He led them to a room in the building where many large bottles were standing in rows upon shelves.
"These are the Algebra Pills," said the Professor, taking down one of the bottles. "One at night, on retiring, is equal to four hours of study. Here are the Geography Pills—one at night and one in the morning. In this next bottle are the Latin Pills—one three times a day. Then we have the Grammar Pills—one before each meal—and the Spelling Pills, which are taken whenever needed."
"Your scholars must have to take a lot of pills," remarked Dorothy, thoughtfully. "How do they take 'em, in applesauce?"
"No, my dear. They are sugar-coated and are quickly and easily swallowed. I believe the students would rather take the pills than study, and certainly the pills are a more effective method. You see, until these School Pills were invented we wasted a lot of time in study that may now be better employed in practicing athletics."
"Seems to me the pills are a good thing," said Omby Amby, who remembered how it used to make his head ache as a boy to study arithmetic.
"They are, sir," declared the Wogglebug, earnestly. "They give us an advantage over all other colleges, because at no loss of time our boys become thoroughly conversant with Greek and Latin, Mathematics and Geography, Grammar and Literature. You see they are never obliged to interrupt their games to acquire the lesser branches of learning."
"It's a great invention, I'm sure," said Dorothy, looking admiringly at the Wizard, who blushed modestly at this praise.
"We live in an age of progress," announced Professor Wogglebug, pompously. "It is easier to swallow knowledge than to acquire it laboriously from books. Is it not so, my friends?"
"Some folks can swallow anything," said Aunt Em, "but to me this seems too much like taking medicine."
"Young men in college always have to take their medicine, one way or another," observed the Wizard, with a smile; "and, as our Professor says, these School Pills have proved to be a great success. One day while I was making them I happened to drop one of them, and one of Billina's chickens gobbled it up. A few minutes afterward this chick got upon a roost and recited 'The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck' without making a single mistake. Then it recited 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and afterwards 'Excelsior.' You see, the chicken had eaten an Elocution Pill."
They now bade good-bye to the Professor, and thanking him for his kind reception mounted again into the red wagon and continued their journey.
10. How the Cuttenclips Lived
The travelers had taken no provisions with them because they knew that they would be welcomed wherever they might go in the Land of Oz, and that the people would feed and lodge them with genuine hospitality. So about noon they stopped at a farm-house and were given a delicious luncheon of bread and milk, fruits and wheat cakes with maple syrup. After resting a while and strolling through the orchards with their host—a round, jolly farmer—they got into the wagon and again started the Sawhorse along the pretty, winding road.
There were signposts at all the corners, and finally they came to one which read:
TAKE THIS ROAD TO THE CUTTENCLIPS
There was also a hand pointing in the right direction, so they turned the Sawhorse that way and found it a very good road, but seemingly little traveled.
"I've never seen the Cuttenclips before," remarked Dorothy.
"Nor I," said the Captain General.
"Nor I," said the Wizard.
"Nor I," said Billina.
"I've hardly been out of the Emerald City since I arrived in this country," added the Shaggy Man.
"Why, none of us has been there, then," exclaimed the little girl. "I wonder what the Cuttenclips are like."
"We shall soon find out," said the Wizard, with a sly laugh. "I've heard they are rather flimsy things."
The farm-houses became fewer as they proceeded, and the path was at times so faint that the Sawhorse had hard work to keep in the road. The wagon began to jounce, too; so they were obliged to go slowly.
After a somewhat wearisome journey they came in sight of a high wall, painted blue with pink ornaments. This wall was circular, and seemed to enclose a large space. It was so high that only the tops of the trees could be seen above it.
The path led up to a small door in the wall, which was closed and latched. Upon the door was a sign in gold letters reading as follows:
VISITORS are requested to MOVE SLOWLY and CAREFULLY, and to avoid COUGHING or making any BREEZE or DRAUGHT.
"That's strange," said the Shaggy Man, reading the sign aloud. "Who ARE the Cuttenclips, anyhow?"
"Why, they're paper dolls," answered Dorothy. "Didn't you know that?"
"Paper dolls! Then let's go somewhere else," said Uncle Henry. "We're all too old to play with dolls, Dorothy."
"But these are different," declared the girl. "They're alive."
"Alive!" gasped Aunt Em, in amazement.
"Yes. Let's go in," said Dorothy.
So they all got out of the wagon, since the door in the wall was not big enough for them to drive the Sawhorse and wagon through it.
"You stay here, Toto!" commanded Dorothy, shaking her finger at the little dog. "You're so careless that you might make a breeze if I let you inside."
Toto wagged his tail as if disappointed at being left behind; but he made no effort to follow them. The Wizard unlatched the door, which opened outward, and they all looked eagerly inside.
Just before the entrance was drawn up a line of tiny soldiers, with uniforms brightly painted and paper guns upon their shoulders. They were exactly alike, from one end of the line to the other, and all were cut out of paper and joined together in the centers of their bodies.
As the visitors entered the enclosure the Wizard let the door swing back into place, and at once the line of soldiers tumbled over, fell flat upon their backs, and lay fluttering upon the ground.
"Hi there!" called one of them; "what do you mean by slamming the door and blowing us over?"
"I beg your pardon, I'm sure," said the Wizard, regretfully. "I didn't know you were so delicate."
"We're not delicate!" retorted another soldier, raising his head from the ground. "We are strong and healthy; but we can't stand draughts."
"May I help you up?" asked Dorothy.
"If you please," replied the end soldier. "But do it gently, little girl."
Dorothy carefully stood up the line of soldiers, who first dusted their painted clothes and then saluted the visitors with their paper muskets. From the end it was easy to see that the entire line had been cut out of paper, although from the front the soldiers looked rather solid and imposing.
"I've a letter of introduction from Princess Ozma to Miss Cuttenclip," announced Dorothy.
"Very well," said the end soldier, and blew upon a paper whistle that hung around his neck. At once a paper soldier in a Captain's uniform came out of a paper house near by and approached the group at the entrance. He was not very big, and he walked rather stiffly and uncertainly on his paper legs; but he had a pleasant face, with very red cheeks and very blue eyes, and he bowed so low to the strangers that Dorothy laughed, and the breeze from her mouth nearly blew the Captain over. He wavered and struggled and finally managed to remain upon his feet.
"Take care, Miss!" he said, warningly. "You're breaking the rules, you know, by laughing."
"Oh, I didn't know that," she replied.
"To laugh in this place is nearly as dangerous as to cough," said the Captain. "You'll have to breathe very quietly, I assure you."
"We'll try to," promised the girl. "May we see Miss Cuttenclip, please?"
"You may," promptly returned the Captain. "This is one of her reception days. Be good enough to follow me."
He turned and led the way up a path, and as they followed slowly, because the paper Captain did not move very swiftly, they took the opportunity to gaze around them at this strange paper country.
Beside the path were paper trees, all cut out very neatly and painted a brilliant green color. And back of the trees were rows of cardboard houses, painted in various colors but most of them having green blinds. Some were large and some small, and in the front yards were beds of paper flowers quite natural in appearance. Over some of the porches paper vines were twined, giving them a cozy and shady look.
As the visitors passed along the street a good many paper dolls came to the doors and windows of their houses to look at them curiously. These dolls were nearly all the same height, but were cut into various shapes, some being fat and some lean. The girl dolls wore many beautiful costumes of tissue paper, making them quite fluffy; but their heads and hands were no thicker than the paper of which they were made.
Some of the paper people were on the street, walking along or congregated in groups and talking together; but as soon as they saw the strangers they all fluttered into the houses as fast as they could go, so as to be out of danger.
"Excuse me if I go edgewise," remarked the Captain as they came to a slight hill. "I can get along faster that way and not flutter so much."
"That's all right," said Dorothy. "We don't mind how you go, I'm sure."
At one side of the street was a paper pump, and a paper boy was pumping paper water into a paper pail. The Yellow Hen happened to brush against this boy with her wing, and he flew into the air and fell into a paper tree, where he stuck until the Wizard gently pulled him out. At the same time, the pail went into the air, spilling the paper water, while the paper pump bent nearly double.
"Goodness me!" said the Hen. "If I should flop my wings I believe I'd knock over the whole village!"
"Then don't flop them—please don't!" entreated the Captain. "Miss Cuttenclip would be very much distressed if her village was spoiled."
"Oh, I'll be careful," promised Billina.
"Are not all these paper girls and women named Miss Cuttenclips?" inquired Omby Amby.
"No indeed," answered the Captain, who was walking better since he began to move edgewise. "There is but one Miss Cuttenclip, who is our Queen, because she made us all. These girls are Cuttenclips, to be sure, but their names are Emily and Polly and Sue and Betty and such things. Only the Queen is called Miss Cuttenclip."
"I must say that this place beats anything I ever heard of," observed Aunt Em. "I used to play with paper dolls myself, an' cut 'em out; but I never thought I'd ever see such things alive."
"I don't see as it's any more curious than hearing hens talk," returned Uncle Henry.
"You're likely to see many queer things in the Land of Oz, sir," said the Wizard. "But a fairy country is extremely interesting when you get used to being surprised."
"Here we are!" called the Captain, stopping before a cottage.
This house was made of wood, and was remarkably pretty in design. In the Emerald City it would have been considered a tiny dwelling, indeed; but in the midst of this paper village it seemed immense. Real flowers were in the garden and real trees grew beside it. Upon the front door was a sign reading:
Just as they reached the porch the front door opened and a little girl stood before them. She appeared to be about the same age as Dorothy, and smiling upon her visitors she said, sweetly:
"You are welcome."
All the party seemed relieved to find that here was a real girl, of flesh and blood. She was very dainty and pretty as she stood there welcoming them. Her hair was a golden blonde and her eyes turquoise blue. She had rosy cheeks and lovely white teeth. Over her simple white lawn dress she wore an apron with pink and white checks, and in one hand she held a pair of scissors.
"May we see Miss Cuttenclip, please?" asked Dorothy.
"I am Miss Cuttenclip," was the reply. "Won't you come in?"
She held the door open while they all entered a pretty sitting-room that was littered with all sorts of paper—some stiff, some thin, and some tissue. The sheets and scraps were of all colors. Upon a table were paints and brushes, while several pair of scissors, of different sizes, were lying about.
"Sit down, please," said Miss Cuttenclip, clearing the paper scraps off some of the chairs. "It is so long since I have had any visitors that I am not properly prepared to receive them. But I'm sure you will pardon my untidy room, for this is my workshop."
"Do you make all the paper dolls?" inquired Dorothy.
"Yes; I cut them out with my scissors, and paint the faces and some of the costumes. It is very pleasant work, and I am happy making my paper village grow."
"But how do the paper dolls happen to be alive?" asked Aunt Em.
"The first dolls I made were not alive," said Miss Cuttenclip. "I used to live near the castle of a great Sorceress named Glinda the Good, and she saw my dolls and said they were very pretty. I told her I thought I would like them better if they were alive, and the next day the Sorceress brought me a lot of magic paper. 'This is live paper,' she said, 'and all the dolls you cut out of it will be alive, and able to think and to talk. When you have used it all up, come to me and I will give you more.'
"Of course I was delighted with this present," continued Miss Cuttenclip, "and at once set to work and made several paper dolls, which, as soon as they were cut out, began to walk around and talk to me. But they were so thin that I found that any breeze would blow them over and scatter them dreadfully; so Glinda found this lonely place for me, where few people ever come. She built the wall to keep any wind from blowing away my people, and told me I could build a paper village here and be its Queen. That is why I came here and settled down to work and started the village you now see. It was many years ago that I built the first houses, and I've kept pretty busy and made my village grow finely; and I need not tell you that I am very happy in my work."
"Many years ago!" exclaimed Aunt Em. "Why, how old are you, child?"
"I never keep track of the years," said Miss Cuttenclip, laughing. "You see, I don't grow up at all, but stay just the same as I was when first I came here. Perhaps I'm older even than you are, madam; but I couldn't say for sure."
They looked at the lovely little girl wonderingly, and the Wizard asked:
"What happens to your paper village when it rains?"
"It does not rain here," replied Miss Cuttenclip. "Glinda keeps all the rain storms away; so I never worry about my dolls getting wet. But now, if you will come with me, it will give me pleasure to show you over my paper kingdom. Of course you must go slowly and carefully, and avoid making any breeze."
They left the cottage and followed their guide through the various streets of the village. It was indeed an amazing place, when one considered that it was all made with scissors, and the visitors were not only greatly interested but full of admiration for the skill of little Miss Cuttenclip.
In one place a large group of especially nice paper dolls assembled to greet their Queen, whom it was easy to see they loved early. These dolls marched and danced before the visitors, and then they all waved their paper handkerchiefs and sang in a sweet chorus a song called "The Flag of Our Native Land."
At the conclusion of the song they ran up a handsome paper flag on a tall flagpole, and all of the people of the village gathered around to cheer as loudly as they could—although, of course, their voices were not especially strong.
Miss Cuttenclip was about to make her subjects a speech in reply to this patriotic song, when the Shaggy Man happened to sneeze.
He was a very loud and powerful sneezer at any time, and he had tried so hard to hold in this sneeze that when it suddenly exploded the result was terrible.
The paper dolls were mowed down by dozens, and flew and fluttered in wild confusion in every direction, tumbling this way and that and getting more or less wrinkled and bent.
A wail of terror and grief came from the scattered throng, and Miss Cuttenclip exclaimed:
"Dear me! dear me!" and hurried at once to the rescue of her overturned people.
"Oh, Shaggy Man! How could you?" asked Dorothy, reproachfully.
"I couldn't help it—really I couldn't," protested the Shaggy Man, looking quite ashamed. "And I had no idea it took so little to upset these paper dolls."
"So little!" said Dorothy. "Why, it was 'most as bad as a Kansas cyclone." And then she helped Miss Cuttenclip rescue the paper folk and stand them on their feet again. Two of the cardboard houses had also tumbled over, and the little Queen said she would have to repair them and paste them together before they could be lived in again.
And now, fearing they might do more damage to the flimsy paper people, they decided to go away. But first they thanked Miss Cuttenclip very warmly for her courtesy and kindness to them.
"Any friend of Princess Ozma is always welcome here—unless he sneezes," said the Queen with a rather severe look at the Shaggy Man, who hung his head. "I like to have visitors admire my wonderful village, and I hope you will call again."
Miss Cuttenclip herself led them to the door in the wall, and as they passed along the street the paper dolls peeped at them half fearfully from the doors and windows. Perhaps they will never forget the Shaggy Man's awful sneeze, and I am sure they were all glad to see the meat people go away.
11. How the General Met the First and Foremost
On leaving the Growleywogs General Guph had to recross the Ripple Lands, and he did not find it a pleasant thing to do. Perhaps having his whiskers pulled out one by one and being used as a pin-cushion for the innocent amusement of a good natured jailer had not improved the quality of Guph's temper, for the old Nome raved and raged at the recollection of the wrongs he had suffered, and vowed to take vengeance upon the Growleywogs after he had used them for his purposes and Oz had been conquered. He went on in this furious way until he was half across the Ripple Land. Then he became seasick, and the rest of the way this naughty Nome was almost as miserable as he deserved to be.
But when he reached the plains again and the ground was firm under his feet he began to feel better, and instead of going back home he turned directly west. A squirrel, perched in a tree, saw him take this road and called to him warningly: "Look out!" But he paid no attention. An eagle paused in its flight through the air to look at him wonderingly and say: "Look out!" But on he went.
No one can say that Guph was not brave, for he had determined to visit those dangerous creatures the Phanfasms, who resided upon the very top of the dread Mountain of Phantastico. The Phanfasms were Erbs, and so dreaded by mortals and immortals alike that no one had been near their mountain home for several thousand years. Yet General Guph hoped to induce them to join in his proposed warfare against the good and happy Oz people.
Guph knew very well that the Phanfasms would be almost as dangerous to the Nomes as they would to the Ozites, but he thought himself so clever that he believed he could manage these strange creatures and make them obey him. And there was no doubt at all that if he could enlist the services of the Phanfasms, their tremendous power, united to the strength of the Growleywogs and the cunning of the Whimsies would doom the Land of Oz to absolute destruction.
So the old Nome climbed the foothills and trudged along the wild mountain paths until he came to a big gully that encircled the Mountain of Phantastico and marked the boundary line of the dominion of the Phanfasms. This gully was about a third of the way up the mountain, and it was filled to the brim with red-hot molten lava in which swam fire-serpents and poisonous salamanders. The heat from this mass and its poisonous smell were both so unbearable that even birds hesitated to fly over the gully, but circled around it. All living things kept away from the mountain.
Now Guph had heard, during his long lifetime, many tales of these dreaded Phanfasms; so he had heard of this barrier of melted lava, and also he had been told that there was a narrow bridge that spanned it in one place. So he walked along the edge until he found the bridge. It was a single arch of gray stone, and lying flat upon the bridge was a scarlet alligator, seemingly fast asleep.
When Guph stumbled over the rocks in approaching the bridge the creature opened its eyes, from which tiny flames shot in all directions, and after looking at the intruder very wickedly the scarlet alligator closed its eyelids again and lay still.
Guph saw there was no room for him to pass the alligator on the narrow bridge, so he called out to it:
"Good morning, friend. I don't wish to hurry you, but please tell me if you are coming down, or going up?"
"Neither," snapped the alligator, clicking its cruel jaws together.
The General hesitated.
"Are you likely to stay there long?" he asked.
"A few hundred years or so," said the alligator.
Guph softly rubbed the end of his nose and tried to think what to do.
"Do you know whether the First and Foremost Phanfasm of Phantastico is at home or not?" he presently inquired.
"I expect he is, seeing he is always at home," replied the alligator.
"Ah; who is that coming down the mountain?" asked the Nome, gazing upward.
The alligator turned to look over its shoulder, and at once Guph ran to the bridge and leaped over the sentinel's back before it could turn back again. The scarlet monster made a snap at the Nome's left foot, but missed it by fully an inch.
"Ah ha!" laughed the General, who was now on the mountain path. "I fooled you that time."
"So you did; and perhaps you fooled yourself," retorted the alligator. "Go up the mountain, if you dare, and find out what the First and Foremost will do to you!"
"I will," declared Guph, boldly; and on he went up the path.
At first the scene was wild enough, but gradually it grew more and more awful in appearance. All the rocks had the shapes of frightful beings and even the tree trunks were gnarled and twisted like serpents.
Suddenly there appeared before the Nome a man with the head of an owl. His body was hairy like that of an ape, and his only clothing was a scarlet scarf twisted around his waist. He bore a huge club in his hand and his round owl eyes blinked fiercely upon the intruder.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded, threatening Guph with his club.
"I've come to see the First and Foremost Phanfasm of Phantastico," replied the General, who did not like the way this creature looked at him, but still was not afraid.
"Ah; you shall see him!" the man said, with a sneering laugh. "The First and Foremost shall decide upon the best way to punish you."
"He will not punish me," returned Guph, calmly, "for I have come here to do him and his people a rare favor. Lead on, fellow, and take me directly to your master."
The owl-man raised his club with a threatening gesture.
"If you try to escape," he said, "beware—"
But here the General interrupted him.
"Spare your threats," said he, "and do not be impertinent, or I will have you severely punished. Lead on, and keep silent!"
This Guph was really a clever rascal, and it seems a pity he was so bad, for in a good cause he might have accomplished much. He realized that he had put himself into a dangerous position by coming to this dreadful mountain, but he also knew that if he showed fear he was lost. So he adopted a bold manner as his best defense. The wisdom of this plan was soon evident, for the Phanfasm with the owl's head turned and led the way up the mountain.
At the very top was a level plain upon which were heaps of rock that at first glance seemed solid. But on looking closer Guph discovered that these rock heaps were dwellings, for each had an opening.
Not a person was to be seen outside the rock huts. All was silent.
The owl-man led the way among the groups of dwellings to one standing in the center. It seemed no better and no worse than any of the others. Outside the entrance to this rock heap the guide gave a low wail that sounded like "Lee-ow-ah!"
Suddenly there bounded from the opening another hairy man. This one wore the head of a bear. In his hand he bore a brass hoop. He glared at the stranger in evident surprise.
"Why have you captured this foolish wanderer and brought him here?" he demanded, addressing the owl-man.
"I did not capture him," was the answer. "He passed the scarlet alligator and came here of his own free will and accord."
The First and Foremost looked at the General.
"Have you tired of life, then?" he asked.
"No indeed," answered Guph. "I am a Nome, and the Chief General of King Roquat the Red's great army of Nomes. I come of a long-lived race, and I may say that I expect to live a long time yet. Sit down, you Phanfasms—if you can find a seat in this wild haunt—and listen to what I have to say."
With all his knowledge and bravery General Guph did not know that the steady glare from the bear eyes was reading his inmost thoughts as surely as if they had been put into words. He did not know that these despised rock heaps of the Phanfasms were merely deceptions to his own eyes, nor could he guess that he was standing in the midst of one of the most splendid and luxurious cities ever built by magic power. All that he saw was a barren waste of rock heaps, a hairy man with an owl's head and another with a bear's head. The sorcery of the Phanfasms permitted him to see no more.
Suddenly the First and Foremost swung his brass hoop and caught Guph around the neck with it. The next instant, before the General could think what had happened to him, he was dragged inside the rock hut. Here, his eyes still blinded to realities, he perceived only a dim light, by which the hut seemed as rough and rude inside as it was outside. Yet he had a strange feeling that many bright eyes were fastened upon him and that he stood in a vast and extensive hall.
The First and Foremost now laughed grimly and released his prisoner.
"If you have anything to say that is interesting," he remarked, "speak out, before I strangle you."
So Guph spoke out. He tried not to pay any attention to a strange rustling sound that he heard, as of an unseen multitude drawing near to listen to his words. His eyes could see only the fierce bear-man, and to him he addressed his speech. First he told of his plan to conquer the Land of Oz and plunder the country of its riches and enslave its people, who, being fairies, could not be killed. After relating all this, and telling of the tunnel the Nome King was building, he said he had come to ask the First and Foremost to join the Nomes, with his band of terrible warriors, and help them to defeat the Oz people.
The General spoke very earnestly and impressively, but when he had finished the bear-man began to laugh as if much amused, and his laughter seemed to be echoed by a chorus of merriment from an unseen multitude. Then, for the first time, Guph began to feel a trifle worried.
"Who else has promised to help you?" finally asked the First and Foremost.
"The Whimsies," replied the General.
Again the bear-headed Phanfasm laughed.
"Any others?" he inquired.
"Only the Growleywogs," said Guph.
This answer set the First and Foremost laughing anew.
"What share of the spoils am I to have?" was the next question.
"Anything you like, except King Roquat's Magic Belt," replied Guph.
At this the Phanfasm set up a roar of laughter, which had its echo in the unseen chorus, and the bear-man seemed so amused that he actually rolled upon the ground and shouted with merriment.
"Oh, these blind and foolish Nomes!" he said. "How big they seem to themselves and how small they really are!"
Suddenly he arose and seized Guph's neck with one hairy paw, dragging him out of the hut into the open.
Here he gave a curious wailing cry, and, as if in answer, from all the rocky huts on the mountain-top came flocking a horde of Phanfasms, all with hairy bodies, but wearing heads of various animals, birds and reptiles. All were ferocious and repulsive-looking to the deceived eyes of the Nome, and Guph could not repress a shudder of disgust as he looked upon them.
The First and Foremost slowly raised his arms, and in a twinkling his hairy skin fell from him and he appeared before the astonished Nome as a beautiful woman, clothed in a flowing gown of pink gauze. In her dark hair flowers were entwined, and her face was noble and calm.
At the same instant the entire band of Phanfasms was transformed into a pack of howling wolves, running here and there as they snarled and showed their ugly yellow fangs.
The woman now raised her arms, even as the man-bear had done, and in a twinkling the wolves became crawling lizards, while she herself changed into a huge butterfly.
Guph had only time to cry out in fear and take a step backward to avoid the lizards when another transformation occurred, and all returned instantly to the forms they had originally worn.
Then the First and Foremost, who had resumed his hairy body and bear head, turned to the Nome and asked:
"Do you still demand our assistance?"
"More than ever," answered the General, firmly.
"Then tell me: what can you offer the Phanfasms that they have not already?" inquired the First and Foremost.
Guph hesitated. He really did not know what to say. The Nome King's vaunted Magic Belt seemed a poor thing compared to the astonishing magical powers of these people. Gold, jewels and slaves they might secure in any quantity without especial effort. He felt that he was dealing with powers greatly beyond him. There was but one argument that might influence the Phanfasms, who were creatures of evil.
"Permit me to call your attention to the exquisite joy of making the happy unhappy," said he at last. "Consider the pleasure of destroying innocent and harmless people."
"Ah! you have answered me," cried the First and Foremost. "For that reason alone we will aid you. Go home, and tell your bandy-legged king that as soon as his tunnel is finished the Phanfasms will be with him and lead his legions to the conquest of Oz. The deadly desert alone has kept us from destroying Oz long ago, and your underground tunnel is a clever thought. Go home, and prepare for our coming!"
Guph was very glad to be permitted to go with this promise. The owl-man led him back down the mountain path and ordered the scarlet alligator to crawl away and allow the Nome to cross the bridge in safety.
After the visitor had gone a brilliant and gorgeous city appeared upon the mountain top, clearly visible to the eyes of the gaily dressed multitude of Phanfasms that lived there. And the First and Foremost, beautifully arrayed, addressed the others in these words:
"It is time we went into the world and brought sorrow and dismay to its people. Too long have we remained for ourselves upon this mountain top, for while we are thus secluded many nations have grown happy and prosperous, and the chief joy of the race of Phanfasms is to destroy happiness. So I think it is lucky that this messenger from the Nomes arrived among us just now, to remind us that the opportunity has come for us to make trouble. We will use King Roquat's tunnel to conquer the Land of Oz. Then we will destroy the Whimsies, the Growleywogs and the Nomes, and afterward go out to ravage and annoy and grieve the whole world."
The multitude of evil Phanfasms eagerly applauded this plan, which they fully approved.
I am told that the Erbs are the most powerful and merciless of all the evil spirits, and the Phanfasms of Phantastico belong to the race of Erbs.
12. How they Matched the Fuddles
Dorothy and her fellow travelers rode away from the Cuttenclip village and followed the indistinct path as far as the sign-post. Here they took the main road again and proceeded pleasantly through the pretty farming country. When evening came they stopped at a dwelling and were joyfully welcomed and given plenty to eat and good beds for the night.
Early next morning, however, they were up and eager to start, and after a good breakfast they bade their host good-bye and climbed into the red wagon, to which the Sawhorse had been hitched all night. Being made of wood, this horse never got tired nor cared to lie down. Dorothy was not quite sure whether he ever slept or not, but it was certain that he never did when anybody was around.
The weather is always beautiful in Oz, and this morning the air was cool and refreshing and the sunshine brilliant and delightful.
In about an hour they came to a place where another road branched off. There was a sign-post here which read:
THIS WAY TO FUDDLECUMJIG
"Oh, here is where we turn," said Dorothy, observing the sign.
"What! Are we going to Fuddlecumjig?" asked the Captain General.
"Yes; Ozma thought we might enjoy the Fuddles. They are said to be very interesting," she replied.
"No one would suspect it from their name," said Aunt Em. "Who are they, anyhow? More paper things?"
"I think not," answered Dorothy, laughing; "but I can't say 'zactly, Aunt Em, what they are. We'll find out when we get there."
"Perhaps the Wizard knows," suggested Uncle Henry.
"No; I've never been there before," said the Wizard. "But I've often heard of Fuddlecumjig and the Fuddles, who are said to be the most peculiar people in all the Land of Oz."
"In what way?" asked the Shaggy Man.
"I don't know, I'm sure," said the Wizard.
Just then, as they rode along the pretty green lane toward Fuddlecumjig, they espied a kangaroo sitting by the roadside. The poor animal had its face covered with both its front paws and was crying so bitterly that the tears coursed down its cheeks in two tiny streams and trickled across the road, where they formed a pool in a small hollow.
The Sawhorse stopped short at this pitiful sight, and Dorothy cried out, with ready sympathy:
"What's the matter, Kangaroo?"
"Boo-hoo! Boo-hoo!" wailed the Kangaroo; "I've lost my mi—mi—mi—Oh, boo-hoo! Boo-hoo!"—
"Poor thing," said the Wizard, "she's lost her mister. It's probably her husband, and he's dead."
"No, no, no!" sobbed the kangaroo. "It—it isn't that. I've lost my mi—mi—Oh, boo, boo-hoo!"
"I know," said the Shaggy Man; "she's lost her mirror."
"No; it's my mi—mi—mi—Boo-hoo! My mi—Oh, Boo-hoo!" and the kangaroo cried harder than ever.
"It must be her mince-pie," suggested Aunt Em.
"Or her milk-toast," proposed Uncle Henry.
"I've lost my mi—mi—mittens!" said the kangaroo, getting it out at last.
"Oh!" cried the Yellow Hen, with a cackle of relief. "Why didn't you say so before?"
"Boo-hoo! I—I—couldn't," answered the kangaroo.
"But, see here," said Dorothy, "you don't need mittens in this warm weather."
"Yes, indeed I do," replied the animal, stopping her sobs and removing her paws from her face to look at the little girl reproachfully. "My hands will get all sunburned and tanned without my mittens, and I've worn them so long that I'll probably catch cold without them."
"Nonsense!" said Dorothy. "I never heard of any kangaroo wearing mittens."
"Didn't you?" asked the animal, as if surprised.
"Never!" repeated the girl. "And you'll probably make yourself sick if you don't stop crying. Where do you live?"
"About two miles beyond Fuddlecumjig," was the answer. "Grandmother Gnit made me the mittens, and she's one of the Fuddles."
"Well, you'd better go home now, and perhaps the old lady will make you another pair," suggested Dorothy. "We're on our way to Fuddlecumjig, and you may hop along beside us."
So they rode on, and the kangaroo hopped beside the red wagon and seemed quickly to have forgotten her loss. By and by the Wizard said to the animal:
"Are the Fuddles nice people?"
"Oh, very nice," answered the kangaroo; "that is, when they're properly put together. But they get dreadfully scattered and mixed up, at times, and then you can't do anything with them."
"What do you mean by their getting scattered?" inquired Dorothy.
"Why, they're made in a good many small pieces," explained the kangaroo; "and whenever any stranger comes near them they have a habit of falling apart and scattering themselves around. That's when they get so dreadfully mixed, and it's a hard puzzle to put them together again."
"Who usually puts them together?" asked Omby Amby.
"Any one who is able to match the pieces. I sometimes put Grandmother Gnit together myself, because I know her so well I can tell every piece that belongs to her. Then, when she's all matched, she knits for me, and that's how she made my mittens. But it took a good many days hard knitting, and I had to put Grandmother together a good many times, because every time I came near, she'd scatter herself."
"I should think she would get used to your coming, and not be afraid," said Dorothy.
"It isn't that," replied the kangaroo. "They're not a bit afraid, when they're put together, and usually they're very jolly and pleasant. It's just a habit they have, to scatter themselves, and if they didn't do it they wouldn't be Fuddles."
The travelers thought upon this quite seriously for a time, while the Sawhorse continued to carry them rapidly forward. Then Aunt Em remarked:
"I don't see much use our visitin' these Fuddles. If we find them scattered, all we can do is to sweep 'em up, and then go about our business."
"Oh, I b'lieve we'd better go on," replied Dorothy. "I'm getting hungry, and we must try to get some luncheon at Fuddlecumjig. Perhaps the food won't be scattered as badly as the people."
"You'll find plenty to eat there," declared the kangaroo, hopping along in big bounds because the Sawhorse was going so fast; "and they have a fine cook, too, if you can manage to put him together. There's the town now—just ahead of us!"
They looked ahead and saw a group of very pretty houses standing in a green field a little apart from the main road.
"Some Munchkins came here a few days ago and matched a lot of people together," said the kangaroo. "I think they are together yet, and if you go softly, without making any noise, perhaps they won't scatter."
"Let's try it," suggested the Wizard.
So they stopped the Sawhorse and got out of the wagon, and, after bidding good bye to the kangaroo, who hopped away home, they entered the field and very cautiously approached the group of houses.
So silently did they move that soon they saw through the windows of the houses, people moving around, while others were passing to and fro in the yards between the buildings. They seemed much like other people from a distance, and apparently they did not notice the little party so quietly approaching.
They had almost reached the nearest house when Toto saw a large beetle crossing the path and barked loudly at it. Instantly a wild clatter was heard from the houses and yards. Dorothy thought it sounded like a sudden hailstorm, and the visitors, knowing that caution was no longer necessary, hurried forward to see what had happened.
After the clatter an intense stillness reigned in the town. The strangers entered the first house they came to, which was also the largest, and found the floor strewn with pieces of the people who lived there. They looked much like fragments of wood neatly painted, and were of all sorts of curious and fantastic shapes, no two pieces being in any way alike.
They picked up some of these pieces and looked at them carefully. On one which Dorothy held was an eye, which looked at her pleasantly but with an interested expression, as if it wondered what she was going to do with it. Quite near by she discovered and picked up a nose, and by matching the two pieces together found that they were part of a face.
"If I could find the mouth," she said, "this Fuddle might be able to talk, and tell us what to do next."
"Then let us find it," replied the Wizard, and so all got down on their hands and knees and began examining the scattered pieces.
"I've found it!" cried the Shaggy Man, and ran to Dorothy with a queer-shaped piece that had a mouth on it. But when they tried to fit it to the eye and nose they found the parts wouldn't match together.
"That mouth belongs to some other person," said Dorothy. "You see we need a curve here and a point there, to make it fit the face."
"Well, it must be here some place," declared the Wizard; "so if we search long enough we shall find it."
Dorothy fitted an ear on next, and the ear had a little patch of red hair above it. So while the others were searching for the mouth she hunted for pieces with red hair, and found several of them which, when matched to the other pieces, formed the top of a man's head. She had also found the other eye and the ear by the time Omby Amby in a far corner discovered the mouth. When the face was thus completed, all the parts joined together with a nicety that was astonishing.
"Why, it's like a picture puzzle!" exclaimed the little girl. "Let's find the rest of him, and get him all together."
"What's the rest of him like?" asked the Wizard. "Here are some pieces of blue legs and green arms, but I don't know whether they are his or not."
"Look for a white shirt and a white apron," said the head which had been put together, speaking in a rather faint voice. "I'm the cook."
"Oh, thank you," said Dorothy. "It's lucky we started you first, for I'm hungry, and you can be cooking something for us to eat while we match the other folks together."
It was not so very difficult, now that they had a hint as to how the man was dressed, to find the other pieces belonging to him, and as all of them now worked on the cook, trying piece after piece to see if it would fit, they finally had the cook set up complete.
When he was finished he made them a low bow and said:
"I will go at once to the kitchen to prepare your dinner. You will find it something of a job to get all the Fuddles together, so I advise you to begin on the Lord High Chigglewitz, whose first name is Larry. He's a bald-headed fat man and is dressed in a blue coat with brass buttons, a pink vest and drab breeches. A piece of his left knee is missing, having been lost years ago when he scattered himself too carelessly. That makes him limp a little, but he gets along very well with half a knee. As he is the chief personage in this town of Fuddlecumjig, he will be able to welcome you and assist you with the others. So it will be best to work on him while I'm getting your dinner."
"We will," said the Wizard; "and thank you very much, Cook, for the suggestion."
Aunt Em was the first to discover a piece of the Lord High Chigglewitz.
"It seems to me like a fool business, this matching folks together," she remarked; "but as we haven't anything to do till dinner's ready, we may as well get rid of some of this rubbish. Here, Henry, get busy and look for Larry's bald head. I've got his pink vest, all right."
They worked with eager interest, and Billina proved a great help to them. The Yellow Hen had sharp eyes and could put her head close to the various pieces that lay scattered around. She would examine the Lord High Chigglewitz and see which piece of him was next needed, and then hunt around until she found it. So before an hour had passed old Larry was standing complete before them.
"I congratulate you, my friends," he said, speaking in a cheerful voice. "You are certainly the cleverest people who ever visited us. I was never matched together so quickly in my life. I'm considered a great puzzle, usually."
"Well," said Dorothy, "there used to be a picture puzzle craze in Kansas, and so I've had some 'sperience matching puzzles. But the pictures were flat, while you are round, and that makes you harder to figure out."
"Thank you, my dear," replied old Larry, greatly pleased. "I feel highly complimented. Were I not a really good puzzle, there would be no object in my scattering myself."
"Why do you do it?" asked Aunt Em, severely. "Why don't you behave yourself, and stay put together?"
The Lord High Chigglewitz seemed annoyed by this speech; but he replied, politely:
"Madam, you have perhaps noticed that every person has some peculiarity. Mine is to scatter myself. What your own peculiarity is I will not venture to say; but I shall never find fault with you, whatever you do."
"Now you've got your diploma, Em," said Uncle Henry, with a laugh, "and I'm glad of it. This is a queer country, and we may as well take people as we find them."
"If we did, we'd leave these folks scattered," she returned, and this retort made everybody laugh good-naturedly.
Just then Omby Amby found a hand with a knitting needle in it, and they decided to put Grandmother Gnit together. She proved an easier puzzle than old Larry, and when she was completed they found her a pleasant old lady who welcomed them cordially. Dorothy told her how the kangaroo had lost her mittens, and Grandmother Gnit promised to set to work at once and make the poor animal another pair.
Then the cook came to call them to dinner, and they found an inviting meal prepared for them. The Lord High Chigglewitz sat at the head of the table and Grandmother Gnit at the foot, and the guests had a merry time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
After dinner they went out into the yard and matched several other people together, and this work was so interesting that they might have spent the entire day at Fuddlecumjig had not the Wizard suggested that they resume their journey.
"But I don't like to leave all these poor people scattered," said Dorothy, undecided what to do.
"Oh, don't mind us, my dear," returned old Larry. "Every day or so some of the Gillikins, or Munchkins, or Winkies come here to amuse themselves by matching us together, so there will be no harm in leaving these pieces where they are for a time. But I hope you will visit us again, and if you do you will always be welcome, I assure you."
"Don't you ever match each other?" she inquired.
"Never; for we are no puzzles to ourselves, and so there wouldn't be any fun in it."
They now said goodbye to the queer Fuddles and got into their wagon to continue their journey.
"Those are certainly strange people," remarked Aunt Em, thoughtfully, as they drove away from Fuddlecumjig, "but I really can't see what use they are, at all."
"Why, they amused us all for several hours," replied the Wizard. "That is being of use to us, I'm sure."
"I think they're more fun than playing solitaire or mumbletypeg," declared Uncle Henry, soberly. "For my part, I'm glad we visited the Fuddles."
13. How the General Talked to the King
When General Guph returned to the cavern of the Nome King his Majesty asked:
"Well, what luck? Will the Whimsies join us?"
"They will," answered the General. "They will fight for us with all their strength and cunning."
"Good!" exclaimed the King. "What reward did you promise them?"
"Your Majesty is to use the Magic Belt to give each Whimsie a large, fine head, in place of the small one he is now obliged to wear."
"I agree to that," said the King. "This is good news, Guph, and it makes me feel more certain of the conquest of Oz."
"But I have other news for you," announced the General.
"Good or bad?"
"Good, your Majesty."
"Then I will hear it," said the King, with interest.
"The Growleywogs will join us."
"No!" cried the astonished King.
"Yes, indeed," said the General. "I have their promise."
"But what reward do they demand?" inquired the King, suspiciously, for he knew how greedy the Growleywogs were.
"They are to take a few of the Oz people for their slaves," replied Guph. He did not think it necessary to tell Roquat that the Growleywogs demanded twenty thousand slaves. It would be time enough for that when Oz was conquered.
"A very reasonable request, I'm sure," remarked the King. "I must congratulate you, Guph, upon the wonderful success of your journey."
"But that is not all," said the General, proudly.
The King seemed astonished. "Speak out, sir!" he commanded.
"I have seen the First and Foremost Phanfasm of the Mountain of Phantastico, and he will bring his people to assist us."
"What!" cried the King. "The Phanfasms! You don't mean it, Guph!"
"It is true," declared the General, proudly.
The King became thoughtful, and his brows wrinkled.
"I'm afraid, Guph," he said rather anxiously, "that the First and Foremost may prove as dangerous to us as to the Oz people. If he and his terrible band come down from the mountain they may take the notion to conquer the Nomes!"
"Pah! That is a foolish idea," retorted Guph, irritably, but he knew in his heart that the King was right. "The First and Foremost is a particular friend of mine, and will do us no harm. Why, when I was there, he even invited me into his house."
The General neglected to tell the King how he had been jerked into the hut of the First and Foremost by means of the brass hoop. So Roquat the Red looked at his General admiringly and said:
"You are a wonderful Nome, Guph. I'm sorry I did not make you my General before. But what reward did the First and Foremost demand?"
"Nothing at all," answered Guph. "Even the Magic Belt itself could not add to his powers of sorcery. All the Phanfasms wish is to destroy the Oz people, who are good and happy. This pleasure will amply repay them for assisting us."
"When will they come?" asked Roquat, half fearfully.
"When the tunnel is completed," said the General.
"We are nearly halfway under the desert now," announced the King; "and that is fast work, because the tunnel has to be drilled through solid rock. But after we have passed the desert it will not take us long to extend the tunnel to the walls of the Emerald City."
"Well, whenever you are ready, we shall be joined by the Whimsies, the Growleywogs and the Phanfasms," said Guph; "so the conquest of Oz is assured without a doubt."
Again, the King seemed thoughtful.
"I'm almost sorry we did not undertake the conquest alone," said he. "All of these allies are dangerous people, and they may demand more than you have promised them. It might have been better to have conquered Oz without any outside assistance."
"We could not do it," said the General, positively.
"Why not, Guph?"
"You know very well. You have had one experience with the Oz people, and they defeated you."
"That was because they rolled eggs at us," replied the King, with a shudder. "My Nomes cannot stand eggs, any more than I can myself. They are poison to all who live underground."
"That is true enough," agreed Guph.
"But we might have taken the Oz people by surprise, and conquered them before they had a chance to get any eggs. Our former defeat was due to the fact that the girl Dorothy had a Yellow Hen with her. I do not know what ever became of that hen, but I believe there are no hens at all in the Land of Oz, and so there could be no eggs there."
"On the contrary," said Guph, "there are now hundreds of chickens in Oz, and they lay heaps of those dangerous eggs. I met a goshawk on my way home, and the bird informed me that he had lately been to Oz to capture and devour some of the young chickens. But they are protected by magic, so the hawk did not get a single one of them."
"That is a very bad report," said the King, nervously. "Very bad, indeed. My Nomes are willing to fight, but they simply can't face hen's eggs—and I don't blame them."
"They won't need to face them," replied Guph. "I'm afraid of eggs myself, and don't propose to take any chances of being poisoned by them. My plan is to send the Whimsies through the tunnel first, and then the Growleywogs and the Phanfasms. By the time we Nomes get there the eggs will all be used up, and we may then pursue and capture the inhabitants at our leisure."
"Perhaps you are right," returned the King, with a dismal sigh. "But I want it distinctly understood that I claim Ozma and Dorothy as my own prisoners. They are rather nice girls, and I do not intend to let any of those dreadful creatures hurt them, or make them their slaves. When I have captured them I will bring them here and transform them into china ornaments to stand on my mantle. They will look very pretty—Dorothy on one end of the mantle and Ozma on the other—and I shall take great care to see they are not broken when the maids dust them."
"Very well, your Majesty. Do what you will with the girls for all I care. Now that our plans are arranged, and we have the three most powerful bands of evil spirits in the world to assist us, let us make haste to get the tunnel finished as soon as possible."
"It will be ready in three days," promised the King, and hurried away to inspect the work and see that the Nomes kept busy.
14. How the Wizard Practiced Sorcery
"Where next?" asked the Wizard when they had left the town of Fuddlecumjig and the Sawhorse had started back along the road.
"Why, Ozma laid out this trip," replied Dorothy, "and she 'vised us to see the Rigmaroles next, and then visit the Tin Woodman."
"That sounds good," said the Wizard. "But what road do we take to get to the Rigmaroles?"
"I don't know, 'zactly," returned the little girl; "but it must be somewhere just southwest from here."
"Then why need we go way back to the crossroads?" asked the Shaggy Man. "We might save a lot of time by branching off here."
"There isn't any path," asserted Uncle Henry.
"Then we'd better go back to the signposts, and make sure of our way," decided Dorothy.
But after they had gone a short distance farther the Sawhorse, who had overheard their conversation, stopped and said:
"Here is a path."
Sure enough, a dim path seemed to branch off from the road they were on, and it led across pretty green meadows and past leafy groves, straight toward the southwest.
"That looks like a good path," said Omby Amby. "Why not try it?"
"All right," answered Dorothy. "I'm anxious to see what the Rigmaroles are like, and this path ought to take us there the quickest way."
No one made any objection to this plan, so the Sawhorse turned into the path, which proved to be nearly as good as the one they had taken to get to the Fuddles. As first they passed a few retired farm houses, but soon these scattered dwellings were left behind and only the meadows and the trees were before them. But they rode along in cheerful contentment, and Aunt Em got into an argument with Billina about the proper way to raise chickens.
"I do not care to contradict you," said the Yellow Hen, with dignity, "but I have an idea I know more about chickens than human beings do."
"Pshaw!" replied Aunt Em. "I've raised chickens for nearly forty years, Billina, and I know you've got to starve 'em to make 'em lay lots of eggs, and stuff 'em if you want good broilers."
"Broilers!" exclaimed Billina, in horror. "Broil my chickens!"
"Why, that's what they're for, ain't it?" asked Aunt Em, astonished.
"No, Aunt, not in Oz," said Dorothy. "People do not eat chickens here. You see, Billina was the first hen that was ever seen in this country, and I brought her here myself. Everybody liked her an' respected her, so the Oz people wouldn't any more eat her chickens than they would eat Billina."
"Well, I declare," gasped Aunt Em. "How about the eggs?"
"Oh, if we have more eggs than we want to hatch, we allow people to eat them," said Billina. "Indeed, I am very glad the Oz folks like our eggs, for otherwise they would spoil."
"This certainly is a queer country," sighed Aunt Em.
"Excuse me," called the Sawhorse, "the path has ended and I'd like to know which way to go."
They looked around and sure enough there was no path to be seen.
"Well," said Dorothy, "we're going southwest, and it seems just as easy to follow that direction without a path as with one."
"Certainly," answered the Sawhorse. "It is not hard to draw the wagon over the meadow. I only want to know where to go."
"There's a forest over there across the prairie," said the Wizard, "and it lies in the direction we are going. Make straight for the forest, Sawhorse, and you're bound to go right."
So the wooden animal trotted on again and the meadow grass was so soft under the wheels that it made easy riding. But Dorothy was a little uneasy at losing the path, because now there was nothing to guide them.
No houses were to be seen at all, so they could not ask their way of any farmer; and although the Land of Oz was always beautiful, wherever one might go, this part of the country was strange to all the party.
"Perhaps we're lost," suggested Aunt Em, after they had proceeded quite a way in silence.
"Never mind," said the Shaggy Man; "I've been lost many a time—and so has Dorothy—and we've always been found again."
"But we may get hungry," remarked Omby Amby. "That is the worst of getting lost in a place where there are no houses near."
"We had a good dinner at the Fuddle town," said Uncle Henry, "and that will keep us from starving to death for a long time."
"No one ever starved to death in Oz," declared Dorothy, positively; "but people may get pretty hungry sometimes."
The Wizard said nothing, and he did not seem especially anxious. The Sawhorse was trotting along briskly, yet the forest seemed farther away than they had thought when they first saw it. So it was nearly sundown when they finally came to the trees; but now they found themselves in a most beautiful spot, the wide-spreading trees being covered with flowering vines and having soft mosses underneath them. "This will be a good place to camp," said the Wizard, as the Sawhorse stopped for further instructions.
"Camp!" they all echoed.
"Certainly," asserted the Wizard. "It will be dark before very long and we cannot travel through this forest at night. So let us make a camp here, and have some supper, and sleep until daylight comes again."
They all looked at the little man in astonishment, and Aunt Em said, with a sniff:
"A pretty camp we'll have, I must say! I suppose you intend us to sleep under the wagon."
"And chew grass for our supper," added the Shaggy Man, laughing.
But Dorothy seemed to have no doubts and was quite cheerful
"It's lucky we have the wonderful Wizard with us," she said; "because he can do 'most anything he wants to."
"Oh, yes; I forgot we had a Wizard," said Uncle Henry, looking at the little man curiously.
"I didn't," chirped Billina, contentedly.
The Wizard smiled and climbed out of the wagon, and all the others followed him.
"In order to camp," said he, "the first thing we need is tents. Will some one please lend me a handkerchief?"
The Shaggy Man offered him one, and Aunt Em another. He took them both and laid them carefully upon the grass near to the edge of the forest. Then he laid his own handkerchief down, too, and standing a little back from them he waved his left hand toward the handkerchiefs and said:
"Tents of canvas, white as snow, Let me see how fast you grow!"
Then, lo and behold! the handkerchiefs became tiny tents, and as the travelers looked at them the tents grew bigger and bigger until in a few minutes each one was large enough to contain the entire party.
"This," said the Wizard, pointing to the first tent, "is for the accommodation of the ladies. Dorothy, you and your Aunt may step inside and take off your things."
Every one ran to look inside the tent, and they saw two pretty white beds, all ready for Dorothy and Aunt Em, and a silver roost for Billina. Rugs were spread upon the grassy floor and some camp chairs and a table completed the furniture.
"Well, well, well! This beats anything I ever saw or heard of!" exclaimed Aunt Em, and she glanced at the Wizard almost fearfully, as if he might be dangerous because of his great powers.
"Oh, Mr. Wizard! How did you manage to do it?" asked Dorothy.
"It's a trick Glinda the Sorceress taught me, and it is much better magic than I used to practice in Omaha, or when I first came to Oz," he answered. "When the good Glinda found I was to live in the Emerald City always, she promised to help me, because she said the Wizard of Oz ought really to be a clever Wizard, and not a humbug. So we have been much together and I am learning so fast that I expect to be able to accomplish some really wonderful things in time."
"You've done it now!" declared Dorothy. "These tents are just wonderful!"
"But come and see the men's tent," said the Wizard. So they went to the second tent, which had shaggy edges because it has been made from the Shaggy Man's handkerchief, and found that completely furnished also. It contained four neat beds for Uncle Henry, Omby Amby, the Shaggy Man and the Wizard. Also there was a soft rug for Toto to lie upon.
"The third tent," explained the Wizard, "is our dining room and kitchen."
They visited that next, and found a table and dishes in the dining tent, with plenty of those things necessary to use in cooking. The Wizard carried out a big kettle and set it swinging on a crossbar before the tent. While he was doing this Omby Amby and the Shaggy Man brought a supply of twigs from the forest and then they built a fire underneath the kettle.
"Now, Dorothy," said the Wizard, smiling, "I expect you to cook our supper."
"But there is nothing in the kettle," she cried.
"Are you sure?" inquired the Wizard.
"I didn't see anything put in, and I'm almost sure it was empty when you brought it out," she replied.
"Nevertheless," said the little man, winking slyly at Uncle Henry, "you will do well to watch our supper, my dear, and see that it doesn't boil over."
Then the men took some pails and went into the forest to search for a spring of water, and while they were gone Aunt Em said to Dorothy:
"I believe the Wizard is fooling us. I saw the kettle myself, and when he hung it over the fire there wasn't a thing in it but air."
"Don't worry," remarked Billina, confidently, as she nestled in the grass before the fire. "You'll find something in the kettle when it's taken off—and it won't be poor, innocent chickens, either."
"Your hen has very bad manners, Dorothy," said Aunt Em, looking somewhat disdainfully at Billina. "It seems too bad she ever learned how to talk."
There might have been another unpleasant quarrel between Aunt Em and Billina had not the men returned just then with their pails filled with clear, sparkling water. The Wizard told Dorothy that she was a good cook and he believed their supper was ready.
So Uncle Henry lifted the kettle from the fire and poured its contents into a big platter which the Wizard held for him. The platter was fairly heaped with a fine stew, smoking hot, with many kinds of vegetables and dumplings and a rich, delicious gravy.
The Wizard triumphantly placed the platter upon the table in the dining tent and then they all sat down in camp chairs to the feast.
There were several other dishes on the table, all carefully covered, and when the time came to remove these covers they found bread and butter, cakes, cheese, pickles and fruits—including some of the luscious strawberries of Oz.
No one ventured to ask a question as to how these things came there. They contented themselves by eating heartily the good things provided, and Toto and Billina had their full share, you may be sure. After the meal was over, Aunt Em whispered to Dorothy:
"That may have been magic food, my dear, and for that reason perhaps it won't be very nourishing; but I'm willing to say it tasted as good as anything I ever et." Then she added, in a louder voice: "Who's going to do the dishes?"
"No one, madam," answered the Wizard. "The dishes have 'done' themselves."
"La sakes!" ejaculated the good lady, holding up her hands in amazement. For, sure enough, when she looked at the dishes they had a moment before left upon the table, she found them all washed and dried and piled up into neat stacks.
15. How Dorothy Happened to Get Lost
It was a beautiful evening, so they drew their camp chairs in a circle before one of the tents and began to tell stories to amuse themselves and pass away the time before they went to bed.
Pretty soon a zebra was seen coming out of the forest, and he trotted straight up to them and said politely:
"Good evening, people."
The zebra was a sleek little animal and had a slender head, a stubby mane and a paint-brush tail—very like a donkey's. His neatly shaped white body was covered with regular bars of dark brown, and his hoofs were delicate as those of a deer.
"Good evening, friend Zebra," said Omby Amby, in reply to the creature's greeting. "Can we do anything for you?"
"Yes," answered the zebra. "I should like you to settle a dispute that has long been a bother to me, as to whether there is more water or land in the world."
"Who are you disputing with?" asked the Wizard.
"With a soft-shell crab," said the zebra. "He lives in a pool where I go to drink every day, and he is a very impertinent crab, I assure you. I have told him many times that the land is much greater in extent than the water, but he will not be convinced. Even this very evening, when I told him he was an insignificant creature who lived in a small pool, he asserted that the water was greater and more important than the land. So, seeing your camp, I decided to ask you to settle the dispute for once and all, that I may not be further annoyed by this ignorant crab."
When they had listened to this explanation Dorothy inquired:
"Where is the soft-shell crab?"
"Not far away," replied the zebra. "If you will agree to judge between us I will run and get him."
"Run along, then," said the little girl.
So the animal pranced into the forest and soon came trotting back to them. When he drew near they found a soft-shell crab clinging fast to the stiff hair of the zebra's head, where it held on by one claw.
"Now then, Mr. Crab," said the zebra, "here are the people I told you about; and they know more than you do, who lives in a pool, and more than I do, who lives in a forest. For they have been travelers all over the world, and know every part of it."
"There is more of the world than Oz," declared the crab, in a stubborn voice.
"That is true," said Dorothy; "but I used to live in Kansas, in the United States, and I've been to California and to Australia and so has Uncle Henry."
"For my part," added the Shaggy Man, "I've been to Mexico and Boston and many other foreign countries."
"And I," said the Wizard, "have been to Europe and Ireland."
"So you see," continued the zebra, addressing the crab, "here are people of real consequence, who know what they are talking about."
"Then they know there's more water in the world than there is land," asserted the crab, in a shrill, petulant voice.
"They know you are wrong to make such an absurd statement, and they will probably think you are a lobster instead of a crab," retorted the animal.
At this taunt the crab reached out its other claw and seized the zebra's ear, and the creature gave a cry of pain and began prancing up and down, trying to shake off the crab, which clung fast.
"Stop pinching!" cried the zebra. "You promised not to pinch if I would carry you here!"
"And you promised to treat me respectfully," said the crab, letting go the ear.
"Well, haven't I?" demanded the zebra.
"No; you called me a lobster," said the crab.
"Ladies and gentlemen," continued the zebra, "please pardon my poor friend, because he is ignorant and stupid, and does not understand. Also the pinch of his claw is very annoying. So pray tell him that the world contains more land than water, and when he has heard your judgment I will carry him back and dump him into his pool, where I hope he will be more modest in the future."
"But we cannot tell him that," said Dorothy, gravely, "because it would not be true."
"What!" exclaimed the zebra, in astonishment; "do I hear you aright?"
"The soft-shell crab is correct," declared the Wizard. "There is considerably more water than there is land in the world."
"Impossible!" protested the zebra. "Why, I can run for days upon the land, and find but little water."
"Did you ever see an ocean?" asked Dorothy.
"Never," admitted the zebra. "There is no such thing as an ocean in the Land of Oz."
"Well, there are several oceans in the world," said Dorothy, "and people sail in ships upon these oceans for weeks and weeks, and never see a bit of land at all. And the joggerfys will tell you that all the oceans put together are bigger than all the land put together."
At this the crab began laughing in queer chuckles that reminded Dorothy of the way Billina sometimes cackled.
"NOW will you give up, Mr. Zebra?" it cried, jeeringly; "now will you give up?"
The zebra seemed much humbled.
"Of course I cannot read geographys," he said.
"You could take one of the Wizard's School Pills," suggested Billina, "and that would make you learned and wise without studying."
The crab began laughing again, which so provoked the zebra that he tried to shake the little creature off. This resulted in more ear-pinching, and finally Dorothy told them that if they could not behave they must go back to the forest.
"I'm sorry I asked you to decide this question," said the zebra, crossly. "So long as neither of us could prove we were right we quite enjoyed the dispute; but now I can never drink at that pool again without the soft-shell crab laughing at me. So I must find another drinking place."
"Do! Do, you ignoramus!" shouted the crab, as loudly as his little voice would carry. "Rile some other pool with your clumsy hoofs, and let your betters alone after this!"
Then the zebra trotted back to the forest, bearing the crab with him, and disappeared amid the gloom of the trees. And as it was now getting dark the travelers said good night to one another and went to bed.
Dorothy awoke just as the light was beginning to get strong next morning, and not caring to sleep any later she quietly got out of bed, dressed herself, and left the tent where Aunt Em was yet peacefully slumbering.
Outside she noticed Billina busily pecking around to secure bugs or other food for breakfast, but none of the men in the other tent seemed awake. So the little girl decided to take a walk in the woods and try to discover some path or road that they might follow when they again started upon their journey.
She had reached the edge of the forest when the Yellow Hen came fluttering along and asked where she was going.
"Just to take a walk, Billina; and maybe I'll find some path," said Dorothy.
"Then I'll go along," decided Billina, and scarcely had she spoken when Toto ran up and joined them.
Toto and the Yellow Hen had become quite friendly by this time, although at first they did not get along well together. Billina had been rather suspicious of dogs, and Toto had had an idea that it was every dog's duty to chase a hen on sight. But Dorothy had talked to them and scolded them for not being agreeable to one another until they grew better acquainted and became friends.
I won't say they loved each other dearly, but at least they had stopped quarreling and now managed to get on together very well.
The day was growing lighter every minute and driving the black shadows out of the forest; so Dorothy found it very pleasant walking under the trees. She went some distance in one direction, but not finding a path, presently turned in a different direction. There was no path here, either, although she advanced quite a way into the forest, winding here and there among the trees and peering through the bushes in an endeavor to find some beaten track.
"I think we'd better go back," suggested the Yellow Hen, after a time. "The people will all be up by this time and breakfast will be ready."
"Very well," agreed Dorothy. "Let's see—the camp must be over this way."
She had probably made a mistake about that, for after they had gone far enough to have reached the camp they still found themselves in the thick of the woods. So the little girl stopped short and looked around her, and Toto glanced up into her face with his bright little eyes and wagged his tail as if he knew something was wrong. He couldn't tell much about direction himself, because he had spent his time prowling among the bushes and running here and there; nor had Billina paid much attention to where they were going, being interested in picking bugs from the moss as they passed along. The Yellow Hen now turned one eye up toward the little girl and asked:
"Have you forgotten where the camp is, Dorothy?"
"Yes," she admitted; "have you, Billina?"
"I didn't try to remember," returned Billina. "I'd no idea you would get lost, Dorothy."
"It's the thing we don't expect, Billina, that usually happens," observed the girl, thoughtfully. "But it's no use standing here. Let's go in that direction," pointing a finger at random. "It may be we'll get out of the forest over there."
So on they went again, but this way the trees were closer together, and the vines were so tangled that often they tripped Dorothy up.
Suddenly a voice cried sharply:
At first, Dorothy could see nothing, although she looked around very carefully. But Billina exclaimed:
"Well, I declare!"
"What is it?" asked the little girl: for Toto began barking at something, and following his gaze she discovered what it was.
A row of spoons had surrounded the three, and these spoons stood straight up on their handles and carried swords and muskets. Their faces were outlined in the polished bowls and they looked very stern and severe.
Dorothy laughed at the queer things.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"We're the Spoon Brigade," said one.
"In the service of his Majesty King Kleaver," said another.
"And you are our prisoners," said a third.
Dorothy sat down on an old stump and looked at them, her eyes twinkling with amusement.
"What would happen," she inquired, "if I should set my dog on your Brigade?"
"He would die," replied one of the spoons, sharply. "One shot from our deadly muskets would kill him, big as he is."
"Don't risk it, Dorothy," advised the Yellow Hen. "Remember this is a fairy country, yet none of us three happens to be a fairy."
Dorothy grew sober at this.
"P'raps you're right, Billina," she answered. "But how funny it is, to be captured by a lot of spoons!"
"I do not see anything very funny about it," declared a spoon. "We're the regular military brigade of the kingdom."
"What kingdom?" she asked.
"Utensia," said he.
"I never heard of it before," asserted Dorothy. Then she added thoughtfully, "I don't believe Ozma ever heard of Utensia, either. Tell me, are you not subjects of Ozma of Oz?"
"We have never heard of her," retorted a spoon. "We are subjects of King Kleaver, and obey only his orders, which are to bring all prisoners to him as soon as they are captured. So step lively, my girl, and march with us, or we may be tempted to cut off a few of your toes with our swords."
This threat made Dorothy laugh again. She did not believe she was in any danger; but here was a new and interesting adventure, so she was willing to be taken to Utensia that she might see what King Kleaver's kingdom was like.
16. How Dorothy Visited Utensia
There must have been from six to eight dozen spoons in the Brigade, and they marched away in the shape of a hollow square, with Dorothy, Billina and Toto in the center of the square. Before they had gone very far Toto knocked over one of the spoons by wagging his tail, and then the Captain of the Spoons told the little dog to be more careful, or he would be punished. So Toto was careful, and the Spoon Brigade moved along with astonishing swiftness, while Dorothy really had to walk fast to keep up with it.
By and by they left the woods and entered a big clearing, in which was the Kingdom of Utensia.
Standing all around the clearing were a good many cookstoves, ranges and grills, of all sizes and shapes, and besides these there were several kitchen cabinets and cupboards and a few kitchen tables. These things were crowded with utensils of all sorts: frying pans, sauce pans, kettles, forks, knives, basting and soup spoons, nutmeg graters, sifters, colanders, meat saws, flat irons, rolling pins and many other things of a like nature.
When the Spoon Brigade appeared with the prisoners a wild shout arose and many of the utensils hopped off their stoves or their benches and ran crowding around Dorothy and the hen and the dog.
"Stand back!" cried the Captain, sternly, and he led his captives through the curious throng until they came before a big range that stood in the center of the clearing. Beside this range was a butcher block upon which lay a great cleaver with a keen edge. It rested upon the flat of its back, its legs were crossed and it was smoking a long pipe.
"Wake up, your Majesty," said the Captain. "Here are prisoners."
Hearing this, King Kleaver sat up and looked at Dorothy sharply.
"Gristle and fat!" he cried. "Where did this girl come from?"
"I found her in the forest and brought her here a prisoner," replied the Captain.
"Why did you do that?" inquired the King, puffing his pipe lazily.
"To create some excitement," the Captain answered. "It is so quiet here that we are all getting rusty for want of amusement. For my part, I prefer to see stirring times."
"Naturally," returned the cleaver, with a nod. "I have always said, Captain, without a bit of irony, that you are a sterling officer and a solid citizen, bowled and polished to a degree. But what do you expect me to do with these prisoners?"
"That is for you to decide," declared the Captain. "You are the King."
"To be sure; to be sure," muttered the cleaver, musingly. "As you say, we have had dull times since the steel and grindstone eloped and left us. Command my Counselors and the Royal Courtiers to attend me, as well as the High Priest and the Judge. We'll then decide what can be done."
The Captain saluted and retired and Dorothy sat down on an overturned kettle and asked:
"Have you anything to eat in your kingdom?"
"Here! Get up! Get off from me!" cried a faint voice, at which his Majesty the cleaver said:
"Excuse me, but you're sitting on my friend the Ten-quart Kettle."
Dorothy at once arose, and the kettle turned right side up and looked at her reproachfully.
"I'm a friend of the King, so no one dares sit on me," said he.
"I'd prefer a chair, anyway," she replied.
"Sit on that hearth," commanded the King.
So Dorothy sat on the hearth-shelf of the big range, and the subjects of Utensia began to gather around in a large and inquisitive throng. Toto lay at Dorothy's feet and Billina flew upon the range, which had no fire in it, and perched there as comfortably as she could.
When all the Counselors and Courtiers had assembled—and these seemed to include most of the inhabitants of the kingdom—the King rapped on the block for order and said:
"Friends and Fellow Utensils! Our worthy Commander of the Spoon Brigade, Captain Dipp, has captured the three prisoners you see before you and brought them here for—for—I don't know what for. So I ask your advice how to act in this matter, and what fate I should mete out to these captives. Judge Sifter, stand on my right. It is your business to sift this affair to the bottom. High Priest Colender, stand on my left and see that no one testifies falsely in this matter."
As these two officials took their places, Dorothy asked:
"Why is the colander the High Priest?"
"He's the holiest thing we have in the kingdom," replied King Kleaver.
"Except me," said a sieve. "I'm the whole thing when it comes to holes."
"What we need," remarked the King, rebukingly, "is a wireless sieve. I must speak to Marconi about it. These old-fashioned sieves talk too much. Now, it is the duty of the King's Counselors to counsel the King at all times of emergency, so I beg you to speak out and advise me what to do with these prisoners."
"I demand that they be killed several times, until they are dead!" shouted a pepperbox, hopping around very excitedly.
"Compose yourself, Mr. Paprica," advised the King. "Your remarks are piquant and highly-seasoned, but you need a scattering of commonsense. It is only necessary to kill a person once to make him dead; but I do not see that it is necessary to kill this little girl at all."
"I don't, either," said Dorothy.
"Pardon me, but you are not expected to advise me in this matter," replied King Kleaver.
"Why not?" asked Dorothy.
"You might be prejudiced in your own favor, and so mislead us," he said. "Now then, good subjects, who speaks next?"
"I'd like to smooth this thing over, in some way," said a flatiron, earnestly. "We are supposed to be useful to mankind, you know."
"But the girl isn't mankind! She's womankind!" yelled a corkscrew.
"What do you know about it?" inquired the King.
"I'm a lawyer," said the corkscrew, proudly. "I am accustomed to appear at the bar."
"But you're crooked," retorted the King, "and that debars you. You may be a corking good lawyer, Mr. Popp, but I must ask you to withdraw your remarks."
"Very well," said the corkscrew, sadly; "I see I haven't any pull at this court."
"Permit me," continued the flatiron, "to press my suit, your Majesty. I do not wish to gloss over any fault the prisoner may have committed, if such a fault exists; but we owe her some consideration, and that's flat!"
"I'd like to hear from Prince Karver," said the King.
At this a stately carvingknife stepped forward and bowed.
"The Captain was wrong to bring this girl here, and she was wrong to come," he said. "But now that the foolish deed is done let us all prove our mettle and have a slashing good time."
"That's it! that's it!" screamed a fat choppingknife. "We'll make mincemeat of the girl and hash of the chicken and sausage of the dog!"
There was a shout of approval at this and the King had to rap again for order.
"Gentlemen, gentlemen!" he said, "your remarks are somewhat cutting and rather disjointed, as might be expected from such acute intellects. But you give me no reasons for your demands."
"See here, Kleaver; you make me tired," said a saucepan, strutting before the King very impudently. "You're about the worst King that ever reigned in Utensia, and that's saying a good deal. Why don't you run things yourself, instead of asking everybody's advice, like the big, clumsy idiot you are?"
The King sighed.
"I wish there wasn't a saucepan in my kingdom," he said. "You fellows are always stewing, over something, and every once in a while you slop over and make a mess of it. Go hang yourself, sir—by the handle—and don't let me hear from you again."
Dorothy was much shocked by the dreadful language the utensils employed, and she thought that they must have had very little proper training. So she said, addressing the King, who seemed very unfit to rule his turbulent subjects: