Title: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz: A Faithful Record of Their Amazing Adventures in an Underground World; and How with the Aid of Their Friends Zeb Hugson, Eureka the Kitten, and Jim the Cab-Horse, They Finally Reached the Wonderful Land of Oz.
Author: L. Frank Baum (illustrated by John R. Neill).
Genre: Fiction, literature, children's lit, fantasy.
Publication Date: 1908.
Summary: Dorothy Gale, on her way back from Australia, visits her cousin, Zeb, in California, and the both of them soon become swallowed up by an earthquake, along with Zeb's horse Jim and Dorothy's cat Eureka. When they run into the Wizard of Oz, who has had a similar accident, they begin to make their way to Oz and its' beautiful ruler, Ozma, who has the means of getting them back home. On the way, they encounter many magical and odd characters, and have many fantastic adventures, before reuniting with their old friends in the land that started it all.
My rating: 8.5/10
♥ "Eureka's a funny name for a cat," he remarked.
"I named my kitten that because I found it," she explained. "Uncle Henry says 'Eureka' means 'I have found it.'"
♥ Dorothy sighed and commenced to breathe easier. She began to realize that death was not in store for her, after all, but that she had merely started upon another adventure, which promised to be just as queer and unusual as were those she had before encountered.
♥ "We'll never get home again, though!" declared Zeb, with a groan.
"Oh, I'm not so sure of that," replied the girl. "But don't let us worry over such things, Zeb; we can't help ourselves just now, you know, and I've always been told it's foolish to borrow trouble."
♥ "This child, who is from the crust of the earth, like yourself, called you a Wizard. Is not a Wizard something like a Sorcerer?"
"It's better," replied Oz, promptly. "One Wizard is worth three Sorcerers."
"Ah, you shall prove that," said the Prince. "We Mangaboos have, at the present time, one of the most wonderful Sorcerers that ever was picked from a bush; but he sometimes makes mistakes. Do you ever make mistakes?"
"Never!" declared the Wizard, boldly.
"Oh, Oz!" said Dorothy; "you made a lot of mistakes when you were in the marvelous Land of Oz."
"Nonsense!" said the little man, turning red—although just then a ray of violet sunlight was on his round face.
♥ "Very good," remarked the Wizard. "I'll use my own hat, if you please. Now, good people, observe me carefully. You see, there is nothing up my sleeve and nothing concealed about my person. Also, my hat is quite empty." He took off his hat and held it upside down, shaking it briskly.
"Let me see it," said the Sorcerer.
He took the hat and examined it carefully, returning it afterward to the Wizard.
"Now," said the little man, "I will create something out of nothing."
He placed the hat upon the glass floor, made a pass with his hand, and then removed the hat, displaying a little white piglet no bigger than a mouse, which began to run around here and there and to grunt and squeal in a tiny, shrill voice.
The people watched it intently, for they had never seen a pig before, big or little. The Wizard reached out, caught the wee creature in his hand, and holding its head between one thumb and finger and its tail between the other thumb and finger he pulled it apart, each of the two parts becoming a whole and separate piglet in an instant.
He placed one upon the floor, so that it could run around, and pulled apart the other, making three piglets in all; and then one of these was pulled apart, making four piglets. The Wizard continued this surprising performance until nine tiny piglets were running about at his feet, all squealing and grunting in a very comical way.
"Now," said the Wizard of Oz, "having created something from nothing, I will make something nothing again."
With this he caught up two of the piglets and pushed them together, so that the two were one. Then he caught up another piglet and pushed it into the first, where it disappeared. And so, one by one, the nine tiny piglets were pushed together until but a single one of the creatures remained. This the Wizard placed underneath his hat and made a mystic sign above it. When he removed his hat the last piglet had disappeared entirely.
♥ "You are indeed a wonderful Wizard, and your powers are greater than those of my Sorcerer."
"He will not be a wonderful Wizard long," remarked Gwig.
"Why not?" enquired the Wizard.
"Because I am going to stop your breath," was the reply. "I perceive that you are curiously constructed, and that if you cannot breathe you cannot keep alive."
The little man looked troubled.
"How long will it take you to stop my breath?" he asked.
"About five minutes. I'm going to begin now. Watch me carefully."
He began making queer signs and passes toward the Wizard; but the little man did not watch him long. Instead, he drew a leathern case from his pocket and took from it several sharp knives, which he joined together, one after another, until they made a long sword. By the time he had attached a handle to this sword he was having much trouble to breathe, as the charm of the Sorcerer was beginning to take effect.
So the Wizard lost no more time, but leaping forward he raised the sharp sword, whirled it once or twice around his head, and then gave a mighty stroke that cut the body of the Sorcerer exactly in two.
Dorothy screamed and expected to see a terrible sight; but as the two halves of the Sorcerer fell apart on the floor she saw that he had no bones or blood inside of him at all, and that the place where he was cut looked much like a sliced turnip or potato.
"Why, he's vegetable!" cried the Wizard, astonished.
"Of course," said the Prince. "We are all vegetable, in this country. Are you not vegetable, also?"
"No," answered the Wizard. "People on top of the earth are all meat. Will your Sorcerer die?"
"Certainly, sir. He is really dead now, and will wither very quickly. So we must plant him at once, that other Sorcerers may grow upon his bush," continued the Prince.
♥ So the procession moved through the streets, the bearers of the Sorcerer first, the Prince next, then Jim drawing the buggy with the strangers inside of it, and last the crowd of vegetable people who had no hearts and could neither smile nor frown.
♥ Several Mangaboos came forward with glass spades and dug a hole in the ground. Then they put the two halves of the Sorcerer into it and covered him up. After that other people brought water from a brook and sprinkled the earth.
"He will sprout very soon," said the Prince, "and grow into a large bush, from which we shall in time be able to pick several very good sorcerers."
"Do all your people grow on bushes?" asked the boy.
"Certainly," was the reply.
♥ The growing Mangaboos were of all sizes, from the blossom that had just turned into a wee baby to the full–grown and almost ripe man or woman. On some of the bushes might be seen a bud, a blossom, a baby, a half–grown person and a ripe one; but even those ready to pluck were motionless and silent, as if devoid of life. This sight explained to Dorothy why she had seen no children among the Mangaboos, a thing she had until now been unable to account for.
"Our people do not acquire their real life until they leave their bushes,' said the Prince. 'You will notice they are all attached to the plants by the soles of their feet, and when they are quite ripe they are easily separated from the stems and at once attain the powers of motion and speech. So while they grow they cannot be said to really live, and they must be picked before they can become good citizens."
"How long do you live, after you are picked?" asked Dorothy.
"That depends upon the care we take of ourselves," he replied. "If we keep cool and moist, and meet with no accidents, we often live for five years. I've been picked over six years, but our family is known to be especially long lived."
"Do you eat?" asked the boy.
"Eat! No, indeed. We are quite solid inside our bodies, and have no need to eat, any more than does a potato."
"But the potatoes sometimes sprout," said Zeb.
"And sometimes we do," answered the Prince; "but that is considered a great misfortune, for then we must be planted at once."
♥ "This," said he, "is the Royal Bush of the Mangaboos. All of our Princes and Rulers have grown upon this one bush from time immemorial."
They stood before it in silent admiration. On the central stalk stood poised the figure of a girl so exquisitely formed and colored and so lovely in the expression of her delicate features that Dorothy thought she had never seen so sweet and adorable a creature in all her life. The maiden's gown was soft as satin and fell about her in ample folds, while dainty lace–like traceries trimmed the bodice and sleeves. Her flesh was fine and smooth as polished ivory, and her poise expressed both dignity and grace.
"Who is this?" asked the Wizard, curiously.
The Prince had been staring hard at the girl on the bush. Now he answered, with a touch of uneasiness in his cold tones:
"She is the Ruler destined to be my successor, for she is a Royal Princess. When she becomes fully ripe I must abandon the sovereignty of the Mangaboos to her."
"Isn't she ripe now?" asked Dorothy.
"Not quite," said he, finally. "It will be several days before she needs to be picked, or at least that is my judgment. I am in no hurry to resign my office and be planted, you may be sure."
"Probably not," declared the Wizard, nodding.
"This is one of the most unpleasant things about our vegetable lives," continued the Prince, with a sigh, "that while we are in our full prime we must give way to another, and be covered up in the ground to sprout and grow and give birth to other people."
♥ "Give me the Star of Royalty!" she commanded.
Slowly he took the shining star from his own brow and placed it upon that of the Princess. Then all the people bowed low to her, and the Prince turned and walked away alone. What became of him afterward our friends never knew.
♥ "I wonder why it is that we can walk so easily in the air."
"Perhaps," answered the Wizard, "it is because we are close to the center of the earth, where the attraction of gravitation is very slight. But I've noticed that many queer things happen in fairy countries."
♥ Next the Wizard poured a pool of oil from the can upon the glass floor, where it covered quite a broad surface. When he lighted the oil a hundred tongues of flame shot up, and the effect was really imposing.
"Now, Princess," exclaimed the Wizard, 'those of your advisors who wished to throw us into the Garden of Clinging Vines must step within this circle of light. If they advised you well, and were in the right, they will not be injured in any way. But if any advised you wrongly, the light will wither him."
The advisors of the Princess did not like this test; but she commanded them to step into the flame and one by one they did so, and were scorched so badly that the air was soon filled with an odor like that of baked potatoes. Some of the Mangaboos fell down and had to be dragged from the fire, and all were so withered that it would be necessary to plant them at once.
♥ "What curious animal is that which is eating the grass on my lawn?" enquired the man's voice.
"That's Jim," said the girl. "He's a horse."
"What is he good for?" was the next question.
"He draws the buggy you see fastened to him, and we ride in the buggy instead of walking," she explained.
"Can he fight?" asked the man's voice.
"No! he can kick pretty hard with his heels, and bite a little; but Jim can't 'zactly fight," she replied.
"Then the bears will get him," said one of the children's voices.
"Bears!" exclaimed Dorothy. "Are these bears here?"
"That is the one evil of our country," answered the invisible man. "Many large and fierce bears roam in the Valley of Voe, and when they can catch any of us they eat us up; but as they cannot see us, we seldom get caught."
"Are the bears invis'ble, too?" asked the girl.
"Yes; for they eat of the dama–fruit, as we all do, and that keeps them from being seen by any eye, whether human or animal."
.."If it makes you invis'ble, why do you eat it?" Dorothy enquired.
"For two reasons, my dear," the woman's voice answered. "The dama–fruit is the most delicious thing that grows, and when it makes us invisible the bears cannot find us to eat us up
♥ "If I could see you I am sure you would be beautiful," she declared.
The girl laughed, and her mother said:
"We are not vain in the Valley of Voe, because we can not display our beauty, and good actions and pleasant ways are what make us lovely to our companions. Yet we can see and appreciate the beauties of nature, the dainty flowers and trees, the green fields and the clear blue of the sky."
"How about the birds and beasts and fishes?" asked Zeb.
"The birds we cannot see, because they love to eat of the damas as much as we do; yet we hear their sweet songs and enjoy them. Neither can we see the cruel bears, for they also eat the fruit. But the fishes that swim in our brooks we can see, and often we catch them to eat."
"It occurs to me you have a great deal to make you happy, even while invisible,"
remarked the Wizard.
♥ "Those are damas," said Dorothy, "and you must never even taste them, Eureka, or you'll get invis'ble, and then we can't see you at all."
The kitten gazed wistfully at the forbidden fruit.
"Does it hurt to be invis'ble?" she asked.
"I don't know," Dorothy answered; "but it would hurt me dre'fully to lose you."
♥ "But tell me," said Dorothy, "how did such a brave Champion happen to let the bears eat him? And if he was invis'ble, and the bears invis'ble, who knows that they really ate him up?"
"The Champion had killed eleven bears in his time," returned the unseen man; "and we know this is true because when any creature is dead the invisible charm of the dama–fruit ceases to be active, and the slain one can be plainly seen by all eyes. When the Champion killed a bear everyone could see it; and when the bears killed the Champion we all saw several pieces of him scattered about, which of course disappeared again when the bears devoured them."
♥ "How can we 'scape?" asked Dorothy, nervously, for an unseen danger is always the hardest to face.
♥ "Sir," said the voice, "you must rub these leaves upon the soles of all your feet, and then you will be able to walk upon the water without sinking below the surface. It is a secret the bears do not know, and we people of Voe usually walk upon the water when we travel, and so escape our enemies."
♥ Jim did not make a mile a minute; but almost before they were aware of it he drew up at the foot of the mountain, so suddenly that the Wizard and Zeb both sailed over the dashboard and landed in the soft grass—where they rolled over several times before they stopped. Dorothy nearly went with them, but she was holding fast to the iron rail of the seat, and that saved her. She squeezed the kitten, though, until it screeched; and then the old cab–horse made several curious sounds that led the little girl to suspect he was laughing at them all.
♥ The opening in the mountain was on the side opposite to the Valley of Voe, and our travellers looked out upon a strange scene. Below them was a vast space, at the bottom of which was a black sea with rolling billows, through which little tongues of flame constantly shot up. Just above them, and almost on a level with their platform, were banks of rolling clouds which constantly shifted position and changed color. The blues and greys were very beautiful, and Dorothy noticed that on the cloud banks sat or reclined fleecy, shadowy forms of beautiful beings who must have been the Cloud Fairies. Mortals who stand upon the earth and look up at the sky cannot often distinguish these forms, but our friends were now so near to the clouds that they observed the dainty fairies very clearly.
♥ They turned around and found a man standing on the floor in the center of the cave, who bowed very politely when he saw he had attracted their attention. He was a very old man, bent nearly double; but the queerest thing about him was his white hair and beard. These were so long that they reached to his feet, and both the hair and the beard were carefully plaited into many braids, and the end of each braid fastened with a bow of colored ribbon.
.."I do not want money," returned the braided man, "for I could not spend it in this deserted place if I had it. But I would like very much a blue hair–ribbon. You will notice my braids are tied with yellow, pink, brown, red, green, white and black; but I have no blue ribbons."
"I'll get you one!" cried Dorothy, who was sorry for the poor man; so she ran back to the buggy and took from her suit–case a pretty blue ribbon. It did her good to see how the braided man's eyes sparkled when he received this treasure.
.."Why did you leave the surface of the earth?" enquired the Wizard.
"I could not help it. It is a sad story, but if you will try to restrain your tears I will tell you about it. On earth I was a manufacturer of Imported Holes for American Swiss Cheese, and I will acknowledge that I supplied a superior article, which was in great demand. Also I made pores for porous plasters and high–grade holes for doughnuts and buttons. Finally I invented a new Adjustable Post–hole, which I thought would make my fortune. I manufactured a large quantity of these post–holes, and having no room in which to store them I set them all end to end and put the top one in the ground. That made an extraordinary long hole, as you may imagine, and reached far down into the earth; and, as I leaned over it to try to see to the bottom, I lost my balance and tumbled in. Unfortunately, the hole led directly into the vast space you see outside this mountain; but I managed to catch a point of rock that projected from this cavern, and so saved myself from tumbling headlong into the black waves beneath, where the tongues of flame that dart out would certainly have consumed me. Here, then, I made my home; and although it is a lonely place I amuse myself making rustles and flutters, and so get along very nicely."
When the braided man had completed this strange tale Dorothy nearly laughed, because it was all so absurd; but the Wizard tapped his forehead significantly, to indicate that he thought the poor man was crazy. So they politely bade him good day, and went back to the outer cavern to resume their journey.
♥ "You see, Eureka," remarked Dorothy, reprovingly, "you are making yourself disliked. There are certain things proper for a kitten to eat; but I never heard of a kitten eating a pig, under any cir'stances."
"Did you ever see such little pigs before?" asked the kitten. "They are no bigger than mice, and I'm sure mice are proper for me to eat."
"It isn't the bigness, dear; its the variety," replied the girl. "These are Mr. Wizard's pets, just as you are my pet, and it wouldn't be any more proper for you to eat them than it would be for Jim to eat you."
"And that's just what I shall do if you don't let those little balls of pork alone," said Jim, glaring at the kitten with his round, big eyes. "If you injure any one of them I'll chew you up instantly."
♥ "I've always loved the piglets," she said; "but they don't love me."
"No one can love a person he's afraid of," asserted Dorothy.
♥ "It's dangerous," growled Jim, in a stubborn tone.
"See here, my good steed," broke in the Wizard, "little Dorothy and I have been in many queer countries in our travels, and always escaped without harm. We've even been to the marvelous Land of Oz—haven't we, Dorothy?—so we don't much care what the Country of the Gargoyles is like. Go ahead, Jim, and whatever happens we'll make the best of it."
♥ "What harm can the Gurgles do?" asked Dorothy. "They have no weapons to hurt us with."
"Each of their arms is a wooden club," answered the little man, "and I'm sure the creatures mean mischief, by the looks of their eyes. Even these revolvers can merely succeed in damaging a few of their wooden bodies, and after that we will be at their mercy."
"But why fight at all, in that case?" asked the girl.
"So I may die with a clear conscience," returned the Wizard, gravely. "It's every man's duty to do the best he knows how; and I'm going to do it."
♥ To one of these houses which had neither doors nor windows, but only one broad opening far up underneath the roof, the prisoners were brought by their captors. The Gargoyles roughly pushed them into the opening, where there was a platform, and then flew away and left them. As they had no wings the strangers could not fly away, and if they jumped down from such a height they would surely be killed. The creatures had sense enough to reason that way, and the only mistake they made was in supposing the earth people were unable to overcome such ordinary difficulties.
♥ "They are probably keeping us for some ceremony," the Wizard answered, reflectively; "but there is no doubt they intend to kill us as dead as possible in a short time."
"As dead as poss'ble would be pretty dead, wouldn't it?" asked Dorothy.
"Yes, my dear. But we have no need to worry about that just now."
♥ "No; she just dug her claws into the wood and climbed down the sides of this house to the ground."
"She couldn't climb down, Jim," said Dorothy. "To climb means to go up."
.."To 'climb down' is sometimes used as a figure of speech," remarked the Wizard.
"Well, this was a figure of a cat," said Jim, "and she went down, anyhow, whether she climbed or crept."
♥ "You must be very quiet," warned the kitten; "for if you make the least noise the Gargoyles will wake up. They can hear a pin drop."
"I'm not going to drop a pin," said Zeb.
♥ So the horse gave a groan, flopped its four wings all together, and flew away from the platform. Dorothy was a little anxious about the success of their trip, for the way Jim arched his long neck and spread out his bony legs as he fluttered and floundered through the air was enough to make anybody nervous. He groaned, too, as if frightened, and the wings creaked dreadfully because the Wizard had forgotten to oil them; but they kept fairly good time with the wings of the buggy, so that they made excellent progress from the start. The only thing that anyone could complain of with justice was the fact that they wobbled first up and then down, as if the road were rocky instead of being as smooth as the air could make it.
♥ Inside the archway were several doors, leading to different rooms built into the mountain, and Zeb and the Wizard lifted these wooden doors from their hinges and tossed them all on the flames.
"That will prove a barrier for some time to come," said the little man, smiling pleasantly all over his wrinkled face at the success of their stratagem. "Perhaps the flames will set fire to all that miserable wooden country, and if it does the loss will be very small and the Gargoyles never will be missed."
♥ The cave was circular in shape, and all around its edge, near to the ground, appeared groups of dull yellow lights, two of them being always side by side. These were motionless at first, but soon began to flicker more brightly and to sway slowly from side to side and then up and down.
.."Eureka sees better in the dark than we can," whispered Dorothy. "Tell us, dear, what do the creatures look like?" she asked, addressing her pet.
"I simply can't describe 'em," answered the kitten, shuddering. "Their eyes are like pie–plates and their mouths like coal–scuttles. But their bodies don't seem very big."
"Where are they?" enquired the girl.
"They are in little pockets all around the edge of this cavern. Oh, Dorothy—you can't imagine what horrid things they are! They're uglier than the Gargoyles."
"Tut–tut! be careful how you criticise your neighbors," spoke a rasping voice near by. "As a matter of fact you are rather ugly–looking creatures yourselves, and I'm sure mother has often told us we were the loveliest and prettiest things in all the world."
Hearing these words our friends turned in the direction of the sound, and the Wizard held his lanterns so that their light would flood one of the little pockets in the rock.
"Why, it's a dragon!" he exclaimed.
"No," answered the owner of the big yellow eyes which were blinking at them so steadily; "you are wrong about that. We hope to grow to be dragons some day, but just now we're only dragonettes."
"What's that?" asked Dorothy, gazing fearfully at the great scaley head, the yawning mouth and the big eyes.
"Young dragons, of course; but we are not allowed to call ourselves real dragons until we get our full growth," was the reply. "The big dragons are very proud, and don't think children amount to much; but mother says that some day we will all be very powerful and important."
"Where is your mother?" asked the Wizard, anxiously looking around.
"She has gone up to the top of the earth to hunt for our dinner. If she has good luck she will bring us an elephant, or a brace of rhinoceri, or perhaps a few dozen people to stay our hunger."
♥ "We don't wish to be eaten by such awful beasts."
"Permit me to say," returned the dragonette, "that you are rather impolite to call us names, knowing that we cannot resent your insults. We consider ourselves very beautiful in appearance, for mother has told us so, and she knows. And we are of an excellent family and have a pedigree that I challenge any humans to equal, as it extends back about twenty thousand years, to the time of the famous Green Dragon of Atlantis, who lived in a time when humans had not yet been created. Can you match that pedigree, little girl?"
"Well," said Dorothy, "I was born on a farm in Kansas, and I guess that's being just as 'spectable and haughty as living in a cave with your tail tied to a rock. If it isn't I'll have to stand it, that's all."
♥ "I was sure it would come to this, in the end," remarked the old cab–horse. "Folks don't fall into the middle of the earth and then get back again to tell of their adventures—not in real life. And the whole thing has been unnatural because that cat and I are both able to talk your language, and to understand the words you say."
"And so can the nine tiny piglets,' added Eureka. 'Don't forget them, for I may have to eat them, after all."
'I've heard animals talk before,' said Dorothy, 'and no harm came of it.'
"Were you ever before shut up in a cave, far under the earth, with no way of getting out?" enquired the horse, seriously.
"No," answered Dorothy. "But don't you lose heart, Jim, for I'm sure this isn't the end of our story, by any means."
♥ "It's true enough," returned the girl, earnestly. "Our friend Oz is merely a humbug wizard, for he once proved it to me. He can do several very wonderful things—if he knows how. But he can't wiz a single thing if he hasn't the tools and machinery to work with."
"Thank you, my dear, for doing me justice," responded the Wizard, gratefully. "To be accused of being a real wizard, when I'm not, is a slander I will not tamely submit to. But I am one of the greatest humbug wizards that ever lived, and you will realize this when we have all starved together and our bones are scattered over the floor of this lonely cave."
"I don't believe we'll realize anything, when it comes to that," remarked Dorothy, who had been deep in thought. "But I'm not going to scatter my bones just yet, because I need them, and you prob'ly need yours, too."
"We are helpless to escape," sighed the Wizard.
"We may be helpless," answered Dorothy, smiling at him, "but there are others who can do more than we can. Cheer up, friends."
♥ "And Ozma has an enchanted picture hanging in her room that shows her the exact scene where any of her friends may be, at any time she chooses. All she has to do is to say: 'I wonder what So–and–so is doing,' and at once the picture shows where her friend is and what the friend is doing. That's real magic, Mr. Wizard; isn't it? Well, every day at four o'clock Ozma has promised to look at me in that picture, and if I am in need of help I am to make her a certain sign and she will put on the Nome King's Magic Belt and wish me to be with her in Oz."
.."And when you make a sign she will bring you to her in the Land of Oz?" continued the boy.
"That's it, exactly; by means of the Magic Belt."
"Then," said the Wizard, "you will be saved, little Dorothy; and I am very glad of it. The rest of us will die much more cheerfully when we know you have escaped our sad fate."
..The time dragged wearily enough to the eager watchers, but finally the Wizard announced that four o'clock had arrived, and Dorothy caught up the kitten and began to make the signal that had been agreed upon to the far–away, invisible Ozma.
♥ "Please tell me, Mr. Wizard, whether you called yourself Oz after this great country, or whether you believe my country is called Oz after you. It is a matter that I have long wished to enquire about, because you are of a strange race and my own name is Ozma. No one, I am sure, is better able to explain this mystery than you."
"That is true," answered the little Wizard; "therefore it will give me pleasure to explain my connection with your country. In the first place, I must tell you that I was born in Omaha, and my father, who was a politician, named me Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, Diggs being the last name because he could think of no more to go before it. Taken altogether, it was a dreadfully long name to weigh down a poor innocent child, and one of the hardest lessons I ever learned was to remember my own name. When I grew up I just called myself O. Z., because the other initials were P–I–N–H–E–A–D; and that spelled 'pinhead,' which was a reflection on my intelligence."
"Surely no one could blame you for cutting your name short," said Ozma, sympathetically. "But didn't you cut it almost too short?"
"Perhaps so," replied the Wizard. "When a young man I ran away from home and joined a circus. I used to call myself a Wizard, and do tricks of ventriloquism."
"What does that mean?" asked the Princess.
"Throwing my voice into any object I pleased, to make it appear that the object was speaking instead of me. Also I began to make balloon ascensions. On my balloon and on all the other articles I used in the circus I painted the two initials: 'O. Z.', to show that those things belonged to me.
"One day my balloon ran away with me and brought me across the deserts to this beautiful country. When the people saw me come from the sky they naturally thought me some superior creature, and bowed down before me. I told them I was a Wizard, and showed them some easy tricks that amazed them; and when they saw the initials painted on the balloon they called me Oz."
"Now I begin to understand," said the Princess, smiling.
"At that time," continued the Wizard, busily eating his soup while talking, "there were four separate countries in this Land, each one of the four being ruled by a Witch. But the people thought my power was greater than that of the Witches; and perhaps the Witches thought so too, for they never dared oppose me. I ordered the Emerald City to be built just where the four countries cornered together, and when it was completed I announced myself the Ruler of the Land of Oz, which included all the four countries of the Munchkins, the Gillikins, the Winkies and the Quadlings. Over this Land I ruled in peace for many years, until I grew old and longed to see my native city once again. So when Dorothy was first blown to this place by a cyclone I arranged to go away with her in a balloon; but the balloon escaped too soon and carried me back alone. After many adventures I reached Omaha, only to find that all my old friends were dead or had moved away. So, having nothing else to do, I joined a circus again, and made my balloon ascensions until the earthquake caught me."
"That is quite a history," said Ozma; "but there is a little more history about the Land of Oz that you do not seem to understand—perhaps for the reason that no one ever told it you. Many years before you came here this Land was united under one Ruler, as it is now, and the Ruler's name was always 'Oz', which means in our language 'Great and Good'; or, if the Ruler happened to be a woman, her name was always 'Ozma.' But once upon a time four Witches leagued together to depose the king and rule the four parts of the kingdom themselves; so when the Ruler, my grandfather, was hunting one day, one Wicked Witch named Mombi stole him and carried him away, keeping him a close prisoner. Then the Witches divided up the kingdom, and ruled the four parts of it until you came here. That was why the people were so glad to see you, and why they thought from your initials that you were their rightful ruler."
"But, at that time," said the Wizard, thoughtfully, "there were two Good Witches and two Wicked Witches ruling in the land."
"Yes," replied Ozma, "because a good Witch had conquered Mombi in the North and Glinda the Good had conquered the evil Witch in the South."
♥ "We owe a great deal to the Wonderful Wizard," continued the Princess, "for it was you who built this splendid Emerald City."
"Your people built it," he answered. "I only bossed the job, as we say in Omaha."
♥ "So, as you are now too old to wander abroad and work in a circus, I offer you a home here as long as you live. You shall be the Official Wizard of my kingdom, and be treated with every respect and consideration."
"I accept your kind offer with gratitude, gracious Princess," the little man said, in a soft voice, and they could all see that tear–drops were standing in his keen old eyes. It meant a good deal to him to secure a home like this.
"He's only a humbug Wizard, though," said Dorothy, smiling at him.
"And that is the safest kind of a Wizard to have," replied Ozma, promptly.
♥ "This," said Princess Ozma, "is my friend Mr. H. M. Woggle–Bug, T. E., who assisted me one time when I was in great distress, and is now the Dean of the Royal College of Athletic Science."
"Ah," said the Wizard; "I'm pleased to meet so distinguished a personage."
"H. M.," said the Woggle–Bug, pompously, "means Highly Magnified; and T. E. means Thoroughly Educated. I am, in reality, a very big bug, and doubtless the most intelligent being in all this broad domain."
"How well you disguise it," said the Wizard. "But I don't doubt your word in the least."
"Nobody doubts it, sir," replied the Woggle–Bug, and drawing a book from its pocket the strange insect turned its back on the company and sat down in a corner to read.
Nobody minded this rudeness, which might have seemed more impolite in one less thoroughly educated; so they straightway forgot him and joined in a merry conversation that kept them well amused until bed–time arrived.
♥ "What would your Highness like for dinner?"
"Highness!" repeated Jim, who was unused to such titles.
"You are at least six feet high, and that is higher than any other animal in this country," said the Steward.
"Well, my Highness would like some oats," declared the horse.
♥ Jim's eyes stuck out as much as those of the Sawhorse, and he stared at the creature with his ears erect and his long head drawn back until it rested against his arched neck.
In this comical position the two horses circled slowly around each other for a while, each being unable to realize what the singular thing might be which it now beheld for the first time. Then Jim exclaimed:
"For goodness sake, what sort of a being are you?"
"I'm a Sawhorse," replied the other.
"Oh; I believe I've heard of you," said the cab–horse; "but you are unlike anything that I expected to see."
"I do not doubt it," the Sawhorse observed, with a tone of pride. "I am considered quite unusual."
"You are, indeed. But a rickety wooden thing like you has no right to be alive."
"I couldn't help it," returned the other, rather crestfallen. "Ozma sprinkled me with a magic powder, and I just had to live. I know I'm not much account; but I'm the only horse in all the Land of Oz, so they treat me with great respect."
"You, a horse!"
"Oh, not a real one, of course. There are no real horses here at all. But I'm a splendid imitation of one."
Jim gave an indignant neigh.
"Look at me!" he cried. "Behold a real horse!"
The wooden animal gave a start, and then examined the other intently.
"Is it possible that you are a Real Horse?" he murmured.
"Not only possible, but true," replied Jim, who was gratified by the impression he had created. "It is proved by my fine points. For example, look at the long hairs on my tail, with which I can whisk away the flies."
"The flies never trouble me," said the Saw–Horse.
"And notice my great strong teeth, with which I nibble the grass."
"It is not necessary for me to eat," observed the Saw–horse.
"Also examine my broad chest, which enables me to draw deep, full breaths," said Jim, proudly.
"I have no need to breathe," returned the other.
"No; you miss many pleasures," remarked the cab–horse, pityingly. "You do not know the relief of brushing away a fly that has bitten you, nor the delight of eating delicious food, nor the satisfaction of drawing a long breath of fresh, pure air. You may be an imitation of a horse, but you're a mighty poor one. ..Your chief fault, my friend, is in being made of wood, and that I suppose you cannot help. Real horses, like myself, are made of flesh and blood and bones."
"I can see the bones all right," replied the Sawhorse, "and they are admirable and distinct. Also I can see the flesh. But the blood, I suppose, is tucked away inside."
"Exactly," said Jim.
"What good is it?" asked the Sawhorse.
Jim did not know, but he would not tell the Sawhorse that.
"If anything cuts me," he replied, "the blood runs out to show where I am cut. You, poor thing! cannot even bleed when you are hurt."
"But I am never hurt," said the Sawhorse. "Once in a while I get broken up some, but I am easily repaired and put in good order again. And I never feel a break or a splinter in the least."
Jim was almost tempted to envy the wooden horse for being unable to feel pain; but the creature was so absurdly unnatural that he decided he would not change places with it under any circumstances.
♥ "And this is the Hungry Tiger, the terror of the jungle, who longs to devour fat babies but is prevented by his conscience from doing so."
.."In the forest he would be thought ungainly, because his face is stretched out and his neck is uselessly long. His joints, I notice, are swollen and overgrown, and he lacks flesh and is old in years."
"And dreadfully tough," added the Hungry Tiger, in a sad voice. "My conscience would never permit me to eat so tough a morsel as the Real Horse."
"I'm glad of that," said Jim; "for I, also, have a conscience, and it tells me not to crush in your skull with a blow of my powerful hoof."
If he thought to frighten the striped beast by such language he was mistaken. The Tiger seemed to smile, and winked one eye slowly.
"You have a good conscience, friend Horse," it said, "and if you attend to its teachings it will do much to protect you from harm. Some day I will let you try to crush in my skull, and afterward you will know more about tigers than you do now. .."He's a vegetarian," remarked the Tiger, as the horse began to munch the clover. "If I could eat grass I would not need a conscience, for nothing could then tempt me to devour babies and lambs."
♥ But although the Munchkin was hardly tall enough to come to Zeb's shoulder he was so strong and clever that he laid the boy three times on his back with apparent ease.
Zeb was greatly astonished at his defeat, and when the pretty Princess joined her people in laughing at him he proposed a boxing–match with the Munchkin, to which the little Ozite readily agreed. But the first time that Zeb managed to give him a sharp box on the ears the Munchkin sat down upon the ground and cried until the tears ran down his whiskers, because he had been hurt. This made Zeb laugh, in turn, and the boy felt comforted to find that Ozma laughed as merrily at her weeping subject as she had at him.
♥ Then the Tin Woodman cut a straight and strong limb from a tree with his gleaming axe and made a new leg and a new ear for the Sawhorse; and when they had been securely fastened in place Princess Ozma took the coronet from her own head and placed it upon that of the winner of the race. Said she:
"My friend, I reward you for your swiftness by proclaiming you Prince of Horses, whether of wood or of flesh; and hereafter all other horses—in the Land of Oz, at least—must be considered imitations, and you the real Champion of your race."
♥ "I will summon the Court to meet in the Throne Room at three o'clock," replied Ozma. "I myself will be the judge, and the kitten shall have a fair trial."
"What will happen if she is guilty?" asked Dorothy.
"She must die," answered the Princess.
"Nine times?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"As many times as is necessary," was the reply.
♥ They now separated to prepare for the sad ceremony; for whenever an appeal is made to law sorrow is almost certain to follow—even in a fairyland like Oz.
♥ The Wizard, when he returned to his own room, was exceedingly thoughtful. He had no doubt Eureka had eaten his piglet, but he realized that a kitten cannot be depended upon at all times to act properly, since its nature is to destroy small animals and even birds for food, and the tame cat that we keep in our houses today is descended from the wild cat of the jungle—a very ferocious creature, indeed. The Wizard knew that if Dorothy's pet was found guilty and condemned to death the little girl would be made very unhappy; so, although he grieved over the piglet's sad fate as much as any of them, he resolved to save Eureka's life.
Sending for the Tin Woodman the Wizard took him into a corner and whispered:
"My friend, it is your duty to defend the white kitten and try to save her, but I fear you will fail because Eureka has long wished to eat a piglet, to my certain knowledge, and my opinion is that she has been unable to resist the temptation. Yet her disgrace and death would not bring back the piglet, but only serve to make Dorothy unhappy. So I intend to prove the kitten's innocence by a trick."
.."I do not like to deceive my friends,' replied the Tin Woodman; 'still, my kind heart urges me to save Eureka's life, and I can usually trust my heart to do the right thing. So I will do as you say, friend Wizard."
♥ "Your Royal Highness and Fellow Citizens," he began; "the small cat you see a prisoner before you is accused of the crime of first murdering and then eating our esteemed Ruler's fat piglet—or else first eating and then murdering it. In either case a grave crime has been committed which deserves a grave punishment."
"Do you mean my kitten must be put in a grave?" asked Dorothy.
"Don't interrupt, little girl," said the Woggle–Bug. "When I get my thoughts arranged in good order I do not like to have anything upset them or throw them into confusion."
"If your thoughts were any good they wouldn't become confused," remarked the Scarecrow, earnestly.
"Is this a trial of thoughts, or of kittens?" demanded the Woggle–Bug.
"It's a trial of one kitten," replied the Scarecrow; "but your manner is a trial to us all."
♥ "Respected Jury and dearly beloved Ozma, I pray you not to judge this feline prisoner unfeelingly. I do not think the innocent kitten can be guilty, and surely it is unkind to accuse a luncheon of being a murder. Eureka is the sweet pet of a lovely little girl whom we all admire, and gentleness and innocence are her chief virtues. Look at the kitten's intelligent eyes;" (here Eureka closed her eyes sleepily) "gaze at her smiling countenance!" (here Eureka snarled and showed her teeth) 'mark the tender pose of her soft, padded little hands!" (Here Eureka bared her sharp claws and scratched at the bars of the cage.) "Would such a gentle animal be guilty of eating a fellow creature? No; a thousand times, no!"
"Oh, cut it short," said Eureka; "you've talked long enough."
"I'm trying to defend you," remonstrated the Tin Woodman.
"Then say something sensible," retorted the kitten. "Tell them it would be foolish for me to eat the piglet, because I had sense enough to know it would raise a row if I did. But don't try to make out I'm too innocent to eat a fat piglet if I could do it and not be found out. I imagine it would taste mighty good."
♥ Then Zeb brought out Jim, all harnessed to the buggy, and took his seat.
"I'm much obliged for all your kindness,' said the boy, 'and very grateful to you for saving my life and sending me home again after all the good times I've had. I think this is the loveliest country in the world; but not being fairies Jim and I feel we ought to be where we belong—and that's at the ranch. Good–bye, everybody!"
♥ "Goodness gracious! It's Zeb—and Jim, too!" he exclaimed. "Where in the world have you been, my lad?"
"Why, in the world, Uncle," answered Zeb, with a laugh.