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Rinkitink In Oz by L. Frank Baum

Part 2 out of 4

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Inga was a little embarrassed how to reply to these
arguments, which he knew King Rinkitink considered were
wise; so, after a period of thought, he said:

"I will make a bargain with Your Majesty, for I do
not wish to fail in respect to so worthy a man and so
great a King as yourself. This boat is mine, as I have
said, and in my father's absence you have become my
guest; therefore I claim that I am entitled to some
consideration, as well as you."

"No doubt of it," agreed Rinkitink. "What is the
bargain you propose, Inga?"

"Let us both get into the boat, and you shall first
try to row us to Gilgad. If you succeed, I will
accompany you right willingly; but should you fail, I
will then row the boat to Regos, and you must come with
me without further protest."

"A fair and just bargain!" cried the King, highly
pleased. "Yet, although I am a man of mighty deeds, I
do not relish the prospect of rowing so big a boat all
the way to Gilgad. But I will do my best and abide by
the result."

The matter being thus peaceably settled, they
prepared to embark. A further supply of fruits was
placed in the boat and Inga also raked up a quantity of
the delicious oysters that abounded on the coast of
Pingaree but which he had before been unable to reach
for lack of a boat. This was done at the suggestion of
the ever-hungry Rinkitink, and when the oysters had
been stowed in their shells behind the water barrel and
a plentiful supply of grass brought aboard for Bilbil,
they decided they were ready to start on their voyage.

It proved no easy task to get Bilbil into the boat,
for he was a remarkably clumsy goat and once, when
Rinkitink gave him a push, he tumbled into the water
and nearly drowned before they could get him out again.
But there was no thought of leaving the quaint animal
behind. His power of speech made him seem almost human
in the eyes of the boy, and the fat King was so
accustomed to his surly companion that nothing could
have induced him to part with him. Finally Bilbil fell
sprawling into the bottom of the boat, and Inga helped
him to get to the front end, where there was enough
space for him to lie down.

Rinkitink now took his seat in the silver-lined craft
and the boy came last, pushing off the boat as he
sprang aboard, so that it floated freely upon the

"Well, here we go for Gilgad!" exclaimed the King,
picking up the oars and placing them in the row-locks.
Then he began to row as hard as he could, singing at
the same time an odd sort of a song that ran like this

"The way to Gilgad isn't bad
For a stout old King and a brave young lad,
For a cross old goat with a dripping coat,
And a silver boat in which to float.
So our hearts are merry, light and glad
As we speed away to fair Gilgad!"

"Don't, Rinkitink; please don't! It makes me
seasick," growled Bilbil.

Rinkitink stopped rowing, for by this time he was all
out of breath and his round face was covered with big
drops of perspiration. And when he looked over his
shoulder he found to his dismay that the boat had
scarcely moved a foot from its former position.

Inga said nothing and appeared not to notice the
King's failure. So now Rinkitink, with a serious look
on his fat, red face, took off his purple robe and
rolled up the sleeves of his tunic and tried again.

However, he succeeded no better than before and when
he heard Bilbil give a gruff laugh and saw a smile upon
the boy Prince's face, Rinkitink suddenly dropped the
oars and began shouting with laughter at his own
defeat. As he wiped his brow with a yellow silk
handkerchief he sang in a merry voice:

"A sailor bold am I, I hold,
But boldness will not row a boat.
So I confess I'm in distress
And just as useless as the goat."

"Please leave me out of your verses," said Bilbil
with a snort of anger.

"When I make a fool of myself, Bilbil, I'm a goat,"
replied Rinkitink.

"Not so," insisted Bilbil. "Nothing could make you a
member of my superior race."

"Superior? Why, Bilbil, a goat is but a beast, while
I am a King!"

"I claim that superiority lies in intelligence," said
the goat.

Rinkitink paid no attention to this remark, but
turning to Inga he said:

"We may as well get back to the shore, for the boat
is too heavy to row to Gilgad or anywhere else. Indeed,
it will be hard for us to reach land again."

"Let me take the oars," suggested Inga. "You must not
forget our bargain."

"No, indeed," answered Rinkitink. "If you can row us
to Regos, or to any other place, I will go with you
without protest."

So the King took Inga's place at the stern of the
boat and the boy grasped the oars and commenced to row.
And now, to the great wonder of Rinkitink -- and even
to Inga's surprise -- the oars became light as feathers
as soon as the Prince took hold of them. In an instant
the boat began to glide rapidly through the water and,
seeing this, the boy turned its prow toward the north.
He did not know exactly where Regos and Coregos were
located, but he did know that the islands lay to the
north of Pingaree, so he decided to trust to luck and
the guidance of the pearls to carry him to them.

Gradually the Island of Pingaree became smaller to
their view as the boat sped onward, until at the end of
an hour they had lost sight of it altogether and were
wholly surrounded by the purple waters of the Nonestic

Prince Inga did not tire from the labor of rowing;
indeed, it seemed to him no labor at all. Once he
stopped long enough to place the poles of the canopy in
the holes that had been made for them, in the edges of
the boat, and to spread the canopy of silver over the
poles, for Rinkitink had complained of the sun's heat.
But the canopy shut out the hot rays and rendered the
interior of the boat cool and pleasant.

"This is a glorious ride!" cried Rinkitink, as he lay
back in the shade. "I find it a decided relief to be
away from that dismal island of Pingaree.

"It may be a relief for a short time," said Bilbil,
"but you are going to the land of your enemies, who
will probably stick your fat body full of spears and

"Oh, I hope not!" exclaimed Inga, distressed at the

"Never mind," said the King calmly, "a man can die
but once, you know, and when the enemy kills me I shall
beg him to kill Bilbil, also, that we may remain
together in death as in life."

"They may be cannibals, in which case they will roast
and eat us," suggested Bilbil, who wished to terrify
his master.

"Who knows?" answered Rinkitink, with a shudder. "But
cheer up, Bilbil; they may not kill us after all, or
even capture us; so let us not borrow trouble. Do not
look so cross, my sprightly quadruped, and I will sing
to amuse you."

"Your song would make me more cross than ever,"
grumbled the goat.

"Quite impossible, dear Bilbil. You couldn't be more
surly if you tried. So here is a famous song for you."

While the boy rowed steadily on and the boat rushed
fast over the water, the jolly King, who never could be
sad or serious for many minutes at a time, lay back on
his embroidered cushions and sang as follows:

"A merry maiden went to sea --

Sing too-ral-oo-ral-i-do!
She sat upon the Captain's knee
And looked around the sea to see
What she could see, but she couldn't see me --

Sing too-ral-oo-ral-i-do!

"How do you like that, Bilbil?"

"I don't like it," complained the goat. "It reminds
me of the alligator that tried to whistle."

"Did he succeed, Bilbil?" asked the King.

"He whistled as well as you sing."

"Ha, ha, ha, ha, heek, keek, eek!" chuckled the King.
"He must have whistled most exquisitely, eh, my

"I am not your friend," returned the goat, wagging
his ears in a surly manner.

"I am yours, however," was the King's cheery reply;
"and to prove it I'll sing you another verse."

"Don't, I beg of you!"

But the King sang as follows:

"The wind blew off the maiden's shoe --
Sing too-ral-oo-ral-i-do!
And the shoe flew high to the sky so blue
And the maiden knew 'twas a new shoe, too;
But she couldn't pursue the shoe, 'tis true-
Sing too-ral-oo-ral-i-do!

"Isn't that sweet, my pretty goat?"

"Sweet, do you ask?" retorted Bilbil. "I consider it
as sweet as candy made from mustard and vinegar."

"But not as sweet as your disposition, I admit. Ah,
Bilbil, your temper would put honey itself to shame."

"Do not quarrel, I beg of you," pleaded Inga. "Are we
not sad enough already?"

"But this is a jolly quarrel," said the King, "and it
is the way Bilbil and I often amuse ourselves. Listen,
now, to the last verse of all:

"The maid who shied her shoe now cried --

Sing too-ral-oo-ral-i-do!
Her tears were fried for the Captain's bride
Who ate with pride her sobs, beside,
And gently sighed 'I'm satisfied' --

Sing to-ral-oo-ral-i-do!"

"Worse and worse!" grumbled Bilbil, with much scorn.
"I am glad that is the last verse, for another of the
same kind might cause me to faint."

"I fear you have no ear for music," said the King.

"I have heard no music, as yet," declared the goat.
"You must have a strong imagination, King Rinkitink, if
you consider your songs music. Do you remember the
story of the bear that hired out for a nursemaid?"

"I do not recall it just now," said Rinkitink, with a
wink at Inga.

"Well, the bear tried to sing a lullaby to put the
baby to sleep."

"And then?" said the King.

"The bear was highly pleased with its own voice, but
the baby was nearly frightened to death."

"Heh, heb, heh, heh, whoo, hoo, hoo! You are a merry
rogue, Bilbil," laughed the King; "a merry rogue in
spite of your gloomy features. However, if I have not
amused you, I have at least pleased myself, for I am
exceedingly fond of a good song. So let us say no more
about it."

All this time the boy Prince was rowing. the boat. He
was not in the least tired, for the oars he held seemed
to move of their own accord. He paid little heed to the
conversation of Rinkitink and the goat, but busied his
thoughts with plans of what he should do when he
reached the islands of Regos and Coregos and confronted
his enemies. When the others finally became silent,
Inga inquired.

"Can you fight, King Rinkitink?"

"I have never tried," was the answer. "In time of
danger I have found it much easier to run away than to
face the foe."

"But could you fight?" asked the boy.

"I might try, if there was no chance to escape by
running. Have you a proper weapon for me to fight

"I have no weapon at all," confessed Inga.

"Then let us use argument and persuasion instead of
fighting. For instance, if we could persuade the
warriors of Regos to lie down, and let me step on them,
they would be crushed with ease.

Prince Inga had expected little support from the
King, so he was not discouraged by this answer. After
all, he reflected, a conquest by battle would be out of
the question, yet the White Pearl would not have
advised him to go to Regos and Coregos had the mission
been a hopeless one. It seemed to him, on further
reflection, that he must rely upon circumstances to
determine his actions when he reached the islands of
the barbarians.

By this time Inga felt perfect confidence in the
Magic Pearls. It was the White Pearl that had given him
the boat, and the Blue Pearl that had given him
strength to row it. He believed that the Pink Pearl
would protect him from any danger that might arise; so
his anxiety was not for himself, but for his
companions. King Rinkitink and the goat had no magic to
protect them, so Inga resolved to do all in his power
to keep them from harm.

For three days and three nights the boat with the
silver lining sped swiftly over the ocean. On the
morning of the fourth day, so quickly had they
traveled, Inga saw before him the shores of the two
great islands of Regos and Coregos.

"The pearls have guided me aright!" he whispered to
himself. "Now, if I am wise, and cautious, and brave, I
believe I shall be able to rescue my father and mother
and my people."

Chapter Seven

The Twin Islands

The Island of Regos was ten miles wide and forty miles
long and it was ruled by a big and powerful King named
Gos. Near to the shores were green and fertile fields,
but farther back from the sea were rugged hills and
mountains, so rocky that nothing would grow there. But
in these mountains were mines of gold and silver, which
the slaves of the King were forced to work, being
confined in dark underground passages for that purpose.
In the course of time huge caverns had been hollowed
out by the slaves, in which they lived and slept, never
seeing the light of day. Cruel overseers with whips
stood over these poor people, who had been captured in
many countries by the raiding parties of King Cos, and
the overseers were quite willing to lash the slaves
with their whips if they faltered a moment in their

Between the green shores and the mountains were
forests of thick, tangled trees, between which narrow
paths had been cut to lead up to the caves of the
mines. It was on the level green meadows, not far from
the ocean, that the great City of Regos had been built,
wherein was located the palace of the King. This city
was inhabited by thousands of the fierce warriors of
Gos, who frequently took to their boats and spread over
the sea to the neighboring islands to conquer and
pillage, as they had done at Pingaree. When they were
not absent on one of these expeditions, the City of
Regos swarmed with them and so became a dangerous place
for any peaceful person to live in, for the warriors
were as lawless as their King.

The Island of Coregos lay close beside the Island of
Regos; so close, indeed, that one might have thrown a
stone from one shore to another. But Coregos was only
half the size of Regos and instead of being mountainous
it was a rich and pleasant country, covered with fields
of grain. The fields of Coregos furnished food for the
warriors and citizens of both countries, while the
mines of Regos made them all rich.

Coregos was ruled by Queen Cor, who was wedded to
King Gos; but so stern and cruel was the nature of this
Queen that the people could not decide which of their
sovereigns they dreaded most.

Queen Cor lived in her own City of Coregos, which lay
on that side of her island facing Regos, and her
slaves, who were mostly women, were made to plow the
land and to plant and harvest the grain.

From Regos to Coregos stretched a bridge of boats,
set close together, with planks laid across their edges
for people to walk upon. In this way it was easy to
pass from one island to the other and in times of
danger the bridge could be quickly removed.

The native inhabitants of Regos and Coregos consisted
of the warriors, who did nothing but fight and ravage,
and the trembling servants who waited on them. King Gos
and Queen Cor were at war with all the rest of the
world. Other islanders hated and feared them, for their
slaves were badly treated and absolutely no mercy was
shown to the weak or ill.

When the boats that had gone to Pingaree returned
loaded with rich plunder and a host of captives, there
was much rejoicing in Regos and Coregos and the King
and Queen gave a fine feast to the warriors who had
accomplished so great a conquest. This feast was set
for the warriors in the grounds of King Gos's palace,
while with them in the great throne room all the
captains and leaders of the fighting men were assembled
with King Gos and Queen Cor, who had come from her
island to attend the ceremony. Then all the goods that
had been stolen from the King of Pingaree were divided
according to rank, the King and Queen taking half, the
captains a quarter, and the rest being divided amongst
the warriors.

The day following the feast King Gos sent King
Kitticut and all the men of Pingaree to work in his
mines under the mountains, having first chained them
together so they could not escape. The gentle Queen of
Pingaree and all her women, together with the captured
children, were given to Queen Cor, who set them to work
in her grain fields.

Then the rulers and warriors of these dreadful
islands thought they had done forever with Pingaree.
Despoiled of all its wealth, its houses torn down, its
boats captured and all its people enslaved, what
likelihood was there that they might ever again hear of
the desolated island? So the people of Regos and
Coregos were surprised and puzzled when one morning
they observed approaching their shores from the
direction of the south a black boat containing a boy, a
fat man and a goat. The warriors asked one another who
these could be, and where they had come from? No one
ever came to those islands of their own accord, that
was certain.

Prince Inga guided his boat to the south end of the
Island of Regos, which was the landing place nearest to
the city, and when the warriors saw this action they
went down to the shore to meet him, being led by a big
captain named Buzzub.

"Those people surely mean us no good," said Rinkitink
uneasily to the boy. "Without doubt they intend to
capture us and make us their slaves."

"Do not fear, sir," answered Inga, in a calm voice.
"Stay quietly in the boat with Bilbil until I have
spoken with these men."

He stopped the boat a dozen feet from the shore, and
standing up in his place made a grave bow to the
multitude confronting him. Said the big Captain Buzzub
in a gruff voice:

"Well, little one, who may you be? And how dare you
come, uninvited and all alone, to the Island of Regos?"

"I am Inga, Prince of Pingaree," returned the boy,
"and I have come here to free my parents and my people,
whom you have wrongfully enslaved."

When they heard this bold speech a mighty laugh arose
from the band of warriors, and when it had subsided the
captain said:

"You love to jest, my baby Prince, and the joke is
fairly good. But why did you willingly thrust your head
into the lion's mouth? When you were free, why did you
not stay free? We did not know we had left a single
person in Pingaree! But since you managed to escape us
then, it is really kind of you to come here of your own
free will, to be our slave. Who is the funny fat person
with you?"

"It is His Majesty, King Rinkitink, of the great City
of Gilgad. He has accompanied me to see that you render
full restitution for all you have stolen from

"Better yet!" laughed Buzzub. "He will make a fine
slave for Queen Cor, who loves to tickle fat men, and
see them jump."

King Rinkitink was filled with horror when he heard
this, but the Prince answered as boldly as before,

"We are not to be frightened by bluster, believe me;
nor are we so weak as you imagine. We have magic powers
so great and terrible that no host of warriors can
possibly withstand us, and therefore I call upon you to
surrender your city and your island to us, before we
crush you with our mighty powers."

The boy spoke very gravely and earnestly, but his
words only aroused another shout of laughter. So while
the men of Regos were laughing Inga drove the boat
we'll up onto the sandy beach and leaped out. He also
helped Rinkitink out, and when the goat had unaided
sprung to the sands, the King got upon Bilbil's back,
trembling a little internally, but striving to look as
brave as possible.

There was a bunch of coarse hair between the goat's
ears, and this Inga clutched firmly in his left hand.
The boy knew the Pink Pearl would protect not only
himself, but all whom he touched, from any harm, and as
Rinkitink was astride the goat and Inga had his hand
upon the animal, the three could not be injured by
anything the warriors could do. But Captain Buzzub did
not know this, and the little group of three seemed so
weak and ridiculous that he believed their capture
would be easy. So he turned to his men and with a wave
of his hand said:

"Seize the intruders!"

Instantly two or three of the warriors stepped
forward to obey, but to their amazement they could not
reach any of the three; their hands were arrested as if
by an invisible wall of iron. Without paying any
attention to these attempts at capture, Inga advanced
slowly and the goat kept pace with him. And when
Rinkitink saw that he was safe from harm he gave one of
his big, merry laughs, and it startled the warriors and
made them nervous. Captain Buzzub's eyes grew big with
surprise as the three steadily advanced and forced his
men backward; nor was he free from terror himself at
the magic that protected these strange visitors. As for
the warriors, they presently became terror-stricken and
fled in a panic up the slope toward the city, and
Buzzub was obliged to chase after them and shout
threats of punishment before he could halt them and
form them into a line of battle.

All the men of Regos bore spears and bows-and-arrows,
and some of the officers had swords and battle-axes; so
Buzzub ordered them to stand their ground and shoot and
slay the strangers as they approached. This they tried
to do. Inga being in advance, the warriors sent a
flight of sharp arrows straight at the boy's breast,
while others cast their long spears at him.

It seemed to Rinkitink that the little Prince must
surely perish as he stood facing this hail of murderous
missiles; but the power of the Pink Pearl did not
desert him, and when the arrows and spears had reached
to within an inch of his body they bounded back again
and fell harmlessly at his feet. Nor were Rinkitink or
Bilbil injured in the least, although they stood close
beside Inga.

Buzzub stood for a moment looking upon the boy in
silent wonder. Then, recovering himself, he shouted in
a loud voice:

"Once again! All together, my men. No one shall ever
defy our might and live!"

Again a flight of arrows and spears sped toward the
three, and since many more of the warriors of Regos had
by this time joined their fellows, the air was for a
moment darkened by the deadly shafts. But again all
fell harmless before the power of the Pink Pearl, and
Bilbil, who had been growing very angry at the attempts
to injure him and his party, suddenly made a bolt
forward, casting off Inga's hold, and butted into the
line of warriors, who were standing amazed at their
failure to conquer.

Taken by surprise at the goat's attack, a dozen big
warriors tumbled in a heap, yelling with fear, and
their comrades, not knowing what had happened but
imagining that their foes were attacking them, turned
about and ran to the city as hard as they could go.
Bilbil, still angry, had just time to catch the big
captain as he turned to follow his men, and Buzzub
first sprawled headlong upon the ground, then rolled
over two or three times, and finally jumped up and ran
yelling after his defeated warriors. This butting on
the part of the goat was very hard upon King Rinkitink,
who nearly fell off Bilbil's back at the shock of
encounter; but the little fat King wound his arms
around the goat's neck and shut his eyes and clung on
with all his might. It was not until he heard Inga say
triumphantly, "We have won the fight without striking a
blow!" that Rinkitink dared open his eyes again. Then
he saw the warriors rushing into the City of Regos and
barring the heavy gates, and he was very much relieved
at the sight.

"Without striking a blow!" said Bilbil indignantly.
"That is not quite true, Prince Inga. You did not
fight, I admit, but I struck a couple of times to good
purpose, and I claim to have conquered the cowardly
warriors unaided."

"You and I together, Bilbil," said Rinkitink mildly.
"But the next time you make a charge, please warn me in
time, so that I may dismount and give you all the
credit for the attack."

There being no one now to oppose their advance, the
three walked to the gates of the city, which had been
closed against them. The gates were of iron and heavily
barred, and upon the top of the high walls of the city
a host of the warriors now appeared armed with arrows
and spears and other weapons. For Buzzub had gone
straight to the palace of King Cos and reported his
defeat, relating the powerful magic of the boy, the fat
King and the goat, and had asked what to do next.

The big captain still trembled with fear, but King
Gos did not helieve in magic, and called Buzzub a
coward and a weakling. At once the King took command of
his men personally, and he ordered the walls manned
with warriors and instructed them to shoot to kill if
any of the three strangers approached the gates.

Of course, neither Rinkitink nor Bilbil knew how they
had been protected from harm and so at first they were
inclined to resent the boy's command that the three
must always keep together and touch one another at all
times. But when Inga explained that his magic would not
otherwise save them from injury, they agreed to obey,
for they had now seen enough to convince them that the
Prince was really protected by some invisible power.

As they came before the gates another shower of
arrows and spears descended upon them, and as before
not a single missile touched their bodies. King Gos,
who was upon the wall, was greatly amazed and somewhat
worried, but he depended upon the strength of his gates
and commanded his men to continue shooting until all
their weapons were gone.

Inga let them shoot as much as they wished, while he
stood before the great gates and examined them

"Perhaps Bilbil can batter down the gates, suggested

"No," replied the goat; "my head is hard, but not
harder than iron."

"Then," returned the King, "let us stay outside;
especially as we can't get in."

But Inga was not at all sure they could not get in.
The gates opened inward, and three heavy bars were held
in place by means of stout staples riveted to the
sheets of steel. The boy had been told that the power
of the Blue Pearl would enable him to accomplish any
feat of strength, and he believed that this was true.

The warriors, under the direction of King Gos,
continued to hurl arrows and darts and spears and axes
and huge stones upon the invaders, all without avail.
The ground below was thickly covered with weapons, yet
not one of the three before the gates had been injured
in the slightest manner. When everything had been cast
that was available and not a single weapon of any sort
remained at hand, the amazed warriors saw the boy put
his shoulder against the gates and burst asunder the
huge staples that held the bars in place. A thousand of
their men could not have accomplished this feat, yet
the small, slight boy did it with seeming ease. The
gates burst open, and Inga advanced into the city
street and called upon King Gos to surrender.

But Gos was now as badly frightened as were his
warriors. He and his men were accustomed to war and
pillage and they had carried terror into many
countries, but here was a small boy, a fat man and a
goat who could not be injured by all his skill in
warfare, his numerous army and thousands of death-
dealing weapons. Moreover, they not only defied King
Gos's entire army but they had broken in the huge gates
of the city -- as easily as if they had been made of
paper -- and such an exhibition of enormous strength
made the wicked King fear for his life. Like all
bullies and marauders, Gos was a coward at heart, and
now a panic seized him and he turned and fled before
the calm advance of Prince Inga of Pingaree. The
warriors were like their master, and having thrown all
their weapons over the wall and being helpless to
oppose the strangers, they all swarmed after Gos, who
abandoned his city and crossed the bridge of boats to
the Island of Coregos. There was a desperate struggle
among these cowardly warriors to get over the bridge,
and many were pushed into the water and obliged to
swim; but finally every fighting man of Regos had
gained the shore of Coregos and then they tore away the
bridge of boats and drew them up on their own side,
hoping the stretch of open water would prevent the
magic invaders from following them.

The humble citizens and serving people of Regos, who
had been terrified and abused by the rough warriors all
their lives, were not only greatly astonished by this
sudden conquest of their masters but greatly delighted.
As the King and his army fled to Coregos, the people
embraced one another and danced for very joy, and then
they turned to see what the conquerors of Regos were

Chapter Eight

Rinkitink Makes a Great Mistake

The fat King rode his goat through the streets of the
conquered city and the boy Prince walked proudly beside
him, while all the people bent their heads humbly to
their new masters, whom they were prepared to serve in
the same manner they had King Gos.

Not a warrior remained in all Regos to oppose the
triumphant three; the bridge of boats had been
destroyed; Inga and his companions were free from
danger -- for a time, at least.

The jolly little King appreciated this fact and
rejoiced that he had escaped all injury during the
battle. How it had all happened he could not tell, nor
even guess, but he was content in being safe and free
to take possession of the enemy's city. So, as they
passed through the lines of respectful civilians on
their way to the palace, the King tipped his crown back
on his bald head and folded his arms and sang in his
best voice the following lines:

"Oh, here comes the army of King Rinkitink!
It isn't a big one, perhaps you may think,
But it scattered the warriors quicker than wink --

Rink-i-tink, tink-i-tink, tink!
Our Bilbil's a hero and so is his King;
Our foemen have vanished like birds on the wing;
I guess that as fighters we're quite the real thing --

Rink-i-tink, tink-i-tink, tink!"

"Why don't you give a little credit to Inga?"
inquired the goat. "If I remember aright, he did a
little of the conquering himself."

"So he did," responded the King, "and that's the
reason I'm sounding our own praise, Bilbil. Those who
do the least, often shout the loudest and so get the
most glory. Inga did so much that there is danger of
his becoming more important than we are, and so we'd
best say nothing about him."

When they reached the palace, which was an immense
building, furnished throughout in regal splendor, Inga
took formal possession and ordered the majordomo to
show them the finest rooms the building contained.
There were many pleasant apartments, but Rinkitink
proposed to Inga that they share one of the largest
bedrooms together.

"For," said he, "we are not sure that old Gos will
not return and try to recapture his city, and you must
remember that I have no magic to protect me. In any
danger, were I alone, I might be easily killed or
captured, while if you are by my side you can save me
from injury."

The boy realized the wisdom of this plan, and
selected a fine big bedroom on the second floor of the
palace, in which he ordered two golden beds placed and
prepared for King Rinkitink and himself. Bilbil was
given a suite of rooms on the other side of the palace,
where servants brought the goat fresh-cut grass to eat
and made him a soft bed to lie upon.

That evening the boy Prince and the fat King dined in
great state in the lofty-domed dining hall of the
palace, where forty servants waited upon them. The
royal chef, anxious to win the favor of the conquerors
of Regos, prepared his finest and most savory dishes
for them, which Rinkitink ate with much appetite and
found so delicious that he ordered the royal chef
brought into the banquet hall and presented him with a
gilt button which the King cut from his own jacket.

"You are welcome to it," said he to the chef,
"because I have eaten so much that I cannot use that
lower button at all."

Rinkitink was mightily pleased to live in a
comfortable palace again and to dine at a well spread
table. His joy grew every moment, so that he came in
time to be as merry and cheery as before Pingaree was
despoiled. And, although he had been much frightened
during Inga's defiance of the army of King Gos, he now
began to turn the matter into a joke.

"Why, my boy," said he, "you whipped the big black-
bearded King exactly as if he were a schoolboy, even
though you used no warlike weapon at all upon him. He
was cowed through fear of your magic, and that reminds
me to demand from you an explanation. How did you do
it, Inga? And where did the wonderful magic come from?"

Perhaps it would have been wise for the Prince to
have explained about the magic pearls, but at that
moment he was not inclined to do so. Instead, he

"Be patient, Your Majesty. The secret is not my own,
so please do not ask me to divulge it. Is it not
enough, for the present, that the magic saved you from
death to-day?"

"Do not think me ungrateful," answered the King
earnestly. "A million spears fell on me from the wall,
and several stones as big as mountains, yet none of
them hurt me!"

"The stones were not as big as mountains, sire," said
the Prince with a smile. "They were, indeed, no larger
than your head."

"Are you sure about that?" asked Rinkitink.

"Quite sure, Your Majesty."

"How deceptive those things are!" sighed the King.
"This argument reminds me of the story of Tom Tick,
which my father used to tell."

"I have never heard that story," Inga answered.

"Well, as he told it, it ran like this:

"When Tom walked out, the sky to spy,
A naughty gnat flew in his eye;
But Tom knew not it was a gnat --
He thought, at first, it was a cat.

"And then, it felt so very big,
He thought it surely was a pig
Till, standing still to hear it grunt,
He cried: 'Why, it's an elephunt!'

"But -- when the gnat flew out again
And Tom was free from all his pain,
He said: 'There flew into my eye
A leetle, teenty-tiny fly.'"

"Indeed," said Inga, laughing, "the gnat was much
like your stones that seemed as big as mountains."

After their dinner they inspected the palace, which
was filled with valuable goods stolen by King Gos from
many nations. But the day's events had tired them and
they retired early to their big sleeping apartment.

"In the morning," said the boy to Rinkitink, as he
was undressing for bed, "I shall begin the search for
my father and mother and the people of Pingaree. And,
when they are found and rescued, we will all go home
again, and be as happy as we were before."

They carefully bolted the door of their room, that no
one might enter, and then got into their beds, where
Rinkitink fell asleep in an instant. The boy lay awake
for a while thinking over the day's adventures, but
presently he fell sound asleep also, and so weary was
he that nothing disturbed his slumber until he awakened
next morning with a ray of sunshine in his eyes, which
had crept into the room through the open window by King
Rinkitink's bed.

Resolving to begin the search for his parents without
any unnecessary delay, Inga at once got out of bed and
began to dress himself, while Rinkitink, in the other
bed, was still sleeping peacefully. But when the boy
had put on both his stockings and began looking for his
shoes, he could find but one of them. The left shoe,
that containing the Pink Pearl, was missing.

Filled with anxiety at this discovery, Inga searched
through the entire room, looking underneath the beds
and divans and chairs and behind the draperies and in
the corners and every other possible place a shoe might
be. He tried the door, and found it still bolted; so,
with growing uneasiness, the boy was forced to admit
that the precious shoe was not in the room.

With a throbbing heart he aroused his companion.

"King Rinkitink," said he, "do you know what has
become of my left shoe?"

"Your shoe!" exclaimed the King, giving a wide yawn
and rubbing his eyes to get the sleep out of them.
"Have you lost a shoe?"

"Yes," said Inga. "I have searched everywhere in the
room, and cannot find it."

"But why bother me about such a small thing?"
inquired Rinkitink. "A shoe is only a shoe, and you can
easily get another one. But, stay! Perhaps it was your
shoe which I threw at the cat last night."

"The cat!" cried Inga. "What do you mean?"

"Why, in the night," explained Rinkitink, sitting up
and beginning to dress himself, "I was wakened by the
mewing of a cat that sat upon a wall of the palace,
just outside my window. As the noise disturbed me, I
reached out in the dark and caught up something and
threw it at the cat, to frighten the creature away. I
did not know what it was that I threw, and I was too
sleepy to care; but probably it was your shoe, since it
is now missing."

"Then," said the boy, in a despairing tone of voice,
"your carelessness has ruined me, as well as yourself,
King Rinkitink, for in that shoe was concealed the
magic power which protected us from danger."

The King's face became very serious when he heard
this and he uttered a low whistle of surprise and

"Why on earth did you not warn me of this?" he
demanded. "And why did you keep such a precious power
in an old shoe? And why didn't you put the shoe under a
pillow? You were very wrong, my lad, in not confiding
to me, your faithful friend, the secret, for in that
case the shoe would not now be lost."

To all this Inga had no answer. He sat on the side of
his bed, with hanging head, utterly disconsolate, and
seeing this, Rinkitink had pity for his sorrow.

"Come!" cried the King; "let us go out at once and
look for the shoe which I threw at the cat. It must
even now be lying in the yard of the palace."

This suggestion roused the boy to action. He at once
threw open the door and in his stocking feet rushed
down the staircase, closely followed by Rinkitink. But
although they looked on both sides of the palace wall
and in every possible crack and corner where a shoe
might lodge, they failed to find it.

After a half hour's careful search the boy said

"Someone must have passed by, as we slept, and taken
the precious shoe, not knowing its value. To us, King
Rinkitink, this will be a dreadful misfortune, for we
are surrounded by dangers from which we have now no
protection. Luckily I have the other shoe left, within
which is the magic power that gives me strength; so all
is not lost."

Then he told Rinkitink, in a few words, the secret of
the wonderful pearls, and how he had recovered them
from the ruins and hidden them in his shoes, and how
they had enabled him to drive King Gos and his men from
Regos and to capture the city. The King was much
astonished, and when the story was concluded he said to

"What did you do with the other shoe?"

"Why, I left it in our bedroom," replied the boy.

"Then I advise you to get it at once," continued
Rinkitink, "for we can ill afford to lose the second
shoe, as well as the one I threw at the cat."

"You are right!" cried Inga, and they hastened back
to their bedchamber.

On entering the room they found an old woman sweeping
and raising a great deal of dust.

"Where is my shoe?" asked the Prince, anxiously.

The old woman stopped sweeping and looked at him in a
stupid way, for she was not very intelligent.

"Do you mean the one odd shoe that was lying on the
floor when I came in?" she finally asked.

"Yes -- yes!" answered the boy. "Where is it? Tell me
where it is!"

"Why, I threw it on the dust-heap, outside the back
gate," said she, "for, it being but a single shoe, with
no mate, it can be of no use to anyone."

"Show us the way to the dust-heap -- at once!"
commanded the boy, sternly, for he was greatly
frightened by this new misfortune which threatened him.

The old woman hobbled away and they followed her,
constantly urging her to hasten; but when they reached
the dust-heap no shoe was to be seen.

"This is terrible!" wailed the young Prince, ready to
weep at his loss. "We are now absolutely ruined, and at
the mercy of our enemies. Nor shall I be able to
liberate my dear father and mother."

"Well," replied Rinkitink, leaning against an old
barrel and looking quite solemn, "the thing is
certainly unlucky, any way we look at it. I suppose
someone has passed along here and, seeing the shoe upon
the dust-heap, has carried it away. But no one could
know the magic power the shoe contains and so will not
use it against us. I believe, Inga, we must now depend
upon our wits to get us out of the scrape we are in.

With saddened hearts they returned to the palace, and
entering a small room where no one could observe them
or overhear them, the boy took the White Pearl from its
silken bag and held it to his ear, asking:

"What shall I do now?"

"Tell no one of your loss," answered the Voice of the
Pearl. "If your enemies do not know that you are
powerless, they will fear you as much as ever. Keep
your secret, be patient, and fear not!"

Inga heeded this advice and also warned Rinkitink to
say nothing to anyone of the loss of the shoes and the
powers they contained. He sent for the shoemaker of
King Gos, who soon brought him a new pair of red
leather shoes that fitted him quite well. When these
had been put upon his feet, the Prince, accompanied by
the King, started to walk through the city.

Wherever they went the people bowed low to the
conqueror, although a few, remembering Inga's terrible
strength, ran away in fear and trembling. They had been
used to severe masters and did not yet know how they
would be treated by King Gos's successor. There being
no occasion for the boy to exercise the powers he had
displayed the previous day, his present helplessness
was not suspected by any of the citizens of Regos, who
still considered him a wonderful magician.

Inga did not dare to fight his way to the mines, at
present, nor could he try to conquer the Island of
Coregos, where his mother was enslaved; so he set about
the regulation of the City of Regos, and having
established himself with great state in the royal
palace he began to govern the people by kindness,
having consideration for the most humble.

The King of Regos and his followers sent spies across
to the island they had abandoned in their flight, and
these spies returned with the news that the terrible
boy conqueror was still occupying the city. Therefore
none of them ventured to go back to Regos but continued
to live upon the neighboring island of Coregos, where
they passed the days in fear and trembling and sought
to plot and plan ways how they might overcome the
Prince of Pingaree and the fat King of Gilgad.

Chapter Nine

A Present for Zella

Now it so happened that on the morning of that same day
when the Prince of Pingaree suffered the loss of his
priceless shoes, there chanced to pass along the road
that wound beside the royal palace a poor charcoal-
burner named Nikobob, who was about to return to his
home in the forest.

Nikobob carried an ax and a bundle of torches over
his shoulder and he walked with his eyes to the ground,
being deep in thought as to the strange manner in which
the powerful King Gos and his city had been conquered
by a boy Prince who had come from Pingaree.

Suddenly the charcoal-burner espied a shoe lying upon
the ground, just beyond the high wall of the palace and
directly in his path. He picked it up and, seeing it
was a pretty shoe, although much too small for his own
foot, he put it in his pocket.

Soon after, on turning a corner of the wall, Nikobob
came to a dust-heap where, lying amidst a mass of
rubbish, was another shoe -- the mate to the one he had
before found. This also he placed in his pocket, saying
to himself:

"I have now a fine pair of shoes for my daughter
Zella, who will be much pleased to find I have brought
her a present from the city."

And while the charcoal-burner turned into the forest
and trudged along the path toward his home, Inga and
Rinkitink were still searching for the missing shoes.
Of course, they could not know that Nikobob had found
them, nor did the honest man think he had taken
anything more than a pair of cast-off shoes which
nobody wanted.

Nikobob had several miles to travel through the
forest before he could reach the little log cabin where
his wife, as well as his little daughter Zella, awaited
his return, but he was used to long walks and tramped
along the path whistling cheerfully to beguile the

Few people, as I said before, ever passed through the
dark and tangled forests of Regos, except to go to the
mines in the mountain beyond, for many dangerous
creatures lurked in the wild jungles, and King Gos
never knew, when he sent a messenger to the mines,
whether he would reach there safely or not.

The charcoal-burner, however, knew the wild forest
well, and especially this part of it lying between the
city and his home. It was the favorite haunt of the
ferocious beast Choggenmugger, dreaded by every dweller
in the Island of Regos. Choggenmugger was so old that
everyone thought it must have been there since the
world was made, and each year of its life the huge
scales that covered its body grew thicker and harder
and its jaws grew wider and its teeth grew sharper and
its appetite grew more keen than ever.

In former ages there had been many dragons in Regos,
but Choggenmugger was so fond of dragons that he had
eaten all of them long ago. There had also been great
serpents and crocodiles in the forest marshes, but all
had gone to feed the hunger of Choggenmugger. The
people of Regos knew well there was no use opposing the
Great Beast, so when one unfortunately met with it he
gave himself up for lost.

All this Nikobob knew well, but fortune had always
favored him in his journey through the forest, and
although he had at times met many savage beasts and
fought them with his sharp ax, he had never to this day
encountered the terrible Choggenmugger. Indeed, he was
not thinking of the Great Beast at all as he walked
along, but suddenly he heard a crashing of broken trees
and felt a trembling of the earth and saw the immense
jaws of Choggenmugger opening before him. Then Nikobob
gave himself up for lost and his heart almost ceased to

He believed there was no way of escape. No one ever
dared oppose Choggenmugger. But Nikobob hated to die
without showing the monster, in some way, that he was
eaten only under protest. So he raised his ax and
brought it down upon the red, protruding tongue of the
monster -- and cut it clean off!

For a moment the charcoal-burner scarcely believed
what his eyes saw, for he knew nothing of the pearls he
carried in his pocket or the magic power they lent his
arm. His success, however, encouraged him to strike
again, and this time the huge scaly jaw of
Choggenmugger was severed in twain and the beast howled
in terrified rage.

Nikobob took off his coat, to give himself more
freedom of action, and then he earnestly renewed the
attack. But now the ax seemed blunted by the hard
scales and made no impression upon them whatever. The
creature advanced with glaring, wicked eyes, and
Nikobob seized his coat under his arm and turned to

That was foolish, for Choggenmugger could run like
the wind. In a moment it overtook the charcoal-burner
and snapped its four rows of sharp teeth together. But
they did not touch Nikobob, because he still held the
coat in his grasp, close to his body, and in the coat
pocket were Inga's shoes, and in the points of the
shoes were the magic pearls. Finding himself uninjured,
Nikobob put on his coat, again seized his ax, and in a
short time had chopped Choggenmugger into many small
pieces -- a task that proved not only easy but very

"I must be the strongest man in all the world!"
thought the charcoal-burner, as he proudly resumed his
way, "for Choggenmugger has been the terror of Regos
since the world began, and I alone have been able to
destroy the beast. Yet it is singular' that never
before did I discover how powerful a man I am."

He met no further adventure and at midday reached a
little clearing in the forest where stood his humble

"Great news! I have great news for you," he shouted,
as his wife and little daughter came to greet him.
"King Gos has been conquered by a boy Prince from the
far island of Pingaree, and I have this day -- unaided
-- destroyed Choggenmugger by the might of my strong

This was, indeed, great news. They brought Nikobob
into the house and set him in an easy chair and made
him tell everything he knew about the Prince of
Pingaree and the fat King of Gilgad, as well as the
details of his wonderful fight with mighty

"And now, my daughter," said the charcoalburner, when
all his news had been related for at least the third
time, "here is a pretty present I have brought you
from the city."

With this he drew the shoes from the pocket of his
coat and handed them to Zella, who gave him a dozen
kisses in payment and was much pleased with her gift.
The little girl had never worn shoes before, for her
parents were too poor to buy her such luxuries, so now
the possession of these, which were not much worn,
filled the child's heart with joy. She admired the red
leather and the graceful curl of the pointed toes. When
she tried them on her feet, they fitted as well as if
made for her.

All the afternoon, as she helped her mother with the
housework, Zella thought of her pretty shoes. They
seemed more important to her than the coming to Regos
of the conquering Prince of Pingaree, or even the death
of Choggenmugger.

When Zella and her mother were not working in the
cabin, cooking or sewing, they often searched the
neighboring forest for honey which the wild bees
cleverly hid in hollow trees. The day after Nikobob's
return, as they were starting out after honey, Zella
decided to put on her new shoes, as they would keep the
twigs that covered the ground from hurting her feet.
She was used to the twigs, of course, but what is the
use of having nice, comfortable shoes, if you do not
wear them?

So she danced along, very happily, followed by her
mother, and presently they came to a tree in which was
a deep hollow. Zella thrust her hand and arm into the
space and found that the tree was full of honey, so she
began to dig it out with a wooden paddle. Her mother,
who held the pail, suddenly cried in warning:

"Look out, Zella; the bees are coming!" and then the
good woman ran fast toward the house to escape.

Zella, however, had no more than time to turn her
head when a thick swarm of bees surrounded her, angry
because they had caught her stealing their honey and
intent on stinging the girl as a punishment. She knew
her danger and expected to be badly injured by the
multitude of stinging bees, but to her surprise the
little creatures were unable to fly close enough to her
to stick their dart-like stingers into her flesh. They
swarmed about her in a dark cloud, and their angry
buzzing was terrible to hear, yet the little girl
remained unharmed.

When she realized this, Zella was no longer afraid
but continued to ladle out the honey until she had
secured all that was in the tree. Then she returned to
the cabin, where her mother was weeping and bemoaning
the fate of her darling child, and the good woman was
greatly astonished to find Zella had escaped injury.

Again they went to the woods to search for honey, and
although the mother always ran away whenever the bees
came near them, Zella paid no attention to the
creatures but kept at her work, so that before supper
time came the pails were again filled to overflowing
with delicious honey.

"With such good fortune as we have had this day,"
said her mother, "we shall soon gather enough honey for
you to carry to Queen Cor." For it seems the wicked
Queen was very fond of honey and it had been Zella's
custom to go, once every year, to the City of Coregos,
to carry the Queen a supply of sweet honey for her
table. Usually she had but one pail.

"But now," said Zella, "I shall be able to carry two
pailsful to the Queen, who will, I am sure, give me a
good price for it."

"True," answered her mother, "and, as the boy Prince
may take it into his head to conquer Coregos, as well
as Regos, I think it best for you to start on your
journey to Queen Cor tomorrow morning. Do you not agree
with me, Nikobob?" she added, turning to her husband,
the charcoal-burner, who was eating his supper.

"I agree with you," he replied. "If Zella must go to
the City of Coregos, she may as well start to-morrow

Chapter Ten

The Cunning of Queen Cor

You may be sure the Queen of Coregos was not well
pleased to have King Gos and all his warriors living in
her city after they had fled from their own. They were
savage natured and quarrelsome men at all times, and
their tempers had not improved since their conquest by
the Prince of Pingaree. Moreover, they were eating up
Queen Cor's provisions and crowding the houses of her
own people, who grumbled and complained until their
Queen was heartily tired.

"Shame on you!" she said to her husband, King Gos,
"to be driven out of your city by a boy, a roly-poly
King and a billy goat! Why do you not go back and fight

"No human can fight against the powers of magic,"
returned the King in a surly voice. "That boy is either
a fairy or under the protection of fairies. We escaped
with our lives only because we were quick to run away;
but, should we return to Regos, the same terrible power
that burst open the city gates would crush us all to

"Bah! you are a coward," cried the Queen, tauntingly.

"I am not a coward," said the big King. "I have
killed in battle scores of my enemies; by the might of
my sword and my good right arm I have conquered many
nations; all my life people have feared me. But no one
would dare face the tremendous power of the Prince of
Pingaree, boy though he is. It would not be courage, it
would be folly, to attempt it."

"Then meet his power with cunning," suggested the
Queen. "Take my advice, and steal over to Regos at
night, when it is dark, and capture or destroy the boy
while he sleeps."

"No weapon can touch his body," was the answer. "He
bears a charmed life and cannot be injured."

"Does the fat King possess magic powers, or the
goat?" inquired Cor.

"I think not," said Gos. "We could not injure them,
indeed, any more than we could the boy, but they did
not seem to have any unusual strength, although the
goat's head is harder than a battering-ram."

"Well," mused the Queen, "there is surely some way to
conquer that slight boy. If you are afraid to undertake
the job, I shall go myself. By some stratagem I shall
manage to make him my prisoner. He will not dare to
defy a Queen, and no magic can stand against a woman's

"Go ahead, if you like," replied the King, with an
evil grin, "and if you are hung up by the thumbs or
cast into a dungeon, it will serve you right for
thinking you can succeed where a skilled warrior dares
not make the attempt."

"I'm not afraid," answered the Queen. "It is only
soldiers and bullies who are cowards."

In spite of this assertion, Queen Cor was not so
brave as she was cunning. For several days she thought
over this plan and that, and tried to decide which was
most likely to succeed. She had never seen the boy
Prince but had heard so many tales of him from the
defeated warriors, and especially from Captain Buzzub,
that she had learned to respect his power.

Spurred on by the knowledge that she would never get
rid of her unwelcome guests until Prince Inga was
overcome and Regos regained for King Gos, the Queen of
Coregos finally decided to trust to luck and her native
wit to defeat a simple-minded boy, however powerful he
might be. Inga could not suspect what she was going to
do, because she did not know herself. She intended to
act boldly and trust to chance to win.

It is evident that had the cunning Queen known that
Inga had lost all his magic, she would not have devoted
so much time to the simple matter of capturing him, but
like all others she was impressed by the marvelous
exhibition of power he had shown in capturing Regos,
and had no reason to believe the boy was less powerful

One morning Queen Cor boldly entered a boat, and,
taking four men with her as an escort and bodyguard,
was rowed across the narrow channel to Regos. Prince
Inga was sitting in the palace playing checkers with
King Rinkitink when a servant came to him, saying that
Queen Cor had arrived and desired an audience with him.

With many misgivings lest the wicked Queen discover
that he had now lost his magic powers, the boy ordered
her to be admitted, and she soon entered the room and
bowed low before him, in mock respect.

Cor was a big woman, almost as tall as King Gos. She
had flashing black eyes and the dark complexion you see
on gypsies. Her temper, when irritated, was something
dreadful, and her face wore an evil expression which
she tried to cover by smiling sweetly -- often when she
meant the most mischief.

"I have come," said she in a low voice, "to render
homage to the noble Prince of Pingaree. I am told that
Your Highness is the strongest person in the world, and
invincible in battle, and therefore I wish you to
become my friend, rather than my enemy."

Now Inga did not know how to reply to this speech. He
disliked the appearance of the woman and was afraid of
her and he was unused to deception and did not know how
to mask his real feelings. So he took time to think
over his answer, which he finally made in these words:

"I have no quarrel with Your Majesty, and my only
reason for coming here is to liberate my father and
mother, and my people, whom you and your husband have
made your slaves, and to recover the goods King Gos has
plundered from the Island of Pingaree. This I hope soon
to accomplish, and if you really wish to be my friend,
you can assist me greatly."

While he was speaking Queen Cor had been studying the
boy's face stealthily, from the corners of her eyes,
and she said to herself: "He is so small and innocent
that I believe I can capture him alone, and with ease.
He does not seem very terrible and I suspect that King
Gos and his warriors were frightened at nothing."

Then, aloud, she said to Inga:

"I wish to invite you, mighty Prince, and your
friend, the great King of Gilgad, to visit my poor
palace at Coregos, where all my people shall do you
honor. Will you come?"

"At present," replied Inga, uneasily, "I must refuse
your kind invitation."

"There will be feasting, and dancing girls, and games
and fireworks," said the Queen, speaking as if eager to
entice him and at each word coming a step nearer to
where he stood.

"I could not enjoy them while my poor parents are
slaves," said the boy, sadly.

"Are you sure of that?" asked Queen Cor, and by that
time she was close beside Inga. Suddenly she leaned
forward and threw both of her long arms around Inga's
body, holding him in a grasp that was like a vise.

Now Rinkitink sprang forward to rescue his friend,
but Cor kicked out viciously with her foot and struck
the King squarely on his stomach -- a very tender place
to be kicked, especially if one is fat. Then, still
hugging Inga tightly, the Queen called aloud:

"I've got him! Bring in the ropes."

Instantly the four men she had brought with her
sprang into the room and bound the boy hand and foot.
Next they seized Rinkitink, who was still rubbing his
stomach, and bound him likewise.

With a laugh of wicked triumph, Queen Cor now led her
captives down to the boat and returned with them to

Great was the astonishment of King Gos and his
warriors when they saw that the mighty Prince of
Pingaree, who had put them all to flight, had been
captured by a woman. Cowards as they were, they now
crowded around the boy and jeered at him, and some of
them would have struck him had not the Queen cried out:

"Hands off! He is my prisoner, remember not yours."

"Well, Cor, what are you going to do with him?"
inquired King Gos.

"I shall make him my slave, that he may amuse my idle
hours. For he is a pretty boy, and gentle, although he
did frighten all of you big warriors so terribly."

The King scowled at this speech, not liking to be
ridiculed, but he said nothing more. He and his men
returned that same day to Regos, after restoring the
bridge of boats. And they held a wild carnival of
rejoicing, both in the King's palace and in the city,
although the poor people of Regos who were not warriors
were all sorry that the kind young Prince had been
captured by his enemies and could rule them no longer.

When her unwelcome guests had all gone back to Regos
and the Queen was alone in her palace, she ordered Inga
and Rinkitink brought before her and their bonds
removed. They came sadly enough, knowing they were in
serious straits and at the mercy of a cruel mistress.
Inga had taken counsel of the White Pearl, which had
advised him to bear up bravely under his misfortune,
promising a change for the better very soon. With this
promise to comfort him, Inga faced the Queen with a
dignified bearing that indicated both pride and

"Well, youngster," said she, in a cheerful tone
because she was pleased with her success, "you played a
clever trick on my poor husband and frightened him
badly, but for that prank I am inclined to forgive you.
Hereafter I intend you to be my page, which means that
you must fetch and carry for me at my will. And let me
advise you to obey my every whim without question or
delay, for when I am angry I become ugly, and when I am
ugly someone is sure to feel the lash. Do you
understand me?"

Inga bowed, but made no answer. Then she turned to
Rinkitink and said:

"As for you, I cannot decide how to make you useful
to me, as you are altogether too fat and awkward to
work in the fields. It may be, however, that I can use
you as a pincushion.

"What!" cried Rinkitink in horror, "would you stick
pins into the King of Gilgad?"

"Why not?" returned Queen Cor. "You are as fat as a
pincushion, as you must yourself admit, and whenever I
needed a pin I could call you to me." Then she laughed
at his frightened look and asked: "By the way, are you

This was the question Rinkitink had been dreading. He
gave a moan of despair and shook his head.

"I should love to tickle the bottom of your feet with
a feather," continued the cruel woman. "Please take off
your shoes."

"Oh, your Majesty!" pleaded poor Rinkitink, "I beg
you to allow me to amuse you in some other way. I can
dance, or I can sing you a song."

"Well," she answered, shaking with laughter, "you may
sing a song -- if it be a merry one. But you do not
seem in a merry mood."

"I feel merry -- indeed, Your Majesty, I do!"
protested Rinkitink, anxious to escape the tickling.
But even as he professed to "feel merry" his round, red
face wore an expression of horror and anxiety that was
realty comical.

"Sing, then!" commanded Queen Cor, who was greatly

Rinkitink gave a sigh of relief and after clearing
his throat and trying to repress his sobs he began to
sing this song-gently, at first, but finally roaring it
out at the top of his voice:

There was a Baby Tiger lived in a men-ag-er-ie --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- they wouldn't set him free;
And ev'rybody thought that he was gentle as could be --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- Ba-by Ti-ger!

They patted him upon his head and shook him by the paw --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- he had a bone to gnaw;
But soon he grew the biggest Tiger that you ever saw --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy -- what a Ti-ger!

One day they came to pet the brute and he began to fight --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy-how he did scratch and bite!
He broke the cage and in a rage he darted out of sight --

Fizzy-fezzy-fuzzy was a Ti-ger!"

"And is there a moral to the song?" asked Queen Cor,
when King Rinkitink had finished his song with great

"If there is," replied Rinkitink, "it is a warning
not to fool with tigers."

The little Prince could not help smiling at this
shrewd answer, but Queen Cor frowned and gave the King
a sharp look.

"Oh," said she; "I think I know the difference
between a tiger and a lapdog. But I'll bear the warning
in mind, just the same."

For, after all her success in capturing them, she was
a little afraid of these people who had once displayed
such extraordinary powers.

Chapter Eleven

Zella Goes to Coregos

The forest in which Nikobob lived with his wife and
daughter stood between the mountains and the City of
Regos, and a well-beaten path wound among the trees,
leading from the city to the mines. This path was used
by the King's messengers, and captured prisoners were
also sent by this way from Regos to work in the
underground caverns.

Nikobob had built his cabin more than a mile away
from this path, that he might not be molested by the
wild and lawless soldiers of King Gos, but the family
of the charcoal-burner was surrounded by many creatures
scarcely less dangerous to encounter, and often in the
night they could hear savage animals growling and
prowling about the cabin. Because Nikobob minded his
own business and never hunted the wild creatures to
injure them, the beasts had come to regard him as one
of the natural dwellers in the forest and did not
molest him or his family. Still Zella and her mother
seldom wandered far from home, except on such errands
as carrying honey to Coregos, and at these times
Nikobob cautioned them to be very careful.

So when Zella set out on her journey to Queen Cor,
with the two pails of honey in her hands, she was
undertaking a dangerous adventure and there was no
certainty that she would return safely to her loving
parents. But they were poor, and Queen Cor's money,
which they expected to receive for the honey, would
enable them to purchase many things that were needed;
so it was deemed best that Zella should go. She was a
brave little girl and poor people are often obliged to
take chances that rich ones are spared.

A passing woodchopper had brought news to Nikobob's
cabin that Queen Cor had made a prisoner of the
conquering Prince of Pingaree and that Gos and his
warriors were again back in their city of Regos; but
these struggles and conquests were matters which,
however interesting, did not concern the poor charcoal-
burner or his family. They were more anxious over the
report that the warriors had become more reckless than
ever before, and delighted in annoying all the common
people; so Zella was told to keep away from the beaten
path as much as possible, that she might not encounter
any of the King's soldiers.

"When it is necessary to choose between the warriors
and the wild beasts," said Nikobob, "the beasts will be
found the more merciful."

The little girl had put on her best attire for the
journey and her mother threw a blue silk shawl over her
head and shoulders. Upon her feet were the pretty red
shoes her father had brought her from Regos. Thus
prepared, she kissed her parents good-bye and started
out with a light heart, carrying the pails of honey in
either hand.

It was necessary for Zella to cross the path
that led from the mines to the city, but once on
the other side she was not likely to meet with
anyone, for she had resolved to cut through the
forest and so reach the bridge of boats without
entering the City of Regos, where she might be
interrupted. For an hour or two she found the
walking easy enough, but then the forest, which
in this part was unknown to her, became badly
tangled. The trees were thicker and creeping
vines intertwined between them. She had to
turn this way and that to get through at all, and
finally she came to a place where a network of
vines and branches effectually barred her farther

Zella was dismayed, at first, when she encountered
this obstacle, but setting down her pails she made an
endeavor to push the branches aside. At her touch they
parted as if by magic, breaking asunder like dried
twigs, and she found she could pass freely. At another
place a great log had fallen across her way, but the
little girl lifted it easily and cast it aside,
although six ordinary men could scarcely have moved it.

The child was somewhat worried at this evidence of a
strength she had heretofore been ignorant that she
possessed. In order to satisfy herself that it was no
delusion, she tested her new-found power in many ways,
finding that nothing was too big nor too heavy for her
to lift. And, naturally enough, the girl gained courage
from these experiments and became confident that she
could protect herself in any emergency. When,
presently, a wild boar ran toward her, grunting
horribly and threatening her with its great tusks, she
did not climb a tree to escape, as she had always done
before on meeting such creatures, but stood still and
faced the boar. When it had come quite close and Zella
saw that it could not injure her -- a fact that
astonished both the beast and the girl -- she suddenly
reached down and seizing it by one ear threw the great
beast far off amongst the trees, where it fell headlong
to the earth, grunting louder than ever with surprise
and fear.

The girl laughed merrily at this incident and,
picking up her pails, resumed her journey through the
forest. It is not recorded whether the wild boar told
his adventure to the other beasts or they had happened
to witness his defeat, but certain it is that Zella was
not again molested. A brown bear watched her pass
without making any movement in her direction and a
great puma -- a beast much dreaded by all men -- crept
out of her path as she approached, and disappeared
among the trees.

Thus everything favored the girl's journey and she
made such good speed that by noon she emerged from the
forest's edge and found she was quite near to the
bridge of boats that led to Coregos. This she crossed
safely and without meeting any of the rude warriors she
so greatly feared, and five minutes later the daughter
of the charcoal-burner was seeking admittance at the
back door of Queen Cor's palace.

Chapter Twelve

The Excitement of Bilbil the Goat

Our story must now return to one of our characters
whom we have been forced to neglect. The temper of
Bilbil the goat was not sweet under any circumstances,
and whenever he had a grievance he was inclined to be
quite grumpy. So, when his master settled down in the
palace of King Gos for a quiet life with the boy
Prince, and passed his time in playing checkers and
eating and otherwise enjoying himself, he had no use
whatever for Bilbil, and shut the goat in an upstairs
room to prevent his wandering through the city and
quarreling with the citizens. But this Bilbil did not
like at all. He became very cross and disagreeable at
being left alone and he did not speak nicely to the
servants who came to bring him food; therefore those
people decided not to wait upon him any more, resenting
his conversation and not liking to be scolded by a
lean, scraggly goat, even though it belonged to a
conqueror. The servants kept away from the room and
Bilbil grew more hungry and more angry every hour. He
tried to eat the rugs and ornaments, but found them not
at all nourishing. There was no grass to be had unless
he escaped from the palace.

When Queen Cor came to capture Inga and Rinkitink,
both the prisoners were so filled with despair at their
own misfortune that they gave no thought whatever to
the goat, who was left in his room. Nor did Bilbil know
anything of the changed fortunes of his comrades until
he heard shouts and boisterous laughter in the
courtyard below. Looking out of a window, with the
intention of rebuking those who dared thus to disturb
him, Bilbil saw the courtyard quite filled with
warriors and knew from this that the palace had in some
way again fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Now, although Bilbil was often exceedingly
disagreeable to King Rinkitink, as well as to the
Prince, and sometimes used harsh words in addressing
them, he was intelligent enough to know them to be his
friends, and to know that King Gos and his people were
his foes. In sudden anger, provoked by the sight of the
warriors and the knowledge that he was in the power of
the dangerous men of Regos, Bilbil butted his head
against the door of his room and burst it open. Then he
ran to the head of the staircase and saw King Gos
coming up the stairs followed by a long line of his
chief captains and warriors.

The goat lowered his head, trembling with rage and
excitement, and just as the King reached the top stair
the animal dashed forward and butted His Majesty so
fiercely that the big and powerful King, who did not
expect an attack, doubled up and tumbled backward. His
great weight knocked over the man just behind him and
he in turn struck the next warrior and upset him, so
that in an instant the whole line of Bilbil's foes was
tumbling heels over head to the bottom of the stairs,
where they piled up in a heap, struggling and shouting
and in the mixup hitting one another with their fists,
until every man of them was bruised and sore.

Finally King Gos scrambled out of the heap and rushed
up the stairs again, very angry indeed. Bilbil was
ready for him and a second time butted the King down
the stairs; but now the goat also lost his balance and
followed the King, landing full upon the confused heap
of soldiers. Then he kicked out so viciously with his
heels that he soon freed himself and dashed out of the
doorway of the palace.

"Stop him!" cried King Gos, running after.

But the goat was now so wild and excited that it was
not safe for anyone to stand in his way. None of the
men were armed and when one or two tried to head off
the goat, Bilbil sent them sprawling upon the ground.
Most of the warriors, however, were wise enough not to
attempt to interfere with his flight.

Coursing down the street, Bilbil found himself
approaching the bridge of boats and without pausing to
think where it might lead him he crossed over and
proceeded on his way. A few moments later a great stone
building blocked his path. It was the palace of Queen
Cor, and seeing the gates of the courtyard standing
wide open, Bilbil rushed through them without
slackening his speed.

Chapter Thirteen

Zella Saves the Prince

The wicked Queen of Coregos was in a very bad humor
this morning, for one of her slave drivers had come
from the fields to say that a number of slaves had
rebelled and would not work.

"Bring them here to me!" she cried savagely. "A good
whipping may make them change their minds."

So the slave driver went to fetch the rebellious ones
and Queen Cor sat down to eat her breakfast, an ugly
look on her face.

Prince Inga had been ordered to stand behind his new
mistress with a big fan of peacock's feathers, but he
was so unused to such service that he awkwardly brushed
her ear with the fan. At once she flew into a terrible
rage and slapped the Prince twice with her hand-blows
that tingled, too, for her hand was big and hard and
she was not inclined to be gentle. Inga took the blows
without shrinking or uttering a cry, although they
stung his pride far more than his body. But King
Rinkitink, who was acting as the queen's butler and had
just brought in her coffee, was so startled at seeing
the young Prince punished that he tipped over the urn
and the hot coffee streamed across the lap of the
Queen's best morning gown.

Cor sprang from her seat with a scream of anger and
poor Rinkitink would doubtless have been given a
terrible beating had not the slave driver returned at
this moment and attracted the woman's attention. The
overseer had brought with him all of the women slaves
from Pingaree, who had been loaded down with chains and
were so weak and ill they could scarcely walk, much
less work in the fields.

Prince Inga's eyes were dimmed with sorrowful tears
when he discovered how his poor people had been abused,
but his own plight was so helpless that he was unable
to aid them. Fortunately the boy's mother, Queen Garee,
was not among these slaves, for Queen Cor had placed
her in the royal dairy to make butter.

"Why do you refuse to work?" demanded Cor in a harsh
voice, as the slaves from Pingaree stood before her,
trembling and with downcast eyes.

"Because we lack strength to perform the tasks your
overseers demand," answered one of the women.

"Then you shall be whipped until your strength
returns!" exclaimed the Queen, and turning to Inga, she
commanded: "Get me the whip with the seven lashes."

As the boy left the room, wondering how he might
manage to save the unhappy women from their undeserved
punishment, he met a girl entering by the back way, who

"Can you tell me where to find Her Majesty, Queen

"She is in the chamber with the red dome, where green
dragons are painted upon the walls," replied Inga; "but
she is in an angry and ungracious mood to-day. Why do
you wish to see her?"

"I have honey to sell," answered the girl, who was
Zella, just come from the forest. "The Queen is very
fond of my honey."

"You may go to her, if you so desire," said the boy,
"but take care not to anger the cruel Queen, or she may
do you a mischief."

"Why should she harm me, who brings her the honey she
so dearly loves?" inquired the child innocently. "But I
thank you for your warning; and I will try not to anger
the Queen."

As Zella started to go, Inga's eyes suddenly fell
upon her shoes and instantly he recognized them as his
own. For only in Pingaree were shoes shaped in this
manner: high at the heel and pointed at the toes.

"Stop!" he cried in an excited voice, and the girl
obeyed, wonderingly. "Tell me," he continued, more
gently, "where did you get those shoes?"

"My father brought them to me from Regos," she

"From Regos!"

"Yes. Are they not pretty?" asked Zella, looking down
at her feet to admire them. "One of them my father
found by the palace wall, and the other on an ash-heap.
So he brought them to me and they fit me perfectly."

By this time Inga was trembling with eager joy, which
of course the girl could not understand.

"What is your name, little maid?" he asked.

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