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The Tin Woodman of Oz by L. Frank Baum

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Then they heard footsteps approach the door, which
slowly opened and revealed a very pretty Munchkin girl
standing in the doorway.

"Nimmie Amee!" cried the tin twins.

"That's my name," replied the girl, looking at them
in cold surprise. "But who can you be?"

"Don't you know me, Nimmie?" said the Tin Woodman.
"I'm your old sweetheart, Nick Chopper!"

"Don't you know me, my dear?" said the Tin Soldier.
"I'm your old sweetheart, Captain Fyter!"

Nimmie Amee smiled at them both. Then she looked
beyond them at the rest of the party and smiled again.
However, she seemed more amused than pleased.

"Come in," she said, leading the way inside. "Even
sweethearts are forgotten after a time, but you and
your friends are welcome."

The room they now entered was cosy and comfortable,
being neatly furnished and well swept and dusted. But
they found someone there besides Nimmie Amee. A man
dressed in the attractive Munchkin costume was lazily
reclining in an easy chair, and he sat up and turned
his eves on the visitors with a cold and indifferent
stare that was almost insolent. He did not even rise
from his seat to greet the strangers, but after glaring
at them he looked away with a scowl, as if they were of
too little importance to interest him.

The tin men returned this man's stare with interest,
but they did not look away from him because neither of
them seemed able to take his eyes off this Munchkin,
who was remarkable in having one tin arm quite like
their own tin arms.

"Seems to me," said Captain Fyter, in a voice that
sounded harsh and indignant, "that you, sir, are a vile

"Gently -- gently!" cautioned the Scarecrow; "don't
be rude to strangers, Captain."

"Rude?" shouted the Tin Soldier, now very much
provoked; "why, he's a scoundrel -- a thief! The
villain is wearing my own head!"

"Yes," added the Tin Woodman, "and he's wearing my
right arm! I can recognize it by the two warts on the
little finger."

"Good gracious!" exclaimed Woot. "Then this must be
the man whom old Ku-Klip patched together and named

The man now turned toward them, still scowling.

"Yes, that is my name," he said in a voice like a
growl, "and it is absurd for you tin creatures, or for
anyone else, to claim my head, or arm, or any part of
me, for they are my personal property."

"You? You're a Nobody!" shouted Captain Fyter.

"You're just a mix-up," declared the Emperor.

"Now, now, gentlemen," interrupted Nimmie Amee, "I
must ask you to be more respectful to poor Chopfyt.
For, being my guests, it is not polite for you to
insult my husband."

"Your husband!" the tin twins exclaimed in dismay.

"Yes," said she. "I married Chopfyt a long time ago,
because my other two sweethearts had deserted me."

This reproof embarrassed both Nick Chopper and
Captain Fyter. They looked down, shamefaced, for a
moment, and then the Tin Woodman explained in an
earnest voice:

"I rusted."

"So did I," said the Tin Soldier.

"I could not know that, of course," asserted Nimmie
Amee. "All I knew was that neither of you came to marry
me, as you had promised to do. But men are not scarce
in the Land of Oz. After I came here to live, I met Mr.
Chopfyt, and he was the more interesting because he
reminded me strongly of both of you, as you were before
you became tin. He even had a tin arm, and that
reminded me of you the more.

"No wonder!" remarked the Scarecrow.

"But, listen, Nimmie Amee!" said the astonished Woot;
"he really is both of them, for he is made of their
cast-off parts."

"Oh, you're quite wrong," declared Polychrome,
laughing, for she was greatly enjoying the confusion of
the others. "The tin men are still themselves, as they
will tell you, and so Chopfyt must be someone else."

They looked at her bewildered, for the facts in the
case were too puzzling to be grasped at once.

"It is all the fault of old Ku-Klip," muttered the
Tin Woodman. "He had no right to use our castoff parts
to make another man with."

"It seems he did it, however," said Nimmie Amee
calmly, "and I married him because he resembled you
both. I won't say he is a husband to be proud of,
because he has a mixed nature and isn't always an
agreeable companion. There are times when I have to
chide him gently, both with my tongue and with my
broomstick. But he is my husband, and I must make the
best of him."

"If you don't like him," suggested the Tin Woodman,
"Captain Fyter and I can chop him up with our axe and
sword, and each take such parts of the fellow as belong
to him. Then we are willing for you to select one of
us as your husband."

"That is a good idea," approved Captain Fyter,
drawing his sword.

"No," said Nimmie Amee; "I think I'll keep the
husband I now have. He is now trained to draw the water
and carry in the wood and hoe the cabbages and weed the
flower-beds and dust the furniture and perform many
tasks of a like character. A new husband would have to
be scolded -- and gently chided -- until he learns my
ways. So I think it will be better to keep my Chopfyt,
and I see no reason why you should object to him. You
two gentlemen threw him away when you became tin,
because you had no further use for him, so you cannot
justly claim him now. I advise you to go back to your
own homes and forget me, as I have forgotten you."

"Good advice!" laughed Polychrome, dancing.

"Are you happy?" asked the Tin Soldier.

"Of course I am," said Nimmie Amee; "I'm the mistress
of all I survey -- the queen of my little domain."

"Wouldn't you like to be the Empress of the Winkies?"
asked the Tin Woodman.

"Mercy, no," she answered. "That would be a lot of
bother. I don't care for society, or pomp, or posing.
All I ask is to be left alone and not to be annoyed by

The Scarecrow nudged Woot the Wanderer.

"That sounds to me like a hint," he said.

"Looks as if we'd had our journey for nothing,"
remarked Woot, who was a little ashamed and
disappointed because he had proposed the journey.

"I am glad, however," said the Tin Woodman, "that I
have found Nimmie Amee, and discovered that she is
already married and happy. It will relieve me of any
further anxiety concerning her."

"For my part," said the Tin Soldier, "I am not sorry
to be free. The only thing that really annoys me is
finding my head upon Chopfyt's body."

"As for that, I'm pretty sure it is my body, or a
part of it, anyway," remarked the Emperor of the
Winkies. "But never mind, friend Soldier; let us be
willing to donate our cast-off members to insure the
happiness of Nimmie Amee, and be thankful it is not our
fate to hoe cabbages and draw water --and be chided --
in the place of this creature Chopfyt."

"Yes," agreed the Soldier, "we have much to be
thankful for."

Polychrome, who had wandered outside, now poked her
pretty head through an open window and exclaimed in a
pleased voice:

"It's getting cloudy. Perhaps it is going to rain!"

Chapter Twenty-Three

Through the Tunnel

It didn't rain just then, although the clouds in the
sky grew thicker and more threatening. Polychrome hoped
for a thunder-storm, followed by her Rainbow, but the
two tin men did not relish the idea of getting wet.
They even preferred to remain in Nimmie Amee's house,
although they felt they were not welcome there, rather
than go out and face the coming storm. But the
Scarecrow, who was a very thoughtful person, said to
his friends:

"If we remain here until after the storm, and
Polychrome goes away on her Rainbow, then we
will be prisoners inside the Wall of Solid Air; so
it seems best to start upon our return journey at
once. If I get wet, my straw stuffing will be ruined,
and if you two tin gentlemen get wet, you may
perhaps rust again, and become useless. But even
that is better than to stay here. Once we are free
of the barrier, we have Woot the Wanderer to help
us, and he can oil your joints and restuff my body,
if it becomes necessary, for the boy is made of meat,
which neither rusts nor gets soggy or moldy."

"Come along, then!" cried Polychrome from the window,
and the others, realizing the wisdom of the Scarecrow's
speech, took leave of Nimmie Amee, who was glad to be
rid of them, and said good-bye to her husband, who
merely scowled and made no answer, and then they
hurried from the house.

"Your old parts are not very polite, I must say,"
remarked the Scarecrow, when they were in the garden.

"No," said Woot, "Chopfyt is a regular grouch. He
might have wished us a pleasant journey, at the very

"I beg you not to hold us responsible for that
creature's actions," pleaded the Tin Woodman. "We are
through with Chopfyt and shall have nothing further to
do with him."

Polychrome danced ahead of the party and led them
straight to the burrow of the Blue Rabbit, which they
might have had some difficulty in finding without her.
There she lost no time in making them all small again.
The Blue Rabbit was busy nibbling cabbage leaves in
Nimmie Amee's garden, so they did not ask his
permission but at once entered the burrow.

Even now the raindrops were beginning to fall, but it
was quite dry inside the tunnel and by the time they
had reached the other end, outside the circular Wall of
Solid Air, the storm was at its height and the rain was
coming down in torrents.

"Let us wait here," proposed Polychrome, peering out
of the hole and then quickly retreating. "The Rainbow
won't appear until after the storm and I can make you
big again in a jiffy, before I join my sisters on our

"That's a good plan," said the Scarecrow approvingly.
"It will save me from getting soaked and soggy."

"It will save me from rusting," said the Tin Soldier.

"It will enable me to remain highly polished," said
the Tin Woodman.

"Oh, as for that, I myself prefer not to get my
pretty clothes wet," laughed the Rainbow's daughter.

"But while we wait I will bid you all adieu. I must
also thank you for saving me from that dreadful
Giantess, Mrs. Yoop. You have been good and patient
comrades and I have enjoyed our adventures together,
but I am never so happy as when on my dear Rainbow."

"Will your father scold you for getting left on the
earth?" asked Woot.

"I suppose so," said Polychrome gaily; "I'm always
getting scolded for my mad pranks, as they are called.
My sisters are so sweet and lovely and proper that they
never dance off our Rainbow, and so they never have any
adventures. Adventures to me are good fun, only I never
like to stay too long on earth, because I really don't
belong here. I shall tell my Father the Rainbow that
I'll try not to be so careless again, and he will
forgive me because in our sky mansions there is always
joy and happiness."

They were indeed sorry to part with their dainty and
beautiful companion and assured her of their devotion
if they ever chanced to meet again. She shook hands
with the Scarecrow and the Tin Men and kissed Woot the
Wanderer lightly upon his forehead.

And then the rain suddenly ceased, and as the tiny
people left the burrow of the Blue Rabbit, a glorious
big Rainbow appeared in the sky and the end of its arch
slowly descended and touched the ground just where they

Woot was so busy watching a score of lovely maidens
-- sisters of Polychrome -- who were leaning over the
edge of the bow, and another score who danced gaily
amid the radiance of the splendid hues, that he did not
notice he was growing big again. But now Polychrome
joined her sisters on the Rainbow and the huge arch
lifted and slowly melted away as the sun burst from the
clouds and sent its own white beams dancing over the

"Why, she's gone!" exclaimed the boy, and turned to
see his companions still waving their hands in token of
adieu to the vanished Polychrome.

Chapter Twenty-Four

The Curtain Falls

Well, the rest of the story is quickly told, for the
return Journey of our adventurers was without any
important incident. The Scarecrow was so afraid of
meeting the Hip-po-gy-raf, and having his straw eaten
again, that he urged his comrades to select another
route to the Emerald City, and they willingly
consented, so that the Invisible Country was wholly

Of course, when they reached the Emerald City their
first duty was to visit Ozma's palace, where they were
royally entertained. The Tin Soldier and Woot the
Wanderer were welcomed as warmly as any strangers might
be who had been the traveling companions of Ozma's dear
old friends, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman.

At the banquet table that evening they related the
manner in which they had discovered Nimmie Amee, and
told how they had found her happily married to Chopfyt,
whose relationship to Nick Chopper and Captain Fyter
was so bewildering that they asked Ozma's advice what
to do about it.

"You need not consider Chopfyt at all," replied the
beautiful girl Ruler of Oz. "If Nimmie Amee is content
with that misfit man for a husband, we have not even
just cause to blame Ku-Klip for gluing him together."

"I think it was a very good idea," added little
Dorothy, "for if Ku-Klip hadn't used up your castoff
parts, they would have been wasted. It's wicked to be
wasteful, isn't it?"

"Well, anyhow," said Woot the Wanderer, "Chopfyt,
being kept a prisoner by his wife, is too far away from
anyone to bother either of you tin men in any way. If
you hadn't gone where he is and discovered him, you
would never have worried about him."

"What do you care, anyhow," Betsy Bobbin asked the
Tin Woodman, "so long as Nimmie Amee is satisfied?"

"And just to think," remarked Tiny Trot, "that any
girl would rather live with a mixture like Chopfyt, on
far-away Mount Munch, than to be the Empress of the

"It is her own choice," said the Tin Woodman
contentedly; "and, after all, I'm not sure the Winkies
would care to have an Empress."

It puzzled Ozma, for a time, to decide what to do
with the Tin Soldier. If he went with the Tin Woodman
to the Emperor's castle, she felt that the two tin men
might not be able to live together in harmony, and
moreover the Emperor would not be so distinguished if
he had a double constantly beside him. So she asked
Captain Fyter if he was willing to serve her as a
soldier, and he promptly declared that nothing would
please him more. After he had been in her service for
some time, Ozma sent him into the Gillikin Country,
with instructions to keep order among the wild people
who inhabit some parts of that unknown country of Oz.

As for Woot, being a Wanderer by profession, he was
allowed to wander wherever he desired, and Ozma
promised to keep watch over his future journeys and to
protect the boy as well as she was able, in case he
ever got into more trouble.

All this having been happily arranged, the Tin
Woodman returned to his tin castle, and his chosen
comrade, the Scarecrow, accompanied him on the way. The
two friends were sure to pass many pleasant hours
together in talking over their recent adventures, for
as they neither ate nor slept they found their greatest
amusement in conversation.

By L. Frank Baum:

The Wizard of Oz
The Land of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The Road to Oz
The Emerald City of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Tik-Tok of Oz
The Scarecrow of Oz
Rinkitink in Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz
The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Magic Of Oz
Glinda of Oz

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