Full text of Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum
In which is related how Dorothy Gale of Kansas, The Shaggy Man, Button Bright, and Polychrome the Rainbow's Daughter met on an Enchanted Road and followed it all the way to the Marvelous Land of Oz.
L. Frank Baum
"Royal Historian of Oz"
--To My Readers-- 1. The Way to Butterfield 2. Dorothy Meets Button-Bright 3. A Queer Village 4. King Dox 5. The Rainbow's Daughter 6. The City of Beasts 7. The Shaggy Man's Transformation 8. The Musicker 9. Facing the Scoodlers 10. Escaping the Soup-Kettle 11. Johnny Dooit Does It 12. The Deadly Desert Crossed 13. The Truth Pond 14. Tik-Tok and Billina 15. The Emperor's Tin Castle 16. Visiting the Pumpkin-Field 17. The Royal Chariot Arrives 18. The Emerald City 19. The Shaggy Man's Welcome 20. Princess Ozma of Oz 21. Dorothy Receives the Guests 22. Important Arrivals 23. The Grand Banquet 24. The Birthday Celebration
To My Readers
Well, my dears, here is what you have asked for: another "Oz Book"about Dorothy's strange adventures. Toto is in this story, because youwanted him to be there, and many other characters which you willrecognize are in the story, too. Indeed, the wishes of my littlecorrespondents have been considered as carefully as possible, and ifthe story is not exactly as you would have written it yourselves, youmust remember that a story has to be a story before it can be writtendown, and the writer cannot change it much without spoiling it.
In the preface to "Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz" I said I would like towrite some stories that were not "Oz" stories, because I thought I hadwritten about Oz long enough; but since that volume was published Ihave been fairly deluged with letters from children imploring me to"write more about Dorothy," and "more about Oz," and since I write onlyto please the children I shall try to respect their wishes.
There are some new characters in this book that ought to win your live.I'm very fond of the shaggy man myself, and I think you will like him,too. As for Polychrome--the Rainbow's Daughter--and stupid littleButton-Bright, they seem to have brought a new element of fun intothese Oz stories, and I am glad I discovered them. Yet I am anxious tohave you write and tell me how you like them.
Since this book was written I have received some very remarkable Newsfrom The Land of Oz, which has greatly astonished me. I believe itwill astonish you, too, my dears, when you hear it. But it is such along and exciting story that it must be saved for another book--andperhaps that book will be the last story that will ever be told aboutthe Land of Oz.
L. FRANK BAUM
1. The Way to Butterfield
"Please, miss," said the shaggy man, "can you tell me the road toButterfield?"
Dorothy looked him over. Yes, he was shaggy, all right, but there wasa twinkle in his eye that seemed pleasant.
"Oh yes," she replied; "I can tell you. But it isn't this road at all."
"You cross the ten-acre lot, follow the lane to the highway, go northto the five branches, and take--let me see--"
"To be sure, miss; see as far as Butterfield, if you like," said theshaggy man.
"You take the branch next the willow stump, I b'lieve; or else thebranch by the gopher holes; or else--"
"Won't any of 'em do, miss?"
"'Course not, Shaggy Man. You must take the right road to get toButterfield."
"And is that the one by the gopher stump, or--"
"Dear me!" cried Dorothy. "I shall have to show you the way, you're sostupid. Wait a minute till I run in the house and get my sunbonnet."
The shaggy man waited. He had an oat-straw in his mouth, which hechewed slowly as if it tasted good; but it didn't. There was anapple-tree beside the house, and some apples had fallen to the ground.The shaggy man thought they would taste better than the oat-straw, sohe walked over to get some. A little black dog with bright brown eyesdashed out of the farm-house and ran madly toward the shaggy man, whohad already picked up three apples and put them in one of the big widepockets of his shaggy coat. The little dog barked and made a dive forthe shaggy man's leg; but he grabbed the dog by the neck and put it inhis big pocket along with the apples. He took more apples, afterward,for many were on the ground; and each one that he tossed into hispocket hit the little dog somewhere upon the head or back, and made himgrowl. The little dog's name was Toto, and he was sorry he had beenput in the shaggy man's pocket.
Pretty soon Dorothy came out of the house with her sunbonnet, and shecalled out:
"Come on, Shaggy Man, if you want me to show you the road toButterfield." She climbed the fence into the ten-acre lot and hefollowed her, walking slowly and stumbling over the little hillocks inthe pasture as if he was thinking of something else and did not noticethem.
"My, but you're clumsy!" said the little girl. "Are your feet tired?"
"No, miss; it's my whiskers; they tire very easily in this warmweather," said he. "I wish it would snow, don't you?"
"'Course not, Shaggy Man," replied Dorothy, giving him a severe look."If it snowed in August it would spoil the corn and the oats and thewheat; and then Uncle Henry wouldn't have any crops; and that wouldmake him poor; and--"
"Never mind," said the shaggy man. "It won't snow, I guess. Is thisthe lane?"
"Yes," replied Dorothy, climbing another fence; "I'll go as far as thehighway with you."
"Thankee, miss; you're very kind for your size, I'm sure," said hegratefully.
"It isn't everyone who knows the road to Butterfield," Dorothy remarkedas she tripped along the lane; "but I've driven there many a time withUncle Henry, and so I b'lieve I could find it blindfolded."
"Don't do that, miss," said the shaggy man earnestly; "you might make amistake."
"I won't," she answered, laughing. "Here's the highway. Now it's thesecond--no, the third turn to the left--or else it's the fourth. Let'ssee. The first one is by the elm tree, and the second is by the gopherholes; and then--"
"Then what?" he inquired, putting his hands in his coat pockets. Totograbbed a finger and bit it; the shaggy man took his hand out of thatpocket quickly, and said "Oh!"
Dorothy did not notice. She was shading her eyes from the sun with herarm, looking anxiously down the road.
"Come on," she commanded. "It's only a little way farther, so I may aswell show you."
After a while, they came to the place where five roads branched indifferent directions; Dorothy pointed to one, and said:
"That's it, Shaggy Man."
"I'm much obliged, miss," he said, and started along another road.
"Not that one!" she cried; "you're going wrong."
"I thought you said that other was the road to Butterfield," said he,running his fingers through his shaggy whiskers in a puzzled way.
"So it is."
"But I don't want to go to Butterfield, miss."
"Of course not. I wanted you to show me the road, so I shouldn't gothere by mistake."
"Oh! Where DO you want to go, then?"
"I'm not particular, miss."
This answer astonished the little girl; and it made her provoked, too,to think she had taken all this trouble for nothing.
"There are a good many roads here," observed the shaggy man, turningslowly around, like a human windmill. "Seems to me a person could go'most anywhere, from this place."
Dorothy turned around too, and gazed in surprise. There WERE a goodmany roads; more than she had ever seen before. She tried to countthem, knowing there ought to be five, but when she had countedseventeen she grew bewildered and stopped, for the roads were as manyas the spokes of a wheel and ran in every direction from the placewhere they stood; so if she kept on counting she was likely to countsome of the roads twice.
"Dear me!" she exclaimed. "There used to be only five roads, highwayand all. And now--why, where's the highway, Shaggy Man?"
"Can't say, miss," he responded, sitting down upon the ground as iftired with standing. "Wasn't it here a minute ago?"
"I thought so," she answered, greatly perplexed. "And I saw the gopherholes, too, and the dead stump; but they're not here now. These roadsare all strange--and what a lot of them there are! Where do yousuppose they all go to?"
"Roads," observed the shaggy man, "don't go anywhere. They stay in oneplace, so folks can walk on them."
He put his hand in his side-pocket and drew out an apple--quick, beforeToto could bite him again. The little dog got his head out this timeand said "Bow-wow!" so loudly that it made Dorothy jump.
"O, Toto!" she cried; "where did you come from?"
"I brought him along," said the shaggy man.
"What for?" she asked.
"To guard these apples in my pocket, miss, so no one would steal them."
With one hand the shaggy man held the apple, which he began eating,while with the other hand he pulled Toto out of his pocket and droppedhim to the ground. Of course Toto made for Dorothy at once, barkingjoyfully at his release from the dark pocket. When the child hadpatted his head lovingly, he sat down before her, his red tonguehanging out one side of his mouth, and looked up into her face with hisbright brown eyes, as if asking her what they should do next.
Dorothy didn't know. She looked around her anxiously for some familiarlandmark; but everything was strange. Between the branches of the manyroads were green meadows and a few shrubs and trees, but she couldn'tsee anywhere the farm-house from which she had just come, or anythingshe had ever seen before--except the shaggy man and Toto. Besidesthis, she had turned around and around so many times trying to find outwhere she was, that now she couldn't even tell which direction thefarm-house ought to be in; and this began to worry her and make herfeel anxious.
"I'm 'fraid, Shaggy Man," she said, with a sigh, "that we're lost!"
"That's nothing to be afraid of," he replied, throwing away the core ofhis apple and beginning to eat another one. "Each of these roads mustlead somewhere, or it wouldn't be here. So what does it matter?"
"I want to go home again," she said.
"Well, why don't you?" said he.
"I don't know which road to take."
"That is too bad," he said, shaking his shaggy head gravely. "I wish Icould help you; but I can't. I'm a stranger in these parts."
"Seems as if I were, too," she said, sitting down beside him. "It'sfunny. A few minutes ago I was home, and I just came to show you theway to Butterfield--"
"So I shouldn't make a mistake and go there--"
"And now I'm lost myself and don't know how to get home!"
"Have an apple," suggested the shaggy man, handing her one with prettyred cheeks.
"I'm not hungry," said Dorothy, pushing it away.
"But you may be, to-morrow; then you'll be sorry you didn't eat theapple," said he.
"If I am, I'll eat the apple then," promised Dorothy.
"Perhaps there won't be any apple then," he returned, beginning to eatthe red-cheeked one himself. "Dogs sometimes can find their way homebetter than people," he went on; "perhaps your dog can lead you back tothe farm."
"Will you, Toto?" asked Dorothy.
Toto wagged his tail vigorously.
"All right," said the girl; "let's go home."
Toto looked around a minute and dashed up one of the roads.
"Good-bye, Shaggy Man," called Dorothy, and ran after Toto. The littledog pranced briskly along for some distance; when he turned around andlooked at his mistress questioningly.
"Oh, don't 'spect ME to tell you anything; I don't know the way," shesaid. "You'll have to find it yourself."
But Toto couldn't. He wagged his tail, and sneezed, and shook hisears, and trotted back where they had left the shaggy man. From herehe started along another road; then came back and tried another; buteach time he found the way strange and decided it would not take themto the farm-house. Finally, when Dorothy had begun to tire withchasing after him, Toto sat down panting beside the shaggy man and gaveup.
Dorothy sat down, too, very thoughtful. The little girl hadencountered some queer adventures since she came to live at the farm;but this was the queerest of them all. To get lost in fifteen minutes,so near to her home and in the unromantic State of Kansas, was anexperience that fairly bewildered her.
"Will your folks worry?" asked the shaggy man, his eyes twinkling in apleasant way.
"I s'pose so," answered Dorothy with a sigh. "Uncle Henry says there'sALWAYS something happening to me; but I've always come home safe at thelast. So perhaps he'll take comfort and think I'll come home safe thistime."
"I'm sure you will," said the shaggy man, smilingly nodding at her."Good little girls never come to any harm, you know. For my part, I'mgood, too; so nothing ever hurts me."
Dorothy looked at him curiously. His clothes were shaggy, his bootswere shaggy and full of holes, and his hair and whiskers were shaggy.But his smile was sweet and his eyes were kind.
"Why didn't you want to go to Butterfield?" she asked.
"Because a man lives there who owes me fifteen cents, and if I went toButterfield and he saw me he'd want to pay me the money. I don't wantmoney, my dear."
"Why not?" she inquired.
"Money," declared the shaggy man, "makes people proud and haughty. Idon't want to be proud and haughty. All I want is to have people loveme; and as long as I own the Love Magnet, everyone I meet is sure tolove me dearly."
"The Love Magnet! Why, what's that?"
"I'll show you, if you won't tell any one," he answered, in a low,mysterious voice.
"There isn't any one to tell, 'cept Toto," said the girl.
The shaggy man searched in one pocket, carefully; and in anotherpocket; and in a third. At last he drew out a small parcel wrapped incrumpled paper and tied with a cotton string. He unwound the string,opened the parcel, and took out a bit of metal shaped like a horseshoe.It was dull and brown, and not very pretty.
"This, my dear," said he, impressively, "is the wonderful Love Magnet.It was given me by an Eskimo in the Sandwich Islands--where there areno sandwiches at all--and as long as I carry it every living thing Imeet will love me dearly."
"Why didn't the Eskimo keep it?" she asked, looking at the Magnet withinterest.
"He got tired of being loved and longed for some one to hate him. Sohe gave me the Magnet and the very next day a grizzly bear ate him."
"Wasn't he sorry then?" she inquired.
"He didn't say," replied the shaggy man, wrapping and tying the LoveMagnet with great care and putting it away in another pocket. "But thebear didn't seem sorry a bit," he added.
"Did you know the bear?" asked Dorothy.
"Yes; we used to play ball together in the Caviar Islands. The bearloved me because I had the Love Magnet. I couldn't blame him foreating the Eskimo, because it was his nature to do so."
"Once," said Dorothy, "I knew a Hungry Tiger who longed to eat fatbabies, because it was his nature to; but he never ate any because hehad a Conscience."
"This bear," replied the shaggy man, with a sigh, "had no Conscience,you see."
The shaggy man sat silent for several minutes, apparently consideringthe cases of the bear and the tiger, while Toto watched him with an airof great interest. The little dog was doubtless thinking of his ridein the shaggy man's pocket and planning to keep out of reach in thefuture.
At last the shaggy man turned and inquired, "What's your name, littlegirl?"
"My name's Dorothy," said she, jumping up again, "but what are we goingto do? We can't stay here forever, you know."
"Let's take the seventh road," he suggested. "Seven is a lucky numberfor little girls named Dorothy."
"The seventh from where?"
"From where you begin to count."
So she counted seven roads, and the seventh looked just like all theothers; but the shaggy man got up from the ground where he had beensitting and started down this road as if sure it was the best way togo; and Dorothy and Toto followed him.
2. Dorothy Meets Button-Bright
The seventh road was a good road, and curved this way and that--windingthrough green meadows and fields covered with daisies and buttercupsand past groups of shady trees. There were no houses of any sort to beseen, and for some distance they met with no living creature at all.
Dorothy began to fear they were getting a good way from the farm-house,since here everything was strange to her; but it would do no good atall to go back where the other roads all met, because the next one theychose might lead her just as far from home.
She kept on beside the shaggy man, who whistled cheerful tunes tobeguile the journey, until by and by they followed a turn in the roadand saw before them a big chestnut tree making a shady spot over thehighway. In the shade sat a little boy dressed in sailor clothes, whowas digging a hole in the earth with a bit of wood. He must have beendigging some time, because the hole was already big enough to drop afootball into.
Dorothy and Toto and the shaggy man came to a halt before the littleboy, who kept on digging in a sober and persistent fashion.
"Who are you?" asked the girl.
He looked up at her calmly. His face was round and chubby and his eyeswere big, blue and earnest.
"I'm Button-Bright," said he.
"But what's your real name?" she inquired.
"That isn't a really-truly name!" she exclaimed.
"Isn't it?" he asked, still digging.
"'Course not. It's just a--a thing to call you by. You must have aname."
"To be sure. What does your mama call you?"
He paused in his digging and tried to think.
"Papa always said I was bright as a button; so mama always called meButton-Bright," he said.
"What is your papa's name?"
"Never mind," said the shaggy man, smiling. "We'll call the boyButton-Bright, as his mama does. That name is as good as any, andbetter than some."
Dorothy watched the boy dig.
"Where do you live?" she asked.
"Don't know," was the reply.
"How did you come here?"
"Don't know," he said again.
"Don't you know where you came from?"
"No," said he.
"Why, he must be lost," she said to the shaggy man. She turned to theboy once more.
"What are you going to do?" she inquired.
"Dig," said he.
"But you can't dig forever; and what are you going to do then?" shepersisted.
"Don't know," said the boy.
"But you MUST know SOMETHING," declared Dorothy, getting provoked.
"Must I?" he asked, looking up in surprise.
"Of course you must."
"What must I know?"
"What's going to become of you, for one thing," she answered.
"Do YOU know what's going to become of me?" he asked.
"Not--not 'zactly," she admitted.
"Do you know what's going to become of YOU?" he continued, earnestly.
"I can't say I do," replied Dorothy, remembering her presentdifficulties.
The shaggy man laughed.
"No one knows everything, Dorothy," he said.
"But Button-Bright doesn't seem to know ANYthing," she declared. "Doyou, Button-Bright?"
He shook his head, which had pretty curls all over it, and replied withperfect calmness:
Never before had Dorothy met with anyone who could give her so littleinformation. The boy was evidently lost, and his people would be sureto worry about him. He seemed two or three years younger than Dorothy,and was prettily dressed, as if someone loved him dearly and took muchpains to make him look well. How, then, did he come to be in thislonely road? she wondered.
Near Button-Bright, on the ground, lay a sailor hat with a gilt anchoron the band. His sailor trousers were long and wide at the bottom, andthe broad collar of his blouse had gold anchors sewed on its corners.The boy was still digging at his hole.
"Have you ever been to sea?" asked Dorothy.
"To see what?" answered Button-Bright.
"I mean, have you ever been where there's water?"
"Yes," said Button-Bright; "there's a well in our back yard."
"You don't understand," cried Dorothy. "I mean, have you ever been ona big ship floating on a big ocean?"
"Don't know," said he.
"Then why do you wear sailor clothes?"
"Don't know," he answered, again.
Dorothy was in despair.
"You're just AWFUL stupid, Button-Bright," she said.
"Am I?" he asked.
"Yes, you are."
"Why?" looking up at her with big eyes.
She was going to say: "Don't know," but stopped herself in time.
"That's for you to answer," she replied.
"It's no use asking Button-Bright questions," said the shaggy man, whohad been eating another apple; "but someone ought to take care of thepoor little chap, don't you think? So he'd better come along with us."
Toto had been looking with great curiosity in the hole which the boywas digging, and growing more and more excited every minute, perhapsthinking that Button-Bright was after some wild animal. The little dogbegan barking loudly and jumped into the hole himself, where he beganto dig with his tiny paws, making the earth fly in all directions. Itspattered over the boy. Dorothy seized him and raised him to his feet,brushing his clothes with her hand.
"Stop that, Toto!" she called. "There aren't any mice or woodchucks inthat hole, so don't be foolish."
Toto stopped, sniffed at the hole suspiciously, and jumped out of it,wagging his tail as if he had done something important.
"Well," said the shaggy man, "let's start on, or we won't get anywherebefore night comes."
"Where do you expect to get to?" asked Dorothy.
"I'm like Button-Bright. I don't know," answered the shaggy man, witha laugh. "But I've learned from long experience that every road leadssomewhere, or there wouldn't be any road; so it's likely that if wetravel long enough, my dear, we will come to some place or another inthe end. What place it will be we can't even guess at this moment, butwe're sure to find out when we get there."
"Why, yes," said Dorothy; "that seems reas'n'ble, Shaggy Man."
3. A Queer Village
Button-Bright took the shaggy man's hand willingly; for the shaggy manhad the Love Magnet, you know, which was the reason Button-Bright hadloved him at once. They started on, with Dorothy on one side, and Totoon the other, the little party trudging along more cheerfully than youmight have supposed. The girl was getting used to queer adventures,which interested her very much. Wherever Dorothy went Toto was sure togo, like Mary's little lamb. Button-Bright didn't seem a bit afraid orworried because he was lost, and the shaggy man had no home, perhaps,and was as happy in one place as in another.
Before long they saw ahead of them a fine big arch spanning the road,and when they came nearer they found that the arch was beautifullycarved and decorated with rich colors. A row of peacocks with spreadtails ran along the top of it, and all the feathers were gorgeouslypainted. In the center was a large fox's head, and the fox wore ashrewd and knowing expression and had large spectacles over its eyesand a small golden crown with shiny points on top of its head.
While the travelers were looking with curiosity at this beautiful archthere suddenly marched out of it a company of soldiers--only thesoldiers were all foxes dressed in uniforms. They wore green jacketsand yellow pantaloons, and their little round caps and their high bootswere a bright red color. Also, there was a big red bow tied about themiddle of each long, bushy tail. Each soldier was armed with a woodensword having an edge of sharp teeth set in a row, and the sight ofthese teeth at first caused Dorothy to shudder.
A captain marched in front of the company of fox-soldiers, his uniformembroidered with gold braid to make it handsomer than the others.
Almost before our friends realized it the soldiers had surrounded themon all sides, and the captain was calling out in a harsh voice:
"Surrender! You are our prisoners."
"What's a pris'ner?" asked Button-Bright.
"A prisoner is a captive," replied the fox-captain, strutting up anddown with much dignity.
"What's a captive?" asked Button-Bright.
"You're one," said the captain.
That made the shaggy man laugh
"Good afternoon, captain," he said, bowing politely to all the foxesand very low to their commander. "I trust you are in good health, andthat your families are all well?"
The fox-captain looked at the shaggy man, and his sharp features grewpleasant and smiling.
"We're pretty well, thank you, Shaggy Man," said he; and Dorothy knewthat the Love Magnet was working and that all the foxes now loved theshaggy man because of it. But Toto didn't know this, for he beganbarking angrily and tried to bite the captain's hairy leg where itshowed between his red boots and his yellow pantaloons.
"Stop, Toto!" cried the little girl, seizing the dog in her arms."These are our friends."
"Why, so we are!" remarked the captain in tones of astonishment. "Ithought at first we were enemies, but it seems you are friends instead.You must come with me to see King Dox."
"Who's he?" asked Button-Bright, with earnest eyes.
"King Dox of Foxville; the great and wise sovereign who rules over ourcommunity."
"What's sov'rin, and what's c'u'nity?" inquired Button-Bright.
"Don't ask so many questions, little boy."
"Ah, why indeed?" exclaimed the captain, looking at Button-Brightadmiringly. "If you don't ask questions you will learn nothing. Trueenough. I was wrong. You're a very clever little boy, come to thinkof it--very clever indeed. But now, friends, please come with me, forit is my duty to escort you at once to the royal palace."
The soldiers marched back through the arch again, and with them marchedthe shaggy man, Dorothy, Toto, and Button-Bright. Once through theopening they found a fine, big city spread out before them, all thehouses of carved marble in beautiful colors. The decorations weremostly birds and other fowl, such as peacocks, pheasants, turkeys,prairie-chickens, ducks, and geese. Over each doorway was carved ahead representing the fox who lived in that house, this effect beingquite pretty and unusual.
As our friends marched along, some of the foxes came out on the porchesand balconies to get a view of the strangers. These foxes were allhandsomely dressed, the girl-foxes and women-foxes wearing gowns offeathers woven together effectively and colored in bright hues whichDorothy thought were quite artistic and decidedly attractive.
Button-Bright stared until his eyes were big and round, and he wouldhave stumbled and fallen more than once had not the shaggy man graspedhis hand tightly. They were all interested, and Toto was so excited hewanted to bark every minute and to chase and fight every fox he caughtsight of; but Dorothy held his little wiggling body fast in her armsand commanded him to be good and behave himself. So he finally quieteddown, like a wise doggy, deciding there were too many foxes in Foxvilleto fight at one time.
By-and-by they came to a big square, and in the center of the squarestood the royal palace. Dorothy knew it at once because it had overits great door the carved head of a fox just like the one she had seenon the arch, and this fox was the only one who wore a golden crown.
There were many fox-soldiers guarding the door, but they bowed to thecaptain and admitted him without question. The captain led themthrough many rooms, where richly dressed foxes were sitting onbeautiful chairs or sipping tea, which was being passed around byfox-servants in white aprons. They came to a big doorway covered withheavy curtains of cloth of gold.
Beside this doorway stood a huge drum. The fox-captain went to thisdrum and knocked his knees against it--first one knee and then theother--so that the drum said: "Boom-boom."
"You must all do exactly what I do," ordered the captain; so the shaggyman pounded the drum with his knees, and so did Dorothy and so didButton-Bright. The boy wanted to keep on pounding it with his littlefat knees, because he liked the sound of it; but the captain stoppedhim. Toto couldn't pound the drum with his knees and he didn't knowenough to wag his tail against it, so Dorothy pounded the drum for himand that made him bark, and when the little dog barked the fox-captainscowled.
The golden curtains drew back far enough to make an opening, throughwhich marched the captain with the others.
The broad, long room they entered was decorated in gold withstained-glass windows of splendid colors. In the corner of the roomupon a richly carved golden throne, sat the fox-king, surrounded by agroup of other foxes, all of whom wore great spectacles over theireyes, making them look solemn and important.
Dorothy knew the King at once, because she had seen his head carved onthe arch and over the doorway of the palace. Having met with severalother kings in her travels, she knew what to do, and at once made a lowbow before the throne. The shaggy man bowed, too, and Button-Brightbobbed his head and said "Hello."
"Most wise and noble Potentate of Foxville," said the captain,addressing the King in a pompous voice, "I humbly beg to report that Ifound these strangers on the road leading to your Foxy Majesty'sdominions, and have therefore brought them before you, as is my duty."
"So--so," said the King, looking at them keenly. "What brought youhere, strangers?"
"Our legs, may it please your Royal Hairiness," replied the shaggy man.
"What is your business here?" was the next question.
"To get away as soon as possible," said the shaggy man.
The King didn't know about the Magnet, of course; but it made him lovethe shaggy man at once.
"Do just as you please about going away," he said; "but I'd like toshow you the sights of my city and to entertain your party while youare here. We feel highly honored to have little Dorothy with us, Iassure you, and we appreciate her kindness in making us a visit. Forwhatever country Dorothy visits is sure to become famous."
This speech greatly surprised the little girl, who asked:
"How did your Majesty know my name?"
"Why, everybody knows you, my dear," said the Fox-King. "Don't yourealize that? You are quite an important personage since Princess Ozmaof Oz made you her friend."
"Do you know Ozma?" she asked, wondering.
"I regret to say that I do not," he answered, sadly; "but I hope tomeet her soon. You know the Princess Ozma is to celebrate her birthdayon the twenty-first of this month."
"Is she?" said Dorothy. "I didn't know that."
"Yes; it is to be the most brilliant royal ceremony ever held in anycity in Fairyland, and I hope you will try to get me an invitation."
Dorothy thought a moment.
"I'm sure Ozma would invite you if I asked her," she said; "but howcould you get to the Land of Oz and the Emerald City? It's a good wayfrom Kansas."
"Kansas!" he exclaimed, surprised.
"Why, yes; we are in Kansas now, aren't we?" she returned.
"What a queer notion!" cried the Fox-King, beginning to laugh."Whatever made you think this is Kansas?"
"I left Uncle Henry's farm only about two hours ago; that's thereason," she said, rather perplexed.
"But, tell me, my dear, did you ever see so wonderful a city asFoxville in Kansas?" he questioned.
"No, your Majesty."
"And haven't you traveled from Oz to Kansas in less than half a jiffy,by means of the Silver Shoes and the Magic Belt?"
"Yes, your Majesty," she acknowledged.
"Then why do you wonder that an hour or two could bring you toFoxville, which is nearer to Oz than it is to Kansas?"
"Dear me!" exclaimed Dorothy; "is this another fairy adventure?"
"It seems to be," said the Fox-King, smiling.
Dorothy turned to the shaggy man, and her face was grave andreproachful.
"Are you a magician? or a fairy in disguise?" she asked. "Did youenchant me when you asked the way to Butterfield?"
The shaggy man shook his head.
"Who ever heard of a shaggy fairy?" he replied. "No, Dorothy, my dear;I'm not to blame for this journey in any way, I assure you. There'sbeen something strange about me ever since I owned the Love Magnet; butI don't know what it is any more than you do. I didn't try to get youaway from home, at all. If you want to find your way back to the farmI'll go with you willingly, and do my best to help you."
"Never mind," said the little girl, thoughtfully. "There isn't so muchto see in Kansas as there is here, and I guess Aunt Em won't be VERYmuch worried; that is, if I don't stay away too long."
"That's right," declared the Fox-King, nodding approval. "Be contentedwith your lot, whatever it happens to be, if you are wise. Whichreminds me that you have a new companion on this adventure--he looksvery clever and bright."
"He is," said Dorothy; and the shaggy man added:
"That's his name, your Royal Foxiness--Button-Bright."
4. King Dox
It was amusing to note the expression on the face of King Dox as helooked the boy over, from his sailor hat to his stubby shoes, and itwas equally diverting to watch Button-Bright stare at the King inreturn. No fox ever beheld a fresher, fairer child's face, and nochild had ever before heard a fox talk, or met with one who dressed sohandsomely and ruled so big a city. I am sorry to say that no one hadever told the little boy much about fairies of any kind; this being thecase, it is easy to understand how much this strange experiencestartled and astonished him.
"How do you like us?" asked the King.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"Of course you don't. It's too short an acquaintance," returned hisMajesty. "What do you suppose my name is?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"How should you? Well, I'll tell you. My private name is Dox, but aKing can't be called by his private name; he has to take one that isofficial. Therefore my official name is King Renard the Fourth.Ren-ard with the accent on the 'Ren'."
"What's 'ren'?" asked Button-Bright.
"How clever!" exclaimed the King, turning a pleased face toward hiscounselors. "This boy is indeed remarkably bright. 'What's 'ren'?' heasks; and of course 'ren' is nothing at all, all by itself. Yes, he'svery bright indeed."
"That question is what your Majesty might call foxy," said one of thecounselors, an old grey fox.
"So it is," declared the King. Turning again to Button-Bright, heasked:
"Having told you my name, what would you call me?"
"King Dox," said the boy.
"'Cause 'ren''s nothing at all," was the reply.
"Good! Very good indeed! You certainly have a brilliant mind. Do youknow why two and two make four?"
"No," said Button-Bright.
"Clever! clever indeed! Of course you don't know. Nobody knows why;we only know it's so, and can't tell why it's so. Button-Bright, thosecurls and blue eyes do not go well with so much wisdom. They make youlook too youthful, and hide your real cleverness. Therefore, I will doyou a great favor. I will confer upon you the head of a fox, so thatyou may hereafter look as bright as you really are."
As he spoke the King waved his paw toward the boy, and at once thepretty curls and fresh round face and big blue eyes were gone, while intheir place a fox's head appeared upon Button-Bright's shoulders--ahairy head with a sharp nose, pointed ears, and keen little eyes.
"Oh, don't do that!" cried Dorothy, shrinking back from her transformedcompanion with a shocked and dismayed face.
"Too late, my dear; it's done. But you also shall have a fox's head ifyou can prove you're as clever as Button-Bright."
"I don't want it; it's dreadful!" she exclaimed; and, hearing thisverdict, Button-Bright began to boo-hoo just as if he were still alittle boy.
"How can you call that lovely head dreadful?" asked the King. "It's amuch prettier face than he had before, to my notion, and my wife saysI'm a good judge of beauty. Don't cry, little fox-boy. Laugh and beproud, because you are so highly favored. How do you like the newhead, Button-Bright?"
"D-d-don't n-n-n-know!" sobbed the child.
"Please, PLEASE change him back again, your Majesty!" begged Dorothy.
King Renard IV shook his head.
"I can't do that," he said; "I haven't the power, even if I wanted to.No, Button-Bright must wear his fox head, and he'll be sure to love itdearly as soon as he gets used to it."
Both the shaggy man and Dorothy looked grave and anxious, for they weresorrowful that such a misfortune had overtaken their little companion.Toto barked at the fox-boy once or twice, not realizing it was hisformer friend who now wore the animal head; but Dorothy cuffed the dogand made him stop. As for the foxes, they all seemed to thinkButton-Bright's new head very becoming and that their King hadconferred a great honor on this little stranger. It was funny to seethe boy reach up to feel of his sharp nose and wide mouth, and wailafresh with grief. He wagged his ears in a comical manner and tearswere in his little black eyes. But Dorothy couldn't laugh at herfriend just yet, because she felt so sorry.
Just then three little fox-princesses, daughters of the King, enteredthe room, and when they saw Button-Bright one exclaimed: "How lovely heis!" and the next one cried in delight: "How sweet he is!" and thethird princess clapped her hands with pleasure and said, "How beautifulhe is!"
Button-Bright stopped crying and asked timidly:
"In all the world there is not another face so pretty," declared thebiggest fox-princess.
"You must live with us always, and be our brother," said the next.
"We shall all love you dearly," the third said.
This praise did much to comfort the boy, and he looked around and triedto smile. It was a pitiful attempt, because the fox face was new andstiff, and Dorothy thought his expression more stupid than before thetransformation.
"I think we ought to be going now," said the shaggy man, uneasily, forhe didn't know what the King might take into his head to do next.
"Don't leave us yet, I beg of you," pleaded King Renard. "I intend tohave several days of feasting and merry-making in honor of your visit."
"Have it after we're gone, for we can't wait," said Dorothy, decidedly.But seeing this displeased the King, she added: "If I'm going to getOzma to invite you to her party I'll have to find her as soon asposs'ble, you know."
In spite of all the beauty of Foxville and the gorgeous dresses of itsinhabitants, both the girl and the shaggy man felt they were not quitesafe there, and would be glad to see the last of it.
"But it is now evening," the King reminded them, "and you must staywith us until morning, anyhow. Therefore, I invite you to be my guestsat dinner, and to attend the theater afterward and sit in the royalbox. To-morrow morning, if you really insist upon it, you may resumeyour journey."
They consented to this, and some of the fox-servants led them to asuite of lovely rooms in the big palace.
Button-Bright was afraid to be left alone, so Dorothy took him into herown room. While a maid-fox dressed the little girl's hair--which was abit tangled--and put some bright, fresh ribbons in it, another maid-foxcombed the hair on poor Button-Bright's face and head and brushed itcarefully, tying a pink bow to each of his pointed ears. The maidswanted to dress the children in fine costumes of woven feathers, suchas all the foxes wore; but neither of them consented to that.
"A sailor suit and a fox head do not go well together," said one of themaids, "for no fox was ever a sailor that I can remember."
"I'm not a fox!" cried Button-Bright.
"Alas, no," agreed the maid. "But you've got a lovely fox head on yourskinny shoulders, and that's ALMOST as good as being a fox."
The boy, reminded of his misfortune, began to cry again. Dorothypetted and comforted him and promised to find some way to restore himhis own head.
"If we can manage to get to Ozma," she said, "the Princess will changeyou back to yourself in half a second; so you just wear that fox headas comf't'bly as you can, dear, and don't worry about it at all. Itisn't nearly as pretty as your own head, no matter what the foxes say;but you can get along with it for a little while longer, can't you?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright, doubtfully; but he didn't cry anymore after that.
Dorothy let the maids pin ribbons to her shoulders, after which theywere ready for the King's dinner. When they met the shaggy man in thesplendid drawing room of the palace they found him just the same asbefore. He had refused to give up his shaggy clothes for new ones,because if he did that he would no longer be the shaggy man, he said,and he might have to get acquainted with himself all over again.
He told Dorothy he had brushed his shaggy hair and whiskers; but shethought he must have brushed them the wrong way, for they were quite asshaggy as before.
As for the company of foxes assembled to dine with the strangers, theywere most beautifully costumed, and their rich dresses made Dorothy'ssimple gown and Button-Bright's sailor suit and the shaggy man's shaggyclothes look commonplace. But they treated their guests with greatrespect and the King's dinner was a very good dinner indeed. Foxes, asyou know, are fond of chicken and other fowl; so they served chickensoup and roasted turkey and stewed duck and fried grouse and broiledquail and goose pie, and as the cooking was excellent the King's guestsenjoyed the meal and ate heartily of the various dishes.
The party went to the theater, where they saw a play acted by foxesdressed in costumes of brilliantly colored feathers. The play wasabout a fox-girl who was stolen by some wicked wolves and carried totheir cave; and just as they were about to kill her and eat her acompany of fox-soldiers marched up, saved the girl, and put all thewicked wolves to death.
"How do you like it?" the King asked Dorothy.
"Pretty well," she answered. "It reminds me of one of Mr. Aesop'sfables."
"Don't mention Aesop to me, I beg of you!" exclaimed King Dox. "I hatethat man's name. He wrote a good deal about foxes, but always madethem out cruel and wicked, whereas we are gentle and kind, as you maysee."
"But his fables showed you to be wise and clever, and more shrewd thanother animals," said the shaggy man, thoughtfully.
"So we are. There is no question about our knowing more than men do,"replied the King, proudly. "But we employ our wisdom to do good,instead of harm; so that horrid Aesop did not know what he was talkingabout."
They did not like to contradict him, because they felt he ought to knowthe nature of foxes better than men did; so they sat still and watchedthe play, and Button-Bright became so interested that for the time heforgot he wore a fox head.
Afterward they went back to the palace and slept in soft beds stuffedwith feathers; for the foxes raised many fowl for food, and used theirfeathers for clothing and to sleep upon.
Dorothy wondered why the animals living in Foxville did not wear justtheir own hairy skins as wild foxes do; when she mentioned it to KingDox he said they clothed themselves because they were civilized.
"But you were born without clothes," she observed, "and you don't seemto me to need them."
"So were human beings born without clothes," he replied; "and untilthey became civilized they wore only their natural skins. But tobecome civilized means to dress as elaborately and prettily aspossible, and to make a show of your clothes so your neighbors willenvy you, and for that reason both civilized foxes and civilized humansspend most of their time dressing themselves."
"I don't," declared the shaggy man.
"That is true," said the King, looking at him carefully; "but perhapsyou are not civilized."
After a sound sleep and a good night's rest they had their breakfastwith the King and then bade his Majesty good-bye.
"You've been kind to us--'cept poor Button-Bright," said Dorothy, "andwe've had a nice time in Foxville."
"Then," said King Dox, "perhaps you'll be good enough to get me aninvitation to Princess Ozma's birthday celebration."
"I'll try," she promised; "if I see her in time."
"It's on the twenty-first, remember," he continued; "and if you'll justsee that I'm invited I'll find a way to cross the Dreadful Desert intothe marvelous Land of Oz. I've always wanted to visit the EmeraldCity, so I'm sure it was fortunate you arrived here just when you did,you being Princess Ozma's friend and able to assist me in getting theinvitation."
"If I see Ozma I'll ask her to invite you," she replied.
The Fox-King had a delightful luncheon put up for them, which theshaggy man shoved in his pocket, and the fox-captain escorted them toan arch at the side of the village opposite the one by which they hadentered. Here they found more soldiers guarding the road.
"Are you afraid of enemies?" asked Dorothy.
"No; because we are watchful and able to protect ourselves," answeredthe captain. "But this road leads to another village peopled by big,stupid beasts who might cause us trouble if they thought we were afraidof them."
"What beasts are they?" asked the shaggy man.
The captain hesitated to answer. Finally, he said:
"You will learn all about them when you arrive at their city. But donot be afraid of them. Button-Bright is so wonderfully clever and hasnow such an intelligent face that I'm sure he will manage to find a wayto protect you."
This made Dorothy and the shaggy man rather uneasy, for they had not somuch confidence in the fox-boy's wisdom as the captain seemed to have.But as their escort would say no more about the beasts, they bade himgood-bye and proceeded on their journey.
5. The Rainbow's Daughter
Toto, now allowed to run about as he pleased, was glad to be free againand able to bark at the birds and chase the butterflies. The countryaround them was charming, yet in the pretty fields of wild-flowers andgroves of leafy trees were no houses whatever, or sign of anyinhabitants. Birds flew through the air and cunning white rabbitsdarted amongst the tall grasses and green bushes; Dorothy noticed eventhe ants toiling busily along the roadway, bearing gigantic loads ofclover seed; but of people there were none at all.
They walked briskly on for an hour or two, for even littleButton-Bright was a good walker and did not tire easily. At length asthey turned a curve in the road they beheld just before them a curioussight.
A little girl, radiant and beautiful, shapely as a fairy andexquisitely dressed, was dancing gracefully in the middle of the lonelyroad, whirling slowly this way and that, her dainty feet twinkling insprightly fashion. She was clad in flowing, fluffy robes of softmaterial that reminded Dorothy of woven cobwebs, only it was colored insoft tintings of violet, rose, topaz, olive, azure, and white, mingledtogether most harmoniously in stripes which melted one into the otherwith soft blendings. Her hair was like spun gold and flowed around herin a cloud, no strand being fastened or confined by either pin orornament or ribbon.
Filled with wonder and admiration our friends approached and stoodwatching this fascinating dance. The girl was no taller than Dorothy,although more slender; nor did she seem any older than our littleheroine.
Suddenly she paused and abandoned the dance, as if for the first timeobserving the presence of strangers. As she faced them, shy as afrightened fawn, poised upon one foot as if to fly the next instant,Dorothy was astonished to see tears flowing from her violet eyes andtrickling down her lovely rose-hued cheeks. That the dainty maidenshould dance and weep at the same time was indeed surprising; soDorothy asked in a soft, sympathetic voice:
"Are you unhappy, little girl?"
"Very!" was the reply; "I am lost."
"Why, so are we," said Dorothy, smiling; "but we don't cry about it."
"Don't you? Why not?"
"'Cause I've been lost before, and always got found again," answeredDorothy simply.
"But I've never been lost before," murmured the dainty maiden, "and I'mworried and afraid."
"You were dancing," remarked Dorothy, in a puzzled tone of voice.
"Oh, that was just to keep warm," explained the maiden, quickly. "Itwas not because I felt happy or gay, I assure you."
Dorothy looked at her closely. Her gauzy flowing robes might not bevery warm, yet the weather wasn't at all chilly, but rather mild andbalmy, like a spring day.
"Who are you, dear?" she asked, gently.
"I'm Polychrome," was the reply.
"Polychrome. I'm the Daughter of the Rainbow."
"Oh!" said Dorothy with a gasp; "I didn't know the Rainbow hadchildren. But I MIGHT have known it, before you spoke. You couldn'treally be anything else."
"Why not?" inquired Polychrome, as if surprised.
"Because you're so lovely and sweet."
The little maiden smiled through her tears, came up to Dorothy, andplaced her slender fingers in the Kansas girl's chubby hand.
"You'll be my friend--won't you?" she said, pleadingly.
"And what is your name?"
"I'm Dorothy; and this is my friend Shaggy Man, who owns the LoveMagnet; and this is Button-Bright--only you don't see him as he reallyis because the Fox-King carelessly changed his head into a fox head.But the real Button-Bright is good to look at, and I hope to get himchanged back to himself, some time."
The Rainbow's Daughter nodded cheerfully, no longer afraid of her newcompanions.
"But who is this?" she asked, pointing to Toto, who was sitting beforeher wagging his tail in the most friendly manner and admiring thepretty maid with his bright eyes. "Is this, also, some enchantedperson?"
"Oh no, Polly--I may call you Polly, mayn't I? Your whole name's awfulhard to say."
"Call me Polly if you wish, Dorothy."
"Well, Polly, Toto's just a dog; but he has more sense thanButton-Bright, to tell the truth; and I'm very fond of him."
"So am I," said Polychrome, bending gracefully to pat Toto's head.
"But how did the Rainbow's Daughter ever get on this lonely road, andbecome lost?" asked the shaggy man, who had listened wonderingly to allthis.
"Why, my father stretched his rainbow over here this morning, so thatone end of it touched this road," was the reply; "and I was dancingupon the pretty rays, as I love to do, and never noticed I was gettingtoo far over the bend in the circle. Suddenly I began to slide, and Iwent faster and faster until at last I bumped on the ground, at thevery end. Just then father lifted the rainbow again, without noticingme at all, and though I tried to seize the end of it and hold fast, itmelted away entirely and I was left alone and helpless on the cold,hard earth!"
"It doesn't seem cold to me, Polly," said Dorothy; "but perhaps you'renot warmly dressed."
"I'm so used to living nearer the sun," replied the Rainbow's Daughter,"that at first I feared I would freeze down here. But my dance haswarmed me some, and now I wonder how I am ever to get home again."
"Won't your father miss you, and look for you, and let down anotherrainbow for you?"
"Perhaps so, but he's busy just now because it rains in so many partsof the world at this season, and he has to set his rainbow in a lot ofdifferent places. What would you advise me to do, Dorothy?"
"Come with us," was the answer. "I'm going to try to find my way tothe Emerald City, which is in the fairy Land of Oz. The Emerald Cityis ruled by a friend of mine, the Princess Ozma, and if we can manageto get there I'm sure she will know a way to send you home to yourfather again."
"Do you really think so?" asked Polychrome, anxiously.
"I'm pretty sure."
"Then I'll go with you," said the little maid; "for travel will helpkeep me warm, and father can find me in one part of the world as wellas another--if he gets time to look for me."
"Come along, then," said the shaggy man, cheerfully; and they startedon once more. Polly walked beside Dorothy a while, holding her newfriend's hand as if she feared to let it go; but her nature seemed aslight and buoyant as her fleecy robes, for suddenly she darted aheadand whirled round in a giddy dance. Then she tripped back to them withsparkling eyes and smiling cheeks, having regained her usual happy moodand forgotten all her worry about being lost.
They found her a charming companion, and her dancing and laughter--forshe laughed at times like the tinkling of a silver bell--did much toenliven their journey and keep them contented.
6. The City Of Beasts
When noon came they opened the Fox-King's basket of luncheon, and founda nice roasted turkey with cranberry sauce and some slices of bread andbutter. As they sat on the grass by the roadside the shaggy man cut upthe turkey with his pocket-knife and passed slices of it around.
"Haven't you any dewdrops, or mist-cakes, or cloudbuns?" askedPolychrome, longingly.
"'Course not," replied Dorothy. "We eat solid things, down here on theearth. But there's a bottle of cold tea. Try some, won't you?"
The Rainbow's Daughter watched Button-Bright devour one leg of theturkey.
"Is it good?" she asked.
"Do you think I could eat it?"
"Not this," said Button-Bright.
"But I mean another piece?"
"Don't know," he replied.
"Well, I'm going to try, for I'm very hungry," she decided, and took athin slice of the white breast of turkey which the shaggy man cut forher, as well as a bit of bread and butter. When she tasted itPolychrome thought the turkey was good--better even than mist-cakes;but a little satisfied her hunger and she finished with a tiny sip ofcold tea.
"That's about as much as a fly would eat," said Dorothy, who was makinga good meal herself. "But I know some people in Oz who eat nothing atall."
"Who are they?" inquired the shaggy man.
"One is a scarecrow who's stuffed with straw, and the other a woodmanmade out of tin. They haven't any appetites inside of 'em, you see; sothey never eat anything at all."
"Are they alive?" asked Button-Bright.
"Oh yes," replied Dorothy; "and they're very clever and very nice, too.If we get to Oz I'll introduce them to you."
"Do you really expect to get to Oz?" inquired the shaggy man, taking adrink of cold tea.
"I don't know just what to 'spect," answered the child, seriously; "butI've noticed if I happen to get lost I'm almost sure to come to theLand of Oz in the end, somehow 'r other; so I may get there this time.But I can't promise, you know; all I can do is wait and see."
"Will the Scarecrow scare me?" asked Button-Bright.
"No; 'cause you're not a crow," she returned. "He has the loveliestsmile you ever saw--only it's painted on and he can't help it."
Luncheon being over they started again upon their journey, the shaggyman, Dorothy and Button-Bright walking soberly along, side by side, andthe Rainbow's Daughter dancing merrily before them.
Sometimes she darted along the road so swiftly that she was nearly outof sight, then she came tripping back to greet them with her silverylaughter. But once she came back more sedately, to say:
"There's a city a little way off."
"I 'spected that," returned Dorothy; "for the fox-people warned usthere was one on this road. It's filled with stupid beasts of somesort, but we musn't be afraid of 'em 'cause they won't hurt us."
"All right," said Button-Bright; but Polychrome didn't know whether itwas all right or not.
"It's a big city," she said, "and the road runs straight through it."
"Never mind," said the shaggy man; "as long as I carry the Love Magnetevery living thing will love me, and you may be sure I shan't allow anyof my friends to be harmed in any way."
This comforted them somewhat, and they moved on again. Pretty soonthey came to a signpost that read:
"HAF A MYLE TO DUNKITON."
"Oh," said the shaggy man, "if they're donkeys, we've nothing to fearat all."
"They may kick," said Dorothy, doubtfully.
"Then we will cut some switches, and make them behave," he replied. Atthe first tree he cut himself a long, slender switch from one of thebranches, and shorter switches for the others.
"Don't be afraid to order the beasts around," he said; "they're used toit."
Before long the road brought them to the gates of the city. There wasa high wall all around, which had been whitewashed, and the gate justbefore our travelers was a mere opening in the wall, with no barsacross it. No towers or steeples or domes showed above the enclosure,nor was any living thing to be seen as our friends drew near.
Suddenly, as they were about to boldly enter through the opening, therearose a harsh clamor of sound that swelled and echoed on every side,until they were nearly deafened by the racket and had to put theirfingers to their ears to keep the noise out.
It was like the firing of many cannon, only there were no cannon-ballsor other missiles to be seen; it was like the rolling of mightythunder, only not a cloud was in the sky; it was like the roar ofcountless breakers on a rugged seashore, only there was no sea or otherwater anywhere about.
They hesitated to advance; but, as the noise did no harm, they enteredthrough the whitewashed wall and quickly discovered the cause of theturmoil. Inside were suspended many sheets of tin or thin iron, andagainst these metal sheets a row of donkeys were pounding their heelswith vicious kicks.
The shaggy man ran up to the nearest donkey and gave the beast a sharpblow with his switch.
"Stop that noise!" he shouted; and the donkey stopped kicking the metalsheet and turned its head to look with surprise at the shaggy man. Heswitched the next donkey, and made him stop, and then the next, so thatgradually the rattling of heels ceased and the awful noise subsided.The donkeys stood in a group and eyed the strangers with fear andtrembling.
"What do you mean by making such a racket?" asked the shaggy man,sternly.
"We were scaring away the foxes," said one of the donkeys, meekly."Usually they run fast enough when they hear the noise, which makesthem afraid."
"There are no foxes here," said the shaggy man.
"I beg to differ with you. There's one, anyhow," replied the donkey,sitting upright on its haunches and waving a hoof toward Button-Bright."We saw him coming and thought the whole army of foxes was marching toattack us."
"Button-Bright isn't a fox," explained the shaggy man. "He's onlywearing a fox head for a time, until he can get his own head back."
"Oh, I see," remarked the donkey, waving its left ear reflectively."I'm sorry we made such a mistake, and had all our work and worry fornothing."
The other donkeys by this time were sitting up and examining thestrangers with big, glassy eyes. They made a queer picture, indeed;for they wore wide, white collars around their necks and the collarshad many scallops and points. The gentlemen-donkeys wore high pointedcaps set between their great ears, and the lady-donkeys wore sunbonnetswith holes cut in the top for the ears to stick through. But they hadno other clothing except their hairy skins, although many wore gold andsilver bangles on their front wrists and bands of different metals ontheir rear ankles. When they were kicking they had braced themselveswith their front legs, but now they all stood or sat upright on theirhind legs and used the front ones as arms. Having no fingers or handsthe beasts were rather clumsy, as you may guess; but Dorothy wassurprised to observe how many things they could do with their stiff,heavy hoofs.
Some of the donkeys were white, some were brown, or gray, or black, orspotted; but their hair was sleek and smooth and their broad collarsand caps gave them a neat, if whimsical, appearance.
"This is a nice way to welcome visitors, I must say!" remarked theshaggy man, in a reproachful tone.
"Oh, we did not mean to be impolite," replied a grey donkey which hadnot spoken before. "But you were not expected, nor did you send inyour visiting cards, as it is proper to do."
"There is some truth in that," admitted the shaggy man; "but, now youare informed that we are important and distinguished travelers, I trustyou will accord us proper consideration."
These big words delighted the donkeys, and made them bow to the shaggyman with great respect. Said the grey one:
"You shall be taken before his great and glorious Majesty KingKik-a-bray, who will greet you as becomes your exalted stations."
"That's right," answered Dorothy. "Take us to some one who knowssomething."
"Oh, we all know something, my child, or we shouldn't be donkeys,"asserted the grey one, with dignity. "The word 'donkey' means'clever,' you know."
"I didn't know it," she replied. "I thought it meant 'stupid'."
"Not at all, my child. If you will look in the Encyclopedia Donkaniarayou will find I'm correct. But come; I will myself lead you before oursplendid, exalted, and most intellectual ruler."
All donkeys love big words, so it is no wonder the grey one used somany of them.
7. The Shaggy Man's Transformation
They found the houses of the town all low and square and built ofbricks, neatly whitewashed inside and out. The houses were not set inrows, forming regular streets, but placed here and there in a haphazardmanner which made it puzzling for a stranger to find his way.
"Stupid people must have streets and numbered houses in their cities,to guide them where to go," observed the grey donkey, as he walkedbefore the visitors on his hind legs, in an awkward but comical manner;"but clever donkeys know their way about without such absurd marks.Moreover, a mixed city is much prettier than one with straight streets."
Dorothy did not agree with this, but she said nothing to contradict it.Presently she saw a sign on a house that read: "Madam de Fayke,Hoofist," and she asked their conductor:
"What's a 'hoofist,' please?"
"One who reads your fortune in your hoofs," replied the grey donkey.
"Oh, I see," said the little girl. "You are quite civilized here."
"Dunkiton," he replied, "is the center of the world's highestcivilization."
They came to a house where two youthful donkeys were whitewashing thewall, and Dorothy stopped a moment to watch them. They dipped the endsof their tails, which were much like paint-brushes, into a pail ofwhitewash, backed up against the house, and wagged their tails rightand left until the whitewash was rubbed on the wall, after which theydipped these funny brushes in the pail again and repeated theperformance.
"That must be fun," said Button-Bright.
"No, it's work," replied the old donkey; "but we make our youngsters doall the whitewashing, to keep them out of mischief."
"Don't they go to school?" asked Dorothy.
"All donkeys are born wise," was the reply, "so the only school we needis the school of experience. Books are only for those who knownothing, and so are obliged to learn things from other people."
"In other words, the more stupid one is, the more he thinks he knows,"observed the shaggy man. The grey donkey paid no attention to thisspeech because he had just stopped before a house which had paintedover the doorway a pair of hoofs, with a donkey tail between them and arude crown and sceptre above.
"I'll see if his magnificent Majesty King Kik-a-bray is at home," saidhe. He lifted his head and called "Whee-haw! whee-haw! whee-haw!"three times, in a shocking voice, turning about and kicking with hisheels against the panel of the door. For a time there was no reply;then the door opened far enough to permit a donkey's head to stick outand look at them.
It was a white head, with big, awful ears and round, solemn eyes.
"Have the foxes gone?" it asked, in a trembling voice.
"They haven't been here, most stupendous Majesty," replied the greyone. "The new arrivals prove to be travelers of distinction."
"Oh," said the King, in a relieved tone of voice. "Let them come in."
He opened the door wide, and the party marched into a big room, which,Dorothy thought, looked quite unlike a king's palace. There were matsof woven grasses on the floor and the place was clean and neat; but hisMajesty had no other furniture at all--perhaps because he didn't needit. He squatted down in the center of the room and a little browndonkey ran and brought a big gold crown which it placed on themonarch's head, and a golden staff with a jeweled ball at the end ofit, which the King held between his front hoofs as he sat upright.
"Now then," said his Majesty, waving his long ears gently to and fro,"tell me why you are here, and what you expect me to do for you." Heeyed Button-Bright rather sharply, as if afraid of the little boy'squeer head, though it was the shaggy man who undertook to reply.
"Most noble and supreme ruler of Dunkiton," he said, trying not tolaugh in the solemn King's face, "we are strangers traveling throughyour dominions and have entered your magnificent city because the roadled through it, and there was no way to go around. All we desire is topay our respects to your Majesty--the cleverest king in all the world,I'm sure--and then to continue on our way."
This polite speech pleased the King very much; indeed, it pleased himso much that it proved an unlucky speech for the shaggy man. Perhapsthe Love Magnet helped to win his Majesty's affections as well as theflattery, but however this may be, the white donkey looked kindly uponthe speaker and said:
"Only a donkey should be able to use such fine, big words, and you aretoo wise and admirable in all ways to be a mere man. Also, I feel thatI love you as well as I do my own favored people, so I will bestow uponyou the greatest gift within my power--a donkey's head."
As he spoke he waved his jeweled staff. Although the shaggy man criedout and tried to leap backward and escape, it proved of no use.Suddenly his own head was gone and a donkey head appeared in itsplace--a brown, shaggy head so absurd and droll that Dorothy and Pollyboth broke into merry laughter, and even Button-Bright's fox face worea smile.
"Dear me! dear me!" cried the shaggy man, feeling of his shaggy newhead and his long ears. "What a misfortune--what a great misfortune!Give me back my own head, you stupid king--if you love me at all!"
"Don't you like it?" asked the King, surprised.
"Hee-haw! I hate it! Take it away, quick!" said the shaggy man.
"But I can't do that," was the reply. "My magic works only one way. Ican DO things, but I can't UNdo them. You'll have to find the TruthPond, and bathe in its water, in order to get back your own head. ButI advise you not to do that. This head is much more beautiful than theold one."
"That's a matter of taste," said Dorothy.
"Where is the Truth Pond?" asked the shaggy man, earnestly.
"Somewhere in the Land of Oz; but just the exact location of it I cannot tell," was the answer.
"Don't worry, Shaggy Man," said Dorothy, smiling because her friendwagged his new ears so comically. "If the Truth Pond is in Oz, we'llbe sure to find it when we get there."
"Oh! Are you going to the Land of Oz?" asked King Kik-a-bray.
"I don't know," she replied, "but we've been told we are nearer theLand of Oz than to Kansas, and if that's so, the quickest way for me toget home is to find Ozma."
"Haw-haw! Do you know the mighty Princess Ozma?" asked the King, histone both surprised and eager.
"'Course I do; she's my friend," said Dorothy.
"Then perhaps you'll do me a favor," continued the white donkey, muchexcited.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Perhaps you can get me an invitation to Princess Ozma's birthdaycelebration, which will be the grandest royal function ever held inFairyland. I'd love to go."
"Hee-haw! You deserve punishment, rather than reward, for giving methis dreadful head," said the shaggy man, sorrowfully.
"I wish you wouldn't say 'hee-haw' so much," Polychrome begged him; "itmakes cold chills run down my back."
"But I can't help it, my dear; my donkey head wants to braycontinually," he replied. "Doesn't your fox head want to yelp everyminute?" he asked Button-Bright.
"Don't know," said the boy, still staring at the shaggy man's ears.These seemed to interest him greatly, and the sight also made himforget his own fox head, which was a comfort.
"What do you think, Polly? Shall I promise the donkey king aninvitation to Ozma's party?" asked Dorothy of the Rainbow's Daughter,who was flitting about the room like a sunbeam because she could neverkeep still.
"Do as you please, dear," answered Polychrome. "He might help to amusethe guests of the Princess."
"Then, if you will give us some supper and a place to sleep to-night,and let us get started on our journey early to-morrow morning," saidDorothy to the King, "I'll ask Ozma to invite you--if I happen to getto Oz."
"Good! Hee-haw! Excellent!" cried Kik-a-bray, much pleased. "Youshall all have fine suppers and good beds. What food would you prefer,a bran mash or ripe oats in the shell?"
"Neither one," replied Dorothy, promptly.
"Perhaps plain hay, or some sweet juicy grass would suit you better,"suggested Kik-a-bray, musingly.
"Is that all you have to eat?" asked the girl.
"What more do you desire?"
"Well, you see we're not donkeys," she explained, "and so we're used toother food. The foxes gave us a nice supper in Foxville."
"We'd like some dewdrops and mist-cakes," said Polychrome.
"I'd prefer apples and a ham sandwich," declared the shaggy man, "foralthough I've a donkey head, I still have my own particular stomach."
"I want pie," said Button-Bright.
"I think some beefsteak and chocolate layer-cake would taste best,"said Dorothy.
"Hee-haw! I declare!" exclaimed the King. "It seems each one of youwants a different food. How queer all living creatures are, exceptdonkeys!"
"And donkeys like you are queerest of all," laughed Polychrome.
"Well," decided the King, "I suppose my Magic Staff will produce thethings you crave; if you are lacking in good taste it is not my fault."
With this, he waved his staff with the jeweled ball, and before theminstantly appeared a tea-table, set with linen and pretty dishes, andon the table were the very things each had wished for. Dorothy'sbeefsteak was smoking hot, and the shaggy man's apples were plump androsy-cheeked. The King had not thought to provide chairs, so they allstood in their places around the table and ate with good appetite,being hungry. The Rainbow's Daughter found three tiny dewdrops on acrystal plate, and Button-Bright had a big slice of apple pie, which hedevoured eagerly.
Afterward the King called the brown donkey, which was his favoriteservant, and bade it lead his guests to the vacant house where theywere to pass the night. It had only one room and no furniture exceptbeds of clean straw and a few mats of woven grasses; but our travelerswere contented with these simple things because they realized it wasthe best the Donkey-King had to offer them. As soon as it was darkthey lay down on the mats and slept comfortably until morning.
At daybreak there was a dreadful noise throughout the city. Everydonkey in the place brayed. When he heard this the shaggy man woke upand called out "Hee-haw!" as loud as he could.
"Stop that!" said Button-Bright, in a cross voice. Both Dorothy andPolly looked at the shaggy man reproachfully.
"I couldn't help it, my dears," he said, as if ashamed of his bray;"but I'll try not to do it again."
Of coursed they forgave him, for as he still had the Love Magnet in hispocket they were all obliged to love him as much as ever.
They did not see the King again, but Kik-a-bray remembered them; for atable appeared again in their room with the same food upon it as on thenight before.
"Don't want pie for breakfus'," said Button-Bright.
"I'll give you some of my beefsteak," proposed Dorothy; "there's plentyfor us all."
That suited the boy better, but the shaggy man said he was content withhis apples and sandwiches, although he ended the meal by eatingButton-Bright's pie. Polly liked her dewdrops and mist-cakes betterthan any other food, so they all enjoyed an excellent breakfast. Totohad the scraps left from the beefsteak, and he stood up nicely on hishind legs while Dorothy fed them to him.
Breakfast ended, they passed through the village to the side oppositethat by which they had entered, the brown servant-donkey guiding themthrough the maze of scattered houses. There was the road again,leading far away into the unknown country beyond.
"King Kik-a-bray says you must not forget his invitation," said thebrown donkey, as they passed through the opening in the wall.
"I shan't," promised Dorothy.
Perhaps no one ever beheld a more strangely assorted group than the onewhich now walked along the road, through pretty green fields and pastgroves of feathery pepper-trees and fragrant mimosa. Polychrome, herbeautiful gauzy robes floating around her like a rainbow cloud, wentfirst, dancing back and forth and darting now here to pluck awild-flower or there to watch a beetle crawl across the path. Toto ranafter her at times, barking joyously the while, only to become soberagain and trot along at Dorothy's heels. The little Kansas girl walkedholding Button-Bright's hand clasped in her own, and the wee boy withhis fox head covered by the sailor hat presented an odd appearance.Strangest of all, perhaps, was the shaggy man, with his shaggy donkeyhead, who shuffled along in the rear with his hands thrust deep in hisbig pockets.
None of the party was really unhappy. All were straying in an unknownland and had suffered more or less annoyance and discomfort; but theyrealized they were having a fairy adventure in a fairy country, andwere much interested in finding out what would happen next.
8. The Musicker
About the middle of the forenoon they began to go up a long hill.By-and-by this hill suddenly dropped down into a pretty valley, wherethe travelers saw, to their surprise, a small house standing by theroad-side.
It was the first house they had seen, and they hastened into the valleyto discover who lived there. No one was in sight as they approached,but when they began to get nearer the house they heard queer soundscoming from it. They could not make these out at first, but as theybecame louder our friends thought they heard a sort of music like thatmade by a wheezy hand-organ; the music fell upon their ears in this way:
Tiddle-widdle-iddle oom pom-pom! Oom, pom-pom! oom, pom-pom! Tiddle-tiddle-tiddle oom pom-pom! Oom, pom-pom--pah!
"What is it, a band or a mouth-organ?" asked Dorothy.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"Sounds to me like a played-out phonograph," said the shaggy man,lifting his enormous ears to listen.
"Oh, there just COULDN'T be a funnygraf in Fairyland!" cried Dorothy.
"It's rather pretty, isn't it?" asked Polychrome, trying to dance tothe strains.
Tiddle-widdle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom pom-pom; oom pom-pom!
came the music to their ears, more distinctly as they drew nearer thehouse. Presently, they saw a little fat man sitting on a bench beforethe door. He wore a red, braided jacket that reached to his waist, ablue waistcoat, and white trousers with gold stripes down the sides.On his bald head was perched a little, round, red cap held in place bya rubber elastic underneath his chin. His face was round, his eyes afaded blue, and he wore white cotton gloves. The man leaned on a stoutgold-headed cane, bending forward on his seat to watch his visitorsapproach.
Singularly enough, the musical sounds they had heard seemed to comefrom the inside of the fat man himself; for he was playing noinstrument nor was any to be seen near him.
They came up and stood in a row, staring at him, and he stared backwhile the queer sounds came from him as before:
Tiddle-iddle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom, pom-pom; oom pom-pom! Tiddle-widdle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom, pom-pom--pah!
"Why, he's a reg'lar musicker!" said Button-Bright.
"What's a musicker?" asked Dorothy.
"Him!" said the boy.
Hearing this, the fat man sat up a little stiffer than before, as if hehad received a compliment, and still came the sounds:
Tiddle-widdle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom pom-pom, oom--
"Stop it!" cried the shaggy man, earnestly. "Stop that dreadful noise."
The fat man looked at him sadly and began his reply. When he spoke themusic changed and the words seemed to accompany the notes. He said--orrather sang:
It isn't a noise that you hear, But Music, harmonic and clear. My breath makes me play Like an organ, all day-- That bass note is in my left ear.
"How funny!" exclaimed Dorothy; "he says his breath makes the music."
"That's all nonsense," declared the shaggy man; but now the music beganagain, and they all listened carefully.
My lungs are full of reeds like those In organs, therefore I suppose, If I breathe in or out my nose, The reeds are bound to play.
So as I breathe to live, you know, I squeeze out music as I go; I'm very sorry this is so-- Forgive my piping, pray!
"Poor man," said Polychrome; "he can't help it. What a greatmisfortune it is!"
"Yes," replied the shaggy man; "we are only obliged to hear this musica short time, until we leave him and go away; but the poor fellow mustlisten to himself as long as he lives, and that is enough to drive himcrazy. Don't you think so?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright. Toto said, "Bow-wow!" and the otherslaughed.
"Perhaps that's why he lives all alone," suggested Dorothy.
"Yes; if he had neighbors, they might do him an injury," responded theshaggy man.
All this while the little fat musicker was breathing the notes:
Tiddle-tiddle-iddle, oom, pom-pom,
and they had to speak loud in order to hear themselves. The shaggy mansaid:
"Who are you, sir?"
The reply came in the shape of this sing-song:
I'm Allegro da Capo, a very famous man; Just find another, high or low, to match me if you can. Some people try, but can't, to play And have to practice every day; But I've been musical always, since first my life began.
"Why, I b'lieve he's proud of it," exclaimed Dorothy; "and seems to meI've heard worse music than he makes."
"Where?" asked Button-Bright.
"I've forgotten, just now. But Mr. Da Capo is certainly a strangeperson--isn't he?--and p'r'aps he's the only one of his kind in all theworld."
This praise seemed to please the little fat musicker, for he swelledout his chest, looked important and sang as follows:
I wear no band around me, And yet I am a band! I do not strain to make my strains But, on the other hand, My toot is always destitute Of flats or other errors; To see sharp and be natural are For me but minor terrors.
"I don't quite understand that," said Polychrome, with a puzzled look;"but perhaps it's because I'm accustomed only to the music of thespheres."
"What's that?" asked Button-Bright.
"Oh, Polly means the atmosphere and hemisphere, I s'pose," explainedDorothy.
"Oh," said Button-Bright.
"Bow-wow!" said Toto.
But the musicker was still breathing his constant
Oom, pom-pom; Oom pom-pom--
and it seemed to jar on the shaggy man's nerves.
"Stop it, can't you?" he cried angrily; "or breathe in a whisper; orput a clothes-pin on your nose. Do something, anyhow!"
But the fat one, with a sad look, sang this answer:
Music hath charms, and it may Soothe even the savage, they say; So if savage you feel Just list to my reel, For sooth to say that's the real way.
The shaggy man had to laugh at this, and when he laughed he stretchedhis donkey mouth wide open. Said Dorothy:
"I don't know how good his poetry is, but it seems to fit the notes, sothat's all that can be 'xpected."
"I like it," said Button-Bright, who was staring hard at the musicker,his little legs spread wide apart. To the surprise of his companions,the boy asked this long question:
"If I swallowed a mouth-organ, what would I be?"
"An organette," said the shaggy man. "But come, my dears; I think thebest thing we can do is to continue on our journey before Button-Brightswallows anything. We must try to find that Land of Oz, you know."
Hearing this speech the musicker sang, quickly:
If you go to the Land of Oz Please take me along, because On Ozma's birthday I'm anxious to play The loveliest song ever was.
"No thank you," said Dorothy; "we prefer to travel alone. But if I seeOzma I'll tell her you want to come to her birthday party."
"Let's be going," urged the shaggy man, anxiously.
Polly was already dancing along the road, far in advance, and theothers turned to follow her. Toto did not like the fat musicker andmade a grab for his chubby leg. Dorothy quickly caught up the growlinglittle dog and hurried after her companions, who were walking fasterthan usual in order to get out of hearing. They had to climb a hill,and until they got to the top they could not escape the musicker'smonotonous piping:
Oom, pom-pom; oom, pom-pom; Tiddle-iddle-widdle, oom, pom-pom; Oom, pom-pom--pah!
As they passed the brow of the hill, however, and descended on theother side, the sounds gradually died away, whereat they all felt muchrelieved.
"I'm glad I don't have to live with the organ-man; aren't you, Polly?"said Dorothy.
"Yes indeed," answered the Rainbow's Daughter.
"He's nice," declared Button-Bright, soberly.
"I hope your Princess Ozma won't invite him to her birthdaycelebration," remarked the shaggy man; "for the fellow's music woulddrive her guests all crazy. You've given me an idea, Button-Bright; Ibelieve the musicker must have swallowed an accordeon in his youth."
"What's 'cordeon?" asked the boy.
"It's a kind of pleating," explained Dorothy, putting down the dog.
"Bow-wow!" said Toto, and ran away at a mad gallop to chase abumble-bee.
9. Facing the Scoodlers
The country wasn't so pretty now. Before the travelers appeared arocky plain covered with hills on which grew nothing green. They werenearing some low mountains, too, and the road, which before had beensmooth and pleasant to walk upon, grew rough and uneven.
Button-Bright's little feet stumbled more than once, and Polychromeceased her dancing because the walking was now so difficult that shehad no trouble to keep warm.
It had become afternoon, yet there wasn't a thing for their luncheonexcept two apples which the shaggy man had taken from the breakfasttable. He divided these into four pieces and gave a portion to each ofhis companions. Dorothy and Button-Bright were glad to get theirs; butPolly was satisfied with a small bite, and Toto did not like apples.
"Do you know," asked the Rainbow's Daughter, "if this is the right roadto the Emerald City?"
"No, I don't," replied Dorothy, "but it's the only road in this part ofthe country, so we may as well go to the end of it."
"It looks now as if it might end pretty soon," remarked the shaggy man;"and what shall we do if it does?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"If I had my Magic Belt," replied Dorothy, thoughtfully, "it could dous a lot of good just now."
"What is your Magic Belt?" asked Polychrome.
"It's a thing I captured from the Nome King one day, and it can do'most any wonderful thing. But I left it with Ozma, you know; 'causemagic won't work in Kansas, but only in fairy countries."
"Is this a fairy country?" asked Button-Bright.
"I should think you'd know," said the little girl, gravely. "If itwasn't a fairy country you couldn't have a fox head and the shaggy mancouldn't have a donkey head, and the Rainbow's Daughter would beinvis'ble."
"What's that?" asked the boy.
"You don't seem to know anything, Button-Bright. Invis'ble is a thingyou can't see."
"Then Toto's invis'ble," declared the boy, and Dorothy found he wasright. Toto had disappeared from view, but they could hear him barkingfuriously among the heaps of grey rock ahead of them.
They moved forward a little faster to see what the dog was barking at,and found perched upon a point of rock by the roadside a curiouscreature. It had the form of a man, middle-sized and rather slenderand graceful; but as it sat silent and motionless upon the peak theycould see that its face was black as ink, and it wore a black clothcostume made like a union suit and fitting tight to its skin. Itshands were black, too, and its toes curled down, like a bird's. Thecreature was black all over except its hair, which was fine, andyellow, banged in front across the black forehead and cut close at thesides. The eyes, which were fixed steadily upon the barking dog, weresmall and sparkling and looked like the eyes of a weasel.
"What in the world do you s'pose that is?" asked Dorothy in a hushedvoice, as the little group of travelers stood watching the strangecreature.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
The thing gave a jump and turned half around, sitting in the same placebut with the other side of its body facing them. Instead of beingblack, it was now pure white, with a face like that of a clown in acircus and hair of a brilliant purple. The creature could bend eitherway, and its white toes now curled the same way the black ones on theother side had done.
"It has a face both front and back," whispered Dorothy, wonderingly;"only there's no back at all, but two fronts."
Having made the turn, the being sat motionless as before, while Totobarked louder at the white man than he had done at the black one.
"Once," said the shaggy man, "I had a jumping jack like that, with twofaces."
"Was it alive?" asked Button-Bright.
"No," replied the shaggy man; "it worked on strings and was made ofwood."
"Wonder if this works with strings," said Dorothy; but Polychrome cried"Look!" for another creature just like the first had suddenly appearedsitting on another rock, its black side toward them. The two twistedtheir heads around and showed a black face on the white side of one anda white face on the black side of the other.
"How curious," said Polychrome; "and how loose their heads seem to be!Are they friendly to us, do you think?"
"Can't tell, Polly," replied Dorothy. "Let's ask 'em."
The creatures flopped first one way and then the other, showing blackor white by turns; and now another joined them, appearing on anotherrock. Our friends had come to a little hollow in the hills, and theplace where they now stood was surrounded by jagged peaks of rock,except where the road ran through.
"Now there are four of them," said the shaggy man.
"Five," declared Polychrome.
"Six," said Dorothy.
"Lots of 'em!" cried Button-Bright; and so there were--quite a row ofthe two-sided black and white creatures sitting on the rocks all around.
Toto stopped barking and ran between Dorothy's feet, where he croucheddown as if afraid. The creatures did not look pleasant or friendly, tobe sure, and the shaggy man's donkey face became solemn, indeed.
"Ask 'em who they are, and what they want," whispered Dorothy; so theshaggy man called out in a loud voice:
"Who are you?"
"Scoodlers!" they yelled in chorus, their voices sharp and shrill.
"What do you want?" called the shaggy man.
"You!" they yelled, pointing their thin fingers at the group; and theyall flopped around, so they were white, and then all flopped backagain, so they were black.
"But what do you want us for?" asked the shaggy man, uneasily.
"Soup!" they all shouted, as if with one voice.
"Goodness me!" said Dorothy, trembling a little; "the Scoodlers must bereg'lar cannibals."
"Don't want to be soup," protested Button-Bright, beginning to cry.
"Hush, dear," said the little girl, trying to comfort him; "we don'tany of us want to be soup. But don't worry; the shaggy man will takecare of us."
"Will he?" asked Polychrome, who did not like the Scoodlers at all, andkept close to Dorothy.
"I'll try," promised the shaggy man; but he looked worried.
Happening just then to feel the Love Magnet in his pocket, he said tothe creatures, with more confidence:
"Don't you love me?"
"Yes!" they shouted, all together.
"Then you mustn't harm me, or my friends," said the shaggy man, firmly.
"We love you in soup!" they yelled, and in a flash turned their whitesides to the front.
"How dreadful!" said Dorothy. "This is a time, Shaggy Man, when youget loved too much."
"Don't want to be soup!" wailed Button-Bright again; and Toto began towhine dismally, as if he didn't want to be soup, either.
"The only thing to do," said the shaggy man to his friends, in a lowtone, "is to get out of this pocket in the rocks as soon as we can, andleave the Scoodlers behind us. Follow me, my dears, and don't pay anyattention to what they do or say."
With this, he began to march along the road to the opening in the rocksahead, and the others kept close behind him. But the Scoodlers closedup in front, as if to bar their way, and so the shaggy man stooped downand picked up a loose stone, which he threw at the creatures to scarethem from the path.
At this the Scoodlers raised a howl. Two of them picked their headsfrom their shoulders and hurled them at the shaggy man with such forcethat he fell over in a heap, greatly astonished. The two now ranforward with swift leaps, caught up their heads, and put them on again,after which they sprang back to their positions on the rocks.
10. Escaping the Soup-Kettle
The shaggy man got up and felt of himself to see if he was hurt; but hewas not. One of the heads had struck his breast and the other his leftshoulder; yet though they had knocked him down, the heads were not hardenough to bruise him.
"Come on," he said firmly; "we've got to get out of here some way," andforward he started again.
The Scoodlers began yelling and throwing their heads in great numbersat our frightened friends. The shaggy man was knocked over again, andso was Button-Bright, who kicked his heels against the ground andhowled as loud as he could, although he was not hurt a bit. One headstruck Toto, who first yelped and then grabbed the head by an ear andstarted running away with it.
The Scoodlers who had thrown their heads began to scramble down and runto pick them up, with wonderful quickness; but the one whose head Totohad stolen found it hard to get it back again. The head couldn't seethe body with either pair of its eyes, because the dog was in the way,so the headless Scoodler stumbled around over the rocks and tripped onthem more than once in its effort to regain its top. Toto was tryingto get outside the rocks and roll the head down the hill; but some ofthe other Scoodlers came to the rescue of their unfortunate comrade andpelted the dog with their own heads until he was obliged to drop hisburden and hurry back to Dorothy.
The little girl and the Rainbow's Daughter had both escaped the showerof heads, but they saw now that it would be useless to try to run awayfrom the dreadful Scoodlers.
"We may as well submit," declared the shaggy man, in a rueful voice, ashe got upon his feet again. He turned toward their foes and asked:
"What do you want us to do?"
"Come!" they cried, in a triumphant chorus, and at once sprang from therocks and surrounded their captives on all sides. One funny thingabout the Scoodlers was they could walk in either direction, coming orgoing, without turning around; because they had two faces and, asDorothy said, "two front sides," and their feet were shaped like theletter T upside down. They moved with great rapidity and there wassomething about their glittering eyes and contrasting colors andremovable heads that inspired the poor prisoners with horror, and madethem long to escape.
But the creatures led their captives away from the rocks and the road,down the hill by a side path until they came before a low mountain ofrock that looked like a huge bowl turned upside down. At the edge ofthis mountain was a deep gulf--so deep that when you looked into itthere was nothing but blackness below. Across the gulf was a narrowbridge of rock, and at the other end of the bridge was an archedopening that led into the mountain.
Over this bridge the Scoodlers led their prisoners, through the openinginto the mountain, which they found to be an immense hollow domelighted by several holes in the roof. All around the circular spacewere built rock houses, set close together, each with a door in thefront wall. None of these houses was more than six feet wide, but theScoodlers were thin people sidewise and did not need much room. Sovast was the dome that there was a large space in the middle of thecave, in front of all these houses, where the creatures mightcongregate as in a great hall.
It made Dorothy shudder to see a huge iron kettle suspended by a stoutchain in the middle of the place, and underneath the kettle a greatheap of kindling wood and shavings, ready to light.
"What's that?" asked the shaggy man, drawing back as they approachedthis place, so that they were forced to push him forward.
"The Soup Kettle!" yelled the Scoodlers, and then they shouted in thenext breath:
Button-Bright, holding Dorothy's hand in one chubby fist and Polly'shand in the other, was so affected by this shout that he began to cryagain, repeating the protest:
"Don't want to be soup, I don't!"
"Never mind," said the shaggy man, consolingly; "I ought to make enoughsoup to feed them all, I'm so big; so I'll ask them to put me in thekettle first."
"All right," said Button-Bright, more cheerfully.
But the Scoodlers were not ready to make soup yet. They led thecaptives into a house at the farthest side of the cave--a housesomewhat wider than the others.
"Who lives here?" asked the Rainbow's Daughter. The Scoodlers nearesther replied:
It made Dorothy hopeful to learn that a woman ruled over these fiercecreatures, but a moment later they were ushered by two or three of theescort into a gloomy, bare room--and her hope died away.
For the Queen of the Scoodlers proved to be much more dreadful inappearance than any of her people. One side of her was fiery red, withjet-black hair and green eyes and the other side of her was brightyellow, with crimson hair and black eyes. She wore a short skirt ofred and yellow and her hair, instead of being banged, was a tangle ofshort curls upon which rested a circular crown of silver--much dentedand twisted because the Queen had thrown her head at so many things somany times. Her form was lean and bony and both her faces were deeplywrinkled.
"What have we here?" asked the Queen sharply, as our friends were madeto stand before her.
"Soup!" cried the guard of Scoodlers, speaking together.
"We're not!" said Dorothy, indignantly; "we're nothing of the sort."
"Ah, but you will be soon," retorted the Queen, a grim smile making herlook more dreadful than before.
"Pardon me, most beautiful vision," said the shaggy man, bowing beforethe queen politely. "I must request your Serene Highness to let us goour way without being made into soup. For I own the Love Magnet, andwhoever meets me must love me and all my friends."
"True," replied the Queen. "We love you very much; so much that weintend to eat your broth with real pleasure. But tell me, do you thinkI am so beautiful?"
"You won't be at all beautiful if you eat me," he said, shaking hishead sadly. "Handsome is as handsome does, you know."
The Queen turned to Button-Bright.
"Do YOU think I'm beautiful?" she asked.
"No," said the boy; "you're ugly."
"I think you're a fright," said Dorothy.
"If you could see yourself you'd be terribly scared," added Polly.
The Queen scowled at them and flopped from her red side to her yellowside.
"Take them away," she commanded the guard, "and at six o'clock run themthrough the meat chopper and start the soup kettle boiling. And putplenty of salt in the broth this time, or I'll punish the cooksseverely."
"Any onions, your Majesty?" asked one of the guard.
"Plenty of onions and garlic and a dash of red pepper. Now, go!"
The Scoodlers led the captives away and shut them up in one of thehouses, leaving only a single Scoodler to keep guard.
The place was a sort of store-house; containing bags of potatoes andbaskets of carrots, onions and turnips.
"These," said their guard, pointing to the vegetables, "we use toflavor our soups with."
The prisoners were rather disheartened by this time, for they saw noway to escape and did not know how soon it would be six o'clock andtime for the meatchopper to begin work. But the shaggy man was braveand did not intend to submit to such a horrid fate without a struggle.
"I'm going to fight for our lives," he whispered to the children, "forif I fail we will be no worse off than before, and to sit here quietlyuntil we are made into soup would be foolish and cowardly."
The Scoodler on guard stood near the doorway, turning first his whiteside toward them and then his black side, as if he wanted to show toall of his greedy four eyes the sight of so many fat prisoners. Thecaptives sat in a sorrowful group at the other end of the room--exceptPolychrome, who danced back and forth in the little place to keepherself warm, for she felt the chill of the cave. Whenever sheapproached the shaggy man he would whisper something in her ear, andPolly would nod her pretty head as if she understood.
The shaggy man told Dorothy and Button-Bright to stand before him whilehe emptied the potatoes out of one of the sacks. When this had beensecretly done, little Polychrome, dancing near to the guard, suddenlyreached out her hand and slapped his face, the next instant whirlingaway from him quickly to rejoin her friends.
The angry Scoodler at once picked off his head and hurled it at theRainbow's Daughter; but the shaggy man was expecting that, and caughtthe head very neatly, putting it in the sack, which he tied at themouth. The body of the guard, not having the eyes of its head to guideit, ran here and there in an aimless manner, and the shaggy man easilydodged it and opened the door. Fortunately, there was no one in thebig cave at that moment, so he told Dorothy and Polly to run as fast asthey could for the entrance, and out across the narrow bridge.
"I'll carry Button-Bright," he said, for he knew the little boy's legswere too short to run fast.
Dorothy picked up Toto and then seized Polly's hand and ran swiftlytoward the entrance to the cave. The shaggy man perched Button-Brighton his shoulders and ran after them. They moved so quickly and theirescape was so wholly unexpected that they had almost reached the bridgewhen one of the Scoodlers looked out of his house and saw them.
The creature raised a shrill cry that brought all of its fellowsbounding out of the numerous doors, and at once they started in chase.Dorothy and Polly had reached the bridge and crossed it when theScoodlers began throwing their heads. One of the queer missiles struckthe shaggy man on his back and nearly knocked him over; but he was atthe mouth of the cave now, so he set down Button-Bright and told theboy to run across the bridge to Dorothy.
Then the shaggy man turned around and faced his enemies, standing justoutside the opening, and as fast as they threw their heads at him hecaught them and tossed them into the black gulf below. The headlessbodies of the foremost Scoodlers kept the others from running close up,but they also threw their heads in an effort to stop the escapingprisoners. The shaggy man caught them all and sent them whirling downinto the black gulf. Among them he noticed the crimson and yellow headof the Queen, and this he tossed after the others with right good will.
Presently every Scoodler of the lot had thrown its head, and every headwas down in the deep gulf, and now the helpless bodies of the creatureswere mixed together in the cave and wriggling around in a vain attemptto discover what had become of their heads. The shaggy man laughed andwalked across the bridge to rejoin his companions.
"It's lucky I learned to play base-ball when I was young," he remarked,"for I caught all those heads easily and never missed one. But comealong, little ones; the Scoodlers will never bother us or anyone elseany more."
Button-Bright was still frightened and kept insisting, "I don't want tobe soup!" for the victory had been gained so suddenly that the boycould not realize they were free and safe. But the shaggy man assuredhim that all danger of their being made into soup was now past, as theScoodlers would be unable to eat soup for some time to come.
So now, anxious to get away from the horrid gloomy cave as soon aspossible, they hastened up the hillside and regained the road justbeyond the place where they had first met the Scoodlers; and you may besure they were glad to find their feet on the old familiar path again.
11. Johnny Dooit Does It
"It's getting awful rough walking," said Dorothy, as they trudgedalong. Button-Bright gave a deep sigh and said he was hungry. Indeed,all were hungry, and thirsty, too; for they had eaten nothing but theapples since breakfast; so their steps lagged and they grew silent andweary. At last they slowly passed over the crest of a barren hill andsaw before them a line of green trees with a strip of grass at theirfeet. An agreeable fragrance was wafted toward them.
Our travelers, hot and tired, ran forward on beholding this refreshingsight and were not long in coming to the trees. Here they found aspring of pure bubbling water, around which the grass was full of wildstrawberry plants, their pretty red berries ripe and ready to eat.Some of the trees bore yellow oranges and some russet pears, so thehungry adventurers suddenly found themselves provided with plenty toeat and to drink. They lost no time in picking the biggeststrawberries and ripest oranges and soon had feasted to their hearts'content. Walking beyond the line of trees they saw before them afearful, dismal desert, everywhere gray sand. At the edge of thisawful waste was a large, white sign with black letters neatly paintedupon it and the letters made these words:
ALL PERSONS ARE WARNED NOT TO VENTURE UPON THIS DESERT
For the Deadly Sands will Turn Any Living Flesh to Dust in an instant. Beyond This Barrier is the
LAND OF OZ
But no one can Reach that Beautiful Country because of these Destroying Sands
"Oh," said Dorothy, when the shaggy man had read the sign aloud; "I'veseen this desert before, and it's true no one can live who tries towalk upon the sands."
"Then we musn't try it," answered the shaggy man thoughtfully. "But aswe can't go ahead and there's no use going back, what shall we do next?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"I'm sure I don't know, either," added Dorothy, despondently.
"I wish father would come for me," sighed the pretty Rainbow'sDaughter, "I would take you all to live upon the rainbow, where youcould dance along its rays from morning till night, without a care orworry of any sort. But I suppose father's too busy just now to searchthe world for me."
"Don't want to dance," said Button-Bright, sitting down wearily uponthe soft grass.
"It's very good of you, Polly," said Dorothy; "but there are otherthings that would suit me better than dancing on rainbows. I'm 'fraidthey'd be kind of soft an' squashy under foot, anyhow, although they'reso pretty to look at."
This didn't help to solve the problem, and they all fell silent andlooked at one another questioningly.
"Really, I don't know what to do," muttered the shaggy man, gazing hardat Toto; and the little dog wagged his tail and said "Bow-wow!" just asif he could not tell, either, what to do. Button-Bright got a stickand began to dig in the earth, and the others watched him for a whilein deep thought. Finally, the shaggy man said:
"It's nearly evening, now; so we may as well sleep in this pretty placeand get rested; perhaps by morning we can decide what is best to bedone."
There was little chance to make beds for the children, but the leavesof the trees grew thickly and would serve to keep off the night dews,so the shaggy man piled soft grasses in the thickest shade and when itwas dark they lay down and slept peacefully until morning.
Long after the others were asleep, however, the shaggy man sat in thestarlight by the spring, gazing thoughtfully into its bubbling waters.Suddenly he smiled and nodded to himself as if he had found a goodthought, after which he, too, laid himself down under a tree and wassoon lost in slumber.
In the bright morning sunshine, as they ate of the strawberries andsweet juicy pears, Dorothy said:
"Polly, can you do any magic?"
"No dear," answered Polychrome, shaking her dainty head.
"You ought to know SOME magic, being the Rainbow's Daughter," continuedDorothy, earnestly.
"But we who live on the rainbow among the fleecy clouds have no use formagic," replied Polychrome.
"What I'd like," said Dorothy, "is to find some way to cross the desertto the Land of Oz and its Emerald City. I've crossed it already, youknow, more than once. First a cyclone carried my house over, and someSilver Shoes brought me back again--in half a second. Then Ozma tookme over on her Magic Carpet, and the Nome King's Magic Belt took mehome that time. You see it was magic that did it every time 'cept thefirst, and we can't 'spect a cyclone to happen along and take us to theEmerald City now."
"No indeed," returned Polly, with a shudder, "I hate cyclones, anyway."
"That's why I wanted to find out if you could do any magic," said thelittle Kansas girl. "I'm sure I can't; and I'm sure Button-Brightcan't; and the only magic the shaggy man has is the Love Magnet, whichwon't help us much."
"Don't be too sure of that, my dear," spoke the shaggy man, a smile onhis donkey face. "I may not be able to do magic myself, but I can callto us a powerful friend who loves me because I own the Love Magnet, andthis friend surely will be able to help us."
"Who is your friend?" asked Dorothy.
"What can Johnny do?"
"Anything," answered the shaggy man, with confidence.
"Ask him to come," she exclaimed, eagerly.
The shaggy man took the Love Magnet from his pocket and unwrapped thepaper that surrounded it. Holding the charm in the palm of his hand helooked at it steadily and said these words:
"Dear Johnny Dooit, come to me. I need you bad as bad can be."
"Well, here I am," said a cheery little voice; "but you shouldn't sayyou need me bad, 'cause I'm always, ALWAYS, good."
At this they quickly whirled around to find a funny little man sittingon a big copper chest, puffing smoke from a long pipe. His hair wasgrey, his whiskers were grey; and these whiskers were so long that hehad wound the ends of them around his waist and tied them in a hardknot underneath the leather apron that reached from his chin nearly tohis feet, and which was soiled and scratched as if it had been used along time. His nose was broad, and stuck up a little; but his eyeswere twinkling and merry. The little man's hands and arms were as hardand tough as the leather in his apron, and Dorothy thought Johnny Dooitlooked as if he had done a lot of hard work in his lifetime.
"Good morning, Johnny," said the shaggy man. "Thank you for coming tome so quickly."
"I never waste time," said the newcomer, promptly. "But what'shappened to you? Where did you get that donkey head? Really, Iwouldn't have known you at all, Shaggy Man, if I hadn't looked at yourfeet."
The shaggy man introduced Johnny Dooit to Dorothy and Toto andButton-Bright and the Rainbow's Daughter, and told him the story oftheir adventures, adding that they were anxious now to reach theEmerald City in the Land of Oz, where Dorothy had friends who wouldtake care of them and send them safe home again.
"But," said he, "we find that we can't cross this desert, which turnsall living flesh that touches it into dust; so I have asked you to comeand help us."
Johnny Dooit puffed his pipe and looked carefully at the dreadfuldesert in front of them--stretching so far away they could not see itsend.
"You must ride," he said, briskly.
"What in?" asked the shaggy man.
"In a sand-boat, which has runners like a sled and sails like a ship.The wind will blow you swiftly across the desert and the sand cannottouch your flesh to turn it into dust."
"Good!" cried Dorothy, clapping her hands delightedly. "That was theway the Magic Carpet took us across. We didn't have to touch thehorrid sand at all."
"But where is the sand-boat?" asked the shaggy man, looking all aroundhim.
"I'll make you one," said Johnny Dooit.
As he spoke, he knocked the ashes from his pipe and put it in hispocket. Then he unlocked the copper chest and lifted the lid, andDorothy saw it was full of shining tools of all sorts and shapes.
Johnny Dooit moved quickly now--so quickly that they were astonished atthe work he was able to accomplish. He had in his chest a tool foreverything he wanted to do, and these must have been magic toolsbecause they did their work so fast and so well.
The man hummed a little song as he worked, and Dorothy tried to listento it. She thought the words were something like these:
The only way to do a thing Is do it when you can, And do it cheerfully, and sing And work and think and plan. The only real unhappy one Is he who dares to shirk; The only really happy one Is he who cares to work.
Whatever Johnny Dooit was singing he was certainly doing things, andthey all stood by and watched him in amazement.
He seized an axe and in a couple of chops felled a tree. Next he tooka saw and in a few minutes sawed the tree-trunk into broad, longboards. He then nailed the boards together into the shape of a boat,about twelve feet long and four feet wide. He cut from another tree along, slender pole which, when trimmed of its branches and fastenedupright in the center of the boat, served as a mast. From the chest hedrew a coil of rope and a big bundle of canvas, and with these--stillhumming his song--he rigged up a sail, arranging it so it could beraised or lowered upon the mast.
Dorothy fairly gasped with wonder to see the thing grow so speedilybefore her eyes, and both Button-Bright and Polly looked on with thesame absorbed interest.
"It ought to be painted," said Johnny Dooit, tossing his tools backinto the chest, "for that would make it look prettier. But 'though Ican paint it for you in three seconds it would take an hour to dry, andthat's a waste of time."
"We don't care how it looks," said the shaggy man, "if only it willtake us across the desert."
"It will do that," declared Johnny Dooit. "All you need worry about istipping over. Did you ever sail a ship?"
"I've seen one sailed," said the shaggy man.
"Good. Sail this boat the way you've seen a ship sailed, and you'll beacross the sands before you know it."
With this he slammed down the lid of the chest, and the noise made themall wink. While they were winking the workman disappeared, tools andall.
12. The Deadly Desert Crossed
"Oh, that's too bad!" cried Dorothy; "I wanted to thank Johnny Dooitfor all his kindness to us."
"He hasn't time to listen to thanks," replied the shaggy man; "but I'msure he knows we are grateful. I suppose he is already at work in someother part of the world."
They now looked more carefully at the sand-boat, and saw that thebottom was modeled with two sharp runners which would glide through thesand. The front of the sand-boat was pointed like the bow of a ship,and there was a rudder at the stern to steer by.
It had been built just at the edge of the desert, so that all itslength lay upon the gray sand except the after part, which still restedon the strip of grass.
"Get in, my dears," said the shaggy man; "I'm sure I can manage thisboat as well as any sailor. All you need do is sit still in yourplaces."
Dorothy got in, Toto in her arms, and sat on the bottom of the boatjust in front of the mast. Button-Bright sat in front of Dorothy,while Polly leaned over the bow. The shaggy man knelt behind the mast.When all were ready he raised the sail half-way. The wind caught it.At once the sand-boat started forward--slowly at first, then with addedspeed. The shaggy man pulled the sail way up, and they flew so fastover the Deadly Desert that every one held fast to the sides of theboat and scarcely dared to breathe.
The sand lay in billows, and was in places very uneven, so that theboat rocked dangerously from side to side; but it never quite tippedover, and the speed was so great that the shaggy man himself becamefrightened and began to wonder how he could make the ship go slower.
"It we're spilled in this sand, in the middle of the desert," Dorothythought to herself, "we'll be nothing but dust in a few minutes, andthat will be the end of us."
But they were not spilled, and by-and-by Polychrome, who was clingingto the bow and looking straight ahead, saw a dark line before them andwondered what it was. It grew plainer every second, until shediscovered it to be a row of jagged rocks at the end of the desert,while high above these rocks she could see a tableland of green grassand beautiful trees.
"Look out!" she screamed to the shaggy man. "Go slowly, or we shallsmash into the rocks."
He heard her, and tried to pull down the sail; but the wind would notlet go of the broad canvas and the ropes had become tangled.
Nearer and nearer they drew to the great rocks, and the shaggy man wasin despair because he could do nothing to stop the wild rush of thesand-boat.
They reached the edge of the desert and bumped squarely into the rocks.There was a crash as Dorothy, Button-Bright, Toto and Polly flew up inthe air in a curve like a skyrocket's, one after another landing highupon the grass, where they rolled and tumbled for a time before theycould stop themselves.
The shaggy man flew after them, head first, and lighted in a heapbeside Toto, who, being much excited at the time, seized one of thedonkey ears between his teeth and shook and worried it as hard as hecould, growling angrily. The shaggy man made the little dog let go,and sat up to look around him.
Dorothy was feeling one of her front teeth, which was loosened byknocking against her knee as she fell. Polly was looking sorrowfullyat a rent in her pretty gauze gown, and Button-Bright's fox head hadstuck fast in a gopher hole and he was wiggling his little fat legsfrantically in an effort to get free.
Otherwise they were unhurt by the adventure; so the shaggy man stood upand pulled Button-Bright out of the hole and went to the edge of thedesert to look at the sand-boat. It was a mere mass of splinters now,crushed out of shape against the rocks. The wind had torn away thesail and carried it to the top of a tall tree, where the fragments ofit fluttered like a white flag.
"Well," he said, cheerfully, "we're here; but where the here is I don'tknow."
"It must be some part of the Land of Oz," observed Dorothy, coming tohis side.
"'Course it must. We're across the desert, aren't we? And somewherein the middle of Oz is the Emerald City."
"To be sure," said the shaggy man, nodding. "Let's go there."
"But I don't see any people about, to show us the way," she continued.
"Let's hunt for them," he suggested. "There must be people somewhere;but perhaps they did not expect us, and so are not at hand to give us awelcome."
13. The Truth Pond
They now made a more careful examination of the country around them.All was fresh and beautiful after the sultriness of the desert, and thesunshine and sweet, crisp air were delightful to the wanderers. Littlemounds of yellowish green were away at the right, while on the leftwaved a group of tall leafy trees bearing yellow blossoms that lookedlike tassels and pompoms. Among the grasses carpeting the ground werepretty buttercups and cowslips and marigolds. After looking at these amoment Dorothy said reflectively:
"We must be in the Country of the Winkies, for the color of thatcountry is yellow, and you will notice that 'most everything here isyellow that has any color at all."
"But I thought this was the Land of Oz," replied the shaggy man, as ifgreatly disappointed.
"So it is," she declared; "but there are four parts to the Land of Oz.The North Country is purple, and it's the Country of the Gillikins.The East Country is blue, and that's the Country of the Munchkins.Down at the South is the red Country of the Quadlings, and here, in theWest, the yellow Country of the Winkies. This is the part that isruled by the Tin Woodman, you know."
"Who's he?" asked Button-Bright.
"Why, he's the tin man I told you about. His name is Nick Chopper, andhe has a lovely heart given him by the wonderful Wizard."
"Where does HE live?" asked the boy.
"The Wizard? Oh, he lives in the Emerald City, which is just in themiddle of Oz, where the corners of the four countries meet."
"Oh," said Button-Bright, puzzled by this explanation.
"We must be some distance from the Emerald City," remarked the shaggyman.
"That's true," she replied; "so we'd better start on and see if we canfind any of the Winkies. They're nice people," she continued, as thelittle party began walking toward the group of trees, "and I came hereonce with my friends the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, and theCowardly Lion, to fight a wicked witch who had made all the Winkies herslaves."
"Did you conquer her?" asked Polly.
"Why, I melted her with a bucket of water, and that was the end ofher," replied Dorothy. "After that the people were free, you know, andthey made Nick Chopper--that's the Tin Woodman--their Emp'ror."
"What's that?" asked Button-Bright.
"Emp'ror? Oh, it's something like an alderman, I guess."
"Oh," said the boy.
"But I thought Princess Ozma ruled Oz," said the shaggy man.
"So she does; she rules the Emerald City and all the four countries ofOz; but each country has another little ruler, not so big as Ozma.It's like the officers of an army, you see; the little rulers are allcaptains, and Ozma's the general."
By this time they had reached the trees, which stood in a perfectcircle and just far enough apart so that their thick branchestouched--or "shook hands," as Button-Bright remarked. Under the shadeof the trees they found, in the center of the circle, a crystal pool,its water as still as glass. It must have been deep, too, for whenPolychrome bent over it she gave a little sigh of pleasure.
"Why, it's a mirror!" she cried; for she could see all her pretty faceand fluffy, rainbow-tinted gown reflected in the pool, as natural aslife.
Dorothy bent over, too, and began to arrange her hair, blown by thedesert wind into straggling tangles. Button-Bright leaned over theedge next, and then began to cry, for the sight of his fox headfrightened the poor little fellow.
"I guess I won't look," remarked the shaggy man, sadly, for he didn'tlike his donkey head, either. While Polly and Dorothy tried to comfortButton-Bright, the shaggy man sat down near the edge of the pool, wherehis image could not be reflected, and stared at the water thoughtfully.As he did this he noticed a silver plate fastened to a rock just underthe surface of the water, and on the silver plate was engraved thesewords:
THE TRUTH POND
"Ah!" cried the shaggy man, springing to his feet with eager joy;"we've found it at last."
"Found what?" asked Dorothy, running to him.
"The Truth Pond. Now, at last, I may get rid of this frightful head;for we were told, you remember, that only the Truth Pond could restoreto me my proper face."
"Me, too!" shouted Button-Bright, trotting up to them.
"Of course," said Dorothy. "It will cure you both of your bad heads, Iguess. Isn't it lucky we found it?"
"It is, indeed," replied the shaggy man. "I hated dreadfully to go toPrincess Ozma looking like this; and she's to have a birthdaycelebration, too."
Just then a splash startled them, for Button-Bright, in his anxiety tosee the pool that would "cure" him, had stepped too near the edge andtumbled heels over head into the water. Down he went, out of sightentirely, so that only his sailor hat floated on the top of the TruthPond.
He soon bobbed up, and the shaggy man seized him by his sailor collarand dragged him to the shore, dripping and gasping for breath. Theyall looked upon the boy wonderingly, for the fox head with its sharpnose and pointed ears was gone, and in its place appeared the chubbyround face and blue eyes and pretty curls that had belonged toButton-Bright before King Dox of Foxville transformed him.
"Oh, what a darling!" cried Polly, and would have hugged the little onehad he not been so wet.
Their joyful exclamations made the child rub the water out of his eyesand look at his friends questioningly.
"You're all right now, dear," said Dorothy. "Come and look atyourself." She led him to the pool, and although there were still a fewripples on the surface of the water he could see his reflection plainly.
"It's me!" he said, in a pleased yet awed whisper.
"'Course it is," replied the girl, "and we're all as glad as you are,Button-Bright."
"Well," announced the shaggy man, "it's my turn next." He took off hisshaggy coat and laid it on the grass and dived head first into theTruth Pond.
When he came up the donkey head had disappeared, and the shaggy man'sown shaggy head was in its place, with the water dripping in littlestreams from his shaggy whiskers. He scrambled ashore and shookhimself to get off some of the wet, and then leaned over the pool tolook admiringly at his reflected face.
"I may not be strictly beautiful, even now," he said to his companions,who watched him with smiling faces; "but I'm so much handsomer than anydonkey that I feel as proud as I can be."
"You're all right, Shaggy Man," declared Dorothy. "And Button-Brightis all right, too. So let's thank the Truth Pond for being so nice,and start on our journey to the Emerald City."
"I hate to leave it," murmured the shaggy man, with a sigh. "A truthpond wouldn't be a bad thing to carry around with us." But he put onhis coat and started with the others in search of some one to directthem on their way.
14. Tik-Tok and Billina
They had not walked far across the flower-strewn meadows when they cameupon a fine road leading toward the northwest and winding gracefullyamong the pretty yellow hills.
"That way," said Dorothy, "must be the direction of the Emerald City.We'd better follow the road until we meet some one or come to a house."
The sun soon dried Button-Bright's sailor suit and the shaggy man'sshaggy clothes, and so pleased were they at regaining their own headsthat they did not mind at all the brief discomfort of getting wet.
"It's good to be able to whistle again," remarked the shaggy man, "forthose donkey lips were so thick I could not whistle a note with them."He warbled a tune as merrily as any bird.
"You'll look more natural at the birthday celebration, too," saidDorothy, happy in seeing her friends so happy.
Polychrome was dancing ahead in her usual sprightly manner, whirlinggaily along the smooth, level road, until she passed from sight aroundthe curve of one of the mounds. Suddenly they heard her exclaim "Oh!"and she appeared again, running toward them at full speed.
"What's the matter, Polly?" asked Dorothy, perplexed.
There was no need for the Rainbow's Daughter to answer, for turning thebend in the road there came advancing slowly toward them a funny roundman made of burnished copper, gleaming brightly in the sun. Perched onthe copper man's shoulder sat a yellow hen, with fluffy feathers and apearl necklace around her throat.
"Oh, Tik-tok!" cried Dorothy, running forward. When she came to him,the copper man lifted the little girl in his copper arms and kissed hercheek with his copper lips.
"Oh, Billina!" cried Dorothy, in a glad voice, and the yellow hen flewto her arms, to be hugged and petted by turns.
The others were curiously crowding around the group, and the girl saidto them:
"It's Tik-tok and Billina; and oh! I'm so glad to see them again."
"Wel-come to Oz," said the copper man in a monotonous voice.
Dorothy sat right down in the road, the yellow hen in her arms, andbegan to stroke Billina's back. Said the hen:
"Dorothy, dear, I've got some wonderful news to tell you."
"Tell it quick, Billina!" said the girl.
Just then Toto, who had been growling to himself in a cross way, gave asharp bark and flew at the yellow hen, who ruffled her feathers and letout such an angry screech that Dorothy was startled.
"Stop, Toto! Stop that this minute!" she commanded. "Can't you seethat Billina is my friend?" In spite of this warning had she notgrabbed Toto quickly by the neck the little dog would have done theyellow hen a mischief, and even now he struggled madly to escapeDorothy's grasp. She slapped his ears once or twice and told him tobehave, and the yellow hen flew to Tik-tok's shoulder again, where shewas safe.
"What a brute!" croaked Billina, glaring down at the little dog.
"Toto isn't a brute," replied Dorothy, "but at home Uncle Henry has towhip him sometimes for chasing the chickens. Now look here, Toto," sheadded, holding up her finger and speaking sternly to him, "you've gotto understand that Billina is one of my dearest friends, and musn't behurt--now or ever."
Toto wagged his tail as if he understood.
"The miserable thing can't talk," said Billina, with a sneer.
"Yes, he can," replied Dorothy; "he talks with his tail, and I knoweverything he says. If you could wag your tail, Billina, you wouldn'tneed words to talk with."
"Nonsense!" said Billina.
"It isn't nonsense at all. Just now Toto says he's sorry, and thathe'll try to love you for my sake. Don't you, Toto?"
"Bow-wow!" said Toto, wagging his tail again.
"But I've such wonderful news for you, Dorothy," cried the yellow hen;"I've--"
"Wait a minute, dear," interrupted the little girl; "I've got tointroduce you all, first. That's manners, Billina. This," turning toher traveling companions, "is Mr. Tik-tok, who works by machinery'cause his thoughts wind up, and his talk winds up, and his actionwinds up--like a clock."
"Do they all wind up together?" asked the shaggy man.
"No; each one separate. But he works just lovely, and Tik-tok was agood friend to me once, and saved my life--and Billina's life, too."
"Is he alive?" asked Button-Bright, looking hard at the copper man.
"Oh, no, but his machinery makes him just as good as alive." Sheturned to the copper man and said politely: "Mr. Tik-tok, these are mynew friends: the shaggy man, and Polly the Rainbow's Daughter, andButton-Bright, and Toto. Only Toto isn't a new friend, 'cause he'sbeen to Oz before."
The copper man bowed low, removing his copper hat as he did so.
"I'm ve-ry pleased to meet Dor-o-thy's fr-r-r-r---" Here he stoppedshort.
"Oh, I guess his speech needs winding!" said the little girl, runningbehind the copper man to get the key off a hook at his back. She woundhim up at a place under his right arm and he went on to say:
"Par-don me for run-ning down. I was a-bout to say I am pleased tomeet Dor-o-thy's friends, who must be my friends." The words weresomewhat jerky, but plain to understand.
"And this is Billina," continued Dorothy, introducing the yellow hen,and they all bowed to her in turn.
"I've such wonderful news," said the hen, turning her head so that onebright eye looked full at Dorothy.
"What is it, dear?" asked the girl.
"I've hatched out ten of the loveliest chicks you ever saw."
"Oh, how nice! And where are they, Billina?"
"I left them at home. But they're beauties, I assure you, and allwonderfully clever. I've named them Dorothy."
"Which one?" asked the girl.
"All of them," replied Billina.
"That's funny. Why did you name them all with the same name?"
"It was so hard to tell them apart," explained the hen. "Now, when Icall 'Dorothy,' they all come running to me in a bunch; it's mucheasier, after all, than having a separate name for each."
"I'm just dying to see 'em, Billina," said Dorothy, eagerly. "But tellme, my friends, how did you happen to be here, in the Country of theWinkies, the first of all to meet us?"
"I'll tell you," answered Tik-tok, in his monotonous voice, all thesounds of his words being on one level--"Prin-cess Oz-ma saw you in hermag-ic pic-ture, and knew you were com-ing here; so she sent Bil-lin-aand me to wel-come you as she could not come her-self; sothat--fiz-i-dig-le cum-so-lut-ing hy-ber-gob-ble in-tu-zib-ick--"
"Good gracious! Whatever's the matter now?" cried Dorothy, as thecopper man continued to babble these unmeaning words, which no onecould understand at all because they had no sense.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright, who was half scared. Polly whirledaway to a distance and turned to look at the copper man in a fright.
"His thoughts have run down, this time," remarked Billina composedly,as she sat on Tik-tok's shoulder and pruned her sleek feathers. "Whenhe can't think, he can't talk properly, any more than you can. You'llhave to wind up his thoughts, Dorothy, or else I'll have to finish hisstory myself."
Dorothy ran around and got the key again and wound up Tik-tok under hisleft arm, after which he could speak plainly again.
"Par-don me," he said, "but when my thoughts run down, my speech has nomean-ing, for words are formed on-ly by thought. I was a-bout to saythat Oz-ma sent us to wel-come you and in-vite you to come straight tothe Em-er-ald Ci-ty. She was too bus-y to come her-self, for she ispre-par-ing for her birth-day cel-e-bra-tion, which is to be a grandaf-fair."
"I've heard of it," said Dorothy, "and I'm glad we've come in time toattend. Is it far from here to the Emerald City?"
"Not ve-ry far," answered Tik-tok, "and we have plen-ty of time.To-night we will stop at the pal-ace of the Tin Wood-man, andto-mor-row night we will ar-rive at the Em-er-ald Ci-ty."
"Goody!" cried Dorothy. "I'd like to see dear Nick Chopper again.How's his heart?"
"It's fine," said Billina; "the Tin Woodman says it gets softer andkindlier every day. He's waiting at his castle to welcome you,Dorothy; but he couldn't come with us because he's getting polished asbright as possible for Ozma's party."
"Well then," said Dorothy, "let's start on, and we can talk more as wego."
They proceeded on their journey in a friendly group, for Polychrome haddiscovered that the copper man was harmless and was no longer afraid ofhim. Button-Bright was also reassured, and took quite a fancy toTik-tok. He wanted the clockwork man to open himself, so that he mightsee the wheels go round; but that was a thing Tik-tok could not do.Button-Bright then wanted to wind up the copper man, and Dorothypromised he should do so as soon as any part of the machinery ran down.This pleased Button-Bright, who held fast to one of Tik-tok's copperhands as he trudged along the road, while Dorothy walked on the otherside of her old friend and Billina perched by turns upon his shoulderor his copper hat. Polly once more joyously danced ahead and Toto ranafter her, barking with glee. The shaggy man was left to walk behind;but he didn't seem to mind that a bit, and whistled merrily or lookedcuriously upon the pretty scenes they passed.
At last they came to a hilltop from which the tin castle of NickChopper could plainly be seen, its towers glistening magnificentlyunder the rays of the declining sun.
"How pretty!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I've never seen the Emp'ror's newhouse before."
"He built it because the old castle was damp, and likely to rust histin body," said Billina. "All those towers and steeples and domes andgables took a lot of tin, as you can see."
"Is it a toy?" asked Button-Bright softly.
"No, dear," answered Dorothy; "it's better than that. It's the fairydwelling of a fairy prince."
15. The Emperor's Tin Castle
The grounds around Nick Chopper's new house were laid out in prettyflower-beds, with fountains of crystal water and statues of tinrepresenting the Emperor's personal friends. Dorothy was astonishedand delighted to find a tin statue of herself standing on a tinpedestal at a bend in the avenue leading up to the entrance. It waslife-size and showed her in her sunbonnet with her basket on her arm,just as she had first appeared in the Land of Oz.
"Oh, Toto--you're there too!" she exclaimed; and sure enough there wasthe tin figure of Toto lying at the tin Dorothy's feet.
Also, Dorothy saw figures of the Scarecrow, and the Wizard, and Ozma,and of many others, including Tik-tok. They reached the grand tinentrance to the tin castle, and the Tin Woodman himself came runningout of the door to embrace little Dorothy and give her a glad welcome.He welcomed her friends as well, and the Rainbow's Daughter he declaredto be the loveliest vision his tin eyes had ever beheld. He pattedButton-Bright's curly head tenderly, for he was fond of children, andturned to the shaggy man and shook both his hands at the same time.
Nick Chopper, the Emperor of the Winkies, who was also known throughoutthe Land of Oz as the Tin Woodman, was certainly a remarkable person.He was neatly made, all of tin, nicely soldered at the joints, and hisvarious limbs were cleverly hinged to his body so that he could usethem nearly as well as if they had been common flesh. Once, he toldthe shaggy man, he had been made all of flesh and bones, as otherpeople are, and then he chopped wood in the forests to earn his living.But the axe slipped so often and cut off parts of him--which he hadreplaced with tin--that finally there was no flesh left, nothing buttin; so he became a real tin woodman. The wonderful Wizard of Oz hadgiven him an excellent heart to replace his old one, and he didn't atall mind being tin. Every one loved him, he loved every one; and hewas therefore as happy as the day was long.
The Emperor was proud of his new tin castle, and showed his visitorsthrough all the rooms. Every bit of the furniture was made of brightlypolished tin--the tables, chairs, beds, and all--even the floors andwalls were of tin.
"I suppose," said he, "that there are no cleverer tinsmiths in all theworld than the Winkies. It would be hard to match this castle inKansas; wouldn't it, little Dorothy?"
"Very hard," replied the child, gravely.
"It must have cost a lot of money," remarked the shaggy man.
"Money! Money in Oz!" cried the Tin Woodman. "What a queer idea! Didyou suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here?"
"Why not?" asked the shaggy man.
"If we used money to buy things with, instead of love and kindness andthe desire to please one another, then we should be no better than therest of the world," declared the Tin Woodman. "Fortunately money isnot known in the Land of Oz at all. We have no rich, and no poor; forwhat one wishes the others all try to give him, in order to make himhappy, and no one in all Oz cares to have more than he can use."
"Good!" cried the shaggy man, greatly pleased to hear this. "I alsodespise money--a man in Butterfield owes me fifteen cents, and I willnot take it from him. The Land of Oz is surely the most favored landin all the world, and its people the happiest. I should like to livehere always."
The Tin Woodman listened with respectful attention. Already he lovedthe shaggy man, although he did not yet know of the Love Magnet. So hesaid:
"If you can prove to the Princess Ozma that you are honest and true andworthy of our friendship, you may indeed live here all your days, andbe as happy as we are."
"I'll try to prove that," said the shaggy man, earnestly.
"And now," continued the Emperor, "you must all go to your rooms andprepare for dinner, which will presently be served in the grand tindining-hall. I am sorry, Shaggy Man, that I can not offer you a changeof clothing; but I dress only in tin, myself, and I suppose that wouldnot suit you."
"I care little about dress," said the shaggy man, indifferently.
"So I should imagine," replied the Emperor, with true politeness.
They were shown to their rooms and permitted to make such toilets asthey could, and soon they assembled again in the grand tin dining-hall,even Toto being present. For the Emperor was fond of Dorothy's littledog, and the girl explained to her friends that in Oz all animals weretreated with as much consideration as the people--"if they behavethemselves," she added.
Toto behaved himself, and sat in a tin high-chair beside Dorothy andate his dinner from a tin platter.
Indeed, they all ate from tin dishes, but these were of pretty shapesand brightly polished; Dorothy thought they were just as good as silver.
Button-Bright looked curiously at the man who had "no appetite insidehim," for the Tin Woodman, although he had prepared so fine a feast forhis guests, ate not a mouthful himself, sitting patiently in his placeto see that all built so they could eat were well and plentifullyserved.
What pleased Button-Bright most about the dinner was the tin orchestrathat played sweet music while the company ate. The players were nottin, being just ordinary Winkies; but the instruments they played uponwere all tin--tin trumpets, tin fiddles, tin drums and cymbals andflutes and horns and all. They played so nicely the "Shining EmperorWaltz," composed expressly in honor of the Tin Woodman by Mr. H. M.Wogglebug, T.E., that Polly could not resist dancing to it. After shehad tasted a few dewdrops, freshly gathered for her, she dancedgracefully to the music while the others finished their repast; andwhen she whirled until her fleecy draperies of rainbow hues envelopedher like a cloud, the Tin Woodman was so delighted that he clapped histin hands until the noise of them drowned the sound of the cymbals.
Altogether it was a merry meal, although Polychrome ate little and thehost nothing at all.
"I'm sorry the Rainbow's Daughter missed her mist-cakes," said the TinWoodman to Dorothy; "but by a mistake Miss Polly's mist-cakes weremislaid and not missed until now. I'll try to have some for herbreakfast."
They spent the evening telling stories, and the next morning left thesplendid tin castle and set out upon the road to the Emerald City. TheTin Woodman went with them, of course, having by this time been sobrightly polished that he sparkled like silver. His axe, which healways carried with him, had a steel blade that was tin plated and ahandle covered with tin plate beautifully engraved and set withdiamonds.
The Winkies assembled before the castle gates and cheered their Emperoras he marched away, and it was easy to see that they all loved himdearly.
16. Visiting the Pumpkin-Field
Dorothy let Button-Bright wind up the clock-work in the copper man thismorning--his thinking machine first, then his speech, and finally hisaction; so he would doubtless run perfectly until they had reached theEmerald City. The copper man and the tin man were good friends, andnot so much alike as you might think. For one was alive and the othermoved by means of machinery; one was tall and angular and the othershort and round. You could love the Tin Woodman because he had a finenature, kindly and simple; but the machine man you could only admirewithout loving, since to love such a thing as he was as impossible asto love a sewing-machine or an automobile. Yet Tik-tok was popularwith the people of Oz because he was so trustworthy, reliable and true;he was sure to do exactly what he was wound up to do, at all times andin all circumstances. Perhaps it is better to be a machine that doesits duty than a flesh-and-blood person who will not, for a dead truthis better than a live falsehood.
About noon the travelers reached a large field of pumpkins--a vegetablequite appropriate to the yellow country of the Winkies--and some of thepumpkins which grew there were of remarkable size. Just before theyentered upon this field they saw three little mounds that looked likegraves, with a pretty headstone to each one of them.
"What is this?" asked Dorothy, in wonder.
"It's Jack Pumpkinhead's private graveyard," replied the Tin Woodman.
"But I thought nobody ever died in Oz," she said.
"Nor do they; although if one is bad, he may be condemned and killed bythe good citizens," he answered.
Dorothy ran over to the little graves and read the words engraved uponthe tombstones. The first one said:
Here Lies the Mortal Part of JACK PUMPKINHEAD Which Spoiled April 9th.
She then went to the next stone, which read:
Here Lies the Mortal Part of JACK PUMPKINHEAD Which Spoiled October 2nd.
On the third stone were carved these words:
Here Lies the Mortal Part of JACK PUMPKINHEAD Which Spoiled January 24th.
"Poor Jack!" sighed Dorothy. "I'm sorry he had to die in three parts,for I hoped to see him again."
"So you shall," declared the Tin Woodman, "since he is still alive.Come with me to his house, for Jack is now a farmer and lives in thisvery pumpkin field."
They walked over to a monstrous big, hollow pumpkin which had a doorand windows cut through the rind. There was a stovepipe runningthrough the stem, and six steps had been built leading up to the frontdoor.
They walked up to this door and looked in. Seated on a bench was a manclothed in a spotted shirt, a red vest, and faded blue trousers, whosebody was merely sticks of wood, jointed clumsily together. On his neckwas set a round, yellow pumpkin, with a face carved on it such as a boyoften carves on a jack-lantern.
This queer man was engaged in snapping slippery pumpkin-seeds with hiswooden fingers, trying to hit a target on the other side of the roomwith them. He did not know he had visitors until Dorothy exclaimed:
"Why, it's Jack Pumpkinhead himself!"
He turned and saw them, and at once came forward to greet the littleKansas girl and Nick Chopper, and to be introduced to their new friends.
Button-Bright was at first rather shy with the quaint Pumpkinhead, butJack's face was so jolly and smiling--being carved that way--that theboy soon grew to like him.
"I thought a while ago that you were buried in three parts," saidDorothy, "but now I see you're just the same as ever."
"Not quite the same, my dear, for my mouth is a little more one-sidedthan it used to be; but pretty nearly the same. I've a new head, andthis is the fourth one I've owned since Ozma first made me and broughtme to life by sprinkling me with the Magic Powder."
"What became of the other heads, Jack?"
"They spoiled and I buried them, for they were not even fit for pies.Each time Ozma has carved me a new head just like the old one, and asmy body is by far the largest part of me, I am still Jack Pumpkinhead,no matter how often I change my upper end. Once we had a dreadful timeto find another pumpkin, as they were out of season, and so I wasobliged to wear my old head a little longer than was strictly healthy.But after this sad experience I resolved to raise pumpkins myself, soas never to be caught again without one handy; and now I have this finefield that you see before you. Some grow pretty big--too big to beused for heads--so I dug out this one and use it for a house."
"Isn't it damp?" asked Dorothy.
"Not very. There isn't much left but the shell, you see, and it willlast a long time yet."
"I think you are brighter than you used to be, Jack," said the TinWoodman. "Your last head was a stupid one."
"The seeds in this one are better," was the reply.
"Are you going to Ozma's party?" asked Dorothy.
"Yes," said he, "I wouldn't miss it for anything. Ozma's my parent,you know, because she built my body and carved my pumpkin head. I'llfollow you to the Emerald City to-morrow, where we shall meet again. Ican't go to-day, because I have to plant fresh pumpkin-seeds and waterthe young vines. But give my love to Ozma, and tell her I'll be therein time for the jubilation."
"We will," she promised; and then they all left him and resumed theirjourney.
17. The Royal Chariot Arrives
The neat yellow houses of the Winkies were now to be seen standing hereand there along the roadway, giving the country a more cheerful andcivilized look. They were farm-houses, though, and set far apart; forin the Land of Oz there were no towns or villages except themagnificent Emerald City in its center.
Hedges of evergreen or of yellow roses bordered the broad highway andthe farms showed the care of their industrious inhabitants. The nearerthe travelers came to the great city the more prosperous the countrybecame, and they crossed many bridges over the sparkling streams andrivulets that watered the lands.
As they walked leisurely along the shaggy man said to the Tin Woodman:
"What sort of a Magic Powder was it that made your friend thePumpkinhead live?"
"It was called the Powder of Life," was the answer; "and it wasinvented by a crooked Sorcerer who lived in the mountains of the NorthCountry. A Witch named Mombi got some of this powder from the crookedSorcerer and took it home with her. Ozma lived with the Witch then,for it was before she became our Princess, while Mombi had transformedher into the shape of a boy. Well, while Mombi was gone to the crookedSorcerer's, the boy made this pumpkin-headed man to amuse himself, andalso with the hope of frightening the Witch with it when she returned.But Mombi was not scared, and she sprinkled the Pumpkinhead with herMagic Powder of Life, to see if the Powder would work. Ozma waswatching, and saw the Pumpkinhead come to life; so that night she tookthe pepper-box containing the Powder and ran away with it and withJack, in search of adventures.
"Next day they found a wooden Saw-Horse standing by the roadside, andsprinkled it with the Powder. It came to life at once, and JackPumpkinhead rode the Saw-Horse to the Emerald City."
"What became of the Saw-Horse, afterward?" asked the shaggy man, muchinterested in this story.
"Oh, it's alive yet, and you will probably meet it presently in theEmerald City. Afterward, Ozma used the last of the Powder to bring theFlying Gump to life; but as soon as it had carried her away from herenemies the Gump was taken apart, so it doesn't exist any more."
"It's too bad the Powder of Life was all used up," remarked the shaggyman; "it would be a handy thing to have around."
"I am not so sure of that, sir," answered the Tin Woodman. "A whileago the crooked Sorcerer who invented the Magic Powder fell down aprecipice and was killed. All his possessions went to a relative--anold woman named Dyna, who lives in the Emerald City. She went to themountains where the Sorcerer had lived and brought away everything shethought of value. Among them was a small bottle of the Powder of Life;but of course Dyna didn't know it was a Magic Powder, at all. Ithappened she had once had a big blue bear for a pet; but the bearchoked to death on a fishbone one day, and she loved it so dearly thatDyna made a rug of its skin, leaving the head and four paws on thehide. She kept the rug on the floor of her front parlor."
"I've seen rugs like that," said the shaggy man, nodding, "but neverone made from a blue bear."
"Well," continued the Tin Woodman, "the old woman had an idea that thePowder in the bottle must be moth-powder, because it smelled somethinglike moth-powder; so one day she sprinkled it on her bear rug to keepthe moths out of it. She said, looking lovingly at the skin: 'I wishmy dear bear were alive again!' To her horror, the bear rug at oncecame to life, having been sprinkled with the Magic Powder; and now thislive bear rug is a great trial to her, and makes her a lot of trouble."
"Why?" asked the shaggy man.
"Well, it stands up on its four feet and walks all around, and gets inthe way; and that spoils it for a rug. It can't speak, although it isalive; for, while its head might say words, it has no breath in a solidbody to push the words out of its mouth. It's a very slimpsy affairaltogether, that bear rug, and the old woman is sorry it came to life.Every day she has to scold it, and make it lie down flat on the parlorfloor to be walked upon; but sometimes when she goes to market the rugwill hump up its back skin, and stand on its four feet, and trot alongafter her."
"I should think Dyna would like that," said Dorothy.
"Well, she doesn't; because every one knows it isn't a real bear, butjust a hollow skin, and so of no actual use in the world except for arug," answered the Tin Woodman. "Therefore I believe it is a goodthing that all the Magic Powder of Life is now used up, as it can notcause any more trouble."
"Perhaps you're right," said the shaggy man, thoughtfully.
At noon they stopped at a farmhouse, where it delighted the farmer andhis wife to be able to give them a good luncheon. The farm people knewDorothy, having seen her when she was in the country before, and theytreated the little girl with as much respect as they did the Emperor,because she was a friend of the powerful Princess Ozma.
They had not proceeded far after leaving this farm-house before comingto a high bridge over a broad river. This river, the Tin Woodmaninformed them, was the boundary between the Country of the Winkies andthe territory of the Emerald City. The city itself was still a longway off, but all around it was a green meadow as pretty as a well-keptlawn, and in this were neither houses nor farms to spoil the beauty ofthe scene.
From the top of the high bridge they could see far away the magnificentspires and splendid domes of the superb city, sparkling like brilliantjewels as they towered above the emerald walls. The shaggy man drew adeep breath of awe and amazement, for never had he dreamed that such agrand and beautiful place could exist--even in the fairyland of Oz.
Polly was so pleased that her violet eyes sparkled like amethysts, andshe danced away from her companions across the bridge and into a groupof feathery trees lining both the roadsides. These trees she stoppedto look at with pleasure and surprise, for their leaves were shapedlike ostrich plumes, their feather edges beautifully curled; and allthe plumes were tinted in the same dainty rainbow hues that appeared inPolychrome's own pretty gauze gown.
"Father ought to see these trees," she murmured; "they are almost aslovely as his own rainbows."
Then she gave a start of terror, for beneath the trees came stalkingtwo great beasts, either one big enough to crush the little Daughter ofthe Rainbow with one blow of his paws, or to eat her up with one snapof his enormous jaws. One was a tawny lion, as tall as a horse,nearly; the other a striped tiger almost the same size.
Polly was too frightened to scream or to stir; she stood still with awildly beating heart until Dorothy rushed past her and with a glad crythrew her arms around the huge lion's neck, hugging and kissing thebeast with evident joy.
"Oh, I'm SO glad to see you again!" cried the little Kansas girl. "Andthe Hungry Tiger, too! How fine you're both looking. Are you well andhappy?"
"We certainly are, Dorothy," answered the Lion, in a deep voice thatsounded pleasant and kind; "and we are greatly pleased that you havecome to Ozma's party. It's going to be a grand affair, I promise you."
"There will be lots of fat babies at the celebration, I hear," remarkedthe Hungry Tiger, yawning so that his mouth opened dreadfully wide andshowed all his big, sharp teeth; "but of course I can't eat any of 'em."
"Is your Conscience still in good order?" asked Dorothy, anxiously.
"Yes; it rules me like a tyrant," answered the Tiger, sorrowfully. "Ican imagine nothing more unpleasant than to own a Conscience," and hewinked slyly at his friend the Lion.
"You're fooling me!" said Dorothy, with a laugh. "I don't b'lieveyou'd eat a baby if you lost your Conscience. Come here, Polly," shecalled, "and be introduced to my friends."
Polly advanced rather shyly.
"You have some queer friends, Dorothy," she said.
"The queerness doesn't matter so long as they're friends," was theanswer. "This is the Cowardly Lion, who isn't a coward at all, butjust thinks he is. The Wizard gave him some courage once, and he haspart of it left."
The Lion bowed with great dignity to Polly.
"You are very lovely, my dear," said he. "I hope we shall be friendswhen we are better acquainted."
"And this is the Hungry Tiger," continued Dorothy. "He says he longsto eat fat babies; but the truth is he is never hungry at all, 'causehe gets plenty to eat; and I don't s'pose he'd hurt anybody even if heWAS hungry."
"Hush, Dorothy," whispered the Tiger; "you'll ruin my reputation if youare not more discreet. It isn't what we are, but what folks think weare, that counts in this world. And come to think of it Miss Pollywould make a fine variegated breakfast, I'm sure."
18. The Emerald City
The others now came up, and the Tin Woodman greeted the Lion and theTiger cordially. Button-Bright yelled with fear when Dorothy firsttook his hand and led him toward the great beasts; but the girlinsisted they were kind and good, and so the boy mustered up courageenough to pat their heads; after they had spoken to him gently and hehad looked into their intelligent eyes his fear vanished entirely andhe was so delighted with the animals that he wanted to keep close tothem and stroke their soft fur every minute.
As for the shaggy man, he might have been afraid if he had met thebeasts alone, or in any other country, but so many were the marvels in;the Land of Oz that he was no longer easily surprised, and Dorothy'sfriendship for the Lion and Tiger was enough to assure him they weresafe companions. Toto barked at the Cowardly Lion in joyous greeting,for he knew the beast of old and loved him, and it was funny to see howgently the Lion raised his huge paw to pat Toto's head. The little dogsmelled of the Tiger's nose, and the Tiger politely shook paws withhim; so they were quite likely to become firm friends.
Tik-tok and Billina knew the beasts well, so merely bade them good dayand asked after their healths and inquired about the Princess Ozma.
Now it was seen that the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger weredrawing behind them a splendid golden chariot, to which they wereharnessed by golden cords. The body of the chariot was decorated onthe outside with designs in clusters of sparkling emeralds, whileinside it was lined with a green and gold satin, and the cushions ofthe seats were of green plush embroidered in gold with a crown,underneath which was a monogram.
"Why, it's Ozma's own royal chariot!" exclaimed Dorothy.
"Yes," said the Cowardly Lion; "Ozma sent us to meet you here, for shefeared you would be weary with your long walk and she wished you toenter the City in a style becoming your exalted rank."
"What!" cried Polly, looking at Dorothy curiously. "Do you belong tothe nobility?"
"Just in Oz I do," said the child, "'cause Ozma made me a Princess, youknow. But when I'm home in Kansas I'm only a country girl, and have tohelp with the churning and wipe the dishes while Aunt Em washes 'em.Do you have to help wash dishes on the rainbow, Polly?"
"No, dear," answered Polychrome, smiling.
"Well, I don't have to work any in Oz, either," said Dorothy. "It'skind of fun to be a Princess once in a while; don't you think so?"
"Dorothy and Polychrome and Button-Bright are all to ride in thechariot," said the Lion. "So get in, my dears, and be careful not tomar the gold or put your dusty feet on the embroidery."
Button-Bright was delighted to ride behind such a superb team, and hetold Dorothy it made him feel like an actor in a circus. As thestrides of the animals brought them nearer to the Emerald City everyone bowed respectfully to the children, as well as to the Tin Woodman,Tik-tok, and the shaggy man, who were following behind.
The Yellow Hen had perched upon the back of the chariot, where shecould tell Dorothy more about her wonderful chickens as they rode. Andso the grand chariot came finally to the high wall surrounding theCity, and paused before the magnificent jewel-studded gates.
These were opened by a cheerful-looking little man who wore greenspectacles over his eyes. Dorothy introduced him to her friends as theGuardian of the Gates, and they noticed a big bunch of keys suspendedon the golden chain that hung around his neck. The chariot passedthrough the outer gates into a fine arched chamber built in the thickwall, and through the inner gates into the streets of the Emerald City.
Polychrome exclaimed in rapture at the wondrous beauty that met hereyes on every side as they rode through this stately and imposing City,the equal of which has never been discovered, even in Fairyland.Button-Bright could only say "My!" so amazing was the sight; but hiseyes were wide open and he tried to look in every direction at the sametime, so as not to miss anything.
The shaggy man was fairly astounded at what he saw, for the gracefuland handsome buildings were covered with plates of gold and set withemeralds so splendid and valuable that in any other part of the worldany one of them would have been worth a fortune to its owner. Thesidewalks were superb marble slabs polished as smooth as glass, and thecurbs that separated the walks from the broad street were also setthick with clustered emeralds. There were many people on thesewalks--men, women and children--all dressed in handsome garments ofsilk or satin or velvet, with beautiful jewels. Better even than this:all seemed happy and contented, for their faces were smiling and freefrom care, and music and laughter might be heard on every side.
"Don't they work at all?" asked the shaggy man.
"To be sure they work," replied the Tin Woodman; "this fair city couldnot be built or cared for without labor, nor could the fruit andvegetables and other food be provided for the inhabitants to eat. Butno one works more than half his time, and the people of Oz enjoy theirlabors as much as they do their play."
"It's wonderful!" declared the shaggy man. "I do hope Ozma will let melive here."
The chariot, winding through many charming streets, paused before abuilding so vast and noble and elegant that even Button-Bright guessedat once that it was the Royal Palace. Its gardens and ample groundswere surrounded by a separate wall, not so high or thick as the wallaround the City, but more daintily designed and built all of greenmarble. The gates flew open as the chariot appeared before them, andthe Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger trotted up a jeweled driveway to thefront door of the palace and stopped short.
"Here we are!" said Dorothy, gaily, and helped Button-Bright from thechariot. Polychrome leaped out lightly after them, and they weregreeted by a crowd of gorgeously dressed servants who bowed low as thevisitors mounted the marble steps. At their head was a pretty littlemaid with dark hair and eyes, dressed all in green embroidered withsilver. Dorothy ran up to her with evident pleasure, and exclaimed:
"O, Jellia Jamb! I'm so glad to see you again. Where's Ozma?"
"In her room, your Highness," replied the little maid demurely, forthis was Ozma's favorite attendant. "She wishes you to come to her assoon as you have rested and changed your dress, Princess Dorothy. Andyou and your friends are to dine with her this evening."
"When is her birthday, Jellia?" asked the girl.
"Day after to-morrow, your Highness."
"And where's the Scarecrow?"
"He's gone into the Munchkin country to get some fresh straw to stuffhimself with, in honor of Ozma's celebration," replied the maid. "Hereturns to the Emerald City to-morrow, he said."
By this time, Tok-tok, the Tin Woodman, and the shaggy man had arrivedand the chariot had gone around to the back of the palace, Billinagoing with the Lion and Tiger to see her chickens after her absencefrom them. But Toto stayed close beside Dorothy.
"Come in, please," said Jellia Jamb; "it shall be our pleasant duty toescort all of you to the rooms prepared for your use."
The shaggy man hesitated. Dorothy had never known him to be ashamed ofhis shaggy looks before, but now that he was surrounded by so muchmagnificence and splendor the shaggy man felt sadly out of place.
Dorothy assured him that all her friends were welcome at Ozma's palace,so he carefully dusted his shaggy shoes with his shaggy handkerchiefand entered the grand hall after the others.
Tik-tok lived at the Royal Palace and the Tin Woodman always had thesame room whenever he visited Ozma, so these two went at once to removethe dust of the journey from their shining bodies. Dorothy also had apretty suite of rooms which she always occupied when in the EmeraldCity; but several servants walked ahead politely to show the way,although she was quite sure she could find the rooms herself. She tookButton-Bright with her, because he seemed too small to be left alone insuch a big palace; but Jellia Jamb herself ushered the beautifulDaughter of the Rainbow to her apartments, because it was easy to seethat Polychrome was used to splendid palaces and was therefore entitledto especial attention.
19. The Shaggy Man's Welcome
The shaggy man stood in the great hall, his shaggy hat in his hands,wondering what would become of him. He had never been a guest in afine palace before; perhaps he had never been a guest anywhere. In thebig, cold, outside world people did not invite shaggy men to theirhomes, and this shaggy man of ours had slept more in hay-lofts andstables than in comfortable rooms. When the others left the great hallhe eyed the splendidly dressed servants of the Princess Ozma as if heexpected to be ordered out; but one of them bowed before him asrespectfully as if he had been a prince, and said:
"Permit me, sir, to conduct you to your apartments."
The shaggy man drew a long breath and took courage.
"Very well," he answered. "I'm ready."
Through the big hall they went, up the grand staircase carpeted thickwith velvet, and so along a wide corridor to a carved doorway. Herethe servant paused, and opening the door said with polite deference:
"Be good enough to enter, sir, and make yourself at home in the roomsour Royal Ozma has ordered prepared for you. Whatever you see is foryou to use and enjoy, as if your own. The Princess dines at seven, andI shall be here in time to lead you to the drawing-room, where you willbe privileged to meet the lovely Ruler of Oz. Is there any command, inthe meantime, with which you desire to honor me?"
"No," said the shaggy man; "but I'm much obliged."
He entered the room and shut the door, and for a time stood inbewilderment, admiring the grandeur before him.
He had been given one of the handsomest apartments in the mostmagnificent palace in the world, and you can not wonder that his goodfortune astonished and awed him until he grew used to his surroundings.
The furniture was upholstered in cloth of gold, with the royal crownembroidered upon it in scarlet. The rug upon the marble floor was sothick and soft that he could not hear the sound of his own footsteps,and upon the walls were splendid tapestries woven with scenes from theLand of Oz. Books and ornaments were scattered about in profusion, andthe shaggy man thought he had never seen so many pretty things in oneplace before. In one corner played a tinkling fountain of perfumedwater, and in another was a table bearing a golden tray loaded withfreshly gathered fruit, including several of the red-cheeked applesthat the shaggy man loved.
At the farther end of this charming room was an open doorway, and hecrossed over to find himself in a bedroom containing more comforts thanthe shaggy man had ever before imagined. The bedstead was of gold andset with many brilliant diamonds, and the coverlet had designs ofpearls and rubies sewed upon it. At one side of the bedroom was adainty dressing-room with closets containing a large assortment offresh clothing; and beyond this was the bath--a large room having amarble pool big enough to swim in, with white marble steps leading downto the water. Around the edge of the pool were set rows of fineemeralds as large as door-knobs, while the water of the bath was clearas crystal.
For a time the shaggy man gazed upon all this luxury with silentamazement. Then he decided, being wise in his way, to take advantageof his good fortune. He removed his shaggy boots and his shaggyclothing, and bathed in the pool with rare enjoyment. After he haddried himself with the soft towels he went into the dressing-room andtook fresh linen from the drawers and put it on, finding thateverything fitted him exactly. He examined the contents of the closetsand selected an elegant suit of clothing. Strangely enough, everythingabout it was shaggy, although so new and beautiful, and he sighed withcontentment to realize that he could now be finely dressed and still bethe shaggy man. His coat was of rose-colored velvet, trimmed withshags and bobtails, with buttons of blood-red rubies and golden shagsaround the edges. His vest was a shaggy satin of a delicate creamcolor, and his knee-breeches of rose velvet trimmed like the coat.Shaggy creamy stockings of silk, and shaggy slippers of rose leatherwith ruby buckles, completed his costume, and when he was thus attiredthe shaggy man looked at himself in a long mirror with greatadmiration. On a table he found a mother-of-pearl chest decorated withdelicate silver vines and flowers of clustered rubies, and on the coverwas a silver plate engraved with these words:
THE SHAGGY MAN: HIS BOX OF ORNAMENTS
The chest was not locked, so he opened it and was almost dazzled by thebrilliance of the rich jewels it contained. After admiring the prettythings, he took out a fine golden watch with a big chain, severalhandsome finger-rings, and an ornament of rubies to pin upon the breastof his shaggy shirt-bosom. Having carefully brushed his hair andwhiskers all the wrong way to make them look as shaggy as possible, theshaggy man breathed a deep sigh of joy and decided he was ready to meetthe Royal Princess as soon as she sent for him. While he waited hereturned to the beautiful sitting room and ate several of thered-cheeked apples to pass away the time.
Meanwhile, Dorothy had dressed herself in a pretty gown of soft greyembroidered with silver, and put a blue-and-gold suit of satin uponlittle Button-Bright, who looked as sweet as a cherub in it. Followedby the boy and Toto--the dog with a new green ribbon around hisneck--she hastened down to the splendid drawing-room of the palace,where, seated upon an exquisite throne of carved malachite and nestledamongst its green satin cushions was the lovely Princess Ozma, waitingeagerly to welcome her friend.
20. Princess Ozma Of Oz
The royal historians of Oz, who are fine writers and know any number ofbig words, have often tried to describe the rare beauty of Ozma andfailed because the words were not good enough. So of course I cannothope to tell you how great was the charm of this little Princess, orhow her loveliness put to shame all the sparkling jewels andmagnificent luxury that surrounded her in this her royal palace.Whatever else was beautiful or dainty or delightful of itself faded todullness when contrasted with Ozma's bewitching face, and it has oftenbeen said by those who know that no other ruler in all the world canever hope to equal the gracious charm of her manner.
Everything about Ozma attracted one, and she inspired love and thesweetest affection rather than awe or ordinary admiration. Dorothythrew her arms around her little friend and hugged and kissed herrapturously, and Toto barked joyfully and Button-Bright smiled a happysmile and consented to sit on the soft cushions close beside thePrincess.
"Why didn't you send me word you were going to have a birthday party?"asked the little Kansas girl, when the first greetings were over.
"Didn't I?" asked Ozma, her pretty eyes dancing with merriment.
"Did you?" replied Dorothy, trying to think.
"Who do you imagine, dear, mixed up those roads, so as to start youwandering in the direction of Oz?" inquired the Princess.
"Oh! I never 'spected YOU of that," cried Dorothy.
"I've watched you in my Magic Picture all the way here," declared Ozma,"and twice I thought I should have to use the Magic Belt to save youand transport you to the Emerald City. Once was when the Scoodlerscaught you, and again when you reached the Deadly Desert. But theshaggy man was able to help you out both times, so I did not interfere."
"Do you know who Button-Bright is?" asked Dorothy.
"No; I never saw him until you found him in the road, and then only inmy Magic Picture."
"And did you send Polly to us?"
"No, dear; the Rainbow's Daughter slid from her father's pretty archjust in time to meet you."
"Well," said Dorothy, "I've promised King Dox of Foxville and KingKik-a-bray of Dunkiton that I'd ask you to invite them to your party."
"I have already done that," returned Ozma, "because I thought it wouldplease you to favor them."
"Did you 'vite the Musicker?" asked Button-Bright.
"No; because he would be too noisy, and might interfere with thecomfort of others. When music is not very good, and is indulged in allthe time, it is better that the performer should be alone," said thePrincess.
"I like the Musicker's music," declared the boy, gravely.
"But I don't," said Dorothy.
"Well, there will be plenty of music at my celebration," promised Ozma;"so I've an idea Button-Bright won't miss the Musicker at all."
Just then Polychrome danced in, and Ozma rose to greet the Rainbow'sDaughter in her sweetest and most cordial manner.
Dorothy thought she had never seen two prettier creatures together thanthese lovely maidens; but Polly knew at once her own dainty beautycould not match that of Ozma, yet was not a bit jealous because thiswas so.
The Wizard of Oz was announced, and a dried-up, little, old man,clothed all in black, entered the drawing-room. His face was cheeryand his eyes twinkling with humor, so Polly and Button-Bright were notat all afraid of the wonderful personage whose fame as a humbugmagician had spread throughout the world. After greeting Dorothy withmuch affection, he stood modestly behind Ozma's throne and listened tothe lively prattle of the young people.
Now the shaggy man appeared, and so startling was his appearance, allclad in shaggy new raiment, that Dorothy cried "Oh!" and clasped herhands impulsively as she examined her friend with pleased eyes.
"He's still shaggy, all right," remarked Button-Bright; and Ozma noddedbrightly because she had meant the shaggy man to remain shaggy when sheprovided his new clothes for him.
Dorothy led him toward the throne, as he was shy in such fine company,and presented him gracefully to the Princess, saying:
"This, your Highness, is my friend, the shaggy man, who owns the LoveMagnet."
"You are welcome to Oz," said the girl Ruler, in gracious accents."But tell me, sir, where did you get the Love Magnet which you say youown?"
The shaggy man grew red and looked downcast, as he answered in a lowvoice:
"I stole it, your Majesty."
"Oh, Shaggy Man!" cried Dorothy. "How dreadful! And you told me theEskimo gave you the Love Magnet."
He shuffled first on one foot and then on the other, much embarrassed.
"I told you a falsehood, Dorothy," he said; "but now, having bathed inthe Truth Pond, I must tell nothing but the truth."
"Why did you steal it?" asked Ozma, gently.
"Because no one loved me, or cared for me," said the shaggy man, "and Iwanted to be loved a great deal. It was owned by a girl in Butterfieldwho was loved too much, so that the young men quarreled over her, whichmade her unhappy. After I had stolen the Magnet from her, only oneyoung man continued to love the girl, and she married him and regainedher happiness."
"Are you sorry you stole it?" asked the Princess.
"No, your Highness; I'm glad," he answered; "for it has pleased me tobe loved, and if Dorothy had not cared for me I could not haveaccompanied her to this beautiful Land of Oz, or met its kind-heartedRuler. Now that I'm here, I hope to remain, and to become one of yourMajesty's most faithful subjects."
"But in Oz we are loved for ourselves alone, and for our kindness toone another, and for our good deeds," she said.
"I'll give up the Love Magnet," said the shaggy man, eagerly; "Dorothyshall have it."
"But every one loves Dorothy already," declared the Wizard.
"Then Button-Bright shall have it."
"Don't want it," said the boy, promptly.
"Then I'll give it to the Wizard, for I'm sure the lovely Princess Ozmadoes not need it."
"All my people love the Wizard, too," announced the Princess, laughing;"so we will hang the Love Magnet over the gates of the Emerald City,that whoever shall enter or leave the gates may be loved and loving."
"That is a good idea," said the shaggy man; "I agree to it mostwillingly."
Those assembled now went in to dinner, which you can imagine was agrand affair; and afterward Ozma asked the Wizard to give them anexhibition of his magic.
The Wizard took eight tiny white piglets from an inside pocket and setthem on the table. One was dressed like a clown, and performed funnyantics, and the others leaped over the spoons and dishes and ran aroundthe table like race-horses, and turned hand-springs and were sosprightly and amusing that they kept the company in one roar of merrylaughter. The Wizard had trained these pets to do many curious things,and they were so little and so cunning and soft that Polychrome lovedto pick them up as they passed near her place and fondle them as ifthey were kittens.
It was late when the entertainment ended, and they separated to go totheir rooms.
"To-morrow," said Ozma, "my invited guests will arrive, and you willfind among them some interesting and curious people, I promise you.The next day will be my birthday, and the festivities will be held onthe broad green just outside the gates of the City, where all my peoplecan assemble without being crowded."
"I hope the Scarecrow won't be late," said Dorothy, anxiously.
"Oh, he is sure to return to-morrow," answered Ozma. "He wanted newstraw to stuff himself with, so he went to the Munchkin Country, wherestraw is plentiful."
With this the Princess bade her guests good night and went to her ownroom.
21. Dorothy Receives the Guests
Next morning Dorothy's breakfast was served in her own pretty sittingroom, and she sent to invite Polly and the shaggy man to join her andButton-Bright at the meal. They came gladly, and Toto also hadbreakfast with them, so that the little party that had traveledtogether to Oz was once more reunited.
No sooner had they finished eating than they heard the distant blast ofmany trumpets, and the sound of a brass band playing martial music; sothey all went out upon the balcony. This was at the front of thepalace and overlooked the streets of the City, being higher than thewall that shut in the palace grounds. They saw approaching down thestreet a band of musicians, playing as hard and loud as they could,while the people of the Emerald City crowded the sidewalks and cheeredso lustily that they almost drowned the noise of the drums and horns.
Dorothy looked to see what they were cheering at, and discovered thatbehind the band was the famous Scarecrow, riding proudly upon the backof a wooden Saw-Horse which pranced along the street almost asgracefully as if it had been made of flesh. Its hoofs, or rather theends of its wooden legs, were shod with plates of solid gold, and thesaddle strapped to the wooden body was richly embroidered and glistenedwith jewels.
As he reached the palace the Scarecrow looked up and saw Dorothy, andat once waved his peaked hat at her in greeting. He rode up to thefront door and dismounted, and the band stopped playing and went awayand the crowds of people returned to their dwellings.
By the time Dorothy and her friends had re-entered her room, theScarecrow was there, and he gave the girl a hearty embrace and shookthe hands of the others with his own squashy hands, which were whitegloves filled with straw.
The shaggy man, Button-Bright, and Polychrome stared hard at thiscelebrated person, who was acknowledged to be the most popular and mostbeloved man in all the Land of Oz.
"Why, your face has been newly painted!" exclaimed Dorothy, when thefirst greetings were over.
"I had it touched up a bit by the Munchkin farmer who first made me,"answered the Scarecrow, pleasantly. "My complexion had become a bitgrey and faded, you know, and the paint had peeled off one end of mymouth, so I couldn't talk quite straight. Now I feel like myselfagain, and I may say without immodesty that my body is stuffed with theloveliest oat-straw in all Oz." He pushed against his chest. "Hear mecrunkle?" he asked.
"Yes," said Dorothy; "you sound fine."
Button-Bright was wonderfully attracted by the strawman, and so wasPolly. The shaggy man treated him with great respect, because he wasso queerly made.
Jellia Jamb now came to say that Ozma wanted Princess Dorothy toreceive the invited guests in the Throne-Room, as they arrived. TheRuler was herself busy ordering the preparations for the morrow'sfestivities, so she wished her friend to act in her place.
Dorothy willingly agreed, being the only other Princess in the EmeraldCity; so she went to the great Throne-Room and sat in Ozma's seat,placing Polly on one side of her and Button-Bright on the other. TheScarecrow stood at the left of the throne and the Tin Woodman at theright, while the Wonderful Wizard and the shaggy man stood behind.
The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger came in, with bright new bows ofribbon on their collars and tails. After greeting Dorothyaffectionately the huge beasts lay down at the foot of the throne.
While they waited, the Scarecrow, who was near the little boy, asked:
"Why are you called Button-Bright?"
"Don't know," was the answer.
"Oh yes, you do, dear," said Dorothy. "Tell the Scarecrow how you gotyour name."
"Papa always said I was bright as a button, so mama always called meButton-Bright," announced the boy.
"Where is your mama?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"Where is your home?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"Don't you want to find your mama again?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright, calmly.
The Scarecrow looked thoughtful.
"Your papa may have been right," he observed; "but there are many kindsof buttons, you see. There are silver and gold buttons, which arehighly polished and glitter brightly. There are pearl and rubberbuttons, and other kinds, with surfaces more or less bright. But thereis still another sort of button which is covered with dull cloth, andthat must be the sort your papa meant when he said you were bright as abutton. Don't you think so?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
Jack Pumpkinhead arrived, wearing a pair of new, white kid gloves; andhe brought a birthday present for Ozma consisting of a necklace ofpumpkin-seeds. In each seed was set a sparkling carolite, which isconsidered the rarest and most beautiful gem that exists. The necklacewas in a plush case and Jellia Jamb put it on a table with the PrincessOzma's other presents.
Next came a tall, beautiful woman clothed in a splendid trailing gown,trimmed with exquisite lace as fine as cobweb. This was the importantSorceress known as Glinda the Good, who had been of great assistance toboth Ozma and Dorothy. There was no humbug about her magic, you may besure, and Glinda was as kind as she was powerful. She greeted Dorothymost lovingly, and kissed Button-Bright and Polly, and smiled upon theshaggy man, after which Jellia Jamb led the Sorceress to one of themost magnificent rooms of the royal palace and appointed fifty servantsto wait upon her.
The next arrival was Mr. H. M. Woggle-Bug, T.E.; the "H. M." meaningHighly Magnified and the "T.E." meaning Thoroughly Educated. TheWoggle-Bug was head professor at the Royal College of Oz, and he hadcomposed a fine Ode in honor of Ozma's birthday. This he wanted toread to them; but the Scarecrow wouldn't let him.
Soon they heard a clucking sound and a chorus of "cheep! cheep!" and aservant threw open the door to allow Billina and her ten fluffy chicksto enter the Throne-Room. As the Yellow Hen marched proudly at thehead of her family, Dorothy cried, "Oh, you lovely things!" and randown from her seat to pet the little yellow downy balls. Billina worea pearl necklace, and around the neck of each chicken was a tiny goldchain holding a locket with the letter "D" engraved upon the outside.
"Open the lockets, Dorothy," said Billina. The girl obeyed and found apicture of herself in each locket. "They were named after you, mydear," continued the Yellow Hen, "so I wanted all my chickens to wearyour picture. Cluck--cluck! come here, Dorothy--this minute!" shecried, for the chickens were scattered and wandering all around the bigroom.
They obeyed the call at once, and came running as fast as they could,fluttering their fluffy wings in a laughable way.
It was lucky that Billina gathered the little ones under her softbreast just then, for Tik-tok came in and tramped up to the throne onhis flat copper feet.
"I am all wound up and work-ing fine-ly," said the clock-work man toDorothy.
"I can hear him tick," declared Button-Bright.
"You are quite the polished gentleman," said the Tin Woodman. "Standup here beside the shaggy man, Tik-tok, and help receive the company."
Dorothy placed soft cushions in a corner for Billina and her chicks,and had just returned to the Throne and seated herself when the playingof the royal band outside the palace announced the approach ofdistinguished guests.
And my, how they did stare when the High Chamberlain threw open thedoors and the visitors entered the Throne-Room!
First walked a gingerbread man neatly formed and baked to a lovelybrown tint. He wore a silk hat and carried a candy cane prettilystriped with red and yellow. His shirt-front and cuffs were whitefrosting, and the buttons on his coat were licorice drops.
Behind the gingerbread man came a child with flaxen hair and merry blueeyes, dressed in white pajamas, with sandals on the soles of its prettybare feet. The child looked around smiling and thrust its hands intothe pockets of the pajamas. Close after it came a big rubber bear,walking erect on its hind feet. The bear had twinkling black eyes, andits body looked as if it had been pumped full of air.
Following these curious visitors were two tall, thin men and two short,fat men, all four dressed in gorgeous uniforms.
Ozma's High Chamberlain now hurried forward to announce the names ofthe new arrivals, calling out in a loud voice:
"His Gracious and Most Edible Majesty, King Dough the First, Ruler ofthe Two Kingdoms of Hiland and Loland. Also the Head Boolywag of hisMajesty, known as Chick the Cherub, and their faithful friend ParaBruin, the rubber bear."
These great personages bowed low as their names were called, andDorothy hastened to introduce them to the assembled company. They werethe first foreign arrivals, and the friends of Princess Ozma werepolite to them and tried to make them feel that they were welcome.
Chick the Cherub shook hands with every one, including Billina, and wasso joyous and frank and full of good spirits that John Dough's HeadBooleywag at once became a prime favorite.
"Is it a boy or a girl?" whispered Dorothy.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"Goodness me! what a queer lot of people you are," exclaimed the rubberbear, looking at the assembled company.
"So're you," said Button-Bright, gravely. "Is King Dough good to eat?"
"He's too good to eat," laughed Chick the Cherub.
"I hope none of you are fond of gingerbread," said the King, ratheranxiously.
"We should never think of eating our visitors, if we were," declaredthe Scarecrow; "so please do not worry, for you will be perfectly safewhile you remain in Oz."
"Why do they call you Chick?" the Yellow Hen asked the child.
"Because I'm an Incubator Baby, and never had any parents," replied theHead Booleywag.
"My chicks have a parent, and I'm it," said Billina.
"I'm glad of that," answered the Cherub, "because they'll have more funworrying you than if they were brought up in an Incubator. TheIncubator never worries, you know."
King John Dough had brought for Ozma's birthday present a lovelygingerbread crown, with rows of small pearls around it and a fine bigpearl in each of its five points. After this had been received byDorothy with proper thanks and placed on the table with the otherpresents, the visitors from Hiland and Loland were escorted to theirrooms by the High Chamberlain.
They had no sooner departed than the band before the palace began toplay again, announcing more arrivals, and as these were doubtless fromforeign parts the High Chamberlain hurried back to receive them in hismost official manner.
22. Important Arrivals
First entered a band of Ryls from the Happy Valley, all merry littlesprites like fairy elves. A dozen crooked Knooks followed from thegreat Forest of Burzee. They had long whiskers and pointed caps andcurling toes, yet were no taller than Button-Bright's shoulder. Withthis group came a man so easy to recognize and so important and dearlybeloved throughout the known world, that all present rose to their feetand bowed their heads in respectful homage, even before the HighChamberlain knelt to announce his name.
"The most Mighty and Loyal Friend of Children, His SupremeHighness--Santa Claus!" said the Chamberlain, in an awed voice.
"Well, well, well! Glad to see you--glad to meet you all!" cried SantaClaus, briskly, as he trotted up the long room.
He was round as an apple, with a fresh rosy face, laughing eyes, and abushy beard as white as snow. A red cloak trimmed with beautifulermine hung from his shoulders and upon his back was a basket filledwith pretty presents for the Princess Ozma.
"Hello, Dorothy; still having adventures?" he asked in his jolly way,as he took the girl's hand in both his own.
"How did you know my name, Santa?" she replied, feeling more shy in thepresence of this immortal saint than she ever had before in her younglife.
"Why, don't I see you every Christmas Eve, when you're asleep?" herejoined, pinching her blushing cheek.
"Oh, do you?"
"And here's Button-Bright, I declare!" cried Santa Claus, holding upthe boy to kiss him. "What a long way from home you are; dear me!"
"Do you know Button-Bright, too?" questioned Dorothy, eagerly.
"Indeed I do. I've visited his home several Christmas Eves."
"And do you know his father?" asked the girl.
"Certainly, my dear. Who else do you suppose brings him his Christmasneckties and stockings?" with a sly wink at the Wizard.
"Then where does he live? We're just crazy to know, 'causeButton-Bright's lost," she said.
Santa laughed and laid his finger aside of his nose as if thinking whatto reply. He leaned over and whispered something in the Wizard's ear,at which the Wizard smiled and nodded as if he understood.
Now Santa Claus spied Polychrome, and trotted over to where she stood.
"Seems to me the Rainbow's Daughter is farther from home than any ofyou," he observed, looking at the pretty maiden admiringly. "I'll haveto tell your father where you are, Polly, and send him to get you."
"Please do, dear Santa Claus," implored the little maid, beseechingly.
"But just now we must all have a jolly good time at Ozma's party," saidthe old gentleman, turning to put his presents on the table with theothers already there. "It isn't often I find time to leave my castle,as you know; but Ozma invited me and I just couldn't help coming tocelebrate the happy occasion."
"I'm so glad!" exclaimed Dorothy.
"These are my Ryls," pointing to the little sprites squatting aroundhim. "Their business is to paint the colors of the flowers when theybud and bloom; but I brought the merry fellows along to see Oz, andthey've left their paint-pots behind them. Also I brought thesecrooked Knooks, whom I love. My dears, the Knooks are much nicer thanthey look, for their duty is to water and care for the young trees ofthe forest, and they do their work faithfully and well. It's hardwork, though, and it makes my Knooks crooked and gnarled, like thetrees themselves; but their hearts are big and kind, as are the heartsof all who do good in our beautiful world."
"I've read of the Ryls and Knooks," said Dorothy, looking upon theselittle workers with interest.
Santa Claus turned to talk with the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, andhe also said a kind word to the shaggy man, and afterward went away toride the Saw-Horse around the Emerald City. "For," said he, "I mustsee all the grand sights while I am here and have the chance, and Ozmahas promised to let me ride the Saw-Horse because I'm getting fat andshort of breath."
"Where are your reindeer?" asked Polychrome.
"I left them at home, for it is too warm for them in this sunnycountry," he answered. "They're used to winter weather when theytravel."
In a flash he was gone, and the Ryls and Knooks with him; but theycould all hear the golden hoofs of the Saw-Horse ringing on the marblepavement outside, as he pranced away with his noble rider.
Presently the band played again, and the High Chamberlain announced:
"Her Gracious Majesty, the Queen of Merryland."
They looked earnestly to discover whom this queen might be, and sawadvancing up the room an exquisite wax doll dressed in dainty fluffsand ruffles and spangled gown. She was almost as big as Button-Bright,and her cheeks and mouth and eyebrow were prettily painted in delicatecolors. Her blue eyes stared a bit, being of glass, yet the expressionupon her Majesty's face was quite pleasant and decidedly winning. Withthe Queen of Merryland were four wooden soldiers, two stalking ahead ofher with much dignity and two following behind, like a royal bodyguard.The soldiers were painted in bright colors and carried wooden guns, andafter them came a fat little man who attracted attention at once,although he seemed modest and retiring. For he was made of candy, andcarried a tin sugar-sifter filled with powdered sugar, with which hedusted himself frequently so that he wouldn't stick to things if hetouched them. The High Chamberlain had called him "The Candy Man ofMerryland," and Dorothy saw that one of his thumbs looked as if it hadbeen bitten off by some one who was fond of candy and couldn't resistthe temptation.
The wax doll Queen spoke prettily to Dorothy and the others, and senther loving greetings to Ozma before she retired to the rooms preparedfor her. She had brought a birthday present wrapped in tissue paperand tied with pink and blue ribbons, and one of the wooden soldiersplaced it on the table with the other gifts. But the Candy Man did notgo to his room, because he said he preferred to stay and talk with theScarecrow and Tik-tok and the Wizard and Tin Woodman, whom he declaredthe queerest people he had ever met. Button-Bright was glad the CandyMan stayed in the Throne Room, because the boy thought this guestsmelled deliciously of wintergreen and maple sugar.
The Braided Man now entered the room, having been fortunate enough toreceive an invitation to the Princess Ozma's party. He was from a cavehalfway between the Invisible Valley and the Country of the Gargoyles,and his hair and whiskers were so long that he was obliged to plaitthem into many braids that hung to his feet, and every braid was tiedwith a bow of colored ribbon.
"I've brought Princess Ozma a box of flutters for her birthday," saidthe Braided Man, earnestly; "and I hope she will like them, for theyare the finest quality I have ever made."
"I'm sure she will be greatly pleased," said Dorothy, who rememberedthe Braided Man well; and the Wizard introduced the guest to the restof the company and made him sit down in a chair and keep quiet, for, ifallowed, he would talk continually about his flutters.
The band then played a welcome to another set of guests, and into theThrone-Room swept the handsome and stately Queen of Ev. Beside her wasyoung King Evardo, and following them came the entire royal family offive Princesses and four Princes of Ev. The Kingdom of Ev lay justacross the Deadly Desert to the North of Oz, and once Ozma and herpeople had rescued the Queen of Ev and her ten children from the NomeKing, who had enslaved them. Dorothy had been present on thisadventure, so she greeted the royal family cordially; and all thevisitors were delighted to meet the little Kansas girl again. Theyknew Tik-tok and Billina, too, and the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, aswell as the Lion and Tiger; so there was a joyful reunion, as you mayimagine, and it was fully an hour before the Queen and her trainretired to their rooms. Perhaps they would not have gone then had notthe band begun to play to announce new arrivals; but before they leftthe great Throne-Room King Evardo added to Ozma's birthday presents adiadem of diamonds set in radium.
The next comer proved to be King Renard of Foxville; or King Dox, as hepreferred to be called. He was magnificently dressed in a new feathercostume and wore white kid mittens over his paws and a flower in hisbutton-hole and had his hair parted in the middle.
King Dox thanked Dorothy fervently for getting him the invitation tocome to Oz, which he all his life longed to visit. He strutted aroundrather absurdly as he was introduced to all the famous people assembledin the Throne-Room, and when he learned that Dorothy was a Princess ofOz the Fox King insisted on kneeling at her feet and afterward retiredbackward--a dangerous thing to do, as he might have stubbed his paw andtumbled over.
No sooner was he gone than the blasts of bugles and clatter of drumsand cymbals announced important visitors, and the High Chamberlainassumed his most dignified tone as he threw open the door and saidproudly:
"Her Sublime and Resplendent Majesty, Queen Zixi of Ix! His Serene andTremendous Majesty, King Bud of Noland. Her Royal Highness, thePrincess Fluff."
That three such high and mighty royal personages should arrive at oncewas enough to make Dorothy and her companions grow solemn and assumetheir best company manners; but when the exquisite beauty of Queen Ziximet their eyes they thought they had never beheld anything so charming.Dorothy decided that Zixi must be about sixteen years old, but theWizard whispered to her that this wonderful queen had lived thousandsof years, but knew the secret of remaining always fresh and beautiful.
King Bud of Noland and his dainty fair-haired sister, the PrincessFluff, were friends of Zixi, as their kingdoms were adjoining, so theyhad traveled together from their far-off domains to do honor to Ozma ofOz on the occasion of her birthday. They brought many splendid gifts;so the table was now fairly loaded down with presents.
Dorothy and Polly loved the Princess Fluff the moment they saw her, andlittle King Bud was so frank and boyish that Button-Bright accepted himas a chum at once and did not want him to go away. But it was afternoon now, and the royal guests must prepare their toilets for the grandbanquet at which they were to assemble that evening to meet thereigning Princess of this Fairyland; so Queen Zixi was shown to herroom by a troop of maidens led by Jellia Jamb, and Bud and Fluffpresently withdrew to their own apartments.
"My! what a big party Ozma is going to have," exclaimed Dorothy. "Iguess the palace will be chock full, Button-Bright; don't you think so?"
"Don't know," said the boy.
"But we must go to our rooms, pretty soon, to dress for the banquet,"continued the girl.
"I don't have to dress," said the Candy Man from Merryland. "All Ineed do is to dust myself with fresh sugar."
"Tik-tok always wears the same suits of clothes," said the Tin Woodman;"and so does our friend the Scarecrow."
"My feathers are good enough for any occasion," cried Billina, from hercorner.
"Then I shall leave you four to welcome any new guests that come," saidDorothy; "for Button-Bright and I must look our very best at Ozma'sbanquet."
"Who is still to come?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Well, there's King Kik-a-bray of Dunkiton, and Johnny Dooit, and theGood Witch of the North. But Johnny Dooit may not get here until late,he's so very busy."
"We will receive them and give them a proper welcome," promised theScarecrow. "So run along, little Dorothy, and get yourself dressed."
23. The Grand Banquet
I wish I could tell you how fine the company was that assembled thatevening at Ozma's royal banquet. A long table was spread in the centerof the great dining-hall of the palace and the splendor of thedecorations and the blaze of lights and jewels was acknowledged to bethe most magnificent sight that any of the guests had ever seen.
The jolliest person present, as well as the most important, was ofcourse old Santa Claus; so he was given the seat of honor at one end ofthe table while at the other end sat Princess Ozma, the hostess.
John Dough, Queen Zixi, King Bud, the Queen of Ev and her son Evardo,and the Queen of Merryland had golden thrones to sit in, while theothers were supplied with beautiful chairs.
At the upper end of the banquet room was a separate table provided forthe animals. Toto sat at one end of this table with a bib tied aroundhis neck and a silver platter to eat from. At the other end was placeda small stand, with a low rail around the edge of it, for Billina andher chicks. The rail kept the ten little Dorothys from falling off thestand, while the Yellow Hen could easily reach over and take her foodfrom her tray upon the table. At other places sat the Hungry Tiger,the Cowardly Lion, the Saw-Horse, the Rubber Bear, the Fox King and theDonkey King; they made quite a company of animals.
At the lower end of the great room was another table, at which sat theRyls and Knooks who had come with Santa Claus, the wooden soldiers whohad come with the Queen of Merryland, and the Hilanders and Lolanderswho had come with John Dough. Here were also seated the officers ofthe royal palace and of Ozma's army.
The splendid costumes of those at the three tables made a gorgeous andglittering display that no one present was ever likely to forget;perhaps there has never been in any part of the world at any timeanother assemblage of such wonderful people as that which gathered thisevening to honor the birthday of the Ruler of Oz.
When all members of ethe company were in their places an orchestra offive hundred pieces, in a balcony overlooking the banquet room, beganto play sweet and delightful music. Then a door draped with royalgreen opened, and in came the fair and girlish Princess Ozma, who nowgreeted her guests in person for the first time.
As she stood by her throne at the head of the banquet table every eyewas turned eagerly upon the lovely Princess, who was as dignified asshe was bewitching, and who smiled upon all her old and new friends ina way that touched their hearts and brought an answering smile to everyface.
Each guest had been served with a crystal goblet filled with lacasa,which is a sort of nectar famous in Oz and nicer to drink thansoda-water or lemonade. Santa now made a pretty speech in verse,congratulating Ozma on having a birthday, and asking every one presentto drink to the health and happiness of their dearly beloved hostess.This was done with great enthusiasm by those who were made so theycould drink at all, and those who could not drink politely touched therims of their goblets to their lips. All seated themselves at thetables and the servants of the Princess began serving the feast.
I am quite sure that only in Fairyland could such a delicious repast beprepared. The dishes were of precious metals set with brilliant jewelsand the good things to eat which were placed upon them were countlessin number and of exquisite flavor. Several present, such as the CandyMan, the Rubber Bear, Tik-tok, and the Scarecrow, were not made so theycould eat, and the Queen of Merryland contented herself with a smalldish of sawdust; but these enjoyed the pomp and glitter of the gorgeousscene as much as did those who feasted.
The Woggle-Bug read his "Ode to Ozma," which was written in very goodrhythm and was well received by the company. The Wizard added to theentertainment by making a big pie appear before Dorothy, and when thelittle girl cut the pie the nine tiny piglets leaped out of it anddanced around the table, while the orchestra played a merry tune. Thisamused the company very much, but they were even more pleased whenPolychrome, whose hunger had been easily satisfied, rose from the tableand performed her graceful and bewildering Rainbow Dance for them.When it was ended, the people clapped their hands and the animalsclapped their paws, while Billina cackled and the Donkey King brayedapproval.
Johnny Dooit was present, and of course he proved he could do wondersin the way of eating, as well as in everything else that he undertookto do; the Tin Woodman sang a love song, every one joining in thechorus; and the wooden soldiers from Merryland gave an exhibition of alightning drill with their wooden muskets; the Ryls and Knooks dancedthe Fairy Circle; and the Rubber Bear bounced himself all around theroom. There was laughter and merriment on every side, and everybodywas having a royal good time. Button-Bright was so excited andinterested that he paid little attention to his fine dinner and a greatdeal of attention to his queer companions; and perhaps he was wise todo this, because he could eat at any other time.
The feasting and merrymaking continued until late in the evening, whenthey separated to meet again the next morning and take part in thebirthday celebration, to which this royal banquet was merely theintroduction.
24. The Birthday Celebration
A clear, perfect day, with a gentle breeze and a sunny sky, greetedPrincess Ozma as she wakened next morning, the anniversary of herbirth. While it was yet early all the city was astir and crowds ofpeople came from all parts of the Land of Oz to witness the festivitiesin honor of their girl Ruler's birthday.
The noted visitors from foreign countries, who had all been transportedto the Emerald City by means of the Magic Belt, were as much a show tothe Ozites as were their own familiar celebrities, and the streetsleading from the royal palace to the jeweled gates were thronged withmen, women, and children to see the procession as it passed out to thegreen fields where the ceremonies were to take place.
And what a great procession it was!
First came a thousand young girls--the prettiest in the land--dressedin white muslin, with green sashes and hair ribbons, bearing greenbaskets of red roses. As they walked they scattered these flowers uponthe marble pavements, so that the way was carpeted thick with roses forthe procession to walk upon.
Then came the Rulers of the four Kingdoms of Oz: the Emperor of theWinkies, the Monarch of the Munchkins, the King of the Quadlings andthe Sovereign of the Gillikins, each wearing a long chain of emeraldsaround his neck to show that he was a vassal of the Ruler of theEmerald City.
Next marched the Emerald City Cornet Band, clothed in green-and-golduniforms and playing the "Ozma Two-Step." The Royal Army of Ozfollowed, consisting of twenty-seven officers, from the Captain-Generaldown to the Lieutenants. There were no privates in Ozma's Army becausesoldiers were not needed to fight battles, but only to look important,and an officer always looks more imposing than a private.
While the people cheered and waved their hats and handkerchiefs, therecame walking the Royal Princess Ozma, looking so pretty and sweet thatit is no wonder her people love her so dearly. She had decided shewould not ride in her chariot that day, as she preferred to walk in theprocession with her favored subjects and her guests. Just in front ofher trotted the living Blue Bear Rug owned by old Dyna, which wobbledclumsily on its four feet because there was nothing but the skin tosupport them, with a stuffed head at one end and a stubby tail at theother. But whenever Ozma paused in her walk the Bear Rug would flopdown flat upon the ground for the princess to stand upon until sheresumed her progress.
Following the Princess stalked her two enormous beasts, the CowardlyLion and the Hungry Tiger, and even if the Army had not been therethese two would have been powerful enough to guard their mistress fromany harm.
Next marched the invited guests, who were loudly cheered by the peopleof Oz along the road, and were therefore obliged to bow to right andleft almost every step of the way. First was Santa Claus, who, becausehe was fat and not used to walking, rode the wonderful Saw-Horse. Themerry old gentleman had a basket of small toys with him, and he tossedthe toys one by one to the children as he passed by. His Ryls andKnooks marched close behind him.
Queen Zixi of Ix came after; then John Dough and the Cherub, with therubber bear named Para Bruin strutting between them on its hind legs;then the Queen of Merryland, escorted by her wooden soldiers; then KingBud of Noland and his sister, the Princess Fluff; then the Queen of Evand her ten royal children; then the Braided Man and the Candy Man,side by side; then King Dox of Foxville and King Kik-a-bray ofDunkiton, who by this time had become good friends; and finally JohnnyDooit, in his leather apron, smoking his long pipe.
These wonderful personages were not more heartily cheered by the peoplethan were those who followed after them in the procession. Dorothy wasa general favorite, and she walked arm in arm with the Scarecrow, whowas beloved by all. Then came Polychrome and Button-Bright, and thepeople loved the Rainbow's pretty Daughter and the beautiful blue-eyedboy as soon as they saw them. The shaggy man in his shaggy new suitattracted much attention because he was such a novelty. With regularsteps tramped the machine-man Tik-tok, and there was more cheering whenthe Wizard of Oz followed in the procession. The Woggle-Bug and JackPumpkinhead were next, and behind them Glinda the Sorceress and theGood Witch of the North. Finally came Billina, with her brood ofchickens to whom she clucked anxiously to keep them together and tohasten them along so they would not delay the procession.
Another band followed, this time the Tin Band of the Emperor of theWinkies, playing a beautiful march called, "There's No Plate Like Tin."Then came the servants of the Royal Palace, in a long line, and behindthem all the people joined the procession and marched away through theemerald gates and out upon the broad green.
Here had been erected a splendid pavilion, with a grandstand big enoughto seat all the royal party and those who had taken part in theprocession. Over the pavilion, which was of green silk and cloth ofgold, countless banners waved in the breeze. Just in front of this,and connected with it by a runway had been built a broad platform, sothat all the spectators could see plainly the entertainment providedfor them.
The Wizard now became Master of Ceremonies, as Ozma had placed theconduct of the performance in his hands. After the people had allcongregated about the platform and the royal party and the visitorswere seated in the grandstand, the Wizard skillfully performed somefeats of juggling glass balls and lighted candles. He tossed a dozenor so of them high in the air and caught them one by one as they camedown, without missing any.
Then he introduced the Scarecrow, who did a sword-swallowing act thataroused much interest. After this the Tin Woodman gave an exhibitionof Swinging the Axe, which he made to whirl around him so rapidly thatthe eye could scarcely follow the motion of the gleaming blade. Glindathe Sorceress then stepped upon the platform, and by her magic made abig tree grow in the middle of the space, made blossoms appear upon thetree, and made the blossoms become delicious fruit called tamornas, andso great was the quantity of fruit produced that when the servantsclimbed the tree and tossed it down to the crowd, there was enough tosatisfy every person present.
Para Bruin, the rubber bear, climbed to a limb of the big tree, rolledhimself into a ball, and dropped to the platform, whence he bounded upagain to the limb. He repeated this bouncing act several times, to thegreat delight of all the children present. After he had finished, andbowed, and returned to his seat, Glinda waved her wand and the treedisappeared; but its fruit still remained to be eaten.
The Good Witch of the North amused the people by transforming tenstones into ten birds, the ten birds into ten lambs, and the ten lambsinto ten little girls, who gave a pretty dance and were thentransformed into ten stones again, just as they were in the beginning.
Johnny Dooit next came on the platform with his tool-chest, and in afew minutes built a great flying machine; then put his chest in themachine and the whole thing flew away together--Johnny and all--afterhe had bid good-bye to those present and thanked the Princess for herhospitality.
The Wizard then announced the last act of all, which was consideredreally wonderful. He had invented a machine to blow huge soap-bubbles,as big as balloons, and this machine was hidden under the platform sothat only the rim of the big clay pipe to produce the bubbles showedabove the flooring. The tank of soapsuds, and the air-pumps to inflatethe bubbles, were out of sight beneath, so that when the bubbles beganto grow upon the floor of the platform it really seemed like magic tothe people of Oz, who knew nothing about even the common soap-bubblesthat our children blow with a penny clay pipe and a basin ofsoap-and-water.
The Wizard had invented another thing. Usually, soap-bubbles are frailand burst easily, lasting only a few moments as they float in the air;but the Wizard added a sort of glue to his soapsuds, which made hisbubbles tough; and, as the glue dried rapidly when exposed to the air,the Wizard's bubbles were strong enough to float for hours withoutbreaking.
He began by blowing--by means of his machinery and air-pumps--severallarge bubbles which he allowed to float upward into the sky, where thesunshine fell upon them and gave them iridescent hues that were mostbeautiful. This aroused much wonder and delight because it was a newamusement to every one present--except perhaps Dorothy andButton-Bright, and even they had never seen such big, strong bubblesbefore.
The Wizard then blew a bunch of small bubbles and afterward blew a bigbubble around them so they were left in the center of it; then heallowed the whole mass of pretty globes to float into the air anddisappear in the far distant sky.
"That is really fine!" declared Santa Claus, who loved toys and prettythings. "I think, Mr. Wizard, I shall have you blow a bubble aroundme; then I can float away home and see the country spread out beneathme as I travel. There isn't a spot on earth that I haven't visited,but I usually go in the night-time, riding behind my swift reindeer.Here is a good chance to observe the country by daylight, while I amriding slowly and at my ease."
"Do you think you will be able to guide the bubble?" asked the Wizard.
"Oh yes; I know enough magic to do that," replied Santa Claus. "Youblow the bubble, with me inside of it, and I'll be sure to get home insafety."
"Please send me home in a bubble, too!" begged the Queen of Merryland.
"Very well, madam; you shall try the journey first," politely answeredold Santa.
The pretty wax doll bade good-bye to the Princess Ozma and the othersand stood on the platform while the Wizard blew a big soap-bubblearound her. When completed, he allowed the bubble to float slowlyupward, and there could be seen the little Queen of Merryland standingin the middle of it and blowing kisses from her fingers to those below.The bubble took a southerly direction, quickly floating out of sight.
"That's a very nice way to travel," said Princess Fluff. "I'd like togo home in a bubble, too."
So the Wizard blew a big bubble around Princess Fluff, and anotheraround King Bud, her brother, and a third one around Queen Zixi; andsoon these three bubbles had mounted into the sky and were floating offin a group in the direction of the kingdom of Noland.
The success of these ventures induced the other guests from foreignlands to undertake bubble journeys, also; so the Wizard put them one byone inside his bubbles, and Santa Claus directed the way they shouldgo, because he knew exactly where everybody lived.
Finally, Button-Bright said:
"I want to go home, too."
"Why, so you shall!" cried Santa; "for I'm sure your father and motherwill be glad to see you again. Mr. Wizard, please blow a big, finebubble for Button-Bright to ride in, and I'll agree to send him home tohis family as safe as safe can be."
"I'm sorry," said Dorothy with a sigh, for she was fond of her littlecomrade; "but p'raps it's best for Button-Bright to get home; 'causehis folks must be worrying just dreadful."
She kissed the boy, and Ozma kissed him, too, and all the others wavedtheir hands and said good-bye and wished him a pleasant journey.
"Are you glad to leave us, dear?" asked Dorothy, a little wistfully.
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
He sat down cross-legged on the platform, with his sailor hat tippedback on his head, and the Wizard blew a beautiful bubble all around him.
A minute later it had mounted into the sky, sailing toward the west,and the last they saw of Button-Bright he was still sitting in themiddle of the shining globe and waving his sailor hat at those below.
"Will you ride in a bubble, or shall I send you and Toto home by meansof the Magic Belt?" the Princess asked Dorothy.
"Guess I'll use the Belt," replied the little girl. "I'm sort of'fraid of those bubbles."
"Bow-wow!" said Toto, approvingly. He loved to bark at the bubbles asthey sailed away, but he didn't care to ride in one.
Santa Claus decided to go next. He thanked Ozma for her hospitalityand wished her many happy returns of the day. Then the Wizard blew abubble around his chubby little body and smaller bubbles around each ofhis Ryls and Knooks.
As the kind and generous friend of children mounted into the air thepeople all cheered at the top of their voices, for they loved SantaClaus dearly; and the little man heard them through the walls of hisbubble and waved his hands in return as he smiled down upon them. Theband played bravely while every one watched the bubble until it wascompletely out of sight.
"How 'bout you, Polly?" Dorothy asked her friend. "Are you 'fraid ofbubbles, too?"
"No," answered Polychrome, smiling; "but Santa Claus promised to speakto my father as he passed through the sky. So perhaps I shall get homean easier way."
Indeed, the little maid had scarcely made this speech when a suddenradiance filled the air, and while the people looked on in wonder theend of a gorgeous rainbow slowly settled down upon the platform.
With a glad cry, the Rainbow's Daughter sprang from her seat and dancedalong the curve of the bow, mounting gradually upward, while the foldsof her gauzy gown whirled and floated around her like a cloud andblended with the colors of the rainbow itself.
"Good-bye Ozma! Good-bye Dorothy!" cried a voice they knew belonged toPolychrome; but now the little maiden's form had melted wholly into therainbow, and their eyes could no longer see her.
Suddenly, the end of the rainbow lifted and its colors slowly fadedlike mist before a breeze. Dorothy sighed deeply and turned to Ozma.
"I'm sorry to lose Polly," she said; "but I guess she's better off withher father; 'cause even the Land of Oz couldn't be like home to a cloudfairy."
"No indeed," replied the Princess; "but it has been delightful for usto know Polychrome for a little while, and--who knows?--perhaps we maymeet the Rainbow's Daughter again, some day."
The entertainment being now ended, all left the pavilion and formedtheir gay procession back to the Emerald City again. Of Dorothy'srecent traveling companions only Toto and the shaggy man remained, andOzma had decided to allow the latter to live in Oz for a time, atleast. If he proved honest and true she promised to let him live therealways, and the shaggy man was anxious to earn this reward.
They had a nice quiet dinner together and passed a pleasant eveningwith the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Tik-tok, and the Yellow Hen forcompany.
When Dorothy bade them good-night, she kissed them all good-bye at thesame time. For Ozma had agreed that while Dorothy slept she and Totoshould be transported by means of the Magic Belt to her own little bedin the Kansas farm-house and the little girl laughed as she thought howastonished Uncle Henry and Aunt Em would be when she came down tobreakfast with them next morning.
Quite content to have had so pleasant an adventure, and a little tiredby all the day's busy scenes, Dorothy clasped Toto in her arms and laydown upon the pretty white bed in her room in Ozma's royal palace.
Presently she was sound asleep.