THE LOST PRINCESS OF OZ
L. FRANK BAUM
Author of The Road to Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Tik-Tok of Oz, The Scarecrow of Oz, Rinkitink in Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
The Reilly & Lee Co. Chicago
TO MY READERS
Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams—day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing—are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it.
Among the letters I receive from children are many containing suggestions of "what to write about in the next Oz Book." Some of the ideas advanced are mighty interesting, while others are too extravagant to be seriously considered—even in a fairy tale. Yet I like them all, and I must admit that the main idea in "The Lost Princess of Oz" was suggested to me by a sweet little girl of eleven who called to see me and to talk about the Land of Oz. Said she: "I s'pose if Ozma ever got lost, or stolen, ev'rybody in Oz would be dreadful sorry."
That was all, but quite enough foundation to build this present story on. If you happen to like the story, give credit to my little friend's clever hint. And, by the way, don't hesitate to write me your own hints and suggestions, such as result from your own day dreams. They will be sure to interest me, even if I cannot use them in a story, and the very fact that you have dreamed at all will give me pleasure and do you good. For, after all, dear reader, these stories of Oz are just yours and mine, and we are partners. As long as you care to read them I shall try to write them, and I've an idea that the next one will relate some startling adventures of the "Tin Woodman of Oz" and his comrades.
L. FRANK BAUM, Royal Historian of Oz.
"OZCOT" at HOLLYWOOD in CALIFORNIA 1917.
1 A Terrible Loss 17
2 The Troubles of Glinda the Good 30
3 The Robbery of Cayke the Cookie Cook 38
4 Among the Winkies 57
5 Ozma's Friends are Perplexed 64
6 The Search Party 73
7 The Merry-Go-Round Mountains 89
8 The Mysterious City 104
9 The High Coco-Lorum of Thi 120
10 Toto Loses Something 137
11 Button-Bright Loses Himself 146
12 The Czarover of Herku 157
13 The Truth Pond 173
14 The Unhappy Ferryman 184
15 The Big Lavender Bear 194
16 The Little Pink Bear 202
17 The Meeting 216
18 The Conference 230
19 Ugu the Shoemaker 237
20 Surprises 245
21 Magic Against Magic 256
22 In the Wicker Castle 265
23 The Defiance of Ugu the Shoemaker 280
24 The Little Pink Bear Speaks Truly 289
25 Ozma of Oz 295
26 Dorothy Forgives 303
A Terrible Loss
There could be no doubt of the fact: Princess Ozma, the lovely girl ruler of the Fairyland of Oz, was lost. She had completely disappeared. Not one of her subjects—not even her closest friends—knew what had become of her.
It was Dorothy who first discovered it. Dorothy was a little Kansas girl who had come to the Land of Oz to live and had been given a delightful suite of rooms in Ozma's royal palace, just because Ozma loved Dorothy and wanted her to live as near her as possible, so the two girls might be much together.
Dorothy was not the only girl from the outside world who had been welcomed to Oz and lived in the royal palace. There was another named Betsy Bobbin, whose adventures had led her to seek refuge with Ozma, and still another named Trot, who had been invited, together with her faithful companion, Cap'n Bill, to make her home in this wonderful fairyland. The three girls all had rooms in the palace and were great chums; but Dorothy was the dearest friend of their gracious Ruler and only she at any hour dared to seek Ozma in her royal apartments. For Dorothy had lived in Oz much longer than the other girls and had been made a Princess of the realm.
Betsy was a year older than Dorothy and Trot was a year younger, yet the three were near enough of an age to become great playmates and to have nice times together. It was while the three were talking together one morning in Dorothy's room that Betsy proposed they make a journey into the Munchkin Country, which was one of the four great countries of the Land of Oz ruled by Ozma.
"I've never been there yet," said Betsy Bobbin, "but the Scarecrow once told me it is the prettiest country in all Oz."
"I'd like to go, too," added Trot.
"All right," said Dorothy, "I'll go and ask Ozma. Perhaps she will let us take the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon, which would be much nicer for us than having to walk all the way. This Land of Oz is a pretty big place, when you get to all the edges of it."
So she jumped up and went along the halls of the splendid palace until she came to the royal suite, which filled all the front of the second floor. In a little waiting room sat Ozma's maid, Jellia Jamb, who was busily sewing.
"Is Ozma up yet?" inquired Dorothy.
"I don't know, my dear," replied Jellia. "I haven't heard a word from her this morning. She hasn't even called for her bath or her breakfast, and it is far past her usual time for them."
"That's strange!" exclaimed the little girl.
"Yes," agreed the maid; "but of course no harm could have happened to her. No one can die or be killed in the Land of Oz and Ozma is herself a powerful fairy, and she has no enemies, so far as we know. Therefore I am not at all worried about her, though I must admit her silence is unusual."
"Perhaps," said Dorothy, thoughtfully, "she has overslept. Or she may be reading, or working out some new sort of magic to do good to her people."
"Any of these things may be true," replied Jellia Jamb, "so I haven't dared disturb our royal mistress. You, however, are a privileged character, Princess, and I am sure that Ozma wouldn't mind at all if you went in to see her."
"Of course not," said Dorothy, and opening the door of the outer chamber she went in. All was still here. She walked into another room, which was Ozma's boudoir, and then, pushing back a heavy drapery richly broidered with threads of pure gold, the girl entered the sleeping-room of the fairy Ruler of Oz. The bed of ivory and gold was vacant; the room was vacant; not a trace of Ozma was to be found.
Very much surprised, yet still with no fear that anything had happened to her friend, Dorothy returned through the boudoir to the other rooms of the suite. She went into the music room, the library, the laboratory, the bath, the wardrobe and even into the great throne room, which adjoined the royal suite, but in none of these places could she find Ozma.
So she returned to the anteroom where she had left the maid, Jellia Jamb, and said:
"She isn't in her rooms now, so she must have gone out."
"I don't understand how she could do that without my seeing her," replied Jellia, "unless she made herself invisible."
"She isn't there, anyhow," declared Dorothy.
"Then let us go find her," suggested the maid, who appeared to be a little uneasy.
So they went into the corridors and there Dorothy almost stumbled over a queer girl who was dancing lightly along the passage.
"Stop a minute, Scraps!" she called. "Have you seen Ozma this morning?"
"Not I!" replied the queer girl, dancing nearer. "I lost both my eyes in a tussle with the Woozy, last night, for the creature scraped 'em both off my face with his square paws. So I put the eyes in my pocket and this morning Button-Bright led me to Aunt Em, who sewed 'em on again. So I've seen nothing at all to-day, except during the last five minutes. So of course I haven't seen Ozma."
"Very well, Scraps," said Dorothy, looking curiously at the eyes, which were merely two round black buttons sewed upon the girl's face.
There were other things about Scraps that would have seemed curious to one seeing her for the first time. She was commonly called "The Patchwork Girl," because her body and limbs were made from a gay-colored patchwork quilt which had been cut into shape and stuffed with cotton. Her head was a round ball stuffed in the same manner and fastened to her shoulders. For hair she had a mass of brown yarn and to make a nose for her a part of the cloth had been pulled out into the shape of a knob and tied with a string to hold it in place. Her mouth had been carefully made by cutting a slit in the proper place and lining it with red silk, adding two rows of pearls for teeth and a bit of red flannel for a tongue.
In spite of this queer make-up, the Patchwork Girl was magically alive and had proved herself not the least jolly and agreeable of the many quaint characters who inhabit the astonishing Fairyland of Oz. Indeed, Scraps was a general favorite, although she was rather flighty and erratic and did and said many things that surprised her friends. She was seldom still, but loved to dance, to turn handsprings and somersaults, to climb trees and to indulge in many other active sports.
"I'm going to search for Ozma," remarked Dorothy, "for she isn't in her rooms and I want to ask her a question."
"I'll go with you," said Scraps, "for my eyes are brighter than yours and they can see farther."
"I'm not sure of that," returned Dorothy. "But come along, if you like."
Together they searched all through the great palace and even to the farthest limits of the palace grounds, which were quite extensive, but nowhere could they find a trace of Ozma. When Dorothy returned to where Betsy and Trot awaited her, the little girl's face was rather solemn and troubled, for never before had Ozma gone away without telling her friends where she was going, or without an escort that befitted her royal state.
She was gone, however, and none had seen her go. Dorothy had met and questioned the Scarecrow, Tik-Tok, the Shaggy Man, Button-Bright, Cap'n Bill, and even the wise and powerful Wizard of Oz, but not one of them had seen Ozma since she parted with her friends the evening before and had gone to her own rooms.
"She didn't say anything las' night about going anywhere," observed little Trot.
"No, and that's the strange part of it," replied Dorothy. "Usually Ozma lets us know of everything she does."
"Why not look in the Magic Picture?" suggested Betsy Bobbin. "That will tell us where she is, in just one second."
"Of course!" cried Dorothy. "Why didn't I think of that before?" and at once the three girls hurried away to Ozma's boudoir, where the Magic Picture always hung.
This wonderful Magic Picture was one of the royal Ozma's greatest treasures. There was a large gold frame, in the center of which was a bluish-gray canvas on which various scenes constantly appeared and disappeared. If one who stood before it wished to see what any person—anywhere in the world—was doing, it was only necessary to make the wish and the scene in the Magic Picture would shift to the scene where that person was and show exactly what he or she was then engaged in doing. So the girls knew it would be easy for them to wish to see Ozma, and from the picture they could quickly learn where she was.
Dorothy advanced to the place where the picture was usually protected by thick satin curtains, and pulled the draperies aside. Then she stared in amazement, while her two friends uttered exclamations of disappointment.
The Magic Picture was gone. Only a blank space on the wall behind the curtains showed where it had formerly hung.
The Troubles of Glinda the Good
That same morning there was great excitement in the castle of the powerful Sorceress of Oz, Glinda the Good. This castle, situated in the Quadling Country, far south of the Emerald City where Ozma ruled, was a splendid structure of exquisite marbles and silver grilles. Here the Sorceress lived, surrounded by a bevy of the most beautiful maidens of Oz, gathered from all the four countries of that fairyland as well as from the magnificent Emerald City itself, which stood in the place where the four countries cornered.
It was considered a great honor to be allowed to serve the good Sorceress, whose arts of magic were used only to benefit the Oz people. Glinda was Ozma's most valued servant, for her knowledge of sorcery was wonderful and she could accomplish almost anything that her mistress, the lovely girl Ruler of Oz, wished her to.
Of all the magical things which surrounded Glinda in her castle there was none more marvelous than her Great Book of Records. On the pages of this Record Book were constantly being inscribed—day by day and hour by hour—all the important events that happened anywhere in the known world, and they were inscribed in the book at exactly the moment the events happened. Every adventure in the Land of Oz and in the big outside world, and even in places that you and I have never heard of, were recorded accurately in the Great Book, which never made a mistake and stated only the exact truth. For that reason nothing could be concealed from Glinda the Good, who had only to look at the pages of the Great Book of Records to know everything that had taken place. That was one reason she was such a great Sorceress, for the records made her wiser than any other living person.
This wonderful book was placed upon a big gold table that stood in the middle of Glinda's drawing-room. The legs of the table, which were incrusted with precious gems, were firmly fastened to the tiled floor and the book itself was chained to the table and locked with six stout golden padlocks, the keys to which Glinda carried on a chain that was secured around her own neck.
The pages of the Great Book were larger in size than those of an American newspaper and although they were exceedingly thin there were so many of them that they made an enormous, bulky volume. With its gold cover and gold clasps the book was so heavy that three men could scarcely have lifted it. Yet this morning, when Glinda entered her drawing-room after breakfast, with all her maidens trailing after her, the good Sorceress was amazed to discover that her Great Book of Records had mysteriously disappeared.
Advancing to the table, she found the chains had been cut with some sharp instrument, and this must have been done while all in the castle slept. Glinda was shocked and grieved. Who could have done this wicked, bold thing? And who could wish to deprive her of her Great Book of Records?
The Sorceress was thoughtful for a time, considering the consequences of her loss. Then she went to her Room of Magic to prepare a charm that would tell her who had stolen the Record Book. But, when she unlocked her cupboards and threw open the doors, all of her magical instruments and rare chemical compounds had been removed from the shelves.
The Sorceress was now both angry and alarmed. She sat down in a chair and tried to think how this extraordinary robbery could have taken place. It was evident that the thief was some person of very great power, or the theft could never have been accomplished without her knowledge. But who, in all the Land of Oz, was powerful and skillful enough to do this awful thing? And who, having the power, could also have an object in defying the wisest and most talented Sorceress the world has ever known?
Glinda thought over the perplexing matter for a full hour, at the end of which time she was still puzzled how to explain it. But although her instruments and chemicals were gone her knowledge of magic had not been stolen, by any means, since no thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire. Glinda believed that when she had time to gather more magical herbs and elixirs and to manufacture more magical instruments she would be able to discover who the robber was, and what had become of her precious Book of Records.
"Whoever has done this," she said to her maidens, "is a very foolish person, for in time he is sure to be found out and will then be severely punished."
She now made a list of the things she needed and dispatched messengers to every part of Oz with instructions to obtain them and bring them to her as soon as possible. And one of her messengers met the little Wizard of Oz, who was mounted on the back of the famous live Sawhorse and was clinging to its neck with both his arms; for the Sawhorse was speeding to Glinda's castle with the velocity of the wind, bearing the news that Royal Ozma, Ruler of all the great Land of Oz, had suddenly disappeared and no one in the Emerald City knew what had become of her.
"Also," said the Wizard, as he stood before the astonished Sorceress, "Ozma's Magic Picture is gone, so we cannot consult it to discover where she is. So I came to you for assistance as soon as we realized our loss. Let us look in the Great Book of Records."
"Alas," returned the Sorceress sorrowfully, "we cannot do that, for the Great Book of Records has also disappeared!"
Robbery of Cayke the Cookie Cook
One more important theft was reported in the Land of Oz that eventful morning, but it took place so far from either the Emerald City or the castle of Glinda the Good that none of those persons we have mentioned learned of the robbery until long afterward.
In the far southwestern corner of the Winkie Country is a broad tableland that can be reached only by climbing a steep hill, whichever side one approaches it. On the hillside surrounding this tableland are no paths at all, but there are quantities of bramble-bushes with sharp prickers on them, which prevent any of the Oz people who live down below from climbing up to see what is on top. But on top live the Yips, and although the space they occupy is not great in extent the wee country is all their own. The Yips had never—up to the time this story begins—left their broad tableland to go down into the Land of Oz, nor had the Oz people ever climbed up to the country of the Yips.
Living all alone as they did, the Yips had queer ways and notions of their own and did not resemble any other people of the Land of Oz. Their houses were scattered all over the flat surface; not like a city, grouped together, but set wherever their owners' fancy dictated, with fields here, trees there, and odd little paths connecting the houses one with another.
It was here, on the morning when Ozma so strangely disappeared from the Emerald City, that Cayke the Cookie Cook discovered that her diamond-studded gold dishpan had been stolen, and she raised such a hue-and-cry over her loss and wailed and shrieked so loudly that many of the Yips gathered around her house to inquire what was the matter.
It was a serious thing, in any part of the Land of Oz, to accuse one of stealing, so when the Yips heard Cayke the Cookie Cook declare that her jeweled dishpan had been stolen they were both humiliated and disturbed and forced Cayke to go with them to the Frogman to see what could be done about it.
I do not suppose you have ever before heard of the Frogman, for like all other dwellers on that tableland he had never been away from it, nor had anyone come up there to see him. The Frogman was, in truth, descended from the common frogs of Oz, and when he was first born he lived in a pool in the Winkie Country and was much like any other frog. Being of an adventurous nature, however, he soon hopped out of his pool and began to travel, when a big bird came along and seized him in its beak and started to fly away with him to its nest. When high in the air the frog wriggled so frantically that he got loose and fell down—down—down into a small hidden pool on the tableland of the Yips. Now this pool, it seems, was unknown to the Yips because it was surrounded by thick bushes and was not near to any dwelling, and it proved to be an enchanted pool, for the frog grew very fast and very big, feeding on the magic skosh which is found nowhere else on earth except in that one pool. And the skosh not only made the frog very big, so that when he stood on his hind legs he was tall as any Yip in the country, but it made him unusually intelligent, so that he soon knew more than the Yips did and was able to reason and to argue very well indeed.
No one could expect a frog with these talents to remain in a hidden pool, so he finally got out of it and mingled with the people of the tableland, who were amazed at his appearance and greatly impressed by his learning. They had never seen a frog before and the frog had never seen a Yip before, but as there were plenty of Yips and only one frog, the frog became the most important. He did not hop any more, but stood upright on his hind legs and dressed himself in fine clothes and sat in chairs and did all the things that people do; so he soon came to be called the Frogman, and that is the only name he has ever had.
After some years had passed the people came to regard the Frogman as their adviser in all matters that puzzled them. They brought all their difficulties to him and when he did not know anything he pretended to know it, which seemed to answer just as well. Indeed, the Yips thought the Frogman was much wiser than he really was, and he allowed them to think so, being very proud of his position of authority.
There was another pool on the tableland, which was not enchanted but contained good clear water and was located close to the dwellings. Here the people built the Frogman a house of his own, close to the edge of the pool, so that he could take a bath or a swim whenever he wished. He usually swam in the pool in the early morning, before anyone else was up, and during the day he dressed himself in his beautiful clothes and sat in his house and received the visits of all the Yips who came to him to ask his advice.
The Frogman's usual costume consisted of knee-breeches made of yellow satin plush, with trimmings of gold braid and jeweled knee-buckles; a white satin vest with silver buttons in which were set solitaire rubies; a swallow-tailed coat of bright yellow; green stockings and red leather shoes turned up at the toes and having diamond buckles. He wore, when he walked out, a purple silk hat and carried a gold-headed cane. Over his eyes he wore great spectacles with gold rims, not because his eyes were bad but because the spectacles made him look wise, and so distinguished and gorgeous was his appearance that all the Yips were very proud of him.
There was no King or Queen in the Yip Country, so the simple inhabitants naturally came to look upon the Frogman as their leader as well as their counselor in all times of emergency. In his heart the big frog knew he was no wiser than the Yips, but for a frog to know as much as a person was quite remarkable, and the Frogman was shrewd enough to make the people believe he was far more wise than he really was. They never suspected he was a humbug, but listened to his words with great respect and did just what he advised them to do.
Now, when Cayke the Cookie Cook raised such an outcry over the theft of her diamond-studded dishpan, the first thought of the people was to take her to the Frogman and inform him of the loss, thinking that of course he could tell her where to find it.
He listened to the story with his big eyes wide open behind his spectacles, and said in his deep, croaking voice:
"If the dishpan is stolen, somebody must have taken it."
"But who?" asked Cayke, anxiously. "Who is the thief?"
"The one who took the dishpan, of course," replied the Frogman, and hearing this all the Yips nodded their heads gravely and said to one another:
"It is absolutely true!"
"But I want my dishpan!" cried Cayke.
"No one can blame you for that wish," remarked the Frogman.
"Then tell me where I may find it," she urged.
The look the Frogman gave her was a very wise look and he rose from his chair and strutted up and down the room with his hands under his coat-tails, in a very pompous and imposing manner. This was the first time so difficult a matter had been brought to him and he wanted time to think. It would never do to let them suspect his ignorance and so he thought very, very hard how best to answer the woman without betraying himself.
"I beg to inform you," said he, "that nothing in the Yip Country has ever been stolen before."
"We know that, already," answered Cayke the Cookie Cook, impatiently.
"Therefore," continued the Frogman, "this theft becomes a very important matter."
"Well, where is my dishpan?" demanded the woman.
"It is lost; but it must be found. Unfortunately, we have no policemen or detectives to unravel the mystery, so we must employ other means to regain the lost article. Cayke must first write a Proclamation and tack it to the door of her house, and the Proclamation must read that whoever stole the jeweled dishpan must return it at once."
"But suppose no one returns it," suggested Cayke.
"Then," said the Frogman, "that very fact will be proof that no one has stolen it."
Cayke was not satisfied, but the other Yips seemed to approve the plan highly. They all advised her to do as the Frogman had told her to, so she posted the sign on her door and waited patiently for someone to return the dishpan—which no one ever did.
Again she went, accompanied by a group of her neighbors, to the Frogman, who by this time had given the matter considerable thought. Said he to Cayke:
"I am now convinced that no Yip has taken your dishpan, and, since it is gone from the Yip Country, I suspect that some stranger came from the world down below us, in the darkness of night when all of us were asleep, and took away your treasure. There can be no other explanation of its disappearance. So, if you wish to recover that golden, diamond-studded dishpan, you must go into the lower world after it."
This was indeed a startling proposition. Cayke and her friends went to the edge of the flat tableland and looked down the steep hillside to the plains below. It was so far to the bottom of the hill that nothing there could be seen very distinctly and it seemed to the Yips very venturesome, if not dangerous, to go so far from home into an unknown land.
However, Cayke wanted her dishpan very badly, so she turned to her friends and asked:
"Who will go with me?"
No one answered this question, but after a period of silence one of the Yips said:
"We know what is here, on the top of this flat hill, and it seems to us a very pleasant place; but what is down below we do not know. The chances are it is not so pleasant, so we had best stay where we are."
"It may be a far better country than this is," suggested the Cookie Cook.
"Maybe, maybe," responded another Yip, "but why take chances? Contentment with one's lot is true wisdom. Perhaps, in some other country, there are better cookies than you cook; but as we have always eaten your cookies, and liked them—except when they are burned on the bottom—we do not long for any better ones."
Cayke might have agreed to this argument had she not been so anxious to find her precious dishpan, but now she exclaimed impatiently:
"You are cowards—all of you! If none of you are willing to explore with me the great world beyond this small hill, I will surely go alone."
"That is a wise resolve," declared the Yips, much relieved. "It is your dishpan that is lost, not ours; and, if you are willing to risk your life and liberty to regain it, no one can deny you the privilege."
While they were thus conversing the Frogman joined them and looked down at the plain with his big eyes and seemed unusually thoughtful. In fact, the Frogman was thinking that he'd like to see more of the world. Here in the Yip Country he had become the most important creature of them all and his importance was getting to be a little tame. It would be nice to have other people defer to him and ask his advice and there seemed no reason, so far as he could see, why his fame should not spread throughout all Oz.
He knew nothing of the rest of the world, but it was reasonable to believe that there were more people beyond the mountain where he now lived than there were Yips, and if he went among them he could surprise them with his display of wisdom and make them bow down to him as the Yips did. In other words, the Frogman was ambitious to become still greater than he was, which was impossible if he always remained upon this mountain. He wanted others to see his gorgeous clothes and listen to his solemn sayings, and here was an excuse for him to get away from the Yip Country. So he said to Cayke the Cookie Cook:
"I will go with you, my good woman," which greatly pleased Cayke because she felt the Frogman could be of much assistance to her in her search.
But now, since the mighty Frogman had decided to undertake the journey, several of the Yips who were young and daring at once made up their minds to go along; so the next morning after breakfast the Frogman and Cayke the Cookie Cook and nine of the Yips started to slide down the side of the mountain. The bramble-bushes and cactus plants were very prickly and uncomfortable to the touch, so the Frogman commanded the Yips to go first and break a path, so that when he followed them he would not tear his splendid clothes. Cayke, too, was wearing her best dress, and was likewise afraid of the thorns and prickers, so she kept behind the Frogman.
They made rather slow progress and night overtook them before they were halfway down the mountain side, so they found a cave in which they sought shelter until morning. Cayke had brought along a basket full of her famous cookies, so they all had plenty to eat.
On the second day the Yips began to wish they had not embarked on this adventure. They grumbled a good deal at having to cut away the thorns to make the path for the Frogman and the Cookie Cook, for their own clothing suffered many tears, while Cayke and the Frogman traveled safely and in comfort.
"If it is true that anyone came to our country to steal your diamond dishpan," said one of the Yips to Cayke, "it must have been a bird, for no person in the form of a man, woman or child could have climbed through these bushes and back again."
"And, allowing he could have done so," said another Yip, "the diamond-studded gold dishpan would not have repaid him for his troubles and his tribulations."
"For my part," remarked a third Yip, "I would rather go back home and dig and polish some more diamonds, and mine some more gold, and make you another dishpan, than be scratched from head to heel by these dreadful bushes. Even now, if my mother saw me, she would not know I am her son."
Cayke paid no heed to these mutterings, nor did the Frogman. Although their journey was slow it was being made easy for them by the Yips, so they had nothing to complain of and no desire to turn back.
Quite near to the bottom of the great hill they came upon a deep gulf, the sides of which were as smooth as glass. The gulf extended a long distance—as far as they could see, in either direction—and although it was not very wide it was far too wide for the Yips to leap across it. And, should they fall into it, it was likely they might never get out again.
"Here our journey ends," said the Yips. "We must go back again."
Cayke the Cookie Cook began to weep.
"I shall never find my pretty dishpan again—and my heart will be broken!" she sobbed.
The Frogman went to the edge of the gulf and with his eye carefully measured the distance to the other side.
"Being a frog," said he, "I can leap, as all frogs do; and, being so big and strong, I am sure I can leap across this gulf with ease. But the rest of you, not being frogs, must return the way you came."
"We will do that with pleasure," cried the Yips and at once they turned and began to climb up the steep mountain, feeling they had had quite enough of this unsatisfactory adventure. Cayke the Cookie Cook did not go with them, however. She sat on a rock and wept and wailed and was very miserable.
"Well," said the Frogman to her, "I will now bid you good-bye. If I find your diamond decorated gold dishpan I will promise to see that it is safely returned to you."
"But I prefer to find it myself!" she said. "See here, Frogman, why can't you carry me across the gulf when you leap it? You are big and strong, while I am small and thin."
The Frogman gravely thought over this suggestion. It was a fact that Cayke the Cookie Cook was not a heavy person. Perhaps he could leap the gulf with her on his back.
"If you are willing to risk a fall," said he, "I will make the attempt."
At once she sprang up and grabbed him around his neck with both her arms. That is, she grabbed him where his neck ought to be, for the Frogman had no neck at all. Then he squatted down, as frogs do when they leap, and with his powerful rear legs he made a tremendous jump.
Over the gulf he sailed, with the Cookie Cook on his back, and he had leaped so hard—to make sure of not falling in—that he sailed over a lot of bramble-bushes that grew on the other side and landed in a clear space which was so far beyond the gulf that when they looked back they could not see it at all.
Cayke now got off the Frogman's back and he stood erect again and carefully brushed the dust from his velvet coat and rearranged his white satin necktie.
"I had no idea I could leap so far," he said wonderingly. "Leaping is one more accomplishment I can now add to the long list of deeds I am able to perform."
"You are certainly fine at leap-frog," said the Cookie Cook, admiringly; "but, as you say, you are wonderful in many ways. If we meet with any people down here I am sure they will consider you the greatest and grandest of all living creatures."
"Yes," he replied, "I shall probably astonish strangers, because they have never before had the pleasure of seeing me. Also they will marvel at my great learning. Every time I open my mouth, Cayke, I am liable to say something important."
"That is true," she agreed, "and it is fortunate your mouth is so very wide and opens so far, for otherwise all the wisdom might not be able to get out of it."
"Perhaps nature made it wide for that very reason," said the Frogman: "But come; let us now go on, for it is getting late and we must find some sort of shelter before night overtakes us."
Among the Winkies
The settled parts of the Winkie Country are full of happy and contented people who are ruled by a tin Emperor named Nick Chopper, who in turn is a subject of the beautiful girl Ruler, Ozma of Oz. But not all of the Winkie Country is fully settled. At the east, which part lies nearest the Emerald City, there are beautiful farmhouses and roads, but as you travel west you first come to a branch of the Winkie River, beyond which there is a rough country where few people live, and some of these are quite unknown to the rest of the world. After passing through this rude section of territory, which no one ever visits, you would come to still another branch of the Winkie River, after crossing which you would find another well-settled part of the Winkie Country, extending westward quite to the Deadly Desert that surrounds all the Land of Oz and separates that favored fairyland from the more common outside world. The Winkies who live in this west section have many tin mines, from which metal they make a great deal of rich jewelry and other articles, all of which are highly esteemed in the Land of Oz because tin is so bright and pretty, and there is not so much of it as there is of gold and silver.
Not all the Winkies are miners, however, for some till the fields and grow grains for food, and it was at one of these far west Winkie farms that the Frogman and Cayke the Cookie Cook first arrived after they had descended from the mountain of the Yips.
"Goodness me!" cried Nellary, the Winkie wife, when she saw the strange couple approaching her house. "I have seen many queer creatures in the Land of Oz, but none more queer than this giant frog, who dresses like a man and walks on his hind legs. Come here, Wiljon," she called to her husband, who was eating his breakfast, "and take a look at this astonishing freak."
Wiljon the Winkie came to the door and looked out. He was still standing in the doorway when the Frogman approached and said with a haughty croak:
"Tell me, my good man, have you seen a diamond-studded gold dishpan?"
"No; nor have I seen a copper-plated lobster," replied Wiljon, in an equally haughty tone.
The Frogman stared at him and said:
"Do not be insolent, fellow!"
"No," added Cayke the Cookie Cook, hastily, "you must be very polite to the great Frogman, for he is the wisest creature in all the world."
"Who says that?" inquired Wiljon.
"He says so himself," replied Cayke, and the Frogman nodded and strutted up and down, twirling his gold-headed cane very gracefully.
"Does the Scarecrow admit that this overgrown frog is the wisest creature in the world?" asked Wiljon.
"I do not know who the Scarecrow is," answered Cayke the Cookie Cook.
"Well, he lives at the Emerald City, and he is supposed to have the finest brains in all Oz. The Wizard gave them to him, you know."
"Mine grew in my head," said the Frogman pompously, "so I think they must be better than any wizard brains. I am so wise that sometimes my wisdom makes my head ache. I know so much that often I have to forget part of it, since no one creature, however great, is able to contain so much knowledge."
"It must be dreadful to be stuffed full of wisdom," remarked Wiljon reflectively, and eyeing the Frogman with a doubtful look. "It is my good fortune to know very little."
"I hope, however, you know where my jeweled dishpan is," said the Cookie Cook anxiously.
"I do not know even that," returned the Winkie. "We have trouble enough in keeping track of our own dishpans, without meddling with the dishpans of strangers."
Finding him so ignorant, the Frogman proposed that they walk on and seek Cayke's dishpan elsewhere. Wiljon the Winkie did not seem greatly impressed by the great Frogman, which seemed to that personage as strange as it was disappointing; but others in this unknown land might prove more respectful.
"I'd like to meet that Wizard of Oz," remarked Cayke, as they walked along a path. "If he could give a Scarecrow brains he might be able to find my dishpan."
"Poof!" grunted the Frogman scornfully; "I am greater than any wizard. Depend on me. If your dishpan is anywhere in the world I am sure to find it."
"If you do not, my heart will be broken," declared the Cookie Cook in a sorrowful voice.
For a while the Frogman walked on in silence. Then he asked:
"Why do you attach so much importance to a dishpan?"
"It is the greatest treasure I possess," replied the woman. "It belonged to my mother and to all my grandmothers, since the beginning of time. It is, I believe, the very oldest thing in all the Yip Country—or was while it was there—and," she added, dropping her voice to an awed whisper, "it has magic powers!"
"In what way?" inquired the Frogman, seeming to be surprised at this statement.
"Whoever has owned that dishpan has been a good cook, for one thing. No one else is able to make such good cookies as I have cooked, as you and all the Yips know. Yet, the very morning after my dishpan was stolen, I tried to make a batch of cookies and they burned up in the oven! I made another batch that proved too tough to eat, and I was so ashamed of them that I buried them in the ground. Even the third batch of cookies, which I brought with me in my basket, were pretty poor stuff and no better than any woman could make who does not own my diamond-studded gold dishpan. In fact, my good Frogman, Cayke the Cookie Cook will never be able to cook good cookies again until her magic dishpan is restored to her."
"In that case," said the Frogman with a sigh, "I suppose we must manage to find it."
Ozma's Friends Are Perplexed
"Really," said Dorothy, looking solemn, "this is very s'prising. We can't find even a shadow of Ozma anywhere in the Em'rald City; and, wherever she's gone, she's taken her Magic Picture with her."
She was standing in the courtyard of the palace with Betsy and Trot, while Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, danced around the group, her hair flying in the wind.
"P'raps," said Scraps, still dancing, "someone has stolen Ozma."
"Oh, they'd never dare do that!" exclaimed tiny Trot.
"And stolen the Magic Picture, too, so the thing can't tell where she is," added the Patchwork Girl.
"That's nonsense," said Dorothy. "Why, ev'ryone loves Ozma. There isn't a person in the Land of Oz who would steal a single thing she owns."
"Huh!" replied the Patchwork Girl. "You don't know ev'ry person in the Land of Oz."
"Why don't I?"
"It's a big country," said Scraps. "There are cracks and corners in it that even Ozma doesn't know of."
"The Patchwork Girl's just daffy," declared Betsy.
"No; she's right about that," replied Dorothy thoughtfully. "There are lots of queer people in this fairyland who never come near Ozma or the Em'rald City. I've seen some of 'em myself, girls; but I haven't seen all, of course, and there might be some wicked persons left in Oz, yet, though I think the wicked witches have all been destroyed."
Just then the Wooden Sawhorse dashed into the courtyard with the Wizard of Oz on his back.
"Have you found Ozma?" cried the Wizard when the Sawhorse stopped beside them.
"Not yet," said Dorothy. "Doesn't Glinda know where she is?"
"No. Glinda's Book of Records and all her magic instruments are gone. Someone must have stolen them."
"Goodness me!" exclaimed Dorothy, in alarm. "This is the biggest steal I ever heard of. Who do you think did it, Wizard?"
"I've no idea," he answered. "But I have come to get my own bag of magic tools and carry them to Glinda. She is so much more powerful than I that she may be able to discover the truth by means of my magic, quicker and better than I could myself."
"Hurry, then," said Dorothy, "for we're all getting terr'bly worried."
The Wizard rushed away to his rooms but presently came back with a long, sad face.
"It's gone!" he said.
"What's gone?" asked Scraps.
"My black bag of magic tools. Someone must have stolen it!"
They looked at one another in amazement.
"This thing is getting desperate," continued the Wizard. "All the magic that belongs to Ozma, or to Glinda, or to me, has been stolen."
"Do you suppose Ozma could have taken them, herself, for some purpose?" asked Betsy.
"No, indeed," declared the Wizard. "I suspect some enemy has stolen Ozma and, for fear we would follow and recapture her, has taken all our magic away from us."
"How dreadful!" cried Dorothy. "The idea of anyone wanting to injure our dear Ozma! Can't we do anything to find her, Wizard?"
"I'll ask Glinda. I must go straight back to her and tell her that my magic tools have also disappeared. The good Sorceress will be greatly shocked, I know."
With this he jumped upon the back of the Sawhorse again and the quaint steed, which never tired, dashed away at full speed.
The three girls were very much disturbed in mind. Even the Patchwork Girl was more quiet than usual and seemed to realize that a great calamity had overtaken them all. Ozma was a fairy of considerable power and all the creatures in Oz, as well as the three mortal girls from the outside world, looked upon her as their protector and friend. The idea of their beautiful girl Ruler's being overpowered by an enemy and dragged from her splendid palace a captive was too astonishing for them to comprehend, at first. Yet what other explanation of the mystery could there be?
"Ozma wouldn't go away willingly, without letting us know about it," asserted Dorothy; "and she wouldn't steal Glinda's Great Book of Records, or the Wizard's magic, 'cause she could get them any time, just by asking for 'em. I'm sure some wicked person has done all this."
"Someone in the Land of Oz?" asked Trot.
"Of course. No one could get across the Deadly Desert, you know, and no one but an Oz person could know about the Magic Picture and the Book of Records and the Wizard's magic, or where they were kept, and so be able to steal the whole outfit before we could stop 'em. It must be someone who lives in the Land of Oz."
"But who—who—who?" asked Scraps. "That's the question. Who?"
"If we knew," replied Dorothy, severely, "we wouldn't be standing here, doing nothing."
Just then two boys entered the courtyard and approached the group of girls. One boy was dressed in the fantastic Munchkin costume—a blue jacket and knickerbockers, blue leather shoes and a blue hat with a high peak and tiny silver bells dangling from its rim—and this was Ojo the Lucky, who had once come from the Munchkin Country of Oz and now lived in the Emerald City. The other boy was an American, from Philadelphia, and had lately found his way to Oz in the company of Trot and Cap'n Bill. His name was Button-Bright; that is, everyone called him by that name, and knew no other.
Button-Bright was not quite as big as the Munchkin boy, but he wore the same kind of clothes, only they were of different colors. As the two came up to the girls, arm in arm, Button-Bright remarked:
"Hello, Dorothy. They say Ozma is lost."
"Who says so?" she asked.
"Everybody's talking about it, in the City," he replied.
"I wonder how the people found it out?" Dorothy asked.
"I know," said Ojo. "Jellia Jamb told them. She has been asking everywhere if anyone has seen Ozma."
"That's too bad," observed Dorothy, frowning.
"Why?" asked Button-Bright.
"There wasn't any use making all our people unhappy, till we were dead certain that Ozma can't be found."
"Pshaw," said Button-Bright, "It's nothing to get lost. I've been lost lots of times."
"That's true," admitted Trot, who knew that the boy had a habit of getting lost and then finding himself again; "but it's diff'rent with Ozma. She's the Ruler of all this big fairyland and we're 'fraid that the reason she's lost is because somebody has stolen her away."
"Only wicked people steal," said Ojo. "Do you know of any wicked people in Oz, Dorothy?"
"No," she replied.
"They're here, though," cried Scraps, dancing up to them and then circling around the group. "Ozma's stolen; someone in Oz stole her; only wicked people steal; so someone in Oz is wicked!"
There was no denying the truth of this statement. The faces of all of them were now solemn and sorrowful.
"One thing is sure," said Button-Bright, after a time, "if Ozma has been stolen, someone ought to find her and punish the thief."
"There may be a lot of thieves," suggested Trot gravely, "and in this fairy country they don't seem to have any soldiers or policemen."
"There is one soldier," claimed Dorothy. "He has green whiskers and a gun and is a Major-General; but no one is afraid of either his gun or his whiskers, 'cause he's so tender-hearted that he wouldn't hurt a fly."
"Well, a soldier's a soldier," said Betsy, "and perhaps he'd hurt a wicked thief if he wouldn't hurt a fly. Where is he?"
"He went fishing about two months ago and hasn't come back yet," explained Button-Bright.
"Then I can't see that he will be of much use to us in this trouble," sighed little Trot. "But p'raps Ozma, who is a fairy, can get away from the thieves without any help from anybody."
"She might be able to," admitted Dorothy, reflectively, "but if she had the power to do that, it isn't likely she'd have let herself be stolen. So the thieves must have been even more powerful in magic than our Ozma."
There was no denying this argument and, although they talked the matter over all the rest of that day, they were unable to decide how Ozma had been stolen against her will or who had committed the dreadful deed.
Toward evening the Wizard came back, riding slowly upon the Sawhorse because he felt discouraged and perplexed. Glinda came, later, in her aerial chariot drawn by twenty milk-white swans, and she also seemed worried and unhappy. More of Ozma's friends joined them and that evening they all had a long talk together.
"I think," said Dorothy, "we ought to start out right away in search of our dear Ozma. It seems cruel for us to live comf'tably in her palace while she is a pris'ner in the power of some wicked enemy."
"Yes," agreed Glinda the Sorceress, "someone ought to search for her. I cannot go myself, because I must work hard in order to create some new instruments of sorcery by means of which I may rescue our fair Ruler. But if you can find her, in the meantime, and let me know who has stolen her, it will enable me to rescue her much more quickly."
"Then we'll start to-morrow morning," decided Dorothy. "Betsy and Trot and I won't waste another minute."
"I'm not sure you girls will make good detectives," remarked the Wizard; "but I'll go with you, to protect you from harm and to give you my advice. All my wizardry, alas, is stolen, so I am now really no more a wizard than any of you; but I will try to protect you from any enemies you may meet."
"What harm could happen to us in Oz?" inquired Trot.
"What harm happened to Ozma?" returned the Wizard. "If there is an Evil Power abroad in our fairyland, which is able to steal not only Ozma and her Magic Picture, but Glinda's Book of Records and all her magic, and my black bag containing all my tricks of wizardry, then that Evil Power may yet cause us considerable injury. Ozma is a fairy, and so is Glinda, so no power can kill or destroy them; but you girls are all mortals, and so are Button-Bright and I, so we must watch out for ourselves."
"Nothing can kill me," said Ojo, the Munchkin boy.
"That is true," replied the Sorceress, "and I think it may be well to divide the searchers into several parties, that they may cover all the land of Oz more quickly. So I will send Ojo and Unc Nunkie and Dr. Pipt into the Munchkin Country, which they are well acquainted with; and I will send the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman into the Quadling Country, for they are fearless and brave and never tire; and to the Gillikin Country, where many dangers lurk, I will send the Shaggy Man and his brother, with Tik-Tok and Jack Pumpkinhead. Dorothy may make up her own party and travel into the Winkie Country. All of you must inquire everywhere for Ozma and try to discover where she is hidden."
They thought this a very wise plan and adopted it without question. In Ozma's absence Glinda the Good was the most important person in Oz and all were glad to serve under her direction.
The Search Party
Next morning, as soon as the sun was up, Glinda flew back to her castle, stopping on the way to instruct the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, who were at that time staying at the college of Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T. E., and taking a course of his Patent Educational Pills. On hearing of Ozma's loss they started at once for the Quadling Country to search for her.
As soon as Glinda had left the Emerald City, Tik-Tok and the Shaggy Man and Jack Pumpkinhead, who had been present at the conference, began their journey into the Gillikin Country, and an hour later Ojo and Unc Nunkie joined Dr. Pipt and together they traveled toward the Munchkin Country. When all these searchers were gone, Dorothy and the Wizard completed their own preparations.
The Wizard hitched the Sawhorse to the Red Wagon, which would seat four very comfortably. He wanted Dorothy, Betsy, Trot and the Patchwork Girl to ride in the wagon, but Scraps came up to them mounted upon the Woozy, and the Woozy said he would like to join the party. Now this Woozy was a most peculiar animal, having a square head, square body, square legs and square tail. His skin was very tough and hard, resembling leather, and while his movements were somewhat clumsy the beast could travel with remarkable swiftness. His square eyes were mild and gentle in expression and he was not especially foolish. The Woozy and the Patchwork Girl were great friends and so the Wizard agreed to let the Woozy go with them.
Another great beast now appeared and asked to go along. This was none other than the famous Cowardly Lion, one of the most interesting creatures in all Oz. No lion that roamed the jungles or plains could compare in size or intelligence with this Cowardly Lion, who—like all animals living in Oz—could talk, and who talked with more shrewdness and wisdom than many of the people did. He said he was cowardly because he always trembled when he faced danger, but he had faced danger many times and never refused to fight when it was necessary. This Lion was a great favorite with Ozma and always guarded her throne on state occasions. He was also an old companion and friend of the Princess Dorothy, so the girl was delighted to have him join the party.
"I'm so nervous over our dear Ozma," said the Cowardly Lion in his deep, rumbling voice, "that it would make me unhappy to remain behind while you are trying to find her. But do not get into any danger, I beg of you, for danger frightens me terribly."
"We'll not get into danger if we can poss'bly help it," promised Dorothy; "but we shall do anything to find Ozma, danger or no danger."
The addition of the Woozy and the Cowardly Lion to the party gave Betsy Bobbin an idea and she ran to the marble stables at the rear of the palace and brought out her mule, Hank by name. Perhaps no mule you ever saw was so lean and bony and altogether plain looking as this Hank, but Betsy loved him dearly because he was faithful and steady and not nearly so stupid as most mules are considered to be. Betsy had a saddle for Hank and declared she would ride on his back, an arrangement approved by the Wizard because it left only four of the party to ride on the seats of the Red Wagon—Dorothy and Button-Bright and Trot and himself.
An old sailor-man, who had one wooden leg, came to see them off and suggested that they put a supply of food and blankets in the Red Wagon, inasmuch as they were uncertain how long they would be gone. This sailor-man was called Cap'n Bill. He was a former friend and comrade of Trot and had encountered many adventures in company with the little girl. I think he was sorry he could not go with her on this trip, but Glinda the Sorceress had asked Cap'n Bill to remain in the Emerald City and take charge of the royal palace while everyone else was away, and the one-legged sailor had agreed to do so.
They loaded the back end of the Red Wagon with everything they thought they might need, and then they formed a procession and marched from the palace through the Emerald City to the great gates of the wall that surrounded this beautiful capital of the Land of Oz. Crowds of citizens lined the streets to see them pass and to cheer them and wish them success, for all were grieved over Ozma's loss and anxious that she be found again.
First came the Cowardly Lion; then the Patchwork Girl riding upon the Woozy; then Betsy Bobbin on her mule Hank; and finally the Sawhorse drawing the Red Wagon, in which were seated the Wizard and Dorothy and Button-Bright and Trot. No one was obliged to drive the Sawhorse, so there were no reins to his harness; one had only to tell him which way to go, fast or slow, and he understood perfectly.
It was about this time that a shaggy little black dog who had been lying asleep in Dorothy's room in the palace woke up and discovered he was lonesome. Everything seemed very still throughout the great building and Toto—that was the little dog's name—missed the customary chatter of the three girls. He never paid much attention to what was going on around him and, although he could speak, he seldom said anything; so the little dog did not know about Ozma's loss or that everyone had gone in search of her. But he liked to be with people, and especially with his own mistress, Dorothy, and having yawned and stretched himself and found the door of the room ajar he trotted out into the corridor and went down the stately marble stairs to the hall of the palace, where he met Jellia Jamb.
"Where's Dorothy?" asked Toto.
"She's gone to the Winkie Country," answered the maid.
"A little while ago," replied Jellia.
Toto turned and trotted out into the palace garden and down the long driveway until he came to the streets of the Emerald City. Here he paused to listen and, hearing sounds of cheering, he ran swiftly along until he came in sight of the Red Wagon and the Woozy and the Lion and the Mule and all the others. Being a wise little dog, he decided not to show himself to Dorothy just then, lest he be sent back home; but he never lost sight of the party of travelers, all of whom were so eager to get ahead that they never thought to look behind them.
When they came to the gates in the city wall the Guardian of the Gates came out to throw wide the golden portals and let them pass through.
"Did any strange person come in or out of the city on the night before last, when Ozma was stolen?" asked Dorothy.
"No, indeed, Princess," answered the Guardian of the Gates.
"Of course not," said the Wizard. "Anyone clever enough to steal all the things we have lost would not mind the barrier of a wall like this, in the least. I think the thief must have flown through the air, for otherwise he could not have stolen from Ozma's royal palace and Glinda's far-away castle in the same night. Moreover, as there are no airships in Oz and no way for airships from the outside world to get into this country, I believe the thief must have flown from place to place by means of magic arts which neither Glinda nor I understand."
On they went, and before the gates closed behind them Toto managed to dodge through them. The country surrounding the Emerald City was thickly settled and for a while our friends rode over nicely paved roads which wound through a fertile country dotted with beautiful houses, all built in the quaint Oz fashion. In the course of a few hours, however, they had left the tilled fields and entered the Country of the Winkies, which occupies a quarter of all the territory in the Land of Oz but is not so well known as many other parts of Ozma's fairyland. Long before night the travelers had crossed the Winkie River near to the Scarecrow's Tower (which was now vacant) and had entered the Rolling Prairie where few people live. They asked everyone they met for news of Ozma, but none in this district had seen her or even knew that she had been stolen. And by nightfall they had passed all the farmhouses and were obliged to stop and ask for shelter at the hut of a lonely shepherd. When they halted, Toto was not far behind. The little dog halted, too, and stealing softly around the party he hid himself behind the hut.
The shepherd was a kindly old man and treated the travelers with much courtesy. He slept out of doors, that night, giving up his hut to the three girls, who made their beds on the floor with the blankets they had brought in the Red Wagon. The Wizard and Button-Bright also slept out of doors, and so did the Cowardly Lion and Hank the Mule. But Scraps and the Sawhorse did not sleep at all and the Woozy could stay awake for a month at a time, if he wished to, so these three sat in a little group by themselves and talked together all through the night.
In the darkness the Cowardly Lion felt a shaggy little form nestling beside his own, and he said sleepily:
"Where did you come from, Toto?"
"From home," said the dog. "If you roll over, roll the other way, so you won't smash me."
"Does Dorothy know you are here?" asked the Lion.
"I believe not," admitted Toto, and he added, a little anxiously: "Do you think, friend Lion, we are now far enough from the Emerald City for me to risk showing myself? Or will Dorothy send me back because I wasn't invited?"
"Only Dorothy can answer that question," said the Lion. "For my part, Toto, I consider this affair none of my business, so you must act as you think best."
Then the huge beast went to sleep again and Toto snuggled closer to his warm, hairy body and also slept. He was a wise little dog, in his way, and didn't intend to worry when there was something much better to do.
In the morning the Wizard built a fire, over which the girls cooked a very good breakfast.
Suddenly Dorothy discovered Toto sitting quietly before the fire and the little girl exclaimed:
"Goodness me, Toto! Where did you come from?"
"From the place you cruelly left me," replied the dog in a reproachful tone.
"I forgot all about you," admitted Dorothy, "and if I hadn't I'd prob'ly left you with Jellia Jamb, seeing this isn't a pleasure trip but stric'ly business. But, now that you're here, Toto, I s'pose you'll have to stay with us, unless you'd rather go back home again. We may get ourselves into trouble, before we're done, Toto."
"Never mind that," said Toto, wagging his tail. "I'm hungry, Dorothy."
"Breakfas'll soon be ready and then you shall have your share," promised his little mistress, who was really glad to have her dog with her. She and Toto had traveled together before, and she knew he was a good and faithful comrade.
When the food was cooked and served the girls invited the old shepherd to join them in their morning meal. He willingly consented and while they ate he said to them:
"You are now about to pass through a very dangerous country, unless you turn to the north or to the south to escape its perils."
"In that case," said the Cowardly Lion, "let us turn, by all means, for I dread to face dangers of any sort."
"What's the matter with the country ahead of us?" inquired Dorothy.
"Beyond this Rolling Prairie," explained the shepherd, "are the Merry-Go-Round Mountains, set close together and surrounded by deep gulfs, so that no one is able to get past them. Beyond the Merry-Go-Round Mountains it is said the Thistle-Eaters and the Herkus live."
"What are they like?" demanded Dorothy.
"No one knows, for no one has ever passed the Merry-Go-Round Mountains," was the reply; "but it is said that the Thistle-Eaters hitch dragons to their chariots and that the Herkus are waited upon by giants whom they have conquered and made their slaves."
"Who says all that?" asked Betsy.
"It is common report," declared the shepherd. "Everyone believes it."
"I don't see how they know," remarked little Trot, "if no one has been there."
"Perhaps the birds who fly over that country brought the news," suggested Betsy.
"If you escaped those dangers," continued the shepherd, "you might encounter others, still more serious, before you came to the next branch of the Winkie River. It is true that beyond that river there lies a fine country, inhabited by good people, and if you reached there you would have no further trouble. It is between here and the west branch of the Winkie River that all dangers lie, for that is the unknown territory that is inhabited by terrible, lawless people."
"It may be, and it may not be," said the Wizard. "We shall know when we get there."
"Well," persisted the shepherd, "in a fairy country such as ours every undiscovered place is likely to harbor wicked creatures. If they were not wicked, they would discover themselves, and by coming among us submit to Ozma's rule and be good and considerate, as are all the Oz people whom we know."
"That argument," stated the little Wizard, "convinces me that it is our duty to go straight to those unknown places, however dangerous they may be; for it is surely some cruel and wicked person who has stolen our Ozma, and we know it would be folly to search among good people for the culprit. Ozma may not be hidden in the secret places of the Winkie Country, it is true, but it is our duty to travel to every spot, however dangerous, where our beloved Ruler is likely to be imprisoned."
"You're right about that," said Button-Bright approvingly. "Dangers don't hurt us; only things that happen ever hurt anyone, and a danger is a thing that might happen, and might not happen, and sometimes don't amount to shucks. I vote we go ahead and take our chances."
They were all of the same opinion, so they packed up and said good-bye to the friendly shepherd and proceeded on their way.
The Merry-Go-Round Mountains
The Rolling Prairie was not difficult to travel over, although it was all up-hill and down-hill, so for a while they made good progress. Not even a shepherd was to be met with now and the farther they advanced the more dreary the landscape became. At noon they stopped for a "picnic luncheon," as Betsy called it, and then they again resumed their journey. All the animals were swift and tireless and even the Cowardly Lion and the Mule found they could keep up with the pace of the Woozy and the Sawhorse.
It was the middle of the afternoon when first they came in sight of a cluster of low mountains. These were cone-shaped, rising from broad bases to sharp peaks at the tops. From a distance the mountains appeared indistinct and seemed rather small—more like hills than mountains—but as the travelers drew nearer they noted a most unusual circumstance: the hills were all whirling around, some in one direction and some the opposite way.
"I guess those are the Merry-Go-Round Mountains, all right," said Dorothy.
"They must be," said the Wizard.
"They go 'round, sure enough," added Trot, "but they don't seem very merry."
There were several rows of these mountains, extending both to the right and to the left, for miles and miles. How many rows there might be, none could tell, but between the first row of peaks could be seen other peaks, all steadily whirling around one way or another. Continuing to ride nearer, our friends watched these hills attentively, until at last, coming close up, they discovered there was a deep but narrow gulf around the edge of each mountain, and that the mountains were set so close together that the outer gulf was continuous and barred farther advance.
At the edge of the gulf they all dismounted and peered over into its depths. There was no telling where the bottom was, if indeed there was any bottom at all. From where they stood it seemed as if the mountains had been set in one great hole in the ground, just close enough together so they would not touch, and that each mountain was supported by a rocky column beneath its base which extended far down into the black pit below. From the land side it seemed impossible to get across the gulf or, succeeding in that, to gain a foothold on any of the whirling mountains.
"This ditch is too wide to jump across," remarked Button-Bright.
"P'raps the Lion could do it," suggested Dorothy.
"What, jump from here to that whirling hill?" cried the Lion indignantly. "I should say not! Even if I landed there, and could hold on, what good would it do? There's another spinning mountain beyond it, and perhaps still another beyond that. I don't believe any living creature could jump from one mountain to another, when both are whirling like tops and in different directions."
"I propose we turn back," said the Wooden Sawhorse, with a yawn of his chopped-out mouth, as he stared with his knot eyes at the Merry-Go-Round Mountains.
"I agree with you," said the Woozy, wagging his square head.
"We should have taken the shepherd's advice," added Hank the Mule.
The others of the party, however they might be puzzled by the serious problem that confronted them, would not allow themselves to despair.
"If we once get over these mountains," said Button-Bright, "we could probably get along all right."
"True enough," agreed Dorothy. "So we must find some way, of course, to get past these whirligig hills. But how?"
"I wish the Ork was with us," sighed Trot.
"But the Ork isn't here," said the Wizard, "and we must depend upon ourselves to conquer this difficulty. Unfortunately, all my magic has been stolen; otherwise I am sure I could easily get over the mountains."
"Unfortunately," observed the Woozy, "none of us has wings. And we're in a magic country without any magic."
"What is that around your waist, Dorothy?" asked the Wizard.
"That? Oh, that's just the Magic Belt I once captured from the Nome King," she replied.
"A Magic Belt! Why, that's fine. I'm sure a Magic Belt would take you over these hills."
"It might, if I knew how to work it," said the little girl. "Ozma knows a lot of its magic, but I've never found out about it. All I know is that while I am wearing it nothing can hurt me."
"Try wishing yourself across, and see if it will obey you," suggested the Wizard.
"But what good would that do?" asked Dorothy. "If I got across it wouldn't help the rest of you, and I couldn't go alone among all those giants and dragons, while you stayed here."
"True enough," agreed the Wizard, sadly; and then, after looking around the group, he inquired: "What is that on your finger, Trot?"
"A ring. The Mermaids gave it to me," she explained, "and if ever I'm in trouble when I'm on the water I can call the Mermaids and they'll come and help me. But the Mermaids can't help me on the land, you know, 'cause they swim, and—and—they haven't any legs."
"True enough," repeated the Wizard, more sadly.
There was a big, broad-spreading tree near the edge of the gulf and as the sun was hot above them they all gathered under the shade of the tree to study the problem of what to do next.
"If we had a long rope," said Betsy, "we could fasten it to this tree and let the other end of it down into the gulf and all slide down it."
"Well, what then?" asked the Wizard.
"Then, if we could manage to throw the rope up the other side," explained the girl, "we could all climb it and be on the other side of the gulf."
"There are too many 'if's' in that suggestion," remarked the little Wizard. "And you must remember that the other side is nothing but spinning mountains, so we couldn't possibly fasten a rope to them—even if we had one."
"That rope idea isn't half bad, though," said the Patchwork Girl, who had been dancing dangerously near to the edge of the gulf.
"What do you mean?" asked Dorothy.
The Patchwork Girl suddenly stood still and cast her button eyes around the group.
"Ha, I have it!" she exclaimed. "Unharness the Sawhorse, somebody; my fingers are too clumsy."
"Shall we?" asked Button-Bright doubtfully, turning to the others.
"Well, Scraps has a lot of brains, even if she is stuffed with cotton," asserted the Wizard. "If her brains can help us out of this trouble we ought to use them."
So he began unharnessing the Sawhorse, and Button-Bright and Dorothy helped him. When they had removed the harness the Patchwork Girl told them to take it all apart and buckle the straps together, end to end. And, after they had done this, they found they had one very long strap that was stronger than any rope.
"It would reach across the gulf, easily," said the Lion, who with the other animals had sat on his haunches and watched this proceeding. "But I don't see how it could be fastened to one of those dizzy mountains."
Scraps had no such notion as that in her baggy head. She told them to fasten one end of the strap to a stout limb of the tree, pointing to one which extended quite to the edge of the gulf. Button-Bright did that, climbing the tree and then crawling out upon the limb until he was nearly over the gulf. There he managed to fasten the strap, which reached to the ground below, and then he slid down it and was caught by the Wizard, who feared he might fall into the chasm.
Scraps was delighted. She seized the lower end of the strap and telling them all to get out of her way she went back as far as the strap would reach and then made a sudden run toward the gulf. Over the edge she swung, clinging to the strap until it had gone as far as its length permitted, when she let go and sailed gracefully through the air until she alighted upon the mountain just in front of them.
Almost instantly, as the great cone continued to whirl, she was sent flying against the next mountain in the rear, and that one had only turned halfway around when Scraps was sent flying to the next mountain behind it. Then her patchwork form disappeared from view entirely and the amazed watchers under the tree wondered what had become of her.
"She's gone, and she can't get back," said the Woozy.
"My, how she bounded from one mountain to another!" exclaimed the Lion.
"That was because they whirl so fast," the Wizard explained. "Scraps had nothing to hold on to and so of course she was tossed from one hill to another. I'm afraid we shall never see the poor Patchwork Girl again."
"I shall see her," declared the Woozy. "Scraps is an old friend of mine and, if there are really Thistle-Eaters and Giants on the other side of those tops, she will need someone to protect her. So, here I go!"
He seized the dangling strap firmly in his square mouth and in the same way that Scraps had done swung himself over the gulf. He let go the strap at the right moment and fell upon the first whirling mountain. Then he bounded to the next one back of it—not on his feet but "all mixed up," as Trot said—and then he shot across to another mountain, disappearing from view just as the Patchwork Girl had done.
"It seems to work, all right," remarked Button-Bright. "I guess I'll try it."
"Wait a minute," urged the Wizard. "Before any more of us make this desperate leap into the beyond, we must decide whether all will go, or if some of us will remain behind."
"Do you s'pose it hurt them much, to bump against those mountains?" asked Trot.
"I don't s'pose anything could hurt Scraps or the Woozy," said Dorothy, "and nothing can hurt me, because I wear the Magic Belt. So, as I'm anxious to find Ozma, I mean to swing myself across, too."
"I'll take my chances," decided Button-Bright.
"I'm sure it will hurt dreadfully, and I'm afraid to do it," said the Lion, who was already trembling; "but I shall do it if Dorothy does."
"Well, that will leave Betsy and the Mule and Trot," said the Wizard; "for of course, I shall go, that I may look after Dorothy. Do you two girls think you can find your way back home again?" he asked, addressing Trot and Betsy.
"I'm not afraid; not much, that is," said Trot. "It looks risky, I know, but I'm sure I can stand it if the others can."
"If it wasn't for leaving Hank," began Betsy, in a hesitating voice; but the Mule interrupted her by saying:
"Go ahead, if you want to, and I'll come after you. A mule is as brave as a lion, any day."
"Braver," said the Lion, "for I'm a coward, friend Hank, and you are not. But of course the Sawhorse——"
"Oh, nothing ever hurts me," asserted the Sawhorse calmly. "There's never been any question about my going. I can't take the Red Wagon, though."
"No, we must leave the wagon," said the Wizard; "and also we must leave our food and blankets, I fear. But if we can defy these Merry-Go-Round Mountains to stop us we won't mind the sacrifice of some of our comforts."
"No one knows where we're going to land!" remarked the Lion, in a voice that sounded as if he were going to cry.
"We may not land at all," replied Hank; "but the best way to find out what will happen to us is to swing across, as Scraps and the Woozy have done."
"I think I shall go last," said the Wizard; "so who wants to go first?"
"I'll go," decided Dorothy.
"No, it's my turn first," said Button-Bright. "Watch me!"
Even as he spoke the boy seized the strap and after making a run swung himself across the gulf. Away he went, bumping from hill to hill until he disappeared. They listened intently, but the boy uttered no cry until he had been gone some moments, when they heart a faint "Hullo-a!" as if called from a great distance.
The sound gave them courage, however, and Dorothy picked up Toto and held him fast under one arm while with the other hand she seized the strap and bravely followed after Button-Bright.
When she struck the first whirling mountain she fell upon it quite softly, but before she had time to think she flew through the air and lit with a jar on the side of the next mountain. Again she flew, and alighted; and again, and still again, until after five successive bumps she fell sprawling upon a green meadow and was so dazed and bewildered by her bumpy journey across the Merry-Go-Round Mountains that she lay quite still for a time, to collect her thoughts. Toto had escaped from her arms just as she fell, and he now sat beside her panting with excitement.
Then Dorothy realized that someone was helping her to her feet, and here was Button-Bright on one side of her and Scraps on the other, both seeming to be unhurt. The next object her eyes fell upon was the Woozy, squatting upon his square back end and looking at her reflectively, while Toto barked joyously to find his mistress unhurt after her whirlwind trip.
"Good!" said the Woozy; "here's another and a dog, both safe and sound. But, my word, Dorothy, you flew some! If you could have seen yourself, you'd have been absolutely astonished."
"They say 'Time flies,'" laughed Button-Bright; "but Time never made a quicker journey than that."
Just then, as Dorothy turned around to look at the whirling mountains, she was in time to see tiny Trot come flying from the nearest hill to fall upon the soft grass not a yard away from where she stood. Trot was so dizzy she couldn't stand, at first, but she wasn't at all hurt and presently Betsy came flying to them and would have bumped into the others had they not retreated in time to avoid her.
Then, in quick succession, came the Lion, Hank and the Sawhorse, bounding from mountain to mountain to fall safely upon the greensward. Only the Wizard was now left behind and they waited so long for him that Dorothy began to be worried. But suddenly he came flying from the nearest mountain and tumbled heels over head beside them. Then they saw that he had wound two of their blankets around his body, to keep the bumps from hurting him, and had fastened the blankets with some of the spare straps from the harness of the Sawhorse.
The Mysterious City
There they sat upon the grass, their heads still swimming from their dizzy flights, and looked at one another in silent bewilderment. But presently, when assured that no one was injured, they grew more calm and collected and the Lion said with a sigh of relief:
"Who would have thought those Merry-Go-Round Mountains were made of rubber?"
"Are they really rubber?" asked Trot.
"They must be," replied the Lion, "for otherwise we would not have bounded so swiftly from one to another without getting hurt."
"That is all guesswork," declared the Wizard, unwinding the blankets from his body, "for none of us stayed long enough on the mountains to discover what they are made of. But where are we?"
"That's guesswork, too," said Scraps. "The shepherd said the Thistle-Eaters live this side the mountains and are waited on by giants."
"Oh, no," said Dorothy; "it's the Herkus who have giant slaves, and the Thistle-Eaters hitch dragons to their chariots."
"How could they do that?" asked the Woozy. "Dragons have long tails, which would get in the way of the chariot wheels."
"And, if the Herkus have conquered the giants," said Trot, "they must be at least twice the size of giants. P'raps the Herkus are the biggest people in all the world!"
"Perhaps they are," assented the Wizard, in a thoughtful tone of voice. "And perhaps the shepherd didn't know what he was talking about. Let us travel on toward the west and discover for ourselves what the people of this country are like."
It seemed a pleasant enough country, and it was quite still and peaceful when they turned their eyes away from the silently whirling mountains. There were trees here and there and green bushes, while throughout the thick grass were scattered brilliantly colored flowers. About a mile away was a low hill that hid from them all the country beyond it, so they realized they could not tell much about the country until they had crossed the hill.
The Red Wagon having been left behind, it was now necessary to make other arrangements for traveling. The Lion told Dorothy she could ride upon his back, as she had often done before, and the Woozy said he could easily carry both Trot and the Patchwork Girl. Betsy still had her mule, Hank, and Button-Bright and the Wizard could sit together upon the long, thin back of the Sawhorse, but they took care to soften their seat with a pad of blankets before they started. Thus mounted, the adventurers started for the hill, which was reached after a brief journey.
As they mounted the crest and gazed beyond the hill they discovered not far away a walled city, from the towers and spires of which gay banners were flying. It was not a very big city, indeed, but its walls were very high and thick and it appeared that the people who lived there must have feared attack by a powerful enemy, else they would not have surrounded their dwellings with so strong a barrier.
There was no path leading from the mountains to the city, and this proved that the people seldom or never visited the whirling hills; but our friends found the grass soft and agreeable to travel over and with the city before them they could not well lose their way. When they drew nearer to the walls, the breeze carried to their ears the sound of music—dim at first but growing louder as they advanced.
"That doesn't seem like a very terr'ble place," remarked Dorothy.
"Well, it looks all right," replied Trot, from her seat on the Woozy, "but looks can't always be trusted."
"My looks can," said Scraps. "I look patchwork, and I am patchwork, and no one but a blind owl could ever doubt that I'm the Patchwork Girl." Saying which she turned a somersault off the Woozy and, alighting on her feet, began wildly dancing about.
"Are owls ever blind?" asked Trot.
"Always, in the daytime," said Button-Bright. "But Scraps can see with her button eyes both day and night. Isn't it queer?"
"It's queer that buttons can see at all," answered Trot; "but—good gracious! what's become of the city?"
"I was going to ask that myself," said Dorothy. "It's gone!"
The animals came to a sudden halt, for the city had really disappeared—walls and all—and before them lay the clear, unbroken sweep of the country.
"Dear me!" exclaimed the Wizard. "This is rather disagreeable. It is annoying to travel almost to a place and then find it is not there."
"Where can it be, then?" asked Dorothy. "It cert'nly was there a minute ago."
"I can hear the music yet," declared Button-Bright, and when they all listened the strains of music could plainly be heard.
"Oh! there's the city—over at the left," called Scraps, and turning their eyes they saw the walls and towers and fluttering banners far to the left of them.
"We must have lost our way," suggested Dorothy.
"Nonsense," said the Lion. "I, and all the other animals, have been tramping straight toward the city ever since we first saw it."
"Then how does it happen—"
"Never mind," interrupted the Wizard, "we are no farther from it than we were before. It is in a different direction, that's all; so let us hurry and get there before it again escapes us."
So on they went, directly toward the city, which seemed only a couple of miles distant; but when they had traveled less than a mile it suddenly disappeared again. Once more they paused, somewhat discouraged, but in a moment the button eyes of Scraps again discovered the city, only this time it was just behind them, in the direction from which they had come.
"Goodness gracious!" cried Dorothy. "There's surely something wrong with that city. Do you s'pose it's on wheels, Wizard?"
"It may not be a city at all," he replied, looking toward it with a speculative gaze.
"What could it be, then?"
"Just an illusion."
"What's that?" asked Trot.
"Something you think you see and don't see."
"I can't believe that," said Button-Bright. "If we only saw it, we might be mistaken, but if we can see it and hear it, too, it must be there."
"Where?" asked the Patchwork Girl.
"Somewhere near us," he insisted.
"We will have to go back, I suppose," said the Woozy, with a sigh.
So back they turned and headed for the walled city until it disappeared again, only to reappear at the right of them. They were constantly getting nearer to it, however, so they kept their faces turned toward it as it flitted here and there to all points of the compass. Presently the Lion, who was leading the procession, halted abruptly and cried out: "Ouch!"