THE ROYAL BOOK OF OZ
In which the Scarecrow goes to search for his family tree and discovers that he is the Long Lost Emperor of the Silver Island, and how he was rescued and brought back to Oz by Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion
L. FRANK BAUM
ENLARGED AND EDITED BY
RUTH PLUMLY THOMPSON
JOHN R. NEILL
The Reilly & Lee Co. Chicago
Printed in the United States of America
Copyright, 1921 by The Reilly & Britton Co.
All Rights Reserved
You will remember that, in the front part of Glinda of Oz, the Publishers told you that when Mr. Baum went away from this world he left behind some unfinished notes about the Princess Ozma and Dorothy and the jolly people of the Wonderful Land of Oz. The Publishers promised that they would try to put these notes together into a new Oz book for you.
Well, here it is—The Royal Book of Oz.
I am sure that Mr. Baum would be pleased that Ruth Plumly Thompson, who has known and loved the Oz Stories ever since she was a little girl, has made this new Oz story, with all the Oz folks in it and true to life.
You see I am Mrs. Baum, the wife of the Royal Historian of Oz, and so I know how he feels about everything.
Now, about the story:
Of course, we all knew the Scarecrow was a very fine fellow, but surely we never guessed he ascended from an emperor. Most of us descend from our ancestors, but the Scarecrow really ASCENDED.
The Scarecrow had a most exciting and adventurous time on the Silver Isle and Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion just ran out of one adventure into another trying to rescue him. They made some charming new friends in their travels—Sir Hokus of Pokes, the Doubtful Dromedary, and the Comfortable Camel. You'll find them very unusual and likable. They have the same peculiar, delightful and informal natures that we love in all the queer Oz people.
Of course every one of us is happy that John R. Neill has drawn the funny and lovely pictures for the new book. Mr. Neill surely is the Royal Painter of Oz.
This note is intended for all the children of America, who knew and loved Mr. Baum, and it goes to each of you with his love and mine.
MAUD G. BAUM.
OZCOT HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA IN THE SPRING, 1921
LIST OF CHAPTERS
1 Professor Wogglebug's Great Idea 2 The Scarecrow's Family Tree 3 Down the Magic Bean Pole 4 Dorothy's Lonely Breakfast 5 Sir Hokus of Pokes 6 Singing Their Way Out of Pokes 7 The Scarecrow Is Hailed As Emperor! 8 The Scarecrow Studies the Silver Island 9 "Save Us With Your Magic, Exalted One!" 10 Princess Ozma and Betsy Bobbin Talk It Over 11 Sir Hokus Overcometh the Giant 12 Dorothy and Sir Hokus Come to Fix City 13 Dancing Beds and the Road That Unrolled 14 Sons and Grandsons Greet the Scarecrow 15 The Three Princes Plot to Undo the Emperor 16 Dorothy and Her Guardians Meet New Friends 17 Doubty and Camy Vanish Into Space 18 Dorothy Finds the Scarecrow! 19 Planning to Fly From the Silver Island 20 Dorothy Upsets the Ceremony of the Island 21 The Escape From the Silver Island 22 The Flight of the Parasol 23 Safe at Last in the Land of Oz 24 Homeward Bound to the Emerald City
PROFESSOR WOGGLEBUG'S GREAT IDEA
"The very thing!" exclaimed Professor Wogglebug, bounding into the air and upsetting his gold inkwell. "The very next idea!"
"Who—me?" A round-faced little Munchkin boy stuck his head in the door and regarded Professor Wogglebug solemnly. He was working his way through the Professor's Athletic college, and one of his duties was to wait upon this eminent educator of Oz.
"Certainly not!" snapped Professor Wogglebug. "You're a nobody or a nothing. Stop gaping and fetch me my hat. I'm off to the Emerald City. And mind the pupils take their history pills regularly while I'm gone," he added, clapping his tall hat Zif held out to him on the back of his head.
"Yes, sir!" said the little Munchkin respectfully.
"Don't hurry back, sir!" This last remark the Professor did not hear, for he was already half way down the college steps.
"Ozma will be delighted with the idea. How clever I am!" he murmured, twirling his antennae and walking rapidly down the pleasant blue lane.
The Professor, whose College of Art and Athletic Perfection is in the southwestern part of the Munchkin country, is the biggest bug in Oz, or in anyplace else, for that matter. He has made education painless by substituting school pills for books. His students take Latin, history and spelling pills; they swallow knowledge of every kind with ease and pleasure and spend the rest of their time in sport. No wonder he is so well thought of in Oz! No wonder he thinks so well of himself!
Swinging his cane jauntily, the Professor hurried toward the yellow brick road that leads to the Emerald City, and by nightfall had reached the lovely capital of Oz.
Oz!—that marvelous country where no one grows old—where animals and birds talk as sensibly as people, and adventures happen every day. Indeed, of all fairylands in the world, Oz is the most delightful, and of all fairy cities, the Emerald City is the most beautiful. A soft green light shone for miles about, and the gemmed turrets and spires of the palace flashed more brightly than the stars. But its loveliness was familiar to Professor Wogglebug, and without a pause he proceeded to Ozma's palace and was at once admitted to the great hall.
A roar of merriment greeted his ears. Ozma, the lovely girl ruler of Oz, was having a party, and the room was full of most surprising people—surprising to some, that is, but old friends to most of us.
Jack, holding tightly to his pumpkin head, was running as fast as his wooden feet and wobbly legs would take him from Dorothy. A game of blind-man's-buff was in full swing, and Scraps and Tik-Tok, the Scarecrow and Nick Chopper, the Glass Cat and the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard of Oz and the wooden Sawhorse, Cap'n Bill and Betsy Bobbin, Billina and the Hungry Tiger were tumbling over each other in an effort to keep away from the blindfolded little girl.
But Dorothy was too quick for them. With a sudden whirl, she spun 'round and grasped a coatsleeve.
"The Scarecrow!" she laughed triumphantly. "I can tell by the way he skwoshes—and now he's it!"
"I'm always it!" chuckled the droll person. "But—hah! Behold the learned Professor standing so aloofly in our midst."
No one had noticed Professor Wogglebug, who had been quietly watching the game.
"I don't like to interrupt the party," he began, approaching Ozma's throne apologetically, "but I've just had a most brilliant idea!"
"What? Another?" murmured the Scarecrow, rolling up his eyes.
"Where did you lose it?" asked Jack Pumpkinhead, edging forward anxiously.
"Lose it! Who said I'd lost it?" snapped the Professor, glaring at poor Jack.
"Well, you said you'd had it, and had is the past tense, so—" Jack's voice trailed off uncertainly, and Ozma, seeing he was embarrassed, begged the Professor to explain.
"Your Highness!" began Professor Wogglebug, while the company settled down in a resigned circle on the floor, "As Oz is the most interesting and delightful country on the Continent of Imagination and its people the most unusual and talented, I am about to compile a Royal Book which will give the names and history of all our people. In other words, I am to be the Great, Grand Genealogist of Oz!"
"Whatever that is," the Scarecrow whispered in Dorothy's ear.
"And," the Professor frowned severely on the Scarecrow, "with your Majesty's permission, I shall start at once!"
"Please do," said the Scarecrow with a wave toward the door, "and we will go on with the party!"
Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, who had been staring fixedly at the Professor with her silver suspender-button eyes, now sprang to her feet:
"What is a genealogist? It's something no one here has missed; What puts such notions in your head? Turn out your toes—or go to bed!"
she shouted gaily, then, catching Ozma's disapproving glance, fell over backwards.
"I don't understand it at all," said Jack Pumpkinhead in a depressed voice. "I'm afraid my head's too ripe."
"Nor I," said Tik-Tok, the copper clockwork man. "Please wind me up a lit-tle tight-er Dor-o-thy, I want to think!"
Dorothy obligingly took a key suspended from a hook on his back and wound him up under his left arm. Everybody began to talk at once, and what with the Cowardly Lion's deep growl and Tik-Tok's squeaky voice and all the rest of the tin and meat and wooden voices, the confusion was terrible.
"Wait!" cried Ozma, clapping her hands.
Immediately the room grew so still that one could hear Tik-Tok's machinery whirring 'round.
"Now!" said Ozma, "One at a time, please, and let us hear from the Scarecrow first."
The Scarecrow rose. "I think, your Highness," he said modestly, "that anyone who has studied his Geozify already knows who we are and—"
"Who you are?" broke in the Wogglebug scornfully—"Of course they do—but I shall tell them who you were!"
"Who I were?" gasped the Scarecrow in a dazed voice, raising his cotton glove to his forehead. "Who I were? Well, who were I?"
"That's just the point," said Professor Wogglebug. "Who were you? Who were your ancestors? Where is your family? Where is your family tree? From what did you descend?"
At each question, the Scarecrow looked more embarrassed. He repeated the last one several times.
"From what did I descend? From what did I descend? Why, from a bean pole!" he cried.
This was perfectly true, for Dorothy, a little girl blown by a Kansas cyclone to the Kingdom of Oz, had discovered the Scarecrow in a farmer's cornfield and had lifted him down from his pole. Together they had made the journey to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz had fitted him out with a fine set of brains. At one time, he had ruled Oz and was generally considered its cleverest citizen.
Before he could reply further, the Patchwork Girl, who was simply irrepressible, burst out:
"An ex-straw-ordinary man is he! A bean pole for his family tree, A Cornishman, upon my soul, Descended from a tall, thin Pole!"
"Nonsense!" said Professor Wogglebug sharply, "Being stuffed with straw may make him extraordinary, but it is quite plain that the Scarecrow was nobody before he was himself. He has no ancestors, no family; only a bean pole for a family tree, and is therefore entitled to the merest mention in the Royal Book of Oz!"
"How about my brains?" asked the Scarecrow in a hurt voice. "Aren't they enough?"
"Brains have simply nothing to do with royalty!" Professor Wogglebug waved his fountain pen firmly. "Now—"
"But see here, wasn't I ruler of Oz?" put in the Scarecrow anxiously.
"A Ruler but never a royalty!" snapped out the Professor. "Now, if you will all answer my questions as I call your names, I'll get the necessary data and be off."
He took out a small memorandum book.
"Your Highness," he bowed to Ozma, "need not bother. I have already entered your name at the head of the list. Being descended as you are from a long line of fairies, your family tree is the oldest and most illustrious in Oz."
At the sound of her name, the little girl stood up.
"I know you are from Kansas and were created a Princess of Oz by our gracious Ruler, but can you tell me anything of your ancestors in America?" demanded the Professor, staring over the top of his thick glasses.
"You'll have to ask Uncle Henry and Aunt Em," said Dorothy rather sulkily. The Professor had hurt the feelings of her best friend, the Scarecrow, and ancestors did not interest her one little bit.
"Very well," said the Professor, writing industriously in his book. "I'll just enter you as 'Dorothy, Princess of Oz and sixth cousin to a President!'"
"I'm not!" Dorothy shook her head positively.
"Oh, everyone in America can claim that!" said the Professor easily.
Now up rose our old friend the Tin Woodman, who had also been discovered by Dorothy on her first trip to the Fairyland of Oz.
"You were a man of meat at one time and a woodman by trade?" queried Professor Wogglebug, poising his pen in the air.
"I am a Tin Woodman, and you may enter me in your book under the name of Smith, for a tin Smith made me, and as Royal Emperor of the Winkies, I do not care to go back to my meat connections," said the Tin Woodman in a dignified voice.
The company applauded, and the Cowardly Lion thumped the floor with his tail.
"Smith is a very good name. I can work up a whole chapter on that," smiled the Professor. The Tin Woodman had once been a regular person, but a wicked witch enchanted his ax, and first it chopped off one leg, then the other, and next both arms and his head. After each accident, Nick went to a tinsmith for repairs, and finally was entirely made of tin. Nowhere but in Oz could such a thing happen. But no one can be killed in this marvelous country, and Nick, with his tin body, went gaily on living and was considered so distinguished that the Winkies had begged him to be their Emperor.
"Scraps!" called the Professor as Nick sat stiffly down beside Dorothy.
The Patchwork Girl pirouetted madly to the front. Putting one finger in her mouth, she sang:
"I'm made of patches, as you see. A clothes tree is my family tree But, pshaw! It's all the same to me!"
A clothes tree? Even Professor Wogglebug grinned. Who could help laughing at Scraps? Made of odd pieces of goods and brought to life by the powder of life, the comical girl was the jolliest person imaginable.
"Put me down as a man of me-tal!" drawled Tik-Tok the copper man as the laugh following Scraps' rhyme had subsided. Tik-Tok was still another of Dorothy's discoveries, and this marvelous machine man, guaranteed to last a thousand years, could think, walk, and talk when properly wound.
The Cowardly Lion was entered as a King in his own right. One after the other, the celebrities of Oz came forward to answer Professor Wogglebug's questions. The Professor wrote rapidly in his little book. Ozma listened attentively to each one, and they all seemed interested except the Scarecrow. Slumped down beside Dorothy, he stared morosely at the ceiling, his jolly face all wrinkled down on one side.
"If I only knew who I were!" he muttered over and over. "I must think!"
"Don't you mind." Dorothy patted his shoulder kindly. "Royalties are out of date, and I'll bet the Professor's family tree was a milkweed!"
But the Scarecrow refused to be comforted, and long after the company had retired he sat hunched sadly in his corner.
"I'll do it! I'll do it!" he exclaimed at last, rising unsteadily to his feet. Jellia Jamb, Ozma's little waiting maid, returning somewhat later to fetch a handkerchief her mistress had dropped, was surprised to see him running through the long hall.
"Why, where are you going?" asked Jellia.
"To find my family tree!" said the Scarecrow darkly, and drawing himself up to his full height, he fell through the doorway.
THE SCARECROW'S FAMILY TREE
The moon shone brightly, but everyone in the Emerald City was fast asleep! Through the deserted streets hurried the Scarecrow. For the first time since his discovery by little Dorothy, he was really unhappy. Living as he did in a Fairyland, he had taken many things for granted and had rather prided himself on his unusual appearance. Indeed, not until Professor Wogglebug's rude remarks concerning his family had he given his past a thought.
"I am the only person in Oz without a family!" he reflected sorrowfully. "Even the Cowardly Lion has kingly parents and a palm tree! But I must keep thinking. My brains have never failed me yet. Who was I? Who were I? Who were I?"
Often he thought so hard that he forgot to look where he was going and ran headlong into fences, stumbled down gutters, and over stiles. But fortunately, the dear fellow could not hurt himself, and he would struggle up, pat his straw into shape, and walk straightway into something else. He made good time in between falls, however, and was soon well on his way down the yellow brick road that ran through the Munchkin Country. For he had determined to return to the Munchkin farm where Dorothy had first discovered him and try to find some traces of his family.
Now being stuffed with straw had many advantages, for requiring neither food nor sleep the Scarecrow could travel night and day without interruption. The stars winked out one by one, and by the time the cocks of the Munchkin farmers began to crow, he had come to the banks of a broad blue river!
The Scarecrow took off his hat and scratched his head thoughtfully. Crossing rivers is no easy matter in Oz, for there isn't a ferry in the Kingdom, and unless one is a good swimmer or equipped with some of the Wizard's magic it is mighty troublesome. Water does not agree with the Scarecrow at all, and as for swimming, he can no more swim than a bag of meal.
But he was too wise a person to give up merely because a thing appeared to be impossible. It was for just such emergencies that his excellent brains had been given to him.
"If Nick Chopper were here, he would build a raft in no time," murmured the Scarecrow, "but as he is not, I must think of another way!"
Turning his back on the river, which distracted his mind, he began to think with all his might. Before he could collect his thoughts, there was a tremendous crash, and next minute he was lying face down in the mud. Several little crashes followed, and a shower of water. Then a wet voice called out with a cheerful chuckle:
"Come on out, my dear Rattles. Not a bad place at all, and here's breakfast already waiting!"
"Breakfast!" The Scarecrow turned over cautiously. A huge and curious creature was slashing through the grass toward him. A smaller and still more curious one followed. Both were extremely damp and had evidently just come out of the river.
"Good morning!" quavered the Scarecrow, sitting up with a jerk and at the same time reaching for a stick that lay just behind him.
"I won't eat it if it talks—so there!" The smaller creature stopped and stared fixedly at the Scarecrow.
The Scarecrow, hearing this, tried to think of something else to say, but the appearance of the two was so amazing that, as he told Dorothy afterwards, he was struck dumb. The larger was at least two hundred feet long and made entirely of blocks of wood. On each block was a letter of the alphabet. The head was a huge square block with a serpent's face and long, curling, tape-measure tongue. The little one was very much smaller and seemed to consist of hundreds of rattles, wood, celluloid, and rubber, fastened together with wires. Every time it moved, the rattles tinkled. Its face, however, was not unpleasant, so the Scarecrow took heart and made a deep bow.
"And I'm not going to eat anything that squirms." This time it was the big serpent who spoke.
"Thank you!" said the Scarecrow, bowing several times more. "You relieve my mind. I've never been a breakfast yet, and I'd rather not begin. But if I cannot be your breakfast, let me be your friend!" He extended his arms impulsively.
There was something so jolly about the Scarecrow's smile that the two creatures became friendly at once, and moreover told him the story of their lives.
"As you have doubtless noted," began the larger creature, "I am an A-B-Sea Serpent. I am employed in the nursery of the Mer children to teach them their letters. My friend, here, is a Rattlesnake, and it is his business to amuse the Mer babies while the Mermaids are mer-marketing. Once a year, we take a vacation, and proceeding from the sea depths up a strange river, we came out upon this shore. Perhaps you, Sir, will be able to tell us where we are?"
"You are in the Munchkin Country of the Land of Oz," explained the Scarecrow politely. "It is a charming place for a vacation. I would show you about myself if I were not bound on an important mission." Here the Scarecrow sighed deeply.
"Have you a family?" he asked the A-B-Sea Serpent curiously.
"Yes, indeed," replied the monster, snapping its tape-measure tongue in and out, "I have five great-grandmothers, twenty-one grandnieces, seven brothers, and six sisters-in-law!"
"Ah!" murmured the Scarecrow, clasping his hands tragically, "How I envy you. I have no one—no aunts—no ancestors—no family—no family tree but a bean pole. I am, alas, a man without a past!" The Scarecrow looked so dejected that the Rattlesnake thought he was going to cry.
"Oh, cheer up!" it begged in a distressed voice. "Think of your presence—here—I give you permission to shake me!" The Scarecrow was so affected by this kind offer that he cheered up immediately.
"No past but a presence—I'll remember that!" He swelled out his straw chest complacently, and leaning over, stroked the Rattlesnake on the head.
"Are you good at riddles?" asked the Rattlesnake timidly.
"Well," answered the Scarecrow judiciously, "I have very good brains, given me by the famous Wizard of Oz."
"Then why is the A-B-Sea Serpent like a city?" asked the Rattlesnake promptly.
The Scarecrow thought hard for several seconds.
"Because it is made up of blocks!" he roared triumphantly. "That's easy; now it's my turn. Why is the A-B-Sea Serpent such a slow talker?"
"Give it up!" said the Rattlesnake after shaking himself several times.
"Because his tongue is a tape measure, and he has to measure his words!" cried the Scarecrow, snapping his clumsy fingers. "And that's a good one, if I did make it myself. I must remember to tell it to Dorothy!"
Then he sobered quite suddenly, for the thought of Dorothy brought back the purpose of his journey. Interrupting the Rattlesnake in the midst of a new riddle, he explained how anxious he was to return to the little farm where he had been discovered and try to find some traces of his family.
"And the real riddle," he sighed with a wave of his hand, "is how to cross this river."
"That's easy and no riddle at all," rumbled the A-B-Sea Serpent, who had been listening attentively to the Scarecrow's remarks. "I'll stretch across, and you can walk over." Suiting the action to the word, he began backing very cautiously toward the river so as not to shake the Scarecrow off his feet.
"Mind your P's and Q's!" called the Rattlesnake warningly. It was well that he spoke, for the A-B-Sea Serpent had doubled the P and Q blocks under, and they were ready to snap off. Finally, however, he managed to make a bridge of himself, and the Scarecrow stepped easily over the blocks, the huge serpent holding himself rigid. Just as he reached Y, the unfortunate creature sneezed, and all the blocks rattled together. Up flew the Scarecrow and escaped falling into the stream only by the narrowest margin.
"Blockhead!" shrilled the Rattlesnake, who had taken a great fancy to the Scarecrow.
"I'm all right," cried the Scarecrow rather breathlessly. "Thank you very much!" He sprang nimbly up the bank. "Hope you have a pleasant vacation!"
"Can't, with a rattlepate like that." The A-B-Sea Serpent nodded glumly in the Rattlesnake's direction.
"Now don't quarrel," begged the Scarecrow. "You are both charming and unusual, and if you follow that Yellow Road, you will come to the Emerald City, and Ozma will be delighted to welcome you."
"The Emerald City! We must see that, my dear Rattles." Forgetting his momentary displeasure, the A-B-Sea Serpent pulled himself out of the river, and waving his X Y Z blocks in farewell to the Scarecrow, went clattering down the road, the little Rattlesnake rattling along behind him.
As for the Scarecrow, he continued his journey, and the day was so delightful and the country so pleasant that he almost forgot he had no family. He was treated everywhere with the greatest courtesy and had innumerable invitations from the hospitable Munchkins. He was anxious to reach his destination, however, so he refused them all, and traveling night and day came without further mishap or adventure late on the second evening to the little Munchkin farm where Dorothy had first discovered him. He was curious to know whether the pole on which he had been hoisted to scare away the crows still stood in the cornfield and whether the farmer who had made him could tell him anything further about his history.
"It is a shame to waken him," thought the kind Scarecrow. "I'll just take a look in the cornfield." The moon shone so brightly that he had no trouble finding his way about. With a little cry of pleasure, he pushed his way through the dry cornstalks. There in the center of the field stood a tall pole—the very identical bean pole from which he had descended.
"All the family or family tree I've got!" cried the Scarecrow, running toward it with emotion.
"What's that?" A window in the farmhouse was thrown up, and a sleepy Munchkin thrust out his head. "What are you doing?" he called crossly.
"Thinking!" said the Scarecrow, leaning heavily against the bean pole.
"Well, don't do it out loud," snapped the farmer. Then, catching a better view of the Scarecrow, he cried in surprise: "Why, it's you!— Come right in, my dear fellow, and give us the latest news from the Emerald City. I'll fetch a candle!"
The farmer was very proud of the Scarecrow. He had made him long ago by stuffing one of his old suits with straw, painting a jolly face on a sack, stuffing that, and fastening the two together. Red boots, a hat, and yellow gloves had finished his man—and nothing could have been jollier than the result. Later on, when the Scarecrow had run off with Dorothy and got his brains from the Wizard of Oz and become ruler of the Emerald City, the little farmer had felt highly gratified.
The Scarecrow, however, was not in a humor for conversation. He wanted to think in peace. "Don't bother!" he called up. "I'm going to spend the night here. I'll see you in the morning."
"All right! Take care of yourself," yawned the farmer, and drew in his head.
For a long time the Scarecrow stood perfectly still beside the bean pole—thinking. Then he got a spade from the shed and began clearing away the cornstalks and dried leaves from around the base of the pole. It was slow work, for his fingers were clumsy, but he persevered. Then a wonderful idea came to him.
"Perhaps if I dig down a bit, I may discover—" He got no further, for at the word "discover," he pushed the spade down with all his might. There was a loud crash. The bottom dropped out of things, and the Scarecrow fell through.
"Gr-eat cornstalks!" cried the Scarecrow, throwing up his arms. To his surprise, they came in contact with a stout pole, which he embraced. It was a lifesaver, for he was shooting down into the darkness at a great rate.
"Why!" he gasped as soon as he regained his breath, for he was falling at a terrific rate of speed, "Why, I believe I'm sliding down the bean pole!"
DOWN THE MAGIC BEAN POLE
Hugging the bean pole for dear life, the Scarecrow slid rapidly downward, Everything was dark, but at times a confused roaring sounded in his ears.
"Father, I hear something falling past!" shouted a gruff voice all at once.
"Then reach out and pull it in," growled a still deeper voice. There was a flash of light, a door opened suddenly, and a giant hand snatched the air just above the Scarecrow's head.
"It's a good thing I haven't a heart to fail me," murmured the Scarecrow, glancing up fearfully and clinging more tightly to the pole. "Though I fall, I shall not falter. But where under the earth am I falling to?" At that minute, a door opened far below, and someone called up:
"Who are you? Have out your toll and be ready to salute the Royal Ruler of the Middlings!"
The Scarecrow had learned in the course of his many and strange adventures that it was best to accede to every request that was reasonable or possible. Realizing that unless he answered at once he would fall past his strange questioners, he shouted amiably:
"I am the Scarecrow of Oz, sliding down my family tree!" The words echoed oddly in the narrow passageway, and by the time he reached the word "tree" the Scarecrow could make out two large brown men leaning from a door somewhere below. Next minute he came to a sharp stop. A board had shot out and closed off the passageway. So sudden was the stop that the Scarecrow was tossed violently upward. While he endeavored to regain his balance, the two Middlings eyed him curiously.
"So this is the kind of thing they grow on top," said one, holding a lantern close to the Scarecrow's head.
"Toll, Toll!" droned the other, holding out a horribly twisted hand.
"One moment, your Royal Middleness!" cried the Scarecrow, backing as far away from the lantern as he could, for with a straw stuffing one cannot be too careful of fire. He felt in his pocket for an emerald he had picked up in the Emerald City a few days before and handed it gingerly to the Muddy monarch.
"Why do you call me Middleness?" the King demanded angrily, taking the emerald.
"Is your kingdom not in the middle of the earth, and are you not royalty? What could be more proper than Royal Middleness?" asked the Scarecrow, flecking the dust from his hat.
Now that he had a better view, he saw that the two were entirely men of mud, and very roughly put together. Dried grass hair stood erect upon each head, and their faces were large and lumpy and had a disconcerting way of changing shape. Indeed, when the King leaned over to examine the Scarecrow, his features were so soft they seemed to run into his cheek, which hung down alarmingly, while his nose turned sideways and lengthened at least an inch!
Muddle pushed the King's nose back and began spreading his cheek into place. Instead of hands and feet, the Middlings had gnarled and twisted roots which curled up in a perfectly terrifying manner. Their teeth were gold, and their eyes shone like small electric lights. They wore stiff coats of dried mud, buttoned clumsily with lumps of coal, and the King had a tall mud crown. Altogether, the Scarecrow thought he had never seen more disagreeable looking creatures.
"What he needs," spluttered the King, fingering the jewel greedily, "is a coat of mud! Shall we pull him in, Muddle?"
"He's very poorly made, your Mudjesty. Can you work, Carescrow?" asked Muddle, thumping him rudely in the chest.
"Scarecrow, if you please!" The Scarecrow drew himself up and spoke with great difficulty. "I can work with my head!" he added proudly.
"Your head!" roared the King. "Did you hear that, Muddle? He works with his head. What's the matter with your hands?" Again the King lunged forward, and this time his face fell on the other side and had bulged enormously before Muddle could pat it into shape. They began whispering excitedly together, but the Scarecrow made no reply, for looking over their shoulder he glimpsed a dark, forbidding cavern lighted only by the flashing red eyes of thousands of Middlings. They appeared to be digging, and above the rattle of the shovels and picks came the hoarse voice of one of them singing the Middling National Air. Or so the Scarecrow gathered from the words:
"Oh, chop the brown clods as they fall with a thud! Three croaks for the Middlings, who stick in the Mud. Oh, mud, rich and wormy! Oh, mud, sweet and squirmy! Oh what is so lovely as Mud! Oh what is so lovely as Mud! Three croaks for the Middlings, who delve all the day In their beautiful Kingdom of soft mud and clay!"
The croaks that came at the end of the song were so terrifying that the Scarecrow shivered in spite of himself.
"Ugh! Hardly a place for a pleasant visit!" he gasped, flattening himself against the wall of the passage. Feeling that matters had gone far enough, he repeated in a loud voice:
"I am the Scarecrow of Oz and desire to continue my fall. I have paid my toll and unless your Royal Middleness release me—"
"Might as well drop him—a useless creature!" whispered Muddle, and before the King had time to object, he jerked the board back. "Fall on!" he screeched maliciously, and the Scarecrow shot down into the darkness, the hoarse screams of the two Middlings echoing after him through the gloom.
No use trying to think! The poor Scarecrow bumped and banged from side to side of the passage. It was all he could do to keep hold of the bean pole, so swiftly was he falling.
"A good thing I'm not made of meat like little Dorothy," he wheezed breathlessly. His gloves were getting worn through from friction with the pole, and the rush of air past his ears was so confusing that he gave up all idea of thinking. Even magic brains refuse to work under such conditions. Down—down—down he plunged till he lost all count of time. Down—down—down—hours and hours! Would he never stop? Then suddenly it grew quite light, and he flashed through what appeared to be a hole in the roof of a huge silver palace, whirled down several stories and landed in a heap on the floor of a great hall. In one hand he clutched a small fan, and in the other a parasol that had snapped off the beanstalk just before he reached the palace roof.
Shaken and bent over double though he was, the Scarecrow could see that he had fallen into a company of great magnificence. He had a confused glimpse of silken clad courtiers, embroidered screens, inlaid floors, and flashing silver lanterns, when there was a thundering bang that hurled him halfway to the roof again. Falling to a sitting position and still clinging to the bean pole, he saw two giant kettle drums nearby, still vibrating from the terrible blows they had received.
The company were staring at him solemnly, and as he attempted to rise, they fell prostrate on their faces. Up flew the poor flimsy Scarecrow again, such was the draught, and this time landed on his face. He was beginning to feel terribly annoyed, but before he could open his mouth or stand up, a deep voice boomed:
"He has come!"
"He has come!" shrilled the rest of the company, thumping their heads on the stone floor. The language seemed strange to the Scarecrow, but oddly enough, he could understand it perfectly. Keeping a tight grasp on the bean pole, he gazed at the prostrate assemblage, too astonished to speak. They looked exactly like the pictures of some Chinamen he had seen in one of Dorothy's picture books back in Oz, but instead of being yellow, their skin was a curious gray, and the hair of old and young alike was silver and worn in long, stiff queues. Before he had time to observe any more, an old, old courtier hobbled forward and beckoned imperiously to a page at the door. The page immediately unfurled a huge silk umbrella and, running forward, held it over the Scarecrow's head.
"Welcome home, sublime and noble Ancestor! Welcome, honorable and exalted Sir." The old gentleman made several deep salaams.
"Welcome, immortal and illustrious Ancestor! Welcome, ancient and serene Father!" cried the others, banging their heads hard on the floor—so hard that their queues flew into the air.
"Ancestor! Father!" mumbled the Scarecrow in a puzzled voice. Then, collecting himself somewhat, he made a deep bow, and sweeping off his hat with a truly royal gesture began: "I am indeed honored—" But he got no farther. The silken clad courtiers sprang to their feet in a frenzy of joy. A dozen seized him bodily and carried him to a great silver throne room.
"The same beautiful voice!" cried the ancient gentleman, clasping his hands in an ecstasy of feeling.
"It is he! The Emperor! The Emperor has returned! Long live the Emperor!" shouted everyone at once. The confusion grew worse and worse.
"Ancestor! Father! Emperor!" The Scarecrow could scarcely believe his ears. "For a fallen man, I am rising like yeast!" he murmured to himself. Half a dozen courtiers had run outdoors to spread the wonderful news, and soon silver gongs and bells began ringing all over the kingdom, and cries of "The Emperor! The Emperor!" added to the general excitement. Holding fast to the sides of the throne and still grasping the little fan and parasol, the Scarecrow sat blinking with embarrassment.
"If they would just stop emperoring, I could ask them who I am," thought the poor Scarecrow. As if in answer to his thoughts, the tottery old nobleman raised his long arm, and at once the hall became absolutely silent.
"Now!" sighed the Scarecrow, leaning forward. "Now I shall hear something of interest."
DOROTHY'S LONELY BREAKFAST
Dorothy, who occupied one of the coziest apartments in Ozma's palace, wakened the morning after the party with a feeling of great uneasiness. At breakfast, the Scarecrow was missing. Although he, the Tin Woodman and Scraps did not require food, they always livened up the table with their conversation. Ordinarily Dorothy would have thought nothing of the Scarecrow's absence, but she could not forget his distressed expression when Professor Wogglebug had so rudely remarked on his family tree. The Professor himself had left before breakfast, and everybody but Dorothy had forgotten all about the Royal Book of Oz.
Already many of Ozma's guests who did not live in the palace were preparing to depart, but Dorothy could not get over her feeling of uneasiness. The Scarecrow was her very best friend, and it was not like him to go without saying goodbye. So she hunted through the gardens and in every room of the palace and questioned all the servants. Unfortunately, Jellia Jamb, who was the only one who had seen the Scarecrow go, was with her mistress. Ozma always breakfasted alone and spent the morning over state matters. Knowing how busy she was, Dorothy did not like to disturb her. Betsy Bobbin and Trot, real little girls like Dorothy, also lived in the Fairy palace, and Ozma was a great chum for them. But the Kingdom of Oz had to be governed in between times, and they all knew that unless Ozma had the mornings to herself, she could not play with them in the afternoons. So Dorothy searched by herself.
"Perhaps I didn't look hard enough," thought the little girl, and searched the palace all over again.
"Don't worry," advised the Tin Woodman, who was playing checkers with Scraps. "He's probably gone home."
"He is a man of brains; why worry Because he's left us in a hurry?"
chuckled Scraps with a careless wave of her hand, and Dorothy, laughing in spite of herself, ran out to have another look in the garden.
"That is just what he has done, and if I hurry, I may overtake him. Anyway, I believe I'll go and pay him a visit," thought Dorothy.
Trot and Betsy Bobbin were swinging in one of the royal hammocks, and when Dorothy invited them to go along, they explained that they were going on a picnic with the Tin Woodman. So without waiting to ask anyone else or even whistling for Toto, her little dog, Dorothy skipped out of the garden.
The Cowardly Lion, half asleep under a rose bush, caught a glimpse of her blue dress flashing by, and bounding to his feet thudded after her.
"Where are you going?" he asked, stifling a giant yawn.
"To visit the Scarecrow," explained Dorothy. "He looked so unhappy last night. I am afraid he is worrying about his family tree, and I thought p'raps I could cheer him up."
The Cowardly Lion stretched luxuriously. "I'll go too," he rumbled, giving himself a shake. "But it's the first time I ever heard of the Scarecrow worrying."
"But you see," Dorothy said gently, "Professor Wogglebug told him he had no family."
"Family! Family fiddlesticks! Hasn't he got us?" The Cowardly Lion stopped and waved his tail indignantly.
"Why, you dear old thing!" Dorothy threw her arms around his neck. "You've given me a lovely idea!" The Cowardly Lion tried not to look pleased.
"Well, as long as I've given it to you, you might tell me what it is," he suggested mildly.
"Why," said Dorothy, skipping along happily, "we'll let him adopt us and be his really relations. I'll be his sister, and you'll be—"
"His cousin—that is, if you think he wouldn't mind having a great coward like me for a cousin," finished the Cowardly Lion in an anxious voice.
"Do you still feel as cowardly as ever?" asked Dorothy sympathetically.
"More so!" sighed the great beast, glancing apprehensively over his shoulder. This made Dorothy laugh, for although the lion trembled like a cup custard at the approach of danger, he always managed to fight with great valor, and the little girl felt safer with him than with the whole army of Oz, who never were frightened but who always ran away.
Now anyone who is at all familiar with his geozify knows that the Fairyland of Oz is divided into four parts, exactly like a parchesi board, with the Emerald City in the very center, the purple Gillikin Country to the north, the red Quadling Country to the south, the blue Munchkin Country to the east, and the yellow Country of the Winkies to the west. It was toward the west that Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion turned their steps, for it was in the Winkie Country that the Scarecrow had built his gorgeous golden tower in exactly the shape of a huge ear of corn.
Dorothy ran along beside the Cowardly Lion, chatting over their many adventures in Oz, and stopping now and then to pick buttercups and daisies that dotted the roadside. She tied a big bunch to the tip of her friend's tail and twined some more in his mane, so that he presented a very festive appearance indeed. Then, when she grew tired, she climbed on his big back, and swiftly they jogged through the pleasant land of the Winkies. The people waved to them from windows and fields, for everyone loved little Dorothy and the big lion, and as they passed a neat yellow cottage, a little Winkie Lady came running down the path with a cup of tea in one hand and a bucket in the other.
"I saw you coming and thought you might be thirsty," she called hospitably. Dorothy drank her cup without alighting.
"We're in an awful hurry; we're visiting the Scarecrow," she exclaimed apologetically. The lion drank his bucket of tea at one gulp. It was so hot that it made his eyes water.
"How I loathe tea! If I hadn't been such a coward, I'd have upset the bucket," groaned the lion as the little Winkie Lady went back into her house. "But no, I was afraid of hurting her feelings. Ugh, what a terrible thing it is to be a coward!"
"Nonsense!" said Dorothy, wiping her eyes with her handkerchief. "You're not a coward, you're just polite. But let's run very fast so we can reach the Scarecrow's in time for lunch."
So like the wind away raced the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy holding fast to his mane, with her curls blowing straight out behind, and in exactly two Oz hours and seventeen Winkie minutes they came to the dazzling corn-ear residence of their old friend. Hurrying through the cornfields that surrounded his singular mansion, Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion rushed through the open door.
"We've come for lunch," announced Dorothy.
"And I'm hungry enough to eat crow," rumbled the lion. Then both stopped in dismay, for the big reception room was empty. From a room above came a shuffling of feet, and Blink, the Scarecrow's gentlemanly housekeeper, came running down the stairs.
"Where's the Scarecrow?" asked Dorothy anxiously. "Isn't he here?"
"Here! Isn't he there? Isn't he in the Emerald City?" gasped the little Winkie, putting his specs on upside down.
"No—at least, I don't think so. Oh, dear, I just felt that something had happened to him!" wailed Dorothy, sinking into an ebony armchair and fanning herself with a silk sofa cushion.
"Now don't be alarmed." The Cowardly Lion rushed to Dorothy's side and knocked three vases and a clock off a little table, just to show how calm he was. "Think of his brains! The Scarecrow has never come to harm yet, and all we have to do is to return to the Emerald City and look in Ozma's Magic Picture. Then, when we know where he is, we can go and find him and tell him about our little adoption plan," he added, looking hopefully at Dorothy.
"The Scarecrow himself couldn't have spoken more sensibly," observed Blink with a great sigh of relief, and even Dorothy felt better.
In Ozma's palace, as many of you know, there is a Magic Picture, and when Ozma or Dorothy want to see any of their friends, they have merely to wish to see them, and instantly the picture shows the person wished for and exactly what he is doing at that certain time.
"Of course!" sighed Dorothy. "Why didn't I think of it myself?"
"Better have some lunch before you start back," suggested Blink, and bustling about had soon set out an appetizing repast. Dorothy was too busy worrying about the Scarecrow to have much appetite, but the Cowardly Lion swallowed seventeen roasts and a bucket of corn syrup.
"To give me courage!" he explained to Dorothy, licking his chops. "There's nothing that makes me so cowardly as an empty stomach!"
It was quite late in the afternoon before they could get away. Blink insisted on putting up a lunch, and it took some time to make enough sandwiches for the Cowardly Lion. But at last it was ready and packed into an old hat box belonging to Mops, the Scarecrow's cook. Then Dorothy, balancing the box carefully on her lap, climbed on the Cowardly Lion's back, and assuring Blink that they would return in a few days with his master, they bade him farewell. Blink almost spoiled things by bursting into tears, but he managed to restrain himself long enough to say goodbye, and Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, feeling a little solemn themselves, started toward the Emerald City.
"My, but it's growing dark," said Dorothy after they had gone several miles. "I believe it's going to storm."
Scarcely had she finished speaking before there was a terrific crash of thunder. The Cowardly Lion promptly sat down. Off of his back bounced the sandwich box and into the sandwich box rolled Dorothy, head first.
"How terribly upsetting," coughed the Cowardly Lion.
"I should say it was!" Dorothy crawled indignantly out of the hat box and began wiping the butter from her nose. "You've simply ruined the supper!"
"It was my heart," explained the Cowardly Lion sorrowfully. "It jumped so hard that it upset me, but climb on my back again, and I'll run very fast to some place of shelter."
"But where are you?" Dorothy asked in real alarm, for it had grown absolutely dark.
"Here," quavered the Cowardly Lion, and guided by his voice, Dorothy stumbled over to him and climbed again on his back. One crash of thunder followed another, and at each crash the Cowardly Lion leapt forward a bit faster until they fairly flew through the dark.
"It won't take us long to reach the Emerald City at this rate!" called Dorothy, but the wind tossed the words far behind her, and seeing that conversation was impossible, she clung fast to the lion's mane and began thinking about the Scarecrow. The thunder continued at frequent intervals, but there was no rain, and after they had been running for what seemed to Dorothy hours and hours, a sudden terrific bump sent her flying over the lion's head into a bush. Too breathless to speak, she felt herself carefully all over. Then, finding that she was still in one piece, she called to the Cowardly Lion. She could hear him moaning and muttering about his heart.
"Any bones broken?" she asked anxiously.
"Only my head," groaned the lion dismally. Just then the darkness lifted as suddenly as it had fallen, and Dorothy saw him leaning against a tree with his eyes closed. There was a big bump on his head. With a little cry of sympathy, Dorothy hurried toward him, when all at once something strange about their surroundings struck her.
"Why, where are we?" cried the little girl, stopping short. The lion's eyes flew open, and forgetting all about his bump, he looked around in dismay. No sign of the Emerald City anywhere. Indeed, they were in a great, dim forest, and considering the number of trees, it is a wonder that they had not run into one long ago.
"I must have run the wrong way," faltered the Cowardly Lion in a distressed voice.
"You couldn't help that; anyone would lose his way in the dark," said Dorothy generously. "But I wish we hadn't fallen in the sandwiches. I'm hungry!"
"So am I. Do you think anyone lives in this forest, Dorothy?"
Dorothy did not answer, for just then she caught sight of a big sign nailed to one of the trees.
"Turn to the right," directed the sign.
"Oh, come on!" cried Dorothy, cheering up immediately. "I believe we're going to have another adventure."
"I'd rather have some supper," sighed the Cowardly Lion wistfully, "but unless we want to spend the night here, we might as well move along. I'm to be fed up on adventure, I suppose."
"Turn to the left," advised the next sign, and the two turned obediently and hurried on, trying to keep a straight course through the trees. In a Fairyland like Oz, where there are no trains or trolleys or even horses for traveling ('cepting Ozma's sawhorse), there are bound to be unexplored portions. And though Dorothy had been at one time or another in almost every part of Oz, the country through which they were now passing was totally unfamiliar to her. Night was coming on, and it was growing so dark that she could hardly read the third sign when they presently came upon it.
"Don't sing," directed the sign sternly.
"Sing!" snapped Dorothy indignantly, "Who wants to sing?"
"We might as well keep to the left," said the Cowardly Lion in a resigned voice, and they walked along for some time in silence. The trees were thinning out, and as they came to the edge of the forest, another sign confronted them.
"Slow down," read Dorothy with great difficulty. "What nonsense! If we slow down, how shall we ever get anywhere?"
"Wait a minute," mused the Cowardly Lion, half closing his eyes. "Aren't there two roads just ahead, one going up and one going down? We're to take the down road, I suppose. 'Slow down,' isn't that what it says?"
Slow down it surely was, for the road was so steep and full of stones that Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion had to pick their way with utmost care. But even bad roads must end somewhere, and coming suddenly to the edge of the woods, they saw a great city lying just below. A dim light burned over the main gate, and toward this the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy hurried as fast as they could. This was not very fast, for an unaccountable drowsiness was stealing over them.
Slowly and more slowly, the tired little girl and her great four-footed companion advanced toward the dimly lighted gate. They were so drowsy that they had ceased to talk. But they dragged on.
"Hah, hoh, hum!" yawned the Cowardly Lion. "What makes my feet so heavy?"
He stopped short and examined each of his four feet sleepily.
Dorothy swallowed a yawn and tried to run, but a walk was all she could manage.
"Hah, hoh, hum!" she gaped, stumbling along with her eyes closed.
By the time they had reached the gate, they were yawning so hard that the Cowardly Lion had nearly dislocated his jaw, and Dorothy was perfectly breathless. Holding to the lion's mane to steady herself, Dorothy blinked up uncertainly at the sign over the gate.
"Hah—here we are—Hoh!" She held her hand wearily before her mouth.
Then, with a great effort, she read the words of the sign.
"Um—Great—Grand and Mighty Slow Kingdom of Pokes! Uh-hah—Pokes! Do you hear? Hah, hoh, hu, uum!"
Dorothy looked about in alarm, despite her sleepiness.
"Do you hear?" she repeated anxiously as no answer came through the gloom.
The Cowardly Lion did not hear. He had fallen down and was fast asleep, and so in another minute was Dorothy, her head pillowed against his kind, comfortable, cowardly heart. Fast asleep at the gates of a strange gray city!
SIR HOKUS OF POKES
It was long past sunup before Dorothy awoke. She rubbed her eyes, yawned once or twice, and then shook the Cowardly Lion. The gates of the city were open, and although it looked even grayer in the daytime than it looked at night, the travelers were too hungry to be particular. A large placard was posted just inside:
THIS IS POKES! DON'T RUN! DON'T SING! TALK SLOWLY! DON'T WHISTLE! Order of the Chief Poker.
read Dorothy. "How cheerful! Hah, hoh, hum-mm!"
"Don't!" begged the Cowardly Lion with tears in his eyes. "If I yawn again, I'll swallow my tail, and if I don't have something to eat soon, I'll do it anyway. Let's hurry! There's something queer about this place, Dorothy! Ah, hah, hoh, hum-mm!"
Stifling their yawns, the two started down the long, narrow street. The houses were of gray stone, tall and stiff with tiny barred windows. It was absolutely quiet, and not a person was in sight. But when they turned the corner, they saw a crowd of queer-looking people creeping toward them. These singular individuals stopped between each step and stood perfectly still, and Dorothy was so surprised at their unusual appearance that she laughed right in the middle of a yawn.
In the first place, they never lifted their feet, but pushed them along like skates. The women were dressed in gray polka-dot dresses with huge poke bonnets that almost hid their fat, sleepy, wide-mouthed faces. Most of them had pet snails on strings, and so slowly did they move that it looked as though the snails were tugging them along.
The men were dressed like a party of congressmen, but instead of high hats wore large red nightcaps, and they were all as solemn as owls. It seemed impossible for them to keep both eyes open at the same time, and at first Dorothy thought they were winking at her. But as the whole company continued to stare fixedly with one open eye, she burst out laughing. At the unexpected sound (for no one had ever laughed in Pokes before), the women picked up their snails in a great fright, and the men clapped their fingers to their ears or to the places where their ears were under the red nightcaps.
"These must be the Slow Pokes," giggled Dorothy, nudging the Cowardly Lion. "Let's go to meet them, for they'll never reach us at the rate they are coming!"
"There's something wrong with my feet," rumbled the Cowardly Lion without looking up. "Hah, hoh, hum! What's the use of hurrying?" The fact of the matter was that they couldn't hurry if they tried. Indeed, they could hardly lift their feet at all.
"I wish the Scarecrow were with us," sighed the Cowardly Lion, shuffling along unhappily. "He never grows sleepy, and he always knows what to do."
"No use wishing," yawned Dorothy. "I only hope he's not as lost as we are."
By struggling hard, they just managed to keep moving, and by the time they came up with the Slow Pokes, they were completely worn out. A cross-looking Poke held up his arm threateningly, and Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion stopped.
"You—" said the Poke; then closed his mouth and stood staring vacantly for a whole minute.
"Are—" He brought out the word with a perfectly enormous yawn, and Dorothy began fanning the Cowardly Lion with her hat, for he showed signs of falling asleep again.
"What?" she asked crossly.
"Under—" sighed the Poke after a long pause, and Dorothy, seeing that there was no hurrying him, began counting to herself. Just as she reached sixty, the Poke pushed back his red nightcap and shouted:
"Arrest!" shouted all the other Pokes so loud that the Cowardly Lion roused himself with a start, and the pet snails stuck out their heads. "A rest? A rest is not what we want! We want breakfast!" growled the lion irritably and started to roar, but a yawn spoiled it. (One simply cannot look fierce by yawning.)
"You—" began the Poke. But Dorothy could not stand hearing the same slow speech again. Putting her fingers in her ears, she shouted back:
The Pokes regarded her sternly. Some even opened both eyes. Then the one who had first addressed them, covering a terrific gape with one hand, pointed with the other to a sign on a large post at the corner of the street.
"Speed limit 1/4 mile an hour" said the sign.
"We're arrested for speeding!" shouted Dorothy in the Cowardly Lion's ear.
"Did you say feeding?" asked the poor lion, waking up with a start. "If I go to sleep again before I'm fed, I'll starve to death!"
"Then keep awake," yawned Dorothy. By this time, the Pokes had surrounded them and were waving them imperiously ahead. They looked so threatening that Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion began to creep in the direction of a gloomy, gray castle. Of the journey neither of them remembered a thing, for with the gaping and yawning Pokes it was almost impossible to keep awake. But they must have walked in their sleep, for the next thing Dorothy knew, a harsh voice called slowly:
Greatly alarmed, Dorothy opened her eyes. They were in a huge stone hall hung all over with rusty armor, and seated on a great stone chair, snoring so loudly that all the steel helmets rattled, was a Knight. The tallest and crossest of the Pokes rushed at him with a long poker, giving him such a shove that he sprawled to the floor.
"So—" yawned the Cowardly Lion, awakened by the clatter, "Knight has fallen!"
"Prisoners—Sir Hokus!" shouted the Chief Poker, lifting the Knight's plume and speaking into the helmet as if he were telephoning.
The Knight arose with great dignity, and after straightening his armor, let down his visor, and Dorothy saw a kind, timid face with melancholy blue eyes—not at all Pokish, as she explained to Ozma later.
"What means this unwonted clamor?" asked Sir Hokus, peering curiously at the prisoners.
"We're sorry to waken you," said Dorothy politely, "but could you please give us some breakfast?"
"A lot!" added the Cowardly Lion, licking his chops.
"It's safer for me to sing," said the Knight mournfully, and throwing back his head, he roared in a high, hoarse voice:
"Don't yawn! Don't yawn! We're out of breath— Begone—BEGONE Or die the death!"
The Cowardly Lion growled threateningly and began lashing his tail.
"If he weren't in a can, I'd eat him," he rumbled, "but I never could abide tinned meat."
"He's not in a can, he's in armor," explained Dorothy, too interested to pay much attention to the Cowardly Lion, for at the first note of the Knight's song, the Pokes began scowling horribly, and by the time he had finished they were backing out of the room faster than Dorothy ever imagined they could go.
"So that's why the sign said don't sing," thought Dorothy to herself. The air seemed clearer somehow, and she no longer felt sleepy.
When the last Poke had disappeared, the Knight sighed and climbed gravely back on his stone chair.
"My singing makes them very wroth. In faith, they cannot endure music; it wakens them," explained Sir Hokus. "But hold, 'twas food you asked of me. Breakfast, I believe you called it." With an uneasy glance at the Cowardly Lion, who was sniffing the air hungrily, the Knight banged on his steel armor with his sword, and a fat, lazy Poke shuffled slowly into the hall.
"Pid, bring the stew," roared Sir Hokus as the Poke stood blinking at them dully.
"Stew, Pid!" he repeated loudly, and began to hum under his breath, at which Pid fairly ran out of the room, returning in a few minutes with a large yellow bowl. This he handed ungraciously to Dorothy. Then he brought a great copper tub of the stuff for the Cowardly Lion and retired sulkily.
Dorothy thought she had never tasted anything more delicious. The Cowardly Lion was gulping down his share with closed eyes, and both, I am very sorry to say, forgot even to thank Sir Hokus.
"Are you perchance a damsel in distress?"
Quite startled, Dorothy looked up from her bowl and saw the Knight regarding her wistfully.
"She's in Pokes, and that's the same thing," said the Cowardly Lion without opening his eyes.
"We're lost," began the little girl, "but—"
There was something so quaint and gentle about the Knight, that she soon found herself talking to him like an old friend. She told him all of their adventures since leaving the Emerald City and even told about the disappearance of the Scarecrow.
"Passing strange, yet how refreshing," murmured Sir Hokus. "And if I seem a little behind times, you must not blame me. For centuries, I have dozed in this gray castle, and it cometh over me that things have greatly changed. This beast now, he talks quite manfully, and this Kingdom that you mention, this Oz? Never heard of it!"
"Never heard of Oz?" gasped the little girl. "Why, you're a subject of Oz, and Pokes is in Oz, though I don't know just where."
Here Dorothy gave him a short history of the Fairy country, and of the many adventures she had had since she had come there. Sir Hokus listened with growing melancholy.
"To think," he sighed mournfully, "that I was prisoner here while all that was happening!"
"Are you a prisoner?" asked Dorothy in surprise. "I thought you were King of the Pokes!"
"Uds daggers!" thundered Sir Hokus so suddenly that Dorothy jumped. "I am a knight!"
Seeing her startled expression, he controlled himself. "I was a knight," he continued brokenly. "Long centuries ago, mounted on my goodly steed, I fared from my father's castle to offer my sword to a mighty king. His name?" Sir Hokus tapped his forehead uncertainly. "Go to, I have forgot."
"Could it have been King Arthur?" exclaimed Dorothy, wide-eyed with interest. "Why, just think of your being still alive!"
"That's just the point," choked the Knight. "I've been alive—still, so still that I've forgotten everything. Why, I can't even remember how I used to talk," he confessed miserably.
"But how did you get here?" rumbled the Cowardly Lion, who did not like being left out of the conversation.
"I had barely left my father's castle before I met a stranger," said Sir Hokus, sitting up very straight, "who challenged me to battle. I spurred my horse forward, our lances met, and the stranger was unseated. But by my faith, 'twas no mortal Knight." Sir Hokus sighed deeply and lapsed into silence.
"What happened?" asked Dorothy curiously, for Sir Hokus seemed to have forgotten them.
"The Knight," said he with another mighty sigh, "struck the ground with his lance and cried, 'Live Wretch, for centuries in the stupidest country out of the world,' and disappeared. And here—here I am!" With a despairing gesture, Sir Hokus arose, big tears splashing down his armor.
"I feel that I am brave, very brave, but how am I to know until I have encountered danger? Ah, friends, behold in me a Knight who has never had a real adventure, never killed a dragon, nor championed a Lady, nor gone on a Quest!"
Dropping on his knees before the little girl, Sir Hokus took her hand. "Let me go with you on this Quest for the valiant Scarecrow. Let me be your good Night!" he begged eagerly.
"Good night," coughed the Cowardly Lion, who, to tell the truth, was feeling a bit jealous. But Dorothy was thrilled, and as Sir Hokus continued to look at her pleadingly, she took off her hair ribbon and bound it 'round his arm.
"You shall be my own true Knight, and I your Lady Fair!" she announced solemnly, and exactly as she had read in books.
At this interesting juncture the Cowardly Lion gave a tremendous yawn, and Sir Hokus with an exclamation of alarm jumped to his feet. The Pokes had returned to the hall, and Dorothy felt herself falling asleep again.
Up, up, my lieges and away! We take the field again— For Ladies fair we fight today And KING! Up, up, my merry men!
shrilled the Knight as if he were leading an army to battle. The Pokes opened both eyes, but did not immediately retire. Sir Hokus bravely swallowed a yawn and hastily clearing his throat shouted another song, which he evidently made up on the spur of the moment:
Avaunt! Be off! Be gone—Methinks We'll be asleep in forty winks!
This time the Pokes left sullenly, but the effect of their presence had thrown Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, and the Knight into a violent fit of the gapes.
"If I fall asleep, nothing can save you," said Sir Hokus in an agitated voice. "Hah, hoh, hum! Hah—!"
The Knight's eyes closed.
"Don't do it, don't do it!" begged Dorothy, shaking him violently. "Can't we run away?"
"I've been trying for five centuries," wailed the Knight in a discouraged voice, "but I always fall asleep before I reach the gate, and they bring me back here. They're rather fond of me in their slow way," he added apologetically.
"Couldn't you keep singing?" asked the Cowardly Lion anxiously, for the prospect of a five-century stay in Pokes was more than he could bear.
"Couldn't we all sing?" suggested Dorothy. "Surely all three of us won't fall asleep at once."
"I'm not much of a singer," groaned the Cowardly Lion, beginning to tremble, "but I'm willing to do my share!"
"I like you," said Sir Hokus, going over and thumping the Cowardly Lion approvingly on the back. "You ought to be knighted!"
The lion blinked his eyes, for Sir Hokus' iron fist bruised him severely, but knowing it was kindly meant, he bore it bravely.
"I am henceforth a beknighted lion," he whispered to Dorothy while Sir Hokus was straightening his armor. Next the Knight took down an iron poker, which he handed to Dorothy.
"To wake us up with," he explained. "And now, Lady Dorothy, if you are ready, we will start on the Quest for the honorable Scarecrow, and remember, everybody sing—Sing for your life!"
SINGING THEIR WAY OUT OF POKES
Taking a deep breath, Sir Hokus, the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy burst out of the hall singing at the top of their voices.
"Three blind mice—!" sang Dorothy.
"Across the plain!" shouted Sir Hokus.
"I am the Cowardly Lion of Oz!" roared the lion.
The Pokes were so taken aback at the horrid sounds that they ran scurrying right and left. In another minute the three were out of the castle and singing their way through the gloomy garden. Dorothy stuck to the Three Blind Mice. Sir Hokus sang verse after verse of an old English ballad, and the Cowardly Lion roared and gurgled a song of his own making, which, considering it was a first attempt, was not so bad:
I am the Cowardly Lion of Oz! Be good! Begone! Beware! Becoz When I am scared full fierce I be; Br—rah—grr—ruff, look out for me!
The Pokes stumbled this way and that, and all went well until they rushed into a company of Pokes who were playing croquet. The slowness with which they raised their mallets fascinated Dorothy, and she stopped to watch them in spite of herself.
"Don't stop! Sing!" growled the Cowardly Lion in the middle of a line. To make up for lost time, Dorothy closed her eyes and sang harder than ever, but alas! next instant she fell over a wicket, which so deprived her of breath that she could barely scramble up, let alone sing. As soon as she stopped singing, the Pokes paused in their flight, and as soon as they paused Dorothy began to gape. Singing for dear life, Sir Hokus jerked Dorothy by the arm, and the Cowardly Lion roared so loud that the Pokes covered their ears and began backing away.
"There was a Knight! Come on, come on!" sang Sir Hokus, and Dorothy came, and in a few minutes was able to take up the "Three Blind Mice" again. But running and singing at the same time is not an easy task. And running through Pokes is like trying to run through water. (You know how hard that is?)
"Three Blind Mice—uh—hah—Three Blind—Mice—uh-hah—I can't sing another note! Thu—ree—!" gasped poor Dorothy, stumbling along, while the Cowardly Lion was puffing like an engine. The Pokes in the garden had recovered from their first alarm and were following at a safe distance. The gates of the city were only a short distance off, but it seemed to Dorothy that she could not go another step.
A large group of Pokes had gathered at the gates, and unless they could sing their way through, they would fall asleep and be carried ignominiously back to the castle.
"Now!" wheezed Sir Hokus, "Remember, it is for the Scarecrow!" All of them swallowed, took a deep breath, and put their last remaining strength into their voices. But a wily Poke who had stuffed some cotton in his ears now approached pushing a little cart.
"Take—!" he drawled, and before Dorothy realized what she was doing, she had accepted a cone from the Poke.
"Hah, hoh, hum! Why, it's hokey pokey!" spluttered Dorothy, and with a deep sigh of delight she took a large bite of the pink ice cream. How cool it felt on her dry throat! She opened her mouth for a second taste, yawned terrifically, and fell with a thud to the stone pavement.
"Dorothy!" wailed Sir Hokus, stopping short in his song and bending over the little girl. The poor Cowardly Lion gave a gulp of despair and began running around the two, roaring and singing in a choked voice. The Pokes nodded to each other in a pleased fashion, and the Chief Poker started cautiously toward them with a long, thick rope. The Cowardly Lion redoubled his efforts. Then, seeing Sir Hokus about to fall, he jumped on the Knight with all his strength. Down crashed Sir Hokus, his armor clanging against the stones that paved the gateway.
"Sing!" roared the Cowardly Lion, glaring at him fiercely. The fall wakened the poor Knight, but he had not the strength to rise. Sitting on the hard stones and looking reproachfully at the Cowardly Lion, he began his ballad in a half-hearted fashion. The Cowardly Lion's heart was like to burst between lack of breath and fear, but making one last tremendous effort and still roaring his song, he bounded at the Chief Poker, seized the rope, and was back before the stupid creature had time to yawn.
"Tie it around your waist; take Dorothy in your arms!" gasped the Cowardly Lion out of the corner of his mouth. Sir Hokus, though completely dazed, had just enough presence of mind to obey, and the next minute the Cowardly Lion, growling between his teeth like a good fellow, was dashing through the group of Pokes, the other end of the rope in his mouth.
Bumpety bump—bump—bump! Bangety-bang-bang! went Sir Hokus over the cobbles, holding his helmet with one hand and Dorothy fast in the other arm. The Pokes fell this way and that, and such was the determination of the Cowardly Lion that he never stopped till he was out of the gate and halfway up the rough road they had so recently traveled. Then with a mighty sigh, he dropped the rope, rolled over and over down the hill, and lay panting with exhaustion at the bottom.
The bumping over the cobbles had wakened Sir Hokus thoroughly. Indeed, the poor Knight was black and blue, and his armor dented and scraped frightfully in important places.
Dorothy, considerably shaken, opened her eyes and began feebly singing "Three Blind Mice."
"No need," puffed Sir Hokus, lifting her off his lap and rising stiffly.
"Yon noble beast has rescued us."
"Won't the Pokes come up here?" asked Dorothy, staring around a bit dizzily.
"They cannot live out of the kingdom," said the Knight, and Dorothy drew a big sigh of relief. Sir Hokus, however, was looking very grave.
"I have failed on my first adventure. Had it not been for the Cowardly Lion, we would now be prisoners in Pokes," he murmured sadly. Then he unfastened the plume from his helmet. "It beseemeth me not to wear it," sighed the Knight mournfully, and though Dorothy tried her best to comfort him, he refused to put it back. Finally, she fastened the plume to her dress, and they went down to the Cowardly Lion.
There was a little spring nearby, and after they had poured six helmets of water over his head, the lion opened his eyes. "Been in a good many fights," gasped the lion, "but I never fought one like this. Singing, bah!"
"Noble Sir, how can I ever repay you?" faltered the Knight. "Alas, that I have failed in the hour of trial!"
"Why, it wasn't a question of courage at all," rumbled the Cowardly Lion, greatly embarrassed. "I had the loudest voice and the most breath, that's all! You got the rough end of it." Sir Hokus looked ruefully at his armor. The back was entirely squashed.
"Never mind!" said the Knight bravely. "It is the front one presents to the foe."
"Now you're talking like a real Knight," said Dorothy. "A while ago you said, 'Yon' and 'beseemeth,' and first thing you know the talk will all come back to you." Sir Hokus' honest face shone with pleasure.
"Odds bludgeons and truncheons! The little maid is right!" he exclaimed, striking an attitude. "And once it does, the rest will be easy."
"Don't say rest to me," begged the Cowardly Lion, getting slowly to his feet. "Hah, hoh, hum! Just to think of it makes me yawn. Now don't you think we had better start off?"
"If you're rested," began Dorothy. The Cowardly Lion put his paw over his ear and looked so comical that both Dorothy and Sir Hokus laughed heartily.
"If you're ready," amended Dorothy, and the three adventurers started up the steep road. "The first thing to do," said the little girl, "is to get back to the Emerald City as quickly as we can."
At this very minute Glinda, the Good Sorceress of Oz, in her palace in the Quadling Country, was puzzling over an entry in the Magic Record Book. This book tells everything that is happening in the world and out, and while it does not give details, it is a very useful possession.
"The Emperor of the Silver Islands," read Glinda, "has returned to his people."
"Now who is the Emperor of the Silver Islands?" she asked herself. She puzzled about it for a long while, and then, deciding that it had nothing to do with the Fairy Kingdom of Oz, she closed the book and went for a walk in the palace garden.
Dorothy and Sir Hokus and the Cowardly Lion had meanwhile reached the first sign in the dim forest, the sign directing travelers to Pokes. Two roads branched out through the forest, and after much debating they took the wider.
"Do you 'spose this leads to the Emerald City?" asked Cowardly Lion dubiously.
"Time will tell, time will tell," said Sir Hokus cheerfully.
"Yes," murmured the Cowardly Lion, "time will tell. But what?"
THE SCARECROW IS HAILED AS EMPEROR!
Leaning forward on the great throne, the Scarecrow waited impatiently for the ancient gentleman to speak. The gray-skinned courtiers were eyeing him expectantly, and just as the suspense became almost unendurable, the old man threw up his arms and cried sharply:
"The prophecy of the magic beanstalk has been fulfilled. In this radiant and sublime Scarecrowcus, the spirit of Chang Wang Woe, the mighty, has returned. And I, the Grand Chew Chew of the realm, prostrate myself before this wonderful Scarecrowcus, Emperor of the Silver Islands." So, likewise, did all the company present, and the Scarecrow, taken unawares, flew up several feet and landed in a heap on the steps leading to the throne. He climbed back hurriedly, picking up the fan and parasol that he had plucked from the beanstalk.
"I wish Professor Wogglebug could hear this," said the Scarecrow, settling himself complacently. "But I must watch out, and remember to hold on."
The Grand Chew Chew was the first to rise, and folding his arms, he asked solemnly:
"What are your commands, Ancient and Honorable Scarecrowcus?"
"If you'd just omit the Cus," begged the Scarecrow in an embarrassed voice, "I believe I could think better. Am I in China, or where? Are you Chinamen, or what?"
"We are Silvermen," said the Grand Chew Chew impressively, "and a much older race than our Chinese cousins. They are people of the sun. We are people of the stars. Has your Highness so soon forgotten?"
"I am afraid," said the Scarecrow, rubbing his chin reflectively, "that I have." He gazed slowly around the great throne room. Ozma's palace itself was not more dazzling. The floor of dull silver blocks was covered with rich blue rugs. Furniture, chairs, screens and everything were made of silver inlaid with precious stones. Filigreed silver lanterns hung from the high ceilings, and tall silver vases filled with pink and blue blossoms filled the rooms with their perfume. Blue flags embroidered with silver stars fluttered from the walls and the tips of the pikebearers' spears, and silver seemed to be so plentiful that even shoes were fashioned of it. Faintly through the windows came the sweet tones of a hundred silver chimes, and altogether the Scarecrow was quite dazed by his apparent good fortune. Surely they had called him Emperor, but how could that be? He turned to address the Grand Chew Chew; then as he saw out of the corner of his eye that the assemblage were making ready to fall upon their faces, he exclaimed in a hoarse whisper:
"May I speak to you alone?" The Grand Chew Chew waved his hand imperiously, and the courtiers with a great crackling of silver brocade backed from the hall.
"Very kind of them to bow, but I wish they wouldn't," sighed the Scarecrow, sinking back on the great throne. "It blows one about so. I declare, if another person falls at my feet, I'll have nervous prostration."
Again he took a long survey of the hall, then turned to the Grand Chew Chew. "Would you mind," he asked simply, "telling me again who I am and how?"
"Who and how? Who—You are, illustrious Sir, the Emperor Chang Wang Woe, or to be more exact, his spirit!"
"I have always been a spirited person," observed the Scarecrow dubiously, "but never a spirit without a person. I must insist on being a person."
"How?" the Grand Chew Chew proceeded without noticing the Scarecrow's remarks. "Fifty years ago—after your Extreme Highness had defeated in battle the King of the Golden Islands—a magician entered the realm. This magician, in the employ of this wicked king, entered a room in the palace where your Highness lay sleeping and by an act of necromancy changed you to a crocus!"
"Ouch!" exclaimed the Scarecrow, shuddering involuntarily.
"And had it not been for the Empress, your faithful wife, you would have been lost forever to the Empire."
"Wife?" gasped the Scarecrow faintly. "Have I a wife?"
"If your Highness will permit me to finish," begged the Grand Chew Chew with great dignity. The Scarecrow nodded. "Your wife, Tsing Tsing, the beautiful, took the crocus, which was fading rapidly, and planted it in a silver bowl in the center of this very hall and for three days kept it fresh with her tears. Waking on the third morning, the Empress was amazed to see in place of the crocus a giant bean pole that extended to the roof of the palace and disappeared among the clouds."
"Ah!" murmured the Scarecrow, looking up, "My family tree!"
"Beside the bean pole lay a crumpled parchment." The Grand Chew Chew felt in the sleeve of his kimono and brought out a bit of crumpled silver paper, and adjusting his horn spectacles, read slowly.
"Into the first being who touches this magic pole—on the other side of the world—the spirit of Emperor Chang Wang Woe will enter. And fifty years from this day, he will return—to save his people."
The Grand Chew Chew took off his specs and folded up the paper. "The day has come! You have come down the bean pole, and are undoubtedly that being who has gone from Emperor to crocus to Scarecrowcus. I have ruled the Islands these fifty years; have seen to the education of your sons and grandsons. And now, gracious and exalted Master, as I am an old man I ask you to relieve me from the cares of state."
"Sons! Grandsons!" choked the Scarecrow, beginning to feel very much alarmed indeed. "How old am I?"
"Your Highness," said the Grand Chew Chew with a deep salaam, "is as old as I. In other words, you are in the ripe and glorious eighty-fifth year of your Majesty's illustrious and useful age."
"Eighty five!" gasped the Scarecrow, staring in dismay at the gray, wrinkled face of the old Silverman. "Now see here, Chew Chew, are you sure of that?"
"Quite sure, Immortal and Honored Master!"
The Scarecrow could not help but be convinced of the truth of the Grand Chew Chew's story. The pole in the Munchkin farmer's cornfield was none other than the magic beanstalk, and he, thrust on the pole by the farmer to scare away the crows, had received the spirit of the Emperor Chang Wang Woe. "Which accounts for my cleverness," he thought gloomily. Now, surely he should have been pleased, for he had come in search of a family, but the acquisition of an empire, sons and grandsons, and old age, all in a trice, fairly took his breath away.
"Does the prophecy say anything about restoring my imperial person?" he asked anxiously, for the thought of looking like Chew Chew was not a cheerful one.
"Alas, no!" sighed the Grand Chew Chew sorrowfully. "But we have very clever wizards on the Island, and I shall set them at work on the problem at once."
"Now don't be in such a rush," begged the Scarecrow, secretly determined to lock up the wizards at the first opportunity. "I'm rather fond of this shape. You see, it requires no food and never grows tired—or old!"
"The royal robes will in a measure conceal it," murmured the Grand Chew Chew politely, and clapped his hands. A little servitor bounced into the hall.
"A royal robe, Quick Silver, for his Radiant Highness," snapped the Grand Chew Chew. In a moment Quick Silver had returned with a magnificent purple satin robe embroidered in silver threads and heavy with jewels, and a hat of silver cloth with upturned brim. The Scarecrow wrapped himself in the purple robe, took off his old Munchkin hat, and substituted the Imperial headpiece.
"How do I look, Chew?" he asked anxiously.
"Quite like your old Imperial Self, except—" The old Prime Minister ran unsteadily out of the room. There was a muffled scream from the hall, and the next instant he returned with a long, shiny, silver queue which he had evidently clipped from the head of one of the servants. Removing the Scarecrow's hat, he pinned the queue to the back, set it on the Scarecrow's head, and stood regarding him with great satisfaction. "Ah, if the Empress could only see you!" he murmured rapturously.
"Where—where is she?" asked the Scarecrow, looking around nervously. His long, care-free life in Oz had somewhat unfitted him, he reflected, for family life.
"Alas!" sighed the Grand Chew Chew, wiping his eyes on the sleeve of his kimono, "She has returned to her silver ancestors."
"Then show me her picture," commanded the Scarecrow, visibly affected. The Grand Chew Chew stepped to a side wall, and pulling on a silken cord, disclosed the picture of a large, gray lady with curiously small eyes and a curiously large nose.
"Is she not beautiful?" asked the Grand Chew Chew, bowing his head.
"Beautiful—er—er, beautiful!" gulped the Scarecrow. He thought of lovely little Ozma and dear little Dorothy, and all at once felt terribly upset and homesick. He had no recollection of the Silver Island or his life here whatever. Who was he, anyway—the Scarecrow of Oz or Emperor Chang Wang Woe? He couldn't be both.
"Ah!" whispered the Grand Chew Chew, seeing his agitation. "You remember her?" The Scarecrow shook his head, with an inward shudder.
"Now show me myself, Chew," he asked curiously. Pulling the cord of a portrait beside the Empress, Chew Chew revealed the picture of Chang Wang Woe as he had been fifty years ago. His face was bland and jolly, and to be perfectly truthful, quite like the Scarecrow's in shape and expression. "I am beside myself," murmured the Scarecrow dazedly—which in truth he was.
"You were—er—are a very royal and handsome person," stammered the Grand Chew Chew.
The Scarecrow, stepping off the throne to examine himself more closely, dropped the little fan and parasol. He had really not had time to examine them since they snapped off the beanstalk, and now, looking at them carefully, he found them extremely pretty.
"Dorothy will like these," thought the Scarecrow, slipping them into a large inside pocket of his robe. Already, in the back of his head, was a queer notion that he would at some time or other return to Oz. He started to give the Grand Chew Chew a spirited description of that wonderful country, but the ancient gentleman yawned and, waving his hands toward the door, interrupted him with:
"Would not your Supreme Highness care to inspect your present dominions?"
"I suppose I may as well!" With a deep sigh, the Scarecrow took the Grand Chew Chew's arm and, holding up his royal kimono (which was rather long) with the other hand, walked unsteadily down the great salon. They were about to pass into the garden when a little fat Silverman slid around the door, a huge silver drumstick upraised in his right hand and a great drum hung about his neck.
The drummer beamed on the Scarecrow.
Chang Wang Woe, the Beautiful, The Beautiful has come! Sublime and silver Scarecrow, Let sound the royal drum!
chanted the little man in a high, thin voice, and started to bring the drumstick down upon the huge head of his noisy instrument.
"No you don't!" cried the Scarecrow, leaping forward and catching his arm.
"I positively forbid it!"
"Then I shall have no work!" screamed the drummer, falling on his face. "Ah, Gracious Master, don't you remember me?"
"Yes," said the Scarecrow kindly, "who are you?"
"Oh, don't you remember little Happy Toko?" wheezed the little man, the tears rolling down his cheeks. "I was only a boy, but you used to be fond of me."
"Why, of course, my dear Tappy," said the Scarecrow, not liking to hurt the little fellow's feelings. "But why do you beat the drum?"
"It is customary to sound the drum at the approach of your Royal Highness," put in the Grand Chew Chew importantly.
"Was customary," said the Scarecrow firmly. "My dear Tappy Oko, never sound it in my presence again; it is too upsetting." Which was true enough, for one blow of the drum sent the flimsy Scarecrow flying into the air.
"You're dismissed, Happy," snapped the Grand Chew Chew. At this, the little Silver Islander began weeping and roaring with distress.
"Stop! What else can you do besides beat a drum?" asked the Scarecrow kindly.
"I can sing, stand on my head, and tell jokes," sniffed Happy Toko, shuffling from one foot to the other.
"Very good," said the Scarecrow. "You are henceforth Imperial Punster to my Person. Come along, we're going to look over the Island."