Full text for Tin Woodman of Oz
A Faithful Story of the Astonishing Adventure Undertaken by the Tin Woodman, assisted by Woot the Wanderer, the Scarecrow of Oz, and Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter
by L. FRANK BAUM "Royal historian of Oz"
This Book is dedicated to the son of my son Frank Alden Baum
TO MY READERS
I know that some of you have been waiting for this story of the TinWoodman, because many of my correspondents have asked me, time andagain what ever became of the "pretty Munchkin girl" whom Nick Chopperwas engaged to marry before the Wicked Witch enchanted his axe and hetraded his flesh for tin. I, too, have wondered what became of her, butuntil Woot the Wanderer interested himself in the matter the TinWoodman knew no more than we did. However, he found her, after manythrilling adventures, as you will discover when you have read thisstory.
I am delighted at the continued interest of both young and old in theOz stories. A learned college professor recently wrote me to ask: "Forreaders of what age are your books intended?" It puzzled me to answerthat properly, until I had looked over some of the letters I havereceived. One says: "I'm a little boy 5 years old, and I Just love yourOz stories. My sister, who is writing this for me, reads me the Ozbooks, but I wish I could read them myself." Another letter says: "I'ma great girl 13 years old, so you'll be surprised when I tell you I amnot too old yet for the Oz stories." Here's another letter: "Since Iwas a young girl I've never missed getting a Baum book for Christmas.I'm married, now, but am as eager to get and read the Oz stories asever." And still another writes: "My good wife and I, both more than 70years of age, believe that we find more real enjoyment in your Oz booksthan in any other books we read." Considering these statements, I wrotethe college professor that my books are intended for all those whosehearts are young, no matter what their ages may be.
I think I am justified in promising that there will be some astonishingrevelations about The Magic of Oz in my book for 1919. Always yourloving and grateful friend,
L. FRANK BAUM. Royal Historian of Oz.
"OZCOT" at HOLLYWOOD in CALIFORNIA 1918.
LIST OF CHAPTERS
1 Woot the Wanderer 2 The Heart of the Tin Woodman 3 Roundabout 4 The Loons of Loonville 5 Mrs. Yoop, the Giantess 6 The Magic of a Yookoohoo 7 The Lace Apron 8 The Menace of the Forest 9 The Quarrelsome Dragons 10 Tommy Kwikstep 11 Jinjur's Ranch 12 Ozma and Dorothy 13 The Restoration 14 The Green Monkey 15 The Man of Tin 16 Captain Fyter 17 The Workshop of Ku-Klip 18 The Tin Woodman Talks to Himself 19 The Invisible Country 20 Over Night 21 Polychrome's Magic 22 Nimmie Amee 23 Through the Tunnel 24 The Curtain Falls
Woot the Wanderer
The Tin Woodman sat on his glittering tin throne in the handsome tinhall of his splendid tin castle in the Winkie Country of the Land ofOz. Beside him, in a chair of woven straw, sat his best friend, theScarecrow of Oz. At times they spoke to one another of curious thingsthey had seen and strange adventures they had known since first theytwo had met and become comrades. But at times they were silent, forthese things had been talked over many times between them, and theyfound themselves contented in merely being together, speaking now andthen a brief sentence to prove they were wide awake and attentive. Butthen, these two quaint persons never slept. Why should they sleep, whenthey never tired?
And now, as the brilliant sun sank low over the Winkie Country of Oz,tinting the glistening tin towers and tin minarets of the tin castlewith glorious sunset hues, there approached along a winding pathwayWoot the Wanderer, who met at the castle entrance a Winkie servant.
The servants of the Tin Woodman all wore tin helmets and tinbreastplates and uniforms covered with tiny tin discs sewed closelytogether on silver cloth, so that their bodies sparkled as beautifullyas did the tin castle--and almost as beautifully as did the Tin Woodmanhimself.
Woot the Wanderer looked at the man servant--all bright andglittering--and at the magnificent castle--all bright andglittering--and as he looked his eyes grew big with wonder. For Wootwas not very big and not very old and, wanderer though he was, thisproved the most gorgeous sight that had ever met his boyish gaze.
"Who lives here?" he asked.
"The Emperor of the Winkies, who is the famous Tin Woodman of Oz,"replied the servant, who had been trained to treat all strangers withcourtesy.
"A Tin Woodman? How queer!" exclaimed the little wanderer.
"Well, perhaps our Emperor is queer," admitted the servant; "but he isa kind master and as honest and true as good tin can make him; so we,who gladly serve him, are apt to forget that he is not like otherpeople."
"May I see him?" asked Woot the Wanderer, after a moment's thought.
"If it please you to wait a moment, I will go and ask him," said theservant, and then he went into the hall where the Tin Woodman sat withhis friend the Scarecrow. Both were glad to learn that a stranger hadarrived at the castle, for this would give them something new to talkabout, so the servant was asked to admit the boy at once.
By the time Woot the Wanderer had passed through the grandcorridors--all lined with ornamental tin--and under stately tinarchways and through the many tin rooms all set with beautiful tinfurniture, his eyes had grown bigger than ever and his whole littlebody thrilled with amazement. But, astonished though he was, he wasable to make a polite bow before the throne and to say in a respectfulvoice: "I salute your Illustrious Majesty and offer you my humbleservices."
"Very good!" answered the Tin Woodman in his accustomed cheerfulmanner. "Tell me who you are, and whence you come."
"I am known as Woot the Wanderer," answered the boy, "and I have come,through many travels and by roundabout ways, from my former home in afar corner of the Gillikin Country of Oz."
"To wander from one's home," remarked the Scarecrow, "is to encounterdangers and hardships, especially if one is made of meat and bone. Hadyou no friends in that corner of the Gillikin Country? Was it nothomelike and comfortable?"
To hear a man stuffed with straw speak, and speak so well, quitestartled Woot, and perhaps he stared a bit rudely at the Scarecrow. Butafter a moment he replied:
"I had home and friends, your Honorable Strawness, but they were soquiet and happy and comfortable that I found them dismally stupid.Nothing in that corner of Oz interested me, but I believed that inother parts of the country I would find strange people and see newsights, and so I set out upon my wandering journey. I have been awanderer for nearly a full year, and now my wanderings have brought meto this splendid castle."
"I suppose," said the Tin Woodman, "that in this year you have seen somuch that you have become very wise."
"No," replied Woot, thoughtfully, "I am not at all wise, I beg toassure your Majesty. The more I wander the less I find that I know, forin the Land of Oz much wisdom and many things may be learned."
"To learn is simple. Don't you ask questions?" inquired the Scarecrow.
"Yes; I ask as many questions as I dare; but some people refuse toanswer questions."
"That is not kind of them," declared the Tin Woodman. "If one does notask for information he seldom receives it; so I, for my part, make it arule to answer any civil question that is asked me."
"So do I," added the Scarecrow, nodding.
"I am glad to hear this," said the Wanderer, "for it makes me bold toask for something to eat."
"Bless the boy!" cried the Emperor of the Winkies; "how careless of menot to remember that wanderers are usually hungry. I will have foodbrought you at once."
Saying this he blew upon a tin whistle that was suspended from his tinneck, and at the summons a servant appeared and bowed low. The TinWoodman ordered food for the stranger, and in a few minutes the servantbrought in a tin tray heaped with a choice array of good things to eat,all neatly displayed on tin dishes that were polished till they shonelike mirrors. The tray was set upon a tin table drawn before thethrone, and the servant placed a tin chair before the table for the boyto seat himself.
"Eat, friend Wanderer," said the Emperor cordially, "and I trust thefeast will be to your liking. I, myself, do not eat, being made in suchmanner that I require no food to keep me alive. Neither does my friendthe Scarecrow. But all my Winkie people eat, being formed of flesh, asyou are, and so my tin cupboard is never bare, and strangers are alwayswelcome to whatever it contains."
The boy ate in silence for a time, being really hungry, but after hisappetite was somewhat satisfied, he said:
"How happened your Majesty to be made of tin, and still be alive?"
"That," replied the tin man, "is a long story."
"The longer the better," said the boy. "Won't you please tell me thestory?"
"If you desire it," promised the Tin Woodman, leaning back in his tinthrone and crossing his tin legs. "I haven't related my history in along while, because everyone here knows it nearly as well as I do. Butyou, being a stranger, are no doubt curious to learn how I became sobeautiful and prosperous, so I will recite for your benefit my strangeadventures."
"Thank you," said Woot the Wanderer, still eating.
"I was not always made of tin," began the Emperor, "for in thebeginning I was a man of flesh and bone and blood and lived in theMunchkin Country of Oz. There I was, by trade, a woodchopper, andcontributed my share to the comfort of the Oz people by chopping up thetrees of the forest to make firewood, with which the women would cooktheir meals while the children warmed themselves about the fires. Formy home I had a little hut by the edge of the forest, and my life wasone of much content until I fell in love with a beautiful Munchkin girlwho lived not far away."
"What was the Munchkin girl's name?" asked Woot.
"Nimmie Amee. This girl, so fair that the sunsets blushed when theirrays fell upon her, lived with a powerful witch who wore silver shoesand who had made the poor child her slave. Nimmie Amee was obliged towork from morning till night for the old Witch of the East, scrubbingand sweeping her hut and cooking her meals and washing her dishes. Shehad to cut firewood, too, until I found her one day in the forest andfell in love with her. After that, I always brought plenty of firewoodto Nimmie Amee and we became very friendly. Finally I asked her tomarry me, and she agreed to do so, but the Witch happened to overhearour conversation and it made her very angry, for she did not wish herslave to be taken away from her. The Witch commanded me never to comenear Nimmie Amee again, but I told her I was my own master and would doas I pleased, not realizing that this was a careless way to speak to aWitch.
"The next day, as I was cutting wood in the forest, the cruel Witchenchanted my axe, so that it slipped and cut off my right leg."
"How dreadful!" cried Woot the Wanderer.
"Yes, it was a seeming misfortune," agreed the Tin Man, "for aone-legged woodchopper is of little use in his trade. But I would notallow the Witch to conquer me so easily. I knew a very skillfulmechanic at the other side of the forest, who was my friend, so Ihopped on one leg to him and asked him to help me. He soon made me anew leg out of tin and fastened it cleverly to my meat body. It hadjoints at the knee and at the ankle and was almost as comfortable asthe leg I had lost."
"Your friend must have been a wonderful workman!" exclaimed Woot.
"He was, indeed," admitted the Emperor. "He was a tinsmith by trade andcould make anything out of tin. When I returned to Nimmie Amee, thegirl was delighted and threw her arms around my neck and kissed me,declaring she was proud of me. The Witch saw the kiss and was moreangry than before. When I went to work in the forest, next day, my axe,being still enchanted, slipped and cut off my other leg. Again Ihopped--on my tin leg--to my friend the tinsmith, who kindly made meanother tin leg and fastened it to my body. So I returned joyfully toNimmie Amee, who was much pleased with my glittering legs and promisedthat when we were wed she would always keep them oiled and polished.But the Witch was more furious than ever, and as soon as I raised myaxe to chop, it twisted around and cut off one of my arms. The tinsmithmade me a tin arm and I was not much worried, because Nimmie Ameedeclared she still loved me."
The Heart of the Tin Woodman
The Emperor of the Winkies paused in his story to reach for an oil-can,with which he carefully oiled the joints in his tin throat, for hisvoice had begun to squeak a little. Woot the Wanderer, having satisfiedhis hunger, watched this oiling process with much curiosity, but beggedthe Tin Man to go on with his tale.
"The Witch with the Silver Shoes hated me for having defied her,"resumed the Emperor, his voice now sounding clear as a bell, "and sheinsisted that Nimmie Amee should never marry me. Therefore she madethe enchanted axe cut off my other arm, and the tinsmith also replacedthat member with tin, including these finely-jointed hands that you seeme using. But, alas! after that, the axe, still enchanted by the cruelWitch, cut my body in two, so that I fell to the ground. Then theWitch, who was watching from a near-by bush, rushed up and seized theaxe and chopped my body into several small pieces, after which,thinking that at last she had destroyed me, she ran away laughing inwicked glee.
"But Nimmie Amee found me. She picked up my arms and legs and head, andmade a bundle of them and carried them to the tinsmith, who set to workand made me a fine body of pure tin. When he had joined the arms andlegs to the body, and set my head in the tin collar, I was a muchbetter man than ever, for my body could not ache or pain me, and I wasso beautiful and bright that I had no need of clothing. Clothing isalways a nuisance, because it soils and tears and has to be replaced;but my tin body only needs to be oiled and polished.
"Nimmie Amee still declared she would marry me, as she still loved mein spite of the Witch's evil deeds. The girl declared I would make thebrightest husband in all the world, which was quite true. However, theWicked Witch was not yet defeated. When I returned to my work the axeslipped and cut off my head, which was the only meat part of me thenremaining. Moreover, the old woman grabbed up my severed head andcarried it away with her and hid it. But Nimmie Amee came into theforest and found me wandering around helplessly, because I could notsee where to go, and she led me to my friend the tinsmith. The faithfulfellow at once set to work to make me a tin head, and he had justcompleted it when Nimmie Amee came running up with my old head, whichshe had stolen from the Witch. But, on reflection, I considered the tinhead far superior to the meat one--I am wearing it yet, so you can seeits beauty and grace of outline--and the girl agreed with me that a manall made of tin was far more perfect than one formed of differentmaterials. The tinsmith was as proud of his workmanship as I was, andfor three whole days, all admired me and praised my beauty. Being nowcompletely formed of tin, I had no more fear of the Wicked Witch, forshe was powerless to injure me. Nimmie Amee said we must be married atonce, for then she could come to my cottage and live with me and keepme bright and sparkling.
"'I am sure, my dear Nick,' said the brave and beautiful girl--my namewas then Nick Chopper, you should be told--'that you will make the besthusband any girl could have. I shall not be obliged to cook for you,for now you do not eat; I shall not have to make your bed, for tin doesnot tire or require sleep; when we go to a dance, you will not getweary before the music stops and say you want to go home. All day long,while you are chopping wood in the forest, I shall be able to amusemyself in my own way--a privilege few wives enjoy. There is no temperin your new head, so you will not get angry with me. Finally, I shalltake pride in being the wife of the only live Tin Woodman in all theworld!' Which shows that Nimmie Amee was as wise as she was brave andbeautiful."
"I think she was a very nice girl," said Woot the Wanderer. "But, tellme, please, why were you not killed when you were chopped to pieces?"
"In the Land of Oz," replied the Emperor, "no one can ever be killed. Aman with a wooden leg or a tin leg is still the same man; and, as Ilost parts of my meat body by degrees, I always remained the sameperson as in the beginning, even though in the end I was all tin and nomeat."
"I see," said the boy, thoughtfully. "And did you marry Nimmie Amee?"
"No," answered the Tin Woodman, "I did not. She said she still lovedme, but I found that I no longer loved her. My tin body contained noheart, and without a heart no one can love. So the Wicked Witchconquered in the end, and when I left the Munchkin Country of Oz, thepoor girl was still the slave of the Witch and had to do her biddingday and night."
"Where did you go?" asked Woot.
"Well, I first started out to find a heart, so I could love Nimmie Ameeagain; but hearts are more scarce than one would think. One day, in abig forest that was strange to me, my joints suddenly became rusted,because I had forgotten to oil them. There I stood, unable to move handor foot. And there I continued to stand--while days came andwent--until Dorothy and the Scarecrow came along and rescued me. Theyoiled my joints and set me free, and I've taken good care never to rustagain."
"Who was this Dorothy?" questioned the Wanderer.
"A little girl who happened to be in a house when it was carried by acyclone all the way from Kansas to the Land of Oz. When the house fell,in the Munchkin Country, it fortunately landed on the Wicked Witch andsmashed her flat. It was a big house, and I think the Witch is under ityet."
"No," said the Scarecrow, correcting him, "Dorothy says the Witchturned to dust, and the wind scattered the dust in every direction."
"Well," continued the Tin Woodman, "after meeting the Scarecrow andDorothy, I went with them to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Ozgave me a heart. But the Wizard's stock of hearts was low, and he gaveme a Kind Heart instead of a Loving Heart, so that I could not loveNimmie Amee any more than I did when I was heartless."
"Couldn't the Wizard give you a heart that was both Kind and Loving?"asked the boy.
"No; that was what I asked for, but he said he was so short on hearts,just then, that there was but one in stock, and I could take that ornone at all. So I accepted it, and I must say that for its kind it is avery good heart indeed."
"It seems to me," said Woot, musingly, "that the Wizard fooled you. Itcan't be a very Kind Heart, you know."
"Why not?" demanded the Emperor.
"Because it was unkind of you to desert the girl who loved you, and whohad been faithful and true to you when you were in trouble. Had theheart the Wizard gave you been a Kind Heart, you would have gone backhome and made the beautiful Munchkin girl your wife, and then broughther here to be an Empress and live in your splendid tin castle."
The Tin Woodman was so surprised at this frank speech that for a timehe did nothing but stare hard at the boy Wanderer. But the Scarecrowwagged his stuffed head and said in a positive tone:
"This boy is right. I've often wondered, myself, why you didn't go backand find that poor Munchkin girl."
Then the Tin Woodman stared hard at his friend the Scarecrow. Butfinally he said in a serious tone of voice:
"I must admit that never before have I thought of such a thing asfinding Nimmie Amee and making her Empress of the Winkies. But it issurely not too late, even now, to do this, for the girl must still beliving in the Munchkin Country. And, since this strange Wanderer hasreminded me of Nimmie Amee, I believe it is my duty to set out and findher. Surely it is not the girl's fault that I no longer love her, andso, if I can make her happy, it is proper that I should do so, and inthis way reward her for her faithfulness."
"Quite right, my friend!" agreed the Scarecrow.
"Will you accompany me on this errand?" asked the Tin Emperor.
"Of course," said the Scarecrow.
"And will you take me along?" pleaded Woot the Wanderer in an eagervoice.
"To be sure," said the Tin Woodman, "if you care to join our party. Itwas you who first told me it was my duty to find and marry Nimmie Amee,and I'd like you to know that Nick Chopper, the Tin Emperor of theWinkies, is a man who never shirks his duty, once it is pointed out tohim."
"It ought to be a pleasure, as well as a duty, if the girl is sobeautiful," said Woot, well pleased with the idea of the adventure.
"Beautiful things may be admired, if not loved," asserted the Tin Man."Flowers are beautiful, for instance, but we are not inclined to marrythem. Duty, on the contrary, is a bugle call to action, whether you areinclined to act, or not. In this case, I obey the bugle call of duty."
"When shall we start?" inquired the Scarecrow, who was always glad toembark upon a new adventure. "I don't hear any bugle, but when do wego?"
"As soon as we can get ready," answered the Emperor. "I'll call myservants at once and order them to make preparations for our journey."
Woot the Wanderer slept that night in the tin castle of the Emperor ofthe Winkies and found his tin bed quite comfortable. Early the nextmorning he rose and took a walk through the gardens, where there weretin fountains and beds of curious tin flowers, and where tin birdsperched upon the branches of tin trees and sang songs that sounded likethe notes of tin whistles. All these wonders had been made by theclever Winkie tinsmiths, who wound the birds up every morning so thatthey would move about and sing.
After breakfast the boy went into the throne room, where the Emperorwas having his tin joints carefully oiled by a servant, while otherservants were stuffing sweet, fresh straw into the body of theScarecrow.
Woot watched this operation with much interest, for the Scarecrow'sbody was only a suit of clothes filled with straw. The coat wasbuttoned tight to keep the packed straw from falling out and a rope wastied around the waist to hold it in shape and prevent the straw fromsagging down. The Scarecrow's head was a gunnysack filled with bran, onwhich the eyes, nose and mouth had been painted. His hands were whitecotton gloves stuffed with fine straw. Woot noticed that even whencarefully stuffed and patted into shape, the straw man was awkward inhis movements and decidedly wobbly on his feet, so the boy wondered ifthe Scarecrow would be able to travel with them all the way to theforests of the Munchkin Country of Oz.
The preparations made for this important journey were very simple. Aknapsack was filled with food and given Woot the Wanderer to carry uponhis back, for the food was for his use alone. The Tin Woodmanshouldered an axe which was sharp and brightly polished, and theScarecrow put the Emperor's oil-can in his pocket, that he might oilhis friend's joints should they need it.
"Who will govern the Winkie Country during your absence?" asked the boy.
"Why, the Country will run itself," answered the Emperor. "As a matterof fact, my people do not need an Emperor, for Ozma of Oz watches overthe welfare of all her subjects, including the Winkies. Like a goodmany kings and emperors, I have a grand title, but very little realpower, which allows me time to amuse myself in my own way. The peopleof Oz have but one law to obey, which is: 'Behave Yourself,' so it iseasy for them to abide by this Law, and you'll notice they behave verywell. But it is time for us to be off, and I am eager to start becauseI suppose that that poor Munchkin girl is anxiously awaiting my coming."
"She's waited a long time already, seems to me," remarked theScarecrow, as they left the grounds of the castle and followed a paththat led eastward.
"True," replied the Tin Woodman; "but I've noticed that the last end ofa wait, however long it has been, is the hardest to endure; so I musttry to make Nimmie Amee happy as soon as possible."
"Ah; that proves you have a Kind heart," remarked the Scarecrow,approvingly.
"It's too bad he hasn't a Loving Heart," said Woot. "This Tin Man isgoing to marry a nice girl through kindness, and not because he lovesher, and somehow that doesn't seem quite right."
"Even so, I am not sure it isn't best for the girl," said theScarecrow, who seemed very intelligent for a straw man, "for a lovinghusband is not always kind, while a kind husband is sure to make anygirl content."
"Nimmie Amee will become an Empress!" announced the Tin Woodman,proudly. "I shall have a tin gown made for her, with tin ruffles andtucks on it, and she shall have tin slippers, and tin earrings andbracelets, and wear a tin crown on her head. I am sure that willdelight Nimmie Amee, for all girls are fond of finery."
"Are we going to the Munchkin Country by way of the Emerald City?"inquired the Scarecrow, who looked upon the Tin Woodman as the leaderof the party.
"I think not," was the reply. "We are engaged upon a rather delicateadventure, for we are seeking a girl who fears her former lover hasforgotten her. It will be rather hard for me, you must admit, when Iconfess to Nimmie Amee that I have come to marry her because it is myduty to do so, and therefore the fewer witnesses there are to ourmeeting the better for both of us. After I have found Nimmie Amee andshe has managed to control her joy at our reunion, I shall take her tothe Emerald City and introduce her to Ozma and Dorothy, and to BetsyBobbin and Tiny Trot, and all our other friends; but, if I rememberrightly, poor Nimmie Amee has a sharp tongue when angry, and she may bea trifle angry with me, at first, because I have been so long in comingto her."
"I can understand that," said Woot gravely. "But how can we get to thatpart of the Munchkin Country where you once lived without passingthrough the Emerald City?"
"Why, that is easy," the Tin Man assured him.
"I have a map of Oz in my pocket," persisted the boy, "and it showsthat the Winkie Country, where we now are, is at the west of Oz, andthe Munchkin Country at the east, while directly between them lies theEmerald City."
"True enough; but we shall go toward the north, first of all, into theGillikin Country, and so pass around the Emerald City," explained theTin Woodman.
"That may prove a dangerous journey," replied the boy. "I used to livein one of the top corners of the Gillikin Country, near to Oogaboo, andI have been told that in this northland country are many people whom itis not pleasant to meet. I was very careful to avoid them during myjourney south."
"A Wanderer should have no fear," observed the Scarecrow, who waswobbling along in a funny, haphazard manner, but keeping pace with hisfriends.
"Fear does not make one a coward," returned Woot, growing a little redin the face, "but I believe it is more easy to avoid danger than toovercome it. The safest way is the best way, even for one who is braveand determined."
"Do not worry, for we shall not go far to the north," said the Emperor."My one idea is to avoid the Emerald City without going out of our waymore than is necessary. Once around the Emerald City we will turn southinto the Munchkin Country, where the Scarecrow and I are wellacquainted and have many friends."
"I have traveled some in the Gillikin Country," remarked the Scarecrow,"and while I must say I have met some strange people there at times, Ihave never yet been harmed by them."
"Well, it's all the same to me," said Woot, with assumed carelessness."Dangers, when they cannot be avoided, are often quite interesting, andI am willing to go wherever you two venture to go."
So they left the path they had been following and began to traveltoward the northeast, and all that day they were in the pleasant WinkieCountry, and all the people they met saluted the Emperor with greatrespect and wished him good luck on his journey. At night they stoppedat a house where they were well entertained and where Woot was given acomfortable bed to sleep in.
"Were the Scarecrow and I alone," said the Tin Woodman, "we wouldtravel by night as well as by day; but with a meat person in our party,we must halt at night to permit him to rest."
"Meat tires, after a day's travel," added the Scarecrow, "while strawand tin never tire at all. Which proves," said he, "that we aresomewhat superior to people made in the common way."
Woot could not deny that he was tired, and he slept soundly untilmorning, when he was given a good breakfast, smoking hot.
"You two miss a great deal by not eating," he said to his companions.
"It is true," responded the Scarecrow. "We miss suffering from hunger,when food cannot be had, and we miss a stomachache, now and then."
As he said this, the Scarecrow glanced at the Tin Woodman, who noddedhis assent.
All that second day they traveled steadily, entertaining one anotherthe while with stories of adventures they had formerly met andlistening to the Scarecrow recite poetry. He had learned a great manypoems from Professor Wogglebug and loved to repeat them wheneveranybody would listen to him. Of course Woot and the Tin Woodman nowlistened, because they could not do otherwise--unless they rudely ranaway from their stuffed comrade. One of the Scarecrow's recitations waslike this:
"What sound is so sweet As the straw from the wheat When it crunkles so tender and low? It is yellow and bright, So it gives me delight To crunkle wherever I go.
"Sweet, fresh, golden Straw! There is surely no flaw In a stuffing so clean and compact. It creaks when I walk, And it thrills when I talk, And its fragrance is fine, for a fact. "To cut me don't hurt,
For I've no blood to squirt, And I therefore can suffer no pain; The straw that I use Doesn't lump up or bruise, Though it's pounded again and again!
"I know it is said That my beautiful head Has brains of mixed wheat-straw and bran, But my thoughts are so good I'd not change, if I could, For the brains of a common meat man.
"Content with my lot, I'm glad that I'm not Like others I meet day by day; If my insides get musty, Or mussed-up, or dusty, I get newly stuffed right away."
The Loons of Loonville
Toward evening, the travelers found there was no longer a path to guidethem, and the purple hues of the grass and trees warned them that theywere now in the Country of the Gillikins, where strange peoples dweltin places that were quite unknown to the other inhabitants of Oz. Thefields were wild and uncultivated and there were no houses of any sortto be seen. But our friends kept on walking even after the sun wentdown, hoping to find a good place for Woot the Wanderer to sleep; butwhen it grew quite dark and the boy was weary with his long walk, theyhalted right in the middle of a field and allowed Woot to get hissupper from the food he carried in his knapsack. Then the Scarecrowlaid himself down, so that Woot could use his stuffed body as a pillow,and the Tin Woodman stood up beside them all night, so the dampness ofthe ground might not rust his joints or dull his brilliant polish.Whenever the dew settled on his body he carefully wiped it off with acloth, and so in the morning the Emperor shone as brightly as ever inthe rays of the rising sun.
They wakened the boy at daybreak, the Scarecrow saying to him:
"We have discovered something queer, and therefore we must counseltogether what to do about it."
"What have you discovered?" asked Woot, rubbing the sleep from his eyeswith his knuckles and giving three wide yawns to prove he was fullyawake.
"A Sign," said the Tin Woodman. "A Sign, and another path."
"What does the Sign say?" inquired the boy.
"It says that 'All Strangers are Warned not to Follow this Path toLoonville,'" answered the Scarecrow, who could read very well when hiseyes had been freshly painted.
"In that case," said the boy, opening his knapsack to get somebreakfast, "let us travel in some other direction."
But this did not seem to please either of his companions.
"I'd like to see what Loonville looks like," remarked the Tin Woodman.
"When one travels, it is foolish to miss any interesting sight," addedthe Scarecrow.
"But a warning means danger," protested Woot the Wanderer, "and Ibelieve it sensible to keep out of danger whenever we can."
They made no reply to this speech for a while. Then said the Scarecrow:
"I have escaped so many dangers, during my lifetime, that I am not muchafraid of anything that can happen."
"Nor am I!" exclaimed the Tin Woodman, swinging his glittering axearound his tin head, in a series of circles. "Few things can injuretin, and my axe is a powerful weapon to use against a foe. But our boyfriend," he continued, looking solemnly at Woot, "might perhaps beinjured if the people of Loonville are really dangerous; so I proposehe waits here while you and I, Friend Scarecrow, visit the forbiddenCity of Loonville."
"Don't worry about me," advised Woot, calmly. "Wherever you wish to go,I will go, and share your dangers. During my wanderings I have found itmore wise to keep out of danger than to venture in, but at that time Iwas alone, and now I have two powerful friends to protect me."
So, when he had finished his breakfast, they all set out along the paththat led to Loonville.
"It is a place I have never heard of before," remarked the Scarecrow,as they approached a dense forest. "The inhabitants may be people, ofsome sort, or they may be animals, but whatever they prove to be, wewill have an interesting story to relate to Dorothy and Ozma on ourreturn."
The path led into the forest, but the big trees grew so closelytogether and the vines and underbrush were so thick and matted thatthey had to clear a path at each step in order to proceed. In one ortwo places the Tin Man, who went first to clear the way, cut thebranches with a blow of his axe. Woot followed next, and last of thethree came the Scarecrow, who could not have kept the path at all hadnot his comrades broken the way for his straw-stuffed body.
Presently the Tin Woodman pushed his way through some heavy underbrush,and almost tumbled headlong into a vast cleared space in the forest.The clearing was circular, big and roomy, yet the top branches of thetall trees reached over and formed a complete dome or roof for it.Strangely enough, it was not dark in this immense natural chamber inthe woodland, for the place glowed with a soft, white light that seemedto come from some unseen source.
In the chamber were grouped dozens of queer creatures, and these soastonished the Tin Man that Woot had to push his metal body aside, thathe might see, too. And the Scarecrow pushed Woot aside, so that thethree travelers stood in a row, staring with all their eyes.
The creatures they beheld were round and ball-like; round in body,round in legs and arms, round in hands and feet and round of head. Theonly exception to the roundness was a slight hollow on the top of eachhead, making it saucer-shaped instead of dome-shaped. They wore noclothes on their puffy bodies, nor had they any hair. Their skins wereall of a light gray color, and their eyes were mere purple spots. Theirnoses were as puffy as the rest of them.
"Are they rubber, do you think?" asked the Scarecrow, who noticed thatthe creatures bounded, as they moved, and seemed almost as light as air.
"It is difficult to tell what they are," answered Woot, "they seem tobe covered with warts."
The Loons--for so these folks were called--had been doing many things,some playing together, some working at tasks and some gathered ingroups to talk; but at the sound of strange voices, which echoed ratherloudly through the clearing, all turned in the direction of theintruders. Then, in a body, they all rushed forward, running andbounding with tremendous speed.
The Tin Woodman was so surprised by this sudden dash that he had notime to raise his axe before the Loons were on them. The creaturesswung their puffy hands, which looked like boxing-gloves, and poundedthe three travelers as hard as they could, on all sides. The blows werequite soft and did not hurt our friends at all, but the onslaught quitebewildered them, so that in a brief period all three were knocked overand fell flat upon the ground. Once down, many of the Loons held them,to prevent their getting up again, while others wound long tendrils ofvines about them, binding their arms and legs to their bodies and sorendering them helpless.
"Aha!" cried the biggest Loon of all; "we've got 'em safe; so let'scarry 'em to King Bal and have 'em tried, and condemned andperforated!" They had to drag their captives to the center of the domedchamber, for their weight, as compared with that of the Loons,prevented their being carried. Even the Scarecrow was much heavier thanthe puffy Loons. But finally the party halted before a raised platform,on which stood a sort of throne, consisting of a big, wide chair with astring tied to one arm of it. This string led upward to the roof of thedome.
Arranged before the platform, the prisoners were allowed to sit up,facing the empty throne.
"Good!" said the big Loon who had commanded the party. "Now to get KingBal to judge these terrible creatures we have so bravely captured."
As he spoke he took hold of the string and began to pull as hard as hecould. One or two of the others helped him and pretty soon, as theydrew in the cord, the leaves above them parted and a Loon appeared atthe other end of the string. It didn't take long to draw him down tothe throne, where he seated himself and was tied in, so he wouldn'tfloat upward again.
"Hello," said the King, blinking his purple eyes at his followers;"what's up now!"
"Strangers, your Majesty--strangers and captives," replied the bigLoon, pompously.
"Dear me! I see 'em. I see 'em very plainly," exclaimed the King, hispurple eyes bulging out as he looked at the three prisoners. "Whatcurious animals! Are they dangerous, do you think, my good Panta?"
"I'm 'fraid so, your Majesty. Of course, they may not be dangerous, butwe mustn't take chances. Enough accidents happen to us poor Loons as itis, and my advice is to condemn and perforate 'em as quickly aspossible."
"Keep your advice to yourself," said the monarch, in a peeved tone."Who's King here, anyhow? You or Me?"
"We made you our King because you have less common sense than the restof us," answered Panta Loon, indignantly. "I could have been Kingmyself, had I wanted to, but I didn't care for the hard work andresponsibility."
As he said this, the big Loon strutted back and forth in the spacebetween the throne of King Bal and the prisoners, and the other Loonsseemed much impressed by his defiance. But suddenly there came a sharpreport and Panta Loon instantly disappeared, to the great astonishmentof the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and Woot the Wanderer, who saw on thespot where the big fellow had stood a little heap of flabby, wrinkledskin that looked like a collapsed rubber balloon.
"There!" exclaimed the King; "I expected that would happen. Theconceited rascal wanted to puff himself up until he was bigger than therest of you, and this is the result of his folly. Get the pump working,some of you, and blow him up again."
"We will have to mend the puncture first, your Majesty," suggested oneof the Loons, and the prisoners noticed that none of them seemedsurprised or shocked at the sad accident to Panta.
"All right," grumbled the King. "Fetch Til to mend him."
One or two ran away and presently returned, followed by a lady Loonwearing huge, puffed-up rubber skirts. Also she had a purple featherfastened to a wart on the top of her head, and around her waist was asash of fibre-like vines, dried and tough, that looked like strings.
"Get to work, Til," commanded King Bal. "Panta has just exploded."
The lady Loon picked up the bunch of skin and examined it carefullyuntil she discovered a hole in one foot. Then she pulled a strand ofstring from her sash, and drawing the edges of the hole together, shetied them fast with the string, thus making one of those curious wartswhich the strangers had noticed on so many Loons. Having done this, TilLoon tossed the bit of skin to the other Loons and was about to go awaywhen she noticed the prisoners and stopped to inspect them.
"Dear me!" said Til; "what dreadful creatures. Where did they comefrom?"
"We captured them," replied one of the Loons.
"And what are we going to do with them?" inquired the girl Loon.
"Perhaps we'll condemn 'em and puncture 'em," answered the King.
"Well," said she, still eyeing the "I'm not sure they'll puncture.Let's try it, and see."
One of the Loons ran to the forest's edge and quickly returned with along, sharp thorn. He glanced at the King, who nodded his head inassent, and then he rushed forward and stuck the thorn into the leg ofthe Scarecrow. The Scarecrow merely smiled and said nothing, for thethorn didn't hurt him at all.
Then the Loon tried to prick the Tin Woodman's leg, but the tin onlyblunted the point of the thorn.
"Just as I thought," said Til, blinking her purple eyes and shaking herpuffy head; but just then the Loon stuck the thorn into the leg of Wootthe Wanderer, and while it had been blunted somewhat, it was stillsharp enough to hurt.
"Ouch!" yelled Woot, and kicked out his leg with so much energy thatthe frail bonds that tied him burst apart. His foot caught theLoon--who was leaning over him--full on his puffy stomach, and sent himshooting up into the air. When he was high over their heads he explodedwith a loud "pop" and his skin fell to the ground.
"I really believe," said the King, rolling his spotlike eyes in afrightened way, "that Panta was right in claiming these prisoners aredangerous. Is the pump ready?"
Some of the Loons had wheeled a big machine in front of the throne andnow took Panta's skin and began to pump air into it. Slowly it swelledout until the King cried "Stop!"
"No, no!" yelled Panta, "I'm not big enough yet."
"You're as big as you're going to be," declared the King. "Before youexploded you were bigger than the rest of us, and that caused you tobe proud and overbearing. Now you're a little smaller than the rest,and you will last longer and be more humble."
"Pump me up--pump me up!" wailed Panta "If you don't you'll break myheart."
"If we do we'll break your skin," replied the King.
So the Loons stopped pumping air into Panta, and pushed him away fromthe pump. He was certainly more humble than before his accident, for hecrept into the background and said nothing more.
"Now pump up the other one," ordered the King. Til had already mendedhim, and the Loons set to work to pump him full of air.
During these last few moments none had paid much attention to theprisoners, so Woot, finding his legs free, crept over to the TinWoodman and rubbed the bonds that were still around his arms and bodyagainst the sharp edge of the axe, which quickly cut them.
The boy was now free, and the thorn which the Loon had stuck into hisleg was lying unnoticed on the ground, where the creature had droppedit when he exploded. Woot leaned forward and picked up the thorn, andwhile the Loons were busy watching the pump, the boy sprang to his feetand suddenly rushed upon the group.
"Pop"--"pop"--"pop!" went three of the Loons, when the Wanderer prickedthem with his thorn, and at the sounds the others looked around and sawtheir danger. With yells of fear they bounded away in all directions,scattering about the clearing, with Woot the Wanderer in full chase.While they could run much faster than the boy, they often stumbled andfell, or got in one another's way, so he managed to catch several andprick them with his thorn.
It astonished him to see how easily the Loons exploded. When the airwas let out of them they were quite helpless. Til Loon was one of thosewho ran against his thorn and many others suffered the same fate. Thecreatures could not escape from the enclosure, but in their fright manybounded upward and caught branches of the trees, and then climbed outof reach of the dreaded thorn.
Woot was getting pretty tired chasing them, so he stopped and cameover, panting, to where his friends were sitting, still bound.
"Very well done, my Wanderer," said the Tin Woodman. "It is evidentthat we need fear these puffed-up creatures no longer, so be kindenough to unfasten our bonds and we will proceed upon our journey."
Woot untied the bonds of the Scarecrow and helped him to his feet. Thenhe freed the Tin Woodman, who got up without help. Looking around them,they saw that the only Loon now remaining within reach was Bal Loon,the King, who had remained seated in his throne, watching thepunishment of his people with a bewildered look in his purple eyes.
"Shall I puncture the King?" the boy asked his companions.
King Bal must have overheard the question, for he fumbled with the cordthat fastened him to the throne and managed to release it. Then hefloated upward until he reached the leafy dome, and parting thebranches he disappeared from sight. But the string that was tied to hisbody was still connected with the arm of the throne, and they knew theycould pull his Majesty down again, if they wanted to.
"Let him alone," suggested the Scarecrow. "He seems a good enough kingfor his peculiar people, and after we are gone, the Loons will havesomething of a job to pump up all those whom Woot has punctured."
"Every one of them ought to be exploded," declared Woot, who was angrybecause his leg still hurt him.
"No," said the Tin Woodman, "that would not be just fair. They werequite right to capture us, because we had no business to intrude here,having been warned to keep away from Loonville. This is their country,not ours, and since the poor things can't get out of the clearing, theycan harm no one save those who venture here out of curiosity, as wedid."
"Well said, my friend," agreed tile Scarecrow. "We really had no rightto disturb their peace and comfort; so let us go away."
They easily found the place where they had forced their way into theenclosure, so the Tin Woodman pushed aside the underbrush and startedfirst along the path. The Scarecrow followed next and last came Woot,who looked back and saw that the Loons were still clinging to theirperches on the trees and watching their former captives with frightenedeyes.
"I guess they're glad to see the last of us," remarked the boy, andlaughing at the happy ending of the adventure, he followed his comradesalong the path.
Mrs. Yoop, the Giantess
When they had reached the end of the path, where they had first seenthe warning sign, they set off across the country in an easterlydirection. Before long they reached Rolling Lands, which were asuccession of hills and valleys where constant climbs and descents wererequired, and their journey now became tedious, because on climbingeach hill, they found before them nothing in the valley below it exceptgrass, or weeds or stones.
Up and down they went for hours, with nothing to relieve the monotonyof the landscape, until finally, when they had topped a higher hillthan usual, they discovered a cup-shaped valley before them in thecenter of which stood an enormous castle, built of purple stone. Thecastle was high and broad and long, but had no turrets and towers. Sofar as they could see, there was but one small window and one big dooron each side of the great building.
"This is strange!" mused the Scarecrow. "I'd no idea such a big castleexisted in this Gillikin Country. I wonder who lives here?"
"It seems to me, from this distance," remarked the Tin Woodman, "thatit's the biggest castle I ever saw. It is really too big for any use,and no one could open or shut those big doors without a stepladder."
"Perhaps, if we go nearer, we shall find out whether anybody livesthere or not," suggested Woot. "Looks to me as if nobody lived there."
On they went, and when they reached the center of the valley, where thegreat stone castle stood, it was beginning to grow dark. So theyhesitated as to what to do.
"If friendly people happen to live here," said Woot. "I shall be gladof a bed; but should enemies occupy the place, I prefer to sleep uponthe ground."
"And if no one at all lives here," added the Scarecrow, "we can enter,and take possession, and make ourselves at home."
While speaking he went nearer to one of the great doors, which wasthree times as high and broad as any he had ever seen in a housebefore, and then he discovered, engraved in big letters upon a stoneover the doorway, the words:
"Oho!" he exclaimed; "I know the place now. This was probably the homeof Mr. Yoop, a terrible giant whom I have seen confined in a cage, along way from here. Therefore this castle is likely to be empty and wemay use it in any way we please."
"Yes, yes," said the Tin Emperor, nodding; "I also remember Mr. Yoop.But how are we to get into his deserted castle? The latch of the dooris so far above our heads that none of us can reach it."
They considered this problem for a while, and then Woot said to the TinMan:
"If I stand upon your shoulders, I think I can unlatch the door."
"Climb up, then," was the reply, and when the boy was perched upon thetin shoulders of Nick Chopper, he was just able to reach the latch andraise it.
At once the door swung open, its great hinges making a groaning soundas if in protest, so Woot leaped down and followed his companions intoa big, bare hallway. Scarcely were the three inside, however, when theyheard the door slam shut behind them, and this astonished them becauseno one had touched it. It had closed of its own accord, as if by magic.Moreover, the latch was on the outside, and the thought occurred toeach one of them that they were now prisoners in this unknown castle.
"However," mumbled the Scarecrow, "we are not to blame for what cannotbe helped; so let us push bravely ahead and see what may be seen."
It was quite dark in the hallway, now that the outside door was shut,so as they stumbled along a stone passage they kept close together, notknowing what danger was likely to befall them.
Suddenly a soft glow enveloped them. It grew brighter, until they couldsee their surroundings distinctly. They had reached the end of thepassage and before them was another huge door. This noiselessly swungopen before them, without the help of anyone, and through the doorwaythey observed a big chamber, the walls of which were lined with platesof pure gold, highly polished.
This room was also lighted, although they could discover no lamps, andin the center of it was a great table at which sat an immense woman.She was clad in silver robes embroidered with gay floral designs, andwore over this splendid raiment a short apron of elaborate lace-work.Such an apron was no protection, and was not in keeping with thehandsome gown, but the huge woman wore it, nevertheless. The table atwhich she sat was spread with a white cloth and had golden dishes uponit, so the travelers saw that they had surprised the Giantess while shewas eating her supper.
She had her back toward them and did not even turn around, but taking abiscuit from a dish she began to butter it and said in a voice that wasbig and deep but not especially unpleasant:
"Why don't you come in and allow the door to shut? You're causing adraught, and I shall catch cold and sneeze. When I sneeze, I get cross,and when I get cross I'm liable to do something wicked. Come in, youfoolish strangers; come in!"
Being thus urged, they entered the room and approached the table, untilthey stood where they faced the great Giantess. She continued eating,but smiled in a curious way as she looked at them. Woot noticed thatthe door had closed silently after they had entered, and that didn'tplease him at all.
"Well," said the Giantess, "what excuse have you to offer?"
"We didn't know anyone lived here, Madam," explained the Scarecrow;"so, being travelers and strangers in these parts, and wishing to finda place for our boy friend to sleep, we ventured to enter your castle."
"You knew it was private property, I suppose?" said she, butteringanother biscuit.
"We saw the words, 'Yoop Castle,' over the door, but we knew that Mr.Yoop is a prisoner in a cage in a far-off part of the land of Oz, so wedecided there was no one now at home and that we might use the castlefor the night."
"I see," remarked the Giantess, nodding her head and smiling again inthat curious way--a way that made Woot shudder. "You didn't know thatMr. Yoop was married, or that after he was cruelly captured his wifestill lived in his castle and ran it to suit herself."
"Who captured Mr. Yoop?" asked Woot, looking gravely at the big woman.
"Wicked enemies. People who selfishly objected to Yoop's taking theircows and sheep for his food. I must admit, however, that Yoop had a badtemper, and had the habit of knocking over a few houses, now and then,when he was angry. So one day the little folks came in a great crowdand captured Mr. Yoop, and carried him away to a cage somewhere in themountains. I don't know where it is, and I don't care, for my husbandtreated me badly at times, forgetting the respect a giant owes to agiantess. Often he kicked me on my shins, when I wouldn't wait on him.So I'm glad he is gone."
"It's a wonder the people didn't capture you, too," remarked Woot.
"Well, I was too clever for them," said she, giving a sudden laugh thatcaused such a breeze that the wobbly Scarecrow was almost blown off hisfeet and had to grab his friend Nick Chopper to steady himself. "I sawthe people coining," continued Mrs. Yoop, "and knowing they meantmischief I transformed myself into a mouse and hid in a cupboard. Afterthey had gone away, carrying my shin-kicking husband with them, Itransformed myself back to my former shape again, and here I've livedin peace and comfort ever since."
"Are you a Witch, then?" inquired Woot.
"Well, not exactly a Witch," she replied, "but I'm an Artist inTransformations. In other words, I'm more of a Yookoohoo than a Witch,and of course you know that the Yookoohoos are the cleverestmagic-workers in the world."
The travelers were silent for a time, uneasily considering thisstatement and the effect it might have on their future. No doubt theGiantess had wilfully made them her prisoners; yet she spoke socheerfully, in her big voice, that until now they had not been alarmedin the least.
By and by the Scarecrow, whose mixed brains had been working steadily,asked the woman:
"Are we to consider you our friend, Mrs. Yoop, or do you intend to beour enemy?"
"I never have friends," she said in a matter-of-fact tone, "becausefriends get too familiar and always forget to mind their own business.But I am not your enemy; not yet, anyhow. Indeed, I'm glad you've come,for my life here is rather lonely. I've had no one to talk to since Itransformed Polychrome, the Daughter of the Rainbow, into acanary-bird."
"How did you manage to do that?" asked the Tin Woodman, in amazement."Polychrome is a powerful fairy!"
"She was," said the Giantess; "but now she's a canary-bird. One dayafter a rain, Polychrome danced off the Rainbow and fell asleep on alittle mound in this valley, not far from my castle. The sun came outand drove the Rainbow away, and before Poly wakened, I stole out andtransformed her into a canary-bird in a gold cage studded withdiamonds. The cage was so she couldn't fly away. I expected she'd singand talk and we'd have good times together; but she has proved nocompany for me at all. Ever since the moment of her transformation, shehas refused to speak a single word."
"Where is she now?" inquired Woot, who had heard tales of lovelyPolychrome and was much interested in her.
"The cage is hanging up in my bedroom," said the Giantess, eatinganother biscuit. The travelers were now more uneasy and suspicious ofthe Giantess than before. If Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter, whowas a real fairy, had been transformed and enslaved by this huge woman,who claimed to be a Yookoohoo, what was liable to happen to them? Saidthe Scarecrow, twisting his stuffed head around in Mrs. Yoop'sdirection:
"Do you know, Ma'am, who we are?"
"Of course," said she; "a straw man, a tin man and a boy."
"We are very important people," declared the Tin Woodman.
"All the better," she replied. "I shall enjoy your society the more onthat account. For I mean to keep you here as long as I live, to amuseme when I get lonely. And," she added slowly, "in this Valley no oneever dies."
They didn't like this speech at all, so the Scarecrow frowned in a waythat made Mrs. Yoop smile, while the Tin Woodman looked so fierce thatMrs. Yoop laughed. The Scarecrow suspected she was going to laugh, sohe slipped behind his friends to escape the wind from her breath. Fromthis safe position he said warningly:
"We have powerful friends who will soon come to rescue us."
"Let them come," she returned, with an accent of scorn. "When they gethere they will find neither a boy, nor a tin man, nor a scarecrow, fortomorrow morning I intend to transform you all into other shapes, sothat you cannot be recognized."
This threat filled them with dismay. The good-natured Giantess was moreterrible than they had imagined. She could smile and wear prettyclothes and at the same time be even more cruel than her wicked husbandhad been.
Both the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman tried to think of some way toescape from the castle before morning, but she seemed to read theirthoughts and shook her head.
"Don't worry your poor brains," said she. "You can't escape me, howeverhard you try. But why should you wish to escape? I shall give you newforms that are much better than the ones you now have. Be contentedwith your fate, for discontent leads to unhappiness, and unhappiness,in any form, is the greatest evil that can befall you."
"What forms do you intend to give us?" asked Woot earnestly.
"I haven't decided, as yet. I'll dream over it tonight, so in themorning I shall have made up my mind how to transform you. Perhapsyou'd prefer to choose your own transformations?"
"No," said Woot, "I prefer to remain as I am."
"That's funny," she retorted. "You are little, and you're weak; as youare, you're not much account, anyhow. The best thing about you is thatyou're alive, for I shall be able to make of you some sort of livecreature which will be a great improvement on your present form."
She took another biscuit from a plate and dipped it in a pot of honeyand calmly began eating it.
The Scarecrow watched her thoughtfully.
"There are no fields of grain in your Valley," said he; "where, then,did you get the flour to make your biscuits?"
"Mercy me! do you think I'd bother to make biscuits out of flour?" shereplied. "That is altogether too tedious a process for a Yookoohoo. Iset some traps this afternoon and caught a lot of field-mice, but as Ido not like to eat mice, I transformed them into hot biscuits for mysupper. The honey in this pot was once a wasp's nest, but since beingtransformed it has become sweet and delicious. All I need do, when Iwish to eat, is to take something I don't care to keep, and transformit into any sort of food I like, and eat it. Are you hungry?"
"I don't eat, thank you," said the Scarecrow.
"Nor do I," said the Tin Woodman.
"I have still a little natural food in my knapsack," said Woot theWanderer, "and I'd rather eat that than any wasp's nest."
"Every one to his taste," said the Giantess carelessly, and having nowfinished her supper she rose to her feet, clapped her hands together,and the supper table at once disappeared.
The Magic of a Yookoohoo
Woot had seen very little of magic during his wanderings, while theScarecrow and the Tin Woodman had seen a great deal of many sorts intheir lives, yet all three were greatly impressed by Mrs. Yoop'spowers. She did not affect any mysterious airs or indulge in chants ormystic rites, as most witches do, nor was the Giantess old and ugly ordisagreeable in face or manner. Nevertheless, she frightened herprisoners more than any witch could have done.
"Please be seated," she said to them, as she sat herself down in agreat arm-chair and spread her beautiful embroidered skirts for them toadmire. But all the chairs in the room were so high that our friendscould not climb to the seats of them. Mrs. Yoop observed this and wavedher hand, when instantly a golden ladder appeared leaning against achair opposite her own.
"Climb up," said she, and they obeyed, the Tin Man and the boyassisting the more clumsy Scarecrow. When they were all seated in a rowon the cushion of the chair, the Giantess continued: "Now tell me howyou happened to travel in this direction, and where you came from andwhat your errand is."
So the Tin Woodman told her all about Nimmie Amee, and how he haddecided to find her and marry her, although he had no Loving Heart. Thestory seemed to amuse the big woman, who then began to ask theScarecrow questions and for the first time in her life heard of Ozma ofOz, and of Dorothy and Jack Pumpkinhead and Dr. Pipt and Tik-tok andmany other Oz people who are well known in the Emerald City. Also Woothad to tell his story, which was very simple and did not take long. TheGiantess laughed heartily when the boy related their adventure atLoonville, but said she knew nothing of the Loons because she neverleft her Valley.
"There are wicked people who would like to capture me, as they did mygiant husband, Mr. Yoop," said she; "so I stay at home and mind my ownbusiness."
"If Ozma knew that you dared to work magic without her consent, shewould punish you severely," declared the Scarecrow, "for this castle isin the Land of Oz, and no persons in the Land of Oz are permitted towork magic except Glinda the Good and the little Wizard who lives withOzma in the Emerald City."
"That for your Ozma!" exclaimed the Giantess, snapping her fingers inderision. "What do I care for a girl whom I have never seen and who hasnever seen me?"
"But Ozma is a fairy," said the Tin Woodman, "and therefore she is verypowerful. Also, we are under Ozma's protection, and to injure us in anyway would make her extremely angry."
"What I do here, in my own private castle in this secludedValley--where no one comes but fools like you--can never be known toyour fairy Ozma," returned the Giantess. "Do not seek to frighten mefrom my purpose, and do not allow yourselves to be frightened, for itis best to meet bravely what cannot be avoided. I am now going to bed,and in the morning I will give you all new forms, such as will be moreinteresting to me than the ones you now wear. Good night, and pleasantdreams."
Saying this, Mrs. Yoop rose from her chair and walked through a doorwayinto another room. So heavy was the tread of the Giantess that even thewalls of the big stone castle trembled as she stepped. She closed thedoor of her bedroom behind her, and then suddenly the light went outand the three prisoners found themselves in total darkness.
The Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow didn't mind the dark at all, but Wootthe Wanderer felt worried to be left in this strange place in thisstrange manner, without being able to see any danger that mightthreaten.
"The big woman might have given me a bed, anyhow," he said to hiscompanions, and scarcely had he spoken when he felt something pressagainst his legs, which were then dangling from the seat of the chair.Leaning down, he put out his hand and found that a bedstead hadappeared, with mattress, sheets and covers, all complete. He lost notime in slipping down upon the bed and was soon fast asleep.
During the night the Scarecrow and the Emperor talked in low tonestogether, and they got out of the chair and moved all about the room,feeling for some hidden spring that might open a door or window andpermit them to escape.
Morning found them still unsuccessful in the quest and as soon as itwas daylight Woot's bed suddenly disappeared, and he dropped to thefloor with a thump that quickly wakened him. And after a time theGiantess came from her bedroom, wearing another dress that was quite aselaborate as the one in which she had been attired the evening before,and also wearing the pretty lace apron. Having seated herself in achair, she said:
"I'm hungry; so I'll have breakfast at once."
She clapped her hands together and instantly the table appeared beforeher, spread with snowy linen and laden with golden dishes. But therewas no food upon the table, nor anything else except a pitcher ofwater, a bundle of weeds and a handful of pebbles. But the Giantesspoured some water into her coffee-pot, patted it once or twice with herhand, and then poured out a cupful of steaming hot coffee.
"Would you like some?" she asked Woot.
He was suspicious of magic coffee, but it smelled so good that he couldnot resist it; so he answered: "If you please, Madam."
The Giantess poured out another cup and set it on the floor for Woot.It was as big as a tub, and the golden spoon in the saucer beside thecup was so heavy the boy could scarcely lift it. But Woot managed toget a sip of the coffee and found it delicious.
Mrs. Yoop next transformed the weeds into a dish of oatmeal, which sheate with good appetite.
"Now, then," said she, picking up the pebbles. "I'm wondering whether Ishall have fish-balls or lamb-chops to complete my meal. Which wouldyou prefer, Woot the Wanderer?"
"If you please, I'll eat the food in my knapsack," answered the boy."Your magic food might taste good, but I'm afraid of it."
The woman laughed at his fears and transformed the pebbles intofish-balls.
"I suppose you think that after you had eaten this food it would turnto stones again and make you sick," she remarked; "but that would beimpossible. Nothing I transform ever gets back to its former shapeagain, so these fish-balls can never more be pebbles. That is why Ihave to be careful of my transformations," she added, busily eatingwhile she talked, "for while I can change forms at will I can neverchange them back again--which proves that even the powers of a cleverYookoohoo are limited. When I have transformed you three people, youmust always wear the shapes that I have given you."
"Then please don't transform us," begged Woot, "for we are quitesatisfied to remain as we are."
"I am not expecting to satisfy you, but intend to please myself," shedeclared, "and my pleasure is to give you new shapes. For, if by chanceyour friends came in search of you, not one of them would be able torecognize you."
Her tone was so positive that they knew it would be useless to protest.The woman was not unpleasant to look at; her face was not cruel; hervoice was big but gracious in tone; but her words showed that shepossessed a merciless heart and no pleadings would alter her wickedpurpose.
Mrs. Yoop took ample time to finish her breakfast and the prisoners hadno desire to hurry her, but finally the meal was concluded and shefolded her napkin and made the table disappear by clapping her handstogether. Then she turned to her captives and said:
"The next thing on the programme is to change your forms."
"Have you decided what forms to give us?" asked the Scarecrow, uneasily.
"Yes; I dreamed it all out while I was asleep. This Tin Man seems avery solemn person "--indeed, the Tin Woodman was looking solemn, justthen, for he was greatly disturbed--"so I shall change him into an Owl."
All she did was to point one finger at him as she spoke, butimmediately the form of the Tin Woodman began to change and in a fewseconds Nick Chopper, the Emperor of the Winkies, had been transformedinto an Owl, with eyes as big as saucers and a hooked beak and strongclaws. But he was still tin. He was a Tin Owl, with tin legs and beakand eyes and feathers. When he flew to the back of a chair and perchedupon it, his tin feathers rattled against one another with a tinnyclatter. The Giantess seemed much amused by the Tin Owl's appearance,for her laugh was big and jolly.
"You're not liable to get lost," said she, "for your wings and featherswill make a racket wherever you go. And, on my word, a Tin Owl is sorare and pretty that it is an improvement on the ordinary bird. I didnot intend to make you tin, but I forgot to wish you to be meat.However, tin you were, and tin you are, and as it's too late to changeyou, that settles it."
Until now the Scarecrow had rather doubted the possibility of Mrs.Yoop's being able to transform him, or his friend the Tin Woodman, forthey were not made as ordinary people are. He had worried more overwhat might happen to Woot than to himself, but now he began to worryabout himself.
"Madam," he said hastily, "I consider this action very impolite. It mayeven be called rude, considering we are your guests."
"You are not guests, for I did not invite you here," she replied.
"Perhaps not; but we craved hospitality. We threw ourselves upon yourmercy, so to speak, and we now find you have no mercy. Therefore, ifyou will excuse the expression, I must say it is downright wicked totake our proper forms away from us and give us others that we do notcare for."
"Are you trying to make me angry?" she asked, frowning.
"By no means," said the Scarecrow; "I'm just trying to make you actmore ladylike."
"Oh, indeed! In my opinion, Mr. Scarecrow, you are now acting like abear--so a Bear you shall be!"
Again the dreadful finger pointed, this time in the Scarecrow'sdirection, and at once his form began to change. In a few seconds hehad become a small Brown Bear, but he was stuffed with straw as he hadbeen before, and when the little Brown Bear shuffled across the floorhe was just as wobbly as the Scarecrow had been and moved just asawkwardly.
Woot was amazed, but he was also thoroughly frightened.
"Did it hurt?" he asked the little Brown Bear.
"No, of course not," growled the Scarecrow in the Bear's form; "but Idon't like walking on four legs; it's undignified."
"Consider my humiliation!" chirped the Tin Owl, trying to settle itstin feathers smoothly with its tin beak. "And I can't see very well,either. The light seems to hurt my eyes."
"That's because you are an Owl," said Woot. "I think you will seebetter in the dark."
"Well," remarked the Giantess, "I'm very well pleased with these newforms, for my part, and I'm sure you will like them better when you getused to them. So now," she added, turning to the boy, "it is your turn."
"Don't you think you'd better leave me as I am?" asked Woot in atrembling voice.
"No," she replied, "I'm going to make a Monkey of you. I lovemonkeys--they're so cute!--and I think a Green Monkey will be lots offun and amuse me when I am sad."
Woot shivered, for again the terrible magic finger pointed, and pointeddirectly his way. He felt himself changing; not so very much, however,and it didn't hurt him a bit. He looked down at his limbs and body andfound that his clothes were gone and his skin covered with a fine,silk-like green fur. His hands and feet were now those of a monkey. Herealized he really was a monkey, and his first feeling was one ofanger. He began to chatter as monkeys do. He bounded to the seat of agiant chair, and then to its back and with a wild leap sprang upon thelaughing Giantess. His idea was to seize her hair and pull it out bythe roots, and so have revenge for her wicked transformations. But sheraised her hand and said:
"Gently, my dear Monkey--gently! You're not angry; you're happy as canbe!"
Woot stopped short. No; he wasn't a bit angry now; he felt asgood-humored and gay as ever he did when a boy. Instead of pulling Mrs.Yoop's hair, he perched on her shoulder and smoothed her soft cheekwith his hairy paw. In return, she smiled at the funny green animal andpatted his head.
"Very good," said the Giantess. "Let us all become friends and be happytogether. How is my Tin Owl feeling?"
"Quite comfortable," said the Owl. "I don't like it, to be sure, butI'm not going to allow my new form to make me unhappy. But, tell me,please: what is a Tin Owl good for?"
"You are only good to make me laugh," replied the Giantess.
"Will a stuffed Bear also make you laugh?" inquired the Scarecrow,sitting back on his haunches to look up at her.
"Of course," declared the Giantess; "and I have added a little magic toyour transformations to make you all contented with wearing your newforms. I'm sorry I didn't think to do that when I transformedPolychrome into a Canary-Bird. But perhaps, when she sees how cheerfulyou are, she will cease to be silent and sullen and take to singing. Iwill go get the bird and let you see her."
With this, Mrs. Yoop went into the next room and soon returned bearinga golden cage in which sat upon a swinging perch a lovely yellowCanary. "Polychrome," said the Giantess, "permit me to introduce to youa Green Monkey, which used to be a boy called Woot the Wanderer, and aTin Owl, which used to be a Tin Woodman named Nick Chopper, and astraw-stuffed little Brown Bear which used to be a live Scarecrow."
"We already know one another," declared the Scarecrow. "The bird isPolychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter, and she and I used to be goodfriends."
"Are you really my old friend, the Scarecrow?" asked; the bird, in asweet, low voice.
"There!" cried Mrs. Yoop; "that's the first time she has spoken sinceshe was transformed."
"I am really your old friend," answered the Scarecrow; "but you mustpardon me for appearing just now in this brutal form."
"I am a bird, as you are, dear Poly," said the Tin Woodman; "but, alas!a Tin Owl is not as beautiful as a Canary-Bird."
"How dreadful it all is!" sighed the Canary. "Couldn't you manage toescape from this terrible Yookoohoo?"
"No," answered the Scarecrow, "we tried to escape, but failed. Shefirst made us her prisoners and then transformed us. But how did shemanage to get you, Polychrome?"
"I was asleep, and she took unfair advantage of me," answered the birdsadly. "Had I been awake, I could easily have protected myself."
"Tell me," said the Green Monkey earnestly, as he came close to thecage, "what must we do, Daughter of the Rainbow, to escape from thesetransformations? Can't you help us, being a Fairy?"
"At present I am powerless to help even myself," replied the Canary.
"That's the exact truth!" exclaimed the Giantess, who seemed pleased tohear the bird talk, even though it complained; "you are all helplessand in my power, so you may as well make up your minds to accept yourfate and be content. Remember that you are transformed for good, sinceno magic on earth can break your enchantments. I am now going out formy morning walk, for each day after breakfast I walk sixteen timesaround my castle for exercise. Amuse yourselves while I am gone, andwhen I return I hope to find you all reconciled and happy."
So the Giantess walked to the door by which our friends had entered thegreat hall and spoke one word: "Open!" Then the door swung open andafter Mrs. Yoop had passed out it closed again with a snap as itspowerful bolts shot into place. The Green Monkey had rushed toward theopening, hoping to escape, but he was too late and only got a bump onhis nose as the door slammed shut.
The Lace Apron
"Now," said the Canary, in a tone more brisk than before, "we may talktogether more freely, as Mrs. Yoop cannot hear us. Perhaps we canfigure out a way to escape."
"Open!" said Woot the Monkey, still facing the door; but his commandhad no effect and he slowly rejoined the others.
"You cannot open any door or window in this enchanted castle unless youare wearing the Magic Apron," said the Canary.
"What Magic Apron do you mean?" asked the Tin Owl, in a curious voice.
"The lace one, which the Giantess always wears. I have been herprisoner, in this cage, for several weeks, and she hangs my cage in herbedroom every night, so that she can keep her eye on me," explainedPolychrome the Canary. "Therefore I have discovered that it is theMagic Apron that opens the doors and windows, and nothing else can movethem. When she goes to bed, Mrs. Yoop hangs her apron on the bedpost,and one morning she forgot to put it on when she commanded the door toopen, and the door would not move. So then she put on the lace apronand the door obeyed her. That was how I learned the magic power of theapron."
"I see--I see!" said the little Brown Bear, wagging his stuffed head."Then, if we could get the apron from Mrs. Yoop, we could open thedoors and escape from our prison."
"That is true, and it is the plan I was about to suggest," repliedPolychrome the Canary-Bird. "However, I don't believe the Owl couldsteal the apron, or even the Bear, but perhaps the Monkey could hide inher room at night and get the apron while she is asleep."
"I'll try it!" cried Woot the Monkey. "I'll try it this very night, ifI can manage to steal into her bedroom."
"You mustn't think about it, though," warned the bird, "for she canread your thoughts whenever she cares to do so. And do not forget,before you escape, to take me with you. Once I am out of the power ofthe Giantess, I may discover a way to save us all."
"We won't forget our fairy friend," promised the boy; "but perhaps youcan tell me how to get into the bedroom."
"No," declared Polychrome, "I cannot advise you as to that. You mustwatch for a chance, and slip in when Mrs. Yoop isn't looking."
They talked it over for a while longer and then Mrs. Yoop returned.When she entered, the door opened suddenly, at her command, and closedas soon as her huge form had passed through the doorway. During thatday she entered her bedroom several times, on one errand or another,but always she commanded the door to close behind her and her prisonersfound not the slightest chance to leave the big hall in which they wereconfined.
The Green Monkey thought it would be wise to make a friend of the bigwoman, so as to gain her confidence, so he sat on the back of her chairand chattered to her while she mended her stockings and sewed silverbuttons on some golden shoes that were as big as row-boats. Thispleased the Giantess and she would pause at times to pat the Monkey'shead. The little Brown Bear curled up in a corner and lay still allday. The Owl and the Canary found they could converse together in thebird language, which neither the Giantess nor the Bear nor the Monkeycould understand; so at times they twittered away to each other andpassed the long, dreary day quite cheerfully.
After dinner Mrs. Yoop took a big fiddle from a big cupboard and playedsuch loud and dreadful music that her prisoners were all thankful whenat last she stopped and said she was going to bed.
After cautioning the Monkey and Bear and Owl to behave themselvesduring the night, she picked up the cage containing the Canary and,going to the door of her bedroom, commanded it to open. Just then,however, she remembered she had left her fiddle lying upon a table, soshe went back for it and put it away in the cupboard, and while herback was turned the Green Monkey slipped through the open door into herbedroom and hid underneath the bed. The Giantess, being sleepy, did notnotice this, and entering her room she made the door close behind herand then hung the bird-cage on a peg by the window. Then she began toundress, first taking off the lace apron and laying it over thebedpost, where it was within easy reach of her hand.
As soon as Mrs. Yoop was in bed the lights all went out, and Woot theMonkey crouched under the bed and waited patiently until he heard theGiantess snoring. Then he crept out and in the dark felt around untilhe got hold of the apron, which he at once tied around his own waist.
Next, Woot tried to find the Canary, and there was just enoughmoonlight showing through the window to enable him to see where thecage hung; but it was out of his reach. At first he was tempted toleave Polychrome and escape with his other friends, but remembering hispromise to the Rainbow's Daughter Woot tried to think how to save her.
A chair stood near the window, and this--showing dimly in themoonlight--gave him an idea. By pushing against it with all his might,he found he could move the giant chair a few inches at a time. So hepushed and pushed until the chair was beneath the bird-cage, and thenhe sprang noiselessly upon the seat--for his monkey form enabled him tojump higher than he could do as a boy--and from there to the back ofthe chair, and so managed to reach the cage and take it off the peg.Then down he sprang to the floor and made his way to the door. "Open!"he commanded, and at once the door obeyed and swung open, But his voicewakened Mrs. Yoop, who gave a wild cry and sprang out of bed with onebound. The Green Monkey dashed through the doorway, carrying the cagewith him, and before the Giantess could reach the door it slammed shutand imprisoned her in her own bed-chamber!
The noise she made, pounding upon the door, and her yells of anger anddreadful threats of vengeance, filled all our friends with terror, andWoot the Monkey was so excited that in the dark he could not find theouter door of the hall. But the Tin Owl could see very nicely in thedark, so he guided his friends to the right place and when all weregrouped before the door Woot commanded it to open. The Magic Apronproved as powerful as when it had been worn by the Giantess, so amoment later they had rushed through the passage and were standing inthe fresh night air outside the castle, free to go wherever they willed.
The Menace of the Forest
"Quick!" cried Polychrome the Canary; "we must hurry, or Mrs. Yoop mayfind some way to recapture us, even now. Let us get out of her Valleyas soon as possible."
So they set off toward the east, moving as swiftly as they could, andfor a long time they could hear the yells and struggles of theimprisoned Giantess. The Green Monkey could run over the ground veryswiftly, and he carried with him the bird-cage containing Polychromethe Rain-bow's Daughter. Also the Tin Owl could skip and fly along at agood rate of speed, his feathers rattling against one another with atinkling sound as he moved. But the little Brown Bear, being stuffedwith straw, was a clumsy traveler and the others had to wait for him tofollow.
However, they were not very long in reaching the ridge that led out ofMrs. Yoop's Valley, and when they had passed this ridge and descendedinto the next valley they stopped to rest, for the Green Monkey wastired.
"I believe we are safe, now," said Polychrome, when her cage was setdown and the others had all gathered around it, "for Mrs. Yoop daresnot go outside of her own Valley, for fear of being captured by herenemies. So we may take our time to consider what to do next."
"I'm afraid poor Mrs. Yoop will starve to death, if no one lets her outof her bedroom," said Woot, who had a heart as kind as that of the TinWoodman. "We've taken her Magic Apron away, and now the doors willnever open."
"Don't worry about that," advised Polychrome. "Mrs. Yoop has plenty ofmagic left to console her."
"Are you sure of that?" asked the Green Monkey.
"Yes, for I've been watching her for weeks," said the Canary. "She hassix magic hairpins, which she wears in her hair, and a magic ring whichshe wears on her thumb and which is invisible to all eyes except thoseof a fairy, and magic bracelets on both her ankles. So I am positivethat she will manage to find a way out of her prison."
"She might transform the door into an archway," suggested the littleBrown Bear.
"That would be easy for her," said the Tin Owl; "but I'm glad she wastoo angry to think of that before we got out of her Valley."
"Well, we have escaped the big woman, to be sure," remarked the GreenMonkey, "but we still wear the awful forms the cruel yookoohoo gave us.How are we going to get rid of these shapes, and become ourselvesagain?"
None could answer that question. They sat around the cage, broodingover the problem, until the Monkey fell asleep. Seeing this, the Canarytucked her head under her wing and also slept, and the Tin Owl and theBrown Bear did not disturb them until morning came and it was broaddaylight.
"I'm hungry," said Woot, when he wakened, for his knapsack of food hadbeen left behind at the castle.
"Then let us travel on until we can find something for you to eat,"returned the Scarecrow Bear.
"There is no use in your lugging my cage any farther," declared theCanary. "Let me out, and throw the cage away. Then I can fly with youand find my own breakfast of seeds. Also I can search for water, andtell you where to find it."
So the Green Monkey unfastened the door of the golden cage and theCanary hopped out. At first she flew high in the air and made greatcircles overhead, but after a time she returned and perched beside them.
"At the east in the direction we were following," announced the Canary,"there is a fine forest, with a brook running through it. In the forestthere may be fruits or nuts growing, or berry bushes at its edge, solet us go that way."
They agreed to this and promptly set off, this time moving moredeliberately. The Tin Owl, which had guided their way during the night,now found the sunshine very trying to his big eyes, so he shut themtight and perched upon the back of the little Brown Bear, which carriedthe Owl's weight with ease. The Canary sometimes perched upon the GreenMonkey's shoulder and sometimes fluttered on ahead of the party, and inthis manner they traveled in good spirits across that valley and intothe next one to the east of it.
This they found to be an immense hollow, shaped like a saucer, and onits farther edge appeared the forest which Polychrome had seen from thesky.
"Come to think of it," said the Tin Owl, waking up and blinkingcomically at his friends, "there's no object, now, in our traveling tothe Munchkin Country. My idea in going there was to marry Nimmie Amee,but however much the Munchkin girl may have loved a Tin Woodman, Icannot reasonably expect her to marry a Tin Owl."
"There is some truth in that, my friend," remarked the Brown Bear. "Andto think that I, who was considered the handsomest Scarecrow in theworld, am now condemned to be a scrubby, no-account beast, whose onlyredeeming feature is that he is stuffed with straw!"
"Consider my case, please," said Woot. "The cruel Giantess has made aMonkey of a Boy, and that is the most dreadful deed of all!"
"Your color is rather pretty," said the Brown Bear, eyeing Wootcritically. "I have never seen a pea-green monkey before, and itstrikes me you are quite gorgeous."
"It isn't so bad to be a bird," asserted the Canary, fluttering fromone to another with a free and graceful motion, "but I long to enjoy myown shape a gam."
"As Polychrome, you were the loveliest maiden I have ever seen--except,of course, Ozma," said the Tin Owl; "so the Giantess did well totransform you into the loveliest of all birds, if you were to betransformed at all. But tell me, since you are a fairy, and have afairy wisdom: do you think we shall be able to break theseenchantments?"
"Queer things happen in the Land of Oz," replied the Canary, againperching on the Green Monkey's shoulder and turning one bright eyethoughtfully toward her questioner. "Mrs. Yoop has declared that noneof her transformations can ever be changed, even by herself, but Ibelieve that if we could get to Glinda the Good Sorceress, she mightfind a way to restore us to our natural shapes. Glinda, as you know, isthe most powerful Sorceress in the world, and there are few things shecannot do if she tries."
"In that case," said the Little Brown Bear, "let us return southwardand try to get to Glinda's castle. It lies in the Quadling Country, youknow, so it is a good way from here."
"First, however, let us visit the forest and search for something toeat," pleaded Woot. So they continued on to the edge of the forest,which consisted of many tall and beautiful trees. They discovered nofruit trees, at first, so the Green Monkey pushed on into the forestdepths and the others followed close behind him.
They were traveling quietly along, under the shade of the trees, whensuddenly an enormous jaguar leaped upon them from a limb and with oneblow of his paw sent the little Brown Bear tumbling over and over untilhe was stopped by a tree-trunk. Instantly they all took alarm. The TinOwl shrieked: "Hoot--hoot!" and flew straight up to the branch of atall tree, although he could scarcely see where he was going. TheCanary swiftly darted to a place beside the Owl, and the Green Monkeysprang up, caught a limb, and soon scrambled to a high perch of safety.
The Jaguar crouched low and with hungry eyes regarded the little BrownBear, which slowly got upon its feet and asked reproachfully:
"For goodness' sake, Beast, what were you trying to do?"
"Trying to get my breakfast," answered the Jaguar with a snarl, "and Ibelieve I've succeeded. You ought to make a delicious meal--unless youhappen to be old and tough."
"I'm worse than that, considered as a breakfast," said the Bear, "forI'm only a skin stuffed with straw, and therefore not fit to eat."
"Indeed!" cried the Jaguar, in a disappointed voice; "then you must bea magic Bear, or enchanted, and I must seek my breakfast from amongyour companions."
With this he raised his lean head to look up at the Tin Owl and theCanary and the Monkey, and he lashed his tail upon the ground andgrowled as fiercely as any jaguar could.
"My friends are enchanted, also," said the little Brown Bear.
"All of them?" asked the Jaguar.
"Yes. The Owl is tin, so you couldn't possibly eat him. The Canary is afairy--Polychrome, the Daughter of the Rainbow--and you never couldcatch her because she can easily fly out of your reach."
"There still remains the Green Monkey," remarked the Jaguar hungrily."He is neither made of tin nor stuffed with straw, nor can he fly. I'mpretty good at climbing trees, myself, so I think I'll capture theMonkey and eat him for my breakfast."
Woot the Monkey, hearing this speech from his perch on the tree, becamemuch frightened, for he knew the nature of jaguars and realized theycould climb trees and leap from limb to limb with the agility of cats.So he at once began to scamper through the forest as fast as he couldgo, catching at a branch with his long monkey arms and swinging hisgreen body through space to grasp another branch in a neighboring tree,and so on, while the Jaguar followed him from below, his eyes fixedsteadfastly on his prey. But presently Woot got his feet tangled in theLace Apron, which he was still wearing, and that tripped him in hisflight and made him fall to the ground, where the Jaguar placed onehuge paw upon him and said grimly:
"I've got you, now!"
The fact that the Apron had tripped him made Woot remember its magicpowers, and in his terror he cried out: "Open!" without stopping toconsider how this command might save him. But, at the word, the earthopened at the exact spot where he lay under the Jaguar's paw, and hisbody sank downward, the earth closing over it again. The last thingWoot the Monkey saw, as he glanced upward, was the Jaguar peering intothe hole in astonishment.
"He's gone!" cried the beast, with a long-drawn sigh of disappointment;"he's gone, and now I shall have no breakfast."
The clatter of the Tin Owl's wings sounded above him, and the littleBrown Bear came trotting up and asked:
"Where is the monkey? Have you eaten him so quickly?"
"No, indeed," answered the Jaguar. "He disappeared into the earthbefore I could take one bite of him!"
And now the Canary perched upon a stump, a little way from the forestbeast, and said:
"I am glad our friend has escaped you; but, as it is natural for ahungry beast to wish his breakfast, I will try to give you one."
"Thank you," replied the Jaguar. "You're rather small for a full meal,but it's kind of you to sacrifice yourself to my appetite."
"Oh, I don't intend to be eaten, I assure you," said the Canary, "butas I am a fairy I know something of magic, and though I am nowtransformed into a bird's shape, I am sure I can conjure up a breakfastthat will satisfy you."
"If you can work magic, why don't you break the enchantment you areunder and return to your proper form?" inquired the beast doubtingly.
"I haven't the power to do that," answered the Canary, "for Mrs. Yoop,the Giantess who transformed me, used a peculiar form of yookoohoomagic that is unknown to me. However, she could not deprive me of myown fairy knowledge, so I will try to get you a breakfast."
"Do you think a magic breakfast would taste good, or relieve the pangsof hunger I now suffer?" asked the Jaguar.
"I am sure it would. What would you like to eat?"
"Give me a couple of fat rabbits," said the beast.
"Rabbits! No, indeed. I'd not allow you to eat the dear little things,"declared Polychrome the Canary.
"Well, three or four squirrels, then," pleaded the Jaguar.
"Do you think me so cruel?" demanded the Canary, indignantly. "Thesquirrels are my especial friends."
"How about a plump owl?" asked the beast. "Not a tin one, you know, buta real meat owl."
"Neither beast nor bird shall you have," said Polychrome in a positivevoice.
"Give me a fish, then; there's a river a little way off," proposed theJaguar.
"No living thing shall be sacrificed to feed you," returned the Canary.
"Then what in the world do you expect me to eat?" said the Jaguar in ascornful tone.
"How would mush-and-milk do?" asked the Canary.
The Jaguar snarled in derision and lashed his tail against the groundangrily.
"Give him some scrambled eggs on toast, Poly," suggested the BearScarecrow. "He ought to like that."
"I will," responded the Canary, and fluttering her wings she made aflight of three circles around the stump. Then she flew up to a treeand the Bear and the Owl and the Jaguar saw that upon the stump hadappeared a great green leaf upon which was a large portion of scrambledeggs on toast, smoking hot.
"There!" said the Bear; "eat your breakfast, friend Jaguar, and becontent."
The Jaguar crept closer to the stump and sniffed the fragrance of thescrambled eggs. They smelled so good that he tasted them, and theytasted so good that he ate the strange meal in a hurry, proving he hadbeen really hungry.
"I prefer rabbits," he muttered, licking his chops, "but I must admitthe magic breakfast has filled my stomach full, and brought me comfort.So I'm much obliged for the kindness, little Fairy, and I'll now leaveyou in peace."
Saying this, he plunged into the thick underbrush and soon disappeared,although they could hear his great body crashing through the bushesuntil he was far distant.
"That was a good way to get rid of the savage beast, Poly," said theTin Woodman to the Canary; "but I'm surprised that you didn't give ourfriend Woot a magic breakfast, when you knew he was hungry."
"The reason for that," answered Polychrome, "was that my mind was sointent on other things that I quite forgot my power to produce food bymagic. But where is the monkey boy?"
"Gone!" said the Scarecrow Bear, solemnly. "The earth has swallowed himup."
The Quarrelsome Dragons
The Green Monkey sank gently into the earth for a little way and thentumbled swiftly through space, landing on a rocky floor with a thumpthat astonished him. Then he sat up, found that no bones were broken,and gazed around him.
He seemed to be in a big underground cave, which was dimly lighted bydozens of big round discs that looked like moons. They were not moons,however, as Woot discovered when he had examined the place morecarefully. They were eyes. The eyes were in the heads of enormousbeasts whose bodies trailed far behind them. Each beast was bigger thanan elephant, and three times as long, and there were a dozen or more ofthe creatures scattered here and there about the cavern. On theirbodies were big scales, as round as pie-plates, which were beautifullytinted in shades of green, purple and orange. On the ends of their longtails were clusters of jewels. Around the great, moon-like eyes werecircles of diamonds which sparkled in the subdued light that glowedfrom the eyes.
Woot saw that the creatures had wide mouths and rows of terrible teethand, from tales he had heard of such beings, he knew he had fallen intoa cavern inhabited by the great Dragons that had been driven from thesurface of the earth and were only allowed to come out once in ahundred years to search for food. Of course he had never seen Dragonsbefore, yet there was no mistaking them, for they were unlike any otherliving creatures.
Woot sat upon the floor where he had fallen, staring around, and theowners of the big eyes returned his look, silently and motionless.Finally one of the Dragons which was farthest away from him asked, in adeep, grave voice:
"What was that?"
And the greatest Dragon of all, who was just in front of the GreenMonkey, answered in a still deeper voice:
"It is some foolish animal from Outside."
"Is it good to eat?" inquired a smaller Dragon beside the great one."I'm hungry."
"Hungry!" exclaimed all the Dragons, in a reproachful chorus; and thenthe great one said chidingly: "Tut-tut, my son! You've no reason to behungry at this time."
"Why not?" asked the little Dragon. "I haven't eaten anything in elevenyears."
"Eleven years is nothing," remarked another Dragon, sleepily openingand closing his eyes; "I haven't feasted for eighty-seven years, and Idare not get hungry for a dozen or so years to come. Children who eatbetween meals should be broken of the habit."
"All I had, eleven years ago, was a rhinoceros, and that's not a fullmeal at all," grumbled the young one. "And, before that, I had waitedsixty-two years to be fed; so it's no wonder I'm hungry."
"How old are you now?" asked Woot, forgetting his own dangerousposition in his interest in the conversation.
"Why, I'm--I'm--How old am I, Father?" asked the little Dragon.
"Goodness gracious! what a child to ask questions. Do you want to keepme thinking all the time? Don't you know that thinking is very bad forDragons?" returned the big one, impatiently.
"How old am I, Father?" persisted the small Dragon.
"About six hundred and thirty, I believe. Ask your mother."
"No; don't!" said an old Dragon in the background; "haven't I enoughworries, what with being wakened in the middle of a nap, without beingobliged to keep track of my children's ages?"
"You've been fast asleep for over sixty years, Mother," said the childDragon. "How long a nap do you wish?"
"I should have slept forty years longer. And this strange little greenbeast should be punished for falling into our cavern and disturbing us."
"I didn't know you were here, and I didn't know I was going to fallin," explained Woot.
"Nevertheless, here you are," said the great Dragon, "and you havecarelessly wakened our entire tribe; so it stands to reason you must bepunished."
"In what way?" inquired the Green Monkey, trembling a little.
"Give me time and I'll think of a way. You're in no hurry, are you?"asked the great Dragon.
"No, indeed," cried Woot. "Take your time. I'd much rather you'd all goto sleep again, and punish me when you wake up in a hundred years orso."
"Let me eat him!" pleaded the littlest Dragon.
"He is too small," said the father. "To eat this one Green Monkey wouldonly serve to make you hungry for more, and there are no more."
"Quit this chatter and let me get to sleep," protested another Dragon,yawning in a fearful manner, for when he opened his mouth a sheet offlame leaped forth from it and made Woot jump back to get out of itsway.
In his jump he bumped against the nose of a Dragon behind him, whichopened its mouth to growl and shot another sheet of flame at him. Theflame was bright, but not very hot, yet Woot screamed with terror andsprang forward with a great bound. This time he landed on the paw ofthe great Chief Dragon, who angrily raised his other front paw andstruck the Green Monkey a fierce blow. Woot went sailing through theair and fell sprawling upon the rocky floor far beyond the place wherethe Dragon Tribe was grouped.
All the great beasts were now thoroughly wakened and aroused, and theyblamed the monkey for disturbing their quiet. The littlest Dragondarted after Woot and the others turned their unwieldy bodies in hisdirection and followed, flashing from their eyes and mouths flameswhich lighted up the entire cavern. Woot almost gave himself up forlost, at that moment, but he scrambled to his feet and dashed away tothe farthest end of the cave, the Dragons following more leisurelybecause they were too clumsy to move fast. Perhaps they thought therewas no need of haste, as the monkey could not escape from the cave.But, away up at the end of the place, the cavern floor was heaped withtumbled rocks, so Woot, with an agility born of fear, climbed from rockto rock until he found himself crouched against the cavern roof. Therehe waited, for he could go no farther, while on over the tumbled rocksslowly crept the Dragons--the littlest one coming first because he washungry as well as angry.
The beasts had almost reached him when Woot, remembering his laceapron--now sadly torn and soiled--recovered his wits and shouted:"Open!" At the cry a hole appeared in the roof of the cavern, just overhis head, and through it the sunlight streamed full upon the GreenMonkey.
The Dragons paused, astonished at the magic and blinking at thesunlight, and this gave Woot time to climb through the opening. As soonas he reached the surface of the earth the hole closed again, and theboy monkey realized, with a thrill of joy, that he had seen the last ofthe dangerous Dragon family.
He sat upon the ground, still panting hard from his exertions, when thebushes before him parted and his former enemy, the Jaguar, appeared.
"Don't run," said the woodland beast, as Woot sprang up; "you areperfectly safe, so far as I am concerned, for since you so mysteriouslydisappeared I have had my breakfast. I am now on my way home to sleepthe rest of the day."
"Oh, indeed!" returned the Green Monkey, in a tone both sorry andstartled. "Which of my friends did you manage to eat?"
"None of them," returned the Jaguar, with a sly grin "I had a dish ofmagic scrambled eggs--on toast--and it wasn't a bad feast, at all.There isn't room in me for even you, and I don't regret it because Ijudge, from your green color, that you are not ripe, and would make anindifferent meal. We jaguars have to be careful of our digestions.Farewell, Friend Monkey. Follow the path I made through the bushes andyou will find your friends."
With this the Jaguar marched on his way and Woot took his advice andfollowed the trail he had made until he came to the place where thelittle Brown Bear, and the Tin Owl, and the Canary were conferringtogether and wondering what had become of their comrade, the GreenMonkey.
"Our best plan," said the Scarecrow Bear, when the Green Monkey hadrelated the story of his adventure with the Dragons, "is to get out ofthis Gillikin Country as soon as we can and try to find our way to thecastle of Glinda, the Good Sorceress. There are too many dangerslurking here to suit me, and Glinda may be able to restore us to ourproper forms."
"If we turn south now," the Tin Owl replied, "we might go straight intothe Emerald City. That's a place I wish to avoid, for I'd hate to havemy friends see me in this sad plight," and he blinked his eyes andfluttered his tin wings mournfully.
"But I am certain we have passed beyond Emerald City," the Canaryassured him, sailing lightly around their heads. "So, should we turnsouth from here, we would pass into the Munchkin Country, andcontinuing south we would reach the Quadling Country where Glinda'scastle is located."
"Well, since you're sure of that, let's start right away," proposed theBear. "It's a long journey, at the best, and I'm getting tired ofwalking on four legs."
"I thought you never tired, being stuffed with straw," said Woot.
"I mean that it annoys me, to be obliged to go on all fours, when twolegs are my proper walking equipment," replied the Scarecrow. "Iconsider it beneath my dignity. In other words, my remarkable brainscan tire, through humiliation, although my body cannot tire."
"That is one of the penalties of having brains," remarked the Tin Owlwith a sigh. "I have had no brains since I was a man of meat, and so Inever worry. Nevertheless, I prefer my former manly form to this owl'sshape and would be glad to break Mrs. Yoop's enchantment as soon aspossible. I am so noisy, just now, that I disturb myself," and hefluttered his wings with a clatter that echoed throughout the forest.
So, being all of one mind, they turned southward, traveling steadily onuntil the woods were left behind and the landscape turned from purpletints to blue tints, which assured them they had entered the Country ofthe Munchkins.
"Now I feel myself more safe," said the Scarecrow Bear. "I know thiscountry pretty well, having been made here by a Munchkin farmer andhaving wandered over these lovely blue lands many times. Seems to me,indeed, that I even remember that group of three tall trees ahead ofus; and, if I do, we are not far from the home of my friend Jinjur."
"Who is Jinjur?" asked Woot, the Green Monkey.
"Haven't you heard of Jinjur?" exclaimed the Scarecrow, in surprise.
"No," said Woot. "Is Jinjur a man, a woman, a beast or a bird?"
"Jinjur is a girl," explained the Scarecrow Bear. "She's a fine girl,too, although a bit restless and liable to get excited. Once, a longtime ago, she raised an army of girls and called herself 'GeneralJinjur.' With her army she captured the Emerald City, and drove me outof it, because I insisted that an army in Oz was highly improper. ButOzma punished the rash girl, and afterward Jinjur and I became fastfriends. Now Jinjur lives peacefully on a farm, near here, and raisesfields of cream-puffs, chocolate-caramels and macaroons. They say she'sa pretty good farmer, and in addition to that she's an artist, andpaints pictures so perfect that one can scarcely tell them from nature.She often repaints my face for me, when it gets worn or mussy, and thelovely expression I wore when the Giantess transformed me was paintedby Jinjur only a month or so ago."
"It was certainly a pleasant expression," agreed Woot.
"Jinjur can paint anything," continued the Scarecrow Bear, withenthusiasm, as they walked along together. "Once, when I came to herhouse, my straw was old and crumpled, so that my body saggeddreadfully. I needed new straw to replace the old, but Jinjur had nostraw on all her ranch and I was really unable to travel farther untilI had been restuffed. When I explained this to Jinjur, the girl at oncepainted a straw-stack which was so natural that I went to it andsecured enough straw to fill all my body. It was a good quality ofstraw, too, and lasted me a long time."
This seemed very wonderful to Woot, who knew that such a thing couldnever happen in any place but a fairy country like Oz.
The Munchkin Country was much nicer than the Gillikin Country, and allthe fields were separated by blue fences, with grassy lanes and pathsof blue ground, and the land seemed well cultivated. They were on alittle hill looking down upon this favored country, but had not quitereached the settled parts, when on turning a bend in the path they werehalted by a form that barred their way.
A more curious creature they had seldom seen, even in the Land of Oz,where curious creatures abound. It had the head of a youngman--evidently a Munchkin--with a pleasant face and hair neatly combed.But the body was very long, for it had twenty legs--ten legs on eachside--and this caused the body to stretch out and lie in a horizontalposition, so that all the legs could touch the ground and stand firm.From the shoulders extended two small arms; at least, they seemed smallbeside so many legs.
This odd creature was dressed in the regulation clothing of theMunchkin people, a dark blue coat neatly fitting the long body and eachpair of legs having a pair of sky-blue trousers, with blue-tintedstockings and blue leather shoes turned up at the pointed toes.
"I wonder who you are?" said Polychrome the Canary, fluttering abovethe strange creature, who had probably been asleep on the path.
"I sometimes wonder, myself, who I am," replied the many-legged youngman; "but, in reality, I am Tommy Kwikstep, and I live in a hollow treethat fell to the ground with age. I have polished the inside of it, andmade a door at each end, and that's a very comfortable residence for mebecause it just fits my shape."
"How did you happen to have such a shape?" asked the Scarecrow Bear,sitting on his haunches and regarding Tommy Kwikstep with a seriouslook. "Is the shape natural?"
"No; it was wished on me," replied Tommy, with a sigh. "I used to bevery active and loved to run errands for anyone who needed my services.That was how I got my name of Tommy Kwikstep. I could run an errandmore quickly than any other boy, and so I was very proud of myself. Oneday, however, I met an old lady who was a fairy, or a witch, orsomething of the sort, and she said if I would run an errand forher--to carry some magic medicine to another old woman--she would grantme just one Wish, whatever the Wish happened to be. Of course Iconsented and, taking the medicine, I hurried away. It was a longdistance, mostly up hill, and my legs began to grow weary. Withoutthinking what I was doing I said aloud: 'Dear me; I wish I had twentylegs!' and in an instant I became the unusual creature you see besideyou. Twenty legs! Twenty on one man! You may count them, if you doubtmy word."
"You've got 'em, all right," said Woot the Monkey, who had alreadycounted them.
"After I had delivered the magic medicine to the old woman, I returnedand tried to find the witch, or fairy, or whatever she was, who hadgiven me the unlucky wish, so she could take it away again. I've beensearching for her ever since, but never can I find her," continued poorTommy Kwikstep, sadly.
"I suppose," said the Tin Owl, blinking at him, "you can travel veryfast, with those twenty legs."
"At first I was able to," was the reply; "but I traveled so much,searching for the fairy, or witch, or whatever she was, that I soon gotcorns on my toes. Now, a corn on one toe is not so bad, but when youhave a hundred toes--as I have--and get corns on most of them, it isfar from pleasant. Instead of running, I now painfully crawl, andalthough I try not to be discouraged I do hope I shall find that witchor fairy, or whatever she was, before long."
"I hope so, too," said the Scarecrow. "But, after all, you have thepleasure of knowing you are unusual, and therefore remarkable among thepeople of Oz. To be just like other persons is small credit to one,while to be unlike others is a mark of distinction."
"That sounds very pretty," returned Tommy Kwikstep, "but if you had toput on ten pair of trousers every morning, and tie up twenty shoes, youwould prefer not to be so distinguished."
"Was the witch, or fairy, or whatever she was, an old person, withwrinkled skin and half her teeth gone?" inquired the Tin Owl.
"No," said Tommy Kwikstep.
"Then she wasn't Old Mombi," remarked the transformed Emperor.
"I'm not interested in who it wasn't, so much as I am in who it was,"said the twenty-legged young man. "And, whatever or whomsoever she was,she has managed to keep out of my way."
"If you found her, do you suppose she'd change you back into atwo-legged boy?" asked Woot.
"Perhaps so, if I could run another errand for her and so earn anotherwish."
"Would you really like to be as you were before?" asked Polychrome theCanary, perching upon the Green Monkey's shoulder to observe TommyKwikstep more attentively.
"I would, indeed," was the earnest reply.
"Then I will see what I can do for you," promised the Rainbow'sDaughter, and flying to the ground she took a small twig in her billand with it made several mystic figures on each side of Tommy Kwikstep.
"Are you a witch, or fairy, or something of the sort?" he asked as hewatched her wonderingly.
The Canary made no answer, for she was busy, but the Scarecrow Bearreplied: "Yes; she's something of the sort, and a bird of a magician."
The twenty-legged boy's transformation happened so queerly that theywere all surprised at its method. First, Tommy Kwikstep's last two legsdisappeared; then the next two, and the next, and as each pair of legsvanished his body shortened. All this while Polychrome was runningaround him and chirping mystical words, and when all the young man'slegs had disappeared but two he noticed that the Canary was still busyand cried out in alarm:
"Stop--stop! Leave me two of my legs, or I shall be worse off thanbefore."
"I know," said the Canary. "I'm only removing with my magic the cornsfrom your last ten toes."
"Thank you for being so thoughtful," he said gratefully, and now theynoticed that Tommy Kwikstep was quite a nice looking young fellow.
"What will you do now?" asked Woot the Monkey.
"First," he answered, "I must deliver a note which I've carried in mypocket ever since the witch, or fairy, or whatever she was, granted myfoolish wish. And I am resolved never to speak again without takingtime to think carefully on what I am going to say, for I realize thatspeech without thought is dangerous. And after I've delivered the note,I shall run errands again for anyone who needs my services."
So he thanked Polychrome again and started away in a differentdirection from their own, and that was the last they saw of TommyKwikstep.
As they followed a path down the blue-grass hillside, the first housethat met the view of the travelers was joyously recognized by theScarecrow Bear as the one inhabited by his friend Jinjur, so theyincreased their speed and hurried toward it.
On reaching the place, how ever, they found the house deserted. Thefront door stood open, but no one was inside. In the garden surroundingthe house were neat rows of bushes bearing cream-puffs and macaroons,some of which were still green, but others ripe and ready to eat.Farther back were fields of caramels, and all the land seemed wellcultivated and carefully tended. They looked through the fields for thegirl farmer, but she was nowhere to be seen.
"Well," finally remarked the little Brown Bear, "let us go into thehouse and make ourselves at home. That will be sure to please my friendJinjur, who happens to be away from home just now. When she returns,she will be greatly surprised."
"Would she care if I ate some of those ripe cream-puffs?" asked theGreen Monkey.
"No, indeed; Jinjur is very generous. Help yourself to all you want,"said the Scarecrow Bear.
So Woot gathered a lot of the cream-puffs that were golden yellow andfilled with a sweet, creamy substance, and ate until his hunger wassatisfied. Then he entered the house with his friends and sat in arocking-chair--just as he was accustomed to do when a boy. The Canaryperched herself upon the mantel and daintily plumed her feathers; theTin Owl sat on the back of another chair; the Scarecrow squatted on hishairy haunches in the middle of the room.
"I believe I remember the girl Jinjur," remarked the Canary, in hersweet voice. "She cannot help us very much, except to direct us on ourway to Glinda's castle, for she does not understand magic. But she's agood girl, honest and sensible, and I'll be glad to see her."
"All our troubles," said the Owl with a deep sigh, "arose from myfoolish resolve to seek Nimmie Amee and make her Empress of theWinkies, and while I wish to reproach no one, I must say that it wasWoot the Wanderer who put the notion into my head."
"Well, for my part, I am glad he did," responded the Canary. "Yourjourney resulted in saving me from the Giantess, and had you nottraveled to the Yoop Valley, I would still be Mrs. Yoop's prisoner. Itis much nicer to be free, even though I still bear the enchanted formof a Canary-Bird."
"Do you think we shall ever be able to get our proper forms backagain?" asked the Green Monkey earnestly.
Polychrome did not make reply at once to this important question, butafter a period of thoughtfulness she said:
"I have been taught to believe that there is an antidote for everymagic charm, yet Mrs. Yoop insists that no power can alter hertransformations. I realize that my own fairy magic cannot do it,although I have thought that we Sky Fairies have more power than isaccorded to Earth Fairies. The yookoohoo magic is admitted to be verystrange in its workings and different from the magic usually practiced,but perhaps Glinda or Ozma may understand it better than I. In themlies our only hope. Unless they can help us, we must remain forever aswe are."
"A Canary-Bird on a Rainbow wouldn't be so bad," asserted the Tin Owl,winking and blinking with his round tin eyes, "so if you can manage tofind your Rainbow again you need have little to worry about."
"That's nonsense, Friend Chopper," exclaimed Woot. "I know just howPolychrome feels. A beautiful girl is much superior to a little yellowbird, and a boy--such as I was--far better than a Green Monkey. Neitherof us can be happy again unless we recover our rightful forms."
"I feel the same way," announced the stuffed Bear. "What do you supposemy friend the Patchwork Girl would think of me, if she saw me wearingthis beastly shape?"
"She'd laugh till she cried," admitted the Tin Owl. "For my part, I'llhave to give up the notion of marrying Nimmie Amee, but I'll try not tolet that make me unhappy. If it's my duty, I'd like to do my duty, butif magic prevents my getting married I'll flutter along all by myselfand be just as contented."
Their serious misfortunes made them all silent for a time, and as theirthoughts were busy in dwelling upon the evils with which fate hadburdened them, none noticed that Jinjur had suddenly appeared in thedoorway and was looking at them in astonishment. The next moment herastonishment changed to anger, for there, in her best rocking-chair,sat a Green Monkey. A great shiny Owl perched upon another chair and aBrown Bear squatted upon her parlor rug. Jinjur did not notice theCanary, but she caught up a broomstick and dashed into the room,shouting as she came:
"Get out of here, you wild creatures! How dare you enter my house?"
With a blow of her broom she knocked the Brown Bear over, and the TinOwl tried to fly out of her reach and made a great clatter with his tinwings. The Green Monkey was so startled by the sudden attack that hesprang into the fireplace--where there was fortunately no fire--andtried to escape by climbing up the chimney. But he found the openingtoo small, and so was forced to drop down again. Then he crouchedtrembling in the fireplace, his pretty green hair all blackened withsoot and covered with ashes. From this position Woot watched to seewhat would happen next.
"Stop, Jinjur--stop!" cried the Brown Bear, when the broom againthreatened him. "Don't you know me? I'm your old friend the Scarecrow?"
"You're trying to deceive me, you naughty beast! I can see plainly thatyou are a bear, and a mighty poor specimen of a bear, too," retortedthe girl.
"That's because I'm not properly stuffed," he assured her. "When Mrs.Yoop transformed me, she didn't realize I should have more stuffing."
"Who is Mrs. Yoop?" inquired Jinjur, pausing with the broom stillupraised.
"A Giantess in the Gillikin Country."
"Oh; I begin to understand. And Mrs. Yoop transformed you? You arereally the famous Scarecrow of Oz."
"I was, Jinjur. Just now I'm as you see me--a miserable little BrownBear with a poor quality of stuffing. That Tin Owl is none other thanour dear Tin Woodman--Nick Chopper, the Emperor of the Winkies--whilethis Green Monkey is a nice little boy we recently became acquaintedwith, Woot the Wanderer."
"And I," said the Canary, flying close to Jinjur, "am Polychrome, theDaughter of the Rainbow, in the form of a bird."
"Goodness me!" cried Jinjur, amazed; "that Giantess must be a powerfulSorceress, and as wicked as she is powerful."
"She's a yookoohoo," said Polychrome. "Fortunately, we managed toescape from her castle, and we are now on our way to Glinda the Good tosee if she possesses the power to restore us to our former shapes."
"Then I must beg your pardons; all of you must forgive me," saidJinjur, putting away the broom. "I took you to be a lot of wild,unmannerly animals, as was quite natural. You are very welcome to myhome and I'm sorry I haven't the power to help you out of yourtroubles. Please use my house and all that I have, as if it were yourown."
At this declaration of peace, the Bear got upon his feet and the Owlresumed his perch upon the chair and the Monkey crept out of thefireplace. Jinjur looked at Woot critically, and scowled.
"For a Green Monkey," said she, "you're the blackest creature I eversaw. And you'll get my nice clean room all dirty with soot and ashes.Whatever possessed you to jump up the chimney?"
"I--I was scared," explained Woot, somewhat ashamed.
"Well, you need renovating, and that's what will happen to you, rightaway. Come with me!" she commanded.
"What are you going to do?" asked Woot.
"Give you a good scrubbing," said Jinjur.
Now, neither boys nor monkeys relish being scrubbed, so Woot shrankaway from the energetic girl, trembling fearfully. But Jinjur grabbedhim by his paw and dragged him out to the back yard, where, in spite ofhis whines and struggles, she plunged him into a tub of cold water andbegan to scrub him with a stiff brush and a cake of yellow soap.
This was the hardest trial that Woot had endured since he became amonkey, but no protest had any influence with Jinjur, who lathered andscrubbed him in a business-like manner and afterward dried him with acoarse towel.
The Bear and the Owl gravely watched this operation and nodded approvalwhen Woot's silky green fur shone clear and bright in the afternoonsun. The Canary seemed much amused and laughed a silvery ripple oflaughter as she said:
"Very well done, my good Jinjur; I admire your energy and judgment. ButI had no idea a monkey could look so comical as this monkey did whilehe was being bathed."
"I'm not a monkey!" declared Woot, resentfully; "I'm just a boy in amonkey's shape, that's all."
"If you can explain to me the difference," said Jinjur, "I'll agree notto wash you again--that is, unless you foolishly get into thefireplace. All persons are usually judged by the shapes in which theyappear to the eyes of others. Look at me, Woot; what am I?"
Woot looked at her.
"You're as pretty a girl as I've ever seen," he replied.
Jinjur frowned. That is, she tried hard to frown.
"Come out into the garden with me," she said, "and I'll give you someof the most delicious caramels you ever ate. They're a new variety,that no one can grow but me, and they have a heliotrope flavor."
Ozma and Dorothy
In her magnificent palace in the Emerald City, the beautiful girl Rulerof all the wonderful Land of Oz sat in her dainty boudoir with herfriend Princess Dorothy beside her. Ozma was studying a roll ofmanuscript which she had taken from the Royal Library, while Dorothyworked at her embroidery and at times stooped to pat a shaggy littleblack dog that lay at her feet. The little dog's name was Toto, and hewas Dorothy's faithful companion.
To judge Ozma of Oz by the standards of our world, you would think hervery young--perhaps fourteen or fifteen years of age--yet for years shehad ruled the Land of Oz and had never seemed a bit older. Dorothyappeared much younger than Ozma. She had been a little girl when firstshe came to the Land of Oz, and she was a little girl still, and wouldnever seem to be a day older while she lived in this wonderfulfairyland.
Oz was not always a fairyland, I am told. Once it was much like otherlands, except it was shut in by a dreadful desert of sandy wastes thatlay all around it, thus preventing its people from all contact with therest of the world. Seeing this isolation, the fairy band of QueenLurline, passing over Oz while on a journey, enchanted the country andso made it a Fairyland. And Queen Lurline left one of her fairies torule this enchanted Land of Oz, and then passed on and forgot all aboutit.
From that moment no one in Oz ever died. Those who were old remainedold; those who were young and strong did not change as years passedthem by; the children remained children always, and played and rompedto their hearts' content, while all the babies lived in their cradlesand were tenderly cared for and never grew up. So people in Oz stoppedcounting how old they were in years, for years made no difference intheir appearance and could not alter their station. They did not getsick, so there were no doctors among them. Accidents might happen tosome, on rare occasions, it is true, and while no one could dienaturally, as other people do, it was possible that one might betotally destroyed. Such incidents, however, were very unusual, and soseldom was there anything to worry over that the Oz people were ashappy and contented as can be.
Another strange thing about this fairy Land of Oz was that whoevermanaged to enter it from the outside world came under the magic spellof the place and did not change in appearance as long as they livedthere. So Dorothy, who now lived with Ozma, seemed just the same sweetlittle girl she had been when first she came to this delightfulfairyland.
Perhaps all parts of Oz might not be called truly delightful, but itwas surely delightful in the neighborhood of the Emerald City, whereOzma reigned. Her loving influence was felt for many miles around, butthere were places in the mountains of the Gillikin Country, and theforests of the Quadling Country, and perhaps in far-away parts of theMunchkin and Winkie Countries, where the inhabitants were somewhat rudeand uncivilized and had not yet come under the spell of Ozma's wise andkindly rule. Also, when Oz first became a fairyland, it harboredseveral witches and magicians and sorcerers and necromancers, who werescattered in various parts, but most of these had been deprived oftheir magic powers, and Ozma had issued a royal edict forbidding anyonein her dominions to work magic except Glinda the Good and the Wizard ofOz. Ozma herself, being a real fairy, knew a lot of magic, but she onlyused it to benefit her subjects.
This little explanation will help you to understand better the storyyou are reaching, but most of it is already known to those who arefamiliar with the Oz people whose adventures they have followed inother Oz books.
Ozma and Dorothy were fast friends and were much together. Everyone inOz loved Dorothy almost as well as they did their lovely Ruler, for thelittle Kansas girl's good fortune had not spoiled her or rendered herat all vain. She was just the same brave and true and adventurous childas before she lived in a royal palace and became the chum of the fairyOzma.
In the room in which the two sat--which was one of Ozma's private suiteof apartments--hung the famous Magic Picture. This was the source ofconstant interest to little Dorothy. One had but to stand before it andwish to see what any person was doing, and at once a scene would flashupon the magic canvas which showed exactly where that person was, andlike our own moving pictures would reproduce the actions of that personas long as you cared to watch them. So today, when Dorothy tired of herembroidery, she drew the curtains from before the Magic Picture andwished to see what her friend Button Bright was doing. Button Bright,she saw, was playing ball with Ojo, the Munchkin boy, so Dorothy nextwished to see what her Aunt Em was doing. The picture showed Aunt Emquietly engaged in darning socks for Uncle Henry, so Dorothy wished tosee what her old friend the Tin Woodman was doing.
The Tin Woodman was then just leaving his tin castle in the company ofthe Scarecrow and Woot the Wanderer. Dorothy had never seen this boybefore, so she wondered who he was. Also she was curious to know wherethe three were going, for she noticed Woot's knapsack and guessed theyhad started on a long journey. She asked Ozma about it, but Ozma didnot know.
That afternoon Dorothy again saw the travelers in the Magic Picture,but they were merely tramping through the country and Dorothy was notmuch interested in them. A couple of days later, however, the girl,being again with Ozma, wished to see her friends, the Scarecrow and theTin Woodman in the Magic Picture, and on this occasion found them inthe great castle of Mrs. Yoop, the Giantess, who was at the time aboutto transform them. Both Dorothy and Ozma now became greatly interestedand watched the transformations with indignation and horror.
"What a wicked Giantess!" exclaimed Dorothy.
"Yes," answered Ozma, "she must be punished for this cruelty to ourfriends, and to the poor boy who is with them."
After this they followed the adventure of the little Brown Bear and theTin Owl and the Green Monkey with breathless interest, and weredelighted when they escaped from Mrs. Yoop. They did not know, then,who the Canary was, but realized it must be the transformation of someperson of consequence, whom the Giantess had also enchanted.
When, finally, the day came when the adventurers headed south into theMunchkin Country, Dorothy asked anxiously:
"Can't something be done for them, Ozma? Can't you change 'em back intotheir own shapes? They've suffered enough from these dreadfultransformations, seems to me."
"I've been studying ways to help them, ever since they weretransformed," replied Ozma. "Mrs. Yoop is now the only yookoohoo in mydominions, and the yookoohoo magic is very peculiar and hard for othersto understand, yet I am resolved to make the attempt to break theseenchantments. I may not succeed, but I shall do the best I can. Fromthe directions our friends are taking, I believe they are going to passby Jinjur's Ranch, so if we start now we may meet them there. Would youlike to go with me, Dorothy?"
"Of course," answered the little girl; "I wouldn't miss it foranything."
"Then order the Red Wagon," said Ozma of Oz, "and we will start atonce."
Dorothy ran to do as she was bid, while Ozma went to her Magic Room tomake ready the things she believed she would need. In half an hour theRed Wagon stood before the grand entrance of the palace, and before itwas hitched the Wooden Sawhorse, which was Ozma's favorite steed.
This Sawhorse, while made of wood, was very much alive and could travelswiftly and without tiring. To keep the ends of his wooden legs fromwearing down short, Ozma had shod the Sawhorse with plates of puregold. His harness was studded with brilliant emeralds and other jewelsand so, while he himself was not at all handsome, his outfit made asplendid appearance.
Since the Sawhorse could understand her spoken words, Ozma used noreins to guide him. She merely told him where to go. When she came fromthe palace with Dorothy, they both climbed into the Red Wagon and thenthe little dog, Toto, ran up and asked:
"Are you going to leave me behind, Dorothy?" Dorothy looked at Ozma,who smiled in return and said:
"Toto may go with us, if you wish him to."
So Dorothy lifted the little dog into the wagon, for, while he couldrun fast, he could not keep up with the speed of the wonderful Sawhorse.
Away they went, over hills and through meadows, covering the groundwith astonishing speed. It is not surprising, therefore, that the RedWagon arrived before Jinjur's house just as that energetic young ladyhad finished scrubbing the Green Monkey and was about to lead him tothe caramel patch.
The Tin Owl gave a hoot of delight when he saw the Red Wagon draw upbefore Jinjur's house, and the Brown Bear grunted and growled with gleeand trotted toward Ozma as fast as he could wobble. As for the Canary,it flew swiftly to Dorothy's shoulder and perched there, saying in herear:
"Thank goodness you have come to our rescue!"
"But who are you?" asked Dorothy
"Don't you know?" returned the Canary.
"No; for the first time we noticed you in the Magic Picture, you werejust a bird, as you are now. But we've guessed that the giant woman hadtransformed you, as she did the others."
"Yes; I'm Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter," announced the Canary.
"Goodness me!" cried Dorothy. "How dreadful."
"Well, I make a rather pretty bird, I think," returned Polychrome, "butof course I'm anxious to resume my own shape and get back upon myrainbow."
"Ozma will help you, I'm sure," said Dorothy. "How does it feel,Scarecrow, to be a Bear?" she asked, addressing her old friend.
"I don't like it," declared the Scarecrow Bear. "This brutal form isquite beneath the dignity of a wholesome straw man."
"And think of me," said the Owl, perching upon the dashboard of the RedWagon with much noisy clattering of his tin feathers. "Don't I lookhorrid, Dorothy, with eyes several sizes too big for my body, and soweak that I ought to wear spectacles?"
"Well," said Dorothy critically, as she looked him over, "you'renothing to brag of, I must confess. But Ozma will soon fix you upagain."
The Green Monkey had hung back, bashful at meeting two lovely girlswhile in the form of a beast; but Jinjur now took his hand and led himforward while she introduced him to Ozma, and Woot managed to make alow bow, not really ungraceful, before her girlish Majesty, the Rulerof Oz.
"You have all been forced to endure a sad experience," said Ozma, "andso I am anxious to do all in my power to break Mrs. Yoop'senchantments. But first tell me how you happened to stray into thatlonely Valley where Yoop Castle stands."
Between them they related the object of their journey, the ScarecrowBear telling of the Tin Woodman's resolve to find Nimmie Amee and marryher, as a just reward for her loyalty to him. Woot told of theiradventures with the Loons of Loonville, and the Tin Owl described themanner in which they had been captured and transformed by the Giantess.Then Polychrome related her story, and when all had been told, andDorothy had several times reproved Toto for growling at the Tin Owl,Ozma remained thoughtful for a while, pondering upon what she hadheard. Finally she looked up, and with one of her delightful smiles,said to the anxious group:
"I am not sure my magic will be able to restore every one of you,because your transformations are of such a strange and unusualcharacter. Indeed, Mrs. Yoop was quite justified in believing no powercould alter her enchantments. However, I am sure I can restore theScarecrow to his original shape. He was stuffed with straw from thebeginning, and even the yookoohoo magic could not alter that. TheGiantess was merely able to make a bear's shape of a man's shape, butthe bear is stuffed with straw, just as the man was. So I feelconfident I can make a man of the bear again."
"Hurrah!" cried the Brown Bear, and tried clumsily to dance a jig ofdelight.
"As for the Tin Woodman, his case is much the same," resumed Ozma,still smiling. "The power of the Giantess could not make him anythingbut a tin creature, whatever shape she transformed him into, so it willnot be impossible to restore him to his manly form. Anyhow, I shalltest my magic at once, and see if it will do what I have promised."
She drew from her bosom a small silver Wand and, making passes with theWand over the head of the Bear, she succeeded in the brief space of amoment in breaking his enchantment. The original Scarecrow of Oz againstood before them, well stuffed with straw and with his features nicelypainted upon the bag which formed his head.
The Scarecrow was greatly delighted, as you may suppose, and hestrutted proudly around while the powerful fairy, Ozma of Oz, broke theenchantment that had transformed the Tin Woodman and made a Tin Owlinto a Tin Man again.
"Now, then," chirped the Canary, eagerly; "I'm next, Ozma!"
"But your case is different," replied Ozma, no longer smiling butwearing a grave expression on her sweet face. "I shall have toexperiment on you, Polychrome, and I may fail in all my attempts."
She then tried two or three different methods of magic, hoping one ofthem would succeed in breaking Polychrome's enchantment, but still theRainbow's Daughter remained a Canary-Bird. Finally, however, sheexperimented in another way. She transformed the Canary into a Dove,and then transformed the Dove into a Speckled Hen, and then changed theSpeckled Hen into a rabbit, and then the rabbit into a Fawn. And at thelast, after mixing several powders and sprinkling them upon the Fawn,the yookoohoo enchantment was suddenly broken and before them stood oneof the daintiest and loveliest creatures in any fairyland in the world.Polychrome was as sweet and merry in disposition as she was beautiful,and when she danced and capered around in delight, her beautiful hairfloated around her like a golden mist and her many-hued raiment, assoft as cobwebs, reminded one of drifting clouds in a summer sky.
Woot was so awed by the entrancing sight of this exquisite Sky Fairythat he quite forgot his own sad plight until be noticed Ozma gazingupon him with an intent expression that denoted sympathy and sorrow.Dorothy whispered in her friend's ear, but the Ruler of Oz shook herhead sadly.
Jinjur, noticing this and understanding Ozma's looks, took the paw ofthe Green Monkey in her own hand and patted it softly.
"Never mind," she said to him. "You are a very beautiful color, and amonkey can climb better than a boy and do a lot of other things no boycan ever do."
"What's the matter?" asked Woot, a sinking feeling at his heart. "IsOzma's magic all used up?"
Ozma herself answered him.
"Your form of enchantment, my poor boy," she said pityingly, "isdifferent from that of the others. Indeed, it is a form that isimpossible to alter by any magic known to fairies or yookoohoos. Thewicked Giantess was well aware, when she gave you the form of a GreenMonkey, that the Green Monkey must exist in the Land of Oz for allfuture time."
Woot drew a long sigh.
"Well, that's pretty hard luck," he said bravely, "but if it can't behelped I must endure it; that's all. I don't like being a monkey, butwhat's the use of kicking against my fate?"
They were all very sorry for him, and Dorothy anxiously asked Ozma:
"Couldn't Glinda save him?"
"No," was the reply. "Glinda's power in transformations is no greaterthan my own. Before I left my palace I went to my Magic Room andstudied Woot's case very carefully. I found that no power can do awaywith the Green Monkey. He might transfer, or exchange his form withsome other person, it is true; but the Green Monkey we cannot get ridof by any magic arts known to science."
"But--see here," said the Scarecrow, who had listened intently to thisexplanation, "why not put the monkey's form on some one else?"
"Who would agree to make the change?" asked Ozma. "If by force wecaused anyone else to become a Green Monkey, we would be as cruel andwicked as Mrs. Yoop. And what good would an exchange do?" shecontinued. "Suppose, for instance, we worked the enchantment, and madeToto into a Green Monkey. At the same moment Woot would become a littledog."
"Leave me out of your magic, please," said Toto, with a reproachfulgrowl. "I wouldn't become a Green Monkey for anything."
"And I wouldn't become a dog," said Woot. "A green monkey is muchbetter than a dog, it seems to me."
"That is only a matter of opinion," answered Toto.
"Now, here's another idea," said the Scarecrow. "My brains are workingfinely today, you must admit. Why not transform Toto into Woot theWanderer, and then have them exchange forms? The dog would become agreen monkey and the monkey would have his own natural shape again."
"To be sure!" cried Jinjur. "That's a fine idea."
"Leave me out of it," said Toto. "I won't do it."
"Wouldn't you be willing to become a green monkey--see what a prettycolor it is--so that this poor boy could be restored to his own shape?"asked Jinjur, pleadingly.
"No," said Toto.
"I don't like that plan the least bit," declared Dorothy, "for then Iwouldn't have any little dog."
"But you'd have a green monkey in his place," persisted Jinjur, wholiked Woot and wanted to help him.
"I don't want a green monkey," said Dorothy positively.
"Don't speak of this again, I beg of you," said Woot. "This is my ownmisfortune and I would rather suffer it alone than deprive PrincessDorothy of her dog, or deprive the dog of his proper shape. And perhapseven her Majesty, Ozma of Oz, might not be able to transform anyoneelse into the shape of Woot the Wanderer."
"Yes; I believe I might do that," Ozma returned; "but Woot is quiteright; we are not justified in inflicting upon anyone--man or dog--theform of a green monkey. Also it is certain that in order to relieve theboy of the form he now wears, we must give it to someone else, whowould be forced to wear it always."
"I wonder," said Dorothy, thoughtfully, "if we couldn't find someone inthe Land of Oz who would be willing to become a green monkey? Seems tome a monkey is active and spry, and he can climb trees and do a lot ofclever things, and green isn't a bad color for a monkey--it makes himunusual."
"I wouldn't ask anyone to take this dreadful form," said Woot; "itwouldn't be right, you know. I've been a monkey for some time, now, andI don't like it. It makes me ashamed to be a beast of this sort when byright of birth I'm a boy; so I'm sure it would be wicked to ask anyoneelse to take my place."
They were all silent, for they knew he spoke the truth. Dorothy wasalmost ready to cry with pity and Ozma's sweet face was sad anddisturbed. The Scarecrow rubbed and patted his stuffed head to try tomake it think better, while the Tin Woodman went into the house andbegan to oil his tin joints so that the sorrow of his friends might notcause him to weep. Weeping is liable to rust tin, and the Emperorprided himself upon his highly polished body--now doubly dear to himbecause for a time he had been deprived of it.
Polychrome had danced down the garden paths and back again a dozentimes, for she was seldom still a moment, yet she had heard Ozma'sspeech and understood very well Woot's unfortunate position. But theRainbow's Daughter, even while dancing, could think and reason veryclearly, and suddenly she solved the problem in the nicest possibleway. Coming close to Ozma, she said:
"Your Majesty, all this trouble was caused by the wickedness of Mrs.Yoop, the Giantess. Yet even now that cruel woman is living in hersecluded castle, enjoying the thought that she has put this terribleenchantment on Woot the Wanderer. Even now she is laughing at ourdespair because we can find no way to get rid of the green monkey. Verywell, we do not wish to get rid of it. Let the woman who created theform wear it herself, as a just punishment for her wickedness. I amsure your fairy power can give to Mrs. Yoop the form of Woot theWanderer--even at this distance from her--and then it will be possibleto exchange the two forms. Mrs. Yoop will become the Green Monkey, andWoot will recover his own form again."
Ozma's face brightened as she listened to this clever proposal.
"Thank you, Polychrome," said she. "The task you propose Is not so easyas you suppose, but I will make the attempt, and perhaps I may succeed."
The Green Monkey
They now entered the house, and as an interested group, watched Jinjur,at Ozma's command, build a fire and put a kettle of water over to boil.The Ruler of Oz stood before the fire silent and grave, while theothers, realizing that an important ceremony of magic was about to beperformed, stood quietly in the background so as not to interruptOzma's proceedings. Only Polychrome kept going in and coming out,humming softly to herself as she danced, for the Rainbow's Daughtercould not keep still for long, and the four walls of a room always madeher nervous and ill at ease. She moved so noiselessly, however, thather movements were like the shifting of sunbeams and did not annoyanyone.
When the water in the kettle bubbled, Ozma drew from her bosom two tinypackets containing powders. These powders she threw into the kettle andafter briskly stirring the contents with a branch from a macaroon bush,Ozma poured the mystic broth upon a broad platter which Jinjur hadplaced upon the table. As the broth cooled it became as silver,reflecting all objects from its smooth surface like a mirror.
While her companions gathered around the table, eagerly attentive--andDorothy even held little Toto in her arms that he might see--Ozma wavedher wand over the mirror-like surface. At once it reflected theinterior of Yoop Castle, and in the big hall sat Mrs. Yoop, in her bestembroidered silken robes, engaged in weaving a new lace apron toreplace the one she had lost.
The Giantess seemed rather uneasy, as if she had a faint idea thatsomeone was spying upon her, for she kept looking behind her and thisway and that, as though expecting danger from an unknown source.Perhaps some yookoohoo instinct warned her. Woot saw that she hadescaped from her room by some of the magical means at her disposal,after her prisoners had escaped her. She was now occupying the big hallof her castle as she used to do. Also Woot thought, from the cruelexpression on the face of the Giantess, that she was planning revengeon them, as soon as her new magic apron was finished.
But Ozma was now making passes over the platter with her silver Wand,and presently the form of the Giantess began to shrink in size and tochange its shape. And now, in her place sat the form of Woot theWanderer, and as if suddenly realizing her transformation Mrs. Yoopthrew down her work and rushed to a looking-glass that stood againstthe wall of her room. When she saw the boy's form reflected as her own,she grew violently angry and dashed her head against the mirror,smashing it to atoms.
Just then Ozma was busy with her magic Wand, making strange figures,and she had also placed her left hand firmly upon the shoulder of theGreen Monkey. So now, as all eyes were turned upon the platter, theform of Mrs. Yoop gradually changed again. She was slowly transformedinto the Green Monkey, and at the same time Woot slowly regained hisnatural form.
It was quite a surprise to them all when they raised their eyes fromthe platter and saw Woot the Wanderer standing beside Ozma. And, whenthey glanced at the platter again, it reflected nothing more than thewalls of the room in Jinjur's house in which they stood. The magicceremonial was ended, and Ozma of Oz had triumphed over the wickedGiantess.
"What will become of her, I wonder?" said Dorothy, as she drew a longbreath.
"She will always remain a Green Monkey," replied Ozma, "and in thatform she will be unable to perform any magical arts whatsoever. Sheneed not be unhappy, however, and as she lives all alone in her castleshe probably won't mind the transformation very much after she getsused to it."
"Anyhow, it serves her right," declared Dorothy, and all agreed withher.
"But," said the kind hearted Tin Woodman, "I'm afraid the Green Monkeywill starve, for Mrs. Yoop used to get her food by magic, and now thatthe magic is taken away from her, what can she eat?"
"Why, she'll eat what other monkeys do," returned the Scarecrow. "Evenin the form of a Green Monkey, she's a very clever person, and I'm sureher wits will show her how to get plenty to eat."
"Don't worry about her," advised Dorothy. "She didn't worry about you,and her condition is no worse than the condition she imposed on poorWoot. She can't starve to death in the Land of Oz, that's certain, andif she gets hungry at times it's no more than the wicked thingdeserves. Let's forget Mrs. Yoop; for, in spite of her being ayookoohoo, our fairy friends have broken all of her transformations."
The Man of Tin
Ozma and Dorothy were quite pleased with Woot the Wanderer, whom theyfound modest and intelligent and very well mannered. The boy was trulygrateful for his release from the cruel enchantment, and he promised tolove, revere and defend the girl Ruler of Oz forever afterward, as afaithful subject.
"You may visit me at my palace, if you wish," said Ozma, "where I willbe glad to introduce you to two other nice boys, Ojo the Munchkin andButton-Bright."
"Thank your Majesty," replied Woot, and then he turned to the TinWoodman and inquired: "What are your further plans, Mr. Emperor? Willyou still seek Nimmie Amee and marry her, or will you abandon the questand return to the Emerald City and your own castle?"
The Tin Woodman, now as highly polished and well-oiled as ever,reflected a while on this question and then answered:
"Well, I see no reason why I should not find Nimmie Amee. We are now inthe Munchkin Country, where we are perfectly safe, and if it was rightfor me, before our enchantment, to marry Nimmie Amee and make herEmpress of the Winkies, it must be right now, when the enchantment hasbeen broken and I am once more myself. Am I correct, friend Scarecrow?"
"You are, indeed," answered the Scarecrow. "No one can oppose suchlogic."
"But I'm afraid you don't love Nimmie Amee," suggested Dorothy.
"That is just because I can't love anyone," replied the Tin Woodman."But, if I cannot love my wife, I can at least be kind to her, and allhusbands are not able to do that."
"Do you s'pose Nimmie Amee still loves you, after all these years?"asked Dorothy.
"I'm quite sure of it, and that is why I am going to her to make herhappy. Woot the Wanderer thinks I ought to reward her for beingfaithful to me after my meat body was chopped to pieces and I becametin. What do you think, Ozma?"
Ozma smiled as she said:
"I do not know your Nimmie Amee, and so I cannot tell what she mostneeds to make her happy. But there is no harm in your going to her andasking her if she still wishes to marry you. If she does, we will giveyou a grand wedding at the Emerald City and, afterward, as Empress ofthe Winkies, Nimmie Amee would become one of the most important ladiesin all Oz."
So it was decided that the Tin Woodman would continue his journey, andthat the Scarecrow and Woot the Wanderer should accompany him, asbefore. Polychrome also decided to join their party, somewhat to thesurprise of all.
"I hate to be cooped up in a palace," she said to Ozma, "and of coursethe first time I meet my Rainbow I shall return to my own dear home inthe skies, where my fairy sisters are even now awaiting me and myfather is cross because I get lost so often. But I can find my Rainbowjust as quickly while traveling in the Munchkin Country as I could ifliving in the Emerald City--or any other place in Oz--so I shall gowith the Tin Woodman and help him woo Nimmie Amee."
Dorothy wanted to go, too, but as the Tin Woodman did not invite her tojoin his party, she felt she might be intruding if she asked to betaken. She hinted, but she found he didn't take the hint. It is quite adelicate matter for one to ask a girl to marry him, however much sheloves him, and perhaps the Tin Woodman did not desire to have too manylooking on when he found his old sweetheart, Nimmie Amee. So Dorothycontented herself with the thought that she would help Ozma prepare asplendid wedding feast, to be followed by a round of parties andfestivities when the Emperor of the Winkies reached the Emerald Citywith his bride.
Ozma offered to take them all in the Red Wagon to a place as near tothe great Munchkin forest as a wagon could get. The Red Wagon was bigenough to seat them all, and so, bidding good-bye to Jinjur, who gaveWoot a basket of ripe cream-puffs and caramels to take with him, Ozmacommanded the Wooden Sawhorse to start, and the strange creature movedswiftly over the lanes and presently came to the Road of Yellow Bricks.This road led straight to a dense forest, where the path was too narrowfor the Red Wagon to proceed farther, so here the party separated.
Ozma and Dorothy and Toto returned to the Emerald City, after wishingtheir friends a safe and successful journey, while the Tin Woodman, theScarecrow, Woot the Wanderer and Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter,prepared to push their way through the thick forest. However, theseforest paths were well known to the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, who feltquite at home among the trees.
"I was born in this grand forest," said Nick Chopper, the tin Emperor,speaking proudly, "and it was here that the Witch enchanted my axe andI lost different parts of my meat body until I became all tin. Here,also--for it is a big forest--Nimmie Amee lived with the Wicked Witch,and at the other edge of the trees stands the cottage of my friendKu-Klip, the famous tinsmith who made my present beautiful form."
"He must be a clever workman," declared Woot, admiringly.
"He is simply wonderful," declared the Tin Woodman.
"I shall be glad to make his acquaintance," said Woot.
"If you wish to meet with real cleverness," remarked the Scarecrow,"you should visit the Munchkin farmer who first made me. I won't saythat my friend the Emperor isn't all right for a tin man, but any judgeof beauty can understand that a Scarecrow is far more artistic andrefined."
"You are too soft and flimsy," said the Tin Woodman.
"You are too hard and stiff," said the Scarecrow, and this was as nearto quarreling as the two friends ever came. Polychrome laughed at themboth, as well she might, and Woot hastened to change the subject.
At night they all camped underneath the trees. The boy ate cream-puffsfor supper and offered Polychrome some, but she preferred other foodand at daybreak sipped the dew that was clustered thick on the forestflowers. Then they tramped onward again, and presently the Scarecrowpaused and said:
"It was on this very spot that Dorothy and I first met the Tin Woodman,who was rusted so badly that none of his joints would move. But afterwe had oiled him up, he was as good as new and accompanied us to theEmerald City."
"Ah, that was a sad experience," asserted the Tin Woodman soberly. "Iwas caught in a rainstorm while chopping down a tree for exercise, andbefore I realized it, I was firmly rusted in every joint. There Istood, axe in hand, but unable to move, for days and weeks and months!Indeed, I have never known exactly how long the time was; but finallyalong came Dorothy and I was saved. See! This is the very tree I waschopping at the time I rusted."
"You cannot be far from your old home, in that case," said Woot.
"No; my little cabin stands not a great way off, but there is nooccasion for us to visit it. Our errand is with Nimmie Amee, and herhouse is somewhat farther away, to the left of us."
"Didn't you say she lives with a Wicked Witch, who makes her a slave?"asked the boy.
"She did, but she doesn't," was the reply. "I am told the Witch wasdestroyed when Dorothy's house fell on her, so now Nimmie Amee mustlive all alone. I haven't seen her, of course, since the Witch wascrushed, for at that time I was standing rusted in the forest and hadbeen there a long time, but the poor girl must have felt very happy tobe free from her cruel mistress."
"Well," said the Scarecrow, "let's travel on and find Nimmie Amee. Leadon, your Majesty, since you know the way, and we will follow."
So the Tin Woodman took a path that led through the thickest part ofthe forest, and they followed it for some time. The light was dim here,because vines and bushes and leafy foliage were all about them, andoften the Tin Man had to push aside the branches that obstructed theirway, or cut them off with his axe. After they had proceeded somedistance, the Emperor suddenly stopped short and exclaimed: "Goodgracious!"
The Scarecrow, who was next, first bumped into his friend and thenpeered around his tin body, and said in a tone of wonder:
"Well, I declare!"
Woot the Wanderer pushed forward to see what was the matter, and criedout in astonishment: "For goodness' sake!"
Then the three stood motionless, staring hard, until Polychrome's merrylaughter rang out behind them and aroused them from their stupor.
In the path before them stood a tin man who was the exact duplicate ofthe Tin Woodman. He was of the same size, he was jointed in the samemanner, and he was made of shining tin from top to toe. But he stoodimmovable, with his tin jaws half parted and his tin eyes turnedupward. In one of his hands was held a long, gleaming sword. Yes, therewas the difference, the only thing that distinguished him from theEmperor of the Winkies. This tin man bore a sword, while the TinWoodman bore an axe.
"It's a dream; it must be a dream!" gasped Woot.
"That's it, of course," said the Scarecrow; "there couldn't be two TinWoodmen."
"No," agreed Polychrome, dancing nearer to the stranger, "this one is aTin Soldier. Don't you see his sword?"
The Tin Woodman cautiously put out one tin hand and felt of hisdouble's arm. Then he said in a voice that trembled with emotion:
"Who are you, friend?"
There was no reply
"Can't you see he's rusted, just as you were once?" asked Polychrome,laughing again. "Here, Nick Chopper, lend me your oil-can a minute!"
The Tin Woodman silently handed her his oil-can, without which he nevertraveled, and Polychrome first oiled the stranger's tin jaws and thenworked them gently to and fro until the Tin Soldier said:
"That's enough. Thank you. I can now talk. But please oil my otherjoints."
Woot seized the oil-can and did this, but all the others helped wigglethe soldier's joints as soon as they were oiled, until they movedfreely.
The Tin Soldier seemed highly pleased at his release. He strutted upand down the path, saying in a high, thin voice:
"The Soldier is a splendid man When marching on parade, And when he meets the enemy He never is afraid.
He rights the wrongs of nations, His country's flag defends, The foe he'll fight with great delight, But seldom fights his friends."
"Are you really a soldier?" asked Woot, when they had all watched thisstrange tin person parade up and down the path and proudly flourish hissword.
"I was a soldier," was the reply, "but I've been a prisoner to Mr. Rustso long that I don't know exactly what I am."
"But--dear me!" cried the Tin Woodman, sadly perplexed; "how came youto be made of tin?"
"That," answered the Soldier, "is a sad, sad story I was in love with abeautiful Munchkin girl, who lived with a Wicked Witch. The Witch didnot wish me to marry the girl, so she enchanted my sword, which beganhacking me to pieces. When I lost my legs I went to the tinsmith,Ku-Klip, and he made me some tin legs. When I lost my arms, Ku-Klipmade me tin arms, and when I lost my head he made me this fine one outof tin. It was the same way with my body, and finally I was all tin.But I was not unhappy, for Ku-Klip made a good job of me, having hadexperience in making another tin man before me."
"Yes," observed the Tin Woodman, "it was Ku-Klip who made me. But, tellme, what was the name of the Munchkin girl you were in love with?"
"She is called Nimmie Amee," said the Tin Soldier.
Hearing this, they were all so astonished that they were silent for atime, regarding the stranger with wondering looks. Finally the TinWoodman ventured to ask:
"And did Nimmie Amee return your love?"
"Not at first," admitted the Soldier. "When first I marched into theforest and met her, she was weeping over the loss of her formersweetheart, a woodman whose name was Nick Chopper."
"That is me," said the Tin Woodman.
"She told me he was nicer than a soldier, because he was all made oftin and shone beautifully in the sun. She said a tin man appealed toher artistic instincts more than an ordinary meat man, as I was then.But I did not despair, because her tin sweetheart had disappeared, andcould not be found. And finally Nimmie Amee permitted me to call uponher and we became friends. It was then that the Wicked Witch discoveredme and became furiously angry when I said I wanted to marry the girl.She enchanted my sword, as I said, and then my troubles began. When Igot my tin legs, Nimmie Amee began to take an interest in me; when Igot my tin arms, she began to like me better than ever, and when I wasall made of tin, she said I looked like her dear Nick Chopper and shewould be willing to marry me.
"The day of our wedding was set, and it turned out to be a rainy day.Nevertheless I started out to get Nimmie Amee, because the Witch hadbeen absent for some time, and we meant to elope before she got back.As I traveled the forest paths the rain wetted my joints, but I paid noattention to this because my thoughts were all on my wedding withbeautiful Nimmie Amee and I could think of nothing else until suddenlymy legs stopped moving. Then my arms rusted at the joints and I becamefrightened and cried for help, for now I was unable to oil myself. Noone heard my calls and before long my jaws rusted, and I was unable toutter another sound. So I stood helpless in this spot, hoping somewanderer would come my way and save me. But this forest path is seldomused, and I have been standing here so long that I have lost all trackof time. In my mind I composed poetry and sang songs, but not a soundhave I been able to utter. But this desperate condition has now beenrelieved by your coming my way and I must thank you for my rescue."
"This is wonderful!" said the Scarecrow, heaving a stuffy, long sigh."I think Ku-Klip was wrong to make two tin men, just alike, and thestrangest thing of all is that both you tin men fell in love with thesame girl."
"As for that," returned the Soldier, seriously, "I must admit I lost myability to love when I lost my meat heart. Ku-Klip gave me a tin heart,to be sure, but it doesn't love anything, as far as I can discover, andmerely rattles against my tin ribs, which makes me wish I had no heartat all."
"Yet, in spite of this condition, you were going to marry Nimmie Amee?"
"Well, you see I had promised to marry her, and I am an honest man andalways try to keep my promises. I didn't like to disappoint the poorgirl, who had been disappointed by one tin man already."
"That was not my fault," declared the Emperor of the Winkies, and thenhe related how he, also, had rusted in the forest and after a long timehad been rescued by Dorothy and the Scarecrow and had traveled withthem to the Emerald City in search of a heart that could love.
"If you have found such a heart, sir," said the Soldier, "I will gladlyallow you to marry Nimmie Amee in my place."
"If she loves you best, sir," answered the Woodman, "I shall notinterfere with your wedding her. For, to be quite frank with you, Icannot yet love Nimmie Amee as I did before I became tin."
"Still, one of you ought to marry the poor girl," remarked Woot; "and,if she likes tin men, there is not much choice between you. Why don'tyou draw lots for her?"
"That wouldn't be right," said the Scarecrow.
"The girl should be permitted to choose her own husband," assertedPolychrome. "You should both go to her and allow her to take herchoice. Then she will surely be happy."
"That, to me, seems a very fair arrangement," said the Tin Soldier.
"I agree to it," said the Tin Woodman, shaking the hand of his twin toshow the matter was settled. "May I ask your name, sir?" he continued.
"Before I was so cut up," replied the other, "I was known as CaptainFyter, but afterward I was merely called 'The Tin Soldier.'"
"Well, Captain, if you are agreeable, let us now go to Nimmie Amee'shouse and let her choose between us."
"Very well; and if we meet the Witch, we will both fight her--you withyour axe and I with my sword."
"The Witch is destroyed," announced the Scarecrow, and as they walkedaway he told the Tin Soldier of much that had happened in the Land ofOz since he had stood rusted in the forest.
"I must have stood there longer than I had imagined," he saidthoughtfully.
The Workshop of Ku-Klip
It was not more than a two hours' journey to the house where NimmieAmee had lived, but when our travelers arrived there they found theplace deserted. The door was partly off its hinges, the roof had fallenin at the rear and the interior of the cottage was thick with dust. Notonly was the place vacant, but it was evident that no one had livedthere for a long time.
"I suppose," said the Scarecrow, as they all stood looking wonderinglyat the ruined house, "that after the Wicked Witch was destroyed, NimmieAmee became lonely and went somewhere else to live."
"One could scarcely expect a young girl to live all alone in a forest,"added Woot. "She would want company, of course, and so I believe shehas gone where other people live."
"And perhaps she is still crying her poor little heart out because notin man comes to marry her," suggested Polychrome.
"Well, in that case, it is the clear duty of you two tin persons toseek Nimmie Amee until you find her," declared the Scarecrow.
"I do not know where to look for the girl," said the Tin Soldier, "forI am almost a stranger to this part of the country."
"I was born here," said the Tin Woodman, "but the forest has fewinhabitants except the wild beasts. I cannot think of anyone livingnear here with whom Nimmie Amee might care to live."
"Why not go to Ku-Klip and ask him what has become of the girl?"proposed Polychrome.
That struck them all as being a good suggestion, so once more theystarted to tramp through the forest, taking the direct path toKu-Klip's house, for both the tin twins knew the way, having followedit many times.
Ku-Klip lived at the far edge of the great forest, his house facing thebroad plains of the Munchkin Country that lay to the eastward. But,when they came to this residence by the forest's edge, the tinsmith wasnot at home.
It was a pretty place, all painted dark blue with trimmings of lighterblue. There was a neat blue fence around the yard and several bluebenches had been placed underneath the shady blue trees which markedthe line between forest and plain. There was a blue lawn before thehouse, which was a good sized building. Ku-Klip lived in the front partof the house and had his work-shop in the back part, where he had alsobuilt a lean-to addition, in order to give him more room.
Although they found the tinsmith absent on their arrival, there wassmoke coming out of his chimney, which proved that he would soon return.
"And perhaps Nimmie Amee will be with him," said the Scarecrow in acheerful voice.
While they waited, the Tin Woodman went to the door of the workshopand, finding it unlocked, entered and looked curiously around the roomwhere he had been made.
"It seems almost like home to me," hie told his friends, who hadfollowed him in. "The first time I came here I had lost a leg, so I hadto carry it in my hand while I hopped on the other leg all the way fromthe place in the forest where the enchanted axe cut me. I remember thatold Ku-Klip carefully put my meat leg into a barrel--I think that isthe same barrel, still standing in the corner yonder--and then at oncehe began to make a tin leg for me. He worked fast and with skill, and Iwas much interested in the job."
"My experience was much the same," said the Tin Soldier. "I used tobring all the parts of me, which the enchanted sword had cut away, hereto the tinsmith, and Ku-Klip would put them into the barrel."
"I wonder," said Woot, "if those cast-off parts of you two unfortunatesare still in that barrel in the corner?"
"I suppose so." replied the Tin Woodman. "In the Land of Oz no part ofa living creature can ever be destroyed."
"If that is true, how was that Wicked Witch destroyed?" inquired Woot.
"Why, she was very old and was all dried up and withered before Ozbecame a fairyland," explained the Scarecrow. "Only her magic arts hadkept her alive so long, and when Dorothy's house fell upon her she justturned to dust, and was blown away and scattered by the wind. I do notthink, however, that the parts cut away from these two young men couldever be entirely destroyed and, if they are still in those barrels,they are likely to be just the same as when the enchanted axe or swordsevered them."
"It doesn't matter, however," said the Tin Woodman; "our tin bodies aremore brilliant and durable, and quite satisfy us."
"Yes, the tin bodies are best," agreed the Tin Soldier. "Nothing canhurt them."
"Unless they get dented or rusted," said Woot, but both the tin menfrowned on him.
Scraps of tin, of all shapes and sizes, lay scattered around theworkshop. Also there were hammers and anvils and soldering irons and acharcoal furnace and many other tools such as a tinsmith works with.Against two of the side walls had been built stout work-benches and inthe center of the room was a long table. At the end of the shop, whichadjoined the dwelling, were several cupboards.
After examining the interior of the workshop until his curiosity wassatisfied, Woot said:
"I think I will go outside until Ku-Klip comes. It does not seem quiteproper for us to take possession of his house while he is absent."
"That is true," agreed the Scarecrow, and they were all about to leavethe room when the Tin Woodman said: "Wait a minute," and they halted inobedience to the command.
The Tin Woodman Talks to Himself
The Tin Woodman had just noticed the cupboards and was curious to knowwhat they contained, so he went to one of them and opened the door.There were shelves inside, and upon one of the shelves which was abouton a level with his tin chin the Emperor discovered a Head--it lookedlike a doll's head, only it was larger, and he soon saw it was the Headof some person. It was facing the Tin Woodman and as the cupboard doorswung back, the eyes of the Head slowly opened and looked at him. TheTin Woodman was not at all surprised, for in the Land of Oz one runsinto magic at every turn.
"Dear me!" said the Tin Woodman, staring hard. "It seems as if I hadmet you, somewhere, before. Good morning, sir!"
"You have the advantage of me," replied the Head. "I never saw youbefore in my life."
"Still, your face is very familiar," persisted the Tin Woodman. "Pardonme, but may I ask if you--eh--eh--if you ever had a Body?"
"Yes, at one time," answered the Head, "but that is so long ago I can'tremember it. Did you think," with a pleasant smile, "that I was bornjust as I am? That a Head would be created without a Body?"
"No, of course not," said the other. "But how came you to lose yourbody?"
"Well, I can't recollect the details; you'll have to ask Ku-Klip aboutit," returned the Head. "For, curious as it may seem to you, my memoryis not good since my separation from the rest of me. I still possess mybrains and my intellect is as good as ever, but my memory of some ofthe events I formerly experienced is quite hazy."
"How long have you been in this cupboard?" asked the Emperor.
"I don't know."
"Haven't you a name?"
"Oh, yes," said the Head; "I used to be called Nick Chopper, when I wasa woodman and cut down trees for a living."
"Good gracious!" cried the Tin Woodman in astonishment. "If you areNick Chopper's Head, then you are Me--or I'm You--or--or--What relationare we, anyhow?"
"Don't ask me," replied the Head. "For my part, I'm not anxious toclaim relationship with any common, manufactured article, like you. Youmay be all right in your class, but your class isn't my class. You'retin."
The poor Emperor felt so bewildered that for a time he could only stareat his old Head in silence. Then he said:
"I must admit that I wasn't at all bad looking before I became tin.You're almost handsome--for meat. If your hair was combed, you'd bequite attractive."
"How do you expect me to comb my hair without help?" demanded the Head,indignantly. "I used to keep it smooth and neat, when I had arms, butafter I was removed from the rest of me, my hair got mussed, and oldKu-Klip never has combed it for me."
"I'll speak to him about it," said the Tin Woodman. "Do you rememberloving a pretty Munchkin girl named Nimmie Amee?"
"No," answered the Head. "That is a foolish question. The heart in mybody--when I had a body--might have loved someone, for all I know, buta head isn't made to love; it's made to think."
"Oh; do you think, then?"
"I used to think."
"You must have been shut up in this cupboard for years and years. Whathave you thought about, in all that time?"
"Nothing. That's another foolish question. A little reflection willconvince you that I have had nothing to think about, except the boardson the inside of the cupboard door, and it didn't take me long to thinkof everything about those boards that could be thought of. Then, ofcourse, I quit thinking."
"And are you happy?"
"Happy? What's that?"
"Don't you know what happiness is?" inquired the Tin Woodman.
"I haven't the faintest idea whether it's round or square, or black orwhite, or what it is. And, if you will pardon my lack of interest init, I will say that I don't care."
The Tin Woodman was much puzzled by these answers. His travelingcompanions had grouped themselves at his back, and had fixed their eyeson the Head and listened to the conversation with much interest, butuntil now, they had not interrupted because they thought the TinWoodman had the best right to talk to his own head and renewacquaintance with it.
But now the Tin Soldier remarked:
"I wonder if my old head happens to be in any of these cupboards," andhe proceeded to open all the cupboard doors. But no other head was tobe found on any of the shelves.
"Oh, well; never mind," said Woot the Wanderer; "I can't imagine whatanyone wants of a cast-off head, anyhow."
"I can understand the Soldier's interest," asserted Polychrome, dancingaround the grimy workshop until her draperies formed a cloud around herdainty form. "For sentimental reasons a man might like to see his oldhead once more, just as one likes to revisit an old home."
"And then to kiss it good-bye," added the Scarecrow.
"I hope that tin thing won't try to kiss me good-bye!" exclaimed theTin Woodman's former head. "And I don't see what right you folks haveto disturb my peace and comfort, either."
"You belong to me," the Tin Woodman declared.
"I do not!"
"You and I are one."
"We've been parted," asserted the Head. "It would be unnatural for meto have any interest in a man made of tin. Please close the door andleave me alone."
"I did not think that my old Head could be so disagreeable," said theEmperor. "I--I'm quite ashamed of myself; meaning you."
"You ought to be glad that I've enough sense to know what my rightsare," retorted the Head. "In this cupboard I am leading a simple life,peaceful and dignified, and when a mob of people in whom I am notinterested disturb me, they are the disagreeable ones; not I."
With a sigh the Tin Woodman closed and latched the cupboard door andturned away.
"Well," said the Tin Soldier, "if my old head would have treated me ascoldly and in so unfriendly a manner as your old head has treated you,friend Chopper, I'm glad I could not find it."
"Yes; I'm rather surprised at my head, myself," replied the TinWoodman, thoughtfully. "I thought I had a more pleasant dispositionwhen I was made of meat."
But just then old Ku-Klip the Tinsmith arrived, and he seemed surprisedto find so many visitors. Ku-Klip was a stout man and a short man. Hehad his sleeves rolled above his elbows, showing muscular arms, and hewore a leathern apron that covered all the front of him, and was solong that Woot was surprised he didn't step on it and trip whenever hewalked. And Ku-Klip had a gray beard that was almost as long as hisapron, and his head was bald on top and his ears stuck out from hishead like two fans. Over his eyes, which were bright and twinkling, hewore big spectacles. It was easy to see that the tinsmith was a kindhearted man, as well as a merry and agreeable one. "Oh-ho!" he cried ina joyous bass voice; "here are both my tin men come to visit me, andthey and their friends are welcome indeed. I'm very proud of you twocharacters, I assure you, for you are so perfect that you are proofthat I'm a good workman. Sit down. Sit down, all of you--if you canfind anything to sit on--and tell me why you are here."
So they found seats and told him all of their adventures that theythought he would like to know. Ku-Klip was glad to learn that NickChopper, the Tin Woodman, was now Emperor of the Winkies and a friendof Ozma of Oz, and the tinsmith was also interested in the Scarecrowand Polychrome.
He turned the straw man around, examining him curiously, and patted himon all sides, and then said:
"You are certainly wonderful, but I think you would be more durable andsteady on your legs if you were made of tin. Would you like me to--"
"No, indeed!" interrupted the Scarecrow hastily; "I like myself betteras I am."
But to Polychrome the tinsmith said:
"Nothing could improve you, my dear, for you are the most beautifulmaiden I have ever seen. It is pure happiness just to look at you."
"That is praise, indeed, from so skillful a workman," returned theRainbow's Daughter, laughing and dancing in and out the room.
"Then it must be this boy you wish me to help," said Ku-Klip, lookingat Woot.
"No," said Woot, "we are not here to seek your skill, but have merelycome to you for information."
Then, between them, they related their search for Nimmie Amee, whom theTin Woodman explained he had resolved to marry, yet who had promised tobecome the bride of the Tin Soldier before he unfortunately becamerusted. And when the story was told, they asked Ku-Klip if he knew whathad become of Nimmie Amee.
"Not exactly," replied the old man, "but I know that she wept bitterlywhen the Tin Soldier did not come to marry her, as he had promised todo. The old Witch was so provoked at the girl's tears that she beatNimmie Amee with her crooked stick and then hobbled away to gather somemagic herbs, with which she intended to transform the girl into an oldhag, so that no one would again love her or care to marry her. It waswhile she was away on this errand that Dorothy's house fell on theWicked Witch, and she turned to dust and blew away. When I heard thisgood news, I sent Nimmie Amee to find the Silver Shoes which the Witchhad worn, but Dorothy had taken them with her to the Emerald City."
"Yes, we know all about those Silver Shoes," said the Scarecrow.
"Well," continued Ku-Klip, "after that, Nimmie Amee decided to go awayfrom the forest and live with some people she was acquainted with whohad a house on Mount Munch. I have never seen the girl since."
"Do you know the name of the people on Mount Munch, with whom she wentto live?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"No, Nimmie Amee did not mention her friend's name, and I did not askher. She took with her all that she could carry of the goods that werein the Witch's house, and she told me I could have the rest. But when Iwent there I found nothing worth taking except some magic powders thatI did not know how to use, and a bottle of Magic Glue."
"What is Magic Glue?" asked Woot.
"It is a magic preparation with which to mend people when they cutthemselves. One time, long ago, I cut off one of my fingers byaccident, and I carried it to the Witch, who took down her bottle andglued it on again for me. See!" showing them his finger, "it is as goodas ever it was. No one else that I ever heard of had this Magic Glue,and of course when Nick Chopper cut himself to pieces with hisenchanted axe and Captain Fyter cut himself to pieces with hisenchanted sword, the Witch would not mend them, or allow me to gluethem together, because she had herself wickedly enchanted the axe andsword. Nothing remained but for me to make them new parts out of tin;but, as you see, tin answered the purpose very well, and I am suretheir tin bodies are a great improvement on their meat bodies."
"Very true," said the Tin Soldier.
"I quite agree with you," said the Tin Woodman. "I happened to find myold head in your cupboard, a while ago, and certainly it is not asdesirable a head as the tin one I now wear."
"By the way," said the Tin Soldier, "what ever became of my old head,Ku-Klip?"
"And of the different parts of our bodies?" added the Tin Woodman.
"Let me think a minute," replied Ku-Klip. "If I remember right, you twoboys used to bring me most of your parts, when they were cut off, and Isaved them in that barrel in the corner. You must not have brought meall the parts, for when I made Chopfyt I had hard work finding enoughpieces to complete the job. I finally had to finish him with one arm."
"Who is Chopfyt?" inquired Woot.
"Oh, haven't I told you about Chopfyt?" exclaimed Ku-Klip. "Of coursenot! And he's quite a curiosity, too. You'll be interested in hearingabout Chopfyt. This is how he happened:
"One day, after the Witch had been destroyed and Nimmie Amee had goneto live with her friends on Mount Munch, I was looking around the shopfor something and came upon the bottle of Magic Glue which I hadbrought from the old Witch's house. It occurred to me to piece togetherthe odds and ends of you two people, which of course were just as goodas ever, and see if I couldn't make a man out of them. If I succeeded,I would have an assistant to help me with my work, and I thought itwould be a clever idea to put to some practical use the scraps of NickChopper and Captain Fyter. There were two perfectly good heads in mycupboard, and a lot of feet and legs and parts of bodies in the barrel,so I set to work to see what I could do.
"First, I pieced together a body, gluing it with the Witch's MagicGlue, which worked perfectly. That was the hardest part of my job,however, because the bodies didn't match up well and some parts weremissing. But by using a piece of Captain Fyter here and a piece of NickChopper there, I finally got together a very decent body, with heartand all the trimmings complete."
"Whose heart did you use in making the body?" asked the Tin Woodmananxiously.
"I can't tell, for the parts had no tags on them and one heart looksmuch like another. After the body was completed, I glued two fine legsand feet onto it. One leg was Nick Chopper's and one was CaptainFyter's and, finding one leg longer than the other, I trimmed it downto make them match. I was much disappointed to find that I had but onearm. There was an extra leg in the barrel, but I could find only onearm. Having glued this onto the body, I was ready for the head, and Ihad some difficulty in making up my mind which head to use. Finally Ishut my eyes and reached out my hand toward the cupboard shelf, and thefirst head I touched I glued upon my new man."
"It was mine!" declared the Tin Soldier, gloomily.
"No, it was mine," asserted Ku-Klip, "for I had given you another inexchange for it--the beautiful tin head you now wear. When the glue haddried, my man was quite an interesting fellow. I named him Chopfyt,using a part of Nick Chopper's name and a part of Captain Fyter's name,because he was a mixture of both your cast-off parts. Chopfyt wasinteresting, as I said, but he did not prove a very agreeablecompanion. He complained bitterly because I had given him but onearm--as if it were my fault!--and he grumbled because the suit of blueMunchkin clothes, which I got for him from a neighbor, did not fit himperfectly."
"Ah, that was because he was wearing my old head," remarked the TinSoldier. "I remember that head used to be very particular about itsclothes."
"As an assistant," the old tinsmith continued, "Chopfyt was not asuccess. He was awkward with tools and was always hungry. He demandedsomething to eat six or eight times a day, so I wondered if I hadfitted his insides properly. Indeed, Chopfyt ate so much that littlefood was left for myself; so, when he proposed, one day, to go out intothe world and seek adventures, I was delighted to be rid of him. I evenmade him a tin arm to take the place of the missing one, and thatpleased him very much, so that we parted good friends."
"What became of Chopfyt after that?" the Scarecrow inquired.
"I never heard. He started off toward the east, into the plains of theMunchkin Country, and that was the last I ever saw of him."
"It seems to me," said the Tin Woodman reflectively, "that you didwrong in making a man out of our cast-off parts. It is evident thatChopfyt could, with justice, claim relationship with both of us."
"Don't worry about that," advised Ku-Klip cheerfully; "it is not likelythat you will ever meet the fellow. And, if you should meet him, hedoesn't know who he is made of, for I never told him the secret of hismanufacture. Indeed, you are the only ones who know of it, and you maykeep the secret to yourselves, if you wish to."
"Never mind Chopfyt," said the Scarecrow. "Our business now is to findpoor Nimmie Amee and let her choose her tin husband. To do that, itseems, from the information Ku-Klip has given us, we must travel toMount Munch."
"If that's the programme, let us start at once," suggested Woot.
So they all went outside, where they found Polychrome dancing aboutamong the trees and talking with the birds and laughing as merrily asif she had not lost her Rainbow and so been separated from all herfairy sisters.
They told her they were going to Mount Munch, and she replied:
"Very well; I am as likely to find my Rainbow there as here, and anyother place is as likely as there. It all depends on the weather. Doyou think it looks like rain?"
They shook their heads, and Polychrome laughed again and danced onafter them when they resumed their journey.
The Invisible Country
They were proceeding so easily and comfortably on their way to MountMunch that Woot said in a serious tone of voice:
"I'm afraid something is going to happen."
"Why?" asked Polychrome, dancing around the group of travelers.
"Because," said the boy, thoughtfully, "I've noticed that when we havethe least reason for getting into trouble, something is sure to gowrong. Just now the weather is delightful; the grass is beautifullyblue and quite soft to our feet; the mountain we are seeking showsclearly in the distance and there is no reason anything should happento delay us in getting there. Our troubles all seem to be over,and--well, that's why I'm afraid," he added, with a sigh.
"Dear me!" remarked the Scarecrow, "what unhappy thoughts you have, tobe sure. This is proof that born brains cannot equal manufacturedbrains, for my brains dwell only on facts and never borrow trouble.When there is occasion for my brains to think, they think, but I wouldbe ashamed of my brains if they kept shooting out thoughts that weremerely fears and imaginings, such as do no good, but are likely to doharm."
"For my part," said the Tin Woodman, "I do not think at all, but allowmy velvet heart to guide me at all times."
"The tinsmith filled my hollow head with scraps and clippings of tin,"said the Soldier, "and he told me they would do nicely for brains, butwhen I begin to think, the tin scraps rattle around and get so mixedthat I'm soon bewildered. So I try not to think. My tin heart is almostas useless to me, for it is hard and cold, so I'm sure the red velvetheart of my friend Nick Chopper is a better guide."
"Thoughtless people are not unusual," observed the Scarecrow, "but Iconsider them more fortunate than those who have useless or wickedthoughts and do not try to curb them. Your oil can, friend Woodman, isfilled with oil, but you only apply the oil to your joints, drop bydrop, as you need it, and do not keep spilling it where it will do nogood. Thoughts should be restrained in the same way as your oil, andonly applied when necessary, and for a good purpose. If used carefully,thoughts are good things to have."
Polychrome laughed at him, for the Rainbow's Daughter knew more aboutthoughts than the Scarecrow did. But the others were solemn, feelingthey had been rebuked, and tramped on in silence.
Suddenly Woot, who was in the lead, looked around and found that allhis comrades had mysteriously disappeared. But where could they havegone to? The broad plain was all about him and there were neither treesnor bushes that could hide even a rabbit, nor any hole for one to fallinto. Yet there he stood, alone.
Surprise had caused him to halt, and with a thoughtful and puzzledexpression on his face he looked down at his feet. It startled him anewto discover that he had no feet. He reached out his hands, but he couldnot see them. He could feel his hands and arms and body; he stamped hisfeet on the grass and knew they were there, but in some strange waythey had become invisible.
While Woot stood, wondering, a crash of metal sounded in his ears andhe heard two heavy bodies tumble to the earth just beside him.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed the voice of the Tin Woodman.
"Mercy me!" cried the voice of the Tin Soldier.
"Why didn't you look where you were going?" asked the Tin Woodmanreproachfully.
"I did, but I couldn't see you," said the Tin Soldier. "Something hashappened to my tin eyes. I can't see you, even now, nor can I seeanyone else!"
"It's the same way with me," admitted the Tin Woodman.
Woot couldn't see either of them, although he heard them plainly, andjust then something smashed against him unexpectedly and knocked himover; but it was only the straw-stuffed body of the Scarecrow that fellupon him and while he could not see the Scarecrow he managed to pushhim off and rose to his feet just as Polychrome whirled against him andmade him tumble again.
Sitting upon the ground, the boy asked:
"Can you see us, Poly?"
"No, indeed," answered the Rainbow's Daughter; "we've all becomeinvisible."
"How did it happen, do you suppose?" inquired the Scarecrow, lyingwhere he had fallen.
"We have met with no enemy," answered Poly-chrome, "so it must be thatthis part of the country has the magic quality of making peopleinvisible--even fairies falling under the charm. We can see the grass,and the flowers, and the stretch of plain before us, and we can stillsee Mount Munch in the distance; but we cannot see ourselves or oneanother."
"Well, what are we to do about it?" demanded Woot.
"I think this magic affects only a small part of the plain," repliedPolychrome; "perhaps there is only a streak of the country where anenchantment makes people become invisible. So, if we get together andhold hands, we can travel toward Mount Munch until the enchanted streakis passed."
"All right," said Woot, jumping up, "give me your hand, Polychrome.Where are you?"
"Here," she answered. "Whistle, Woot, and keep whistling until I cometo you."
So Woot whistled, and presently Polychrome found him and grasped hishand.
"Someone must help me up," said the Scarecrow, lying near them; so theyfound the straw man and sat him upon his feet, after which he held fastto Polychrome's other hand.
Nick Chopper and the Tin Soldier had managed to scramble up withoutassistance, but it was awkward for them and the Tin Woodman said:
"I don't seem to stand straight, somehow. But my joints all work, so Iguess I can walk."
Guided by his voice, they reached his side, where Woot grasped his tinfingers so they might keep together.
The Tin Soldier was standing near by and the Scarecrow soon touched himand took hold of his arm.
"I hope you're not wobbly," said the straw man, "for if two of us walkunsteadily we will be sure to fall."
"I'm not wobbly," the Tin Soldier assured him, "but I'm certain thatone of my legs is shorter than the other. I can't see it, to tellwhat's gone wrong, but I'll limp on with the rest of you until we areout of this enchanted territory."
They now formed a line, holding hands, and turning their faces towardMount Munch resumed their journey. They had not gone far, however, whena terrible growl saluted their ears. The sound seemed to come from aplace just in front of them, so they halted abruptly and remainedsilent, listening with all their ears.
"I smell straw!" cried a hoarse, harsh voice, with more growls andsnarls. "I smell straw, and I'm a Hip-po-gy-raf who loves straw andeats all he can find. I want to eat this straw! Where is it? Where isit?"
The Scarecrow, hearing this, trembled but kept silent. All the otherswere silent, too, hoping that the invisible beast would be unable tofind them. But the creature sniffed the odor of the straw and drewnearer and nearer to them until he reached the Tin Woodman, on one endof the line. It was a big beast and it smelled of the Tin Woodman andgrated two rows of enormous teeth against the Emperor's tin body.
"Bah! that's not straw," said the harsh voice, and the beast advancedalong the line to Woot.
"Meat! Pooh, you're no good! I can't eat meat," grumbled the beast, andpassed on to Polychrome.
"Sweetmeats and perfume--cobwebs and dew! Nothing to eat in a fairylike you," said the creature.
Now, the Scarecrow was next to Polychrome in the line, and he realizedif the beast devoured his straw he would be helpless for a long time,because the last farmhouse was far behind them and only grass coveredthe vast expanse of plain. So in his fright he let go of Polychrome'shand and put the hand of the Tin Soldier in that of the Rainbow'sDaughter. Then he slipped back of the line and went to the other end,where he silently seized the Tin Woodman's hand.
Meantime, the beast had smelled the Tin Soldier and found he was thelast of the line.
"That's funny!" growled the Hip-po-gy-raf; "I can smell straw, but Ican't find it. Well, it's here, somewhere, and I must hunt around untilI do find it, for I'm hungry."
His voice was now at the left of them, so they started on, hoping toavoid him, and traveled as fast as they could in the direction of MountMunch.
"I don't like this invisible country," said Woot with a shudder. "Wecan't tell how many dreadful, invisible beasts are roaming around us,or what danger we'll come to next."
"Quit thinking about danger, please," said the Scarecrow, warningly.
"Why?" asked the boy.
"If you think of some dreadful thing, it's liable to happen, but if youdon't think of it, and no one else thinks of it, it just can't happen.Do you see?"
"No," answered Woot. "I won't be able to see much of anything until weescape from this enchantment."
But they got out of the invisible strip of country as suddenly as theyhad entered it, and the instant they got out they stopped short, forjust before them was a deep ditch, running at right angles as far astheir eyes could see and stopping all further progress toward MountMunch.
"It's not so very wide," said Woot, "but I'm sure none of us can jumpacross it."
Polychrome began to laugh, and the Scarecrow said: "What's the matter?"
"Look at the tin men!" she said, with another burst of merry laughter.
Woot and the Scarecrow looked, and the tin men looked at themselves.
"It was the collision," said the Tin Woodman regretfully. "I knewsomething was wrong with me, and now I can see that my side is dentedin so that I lean over toward the left. It was the Soldier's fault; heshouldn't have been so careless."
"It is your fault that my right leg is bent, making it shorter than theother, so that I limp badly," retorted the Soldier. "You shouldn't havestood where I was walking."
"You shouldn't have walked where I was standing," replied the TinWoodman.
It was almost a quarrel, so Polychrome said soothingly:
"Never mind, friends; as soon as we have time I am sure we canstraighten the Soldier's leg and get the dent out of the Woodman'sbody. The Scarecrow needs patting into shape, too, for he had a badtumble, but our first task is to get over this ditch."
"Yes, the ditch is the most important thing, just now," added Woot.
They were standing in a row, looking hard at the unexpected barrier,when a fierce growl from behind them made them all turn quickly. Out ofthe invisible country marched a huge beast with a thick, leathery skinand a surprisingly long neck. The head on the top of this neck wasbroad and flat and the eyes and mouth were very big and the nose andears very small. When the head was drawn down toward the beast'sshoulders, the neck was all wrinkles, but the head could shoot up veryhigh indeed, if the creature wished it to.
"Dear me!" exclaimed the Scarecrow, "this must be the Hip-po-gy-raf."
"Quite right," said the beast; "and you're the straw which I'm to eatfor my dinner. Oh, how I love straw! I hope you don't resent myaffectionate appetite?"
With its four great legs it advanced straight toward the Scarecrow, butthe Tin Woodman and the Tin Soldier both sprang in front of theirfriend and flourished their weapons.
"Keep off!" said the Tin Woodman, warningly, "or I'll chop you with myaxe."
"Keep off!" said the Tin Soldier, "or I'll cut you with my sword."
"Would you really do that?" asked the Hip-po-gy-raf, in a disappointedvoice.
"We would," they both replied, and the Tin Woodman added: "TheScarecrow is our friend, and he would be useless without his strawstuffing. So, as we are comrades, faithful and true, we will defend ourfriend's stuffing against all enemies."
The Hip-po-gy-raf sat down and looked at them sorrowfully.
"When one has made up his mind to have a meal of delicious straw, andthen finds he can't have it, it is certainly hard luck," he said. "Andwhat good is the straw man to you, or to himself, when the ditch keepsyou from going any further?"
"Well, we can go back again," suggested Woot.
"True," said the Hip-po; "and if you do, you'll be as disappointed as Iam. That's some comfort, anyhow."
The travelers looked at the beast, and then they looked across theditch at the level plain beyond. On the other side the grass had growntall, and the sun had dried it, so there was a fine crop of hay thatonly needed to be cut and stacked.
"Why don't you cross over and eat hay?" the boy asked the beast.
"I'm not fond of hay," replied the Hip-po-gy-raf; "straw is much moredelicious, to my notion, and it's more scarce in this neighborhood,too. Also I must confess that I can't get across the ditch, for my bodyis too heavy and clumsy for me to jump the distance. I can stretch myneck across, though, and you will notice that I've nibbled the hay onthe farther edge--not because I liked it, but because one must eat, andif one can't get the sort of food he desires, he must take what isoffered or go hungry."
"Ah, I see you are a philosopher," remarked the Scarecrow.
"No, I'm just a Hip-po-gy-raf," was the reply.
Polychrome was not afraid of the big beast. She danced close to him andsaid:
"If you can stretch your neck across the ditch, why not help us over?We can sit on your big head, one at a time, and then you can lift usacross."
"Yes; I can, it is true," answered the Hip-po; "but I refuse to do it.Unless--" he added, and stopped short.
"Unless what?" asked Polychrome.
"Unless you first allow me to eat the straw with which the Scarecrow isstuffed."
"No," said the Rainbow's Daughter, "that is too high a price to pay.Our friend's straw is nice and fresh, for he was restuffed only alittle while ago."
"I know," agreed the Hip-po-gy-raf. "That's why I want it. If it wasold, musty straw, I wouldn't care for it."
"Please lift us across," pleaded Polychrome.
"No," replied the beast; "since you refuse my generous offer, I can beas stubborn as you are."
After that they were all silent for a time, but then the Scarecrow saidbravely:
"Friends, let us agree to the beast's terms. Give him my straw, andcarry the rest of me with you across the ditch. Once on the other side,the Tin Soldier can cut some of the hay with his sharp sword, and youcan stuff me with that material until we reach a place where there isstraw. It is true I have been stuffed with straw all my life and itwill be somewhat humiliating to be filled with common hay, but I amwilling to sacrifice my pride in a good cause. Moreover, to abandon ourerrand and so deprive the great Emperor of the Winkies--or this nobleSoldier--of his bride, would be equally humiliating, if not more so."
"You're a very honest and clever man!" exclaimed the Hip-po-gy-raf,admiringly. "When I have eaten your head, perhaps I also will becomeclever."
"You're not to eat my head, you know," returned the Scarecrow hastily."My head isn't stuffed with straw and I cannot part with it. When oneloses his head he loses his brains."
"Very well, then; you may keep your head," said the beast.
The Scarecrow's companions thanked him warmly for his loyal sacrificeto their mutual good, and then he laid down and permitted them to pullthe straw from his body. As fast as they did this, the Hip-po-gy-rafate up the straw, and when all was consumed Polychrome made a neatbundle of the clothes and boots and gloves and hat and said she wouldcarry them, while Woot tucked the Scarecrow's head under his arm andpromised to guard its safety.
"Now, then," said the Tin Woodman, "keep your promise, Beast, and liftus over the ditch."
"M-m-m-mum, but that was a fine dinner!" said the Hip-po, smacking histhick lips in satisfaction, "and I'm as good as my word. Sit on myhead, one at a time, and I'll land you safely on the other side."
He approached close to the edge of the ditch and squatted down.Polychrome climbed over his big body and sat herself lightly upon theflat head, holding the bundle of the Scarecrow's raiment in her hand.Slowly the elastic neck stretched out until it reached the far side ofthe ditch, when the beast lowered his head and permitted the beautifulfairy to leap to the ground.
Woot made the queer journey next, and then the Tin Soldier and the TinWoodman went over, and all were well pleased to have overcome thisserious barrier to their progress.
"Now, Soldier, cut the hay," said the Scarecrow's head, which was stillheld by Woot the Wanderer.
"I'd like to, but I can't stoop over, with my bent leg, withoutfalling," replied Captain Fyter.
"What can we do about that leg, anyhow?" asked Woot, appealing toPolychrome.
She danced around in a circle several times without replying, and theboy feared she had not heard him; but the Rainbow's Daughter was merelythinking upon the problem, and presently she paused beside the TinSoldier and said:
"I've been taught a little fairy magic, but I've never before beenasked to mend tin legs with it, so I'm not sure I can help you. It alldepends on the good will of my unseen fairy guardians, so I'll try, andif I fail, you will be no worse off than you are now."
She danced around the circle again, and then laid both hands upon thetwisted tin leg and sang in her sweet voice:
"Fairy Powers, come to my aid! This bent leg of tin is made; Make it straight and strong and true, And I'll render thanks to you."
"Ah!" murmured Captain Fyter in a glad voice, as she withdrew her handsand danced away, and they saw he was standing straight as ever, becausehis leg was as shapely and strong as it had been before his accident.
The Tin Woodman had watched Polychrome with much interest, and he nowsaid:
"Please take the dent out of my side, Poly, for I am more crippled thanwas the Soldier."
So the Rainbow's Daughter touched his side lightly and sang:
"Here's a dent by accident; Such a thing was never meant. Fairy Powers, so wondrous great, Make our dear Tin Woodman straight!"
"Good!" cried the Emperor, again standing erect and strutting around toshow his fine figure. "Your fairy magic may not be able to accomplishall things, sweet Polychrome, but it works splendidly on tin. Thank youvery much."
"The hay--the hay!" pleaded the Scarecrow's head.
"Oh, yes; the hay," said Woot. "What are you waiting for, CaptainFyter?"
At once the Tin Soldier set to work cutting hay with his sword and in afew minutes there was quite enough with which to stuff the Scarecrow'sbody. Woot and Polychrome did this and it was no easy task because thehay packed together more than straw and as they had little experiencein such work their job, when completed, left the Scarecrow's arms andlegs rather bunchy. Also there was a hump on his back which made Wootlaugh and say it reminded him of a camel, but it was the best theycould do and when the head was fastened on to the body they asked theScarecrow how he felt.
"A little heavy, and not quite natural," he cheerfully replied; "butI'll get along somehow until we reach a straw-stack. Don't laugh at me,please, because I'm a little ashamed of myself and I don't want toregret a good action."
They started at once in the direction of Mount Munch, and as theScarecrow proved very clumsy in his movements, Woot took one of hisarms and the Tin Woodman the other and so helped their friend to walkin a straight line.
And the Rainbow's Daughter, as before, danced ahead of them and behindthem and all around them, and they never minded her odd ways, becauseto them she was like a ray of sunshine.
The Land of the Munchkins is full of surprises, as our travelers hadalready learned, and although Mount Munch was constantly growing largeras they advanced toward it, they knew it was still a long way off andwere not certain, by any means, that they had escaped all danger orencountered their last adventure.
The plain was broad, and as far as the eye could see, there seemed tobe a level stretch of country between them and the mountain, but towardevening they came upon a hollow, in which stood a tiny blue Munchkindwelling with a garden around it and fields of grain filling in all therest of the hollow.
They did not discover this place until they came close to the edge ofit, and they were astonished at the sight that greeted them becausethey had imagined that this part of the plain had no inhabitants.
"It's a very small house," Woot declared. "I wonder who lives there?"
"The way to find out is to knock on the door and ask," replied the TinWoodman. "Perhaps it is the home of Nimmie Amee."
"Is she a dwarf?" asked the boy.
"No, indeed; Nimmie Amee is a full sized woman."
"Then I'm sure she couldn't live in that little house," said Woot.
"Let's go down," suggested the Scarecrow. "I'm almost sure I can see astraw-stack in the back yard."
They descended the hollow, which was rather steep at the sides, andsoon came to the house, which was indeed rather small. Woot knockedupon a door that was not much higher than his waist, but got no reply.He knocked again, but not a sound was heard.
"Smoke is coming out of the chimney," announced Polychrome, who wasdancing lightly through the garden, where cabbages and beets andturnips and the like were growing finely.
"Then someone surely lives here," said Woot, and knocked again.
Now a window at the side of the house opened and a queer head appeared.It was white and hairy and had a long snout and little round eyes. Theears were hidden by a blue sunbonnet tied under the chin.
"Oh; it's a pig!" exclaimed Woot.
"Pardon me; I am Mrs. Squealina Swyne, wife of Professor Grunter Swyne,and this is our home," said the one in the window. "What do you want?"
"What sort of a Professor is your husband?" inquired the Tin Woodmancuriously.
"He is Professor of Cabbage Culture and Corn Perfection. He is veryfamous in his own family, and would be the wonder of the world if hewent abroad," said Mrs. Swyne in a voice that was half proud and halfirritable. "I must also inform you intruders that the Professor is adangerous individual, for he files his teeth every morning until theyare sharp as needles. If you are butchers, you'd better run away andavoid trouble."
"We are not butchers," the Tin Woodman assured her.
"Then what are you doing with that axe? And why has the other tin mana sword?"
"They are the only weapons we have to defend our friends from theirenemies," explained the Emperor of the Winkies, and Woot added:
"Do not be afraid of us, Mrs. Swyne, for we are harmless travelers. Thetin men and the Scarecrow never eat anything and Polychrome feasts onlyon dewdrops. As for me, I'm rather hungry, but there is plenty of foodin your garden to satisfy me."
Professor Swyne now joined his wife at the window, looking ratherscared in spite of the boy's assuring speech. He wore a blue Munchkinhat, with pointed crown and broad brim, and big spectacles covered hiseyes. He peeked around from behind his wife and after looking hard atthe strangers, he said:
"My wisdom assures me that you are merely travelers, as you say, andnot butchers. Butchers have reason to be afraid of me, but you aresafe. We cannot invite you in, for you are too big for our house, butthe boy who eats is welcome to all the carrots and turnips he wants.Make yourselves at home in the garden and stay all night, if you like;but in the morning you must go away, for we are quiet people and do notcare for company."
"May I have some of your straw?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Help yourself," replied Professor Swyne.
"For pigs, they're quite respectable," remarked Woot, as they all wenttoward the straw-stack.
"I'm glad they didn't invite us in," said Captain Fyter. "I hope I'mnot too particular about my associates, but I draw the line at pigs."
The Scarecrow was glad to be rid of his hay, for during the long walkit had sagged down and made him fat and squatty and more bumpy than atfirst.
"I'm not specially proud," he said, "but I love a manly figure, such asonly straw stuffing can create. I've not felt like myself since thathungry Hip-po ate my last straw."
Polychrome and Woot set to work removing the hay and then they selectedthe finest straw, crisp and golden, and with it stuffed the Scarecrowanew. He certainly looked better after the operation, and he was sopleased at being reformed that he tried to dance a little jig, andalmost succeeded.
"I shall sleep under the straw-stack tonight," Woot decided, after hehad eaten some of the vegetables from the garden, and in fact he sleptvery well, with the two tin men and the Scarecrow sitting silentlybeside him and Polychrome away somewhere in the moonlight dancing herfairy dances.
At daybreak the Tin Woodman and the Tin Soldier took occasion to polishtheir bodies and oil their joints, for both were exceedingly careful oftheir personal appearance. They had forgotten the quarrel due to theiraccidental bumping of one another in the invisible country, and beingnow good friends the Tin Woodman polished the Tin Soldier's back forhim and then the Tin Soldier polished the Tin Woodman's back.
For breakfast the Wanderer ate crisp lettuce and radishes, and theRainbow's Daughter, who had now returned to her friends, sipped thedewdrops that had formed on the petals of the wild-flowers.
As they passed the little house to renew their journey, Woot called out:
"Good-bye, Mr. and Mrs. Swyne!"
The window opened and the two pigs looked out.
"A pleasant journey," said the Professor.
"Have you any children?" asked the Scarecrow, who was a great friend ofchildren.
"We have nine," answered the Professor; "but they do not live with us,for when they were tiny piglets the Wizard of Oz came here and offeredto care for them and to educate them. So we let him have our nine tinypiglets, for he's a good Wizard and can be relied upon to keep hispromises."
"I know the Nine Tiny Piglets," said the Tin Woodman.
"So do I," said the Scarecrow. "They still live in the Emerald City,and the Wizard takes good care of them and teaches them to do all sortsof tricks."
"Did they ever grow up?" inquired Mrs. Squealina Swyne, in an anxiousvoice.
"No," answered the Scarecrow; "like all other children in the Land ofOz, they will always remain children, and in the case of the tinypiglets that is a good thing, because they would not be nearly so cuteand cunning if they were bigger."
"But are they happy?" asked Mrs. Swyne.
"Everyone in the Emerald City is happy," said the Tin Woodman. "Theycan't help it."
Then the travelers said good-bye, and climbed the side of the basinthat was toward Mount Munch.
On this morning, which ought to be the last of this important journey,our friends started away as bright and cheery as could be, and Wootwhistled a merry tune so that Polychrome could dance to the music.
On reaching the top of the hill, the plain spread out before them inall its beauty of blue grasses and wildflowers, and Mount Munch seemedmuch nearer than it had the previous evening. They trudged on at abrisk pace, and by noon the mountain was so close that they couldadmire its appearance. Its slopes were partly clothed with prettyevergreens, and its foot-hills were tufted with a slender wavingbluegrass that had a tassel on the end of every blade. And, for thefirst time, they perceived, near the foot of the mountain, a charminghouse, not of great size but neatly painted and with many flowerssurrounding it and vines climbing over the doors and windows.
It was toward this solitary house that our travelers now directed theirsteps, thinking to inquire of the people who lived there where NimmieAmee might be found.
There were no paths, but the way was quite open and clear, and theywere drawing near to the dwelling when Woot the Wanderer, who was thenin the lead of the little party, halted with such an abrupt jerk thathe stumbled over backward and lay flat on his back in the meadow. TheScarecrow stopped to look at the boy.
"Why did you do that?" he asked in surprise.
Woot sat up and gazed around him in amazement.
"I--I don't know!" he replied.
The two tin men, arm in arm, started to pass them when both halted andtumbled, with a great clatter, into a heap beside Woot. Polychrome,laughing at the absurd sight, came dancing up and she, also, came to asudden stop, but managed to save herself from falling.
Everyone of them was much astonished, and the Scarecrow said with apuzzled look:
"I don't see anything."
"Nor I," said Woot; "but something hit me, just the same."
"Some invisible person struck me a heavy blow," declared the TinWoodman, struggling to separate himself from the Tin Soldier, whoselegs and arms were mixed with his own.
"I'm not sure it was a person," said Polychrome, looking more gravethan usual. "It seems to me that I merely ran into some hard substancewhich barred my way. In order to make sure of this, let me try anotherplace."
She ran back a way and then with much caution advanced in a differentplace, but when she reached a position on a line with the others shehalted, her arms outstretched before her.
"I can feel something hard--something smooth as glass," she said, "butI'm sure it is not glass."
"Let me try," suggested Woot, getting up; but when he tried to goforward, he discovered the same barrier that Polychrome had encountered.
"No," he said, "it isn't glass. But what is it?"
"Air," replied a small voice beside him. "Solid air; that's all."
They all looked downward and found a sky-blue rabbit had stuck his headout of a burrow in the ground. The rabbit's eyes were a deeper bluethan his fur, and the pretty creature seemed friendly and unafraid.
"Air!" exclaimed Woot, staring in astonishment into the rabbit's blueeyes; "whoever heard of air so solid that one cannot push it aside?"
"You can't push this air aside," declared the rabbit, "for it was madehard by powerful sorcery, and it forms a wall that is intended to keeppeople from getting to that house yonder."
"Oh; it's a wall, is it?" said the Tin Woodman.
"Yes, it is really a wall," answered the rabbit, "and it is fully sixfeet thick."
"How high is it?" inquired Captain Fyter, the Tin Soldier.
"Oh, ever so high; perhaps a mile," said the rabbit.
"Couldn't we go around it?" asked Woot.
"Of course, for the wall is a circle," explained the rabbit. "In thecenter of the circle stands the house, so you may walk around the Wallof Solid Air, but you can't get to the house."
"Who put the air wall around the house?" was the Scarecrow's question.
"Nimmie Amee did that."
"Nimmie Amee!" they all exclaimed in surprise.
"Yes," answered the rabbit. "She used to live with an old Witch, whowas suddenly destroyed, and when Nimmie Amee ran away from the Witch'shouse, she took with her just one magic formula--pure sorcery itwas--which enabled her to build this air wall around her house--thehouse yonder. It was quite a clever idea, I think, for it doesn't marthe beauty of the landscape, solid air being invisible, and yet itkeeps all strangers away from the house."
"Does Nimmie Amee live there now?" asked the Tin Woodman anxiously.
"Yes, indeed," said the rabbit.
"And does she weep and wail from morning till night?" continued theEmperor.
"No; she seems quite happy," asserted the rabbit.
The Tin Woodman seemed quite disappointed to hear this report of hisold sweetheart, but the Scarecrow reassured his friend, saying:
"Never mind, your Majesty; however happy Nimmie Amee is now, I'm sureshe will be much happier as Empress of the Winkies."
"Perhaps," said Captain Fyter, somewhat stiffly, "she will be stillmore happy to become the bride of a Tin Soldier."
"She shall choose between us, as we have agreed," the Tin Woodmanpromised; "but how shall we get to the poor girl?"
Polychrome, although dancing lightly back and forth, had listened toevery word of the conversation. Now she came forward and sat herselfdown just in front of the Blue Rabbit, her many-hued draperies givingher the appearance of some beautiful flower. The rabbit didn't backaway an inch. Instead, he gazed at the Rainbow's Daughter admiringly.
"Does your burrow go underneath this Wall of Air?" asked Polychrome.
"To be sure," answered the Blue Rabbit; "I dug it that way so I couldroam in these broad fields, by going out one way, or eat the cabbagesin Nimmie Amee's garden by leaving my burrow at the other end. I don'tthink Nimmie Amee ought to mind the little I take from her garden, orthe hole I've made under her magic wall. A rabbit may go and come as hepleases, but no one who is bigger than I am could get through myburrow."
"Will you allow us to pass through it, if we are able to?" inquiredPolychrome.
"Yes, indeed," answered the Blue Rabbit. "I'm no especial friend ofNimmie Amee, for once she threw stones at me, just because I wasnibbling some lettuce, and only yesterday she yelled 'Shoo!' at me,which made me nervous. You're welcome to use my burrow in any way youchoose."
"But this is all nonsense!" declared Woot the Wanderer. "We are everyone too big to crawl through a rabbit's burrow."
"We are too big now," agreed the Scarecrow, "but you must remember thatPolychrome is a fairy, and fairies have many magic powers."
Woot's face brightened as he turned to the lovely Daughter of theRainbow.
"Could you make us all as small as that rabbit?" he asked eagerly.
"I can try," answered Polychrome, with a smile. And presently she didit--so easily that Woot was not the only one astonished. As the nowtiny people grouped themselves before the rabbit's burrow the holeappeared to them like the entrance to a tunnel, which indeed it was.
"I'll go first," said wee Polychrome, who had made herself grow assmall as the others, and into the tunnel she danced without hesitation.A tiny Scarecrow went next and then the two funny little tin men.
"Walk in; it's your turn," said the Blue Rabbit to Woot the Wanderer."I'm coming after, to see how you get along. This will be a regularsurprise party to Nimmie Amee."
So Woot entered the hole and felt his way along its smooth sides in thedark until he finally saw the glimmer of daylight ahead and knew thejourney was almost over. Had he remained his natural size, the distancecould have been covered in a few steps, but to a thumb-high Woot it wasquite a promenade. When he emerged from the burrow he found himself buta short distance from the house, in the center of the vegetable garden,where the leaves of rhubarb waving above his head seemed like trees.Outside the hole, and waiting for him, he found all his friends.
"So far, so good!" remarked the Scarecrow cheerfully.
"Yes; so far, but no farther," returned the Tin Woodman in a plaintiveand disturbed tone of voice. "I am now close to Nimmie Amee, whom Ihave come ever so far to seek, but I cannot ask the girl to marry sucha little man as I am now."
"I'm no bigger than a toy soldier!" said Captain Fyter, sorrowfully."Unless Polychrome can make us big again, there is little use in ourvisiting Nimmie Amee at all, for I'm sure she wouldn't care for ahusband she might carelessly step on and ruin."
Polychrome laughed merrily.
"If I make you big, you can't get out of here again," said she, "and ifyou remain little Nimmie Amee will laugh at you. So make your choice."
"I think we'd better go back," said Woot seriously
"No," said the Tin Woodman, stoutly, "I have decided that it's my dutyto make Nimmie Amee happy, in case she wishes to marry me."
"So have I," announced Captain Fyter. "A good soldier never shrinksfrom doing his duty."
"As for that," said the Scarecrow, "tin doesn't shrink any to speak of,under any circumstances. But Woot and I intend to stick to ourcomrades, whatever they decide to do, so we will ask Polychrome to makeus as big as we were before."
Polychrome agreed to this request and in half a minute all of them,including herself, had been enlarged again to their natural sizes. Theythen thanked the Blue Rabbit for his kind assistance, and at onceapproached the house of Nimme Amee.
We may be sure that at this moment our friends were all anxious to seethe end of the adventure that had caused them so many trials andtroubles. Perhaps the Tin Woodman's heart did not beat any faster,because it was made of red velvet and stuffed with sawdust, and the TinSoldier's heart was made of tin and reposed in his tin bosom without ahint of emotion. However, there is little doubt that they both knewthat a critical moment in their lives had arrived, and that NimmieAmee's decision was destined to influence the future of one or theother.
As they assumed their natural sizes and the rhubarb leaves that hadbefore towered above their heads now barely covered their feet, theylooked around the garden and found that no person was visible savethemselves. No sound of activity came from the house, either, but theywalked to the front door, which had a little porch built before it, andthere the two tinmen stood side by side while both knocked upon thedoor with their tin knuckles.
As no one seemed eager to answer the summons they knocked again; andthen again. Finally they heard a stir from within and someone coughed.
"Who's there?" called a girl's voice.
"It's I!" cried the tin twins, together.
"How did you get there?" asked the voice.
They hesitated how to reply, so Woot answered for them:
"By means of magic."
"Oh," said the unseen girl. "Are you friends, or foes?"
"Friends!" they all exclaimed.
Then they heard footsteps approach the door, which slowly opened andrevealed a very pretty Munchkin girl standing in the doorway.
"Nimmie Amee!" cried the tin twins.
"That's my name," replied the girl, looking at them in cold surprise."But who can you be?"
"Don't you know me, Nimmie?" said the Tin Woodman. "I'm your oldsweetheart, Nick Chopper!"
"Don't you know me, my dear?" said the Tin Soldier. "I'm your oldsweetheart, Captain Fyter!"
Nimmie Amee smiled at them both. Then she looked beyond them at therest of the party and smiled again. However, she seemed more amusedthan pleased.
"Come in," she said, leading the way inside. "Even sweethearts areforgotten after a time, but you and your friends are welcome."
The room they now entered was cosy and comfortable, being neatlyfurnished and well swept and dusted. But they found someone therebesides Nimmie Amee. A man dressed in the attractive Munchkin costumewas lazily reclining in an easy chair, and he sat up and turned hiseves on the visitors with a cold and indifferent stare that was almostinsolent. He did not even rise from his seat to greet the strangers,but after glaring at them he looked away with a scowl, as if they wereof too little importance to interest him.
The tin men returned this man's stare with interest, but they did notlook away from him because neither of them seemed able to take his eyesoff this Munchkin, who was remarkable in having one tin arm quite liketheir own tin arms.
"Seems to me," said Captain Fyter, in a voice that sounded harsh andindignant, "that you, sir, are a vile impostor!"
"Gently--gently!" cautioned the Scarecrow; "don't be rude to strangers,Captain."
"Rude?" shouted the Tin Soldier, now very much provoked; "why, he's ascoundrel--a thief! The villain is wearing my own head!"
"Yes," added the Tin Woodman, "and he's wearing my right arm! I canrecognize it by the two warts on the little finger."
"Good gracious!" exclaimed Woot. "Then this must be the man whom oldKu-Klip patched together and named Chopfyt."
The man now turned toward them, still scowling.
"Yes, that is my name," he said in a voice like a growl, "and it isabsurd for you tin creatures, or for anyone else, to claim my head, orarm, or any part of me, for they are my personal property."
"You? You're a Nobody!" shouted Captain Fyter.
"You're just a mix-up," declared the Emperor.
"Now, now, gentlemen," interrupted Nimmie Amee, "I must ask you to bemore respectful to poor Chopfyt. For, being my guests, it is not politefor you to insult my husband."
"Your husband!" the tin twins exclaimed in dismay.
"Yes," said she. "I married Chopfyt a long time ago, because my othertwo sweethearts had deserted me."
This reproof embarrassed both Nick Chopper and Captain Fyter. Theylooked down, shamefaced, for a moment, and then the Tin Woodmanexplained in an earnest voice:
"So did I," said the Tin Soldier.
"I could not know that, of course," asserted Nimmie Amee. "All I knewwas that neither of you came to marry me, as you had promised to do.But men are not scarce in the Land of Oz. After I came here to live, Imet Mr. Chopfyt, and he was the more interesting because he remindedme strongly of both of you, as you were before you became tin. He evenhad a tin arm, and that reminded me of you the more.
"No wonder!" remarked the Scarecrow.
"But, listen, Nimmie Amee!" said the astonished Woot; "he really isboth of them, for he is made of their cast-off parts."
"Oh, you're quite wrong," declared Polychrome, laughing, for she wasgreatly enjoying the confusion of the others. "The tin men are stillthemselves, as they will tell you, and so Chopfyt must be someone else."
They looked at her bewildered, for the facts in the case were toopuzzling to be grasped at once.
"It is all the fault of old Ku-Klip," muttered the Tin Woodman. "He hadno right to use our castoff parts to make another man with."
"It seems he did it, however," said Nimmie Amee calmly, "and I marriedhim because he resembled you both. I won't say he is a husband to beproud of, because he has a mixed nature and isn't always an agreeablecompanion. There are times when I have to chide him gently, both withmy tongue and with my broomstick. But he is my husband, and I must makethe best of him."
"If you don't like him," suggested the Tin Woodman, "Captain Fyter andI can chop him up with our axe and sword, and each take such parts ofthe fellow as belong to him. Then we are willing for you to select oneof us as your husband."
"That is a good idea," approved Captain Fyter, drawing his sword.
"No," said Nimmie Amee; "I think I'll keep the husband I now have. Heis now trained to draw the water and carry in the wood and hoe thecabbages and weed the flower-beds and dust the furniture and performmany tasks of a like character. A new husband would have to bescolded--and gently chided--until he learns my ways. So I think it willbe better to keep my Chopfyt, and I see no reason why you should objectto him. You two gentlemen threw him away when you became tin, becauseyou had no further use for him, so you cannot justly claim him now. Iadvise you to go back to your own homes and forget me, as I haveforgotten you."
"Good advice!" laughed Polychrome, dancing.
"Are you happy?" asked the Tin Soldier.
"Of course I am," said Nimmie Amee; "I'm the mistress of all Isurvey--the queen of my little domain."
"Wouldn't you like to be the Empress of the Winkies?" asked the TinWoodman.
"Mercy, no," she answered. "That would be a lot of bother. I don't carefor society, or pomp, or posing. All I ask is to be left alone and notto be annoyed by visitors."
The Scarecrow nudged Woot the Wanderer.
"That sounds to me like a hint," he said.
"Looks as if we'd had our journey for nothing," remarked Woot, who wasa little ashamed and disappointed because he had proposed the journey.
"I am glad, however," said the Tin Woodman, "that I have found NimmieAmee, and discovered that she is already married and happy. It willrelieve me of any further anxiety concerning her."
"For my part," said the Tin Soldier, "I am not sorry to be free. Theonly thing that really annoys me is finding my head upon Chopfyt'sbody."
"As for that, I'm pretty sure it is my body, or a part of it, anyway,"remarked the Emperor of the Winkies. "But never mind, friend Soldier;let us be willing to donate our cast-off members to insure thehappiness of Nimmie Amee, and be thankful it is not our fate to hoecabbages and draw water--and be chided--in the place of this creatureChopfyt."
"Yes," agreed the Soldier, "we have much to be thankful for."
Polychrome, who had wandered outside, now poked her pretty head throughan open window and exclaimed in a pleased voice:
"It's getting cloudy. Perhaps it is going to rain!"
Through the Tunnel
It didn't rain just then, although the clouds in the sky grew thickerand more threatening. Polychrome hoped for a thunder-storm, followed byher Rainbow, but the two tin men did not relish the idea of gettingwet. They even preferred to remain in Nimmie Amee's house, althoughthey felt they were not welcome there, rather than go out and face thecoming storm. But the Scarecrow, who was a very thoughtful person, saidto his friends:
"If we remain here until after the storm, and Polychrome goes away onher Rainbow, then we will be prisoners inside the Wall of Solid Air; soit seems best to start upon our return journey at once. If I get wet,my straw stuffing will be ruined, and if you two tin gentlemen get wet,you may perhaps rust again, and become useless. But even that is betterthan to stay here. Once we are free of the barrier, we have Woot theWanderer to help us, and he can oil your joints and restuff my body, ifit becomes necessary, for the boy is made of meat, which neither rustsnor gets soggy or moldy."
"Come along, then!" cried Polychrome from the window, and the others,realizing the wisdom of the Scarecrow's speech, took leave of NimmieAmee, who was glad to be rid of them, and said good-bye to her husband,who merely scowled and made no answer, and then they hurried from thehouse.
"Your old parts are not very polite, I must say," remarked theScarecrow, when they were in the garden.
"No," said Woot, "Chopfyt is a regular grouch. He might have wished usa pleasant journey, at the very least."
"I beg you not to hold us responsible for that creature's actions,"pleaded the Tin Woodman. "We are through with Chopfyt and shall havenothing further to do with him."
Polychrome danced ahead of the party and led them straight to theburrow of the Blue Rabbit, which they might have had some difficulty infinding without her. There she lost no time in making them all smallagain. The Blue Rabbit was busy nibbling cabbage leaves in NimmieAmee's garden, so they did not ask his permission but at once enteredthe burrow.
Even now the raindrops were beginning to fall, but it was quite dryinside the tunnel and by the time they had reached the other end,outside the circular Wall of Solid Air, the storm was at its height andthe rain was coming down in torrents.
"Let us wait here," proposed Polychrome, peering out of the hole andthen quickly retreating. "The Rainbow won't appear until after thestorm and I can make you big again in a jiffy, before I join my sisterson our bow."
"That's a good plan," said the Scarecrow approvingly. "It will save mefrom getting soaked and soggy."
"It will save me from rusting," said the Tin Soldier.
"It will enable me to remain highly polished," said the Tin Woodman.
"Oh, as for that, I myself prefer not to get my pretty clothes wet,"laughed the Rainbow's daughter.
"But while we wait I will bid you all adieu. I must also thank you forsaving me from that dreadful Giantess, Mrs. Yoop. You have been goodand patient comrades and I have enjoyed our adventures together, but Iam never so happy as when on my dear Rainbow."
"Will your father scold you for getting left on the earth?" asked Woot.
"I suppose so," said Polychrome gaily; "I'm always getting scolded formy mad pranks, as they are called. My sisters are so sweet and lovelyand proper that they never dance off our Rainbow, and so they neverhave any adventures. Adventures to me are good fun, only I never liketo stay too long on earth, because I really don't belong here. I shalltell my Father the Rainbow that I'll try not to be so careless again,and he will forgive me because in our sky mansions there is always joyand happiness."
They were indeed sorry to part with their dainty and beautifulcompanion and assured her of their devotion if they ever chanced tomeet again. She shook hands with the Scarecrow and the Tin Men andkissed Woot the Wanderer lightly upon his forehead.
And then the rain suddenly ceased, and as the tiny people left theburrow of the Blue Rabbit, a glorious big Rainbow appeared in the skyand the end of its arch slowly descended and touched the ground justwhere they stood.
Woot was so busy watching a score of lovely maidens--sisters ofPolychrome--who were leaning over the edge of the bow, and anotherscore who danced gaily amid the radiance of the splendid hues, that hedid not notice he was growing big again. But now Polychrome joined hersisters on the Rainbow and the huge arch lifted and slowly melted awayas the sun burst from the clouds and sent its own white beams dancingover the meadows.
"Why, she's gone!" exclaimed the boy, and turned to see his companionsstill waving their hands in token of adieu to the vanished Polychrome.
The Curtain Falls
Well, the rest of the story is quickly told, for the return Journey ofour adventurers was without any important incident. The Scarecrow wasso afraid of meeting the Hip-po-gy-raf, and having his straw eatenagain, that he urged his comrades to select another route to theEmerald City, and they willingly consented, so that the InvisibleCountry was wholly avoided.
Of course, when they reached the Emerald City their first duty was tovisit Ozma's palace, where they were royally entertained. The TinSoldier and Woot the Wanderer were welcomed as warmly as any strangersmight be who had been the traveling companions of Ozma's dear oldfriends, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman.
At the banquet table that evening they related the manner in which theyhad discovered Nimmie Amee, and told how they had found her happilymarried to Chopfyt, whose relationship to Nick Chopper and CaptainFyter was so bewildering that they asked Ozma's advice what to do aboutit.
"You need not consider Chopfyt at all," replied the beautiful girlRuler of Oz. "If Nimmie Amee is content with that misfit man for ahusband, we have not even just cause to blame Ku-Klip for gluing himtogether."
"I think it was a very good idea," added little Dorothy, "for ifKu-Klip hadn't used up your castoff parts, they would have been wasted.It's wicked to be wasteful, isn't it?"
"Well, anyhow," said Woot the Wanderer, "Chopfyt, being kept a prisonerby his wife, is too far away from anyone to bother either of you tinmen in any way. If you hadn't gone where he is and discovered him, youwould never have worried about him."
"What do you care, anyhow," Betsy Bobbin asked the Tin Woodman, "solong as Nimmie Amee is satisfied?"
"And just to think," remarked Tiny Trot, "that any girl would ratherlive with a mixture like Chopfyt, on far-away Mount Munch, than to bethe Empress of the Winkies!"
"It is her own choice," said the Tin Woodman contentedly; "and, afterall, I'm not sure the Winkies would care to have an Empress."
It puzzled Ozma, for a time, to decide what to do with the Tin Soldier.If he went with the Tin Woodman to the Emperor's castle, she felt thatthe two tin men might not be able to live together in harmony, andmoreover the Emperor would not be so distinguished if he had a doubleconstantly beside him. So she asked Captain Fyter if he was willing toserve her as a soldier, and he promptly declared that nothing wouldplease him more. After he had been in her service for some time, Ozmasent him into the Gillikin Country, with instructions to keep orderamong the wild people who inhabit some parts of that unknown country ofOz.
As for Woot, being a Wanderer by profession, he was allowed to wanderwherever he desired, and Ozma promised to keep watch over his futurejourneys and to protect the boy as well as she was able, in case heever got into more trouble.
All this having been happily arranged, the Tin Woodman returned to histin castle, and his chosen comrade, the Scarecrow, accompanied him onthe way. The two friends were sure to pass many pleasant hours togetherin talking over their recent adventures, for as they neither ate norslept they found their greatest amusement in conversation.