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The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum

Part 3 out of 3

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and the shaggy man thought he had never seen so many pretty things in
one place before. In one corner played a tinkling fountain of
perfumed water, and in another was a table bearing a golden tray
loaded with freshly gathered fruit, including several of the
red-cheeked apples that the shaggy man loved.

At the farther end of this charming room was an open doorway, and he
crossed over to find himself in a bedroom containing more comforts
than the shaggy man had ever before imagined. The bedstead was of
gold and set with many brilliant diamonds, and the coverlet had
designs of pearls and rubies sewed upon it. At one side of the
bedroom was a dainty dressing-room with closets containing a large
assortment of fresh clothing; and beyond this was the bath--a large
room having a marble pool big enough to swim in, with white marble
steps leading down to the water. Around the edge of the pool were
set rows of fine emeralds as large as door-knobs, while the water of
the bath was clear as crystal.

For a time the shaggy man gazed upon all this luxury with silent
amazement. Then he decided, being wise in his way, to take advantage
of his good fortune. He removed his shaggy boots and his shaggy
clothing, and bathed in the pool with rare enjoyment. After he had
dried himself with the soft towels he went into the dressing-room and
took fresh linen from the drawers and put it on, finding that
everything fitted him exactly. He examined the contents of the
closets and selected an elegant suit of clothing. Strangely enough,
everything about it was shaggy, although so new and beautiful, and he
sighed with contentment to realize that he could now be finely dressed
and still be the shaggy man. His coat was of rose-colored velvet,
trimmed with shags and bobtails, with buttons of blood-red rubies and
golden shags around the edges. His vest was a shaggy satin of a
delicate cream color, and his knee-breeches of rose velvet trimmed
like the coat. Shaggy creamy stockings of silk, and shaggy slippers of
rose leather with ruby buckles, completed his costume, and when he was
thus attired the shaggy man looked at himself in a long mirror with
great admiration. On a table he found a mother-of-pearl chest
decorated with delicate silver vines and flowers of clustered rubies,
and on the cover was a silver plate engraved with these words:


The chest was not locked, so he opened it and was almost dazzled by
the brilliance of the rich jewels it contained. After admiring the
pretty things, he took out a fine golden watch with a big chain,
several handsome finger-rings, and an ornament of rubies to pin upon
the breast of his shaggy shirt-bosom. Having carefully brushed his
hair and whiskers all the wrong way to make them look as shaggy as
possible, the shaggy man breathed a deep sigh of joy and decided he
was ready to meet the Royal Princess as soon as she sent for him.
While he waited he returned to the beautiful sitting room and ate
several of the red-cheeked apples to pass away the time.

Meanwhile, Dorothy had dressed herself in a pretty gown of soft grey
embroidered with silver, and put a blue-and-gold suit of satin upon
little Button-Bright, who looked as sweet as a cherub in it. Followed
by the boy and Toto--the dog with a new green ribbon around his
neck--she hastened down to the splendid drawing-room of the palace,
where, seated upon an exquisite throne of carved malachite and nestled
amongst its green satin cushions was the lovely Princess Ozma,
waiting eagerly to welcome her friend.

20. Princess Ozma Of Oz

The royal historians of Oz, who are fine writers and know any number
of big words, have often tried to describe the rare beauty of Ozma and
failed because the words were not good enough. So of course I cannot
hope to tell you how great was the charm of this little Princess, or
how her loveliness put to shame all the sparkling jewels and
magnificent luxury that surrounded her in this her royal palace.
Whatever else was beautiful or dainty or delightful of itself faded to
dullness when contrasted with Ozma's bewitching face, and it has often
been said by those who know that no other ruler in all the world can
ever hope to equal the gracious charm of her manner.

Everything about Ozma attracted one, and she inspired love and the
sweetest affection rather than awe or ordinary admiration. Dorothy
threw her arms around her little friend and hugged and kissed her
rapturously, and Toto barked joyfully and Button-Bright smiled a happy
smile and consented to sit on the soft cushions close beside the Princess.

"Why didn't you send me word you were going to have a birthday party?"
asked the little Kansas girl, when the first greetings were over.

"Didn't I?" asked Ozma, her pretty eyes dancing with merriment.

"Did you?" replied Dorothy, trying to think.

"Who do you imagine, dear, mixed up those roads, so as to start you
wandering in the direction of Oz?" inquired the Princess.

"Oh! I never 'spected YOU of that," cried Dorothy.

"I've watched you in my Magic Picture all the way here," declared
Ozma, "and twice I thought I should have to use the Magic Belt to save
you and transport you to the Emerald City. Once was when the Scoodlers
caught you, and again when you reached the Deadly Desert. But the shaggy
man was able to help you out both times, so I did not interfere."

"Do you know who Button-Bright is?" asked Dorothy.

"No; I never saw him until you found him in the road, and then only
in my Magic Picture."

"And did you send Polly to us?"

"No, dear; the Rainbow's Daughter slid from her father's pretty arch
just in time to meet you."

"Well," said Dorothy, "I've promised King Dox of Foxville and King
Kik-a-bray of Dunkiton that I'd ask you to invite them to your party."

"I have already done that," returned Ozma, "because I thought it would
please you to favor them."

"Did you 'vite the Musicker?" asked Button-Bright.

"No; because he would be too noisy, and might interfere with the comfort
of others. When music is not very good, and is indulged in all the time,
it is better that the performer should be alone," said the Princess.

"I like the Musicker's music," declared the boy, gravely.

"But I don't," said Dorothy.

"Well, there will be plenty of music at my celebration," promised
Ozma; "so I've an idea Button-Bright won't miss the Musicker at all."

Just then Polychrome danced in, and Ozma rose to greet the Rainbow's
Daughter in her sweetest and most cordial manner.

Dorothy thought she had never seen two prettier creatures together
than these lovely maidens; but Polly knew at once her own dainty
beauty could not match that of Ozma, yet was not a bit jealous because
this was so.

The Wizard of Oz was announced, and a dried-up, little, old man, clothed
all in black, entered the drawing-room. His face was cheery and his
eyes twinkling with humor, so Polly and Button-Bright were not at all
afraid of the wonderful personage whose fame as a humbug magician had
spread throughout the world. After greeting Dorothy with much
affection, he stood modestly behind Ozma's throne and listened to the
lively prattle of the young people.

Now the shaggy man appeared, and so startling was his appearance, all
clad in shaggy new rainment, that Dorothy cried "Oh!" and clasped her
hands impulsively as she examined her friend with pleased eyes.

"He's still shaggy, all right," remarked Button-Bright; and Ozma
nodded brightly because she had meant the shaggy man to remain shaggy
when she provided his new clothes for him.

Dorothy led him toward the throne, as he was shy in such fine company,
and presented him gracefully to the Princess, saying:

"This, your Highness, is my friend, the shaggy man, who owns
the Love Magnet."

"You are welcome to Oz," said the girl Ruler, in gracious accents.
"But tell me, sir, where did you get the Love Magnet which you say
you own?"

The shaggy man grew red and looked downcast, as he answered
in a low voice:

"I stole it, your Majesty."

"Oh, Shaggy Man!" cried Dorothy. "How dreadful! And you told me the
Eskimo gave you the Love Magnet."

He shuffled first on one foot and then on the other, much embarrassed.

"I told you a falsehood, Dorothy," he said; "but now, having bathed in
the Truth Pond, I must tell nothing but the truth."

"Why did you steal it?" asked Ozma, gently.

"Because no one loved me, or cared for me," said the shaggy man, "and I
wanted to be loved a great deal. It was owned by a girl in
Butterfield who was loved too much, so that the young men quarreled
over her, which made her unhappy. After I had stolen the Magnet from
her, only one young man continued to love the girl, and she married
him and regained her happiness."

"Are you sorry you stole it?" asked the Princess.

"No, your Highness; I'm glad," he answered; "for it has pleased me to
be loved, and if Dorothy had not cared for me I could not have
accompanied her to this beautiful Land of Oz, or met its kind-hearted
Ruler. Now that I'm here, I hope to remain, and to become one of your
Majesty's most faithful subjects."

"But in Oz we are loved for ourselves alone, and for our kindness to
one another, and for our good deeds," she said.

"I'll give up the Love Magnet," said the shaggy man, eagerly; "Dorothy
shall have it."

"But every one loves Dorothy already," declared the Wizard.

"Then Button-Bright shall have it."

"Don't want it," said the boy, promptly.

"Then I'll give it to the Wizard, for I'm sure the lovely Princess
Ozma does not need it."

"All my people love the Wizard, too," announced the Princess,
laughing; "so we will hang the Love Magnet over the gates of the
Emerald City, that whoever shall enter or leave the gates may be
loved and loving."

"That is a good idea," said the shaggy man; "I agree to it most willingly."

Those assembled now went in to dinner, which you can imagine was a
grand affair; and afterward Ozma asked the Wizard to give them an
exhibition of his magic.

The Wizard took eight tiny white piglets from an inside pocket and set
them on the table. One was dressed like a clown, and performed funny
antics, and the others leaped over the spoons and dishes and ran
around the table like race-horses, and turned hand-springs and were so
sprightly and amusing that they kept the company in one roar of merry
laughter. The Wizard had trained these pets to do many curious
things, and they were so little and so cunning and soft that
Polychrome loved to pick them up as they passed near her place and
fondle them as if they were kittens.

It was late when the entertainment ended, and they separated to go to
their rooms.

"To-morrow," said Ozma, "my invited guests will arrive, and you will
find among them some interesting and curious people, I promise you.
The next day will be my birthday, and the festivities will be held on
the broad green just outside the gates of the City, where all my
people can assemble without being crowded."

"I hope the Scarecrow won't be late," said Dorothy, anxiously.

"Oh, he is sure to return to-morrow," answered Ozma. "He wanted new
straw to stuff himself with, so he went to the Munchkin Country, where
straw is plentiful."

With this the Princess bade her guests good night and went to her own room.

21. Dorothy Receives the Guests

Next morning Dorothy's breakfast was served in her own pretty sitting
room, and she sent to invite Polly and the shaggy man to join her and
Button-Bright at the meal. They came gladly, and Toto also had
breakfast with them, so that the little party that had traveled
together to Oz was once more reunited.

No sooner had they finished eating than they heard the distant blast
of many trumpets, and the sound of a brass band playing martial music;
so they all went out upon the balcony. This was at the front of the
palace and overlooked the streets of the City, being higher than the
wall that shut in the palace grounds. They saw approaching down the
street a band of musicians, playing as hard and loud as they could,
while the people of the Emerald City crowded the sidewalks and cheered
so lustily that they almost drowned the noise of the drums and horns.

Dorothy looked to see what they were cheering at, and discovered that
behind the band was the famous Scarecrow, riding proudly upon the back
of a wooden Saw-Horse which pranced along the street almost as
gracefully as if it had been made of flesh. Its hoofs, or rather the
ends of its wooden legs, were shod with plates of solid gold, and the
saddle strapped to the wooden body was richly embroidered and
glistened with jewels.

As he reached the palace the Scarecrow looked up and saw Dorothy, and
at once waved his peaked hat at her in greeting. He rode up to the
front door and dismounted, and the band stopped playing and went away
and the crowds of people returned to their dwellings.

By the time Dorothy and her friends had re-entered her room, the
Scarecrow was there, and he gave the girl a hearty embrace and shook
the hands of the others with his own squashy hands, which were white
gloves filled with straw.

The shaggy man, Button-Bright, and Polychrome stared hard at this
celebrated person, who was acknowledged to be the most popular and
most beloved man in all the Land of Oz.

"Why, your face has been newly painted!" exclaimed Dorothy, when the
first greetings were over.

"I had it touched up a bit by the Munchkin farmer who first made me,"
answered the Scarecrow, pleasantly. "My complexion had become a bit
grey and faded, you know, and the paint had peeled off one end of my
mouth, so I couldn't talk quite straight. Now I feel like myself
again, and I may say without immodesty that my body is stuffed with
the loveliest oat-straw in all Oz." He pushed against his chest.
"Hear me crunkle?" he asked.

"Yes," said Dorothy; "you sound fine."

Button-Bright was wonderfully attracted by the strawman, and so was
Polly. The shaggy man treated him with great respect, because he was
so queerly made.

Jellia Jamb now came to say that Ozma wanted Princess Dorothy to
receive the invited guests in the Throne-Room, as they arrived. The
Ruler was herself busy ordering the preparations for the morrow's
festivities, so she wished her friend to act in her place.

Dorothy willingly agreed, being the only other Princess in the Emerald
City; so she went to the great Throne-Room and sat in Ozma's seat,
placing Polly on one side of her and Button-Bright on the other. The
Scarecrow stood at the left of the throne and the Tin Woodman at the
right, while the Wonderful Wizard and the shaggy man stood behind.

The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger came in, with bright new bows of
ribbon on their collars and tails. After greeting Dorothy
affectionately the huge beasts lay down at the foot of the throne.

While they waited, the Scarecrow, who was near the little boy, asked:

"Why are you called Button-Bright?"

"Don't know," was the answer.

"Oh yes, you do, dear," said Dorothy. "Tell the Scarecrow how you
got your name."

"Papa always said I was bright as a button, so mama always called me
Button-Bright," announced the boy.

"Where is your mama?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Don't know," said Button-Bright.

"Where is your home?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Don't know," said Button-Bright.

"Don't you want to find your mama again?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Don't know," said Button-Bright, calmly.

The Scarecrow looked thoughtful.

"Your papa may have been right," he observed; "but there are many
kinds of buttons, you see. There are silver and gold buttons, which
are highly polished and glitter brightly. There are pearl and rubber
buttons, and other kinds, with surfaces more or less bright. But there
is still another sort of button which is covered with dull cloth, and
that must be the sort your papa meant when he said you were bright as
a button. Don't you think so?"

"Don't know," said Button-Bright.

Jack Pumpkinhead arrived, wearing a pair of new, white kid gloves; and
he brought a birthday present for Ozma consisting of a necklace of
pumpkin-seeds. In each seed was set a sparkling carolite, which is
considered the rarest and most beautiful gem that exists. The
necklace was in a plush case and Jellia Jamb put it on a table with
the Princess Ozma's other presents.

Next came a tall, beautiful woman clothed in a splendid trailing gown,
trimmed with exquisite lace as fine as cobweb. This was the important
Sorceress known as Glinda the Good, who had been of great assistance
to both Ozma and Dorothy. There was no humbug about her magic, you
may be sure, and Glinda was as kind as she was powerful. She greeted
Dorothy most lovingly, and kissed Button-Bright and Polly, and smiled
upon the shaggy man, after which Jellia Jamb led the Sorceress to one
of the most magnificent rooms of the royal palace and appointed fifty
servants to wait upon her.

The next arrival was Mr. H. M. Woggle-Bug, T.E.; the "H. M." meaning
Highly Magnified and the "T.E." meaning Thoroughly Educated. The
Woggle-Bug was head professor at the Royal College of Oz, and he had
composed a fine Ode in honor of Ozma's birthday. This he wanted to
read to them; but the Scarecrow wouldn't let him.

Soon they heard a clucking sound and a chorus of "cheep! cheep!" and
a servant threw open the door to allow Billina and her ten fluffy
chicks to enter the Throne-Room. As the Yellow Hen marched proudly at
the head of her family, Dorothy cried, "Oh, you lovely things!" and
ran down from her seat to pet the little yellow downy balls. Billina
wore a pearl necklace, and around the neck of each chicken was a tiny
gold chain holding a locket with the letter "D" engraved upon the outside.

"Open the lockets, Dorothy," said Billina. The girl obeyed and found
a picture of herself in each locket. "They were named after you, my
dear," continued the Yellow Hen, "so I wanted all my chickens to wear
your picture. Cluck--cluck! come here, Dorothy--this minute!" she
cried, for the chickens were scattered and wandering all around the
big room.

They obeyed the call at once, and came running as fast as they could,
fluttering their fluffy wings in a laughable way.

It was lucky that Billina gathered the little ones under her soft
breast just then, for Tik-tok came in and tramped up to the throne on
his flat copper feet.

"I am all wound up and work-ing fine-ly," said the clock-work
man to Dorothy.

"I can hear him tick," declared Button-Bright.

"You are quite the polished gentleman," said the Tin Woodman. "Stand
up here beside the shaggy man, Tik-tok, and help receive the company."

Dorothy placed soft cushions in a corner for Billina and her chicks,
and had just returned to the Throne and seated herself when the
playing of the royal band outside the palace announced the approach of
distinguished guests.

And my, how they did stare when the High Chamberlain threw open the
doors and the visitors entered the Throne-Room!

First walked a gingerbread man neatly formed and baked to a lovely
brown tint. He wore a silk hat and carried a candy cane prettily
striped with red and yellow. His shirt-front and cuffs were white
frosting, and the buttons on his coat were licorice drops.

Behind the gingerbread man came a child with flaxen hair and merry
blue eyes, dressed in white pajamas, with sandals on the soles of its
pretty bare feet. The child looked around smiling and thrust its
hands into the pockets of the pajamas. Close after it came a big
rubber bear, walking erect on its hind feet. The bear had twinkling
black eyes, and its body looked as if it had been pumped full of air.

Following these curious visitors were two tall, thin men and two
short, fat men, all four dressed in gorgeous uniforms.

Ozma's High Chamberlain now hurried forward to announce the names of
the new arrivals, calling out in a loud voice:

"His Gracious and Most Edible Majesty, King Dough the First, Ruler of
the Two Kingdoms of Hiland and Loland. Also the Head Boolywag of his
Majesty, known as Chick the Cherub, and their faithful friend Para
Bruin, the rubber bear."

These great personages bowed low as their names were called, and
Dorothy hastened to introduce them to the assembled company. They
were the first foreign arrivals, and the friends of Princess Ozma were
polite to them and tried to make them feel that they were welcome.

Chick the Cherub shook hands with every one, including Billina, and
was so joyous and frank and full of good spirits that John Dough's
Head Booleywag at once became a prime favorite.

"Is it a boy or a girl?" whispered Dorothy.

"Don't know," said Button-Bright.

"Goodness me! what a queer lot of people you are," exclaimed the
rubber bear, looking at the assembled company.

"So're you," said Button-Bright, gravely. "Is King Dough good to eat?"

"He's too good to eat," laughed Chick the Cherub.

"I hope none of you are fond of gingerbread," said the King,
rather anxiously.

"We should never think of eating our visitors, if we were," declared
the Scarecrow; "so please do not worry, for you will be perfectly safe
while you remain in Oz."

"Why do they call you Chick?" the Yellow Hen asked the child.

"Because I'm an Incubator Baby, and never had any parents," replied the
Head Booleywag.

"My chicks have a parent, and I'm it," said Billina.

"I'm glad of that," answered the Cherub, "because they'll have more
fun worrying you than if they were brought up in an Incubator. The
Incubator never worries, you know."

King John Dough had brought for Ozma's birthday present a lovely
gingerbread crown, with rows of small pearls around it and a fine big
pearl in each of its five points. After this had been received by
Dorothy with proper thanks and placed on the table with the other
presents, the visitors from Hiland and Loland were escorted to their
rooms by the High Chamberlain.

They had no sooner departed than the band before the palace began to
play again, announcing more arrivals, and as these were doubtless from
foreign parts the High Chamberlain hurried back to receive them in
his most official manner.

22. Important Arrivals

First entered a band of Ryls from the Happy Valley, all merry little
sprites like fairy elves. A dozen crooked Knooks followed from the
great Forest of Burzee. They had long whiskers and pointed caps and
curling toes, yet were no taller than Button-Bright's shoulder. With
this group came a man so easy to recognize and so important and dearly
beloved throughout the known world, that all present rose to their feet
and bowed their heads in respectful homage, even before the High
Chamberlain knelt to announce his name.

"The most Mighty and Loyal Friend of Children, His Supreme
Highness--Santa Claus!" said the Chamberlain, in an awed voice.

"Well, well, well! Glad to see you--glad to meet you all!" cried
Santa Claus, briskly, as he trotted up the long room.

He was round as an apple, with a fresh rosy face, laughing eyes, and
a bushy beard as white as snow. A red cloak trimmed with beautiful
ermine hung from his shoulders and upon his back was a basket filled
with pretty presents for the Princess Ozma.

"Hello, Dorothy; still having adventures?" he asked in his jolly way,
as he took the girl's hand in both his own.

"How did you know my name, Santa?" she replied, feeling more shy in
the presence of this immortal saint than she ever had before in her
young life.

"Why, don't I see you every Christmas Eve, when you're asleep?"
he rejoined, pinching her blushing cheek.

"Oh, do you?"

"And here's Button-Bright, I declare!" cried Santa Claus, holding up
the boy to kiss him. "What a long way from home you are; dear me!"

"Do you know Button-Bright, too?" questioned Dorothy, eagerly.

"Indeed I do. I've visited his home several Christmas Eves."

"And do you know his father?" asked the girl.

"Certainly, my dear. Who else do you suppose brings him his Christmas
neckties and stockings?" with a sly wink at the Wizard.

"Then where does he live? We're just crazy to know, 'cause
Button-Bright's lost," she said.

Santa laughed and laid his finger aside of his nose as if thinking
what to reply. He leaned over and whispered something in the Wizard's
ear, at which the Wizard smiled and nodded as if he understood.

Now Santa Claus spied Polychrome, and trotted over to where she stood.

"Seems to me the Rainbow's Daughter is farther from home than any of you,"
he observed, looking at the pretty maiden admiringly. "I'll have
to tell your father where you are, Polly, and send him to get you."

"Please do, dear Santa Claus," implored the little maid, beseechingly.

"But just now we must all have a jolly good time at Ozma's party,"
said the old gentleman, turning to put his presents on the table with
the others already there. "It isn't often I find time to leave my
castle, as you know; but Ozma invited me and I just couldn't help
coming to celebrate the happy occasion."

"I'm so glad!" exclaimed Dorothy.

"These are my Ryls," pointing to the little sprites squatting around
him. "Their business is to paint the colors of the flowers when they
bud and bloom; but I brought the merry fellows along to see Oz, and
they've left their paint-pots behind them. Also I brought these
crooked Knooks, whom I love. My dears, the Knooks are much nicer than
they look, for their duty is to water and care for the young trees of
the forest, and they do their work faithfully and well. It's hard
work, though, and it makes my Knooks crooked and gnarled, like the
trees themselves; but their hearts are big and kind, as are the
hearts of all who do good in our beautiful world."

"I've read of the Ryls and Knooks," said Dorothy, looking upon these
little workers with interest.

Santa Claus turned to talk with the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, and
he also said a kind word to the shaggy man, and afterward went away to
ride the Saw-Horse around the Emerald City. "For," said he, "I must
see all the grand sights while I am here and have the chance, and Ozma
has promised to let me ride the Saw-Horse because I'm getting fat and
short of breath."

"Where are your reindeer?" asked Polychrome.

"I left them at home, for it is too warm for them in this sunny country,"
he answered. "They're used to winter weather when they travel."

In a flash he was gone, and the Ryls and Knooks with him; but they
could all hear the golden hoofs of the Saw-Horse ringing on the marble
pavement outside, as he pranced away with his noble rider.

Presently the band played again, and the High Chamberlain announced:

"Her Gracious Majesty, the Queen of Merryland."

They looked earnestly to discover whom this queen might be, and saw
advancing up the room an exquisite wax doll dressed in dainty fluffs
and ruffles and spangled gown. She was almost as big as
Button-Bright, and her cheeks and mouth and eyebrow were prettily
painted in delicate colors. Her blue eyes stared a bit, being of
glass, yet the expression upon her Majesty's face was quite pleasant
and decidedly winning. With the Queen of Merryland were four wooden
soldiers, two stalking ahead of her with much dignity and two
following behind, like a royal bodyguard. The soldiers were painted in
bright colors and carried wooden guns, and after them came a fat
little man who attracted attention at once, although he seemed modest
and retiring. For he was made of candy, and carried a tin sugar-sifter
filled with powdered sugar, with which he dusted himself frequently so
that he wouldn't stick to things if he touched them. The High
Chamberlain had called him "The Candy Man of Merryland," and Dorothy
saw that one of his thumbs looked as if it had been bitten off by
some one who was fond of candy and couldn't resist the temptation.

The wax doll Queen spoke prettily to Dorothy and the others, and sent
her loving greetings to Ozma before she retired to the rooms prepared
for her. She had brought a birthday present wrapped in tissue paper
and tied with pink and blue ribbons, and one of the wooden soldiers
placed it on the table with the other gifts. But the Candy Man did
not go to his room, because he said he preferred to stay and talk with
the Scarecrow and Tik-tok and the Wizard and Tin Woodman, whom he
declared the queerest people he had ever met. Button-Bright was glad
the Candy Man stayed in the Throne Room, because the boy thought this
guest smelled deliciously of wintergreen and maple sugar.

The Braided Man now entered the room, having been fortunate enough to
receive an invitation to the Princess Ozma's party. He was from a
cave halfway between the Invisible Valley and the Country of the
Gargoyles, and his hair and whiskers were so long that he was obliged
to plait them into many braids that hung to his feet, and every braid
was tied with a bow of colored ribbon.

"I've brought Princess Ozma a box of flutters for her birthday," said
the Braided Man, earnestly; "and I hope she will like them, for they
are the finest quality I have ever made."

"I'm sure she will be greatly pleased," said Dorothy, who remembered
the Braided Man well; and the Wizard introduced the guest to the rest
of the company and made him sit down in a chair and keep quiet, for, if
allowed, he would talk continually about his flutters.

The band then played a welcome to another set of guests, and into the
Throne-Room swept the handsome and stately Queen of Ev. Beside her
was young King Evardo, and following them came the entire royal family
of five Princesses and four Princes of Ev. The Kingdom of Ev lay just
across the Deadly Desert to the North of Oz, and once Ozma and her
people had rescued the Queen of Ev and her ten children from the Nome
King, who had enslaved them. Dorothy had been present on this
adventure, so she greeted the royal family cordially; and all the
visitors were delighted to meet the little Kansas girl again. They
knew Tik-tok and Billina, too, and the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman,
as well as the Lion and Tiger; so there was a joyful reunion, as you
may imagine, and it was fully an hour before the Queen and her train
retired to their rooms. Perhaps they would not have gone then had not
the band begun to play to announce new arrivals; but before they left
the great Throne-Room King Evardo added to Ozma's birthday presents a
diadem of diamonds set in radium.

The next comer proved to be King Renard of Foxville; or King Dox, as
he preferred to be called. He was magnificently dressed in a new
feather costume and wore white kid mittens over his paws and a flower
in his button-hole and had his hair parted in the middle.

King Dox thanked Dorothy fervently for getting him the invitation to
come to Oz, which he all his life longed to visit. He strutted around
rather absurdly as he was introduced to all the famous people
assembled in the Throne-Room, and when he learned that Dorothy was a
Princess of Oz the Fox King insisted on kneeling at her feet and
afterward retired backward--a dangerous thing to do, as he might have
stubbed his paw and tumbled over.

No sooner was he gone than the blasts of bugles and clatter of drums and
cymbals announced important visitors, and the High Chamberlain assumed
his most dignified tone as he threw open the door and said proudly:

"Her Sublime and Resplendent Majesty, Queen Zixi of Ix! His
Serene and Tremendous Majesty, King Bud of Noland. Her Royal
Highness, the Princess Fluff."

That three such high and mighty royal personages should arrive at once
was enough to make Dorothy and her companions grow solemn and assume
their best company manners; but when the exquisite beauty of Queen
Zixi met their eyes they thought they had never beheld anything so
charming. Dorothy decided that Zixi must be about sixteen years old,
but the Wizard whispered to her that this wonderful queen had lived
thousands of years, but knew the secret of remaining always fresh
and beautiful.

King Bud of Noland and his dainty fair-haired sister, the Princess
Fluff, were friends of Zixi, as their kingdoms were adjoining, so they
had traveled together from their far-off domains to do honor to Ozma
of Oz on the occasion of her birthday. They brought many splendid
gifts; so the table was now fairly loaded down with presents.

Dorothy and Polly loved the Princess Fluff the moment they saw her,
and little King Bud was so frank and boyish that Button-Bright
accepted him as a chum at once and did not want him to go away. But
it was after noon now, and the royal guests must prepare their toilets
for the grand banquet at which they were to assemble that evening to
meet the reigning Princess of this Fairyland; so Queen Zixi was shown
to her room by a troop of maidens led by Jellia Jamb, and Bud and
Fluff presently withdrew to their own apartments.

"My! what a big party Ozma is going to have," exclaimed Dorothy.
"I guess the palace will be chock full, Button-Bright; don't you
think so?"

"Don't know," said the boy.

"But we must go to our rooms, pretty soon, to dress for the banquet,"
continued the girl.

"I don't have to dress," said the Candy Man from Merryland. "All I
need do is to dust myself with fresh sugar."

"Tik-tok always wears the same suits of clothes," said the Tin
Woodman; "and so does our friend the Scarecrow."

"My feathers are good enough for any occasion," cried Billina,
from her corner.

"Then I shall leave you four to welcome any new guests that come,"
said Dorothy; "for Button-Bright and I must look our very best at
Ozma's banquet."

"Who is still to come?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Well, there's King Kik-a-bray of Dunkiton, and Johnny Dooit, and the
Good Witch of the North. But Johnny Dooit may not get here until
late, he's so very busy."

"We will receive them and give them a proper welcome," promised the
Scarecrow. "So run along, little Dorothy, and get yourself dressed."

23. The Grand Banquet

I wish I could tell you how fine the company was that assembled that
evening at Ozma's royal banquet. A long table was spread in the
center of the great dining-hall of the palace and the splendor of the
decorations and the blaze of lights and jewels was acknowledged to be
the most magnificent sight that any of the guests had ever seen.

The jolliest person present, as well as the most important, was of
course old Santa Claus; so he was given the seat of honor at one end
of the table while at the other end sat Princess Ozma, the hostess.

John Dough, Queen Zixi, King Bud, the Queen of Ev and her son Evardo,
and the Queen of Merryland had golden thrones to sit in, while the
others were supplied with beautiful chairs.

At the upper end of the banquet room was a separate table provided for
the animals. Toto sat at one end of this table with a bib tied around
his neck and a silver platter to eat from. At the other end was
placed a small stand, with a low rail around the edge of it, for Billina
and her chicks. The rail kept the ten little Dorothys from falling
off the stand, while the Yellow Hen could easily reach over and take
her food from her tray upon the table. At other places sat the Hungry
Tiger, the Cowardly Lion, the Saw-Horse, the Rubber Bear, the Fox King
and the Donkey King; they made quite a company of animals.

At the lower end of the great room was another table, at which sat the
Ryls and Knooks who had come with Santa Claus, the wooden soldiers who
had come with the Queen of Merryland, and the Hilanders and Lolanders
who had come with John Dough. Here were also seated the officers of
the royal palace and of Ozma's army.

The splendid costumes of those at the three tables made a gorgeous and
glittering display that no one present was ever likely to forget;
perhaps there has never been in any part of the world at any time
another assemblage of such wonderful people as that which gathered
this evening to honor the birthday of the Ruler of Oz.

When all members of ethe company were in their places an orchestra of
five hundred pieces, in a balcony overlooking the banquet room, began to
play sweet and delightful music. Then a door draped with royal green
opened, and in came the fair and girlish Princess Ozma, who now
greeted her guests in person for the first time.

As she stood by her throne at the head of the banquet table every eye
was turned eagerly upon the lovely Princess, who was as dignified as
she was bewitching, and who smiled upon all her old and new friends in
a way that touched their hearts and brought an answering smile to
every face.

Each guest had been served with a crystal goblet filled with lacasa,
which is a sort of nectar famous in Oz and nicer to drink than
soda-water or lemonade. Santa now made a pretty speech in verse,
congratulating Ozma on having a birthday, and asking every one present
to drink to the health and happiness of their dearly beloved hostess.
This was done with great enthusiasm by those who were made so they
could drink at all, and those who could not drink politely touched the
rims of their goblets to their lips. All seated themselves at the
tables and the servants of the Princess began serving the feast.

I am quite sure that only in Fairyland could such a delicious repast
be prepared. The dishes were of precious metals set with brilliant
jewels and the good things to eat which were placed upon them were
countless in number and of exquisite flavor. Several present, such as
the Candy Man, the Rubber Bear, Tik-tok, and the Scarecrow, were not
made so they could eat, and the Queen of Merryland contented herself
with a small dish of sawdust; but these enjoyed the pomp and glitter
of the gorgeous scene as much as did those who feasted.

The Woggle-Bug read his "Ode to Ozma," which was written in very good
rhythm and was well received by the company. The Wizard added to the
entertainment by making a big pie appear before Dorothy, and when the
little girl cut the pie the nine tiny piglets leaped out of it and
danced around the table, while the orchestra played a merry tune. This
amused the company very much, but they were even more pleased when
Polychrome, whose hunger had been easily satisfied, rose from the
table and performed her graceful and bewildering Rainbow Dance for
them. When it was ended, the people clapped their hands and the
animals clapped their paws, while Billina cackled and the Donkey King
brayed approval.

Johnny Dooit was present, and of course he proved he could do wonders
in the way of eating, as well as in everything else that he undertook
to do; the Tin Woodman sang a love song, every one joining in the
chorus; and the wooden soldiers from Merryland gave an exhibition of a
lightning drill with their wooden muskets; the Ryls and Knooks danced
the Fairy Circle; and the Rubber Bear bounced himself all around the
room. There was laughter and merriment on every side, and everybody
was having a royal good time. Button-Bright was so excited and
interested that he paid little attention to his fine dinner and a
great deal of attention to his queer companions; and perhaps he was
wise to do this, because he could eat at any other time.

The feasting and merrymaking continued until late in the evening,
when they separated to meet again the next morning and take part
in the birthday celebration, to which this royal banquet was merely
the introduction.

24. The Birthday Celebration

A clear, perfect day, with a gentle breeze and a sunny sky, greeted
Princess Ozma as she wakened next morning, the anniversary of her
birth. While it was yet early all the city was astir and crowds of
people came from all parts of the Land of Oz to witness the
festivities in honor of their girl Ruler's birthday.

The noted visitors from foreign countries, who had all been
transported to the Emerald City by means of the Magic Belt, were as
much a show to the Ozites as were their own familiar celebrities, and
the streets leading from the royal palace to the jeweled gates were
thronged with men, women, and children to see the procession as it
passed out to the green fields where the ceremonies were to take place.

And what a great procession it was!

First came a thousand young girls--the prettiest in the land--dressed
in white muslin, with green sashes and hair ribbons, bearing green
baskets of red roses. As they walked they scattered these flowers
upon the marble pavements, so that the way was carpeted thick with
roses for the procession to walk upon.

Then came the Rulers of the four Kingdoms of Oz: the Emperor of the
Winkies, the Monarch of the Munchkins, the King of the Quadlings and
the Sovereign of the Gillikins, each wearing a long chain of emeralds
around his neck to show that he was a vassal of the Ruler of the
Emerald City.

Next marched the Emerald City Cornet Band, clothed in green-and-gold
uniforms and playing the "Ozma Two-Step." The Royal Army of Oz
followed, consisting of twenty-seven officers, from the Captain-General
down to the Lieutenants. There were no privates in Ozma's Army because
soldiers were not needed to fight battles, but only to look important,
and an officer always looks more imposing than a private.

While the people cheered and waved their hats and handkerchiefs, there
came walking the Royal Princess Ozma, looking so pretty and sweet that
it is no wonder her people love her so dearly. She had decided she
would not ride in her chariot that day, as she preferred to walk in
the procession with her favored subjects and her guests. Just in
front of her trotted the living Blue Bear Rug owned by old Dyna, which
wobbled clumsily on its four feet because there was nothing but the
skin to support them, with a stuffed head at one end and a stubby tail
at the other. But whenever Ozma paused in her walk the Bear Rug
would flop down flat upon the ground for the princess to stand upon
until she resumed her progress.

Following the Princess stalked her two enormous beasts, the Cowardly
Lion and the Hungry Tiger, and even if the Army had not been there
these two would have been powerful enough to guard their mistress
from any harm.

Next marched the invited guests, who were loudly cheered by the people
of Oz along the road, and were therefore obliged to bow to right and
left almost every step of the way. First was Santa Claus, who, because
he was fat and not used to walking, rode the wonderful Saw-Horse. The
merry old gentleman had a basket of small toys with him, and he tossed
the toys one by one to the children as he passed by. His Ryls and
Knooks marched close behind him.

Queen Zixi of Ix came after; then John Dough and the Cherub, with the
rubber bear named Para Bruin strutting between them on its hind legs;
then the Queen of Merryland, escorted by her wooden soldiers; then
King Bud of Noland and his sister, the Princess Fluff; then the Queen
of Ev and her ten royal children; then the Braided Man and the Candy
Man, side by side; then King Dox of Foxville and King Kik-a-bray of
Dunkiton, who by this time had become good friends; and finally Johnny
Dooit, in his leather apron, smoking his long pipe.

These wonderful personages were not more heartily cheered by the
people than were those who followed after them in the procession.
Dorothy was a general favorite, and she walked arm in arm with the
Scarecrow, who was beloved by all. Then came Polychrome and
Button-Bright, and the people loved the Rainbow's pretty Daughter and
the beautiful blue-eyed boy as soon as they saw them. The shaggy man
in his shaggy new suit attracted much attention because he was such a
novelty. With regular steps tramped the machine-man Tik-tok, and
there was more cheering when the Wizard of Oz followed in the
procession. The Woggle-Bug and Jack Pumpkinhead were next, and behind
them Glinda the Sorceress and the Good Witch of the North. Finally
came Billina, with her brood of chickens to whom she clucked anxiously
to keep them together and to hasten them along so they would not delay
the procession.

Another band followed, this time the Tin Band of the Emperor of the
Winkies, playing a beautiful march called, "There's No Plate Like Tin."
Then came the servants of the Royal Palace, in a long line, and behind
them all the people joined the procession and marched away through the
emerald gates and out upon the broad green.

Here had been erected a splendid pavilion, with a grandstand big enough
to seat all the royal party and those who had taken part in the
procession. Over the pavilion, which was of green silk and cloth of
gold, countless banners waved in the breeze. Just in front of this,
and connected with it by a runway had been built a broad platform, so
that all the spectators could see plainly the entertainment provided
for them.

The Wizard now became Master of Ceremonies, as Ozma had placed the
conduct of the performance in his hands. After the people had all
congregated about the platform and the royal party and the visitors
were seated in the grandstand, the Wizard skillfully performed some
feats of juggling glass balls and lighted candles. He tossed a dozen
or so of them high in the air and caught them one by one as they came
down, without missing any.

Then he introduced the Scarecrow, who did a sword-swallowing act that
aroused much interest. After this the Tin Woodman gave an exhibition
of Swinging the Axe, which he made to whirl around him so rapidly that
the eye could scarcely follow the motion of the gleaming blade.
Glinda the Sorceress then stepped upon the platform, and by her magic
made a big tree grow in the middle of the space, made blossoms appear
upon the tree, and made the blossoms become delicious fruit called
tamornas, and so great was the quantity of fruit produced that when
the servants climbed the tree and tossed it down to the crowd, there
was enough to satisfy every person present.

Para Bruin, the rubber bear, climbed to a limb of the big tree, rolled
himself into a ball, and dropped to the platform, whence he bounded up
again to the limb. He repeated this bouncing act several times, to
the great delight of all the children present. After he had finished,
and bowed, and returned to his seat, Glinda waved her wand and the
tree disappeared; but its fruit still remained to be eaten.

The Good Witch of the North amused the people by transforming ten
stones into ten birds, the ten birds into ten lambs, and the ten lambs
into ten little girls, who gave a pretty dance and were then
transformed into ten stones again, just as they were in the beginning.

Johnny Dooit next came on the platform with his tool-chest, and in a
few minutes built a great flying machine; then put his chest in the
machine and the whole thing flew away together--Johnny and all--after
he had bid good-bye to those present and thanked the Princess
for her hospitality.

The Wizard then announced the last act of all, which was considered
really wonderful. He had invented a machine to blow huge soap-bubbles,
as big as balloons, and this machine was hidden under the platform so
that only the rim of the big clay pipe to produce the bubbles showed
above the flooring. The tank of soapsuds, and the air-pumps to inflate
the bubbles, were out of sight beneath, so that when the bubbles began
to grow upon the floor of the platform it really seemed like magic to the
people of Oz, who knew nothing about even the common soap-bubbles that
our children blow with a penny clay pipe and a basin of soap-and-water.

The Wizard had invented another thing. Usually, soap-bubbles are
frail and burst easily, lasting only a few moments as they float in
the air; but the Wizard added a sort of glue to his soapsuds, which
made his bubbles tough; and, as the glue dried rapidly when exposed to
the air, the Wizard's bubbles were strong enough to float for hours
without breaking.

He began by blowing--by means of his machinery and air-pumps--several
large bubbles which he allowed to float upward into the sky, where the
sunshine fell upon them and gave them iridescent hues that were most
beautiful. This aroused much wonder and delight because it was a new
amusement to every one present--except perhaps Dorothy and Button-Bright,
and even they had never seen such big, strong bubbles before.

The Wizard then blew a bunch of small bubbles and afterward blew a big
bubble around them so they were left in the center of it; then he
allowed the whole mass of pretty globes to float into the air and
disappear in the far distant sky.

"That is really fine!" declared Santa Claus, who loved toys and
pretty things. "I think, Mr. Wizard, I shall have you blow a bubble
around me; then I can float away home and see the country spread out
beneath me as I travel. There isn't a spot on earth that I haven't
visited, but I usually go in the night-time, riding behind my swift
reindeer. Here is a good chance to observe the country by daylight,
while I am riding slowly and at my ease."

"Do you think you will be able to guide the bubble?" asked the Wizard.

"Oh yes; I know enough magic to do that," replied Santa Claus.
"You blow the bubble, with me inside of it, and I'll be sure to
get home in safety."

"Please send me home in a bubble, too!" begged the Queen of Merryland.

"Very well, madam; you shall try the journey first," politely
answered old Santa.

The pretty wax doll bade good-bye to the Princess Ozma and the others
and stood on the platform while the Wizard blew a big soap-bubble
around her. When completed, he allowed the bubble to float slowly
upward, and there could be seen the little Queen of Merryland standing
in the middle of it and blowing kisses from her fingers to those below.
The bubble took a southerly direction, quickly floating out of sight.

"That's a very nice way to travel," said Princess Fluff. "I'd like to
go home in a bubble, too."

So the Wizard blew a big bubble around Princess Fluff, and another
around King Bud, her brother, and a third one around Queen Zixi; and
soon these three bubbles had mounted into the sky and were floating
off in a group in the direction of the kingdom of Noland.

The success of these ventures induced the other guests from foreign
lands to undertake bubble journeys, also; so the Wizard put them one
by one inside his bubbles, and Santa Claus directed the way they
should go, because he knew exactly where everybody lived.

Finally, Button-Bright said:

"I want to go home, too."

"Why, so you shall!" cried Santa; "for I'm sure your father and
mother will be glad to see you again. Mr. Wizard, please blow a big,
fine bubble for Button-Bright to ride in, and I'll agree to send him
home to his family as safe as safe can be."

"I'm sorry," said Dorothy with a sigh, for she was fond of her little
comrade; "but p'raps it's best for Button-Bright to get home; 'cause
his folks must be worrying just dreadful."

She kissed the boy, and Ozma kissed him, too, and all the others waved
their hands and said good-bye and wished him a pleasant journey.

"Are you glad to leave us, dear?" asked Dorothy, a little wistfully.

"Don't know," said Button-Bright.

He sat down cross-legged on the platform, with his sailor hat tipped
back on his head, and the Wizard blew a beautiful bubble all around him.

A minute later it had mounted into the sky, sailing toward the west,
and the last they saw of Button-Bright he was still sitting in the
middle of the shining globe and waving his sailor hat at those below.

"Will you ride in a bubble, or shall I send you and Toto home by means
of the Magic Belt?" the Princess asked Dorothy.

"Guess I'll use the Belt," replied the little girl. "I'm sort of
'fraid of those bubbles."

"Bow-wow!" said Toto, approvingly. He loved to bark at the bubbles as
they sailed away, but he didn't care to ride in one.

Santa Claus decided to go next. He thanked Ozma for her hospitality
and wished her many happy returns of the day. Then the Wizard blew a
bubble around his chubby little body and smaller bubbles around each
of his Ryls and Knooks.

As the kind and generous friend of children mounted into the air the
people all cheered at the top of their voices, for they loved Santa
Claus dearly; and the little man heard them through the walls of his
bubble and waved his hands in return as he smiled down upon them. The
band played bravely while every one watched the bubble until it was
completely out of sight.

"How 'bout you, Polly?" Dorothy asked her friend. "Are you 'fraid of
bubbles, too?"

"No," answered Polychrome, smiling; "but Santa Claus promised to speak
to my father as he passed through the sky. So perhaps I shall get
home an easier way."

Indeed, the little maid had scarcely made this speech when a sudden
radiance filled the air, and while the people looked on in wonder the
end of a gorgeous rainbow slowly settled down upon the platform.

With a glad cry, the Rainbow's Daughter sprang from her seat and
danced along the curve of the bow, mounting gradually upward, while
the folds of her gauzy gown whirled and floated around her like a
cloud and blended with the colors of the rainbow itself.

"Good-bye Ozma! Good-bye Dorothy!" cried a voice they knew belonged to
Polychrome; but now the little maiden's form had melted wholly into
the rainbow, and their eyes could no longer see her.

Suddenly, the end of the rainbow lifted and its colors slowly faded
like mist before a breeze. Dorothy sighed deeply and turned to Ozma.

"I'm sorry to lose Polly," she said; "but I guess she's better off
with her father; 'cause even the Land of Oz couldn't be like home to a
cloud fairy."

"No indeed," replied the Princess; "but it has been delightful for us
to know Polychrome for a little while, and--who knows?--perhaps we
may meet the Rainbow's Daughter again, some day."

The entertainment being now ended, all left the pavilion and formed
their gay procession back to the Emerald City again. Of Dorothy's
recent traveling companions only Toto and the shaggy man remained,
and Ozma had decided to allow the latter to live in Oz for a time, at
least. If he proved honest and true she promised to let him live
there always, and the shaggy man was anxious to earn this reward.

They had a nice quiet dinner together and passed a pleasant evening
with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Tik-tok, and the Yellow Hen
for company.

When Dorothy bade them good-night, she kissed them all good-bye at the
same time. For Ozma had agreed that while Dorothy slept she and Toto
should be transported by means of the Magic Belt to her own little bed
in the Kansas farm-house and the little girl laughed as she thought
how astonished Uncle Henry and Aunt Em would be when she came down to
breakfast with them next morning.

Quite content to have had so pleasant an adventure, and a little tired
by all the day's busy scenes, Dorothy clasped Toto in her arms and lay
down upon the pretty white bed in her room in Ozma's royal palace.

Presently she was sound asleep.

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