturb the people's happinessfor a brief time, for so rich and attractive a fairyland is sure tomake a few selfish and greedy outsiders envious, and therefore certainevil-doers have treacherously plotted to conquer Oz and enslave itspeople and destroy its girl Ruler, and so gain the wealth of Oz forthemselves. But up to the time when the cruel and crafty Nome,Ruggedo, conspired with Kiki Aru, the Hyup, all such attempts hadfailed. The Oz people suspected no danger. Life in the world's nicestfairyland was one round of joyous, happy days.
In the center of the Emerald City of Oz, the capital city of Ozma'sdominions, is a vast and beautiful garden, surrounded by a wall inlaidwith shining emeralds, and in the center of this garden stands Ozma'sRoyal Palace, the most splendid building ever constructed. From ahundred towers and domes floated the banners of Oz, which included theOzmies, the Munchkins, the Gillikins, the Winkies and the Quadlings.The banner of the Munchkins is blue, that of the Winkies yellow; theGillikin banner is purple, and the Quadling's banner is red. Thecolors of the Emerald City are of course green. Ozma's own banner hasa green center, and is divided into four quarters. These quarters arecolored blue, purple, yellow and red, indicating that she rules overall the countries of the Land of Oz.
This fairyland is so big, however, that all of it is not yet known toits girl Ruler, and it is said that in some far parts of the country,in forests and mountain fastnesses, in hidden valleys and thickjungles, are people and beasts that know as little about Ozma as sheknows of them. Still, these unknown subjects are not nearly sonumerous as the known inhabitants of Oz, who occupy all the countriesnear to the Emerald City. Indeed, I'm sure it will not be long untilall parts of the fairyland of Oz are explored and their peoples madeacquainted with their Ruler, for in Ozma's palace are several of herfriends who are so curious that they are constantly discovering new andextraordinary places and inhabitants.
One of the most frequent discoverers of these hidden places in Oz is alittle Kansas girl named Dorothy, who is Ozma's dearest friend andlives in luxurious rooms in the Royal Palace. Dorothy is, indeed, aPrincess of Oz, but she does not like to be called a princess, andbecause she is simple and sweet and does not pretend to be anything butan ordinary little girl, she is called just "Dorothy" by everybody andis the most popular person, next to Ozma, in all the Land of Oz.
One morning Dorothy crossed the hall of the palace and knocked on thedoor of another girl named Trot, also a guest and friend of Ozma. Whentold to enter, Dorothy found that Trot had company, an old sailor-manwith one wooden leg and one meat leg, who was sitting by the openwindow puffing smoke from a corn-cob pipe. This sailor-man was namedCap'n Bill, and he had accompanied Trot to the Land of Oz and was heroldest and most faithful comrade and friend. Dorothy liked Cap'n Bill,too, and after she had greeted him, she said to Trot:
"You know, Ozma's birthday is next month, and I've been wondering whatI can give here as a birthday present. She's so good to us all that wecertainly ought to remember her birthday."
"That's true," agreed Trot. "I've been wondering, too, what I couldgive Ozma. It's pretty hard to decide, 'cause she's got already allshe wants, and as she's a fairy and knows a lot about magic, she couldsatisfy any wish."
"I know," returned Dorothy, "but that isn't the point. It isn't thatOzma NEEDS anything, but that it will please her to know we'veremembered her birthday. But what shall we give her?"
Trot shook her head in despair.
"I've tried to think and I can't," she declared.
"It's the same way with me," said Dorothy.
"I know one thing that 'ud please her," remarked Cap'n Bill, turninghis round face with its fringe of whiskers toward the two girls andstaring at them with his big, light-blue eyes wide open.
"What is it, Cap'n Bill?"
"It's an Enchanted Flower," said he. "It's a pretty plant that standsin a golden flower-pot an' grows all sorts o' flowers, one afteranother. One minute a fine rose buds an' blooms, an' then a tulip, an'next a chrys--chrys--"
"--anthemum," said Dorothy, helping him.
"That's it; and next a dahlia, an' then a daffydil, an' on all throughthe range o' posies. Jus' as soon as one fades away, another comes, ofa different sort, an' the perfume from 'em is mighty snifty, an' theykeeps bloomin' night and day, year in an' year out."
"That's wonderful!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I think Ozma would like it."
"But where is the Magic Flower, and how can we get it?" asked Trot.
"Dun'no, zac'ly," slowly replied Cap'n Bill. "The Glass Cat tol' meabout it only yesterday, an' said it was in some lonely place up at thenor'east o' here. The Glass Cat goes travelin' all around Oz, youknow, an' the little critter sees a lot o' things no one else does."
"That's true," said Dorothy, thoughtfully. "Northeast of here must bein the Munchkin Country, and perhaps a good way off, so let's ask theGlass Cat to tell us how to get to the Magic Flower."
So the two girls, with Cap'n Bill stumping along on his wooden legafter them, went out into the garden, and after some time spent insearching, they found the Glass Cat curled up in the sunshine beside abush, fast sleep.
The Glass Cat is one of the most curious creatures in all Oz. It wasmade by a famous magician named Dr. Pipt before Ozma had forbidden hersubjects to work magic. Dr. Pipt had made the Glass Cat to catch mice,but the Cat refused to catch mice and was considered more curious thanuseful.
This astonished cat was made all of glass and was so clear andtransparent that you could see through it as easily as through awindow. In the top of its head, however, was a mass of delicate pinkballs which looked like jewels but were intended for brains. It had aheart made of blood-red ruby. The eyes were two large emeralds. But,aside from these colors, all the rest of the animal was of clear glass,and it had a spun-glass tail that was really beautiful.
"Here, wake up," said Cap'n Bill. "We want to talk to you."
Slowly the Glass Cat got upon its feed, yawned and then looked at thethree who stood before it.
"How dare you disturb me?" it asked in a peevish voice. "You ought tobe ashamed of yourselves."
"Never mind that," returned the Sailor. "Do you remember tellin' meyesterday 'bout a Magic Flower in a Gold Pot?"
"Do you think I'm a fool? Look at my brains--you can see 'em work. Ofcourse I remember!" said the cat.
"Well, where can we find it?"
"You can't. It's none of your business, anyhow. Go away and let mesleep," advised the Glass Cat.
"Now, see here," said Dorothy; "we want the Magic Flower to give toOzma on her birthday. You'd be glad to please Ozma, wouldn't you?"
"I'm not sure," replied the creature. "Why should I want to pleaseanybody?"
"You've got a heart, 'cause I can see it inside of you," said Trot.
"Yes; it's a pretty heart, and I'm fond of it," said the cat, twistingaround to view its own body. "But it's made from a ruby, and it's hardas nails."
"Aren't you good for ANYthing?" asked Trot.
"Yes, I'm pretty to look at, and that's more than can be said of you,"retorted the creature.
Trot laughed at this, and Dorothy, who understood the Glass Cat prettywell, said soothingly:
"You are indeed beautiful, and if you can tell Cap'n Bill where to findthe Magic Flower, all the people in Oz will praise your cleverness.The Flower will belong to Ozma, but everyone will know the Glass Catdiscovered it."
This was the kind of praise the crystal creature liked.
"Well," it said, while the pink brains rolled around, "I found theMagic Flower way up in the north of the Munchkin Country where fewpeople live or ever go. There's a river there that flows through aforest, and in the middle of the forest there is a small island onwhich stands the gold pot in which grows the Magic Flower."
"How did you get to the island?" asked Dorothy. "Glass cats can'tswim."
"No, but I'm not afraid of water," was the reply. "I just walkedacross the river on the bottom."
"Under the water?" exclaimed Trot.
The cat gave her a scornful look.
"How could I walk OVER the water on the BOTTOM of the river? If youwere transparent, anyone could see YOUR brains were not working. ButI'm sure you could never find the place alone. It has always beenhidden from the Oz people."
"But you, with your fine pink brains, could find it again, I s'pose,"remarked Dorothy.
"Yes; and if you want that Magic Flower for Ozma, I'll go with you andshow you the way."
"That's lovely of you!" declared Dorothy. "Trot and Cap'n Bill will gowith you, for this is to be their birthday present to Ozma. Whileyou're gone I'll have to find something else to give her."
"All right. Come on, then, Cap'n," said the Glass Cat, starting tomove away.
"Wait a minute," begged Trot. "How long will we be gone?"
"Oh, about a week."
"Then I'll put some things in a basket to take with us," said the girl,and ran into the palace to make her preparations for the journey.
6. Ozma's Birthday Presents
When Cap'n Bill and Trot and the Glass Cat had started for the hiddenisland in the far-off river to get the Magic Flower, Dorothy wonderedagain what she could give Ozma on her birthday. She met the PatchworkGirl and said:
"What are you going to give Ozma for a birthday present?"
"I've written a song for her," answered the strange Patchwork Girl, whowent by the name of "Scraps," and who, through stuffed with cotton, hada fair assortment of mixed brains. "It's a splendid song and thechorus runs this way:
I am crazy; You're a daisy, Ozma dear; I'm demented; You're contented, Ozma dear; I am patched and gay and glary; You're a sweet and lovely fairy; May your birthdays all be happy, Ozma dear!"
"How do you like it, Dorothy?" inquired the Patchwork Girl.
"Is it good poetry, Scraps?" asked Dorothy, doubtfully.
"It's as good as any ordinary song," was the reply. "I have given it adandy title, too. I shall call the song: 'When Ozma Has a Birthday,Everybody's Sure to Be Gay, for She Cannot Help the Fact That She WasBorn.'"
"That's a pretty long title, Scraps," said Dorothy.
"That makes it stylish," replied the Patchwork Girl, turning asomersault and alighting on one stuffed foot. "Now-a-days the titlesare sometimes longer than the songs."
Dorothy left her and walked slowly toward the place, where she met theTin Woodman just going up the front steps.
"What are you going to give Ozma on her birthday?" she asked.
"It's a secret, but I'll tell you," replied the Tin Woodman, who wasEmperor of the Winkies. "I am having my people make Ozma a lovelygirdle set with beautiful tin nuggets. Each tin nugget will besurrounded by a circle of emeralds, just to set it off to goodadvantage. The clasp of the girdle will be pure tin! Won't that befine?"
"I'm sure she'll like it," said Dorothy. "Do you know what I can giveher?"
"I haven't the slightest idea, Dorothy. It took me three months tothink of my own present for Ozma."
The girl walked thoughtfully around to the back of the palace, andpresently came upon the famous Scarecrow of Oz, who has having two ofthe palace servants stuff his legs with fresh straw.
"What are you going to give Ozma on her birthday?" asked Dorothy.
"I want to surprise her," answered the Scarecrow.
"I won't tell," promised Dorothy.
"Well, I'm having some straw slippers made for her--all straw, mindyou, and braided very artistically. Ozma has always admired my strawfilling, so I'm sure she'll be pleased with these lovely strawslippers."
"Ozma will be pleased with anything her loving friends give her," saidthe girl. "What I'M worried about, Scarecrow, is what to give Ozmathat she hasn't got already."
"That's what worried me, until I thought of the slippers," said theScarecrow. "You'll have to THINK, Dorothy; that's the only way to geta good idea. If I hadn't such wonderful brains, I'd never have thoughtof those straw foot-decorations."
Dorothy left him and went to her room, where she sat down and tried tothink hard. A Pink Kitten was curled up on the window-sill and Dorothyasked her:
"What can I give Ozma for her birthday present?"
"Oh, give her some milk," replied the Pink Kitten; "that's the nicestthing I know of."
A fuzzy little black dog had squatted down at Dorothy's feet and nowlooked up at her with intelligent eyes.
"Tell me, Toto," said the girl; "what would Ozma like best for abirthday present?"
The little black dog wagged his tail.
"Your love," said he. "Ozma wants to be loved more than anything else."
"But I already love her, Toto!"
"Then tell her you love her twice as much as you ever did before."
"That wouldn't be true," objected Dorothy, "for I've always loved heras much as I could, and, really, Toto, I want to give Ozma somePRESENT, 'cause everyone else will give her a present."
"Let me see," said Toto. "How would it be to give her that uselessPink Kitten?"
"No, Toto; that wouldn't do."
"Then six kisses."
"No; that's no present."
"Well, I guess you'll have to figure it out for yourself, Dorothy,"said the little dog. "To MY notion you're more particular than Ozmawill be."
Dorothy decided that if anyone could help her it would be Glinda theGood, the wonderful Sorceress of Oz who was Ozma's faithful subject andfriend. But Glinda's castle was in the Quadling Country and quite ajourney from the Emerald City.
So the little girl went to Ozma and asked permission to use the WoodenSawhorse and the royal Red Wagon to pay a visit to Glinda, and the girlRuler kissed Princess Dorothy and graciously granted permission.
The Wooden Sawhorse was one of the most remarkable creatures in Oz.Its body was a small log and its legs were limbs of trees stuck in thebody. Its eyes were knots, its mouth was sawed in the end of the logand its ears were two chips. A small branch had been left at the rearend of the log to serve as a tail.
Ozma herself, during one of her early adventures, had brought thiswooden horse to life, and so she was much attached to the queer animaland had shod the bottoms of its wooden legs with plates of gold so theywould not wear out. The Sawhorse was a swift and willing traveler, andthough it could talk if need arose, it seldom said anything unlessspoken to. When the Sawhorse was harnessed to the Red Wagon there wereno reins to guide him because all that was needed was to tell him whereto go.
Dorothy now told him to go to Glinda's Castle and the Sawhorse carriedher there with marvelous speed.
"Glinda," said Dorothy, when she had been greeted by the Sorceress, whowas tall and stately, with handsome and dignified features and dressedin a splendid and becoming gown, "what are you going to give Ozma for abirthday present?"
The Sorceress smiled and answered:
"Come into my patio and I will show you."
So they entered a place that was surrounded by the wings of the greatcastle but had no roof, and was filled with flowers and fountains andexquisite statuary and many settees and chairs of polished marble orfiligree gold. Here there were gathered fifty beautiful young girls,Glinda's handmaids, who had been selected from all parts of the Land ofOz on account of their wit and beauty and sweet dispositions. It was agreat honor to be made one of Glinda's handmaidens.
When Dorothy followed the Sorceress into this delightful patio all thefifty girls were busily weaving, and their shuttles were filled with asparkling green spun glass such as the little girl had never seenbefore.
"What is it, Glinda?" she asked.
"One of my recent discoveries," explained the Sorceress. "I have founda way to make threads from emeralds, by softening the stones and thenspinning them into long, silken strands. With these emerald threads weare weaving cloth to make Ozma a splendid court gown for her birthday.You will notice that the threads have all the beautiful glitter andluster of the emeralds from which they are made, and so Ozma's newdress will be the most magnificent the world has ever seen, and quitefitting for our lovely Ruler of the Fairyland of Oz."
Dorothy's eyes were fairly dazed by the brilliance of the emeraldcloth, some of which the girls had already woven.
"I've never seen ANYthing so beautiful!" she said, with a sigh. "Buttell me, Glinda, what can I give our lovely Ozma on her birthday?"
The good Sorceress considered this question for a long time before shereplied. Finally she said:
"Of course there will be a grand feast at the Royal Palace on Ozma'sbirthday, and all our friends will be present. So I suggest that youmake a fine big birthday cake of Ozma, and surround it with candles."
"Oh, just a CAKE!" exclaimed Dorothy, in disappointment.
"Nothing is nicer for a birthday," said the Sorceress.
"How many candles should there be on the cake?" asked the girl.
"Just a row of them," replied Glinda, "for no one knows how old Ozmais, although she appears to us to be just a young girl--as fresh andfair as if she had lived but a few years."
"A cake doesn't seem like much of a present," Dorothy asserted.
"Make it a surprise cake," suggested the Sorceress. "Don't youremember the four and twenty blackbirds that were baked in a pie?Well, you need not use live blackbirds in your cake, but you could havesome surprise of a different sort."
"Like what?" questioned Dorothy, eagerly.
"If I told you, it wouldn't be YOUR present to Ozma, but MINE,"answered the Sorceress, with a smile. "Think it over, my dear, and Iam sure you can originate a surprise that will add greatly to the joyand merriment of Ozma's birthday banquet."
Dorothy thanked her friend and entered the Red Wagon and told theSawhorse to take her back home to the palace in the Emerald City.
On the way she thought the matter over seriously of making a surprisebirthday cake and finally decided what to do.
As soon as she reached home, she went to the Wizard of Oz, who had aroom fitted up in one of the high towers of the palace, where hestudied magic so as to be able to perform such wizardry as Ozmacommanded him to do for the welfare of her subjects.
The Wizard and Dorothy were firm friends and had enjoyed many strangeadventures together. He was a little man with a bald head and sharpeyes and a round, jolly face, and because he was neither haughty norproud he had become a great favorite with the Oz people.
"Wizard," said Dorothy, "I want you to help me fix up a present forOzma's birthday."
"I'll be glad to do anything for you and for Ozma," he answered."What's on your mind, Dorothy?"
"I'm going to make a great cake, with frosting and candles, and allthat, you know."
"Very good," said the Wizard.
"In the center of this cake I'm going to leave a hollow place, withjust a roof of the frosting over it," continued the girl.
"Very good," repeated the Wizard, nodding his bald head.
"In that hollow place," said Dorothy, "I want to hide a lot of monkeysabout three inches high, and after the cake is placed on the banquettable, I want the monkeys to break through the frosting and dancearound on the table-cloth. Then, I want each monkey to cut out a pieceof cake and hand it to a guest."
"Mercy me!" cried the little Wizard, as he chuckled with laughter. "Isthat ALL you want, Dorothy?"
"Almost," said she. "Can you think of anything more the little monkeyscan do, Wizard?"
"Not just now," he replied. "But where will you get such tiny monkeys?"
"That's where you're to help me," said Dorothy. "In some of those wildforests in the Gillikin Country are lots of monkeys."
"Big ones," said the Wizard.
"Well, you and I will go there, and we'll get some of the big monkeys,and you will make them small--just three inches high--by means of yourmagic, and we'll put the little monkeys all in a basket and bring themhome with us. Then you'll train them to dance--up here in your room,where no one can see them--and on Ozma's birthday we'll put 'em intothe cake and they'll know by that time just what to do."
The Wizard looked at Dorothy with admiring approval, and chuckled again.
"That's really clever, my dear," he said, "and I see no reason why wecan't do it, just the way you say, if only we can get the wild monkeysto agree to it."
"Do you think they'll object?" asked the girl.
"Yes; but perhaps we can argue them into it. Anyhow it's worth trying,and I'll help you if you'll agree to let this Surprise Cake be apresent to Ozma from you and me together. I've been wondering what Icould give Ozma, and as I've got to train the monkeys as well as makethem small, I think you ought to make me your partner."
"Of course," said Dorothy; "I'll be glad to do so."
"Then it's a bargain," declared the Wizard. "We must go to seek thosemonkeys at once, however, for it will take time to train them and we'llhave to travel a good way to the Gillikin forests where they live."
"I'm ready to go any time," agreed Dorothy. "Shall we ask Ozma to letus take the Sawhorse?"
The Wizard did not answer that at once. He took time to think of thesuggestion.
"No," he answered at length, "the Red Wagon couldn't get through thethick forests and there's some danger to us in going into the wildplaces to search for monkeys. So I propose we take the Cowardly Lionand the Hungry Tiger. We can ride on their backs as well as in the RedWagon, and if there is danger to us from other beasts, these twofriendly champions will protect us from all harm."
"That's a splendid idea!" exclaimed Dorothy. "Let's go now and ask theHungry Tiger and the Cowardly Lion if they will help us. Shall we askOzma if we can go?"
"I think not," said the Wizard, getting his hat and his black bag ofmagic tools. "This is to be a surprise for her birthday, and so shemustn't know where we're going. We'll just leave word, in case Ozmainquires for us, that we'll be back in a few days."
7. The Forest of Gugu
In the central western part of the Gillikin Country is a great tangleof trees called Gugu Forest. It is the biggest forest in all Oz andstretches miles and miles in every direction--north, south, east andwest. Adjoining it on the east side is a range of rugged mountainscovered with underbrush and small twisted trees. You can find thisplace by looking at the Map of the Land of Oz.
Gugu Forest is the home of most of the wild beasts that inhabit Oz.These are seldom disturbed in their leafy haunts because there is noreason why Oz people should go there, except on rare occasions, andmost parts of the forest have never been seen by any eyes but the eyesof the beasts who make their home there. The biggest beasts inhabitthe great forest, while the smaller ones live mostly in the mountainunderbrush at the east.
Now, you must know that there are laws in the forests, as well as inevery other place, and these laws are made by the beasts themselves,and are necessary to keep them from fighting and tearing one another topieces. In Gugu Forest there is a King--an enormous yellow leopardcalled "Gugu"--after whom the forest is named. And this King has threeother beasts to advise him in keeping the laws and maintainingorder--Bru the Bear, Loo the Unicorn and Rango the Gray Ape--who areknown as the King's Counselors. All these are fierce and ferociousbeasts, and hold their high offices because they are more intelligentand more feared then their fellows.
Since Oz became a fairyland, no man, woman or child ever dies in thatland nor is anyone ever sick. Likewise the beasts of the forests neverdie, so that long years add to their cunning and wisdom, as well as totheir size and strength. It is possible for beasts--or even people--tobe destroyed, but the task is so difficult that it is seldom attempted.Because it is free from sickness and death is one reason why Oz is afairyland, but it is doubtful whether those who come to Oz from theoutside world, as Dorothy and Button-Bright and Trot and Cap'n Bill andthe Wizard did, will live forever or cannot be injured. Even Ozma isnot sure about this, and so the guests of Ozma from other lands arealways carefully protected from any danger, so as to be on the safeside.
In spite of the laws of the forests there are often fights among thebeasts; some of them have lost an eye or an ear or even had a leg tornoff. The King and the King's Counselors always punish those who starta fight, but so fierce is the nature of some beasts that they will attimes fight in spite of laws and punishment.
Over this vast, wild Forest of Gugu flew two eagles, one morning, andnear the center of the jungle the eagles alighted on a branch of a talltree.
"Here is the place for us to begin our work," said one, who wasRuggedo, the Nome.
"Do many beasts live here?" asked Kiki Aru, the other eagle.
"The forest is full of them," said the Nome. "There are enough beastsright here to enable us to conquer the people of Oz, if we can get themto consent to join us. To do that, we must go among them and tell themour plans, so we must now decide on what shapes we had better assumewhile in the forest."
"I suppose we must take the shapes of beasts?" said Kiki.
"Of course. But that requires some thought. All kinds of beasts livehere, and a yellow leopard is King. If we become leopards, the Kingwill be jealous of us. If we take the forms of some of the otherbeasts, we shall not command proper respect."
"I wonder if the beasts will attack us?" asked Kiki.
"I'm a Nome, and immortal, so nothing can hurt me," replied Ruggedo.
"I was born in the Land of Oz, so nothing can hurt me," said Kiki.
"But, in order to carry out our plans, we must win the favor of all theanimals of the forest."
"Then what shall we do?" asked Kiki.
"Let us mix the shapes of several beasts, so we will not look like anyone of them," proposed the wily old Nome. "Let us have the heads oflions, the bodies of monkeys, the wings of eagles and the tails of wildasses, with knobs of gold on the end of them instead of bunches ofhair."
"Won't that make a queer combination?" inquired Kiki.
"The queerer the better," declared Ruggedo.
"All right," said Kiki. "You stay here, and I'll fly away to anothertree and transform us both, and then we'll climb down our trees andmeet in the forest."
"No," said the Nome, "we mustn't separate. You must transform us whilewe are together."
"I won't do that," asserted Kiki, firmly. "You're trying to get mysecret, and I won't let you."
The eyes of the other eagle flashed angrily, but Ruggedo did not dareinsist. If he offended this boy, he might have to remain an eaglealways and he wouldn't like that. Some day he hoped to be able tolearn the secret word of the magical transformations, but just now hemust let Kiki have his own way.
"All right," he said gruffly; "do as you please."
So Kiki flew to a tree that was far enough distant so that Ruggedocould not overhear him and said: "I want Ruggedo, the Nome, and myselfto have the heads of lions, the bodies of monkeys, the wings of eaglesand the tails of wild asses, with knobs of gold on the ends of theminstead of bunches of hair--Pyrzqxgl!"
He pronounced the magic word in the proper manner and at once his formchanged to the one he had described. He spread his eagle's wings andfinding they were strong enough to support his monkey body and lionhead he flew swiftly to the tree where he had left Ruggedo. The Nomewas also transformed and was climbing down the tree because thebranches all around him were so thickly entwined that there was no roombetween them to fly.
Kiki quickly joined his comrade and it did not take them long to reachthe ground.
8. The Li-Mon-Eags Make Trouble
There had been trouble in the Forest of Gugu that morning. Chipo theWild Boar had bitten the tail off Arx the Giraffe while the latter hadhis head among the leaves of a tree, eating his breakfast. Arx kickedwith his heels and struck Tirrip, the great Kangaroo, who had a newbaby in her pouch. Tirrip knew it was the Wild Boar's fault, so sheknocked him over with one powerful blow and then ran away to escapeChipo's sharp tusks. In the chase that followed a giant porcupinestuck fifty sharp quills into the Boar and a chimpanzee in a tree threwa cocoanut at the porcupine that jammed its head into its body.
All this was against the Laws of the Forest, and when the excitementwas over, Gugu the Leopard King called his royal Counselors together todecide how best to punish the offenders.
The four lords of the forest were holding solemn council in a smallclearing when they saw two strange beasts approaching them--beasts thelike of which they had never seen before.
Not one of the four, however, relaxed his dignity or showed by amovement that he was startled. The great Leopard crouched at fulllength upon a fallen tree-trunk. Bru the Bear sat on his haunchesbefore the King; Rango the Gray Ape stood with his muscular armsfolded, and Loo the Unicorn reclined, much as a horse does, between hisfellow-councillors. With one consent they remained silent, eyeing withsteadfast looks the intruders, who were making their way into theirforest domain.
"Well met, Brothers!" said one of the strange beasts, coming to a haltbeside the group, while his comrade with hesitation lagged behind.
"We are not brothers," returned the Gray Ape, sternly. "Who are you,and how came you in the forest of Gugu?"
"We are two Li-Mon-Eags," said Ruggedo, inventing the name. "Our homeis in Sky Island, and we have come to earth to warn the forest beaststhat the people of Oz are about to make war upon them and enslave them,so that they will become beasts of burden forever after and obey onlythe will of their two-legged masters."
A low roar of anger arose from the Council of Beasts.
"WHO'S going to do that?" asked Loo the Unicorn, in a high, squeakyvoice, at the same time rising to his feet.
"The people of Oz," said Ruggedo.
"But what will WE be doing?" inquired the Unicorn.
"That's what I've come to talk to you about."
"You needn't talk! We'll fight the Oz people!" screamed the Unicorn."We'll smash 'em; we'll trample 'em; we'll gore 'em; we'll--"
"Silence!" growled Gugu the King, and Loo obeyed, although stilltrembling with wrath. The cold, steady gaze of the Leopard wanderedover the two strange beasts. "The people of Oz," said he, "have notbeen our friends; they have not been our enemies. They have let usalone, and we have let them alone. There is no reason for war betweenus. They have no slaves. They could not use us as slaves if theyshould conquer us. I think you are telling us lies, you strangeLi-Mon-Eag--you mixed-up beast who are neither one thing nor another."
"Oh, on my word, it's the truth!" protested the Nome in the beast'sshape. "I wouldn't lie for the world; I--"
"Silence!" again growled Gugu the King; and somehow, even Ruggedo wasabashed and obeyed the edict.
"What do you say, Bru?" asked the King, turning to the great Bear, whohad until now said nothing.
"How does the Mixed Beast know that what he says is true?" asked theBear.
"Why, I can fly, you know, having the wings of an Eagle," explained theNome. "I and my comrade yonder," turning to Kiki, "flew to a grove inOz, and there we heard the people telling how they will make many ropesto snare you beasts, and then they will surround this forest, and allother forests, and make you prisoners. So we came here to warn you,for being beasts ourselves, although we live in the sky, we are yourfriends."
The Leopard's lip curled and showed his enormous teeth, sharp asneedles. He turned to the Gray Ape.
"What do YOU think, Rango?" he asked.
"Send these mixed beasts away, Your Majesty," replied the Gray Ape."They are mischief-makers."
"Don't do that--don't do that!" cried the Unicorn, nervously. "Thestranger said he would tell us what to do. Let him tell us, then. Arewe fools, not to heed a warning?"
Gugu the King turned to Ruggedo.
"Speak, Stranger," he commanded.
"Well," said the Nome, "it's this way: The Land of Oz is a finecountry. The people of Oz have many good things--houses with softbeds, all sorts of nice-tasting food, pretty clothes, lovely jewels,and many other things that beasts know nothing of. Here in the darkforests the poor beasts have hard work to get enough to eat and to finda bed to rest in. But the beasts are better than the people, and whyshould they not have all the good things the people have? So I proposethat before the Oz people have the time to make all those ropes tosnare you with, that all we beasts get together and march against theOz people and capture them. Then the beasts will become the mastersand the people their slaves."
"What good would that do us?" asked Bru the Bear.
"It would save you from slavery, for one thing, and you could enjoy allthe fine things of Oz people have."
"Beasts wouldn't know what to do with the things people use," said theGray Ape.
"But this is only part of my plan," insisted the Nome. "Listen to therest of it. We two Li-Mon-Eags are powerful magicians. When you haveconquered the Oz people we will transform them all into beasts, andsend them to the forests to live, and we will transform all the beastsinto people, so they can enjoy all the wonderful delights of theEmerald City."
For a moment no beast spoke. Then the King said: "Prove it."
"Prove what?" asked Ruggedo.
"Prove that you can transform us. If you are a magician transform theUnicorn into a man. Then we will believe you. If you fail, we willdestroy you."
"All right," said the Nome. "But I'm tired, so I'll let my comrademake the transformation."
Kiki Aru had stood back from the circle, but he had heard all that wassaid. He now realized that he must make good Ruggedo's boast, so heretreated to the edge of the clearing and whispered the magic word.
Instantly the Unicorn became a fat, chubby little man, dressed in thepurple Gillikin costume, and it was hard to tell which was the moreastonished, the King, the Bear, the Ape or the former Unicorn.
"It's true!" shorted the man-beast. "Good gracious, look what I am!It's wonderful!"
The King of Beasts now addressed Ruggedo in a more friendly tone.
"We must believe your story, since you have given us proof of yourpower," said he. "But why, if you are so great a magician, cannot youconquer the Oz people without our help, and so save us the trouble?"
"Alas!" replied the crafty old Nome, "no magician is able to doeverything. The transformations are easy to us because we areLi-Mon-Eags, but we cannot fight, or conquer even such weak creaturesas the Oz people. But we will stay with you and advise and help you,and we will transform all the Oz people into beasts, when the timecomes, and all the beasts into people."
Gugu the King turned to his Counselors.
"How shall we answer this friendly stranger?" he asked.
Loo the former Unicorn was dancing around and cutting capers like aclown.
"On my word, your Majesty," he said, "this being a man is more fun thanbeing a Unicorn."
"You look like a fool," said the Gray Ape.
"Well, I FEEL fine!" declared the man-beast.
"I think I prefer to be a Bear," said Big Bru. "I was born a Bear, andI know a Bear's ways. So I am satisfied to live as a Bear lives."
"That," said the old Nome, "is because you know nothing better. Whenwe have conquered the Oz people, and you become a man, you'll be gladof it."
The immense Leopard rested his chin on the log and seemed thoughtful.
"The beasts of the forest must decide this matter for themselves," hesaid. "Go you, Rango the Gray Ape, and tell your monkey tribe to orderall the forest beasts to assemble in the Great Clearing at sunriseto-morrow. When all are gathered together, this mixed-up Beast who isa magician shall talk to them and tell them what he has told us. Then,if they decide to fight the Oz people, who have declared war on us, Iwill lead the beasts to battle."
Rango the Gray Ape turned at once and glided swiftly through the foreston his mission. The Bear gave a grunt and walked away. Gugu the Kingrose and stretched himself. Then he said to Ruggedo: "Meet us atsunrise to-morrow," and with stately stride vanished among the trees.
The man-unicorn, left alone with the strangers, suddenly stopped hisfoolish prancing.
"You'd better make me a Unicorn again," he said. "I like being a man,but the forest beasts won't know I'm their friend, Loo, and they mighttear me in pieces before morning."
So Kiki changed him back to his former shape, and the Unicorn departedto join his people.
Ruggedo the Nome was much pleased with his success.
"To-morrow," he said to Kiki Aru, "we'll win over these beasts and setthem to fight and conquer the Oz people. Then I will have my revengeon Ozma and Dorothy and all the rest of my enemies."
"But I am doing all the work," said Kiki.
"Never mind; you're going to be King of Oz," promised Ruggedo.
"Will the big Leopard let me be King?" asked the boy anxiously.
The Nome came close to him and whispered:
"If Gugu the Leopard opposes us, you will transform him into a tree,and then he will be helpless."
"Of course," agreed Kiki, and he said to himself: "I shall alsotransform this deceitful Nome into a tree, for he lies and I cannottrust him."
9. The Isle of the Magic Flower
The Glass Cat was a good guide and led Trot and Cap'n Bill by straightand easy paths through all the settled part of the Munchkin Country,and then into the north section where there were few houses, andfinally through a wild country where there were no houses or paths atall. But the walking was not difficult and at last they came to theedge of a forest and stopped there to make camp and sleep until morning.
From branches of trees Cap'n Bill made a tiny house that was just bigenough for the little girl to crawl into and lie down. But first theyate some of the food Trot had carried in the basket.
"Don't you want some, too?" she asked the Glass Cat.
"No," answered the creature.
"I suppose you'll hunt around an' catch a mouse," remarked Cap'n Bill.
"Me? Catch a mouse! Why should I do that?" inquired the Glass Cat.
"Why, then you could eat it," said the sailor-man.
"I beg to inform you," returned the crystal tabby, "that I do not eatmice. Being transparent, so anyone can see through me, I'd look nice,wouldn't I, with a common mouse inside me? But the fact is that Ihaven't any stomach or other machinery that would permit me to eatthings. The careless magician who made me didn't think I'd need toeat, I suppose."
"Don't you ever get hungry or thirsty?" asked Trot.
"Never. I don't complain, you know, at the way I'm made, for I'venever yet seen any living thing as beautiful as I am. I have thehandsomest brains in the world. They're pink, and you can see 'emwork."
"I wonder," said Trot thoughtfully, as she ate her bread and jam, "ifMY brains whirl around in the same way yours do."
"No; not the same way, surely," returned the Glass Cat; "for, in thatcase, they'd be as good as MY brains, except that they're hidden undera thick, boney skull."
"Brains," remarked Cap'n Bill, "is of all kinds and work differentways. But I've noticed that them as thinks that their brains is bestis often mistook."
Trot was a little disturbed by sounds from the forest, that night, formany beasts seemed prowling among the trees, but she was confidentCap'n Bill would protect her from harm. And in fact, no beast venturedfrom the forest to attack them.
At daybreak they were up again, and after a simple breakfast Cap'n Billsaid to the Glass Cat:
"Up anchor, Mate, and let's forge ahead. I don't suppose we're farfrom that Magic Flower, are we?"
"Not far," answered the transparent one, as it led the way into theforest, "but it may take you some time to get to it."
Before long they reached the bank of a river. It was not very wide, atthis place, but as they followed the banks in a northerly direction itgradually broadened.
Suddenly the blue-green leaves of the trees changed to a purple hue,and Trot noticed this and said:
"I wonder what made the colors change like that?"
"It's because we have left the Munchkin Country and entered theGillikin Country," explained the Glass Cat. "Also it's a sign ourjourney is nearly ended."
The river made a sudden turn, and after the travelers had passed aroundthe bend, they saw that the stream had now become as broad as a smalllake, and in the center of the Lake they beheld a little island, notmore than fifty feet in extent, either way. Something glittered in themiddle of this tiny island, and the Glass Cat paused on the bank andsaid:
"There is the gold flower-pot containing the Magic Flower, which isvery curious and beautiful. If you can get to the island, your task isended--except to carry the thing home with you."
Cap'n Bill looked at the broad expanse of water and began to whistle alow, quavering tune. Trot knew that the whistle meant that Cap'n Billwas thinking, and the old sailor didn't look at the island as much ashe looked at the trees upon the bank where they stood. Presently hetook from the big pocket of his coat an axe-blade, wound in an oldcloth to keep the sharp edge from cutting his clothing. Then, with alarge pocket knife, he cut a small limb from a tree and whittled itinto a handle for his axe.
"Sit down, Trot," he advised the girl, as he worked. "I've got quite ajob ahead of me now, for I've got to build us a raft."
"What do we need a raft for, Cap'n?"
"Why, to take us to the island. We can't walk under water, in theriver bed, as the Glass Cat did, so we must float atop the water."
"Can you make a raft, Cap'n Bill?"
"O' course, Trot, if you give me time."
The little girl sat down on a log and gazed at the Island of the MagicFlower. Nothing else seemed to grow on the tiny isle. There was notree, no shrub, no grass, even, as far as she could make out from thatdistance. But the gold pot glittered in the rays of the sun, and Trotcould catch glimpses of glowing colors above it, as the Magic Flowerchanged from one sort to another.
"When I was here before," remarked the Glass Cat, lazily reclining atthe girl's feet, "I saw two Kalidahs on this very bank, where they hadcome to drink."
"What are Kalidahs?" asked the girl.
"The most powerful and ferocious beasts in all Oz. This forest istheir especial home, and so there are few other beasts to be foundexcept monkeys. The monkeys are spry enough to keep out of the way ofthe fierce Kalidahs, which attack all other animals and often fightamong themselves."
"Did they try to fight you when you saw 'em?" asked Trot, getting verymuch excited.
"Yes. They sprang upon me in an instant; but I lay flat on the ground,so I wouldn't get my legs broken by the great weight of the beasts, andwhen they tried to bite me I laughed at them and jeered them until theywere frantic with rage, for they nearly broke their teeth on my hardglass. So, after a time, they discovered they could not hurt me, andwent away. It was great fun."
"I hope they don't come here again to drink,--not while we're here,anyhow," returned the girl, "for I'm not made of glass, nor is Cap'nBill, and if those bad beasts bit us, we'd get hurt."
Cap'n Bill was cutting from the trees some long stakes, making themsharp at one end and leaving a crotch at the other end. These were tobind the logs of his raft together. He had fashioned several and wasjust finishing another when the Glass Cat cried: "Look out! There's aKalidah coming toward us."
Trot jumped up, greatly frightened, and looked at the terrible animalas if fascinated by its fierce eyes, for the Kalidah was looking ather, too, and its look wasn't at all friendly. But Cap'n Bill calledto her: "Wade into the river, Trot, up to your knees--an' stay there!"and she obeyed him at once. The sailor-man hobbled forward, the stakein one hand and his axe in the other, and got between the girl and thebeast, which sprang upon him with a growl of defiance.
Cap'n Bill moved pretty slowly, sometimes, but now he was quick ascould be. As the Kalidah sprang toward him he stuck out his wooden legand the point of it struck the beast between the eyes and sent itrolling upon the ground. Before it could get upon its feet again thesailor pushed the sharp stake right through its body and then with theflat side of the axe he hammered the stake as far into the ground as itwould go. By this means he captured the great beast and made itharmless, for try as it would, it could not get away from the stakethat held it.
Cap'n Bill knew he could not kill the Kalidah, for no living thing inOz can be killed, so he stood back and watched the beast wriggle andgrowl and paw the earth with its sharp claws, and then, satisfied itcould not escape, he told Trot to come out of the water again and dryher wet shoes and stockings in the sun.
"Are you sure he can't get away?" she asked.
"I'd bet a cookie on it," said Cap'n Bill, so Trot came ashore and tookoff her shoes and stockings and laid them on the log to dry, while thesailor-man resumed his work on the raft.
The Kalidah, realizing after many struggles that it could not escape,now became quiet, but it said in a harsh, snarling voice:
"I suppose you think you're clever, to pin me to the ground in thismanner. But when my friends, the other Kalidahs, come here, they'lltear you to pieces for treating me this way."
"P'raps," remarked Cap'n Bill, coolly, as he chopped at the logs, "an'p'raps not. When are your folks comin' here?"
"I don't know," admitted the Kalidah. "But when they DO come, youcan't escape them."
"If they hold off long enough, I'll have my raft ready," said Cap'nBill.
"What are you going to do with a raft?" inquired the beast.
"We're goin' over to that island, to get the Magic Flower."
The huge beast looked at him in surprise a moment, and then it began tolaugh. The laugh was a good deal like a roar, and it had a cruel andderisive sound, but it was a laugh nevertheless.
"Good!" said the Kalidah. "Good! Very good! I'm glad you're going toget the Magic Flower. But what will you do with it?"
"We're going to take it to Ozma, as a present on her birthday."
The Kalidah laughed again; then it became sober. "If you get to theland on your raft before my people can catch you," it said, "you willbe safe from us. We can swim like ducks, so the girl couldn't haveescaped me by getting into the water; but Kalidahs don't go to thatisland over there."
"Why not?" asked Trot.
The beast was silent.
"Tell us the reason," urged Cap'n Bill.
"Well, it's the Isle of the Magic Flower," answered the Kalidah, "andwe don't care much for magic. If you hadn't had a magic leg, insteadof a meat one, you couldn't have knocked me over so easily and stuckthis wooden pin through me."
"I've been to the Magic Isle," said the Glass Cat, "and I've watchedthe Magic Flower bloom, and I'm sure it's too pretty to be left in thatlonely place where only beasts prowl around it and no else sees it. Sowe're going to take it away to the Emerald City."
"I don't care," the beast replied in a surly tone. "We Kalidahs wouldbe just as contented if there wasn't a flower in our forest. What goodare the things anyhow?"
"Don't you like pretty things?" asked Trot.
"You ought to admire my pink brains, anyhow," declared the Glass Cat."They're beautiful and you can see 'em work."
The beast only growled in reply, and Cap'n Bill, having now cut all hislogs to a proper size, began to roll them to the water's edge andfasten them together.
10. Stuck Fast
The day was nearly gone when, at last, the raft was ready.
"It ain't so very big," said the old sailor, "but I don't weigh much,an' you, Trot, don't weigh half as much as I do, an' the glass pussydon't count."
"But it's safe, isn't it?" inquired the girl.
"Yes; it's good enough to carry us to the island an' back again, an'that's about all we can expect of it."
Saying this, Cap'n Bill pushed the raft into the water, and when it wasafloat, stepped upon it and held out his hand to Trot, who quicklyfollowed him. The Glass Cat boarded the raft last of all.
The sailor had cut a long pole, and had also whittled a flat paddle,and with these he easily propelled the raft across the river. As theyapproached the island, the Wonderful Flower became more plainlyvisible, and they quickly decided that the Glass Cat had not praised ittoo highly. The colors of the flowers that bloomed in quick successionwere strikingly bright and beautiful, and the shapes of the blossomswere varied and curious. Indeed, they did not resemble ordinaryflowers at all.
So intently did Trot and Cap'n Bill gaze upon the Golden Flower-potthat held the Magic Flower that they scarcely noticed the island itselfuntil the raft beached upon its sands. But then the girl exclaimed:"How funny it is, Cap'n Bill, that nothing else grows here excep' theMagic Flower."
Then the sailor glanced at the island and saw that it was all bareground, without a weed, a stone or a blade of grass. Trot, eager toexamine the Flower closer, sprang from the raft and ran up the bankuntil she reached the Golden Flower-pot. Then she stood beside itmotionless and filled with wonder. Cap'n Bill joined her, coming moreleisurely, and he, too, stood in silent admiration for a time.
"Ozma will like this," remarked the Glass Cat, sitting down to watchthe shifting hues of the flowers. "I'm sure she won't have as fine abirthday present from anyone else."
"Do you 'spose it's very heavy, Cap'n? And can we get it home withoutbreaking it?" asked Trot anxiously.
"Well, I've lifted many bigger things than that," he replied; "butlet's see what it weighs."
He tried to take a step forward, but could not lift his meat foot fromthe ground. His wooden leg seemed free enough, but the other would notbudge.
"I seem stuck, Trot," he said, with a perplexed look at his foot. "Itain't mud, an' it ain't glue, but somethin's holdin' me down."
The girl attempted to lift her own feet, to go nearer to her friend,but the ground held them as fast as it held Cap'n Bill's foot. Shetried to slide them, or to twist them around, but it was no use; shecould not move either foot a hair's breadth.
"This is funny!" she exclaimed. "What do you 'spose has happened to us,Cap'n Bill?"
"I'm tryin' to make out," he answered. "Take off your shoes, Trot.P'raps it's the leather soles that's stuck to the ground."
She leaned down and unlaced her shoes, but found she could not pull herfeet out of them. The Glass Cat, which was walking around as naturallyas ever, now said:
"Your foot has got roots to it, Cap'n, and I can see the roots goinginto the ground, where they spread out in all directions. It's thesame way with Trot. That's why you can't move. The roots hold youfast."
Cap'n Bill was rather fat and couldn't see his own feet very well, buthe squatted down and examined Trot's feet and decided that the GlassCat was right.
"This is hard luck," he declared, in a voice that showed he was uneasyat the discovery. "We're pris'ners, Trot, on this funny island, an'I'd like to know how we're ever goin' to get loose, so's we can gethome again."
"Now I know why the Kalidah laughed at us," said the girl, "and why hesaid none of the beasts ever came to this island. The horrid creatureknew we'd be caught, and wouldn't warn us."
In the meantime, the Kalidah, although pinned fast to the earth byCap'n Bill's stake, was facing the island, and now the ugly expressionwhich passed over its face when it defied and sneered at Cap'n Bill andTrot, had changed to one of amusement and curiosity. When it saw theadventurers had actually reached the island and were standing besidethe Magic Flower, it heaved a breath of satisfaction--a long, deepbreath that swelled its deep chest until the beast could feel the stakethat held him move a little, as if withdrawing itself from the ground.
"Ah ha!" murmured the Kalidah, "a little more of this will set me freeand allow me to escape!"
So he began breathing as hard as he could, puffing out his chest asmuch as possible with each indrawing breath, and by doing this hemanaged to raise the stake with each powerful breath, until at last theKalidah--using the muscles of his four legs as well as his deepbreaths--found itself free of the sandy soil. The stake was stickingright through him, however, so he found a rock deeply set in the bankand pressed the sharp point of the stake upon the surface of this rockuntil he had driven it clear through his body. Then, by getting thestake tangled among some thorny bushes, and wiggling his body, hemanaged to draw it out altogether.
"There!" he exclaimed, "except for those two holes in me, I'm as goodas ever; but I must admit that that old wooden-legged fellow saved bothhimself and the girl by making me a prisoner."
Now the Kalidahs, although the most disagreeable creatures in the Landof Oz, were nevertheless magical inhabitants of a magical Fairyland,and in their natures a certain amount of good was mingled with theevil. This one was not very revengeful, and now that his late foeswere in danger of perishing, his anger against them faded away.
"Our own Kalidah King," he reflected, "has certain magical powers ofhis own. Perhaps he knows how to fill up these two holes in my body."
So without paying any more attention to Trot and Cap'n Bill than theywere paying to him, he entered the forest and trotted along a secretpath that led to the hidden lair of all the Kalidahs.
While the Kalidah was making good its escape Cap'n Bill took his pipefrom his pocket and filled it with tobacco and lighted it. Then, as hepuffed out the smoke, he tried to think what could be done.
"The Glass Cat seems all right," he said, "an' my wooden leg didn'ttake roots and grow, either. So it's only flesh that gets caught."
"It's magic that does it, Cap'n!"
"I know, Trot, and that's what sticks me. We're livin' in a magiccountry, but neither of us knows any magic an' so we can't helpourselves."
"Couldn't the Wizard of Oz help us--or Glinda the Good?" asked thelittle girl.
"Ah, now we're beginnin' to reason," he answered. "I'd probablythought o' that, myself, in a minute more. By good luck the Glass Catis free, an' so it can run back to the Emerald City an' tell the Wizardabout our fix, an' ask him to come an' help us get loose."
"Will you go?" Trot asked the cat, speaking very earnestly.
"I'm no messenger, to be sent here and there," asserted the curiousanimal in a sulky tone of voice.
"Well," said Cap'n Bill, "you've got to go home, anyhow, 'cause youdon't want to stay here, I take it. And, when you get home, itwouldn't worry you much to tell the Wizard what's happened to us."
"That's true," said the cat, sitting on its haunches and lazily washingits face with one glass paw. "I don't mind telling the Wizard--when Iget home."
"Won't you go now?" pleaded Trot. "We don't want to stay here anylonger than we can help, and everybody in Oz will be interested in you,and call you a hero, and say nice things about you because you helpedyour friends out of trouble."
That was the best way to manage the Glass Cat, which was so vain thatit loved to be praised.
"I'm going home right away," said the creature, "and I'll tell theWizard to come and help you."
Saying this, it walked down to the water and disappeared under thesurface. Not being able to manage the raft alone, the Glass Cat walkedon the bottom of the river as it had done when it visited the islandbefore, and soon they saw it appear on the farther bank and trot intothe forest, where it was quickly lost to sight among the trees.
Then Trot heaved a deep sigh.
"Cap'n," said she, "we're in a bad fix. There's nothing here to eat,and we can't even lie down to sleep. Unless the Glass Cat hurries, andthe Wizard hurries, I don't know what's going to become of us!"
11. The Beasts of the Forest of Gugu
That was a wonderful gathering of wild animals in the Forest of Gugunext sunrise. Rango, the Gray Ape, had even called his monkeysentinels away from the forest edge, and every beast, little and big,was in the great clearing where meetings were held on occasions ofgreat importance.
In the center of the clearing stood a great shelving rock, having aflat, inclined surface, and on this sat the stately Leopard Gugu, whowas King of the Forest. On the ground beneath him squatted Bru theBear, Loo the Unicorn, and Rango the Gray Ape, the King's threeCounselors, and in front of them stood the two strange beasts who hadcalled themselves Li-Mon-Eags, but were really the transformations ofRuggedo the Nome, and Kiki Aru the Hyup.
Then came the beasts--rows and rows and rows of them! The smallestbeasts were nearest the King's rock throne; then there were wolves andfoxes, lynxes and hyenas, and the like; behind them were gathered themonkey tribes, who were hard to keep in order because they teased theother animals and were full of mischievous tricks. Back of the monkeyswere the pumas, jaguars, tigers and lions, and their kind; next thebears, all sizes and colors; after them bisons, wild asses, zebras andunicorns; farther on the rhinoceri and hippopotami, and at the far edgeof the forest, close to the trees that shut in the clearing, was a rowof thick-skinned elephants, still as statues but with eyes bright andintelligent.
Many other kinds of beasts, too numerous to mention, were there, andsome were unlike any beasts we see in the menageries and zoos in ourcountry. Some were from the mountains west of the forest, and somefrom the plains at the east, and some from the river; but all presentacknowledged the leadership of Gugu, who for many years had ruled themwisely and forced all to obey the laws.
When the beasts had taken their places in the clearing and the risingsun was shooting its first bright rays over the treetops, King Gugurose on his throne. The Leopard's giant form, towering above all theothers, caused a sudden hush to fall on the assemblage.
"Brothers," he said in his deep voice, "a stranger has come among us, abeast of curious form who is a great magician and is able to change theshapes of men or beasts at his will. This stranger has come to us,with another of his kind, from out of the sky, to warn us of a dangerwhich threatens us all, and to offer us a way to escape from thatdanger. He says he is our friend, and he has proved to me and to myCounselors his magic powers. Will you listen to what he has to say toyou--to the message he has brought from the sky?"
"Let him speak!" came in a great roar from the great company ofassembled beasts.
So Ruggedo the Nome sprang upon the flat rock beside Gugu the King, andanother roar, gentle this time, showed how astonished the beasts wereat the sight of his curious form. His lion's face was surrounded by amane of pure white hair; his eagle's wings were attached to theshoulders of his monkey body and were so long that they nearly touchedthe ground; he had powerful arms and legs in addition to the wings, andat the end of his long, strong tail was a golden ball. Never had anybeast beheld such a curious creature before, and so the very sight ofthe stranger, who was said to be a great magician, filled all presentwith awe and wonder.
Kiki stayed down below and, half hidden by the shelf of rock, wasscarcely noticed. The boy realized that the old Nome was helplesswithout his magic power, but he also realized that Ruggedo was the besttalker. So he was willing the Nome should take the lead.
"Beasts of the Forest of Gugu," began Ruggedo the Nome, "my comrade andI are your friends. We are magicians, and from our home in the sky wecan look down into the Land of Oz and see everything that is going on.Also we can hear what the people below us are saying. That is how weheard Ozma, who rules the Land of Oz, say to her people: 'The beasts inthe Forest of Gugu are lazy and are of no use to us. Let us go totheir forest and make them all our prisoners. Let us tie them withropes, and beat them with sticks, until they work for us and become ourwilling slaves.' And when the people heard Ozma of Oz say this, theywere glad and raised a great shout and said: 'We will do it! We willmake the beasts of the Forest of Gugu our slaves!'"
The wicked old Nome could say no more, just then, for such a fierceroar of anger rose from the multitude of beasts that his voice wasdrowned by the clamor. Finally the roar died away, like distantthunder, and Ruggedo the Nome went on with his speech.
"Having heard the Oz people plot against your liberty, we watched tosee what they would do, and saw them all begin making ropes--ropes longand short--with which to snare our friends the beasts. You are angry,but we also were angry, for when the Oz people became the enemies ofthe beasts they also became our enemies; for we, too, are beasts,although we live in the sky. And my comrade and I said: 'We will saveour friends and have revenge on the Oz people,' and so we came here totell you of your danger and of our plan to save you."
"We can save ourselves," cried an old Elephant. "We can fight."
"The Oz people are fairies, and you can't fight against magic unlessyou also have magic," answered the Nome.
"Tell us your plan!" shouted the huge Tiger, and the other beastsechoed his words, crying: "Tell us your plan."
"My plan is simple," replied Ruggedo. "By our magic we will transformall you animals into men and women--like the Oz people--and we willtransform all the Oz people into beasts. You can then live in the finehouses of the Land of Oz, and eat the fine food of the Oz people, andwear their fine clothes, and sing and dance and be happy. And the Ozpeople, having become beasts, will have to live here in the forest andhunt and fight for food, and often go hungry, as you now do, and haveno place to sleep but a bed of leaves or a hole in the ground. Havingbecome men and women, you beasts will have all the comforts you desire,and having become beasts, the Oz people will be very miserable. Thatis our plan, and if you agree to it, we will all march at once into theLand of Oz and quickly conquer our enemies."
When the stranger ceased speaking, a great silence fell on theassemblage, for the beasts were thinking of what he had said. Finallyone of the walruses asked:
"Can you really transform beasts into men, and men into beasts?"
"He can--he can!" cried Loo the Unicorn, prancing up and down in anexcited manner. "He transformed ME, only last evening, and he cantransform us all."
Gugu the King now stepped forward.
"You have heard the stranger speak," said he, "and now you must answerhim. It is for you to decide. Shall we agree to this plan, or not?"
"Yes!" shouted some of the animals.
"No!" shouted others.
And some were yet silent.
Gugu looked around the great circle.
"Take more time to think," he suggested. "Your answer is veryimportant. Up to this time we have had no trouble with the Oz people,but we are proud and free, and never will become slaves. Thinkcarefully, and when you are ready to answer, I will hear you."
12. Kiki Uses His Magic
Then arose a great confusion of sounds as all the animals began talkingto their fellows. The monkeys chattered and the bears growled and thevoices of the jaguars and lions rumbled, and the wolves yelped and theelephants had to trumpet loudly to make their voices heard. Such ahubbub had never been known in the forest before, and each beast arguedwith his neighbor until it seemed the noise would never cease.
Ruggedo the Nome waved his arms and fluttered his wings to try to makethem listen to him again, but the beasts paid no attention. Somewanted to fight the Oz people, some wanted to be transformed, and somewanted to do nothing at all.
The growling and confusion had grown greater than ever when in a flashsilence fell on all the beasts present, the arguments were hushed, andall gazed in astonishment at a strange sight.
For into the circle strode a great Lion--bigger and more powerful thanany other lion there--and on his back rode a little girl who smiledfearlessly at the multitude of beasts. And behind the Lion and thelittle girl came another beast--a monstrous Tiger, who bore upon hisback a funny little man carrying a black bag. Right past the rows ofwondering beasts the strange animals walked, advancing until they stoodjust before the rock throne of Gugu.
Then the little girl and the funny little man dismounted, and the greatLion demanded in a loud voice:
"Who is King in this forest?"
"I am!" answered Gugu, looking steadily at the other. "I am Gugu theLeopard, and I am King of this forest."
"Then I greet Your Majesty with great respect," said the Lion."Perhaps you have heard of me, Gugu. I am called the 'Cowardly Lion,'and I am King of all Beasts, the world over."
Gugu's eyes flashed angrily.
"Yes," said he, "I have heard of you. You have long claimed to be Kingof Beasts, but no beast who is a coward can be King over me."
"He isn't a coward, Your Majesty," asserted the little girl, "He's justcowardly, that's all."
Gugu looked at her. All the other beasts were looking at her, too.
"Who are you?" asked the King.
"Me? Oh, I'm just Dorothy," she answered.
"How dare you come here?" demanded the King.
"Why, I'm not afraid to go anywhere, if the Cowardly Lion is with me,"she said. "I know him pretty well, and so I can trust him. He'salways afraid, when we get into trouble, and that's why he's cowardly;but he's a terrible fighter, and that's why he isn't a coward. Hedoesn't like to fight, you know, but when he HAS to, there isn't anybeast living that can conquer him."
Gugu the King looked at the big, powerful form of the Cowardly Lion,and knew she spoke the truth. Also the other Lions of the forest nowcame forward and bowed low before the strange Lion.
"We welcome Your Majesty," said one. "We have known you many yearsago, before you went to live at the Emerald City, and we have seen youfight the terrible Kalidahs and conquer them, so we know you are theKing of all Beasts."
"It is true," replied the Cowardly Lion; "but I did not come here torule the beasts of this forest. Gugu is King here, and I believe he isa good King and just and wise. I come, with my friends, to be theguest of Gugu, and I hope we are welcome."
That pleased the great Leopard, who said very quickly:
"Yes; you, at least, are welcome to my forest. But who are thesestrangers with you?"
"Dorothy has introduced herself," replied the Lion, "and you are sureto like her when you know her better. This man is the Wizard of Oz, afriend of mine who can do wonderful tricks of magic. And here is mytrue and tried friend, the Hungry Tiger, who lives with me in theEmerald City."
"Is he ALWAYS hungry?" asked Loo the Unicorn.
"I am," replied the Tiger, answering the question himself. "I amalways hungry for fat babies."
"Can't you find any fat babies in Oz to eat?" inquired Loo, the Unicorn.
"There are plenty of them, of course," said the Tiger, "butunfortunately I have such a tender conscience that it won't allow me toeat babies. So I'm always hungry for 'em and never can eat 'em,because my conscience won't let me."
Now of all the surprised beasts in that clearing, not one was so muchsurprised at the sudden appearance of these four strangers as Ruggedothe Nome. He was frightened, too, for he recognized them as his mostpowerful enemies; but he also realized that they could not know he wasthe former King of the Nomes, because of the beast's form he wore,which disguised him so effectually. So he took courage and resolvedthat the Wizard and Dorothy should not defeat his plans.
It was hard to tell, just yet, what the vast assemblage of beaststhought of the new arrivals. Some glared angrily at them, but more ofthem seemed to be curious and wondering. All were interested, however,and they kept very quiet and listened carefully to all that was said.
Kiki Aru, who had remained unnoticed in the shadow of the rock, was atfirst more alarmed by the coming of the strangers than even Ruggedowas, and the boy told himself that unless he acted quickly and withoutwaiting to ask the advice of the old Nome, their conspiracy was likelyto be discovered and all their plans to conquer and rule Oz bedefeated. Kiki didn't like the way Ruggedo acted either, for theformer King of the Nomes wanted to do everything his own way, and madethe boy, who alone possessed the power of transformations, obey hisorders as if he were a slave.
Another thing that disturbed Kiki Aru was the fact that a real Wizardhad arrived, who was said to possess many magical powers, and thisWizard carried his tools in a black bag, and was the friend of the Ozpeople, and so would probably try to prevent war between the beasts ofthe forest and the people of Oz.
All these things passed through the mind of the Hyup boy while theCowardly Lion and Gugu the King were talking together, and that was whyhe now began to do several strange things.
He had found a place, near to the point where he stood, where there wasa deep hollow in the rock, so he put his face into this hollow andwhispered softly, so he would not be heard:
"I want the Wizard of Oz to become a fox--Pyrzqxgl!"
The Wizard, who had stood smilingly beside his friends, suddenly felthis form change to that of a fox, and his black bag fell to the ground.Kiki reached out an arm and seized the bag, and the Fox cried as loudas it could:
"Treason! There's a traitor here with magic powers!"
Everyone was startled at this cry, and Dorothy, seeing her old friend'splight, screamed and exclaimed: "Mercy me!"
But the next instant the little girl's form had changed to that of alamb with fleecy white wool, and Dorothy was too bewildered to doanything but look around her in wonder.
The Cowardly Lion's eyes now flashed fire; he crouched low and lashedthe ground with his tail and gazed around to discover who thetreacherous magician might be. But Kiki, who had kept his face in thehollow rock, again whispered the magic word, and the great liondisappeared and in his place stood a little boy dressed in Munchkincostume. The little Munchkin boy was as angry as the lion had been,but he was small and helpless.
Ruggedo the Nome saw what was happening and was afraid Kiki would spoilall his plans, so he leaned over the rock and shouted: "Stop,Kiki--stop!"
Kiki would not stop, however. Instead, he transformed the Nome into agoose, to Ruggedo's horror and dismay. But the Hungry Tiger hadwitnessed all these transformations, and he was watching to see whichof those present was to blame for them. When Ruggedo spoke to Kiki,the Hungry Tiger knew that he was the magician, so he made a suddenspring and hurled his great body full upon the form of the Li-Mon-Eagcrouching against the rock. Kiki didn't see the Tiger coming becausehis face was still in the hollow, and the heavy body of the tiger borehim to the earth just as he said "Pyrzqxgl!" for the fifth time.
So now the tiger which was crushing him changed to a rabbit, andrelieved of its weight, Kiki sprang up and, spreading his eagle'swings, flew into the branches of a tree, where no beast could easilyreach him. He was not an instant too quick in doing this, for Gugu theKing had crouched on the rock's edge and was about to spring on the boy.
From his tree Kiki transformed Gugu into a fat Gillikin woman, andlaughed aloud to see how the woman pranced with rage, and howastonished all the beasts were at their King's new shape.
The beasts were frightened, too, fearing they would share the fate ofGugu, so a stampede began when Rango the Gray Ape sprang into theforest, and Bru the Bear and Loo the Unicorn followed as quickly asthey could. The elephants backed into the forest, and all the otheranimals, big and little, rushed after them, scattering through thejungles until the clearing was far behind. The monkeys scrambled intothe trees and swung themselves from limb to limb, to avoid beingtrampled upon by the bigger beasts, and they were so quick that theydistanced all the rest. A panic of fear seemed to have overtaken theforest people and they got as far away from the terrible Magician asthey possibly could.
But the transformed ones stayed in the clearing, being so astonishedand bewildered by their new shapes that they could only look at oneanother in a dazed and helpless fashion, although each one was greatlyannoyed at the trick that had been played on him.
"Who are you?" the Munchkin boy asked the Rabbit; and "Who are you?"the Fox asked the Lamb; and "Who are you?" the Rabbit asked the fatGillikin woman.
"I'm Dorothy," said the woolly Lamb.
"I'm the Wizard," said the Fox.
"I'm the Cowardly Lion," said the Munchkin boy.
"I'm the Hungry Tiger," said the Rabbit.
"I'm Gugu the King," said the fat Woman.
But when they asked the Goose who he was, Ruggedo the Nome would nottell them.
"I'm just a Goose," he replied, "and what I was before, I cannotremember."
13. The Loss of the Black Bag
Kiki Aru, in the form of the Li-Mon-Eag, had scrambled into the high,thick branches of the tree, so no one could see him, and there heopened the Wizard's black bag, which he had carried away in his flight.He was curious to see what the Wizard's magic tools looked like, andhoped he could use some of them and so secure more power; but after hehad taken the articles, one by one, from the bag, he had to admit theywere puzzles to him. For, unless he understood their uses, they wereof no value whatever. Kiki Aru, the Hyup boy, was no wizard ormagician at all, and could do nothing unusual except to use the MagicWord he had stolen from his father on Mount Munch. So he hung theWizard's black bag on a branch of the tree and then climbed down to thelower limbs that he might see what the victims of his transformationswere doing.
They were all on top of the flat rock, talking together in tones so lowthat Kiki could not hear what they said.
"This is certainly a misfortune," remarked the Wizard in the Fox'sform, "but our transformations are a sort of enchantment which is veryeasy to break--when you know how and have the tools to do it with. Thetools are in my Black Bag; but where is the Bag?"
No one knew that, for none had seen Kiki Aru fly away with it.
"Let's look and see if we can find it," suggested Dorothy the Lamb.
So they left the rock, and all of them searched the clearing high andlow without finding the Bag of Magic Tools. The Goose searched asearnestly as the others, for if he could discover it, he meant to hideit where the Wizard could never find it, because if the Wizard changedhim back to his proper form, along with the others, he would then berecognized as Ruggedo the Nome, and they would send him out of the Landof Oz and so ruin all his hopes of conquest.
Ruggedo was not really sorry, now that he thought about it, that Kikihad transformed all these Oz folks. The forest beasts, it was true,had been so frightened that they would now never consent to betransformed into men, but Kiki could transform them against their will,and once they were all in human forms, it would not be impossible toinduce them to conquer the Oz people.
So all was not lost, thought the old Nome, and the best thing for himto do was to rejoin the Hyup boy who had the secret of thetransformations. So, having made sure the Wizard's black bag was notin the clearing, the Goose wandered away through the trees when theothers were not looking, and when out of their hearing, he begancalling, "Kiki Aru! Kiki Aru! Quack--quack! Kiki Aru!"
The Boy and the Woman, the Fox, the Lamb, and the Rabbit, not beingable to find the bag, went back to the rock, all feeling exceedinglystrange.
"Where's the Goose?" asked the Wizard.
"He must have run away," replied Dorothy. "I wonder who he was?"
"I think," said Gugu the King, who was the fat Woman, "that the Goosewas the stranger who proposed that we make war upon the Oz people. Ifso, his transformation was merely a trick to deceive us, and he has nowgone to join his comrade, that wicked Li-Mon-Eag who obeyed all hiscommands."
"What shall we do now?" asked Dorothy. "Shall we go back to theEmerald City, as we are, and then visit Glinda the Good and ask her tobreak the enchantments?"
"I think so," replied the Wizard Fox. "And we can take Gugu the Kingwith us, and have Glinda restore him to his natural shape. But I hateto leave my Bag of Magic Tools behind me, for without it I shall losemuch of my power as a Wizard. Also, if I go back to the Emerald Cityin the shape of a Fox, the Oz people will think I'm a poor Wizard andwill lose their respect for me."
"Let us make still another search for your tools," suggested theCowardly Lion, "and then, if we fail to find the Black Bag anywhere inthis forest, we must go back home as we are."
"Why did you come here, anyway?" inquired Gugu.
"We wanted to borrow a dozen monkeys, to use on Ozma's birthday,"explained the Wizard. "We were going to make them small, and trainthem to do tricks, and put them inside Ozma's birthday cake."
"Well," said the Forest King, "you would have to get the consent ofRango the Gray Ape, to do that. He commands all the tribes of monkeys."
"I'm afraid it's too late, now," said Dorothy, regretfully. "It was asplendid plan, but we've got troubles of our own, and I don't likebeing a lamb at all."
"You're nice and fuzzy," said the Cowardly Lion.
"That's nothing," declared Dorothy. "I've never been 'specially proudof myself, but I'd rather be the way I was born than anything else inthe whole world."
The Glass Cat, although it had some disagreeable ways and manners,nevertheless realized that Trot and Cap'n Bill were its friends and sowas quite disturbed at the fix it had gotten them into by leading themto the Isle of the Magic Flower. The ruby heart of the Glass Cat wascold and hard, but still it was a heart, and to have a heart of anysort is to have some consideration for others. But the queertransparent creature didn't want Trot and Cap'n Bill to know it wassorry for them, and therefore it moved very slowly until it had crossedthe river and was out of sight among the trees of the forest. Then itheaded straight toward the Emerald City, and trotted so fast that itwas like a crystal streak crossing the valleys and plains. Beingglass, the cat was tireless, and with no reason to delay its journey,it reached Ozma's palace in wonderfully quick time.
"Where's the Wizard?" it asked the Pink Kitten, which was curled up inthe sunshine on the lowest step of the palace entrance.
"Don't bother me," lazily answered the Pink Kitten, whose name wasEureka.
"I must find the Wizard at once!" said the Glass Cat.
"Then find him," advised Eureka, and went to sleep again.
The Glass Cat darted up the stairway and came upon Toto, Dorothy'slittle black dog.
"Where's the Wizard?" asked the Cat.
"Gone on a journey with Dorothy," replied Toto.
"When did they go, and where have they gone?" demanded the Cat.
"They went yesterday, and I heard them say they would go to the GreatForest in the Munchkin Country."
"Dear me," said the Glass Cat; "that is a long journey."
"But they rode on the Hungry Tiger and the Cowardly Lion," explainedToto, "and the Wizard carried his Black Bag of Magic Tools."
The Glass Cat knew the Great Forest of Gugu well, for it had traveledthrough this forest many times in its journeys through the Land of Oz.And it reflected that the Forest of Gugu was nearer to the Isle of theMagic Flower than the Emerald City was, and so, if it could manage tofind the Wizard, it could lead him across the Gillikin Country to whereTrot and Cap'n Bill were prisoned. It was a wild country and littletraveled, but the Glass Cat knew every path. So very little time needbe lost, after all.
Without stopping to ask any more questions the Cat darted out of thepalace and away from the Emerald City, taking the most direct route tothe Forest of Gugu. Again the creature flashed through the countrylike a streak of light, and it would surprise you to know how quicklyit reached the edge of the Great Forest.
There were no monkey guards among the trees to cry out a warning, andthis was so unusual that it astonished the Glass Cat. Going fartherinto the forest it presently came upon a wolf, which at first boundedaway in terror. But then, seeing it was only a Glass Cat, the Wolfstopped, and the Cat could see it was trembling, as if from a terriblefright.
"What's the matter?" asked the Cat.
"A dreadful Magician has come among us!" exclaimed the Wolf, "and he'schanging the forms of all the beasts--quick as a wink--and making themall his slaves."
The Glass Cat smiled and said:
"Why, that's only the Wizard of Oz. He may be having some fun with youforest people, but the Wizard wouldn't hurt a beast for anything."
"I don't mean the Wizard," explained the Wolf. "And if the Wizard ofOz is that funny little man who rode a great Tiger into the clearing,he's been transformed himself by the terrible Magician."
"The Wizard transformed? Why, that's impossible," declared the GlassCat.
"No; it isn't. I saw him with my own eyes, changed into the form of aFox, and the girl who was with him was changed to a woolly Lamb."
The Glass Cat was indeed surprised.
"When did that happen?" it asked.
"Just a little while ago in the clearing. All the animals had metthere, but they ran away when the Magician began his transformations,and I'm thankful I escaped with my natural shape. But I'm stillafraid, and I'm going somewhere to hide."
With this the Wolf ran on, and the Glass Cat, which knew where the bigclearing was, went toward it. But now it walked more slowly, and itspink brains rolled and tumbled around at a great rate because it wasthinking over the amazing news the Wolf had told it.
When the Glass Cat reached the clearing, it saw a Fox, a Lamb, aRabbit, a Munchkin boy and a fat Gillikin woman, all wandering aroundin an aimless sort of way, for they were again searching for the BlackBag of Magic Tools.
The Cat watched them a moment and then it walked slowly into the openspace. At once the Lamb ran toward it, crying:
"Oh, Wizard, here's the Glass Cat!"
"Where, Dorothy?" asked the Fox.
The Boy and the Woman and the Rabbit now joined the Fox and the Lamb,and they all stood before the Glass Cat and speaking together, almostlike a chorus, asked: "Have you seen the Black Bag?"
"Often," replied the Glass Cat, "but not lately."
"It's lost," said the Fox, "and we must find it."
"Are you the Wizard?" asked the Cat.
"And who are these others?"
"I'm Dorothy," said the Lamb.
"I'm the Cowardly Lion," said the Munchkin boy.
"I'm the Hungry Tiger," said the Rabbit.
"I'm Gugu, King of the Forest," said the fat Woman.
The Glass Cat sat on its hind legs and began to laugh. "My, what afunny lot!" exclaimed the Creature. "Who played this joke on you?"
"It's no joke at all," declared the Wizard. "It was a cruel, wickedtransformation, and the Magician that did it has the head of a lion,the body of a monkey, the wings of an eagle and a round ball on the endof his tail."
The Glass Cat laughed again. "That Magician must look funnier than youdo," it said. "Where is he now?"
"Somewhere in the forest," said the Cowardly Lion. "He just jumpedinto that tall maple tree over there, for he can climb like a monkeyand fly like an eagle, and then he disappeared in the forest."
"And there was another Magician, just like him, who was his friend,"added Dorothy, "but they probably quarreled, for the wickedest onechanged his friend into the form of a Goose."
"What became of the Goose?" asked the Cat, looking around.
"He must have gone away to find his friend," answered Gugu the King."But a Goose can't travel very fast, so we could easily find him if wewanted to."
"The worst thing of all," said the Wizard, "is that my Black Bag islost. It disappeared when I was transformed. If I could find it Icould easily break these enchantments by means of my magic, and wewould resume our own forms again. Will you help us search for theBlack Bag, Friend Cat?"
"Of course," replied the Glass Cat. "But I expect the strange Magiciancarried it away with him. If he's a magician, he knows you need thatBag, and perhaps he's afraid of your magic. So he's probably taken theBag with him, and you won't see it again unless you find the Magician."
"That sounds reasonable," remarked the Lamb, which was Dorothy. "Thosepink brains of yours seem to be working pretty well to-day."
"If the Glass Cat is right," said the Wizard in a solemn voice,"there's more trouble ahead of us. That Magician is dangerous, and ifwe go near him he may transform us into shapes not as nice as these."
"I don't see how we could be any WORSE off," growled Gugu, who wasindignant because he was forced to appear in the form of a fat woman.
"Anyway," said the Cowardly Lion, "our best plan is to find theMagician and try to get the Black Bag from him. We may manage to stealit, or perhaps we can argue him into giving it to us."
"Why not find the Goose, first?" asked Dorothy. "The Goose will beangry at the Magician, and he may be able to help us."
"That isn't a bad idea," returned the Wizard. "Come on, Friends; let'sfind that Goose. We will separate and search in different directions,and the first to find the Goose must bring him here, where we will allmeet again in an hour."
14. The Wizard Learns the Magic Word
Now, the Goose was the transformation of old Ruggedo, who was at onetime King of the Nomes, and he was even more angry at Kiki Aru thanwere the others who shapes had been changed. The Nome detestedanything in the way of a bird, because birds lay eggs and eggs arefeared by all the Nomes more than anything else in the world. A gooseis a foolish bird, too, and Ruggedo was dreadfully ashamed of the shapehe was forced to wear. And it would make him shudder to reflect thatthe Goose might lay an egg!
So the Nome was afraid of himself and afraid of everything around him.If an egg touched him he could then be destroyed, and almost any animalhe met in the forest might easily conquer him. And that would be theend of old Ruggedo the Nome.
Aside from these fears, however, he was filled with anger against Kiki,whom he had meant to trap by cleverly stealing from him the Magic Word.The boy must have been crazy to spoil everything the way he did, butRuggedo knew that the arrival of the Wizard had scared Kiki, and he wasnot sorry the boy had transformed the Wizard and Dorothy and made themhelpless. It was his own transformation that annoyed him and made himindignant, so he ran about the forest hunting for Kiki, so that hemight get a better shape and coax the boy to follow his plans toconquer the Land of Oz.
Kiki Aru hadn't gone very far away, for he had surprised himself aswell as the others by the quick transformations and was puzzled as towhat to do next. Ruggedo the Nome was overbearing and tricky, and Kikiknew he was not to be depended on; but the Nome could plan and plot,which the Hyup boy was not wise enough to do, and so, when he lookeddown through the branches of a tree and saw a Goose waddling alongbelow and heard it cry out, "Kiki Aru! Quack--quack! Kiki Aru!" theboy answered in a low voice, "Here I am," and swung himself down to thelowest limb of the tree.
The Goose looked up and saw him.
"You've bungled things in a dreadful way!" exclaimed the Goose. "Whydid you do it?"
"Because I wanted to," answered Kiki. "You acted as if I was yourslave, and I wanted to show these forest people that I am more powerfulthan you."
The Goose hissed softly, but Kiki did not hear that.
Old Ruggedo quickly recovered his wits and muttered to himself: "Thisboy is the goose, although it is I who wear the goose's shape. I willbe gentle with him now, and fierce with him when I have him in mypower." Then he said aloud to Kiki:
"Well, hereafter I will be content to acknowledge you the master. Youbungled things, as I said, but we can still conquer Oz."
"How?" asked the boy.
"First give me back the shape of the Li-Mon-Eag, and then we can talktogether more conveniently," suggested the Nome.
"Wait a moment, then," said Kiki, and climbed higher up the tree.There he whispered the Magic Word and the Goose became a Li-Mon-Eag, ashe had been before.
"Good!" said the Nome, well pleased, as Kiki joined him by droppingdown from the tree. "Now let us find a quiet place where we can talkwithout being overheard by the beasts."
So the two started away and crossed the forest until they came to aplace where the trees were not so tall nor so close together, and amongthese scattered trees was another clearing, not so large as the firstone, where the meeting of the beasts had been held. Standing on theedge of this clearing and looking across it, they saw the trees on thefarther side full of monkeys, who were chattering together at a greatrate of the sights they had witnessed at the meeting.
The old Nome whispered to Kiki not to enter the clearing or allow themonkeys to see them.
"Why not?" asked the boy, drawing back.
"Because those monkeys are to be our army--the army which will conquerOz," said the Nome. "Sit down here with me, Kiki, and keep quiet, andI will explain to you my plan."
Now, neither Kiki Aru nor Ruggedo had noticed that a sly Fox hadfollowed them all the way from the tree where the Goose had beentransformed to the Li-Mon-Eag. Indeed, this Fox, who was none otherthan the Wizard of Oz, had witnessed the transformation of the Gooseand now decided he would keep watch on the conspirators and see whatthey would do next.
A Fox can move through a forest very softly, without making any noise,and so the Wizard's enemies did not suspect his presence. But whenthey sat down by the edge of the clearing, to talk, with their backstoward him, the Wizard did not know whether to risk being seen, bycreeping closer to hear what they said, or whether it would be betterfor him to hide himself until they moved on again.
While he considered this question he discovered near him a great treewhich had a hollow trunk, and there was a round hole in this tree,about three feet above the ground. The Wizard Fox decided it would besafer for him to hide inside the hollow tree, so he sprang into thehole and crouched down in the hollow, so that his eyes just came to theedge of the hole by which he had entered, and from here he watched theforms of the two Li-Mon-Eags.
"This is my plan," said the Nome to Kiki, speaking so low that theWizard could only hear the rumble of his voice. "Since you cantransform anything into any form you wish, we will transform thesemonkeys into an army, and with that army we will conquer the Oz people."
"The monkeys won't make much of an army," objected Kiki.
"We need a great army, but not a numerous one," responded the Nome."You will transform each monkey into a giant man, dressed in a fineuniform and armed with a sharp sword. There are fifty monkeys overthere and fifty giants would make as big an army as we need."
"What will they do with the swords?" asked Kiki. "Nothing can kill theOz people."
"True," said Ruggedo. "The Oz people cannot be killed, but they can becut into small pieces, and while every piece will still be alive, wecan scatter the pieces around so that they will be quite helpless.Therefore, the Oz people will be afraid of the swords of our army, andwe will conquer them with ease."
"That seems like a good idea," replied the boy, approvingly. "And insuch a case, we need not bother with the other beasts of the forest."
"No; you have frightened the beasts, and they would no longer consentto assist us in conquering Oz. But those monkeys are foolishcreatures, and once they are transformed to Giants, they will do justas we say and obey our commands. Can you transform them all at once?"
"No, I must take one at a time," said Kiki. "But the fiftytransformations can be made in an hour or so. Stay here, Ruggedo, andI will change the first monkey--that one at the left, on the end of thelimb--into a Giant with a sword."
"Where are you going?" asked the Nome.
"I must not speak the Magic Word in the presence of another person,"declared Kiki, who was determined not to allow his treacherouscompanion to learn his secret, "so I will go where you cannot hear me."
Ruggedo the Nome was disappointed, but he hoped still to catch the boyunawares and surprise the Magic Word. So he merely nodded his lionhead, and Kiki got up and went back into the forest a short distance.Here he spied a hollow tree, and by chance it was the same hollow treein which the Wizard of Oz, now in the form of a Fox, had hidden himself.
As Kiki ran up to the tree the Fox ducked its head, so that it was outof sight in the dark hollow beneath the hole, and then Kiki put hisface into the hole and whispered: "I want that monkey on the branch atthe left to become a Giant man fifty feet tall, dressed in a uniformand with a sharp sword--Pyrzqxgl!"
Then he ran back to Ruggedo, but the Wizard Fox had heard quite plainlyevery word that he had said.
The monkey was instantly transformed into the Giant, and the Giant wasso big that as he stood on the ground his head was higher than thetrees of the forest. The monkeys raised a great chatter but did notseem to understand that the Giant was one of themselves.
"Good!" cried the Nome. "Hurry, Kiki, and transform the others."
So Kiki rushed back to the tree and putting his face to the hollow,whispered:
"I want the next monkey to be just like the first--Pyrzqxgl!"
Again the Wizard Fox heard the Magic Word, and just how it waspronounced. But he sat still in the hollow and waited to hear itagain, so it would be impressed on his mind and he would not forget it.
Kiki kept running to the edge of the forest and back to the hollow treeagain until he had whispered the Magic Word six times and six monkeyshad been changed to six great Giants. Then the Wizard decided he wouldmake an experiment and use the Magic Word himself. So, while Kiki wasrunning back to the Nome, the Fox stuck his head out of the hollow andsaid softly: "I want that creature who is running to become ahickory-nut--Pyrzqxgl!"
Instantly the Li-Mon-Eag form of Kiki Aru the Hyup disappeared and asmall hickory-nut rolled upon the ground a moment and then lay still.
The Wizard was delighted, and leaped from the hollow just as Ruggedolooked around to see what had become of Kiki. The Nome saw the Fox butno Kiki, so he hastily rose to his feet. The Wizard did not know howpowerful the queer beast might be, so he resolved to take no chances.
"I want this creature to become a walnut--Pyrzqxgl!" he said aloud.But he did not pronounce the Magic Word in quite the right way, andRuggedo's form did not change. But the Nome knew at once that"Pyrzqxgl!" was the Magic Word, so he rushed at the Fox and cried:
"I want you to become a Goose--Pyrzqxgl!"
But the Nome did not pronounce the word aright, either, having neverheard it spoken but once before, and then with a wrong accent. So theFox was not transformed, but it had to run away to escape being caughtby the angry Nome.
Ruggedo now began pronouncing the Magic Word in every way he couldthink of, hoping to hit the right one, and the Fox, hiding in a bush,was somewhat troubled by the fear that he might succeed. However, theWizard, who was used to magic arts, remained calm and soon rememberedexactly how Kiki Aru had pronounced the word. So he repeated thesentence he had before uttered and Ruggedo the Nome became an ordinarywalnut.
The Wizard now crept out from the bush and said: "I want my own formagain--Pyrzqxgl!"
Instantly he was the Wizard of Oz, and after picking up the hickory-nutand the walnut, and carefully placing them in his pocket, he ran backto the big clearing.
Dorothy the Lamb uttered a bleat of delight when she saw her old friendrestored to his natural shape. The others were all there, not havingfound the Goose. The fat Gillikin woman, the Munchkin boy, the Rabbitand the Glass Cat crowded around the Wizard and asked what had happened.
Before he explained anything of his adventure, he transformed themall--except, of course, the Glass Cat--into their natural shapes, andwhen their joy permitted them to quiet somewhat, he told how he had bychance surprised the Magician's secret and been able to change the twoLi-Mon-Eags into shapes that could not speak, and therefore would beunable to help themselves. And the little Wizard showed his astonishedfriends the hickory-nut and the walnut to prove that he had spoken thetruth.
"But--see here!"--exclaimed Dorothy. "What has become of those GiantSoldiers who used to be monkeys?"
"I forgot all about them!" admitted the Wizard; "but I suppose they arestill standing there in the forest."
15. The Lonesome Duck
Trot and Cap'n Bill stood before the Magic Flower, actually rooted tothe spot.
"Aren't you hungry, Cap'n?" asked the little girl, with a long sigh,for she had been standing there for hours and hours.
"Well," replied the sailor-man, "I ain't sayin' as I couldn't EAT,Trot--if a dinner was handy--but I guess old folks don't get as hungryas young folks do."
"I'm not sure 'bout that, Cap'n Bill," she said thoughtfully. "AgeMIGHT make a diff'rence, but seems to me SIZE would make a biggerdiff'rence. Seeing you're twice as big as me, you ought to be twice ashungry."
"I hope I am," he rejoined, "for I can stand it a while longer. I dohope the Glass Cat will hurry, and I hope the Wizard won't waste timea-comin' to us."
Trot sighed again and watched the wonderful Magic Flower, because therewas nothing else to do. Just now a lovely group of pink peonies buddedand bloomed, but soon they faded away, and a mass of deep blue liliestook their place. Then some yellow chrysanthemums blossomed on theplant, and when they had opened all their petals and reachedperfection, they gave way to a lot of white floral balls spotted withcrimson--a flower Trot had never seen before.
"But I get awful tired watchin' flowers an' flowers an' flowers," shesaid impatiently.
"They're might pretty," observed Cap'n Bill.
"I know; and if a person could come and look at the Magic Flower justwhen she felt like it, it would be a fine thing, but to HAVE TO standand watch it, whether you want to or not, isn't so much fun. I wish,Cap'n Bill, the thing would grow fruit for a while instead of flowers."
Scarcely had she spoken when the white balls with crimson spots fadedaway and a lot of beautiful ripe peaches took their place. With a cryof mingled surprise and delight Trot reached out and plucked a peachfrom the bush and began to eat it, finding it delicious. Cap'n Billwas somewhat dazed at the girl's wish being granted so quickly, sobefore he could pick a peach they had faded away and bananas took theirplace. "Grab one, Cap'n!" exclaimed Trot, and even while eating thepeach she seized a banana with her other hand and tore it from the bush.
The old sailor was still bewildered. He put out a hand indeed, but hewas too late, for now the bananas disappeared and lemons took theirplace.
"Pshaw!" cried Trot. "You can't eat those things; but watch out,Cap'n, for something else."
Cocoanuts next appeared, but Cap'n Bill shook his head.
"Ca'n't crack 'em," he remarked, "'cause we haven't anything handy tosmash 'em with."
"Well, take one, anyhow," advised Trot; but the cocoanuts were gonenow, and a deep, purple, pear-shaped fruit which was unknown to themtook their place. Again Cap'n Bill hesitated, and Trot said to him:
"You ought to have captured a peach and a banana, as I did. If you'renot careful, Cap'n, you'll miss all your chances. Here, I'll divide mybanana with you."
Even as she spoke, the Magic Plant was covered with big red apples,growing on every branch, and Cap'n Bill hesitated no longer. Hegrabbed with both hands and picked two apples, while Trot had only timeto secure one before they were gone.
"It's curious," remarked the sailor, munching his apple, "how thesefruits keep good when you've picked 'em, but dis'pear inter thin air ifthey're left on the bush."
"The whole thing is curious," declared the girl, "and it couldn't existin any country but this, where magic is so common. Those are limes.Don't pick 'em, for they'd pucker up your mouth and--Ooo! here comeplums!" and she tucked her apple in her apron pocket and captured threeplums--each one almost as big as an egg--before they disappeared.Cap'n Bill got some too, but both were too hungry to fast any longer,so they began eating their apples and plums and let the magic bush bearall sorts of fruits, one after another. The Cap'n stopped once to picka fine cantaloupe, which he held under his arm, and Trot, havingfinished her plums, got a handful of cherries and an orange; but whenalmost every sort of fruit had appeared on the bush, the crop ceasedand only flowers, as before, bloomed upon it.
"I wonder why it changed back," mused Trot, who was not worried becauseshe had enough fruit to satisfy her hunger.
"Well, you only wished it would bear fruit 'for a while,'" said thesailor, "and it did. P'raps if you'd said 'forever,' Trot, it wouldhave always been fruit."
"But why should MY wish be obeyed?" asked the girl. "I'm not a fairyor a wizard or any kind of a magic-maker."
"I guess," replied Cap'n Bill, "that this little island is a magicisland, and any folks on it can tell the bush what to produce, an'it'll produce it."
"Do you think I could wish for anything else, Cap'n and get it?" sheinquired anxiously.
"What are you thinkin' of, Trot?"
"I'm thinking of wishing that these roots on our feet would disappear,and let us free."
"Try it, Trot."
So she tried it, and the wish had no effect whatever.
"Try it yourself, Cap'n," she suggested.
Then Cap'n Bill made the wish to be free, with no better result.
"No," said he, "it's no use; the wishes only affect the Magic Plant;but I'm glad we can make it bear fruit, 'cause now we know we won'tstarve before the Wizard gets to us."
"But I'm gett'n' tired standing here so long," complained the girl."If I could only lift one foot, and rest it, I'd feel better."
"Same with me, Trot. I've noticed that if you've got to do a thing,and can't help yourself, it gets to be a hardship mighty quick."
"Folks that can raise their feet don't appreciate what a blessing itis," said Trot thoughtfully. "I never knew before what fun it is toraise one foot, an' then another, any time you feel like it."
"There's lots o' things folks don't 'preciate," replied the sailor-man."If somethin' would 'most stop your breath, you'd think breathin' easywas the finest thing in life. When a person's well, he don't realizehow jolly it is, but when he gets sick he 'members the time he waswell, an' wishes that time would come back. Most folks forget to thankGod for givin' 'em two good legs, till they lose one o' 'em, like Idid; and then it's too late, 'cept to praise God for leavin' one."
"Your wooden leg ain't so bad, Cap'n," she remarked, looking at itcritically. "Anyhow, it don't take root on a Magic Island, like ourmeat legs do."
"I ain't complainin'," said Cap'n Bill. "What's that swimmin' towardsus, Trot?" he added, looking over the Magic Flower and across the water.
The girl looked, too, and then she replied.
"It's a bird of some sort. It's like a duck, only I never saw a duckhave so many colors."
The bird swam swiftly and gracefully toward the Magic Isle, and as itdrew nearer its gorgeously colored plumage astonished them. Thefeathers were of many hues of glistening greens and blues and purples,and it had a yellow head with a red plume, and pink, white and violetin its tail. When it reached the Isle, it came ashore and approachedthem, waddling slowly and turning its head first to one side and thento the other, so as to see the girl and the sailor better.
"You're strangers," said the bird, coming to a halt near them, "andyou've been caught by the Magic Isle and made prisoners."
"Yes," returned Trot, with a sigh; "we're rooted. But I hope we won'tgrow."
"You'll grow small," said the Bird. "You'll keep growing smaller everyday, until bye and bye there'll be nothing left of you. That's theusual way, on this Magic Isle."
"How do you know about it, and who are you, anyhow?" asked Cap'n Bill.
"I'm the Lonesome Duck," replied the bird. "I suppose you've heard ofme?"
"No," said Trot, "I can't say I have. What makes you lonesome?"
"Why, I haven't any family or any relations," returned the Duck.
"Haven't you any friends?"
"Not a friend. And I've nothing to do. I've lived a long time, andI've got to live forever, because I belong in the Land of Oz, where noliving thing dies. Think of existing year after year, with no friends,no family, and nothing to do! Can you wonder I'm lonesome?"
"Why don't you make a few friends, and find something to do?" inquiredCap'n Bill.
"I can't make friends because everyone I meet--bird, beast, orperson--is disagreeable to me. In a few minutes I shall be unable tobear your society longer, and then I'll go away and leave you," saidthe Lonesome Duck. "And, as for doing anything, there's no use in it.All I meet are doing something, so I have decided it's common anduninteresting and I prefer to remain lonesome."
"Don't you have to hunt for your food?" asked Trot.
"No. In my diamond palace, a little way up the river, food ismagically supplied me; but I seldom eat, because it is so common."
"You must be a Magician Duck," remarked Cap'n Bill.
"Well, ordinary ducks don't have diamond palaces an' magic food, likeyou do."
"True; and that's another reason why I'm lonesome. You must rememberI'm the only Duck in the Land of Oz, and I'm not like any other duck inthe outside world."
"Seems to me you LIKE bein' lonesome," observed Cap'n Bill.
"I can't say I like it, exactly," replied the Duck, "but since it seemsto be my fate, I'm rather proud of it."
"How do you s'pose a single, solitary Duck happened to be in the Landof Oz?" asked Trot, wonderingly.
"I used to know the reason, many years ago, but I've quite forgottenit," declared the Duck. "The reason for a thing is never so importantas the thing itself, so there's no use remembering anything but thefact that I'm lonesome."
"I guess you'd be happier if you tried to do something," asserted Trot."If you can't do anything for yourself, you can do things for others,and then you'd get lots of friends and stop being lonesome."
"Now you're getting disagreeable," said the Lonesome Duck, "and I shallhave to go and leave you."
"Can't you help us any," pleaded the girl. "If there's anything magicabout you, you might get us out of this scrape."
"I haven't any magic strong enough to get you off the Magic Isle,"replied the Lonesome Duck. "What magic I possess is very simple, but Ifind it enough for my own needs."
"If we could only sit down a while, we could stand it better," saidTrot, "but we have nothing to sit on."
"Then you will have to stand it," said the Lonesome Duck.
"P'raps you've enough magic to give us a couple of stools," suggestedCap'n Bill.
"A duck isn't supposed to know what stools are," was the reply.
"But you're diff'rent from all other ducks."
"That is true." The strange creature seemed to reflect for a moment,looking at them sharply from its round black eyes. Then it said:"Sometimes, when the sun is hot, I grow a toadstool to shelter me fromits rays. Perhaps you could sit on toadstools."
"Well, if they were strong enough, they'd do," answered Cap'n Bill.
"Then, before I do I'll give you a couple," said the Lonesome Duck, andbegan waddling about in a small circle. It went around the circle tothe right three times, and then it went around to the left three times.Then it hopped backward three times and forward three times.
"What are you doing?" asked Trot.
"Don't interrupt. This is an incantation," replied the Lonesome Duck,but now it began making a succession of soft noises that sounded likequacks and seemed to mean nothing at all. And it kept up these soundsso long that Trot finally exclaimed:
"Can't you hurry up and finish that 'cantation? If it takes all summerto make a couple of toadstools, you're not much of a magician."
"I told you not to interrupt," said the Lonesome Duck, sternly. "Ifyou get TOO disagreeable, you'll drive me away before I finish thisincantation."
Trot kept quiet, after the rebuke, and the Duck resumed the quackymuttering. Cap'n Bill chuckled a little to himself and remarked toTrot in a whisper: "For a bird that ain't got anything to do, thisLonesome Duck is makin' consider'ble fuss. An' I ain't sure, afterall, as toadstools would be worth sittin' on."
Even as he spoke, the sailor-man felt something touch him from behindand, turning his head, he found a big toadstool in just the right placeand of just the right size to sit upon. There was one behind Trot,too, and with a cry of pleasure the little girl sank back upon it andfound it a very comfortable seat--solid, yet almost like a cushion.Even Cap'n Bill's weight did not break his toadstool down, and whenboth were seated, they found that the Lonesome Duck had waddled awayand was now at the water's edge.
"Thank you, ever so much!" cried Trot, and the sailor called out: "Muchobliged!"
But the Lonesome Duck paid no attention. Without even looking in theirdirection again, the gaudy fowl entered the water and swam gracefullyaway.
16. The Glass Cat Finds the Black Bag
When the six monkeys were transformed by Kiki Aru into six giantsoldiers fifty feet tall, their heads came above the top of the trees,which in this part of the forest were not so high as in some otherparts; and, although the trees were somewhat scattered, the bodies ofthe giant soldiers were so big that they quite filled the spaces inwhich they stood and the branches pressed them on every side.
Of course, Kiki was foolish to have made his soldiers so big, for nowthey could not get out of the forest. Indeed, they could not stir astep, but were imprisoned by the trees. Even had they been in thelittle clearing they could not have made their way out of it, but theywere a little beyond the clearing. At first, the other monkeys who hadnot been enchanted were afraid of the soldiers, and hastily quitted theplace; but soon finding that the great men stood stock still, althoughgrunting indignantly at their transformation, the band of monkeysreturned to the spot and looked at them curiously, not guessing thatthey were really monkeys and their own friends.
The soldiers couldn't see them, their heads being above the trees; theycould not even raise their arms or draw their sharp swords, so closelywere they held by the leafy branches. So the monkeys, finding thegiants helpless, began climbing up their bodies, and presently all theband were perched on the shoulders of the giants and peering into theirfaces.
"I'm Ebu, your father," cried one soldier to a monkey who had perchedupon his left ear, "but some cruel person has enchanted me."
"I'm your Uncle Peeker," said another soldier to another monkey.
So, very soon all the monkeys knew the truth and were sorry for theirfriends and relations and angry at the person--whoever it was--who hadtransformed them. There was a great chattering among the tree-tops,and the noise attracted other monkeys, so that the clearing and all thetrees around were full of them.
Rango the Gray Ape, who was the Chief of all the monkey tribes of theforest, heard the uproar and came to see what was wrong with hispeople. And Rango, being wiser and more experienced, at once knew thatthe strange magician who looked like a mixed-up beast was responsiblefor the transformations. He realized that the six giant soldiers werehelpless prisoners, because of their size, and knew he was powerless torelease them. So, although he feared to meet the terrible magician, hehurried away to the Great Clearing to tell Gugu the King what hadhappened and to try to find the Wizard of Oz and get him to save hissix enchanted subjects.
Rango darted into the Great Clearing just as the Wizard had restoredall the enchanted ones around him to their proper shapes, and the GrayApe was glad to hear that the wicked magician-beast had been conquered.
"But now, O mighty Wizard, you must come with me to where six of mypeople are transformed into six great giant men," he said, "for if theyare allowed to remain there, their happiness and their future liveswill be ruined."
The Wizard did not reply at once, for he was thinking this a goodopportunity to win Rango's consent to his taking some monkeys to theEmerald City for Ozma's birthday cake.
"It is a great thing you ask of me, O Rango the Gray Ape," said he,"for the bigger the giants are the more powerful their enchantment, andthe more difficult it will be to restore them to their natural forms.However, I will think it over."
Then the Wizard went to another part of the clearing and sat on a logand appeared to be in deep thought.
The Glass Cat had been greatly interested in the Gray Ape's story andwas curious to see what the giant soldiers looked like. Hearing thattheir heads extended above the tree-tops, the Glass Cat decided that ifit climbed the tall avocado tree that stood at the side of theclearing, it might be able to see the giants' heads. So, withoutmentioning her errand, the crystal creature went to the tree and, bysticking her sharp glass claws in the bark, easily climbed the tree toits very top and, looking over the forest, saw the six giant heads,although they were now a long way off. It was, indeed, a remarkablesight, for the huge heads had immense soldier caps on them, with redand yellow plumes and looked very fierce and terrible, although themonkey hearts of the giants were at that moment filled with fear.
Having satisfied her curiosity, the Glass Cat began to climb down fromthe tree more slowly. Suddenly she discerned the Wizard's black baghanging from a limb of the tree. She grasped the black bag in herglass teeth, and although it was rather heavy for so small an animal,managed to get it free and to carry it safely down to the ground. Thenshe looked around for the Wizard and seeing him seated upon the stumpshe hid the black bag among some leaves and then went over to where theWizard sat.
"I forgot to tell you," said the Glass Cat, "that Trot and Cap'n Billare in trouble, and I came here to hunt you up and get you to go andrescue them."
"Good gracious, Cat! Why didn't you tell me before?" exclaimed theWizard.
"For the reason that I found so much excitement here that I forgot Trotand Cap'n Bill."
"What's wrong with them?" asked the Wizard.
Then the Glass Cat explained how they had gone to get the Magic Flowerfor Ozma's birthday gift and had been trapped by the magic of the queerisland. The Wizard was really alarmed, but he shook his head and saidsadly:
"I'm afraid I can't help my dear friends, because I've lost my blackbag."
"If I find it, will you go to them?" asked the creature.
"Of course," replied the Wizard. "But I do not think that a Glass Catwith nothing but pink brains can succeed when all the rest of us havefailed."
"Don't you admire my pink brains?" demanded the Cat.
"They're pretty," admitted the Wizard, "but they're not regular brains,you know, and so we don't expect them to amount to much."
"But if I find your black bag--and find it inside of five minutes--willyou admit my pink brains are better than your common human brains?"
"Well, I'll admit they're better HUNTERS," said the Wizard,reluctantly, "but you can't do it. We've searched everywhere, and theblack bag isn't to be found."
"That shows how much you know!" retorted the Glass Cat, scornfully."Watch my brains a minute, and see them whirl around."
The Wizard watched, for he was anxious to regain his black bag, and thepink brains really did whirl around in a remarkable manner.
"Now, come with me," commanded the Glass Cat, and led the Wizardstraight to the spot where it had covered the bag with leaves."According to my brains," said the creature, "your black bag ought tobe here."
Then it scratched at the leaves and uncovered the bag, which the Wizardpromptly seized with a cry of delight. Now that he had regained hisMagic Tools, he felt confident he could rescue Trot and Cap'n Bill.
Rango the Gray Ape was getting impatient. He now approached the Wizardand said:
"Well, what do you intend to do about those poor enchanted monkeys?"
"I'll make a bargain with you, Rango," replied the little man. "If youwill let me take a dozen of your monkeys to the Emerald City, and keepthem until after Ozma's birthday, I'll break the enchantment of the sixGiant Soldiers and return them to their natural forms."
But the Gray Ape shook his head.
"I can't do it," he declared. "The monkeys would be very lonesome andunhappy in the Emerald City and your people would tease them and throwstones at them, which would cause them to fight and bite."
"The people won't see them till Ozma's birthday dinner," promised theWizard. "I'll make them very small--about four inches high, and I'llkeep them in a pretty cage in my own room, where they will be safe fromharm. I'll feed them the nicest kind of food, train them to do someclever tricks, and on Ozma's birthday I'll hide the twelve littlemonkeys inside a cake. When Ozma cuts the cake the monkeys will jumpout on to the table and do their tricks. The next day I will bringthem back to the forest and make them big as ever, and they'll havesome exciting stories to tell their friends. What do you say, Rango?"
"I say no!" answered the Gray Ape. "I won't have my monkeys enchantedand made to do tricks for the Oz people."
"Very well," said the Wizard calmly; "then I'll go. Come, Dorothy," hecalled to the little girl, "let's start on our journey."
"Aren't you going to save those six monkeys who are giant soldiers?"asked Rango, anxiously.
"Why should I?" returned the Wizard. "If you will not do me the favorI ask, you cannot expect me to favor you."
"Wait a minute," said the Gray Ape. "I've changed my mind. If youwill treat the twelve monkeys nicely and bring them safely back to theforest, I'll let you take them."
"Thank you," replied the Wizard, cheerfully. "We'll go at once andsave those giant soldiers."
So all the party left the clearing and proceeded to the place where thegiants still stood among the trees. Hundreds of monkeys, apes, baboonsand orangoutangs had gathered round, and their wild chatter could beheard a mile away. But the Gray Ape soon hushed the babel of sounds,and the Wizard lost no time in breaking the enchantments. First oneand then another giant soldier disappeared and became an ordinarymonkey again, and the six were shortly returned to their friends intheir proper forms.
This action made the Wizard very popular with the great army ofmonkeys, and when the Gray Ape announced that the Wizard wanted toborrow twelve monkeys to take to the Emerald City for a couple ofweeks, and asked for volunteers, nearly a hundred offered to go, sogreat was their confidence in the little man who had saved theircomrades.
The Wizard selected a dozen that seemed intelligent and good-tempered,and then he opened his black bag and took out a queerly shaped dishthat was silver on the outside and gold on the inside. Into this dishhe poured a powder and set fire to it. It made a thick smoke thatquite enveloped the twelve monkeys, as well as the form of the Wizard,but when the smoke cleared away the dish had been changed to a goldencage with silver bars, and the twelve monkeys had become about threeinches high and were all seated comfortably inside the cage.
The thousands of hairy animals who had witnessed this act of magic weremuch astonished and applauded the Wizard by barking aloud and shakingthe limbs of the trees in which they sat. Dorothy said: "That was afine trick, Wizard!" and the Gray Ape remarked: "You are certainly themost wonderful magician in all the Land of Oz!"
"Oh, no," modestly replied the little man. "Glinda's magic is betterthan mine, but mine seems good enough to use on ordinary occasions.And now, Rango, we will say good-bye, and I promise to return yourmonkeys as happy and safe as they are now."
The Wizard rode on the back of the Hungry Tiger and carried the cage ofmonkeys very carefully, so as not to joggle them. Dorothy rode on theback of the Cowardly Lion, and the Glass Cat trotted, as before, toshow them the way.
Gugu the King crouched upon a log and watched them go, but as he badethem farewell, the enormous Leopard said:
"I know now that you are the friends of beasts and that the forestpeople may trust you. Whenever the Wizard of Oz and Princess Dorothyenter the Forest of Gugu hereafter, they will be as welcome and as safewith us as ever they are in the Emerald City."
17. A Remarkable Journey
"You see," explained the Glass Cat, "that Magic Isle where Trot andCap'n Bill are stuck is also in this Gillikin Country--over at the eastside of it, and it's no farther to go across-lots from here than it isfrom here to the Emerald City. So we'll save time by cutting acrossthe mountains."
"Are you sure you know the way?" asked Dorothy.
"I know all the Land of Oz better than any other living creature knowsit," asserted the Glass Cat.
"Go ahead, then, and guide us," said the Wizard. "We've left our poorfriends helpless too long already, and the sooner we rescue them thehappier they'll be."
"Are you sure you can get 'em out of their fix?" the little girlinquired.
"I've no doubt of it," the Wizard assured her. "But I can't tell whatsort of magic I must use until I get to the place and discover just howthey are enchanted."
"I've heard of that Magic Isle where the Wonderful Flower grows,"remarked the Cowardly Lion. "Long ago, when I used to live in theforests, the beasts told stories about the Isle and how the MagicFlower was placed there to entrap strangers--men or beasts."
"Is the Flower really wonderful?" questioned Dorothy.
"I have heard it is the most beautiful plant in the world," answeredthe Lion. "I have never seen it myself, but friendly beasts have toldme that they have stood on the shore of the river and looked across atthe plant in the gold flower-pot and seen hundreds of flowers, of allsorts and sizes, blossom upon it in quick succession. It is said thatif one picks the flowers while they are in bloom they will remainperfect for a long time, but if they are not picked they soon disappearand are replaced by other flowers. That, in my opinion, make the MagicPlant the most wonderful in existence."
"But these are only stories," said the girl. "Has any of your friendsever picked a flower from the wonderful plant?"
"No," admitted the Cowardly Lion, "for if any living thing venturesupon the Magic Isle, where the golden flower-pot stands, that man orbeast takes root in the soil and cannot get away again."
"What happens to them, then?" asked Dorothy.
"They grow smaller, hour by hour and day by day, and finally disappearentirely."
"Then," said the girl anxiously, "we must hurry up, or Cap'n Bill an'Trot will get too small to be comf'table."
They were proceeding at a rapid pace during this conversation, for theHungry Tiger and the Cowardly Lion were obliged to move swiftly inorder to keep pace with the Glass Cat. After leaving the Forest ofGugu they crossed a mountain range, and then a broad plain, after whichthey reached another forest, much smaller than that where Gugu ruled.
"The Magic Isle is in this forest," said the Glass Cat, "but the riveris at the other side of the forest. There is no path through thetrees, but if we keep going east, we will find the river, and then itwill be easy to find the Magic Isle."
"Have you ever traveled this way before?" inquired the Wizard.
"Not exactly," admitted the Cat, "but I know we shall reach the riverif we go east through the forest."
"Lead on, then," said the Wizard.
The Glass Cat started away, and at first it was easy to pass betweenthe trees; but before long the underbrush and vines became thick andtangled, and after pushing their way through these obstacles for atime, our travelers came to a place where even the Glass Cat could notpush through.
"We'd better go back and find a path," suggested the Hungry Tiger.
"I'm s'prised at you," said Dorothy, eyeing the Glass Cat severely.
"I'm surprised, myself," replied the Cat. "But it's a long way aroundthe forest to where the river enters it, and I thought we could savetime by going straight through."
"No one can blame you," said the Wizard, "and I think, instead ofturning back, I can make a path that will allow us to proceed."
He opened his black bag and after searching among his magic tools drewout a small axe, made of some metal so highly polished that itglittered brightly even in the dark forest. The Wizard laid the littleaxe on the ground and said in a commanding voice:
"Chop, Little Axe, chop clean and true; A path for our feet you must quickly hew. Chop till this tangle of jungle is passed; Chop to the east, Little Axe--chop fast!"
Then the little axe began to move and flashed its bright blade rightand left, clearing a way through vine and brush and scattering thetangled barrier so quickly that the Lion and the Tiger, carryingDorothy and the Wizard and the cage of monkeys on their backs, wereable to stride through the forest at a fast walk. The brush seemed tomelt away before them and the little axe chopped so fast that theireyes only saw a twinkling of the blade. Then, suddenly, the forest wasopen again, and the little axe, having obeyed its orders, lay stillupon the ground.
The Wizard picked up the magic axe and after carefully wiping it withhis silk handkerchief put it away in his black bag. Then they went onand in a short time reached the river.
"Let me see," said the Glass Cat, looking up and down the stream, "Ithink we are below the Magic Isle; so we must go up the stream until wecome to it."
So up the stream they traveled, walking comfortably on the river bank,and after a while the water broadened and a sharp bend appeared in theriver, hiding all below from their view. They walked briskly along,however, and had nearly reached the bend when a voice cried warningly:"Look out!"
The travelers halted abruptly and the Wizard said: "Look out for what?"
"You almost stepped on my Diamond Palace," replied the voice, and aduck with gorgeously colored feathers appeared before them. "Beastsand men are terribly clumsy," continued the Duck in an irritated tone,"and you've no business on this side of the River, anyway. What areyou doing here?"
"We've come to rescue some friends of ours who are stuck fast on theMagic Isle in this river," explained Dorothy.
"I know 'em," said the Duck. "I've been to see 'em, and they're stuckfast, all right. You may as well go back home, for no power can savethem."
"This is the Wonderful Wizard of Oz," said Dorothy, pointing to thelittle man.
"Well, I'm the Lonesome Duck," was the reply, as the fowl strutted upand down to show its feathers to best advantage. "I'm the great ForestMagician, as any beast can tell you, but even I have no power todestroy the dreadful charm of the Magic Isle."
"Are you lonesome because you're a magician?" inquired Dorothy.
"No; I'm lonesome because I have no family and no friends. But I liketo be lonesome, so please don't offer to be friendly with me. Go away,and try not to step on my Diamond Palace."
"Where is it?" asked the girl.
"Behind this bush."
Dorothy hopped off the lion's back and ran around the bush to see theDiamond Palace of the Lonesome Duck, although the gaudy fowl protestedin a series of low quacks. The girl found, indeed, a glistening domeformed of clearest diamonds, neatly cemented together, with a doorwayat the side just big enough to admit the duck.
"Where did you find so many diamonds?" asked Dorothy, wonderingly.
"I know a place in the mountains where they are thick as pebbles," saidthe Lonesome Duck, "and I brought them here in my bill, one by one andput them in the river and let the water run over them until they werebrightly polished. Then I built this palace, and I'm positive it's theonly Diamond Palace in all the world."
"It's the only one I know of," said the little girl; "but if you livein it all alone, I don't see why it's any better than a wooden palace,or one of bricks or cobble-stones."
"You're not supposed to understand that," retorted the Lonesome Duck."But I might tell you, as a matter of education, that a home of anysort should be beautiful to those who live in it, and should not beintended to please strangers. The Diamond Palace is my home, and Ilike it. So I don't care a quack whether YOU like it or not."
"Oh, but I do!" exclaimed Dorothy. "It's lovely on the outside, but--"Then she stopped speaking, for the Lonesome Duck had entered his palacethrough the little door without even saying good-bye. So Dorothyreturned to her friends and they resumed their journey.
"Do you think, Wizard, the Duck was right in saying no magic can rescueTrot and Cap'n Bill?" asked the girl in a worried tone of voice.
"No, I don't think the Lonesome Duck was right in saying that,"answered the Wizard, gravely, "but it is possible that theirenchantment will be harder to overcome than I expected. I'll do mybest, of course, and no one can do more than his best."
That didn't entirely relieve Dorothy's anxiety, but she said nothingmore, and soon, on turning the bend in the river, they came in sight ofthe Magic Isle.
"There they are!" exclaimed Dorothy eagerly.
"Yes, I see them," replied the Wizard, nodding. "They are sitting ontwo big toadstools."
"That's queer," remarked the Glass Cat. "There were no toadstoolsthere when I left them."
"What a lovely flower!" cried Dorothy in rapture, as her gaze fell onthe Magic Plant.
"Never mind the Flower, just now," advised the Wizard. "The mostimportant thing is to rescue our friends."
By this time they had arrived at a place just opposite the Magic Isle,and now both Trot and Cap'n Bill saw the arrival of their friends andcalled to them for help.
"How are you?" shouted the Wizard, putting his hands to his mouth sothey could hear him better across the water.
"We're in hard luck," shouted Cap'n Bill, in reply. "We're anchoredhere and can't move till you find a way to cut the hawser."
"What does he mean by that?" asked Dorothy.
"We can't move our feet a bit!" called Trot, speaking as loud as shecould.
"Why not?" inquired Dorothy.
"They've got roots on 'em," explained Trot.
It was hard to talk from so great a distance, so the Wizard said to theGlass Cat:
"Go to the island and tell our friends to be patient, for we have cometo save them. It may take a little time to release them, for the Magicof the Isle is new to me and I shall have to experiment. But tell themI'll hurry as fast as I can."
So the Glass Cat walked across the river under the water to tell Trotand Cap'n Bill not to worry, and the Wizard at once opened his blackbag and began to make his preparations.
18. The Magic of the Wizard
He first set up a small silver tripod and placed a gold basin at thetop of it. Into this basin he put two powders--a pink one and asky-blue one--and poured over them a yellow liquid from a crystal vial.Then he mumbled some magic words, and the powders began to sizzle andburn and send out a cloud of violet smoke that floated across the riverand completely enveloped both Trot and Cap'n Bill, as well as thetoadstools on which they sat, and even the Magic Plant in the goldflower-pot. Then, after the smoke had disappeared into air, the Wizardcalled out to the prisoners:
"Are you free?"
Both Trot and Cap'n Bill tried to move their feet and failed.
"No!" they shouted in answer.
The Wizard rubbed his bald head thoughtfully and then took some othermagic tools from the bag.
First he placed a little black ball in a silver pistol and shot ittoward the Magic Isle. The ball exploded just over the head of Trotand scattered a thousand sparks over the little girl.
"Oh!" said the Wizard, "I guess that will set her free."
But Trot's feet were still rooted in the ground of the Magic Isle, andthe disappointed Wizard had to try something else.
For almost an hour he worked hard, using almost every magic tool in hisblack bag, and still Cap'n Bill and Trot were not rescued.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Dorothy, "I'm 'fraid we'll have to go to Glinda,after all."
That made the little Wizard blush, for it shamed him to think that hismagic was not equal to that of the Magic Isle.
"I won't give up yet, Dorothy," he said, "for I know a lot of wizardrythat I haven't yet tried. I don't know what magician enchanted thislittle island, or what his powers were, but I DO know that I can breakany enchantment known to the ordinary witches and magicians that usedto inhabit the Land of Oz. It's like unlocking a door; all you need isto find the right key."
"But 'spose you haven't the right key with you." suggested Dorothy;"what then?"
"Then we'll have to make the key," he answered.
The Glass Cat now came back to their side of the river, walking underthe water, and said to the Wizard: "They're getting frightened overthere on the island because they're both growing smaller every minute.Just now, when I left them, both Trot and Cap'n Bill were only abouthalf their natural sizes."
"I think," said the Wizard reflectively, "that I'd better go to theshore of the island, where I can talk to them and work to betteradvantage. How did Trot and Cap'n Bill get to the island?"
"On a raft," answered the Glass Cat. "It's over there now on thebeach."
"I suppose you're not strong enough to bring the raft to this side, areyou?"
"No; I couldn't move it an inch," said the Cat.
"I'll try to get it for you," volunteered the Cowardly Lion. "I'mdreadfully scared for fear the Magic Isle will capture me, too; butI'll try to get the raft and bring it to this side for you."
"Thank you, my friend," said the Wizard.
So the Lion plunged into the river and swam with powerful strokesacross to where the raft was beached upon the island. Placing one pawon the raft, he turned and struck out with his other three legs and sostrong was the great beast that he managed to drag the raft from offthe beach and propel it slowly to where the Wizard stood on the riverbank.
"Good!" exclaimed the little man, well pleased.
"May I go across with you?" asked Dorothy.
The Wizard hesitated.
"If you'll take care not to leave the raft or step foot on the island,you'll be quite safe," he decided. So the Wizard told the Hungry Tigerand the Cowardly Lion to guard the cage of monkeys until he returned,and then he and Dorothy got upon the raft. The paddle which Cap'n Billhad made was still there, so the little Wizard paddled the clumsy raftacross the water and ran it upon the beach of the Magic Isle as closeto the place where Cap'n Bill and Trot were rooted as he could.
Dorothy was shocked to see how small the prisoners had become, and Trotsaid to her friends: "If you can't save us soon, there'll be nothingleft of us."
"Be patient, my dear," counseled the Wizard, and took the little axefrom his black bag.
"What are you going to do with that?" asked Cap'n Bill.
"It's a magic axe," replied the Wizard, "and when I tell it to chop, itwill chop those roots from your feet and you can run to the raft beforethey grow again."
"Don't!" shouted the sailor in alarm. "Don't do it! Those roots areall flesh roots, and our bodies are feeding 'em while they're growinginto the ground."
"To cut off the roots," said Trot, "would be like cutting off ourfingers and toes."
The Wizard put the little axe back in the black bag and took out a pairof silver pincers.
"Grow--grow--grow!" he said to the pincers, and at once they grew andextended until they reached from the raft to the prisoners.
"What are you going to do now?" demanded Cap'n Bill, fearfully eyeingthe pincers.
"This magic tool will pull you up, roots and all, and land you on thisraft," declared the Wizard.
"Don't do it!" pleaded the sailor, with a shudder. "It would hurt usawfully."
"It would be just like pulling teeth to pull us up by the roots,"explained Trot.
"Grow small!" said the Wizard to the pincers, and at once they becamesmall and he threw them into the black bag.
"I guess, friends, it's all up with us, this time," remarked Cap'nBill, with a dismal sigh.
"Please tell Ozma, Dorothy," said Trot, "that we got into troubletrying to get her a nice birthday present. Then she'll forgive us.The Magic Flower is lovely and wonderful, but it's just a lure to catchfolks on this dreadful island and then destroy them. You'll have anice birthday party, without us, I'm sure; and I hope, Dorothy, thatnone of you in the Emerald City will forget me--or dear ol' Cap'n Bill."
19. Dorothy and the Bumble Bees
Dorothy was greatly distressed and had hard work to keep the tears fromher eyes.
"Is that all you can do, Wizard?" she asked the little man.
"It's all I can think of just now," he replied sadly. "But I intend tokeep on thinking as long--as long--well, as long as thinking will doany good."
They were all silent for a time, Dorothy and the Wizard sittingthoughtfully on the raft, and Trot and Cap'n Bill sitting thoughtfullyon the toadstools and growing gradually smaller and smaller in size.
Suddenly Dorothy said: "Wizard, I've thought of something!"
"What have you thought of?" he asked, looking at the little girl withinterest.
"Can you remember the Magic Word that transforms people?" she asked.
"Of course," said he.
"Then you can transform Trot and Cap'n Bill into birds or bumblebees,and they can fly away to the other shore. When they're there, you cantransform 'em into their reg'lar shapes again!"
"Can you do that, Wizard?" asked Cap'n Bill, eagerly.
"I think so."
"Roots an' all?" inquired Trot.
"Why, the roots are now a part of you, and if you were transformed to abumblebee the whole of you would be transformed, of course, and you'dbe free of this awful island."
"All right; do it!" cried the sailor-man.
So the Wizard said slowly and distinctly:
"I want Trot and Cap'n Bill to become bumblebees--Pyrzqxgl!"
Fortunately, he pronounced the Magic Word in the right way, andinstantly Trot and Cap'n Bill vanished from view, and up from theplaces where they had been flew two bumblebees.
"Hooray!" shouted Dorothy in delight; "they're saved!"
"I guess they are," agreed the Wizard, equally delighted.
The bees hovered over the raft an instant and then flew across theriver to where the Lion and the Tiger waited. The Wizard picked up thepaddle and paddled the raft across as fast as he could. When itreached the river bank, both Dorothy and the Wizard leaped ashore andthe little man asked excitedly:
"Where are the bees?"
"The bees?" inquired the Lion, who was half asleep and did not knowwhat had happened on the Magic Isle.
"Yes; there were two of them."
"Two bees?" said the Hungry Tiger, yawning. "Why, I ate one of themand the Cowardly Lion ate the other."
"Goodness gracious!" cried Dorothy horrified.
"It was little enough for our lunch," remarked the Tiger, "but the beeswere the only things we could find."
"How dreadful!" wailed Dorothy, wringing her hands in despair. "You'veeaten Trot and Cap'n Bill."
But just then she heard a buzzing overhead and two bees alighted on hershoulder.
"Here we are," said a small voice in her ear. "I'm Trot, Dorothy."
"And I'm Cap'n Bill," said the other bee.
Dorothy almost fainted, with relief, and the Wizard, who was close byand had heard the tiny voices, gave a laugh and said:
"You are not the only two bees in the forest, it seems, but I adviseyou to keep away from the Lion and the Tiger until you regain yourproper forms."
"Do it now, Wizard!" advised Dorothy. "They're so small that you nevercan tell what might happen to 'em."
So the Wizard gave the command and pronounced the Magic Word, and inthe instant Trot and Cap'n Bill stood beside them as natural as beforethey had met their fearful adventure. For they were no longer small insize, because the Wizard had transformed them from bumblebees into theshapes and sizes that nature had formerly given them. The ugly rootson their feet had disappeared with the transformation.
While Dorothy was hugging Trot, and Trot was softly crying because shewas so happy, the Wizard shook hands with Cap'n Bill and congratulatedhim on his escape. The old sailor-man was so pleased that he alsoshook the Lion's paw and took off his hat and bowed politely to thecage of monkeys.
Then Cap'n Bill did a curious thing. He went to a big tree and, takingout his knife, cut away a big, broad piece of thick bark. Then he satdown on the ground and after taking a roll of stout cord from hispocket--which seemed to be full of all sorts of things--he proceeded tobind the flat piece of bark to the bottom of his good foot, over theleather sole.
"What's that for?" inquired the Wizard.
"I hate to be stumped," replied the sailor-man; "so I'm goin' back tothat island."
"And get enchanted again?" exclaimed Trot, with evident disapproval.
"No; this time I'll dodge the magic of the island. I noticed that mywooden leg didn't get stuck, or take root, an' neither did the glassfeet of the Glass Cat. It's only a thing that's made of meat--like manan' beasts--that the magic can hold an' root to the ground. Our shoesare leather, an' leather comes from a beast's hide. Our stockin's arewool, an' wool comes from a sheep's back. So, when we walked on theMagic Isle, our feet took root there an' held us fast. But not mywooden leg. So now I'll put a wooden bottom on my other foot an' themagic can't stop me."
"But why do you wish to go back to the island?" asked Dorothy.
"Didn't you see the Magic Flower in the gold flower-pot?" returnedCap'n Bill.
"Of course I saw it, and it's lovely and wonderful."
"Well, Trot an' I set out to get the magic plant for a present to Ozmaon her birthday, and I mean to get it an' take it back with us to theEmerald City."
"That would be fine," cried Trot eagerly, "if you think you can do it,and it would be safe to try!"
"I'm pretty sure it is safe, the way I've fixed my foot," said thesailor, "an' if I SHOULD happen to get caught, I s'pose the Wizardcould save me again."
"I suppose I could," agreed the Wizard. "Anyhow, if you wish to tryit, Cap'n Bill, go ahead and we'll stand by and watch what happens."
So the sailor-man got upon the raft again and paddled over to the MagicIsle, landing as close to the golden flower-pot as he could. Theywatched him walk across the land, put both arms around the flower-potand lift it easily from its place. Then he carried it to the raft andset it down very gently. The removal did not seem to affect the MagicFlower in any way, for it was growing daffodils when Cap'n Bill pickedit up and on the way to the raft it grew tulips and gladioli. Duringthe time the sailor was paddling across the river to where his friendsawaited him, seven different varieties of flowers bloomed in successionon the plant.
"I guess the Magician who put it on the island never thought that anyone would carry it off," said Dorothy.
"He figured that only men would want the plant, and any man who wentupon the island to get it would be caught by the enchantment," addedthe Wizard.
"After this," remarked Trot, "no one will care to go on the island, soit won't be a trap any more."
"There," exclaimed Cap'n Bill, setting down the Magic Plant in triumphupon the river bank, "if Ozma gets a better birthday present than that,I'd like to know what it can be!"
"It'll s'prise her, all right," declared Dorothy, standing in awedwonder before the gorgeous blossoms and watching them change fromyellow roses to violets.
"It'll s'prise ev'rybody in the Em'rald City," Trot asserted in glee,"and it'll be Ozma's present from Cap'n Bill and me."
"I think I ought to have a little credit," objected the Glass Cat. "Idiscovered the thing, and led you to it, and brought the Wizard here tosave you when you got caught."
"That's true," admitted Trot, "and I'll tell Ozma the whole story, soshe'll know how good you've been."
20. The Monkeys Have Trouble
"Now," said the Wizard, "we must start for home. But how are we goingto carry that big gold flower-pot? Cap'n Bill can't lug it all theway, that's certain."
"No," acknowledged the sailor-man; "it's pretty heavy. I could carryit for a little while, but I'd have to stop to rest every few minutes."
"Couldn't we put it on your back?" Dorothy asked the Cowardly Lion,with a good-natured yawn.
"I don't object to carrying it, if you can fasten it on," answered theLion.
"If it falls off," said Trot, "it might get smashed an' be ruined."
"I'll fix it," promised Cap'n Bill. "I'll make a flat board out of oneof these tree trunks, an' tie the board on the lion's back, an' set theflower-pot on the board." He set to work at once to do this, but as heonly had his big knife for a tool his progress was slow.
So the Wizard took from his black bag a tiny saw that shone like silverand said to it:
"Saw, Little Saw, come show your power; Make us a board for the Magic Flower."
And at once the Little Saw began to move and it sawed the log so fastthat those who watched it work were astonished. It seemed tounderstand, too, just what the board was to be used for, for when itwas completed it was flat on top and hollowed beneath in such a mannerthat it exactly fitted the Lion's back.
"That beats whittlin'!" exclaimed Cap'n Bill, admiringly. "You don'thappen to have TWO o' them saws; do you, Wizard?"
"No," replied the Wizard, wiping the Magic Saw carefully with his silkhandkerchief and putting it back in the black bag. "It's the only sawof its kind in the world; and if there were more like it, it wouldn'tbe so wonderful."
They now tied the board on the Lion's back, flat side up, and Cap'nBill carefully placed the Magic Flower on the board.
"For fear o' accidents," he said, "I'll walk beside the Lion and holdonto the flower-pot."
Trot and Dorothy could both ride on the back of the Hungry Tiger, andbetween them they carried the cage of monkeys. But this arrangementleft the Wizard, as well as the sailor, to make the journey on foot,and so the procession moved slowly and the Glass Cat grumbled becauseit would take so long to get to the Emerald City.
The Cat was sour-tempered and grumpy, at first, but before they hadjourneyed far, the crystal creature had discovered a fine amusement.The long tails of the monkeys were constantly sticking through the barsof their cage, and when they did, the Glass Cat would slyly seize thetails in her paws and pull them. That made the monkeys scream, andtheir screams pleased the Glass Cat immensely. Trot and Dorothy triedto stop this naughty amusement, but when they were not looking the Catwould pull the tails again, and the creature was so sly and quick thatthe monkeys could seldom escape. They scolded the Cat angrily andshook the bars of their cage, but they could not get out and the Catonly laughed at them.
After the party had left the forest and were on the plains of theMunchkin Country, it grew dark, and they were obliged to make camp forthe night, choosing a pretty place beside a brook. By means of hismagic the Wizard created three tents, pitched in a row on the grass andnicely fitted with all that was needful for the comfort of hiscomrades. The middle tent was for Dorothy and Trot, and had in it twocosy white beds and two chairs. Another tent, also with beds andchairs, was for the Wizard and Cap'n Bill, while the third tent was forthe Hungry Tiger, the Cowardly Lion, the cage of Monkeys and the GlassCat. Outside the tents the Wizard made a fire and placed over it amagic kettle from which he presently drew all sorts of nice things fortheir supper, smoking hot.
After they had eaten and talked together for a while under thetwinkling stars, they all went to bed and the people were soon asleep.The Lion and the Tiger had almost fallen asleep, too, when they wereroused by the screams of the monkeys, for the Glass Cat was pullingtheir tails again. Annoyed by the uproar, the Hungry Tiger cried:"Stop that racket!" and getting sight of the Glass Cat, he raised hisbig paw and struck at the creature. The cat was quick enough to dodgethe blow, but the claws of the Hungry Tiger scraped the monkey's cageand bent two of the bars.
Then the Tiger lay down again to sleep, but the monkeys soon discoveredthat the bending of the bars would allow them to squeeze through. Theydid not leave the cage, however, but after whispering together they lettheir tails stick out and all remained quiet. Presently the Glass Catstole near the cage again and gave a yank to one of the tails.Instantly the monkeys leaped through the bars, one after another, andalthough they were so small the entire dozen of them surrounded theGlass Cat and clung to her claws and tail and ears and made her aprisoner. Then they forced her out of the tent and down to the banksof the stream. The monkeys had noticed that these banks were coveredwith thick, slimy mud of a dark blue color, and when they had taken theCat to the stream, they smeared this mud all over the glass body of thecat, filling the creature's ears and eyes with it, so that she couldneither see nor hear. She was no longer transparent and so thick wasthe mud upon her that no one could see her pink brains or her rubyheart.
In this condition they led the pussy back to the tent and then gotinside their cage again.
By morning the mud had dried hard on the Glass Cat and it was a dullblue color throughout. Dorothy and Trot were horrified, but the Wizardshook his head and said it served the Glass Cat right for teasing themonkeys.
Cap'n Bill, with his strong hands, soon bent the golden wires of themonkeys' cage into the proper position and then he asked the Wizard ifhe should wash the Glass Cat in the water of the brook.
"Not just yet," answered the Wizard. "The Cat deserves to be punished,so I think I'll leave that blue mud--which is as bad as paint--upon herbody until she gets to the Emerald City. The silly creature is so vainthat she will be greatly shamed when the Oz people see her in thiscondition, and perhaps she'll take the lesson to heart and leave themonkeys alone hereafter."
However, the Glass Cat could not see or hear, and to avoid carrying heron the journey the Wizard picked the mud out of her eyes and ears andDorothy dampened her handkerchief and washed both the eyes and earsclean.
As soon as she could speak the Glass Cat asked indignantly: "Aren't yougoing to punish those monkeys for playing such a trick on me?"
"No," answered the Wizard. "You played a trick on them by pullingtheir tails, so this is only tit-for-tat, and I'm glad the monkeys hadtheir revenge."
He wouldn't allow the Glass Cat to go near the water, to wash herself,but made her follow them when they resumed their journey toward theEmerald City.
"This is only part of your punishment," said the Wizard, severely."Ozma will laugh at you, when we get to her palace, and so will theScarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, and Tik-Tok, and the Shaggy Man, andButton-Bright, and the Patchwork Girl, and--"
"And the Pink Kitten," added Dorothy.
That suggestion hurt the Glass Cat more than anything else. The PinkKitten always quarreled with the Glass Cat and insisted that flesh wassuperior to glass, while the Glass Cat would jeer at the Pink Kitten,because it had no pink brains. But the pink brains were all daubedwith blue mud, just now, and if the Pink Kitten should see the GlassCat in such a condition, it would be dreadfully humiliating.
For several hours the Glass Cat walked along very meekly, but towardnoon it seized an opportunity when no one was looking and darted awaythrough the long grass. It remembered that there was a tiny lake ofpure water near by, and to this lake the Cat sped as fast as it couldgo.
The others never missed her until they stopped for lunch, and then itwas too late to hunt for her.
"I s'pect she's gone somewhere to clean herself," said Dorothy.
"Never mind," replied the Wizard. "Perhaps this glass creature hasbeen punished enough, and we must not forget she saved both Trot andCap'n Bill."
"After first leading 'em onto an enchanted island," added Dorothy."But I think, as you do, that the Glass Cat is punished enough, andp'raps she won't try to pull the monkeys' tails again."
The Glass Cat did not rejoin the party of travelers. She was stillresentful, and they moved too slowly to suit her, besides. When theyarrived at the Royal Palace, one of the first things they saw was theGlass Cat curled up on a bench as bright and clean and transparent asever. But she pretended not to notice them, and they passed her bywithout remark.
21. The College of Athletic Arts
Dorothy and her friends arrived at the Royal Palace at an opportunetime, for Ozma was holding high court in her Throne Room, whereProfessor H. M. Wogglebug, T.E., was appealing to her to punish some ofthe students of the Royal Athletic College, of which he was thePrincipal.
This College is located in the Munchkin Country, but not far from theEmerald City. To enable the students to devote their entire time toathletic exercises, such as boating, foot-ball, and the like, ProfessorWogglebug had invented an assortment of Tablets of Learning. One ofthese tablets, eaten by a scholar after breakfast, would instantlyenable him to understand arithmetic or algebra or any other branch ofmathematics. Another tablet eaten after lunch gave a student acomplete knowledge of geography. Another tablet made it possible forthe eater to spell the most difficult words, and still another enabledhim to write a beautiful hand. There were tablets for history,mechanics, home cooking and agriculture, and it mattered not whether aboy or a girl was stupid or bright, for the tablets taught themeverything in the twinkling of an eye.
This method, which is patented in the Land of Oz by ProfessorWogglebug, saves paper and books, as well as the tedious hours devotedto study in some of our less favored schools, and it also allows thestudents to devote all their time to racing, base-ball, tennis andother manly and womanly sports, which are greatly interfered with bystudy in those Temples of Learning where Tablets of Learning areunknown.
But it so happened that Professor Wogglebug (who had invented so muchthat he had acquired the habit) carelessly invented a Square-MealTablet, which was no bigger than your little finger-nail but contained,in condensed form, the equal of a bowl of soup, a portion of friedfish, a roast, a salad and a dessert, all of which gave the samenourishment as a square meal.
The Professor was so proud of these Square-Meal Tablets that he beganto feed them to the students at his college, instead of other food, butthe boys and girls objected because they wanted food that they couldenjoy the taste of. It was no fun at all to swallow a tablet, with aglass of water, and call it a dinner; so they refused to eat theSquare-Meal Tablets. Professor Wogglebug insisted, and the result wasthat the Senior Class seized the learned Professor one day and threwhim into the river--clothes and all. Everyone knows that a wogglebugcannot swim, and so the inventor of the wonderful Square-Meal Tabletslay helpless on the bottom of the river for three days before afisherman caught one of his legs on a fishhook and dragged him out uponthe bank.
The learned Professor was naturally indignant at such treatment, and sohe brought the entire Senior Class to the Emerald City and appealed toOzma of Oz to punish them for their rebellion.
I do not suppose the girl Ruler was very severe with the rebelliousboys and girls, because she had herself refused to eat the Square-MealTablets in place of food, but while she was listening to theinteresting case in her Throne Room, Cap'n Bill managed to carry thegolden flower-pot containing the Magic Flower up to Trot's room withoutit being seen by anyone except Jellia Jamb, Ozma's chief Maid of Honor,and Jellia promised not to tell.
Also the Wizard was able to carry the cage of monkeys up to one of thetop towers of the palace, where he had a room of his own, to which noone came unless invited. So Trot and Dorothy and Cap'n Bill and theWizard were all delighted at the successful end of their adventure.The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger went to the marble stablesbehind the Royal Palace, where they lived while at home, and they tookept the secret, even refusing to tell the Wooden Sawhorse, and Hankthe Mule, and the Yellow Hen, and the Pink Kitten where they had been.
Trot watered the Magic Flower every day and allowed no one in her roomto see the beautiful blossoms except her friends, Betsy Bobbin andDorothy. The wonderful plant did not seem to lose any of its magic bybeing removed from its island, and Trot was sure that Ozma would prizeit as one of her most delightful treasures.
Up in his tower the little Wizard of Oz began training his twelve tinymonkeys, and the little creatures were so intelligent that they learnedevery trick the Wizard tried to teach them. The Wizard treated themwith great kindness and gentleness and gave them the food that monkeyslove best, so they promised to do their best on the great occasion ofOzma's birthday.
22. Ozma's Birthday Party
It seems odd that a fairy should have a birthday, for fairies, theysay, were born at the beginning of time and live forever. Yet, on theother hand, it would be a shame to deprive a fairy, who has so manyother good things, of the delights of a birthday. So we need notwonder that the fairies keep their birthdays just as other folks do,and consider them occasions for feasting and rejoicing.
Ozma, the beautiful girl Ruler of the Fairyland of Oz, was a realfairy, and so sweet and gentle in caring for her people that she wasgreatly beloved by them all. She lived in the most magnificent palacein the most magnificent city in the world, but that did not prevent herfrom being the friend of the most humble person in her dominions. Shewould mount her Wooden Sawhorse, and ride out to a farm house and sitin the kitchen to talk with the good wife of the farmer while she didher family baking; or she would play with the children and give themrides on her famous wooden steed; or she would stop in a forest tospeak to a charcoal burner and ask if he was happy or desired anythingto make him more content; or she would teach young girls how to sew andplan pretty dresses, or enter the shops where the jewelers andcraftsmen were busy and watch them at their work, giving to each andall a cheering word or sunny smile.
And then Ozma would sit in her jeweled throne, with her chosencourtiers all about her, and listen patiently to any complaint broughtto her by her subjects, striving to accord equal justice to all.Knowing she was fair in her decisions, the Oz people never murmured ather judgments, but agreed, if Ozma decided against them, she was rightand they wrong.
When Dorothy and Trot and Betsy Bobbin and Ozma were together, onewould think they were all about of an age, and the fairy Ruler no olderand no more "grown up" than the other three. She would laugh and rompwith them in regular girlish fashion, yet there was an air of quietdignity about Ozma, even in her merriest moods, that, in a manner,distinguished her from the others. The three girls loved herdevotedly, but they were never able to quite forget that Ozma was theRoyal Ruler of the wonderful Fairyland of Oz, and by birth belonged toa powerful race.
Ozma's palace stood in the center of a delightful and extensive garden,where splendid trees and flowering shrubs and statuary and fountainsabounded. One could walk for hours in this fascinating park and seesomething interesting at every step. In one place was an aquarium,where strange and beautiful fish swam; at another spot all the birds ofthe air gathered daily to a great feast which Ozma's servants providedfor them, and were so fearless of harm that they would alight uponone's shoulders and eat from one's hand. There was also the Fountainof the Water of Oblivion, but it was dangerous to drink of this water,because it made one forget everything he had ever before known, even tohis own name, and therefore Ozma had placed a sign of warning upon thefountain. But there were also fountains that were delightfullyperfumed, and fountains of delicious nectar, cool and richly flavored,where all were welcome to refresh themselves.
Around the palace grounds was a great wall, thickly encrusted withglittering emeralds, but the gates stood open and no one was forbiddenentrance. On holidays the people of the Emerald City often took theirchildren to see the wonders of Ozma's gardens, and even entered theRoyal Palace, if they felt so inclined, for they knew that they andtheir Ruler were friends, and that Ozma delighted to give them pleasure.
When all this is considered, you will not be surprised that the peoplethroughout the Land of Oz, as well as Ozma's most intimate friends andher royal courtiers, were eager to celebrate her birthday, and madepreparations for the festival weeks in advance. All the brass bandspracticed their nicest tunes, for they were to march in the numerousprocessions to be made in the Winkie Country, the Gillikin Country, theMunchkin Country and the Quadling Country, as well as in the EmeraldCity. Not all the people could go to congratulate their Ruler, but allcould celebrate her birthday, in one way or another, however fardistant from her palace they might be. Every home and buildingthroughout the Land of Oz was to be decorated with banners and bunting,and there were to be games, and plays, and a general good time forevery one.
It was Ozma's custom on her birthday to give a grand feast at thepalace, to which all her closest friends were invited. It was aqueerly assorted company, indeed, for there are more quaint and unusualcharacters in Oz than in all the rest of the world, and Ozma was moreinterested in unusual people than in ordinary ones--just as you and Iare.
On this especial birthday of the lovely girl Ruler, a long table wasset in the royal Banquet Hall of the palace, at which were place-cardsfor the invited guests, and at one end of the great room was a smallertable, not so high, for Ozma's animal friends, whom she never forgot,and at the other end was a big table where all of the birthday giftswere to be arranged.
When the guests arrived, they placed their gifts on this table and thenfound their places at the banquet table. And, after the guests wereall placed, the animals entered in a solemn procession and were placedat their table by Jellia Jamb. Then, while an orchestra hidden by abank of roses and ferns played a march composed for the occasion, theRoyal Ozma entered the Banquet Hall, attended by her Maids of Honor,and took her seat at the head of the table.
She was greeted by a cheer from all the assembled company, the animalsadding their roars and growls and barks and mewing and cackling toswell the glad tumult, and then all seated themselves at their tables.
At Ozma's right sat the famous Scarecrow of Oz, whose straw-stuffedbody was not beautiful, but whose happy nature and shrewd wit had madehim a general favorite. On the left of the Ruler was placed the TinWoodman, whose metal body had been brightly polished for this event.The Tin Woodman was the Emperor of the Winkie Country and one of themost important persons in Oz.
Next to the Scarecrow, Dorothy was seated, and next to her was Tik-Tok,the Clockwork Man, who had been wound up as tightly as his clockworkwould permit, so he wouldn't interrupt the festivities by running down.Then came Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, Dorothy's own relations, two kindlyold people who had a cozy home in the Emerald City and were very happyand contented there. Then Betsy Bobbin was seated, and next to her thedroll and delightful Shaggy Man, who was a favorite wherever he went.
On the other side of the table, opposite the Tin Woodman was placedTrot, and next to her, Cap'n Bill. Then was seated Button-Bright andOjo the Lucky, and Dr. Pipt and his good wife Margalot, and theastonishing Frogman, who had come from the Yip country to be present atOzma's birthday feast.
At the foot of the table, facing Ozma, was seated the queenly Glinda,the good Sorceress of Oz, for this was really the place of honor nextto the head of the table where Ozma herself sat. On Glinda's right wasthe Little Wizard of Oz, who owed to Glinda all of the magical arts heknew. Then came Jinjur, a pretty girl farmer of whom Ozma and Dorothywere quite fond. The adjoining seat was occupied by the Tin Soldier,and next to him was Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T.E., of the RoyalAthletic College.
On Glinda's left was placed the jolly Patchwork Girl, who was a littleafraid of the Sorceress and so was likely to behave herself prettywell. The Shaggy Man's brother was beside the Patchwork Girl, and thencame that interesting personage, Jack Pumpkinhead, who had grown asplendid big pumpkin for a new head to be worn on Ozma's birthday, andhad carved a face on it that was even jollier in expression than theone he had last worn. New heads were not unusual with Jack, for thepumpkins did not keep long, and when the seeds--which served him asbrains--began to get soft and mushy, he realized his head would soonspoil, and so he procured a new one from his great field ofpumpkins--grown by him so that he need never lack a head.
You will have noticed that the company at Ozma's banquet table wassomewhat mixed, but every one invited was a tried and trusted friend ofthe girl Ruler, and their presence made her quite happy.
No sooner had Ozma seated herself, with her back to the birthday table,than she noticed that all present were eyeing with curiosity andpleasure something behind her, for the gorgeous Magic Flower wasblooming gloriously and the mammoth blossoms that quickly succeeded oneanother on the plant were beautiful to view and filled the entire roomwith their delicate fragrance. Ozma wanted to look, too, to see whatall were staring at, but she controlled her curiosity because it wasnot proper that she should yet view her birthday gifts.
So the sweet and lovely Ruler devoted herself to her guests, several ofwhom, such as the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Patchwork Girl,Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Tin Soldier, never ate anything butsat very politely in their places and tried to entertain those of theguests who did eat.
And, at the animal table, there was another interesting group,consisting of the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger, Toto--Dorothy'slittle shaggy black dog--Hank the Mule, the Pink Kitten, the WoodenSawhorse, the Yellow Hen, and the Glass Cat. All of these had goodappetites except the Sawhorse and the Glass Cat, and each was given aplentiful supply of the food it liked best.
Finally, when the banquet was nearly over and the ice-cream was to beserved, four servants entered bearing a huge cake, all frosted anddecorated with candy flowers. Around the edge of the cake was a row oflighted candles, and in the center were raised candy letters thatspelled the words:
OZMA'S Birthday Cake from Dorothy and the Wizard
"Oh, how beautiful!" cried Ozma, greatly delighted, and Dorothy saideagerly: "Now you must cut the cake, Ozma, and each of us will eat apiece with our ice-cream."
Jellia Jamb brought a large golden knife with a jeweled handle, andOzma stood up in her place and attempted to cut the cake. But as soonas the frosting in the center broke under the pressure of the knifethere leaped from the cake a tiny monkey three inches high, and he wasfollowed by another and another, until twelve monkeys stood on thetablecloth and bowed low to Ozma.
"Congratulations to our gracious Ruler!" they exclaimed in a chorus,and then they began a dance, so droll and amusing that all the companyroared with laughter and even Ozma joined in the merriment. But afterthe dance the monkeys performed some wonderful acrobatic feats, andthen they ran to the hollow of the cake and took out some bandinstruments of burnished gold--cornets, horns, drums, and the like--andforming into a procession the monkeys marched up and down the tableplaying a jolly tune with the ease of skilled musicians.
Dorothy was delighted with the success of her "Surprise Cake," andafter the monkeys had finished their performance, the banquet came toan end.
Now was the time for Ozma to see her other presents, so Glinda the Goodrose and, taking the girl Ruler by her hand, led her to the table whereall her gifts were placed in magnificent array. The Magic Flower ofcourse attracted her attention first, and Trot had to tell her thewhole story of their adventures in getting it. The little girl did notforget to give due credit to the Glass Cat and the little Wizard, butit was really Cap'n Bill who had bravely carried the golden flower-potaway from the enchanted Isle.
Ozma thanked them all, and said she would place the Magic Flower in herboudoir where she might enjoy its beauty and fragrance continually.But now she discovered the marvelous gown woven by Glinda and hermaidens from strands drawn from pure emeralds, and being a girl wholoved pretty clothes, Ozma's ecstasy at being presented with thisexquisite gown may well be imagined. She could hardly wait to put iton, but the table was loaded with other pretty gifts and the night wasfar spent before the happy girl Ruler had examined all her presents andthanked those who had lovingly donated them.
23. The Fountain of Oblivion
The morning after the birthday fete, as the Wizard and Dorothy werewalking in the grounds of the palace, Ozma came out and joined them,saying:
"I want to hear more of your adventures in the Forest of Gugu, and howyou were able to get those dear little monkeys to use in Dorothy'sSurprise Cake."
So they sat down on a marble bench near to the Fountain of the Water ofOblivion, and between them Dorothy and the Wizard related theiradventures.
"I was dreadfully fussy while I was a woolly lamb," said Dorothy, "forit didn't feel good, a bit. And I wasn't quite sure, you know, thatI'd ever get to be a girl again."
"You might have been a woolly lamb yet, if I hadn't happened to havediscovered that Magic Transformation Word," declared the Wizard.
"But what became of the walnut and the hickory-nut into which youtransformed those dreadful beast magicians?" inquired Ozma.
"Why, I'd almost forgotten them," was the reply; "but I believe theyare still here in my pocket."
Then he searched in his pockets and brought out the two nuts and showedthem to her.
Ozma regarded them thoughtfully.
"It isn't right to leave any living creatures in such helpless forms,"said she. "I think, Wizard, you ought to transform them into theirnatural shapes again."
"But I don't know what their natural shapes are," he objected, "for ofcourse the forms of mixed animals which they had assumed were notnatural to them. And you must not forget, Ozma, that their natureswere cruel and mischievous, so if I bring them back to life they mightcause us a great deal of trouble."
"Nevertheless," said the Ruler of Oz, "we must free them from theirpresent enchantments. When you restore them to their natural forms wewill discover who they really are, and surely we need not fear any twopeople, even though they prove to be magicians and our enemies."
"I am not so sure of that," protested the Wizard, with a shake of hisbald head. "The one bit of magic I robbed them of--which was the Wordof Transformation--is so simple, yet so powerful, that neither Glindanor I can equal it. It isn't all in the word, you know, it's the waythe word is pronounced. So if the two strange magicians have othermagic of the same sort, they might prove very dangerous to us, if weliberated them."
"I've an idea!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I'm no wizard, and no fairy, butif you do as I say, we needn't fear these people at all."
"What is your thought, my dear?" asked Ozma.
"Well," replied the girl, "here is this Fountain of the Water ofOblivion, and that's what put the notion into my head. When the Wizardspeaks that ter'ble word that will change 'em back to their real forms,he can make 'em dreadful thirsty, too, and we'll put a cup right hereby the fountain, so it'll be handy. Then they'll drink the water andforget all the magic they ever knew--and everything else, too."
"That's not a bad idea," said the Wizard, looking at Dorothyapprovingly.
"It's a very GOOD idea," declared Ozma. "Run for a cup, Dorothy."
So Dorothy ran to get a cup, and while she was gone the Wizard said:
"I don't know whether the real forms of these magicians are those ofmen or beasts. If they're beasts, they would not drink from a cup butmight attack us at once and drink afterward. So it might be safer forus to have the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger here to protect us ifnecessary."
Ozma drew out a silver whistle which was attached to a slender goldchain and blew upon the whistle two shrill blasts. The sound, thoughnot harsh, was very penetrating, and as soon as it reached the ears ofthe Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger, the two huge beasts quicklycame bounding toward them. Ozma explained to them what the Wizard wasabout to do, and told them to keep quiet unless danger threatened. Sothe two powerful guardians of the Ruler of Oz crouched beside thefountain and waited.
Dorothy returned and set the cup on the edge of the fountain. Then theWizard placed the hickory-nut beside the fountain and said in a solemnvoice:
"I want you to resume your natural form, and to be verythirsty--Pyrzqxgl!"
In an instant there appeared, in the place of the hickory-nut, the formof Kiki Aru, the Hyup boy. He seemed bewildered, at first, as iftrying to remember what had happened to him and why he was in thisstrange place. But he was facing the fountain, and the bubbling waterreminded him that he was thirsty. Without noticing Ozma, the Wizardand Dorothy, who were behind him, he picked up the cup, filled it withthe Water of Oblivion, and drank it to the last drop.
He was now no longer thirsty, but he felt more bewildered than ever,for now he could remember nothing at all--not even his name or where hecame from. He looked around the beautiful garden with a pleasedexpression, and then, turning, he beheld Ozma and the Wizard andDorothy regarding him curiously and the two great beasts crouchingbehind them.
Kiki Aru did not know who they were, but he thought Ozma very lovelyand Dorothy very pleasant. So he smiled at them--the same innocent,happy smile that a baby might have indulged in, and that pleasedDorothy, who seized his hand and led him to a seat beside her on thebench.
"Why, I thought you were a dreadful magician," she exclaimed, "andyou're only a boy!"
"What is a magician?" he asked, "and what is a boy?"
"Don't you know?" inquired the girl.
Kiki shook his head. Then he laughed.
"I do not seem to know anything," he replied.
"It's very curious," remarked the Wizard. "He wears the dress of theMunchkins, so he must have lived at one time in the Munchkin Country.Of course the boy can tell us nothing of his history or his family, forhe has forgotten all that he ever knew."
"He seems a nice boy, now that all the wickedness has gone from him,"said Ozma. "So we will keep him here with us and teach him ourways--to be true and considerate of others."
"Why, in that case, it's lucky for him he drank the Water of Oblivion,"said Dorothy.
"It is indeed," agreed the Wizard. "But the remarkable thing, to me,is how such a young boy ever learned the secret of the Magic Word ofTransformation. Perhaps his companion, who is at present this walnut,was the real magician, although I seem to remember that it was this boyin the beast's form who whispered the Magic Word into the hollow tree,where I overheard it."
"Well, we will soon know who the other is," suggested Ozma. "He mayprove to be another Munchkin boy."
The Wizard placed the walnut near the fountain and said, as slowly andsolemnly as before:
"I want you to resume your natural form, and to be verythirsty--Pyrzqxgl!"
Then the walnut disappeared and Ruggedo the Nome stood in its place.He also was facing the fountain, and he reached for the cup, filled it,and was about to drink when Dorothy exclaimed:
"Why, it's the old Nome King!"
Ruggedo swung around and faced them, the cup still in his hand.
"Yes," he said in an angry voice, "it's the old Nome King, and I'mgoing to conquer all Oz and be revenged on you for kicking me out of mythrone." He looked around a moment, and then continued: "There isn'tan egg in sight, and I'm stronger than all of you people put together!I don't know how I came here, but I'm going to fight the fight of mylife--and I'll win!"
His long white hair and beard waved in the breeze; his eyes flashedhate and vengeance, and so astonished and shocked were they by thesudden appearance of this old enemy of the Oz people that they couldonly stare at him in silence and shrink away from his wild glare.
Ruggedo laughed. He drank the water, threw the cup on the ground andsaid fiercely:
"And now--and now--and--"
His voice grew gentle. He rubbed his forehead with a puzzled air andstroked his long beard.
"What was I going to say?" he asked, pleadingly.
"Don't you remember?" said the Wizard.
"No; I've forgotten."
"Who ARE you?" asked Dorothy.
He tried to think. "I--I'm sure I don't know," he stammered.
"Don't you know who WE are, either?" questioned the girl.
"I haven't the slightest idea," said the Nome.
"Tell us who this Munchkin boy is," suggested Ozma.
Ruggedo looked at the boy and shook his head.
"He's a stranger to me. You are all strangers. I--I'm a stranger tomyself," he said.
Then he patted the Lion's head and murmured, "Good doggie!" and theLion growled indignantly.
"What shall we do with him?" asked the Wizard, perplexed.
"Once before the wicked old Nome came here to conquer us, and then, asnow, he drank of the Water of Oblivion and became harmless. But wesent him back to the Nome Kingdom, where he soon learned the old evilways again.
"For that reason," said Ozma, "we must find a place for him in the Landof Oz, and keep him here. For here he can learn no evil and willalways be as innocent of guile as our own people."
And so the wandering ex-King of the Nomes found a new home, a peacefuland happy home, where he was quite content and passed his days ininnocent enjoyment.