3837 lines
226 KiB

It's no use; no use at all. The children won't let me stop telling tales
of the Land of Oz. I know lots of other stories, and I hope to tell
them, some time or another; but just now my loving tyrants won't allow
me. They cry: "Oz--Oz! more about Oz, Mr. Baum!" and what can I do but
obey their commands?
This is Our Book--mine and the children's. For they have flooded me with
thousands of suggestions in regard to it, and I have honestly tried to
adopt as many of these suggestions as could be fitted into one story.
After the wonderful success of "Ozma of Oz" it is evident that Dorothy
has become a firm fixture in these Oz stories. The little ones all love
Dorothy, and as one of my small friends aptly states: "It isn't a real
Oz story without her." So here she is again, as sweet and gentle and
innocent as ever, I hope, and the heroine of another strange adventure.
There were many requests from my little correspondents for "more about
the Wizard." It seems the jolly old fellow made hosts of friends in the
first Oz book, in spite of the fact that he frankly acknowledged himself
"a humbug." The children had heard how he mounted into the sky in a
balloon and they were all waiting for him to come down again. So what
could I do but tell "what happened to the Wizard afterward"? You will
find him in these pages, just the same humbug Wizard as before.
There was one thing the children demanded which I found it impossible to
do in this present book: they bade me introduce Toto, Dorothy's little
black dog, who has many friends among my readers. But you will see, when
you begin to read the story, that Toto was in Kansas while Dorothy was
in California, and so she had to start on her adventure without him. In
this book Dorothy had to take her kitten with her instead of her dog;
but in the next Oz book, if I am permitted to write one, I intend to
tell a good deal about Toto's further history.
Princess Ozma, whom I love as much as my readers do, is again introduced
in this story, and so are several of our old friends of Oz. You will
also become acquainted with Jim the Cab-Horse, the Nine Tiny Piglets,
and Eureka, the Kitten. I am sorry the kitten was not as well behaved as
she ought to have been; but perhaps she wasn't brought up properly.
Dorothy found her, you see, and who her parents were nobody knows.
I believe, my dears, that I am the proudest story-teller that ever
lived. Many a time tears of pride and joy have stood in my eyes while I
read the tender, loving, appealing letters that come to me in almost
every mail from my little readers. To have pleased you, to have
interested you, to have won your friendship, and perhaps your love,
through my stories, is to my mind as great an achievement as to become
President of the United States. Indeed, I would much rather be your
story-teller, under these conditions, than to be the President. So you
have helped me to fulfill my life's ambition, and I am more grateful to
you, my dears, than I can express in words.
I try to answer every letter of my young correspondents; yet sometimes
there are so many letters that a little time must pass before you get
your answer. But be patient, friends, for the answer will surely come,
and by writing to me you more than repay me for the pleasant task of
preparing these books. Besides, I am proud to acknowledge that the books
are partly yours, for your suggestions often guide me in telling the
stories, and I am sure they would not be half so good without your
clever and thoughtful assistance.
The train from 'Frisco was very late. It should have arrived at Hugson's
siding at midnight, but it was already five o'clock and the gray dawn
was breaking in the east when the little train slowly rumbled up to the
open shed that served for the station-house. As it came to a stop the
conductor called out in a loud voice:
"Hugson's Siding!"
At once a little girl rose from her seat and walked to the door of the
car, carrying a wicker suit-case in one hand and a round bird-cage
covered up with newspapers in the other, while a parasol was tucked
under her arm. The conductor helped her off the car and then the
engineer started his train again, so that it puffed and groaned and
moved slowly away up the track. The reason he was so late was because
all through the night there were times when the solid earth shook and
trembled under him, and the engineer was afraid that at any moment the
rails might spread apart and an accident happen to his passengers. So he
moved the cars slowly and with caution.
The little girl stood still to watch until the train had disappeared
around a curve; then she turned to see where she was.
The shed at Hugson's Siding was bare save for an old wooden bench, and
did not look very inviting. As she peered through the soft gray light
not a house of any sort was visible near the station, nor was any person
in sight; but after a while the child discovered a horse and buggy
standing near a group of trees a short distance away. She walked toward
it and found the horse tied to a tree and standing motionless, with its
head hanging down almost to the ground. It was a big horse, tall and
bony, with long legs and large knees and feet. She could count his ribs
easily where they showed through the skin of his body, and his head was
long and seemed altogether too big for him, as if it did not fit. His
tail was short and scraggly, and his harness had been broken in many
places and fastened together again with cords and bits of wire. The
buggy seemed almost new, for it had a shiny top and side curtains.
Getting around in front, so that she could look inside, the girl saw a
boy curled up on the seat, fast asleep.
She set down the bird-cage and poked the boy with her parasol. Presently
he woke up, rose to a sitting position and rubbed his eyes briskly.
"Hello!" he said, seeing her, "are you Dorothy Gale?"
"Yes," she answered, looking gravely at his tousled hair and blinking
gray eyes. "Have you come to take me to Hugson's Ranch?"
"Of course," he answered. "Train in?"
"I couldn't be here if it wasn't," she said.
He laughed at that, and his laugh was merry and frank. Jumping out of
the buggy he put Dorothy's suit-case under the seat and her bird-cage on
the floor in front.
"Canary-birds?" he asked.
"Oh, no; it's just Eureka, my kitten. I thought that was the best way to
carry her."
The boy nodded.
"Eureka's a funny name for a cat," he remarked.
"I named my kitten that because I found it," she explained. "Uncle Henry
says 'Eureka' means 'I have found it.'"
"All right; hop in."
She climbed into the buggy and he followed her. Then the boy picked up
the reins, shook them, and said "Gid-dap!"
The horse did not stir. Dorothy thought he just wiggled one of his
drooping ears, but that was all.
"Gid-dap!" called the boy, again.
The horse stood still.
"Perhaps," said Dorothy, "if you untied him, he would go."
The boy laughed cheerfully and jumped out.
"Guess I'm half asleep yet," he said, untying the horse. "But Jim knows
his business all right--don't you, Jim?" patting the long nose of the
Then he got into the buggy again and took the reins, and the horse at
once backed away from the tree, turned slowly around, and began to trot
down the sandy road which was just visible in the dim light.
"Thought that train would never come," observed the boy. "I've waited at
that station for five hours."
"We had a lot of earthquakes," said Dorothy. "Didn't you feel the ground
"Yes; but we're used to such things in California," he replied. "They
don't scare us much."
"The conductor said it was the worst quake he ever knew."
"Did he? Then it must have happened while I was asleep," he said,
"How is Uncle Henry?" she enquired, after a pause during which the horse
continued to trot with long, regular strides.
"He's pretty well. He and Uncle Hugson have been having a fine visit."
"Is Mr. Hugson your uncle?" she asked.
"Yes. Uncle Bill Hugson married your Uncle Henry's wife's sister; so we
must be second cousins," said the boy, in an amused tone. "I work for
Uncle Bill on his ranch, and he pays me six dollars a month and my
"Isn't that a great deal?" she asked, doubtfully.
"Why, it's a great deal for Uncle Hugson, but not for me. I'm a splendid
worker. I work as well as I sleep," he added, with a laugh.
"What is your name?" asked Dorothy, thinking she liked the boy's manner
and the cheery tone of his voice.
"Not a very pretty one," he answered, as if a little ashamed. "My whole
name is Zebediah; but folks just call me 'Zeb.' You've been to
Australia, haven't you?"
"Yes; with Uncle Henry," she answered. "We got to San Francisco a week
ago, and Uncle Henry went right on to Hugson's Ranch for a visit while I
stayed a few days in the city with some friends we had met."
"How long will you be with us?" he asked.
"Only a day. Tomorrow Uncle Henry and I must start back for Kansas.
We've been away for a long time, you know, and so we're anxious to get
home again."
The boy flicked the big, boney horse with his whip and looked
thoughtful. Then he started to say something to his little companion,
but before he could speak the buggy began to sway dangerously from side
to side and the earth seemed to rise up before them. Next minute there
was a roar and a sharp crash, and at her side Dorothy saw the ground
open in a wide crack and then come together again.
"Goodness!" she cried, grasping the iron rail of the seat. "What was
"That was an awful big quake," replied Zeb, with a white face. "It
almost got us that time, Dorothy."
The horse had stopped short, and stood firm as a rock. Zeb shook the
reins and urged him to go, but Jim was stubborn. Then the boy cracked
his whip and touched the animal's flanks with it, and after a low moan
of protest Jim stepped slowly along the road.
Neither the boy nor the girl spoke again for some minutes. There was a
breath of danger in the very air, and every few moments the earth would
shake violently. Jim's ears were standing erect upon his head and every
muscle of his big body was tense as he trotted toward home. He was not
going very fast, but on his flanks specks of foam began to appear and at
times he would tremble like a leaf.
The sky had grown darker again and the wind made queer sobbing sounds as
it swept over the valley.
Suddenly there was a rending, tearing sound, and the earth split into
another great crack just beneath the spot where the horse was standing.
With a wild neigh of terror the animal fell bodily into the pit, drawing
the buggy and its occupants after him.
Dorothy grabbed fast hold of the buggy top and the boy did the same. The
sudden rush into space confused them so that they could not think.
Blackness engulfed them on every side, and in breathless silence they
waited for the fall to end and crush them against jagged rocks or for
the earth to close in on them again and bury them forever in its
dreadful depths.
The horrible sensation of falling, the darkness and the terrifying
noises, proved more than Dorothy could endure and for a few moments the
little girl lost consciousness. Zeb, being a boy, did not faint, but he
was badly frightened, and clung to the buggy seat with a tight grip,
expecting every moment would be his last.
When Dorothy recovered her senses they were still falling, but not so
fast. The top of the buggy caught the air like a parachute or an
umbrella filled with wind, and held them back so that they floated
downward with a gentle motion that was not so very disagreeable to bear.
The worst thing was their terror of reaching the bottom of this great
crack in the earth, and the natural fear that sudden death was about to
overtake them at any moment. Crash after crash echoed far above their
heads, as the earth came together where it had split, and stones and
chunks of clay rattled around them on every side. These they could not
see, but they could feel them pelting the buggy top, and Jim screamed
almost like a human being when a stone overtook him and struck his
boney body. They did not really hurt the poor horse, because everything
was falling together; only the stones and rubbish fell faster than the
horse and buggy, which were held back by the pressure of the air, so
that the terrified animal was actually more frightened than he was
How long this state of things continued Dorothy could not even guess,
she was so greatly bewildered. But bye and bye, as she stared ahead into
the black chasm with a beating heart, she began to dimly see the form of
the horse Jim--his head up in the air, his ears erect and his long legs
sprawling in every direction as he tumbled through space. Also, turning
her head, she found that she could see the boy beside her, who had until
now remained as still and silent as she herself.
Dorothy sighed and commenced to breathe easier. She began to realize
that death was not in store for her, after all, but that she had merely
started upon another adventure, which promised to be just as queer and
unusual as were those she had before encountered.
With this thought in mind the girl took heart and leaned her head over
the side of the buggy to see where the strange light was coming from.
Far below her she found six great glowing balls suspended in the air.
The central and largest one was white, and reminded her of the sun.
Around it were arranged, like the five points of a star, the other five
brilliant balls; one being rose colored, one violet, one yellow, one
blue and one orange. This splendid group of colored suns sent rays
darting in every direction, and as the horse and buggy--with Dorothy and
Zeb--sank steadily downward and came nearer to the lights, the rays
began to take on all the delicate tintings of a rainbow, growing more
and more distinct every moment until all the space was brilliantly
Dorothy was too dazed to say much, but she watched one of Jim's big ears
turn to violet and the other to rose, and wondered that his tail should
be yellow and his body striped with blue and orange like the stripes of
a zebra. Then she looked at Zeb, whose face was blue and whose hair was
pink, and gave a little laugh that sounded a bit nervous.
"Isn't it funny?" she said.
The boy was startled and his eyes were big. Dorothy had a green streak
through the center of her face where the blue and yellow lights came
together, and her appearance seemed to add to his fright.
"I--I don't s-s-see any-thing funny--'bout it!" he stammered.
Just then the buggy tipped slowly over upon its side, the body of the
horse tipping also. But they continued to fall, all together, and the
boy and girl had no difficulty in remaining upon the seat, just as they
were before. Then they turned bottom side up, and continued to roll
slowly over until they were right side up again. During this time Jim
struggled frantically, all his legs kicking the air; but on finding
himself in his former position the horse said, in a relieved tone of
"Well, that's better!"
Dorothy and Zeb looked at one another in wonder.
"Can your horse talk?" she asked.
"Never knew him to, before," replied the boy.
"Those were the first words I ever said," called out the horse, who had
overheard them, "and I can't explain why I happened to speak then. This
is a nice scrape you've got me into, isn't it?"
"As for that, we are in the same scrape ourselves," answered Dorothy,
cheerfully. "But never mind; something will happen pretty soon."
"Of course," growled the horse; "and then we shall be sorry it
Zeb gave a shiver. All this was so terrible and unreal that he could not
understand it at all, and so had good reason to be afraid.
Swiftly they drew near to the flaming colored suns, and passed close
beside them. The light was then so bright that it dazzled their eyes,
and they covered their faces with their hands to escape being blinded.
There was no heat in the colored suns, however, and after they had
passed below them the top of the buggy shut out many of the piercing
rays so that the boy and girl could open their eyes again.
"We've got to come to the bottom some time," remarked Zeb, with a deep
sigh. "We can't keep falling forever, you know."
"Of course not," said Dorothy. "We are somewhere in the middle of the
earth, and the chances are we'll reach the other side of it before long.
But it's a big hollow, isn't it?"
"Awful big!" answered the boy.
"We're coming to something now," announced the horse.
At this they both put their heads over the side of the buggy and looked
down. Yes; there was land below them; and not so very far away, either.
But they were floating very, very slowly--so slowly that it could no
longer be called a fall--and the children had ample time to take heart
and look about them.
They saw a landscape with mountains and plains, lakes and rivers, very
like those upon the earth's surface; but all the scene was splendidly
colored by the variegated lights from the six suns. Here and there were
groups of houses that seemed made of clear glass, because they sparkled
so brightly.
"I'm sure we are in no danger," said Dorothy, in a sober voice. "We are
falling so slowly that we can't be dashed to pieces when we land, and
this country that we are coming to seems quite pretty."
"We'll never get home again, though!" declared Zeb, with a groan.
"Oh, I'm not so sure of that," replied the girl. "But don't let us worry
over such things, Zeb; we can't help ourselves just now, you know, and
I've always been told it's foolish to borrow trouble."
The boy became silent, having no reply to so sensible a speech, and soon
both were fully occupied in staring at the strange scenes spread out
below them. They seemed to be falling right into the middle of a big
city which had many tall buildings with glass domes and sharp-pointed
spires. These spires were like great spear-points, and if they tumbled
upon one of them they were likely to suffer serious injury.
Jim the horse had seen these spires, also, and his ears stood straight
up with fear, while Dorothy and Zeb held their breaths in suspense. But
no; they floated gently down upon a broad, flat roof, and came to a stop
at last.
When Jim felt something firm under his feet the poor beast's legs
trembled so much that he could hardly stand; but Zeb at once leaped out
of the buggy to the roof, and he was so awkward and hasty that he kicked
over Dorothy's birdcage, which rolled out upon the roof so that the
bottom came off. At once a pink kitten crept out of the upset cage, sat
down upon the glass roof, and yawned and blinked its round eyes.
"Oh," said Dorothy. "There's Eureka."
"First time I ever saw a pink cat," said Zeb.
"Eureka isn't pink; she's white. It's this queer light that gives her
that color."
"Where's my milk?" asked the kitten, looking up into Dorothy's face.
"I'm 'most starved to death."
"Oh, Eureka! Can you talk?"
"Talk! Am I talking? Good gracious, I believe I am. Isn't it funny?"
asked the kitten.
"It's all wrong," said Zeb, gravely. "Animals ought not to talk. But
even old Jim has been saying things since we had our accident."
"I can't see that it's wrong," remarked Jim, in his gruff tones. "At
least, it isn't as wrong as some other things. What's going to become of
us now?"
"I don't know," answered the boy, looking around him curiously.
The houses of the city were all made of glass, so clear and transparent
that one could look through the walls as easily as though a window.
Dorothy saw, underneath the roof on which she stood, several rooms used
for rest chambers, and even thought she could make out a number of queer
forms huddled into the corners of these rooms.
The roof beside them had a great hole smashed through it, and pieces of
glass were lying scattered in every direction. A near by steeple had
been broken off short and the fragments lay heaped beside it. Other
buildings were cracked in places or had corners chipped off from them;
but they must have been very beautiful before these accidents had
happened to mar their perfection. The rainbow tints from the colored
suns fell upon the glass city softly and gave to the buildings many
delicate, shifting hues which were very pretty to see.
But not a sound had broken the stillness since the strangers had
arrived, except that of their own voices. They began to wonder if there
were no people to inhabit this magnificent city of the inner world.
Suddenly a man appeared through a hole in the roof next to the one they
were on and stepped into plain view. He was not a very large man, but
was well formed and had a beautiful face--calm and serene as the face of
a fine portrait. His clothing fitted his form snugly and was gorgeously
colored in brilliant shades of green, which varied as the sunbeams
touched them but was not wholly influenced by the solar rays.
The man had taken a step or two across the glass roof before he noticed
the presence of the strangers; but then he stopped abruptly. There was
no expression of either fear or surprise upon his tranquil face, yet he
must have been both astonished and afraid; for after his eyes had rested
upon the ungainly form of the horse for a moment he walked rapidly to
the furthest edge of the roof, his head turned back over his shoulder to
gaze at the strange animal.
"Look out!" cried Dorothy, who noticed that the beautiful man did not
look where he was going; "be careful, or you'll fall off!"
But he paid no attention to her warning. He reached the edge of the tall
roof, stepped one foot out into the air, and walked into space as calmly
as if he were on firm ground.
The girl, greatly astonished, ran to lean over the edge of the roof, and
saw the man walking rapidly through the air toward the ground. Soon he
reached the street and disappeared through a glass doorway into one of
the glass buildings.
"How strange!" she exclaimed, drawing a long breath.
"Yes; but it's lots of fun, if it _is_ strange," remarked the small
voice of the kitten, and Dorothy turned to find her pet walking in the
air a foot or so away from the edge of the roof.
"Come back, Eureka!" she called, in distress, "you'll certainly be
"I have nine lives," said the kitten, purring softly as it walked around
in a circle and then came back to the roof; "but I can't lose even one
of them by falling in this country, because I really couldn't manage to
fall if I wanted to."
"Does the air bear up your weight?" asked the girl.
"Of course; can't you see?" and again the kitten wandered into the air
and back to the edge of the roof.
"It's wonderful!" said Dorothy.
"Suppose we let Eureka go down to the street and get some one to help
us," suggested Zeb, who had been even more amazed than Dorothy at these
strange happenings.
"Perhaps we can walk on the air ourselves," replied the girl.
Zeb drew back with a shiver.
"I wouldn't dare try," he said.
"May be Jim will go," continued Dorothy, looking at the horse.
"And may be he won't!" answered Jim. "I've tumbled through the air long
enough to make me contented on this roof."
"But we didn't tumble to the roof," said the girl; "by the time we
reached here we were floating very slowly, and I'm almost sure we could
float down to the street without getting hurt. Eureka walks on the air
all right."
"Eureka weighs only about half a pound," replied the horse, in a
scornful tone, "while I weigh about half a ton."
"You don't weigh as much as you ought to, Jim," remarked the girl,
shaking her head as she looked at the animal. "You're dreadfully
"Oh, well; I'm old," said the horse, hanging his head despondently, "and
I've had lots of trouble in my day, little one. For a good many years I
drew a public cab in Chicago, and that's enough to make anyone skinny."
"He eats enough to get fat, I'm sure," said the boy, gravely.
"Do I? Can you remember any breakfast that I've had today?" growled Jim,
as if he resented Zeb's speech.
"None of us has had breakfast," said the boy; "and in a time of danger
like this it's foolish to talk about eating."
"Nothing is more dangerous than being without food," declared the horse,
with a sniff at the rebuke of his young master; "and just at present no
one can tell whether there are any oats in this queer country or not. If
there are, they are liable to be glass oats!"
"Oh, no!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I can see plenty of nice gardens and
fields down below us, at the edge of this city. But I wish we could find
a way to get to the ground."
"Why don't you walk down?" asked Eureka. "I'm as hungry as the horse is,
and I want my milk."
"Will you try it, Zeb" asked the girl, turning to her companion.
Zeb hesitated. He was still pale and frightened, for this dreadful
adventure had upset him and made him nervous and worried. But he did not
wish the little girl to think him a coward, so he advanced slowly to the
edge of the roof.
Dorothy stretched out a hand to him and Zeb put one foot out and let it
rest in the air a little over the edge of the roof. It seemed firm
enough to walk upon, so he took courage and put out the other foot.
Dorothy kept hold of his hand and followed him, and soon they were both
walking through the air, with the kitten frisking beside them.
"Come on, Jim!" called the boy. "It's all right."
Jim had crept to the edge of the roof to look over, and being a sensible
horse and quite experienced, he made up his mind that he could go where
the others did. So, with a snort and a neigh and a whisk of his short
tail he trotted off the roof into the air and at once began floating
downward to the street. His great weight made him fall faster than the
children walked, and he passed them on the way down; but when he came to
the glass pavement he alighted upon it so softly that he was not even
"Well, well!" said Dorothy, drawing a long breath, "What a strange
country this is."
People began to come out of the glass doors to look at the new arrivals,
and pretty soon quite a crowd had assembled. There were men and women,
but no children at all, and the folks were all beautifully formed and
attractively dressed and had wonderfully handsome faces. There was not
an ugly person in all the throng, yet Dorothy was not especially pleased
by the appearance of these people because their features had no more
expression than the faces of dolls. They did not smile nor did they
frown, or show either fear or surprise or curiosity or friendliness.
They simply stared at the strangers, paying most attention to Jim and
Eureka, for they had never before seen either a horse or a cat and the
children bore an outward resemblance to themselves.
Pretty soon a man joined the group who wore a glistening star in the
dark hair just over his forehead. He seemed to be a person of authority,
for the others pressed back to give him room. After turning his composed
eyes first upon the animals and then upon the children he said to Zeb,
who was a little taller than Dorothy:
"Tell me, intruder, was it you who caused the Rain of Stones?"
For a moment the boy did not know what he meant by this question. Then,
remembering the stones that had fallen with them and passed them long
before they had reached this place, he answered:
"No, sir; we didn't cause anything. It was the earthquake."
The man with the star stood for a time quietly thinking over this
speech. Then he asked:
"What is an earthquake?"
"I don't know," said Zeb, who was still confused. But Dorothy, seeing
his perplexity, answered:
"It's a shaking of the earth. In this quake a big crack opened and we
fell through--horse and buggy, and all--and the stones got loose and
came down with us."
The man with the star regarded her with his calm, expressionless eyes.
"The Rain of Stones has done much damage to our city," he said; "and we
shall hold you responsible for it unless you can prove your innocence."
"How can we do that?" asked the girl.
"That I am not prepared to say. It is your affair, not mine. You must
go to the House of the Sorcerer, who will soon discover the truth."
"Where is the House of the Sorcerer?" the girl enquired.
"I will lead you to it. Come!"
He turned and walked down the street, and after a moment's hesitation
Dorothy caught Eureka in her arms and climbed into the buggy. The boy
took his seat beside her and said: "Gid-dap, Jim."
As the horse ambled along, drawing the buggy, the people of the glass
city made way for them and formed a procession in their rear. Slowly
they moved down one street and up another, turning first this way and
then that, until they came to an open square in the center of which was
a big glass palace having a central dome and four tall spires on each
The doorway of the glass palace was quite big enough for the horse and
buggy to enter, so Zeb drove straight through it and the children found
themselves in a lofty hall that was very beautiful. The people at once
followed and formed a circle around the sides of the spacious room,
leaving the horse and buggy and the man with the star to occupy the
center of the hall.
"Come to us, oh, Gwig!" called the man, in a loud voice.
Instantly a cloud of smoke appeared and rolled over the floor; then it
slowly spread and ascended into the dome, disclosing a strange personage
seated upon a glass throne just before Jim's nose. He was formed just as
were the other inhabitants of this land and his clothing only differed
from theirs in being bright yellow. But he had no hair at all, and all
over his bald head and face and upon the backs of his hands grew sharp
thorns like those found on the branches of rose-bushes. There was even a
thorn upon the tip of his nose and he looked so funny that Dorothy
laughed when she saw him.
The Sorcerer, hearing the laugh, looked toward the little girl with
cold, cruel eyes, and his glance made her grow sober in an instant.
"Why have you dared to intrude your unwelcome persons into the secluded
Land of the Mangaboos?" he asked, sternly.
"'Cause we couldn't help it," said Dorothy.
"Why did you wickedly and viciously send the Rain of Stones to crack and
break our houses?" he continued.
"We didn't," declared the girl.
"Prove it!" cried the Sorcerer.
"We don't have to prove it," answered Dorothy, indignantly. "If you had
any sense at all you'd known it was the earthquake."
"We only know that yesterday came a Rain of Stones upon us, which did
much damage and injured some of our people. Today came another Rain of
Stones, and soon after it you appeared among us."
"By the way," said the man with the star, looking steadily at the
Sorcerer, "you told us yesterday that there would not be a second Rain
of Stones. Yet one has just occurred that was even worse than the first.
What is your sorcery good for if it cannot tell us the truth?"
"My sorcery does tell the truth!" declared the thorn-covered man. "I
said there would be but one Rain of Stones. This second one was a Rain
of People-and-Horse-and-Buggy. And some stones came with them."
"Will there be any more Rains?" asked the man with the star.
"No, my Prince."
"Neither stones nor people?"
"No, my Prince."
"Are you sure?"
"Quite sure, my Prince. My sorcery tells me so."
Just then a man came running into the hall and addressed the Prince
after making a low bow.
"More wonders in the air, my Lord," said he.
Immediately the Prince and all of his people flocked out of the hall
into the street, that they might see what was about to happen. Dorothy
and Zeb jumped out of the buggy and ran after them, but the Sorcerer
remained calmly in his throne.
Far up in the air was an object that looked like a balloon. It was not
so high as the glowing star of the six colored suns, but was descending
slowly through the air--so slowly that at first it scarcely seemed to
The throng stood still and waited. It was all they could do, for to go
away and leave that strange sight was impossible; nor could they hurry
its fall in any way. The earth children were not noticed, being so near
the average size of the Mangaboos, and the horse had remained in the
House of the Sorcerer, with Eureka curled up asleep on the seat of the
Gradually the balloon grew bigger, which was proof that it was settling
down upon the Land of the Mangaboos. Dorothy was surprised to find how
patient the people were, for her own little heart was beating rapidly
with excitement. A balloon meant to her some other arrival from the
surface of the earth, and she hoped it would be some one able to assist
her and Zeb out of their difficulties.
In an hour the balloon had come near enough for her to see a basket
suspended below it; in two hours she could see a head looking over the
side of the basket; in three hours the big balloon settled slowly into
the great square in which they stood and came to rest on the glass
Then a little man jumped out of the basket, took off his tall hat, and
bowed very gracefully to the crowd of Mangaboos around him. He was quite
an old little man, and his head was long and entirely bald.
"Why," cried Dorothy, in amazement, "it's Oz!"
The little man looked toward her and seemed as much surprised as she
was. But he smiled and bowed as he answered:
"Yes, my dear; I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Eh? And you are little
Dorothy, from Kansas. I remember you very well."
"Who did you say it was?" whispered Zeb to the girl.
"It's the wonderful Wizard of Oz. Haven't you heard of him?"
Just then the man with the star came and stood before the Wizard.
"Sir," said he, "why are you here, in the Land of the Mangaboos?"
"Didn't know what land it was, my son," returned the other, with a
pleasant smile; "and, to be honest, I didn't mean to visit you when I
started out. I live on top of the earth, your honor, which is far better
than living inside it; but yesterday I went up in a balloon, and when I
came down I fell into a big crack in the earth, caused by an earthquake.
I had let so much gas out of my balloon that I could not rise again,
and in a few minutes the earth closed over my head. So I continued to
descend until I reached this place, and if you will show me a way to get
out of it, I'll go with pleasure. Sorry to have troubled you; but it
couldn't be helped."
The Prince had listened with attention. Said he:
"This child, who is from the crust of the earth, like yourself, called
you a Wizard. Is not a Wizard something like a Sorcerer?"
"It's better," replied Oz, promptly. "One Wizard is worth three
"Ah, you shall prove that," said the Prince. "We Mangaboos have, at the
present time, one of the most wonderful Sorcerers that ever was picked
from a bush; but he sometimes makes mistakes. Do you ever make
"Never!" declared the Wizard, boldly.
"Oh, Oz!" said Dorothy; "you made a lot of mistakes when you were in the
marvelous Land of Oz."
"Nonsense!" said the little man, turning red--although just then a ray
of violet sunlight was on his round face.
"Come with me," said the Prince to him. "I wish you to meet our
The Wizard did not like this invitation, but he could not refuse to
accept it. So he followed the Prince into the great domed hall, and
Dorothy and Zeb came after them, while the throng of people trooped in
There sat the thorny Sorcerer in his chair of state, and when the Wizard
saw him he began to laugh, uttering comical little chuckles.
"What an absurd creature!" he exclaimed.
"He may look absurd," said the Prince, in his quiet voice; "but he is an
excellent Sorcerer. The only fault I find with him is that he is so
often wrong."
"I am never wrong," answered the Sorcerer.
"Only a short time ago you told me there would be no more Rain of Stones
or of People," said the Prince.
"Well, what then?"
"Here is another person descended from the air to prove you were wrong."
"One person cannot be called 'people,'" said the Sorcerer. "If two
should come out of the sky you might with justice say I was wrong; but
unless more than this one appears I will hold that I was right."
"Very clever," said the Wizard, nodding his head as if pleased. "I am
delighted to find humbugs inside the earth, just the same as on top of
it. Were you ever with a circus, brother?"
"No," said the Sorcerer.
"You ought to join one," declared the little man seriously. "I belong to
Bailum & Barney's Great Consolidated Shows--three rings in one tent and
a menagerie on the side. It's a fine aggregation, I assure you."
"What do you do?" asked the Sorcerer.
"I go up in a balloon, usually, to draw the crowds to the circus. But
I've just had the bad luck to come out of the sky, skip the solid earth,
and land lower down than I intended. But never mind. It isn't everybody
who gets a chance to see your Land of the Gabazoos."
"Mangaboos," said the Sorcerer, correcting him. "If you are a Wizard you
ought to be able to call people by their right names."
"Oh, I'm a Wizard; you may be sure of that. Just as good a Wizard as you
are a Sorcerer."
"That remains to be seen," said the other.
"If you are able to prove that you are better," said the Prince to the
little man, "I will make you the Chief Wizard of this domain.
"What will happen otherwise?" asked the Wizard.
"I will stop you from living, and forbid you to be planted," returned
the Prince.
"That does not sound especially pleasant," said the little man, looking
at the one with the star uneasily. "But never mind. I'll beat Old
Prickly, all right."
"My name is Gwig," said the Sorcerer, turning his heartless, cruel eyes
upon his rival. "Let me see you equal the sorcery I am about to
He waved a thorny hand and at once the tinkling of bells was heard,
playing sweet music. Yet, look where she would, Dorothy could discover
no bells at all in the great glass hall.
The Mangaboo people listened, but showed no great interest. It was one
of the things Gwig usually did to prove he was a sorcerer.
Now was the Wizard's turn, so he smiled upon the assemblage and asked:
"Will somebody kindly loan me a hat?"
No one did, because the Mangaboos did not wear hats, and Zeb had lost
his, somehow, in his flight through the air.
"Ahem!" said the Wizard, "will somebody please loan me a handkerchief?"
But they had no handkerchiefs, either.
"Very good," remarked the Wizard. "I'll use my own hat, if you please.
Now, good people, observe me carefully. You see, there is nothing up my
sleeve and nothing concealed about my person. Also, my hat is quite
empty." He took off his hat and held it upside down, shaking it
"Let me see it," said the Sorcerer.
He took the hat and examined it carefully, returning it afterward to the
"Now," said the little man, "I will create something out of nothing."
He placed the hat upon the glass floor, made a pass with his hand, and
then removed the hat, displaying a little white piglet no bigger than a
mouse, which began to run around here and there and to grunt and squeal
in a tiny, shrill voice.
The people watched it intently, for they had never seen a pig before,
big or little. The Wizard reached out, caught the wee creature in his
hand, and holding its head between one thumb and finger and its tail
between the other thumb and finger he pulled it apart, each of the two
parts becoming a whole and separate piglet in an instant.
He placed one upon the floor, so that it could run around, and pulled
apart the other, making three piglets in all; and then one of these was
pulled apart, making four piglets. The Wizard continued this surprising
performance until nine tiny piglets were running about at his feet, all
squealing and grunting in a very comical way.
"Now," said the Wizard of Oz, "having created something from nothing, I
will make something nothing again."
With this he caught up two of the piglets and pushed them together, so
that the two were one. Then he caught up another piglet and pushed it
into the first, where it disappeared. And so, one by one, the nine tiny
piglets were pushed together until but a single one of the creatures
remained. This the Wizard placed underneath his hat and made a mystic
sign above it. When he removed his hat the last piglet had disappeared
The little man gave a bow to the silent throng that had watched him, and
then the Prince said, in his cold, calm voice:
"You are indeed a wonderful Wizard, and your powers are greater than
those of my Sorcerer."
"He will not be a wonderful Wizard long," remarked Gwig.
"Why not?" enquired the Wizard.
"Because I am going to stop your breath," was the reply. "I perceive
that you are curiously constructed, and that if you cannot breathe you
cannot keep alive."
The little man looked troubled.
"How long will it take you to stop my breath?" he asked.
"About five minutes. I'm going to begin now. Watch me carefully."
He began making queer signs and passes toward the Wizard; but the little
man did not watch him long. Instead, he drew a leathern case from his
pocket and took from it several sharp knives, which he joined together,
one after another, until they made a long sword. By the time he had
attached a handle to this sword he was having much trouble to breathe,
as the charm of the Sorcerer was beginning to take effect.
So the Wizard lost no more time, but leaping forward he raised the sharp
sword, whirled it once or twice around his head, and then gave a mighty
stroke that cut the body of the Sorcerer exactly in two.
Dorothy screamed and expected to see a terrible sight; but as the two
halves of the Sorcerer fell apart on the floor she saw that he had no
bones or blood inside of him at all, and that the place where he was cut
looked much like a sliced turnip or potato.
"Why, he's vegetable!" cried the Wizard, astonished.
"Of course," said the Prince. "We are all vegetable, in this country.
Are you not vegetable, also?"
"No," answered the Wizard. "People on top of the earth are all meat.
Will your Sorcerer die?"
"Certainly, sir. He is really dead now, and will wither very quickly. So
we must plant him at once, that other Sorcerers may grow upon his bush,"
continued the Prince.
"What do you mean by that?" asked the little Wizard, greatly puzzled.
"If you will accompany me to our public gardens," replied the Prince, "I
will explain to you much better than I can here the mysteries of our
Vegetable Kingdom."
After the Wizard had wiped the dampness from his sword and taken it
apart and put the pieces into their leathern case again, the man with
the star ordered some of his people to carry the two halves of the
Sorcerer to the public gardens.
Jim pricked up his ears when he heard they were going to the gardens,
and wanted to join the party, thinking he might find something proper to
eat; so Zeb put down the top of the buggy and invited the Wizard to ride
with them. The seat was amply wide enough for the little man and the two
children, and when Jim started to leave the hall the kitten jumped upon
his back and sat there quite contentedly.
So the procession moved through the streets, the bearers of the Sorcerer
first, the Prince next, then Jim drawing the buggy with the strangers
inside of it, and last the crowd of vegetable people who had no hearts
and could neither smile nor frown.
The glass city had several fine streets, for a good many people lived
there; but when the procession had passed through these it came upon a
broad plain covered with gardens and watered by many pretty brooks that
flowed through it. There were paths through these gardens, and over some
of the brooks were ornamental glass bridges.
Dorothy and Zeb now got out of the buggy and walked beside the Prince,
so that they might see and examine the flowers and plants better.
"Who built these lovely bridges?" asked the little girl.
"No one built them," answered the man with the star. "They grow."
"That's queer," said she. "Did the glass houses in your city grow, too?"
"Of course," he replied. "But it took a good many years for them to grow
as large and fine as they are now. That is why we are so angry when a
Rain of Stones comes to break our towers and crack our roofs."
"Can't you mend them?" she enquired.
"No; but they will grow together again, in time, and we must wait until
they do."
They first passed through many beautiful gardens of flowers, which grew
nearest the city; but Dorothy could hardly tell what kind of flowers
they were, because the colors were constantly changing under the
shifting lights of the six suns. A flower would be pink one second,
white the next, then blue or yellow; and it was the same way when they
came to the plants, which had broad leaves and grew close to the ground.
When they passed over a field of grass Jim immediately stretched down
his head and began to nibble.
"A nice country this is," he grumbled, "where a respectable horse has to
eat pink grass!"
"It's violet," said the Wizard, who was in the buggy.
"Now it's blue," complained the horse. "As a matter of fact, I'm eating
rainbow grass."
"How does it taste?" asked the Wizard.
"Not bad at all," said Jim. "If they give me plenty of it I'll not
complain about its color."
By this time the party had reached a freshly plowed field, and the
Prince said to Dorothy:
"This is our planting-ground."
Several Mangaboos came forward with glass spades and dug a hole in the
ground. Then they put the two halves of the Sorcerer into it and covered
him up. After that other people brought water from a brook and sprinkled
the earth.
"He will sprout very soon," said the Prince, "and grow into a large
bush, from which we shall in time be able to pick several very good
"Do all your people grow on bushes?" asked the boy.
"Certainly," was the reply. "Do not all people grow upon bushes where
you came from, on the outside of the earth."
"Not that I ever heard of."
"How strange! But if you will come with me to one of our folk gardens I
will show you the way we grow in the Land of the Mangaboos."
It appeared that these odd people, while they were able to walk through
the air with ease, usually moved upon the ground in the ordinary way.
There were no stairs in their houses, because they did not need them,
but on a level surface they generally walked just as we do.
The little party of strangers now followed the Prince across a few more
of the glass bridges and along several paths until they came to a garden
enclosed by a high hedge. Jim had refused to leave the field of grass,
where he was engaged in busily eating; so the Wizard got out of the
buggy and joined Zeb and Dorothy, and the kitten followed demurely at
their heels.
Inside the hedge they came upon row after row of large and handsome
plants with broad leaves gracefully curving until their points nearly
reached the ground. In the center of each plant grew a daintily dressed
Mangaboo, for the clothing of all these creatures grew upon them and was
attached to their bodies.
The growing Mangaboos were of all sizes, from the blossom that had just
turned into a wee baby to the full-grown and almost ripe man or woman.
On some of the bushes might be seen a bud, a blossom, a baby, a
half-grown person and a ripe one; but even those ready to pluck were
motionless and silent, as if devoid of life. This sight explained to
Dorothy why she had seen no children among the Mangaboos, a thing she
had until now been unable to account for.
"Our people do not acquire their real life until they leave their
bushes," said the Prince. "You will notice they are all attached to the
plants by the soles of their feet, and when they are quite ripe they are
easily separated from the stems and at once attain the powers of motion
and speech. So while they grow they cannot be said to really live, and
they must be picked before they can become good citizens."
"How long do you live, after you are picked?" asked Dorothy.
"That depends upon the care we take of ourselves," he replied. "If we
keep cool and moist, and meet with no accidents, we often live for five
years. I've been picked over six years, but our family is known to be
especially long lived."
"Do you eat?" asked the boy.
"Eat! No, indeed. We are quite solid inside our bodies, and have no need
to eat, any more than does a potato."
"But the potatoes sometimes sprout," said Zeb.
"And sometimes we do," answered the Prince; "but that is considered a
great misfortune, for then we must be planted at once."
"Where did you grow?" asked the Wizard.
"I will show you," was the reply. "Step this way, please."
He led them within another but smaller circle of hedge, where grew one
large and beautiful bush.
"This," said he, "is the Royal Bush of the Mangaboos. All of our Princes
and Rulers have grown upon this one bush from time immemorial."
They stood before it in silent admiration. On the central stalk stood
poised the figure of a girl so exquisitely formed and colored and so
lovely in the expression of her delicate features that Dorothy thought
she had never seen so sweet and adorable a creature in all her life.
The maiden's gown was soft as satin and fell about her in ample folds,
while dainty lace-like traceries trimmed the bodice and sleeves. Her
flesh was fine and smooth as polished ivory, and her poise expressed
both dignity and grace.
"Who is this?" asked the Wizard, curiously.
The Prince had been staring hard at the girl on the bush. Now he
answered, with a touch of uneasiness in his cold tones:
"She is the Ruler destined to be my successor, for she is a Royal
Princess. When she becomes fully ripe I must abandon the sovereignty of
the Mangaboos to her."
"Isn't she ripe now?" asked Dorothy.
He hesitated.
"Not quite," said he, finally. "It will be several days before she needs
to be picked, or at least that is my judgment. I am in no hurry to
resign my office and be planted, you may be sure."
"Probably not," declared the Wizard, nodding.
"This is one of the most unpleasant things about our vegetable lives,"
continued the Prince, with a sigh, "that while we are in our full prime
we must give way to another, and be covered up in the ground to sprout
and grow and give birth to other people."
"I'm sure the Princess is ready to be picked," asserted Dorothy, gazing
hard at the beautiful girl on the bush. "She's as perfect as she can
"Never mind," answered the Prince, hastily, "she will be all right for a
few days longer, and it is best for me to rule until I can dispose of
you strangers, who have come to our land uninvited and must be attended
to at once."
"What are you going to do with us?" asked Zeb.
"That is a matter I have not quite decided upon," was the reply. "I
think I shall keep this Wizard until a new Sorcerer is ready to pick,
for he seems quite skillful and may be of use to us. But the rest of you
must be destroyed in some way, and you cannot be planted, because I do
not wish horses and cats and meat people growing all over our country."
"You needn't worry," said Dorothy. "We wouldn't grow under ground, I'm
"But why destroy my friends?" asked the little Wizard. "Why not let them
"They do not belong here," returned the Prince. "They have no right to
be inside the earth at all."
"We didn't ask to come down here; we fell," said Dorothy.
"That is no excuse," declared the Prince, coldly.
The children looked at each other in perplexity, and the Wizard sighed.
Eureka rubbed her paw on her face and said in her soft, purring voice:
"He won't need to destroy _me_, for if I don't get something to eat
pretty soon I shall starve to death, and so save him the trouble."
"If he planted you, he might grow some cat-tails," suggested the Wizard.
"Oh, Eureka! perhaps we can find you some milk-weeds to eat," said the
"Phoo!" snarled the kitten; "I wouldn't touch the nasty things!"
"You don't need milk, Eureka," remarked Dorothy; "you are big enough now
to eat any kind of food."
"If I can get it," added Eureka.
"I'm hungry myself," said Zeb. "But I noticed some strawberries growing
in one of the gardens, and some melons in another place. These people
don't eat such things, so perhaps on our way back they will let us get
"Never mind your hunger," interrupted the Prince. "I shall order you
destroyed in a few minutes, so you will have no need to ruin our pretty
melon vines and berry bushes. Follow me, please, to meet your doom."
The words of the cold and moist vegetable Prince were not very
comforting, and as he spoke them he turned away and left the enclosure.
The children, feeling sad and despondent, were about to follow him when
the Wizard touched Dorothy softly on her shoulder.
"Wait!" he whispered.
"What for?" asked the girl.
"Suppose we pick the Royal Princess," said the Wizard. "I'm quite sure
she's ripe, and as soon as she comes to life she will be the Ruler, and
may treat us better than that heartless Prince intends to."
"All right!" exclaimed Dorothy, eagerly. "Let's pick her while we have
the chance, before the man with the star comes back."
So together they leaned over the great bush and each of them seized one
hand of the lovely Princess.
"Pull!" cried Dorothy, and as they did so the royal lady leaned toward
them and the stems snapped and separated from her feet. She was not at
all heavy, so the Wizard and Dorothy managed to lift her gently to the
The beautiful creature passed her hands over her eyes an instant, tucked
in a stray lock of hair that had become disarranged, and after a look
around the garden made those present a gracious bow and said, in a sweet
but even toned voice:
"I thank you very much."
"We salute your Royal Highness!" cried the Wizard, kneeling and kissing
her hand.
Just then the voice of the Prince was heard calling upon them to hasten,
and a moment later he returned to the enclosure, followed by a number of
his people.
Instantly the Princess turned and faced him, and when he saw that she
was picked the Prince stood still and began to tremble.
"Sir," said the Royal Lady, with much dignity, "you have wronged me
greatly, and would have wronged me still more had not these strangers
come to my rescue. I have been ready for picking all the past week, but
because you were selfish and desired to continue your unlawful rule,
you left me to stand silent upon my bush."
"I did not know that you were ripe," answered the Prince, in a low
"Give me the Star of Royalty!" she commanded.
Slowly he took the shining star from his own brow and placed it upon
that of the Princess. Then all the people bowed low to her, and the
Prince turned and walked away alone. What became of him afterward our
friends never knew.
The people of Mangaboo now formed themselves into a procession and
marched toward the glass city to escort their new ruler to her palace
and to perform those ceremonies proper to the occasion. But while the
people in the procession walked upon the ground the Princess walked in
the air just above their heads, to show that she was a superior being
and more exalted than her subjects.
No one now seemed to pay any attention to the strangers, so Dorothy and
Zeb and the Wizard let the train pass on and then wandered by themselves
into the vegetable gardens. They did not bother to cross the bridges
over the brooks, but when they came to a stream they stepped high and
walked in the air to the other side. This was a very interesting
experience to them, and Dorothy said:
"I wonder why it is that we can walk so easily in the air."
"Perhaps," answered the Wizard, "it is because we are close to the
center of the earth, where the attraction of gravitation is very slight.
But I've noticed that many queer things happen in fairy countries."
"Is this a fairy country?" asked the boy.
"Of course it is," returned Dorothy, promptly. "Only a fairy country
could have veg'table people; and only in a fairy country could Eureka
and Jim talk as we do."
"That's true," said Zeb, thoughtfully.
In the vegetable gardens they found the strawberries and melons, and
several other unknown but delicious fruits, of which they ate heartily.
But the kitten bothered them constantly by demanding milk or meat, and
called the Wizard names because he could not bring her a dish of milk by
means of his magical arts.
As they sat upon the grass watching Jim, who was still busily eating,
Eureka said:
"I don't believe you are a Wizard at all!"
"No," answered the little man, "you are quite right. In the strict sense
of the word I am not a Wizard, but only a humbug."
"The Wizard of Oz has always been a humbug," agreed Dorothy. "I've known
him for a long time."
"If that is so," said the boy, "how could he do that wonderful trick
with the nine tiny piglets?"
"Don't know," said Dorothy, "but it must have been humbug."
"Very true," declared the Wizard, nodding at her. "It was necessary to
deceive that ugly Sorcerer and the Prince, as well as their stupid
people; but I don't mind telling you, who are my friends, that the thing
was only a trick."
"But I saw the little pigs with my own eyes!" exclaimed Zeb.
"So did I," purred the kitten.
"To be sure," answered the Wizard. "You saw them because they were
there. They are in my inside pocket now. But the pulling of them apart
and pushing them together again was only a sleight-of-hand trick."
"Let's see the pigs," said Eureka, eagerly.
The little man felt carefully in his pocket and pulled out the tiny
piglets, setting them upon the grass one by one, where they ran around
and nibbled the tender blades.
"They're hungry, too," he said.
"Oh, what cunning things!" cried Dorothy, catching up one and petting
"Be careful!" said the piglet, with a squeal, "you're squeezing me!"
"Dear me!" murmured the Wizard, looking at his pets in astonishment.
"They can actually talk!"
"May I eat one of them?" asked the kitten, in a pleading voice. "I'm
awfully hungry."
"Why, Eureka," said Dorothy, reproachfully, "what a cruel question! It
would be dreadful to eat these dear little things."
"I should say so!" grunted another of the piglets, looking uneasily at
the kitten; "cats are cruel things."
"I'm not cruel," replied the kitten, yawning. "I'm just hungry."
"You cannot eat my piglets, even if you are starving," declared the
little man, in a stern voice. "They are the only things I have to prove
I'm a wizard."
"How did they happen to be so little?" asked Dorothy. "I never saw such
small pigs before."
"They are from the Island of Teenty-Weent," said the Wizard, "where
everything is small because it's a small island. A sailor brought them
to Los Angeles and I gave him nine tickets to the circus for them."
"But what am I going to eat?" wailed the kitten, sitting in front of
Dorothy and looking pleadingly into her face. "There are no cows here
to give milk; or any mice, or even grasshoppers. And if I can't eat the
piglets you may as well plant me at once and raise catsup."
"I have an idea," said the Wizard, "that there are fishes in these
brooks. Do you like fish?"
"Fish!" cried the kitten. "Do I like fish? Why, they're better than
piglets--or even milk!"
"Then I'll try to catch you some," said he.
"But won't they be veg'table, like everything else here?" asked the
"I think not. Fishes are not animals, and they are as cold and moist as
the vegetables themselves. There is no reason, that I can see, why they
may not exist in the waters of this strange country."
Then the Wizard bent a pin for a hook and took a long piece of string
from his pocket for a fish-line. The only bait he could find was a
bright red blossom from a flower; but he knew fishes are easy to fool if
anything bright attracts their attention, so he decided to try the
blossom. Having thrown the end of his line in the water of a nearby
brook he soon felt a sharp tug that told him a fish had bitten and was
caught on the bent pin; so the little man drew in the string and, sure
enough, the fish came with it and was landed safely on the shore,
where it began to flop around in great excitement.
The fish was fat and round, and its scales glistened like beautifully
cut jewels set close together; but there was no time to examine it
closely, for Eureka made a jump and caught it between her claws, and in
a few moments it had entirely disappeared.
"Oh, Eureka!" cried Dorothy, "did you eat the bones?"
"If it had any bones, I ate them," replied the kitten, composedly, as it
washed its face after the meal. "But I don't think that fish had any
bones, because I didn't feel them scratch my throat."
"You were very greedy," said the girl.
"I was very hungry," replied the kitten.
The little pigs had stood huddled in a group, watching this scene with
frightened eyes.
"Cats are dreadful creatures!" said one of them.
"I'm glad we are not fishes!" said another.
"Don't worry," Dorothy murmured, soothingly, "I'll not let the kitten
hurt you."
Then she happened to remember that in a corner of her suit-case were one
or two crackers that were left over from her luncheon on the train, and
she went to the buggy and brought them. Eureka stuck up her nose at such
food, but the tiny piglets squealed delightedly at the sight of the
crackers and ate them up in a jiffy.
"Now let us go back to the city," suggested the Wizard. "That is, if Jim
has had enough of the pink grass."
The cab-horse, who was browsing near, lifted his head with a sigh.
"I've tried to eat a lot while I had the chance," said he, "for it's
likely to be a long while between meals in this strange country. But I'm
ready to go, now, at any time you wish."
So, after the Wizard had put the piglets back into his inside pocket,
where they cuddled up and went to sleep, the three climbed into the
buggy and Jim started back to the town.
"Where shall we stay?" asked the girl.
"I think I shall take possession of the House of the Sorcerer," replied
the Wizard; "for the Prince said in the presence of his people that he
would keep me until they picked another Sorcerer, and the new Princess
won't know but that we belong there."
They agreed to this plan, and when they reached the great square Jim
drew the buggy into the big door of the domed hall.
"It doesn't look very homelike," said Dorothy, gazing around at the
bare room. "But it's a place to stay, anyhow."
"What are those holes up there?" enquired the boy, pointing to some
openings that appeared near the top of the dome.
"They look like doorways," said Dorothy; "only there are no stairs to
get to them."
"You forget that stairs are unnecessary," observed the Wizard. "Let us
walk up, and see where the doors lead to."
With this he began walking in the air toward the high openings, and
Dorothy and Zeb followed him. It was the same sort of climb one
experiences when walking up a hill, and they were nearly out of breath
when they came to the row of openings, which they perceived to be
doorways leading into halls in the upper part of the house. Following
these halls they discovered many small rooms opening from them, and some
were furnished with glass benches, tables and chairs. But there were no
beds at all.
"I wonder if these people never sleep," said the girl.
"Why, there seems to be no night at all in this country," Zeb replied.
"Those colored suns are exactly in the same place they were when we
came, and if there is no sunset there can be no night."
"Very true," agreed the Wizard. "But it is a long time since I have had
any sleep, and I'm tired. So I think I shall lie down upon one of these
hard glass benches and take a nap."
"I will, too," said Dorothy, and chose a little room at the end of the
Zeb walked down again to unharness Jim, who, when he found himself free,
rolled over a few times and then settled down to sleep, with Eureka
nestling comfortably beside his big, boney body. Then the boy returned
to one of the upper rooms, and in spite of the hardness of the glass
bench was soon deep in slumberland.
When the Wizard awoke the six colored suns were shining down upon the
Land of the Mangaboos just as they had done ever since his arrival. The
little man, having had a good sleep, felt rested and refreshed, and
looking through the glass partition of the room he saw Zeb sitting up on
his bench and yawning. So the Wizard went in to him.
"Zeb," said he, "my balloon is of no further use in this strange
country, so I may as well leave it on the square where it fell. But in
the basket-car are some things I would like to keep with me. I wish you
would go and fetch my satchel, two lanterns, and a can of kerosene oil
that is under the seat. There is nothing else that I care about."
So the boy went willingly upon the errand, and by the time he had
returned Dorothy was awake. Then the three held a counsel to decide what
they should do next, but could think of no way to better their
"I don't like these veg'table people," said the little girl. "They're
cold and flabby, like cabbages, in spite of their prettiness."
"I agree with you. It is because there is no warm blood in them,"
remarked the Wizard.
"And they have no hearts; so they can't love anyone--not even
themselves," declared the boy.
"The Princess is lovely to look at," continued Dorothy, thoughtfully;
"but I don't care much for her, after all. If there was any other place
to go, I'd like to go there."
"But _is_ there any other place?" asked the Wizard.
"I don't know," she answered.
Just then they heard the big voice of Jim the cab-horse calling to them,
and going to the doorway leading to the dome they found the Princess and
a throng of her people had entered the House of the Sorcerer.
So they went down to greet the beautiful vegetable lady, who said to
"I have been talking with my advisors about you meat people, and we have
decided that you do not belong in the Land of the Mangaboos and must not
remain here."
"How can we go away?" asked Dorothy.
"Oh, you cannot go away, of course; so you must be destroyed," was the
"In what way?" enquired the Wizard.
"We shall throw you three people into the Garden of the Twining Vines,"
said the Princess, "and they will soon crush you and devour your bodies
to make themselves grow bigger. The animals you have with you we will
drive to the mountains and put into the Black Pit. Then our country will
be rid of all its unwelcome visitors."
"But you are in need of a Sorcerer," said the Wizard, "and not one of
those growing is yet ripe enough to pick. I am greater than any
thorn-covered sorcerer that ever grew in your garden. Why destroy me?"
"It is true we need a Sorcerer," acknowledged the Princess, "but I am
informed that one of our own will be ready to pick in a few days, to
take the place of Gwig, whom you cut in two before it was time for him
to be planted. Let us see your arts, and the sorceries you are able to
perform. Then I will decide whether to destroy you with the others or
At this the Wizard made a bow to the people and repeated his trick of
producing the nine tiny piglets and making them disappear again. He did
it very cleverly, indeed, and the Princess looked at the strange
piglets as if she were as truly astonished as any vegetable person could
be. But afterward she said:
"I have heard of this wonderful magic. But it accomplishes nothing of
value. What else can you do?"
The Wizard tried to think. Then he jointed together the blades of his
sword and balanced it very skillfully upon the end of his nose. But even
that did not satisfy the Princess.
Just then his eye fell upon the lanterns and the can of kerosene oil
which Zeb had brought from the car of his balloon, and he got a clever
idea from those commonplace things.
"Your Highness," said he, "I will now proceed to prove my magic by
creating two suns that you have never seen before; also I will exhibit a
Destroyer much more dreadful than your Clinging Vines."
So he placed Dorothy upon one side of him and the boy upon the other and
set a lantern upon each of their heads.
"Don't laugh," he whispered to them, "or you will spoil the effect of my
Then, with much dignity and a look of vast importance upon his wrinkled
face, the Wizard got out his match-box and lighted the two lanterns. The
glare they made was very small when compared with the radiance of the
six great colored suns; but still they gleamed steadily and clearly. The
Mangaboos were much impressed because they had never before seen any
light that did not come directly from their suns.
Next the Wizard poured a pool of oil from the can upon the glass floor,
where it covered quite a broad surface. When he lighted the oil a
hundred tongues of flame shot up, and the effect was really imposing.
"Now, Princess," exclaimed the Wizard, "those of your advisors who
wished to throw us into the Garden of Clinging Vines must step within
this circle of light. If they advised you well, and were in the right,
they will not be injured in any way. But if any advised you wrongly, the
light will wither him."
The advisors of the Princess did not like this test; but she commanded
them to step into the flame and one by one they did so, and were
scorched so badly that the air was soon filled with an odor like that of
baked potatoes. Some of the Mangaboos fell down and had to be dragged
from the fire, and all were so withered that it would be necessary to
plant them at once.
"Sir," said the Princess to the Wizard, "you are greater than any
Sorcerer we have ever known. As it is evident that my people have
advised me wrongly, I will not cast you three people into the dreadful
Garden of the Clinging Vines; but your animals must be driven into the
Black Pit in the mountain, for my subjects cannot bear to have them
The Wizard was so pleased to have saved the two children and himself
that he said nothing against this decree; but when the Princess had gone
both Jim and Eureka protested they did not want to go to the Black Pit,
and Dorothy promised she would do all that she could to save them from
such a fate.
For two or three days after this--if we call days the periods between
sleep, there being no night to divide the hours into days--our friends
were not disturbed in any way. They were even permitted to occupy the
House of the Sorcerer in peace, as if it had been their own, and to
wander in the gardens in search of food.
Once they came near to the enclosed Garden of the Clinging Vines, and
walking high into the air looked down upon it with much interest. They
saw a mass of tough green vines all matted together and writhing and
twisting around like a nest of great snakes. Everything the vines
touched they crushed, and our adventurers were indeed thankful to have
escaped being cast among them.
Whenever the Wizard went to sleep he would take the nine tiny piglets
from his pocket and let them run around on the floor of his room to
amuse themselves and get some exercise; and one time they found his
glass door ajar and wandered into the hall and then into the bottom part
of the great dome, walking through the air as easily as Eureka could.
They knew the kitten, by this time, so they scampered over to where she
lay beside Jim and commenced to frisk and play with her.
The cab-horse, who never slept long at a time, sat upon his haunches and
watched the tiny piglets and the kitten with much approval.
"Don't be rough!" he would call out, if Eureka knocked over one of the
round, fat piglets with her paw; but the pigs never minded, and enjoyed
the sport very greatly.
Suddenly they looked up to find the room filled with the silent,
solemn-eyed Mangaboos. Each of the vegetable folks bore a branch covered
with sharp thorns, which was thrust defiantly toward the horse, the
kitten and the piglets.
"Here--stop this foolishness!" Jim roared, angrily; but after being
pricked once or twice he got upon his four legs and kept out of the way
of the thorns.
The Mangaboos surrounded them in solid ranks, but left an opening to the
doorway of the hall; so the animals slowly retreated until they were
driven from the room and out upon the street. Here were more of the
vegetable people with thorns, and silently they urged the now frightened
creatures down the street. Jim had to be careful not to step upon the
tiny piglets, who scampered under his feet grunting and squealing, while
Eureka, snarling and biting at the thorns pushed toward her, also tried
to protect the pretty little things from injury. Slowly but steadily the
heartless Mangaboos drove them on, until they had passed through the
city and the gardens and come to the broad plains leading to the
"What does all this mean, anyhow?" asked the horse, jumping to escape a
"Why, they are driving us toward the Black Pit, into which they
threatened to cast us," replied the kitten. "If I were as big as you
are, Jim, I'd fight these miserable turnip-roots!"
"What would you do?" enquired Jim.
"I'd kick out with those long legs and iron-shod hoofs."
"All right," said the horse; "I'll do it."
An instant later he suddenly backed toward the crowd of Mangaboos and
kicked out his hind legs as hard as he could. A dozen of them smashed
together and tumbled to the ground, and seeing his success Jim kicked
again and again, charging into the vegetable crowd, knocking them in
all directions and sending the others scattering to escape his iron
heels. Eureka helped him by flying into the faces of the enemy and
scratching and biting furiously, and the kitten ruined so many vegetable
complexions that the Mangaboos feared her as much as they did the horse.
But the foes were too many to be repulsed for long. They tired Jim and
Eureka out, and although the field of battle was thickly covered with
mashed and disabled Mangaboos, our animal friends had to give up at last
and allow themselves to be driven to the mountain.
When they came to the mountain it proved to be a rugged, towering chunk
of deep green glass, and looked dismal and forbidding in the extreme.
Half way up the steep was a yawning cave, black as night beyond the
point where the rainbow rays of the colored suns reached into it.
The Mangaboos drove the horse and the kitten and the piglets into this
dark hole and then, having pushed the buggy in after them--for it seemed
some of them had dragged it all the way from the domed hall--they began
to pile big glass rocks within the entrance, so that the prisoners could
not get out again.
"This is dreadful!" groaned Jim. "It will be about the end of our
adventures, I guess."
"If the Wizard was here," said one of the piglets, sobbing bitterly, "he
would not see us suffer so."
"We ought to have called him and Dorothy when we were first attacked,"
added Eureka. "But never mind; be brave, my friends, and I will go and
tell our masters where you are, and get them to come to your rescue."
The mouth of the hole was nearly filled up now, but the kitten gave a
leap through the remaining opening and at once scampered up into the
air. The Mangaboos saw her escape, and several of them caught up their
thorns and gave chase, mounting through the air after her. Eureka,
however, was lighter than the Mangaboos, and while they could mount only
about a hundred feet above the earth the kitten found she could go
nearly two hundred feet. So she ran along over their heads until she had
left them far behind and below and had come to the city and the House of
the Sorcerer. There she entered in at Dorothy's window in the dome and
aroused her from her sleep.
As soon as the little girl knew what had happened she awakened the
Wizard and Zeb, and at once preparations were made to go to the rescue
of Jim and the piglets. The Wizard carried his satchel, which was quite
heavy, and Zeb carried the two lanterns and the oil can. Dorothy's
wicker suit-case was still under the seat of the buggy, and by good
fortune the boy had also placed the harness in the buggy when he had
taken it off from Jim to let the horse lie down and rest. So there was
nothing for the girl to carry but the kitten, which she held close to
her bosom and tried to comfort, for its little heart was still beating
Some of the Mangaboos discovered them as soon as they left the House of
the Sorcerer; but when they started toward the mountain the vegetable
people allowed them to proceed without interference, yet followed in a
crowd behind them so that they could not go back again.
Before long they neared the Black Pit, where a busy swarm of Mangaboos,
headed by their Princess, was engaged in piling up glass rocks before
the entrance.
"Stop, I command you!" cried the Wizard, in an angry tone, and at once
began pulling down the rocks to liberate Jim and the piglets. Instead of
opposing him in this they stood back in silence until he had made a
good-sized hole in the barrier, when by order of the Princess they all
sprang forward and thrust out their sharp thorns.
Dorothy hopped inside the opening to escape being pricked, and Zeb and
the Wizard, after enduring a few stabs from the thorns, were glad to
follow her. At once the Mangaboos began piling up the rocks of glass
again, and as the little man realized that they were all about to be
entombed in the mountain he said to the children:
"My dears, what shall we do? Jump out and fight?"
"What's the use?" replied Dorothy. "I'd as soon die here as live much
longer among those cruel and heartless people."
"That's the way I feel about it," remarked Zeb, rubbing his wounds.
"I've had enough of the Mangaboos."
"All right," said the Wizard; "I'm with you, whatever you decide. But we
can't live long in this cavern, that's certain."
Noticing that the light was growing dim he picked up his nine piglets,
patted each one lovingly on its fat little head, and placed them
carefully in his inside pocket.
Zeb struck a match and lighted one of the lanterns. The rays of the
colored suns were now shut out from them forever, for the last chinks
had been filled up in the wall that separated their prison from the Land
of the Mangaboos.
"How big is this hole?" asked Dorothy.
"I'll explore it and see," replied the boy.
So he carried the lantern back for quite a distance, while Dorothy and
the Wizard followed at his side. The cavern did not come to an end, as
they had expected it would, but slanted upward through the great glass
mountain, running in a direction that promised to lead them to the side
opposite the Mangaboo country.
"It isn't a bad road," observed the Wizard, "and if we followed it it
might lead us to some place that is more comfortable than this black
pocket we are now in. I suppose the vegetable folk were always afraid to
enter this cavern because it is dark; but we have our lanterns to light
the way, so I propose that we start out and discover where this tunnel
in the mountain leads to."
The others agreed readily to this sensible suggestion, and at once the
boy began to harness Jim to the buggy. When all was in readiness the
three took their seats in the buggy and Jim started cautiously along the
way, Zeb driving while the Wizard and Dorothy each held a lighted
lantern so the horse could see where to go.
Sometimes the tunnel was so narrow that the wheels of the buggy grazed
the sides; then it would broaden out as wide as a street; but the floor
was usually smooth, and for a long time they travelled on without any
accident. Jim stopped sometimes to rest, for the climb was rather steep
and tiresome.
"We must be nearly as high as the six colored suns, by this time," said
Dorothy. "I didn't know this mountain was so tall."
"We are certainly a good distance away from the Land of the Mangaboos,"
added Zeb; "for we have slanted away from it ever since we started."
But they kept steadily moving, and just as Jim was about tired out with
his long journey the way suddenly grew lighter, and Zeb put out the
lanterns to save the oil.
To their joy they found it was a white light that now greeted them, for
all were weary of the colored rainbow lights which, after a time, had
made their eyes ache with their constantly shifting rays. The sides of
the tunnel showed before them like the inside of a long spy-glass, and
the floor became more level. Jim hastened his lagging steps at this
assurance of a quick relief from the dark passage, and in a few moments
more they had emerged from the mountain and found themselves face to
face with a new and charming country.
By journeying through the glass mountain they had reached a delightful
valley that was shaped like the hollow of a great cup, with another
rugged mountain showing on the other side of it, and soft and pretty
green hills at the ends. It was all laid out into lovely lawns and
gardens, with pebble paths leading through them and groves of beautiful
and stately trees dotting the landscape here and there. There were
orchards, too, bearing luscious fruits that are all unknown in our
world. Alluring brooks of crystal water flowed sparkling between their
flower-strewn banks, while scattered over the valley were dozens of the
quaintest and most picturesque cottages our travelers had ever beheld.
None of them were in clusters, such as villages or towns, but each had
ample grounds of its own, with orchards and gardens surrounding it.
As the new arrivals gazed upon this exquisite scene they were enraptured
by its beauties and the fragrance that permeated the soft air, which
they breathed so gratefully after the confined atmosphere of the tunnel.
Several minutes were consumed in silent admiration before they noticed
two very singular and unusual facts about this valley. One was that it
was lighted from some unseen source; for no sun or moon was in the
arched blue sky, although every object was flooded with a clear and
perfect light. The second and even more singular fact was the absence of
any inhabitant of this splendid place. From their elevated position they
could overlook the entire valley, but not a single moving object could
they see. All appeared mysteriously deserted.
The mountain on this side was not glass, but made of a stone similar to
granite. With some difficulty and danger Jim drew the buggy over the
loose rocks until he reached the green lawns below, where the paths and
orchards and gardens began. The nearest cottage was still some distance
"Isn't it fine?" cried Dorothy, in a joyous voice, as she sprang out of
the buggy and let Eureka run frolicking over the velvety grass.
"Yes, indeed!" answered Zeb. "We were lucky to get away from those
dreadful vegetable people."
"It wouldn't be so bad," remarked the Wizard, gazing around him, "if we
were obliged to live here always. We couldn't find a prettier place, I'm
He took the piglets from his pocket and let them run on the grass, and
Jim tasted a mouthful of the green blades and declared he was very
contented in his new surroundings.
"We can't walk in the air here, though," called Eureka, who had tried it
and failed; but the others were satisfied to walk on the ground, and the
Wizard said they must be nearer the surface of the earth than they had
been in the Mangaboo country, for everything was more homelike and
"But where are the people?" asked Dorothy.
The little man shook his bald head.
"Can't imagine, my dear," he replied.
They heard the sudden twittering of a bird, but could not find the
creature anywhere. Slowly they walked along the path toward the nearest
cottage, the piglets racing and gambolling beside them and Jim pausing
at every step for another mouthful of grass.
Presently they came to a low plant which had broad, spreading leaves, in
the center of which grew a single fruit about as large as a peach. The
fruit was so daintily colored and so fragrant, and looked so appetizing
and delicious that Dorothy stopped and exclaimed:
"What is it, do you s'pose?"
The piglets had smelled the fruit quickly, and before the girl could
reach out her hand to pluck it every one of the nine tiny ones had
rushed in and commenced to devour it with great eagerness.
"It's good, anyway," said Zeb, "or those little rascals wouldn't have
gobbled it up so greedily."
"Where are they?" asked Dorothy, in astonishment.
They all looked around, but the piglets had disappeared.
"Dear me!" cried the Wizard; "they must have run away. But I didn't see
them go; did you?"
"No!" replied the boy and the girl, together.
"Here,--piggy, piggy, piggy!" called their master, anxiously.
Several squeals and grunts were instantly heard at his feet, but the
Wizard could not discover a single piglet.
"Where are you?" he asked.
"Why, right beside you," spoke a tiny voice. "Can't you see us?"
"No," answered the little man, in a puzzled tone.
"We can see you," said another of the piglets.
The Wizard stooped down and put out his hand, and at once felt the small
fat body of one of his pets. He picked it up, but could not see what he
"It is very strange," said he, soberly. "The piglets have become
invisible, in some curious way."
"I'll bet it's because they ate that peach!" cried the kitten.
"It wasn't a peach, Eureka," said Dorothy. "I only hope it wasn't
"It was fine, Dorothy," called one of the piglets.
"We'll eat all we can find of them," said another.
"But _we_ mus'n't eat them," the Wizard warned the children, "or we too
may become invisible, and lose each other. If we come across another of
the strange fruit we must avoid it."
Calling the piglets to him he picked them all up, one by one, and put
them away in his pocket; for although he could not see them he could
feel them, and when he had buttoned his coat he knew they were safe for
the present.
The travellers now resumed their walk toward the cottage, which they
presently reached. It was a pretty place, with vines growing thickly
over the broad front porch. The door stood open and a table was set in
the front room, with four chairs drawn up to it. On the table were
plates, knives and forks, and dishes of bread, meat and fruits. The meat
was smoking hot and the knives and forks were performing strange antics
and jumping here and there in quite a puzzling way. But not a single
person appeared to be in the room.
"How funny!" exclaimed Dorothy, who with Zeb and the Wizard now stood in
the doorway.
A peal of merry laughter answered her, and the knives and forks fell to
the plates with a clatter. One of the chairs pushed back from the table,
and this was so astonishing and mysterious that Dorothy was almost
tempted to run away in fright.
"Here are strangers, mama!" cried the shrill and childish voice of some
unseen person.
"So I see, my dear," answered another voice, soft and womanly.
"What do you want?" demanded a third voice, in a stern, gruff accent.
"Well, well!" said the Wizard; "are there really people in this room?"
"Of course," replied the man's voice.
"And--pardon me for the foolish question--but, are you all invisible?"
"Surely," the woman answered, repeating her low, rippling laughter.
"Are you surprised that you are unable to see the people of Voe?"
"Why, yes," stammered the Wizard. "All the people I have ever met before
were very plain to see."
"Where do you come from, then?" asked the woman, in a curious tone.
"We belong upon the face of the earth," explained the Wizard, "but
recently, during an earthquake, we fell down a crack and landed in the
Country of the Mangaboos."
"Dreadful creatures!" exclaimed the woman's voice. "I've heard of them."
"They walled us up in a mountain," continued the Wizard; "but we found
there was a tunnel through to this side, so we came here. It is a
beautiful place. What do you call it?"
"It is the Valley of Voe."
"Thank you. We have seen no people since we arrived, so we came to this
house to enquire our way."
"Are you hungry?" asked the woman's voice.
"I could eat something," said Dorothy.
"So could I," added Zeb.
"But we do not wish to intrude, I assure you," the Wizard hastened to
"That's all right," returned the man's voice, more pleasantly than
before. "You are welcome to what we have."
As he spoke the voice came so near to Zeb that he jumped back in alarm.
Two childish voices laughed merrily at this action, and Dorothy was sure
they were in no danger among such light-hearted folks, even if those
folks couldn't be seen.
"What curious animal is that which is eating the grass on my lawn?"
enquired the man's voice.
"That's Jim," said the girl. "He's a horse."
"What is he good for?" was the next question.
"He draws the buggy you see fastened to him, and we ride in the buggy
instead of walking," she explained.
"Can he fight?" asked the man's voice.
"No! he can kick pretty hard with his heels, and bite a little; but Jim
can't 'zactly fight," she replied.
"Then the bears will get him," said one of the children's voices.
"Bears!" exclaimed Dorothy. "Are these bears here?"
"That is the one evil of our country," answered the invisible man. "Many
large and fierce bears roam in the Valley of Voe, and when they can
catch any of us they eat us up; but as they cannot see us, we seldom get
"Are the bears invis'ble, too?" asked the girl.
"Yes; for they eat of the dama-fruit, as we all do, and that keeps them
from being seen by any eye, whether human or animal."
"Does the dama-fruit grow on a low bush, and look something like a
peach?" asked the Wizard.
"Yes," was the reply.
"If it makes you invis'ble, why do you eat it?" Dorothy enquired.
"For two reasons, my dear," the woman's voice answered. "The dama-fruit
is the most delicious thing that grows, and when it makes us invisible
the bears cannot find us to eat us up. But now, good wanderers, your
luncheon is on the table, so please sit down and eat as much as you
The strangers took their seats at the table willingly enough, for they
were all hungry and the platters were now heaped with good things to
eat. In front of each place was a plate bearing one of the delicious
dama-fruit, and the perfume that rose from these was so enticing and
sweet that they were sorely tempted to eat of them and become invisible.
But Dorothy satisfied her hunger with other things, and her companions
did likewise, resisting the temptation.
"Why do you not eat the damas?" asked the woman's voice.
"We don't want to get invis'ble," answered the girl.
"But if you remain visible the bears will see you and devour you," said
a girlish young voice, that belonged to one of the children. "We who
live here much prefer to be invisible; for we can still hug and kiss one
another, and are quite safe from the bears."
"And we do not have to be so particular about our dress," remarked the
"And mama can't tell whether my face is dirty or not!" added the other
childish voice, gleefully.
"But I make you wash it, every time I think of it," said the mother;
"for it stands to reason your face is dirty, Ianu, whether I can see it
or not."
Dorothy laughed and stretched out her hands.
"Come here, please--Ianu and your sister--and let me feel of you," she
They came to her willingly, and Dorothy passed her hands over their
faces and forms and decided one was a girl of about her own age and the
other a boy somewhat smaller. The girl's hair was soft and fluffy and
her skin as smooth as satin. When Dorothy gently touched her nose and
ears and lips they seemed to be well and delicately formed.
"If I could see you I am sure you would be beautiful," she declared.
The girl laughed, and her mother said:
"We are not vain in the Valley of Voe, because we can not display our
beauty, and good actions and pleasant ways are what make us lovely to
our companions. Yet we can see and appreciate the beauties of nature,
the dainty flowers and trees, the green fields and the clear blue of the
"How about the birds and beasts and fishes?" asked Zeb.
"The birds we cannot see, because they love to eat of the damas as much
as we do; yet we hear their sweet songs and enjoy them. Neither can we
see the cruel bears, for they also eat the fruit. But the fishes that
swim in our brooks we can see, and often we catch them to eat."
"It occurs to me you have a great deal to make you happy, even while
invisible," remarked the Wizard. "Nevertheless, we prefer to remain
visible while we are in your valley."
Just then Eureka came in, for she had been until now wandering outside
with Jim; and when the kitten saw the table set with food she cried out:
"Now you must feed me, Dorothy, for I'm half starved."
The children were inclined to be frightened by the sight of the small
animal, which reminded them of the bears; but Dorothy reassured them by
explaining that Eureka was a pet and could do no harm even if she wished
to. Then, as the others had by this time moved away from the table, the
kitten sprang upon the chair and put her paws upon the cloth to see what
there was to eat. To her surprise an unseen hand clutched her and held
her suspended in the air. Eureka was frantic with terror, and tried to
scratch and bite, so the next moment she was dropped to the floor.
"Did you see that, Dorothy?" she gasped.
"Yes, dear," her mistress replied; "there are people living in this
house, although we cannot see them. And you must have better manners,
Eureka, or something worse will happen to you."
She placed a plate of food upon the floor and the kitten ate greedily.
"Give me that nice-smelling fruit I saw on the table," she begged, when
she had cleaned the plate.
"Those are damas," said Dorothy, "and you must never even taste them,
Eureka, or you'll get invis'ble, and then we can't see you at all."
The kitten gazed wistfully at the forbidden fruit.
"Does it hurt to be invis'ble?" she asked.
"I don't know," Dorothy answered; "but it would hurt me dre'fully to
lose you."
"Very well, I won't touch it," decided the kitten; "but you must keep it
away from me, for the smell is very tempting."
"Can you tell us, sir or ma'am," said the Wizard, addressing the air
because he did not quite know where the unseen people stood, "if there
is any way we can get out of your beautiful Valley, and on top of the
Earth again."
"Oh, one can leave the Valley easily enough," answered the man's voice;
"but to do so you must enter a far less pleasant country. As for
reaching the top of the earth, I have never heard that it is possible to
do that, and if you succeeded in getting there you would probably fall
"Oh, no," said Dorothy, "we've been there, and we know."
"The Valley of Voe is certainly a charming place," resumed the Wizard;
"but we cannot be contented in any other land than our own, for long.
Even if we should come to unpleasant places on our way it is necessary,
in order to reach the earth's surface, to keep moving on toward it."
"In that case," said the man, "it will be best for you to cross our
Valley and mount the spiral staircase inside the Pyramid Mountain. The
top of that mountain is lost in the clouds, and when you reach it you
will be in the awful Land of Naught, where the Gargoyles live."
"What are Gargoyles?" asked Zeb.
"I do not know, young sir. Our greatest Champion, Overman-Anu, once
climbed the spiral stairway and fought nine days with the Gargoyles
before he could escape them and come back; but he could never be induced
to describe the dreadful creatures, and soon afterward a bear caught
him and ate him up."
The wanderers were rather discouraged by this gloomy report, but Dorothy
said with a sigh:
"If the only way to get home is to meet the Gurgles, then we've got to
meet 'em. They can't be worse than the Wicked Witch or the Nome King."
"But you must remember you had the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman to help
you conquer those enemies," suggested the Wizard. "Just now, my dear,
there is not a single warrior in your company."
"Oh, I guess Zeb could fight if he had to. Couldn't you, Zeb?" asked the
little girl.
"Perhaps; if I had to," answered Zeb, doubtfully.
"And you have the jointed sword that you chopped the veg'table Sorcerer
in two with," the girl said to the little man.
"True," he replied; "and in my satchel are other useful things to fight
"What the Gargoyles most dread is a noise," said the man's voice. "Our
Champion told me that when he shouted his battle-cry the creatures
shuddered and drew back, hesitating to continue the combat. But they
were in great numbers, and the Champion could not shout much because he
had to save his breath for fighting."
"Very good," said the Wizard; "we can all yell better than we can fight,
so we ought to defeat the Gargoyles."
"But tell me," said Dorothy, "how did such a brave Champion happen to
let the bears eat him? And if he was invis'ble, and the bears invis'ble,
who knows that they really ate him up?"
"The Champion had killed eleven bears in his time," returned the unseen
man; "and we know this is true because when any creature is dead the
invisible charm of the dama-fruit ceases to be active, and the slain one
can be plainly seen by all eyes. When the Champion killed a bear
everyone could see it; and when the bears killed the Champion we all saw
several pieces of him scattered about, which of course disappeared again
when the bears devoured them."
They now bade farewell to the kind but unseen people of the cottage, and
after the man had called their attention to a high, pyramid-shaped
mountain on the opposite side of the Valley, and told them how to travel
in order to reach it, they again started upon their journey.
They followed the course of a broad stream and passed several more
pretty cottages; but of course they saw no one, nor did any one speak to
them. Fruits and flowers grew plentifully all about, and there were many
of the delicious damas that the people of Voe were so fond of.
About noon they stopped to allow Jim to rest in the shade of a pretty
orchard, and while they plucked and ate some of the cherries and plums
that grew there a soft voice suddenly said to them:
"There are bears near by. Be careful."
The Wizard got out his sword at once, and Zeb grabbed the horse-whip.
Dorothy climbed into the buggy, although Jim had been unharnessed from
it and was grazing some distance away.
The owner of the unseen voice laughed lightly and said:
"You cannot escape the bears that way."
"How _can_ we 'scape?" asked Dorothy, nervously, for an unseen danger is
always the hardest to face.
"You must take to the river," was the reply. "The bears will not venture
upon the water."
"But we would be drowned!" exclaimed the girl.
"Oh, there is no need of that," said the voice, which from its gentle
tones seemed to belong to a young girl. "You are strangers in the Valley
of Voe, and do not seem to know our ways; so I will try to save you."
The next moment a broad-leaved plant was jerked from the ground where it
grew and held suspended in the air before the Wizard.
"Sir," said the voice, "you must rub these leaves upon the soles of
all your feet, and then you will be able to walk upon the water without
sinking below the surface. It is a secret the bears do not know, and we
people of Voe usually walk upon the water when we travel, and so escape
our enemies."
"Thank you!" cried the Wizard, joyfully, and at once rubbed a leaf upon
the soles of Dorothy's shoes and then upon his own. The girl took a leaf
and rubbed it upon the kitten's paws, and the rest of the plant was
handed to Zeb, who, after applying it to his own feet, carefully rubbed
it upon all four of Jim's hoofs and then upon the tires of the
buggy-wheels. He had nearly finished this last task when a low growling
was suddenly heard and the horse began to jump around and kick viciously
with his heels.
"Quick! To the water, or you are lost!" cried their unseen friend, and
without hesitation the Wizard drew the buggy down the bank and out upon
the broad river, for Dorothy was still seated in it with Eureka in her
arms. They did not sink at all, owing to the virtues of the strange
plant they had used, and when the buggy was in the middle of the stream
the Wizard returned to the bank to assist Zeb and Jim.
The horse was plunging madly about, and two or three deep gashes
appeared upon its flanks, from which the blood flowed freely.
"Run for the river!" shouted the Wizard, and Jim quickly freed himself
from his unseen tormenters by a few vicious kicks and then obeyed. As
soon as he trotted out upon the surface of the river he found himself
safe from pursuit, and Zeb was already running across the water toward
As the little Wizard turned to follow them he felt a hot breath against
his cheek and heard a low, fierce growl. At once he began stabbing at
the air with his sword, and he knew that he had struck some substance
because when he drew back the blade it was dripping with blood. The
third time that he thrust out the weapon there was a loud roar and a
fall, and suddenly at his feet appeared the form of a great red bear,
which was nearly as big as the horse and much stronger and fiercer. The
beast was quite dead from the sword thrusts, and after a glance at its
terrible claws and sharp teeth the little man turned in a panic and
rushed out upon the water, for other menacing growls told him more bears
were near.
On the river, however, the adventurers seemed to be perfectly safe.
Dorothy and the buggy had floated slowly down stream with the current of
the water, and the others made haste to join her. The Wizard opened his
satchel and got out some sticking-plaster with which he mended the cuts
Jim had received from the claws of the bears.
"I think we'd better stick to the river, after this," said Dorothy. "If
our unknown friend hadn't warned us, and told us what to do, we would
all be dead by this time."
"That is true," agreed the Wizard, "and as the river seems to be flowing
in the direction of the Pyramid Mountain it will be the easiest way for
us to travel."
Zeb hitched Jim to the buggy again, and the horse trotted along and drew
them rapidly over the smooth water. The kitten was at first dreadfully
afraid of getting wet, but Dorothy let her down and soon Eureka was
frisking along beside the buggy without being scared a bit. Once a
little fish swam too near the surface, and the kitten grabbed it in her
mouth and ate it up as quick as a wink; but Dorothy cautioned her to be
careful what she ate in this valley of enchantments, and no more fishes
were careless enough to swim within reach.
After a journey of several hours they came to a point where the river
curved, and they found they must cross a mile or so of the Valley before
they came to the Pyramid Mountain. There were few houses in this part,
and few orchards or flowers; so our friends feared they might encounter
more of the savage bears, which they had learned to dread with all their
"You'll have to make a dash, Jim," said the Wizard, "and run as fast as
you can go."
"All right," answered the horse; "I'll do my best. But you must remember
I'm old, and my dashing days are past and gone."
All three got into the buggy and Zeb picked up the reins, though Jim
needed no guidance of any sort. The horse was still smarting from the
sharp claws of the invisible bears, and as soon as he was on land and
headed toward the mountain the thought that more of those fearsome
creatures might be near acted as a spur and sent him galloping along in
a way that made Dorothy catch her breath.
Then Zeb, in a spirit of mischief, uttered a growl like that of the
bears, and Jim pricked up his ears and fairly flew. His boney legs moved
so fast they could scarcely be seen, and the Wizard clung fast to the
seat and yelled "Whoa!" at the top of his voice.
"I--I'm 'fraid he's--he's running away!" gasped Dorothy.
"I _know_ he is," said Zeb; "but no bear can catch him if he keeps up
that gait--and the harness or the buggy don't break."
Jim did not make a mile a minute; but almost before they were aware of
it he drew up at the foot of the mountain, so suddenly that the Wizard
and Zeb both sailed over the dashboard and landed in the soft
grass--where they rolled over several times before they stopped.
Dorothy nearly went with them, but she was holding fast to the iron rail
of the seat, and that saved her. She squeezed the kitten, though, until
it screeched; and then the old cab-horse made several curious sounds
that led the little girl to suspect he was laughing at them all.
The mountain before them was shaped like a cone and was so tall that its
point was lost in the clouds. Directly facing the place where Jim had
stopped was an arched opening leading to a broad stairway. The stairs
were cut in the rock inside the mountain, and they were broad and not
very steep, because they circled around like a cork-screw, and at the
arched opening where the flight began the circle was quite big. At the
foot of the stairs was a sign reading:
These steps lead to the
Land of the Gargoyles.
"I wonder how Jim is ever going to draw the buggy up so many stairs,"
said Dorothy, gravely.
"No trouble at all," declared the horse, with a contemptuous neigh.
"Still, I don't care to drag any passengers. You'll all have to walk."
"Suppose the stairs get steeper?" suggested Zeb, doubtfully.
"Then you'll have to boost the buggy-wheels, that's all," answered Jim.
"We'll try it, anyway," said the Wizard. "It's the only way to get out
of the Valley of Voe."
So they began to ascend the stairs, Dorothy and the Wizard first, Jim
next, drawing the buggy, and then Zeb to watch that nothing happened to
the harness.
The light was dim, and soon they mounted into total darkness, so that
the Wizard was obliged to get out his lanterns to light the way. But
this enabled them to proceed steadily until they came to a landing where
there was a rift in the side of the mountain that let in both light and
air. Looking through this opening they could see the Valley of Voe lying
far below them, the cottages seeming like toy houses from that distance.
After resting a few moments they resumed their climb, and still the
stairs were broad and low enough for Jim to draw the buggy easily after
him. The old horse panted a little, and had to stop often to get his
breath. At such times they were all glad to wait for him, for
continually climbing up stairs is sure to make one's legs ache.
They wound about, always going upward, for some time. The lights from
the lanterns dimly showed the way, but it was a gloomy journey, and they
were pleased when a broad streak of light ahead assured them they were
coming to a second landing.
Here one side of the mountain had a great hole in it, like the mouth of
a cavern, and the stairs stopped at the near edge of the floor and
commenced ascending again at the opposite edge.
The opening in the mountain was on the side opposite to the Valley of
Voe, and our travellers looked out upon a strange scene. Below them was
a vast space, at the bottom of which was a black sea with rolling
billows, through which little tongues of flame constantly shot up. Just
above them, and almost on a level with their platform, were banks of
rolling clouds which constantly shifted position and changed color. The
blues and greys were very beautiful, and Dorothy noticed that on the
cloud banks sat or reclined fleecy, shadowy forms of beautiful beings
who must have been the Cloud Fairies. Mortals who stand upon the earth
and look up at the sky cannot often distinguish these forms, but our
friends were now so near to the clouds that they observed the dainty
fairies very clearly.
"Are they real?" asked Zeb, in an awed voice.
"Of course," replied Dorothy, softly. "They are the Cloud Fairies."
"They seem like open-work," remarked the boy, gazing intently. "If I
should squeeze one, there wouldn't be anything left of it."
In the open space between the clouds and the black, bubbling sea far
beneath, could be seen an occasional strange bird winging its way
swiftly through the air. These birds were of enormous size, and reminded
Zeb of the rocs he had read about in the Arabian Nights. They had fierce
eyes and sharp talons and beaks, and the children hoped none of them
would venture into the cavern.
"Well, I declare!" suddenly exclaimed the little Wizard. "What in the
world is this?"
They turned around and found a man standing on the floor in the center
of the cave, who bowed very politely when he saw he had attracted their
attention. He was a very old man, bent nearly double; but the queerest
thing about him was his white hair and beard. These were so long that
they reached to his feet, and both the hair and the beard were
carefully plaited into many braids, and the end of each braid fastened
with a bow of colored ribbon.
"Where did you come from?" asked Dorothy, wonderingly.
"No place at all," answered the man with the braids; "that is, not
recently. Once I lived on top the earth, but for many years I have had
my factory in this spot--half way up Pyramid Mountain."
"Are we only half way up?" enquired the boy, in a discouraged tone.
"I believe so, my lad," replied the braided man. "But as I have never
been in either direction, down or up, since I arrived, I cannot be
positive whether it is exactly half way or not."
"Have you a factory in this place?" asked the Wizard, who had been
examining the strange personage carefully.
"To be sure," said the other. "I am a great inventor, you must know, and
I manufacture my products in this lonely spot."
"What are your products?" enquired the Wizard.
"Well, I make Assorted Flutters for flags and bunting, and a superior
grade of Rustles for ladies' silk gowns."
"I thought so," said the Wizard, with a sigh. "May we examine some of
these articles?"
"Yes, indeed; come into my shop, please," and the braided man turned and
led the way into a smaller cave, where he evidently lived. Here, on a
broad shelf, were several card-board boxes of various sizes, each tied
with cotton cord.
"This," said the man, taking up a box and handling it gently, "contains
twelve dozen rustles--enough to last any lady a year. Will you buy it,
my dear?" he asked, addressing Dorothy.
"My gown isn't silk," she said, smiling.
"Never mind. When you open the box the rustles will escape, whether you
are wearing a silk dress or not," said the man, seriously. Then he
picked up another box. "In this," he continued, "are many assorted
flutters. They are invaluable to make flags flutter on a still day, when
there is no wind. You, sir," turning to the Wizard, "ought to have this
assortment. Once you have tried my goods I am sure you will never be
without them."
"I have no money with me," said the Wizard, evasively.
"I do not want money," returned the braided man, "for I could not spend
it in this deserted place if I had it. But I would like very much a blue
hair-ribbon. You will notice my braids are tied with yellow, pink,
brown, red, green, white and black; but I have no blue ribbons."
"I'll get you one!" cried Dorothy, who was sorry for the poor man; so
she ran back to the buggy and took from her suit-case a pretty blue
ribbon. It did her good to see how the braided man's eyes sparkled when
he received this treasure.
"You have made me very, very happy, my dear!" he exclaimed; and then he
insisted on the Wizard taking the box of flutters and the little girl
accepting the box of rustles.
"You may need them, some time," he said, "and there is really no use in
my manufacturing these things unless somebody uses them."
"Why did you leave the surface of the earth?" enquired the Wizard.
"I could not help it. It is a sad story, but if you will try to restrain
your tears I will tell you about it. On earth I was a manufacturer of
Imported Holes for American Swiss Cheese, and I will acknowledge that I
supplied a superior article, which was in great demand. Also I made
pores for porous plasters and high-grade holes for doughnuts and
buttons. Finally I invented a new Adjustable Post-hole, which I thought
would make my fortune. I manufactured a large quantity of these
post-holes, and having no room in which to store them I set them all end
to end and put the top one in the ground. That made an extraordinary
long hole, as you may imagine, and reached far down into the earth; and,
as I leaned over it to try to see to the bottom, I lost my balance and
tumbled in. Unfortunately, the hole led directly into the vast space you
see outside this mountain; but I managed to catch a point of rock that
projected from this cavern, and so saved myself from tumbling headlong
into the black waves beneath, where the tongues of flame that dart out
would certainly have consumed me. Here, then, I made my home; and
although it is a lonely place I amuse myself making rustles and
flutters, and so get along very nicely."
When the braided man had completed this strange tale Dorothy nearly
laughed, because it was all so absurd; but the Wizard tapped his
forehead significantly, to indicate that he thought the poor man was
crazy. So they politely bade him good day, and went back to the outer
cavern to resume their journey.
Another breathless climb brought our adventurers to a third landing
where there was a rift in the mountain. On peering out all they could
see was rolling banks of clouds, so thick that they obscured all else.
But the travellers were obliged to rest, and while they were sitting on
the rocky floor the Wizard felt in his pocket and brought out the nine
tiny piglets. To his delight they were now plainly visible, which proved
that they had passed beyond the influence of the magical Valley of Voe.
"Why, we can see each other again!" cried one, joyfully.
"Yes," sighed Eureka; "and I also can see you again, and the sight
makes me dreadfully hungry. Please, Mr. Wizard, may I eat just one of
the fat little piglets? You'd never miss _one_ of them, I'm sure!"
"What a horrid, savage beast!" exclaimed a piglet; "and after we've been
such good friends, too, and played with one another!"
"When I'm not hungry, I love to play with you all," said the kitten,
demurely; "but when my stomach is empty it seems that nothing would fill
it so nicely as a fat piglet."
"And we trusted you so!" said another of the nine, reproachfully.
"And thought you were respectable!" said another.
"It seems we were mistaken," declared a third, looking at the kitten
timorously, "no one with such murderous desires should belong to our
party, I'm sure."
"You see, Eureka," remarked Dorothy, reprovingly, "you are making
yourself disliked. There are certain things proper for a kitten to eat;
but I never heard of a kitten eating a pig, under _any_ cir'stances."
"Did you ever see such little pigs before?" asked the kitten. "They are
no bigger than mice, and I'm sure mice are proper for me to eat."
"It isn't the bigness, dear; its the variety," replied the girl. "These
are Mr. Wizard's pets, just as you are my pet, and it wouldn't be any
more proper for you to eat them than it would be for Jim to eat you."
"And that's just what I shall do if you don't let those little balls of
pork alone," said Jim, glaring at the kitten with his round, big eyes.
"If you injure any one of them I'll chew you up instantly."
The kitten looked at the horse thoughtfully, as if trying to decide
whether he meant it or not.
"In that case," she said, "I'll leave them alone. You haven't many teeth
left, Jim, but the few you have are sharp enough to make me shudder. So
the piglets will be perfectly safe, hereafter, as far as I am
"That is right, Eureka," remarked the Wizard, earnestly. "Let us all be
a happy family and love one another."
Eureka yawned and stretched herself.
"I've always loved the piglets," she said; "but they don't love me."
"No one can love a person he's afraid of," asserted Dorothy. "If you
behave, and don't scare the little pigs, I'm sure they'll grow very fond
of you."
The Wizard now put the nine tiny ones back into his pocket and the
journey was resumed.
"We must be pretty near the top, now," said the boy, as they climbed
wearily up the dark, winding stairway.
"The Country of the Gurgles can't be far from the top of the earth,"
remarked Dorothy. "It isn't very nice down here. I'd like to get home
again, I'm sure."
No one replied to this, because they found they needed all their breath
for the climb. The stairs had become narrower and Zeb and the Wizard
often had to help Jim pull the buggy from one step to another, or keep
it from jamming against the rocky walls.
At last, however, a dim light appeared ahead of them, which grew clearer
and stronger as they advanced.
"Thank goodness we're nearly there!" panted the little Wizard.
Jim, who was in advance, saw the last stair before him and stuck his
head above the rocky sides of the stairway. Then he halted, ducked down
and began to back up, so that he nearly fell with the buggy onto the
"Let's go down again!" he said, in his hoarse voice.
"Nonsense!" snapped the tired Wizard. "What's the matter with you, old
"Everything," grumbled the horse. "I've taken a look at this place, and
it's no fit country for real creatures to go to. Everything's dead, up
there--no flesh or blood or growing thing anywhere."
"Never mind; we can't turn back," said Dorothy; "and we don't intend to
stay there, anyhow."
"It's dangerous," growled Jim, in a stubborn tone.
"See here, my good steed," broke in the Wizard, "little Dorothy and I
have been in many queer countries in our travels, and always escaped
without harm. We've even been to the marvelous Land of Oz--haven't we,
Dorothy?--so we don't much care what the Country of the Gargoyles is
like. Go ahead, Jim, and whatever happens we'll make the best of it."
"All right," answered the horse; "this is your excursion, and not mine;
so if you get into trouble don't blame me."
With this speech he bent forward and dragged the buggy up the remaining
steps. The others followed and soon they were all standing upon a broad
platform and gazing at the most curious and startling sight their eyes
had ever beheld.
"The Country of the Gargoyles is all wooden!" exclaimed Zeb; and so it
was. The ground was sawdust and the pebbles scattered around were hard
knots from trees, worn smooth in course of time. There were odd wooden
houses, with carved wooden flowers in the front yards. The tree-trunks
were of coarse wood, but the leaves of the trees were shavings. The
patches of grass were splinters of wood, and where neither grass nor
sawdust showed was a solid wooden flooring. Wooden birds fluttered
among the trees and wooden cows were browsing upon the wooden grass; but
the most amazing things of all were the wooden people--the creatures
known as Gargoyles.
These were very numerous, for the palace was thickly inhabited, and a
large group of the queer people clustered near, gazing sharply upon the
strangers who had emerged from the long spiral stairway.
The Gargoyles were very small of stature, being less than three feet in
height. Their bodies were round, their legs short and thick and their
arms extraordinarily long and stout. Their heads were too big for their
bodies and their faces were decidedly ugly to look upon. Some had long,
curved noses and chins, small eyes and wide, grinning mouths. Others had
flat noses, protruding eyes, and ears that were shaped like those of an
elephant. There were many types, indeed, scarcely two being alike; but
all were equally disagreeable in appearance. The tops of their heads had
no hair, but were carved into a variety of fantastic shapes, some having
a row of points or balls around the top, other designs resembling
flowers or vegetables, and still others having squares that looked like
waffles cut criss-cross on their heads. They all wore short wooden wings
which were fastened to their wooden bodies by means of wooden hinges
with wooden screws, and with these wings they flew swiftly and
noiselessly here and there, their legs being of little use to them.
This noiseless motion was one of the most peculiar things about the
Gargoyles. They made no sounds at all, either in flying or trying to
speak, and they conversed mainly by means of quick signals made with
their wooden fingers or lips. Neither was there any sound to be heard
anywhere throughout the wooden country. The birds did not sing, nor did
the cows moo; yet there was more than ordinary activity everywhere.
The group of these queer creatures which was discovered clustered near
the stairs at first remained staring and motionless, glaring with evil
eyes at the intruders who had so suddenly appeared in their land. In
turn the Wizard and the children, the horse and the kitten, examined the
Gargoyles with the same silent attention.
"There's going to be trouble, I'm sure," remarked the horse. "Unhitch
those tugs, Zeb, and set me free from the buggy, so I can fight
"Jim's right," sighed the Wizard. "There's going to be trouble, and my
sword isn't stout enough to cut up those wooden bodies--so I shall have
to get out my revolvers."
He got his satchel from the buggy and, opening it, took out two deadly
looking revolvers that made the children shrink back in alarm just to
look at.
"What harm can the Gurgles do?" asked Dorothy. "They have no weapons to
hurt us with."
"Each of their arms is a wooden club," answered the little man, "and I'm
sure the creatures mean mischief, by the looks of their eyes. Even these
revolvers can merely succeed in damaging a few of their wooden bodies,
and after that we will be at their mercy."
"But why fight at all, in that case?" asked the girl.
"So I may die with a clear conscience," returned the Wizard, gravely.
"It's every man's duty to do the best he knows how; and I'm going to do
"Wish I had an axe," said Zeb, who by now had unhitched the horse.
"If we had known we were coming we might have brought along several
other useful things," responded the Wizard. "But we dropped into this
adventure rather unexpectedly."
The Gargoyles had backed away a distance when they heard the sound of
talking, for although our friends had spoken in low tones their words
seemed loud in the silence surrounding them. But as soon as the
conversation ceased the grinning, ugly creatures arose in a flock and
flew swiftly toward the strangers, their long arms stretched out before
them like the bowsprits of a fleet of sail-boats. The horse had
especially attracted their notice, because it was the biggest and
strangest creature they had ever seen; so it became the center of their
first attack.
But Jim was ready for them, and when he saw them coming he turned his
heels toward them and began kicking out as hard as he could. Crack!
crash! bang! went his iron-shod hoofs against the wooden bodies of the
Gargoyles, and they were battered right and left with such force that
they scattered like straws in the wind. But the noise and clatter seemed
as dreadful to them as Jim's heels, for all who were able swiftly turned
and flew away to a great distance. The others picked themselves up from
the ground one by one and quickly rejoined their fellows, so for a
moment the horse thought he had won the fight with ease.
But the Wizard was not so confident.
"Those wooden things are impossible to hurt," he said, "and all the
damage Jim has done to them is to knock a few splinters from their noses
and ears. That cannot make them look any uglier, I'm sure, and it is my
opinion they will soon renew the attack."
"What made them fly away?" asked Dorothy.
"The noise, of course. Don't you remember how the Champion escaped them
by shouting his battle-cry?"
"Suppose we escape down the stairs, too," suggested the boy. "We have
time, just now, and I'd rather face the invis'ble bears than those
wooden imps."
"No," returned Dorothy, stoutly, "it won't do to go back, for then we
would never get home. Let's fight it out."
"That is what I advise," said the Wizard. "They haven't defeated us yet,
and Jim is worth a whole army."
But the Gargoyles were clever enough not to attack the horse the next
time. They advanced in a great swarm, having been joined by many more of
their kind, and they flew straight over Jim's head to where the others
were standing.
The Wizard raised one of his revolvers and fired into the throng of his
enemies, and the shot resounded like a clap of thunder in that silent
Some of the wooden beings fell flat upon the ground, where they quivered
and trembled in every limb; but most of them managed to wheel and escape
again to a distance.
Zeb ran and picked up one of the Gargoyles that lay nearest to him. The
top of its head was carved into a crown and the Wizard's bullet had
struck it exactly in the left eye, which was a hard wooden knot. Half of
the bullet stuck in the wood and half stuck out, so it had been the jar
and the sudden noise that had knocked the creature down, more than the
fact that it was really hurt. Before this crowned Gargoyle had recovered
himself Zeb had wound a strap several times around its body, confining
its wings and arms so that it could not move. Then, having tied the
wooden creature securely, the boy buckled the strap and tossed his
prisoner into the buggy. By that time the others had all retired.
For a while the enemy hesitated to renew the attack. Then a few of them
advanced until another shot from the Wizard's revolver made them
"That's fine," said Zeb. "We've got 'em on the run now, sure enough."
"But only for a time," replied the Wizard, shaking his head gloomily.
"These revolvers are good for six shots each, but when those are gone we
shall be helpless."
The Gargoyles seemed to realize this, for they sent a few of their band
time after time to attack the strangers and draw the fire from the
little man's revolvers. In this way none of them was shocked by the
dreadful report more than once, for the main band kept far away and
each time a new company was sent into the battle. When the Wizard had
fired all of his twelve bullets he had caused no damage to the enemy
except to stun a few by the noise, and so he was no nearer to victory
than in the beginning of the fray.
"What shall we do now?" asked Dorothy, anxiously.
"Let's yell--all together," said Zeb.
"And fight at the same time," added the Wizard. "We will get near Jim,
so that he can help us, and each one must take some weapon and do the
best he can. I'll use my sword, although it isn't much account in this
affair. Dorothy must take her parasol and open it suddenly when the
wooden folks attack her. I haven't anything for you, Zeb."
"I'll use the king," said the boy, and pulled his prisoner out of the
buggy. The bound Gargoyle's arms extended far out beyond its head, so by
grasping its wrists Zeb found the king made a very good club. The boy
was strong for one of his years, having always worked upon a farm; so he
was likely to prove more dangerous to the enemy than the Wizard.
When the next company of Gargoyles advanced, our adventurers began
yelling as if they had gone mad. Even the kitten gave a dreadfully
shrill scream and at the same time Jim the cab-horse neighed loudly.
This daunted the enemy for a time, but the defenders were soon out of
breath. Perceiving this, as well as the fact that there were no more of
the awful "bangs" to come from the revolvers, the Gargoyles advanced in
a swarm as thick as bees, so that the air was filled with them.
Dorothy squatted upon the ground and put up her parasol, which nearly
covered her and proved a great protection. The Wizard's sword-blade
snapped into a dozen pieces at the first blow he struck against the
wooden people. Zeb pounded away with the Gargoyle he was using as a club
until he had knocked down dozens of foes; but at the last they clustered
so thickly about him that he no longer had room in which to swing his
arms. The horse performed some wonderful kicking and even Eureka
assisted when she leaped bodily upon the Gargoyles and scratched and bit
at them like a wild-cat.
But all this bravery amounted to nothing at all. The wooden things wound
their long arms around Zeb and the Wizard and held them fast. Dorothy
was captured in the same way, and numbers of the Gargoyles clung to
Jim's legs, so weighting him down that the poor beast was helpless.
Eureka made a desperate dash to escape and scampered along the ground
like a streak; but a grinning Gargoyle flew after her and grabbed her
before she had gone very far.
All of them expected nothing less than instant death; but to their
surprise the wooden creatures flew into the air with them and bore them
far away, over miles and miles of wooden country, until they came to a
wooden city. The houses of this city had many corners, being square and
six-sided and eight-sided. They were tower-like in shape and the best of
them seemed old and weather-worn; yet all were strong and substantial.
To one of these houses which had neither doors nor windows, but only one
broad opening far up underneath the roof, the prisoners were brought by
their captors. The Gargoyles roughly pushed them into the opening, where
there was a platform, and then flew away and left them. As they had no
wings the strangers could not fly away, and if they jumped down from
such a height they would surely be killed. The creatures had sense
enough to reason that way, and the only mistake they made was in
supposing the earth people were unable to overcome such ordinary
Jim was brought with the others, although it took a good many Gargoyles
to carry the big beast through the air and land him on the high
platform, and the buggy was thrust in after him because it belonged to
the party and the wooden folks had no idea what it was used for or
whether it was alive or not. When Eureka's captor had thrown the kitten
after the others the last Gargoyle silently disappeared, leaving our
friends to breathe freely once more.
"What an awful fight!" said Dorothy, catching her breath in little
"Oh, I don't know," purred Eureka, smoothing her ruffled fur with her
paw; "we didn't manage to hurt anybody, and nobody managed to hurt us."
"Thank goodness we are together again, even if we are prisoners," sighed
the little girl.
"I wonder why they didn't kill us on the spot," remarked Zeb, who had
lost his king in the struggle.
"They are probably keeping us for some ceremony," the Wizard answered,
reflectively; "but there is no doubt they intend to kill us as dead as
possible in a short time."
"As dead as poss'ble would be pretty dead, wouldn't it?" asked Dorothy.
"Yes, my dear. But we have no need to worry about that just now. Let us
examine our prison and see what it is like."
The space underneath the roof, where they stood, permitted them to see
on all sides of the tall building, and they looked with much curiosity
at the city spread out beneath them. Everything visible was made of
wood, and the scene seemed stiff and extremely unnatural.
From their platform a stair descended into the house, and the children
and the Wizard explored it after lighting a lantern to show them the
way. Several stories of empty rooms rewarded their search, but nothing
more; so after a time they came back to the platform again. Had there
been any doors or windows in the lower rooms, or had not the boards of
the house been so thick and stout, escape would have been easy; but to
remain down below was like being in a cellar or the hold of a ship, and
they did not like the darkness or the damp smell.
In this country, as in all others they had visited underneath the
earth's surface, there was no night, a constant and strong light coming
from some unknown source. Looking out, they could see into some of the
houses near them, where there were open windows in abundance, and were
able to mark the forms of the wooden Gargoyles moving about in their
"This seems to be their time of rest," observed the Wizard. "All people
need rest, even if they are made of wood, and as there is no night here
they select a certain time of the day in which to sleep or doze."
"I feel sleepy myself," remarked Zeb, yawning.
"Why, where's Eureka?" cried Dorothy, suddenly.
They all looked around, but the kitten was no place to be seen.
"She's gone out for a walk," said Jim, gruffly.
"Where? On the roof?" asked the girl.
"No; she just dug her claws into the wood and climbed down the sides of
this house to the ground."
"She couldn't climb _down_, Jim," said Dorothy. "To climb means to go
"Who said so?" demanded the horse.
"My school-teacher said so; and she knows a lot, Jim."
"To 'climb down' is sometimes used as a figure of speech," remarked the
"Well, this was a figure of a cat," said Jim, "and she _went_ down,
anyhow, whether she climbed or crept."
"Dear me! how careless Eureka is," exclaimed the girl, much distressed.
"The Gurgles will get her, sure!"
"Ha, ha!" chuckled the old cab-horse; "they're not 'Gurgles,' little
maid; they're Gargoyles."
"Never mind; they'll get Eureka, whatever they're called."
"No they won't," said the voice of the kitten, and Eureka herself
crawled over the edge of the platform and sat down quietly upon the
"Wherever have you been, Eureka?" asked Dorothy, sternly.
"Watching the wooden folks. They're too funny for anything, Dorothy.
Just now they are all going to bed, and--what do you think?--they unhook
the hinges of their wings and put them in a corner until they wake up
"What, the hinges?"
"No; the wings."
"That," said Zeb, "explains why this house is used by them for a prison.
If any of the Gargoyles act badly, and have to be put in jail, they are
brought here and their wings unhooked and taken away from them until
they promise to be good."
The Wizard had listened intently to what Eureka had said.
"I wish we had some of those loose wings," he said.
"Could we fly with them?" asked Dorothy.
"I think so. If the Gargoyles can unhook the wings then the power to fly
lies in the wings themselves, and not in the wooden bodies of the people
who wear them. So, if we had the wings, we could probably fly as well as
they do--at least while we are in their country and under the spell of
its magic."
"But how would it help us to be able to fly?" questioned the girl.
"Come here," said the little man, and took her to one of the corners of
the building. "Do you see that big rock standing on the hillside
yonder?" he continued, pointing with his finger.
"Yes; it's a good way off, but I can see it," she replied.
"Well, inside that rock, which reaches up into the clouds, is an archway
very much like the one we entered when we climbed the spiral stairway
from the Valley of Voe. I'll get my spy-glass, and then you can see it
more plainly."
He fetched a small but powerful telescope, which had been in his
satchel, and by its aid the little girl clearly saw the opening.
"Where does it lead to?" she asked.
"That I cannot tell," said the Wizard; "but we cannot now be far below
the earth's surface, and that entrance may lead to another stairway that
will bring us on top of our world again, where we belong. So, if we had
the wings, and could escape the Gargoyles, we might fly to that rock and
be saved."
"I'll get you the wings," said Zeb, who had thoughtfully listened to all
this. "That is, if the kitten will show me where they are."
"But how can you get down?" enquired the girl, wonderingly.
For answer Zeb began to unfasten Jim's harness, strap by strap, and
to buckle one piece to another until he had made a long leather strip
that would reach to the ground.
"I can climb down that, all right," he said.
"No you can't," remarked Jim, with a twinkle in his round eyes. "You may
_go_ down, but you can only _climb_ up."
"Well, I'll climb up when I get back, then," said the boy, with a laugh.
"Now, Eureka, you'll have to show me the way to those wings."
"You must be very quiet," warned the kitten; "for if you make the least
noise the Gargoyles will wake up. They can hear a pin drop."
"I'm not going to drop a pin," said Zeb.
He had fastened one end of the strap to a wheel of the buggy, and now he
let the line dangle over the side of the house.
"Be careful," cautioned Dorothy, earnestly.
"I will," said the boy, and let himself slide over the edge.
The girl and the Wizard leaned over and watched Zeb work his way
carefully downward, hand over hand, until he stood upon the ground
below. Eureka clung with her claws to the wooden side of the house and
let herself down easily. Then together they crept away to enter the low
doorway of a neighboring dwelling.
The watchers waited in breathless suspense until the boy again appeared,
his arms now full of the wooden wings.
When he came to where the strap was hanging he tied the wings all in a
bunch to the end of the line, and the Wizard drew them up. Then the line
was let down again for Zeb to climb up by. Eureka quickly followed him,
and soon they were all standing together upon the platform, with eight
of the much prized wooden wings beside them.
The boy was no longer sleepy, but full of energy and excitement. He put
the harness together again and hitched Jim to the buggy. Then, with the
Wizard's help, he tried to fasten some of the wings to the old
This was no easy task, because half of each one of the hinges of the
wings was missing, it being still fastened to the body of the Gargoyle
who had used it. However, the Wizard went once more to his
satchel--which seemed to contain a surprising variety of odds and
ends--and brought out a spool of strong wire, by means of which they
managed to fasten four of the wings to Jim's harness, two near his head
and two near his tail. They were a bit wiggley, but secure enough if
only the harness held together.
The other four wings were then fastened to the buggy, two on each side,
for the buggy must bear the weight of the children and the Wizard as it
flew through the air.
These preparations had not consumed a great deal of time, but the
sleeping Gargoyles were beginning to wake up and move around, and soon
some of them would be hunting for their missing wings. So the prisoners
resolved to leave their prison at once.
They mounted into the buggy, Dorothy holding Eureka safe in her lap. The
girl sat in the middle of the seat, with Zeb and the Wizard on each side
of her. When all was ready the boy shook the reins and said:
"Fly away, Jim!"
"Which wings must I flop first?" asked the cab-horse, undecidedly.
"Flop them all together," suggested the Wizard.
"Some of them are crooked," objected the horse.
"Never mind; we will steer with the wings on the buggy," said Zeb. "Just
you light out and make for that rock, Jim; and don't waste any time
about it, either."
So the horse gave a groan, flopped its four wings all together, and flew
away from the platform. Dorothy was a little anxious about the success
of their trip, for the way Jim arched his long neck and spread out his
bony legs as he fluttered and floundered through the air was enough to
make anybody nervous. He groaned, too, as if frightened, and the wings
creaked dreadfully because the Wizard had forgotten to oil them; but
they kept fairly good time with the wings of the buggy, so that they
made excellent progress from the start. The only thing that anyone could
complain of with justice was the fact that they wobbled first up and
then down, as if the road were rocky instead of being as smooth as the
air could make it.
The main point, however, was that they flew, and flew swiftly, if a bit
unevenly, toward the rock for which they had headed.
Some of the Gargoyles saw them, presently, and lost no time in
collecting a band to pursue the escaping prisoners; so that when Dorothy
happened to look back she saw them coming in a great cloud that almost
darkened the sky.
Our friends had a good start and were able to maintain it, for with
their eight wings they could go just as fast as could the Gargoyles. All
the way to the great rock the wooden people followed them, and when Jim
finally alighted at the mouth of the cavern the pursuers were still some
distance away.
"But, I'm afraid they'll catch us yet," said Dorothy, greatly excited.
"No; we must stop them," declared the Wizard. "Quick Zeb, help me pull
off these wooden wings!"
They tore off the wings, for which they had no further use, and the
Wizard piled them in a heap just outside the entrance to the cavern.
Then he poured over them all the kerosene oil that was left in his
oil-can, and lighting a match set fire to the pile.
The flames leaped up at once and the bonfire began to smoke and roar and
crackle just as the great army of wooden Gargoyles arrived. The
creatures drew back at once, being filled with fear and horror; for such
a dreadful thing as a fire they had never before known in all the
history of their wooden land.
Inside the archway were several doors, leading to different rooms built
into the mountain, and Zeb and the Wizard lifted these wooden doors from
their hinges and tossed them all on the flames.
"That will prove a barrier for some time to come," said the little man,
smiling pleasantly all over his wrinkled face at the success of their
stratagem. "Perhaps the flames will set fire to all that miserable
wooden country, and if it does the loss will be very small and the
Gargoyles never will be missed. But come, my children; let us explore
the mountain and discover which way we must go in order to escape from
this cavern, which is getting to be almost as hot as a bake-oven."
To their disappointment there was within this mountain no regular flight
of steps by means of which they could mount to the earth's surface. A
sort of inclined tunnel led upward for a way, and they found the floor
of it both rough and steep. Then a sudden turn brought them to a narrow
gallery where the buggy could not pass. This delayed and bothered them
for a while, because they did not wish to leave the buggy behind them.
It carried their baggage and was useful to ride in wherever there were
good roads, and since it had accompanied them so far in their travels
they felt it their duty to preserve it. So Zeb and the Wizard set to
work and took off the wheels and the top, and then they put the buggy
edgewise, so it would take up the smallest space. In this position they
managed, with the aid of the patient cab-horse, to drag the vehicle
through the narrow part of the passage. It was not a great distance,
fortunately, and when the path grew broader they put the buggy together
again and proceeded more comfortably. But the road was nothing more than
a series of rifts or cracks in the mountain, and it went zig-zag in
every direction, slanting first up and then down until they were puzzled
as to whether they were any nearer to the top of the earth than when
they had started, hours before.
"Anyhow," said Dorothy, "we've 'scaped those awful Gurgles, and that's
_one_ comfort!"
"Probably the Gargoyles are still busy trying to put out the fire,"
returned the Wizard. "But even if they succeeded in doing that it
would be very difficult for them to fly amongst these rocks; so I am
sure we need fear them no longer."
Once in a while they would come to a deep crack in the floor, which made
the way quite dangerous; but there was still enough oil in the lanterns
to give them light, and the cracks were not so wide but that they were
able to jump over them. Sometimes they had to climb over heaps of loose
rock, where Jim could scarcely drag the buggy. At such times Dorothy,
Zeb and the Wizard all pushed behind, and lifted the wheels over the
roughest places; so they managed, by dint of hard work, to keep going.
But the little party was both weary and discouraged when at last, on
turning a sharp corner, the wanderers found themselves in a vast cave
arching high over their heads and having a smooth, level floor.
The cave was circular in shape, and all around its edge, near to the
ground, appeared groups of dull yellow lights, two of them being always
side by side. These were motionless at first, but soon began to flicker
more brightly and to sway slowly from side to side and then up and down.
"What sort of a place is this?" asked the boy, trying to see more
clearly through the gloom.
"I cannot imagine, I'm sure," answered the Wizard, also peering about.
"Woogh!" snarled Eureka, arching her back until her hair stood straight
on end; "it's a den of alligators, or crocodiles, or some other dreadful
creatures! Don't you see their terrible eyes?"
"Eureka sees better in the dark than we can," whispered Dorothy. "Tell
us, dear, what do the creatures look like?" she asked, addressing her
"I simply can't describe 'em," answered the kitten, shuddering. "Their
eyes are like pie-plates and their mouths like coal-scuttles. But their
bodies don't seem very big."
"Where are they?" enquired the girl.
"They are in little pockets all around the edge of this cavern. Oh,
Dorothy--you can't imagine what horrid things they are! They're uglier
than the Gargoyles."
"Tut-tut! be careful how you criticise your neighbors," spoke a rasping
voice near by. "As a matter of fact you are rather ugly-looking
creatures yourselves, and I'm sure mother has often told us we were the
loveliest and prettiest things in all the world."
Hearing these words our friends turned in the direction of the sound,
and the Wizard held his lanterns so that their light would flood one of
the little pockets in the rock.
"Why, it's a dragon!" he exclaimed.
"No," answered the owner of the big yellow eyes which were blinking at
them so steadily; "you are wrong about that. We hope to grow to be
dragons some day, but just now we're only dragonettes."
"What's that?" asked Dorothy, gazing fearfully at the great scaley head,
the yawning mouth and the big eyes.
"Young dragons, of course; but we are not allowed to call ourselves real
dragons until we get our full growth," was the reply. "The big dragons
are very proud, and don't think children amount to much; but mother says
that some day we will all be very powerful and important."
"Where is your mother?" asked the Wizard, anxiously looking around.
"She has gone up to the top of the earth to hunt for our dinner. If she
has good luck she will bring us an elephant, or a brace of rhinoceri, or
perhaps a few dozen people to stay our hunger."
"Oh; are you hungry?" enquired Dorothy, drawing back.
"Very," said the dragonette, snapping its jaws.
"And--and--do you eat people?"
"To be sure, when we can get them. But they've been very scarce for a
few years and we usually have to be content with elephants or
buffaloes," answered the creature, in a regretful tone.
"How old are you?" enquired Zeb, who stared at the yellow eyes as if
"Quite young, I grieve to say; and all of my brothers and sisters that
you see here are practically my own age. If I remember rightly, we were
sixty-six years old the day before yesterday."
"But that isn't young!" cried Dorothy, in amazement.
"No?" drawled the dragonette; "it seems to me very babyish."
"How old is your mother?" asked the girl.
"Mother's about two thousand years old; but she carelessly lost track of
her age a few centuries ago and skipped several hundreds. She's a little
fussy, you know, and afraid of growing old, being a widow and still in
her prime."
"I should think she would be," agreed Dorothy. Then, after a moment's
thought, she asked: "Are we friends or enemies? I mean, will you be good
to us, or do you intend to eat us?"
"As for that, we dragonettes would love to eat you, my child; but
unfortunately mother has tied all our tails around the rocks at the back
of our individual caves, so that we can not crawl out to get you. If you
choose to come nearer we will make a mouthful of you in a wink; but
unless you do you will remain quite safe."
There was a regretful accent in the creature's voice, and at the words
all the other dragonettes sighed dismally.
Dorothy felt relieved. Presently she asked:
"Why did your mother tie your tails?"
"Oh, she is sometimes gone for several weeks on her hunting trips, and
if we were not tied we would crawl all over the mountain and fight with
each other and get into a lot of mischief. Mother usually knows what she
is about, but she made a mistake this time; for you are sure to escape
us unless you come too near, and you probably won't do that."
"No, indeed!" said the little girl. "We don't wish to be eaten by such
awful beasts."
"Permit me to say," returned the dragonette, "that you are rather
impolite to call us names, knowing that we cannot resent your insults.
We consider ourselves very beautiful in appearance, for mother has told
us so, and she knows. And we are of an excellent family and have a
pedigree that I challenge any humans to equal, as it extends back about
twenty thousand years, to the time of the famous Green Dragon of
Atlantis, who lived in a time when humans had not yet been created. Can
you match that pedigree, little girl?"
"Well," said Dorothy, "I was born on a farm in Kansas, and I guess
that's being just as 'spectable and haughty as living in a cave with
your tail tied to a rock. If it isn't I'll have to stand it, that's
"Tastes differ," murmured the dragonette, slowly drooping its scaley
eyelids over its yellow eyes, until they looked like half-moons.
Being reassured by the fact that the creatures could not crawl out of
their rock-pockets, the children and the Wizard now took time to examine
them more closely. The heads of the dragonettes were as big as barrels
and covered with hard, greenish scales that glittered brightly under the
light of the lanterns. Their front legs, which grew just back of their
heads, were also strong and big; but their bodies were smaller around
than their heads, and dwindled away in a long line until their tails
were slim as a shoe-string. Dorothy thought, if it had taken them
sixty-six years to grow to this size, that it would be fully a hundred
years more before they could hope to call themselves dragons, and that
seemed like a good while to wait to grow up.
"It occurs to me," said the Wizard, "that we ought to get out of this
place before the mother dragon comes back."
"Don't hurry," called one of the dragonettes; "mother will be glad to
meet you, I'm sure."
"You may be right," replied the Wizard, "but we're a little particular
about associating with strangers. Will you kindly tell us which way your
mother went to get on top the earth?"
"That is not a fair question to ask us," declared another dragonette.
"For, if we told you truly, you might escape us altogether; and if we
told you an untruth we would be naughty and deserve to be punished."
"Then," decided Dorothy, "we must find our way out the best we can."
They circled all around the cavern, keeping a good distance away from
the blinking yellow eyes of the dragonettes, and presently discovered
that there were two paths leading from the wall opposite to the place
where they had entered. They selected one of these at a venture and
hurried along it as fast as they could go, for they had no idea when the
mother dragon would be back and were very anxious not to make her
Chapter 14.
For a considerable distance the way led straight upward in a gentle
incline, and the wanderers made such good progress that they grew
hopeful and eager, thinking they might see sunshine at any minute. But
at length they came unexpectedly upon a huge rock that shut off the
passage and blocked them from proceeding a single step farther.
This rock was separate from the rest of the mountain and was in motion,
turning slowly around and around as if upon a pivot. When first they
came to it there was a solid wall before them; but presently it revolved
until there was exposed a wide, smooth path across it to the other side.
This appeared so unexpectedly that they were unprepared to take
advantage of it at first, and allowed the rocky wall to swing around
again before they had decided to pass over. But they knew now that there
was a means of escape and so waited patiently until the path appeared
for the second time.
The children and the Wizard rushed across the moving rock and sprang
into the passage beyond, landing safely though a little out of breath.
Jim the cab-horse came last, and the rocky wall almost caught him; for
just as he leaped to the floor of the further passage the wall swung
across it and a loose stone that the buggy wheels knocked against fell
into the narrow crack where the rock turned, and became wedged there.
They heard a crunching, grinding sound, a loud snap, and the turn-table
came to a stop with its broadest surface shutting off the path from
which they had come.
"Never mind," said Zeb, "we don't want to get back, anyhow."
"I'm not so sure of that," returned Dorothy. "The mother dragon may come
down and catch us here."
"It is possible," agreed the Wizard, "if this proves to be the path she
usually takes. But I have been examining this tunnel, and I do not see
any signs of so large a beast having passed through it."
"Then we're all right," said the girl, "for if the dragon went the other
way she can't poss'bly get to us now."
"Of course not, my dear. But there is another thing to consider. The
mother dragon probably knows the road to the earth's surface, and if she
went the other way then we have come the wrong way," said the Wizard,
"Dear me!" cried Dorothy. "That would be unlucky, wouldn't it?"
"Very. Unless this passage also leads to the top of the earth," said
Zeb. "For my part, if we manage to get out of here I'll be glad it isn't
the way the dragon goes."
"So will I," returned Dorothy. "It's enough to have your pedigree flung
in your face by those saucy dragonettes. No one knows what the mother
might do."
They now moved on again, creeping slowly up another steep incline. The
lanterns were beginning to grow dim, and the Wizard poured the remaining
oil from one into the other, so that the one light would last longer.
But their journey was almost over, for in a short time they reached a
small cave from which there was no further outlet.
They did not realize their ill fortune at first, for their hearts were
gladdened by the sight of a ray of sunshine coming through a small crack
in the roof of the cave, far overhead. That meant that their world--the
real world--was not very far away, and that the succession of perilous
adventures they had encountered had at last brought them near the
earth's surface, which meant home to them. But when the adventurers
looked more carefully around them they discovered that they were in a
strong prison from which there was no hope of escape.
"But we're _almost_ on earth again," cried Dorothy, "for there is the
sun--the most _beau'ful_ sun that shines!" and she pointed eagerly at
the crack in the distant roof.
"Almost on earth isn't being there," said the kitten, in a discontented
tone. "It wouldn't be possible for even me to get up to that crack--or
through it if I got there."
"It appears that the path ends here," announced the Wizard, gloomily.
"And there is no way to go back," added Zeb, with a low whistle of
"I was sure it would come to this, in the end," remarked the old
cab-horse. "Folks don't fall into the middle of the earth and then get
back again to tell of their adventures--not in real life. And the whole
thing has been unnatural because that cat and I are both able to talk
your language, and to understand the words you say."
"And so can the nine tiny piglets," added Eureka. "Don't forget them,
for I may have to eat them, after all."
"I've heard animals talk before," said Dorothy, "and no harm came of
"Were you ever before shut up in a cave, far under the earth, with no
way of getting out?" enquired the horse, seriously.
"No," answered Dorothy. "But don't you lose heart, Jim, for I'm sure
this isn't the end of our story, by any means."
The reference to the piglets reminded the Wizard that his pets had not
enjoyed much exercise lately, and must be tired of their prison in his
pocket. So he sat down upon the floor of the cave, brought the piglets
out one by one, and allowed them to run around as much as they pleased.
"My dears," he said to them, "I'm afraid I've got you into a lot of
trouble, and that you will never again be able to leave this gloomy
"What's wrong?" asked a piglet. "We've been in the dark quite a while,
and you may as well explain what has happened."
The Wizard told them of the misfortune that had overtaken the wanderers.
"Well," said another piglet, "you are a wizard, are you not?"
"I am," replied the little man.
"Then you can do a few wizzes and get us out of this hole," declared the
tiny one, with much confidence.
"I could if I happened to be a real wizard," returned the master sadly.
"But I'm not, my piggy-wees; I'm a humbug wizard."
"Nonsense!" cried several of the piglets, together.
"You can ask Dorothy," said the little man, in an injured tone.
"It's true enough," returned the girl, earnestly. "Our friend Oz is
merely a humbug wizard, for he once proved it to me. He can do several
very wonderful things--if he knows how. But he can't wiz a single thing
if he hasn't the tools and machinery to work with."
"Thank you, my dear, for doing me justice," responded the Wizard,
gratefully. "To be accused of being a real wizard, when I'm not, is a
slander I will not tamely submit to. But I am one of the greatest humbug
wizards that ever lived, and you will realize this when we have all
starved together and our bones are scattered over the floor of this
lonely cave."
"I don't believe we'll realize anything, when it comes to that,"
remarked Dorothy, who had been deep in thought. "But I'm not going to
scatter my bones just yet, because I need them, and you prob'ly need
yours, too."
"We are helpless to escape," sighed the Wizard.
"_We_ may be helpless," answered Dorothy, smiling at him, "but there are
others who can do more than we can. Cheer up, friends. I'm sure Ozma
will help us."
"Ozma!" exclaimed the Wizard. "Who is Ozma?"
"The girl that rules the marvelous Land of Oz," was the reply. "She's a
friend of mine, for I met her in the Land of Ev, not long ago, and went
to Oz with her."
"For the second time?" asked the Wizard, with great interest.
"Yes. The first time I went to Oz I found you there, ruling the Emerald
City. After you went up in a balloon, and escaped us, I got back to
Kansas by means of a pair of magical silver shoes."
"I remember those shoes," said the little man, nodding. "They once
belonged to the Wicked Witch. Have you them here with you?"
"No; I lost them somewhere in the air," explained the child. "But the
second time I went to the Land of Oz I owned the Nome King's Magic Belt,
which is much more powerful than were the Silver Shoes."
"Where is that Magic Belt?" enquired the Wizard, who had listened with
great interest.
"Ozma has it; for its powers won't work in a common, ordinary country
like the United States. Anyone in a fairy country like the Land of Oz
can do anything with it; so I left it with my friend the Princess Ozma,
who used it to wish me in Australia with Uncle Henry."
"And were you?" asked Zeb, astonished at what he heard.
"Of course; in just a jiffy. And Ozma has an enchanted picture hanging
in her room that shows her the exact scene where any of her friends may
be, at any time she chooses. All she has to do is to say: 'I wonder what
So-and-so is doing,' and at once the picture shows where her friend is
and what the friend is doing. That's _real_ magic, Mr. Wizard; isn't it?
Well, every day at four o'clock Ozma has promised to look at me in that
picture, and if I am in need of help I am to make her a certain sign and
she will put on the Nome King's Magic Belt and wish me to be with her in
"Do you mean that Princess Ozma will see this cave in her enchanted
picture, and see all of us here, and what we are doing?" demanded Zeb.
"Of course; when it is four o'clock," she replied, with a laugh at his
startled expression.
"And when you make a sign she will bring you to her in the Land of Oz?"
continued the boy.
"That's it, exactly; by means of the Magic Belt."
"Then," said the Wizard, "you will be saved, little Dorothy; and I am
very glad of it. The rest of us will die much more cheerfully when we
know you have escaped our sad fate."
"_I_ won't die cheerfully!" protested the kitten. "There's nothing
cheerful about dying that I could ever see, although they say a cat has
nine lives, and so must die nine times."
"Have you ever died yet?" enquired the boy.
"No, and I'm not anxious to begin," said Eureka.
"Don't worry, dear," Dorothy exclaimed, "I'll hold you in my arms, and
take you with me."
"Take us, too!" cried the nine tiny piglets, all in one breath.
"Perhaps I can," answered Dorothy. "I'll try."
"Couldn't you manage to hold me in your arms?" asked the cab-horse.
Dorothy laughed.
"I'll do better than that," she promised, "for I can easily save you
all, once I am myself in the Land of Oz."
"How?" they asked.
"By using the Magic Belt. All I need do is to wish you with me, and
there you'll be--safe in the royal palace!"
"Good!" cried Zeb.
"I built that palace, and the Emerald City, too," remarked the Wizard,
in a thoughtful tone, "and I'd like to see them again, for I was very
happy among the Munchkins and Winkies and Quadlings and Gillikins."
"Who are they?" asked the boy.
"The four nations that inhabit the Land of Oz," was the reply. "I wonder
if they would treat me nicely if I went there again."
"Of course they would!" declared Dorothy. "They are still proud of their
former Wizard, and often speak of you kindly."
"Do you happen to know whatever became of the Tin Woodman and the
Scarecrow?" he enquired.
"They live in Oz yet," said the girl, "and are very important people."
"And the Cowardly Lion?"
"Oh, he lives there too, with his friend the Hungry Tiger; and Billina
is there, because she liked the place better than Kansas, and wouldn't
go with me to Australia."
"I'm afraid I don't know the Hungry Tiger and Billina," said the Wizard,
shaking his head. "Is Billina a girl?"
"No; she's a yellow hen, and a great friend of mine. You're sure to like
Billina, when you know her," asserted Dorothy.
"Your friends sound like a menagerie," remarked Zeb, uneasily.
"Couldn't you wish me in some safer place than Oz."
"Don't worry," replied the girl. "You'll just love the folks in Oz, when
you get acquainted. What time is it, Mr. Wizard?"
The little man looked at his watch--a big silver one that he carried in
his vest pocket.
"Half-past three," he said.
"Then we must wait for half an hour," she continued; "but it won't take
long, after that, to carry us all to the Emerald City."
They sat silently thinking for a time. Then Jim suddenly asked:
"Are there any horses in Oz?"
"Only one," replied Dorothy, "and he's a sawhorse."
"A what?"
"A sawhorse. Princess Ozma once brought him to life with a witch-powder,
when she was a boy."
"Was Ozma once a boy?" asked Zeb, wonderingly.
"Yes; a wicked witch enchanted her, so she could not rule her kingdom.
But she's a girl now, and the sweetest, loveliest girl in all the
"A sawhorse is a thing they saw boards on," remarked Jim, with a sniff.
"It is when it's not alive," acknowledged the girl. "But this sawhorse
can trot as fast as you can, Jim; and he's very wise, too."
"Pah! I'll race the miserable wooden donkey any day in the week!" cried
the cab-horse.
Dorothy did not reply to that. She felt that Jim would know more about
the Saw-Horse later on.
The time dragged wearily enough to the eager watchers, but finally the
Wizard announced that four o'clock had arrived, and Dorothy caught up
the kitten and began to make the signal that had been agreed upon to the
far-away, invisible Ozma.
"Nothing seems to happen," said Zeb, doubtfully.
"Oh, we must give Ozma time to put on the Magic Belt," replied the girl.
She had scarcely spoken the words when she suddenly disappeared from the
cave, and with her went the kitten. There had been no sound of any kind
and no warning. One moment Dorothy sat beside them with the kitten in
her lap, and a moment later the horse, the piglets, the Wizard and the
boy were all that remained in the underground prison.
"I believe we will soon follow her," announced the Wizard, in a tone of
great relief; "for I know something about the magic of the fairyland
that is called the Land of Oz. Let us be ready, for we may be sent for
any minute."
He put the piglets safely away in his pocket again and then he and Zeb
got into the buggy and sat expectantly upon the seat.
"Will it hurt?" asked the boy, in a voice that trembled a little.
"Not at all," replied the Wizard. "It will all happen as quick as a
And that was the way it did happen.
The cab-horse gave a nervous start and Zeb began to rub his eyes to make
sure he was not asleep. For they were in the streets of a beautiful
emerald-green city, bathed in a grateful green light that was especially
pleasing to their eyes, and surrounded by merry faced people in gorgeous
green-and-gold costumes of many extraordinary designs.
Before them were the jewel-studded gates of a magnificent palace, and
now the gates opened slowly as if inviting them to enter the courtyard,
where splendid flowers were blooming and pretty fountains shot their
silvery sprays into the air.
Zeb shook the reins to rouse the cab-horse from his stupor of amazement,
for the people were beginning to gather around and stare at the
"Gid-dap!" cried the boy, and at the word Jim slowly trotted into the
courtyard and drew the buggy along the jewelled driveway to the great
entrance of the royal palace.
Many servants dressed in handsome uniforms stood ready to welcome the
new arrivals, and when the Wizard got out of the buggy a pretty girl in
a green gown cried out in surprise:
"Why, it's Oz, the Wonderful Wizard, come back again!"
The little man looked at her closely and then took both the maiden's
hands in his and shook them cordially.
"On my word," he exclaimed, "it's little Jellia Jamb--as pert and pretty
as ever!"
"Why not, Mr. Wizard?" asked Jellia, bowing low. "But I'm afraid you
cannot rule the Emerald City, as you used to, because we now have a
beautiful Princess whom everyone loves dearly."
"And the people will not willingly part with her," added a tall soldier
in a Captain-General's uniform.
The Wizard turned to look at him.
"Did you not wear green whiskers at one time?" he asked.
"Yes," said the soldier; "but I shaved them off long ago, and since then
I have risen from a private to be the Chief General of the Royal
"That's nice," said the little man. "But I assure you, my good people,
that I do not wish to rule the Emerald City," he added, earnestly.
"In that case you are very welcome!" cried all the servants, and it
pleased the Wizard to note the respect with which the royal retainers
bowed before him. His fame had not been forgotten in the Land of Oz, by
any means.
"Where is Dorothy?" enquired Zeb, anxiously, as he left the buggy and
stood beside his friend the little Wizard.
"She is with the Princess Ozma, in the private rooms of the palace,"
replied Jellia Jamb. "But she has ordered me to make you welcome and to
show you to your apartments."
The boy looked around him with wondering eyes. Such magnificence and
wealth as was displayed in this palace was more than he had ever dreamed
of, and he could scarcely believe that all the gorgeous glitter was real
and not tinsel.
"What's to become of me?" asked the horse, uneasily. He had seen
considerable of life in the cities in his younger days, and knew that
this regal palace was no place for him.
It perplexed even Jellia Jamb, for a time, to know what to do with the
animal. The green maiden was much astonished at the sight of so unusual
a creature, for horses were unknown in this Land; but those who lived in
the Emerald City were apt to be astonished by queer sights, so after
inspecting the cab-horse and noting the mild look in his big eyes the
girl decided not to be afraid of him.
"There are no stables here," said the Wizard, "unless some have been
built since I went away."
"We have never needed them before," answered Jellia; "for the Sawhorse
lives in a room of the palace, being much smaller and more natural in
appearance than this great beast you have brought with you."
"Do you mean that I'm a freak?" asked Jim, angrily.
"Oh, no," she hastened to say, "there may be many more like you in the
place you came from, but in Oz any horse but a Sawhorse is unusual."
This mollified Jim a little, and after some thought the green maiden
decided to give the cab-horse a room in the palace, such a big building
having many rooms that were seldom in use.
So Zeb unharnessed Jim, and several of the servants then led the horse
around to the rear, where they selected a nice large apartment that he
could have all to himself.
Then Jellia said to the Wizard:
"Your own room--which was back of the great Throne Room--has been vacant
ever since you left us. Would you like it again?"
"Yes, indeed!" returned the little man. "It will seem like being at home
again, for I lived in that room for many, many years."
He knew the way to it, and a servant followed him, carrying his satchel.
Zeb was also escorted to a room--so grand and beautiful that he almost
feared to sit in the chairs or lie upon the bed, lest he might dim their
splendor. In the closets he discovered many fancy costumes of rich
velvets and brocades, and one of the attendants told him to dress
himself in any of the clothes that pleased him and to be prepared to
dine with the Princess and Dorothy in an hour's time.
Opening from the chamber was a fine bath-room having a marble tub with
perfumed water; so the boy, still dazed by the novelty of his
surroundings, indulged in a good bath and then selected a maroon velvet
costume with silver buttons to replace his own soiled and much worn
clothing. There were silk stockings and soft leather slippers with
diamond buckles to accompany his new costume, and when he was fully
dressed Zeb looked much more dignified and imposing than ever before in
his life.
He was all ready when an attendant came to escort him to the presence of
the Princess; he followed bashfully and was ushered into a room more
dainty and attractive than it was splendid. Here he found Dorothy seated
beside a young girl so marvelously beautiful that the boy stopped
suddenly with a gasp of admiration.
But Dorothy sprang up and ran to seize her friend's hand, drawing him
impulsively toward the lovely Princess, who smiled most graciously upon
her guest. Then the Wizard entered, and his presence relieved the boy's
embarrassment. The little man was clothed in black velvet, with many
sparkling emerald ornaments decorating his breast; but his bald head and
wrinkled features made him appear more amusing than impressive.
Ozma had been quite curious to meet the famous man who had built the
Emerald City and united the Munchkins, Gillikins, Quadlings and Winkies
into one people; so when they were all four seated at the dinner table
the Princess said:
"Please tell me, Mr. Wizard, whether you called yourself Oz after this
great country, or whether you believe my country is called Oz after you.
It is a matter that I have long wished to enquire about, because you are
of a strange race and my own name is Ozma. No one, I am sure, is better
able to explain this mystery than you."
"That is true," answered the little Wizard; "therefore it will give me
pleasure to explain my connection with your country. In the first place,
I must tell you that I was born in Omaha, and my father, who was a
politician, named me Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle
Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, Diggs being the last name because he could
think of no more to go before it. Taken altogether, it was a dreadfully
long name to weigh down a poor innocent child, and one of the hardest
lessons I ever learned was to remember my own name. When I grew up I
just called myself O. Z., because the other initials were P-I-N-H-E-A-D;
and that spelled 'pinhead,' which was a reflection on my intelligence."
"Surely no one could blame you for cutting your name short," said Ozma,
sympathetically. "But didn't you cut it almost too short?"
"Perhaps so," replied the Wizard. "When a young man I ran away from home
and joined a circus. I used to call myself a Wizard, and do tricks of
"What does that mean?" asked the Princess.
"Throwing my voice into any object I pleased, to make it appear that the
object was speaking instead of me. Also I began to make balloon
ascensions. On my balloon and on all the other articles I used in the
circus I painted the two initials: 'O. Z.', to show that those things
belonged to me.
"One day my balloon ran away with me and brought me across the deserts
to this beautiful country. When the people saw me come from the sky they
naturally thought me some superior creature, and bowed down before me. I
told them I was a Wizard, and showed them some easy tricks that amazed
them; and when they saw the initials painted on the balloon they called
me Oz."
"Now I begin to understand," said the Princess, smiling.
"At that time," continued the Wizard, busily eating his soup while
talking, "there were four separate countries in this Land, each one of
the four being ruled by a Witch. But the people thought my power was
greater than that of the Witches; and perhaps the Witches thought so
too, for they never dared oppose me. I ordered the Emerald City to be
built just where the four countries cornered together, and when it was
completed I announced myself the Ruler of the Land of Oz, which included
all the four countries of the Munchkins, the Gillikins, the Winkies and
the Quadlings. Over this Land I ruled in peace for many years, until I
grew old and longed to see my native city once again. So when Dorothy
was first blown to this place by a cyclone I arranged to go away with
her in a balloon; but the balloon escaped too soon and carried me back
alone. After many adventures I reached Omaha, only to find that all my
old friends were dead or had moved away. So, having nothing else to do,
I joined a circus again, and made my balloon ascensions until the
earthquake caught me."
"That is quite a history," said Ozma; "but there is a little more
history about the Land of Oz that you do not seem to understand--perhaps
for the reason that no one ever told it you. Many years before you came
here this Land was united under one Ruler, as it is now, and the Ruler's
name was always 'Oz', which means in our language 'Great and Good'; or,
if the Ruler happened to be a woman, her name was always 'Ozma.' But
once upon a time four Witches leagued together to depose the king and
rule the four parts of the kingdom themselves; so when the Ruler, my
grandfather, was hunting one day, one Wicked Witch named Mombi stole him
and carried him away, keeping him a close prisoner. Then the Witches
divided up the kingdom, and ruled the four parts of it until you came
here. That was why the people were so glad to see you, and why they
thought from your initials that you were their rightful ruler."
"But, at that time," said the Wizard, thoughtfully, "there were two Good
Witches and two Wicked Witches ruling in the land."
"Yes," replied Ozma, "because a good Witch had conquered Mombi in the
North and Glinda the Good had conquered the evil Witch in the South. But
Mombi was still my grandfather's jailor, and afterward my father's
jailor. When I was born she transformed me into a boy, hoping that no
one would ever recognize me and know that I was the rightful Princess of
the Land of Oz. But I escaped from her and am now the Ruler of my
"I am very glad of that," said the Wizard, "and hope you will consider
me one of your most faithful and devoted subjects."
"We owe a great deal to the Wonderful Wizard," continued the Princess,
"for it was you who built this splendid Emerald City."
"Your people built it," he answered. "I only bossed the job, as we say
in Omaha."
"But you ruled it wisely and well for many years," said she, "and made
the people proud of your magical art. So, as you are now too old to
wander abroad and work in a circus, I offer you a home here as long as
you live. You shall be the Official Wizard of my kingdom, and be treated
with every respect and consideration."
"I accept your kind offer with gratitude, gracious Princess," the little
man said, in a soft voice, and they could all see that tear-drops were
standing in his keen old eyes. It meant a good deal to him to secure a
home like this.
"He's only a humbug Wizard, though," said Dorothy, smiling at him.
"And that is the safest kind of a Wizard to have," replied Ozma,
"Oz can do some good tricks, humbug or no humbug," announced Zeb, who
was now feeling more at ease.
"He shall amuse us with his tricks tomorrow," said the Princess. "I have
sent messengers to summon all of Dorothy's old friends to meet her and
give her welcome, and they ought to arrive very soon, now."
Indeed, the dinner was no sooner finished than in rushed the Scarecrow,
to hug Dorothy in his padded arms and tell her how glad he was to see
her again. The Wizard was also most heartily welcomed by the straw man,
who was an important personage in the Land of Oz.
"How are your brains?" enquired the little humbug, as he grasped the
soft, stuffed hands of his old friend.
"Working finely," answered the Scarecrow. "I'm very certain, Oz, that
you gave me the best brains in the world, for I can think with them day
and night, when all other brains are fast asleep."
"How long did you rule the Emerald City, after I left here?" was the
next question.
"Quite awhile, until I was conquered by a girl named General Jinjur. But
Ozma soon conquered her, with the help of Glinda the Good, and after
that I went to live with Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman."
Just then a loud cackling was heard outside; and, when a servant threw
open the door with a low bow, a yellow hen strutted in. Dorothy sprang
forward and caught the fluffy fowl in her arms, uttering at the same
time a glad cry.
"Oh, Billina!" she said; "how fat and sleek you've grown."
"Why shouldn't I?" asked the hen, in a sharp, clear voice. "I live on
the fat of the land--don't I, Ozma?"
"You have everything you wish for," said the Princess.
Around Billina's neck was a string of beautiful pearls, and on her legs
were bracelets of emeralds. She nestled herself comfortably in Dorothy's
lap until the kitten gave a snarl of jealous anger and leaped up with a
sharp claw fiercely bared to strike Billina a blow. But the little girl
gave the angry kitten such a severe cuff that it jumped down again
without daring to scratch.
"How horrid of you, Eureka!" cried Dorothy. "Is that the way to treat my
"You have queer friends, seems to me," replied the kitten, in a surly
"Seems to me the same way," said Billina, scornfully, "if that beastly
cat is one of them."
"Look here!" said Dorothy, sternly. "I won't have any quarrelling in the
Land of Oz, I can tell you! Everybody lives in peace here, and loves
everybody else; and unless you two, Billina and Eureka, make up and be
friends, I'll take my Magic Belt and wish you both home again,
_immejitly_. So, there!"
They were both much frightened at the threat, and promised meekly to be
good. But it was never noticed that they became very warm friends, for
all of that.
And now the Tin Woodman arrived, his body most beautifully
nickle-plated, so that it shone splendidly in the brilliant light of the
room. The Tin Woodman loved Dorothy most tenderly, and welcomed with joy
the return of the little old Wizard.
"Sir," said he to the latter, "I never can thank you enough for the
excellent heart you once gave me. It has made me many friends, I assure
you, and it beats as kindly and lovingly today as it ever did."
"I'm glad to hear that," said the Wizard. "I was afraid it would get
moldy in that tin body of yours."
"Not at all," returned Nick Chopper. "It keeps finely, being preserved
in my air-tight chest."
Zeb was a little shy when first introduced to these queer people; but
they were so friendly and sincere that he soon grew to admire them very
much, even finding some good qualities in the yellow hen. But he became
nervous again when the next visitor was announced.
"This," said Princess Ozma, "is my friend Mr. H. M. Woggle-Bug, T. E.,
who assisted me one time when I was in great distress, and is now the
Dean of the Royal College of Athletic Science."
"Ah," said the Wizard; "I'm pleased to meet so distinguished a
"H. M.," said the Woggle-Bug, pompously, "means Highly Magnified; and T.
E. means Thoroughly Educated. I am, in reality, a very big bug, and
doubtless the most intelligent being in all this broad domain."
"How well you disguise it," said the Wizard. "But I don't doubt your
word in the least."
"Nobody doubts it, sir," replied the Woggle-Bug, and drawing a book from
its pocket the strange insect turned its back on the company and sat
down in a corner to read.
Nobody minded this rudeness, which might have seemed more impolite in
one less thoroughly educated; so they straightway forgot him and joined
in a merry conversation that kept them well amused until bed-time
Jim the Cab-horse found himself in possession of a large room with a
green marble floor and carved marble wainscoting, which was so stately
in its appearance that it would have awed anyone else. Jim accepted it
as a mere detail, and at his command the attendants gave his coat a good
rubbing, combed his mane and tail, and washed his hoofs and fetlocks.
Then they told him dinner would be served directly and he replied that
they could not serve it too quickly to suit his convenience. First they
brought him a steaming bowl of soup, which the horse eyed in dismay.
"Take that stuff away!" he commanded. "Do you take me for a
They obeyed at once, and next served a fine large turbot on a silver
platter, with drawn gravey poured over it.
"Fish!" cried Jim, with a sniff. "Do you take me for a tom-cat? Away
with it!"
The servants were a little discouraged, but soon they brought in a great
tray containing two dozen nicely roasted quail on toast.
"Well, well!" said the horse, now thoroughly provoked. "Do you take me
for a weasel? How stupid and ignorant you are, in the Land of Oz, and
what dreadful things you feed upon! Is there nothing that is decent to
eat in this palace?"
The trembling servants sent for the Royal Steward, who came in haste and
"What would your Highness like for dinner?"
"Highness!" repeated Jim, who was unused to such titles.
"You are at least six feet high, and that is higher than any other
animal in this country," said the Steward.
"Well, my Highness would like some oats," declared the horse.
"Oats? We have no whole oats," the Steward replied, with much
defference. "But there is any quantity of oatmeal, which we often cook
for breakfast. Oatmeal is a breakfast dish," added the Steward, humbly.
"I'll make it a dinner dish," said Jim. "Fetch it on, but don't cook it,
as you value your life."
You see, the respect shown the worn-out old cab-horse made him a little
arrogant, and he forgot he was a guest, never having been treated
otherwise than as a servant since the day he was born, until his arrival
in the Land of Oz. But the royal attendants did not heed the animal's
ill temper. They soon mixed a tub of oatmeal with a little water, and
Jim ate it with much relish.
Then the servants heaped a lot of rugs upon the floor and the old horse
slept on the softest bed he had ever known in his life.
In the morning, as soon as it was daylight, he resolved to take a walk
and try to find some grass for breakfast; so he ambled calmly through
the handsome arch of the doorway, turned the corner of the palace,
wherein all seemed asleep, and came face to face with the Sawhorse.
Jim stopped abruptly, being startled and amazed. The Sawhorse stopped at
the same time and stared at the other with its queer protruding eyes,
which were mere knots in the log that formed its body. The legs of the
Sawhorse were four sticks driven into holes bored in the log; its tail
was a small branch that had been left by accident and its mouth a place
chopped in one end of the body which projected a little and served as
a head. The ends of the wooden legs were shod with plates of solid gold,
and the saddle of the Princess Ozma, which was of red leather set with
sparkling diamonds, was strapped to the clumsy body.
Jim's eyes stuck out as much as those of the Sawhorse, and he stared at
the creature with his ears erect and his long head drawn back until it
rested against his arched neck.
In this comical position the two horses circled slowly around each other
for a while, each being unable to realize what the singular thing might
be which it now beheld for the first time. Then Jim exclaimed:
"For goodness sake, what sort of a being are you?"
"I'm a Sawhorse," replied the other.
"Oh; I believe I've heard of you," said the cab-horse; "but you are
unlike anything that I expected to see."
"I do not doubt it," the Sawhorse observed, with a tone of pride. "I am
considered quite unusual."
"You are, indeed. But a rickety wooden thing like you has no right to be
"I couldn't help it," returned the other, rather crestfallen. "Ozma
sprinkled me with a magic powder, and I just had to live. I know I'm not
much account; but I'm the only horse in all the Land of Oz, so they
treat me with great respect."
"You, a horse!"
"Oh, not a real one, of course. There are no real horses here at all.
But I'm a splendid imitation of one."
Jim gave an indignant neigh.
"Look at me!" he cried. "Behold a real horse!"
The wooden animal gave a start, and then examined the other intently.
"Is it possible that you are a Real Horse?" he murmured.
"Not only possible, but true," replied Jim, who was gratified by the
impression he had created. "It is proved by my fine points. For example,
look at the long hairs on my tail, with which I can whisk away the
"The flies never trouble me," said the Saw-Horse.
"And notice my great strong teeth, with which I nibble the grass."
"It is not necessary for me to eat," observed the Saw-horse.
"Also examine my broad chest, which enables me to draw deep, full
breaths," said Jim, proudly.
"I have no need to breathe," returned the other.
"No; you miss many pleasures," remarked the cab-horse, pityingly. "You
do not know the relief of brushing away a fly that has bitten you, nor
the delight of eating delicious food, nor the satisfaction of drawing a
long breath of fresh, pure air. You may be an imitation of a horse, but
you're a mighty poor one."
"Oh, I cannot hope ever to be like you," sighed the Sawhorse. "But I am
glad to meet at last a Real Horse. You are certainly the most beautiful
creature I ever beheld."
This praise won Jim completely. To be called beautiful was a novelty in
his experience. Said he:
"Your chief fault, my friend, is in being made of wood, and that I
suppose you cannot help. Real horses, like myself, are made of flesh and
blood and bones."
"I can see the bones all right," replied the Sawhorse, "and they are
admirable and distinct. Also I can see the flesh. But the blood, I
suppose, is tucked away inside."
"Exactly," said Jim.
"What good is it?" asked the Sawhorse.
Jim did not know, but he would not tell the Sawhorse that.
"If anything cuts me," he replied, "the blood runs out to show where I
am cut. You, poor thing! cannot even bleed when you are hurt."
"But I am never hurt," said the Sawhorse. "Once in a while I get broken
up some, but I am easily repaired and put in good order again. And I
never feel a break or a splinter in the least."
Jim was almost tempted to envy the wooden horse for being unable to feel
pain; but the creature was so absurdly unnatural that he decided he
would not change places with it under any circumstances.
"How did you happen to be shod with gold?" he asked.
"Princess Ozma did that," was the reply; "and it saves my legs from
wearing out. We've had a good many adventures together, Ozma and I, and
she likes me."
The cab-horse was about to reply when suddenly he gave a start and a
neigh of terror and stood trembling like a leaf. For around the corner
had come two enormous savage beasts, treading so lightly that they were
upon him before he was aware of their presence. Jim was in the act of
plunging down the path to escape when the Sawhorse cried out:
"Stop, my brother! Stop, Real Horse! These are friends, and will do you
no harm."
Jim hesitated, eyeing the beasts fearfully. One was an enormous Lion
with clear, intelligent eyes, a tawney mane bushy and well kept, and a
body like yellow plush. The other was a great Tiger with purple stripes
around his lithe body, powerful limbs, and eyes that showed through the
half closed lids like coals of fire. The huge forms of these monarchs of
the forest and jungle were enough to strike terror to the stoutest
heart, and it is no wonder Jim was afraid to face them.
But the Sawhorse introduced the stranger in a calm tone, saying,
"This, noble Horse, is my friend the Cowardly Lion, who is the valiant
King of the Forest, but at the same time a faithful vassal of Princess
Ozma. And this is the Hungry Tiger, the terror of the jungle, who longs
to devour fat babies but is prevented by his conscience from doing so.
These royal beasts are both warm friends of little Dorothy and have come
to the Emerald City this morning to welcome her to our fairyland."
Hearing these words Jim resolved to conquer his alarm. He bowed his head
with as much dignity as he could muster toward the savage looking
beasts, who in return nodded in a friendly way.
"Is not the Real Horse a beautiful animal?" asked the Sawhorse
"That is doubtless a matter of taste," returned the Lion. "In the forest
he would be thought ungainly, because his face is stretched out and his
neck is uselessly long. His joints, I notice, are swollen and overgrown,
and he lacks flesh and is old in years."
"And dreadfully tough," added the Hungry Tiger, in a sad voice. "My
conscience would never permit me to eat so tough a morsel as the Real
"I'm glad of that," said Jim; "for I, also, have a conscience, and it
tells me not to crush in your skull with a blow of my powerful hoof."
If he thought to frighten the striped beast by such language he was
mistaken. The Tiger seemed to smile, and winked one eye slowly.
"You have a good conscience, friend Horse," it said, "and if you attend
to its teachings it will do much to protect you from harm. Some day I
will let you try to crush in my skull, and afterward you will know more
about tigers than you do now."
"Any friend of Dorothy," remarked the Cowardly Lion, "must be our
friend, as well. So let us cease this talk of skull crushing and
converse upon more pleasant subjects. Have you breakfasted, Sir Horse?"
"Not yet," replied Jim. "But here is plenty of excellent clover, so if
you will excuse me I will eat now."
"He's a vegetarian," remarked the Tiger, as the horse began to munch the
clover. "If I could eat grass I would not need a conscience, for nothing
could then tempt me to devour babies and lambs."
Just then Dorothy, who had risen early and heard the voices of the
animals, ran out to greet her old friends. She hugged both the Lion and
the Tiger with eager delight, but seemed to love the King of Beasts a
little better than she did his hungry friend, having known him longer.
By the time they had indulged in a good talk and Dorothy had told them
all about the awful earthquake and her recent adventures, the breakfast
bell rang from the palace and the little girl went inside to join her
human comrades. As she entered the great hall a voice called out, in a
rather harsh tone:
"What! are _you_ here again?"
"Yes, I am," she answered, looking all around to see where the voice
came from.
"What brought you back?" was the next question, and Dorothy's eye rested
on an antlered head hanging on the wall just over the fireplace, and
caught its lips in the act of moving.
"Good gracious!" she exclaimed. "I thought you were stuffed."
"So I am," replied the head. "But once on a time I was part of the Gump,
which Ozma sprinkled with the Powder of Life. I was then for a time the
Head of the finest Flying Machine that was ever known to exist, and we
did many wonderful things. Afterward the Gump was taken apart and I was
put back on this wall; but I can still talk when I feel in the mood,
which is not often."
"It's very strange," said the girl. "What were you when you were first
"That I have forgotten," replied the Gump's Head, "and I do not think it
is of much importance. But here comes Ozma; so I'd better hush up, for
the Princess doesn't like me to chatter since she changed her name from
Tip to Ozma."
Just then the girlish Ruler of Oz opened the door and greeted Dorothy
with a good-morning kiss. The little Princess seemed fresh and rosy and
in good spirits.
"Breakfast is served, dear," she said, "and I am hungry. So don't let us
keep it waiting a single minute."
After breakfast Ozma announced that she had ordered a holiday to be
observed throughout the Emerald City, in honor of her visitors. The
people had learned that their old Wizard had returned to them and all
were anxious to see him again, for he had always been a rare favorite.
So first there was to be a grand procession through the streets, after
which the little old man was requested to perform some of his wizardries
in the great Throne Room of the palace. In the afternoon there were to
be games and races.
The procession was very imposing. First came the Imperial Cornet Band of
Oz, dressed in emerald velvet uniforms with slashes of pea-green satin
and buttons of immense cut emeralds. They played the National air
called "The Oz Spangled Banner," and behind them were the standard
bearers with the Royal flag. This flag was divided into four quarters,
one being colored sky-blue, another pink, a third lavender and a fourth
white. In the center was a large emerald-green star, and all over the
four quarters were sewn spangles that glittered beautifully in the
sunshine. The colors represented the four countries of Oz, and the green
star the Emerald City.
Just behind the royal standard-bearers came the Princess Ozma in her
royal chariot, which was of gold encrusted with emeralds and diamonds
set in exquisite designs. The chariot was drawn on this occasion by the
Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger, who were decorated with immense pink
and blue bows. In the chariot rode Ozma and Dorothy, the former in
splendid raiment and wearing her royal coronet, while the little Kansas
girl wore around her waist the Magic Belt she had once captured from the
Nome King.
Following the chariot came the Scarecrow mounted on the Sawhorse, and
the people cheered him almost as loudly as they did their lovely Ruler.
Behind him stalked with regular, jerky steps, the famous machine-man
called Tik-tok, who had been wound up by Dorothy for the occasion.
Tik-tok moved by clockwork, and was made all of burnished copper. He
really belonged to the Kansas girl, who had much respect for his
thoughts after they had been properly wound and set going; but as the
copper man would be useless in any place but a fairy country Dorothy had
left him in charge of Ozma, who saw that he was suitably cared for.
There followed another band after this, which was called the Royal Court
Band, because the members all lived in the palace. They wore white
uniforms with real diamond buttons and played "What is Oz without Ozma"
very sweetly.
Then came Professor Woggle-Bug, with a group of students from the Royal
College of Scientific Athletics. The boys wore long hair and striped
sweaters and yelled their college yell every other step they took, to
the great satisfaction of the populace, which was glad to have this
evidence that their lungs were in good condition.
The brilliantly polished Tin Woodman marched next, at the head of the
Royal Army of Oz which consisted of twenty-eight officers, from Generals
down to Captains. There were no privates in the army because all were so
courageous and skillful that they had been promoted one by one until
there were no privates left. Jim and the buggy followed, the old
cab-horse being driven by Zeb while the Wizard stood up on the seat and
bowed his bald head right and left in answer to the cheers of the
people, who crowded thick about him.
Taken altogether the procession was a grand success, and when it had
returned to the palace the citizens crowded into the great Throne Room
to see the Wizard perform his tricks.
The first thing the little humbug did was to produce a tiny white piglet
from underneath his hat and pretend to pull it apart, making two. This
act he repeated until all of the nine tiny piglets were visible, and
they were so glad to get out of his pocket that they ran around in a
very lively manner. The pretty little creatures would have been a
novelty anywhere, so the people were as amazed and delighted at their
appearance as even the Wizard could have desired. When he had made them
all disappear again Ozma declared she was sorry they were gone, for she
wanted one of them to pet and play with. So the Wizard pretended to take
one of the piglets out of the hair of the Princess (while really he
slyly took it from his inside pocket) and Ozma smiled joyously as the
creature nestled in her arms, and she promised to have an emerald collar
made for its fat neck and to keep the little squealer always at hand to
amuse her.
Afterward it was noticed that the Wizard always performed his famous
trick with eight piglets, but it seemed to please the people just as
well as if there had been nine of them.
In his little room back of the Throne Room the Wizard had found a lot of
things he had left behind him when he went away in the balloon, for no
one had occupied the apartment in his absence. There was enough material
there to enable him to prepare several new tricks which he had learned
from some of the jugglers in the circus, and he had passed part of the
night in getting them ready. So he followed the trick of the nine tiny
piglets with several other wonderful feats that greatly delighted his
audience and the people did not seem to care a bit whether the little
man was a humbug Wizard or not, so long as he succeeded in amusing them.
They applauded all his tricks and at the end of the performance begged
him earnestly not to go away again and leave them.
"In that case," said the little man, gravely, "I will cancel all of my
engagements before the crowned heads of Europe and America and devote
myself to the people of Oz, for I love you all so well that I can deny
you nothing."
After the people had been dismissed with this promise our friends joined
Princess Ozma at an elaborate luncheon in the palace, where even the
Tiger and the Lion were sumptuously fed and Jim the Cab-horse ate his
oatmeal out of a golden bowl with seven rows of rubies, sapphires and
diamonds set around the rim of it.
In the afternoon they all went to a great field outside the city gates
where the games were to be held. There was a beautiful canopy for Ozma
and her guests to sit under and watch the people run races and jump and
wrestle. You may be sure the folks of Oz did their best with such a
distinguished company watching them, and finally Zeb offered to wrestle
with a little Munchkin who seemed to be the champion. In appearance he
was twice as old as Zeb, for he had long pointed whiskers and wore a
peaked hat with little bells all around the brim of it, which tinkled
gaily as he moved. But although the Munchkin was hardly tall enough to
come to Zeb's shoulder he was so strong and clever that he laid the boy
three times on his back with apparent ease.
Zeb was greatly astonished at his defeat, and when the pretty Princess
joined her people in laughing at him he proposed a boxing-match with the
Munchkin, to which the little Ozite readily agreed. But the first time
that Zeb managed to give him a sharp box on the ears the Munchkin sat
down upon the ground and cried until the tears ran down his whiskers,
because he had been hurt. This made Zeb laugh, in turn, and the boy
felt comforted to find that Ozma laughed as merrily at her weeping
subject as she had at him.
Just then the Scarecrow proposed a race between the Sawhorse and the
Cab-horse; and although all the others were delighted at the suggestion
the Sawhorse drew back, saying:
"Such a race would not be fair."
"Of course not," added Jim, with a touch of scorn; "those little wooden
legs of yours are not half as long as my own."
"It isn't that," said the Sawhorse, modestly; "but I never tire, and you
"Bah!" cried Jim, looking with great disdain at the other; "do you
imagine for an instant that such a shabby imitation of a horse as you
are can run as fast as I?"
"I don't know, I'm sure," replied the Sawhorse.
"That is what we are trying to find out," remarked the Scarecrow. "The
object of a race is to see who can win it--or at least that is what my
excellent brains think."
"Once, when I was young," said Jim, "I was a race horse, and defeated
all who dared run against me. I was born in Kentucky, you know, where
all the best and most aristocratic horses come from."
"But you're old, now, Jim," suggested Zeb.
"Old! Why, I feel like a colt today," replied Jim. "I only wish there
was a real horse here for me to race with. I'd show the people a fine
sight, I can tell you."
"Then why not race with the Sawhorse?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"He's afraid," said Jim.
"Oh, no," answered the Sawhorse. "I merely said it wasn't fair. But if
my friend the Real Horse is willing to undertake the race I am quite
So they unharnessed Jim and took the saddle off the Sawhorse, and the
two queerly matched animals were stood side by side for the start.
"When I say 'Go!'" Zeb called to them, "you must dig out and race until
you reach those three trees you see over yonder. Then circle 'round them
and come back again. The first one that passes the place where the
Princess sits shall be named the winner. Are you ready?"
"I suppose I ought to give the wooden dummy a good start of me," growled
"Never mind that," said the Sawhorse. "I'll do the best I can."
"Go!" cried Zeb; and at the word the two horses leaped forward and the
race was begun.
Jim's big hoofs pounded away at a great rate, and although he did not
look very graceful he ran in a way to do credit to his Kentucky
breeding. But the Sawhorse was swifter than the wind. Its wooden legs
moved so fast that their twinkling could scarcely be seen, and
although so much smaller than the cab-horse it covered the ground much
faster. Before they had reached the trees the Sawhorse was far ahead,
and the wooden animal returned to the starting place and was being
lustily cheered by the Ozites before Jim came panting up to the canopy
where the Princess and her friends were seated.
I am sorry to record the fact that Jim was not only ashamed of his
defeat but for a moment lost control of his temper. As he looked at the
comical face of the Sawhorse he imagined that the creature was laughing
at him; so in a fit of unreasonable anger he turned around and made a
vicious kick that sent his rival tumbling head over heels upon the
ground, and broke off one of its legs and its left ear.
An instant later the Tiger crouched and launched its huge body through
the air swift and resistless as a ball from a cannon. The beast struck
Jim full on his shoulder and sent the astonished cab-horse rolling over
and over, amid shouts of delight from the spectators, who had been
horrified by the ungracious act he had been guilty of.
When Jim came to himself and sat upon his haunches he found the Cowardly
Lion crouched on one side of him and the Hungry Tiger on the other, and
their eyes were glowing like balls of fire.
"I beg your pardon, I'm sure," said Jim, meekly. "I was wrong to kick
the Sawhorse, and I am sorry I became angry at him. He has won the race,
and won it fairly; but what can a horse of flesh do against a tireless
beast of wood?"
Hearing this apology the Tiger and the Lion stopped lashing their tails
and retreated with dignified steps to the side of the Princess.
"No one must injure one of our friends in our presence," growled the
Lion; and Zeb ran to Jim and whispered that unless he controlled his
temper in the future he would probably be torn to pieces.
Then the Tin Woodman cut a straight and strong limb from a tree with his
gleaming axe and made a new leg and a new ear for the Sawhorse; and when
they had been securely fastened in place Princess Ozma took the coronet
from her own head and placed it upon that of the winner of the race.
Said she:
"My friend, I reward you for your swiftness by proclaiming you Prince of
Horses, whether of wood or of flesh; and hereafter all other horses--in
the Land of Oz, at least--must be considered imitations, and you the
real Champion of your race."
There was more applause at this, and then Ozma had the jewelled saddle
replaced upon the Sawhorse and herself rode the victor back to the city
at the head of the grand procession.
"I ought to be a fairy," grumbled Jim, as he slowly drew the buggy home;
"for to be just an ordinary horse in a fairy country is to be of no
account whatever. It's no place for us, Zeb."
"It's lucky we got here, though," said the boy; and Jim thought of the
dark cave, and agreed with him.
Several days of festivity and merry-making followed, for such old
friends did not often meet and there was much to be told and talked over
between them, and many amusements to be enjoyed in this delightful
Ozma was happy to have Dorothy beside her, for girls of her own age with
whom it was proper for the Princess to associate were very few, and
often the youthful Ruler of Oz was lonely for lack of companionship.
It was the third morning after Dorothy's arrival, and she was sitting
with Ozma and their friends in a reception room, talking over old times,
when the Princess said to her maid:
"Please go to my boudoir, Jellia, and get the white piglet I left on the
dressing-table. I want to play with it."
Jellia at once departed on the errand, and she was gone so long that
they had almost forgotten her mission when the green robed maiden
returned with a troubled face.
"The piglet is not there, your Highness," said she.
"Not there!" exclaimed Ozma. "Are you sure?"
"I have hunted in every part of the room," the maid replied.
"Was not the door closed?" asked the Princess.
"Yes, your Highness; I am sure it was; for when I opened it Dorothy's
white kitten crept out and ran up the stairs."
Hearing this, Dorothy and the Wizard exchanged startled glances, for
they remembered how often Eureka had longed to eat a piglet. The little
girl jumped up at once.
"Come, Ozma," she said, anxiously; "let us go ourselves to search for
the piglet."
So the two went to the dressing-room of the Princess and searched
carefully in every corner and among the vases and baskets and ornaments
that stood about the pretty boudoir. But not a trace could they find of
the tiny creature they sought.
Dorothy was nearly weeping, by this time, while Ozma was angry and
indignant. When they returned to the others the Princess said:
"There is little doubt that my pretty piglet has been eaten by that
horrid kitten, and if that is true the offender must be punished."
"I don't b'lieve Eureka would do such a dreadful thing!" cried Dorothy,
much distressed. "Go and get my kitten, please, Jellia, and we'll hear
what she has to say about it."
The green maiden hastened away, but presently returned and said:
"The kitten will not come. She threatened to scratch my eyes out if I
touched her."
"Where is she?" asked Dorothy.
"Under the bed in your own room," was the reply.
So Dorothy ran to her room and found the kitten under the bed.
"Come here, Eureka!" she said.
"I won't," answered the kitten, in a surly voice.
"Oh, Eureka! Why are you so bad?"
The kitten did not reply.
"If you don't come to me, right away," continued Dorothy, getting
provoked, "I'll take my Magic Belt and wish you in the Country of the
"Why do you want me?" asked Eureka, disturbed by this threat.
"You must go to Princess Ozma. She wants to talk to you."
"All right," returned the kitten, creeping out. "I'm not afraid of
Ozma--or anyone else."
Dorothy carried her in her arms back to where the others sat in grieved
and thoughtful silence.
"Tell me, Eureka," said the Princess, gently: "did you eat my pretty
"I won't answer such a foolish question," asserted Eureka, with a snarl.
"Oh, yes you will, dear," Dorothy declared. "The piglet is gone, and you
ran out of the room when Jellia opened the door. So, if you are
innocent, Eureka, you must tell the Princess how you came to be in her
room, and what has become of the piglet."
"Who accuses me?" asked the kitten, defiantly.
"No one," answered Ozma. "Your actions alone accuse you. The fact is
that I left my little pet in my dressing-room lying asleep upon the
table; and you must hove stolen in without my knowing it. When next the
door was opened you ran out and hid yourself--and the piglet was gone."
"That's none of my business," growled the kitten.
"Don't be impudent, Eureka," admonished Dorothy.
"It is you who are impudent," said Eureka, "for accusing me of such a
crime when you can't prove it except by guessing."
Ozma was now greatly incensed by the kitten's conduct. She summoned her
Captain-General, and when the long, lean officer appeared she said:
"Carry this cat away to prison, and keep her in safe confinement until
she is tried by law for the crime of murder."
So the Captain-General took Eureka from the arms of the now weeping
Dorothy and in spite of the kitten's snarls and scratches carried it
away to prison.
"What shall we do now?" asked the Scarecrow, with a sigh, for such a
crime had cast a gloom over all the company.
"I will summon the Court to meet in the Throne Room at three o'clock,"
replied Ozma. "I myself will be the judge, and the kitten shall have a
fair trial."
"What will happen if she is guilty?" asked Dorothy.
"She must die," answered the Princess.
"Nine times?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"As many times as is necessary," was the reply. "I will ask the Tin
Woodman to defend the prisoner, because he has such a kind heart I am
sure he will do his best to save her. And the Woggle-Bug shall be the
Public Accuser, because he is so learned that no one can deceive him."
"Who will be the jury?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"There ought to be several animals on the jury," said Ozma, "because
animals understand each other better than we people understand them.
So the jury shall consist of the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger, Jim
the Cab-horse, the Yellow Hen, the Scarecrow, the Wizard, Tik-tok the
Machine Man, the Sawhorse and Zeb of Hugson's Ranch. That makes the nine
which the law requires, and all my people shall be admitted to hear the
They now separated to prepare for the sad ceremony; for whenever an
appeal is made to law sorrow is almost certain to follow--even in a
fairyland like Oz. But it must be stated that the people of that Land
were generally so well-behaved that there was not a single lawyer
amongst them, and it had been years since any Ruler had sat in judgment
upon an offender of the law. The crime of murder being the most dreadful
crime of all, tremendous excitement prevailed in the Emerald City when
the news of Eureka's arrest and trial became known.
The Wizard, when he returned to his own room, was exceedingly
thoughtful. He had no doubt Eureka had eaten his piglet, but he realized
that a kitten cannot be depended upon at all times to act properly,
since its nature is to destroy small animals and even birds for food,