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Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Part 2 out of 3

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"Then we will presently discuss this matter," said Ozma, "and try to find
a way to liberate your aunt and cousins. But first you must liberate
another prisoner--the little girl you have locked up in your tower."

"Of course," said Langwidere, readily. "I had forgotten all about
her. That was yesterday, you know, and a Princess cannot be expected
to remember today what she did yesterday. Come with me, and I will
release the prisoner at once."

So Ozma followed her, and they passed up the stairs that led to the
room in the tower.

While they were gone Ozma's followers remained in the drawing-room,
and the Scarecrow was leaning against a form that he had mistaken for
a copper statue when a harsh, metallic voice said suddenly in his ear:

"Get off my foot, please. You are scratch-ing my pol-ish."

"Oh, excuse me!" he replied, hastily drawing back. "Are you alive?"

"No," said Tiktok, "I am on-ly a ma-chine. But I can think and speak
and act, when I am pro-per-ly wound up. Just now my ac-tion is run
down, and Dor-o-thy has the key to it."

"That's all right," replied the Scarecrow. "Dorothy will soon be free,
and then she'll attend to your works. But it must be a great
misfortune not to be alive. I'm sorry for you."

"Why?" asked Tiktok.

"Because you have no brains, as I have," said the Scarecrow.

"Oh, yes, I have," returned Tiktok. "I am fit-ted with Smith &
Tin-ker's Im-proved Com-bi-na-tion Steel Brains. They are what make
me think. What sort of brains are you fit-ted with?"

"I don't know," admitted the Scarecrow. "They were given to me by the
great Wizard of Oz, and I didn't get a chance to examine them before
he put them in. But they work splendidly and my conscience is very
active. Have you a conscience?"

"No," said Tiktok.

"And no heart, I suppose?" added the Tin Woodman, who had been
listening with interest to this conversation.

"No," said Tiktok.

"Then," continued the Tin Woodman, "I regret to say that you are
greatly inferior to my friend the Scarecrow, and to myself. For we
are both alive, and he has brains which do not need to be wound up,
while I have an excellent heart that is continually beating in my bosom."

"I con-grat-u-late you," replied Tiktok. "I can-not help be-ing your
in-fer-i-or for I am a mere ma-chine. When I am wound up I do my
du-ty by go-ing just as my ma-chin-er-y is made to go. You have no
i-de-a how full of ma-chin-er-y I am."

"I can guess," said the Scarecrow, looking at the machine man
curiously. "Some day I'd like to take you apart and see just how you
are made."

"Do not do that, I beg of you," said Tiktok; "for you could not put me
to-geth-er a-gain, and my use-ful-ness would be de-stroyed."

"Oh! are you useful?" asked the Scarecrow, surprised.

"Ve-ry," said Tiktok.

"In that case," the Scarecrow kindly promised, "I won't fool with your
interior at all. For I am a poor mechanic, and might mix you up."

"Thank you," said Tiktok.

Just then Ozma re-entered the room, leading Dorothy by the hand and
followed closely by the Princess Langwidere.

8. The Hungry Tiger

The first thing Dorothy did was to rush into the embrace of the
Scarecrow, whose painted face beamed with delight as he pressed her
form to his straw-padded bosom. Then the Tin Woodman embraced
her--very gently, for he knew his tin arms might hurt her if he
squeezed too roughly.

These greetings having been exchanged, Dorothy took the key to Tiktok
from her pocket and wound up the machine man's action, so that he
could bow properly when introduced to the rest of the company. While
doing this she told them how useful Tiktok had been to her, and both
the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman shook hands with the machine once
more and thanked him for protecting their friend.

Then Dorothy asked: "Where is Billina?"

"I don't know," said the Scarecrow. "Who is Billina?"

"She's a yellow hen who is another friend of mine," answered the girl,
anxiously. "I wonder what has become of her?"

"She is in the chicken house, in the back yard," said the Princess.
"My drawing-room is no place for hens."

Without waiting to hear more Dorothy ran to get Billina, and just
outside the door she came upon the Cowardly Lion, still hitched to the
chariot beside the great Tiger. The Cowardly Lion had a big bow of
blue ribbon fastened to the long hair between his ears, and the Tiger
wore a bow of red ribbon on his tail, just in front of the bushy end.

In an instant Dorothy was hugging the huge Lion joyfully.

"I'm SO glad to see you again!" she cried.

"I am also glad to see you, Dorothy," said the Lion. "We've had some
fine adventures together, haven't we?"

"Yes, indeed," she replied. "How are you?"

"As cowardly as ever," the beast answered in a meek voice. "Every
little thing scares me and makes my heart beat fast. But let me
introduce to you a new friend of mine, the Hungry Tiger."

"Oh! Are you hungry?" she asked, turning to the other beast, who was
just then yawning so widely that he displayed two rows of terrible
teeth and a mouth big enough to startle anyone.

"Dreadfully hungry," answered the Tiger, snapping his jaws together
with a fierce click.

"Then why don't you eat something?" she asked.

"It's no use," said the Tiger sadly. "I've tried that, but I always
get hungry again."

"Why, it is the same with me," said Dorothy. "Yet I keep on eating."

"But you eat harmless things, so it doesn't matter," replied the
Tiger. "For my part, I'm a savage beast, and have an appetite for all
sorts of poor little living creatures, from a chipmunk to fat babies."

"How dreadful!" said Dorothy.

"Isn't it, though?" returned the Hungry Tiger, licking his lips with
his long red tongue. "Fat babies! Don't they sound delicious? But
I've never eaten any, because my conscience tells me it is wrong. If
I had no conscience I would probably eat the babies and then get
hungry again, which would mean that I had sacrificed the poor babies
for nothing. No; hungry I was born, and hungry I shall die. But I'll
not have any cruel deeds on my conscience to be sorry for."

"I think you are a very good tiger," said Dorothy, patting the huge
head of the beast.

"In that you are mistaken," was the reply. "I am a good beast,
perhaps, but a disgracefully bad tiger. For it is the nature of
tigers to be cruel and ferocious, and in refusing to eat harmless
living creatures I am acting as no good tiger has ever before acted.
That is why I left the forest and joined my friend the Cowardly Lion."

"But the Lion is not really cowardly," said Dorothy. "I have seen him
act as bravely as can be."

"All a mistake, my dear," protested the Lion gravely. "To others I
may have seemed brave, at times, but I have never been in any danger
that I was not afraid."

"Nor I," said Dorothy, truthfully. "But I must go and set free
Billina, and then I will see you again."

She ran around to the back yard of the palace and soon found the chicken
house, being guided to it by a loud cackling and crowing and a distracting
hubbub of sounds such as chickens make when they are excited.

Something seemed to be wrong in the chicken house, and when Dorothy
looked through the slats in the door she saw a group of hens and
roosters huddled in one corner and watching what appeared to be a
whirling ball of feathers. It bounded here and there about the
chicken house, and at first Dorothy could not tell what it was, while
the screeching of the chickens nearly deafened her.

But suddenly the bunch of feathers stopped whirling, and then, to her
amazement, the girl saw Billina crouching upon the prostrate form of a
speckled rooster. For an instant they both remained motionless, and
then the yellow hen shook her wings to settle the feathers and walked
toward the door with a strut of proud defiance and a cluck of victory,
while the speckled rooster limped away to the group of other chickens,
trailing his crumpled plumage in the dust as he went.

"Why, Billina!" cried Dorothy, in a shocked voice; "have you
been fighting?"

"I really think I have," retorted Billina. "Do you think I'd let that
speckled villain of a rooster lord it over ME, and claim to run this
chicken house, as long as I'm able to peck and scratch? Not if my
name is Bill!"

"It isn't Bill, it's Billina; and you're talking slang, which is very
undig'n'fied," said Dorothy, reprovingly. "Come here, Billina, and
I'll let you out; for Ozma of Oz is here, and has set us free."

So the yellow hen came to the door, which Dorothy unlatched for her to
pass through, and the other chickens silently watched them from their
corner without offering to approach nearer.

The girl lifted her friend in her arms and exclaimed:

"Oh, Billina! how dreadful you look. You've lost a lot of feathers,
and one of your eyes is nearly pecked out, and your comb is bleeding!"

"That's nothing," said Billina. "Just look at the speckled rooster!
Didn't I do him up brown?"

Dorothy shook her head.

"I don't 'prove of this, at all," she said, carrying Billina away
toward the palace. "It isn't a good thing for you to 'sociate with
those common chickens. They would soon spoil your good manners, and
you wouldn't be respec'able any more."

"I didn't ask to associate with them," replied Billina. "It is that
cross old Princess who is to blame. But I was raised in the United
States, and I won't allow any one-horse chicken of the Land of Ev to run
over me and put on airs, as long as I can lift a claw in self-defense."

"Very well, Billina," said Dorothy. "We won't talk about it any more."

Soon they came to the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger to whom the
girl introduced the Yellow Hen.

"Glad to meet any friend of Dorothy's," said the Lion, politely. "To
judge by your present appearance, you are not a coward, as I am."

"Your present appearance makes my mouth water," said the Tiger,
looking at Billina greedily. "My, my! how good you would taste if I
could only crunch you between my jaws. But don't worry. You would only
appease my appetite for a moment; so it isn't worth while to eat you."

"Thank you," said the hen, nestling closer in Dorothy's arms.

"Besides, it wouldn't be right," continued the Tiger, looking steadily
at Billina and clicking his jaws together.

"Of course not," cried Dorothy, hastily. "Billina is my friend, and
you mustn't ever eat her under any circ'mstances."

"I'll try to remember that," said the Tiger; "but I'm a little
absent-minded, at times."

Then Dorothy carried her pet into the drawing-room of the palace,
where Tiktok, being invited to do so by Ozma, had seated himself
between the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman. Opposite to them sat Ozma
herself and the Princess Langwidere, and beside them there was a
vacant chair for Dorothy.

Around this important group was ranged the Army of Oz, and as Dorothy
looked at the handsome uniforms of the Twenty-Seven she said:

"Why, they seem to be all officers."

"They are, all except one," answered the Tin Woodman. "I have in my
Army eight Generals, six Colonels, seven Majors and five Captains,
besides one private for them to command. I'd like to promote the
private, for I believe no private should ever be in public life; and
I've also noticed that officers usually fight better and are more
reliable than common soldiers. Besides, the officers are more
important looking, and lend dignity to our army."

"No doubt you are right," said Dorothy, seating herself beside Ozma.

"And now," announced the girlish Ruler of Oz, "we will hold a solemn
conference to decide the best manner of liberating the royal family of
this fair Land of Ev from their long imprisonment."

9. The Royal Family of Ev

The Tin Woodman was the first to address the meeting.

"To begin with," said he, "word came to our noble and illustrious
Ruler, Ozma of Oz, that the wife and ten children--five boys and five
girls--of the former King of Ev, by name Evoldo, have been enslaved by
the Nome King and are held prisoners in his underground palace. Also
that there was no one in Ev powerful enough to release them.
Naturally our Ozma wished to undertake the adventure of liberating the
poor prisoners; but for a long time she could find no way to cross the
great desert between the two countries. Finally she went to a
friendly sorceress of our land named Glinda the Good, who heard the
story and at once presented Ozma a magic carpet, which would
continually unroll beneath our feet and so make a comfortable path for
us to cross the desert. As soon as she had received the carpet our
gracious Ruler ordered me to assemble our army, which I did. You
behold in these bold warriors the pick of all the finest soldiers of
Oz; and, if we are obliged to fight the Nome King, every officer as
well as the private, will battle fiercely unto death."

Then Tiktok spoke.

"Why should you fight the Nome King?" he asked. "He has done no wrong."

"No wrong!" cried Dorothy. "Isn't it wrong to imprison a queen mother
and her ten children?"

"They were sold to the Nome King by King Ev-ol-do," replied Tiktok.
"It was the King of Ev who did wrong, and when he re-al-ized what he
had done he jumped in-to the sea and drowned him-self."

"This is news to me," said Ozma, thoughtfully. "I had supposed the
Nome King was all to blame in the matter. But, in any case, he must
be made to liberate the prisoners."

"My uncle Evoldo was a very wicked man," declared the Princess
Langwidere. "If he had drowned himself before he sold his family, no
one would have cared. But he sold them to the powerful Nome King in
exchange for a long life, and afterward destroyed the life by jumping
into the sea."

"Then," said Ozma, "he did not get the long life, and the Nome King
must give up the prisoners. Where are they confined?"

"No one knows, exactly," replied the Princess. "For the king, whose
name is Roquat of the Rocks, owns a splendid palace underneath the
great mountain which is at the north end of this kingdom, and he has
transformed the queen and her children into ornaments and bric-a-brac
with which to decorate his rooms."

"I'd like to know," said Dorothy, "who this Nome King is?"

"I will tell you," replied Ozma. "He is said to be the Ruler of the
Underground World, and commands the rocks and all that the rocks
contain. Under his rule are many thousands of the Nomes, who are
queerly shaped but powerful sprites that labor at the furnaces and
forges of their king, making gold and silver and other metals which
they conceal in the crevices of the rocks, so that those living upon
the earth's surface can only find them with great difficulty. Also
they make diamonds and rubies and emeralds, which they hide in the
ground; so that the kingdom of the Nomes is wonderfully rich, and all
we have of precious stones and silver and gold is what we take from
the earth and rocks where the Nome King has hidden them."

"I understand," said Dorothy, nodding her little head wisely.

"For the reason that we often steal his treasures," continued Ozma,
"the Ruler of the Underground World is not fond of those who live upon
the earth's surface, and never appears among us. If we wish to see
King Roquat of the Rocks, we must visit his own country, where he is
all powerful, and therefore it will be a dangerous undertaking."

"But, for the sake of the poor prisoners," said Dorothy, "we ought to
do it."

"We shall do it," replied the Scarecrow, "although it requires a lot
of courage for me to go near to the furnaces of the Nome King. For I
am only stuffed with straw, and a single spark of fire might destroy
me entirely."

"The furnaces may also melt my tin," said the Tin Woodman;
"but I am going."

"I can't bear heat," remarked the Princess Langwidere, yawning lazily,
"so I shall stay at home. But I wish you may have success in your
undertaking, for I am heartily tired of ruling this stupid kingdom,
and I need more leisure in which to admire my beautiful heads."

"We do not need you," said Ozma. "For, if with the aid of my brave
followers I cannot accomplish my purpose, then it would be useless for
you to undertake the journey."

"Quite true," sighed the Princess. "So, if you'll excuse me, I will
now retire to my cabinet. I've worn this head quite awhile, and I
want to change it for another."

When she had left them (and you may be sure no one was sorry to see
her go) Ozma said to Tiktok:

"Will you join our party?"

"I am the slave of the girl Dor-oth-y, who rescued me from pris-on,"
replied the machine. "Where she goes I will go."

"Oh, I am going with my friends, of course," said Dorothy, quickly.
"I wouldn't miss the fun for anything. Will you go, too, Billina?"

"To be sure," said Billina in a careless tone. She was smoothing down
the feathers of her back and not paying much attention.

"Heat is just in her line," remarked the Scarecrow. "If she is nicely
roasted, she will be better than ever."

"Then" said Ozma, "we will arrange to start for the Kingdom of the
Nomes at daybreak tomorrow. And, in the meantime, we will rest and
prepare ourselves for the journey."

Although Princess Langwidere did not again appear to her guests, the
palace servants waited upon the strangers from Oz and did everything
in their power to make the party comfortable. There were many vacant
rooms at their disposal, and the brave Army of twenty-seven was easily
provided for and liberally feasted.

The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger were unharnessed from the
chariot and allowed to roam at will throughout the palace, where they
nearly frightened the servants into fits, although they did no harm at
all. At one time Dorothy found the little maid Nanda crouching in
terror in a corner, with the Hungry Tiger standing before her.

"You certainly look delicious," the beast was saying. "Will you
kindly give me permission to eat you?"

"No, no, no!" cried the maid in reply.

"Then," said the Tiger, yawning frightfully, "please to get me about
thirty pounds of tenderloin steak, cooked rare, with a peck of boiled
potatoes on the side, and five gallons of ice-cream for dessert."

"I--I'll do the best I can!" said Nanda, and she ran away as fast as
she could go.

"Are you so very hungry?" asked Dorothy, in wonder.

"You can hardly imagine the size of my appetite," replied the Tiger,
sadly. "It seems to fill my whole body, from the end of my throat to
the tip of my tail. I am very sure the appetite doesn't fit me, and
is too large for the size of my body. Some day, when I meet a dentist
with a pair of forceps, I'm going to have it pulled."

"What, your tooth?" asked Dorothy.

"No, my appetite," said the Hungry Tiger.

The little girl spent most of the afternoon talking with the Scarecrow
and the Tin Woodman, who related to her all that had taken place in
the Land of Oz since Dorothy had left it. She was much interested in
the story of Ozma, who had been, when a baby, stolen by a wicked old
witch and transformed into a boy. She did not know that she had ever
been a girl until she was restored to her natural form by a kind
sorceress. Then it was found that she was the only child of the
former Ruler of Oz, and was entitled to rule in his place. Ozma had
many adventures, however, before she regained her father's throne, and
in these she was accompanied by a pumpkin-headed man, a highly
magnified and thoroughly educated Woggle-Bug, and a wonderful sawhorse
that had been brought to life by means of a magic powder. The
Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman had also assisted her; but the Cowardly
Lion, who ruled the great forest as the King of Beasts, knew nothing
of Ozma until after she became the reigning princess of Oz. Then he
journeyed to the Emerald City to see her, and on hearing she was about
to visit the Land of Ev to set free the royal family of that country,
the Cowardly Lion begged to go with her, and brought along his friend,
the Hungry Tiger, as well.

Having heard this story, Dorothy related to them her own adventures,
and then went out with her friends to find the Sawhorse, which Ozma
had caused to be shod with plates of gold, so that its legs would not
wear out.

They came upon the Sawhorse standing motionless beside the garden
gate, but when Dorothy was introduced to him he bowed politely and
blinked his eyes, which were knots of wood, and wagged his tail, which
was only the branch of a tree.

"What a remarkable thing, to be alive!" exclaimed Dorothy.

"I quiet agree with you," replied the Sawhorse, in a rough but not
unpleasant voice. "A creature like me has no business to live, as we
all know. But it was the magic powder that did it, so I cannot justly
be blamed."

"Of course not," said Dorothy. "And you seem to be of some use,
'cause I noticed the Scarecrow riding upon your back."

"Oh, yes; I'm of use," returned the Sawhorse; "and I never tire, never
have to be fed, or cared for in any way."

"Are you intel'gent?" asked the girl.

"Not very," said the creature. "It would be foolish to waste
intelligence on a common Sawhorse, when so many professors need it.
But I know enough to obey my masters, and to gid-dup, or whoa, when
I'm told to. So I'm pretty well satisfied."

That night Dorothy slept in a pleasant little bed-chamber next to that
occupied by Ozma of Oz, and Billina perched upon the foot of the bed
and tucked her head under her wing and slept as soundly in that
position as did Dorothy upon her soft cushions.

But before daybreak every one was awake and stirring, and soon the
adventurers were eating a hasty breakfast in the great dining-room of
the palace. Ozma sat at the head of a long table, on a raised
platform, with Dorothy on her right hand and the Scarecrow on her
left. The Scarecrow did not eat, of course; but Ozma placed him near
her so that she might ask his advice about the journey while she ate.

Lower down the table were the twenty-seven warriors of Oz, and at the
end of the room the Lion and the Tiger were eating out of a kettle
that had been placed upon the floor, while Billina fluttered around to
pick up any scraps that might be scattered.

It did not take long to finish the meal, and then the Lion and the
Tiger were harnessed to the chariot and the party was ready to start
for the Nome King's Palace.

First rode Ozma, with Dorothy beside her in the golden chariot and
holding Billina fast in her arms. Then came the Scarecrow on the
Sawhorse, with the Tin Woodman and Tiktok marching side by side just
behind him. After these tramped the Army, looking brave and handsome
in their splendid uniforms. The generals commanded the colonels and
the colonels commanded the majors and the majors commanded the
captains and the captains commanded the private, who marched with an
air of proud importance because it required so many officers to give
him his orders.

And so the magnificent procession left the palace and started along
the road just as day was breaking, and by the time the sun came out
they had made good progress toward the valley that led to the Nome
King's domain.

10. The Giant with the Hammer

The road led for a time through a pretty farm country, and then past a
picnic grove that was very inviting. But the procession continued to
steadily advance until Billina cried in an abrupt and commanding manner:


Ozma stopped her chariot so suddenly that the Scarecrow's Sawhorse
nearly ran into it, and the ranks of the army tumbled over one another
before they could come to a halt. Immediately the yellow hen struggled
from Dorothy's arms and flew into a clump of bushes by the roadside.

"What's the matter?" called the Tin Woodman, anxiously.

"Why, Billina wants to lay her egg, that's all," said Dorothy.

"Lay her egg!" repeated the Tin Woodman, in astonishment.

"Yes; she lays one every morning, about this time; and it's quite
fresh," said the girl.

"But does your foolish old hen suppose that this entire cavalcade,
which is bound on an important adventure, is going to stand still
while she lays her egg?" enquired the Tin Woodman, earnestly.

"What else can we do?" asked the girl. "It's a habit of Billina's and
she can't break herself of it."

"Then she must hurry up," said the Tin Woodman, impatiently.

"No, no!" exclaimed the Scarecrow. "If she hurries she may lay
scrambled eggs."

"That's nonsense," said Dorothy. "But Billina won't be long, I'm sure."

So they stood and waited, although all were restless and anxious to
proceed. And by and by the yellow hen came from the bushes saying:

"Kut-kut, kut, ka-daw-kutt! Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kut!"

"What is she doing--singing her lay?" asked the Scarecrow.

"For-ward--march!" shouted the Tin Woodman, waving his axe, and the
procession started just as Dorothy had once more grabbed Billina in
her arms.

"Isn't anyone going to get my egg?" cried the hen, in great excitement.

"I'll get it," said the Scarecrow; and at his command the Sawhorse
pranced into the bushes. The straw man soon found the egg, which he
placed in his jacket pocket. The cavalcade, having moved rapidly on,
was even then far in advance; but it did not take the Sawhorse long to
catch up with it, and presently the Scarecrow was riding in his
accustomed place behind Ozma's chariot.

"What shall I do with the egg?" he asked Dorothy.

"I do not know," the girl answered. "Perhaps the Hungry Tiger would
like it."

"It would not be enough to fill one of my back teeth," remarked the
Tiger. "A bushel of them, hard boiled, might take a little of the
edge off my appetite; but one egg isn't good for anything at all, that
I know of."

"No; it wouldn't even make a sponge cake," said the Scarecrow,
thoughtfully. "The Tin Woodman might carry it with his axe and hatch
it; but after all I may as well keep it myself for a souvenir." So he
left it in his pocket.

They had now reached that part of the valley that lay between the two
high mountains which Dorothy had seen from her tower window. At the
far end was the third great mountain, which blocked the valley and was
the northern edge of the Land of Ev. It was underneath this mountain
that the Nome King's palace was said to be; but it would be some time
before they reached that place.

The path was becoming rocky and difficult for the wheels of the
chariot to pass over, and presently a deep gulf appeared at their feet
which was too wide for them to leap. So Ozma took a small square of
green cloth from her pocket and threw it upon the ground. At once it
became the magic carpet, and unrolled itself far enough for all the
cavalcade to walk upon. The chariot now advanced, and the green
carpet unrolled before it, crossing the gulf on a level with its
banks, so that all passed over in safety.

"That's easy enough," said the Scarecrow. "I wonder what will
happen next."

He was not long in making the discovery, for the sides of the mountain
came closer together until finally there was but a narrow path between
them, along which Ozma and her party were forced to pass in single file.

They now heard a low and deep "thump!--thump!--thump!" which echoed
throughout the valley and seemed to grow louder as they advanced.
Then, turning a corner of rock, they saw before them a huge form,
which towered above the path for more than a hundred feet. The form
was that of a gigantic man built out of plates of cast iron, and it
stood with one foot on either side of the narrow road and swung over
its right shoulder an immense iron mallet, with which it constantly
pounded the earth. These resounding blows explained the thumping
sounds they had heard, for the mallet was much bigger than a barrel,
and where it struck the path between the rocky sides of the mountain
it filled all the space through which our travelers would be obliged
to pass.

Of course they at once halted, a safe distance away from the terrible
iron mallet. The magic carpet would do them no good in this case, for
it was only meant to protect them from any dangers upon the ground
beneath their feet, and not from dangers that appeared in the air
above them.

"Wow!" said the Cowardly Lion, with a shudder. "It makes me
dreadfully nervous to see that big hammer pounding so near my head.
One blow would crush me into a door-mat."

"The ir-on gi-ant is a fine fel-low," said Tiktok, "and works as
stead-i-ly as a clock. He was made for the Nome King by Smith &
Tin-ker, who made me, and his du-ty is to keep folks from find-ing the
un-der-ground pal-ace. Is he not a great work of art?"

"Can he think, and speak, as you do?" asked Ozma, regarding the giant
with wondering eyes.

"No," replied the machine; "he is on-ly made to pound the road, and
has no think-ing or speak-ing at-tach-ment. But he pounds ve-ry well,
I think."

"Too well," observed the Scarecrow. "He is keeping us from going
farther. Is there no way to stop his machinery?"

"On-ly the Nome King, who has the key, can do that," answered Tiktok.

"Then," said Dorothy, anxiously, "what shall we do?"

"Excuse me for a few minutes," said the Scarecrow, "and I will think
it over."

He retired, then, to a position in the rear, where he turned his
painted face to the rocks and began to think.

Meantime the giant continued to raise his iron mallet high in the air
and to strike the path terrific blows that echoed through the
mountains like the roar of a cannon. Each time the mallet lifted,
however, there was a moment when the path beneath the monster was
free, and perhaps the Scarecrow had noticed this, for when he came
back to the others he said:

"The matter is a very simple one, after all. We have but to run under
the hammer, one at a time, when it is lifted, and pass to the other
side before it falls again."

"It will require quick work, if we escape the blow," said the Tin
Woodman, with a shake of his head. "But it really seems the only
thing to be done. Who will make the first attempt?"

They looked at one another hesitatingly for a moment. Then the
Cowardly Lion, who was trembling like a leaf in the wind, said to them:

"I suppose the head of the procession must go first--and that's me.
But I'm terribly afraid of the big hammer!"

"What will become of me?" asked Ozma. "You might rush under the
hammer yourself, but the chariot would surely be crushed."

"We must leave the chariot," said the Scarecrow. "But you two girls
can ride upon the backs of the Lion and the Tiger."

So this was decided upon, and Ozma, as soon as the Lion was unfastened
from the chariot, at once mounted the beast's back and said she was ready.

"Cling fast to his mane," advised Dorothy. "I used to ride him
myself, and that's the way I held on."

So Ozma clung fast to the mane, and the lion crouched in the path and
eyed the swinging mallet carefully until he knew just the instant it
would begin to rise in the air.

Then, before anyone thought he was ready, he made a sudden leap
straight between the iron giant's legs, and before the mallet struck
the ground again the Lion and Ozma were safe on the other side.

The Tiger went next. Dorothy sat upon his back and locked her arms
around his striped neck, for he had no mane to cling to. He made the
leap straight and true as an arrow from a bow, and ere Dorothy
realized it she was out of danger and standing by Ozma's side.

Now came the Scarecrow on the Sawhorse, and while they made the dash
in safety they were within a hair's breadth of being caught by the
descending hammer.

Tiktok walked up to the very edge of the spot the hammer struck, and
as it was raised for the next blow he calmly stepped forward and
escaped its descent. That was an idea for the Tin Woodman to follow,
and he also crossed in safety while the great hammer was in the air.
But when it came to the twenty-six officers and the private, their
knees were so weak that they could not walk a step.

"In battle we are wonderfully courageous," said one of the generals,
"and our foes find us very terrible to face. But war is one thing and
this is another. When it comes to being pounded upon the head by an
iron hammer, and smashed into pancakes, we naturally object."

"Make a run for it," urged the Scarecrow.

"Our knees shake so that we cannot run," answered a captain. "If we
should try it we would all certainly be pounded to a jelly."

"Well, well," sighed the Cowardly Lion, "I see, friend Tiger, that we
must place ourselves in great danger to rescue this bold army. Come
with me, and we will do the best we can."

So, Ozma and Dorothy having already dismounted from their backs, the
Lion and the Tiger leaped back again under the awful hammer and
returned with two generals clinging to their necks. They repeated
this daring passage twelve times, when all the officers had been
carried beneath the giant's legs and landed safely on the further
side. By that time the beasts were very tired, and panted so hard
that their tongues hung out of their great mouths.

"But what is to become of the private?" asked Ozma.

"Oh, leave him there to guard the chariot," said the Lion. "I'm tired
out, and won't pass under that mallet again."

The officers at once protested that they must have the private with them,
else there would be no one for them to command. But neither the Lion or
the Tiger would go after him, and so the Scarecrow sent the Sawhorse.

Either the wooden horse was careless, or it failed to properly time
the descent of the hammer, for the mighty weapon caught it squarely
upon its head, and thumped it against the ground so powerfully that
the private flew off its back high into the air, and landed upon one
of the giant's cast-iron arms. Here he clung desperately while the
arm rose and fell with each one of the rapid strokes.

The Scarecrow dashed in to rescue his Sawhorse, and had his left foot
smashed by the hammer before he could pull the creature out of danger.
They then found that the Sawhorse had been badly dazed by the blow;
for while the hard wooden knot of which his head was formed could not
be crushed by the hammer, both his ears were broken off and he would
be unable to hear a sound until some new ones were made for him. Also
his left knee was cracked, and had to be bound up with a string.

Billina having fluttered under the hammer, it now remained only to
rescue the private who was riding upon the iron giant's arm, high in
the air.

The Scarecrow lay flat upon the ground and called to the man to jump
down upon his body, which was soft because it was stuffed with straw.
This the private managed to do, waiting until a time when he was
nearest the ground and then letting himself drop upon the Scarecrow.
He accomplished the feat without breaking any bones, and the Scarecrow
declared he was not injured in the least.

Therefore, the Tin Woodman having by this time fitted new ears to the
Sawhorse, the entire party proceeded upon its way, leaving the giant
to pound the path behind them.

11. The Nome King

By and by, when they drew near to the mountain that blocked their path
and which was the furthermost edge of the Kingdom of Ev, the way grew
dark and gloomy for the reason that the high peaks on either side shut
out the sunshine. And it was very silent, too, as there were no birds
to sing or squirrels to chatter, the trees being left far behind them
and only the bare rocks remaining.

Ozma and Dorothy were a little awed by the silence, and all the others
were quiet and grave except the Sawhorse, which, as it trotted along
with the Scarecrow upon his back, hummed a queer song, of which this
was the chorus:

"Would a wooden horse in a woodland go?
Aye, aye! I sigh, he would, although
Had he not had a wooden head
He'd mount the mountain top instead."

But no one paid any attention to this because they were now close to
the Nome King's dominions, and his splendid underground palace could
not be very far away.

Suddenly they heard a shout of jeering laughter, and stopped short.
They would have to stop in a minute, anyway, for the huge mountain
barred their further progress and the path ran close up to a wall of
rock and ended.

"Who was that laughing?" asked Ozma.

There was no reply, but in the gloom they could see strange forms flit
across the face of the rock. Whatever the creations might be they
seemed very like the rock itself, for they were the color of rocks and
their shapes were as rough and rugged as if they had been broken away
from the side of the mountain. They kept close to the steep cliff
facing our friends, and glided up and down, and this way and that,
with a lack of regularity that was quite confusing. And they seemed
not to need places to rest their feet, but clung to the surface of the
rock as a fly does to a window-pane, and were never still for a moment.

"Do not mind them," said Tiktok, as Dorothy shrank back. "They are
on-ly the Nomes."

"And what are Nomes?" asked the girl, half frightened.

"They are rock fair-ies, and serve the Nome King," replied the machine.
"But they will do us no harm. You must call for the King, be-cause
with-out him you can ne-ver find the en-trance to the pal-ace."

"YOU call," said Dorothy to Ozma.

Just then the Nomes laughed again, and the sound was so weird and
disheartening that the twenty-six officers commanded the private to
"right-about-face!" and they all started to run as fast as they could.

The Tin Woodman at once pursued his army and cried "halt!" and when
they had stopped their flight he asked: "Where are you going?"

"I--I find I've forgotten the brush for my whiskers," said a general,
trembling with fear. "S-s-so we are g-going back after it!"

"That is impossible," replied the Tin Woodman. "For the giant with
the hammer would kill you all if you tried to pass him."

"Oh! I'd forgotten the giant," said the general, turning pale.

"You seem to forget a good many things," remarked the Tin Woodman.
"I hope you won't forget that you are brave men."

"Never!" cried the general, slapping his gold-embroidered chest.

"Never!" cried all the other officers, indignantly slapping their chests.

"For my part," said the private, meekly, "I must obey my officers; so
when I am told to run, I run; and when I am told to fight, I fight."

"That is right," agreed the Tin Woodman. "And now you must all come
back to Ozma, and obey HER orders. And if you try to run away again I
will have her reduce all the twenty-six officers to privates, and make
the private your general."

This terrible threat so frightened them that they at once returned to
where Ozma was standing beside the Cowardly Lion.

Then Ozma cried out in a loud voice:

"I demand that the Nome King appear to us!"

There was no reply, except that the shifting Nomes upon the mountain
laughed in derision.

"You must not command the Nome King," said Tiktok, "for you do not
rule him, as you do your own peo-ple."

So Ozma called again, saying:

"I request the Nome King to appear to us."

Only the mocking laughter replied to her, and the shadowy Nomes
continued to flit here and there upon the rocky cliff.

"Try en-treat-y," said Tiktok to Ozma. "If he will not come at your
re-quest, then the Nome King may list-en to your plead-ing."

Ozma looked around her proudly.

"Do you wish your ruler to plead with this wicked Nome King?" she
asked. "Shall Ozma of Oz humble herself to a creature who lives in an
underground kingdom?"

"No!" they all shouted, with big voices; and the Scarecrow added:

"If he will not come, we will dig him out of his hole, like a fox, and
conquer his stubbornness. But our sweet little ruler must always
maintain her dignity, just as I maintain mine."

"I'm not afraid to plead with him," said Dorothy. "I'm only a little
girl from Kansas, and we've got more dignity at home than we know what
to do with. I'LL call the Nome King."

"Do," said the Hungry Tiger; "and if he makes hash of you I'll
willingly eat you for breakfast tomorrow morning."

So Dorothy stepped forward and said:

"PLEASE Mr. Nome King, come here and see us."

The Nomes started to laugh again; but a low growl came from the mountain,
and in a flash they had all vanished from sight and were silent.

Then a door in the rock opened, and a voice cried:


"Isn't it a trick?" asked the Tin Woodman.

"Never mind," replied Ozma. "We came here to rescue the poor Queen of
Ev and her ten children, and we must run some risks to do so."

"The Nome King is hon-est and good na-tured," said Tiktok. "You can
trust him to do what is right."

So Ozma led the way, hand in hand with Dorothy, and they passed
through the arched doorway of rock and entered a long passage which
was lighted by jewels set in the walls and having lamps behind them.
There was no one to escort them, or to show them the way, but all the
party pressed through the passage until they came to a round, domed
cavern that was grandly furnished.

In the center of this room was a throne carved out of a solid boulder
of rock, rude and rugged in shape but glittering with great rubies and
diamonds and emeralds on every part of its surface. And upon the
throne sat the Nome King.

This important monarch of the Underground World was a little fat man
clothed in gray-brown garments that were the exact color of the rock
throne in which he was seated. His bushy hair and flowing beard were
also colored like the rocks, and so was his face. He wore no crown of
any sort, and his only ornament was a broad, jewel-studded belt that
encircled his fat little body. As for his features, they seemed
kindly and good humored, and his eyes were turned merrily upon his
visitors as Ozma and Dorothy stood before him with their followers
ranged in close order behind them.

"Why, he looks just like Santa Claus--only he isn't the same color!"
whispered Dorothy to her friend; but the Nome King heard the speech,
and it made him laugh aloud.

"'He had a red face and a round little belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly!'"

quoth the monarch, in a pleasant voice; and they could all see that he
really did shake like jelly when he laughed.

Both Ozma and Dorothy were much relieved to find the Nome King so
jolly, and a minute later he waved his right hand and the girls each
found a cushioned stool at her side.

"Sit down, my dears," said the King, "and tell me why you have come
all this way to see me, and what I can do to make you happy."

While they seated themselves the Nome King picked up a pipe, and
taking a glowing red coal out of his pocket he placed it in the bowl
of the pipe and began puffing out clouds of smoke that curled in rings
above his head. Dorothy thought this made the little monarch look
more like Santa Claus than ever; but Ozma now began speaking, and
every one listened intently to her words.

"Your Majesty," said she, "I am the ruler of the Land of Oz, and I
have come here to ask you to release the good Queen of Ev and her ten
children, whom you have enchanted and hold as your prisoners."

"Oh, no; you are mistaken about that," replied the King. "They are
not my prisoners, but my slaves, whom I purchased from the King of Ev."

"But that was wrong," said Ozma.

"According to the laws of Ev, the king can do no wrong," answered the
monarch, eying a ring of smoke he had just blown from his mouth; "so
that he had a perfect right to sell his family to me in exchange for a
long life."

"You cheated him, though," declared Dorothy; "for the King of Ev did
not have a long life. He jumped into the sea and was drowned."

"That was not my fault," said the Nome King, crossing his legs and
smiling contentedly. "I gave him the long life, all right; but he
destroyed it."

"Then how could it be a long life?" asked Dorothy.

"Easily enough," was the reply. "Now suppose, my dear, that I gave
you a pretty doll in exchange for a lock of your hair, and that after
you had received the doll you smashed it into pieces and destroyed it.
Could you say that I had not given you a pretty doll?"

"No," answered Dorothy.

"And could you, in fairness, ask me to return to you the lock of hair,
just because you had smashed the doll?"

"No," said Dorothy, again.

"Of course not," the Nome King returned. "Nor will I give up the
Queen and her children because the King of Ev destroyed his long life
by jumping into the sea. They belong to me and I shall keep them."

"But you are treating them cruelly," said Ozma, who was much
distressed by the King's refusal.

"In what way?" he asked.

"By making them your slaves," said she.

"Cruelty," remarked the monarch, puffing out wreathes of smoke and
watching them float into the air, "is a thing I can't abide. So, as
slaves must work hard, and the Queen of Ev and her children were
delicate and tender, I transformed them all into articles of ornament
and bric-a-brac and scattered them around the various rooms of my
palace. Instead of being obliged to labor, they merely decorate my
apartments, and I really think I have treated them with great kindness."

"But what a dreadful fate is theirs!" exclaimed Ozma, earnestly. "And
the Kingdom of Ev is in great need of its royal family to govern it.
If you will liberate them, and restore them to their proper forms, I
will give you ten ornaments to replace each one you lose."

The Nome King looked grave.

"Suppose I refuse?" he asked.

"Then," said Ozma, firmly, "I am here with my friends and my army to
conquer your kingdom and oblige you to obey my wishes."

The Nome King laughed until he choked; and he choked until he coughed;
and he coughed until his face turned from grayish-brown to bright red.
And then he wiped his eyes with a rock-colored handkerchief and grew
grave again.

"You are as brave as you are pretty, my dear," he said to Ozma. "But
you have little idea of the extent of the task you have undertaken.
Come with me for a moment."

He arose and took Ozma's hand, leading her to a little door at one
side of the room. This he opened and they stepped out upon a balcony,
from whence they obtained a wonderful view of the Underground World.

A vast cave extended for miles and miles under the mountain, and in
every direction were furnaces and forges glowing brightly and Nomes
hammering upon precious metals or polishing gleaming jewels. All
around the walls of the cave were thousands of doors of silver and
gold, built into the solid rock, and these extended in rows far away
into the distance, as far as Ozma's eyes could follow them.

While the little maid from Oz gazed wonderingly upon this scene the
Nome King uttered a shrill whistle, and at once all the silver and
gold doors flew open and solid ranks of Nome soldiers marched out from
every one. So great were their numbers that they quickly filled the
immense underground cavern and forced the busy workmen to abandon
their tasks.

Although this tremendous army consisted of rock-colored Nomes, all
squat and fat, they were clothed in glittering armor of polished
steel, inlaid with beautiful gems. Upon his brow each wore a
brilliant electric light, and they bore sharp spears and swords and
battle-axes of solid bronze. It was evident they were perfectly
trained, for they stood in straight rows, rank after rank, with their
weapons held erect and true, as if awaiting but the word of command to
level them upon their foes.

"This," said the Nome King, "is but a small part of my army. No ruler
upon Earth has ever dared to fight me, and no ruler ever will, for I
am too powerful to oppose."

He whistled again, and at once the martial array filed through the
silver and gold doorways and disappeared, after which the workmen
again resumed their labors at the furnaces.

Then, sad and discouraged, Ozma of Oz turned to her friends, and the
Nome King calmly reseated himself on his rock throne.

"It would be foolish for us to fight," the girl said to the Tin
Woodman. "For our brave Twenty-Seven would be quickly destroyed. I'm
sure I do not know how to act in this emergency."

"Ask the King where his kitchen is," suggested the Tiger. "I'm hungry
as a bear."

"I might pounce upon the King and tear him in pieces," remarked the
Cowardly Lion.

"Try it," said the monarch, lighting his pipe with another hot coal
which he took from his pocket.

The Lion crouched low and tried to spring upon the Nome King; but he
hopped only a little way into the air and came down again in the same
place, not being able to approach the throne by even an inch.

"It seems to me," said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully, "that our best
plan is to wheedle his Majesty into giving up his slaves, since he is
too great a magician to oppose."

"This is the most sensible thing any of you have suggested," declared
the Nome King. "It is folly to threaten me, but I'm so kind-hearted
that I cannot stand coaxing or wheedling. If you really wish to
accomplish anything by your journey, my dear Ozma, you must coax me."

"Very well," said Ozma, more cheerfully. "Let us be friends, and talk
this over in a friendly manner."

"To be sure," agreed the King, his eyes twinkling merrily.

"I am very anxious," she continued, "to liberate the Queen of Ev and
her children who are now ornaments and bric-a-brac in your Majesty's
palace, and to restore them to their people. Tell me, sir, how this
may be accomplished."

The king remained thoughtful for a moment, after which he asked:

"Are you willing to take a few chances and risks yourself, in order to
set free the people of Ev?"

"Yes, indeed!" answered Ozma, eagerly.

"Then," said the Nome King, "I will make you this offer: You shall go
alone and unattended into my palace and examine carefully all that the
rooms contain. Then you shall have permission to touch eleven
different objects, pronouncing at the time the word 'Ev,' and if any
one of them, or more than one, proves to be the transformation of the
Queen of Ev or any of her ten children, then they will instantly be
restored to their true forms and may leave my palace and my kingdom in
your company, without any objection whatever. It is possible for you,
in this way, to free the entire eleven; but if you do not guess all
the objects correctly, and some of the slaves remain transformed, then
each one of your friends and followers may, in turn, enter the palace
and have the same privileges I grant you."

"Oh, thank you! thank you for this kind offer!" said Ozma, eagerly.

"I make but one condition," added the Nome King, his eyes twinkling.

"What is it?" she enquired.

"If none of the eleven objects you touch proves to be the
transformation of any of the royal family of Ev, then, instead of
freeing them, you will yourself become enchanted, and transformed into
an article of bric-a-brac or an ornament. This is only fair and just,
and is the risk you declared you were willing to take."

12. The Eleven Guesses

Hearing this condition imposed by the Nome King, Ozma became silent
and thoughtful, and all her friends looked at her uneasily.

"Don't you do it!" exclaimed Dorothy. "If you guess wrong, you will
be enslaved yourself."

"But I shall have eleven guesses," answered Ozma. "Surely I ought to
guess one object in eleven correctly; and, if I do, I shall rescue one
of the royal family and be safe myself. Then the rest of you may
attempt it, and soon we shall free all those who are enslaved."

"What if we fail?" enquired the Scarecrow. "I'd look nice as a piece
of bric-a-brac, wouldn't I?"

"We must not fail!" cried Ozma, courageously. "Having come all this
distance to free these poor people, it would be weak and cowardly in
us to abandon the adventure. Therefore I will accept the Nome King's
offer, and go at once into the royal palace."

"Come along, then, my dear," said the King, climbing down from his throne
with some difficulty, because he was so fat; "I'll show you the way."

He approached a wall of the cave and waved his hand. Instantly an
opening appeared, through which Ozma, after a smiling farewell to her
friends, boldly passed.

She found herself in a splendid hall that was more beautiful and grand
than anything she had ever beheld. The ceilings were composed of
great arches that rose far above her head, and all the walls and
floors were of polished marble exquisitely tinted in many colors.
Thick velvet carpets were on the floor and heavy silken draperies
covered the arches leading to the various rooms of the palace. The
furniture was made of rare old woods richly carved and covered with
delicate satins, and the entire palace was lighted by a mysterious
rosy glow that seemed to come from no particular place but flooded
each apartment with its soft and pleasing radiance.

Ozma passed from one room to another, greatly delighted by all she
saw. The lovely palace had no other occupant, for the Nome King had
left her at the entrance, which closed behind her, and in all the
magnificent rooms there appeared to be no other person.

Upon the mantels, and on many shelves and brackets and tables, were
clustered ornaments of every description, seemingly made out of all
sorts of metals, glass, china, stones and marbles. There were vases,
and figures of men and animals, and graven platters and bowls, and
mosaics of precious gems, and many other things. Pictures, too, were
on the walls, and the underground palace was quite a museum of rare
and curious and costly objects.

After her first hasty examination of the rooms Ozma began to wonder
which of all the numerous ornaments they contained were the
transformations of the royal family of Ev. There was nothing to guide
her, for everything seemed without a spark of life. So she must guess
blindly; and for the first time the girl came to realize how dangerous
was her task, and how likely she was to lose her own freedom in
striving to free others from the bondage of the Nome King. No wonder
the cunning monarch laughed good naturedly with his visitors, when he
knew how easily they might be entrapped.

But Ozma, having undertaken the venture, would not abandon it. She
looked at a silver candelabra that had ten branches, and thought:
"This may be the Queen of Ev and her ten children." So she touched it
and uttered aloud the word "Ev," as the Nome King had instructed her
to do when she guessed. But the candelabra remained as it was before.

Then she wandered into another room and touched a china lamb, thinking
it might be one of the children she sought. But again she was
unsuccessful. Three guesses; four guesses; five, six, seven, eight,
nine and ten she made, and still not one of them was right!

The girl shivered a little and grew pale even under the rosy light;
for now but one guess remained, and her own fate depended upon the result.

She resolved not to be hasty, and strolled through all the rooms once
more, gazing earnestly upon the various ornaments and trying to decide
which she would touch. Finally, in despair, she decided to leave it
entirely to chance. She faced the doorway of a room, shut her eyes
tightly, and then, thrusting aside the heavy draperies, she advanced
blindly with her right arm outstretched before her.

Slowly, softly she crept forward until her hand came in contact with an
object upon a small round table. She did not know what it was, but in
a low voice she pronounced the word "Ev."

The rooms were quite empty of life after that. The Nome King had
gained a new ornament. For upon the edge of the table rested a pretty
grasshopper, that seemed to have been formed from a single emerald.
It was all that remained of Ozma of Oz.

In the throne room just beyond the palace the Nome King suddenly
looked up and smiled.

"Next!" he said, in his pleasant voice.

Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, who had been sitting in
anxious silence, each gave a start of dismay and stared into one
another's eyes.

"Has she failed?" asked Tiktok.

"So it seems," answered the little monarch, cheerfully. "But that is
no reason one of you should not succeed. The next may have twelve
guesses, instead of eleven, for there are now twelve persons
transformed into ornaments. Well, well! Which of you goes next?"

"I'll go," said Dorothy.

"Not so," replied the Tin Woodman. "As commander of Ozma's army, it
is my privilege to follow her and attempt her rescue."

"Away you go, then," said the Scarecrow. "But be careful, old friend."

"I will," promised the Tin Woodman; and then he followed the Nome King
to the entrance to the palace and the rock closed behind him.

13. The Nome King Laughs

In a moment the King returned to his throne and relighted his pipe,
and the rest of the little band of adventurers settled themselves for
another long wait. They were greatly disheartened by the failure of
their girl Ruler, and the knowledge that she was now an ornament in
the Nome King's palace--a dreadful, creepy place in spite of all its
magnificence. Without their little leader they did not know what to
do next, and each one, down to the trembling private of the army,
began to fear he would soon be more ornamental than useful.

Suddenly the Nome King began laughing.

"Ha, ha, ha! He, he, he! Ho, ho, ho!"

"What's happened?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Why, your friend, the Tin Woodman, has become the funniest thing you
can imagine," replied the King, wiping the tears of merriment from his
eyes. "No one would ever believe he could make such an amusing
ornament. Next!"

They gazed at each other with sinking hearts. One of the generals
began to weep dolefully.

"What are you crying for?" asked the Scarecrow, indignant at such a
display of weakness.

"He owed me six weeks back pay," said the general, "and I hate
to lose him."

"Then you shall go and find him," declared the Scarecrow.

"Me!" cried the general, greatly alarmed.

"Certainly. It is your duty to follow your commander. March!"

"I won't," said the general. "I'd like to, of course; but I just
simply WON'T."

The Scarecrow looked enquiringly at the Nome King.

"Never mind," said the jolly monarch. "If he doesn't care to enter the
palace and make his guesses I'll throw him into one of my fiery furnaces."

"I'll go!--of course I'm going," yelled the general, as quick as scat.
"Where is the entrance--where is it? Let me go at once!"

So the Nome King escorted him into the palace, and again returned to
await the result. What the general did, no one can tell; but it was
not long before the King called for the next victim, and a colonel was
forced to try his fortune.

Thus, one after another, all of the twenty-six officers filed into the
palace and made their guesses-- and became ornaments.

Meantime the King ordered refreshments to be served to those waiting,
and at his command a rudely shaped Nome entered, bearing a tray. This
Nome was not unlike the others that Dorothy had seen, but he wore a
heavy gold chain around his neck to show that he was the Chief Steward
of the Nome King, and he assumed an air of much importance, and even
told his majesty not to eat too much cake late at night, or he would
be ill.

Dorothy, however, was hungry, and she was not afraid of being ill; so
she ate several cakes and found them good, and also she drank a cup of
excellent coffee made of a richly flavored clay, browned in the
furnaces and then ground fine, and found it most refreshing and not at
all muddy.

Of all the party which had started upon this adventure, the little
Kansas girl was now left alone with the Scarecrow, Tiktok, and the
private for counsellors and companions. Of course the Cowardly Lion
and the Hungry Tiger were still there, but they, having also eaten
some of the cakes, had gone to sleep at one side of the cave, while
upon the other side stood the Sawhorse, motionless and silent, as
became a mere thing of wood. Billina had quietly walked around and
picked up the crumbs of cake which had been scattered, and now, as it
was long after bed-time, she tried to find some dark place in which to
go to sleep.

Presently the hen espied a hollow underneath the King's rocky throne,
and crept into it unnoticed. She could still hear the chattering of
those around her, but it was almost dark underneath the throne, so
that soon she had fallen fast asleep.

"Next!" called the King, and the private, whose turn it was to enter
the fatal palace, shook hands with Dorothy and the Scarecrow and bade
them a sorrowful good-bye, and passed through the rocky portal.

They waited a long time, for the private was in no hurry to become an
ornament and made his guesses very slowly. The Nome King, who seemed
to know, by some magical power, all that took place in his beautiful
rooms of his palace, grew impatient finally and declared he would sit
up no longer.

"I love ornaments," said he, "but I can wait until tomorrow to get
more of them; so, as soon as that stupid private is transformed, we
will all go to bed and leave the job to be finished in the morning."

"Is it so very late?" asked Dorothy.

"Why, it is after midnight," said the King, "and that strikes me as
being late enough. There is neither night nor day in my kingdom,
because it is under the earth's surface, where the sun does not shine.
But we have to sleep, just the same as the up-stairs people do, and
for my part I'm going to bed in a few minutes."

Indeed, it was not long after this that the private made his last
guess. Of course he guessed wrongly, and of course he at once became
an ornament. So the King was greatly pleased, and clapped his hands
to summon his Chief Steward.

"Show these guests to some of the sleeping apartments," he commanded,
"and be quick about it, too, for I'm dreadfully sleepy myself."

"You've no business to sit up so late," replied the Steward, gruffly.
"You'll be as cross as a griffin tomorrow morning."

His Majesty made no answer to this remark, and the Chief Steward led
Dorothy through another doorway into a long hall, from which several
plain but comfortable sleeping rooms opened. The little girl was
given the first room, and the Scarecrow and Tiktok the next--although
they never slept--and the Lion and the Tiger the third. The Sawhorse
hobbled after the Steward into a fourth room, to stand stiffly in the
center of it until morning. Each night was rather a bore to the
Scarecrow, Tiktok and the Sawhorse; but they had learned from experience
to pass the time patiently and quietly, since all their friends who
were made of flesh had to sleep and did not like to be disturbed.

When the Chief Steward had left them alone the Scarecrow remarked, sadly:

"I am in great sorrow over the loss of my old comrade, the Tin
Woodman. We have had many dangerous adventures together, and escaped
them all, and now it grieves me to know he has become an ornament, and
is lost to me forever."

"He was al-ways an or-na-ment to so-ci-e-ty," said Tiktok.

"True; but now the Nome King laughs at him, and calls him the funniest
ornament in all the palace. It will hurt my poor friend's pride to be
laughed at," continued the Scarecrow, sadly.

"We will make rath-er ab-surd or-na-ments, our-selves, to-mor-row,"
observed the machine, in his monotonous voice.

Just then Dorothy ran into their room, in a state of great anxiety, crying:

"Where's Billina? Have you seen Billina? Is she here?"

"No," answered the Scarecrow.

"Then what has become of her?" asked the girl.

"Why, I thought she was with you," said the Scarecrow. "Yet I do not
remember seeing the yellow hen since she picked up the crumbs of cake."

"We must have left her in the room where the King's throne is,"
decided Dorothy, and at once she turned and ran down the hall to the
door through which they had entered. But it was fast closed and
locked on the other side, and the heavy slab of rock proved to be so
thick that no sound could pass through it. So Dorothy was forced to
return to her chamber.

The Cowardly Lion stuck his head into her room to try to console the
girl for the loss of her feathered friend.

"The yellow hen is well able to take care of herself," said he; "so
don't worry about her, but try to get all the sleep you can. It has
been a long and weary day, and you need rest."

"I'll prob'ly get lots of rest tomorrow, when I become an orn'ment,"
said Dorothy, sleepily. But she lay down upon her couch, nevertheless,
and in spite of all her worries was soon in the land of dreams.

14. Dorothy Tries to be Brave

Meantime the Chief Steward had returned to the throne room, where he
said to the King:

"You are a fool to waste so much time upon these people."

"What!" cried his Majesty, in so enraged a voice that it awoke Billina,
who was asleep under his throne. "How dare you call me a fool?"

"Because I like to speak the truth," said the Steward. "Why didn't
you enchant them all at once, instead of allowing them to go one by
one into the palace and guess which ornaments are the Queen of Ev and
her children?"

"Why, you stupid rascal, it is more fun this way," returned the King,
"and it serves to keep me amused for a long time."

"But suppose some of them happen to guess aright," persisted the Steward;
"then you would lose your old ornaments and these new ones, too."

"There is no chance of their guessing aright," replied the monarch,
with a laugh. "How could they know that the Queen of Ev and her
family are all ornaments of a royal purple color?"

"But there are no other purple ornaments in the palace," said the Steward.

"There are many other colors, however, and the purple ones are
scattered throughout the rooms, and are of many different shapes and
sizes. Take my word for it, Steward, they will never think of
choosing the purple ornaments."

Billina, squatting under the throne, had listened carefully to all
this talk, and now chuckled softly to herself as she heard the King
disclose his secret.

"Still, you are acting foolishly by running the chance," continued the
Steward, roughly; "and it is still more foolish of you to transform
all those people from Oz into green ornaments."

"I did that because they came from the Emerald City," replied the
King; "and I had no green ornaments in my collection until now. I
think they will look quite pretty, mixed with the others. Don't you?"

The Steward gave an angry grunt.

"Have your own way, since you are the King," he growled. "But if you
come to grief through your carelessness, remember that I told you so.
If I wore the magic belt which enables you to work all your
transformations, and gives you so much other power, I am sure I would
make a much wiser and better King than you are."

"Oh, cease your tiresome chatter!" commanded the King, getting angry
again. "Because you are my Chief Steward you have an idea you can
scold me as much as you please. But the very next time you become
impudent, I will send you to work in the furnaces, and get another
Nome to fill your place. Now follow me to my chamber, for I am going
to bed. And see that I am wakened early tomorrow morning. I want to
enjoy the fun of transforming the rest of these people into ornaments."

"What color will you make the Kansas girl?" asked the Steward.

"Gray, I think," said his Majesty.

"And the Scarecrow and the machine man?"

"Oh, they shall be of solid gold, because they are so ugly in real life."

Then the voices died away, and Billina knew that the King and his
Steward had left the room. She fixed up some of her tail feathers
that were not straight, and then tucked her head under her wing again
and went to sleep.

In the morning Dorothy and the Lion and Tiger were given their
breakfast in their rooms, and afterward joined the King in his throne
room. The Tiger complained bitterly that he was half starved, and
begged to go into the palace and become an ornament, so that he would
no longer suffer the pangs of hunger.

"Haven't you had your breakfast?" asked the Nome King.

"Oh, I had just a bite," replied the beast. "But what good is a bite,
to a hungry tiger?"

"He ate seventeen bowls of porridge, a platter full of fried sausages,
eleven loaves of bread and twenty-one mince pies," said the Steward.

"What more do you want?" demanded the King.

"A fat baby. I want a fat baby," said the Hungry Tiger. "A nice,
plump, juicy, tender, fat baby. But, of course, if I had one, my
conscience would not allow me to eat it. So I'll have to be an
ornament and forget my hunger."

"Impossible!" exclaimed the King. "I'll have no clumsy beasts enter
my palace, to overturn and break all my pretty nick-nacks. When the
rest of your friends are transformed you can return to the upper
world, and go about your business."

"As for that, we have no business, when our friends are gone," said
the Lion. "So we do not care much what becomes of us."

Dorothy begged to be allowed to go first into the palace, but Tiktok
firmly maintained that the slave should face danger before the
mistress. The Scarecrow agreed with him in that, so the Nome King
opened the door for the machine man, who tramped into the palace to
meet his fate. Then his Majesty returned to his throne and puffed his
pipe so contentedly that a small cloud of smoke formed above his head.

Bye and bye he said:

"I'm sorry there are so few of you left. Very soon, now, my fun will
be over, and then for amusement I shall have nothing to do but admire
my new ornaments."

"It seems to me," said Dorothy, "that you are not so honest as you
pretend to be."

"How's that?" asked the King.

"Why, you made us think it would be easy to guess what ornaments the
people of Ev were changed into."

"It IS easy," declared the monarch, "if one is a good guesser. But it
appears that the members of your party are all poor guessers."

"What is Tiktok doing now?" asked the girl, uneasily.

"Nothing," replied the King, with a frown. "He is standing perfectly
still, in the middle of a room."

"Oh, I expect he's run down," said Dorothy. "I forgot to wind him up
this morning. How many guesses has he made?"

"All that he is allowed except one," answered the King. "Suppose you go
in and wind him up, and then you can stay there and make your own guesses."

"All right," said Dorothy.

"It is my turn next," declared the Scarecrow.

"Why, you don't want to go away and leave me all alone, do you?" asked
the girl. "Besides, if I go now I can wind up Tiktok, so that he can
make his last guess."

"Very well, then," said the Scarecrow, with a sigh. "Run along,
little Dorothy, and may good luck go with you!"

So Dorothy, trying to be brave in spite of her fears, passed through
the doorway into the gorgeous rooms of the palace. The stillness
of the place awed her, at first, and the child drew short breaths,
and pressed her hand to her heart, and looked all around with
wondering eyes.

Yes, it was a beautiful place; but enchantments lurked in every nook
and corner, and she had not yet grown accustomed to the wizardries of
these fairy countries, so different from the quiet and sensible
common-places of her own native land.

Slowly she passed through several rooms until she came upon Tiktok,
standing motionless. It really seemed, then, that she had found a
friend in this mysterious palace, so she hastened to wind up the
machine man's action and speech and thoughts.

"Thank you, Dor-oth-y," were his first words. "I have now one more
guess to make."

"Oh, be very careful, Tiktok; won't you?" cried the girl.

"Yes. But the Nome King has us in his power, and he has set a trap
for us. I fear we are all lost." he answered.

"I fear so, too," said Dorothy, sadly.

"If Smith & Tin-ker had giv-en me a guess-ing clock-work at-tach-ment,"
continued Tiktok, "I might have de-fied the Nome King. But my thoughts
are plain and sim-ple, and are not of much use in this case."

"Do the best you can," said Dorothy, encouragingly, "and if you fail I
will watch and see what shape you are changed into."

So Tiktok touched a yellow glass vase that had daisies painted on one
side, and he spoke at the same time the word "Ev."

In a flash the machine man had disappeared, and although the girl
looked quickly in every direction, she could not tell which of the
many ornaments the room contained had a moment before been her
faithful friend and servant.

So all she could do was to accept the hopeless task set her, and make
her guesses and abide by the result.

"It can't hurt very much," she thought, "for I haven't heard any of
them scream or cry out--not even the poor officers. Dear me! I
wonder if Uncle Henry or Aunt Em will ever know I have become an
orn'ment in the Nome King's palace, and must stand forever and ever in
one place and look pretty--'cept when I'm moved to be dusted. It isn't
the way I thought I'd turn out, at all; but I s'pose it can't be helped."

She walked through all the rooms once more, and examined with care all
the objects they contained; but there were so many, they bewildered
her, and she decided, after all, as Ozma had done, that it could be
only guess work at the best, and that the chances were much against
her guessing aright.

Timidly she touched an alabaster bowl and said: "Ev."

"That's one failure, anyhow," she thought. "But how am I to know
which thing is enchanted, and which is not?"

Next she touched the image of a purple kitten that stood on the corner
of a mantel, and as she pronounced the word "Ev" the kitten
disappeared, and a pretty, fair-haired boy stood beside her. At the
same time a bell rang somewhere in the distance, and as Dorothy started
back, partly in surprise and partly in joy, the little one exclaimed:

"Where am I? And who are you? And what has happened to me?"

"Well, I declare!" said Dorothy. "I've really done it."

"Done what?" asked the boy.

"Saved myself from being an ornament," replied the girl, with a laugh,
"and saved you from being forever a purple kitten."

"A purple kitten?" he repeated. "There IS no such thing."

"I know," she answered. "But there was, a minute ago. Don't you
remember standing on a corner of the mantel?"

"Of course not. I am a Prince of Ev, and my name is Evring," the
little one announced, proudly. "But my father, the King, sold my
mother and all her children to the cruel ruler of the Nomes, and after
that I remember nothing at all."

"A purple kitten can't be 'spected to remember, Evring," said Dorothy.
"But now you are yourself again, and I'm going to try to save some of
your brothers and sisters, and perhaps your mother, as well. So come
with me."

She seized the child's hand and eagerly hurried here and there, trying
to decide which object to choose next. The third guess was another
failure, and so was the fourth and the fifth.

Little Evring could not imagine what she was doing, but he trotted along
beside her very willingly, for he liked the new companion he had found.

Dorothy's further quest proved unsuccessful; but after her first
disappointment was over, the little girl was filled with joy and
thankfulness to think that after all she had been able to save one
member of the royal family of Ev, and could restore the little Prince
to his sorrowing country. Now she might return to the terrible Nome
King in safety, carrying with her the prize she had won in the person
of the fair-haired boy.

So she retraced her steps until she found the entrance to the palace,
and as she approached, the massive doors of rock opened of their own
accord, allowing both Dorothy and Evring to pass the portals and enter
the throne room.

15. Billina Frightens the Nome King

Now when Dorothy had entered the palace to make her guesses and the
Scarecrow was left with the Nome King, the two sat in moody silence for
several minutes. Then the monarch exclaimed, in a tone of satisfaction:

"Very good!"

"Who is very good?" asked the Scarecrow.

"The machine man. He won't need to be wound up any more, for he has
now become a very neat ornament. Very neat, indeed."

"How about Dorothy?" the Scarecrow enquired.

"Oh, she will begin to guess, pretty soon," said the King, cheerfully.
"And then she will join my collection, and it will be your turn."

The good Scarecrow was much distressed by the thought that his little
friend was about to suffer the fate of Ozma and the rest of their party;
but while he sat in gloomy reverie a shrill voice suddenly cried:

"Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kutt! Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kutt!"

The Nome King nearly jumped off his seat, he was so startled.

"Good gracious! What's that?" he yelled.

"Why, it's Billina," said the Scarecrow.

"What do you mean by making a noise like that?" shouted the King,
angrily, as the yellow hen came from under the throne and strutted
proudly about the room.

"I've got a right to cackle, I guess," replied Billina. "I've just
laid my egg."

"What! Laid an egg! In my throne room! How dare you do such a
thing?" asked the King, in a voice of fury.

"I lay eggs wherever I happen to be," said the hen, ruffling her
feathers and then shaking them into place.

"But--thunder-ation! Don't you know that eggs are poison?" roared the
King, while his rock-colored eyes stuck out in great terror.

"Poison! well, I declare," said Billina, indignantly. "I'll have
you know all my eggs are warranted strictly fresh and up to date.
Poison, indeed!"

"You don't understand," retorted the little monarch, nervously. "Eggs
belong only to the outside world--to the world on the earth's surface,
where you came from. Here, in my underground kingdom, they are rank
poison, as I said, and we Nomes can't bear them around."

"Well, you'll have to bear this one around," declared Billina; "for
I've laid it."

"Where?" asked the King.

"Under your throne," said the hen.

The King jumped three feet into the air, so anxious was he to get away
from the throne.

"Take it away! Take it away at once!" he shouted.

"I can't," said Billina. "I haven't any hands."

"I'll take the egg," said the Scarecrow. "I'm making a collection of
Billina's eggs. There's one in my pocket now, that she laid yesterday."

Hearing this, the monarch hastened to put a good distance between
himself and the Scarecrow, who was about to reach under the throne for
the egg when the hen suddenly cried:


"What's wrong?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Don't take the egg unless the King will allow me to enter the palace
and guess as the others have done," said Billina.

"Pshaw!" returned the King. "You're only a hen. How could you guess
my enchantments?"

"I can try, I suppose," said Billina. "And, if I fail, you will have
another ornament."

"A pretty ornament you'd make, wouldn't you?" growled the King. "But
you shall have your way. It will properly punish you for daring to
lay an egg in my presence. After the Scarecrow is enchanted you shall
follow him into the palace. But how will you touch the objects?"

"With my claws," said the hen; "and I can speak the word 'Ev' as
plainly as anyone. Also I must have the right to guess the
enchantments of my friends, and to release them if I succeed."

"Very well," said the King. "You have my promise."

"Then," said Billina to the Scarecrow, "you may get the egg."

He knelt down and reached underneath the throne and found the egg,
which he placed in another pocket of his jacket, fearing that if both
eggs were in one pocket they would knock together and get broken.

Just then a bell above the throne rang briskly, and the King gave
another nervous jump.

"Well, well!" said he, with a rueful face; "the girl has actually done it."

"Done what?" asked the Scarecrow.

"She has made one guess that is right, and broken one of my neatest
enchantments. By ricketty, it's too bad! I never thought she would
do it."

"Do I understand that she will now return to us in safety?" enquired
the Scarecrow, joyfully wrinkling his painted face into a broad smile.

"Of course," said the King, fretfully pacing up and down the room. "I
always keep my promises, no matter how foolish they are. But I shall
make an ornament of the yellow hen to replace the one I have just lost."

"Perhaps you will, and perhaps you won't," murmured Billina, calmly.
"I may surprise you by guessing right."

"Guessing right?" snapped the King. "How could you guess right,
where your betters have failed, you stupid fowl?"

Billina did not care to answer this question, and a moment later the
doors flew open and Dorothy entered, leading the little Prince Evring
by the hand.

The Scarecrow welcomed the girl with a close embrace, and he would
have embraced Evring, too, in his delight. But the little Prince was
shy, and shrank away from the painted Scarecrow because he did not yet
know his many excellent qualities.

But there was little time for the friends to talk, because the
Scarecrow must now enter the palace. Dorothy's success had greatly
encouraged him, and they both hoped he would manage to make at least
one correct guess.

However, he proved as unfortunate as the others except Dorothy, and
although he took a good deal of time to select his objects, not one
did the poor Scarecrow guess aright.

So he became a solid gold card-receiver, and the beautiful but
terrible palace awaited its next visitor.

"It's all over," remarked the King, with a sigh of satisfaction; "and
it has been a very amusing performance, except for the one good guess
the Kansas girl made. I am richer by a great many pretty ornaments."

"It is my turn, now," said Billina, briskly.

"Oh, I'd forgotten you," said the King. "But you needn't go if you
don't wish to. I will be generous, and let you off."

"No you won't," replied the hen. "I insist upon having my guesses, as
you promised."

"Then go ahead, you absurd feathered fool!" grumbled the King, and he
caused the opening that led to the palace to appear once more.

"Don't go, Billina," said Dorothy, earnestly. "It isn't easy to guess
those orn'ments, and only luck saved me from being one myself. Stay
with me and we'll go back to the Land of Ev together. I'm sure this
little Prince will give us a home."

"Indeed I will," said Evring, with much dignity.

"Don't worry, my dear," cried Billina, with a cluck that was meant for
a laugh. "I may not be human, but I'm no fool, if I AM a chicken."

"Oh, Billina!" said Dorothy, "you haven't been a chicken in a long
time. Not since you--you've been--grown up."

"Perhaps that's true," answered Billina, thoughtfully. "But if a Kansas
farmer sold me to some one, what would he call me?--a hen or a chicken!"

"You are not a Kansas farmer, Billina," replied the girl, "and you said--"

"Never mind that, Dorothy. I'm going. I won't say good-bye, because
I'm coming back. Keep up your courage, for I'll see you a little later."

Then Billina gave several loud "cluck-clucks" that seemed to make the
fat little King MORE nervous than ever, and marched through the
entrance into the enchanted palace.

"I hope I've seen the last of THAT bird," declared the monarch,
seating himself again in his throne and mopping the perspiration from
his forehead with his rock-colored handkerchief. "Hens are bothersome
enough at their best, but when they can talk they're simply dreadful."

"Billina's my friend," said Dorothy quietly. "She may not always be
'zactly polite; but she MEANS well, I'm sure."

16. Purple, Green, and Gold

The yellow hen, stepping high and with an air of vast importance,
walked slowly over the rich velvet carpets of the splendid palace,
examining everything she met with her sharp little eyes.

Billina had a right to feel important; for she alone shared the Nome
King's secret and knew how to tell the objects that were
transformations from those that had never been alive. She was very
sure that her guesses would be correct, but before she began to make
them she was curious to behold all the magnificence of this
underground palace, which was perhaps one of the most splendid and
beautiful places in any fairyland.

As she went through the rooms she counted the purple ornaments; and
although some were small and hidden in queer places, Billina spied
them all, and found the entire ten scattered about the various rooms.
The green ornaments she did not bother to count, for she thought she
could find them all when the time came.

Finally, having made a survey of the entire palace and enjoyed its
splendor, the yellow hen returned to one of the rooms where she had
noticed a large purple footstool. She placed a claw upon this and
said "Ev," and at once the footstool vanished and a lovely lady, tall
and slender and most beautifully robed, stood before her.

The lady's eyes were round with astonishment for a moment, for she
could not remember her transformation, nor imagine what had restored
her to life.

"Good morning, ma'am," said Billina, in her sharp voice. "You're
looking quite well, considering your age."

"Who speaks?" demanded the Queen of Ev, drawing herself up proudly.

"Why, my name's Bill, by rights," answered the hen, who was now
perched upon the back of a chair; "although Dorothy has put scollops
on it and made it Billina. But the name doesn't matter. I've saved
you from the Nome King, and you are a slave no longer."

"Then I thank you for the gracious favor," said the Queen, with a
graceful courtesy. "But, my children--tell me, I beg of you--where
are my children?" and she clasped her hands in anxious entreaty.

"Don't worry," advised Billina, pecking at a tiny bug that was
crawling over the chair back. "Just at present they are out of
mischief and perfectly safe, for they can't even wiggle."

"What mean you, O kindly stranger?" asked the Queen, striving to
repress her anxiety.

"They're enchanted," said Billina, "just as you have been--all, that
is, except the little fellow Dorothy picked out. And the chances are
that they have been good boys and girls for some time, because they
couldn't help it."

"Oh, my poor darlings!" cried the Queen, with a sob of anguish.

"Not at all," returned the hen. "Don't let their condition make you
unhappy, ma'am, because I'll soon have them crowding 'round to bother
and worry you as naturally as ever. Come with me, if you please, and
I'll show you how pretty they look."

She flew down from her perch and walked into the next room, the Queen
following. As she passed a low table a small green grasshopper caught
her eye, and instantly Billina pounced upon it and snapped it up in
her sharp bill. For grasshoppers are a favorite food with hens, and
they usually must be caught quickly, before they can hop away. It
might easily have been the end of Ozma of Oz, had she been a real
grasshopper instead of an emerald one. But Billina found the
grasshopper hard and lifeless, and suspecting it was not good to eat
she quickly dropped it instead of letting it slide down her throat.

"I might have known better," she muttered to herself, "for where there
is no grass there can be no live grasshoppers. This is probably one

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