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“Can’t say. Tastes differ, you know,” replied the Shaggy Man, yawning again. “But here’s a pointer that may be of service to you: make friends with Eureka and you’ll be solid at the palace.”

“I’m solid now; solid glass.”

“You don’t understand,” rejoined the Shaggy Man, sleepily. “Anyhow, make friends with the Pink Kitten and you’ll be all right. If the Pink Kitten despises you, look out for breakers.”

“Would anyone at the royal palace break a Glass Cat?”

“Might. You never can tell. Advise you to purr soft and look humble–if you can. And now I’m going to bed.”

Bungle considered the Shaggy Man’s advice so carefully that her pink brains were busy long after the others of the party were fast asleep.

Chapter Twelve

The Giant Porcupine

Next morning they started out bright and early to follow the road of yellow bricks toward the Emerald City. The little Munchkin boy was beginning to feel tired from the long walk, and he had a great many things to think of and consider besides the events of the journey. At the wonderful Emerald City, which he would presently reach, were so many strange and curious people that he was half afraid of meeting them and wondered if they would prove friendly and kind. Above all else, he could not drive from his mind the important errand on which he had come, and he was determined to devote every energy to finding the things that were necessary to prepare the magic recipe. He believed that until dear Unc Nunkie was restored to life he could feel no joy in anything, and often he wished that Unc could be with him, to see all the astonishing things Ojo was seeing. But alas Unc Nunkie was now a marble statue in the house of the Crooked Magician and Ojo must not falter in his efforts to save him.

The country through which they were passing was still rocky and deserted, with here and there a bush or a tree to break the dreary landscape. Ojo noticed one tree, especially, because it had such long, silky leaves and was so beautiful in shape. As he approached it he studied the tree earnestly, wondering if any fruit grew on it or if it bore pretty flowers.

Suddenly he became aware that he had been looking at that tree a long time–at least for five minutes–and it had remained in the same position, although the boy had continued to walk steadily on. So he stopped short. and when he stopped, the tree and all the landscape, as well as his companions, moved on before him and left him far behind.

Ojo uttered such a cry of astonishment that it aroused the Shaggy Man, who also halted. The others then stopped, too, and walked back to the boy.

“What’s wrong?” asked the Shaggy Man.

“Why, we’re not moving forward a bit, no matter how fast we walk,” declared Ojo. “Now that we have stopped, we are moving backward! Can’t you see? Just notice that rock.”

Scraps looked down at her feet and said: “The yellow bricks are not moving.”

“But the whole road is,” answered Ojo.

“True; quite true,” agreed the Shaggy Man. “I know all about the tricks of this road, but I have been thinking of something else and didn’t realize where we were.”

“It will carry us back to where we started from,” predicted Ojo, beginning to be nervous.

“No,” replied the Shaggy Man; “it won’t do that, for I know a trick to beat this tricky road. I’ve traveled this way before, you know. Turn around, all of you, and walk backward.”

“What good will that do?” asked the cat.

“You’ll find out, if you obey me,” said the Shaggy Man.

So they all turned their backs to the direction in which they wished to go and began walking backward. In an instant Ojo noticed they were gaining ground and as they proceeded in this curious way they soon passed the tree which had first attracted his attention to their difficulty.

“How long must we keep this up, Shags?” asked Scraps, who was constantly tripping and tumbling down, only to get up again with a laugh at her mishap.

“Just a little way farther,” replied the Shaggy Man.

A few minutes later he called to them to turn about quickly and step forward, and as they obeyed the order they found themselves treading solid ground.

“That task is well over,” observed the Shaggy Man. “It’s a little tiresome to walk backward, but that is the only way to pass this part of the road, which has a trick of sliding back and carrying with it anyone who is walking upon it.”

With new courage and energy they now
trudged forward and after a time came to a place where the road cut through a low hill, leaving high banks on either side of it. They were traveling along this cut, talking together, when the Shaggy Man seized Scraps with one arm and Ojo with another and shouted: “Stop!”

“What’s wrong now?” asked the Patchwork Girl.

“See there!” answered the Shaggy Man, pointing with his finger.

Directly in the center of the road lay a motionless object that bristled all over with sharp quills, which resembled arrows. The body was as big as a ten-bushel-basket, but the projecting quills made it appear to be four times bigger.

“Well, what of it?” asked Scraps.

“That is Chiss, who causes a lot of trouble along this road,” was the reply.

“Chiss! What is Chiss?

“I think it is merely an overgrown porcupine, but here in Oz they consider Chiss an evil spirit. He’s different from a reg’lar porcupine, because he can throw his quills in any direction, which an American porcupine cannot do. That’s what makes old Chiss so dangerous. If we get too near, he’ll fire those quills at us and hurt us badly.”

“Then we will be foolish to get too near,” said Scraps.

“I’m not afraid,” declared the Woozy. “The Chiss is cowardly, I’m sure, and if it ever heard my awful, terrible, frightful growl, it would be scared stiff.”

“Oh; can you growl?” asked the Shaggy Man.

“That is the only ferocious thing about me,” asserted the Woozy with evident pride. “My growl makes an earthquake blush and the thunder ashamed of itself. If I growled at that creature you call Chiss, it would immediately think the world had cracked in two and bumped against the sun and moon, and that would cause the monster to run as far and as fast as its legs could carry it.”

“In that case,” said the Shaggy Man, “you are now able to do us all a great favor. Please growl.”

“But you forget,” returned the Woozy; “my tremendous growl would also frighten you, and if you happen to have heart disease you might expire.”

“True; but we must take that risk,” decided the Shaggy Man, bravely. “Being warned of what is to occur we must try to bear the terrific noise of your growl; but Chiss won’t expect it, and it will scare him away.”

The Woozy hesitated.

“I’m fond of you all, and I hate to shock you,” it said.

“Never mind,” said Ojo.

“You may be made deaf.”

“If so, we will forgive you.”

“Very well, then,” said the Woozy in a determined voice, and advanced a few steps toward the giant porcupine. Pausing to look back, it asked: “All ready?”

“All ready!” they answered.

“Then cover up your ears and brace yourselves firmly. Now, then–look out!”

The Woozy turned toward Chiss, opened wide its mouth and said:

“Quee-ee-ee-eek.”

“Go ahead and growl,” said Scraps.

“Why, I–I did growl!” retorted the Woozy, who seemed much astonished.

“What, that little squeak?” she cried.

“It is the most awful growl that ever was heard, on land or sea, in caverns or in the sky,” protested the Woozy. “I wonder you stood the shock so well. Didn’t you feel the ground tremble? I suppose Chiss is now quite dead with fright.”

The Shaggy Man laughed merrily.

“Poor Wooz!” said he; “your growl wouldn’t scare a fly.”

The Woozy seemed to be humiliated and surprised. It hung its head a moment, as if in shame or sorrow, but then it said with renewed confidence: “Anyhow, my eyes can flash fire; and good fire, too; good enough to set fire to a fence!”

“That is true,” declared Scraps; “I saw it done myself. But your ferocious growl isn’t as loud as the tick of a beetle–or one of Ojo’s snores when he’s fast asleep.”

“Perhaps,” said the Woozy, humbly, “I have been mistaken about my growl. It has always sounded very fearful to me, but that may have been because it was so close to my ears.”

“Never mind,” Ojo said soothingly; “it is a great talent to be able to flash fire from your eyes. No one else can do that.”

As they stood hesitating what to do Chiss stirred and suddenly a shower of quills came flying toward them, almost filling the air, they were so many. Scraps realized in an instant that they had gone too near to Chiss for safety, so she sprang in front of Ojo and shielded him from the darts, which stuck their points into her own body until she resembled one of those targets they shoot arrows at in archery games. The Shaggy Man dropped flat on his face to avoid the shower, but one quill struck him in the leg and went far in. As for the Glass Cat, the quills rattled off her body without making even a scratch, and the skin of the Woozy was so thick and tough that he was not hurt at all.

When the attack was over they all ran to the Shaggy Man, who was moaning and groaning, and Scraps promptly pulled the quill out of his leg. Then up he jumped and ran over to Chiss, putting his foot on the monster’s neck and holding it a prisoner. The body of the great porcupine was now as smooth as leather, except for the holes where the quills had been, for it had shot every single quill in that one wicked shower.

“Let me go!” it shouted angrily. “How dare you put your foot on Chiss?”

“I’m going to do worse than that, old boy,” replied the Shaggy Man. “You have annoyed travelers on this road long enough, and now I shall put an end to you.”

“You can’t!” returned Chiss. “Nothing can kill me, as you know perfectly well.”

“Perhaps that is true,” said the Shaggy Man in a tone of disappointment. “Seems to me I’ve been told before that you can’t be killed. But if I let you go, what will you do?”

“Pick up my quills again,” said Chiss in a sulky voice.

“And then shoot them at more travelers? No; that won’t do. You must promise me to stop throwing quills at people.”

“I won’t promise anything of the sort,” declared Chiss.

“Why not?”

“Because it is my nature to throw quills, and every animal must do what Nature intends it to do. It isn’t fair for you to blame me. If it were wrong for me to throw quills, then I wouldn’t be made with quills to throw. The proper thing for you to do is to keep out of my way.”

“Why, there’s some sense in that argument,” admitted the Shaggy Man, thoughtfully; “but people who are strangers, and don’t know you are here, won’t be able to keep out of your way.”

“Tell you what,” said Scraps, who was trying to pull the quills out of her own body, “let’s gather up all the quills and take them away with us; then old Chiss won’t have any left to throw at people.”

“Ah, that’s a clever idea. You and Ojo must gather up the quills while I hold Chiss a prisoner; for, if I let him go, he will get some of his quills and be able to throw them again.”

So Scraps and Ojo picked up all the quills and tied them in a bundle so they might easily be carried. After this the Shaggy Man released Chiss and let him go, knowing that he was harmless to injure anyone.

“It’s the meanest trick I ever heard of,” muttered the porcupine gloomily. “How would you like it, Shaggy Man, if I took all your shags away from you?”

“If I threw my shags and hurt people, you would be welcome to capture them,” was the reply.

Then they walked on and left Chiss standing in the road sullen and disconsolate. The Shaggy Man limped as he walked, for his wound still hurt him, and Scraps was much annoyed because the quills had left a number of small holes in her patches.

When they came to a flat stone by the roadside the Shaggy Man sat down to rest, and then Ojo opened his basket and took out the bundle of charms the Crooked Magician had given him.

“I am Ojo the Unlucky,” he said, “or we would never have met that dreadful porcupine. But I will see if I can find anything among these charms which will cure your leg.”

Soon he discovered that one of the charms was labelled: “For flesh wounds,” and this the boy separated from the others. It was only a bit of dried root, taken from some unknown shrub, but the boy rubbed it upon the wound made by the quill and in a few moments the place was healed entirely and the Shaggy Man’s leg was as good as ever.

“Rub it on the holes in my patches,” suggested Scraps, and Ojo tried it, but without any effect.

“The charm you need is a needle and thread,” said the Shaggy Man. “But do not worry, my dear; those holes do not look badly, at all.”

“They’ll let in the air, and I don’t want people to think I’m airy, or that I’ve been stuck up,” said the Patchwork Girl.

“You were certainly stuck up until we pulled out those quills,” observed Ojo, with a laugh.

So now they went on again and coming presently to a pond of muddy water they tied a heavy stone to the bundle of quills and sunk it to the bottom of the pond, to avoid carrying it farther.

Chapter Thirteen

Scraps and the Scarecrow

From here on the country improved and the desert places began to give way to fertile spots; still no houses were yet to be seen near the road. There were some hills, with valleys between them, and on reaching the top of one of these hills the travelers found before them a high wall, running to the right and the left as far as their eyes could reach. Immediately in front of them, where the wall crossed the roadway, stood a gate having stout iron bars that extended from top to bottom. They found, on coming nearer, that this gate was locked with a great padlock, rusty through lack of use.

“Well,” said Scraps, “I guess we’ll stop here.”

“It’s a good guess,” replied Ojo. “Our way is barred by this great wall and gate. It looks as if no one had passed through in many years.”

“Looks are deceiving,” declared the Shaggy Man, laughing at their disappointed faces, “and this barrier is the most deceiving thing in all Oz.”

“It prevents our going any farther, anyhow,” said Scraps. “There is no one to mind the gate and let people through, and we’ve no key to the padlock.”

“True,” replied Ojo, going a little nearer to peep through the bars of the gate. “What shall we do, Shaggy Man? If we had wings we might fly over the wall, but we cannot climb it and unless we get to the Emerald City I won’t be able to find the things to restore Unc Nunkie to life.”

“All very true,” answered the Shaggy Man, quietly; “but I know this gate, having passed through it many times.”

“How?” they all eagerly inquired.

“I’ll show you how,” said he. He stood Ojo in the middle of the road and placed Scraps just behind him, with her padded hands on his shoulders. After the Patchwork Girl came the Woozy, who held a part of her skirt in his mouth. Then, last of all, was the Glass Cat, holding fast to the Woozy’s tail with her glass jaws.

“Now,” said the Shaggy Man, “you must all shut your eyes tight, and keep them shut until I tell you to open them.”

“I can’t,” objected Scraps. “My eyes are buttons, and they won’t shut.”

So the Shaggy Man tied his red handkerchief over the Patchwork Girl’s eyes and examined all the others to make sure they had their eyes fast shut and could see nothing.

“What’s the game, anyhow–blind-man’s-buff?” asked Scraps.

“Keep quiet!” commanded the Shaggy Man, sternly. “All ready? Then follow me.”

He took Ojo’s hand and led him forward over the road of yellow bricks, toward the gate. Holding fast to one another they all followed in a row, expecting every minute to bump against the iron bars. The Shaggy Man also had his eyes closed, but marched straight ahead, nevertheless, and after he had taken one hundred steps, by actual count, he stopped and said:

“Now you may open your eyes.”

They did so, and to their astonishment found the wall and the gateway far behind them, while in front the former Blue Country of the Munchkins had given way to green fields, with pretty farm-houses scattered among them.

“That wall,” explained the Shaggy Man, “is what is called an optical illusion. It is quite real while you have your eyes open, but if you are not looking at it the barrier doesn’t exist at all. It’s the same way with many other evils in life; they seem to exist, and yet it’s all seeming and not true. You will notice that the wall–or what we thought was a wall–separates the Munchkin Country from the green country that surrounds the Emerald City, which lies exactly in the center of Oz. There are two roads of yellow bricks through the Munchkin Country, but the one we followed is the best of the two. Dorothy once traveled the other way, and met with more dangers than we did. But all our troubles are over for the present, as another day’s journey will bring us to the great Emerald City.”

They were delighted to know this, and proceeded with new courage. In a couple of hours they stopped at a farmhouse, where the people were very hospitable and invited them to dinner. The farm folk regarded Scraps with much curiosity but no great astonishment, for they were accustomed to seeing extraordinary people in the Land of Oz.

The woman of this house got her needle and thread and sewed up the holes made by the porcupine quills in the Patchwork Girl’s body, after which Scraps was assured she looked as beautiful as ever.

“You ought to have a hat to wear,” remarked the woman, “for that would keep the sun from fading the colors of your face. I have some patches and scraps put away, and if you will wait two or three days I’ll make you a lovely hat that will match the rest of you.”

“Never mind the hat,” said Scraps, shaking her yarn braids; “it’s a kind offer, but we can’t stop. I can’t see that my colors have faded a particle, as yet; can you?”

“Not much,” replied the woman. “You are still very gorgeous, in spite of your long journey.”

The children of the house wanted to keep the Glass Cat to play with, so Bungle was offered a good home if she would remain; but the cat was too much interested in Ojo’s adventures and refused to stop.

“Children are rough playmates,” she remarked to the Shaggy Man, “and although this home is more pleasant than that of the Crooked Magician I fear I would soon be smashed to pieces by the boys and girls.”

After they had rested themselves they renewed their journey, finding the road now smooth and pleasant to walk upon and the country growing more beautiful the nearer they drew to the Emerald City.

By and by Ojo began to walk on the green grass, looking carefully around him.

“What are you trying to find?” asked Scraps.

“A six-leaved clover,” said he.

“Don’t do that!” exclaimed the Shaggy Man, earnestly. “It’s against the Law to pick a six- leaved clover. You must wait until you get Ozma’s consent.”

“She wouldn’t know it,” declared the boy.

“Ozma knows many things,” said the Shaggy Man. “In her room is a Magic Picture that shows any scene in the Land of Oz where strangers or travelers happen to be. She may be watching the picture of us even now, and noticing everything that we do.”

“Does she always watch the Magic Picture?” asked Ojo.

“Not always, for she has many other things to do; but, as I said, she may be watching us this very minute.”

“I don’t care,” said Ojo, in an obstinate tone of voice; “Ozma’s only a girl.”

The Shaggy Man looked at him in surprise.

“You ought to care for Ozma,” said he, “if you expect to save your uncle. For, if you displease our powerful Ruler, your journey will surely prove a failure; whereas, if you make a friend of Ozma, she will gladly assist you. As for her being a girl, that is another reason why you should obey her laws, if you are courteous and polite. Everyone in Oz loves Ozma and hates her enemies, for she is as just as she is powerful.”

Ojo sulked a while, but finally returned to the road and kept away from the green clover. The boy was moody and bad tempered for an hour or two afterward, because he could really see no harm in picking a six-leaved clover, if he found one, and in spite of what the Shaggy Man had said he considered Ozma’s law to be unjust.

They presently came to a beautiful grove of tall and stately trees, through which the road wound in sharp curves–first one way and then another. As they were walking through this grove they heard some one in the distance singing, and the sounds grew nearer and nearer until they could
distinguish the words, although the bend in the road still hid the singer. The song was something like this:

“Here’s to the hale old bale of straw That’s cut from the waving grain,
The sweetest sight man ever saw
In forest, dell or plain.
It fills me with a crunkling joy
A straw-stack to behold,
For then I pad this lucky boy
With strands of yellow gold.”

“Ah!” exclaimed the Shaggy Man; “here comes my friend the Scarecrow.”

“What, a live Scarecrow?” asked Ojo.

“Yes; the one I told you of. He’s a splendid fellow, and very intelligent. You’ll like him, I’m sure.”

Just then the famous Scarecrow of Oz came around the bend in the road, riding astride a wooden Sawhorse which was so small that its rider’s legs nearly touched the ground.

The Scarecrow wore the blue dress of the Munchkins, in which country he was made, and on his head was set a peaked hat with a flat brim trimmed with tinkling bells. A rope was tied around his waist to hold him in shape, for he was stuffed with straw in every part of him except the top of his head, where at one time the Wizard of Oz had placed sawdust, mixed with needles and pins, to sharpen his wits. The head itself was merely a bag of cloth, fastened to the body at the neck, and on the front of this bag was painted the face–ears, eyes, nose and mouth.

The Scarecrow’s face was very interesting, for it bore a comical and yet winning expression, although one eye was a bit larger than the other and ears were not mates. The Munchkin farmer who had made the Scarecrow had neglected to sew him together with close stitches and therefore some of the straw with which he was stuffed was inclined to stick out between the seams. His hands consisted of padded white gloves, with the fingers long and rather limp, and on his feet he wore Munchkin boots of blue leather with broad turns at the tops of them.

The Sawhorse was almost as curious as its rider. It had been rudely made, in the beginning, to saw logs upon, so that its body was a short length of a log, and its legs were stout branches fitted into four holes made in the body. The tail was formed by a small branch that had been left on the log, while the head was a gnarled bump on one end of the body. Two knots of wood formed the eyes, and the mouth was a gash chopped in the log. When the Sawhorse first came to life it had no ears at all, and so could not hear; but the boy who then owned him had whittled two ears out of bark and stuck them in the head, after which the Sawhorse heard very distinctly.

This queer wooden horse was a great favorite with Princess Ozma, who had caused the bottoms of its legs to be shod with plates of gold, so the wood would not wear away. Its saddle was made of cloth-of-gold richly encrusted with precious gems. It had never worn a bridle.

As the Scarecrow came in sight of the party of travelers, he reined in his wooden steed and dismounted, greeting the Shaggy Man with a smiling nod. Then he turned to stare at the Patchwork Girl in wonder, while she in turn stared at him.

“Shags,” he whispered, drawing the Shaggy Man aside, “pat me into shape, there’s a good fellow!”

While his friend punched and patted the Scarecrow’s body, to smooth out the humps, Scraps turned to Ojo and whispered: “Roll me out, please; I’ve sagged down dreadfully from walking so much and men like to see a stately figure.”

She then fell upon the ground and the boy rolled her back and forth like a rolling-pin, until the cotton had filled all the spaces in her patchwork covering and the body had lengthened to its fullest extent. Scraps and the Scarecrow both finished their hasty toilets at the same time, and again they faced each other.

“Allow me, Miss Patchwork,” said the Shaggy Man, “to present my friend, the Right Royal Scarecrow of Oz. Scarecrow, this is Miss Scraps Patches; Scraps, this is the Scarecrow. Scarecrow–Scraps; Scraps–Scarecrow.”

They both bowed with much dignity.

“Forgive me for staring so rudely,” said the Scarecrow, “but you are the most beautiful sight my eyes have ever beheld.”

“That is a high compliment from one who is himself so beautiful,” murmured Scraps, casting down her suspender-button eyes by lowering her head. “But, tell me, good sir, are you not a trifle lumpy?”

“Yes, of course; that’s my straw, you know. It bunches up, sometimes, in spite of all my efforts to keep it even. Doesn’t your straw ever bunch?”

“Oh, I’m stuffed with cotton,” said Scraps. “It never bunches, but it’s inclined to pack down and make me sag.”

“But cotton is a high-grade stuffing. I may say it is even more stylish, not to say aristocratic, than straw,” said the Scarecrow politely. “Still, it is but proper that one so entrancingly lovely should have the best stuffing there is going. I– er–I’m so glad I’ve met you, Miss Scraps! Introduce us again, Shaggy.”

“Once is enough,” replied the Shaggy Man, laughing at his friend’s enthusiasm.

“Then tell me where you found her, and–Dear me, what a queer cat! What are you made of–gelatine?”

“Pure glass,” answered the cat, proud to have attracted the Scarecrow’s attention. “I am much more beautiful than the Patchwork Girl. I’m transparent, and Scraps isn’t; I’ve pink brains– you can see ’em work; and I’ve a ruby heart, finely polished, while Scraps hasn’t any heart at all.”

“No more have I,” said the Scarecrow, shaking hands with Scraps, as if to congratulate her on the fact. “I’ve a friend, the Tin Woodman, who has a heart, but I find I get along pretty well without one. And so–Well, well! here’s a little Munchkin boy, too. Shake hands, my little man. How are you?”

Ojo placed his hand in the flabby stuffed glove that served the Scarecrow for a hand, and the Scarecrow pressed it so cordially that the straw in his glove crackled.

Meantime, the Woozy had approached the Sawhorse and begun to sniff at it. The Sawhorse resented this familiarity and with a sudden kick pounded the Woozy squarely on its head with one gold-shod foot.

“Take that, you monster!” it cried angrily.

The Woozy never even winked.

“To be sure,” he said; “I’ll take anything I have to. But don’t make me angry, you wooden beast, or my eyes will flash fire and burn you up.”

The Sawhorse rolled its knot eyes wickedly and kicked again, but the Woozy trotted away and said to the Scarecrow:

“What a sweet disposition that creature has! I advise you to chop it up for kindling-wood and use me to ride upon. My back is flat and you can’t fall off.”

“I think the trouble is that you haven’t been properly introduced,” said the Scarecrow, regarding the Woozy with much wonder, for he had never seen such a queer animal before.

“The Sawhorse is the favorite steed of Princess Ozma, the Ruler of the Land of Oz, and he lives in a stable decorated with pearls and emeralds, at the rear of the royal palace. He is swift as the wind, untiring, and is kind to his friends. All the people of Oz respect the Sawhorse highly, and when I visit Ozma she sometimes allows me to ride him–as I am doing to-day. Now you know what an important personage the Sawhorse is, and if some one–perhaps yourself–will tell me your name, your rank and station, and your history, it will give me pleasure to relate them to the Sawhorse. This will lead to mutual respect and friendship.”

The Woozy was somewhat abashed by this speech and did not know how to reply. But Ojo said:

“This square beast is called the Woozy, and he isn’t of much importance except that he has three hairs growing on the tip of his tail.”

The Scarecrow looked and saw that this was true.

“But,” said he, in a puzzled way, “what makes those three hairs important? The Shaggy Man has thousands of hairs, but no one has ever accused him of being important.”

So Ojo related the sad story of Unc Nunkie’s transformation into a marble statue, and told how he had set out to find the things the Crooked Magician wanted, in order to make a charm that would restore his uncle to life. One of the requirements was three hairs from a Woozy’s tail, but not being able to pull out the hairs they had been obliged to take the Woozy with them.

The Scarecrow looked grave as he listened and he shook his head several times, as if in
disapproval.

“We must see Ozma about this matter,” he said. “That Crooked Magician is breaking the Law by practicing magic without a license, and I’m not sure Ozma will allow him to restore your uncle to life.”

“Already I have warned the boy of that,” declared the Shaggy Man.

At this Ojo began to cry. “I want my Unc Nunkie!” he exclaimed. “I know how he can be restored to life, and I’m going to do it–Ozma or no Ozma! What right has this girl Ruler to keep my Unc Nunkie a statue forever?”

“Don’t worry about that just now,” advised the Scarecrow. “Go on to the Emerald City, and when you reach it have the Shaggy Man take you to see Dorothy. Tell her your story and I’m sure she will help you. Dorothy is Ozma’s best friend, and if you can win her to your side your uncle is pretty safe to live again.” Then he turned to the Woozy and said: “I’m afraid you are not important enough to be introduced to the Sawhorse, after all.”

“I’m a better beast than he is,” retorted the Woozy, indignantly. “My eyes can flash fire, and his can’t.”

“Is this true?” inquired the Scarecrow, turning to the Munchkin boy.

“Yes,” said Ojo, and told how the Woozy had set fire to the fence.

“Have you any other accomplishments?” asked the Scarecrow.

“I have a most terrible growl–that is, sometimes,” said the Woozy, as Scraps laughed merrily and the Shaggy Man smiled. But the Patchwork Girl’s laugh made the Scarecrow forget all about the Woozy. He said to her:

“What an admirable young lady you are, and what jolly good company! We must be better acquainted, for never before have I met a girl with such exquisite coloring or such natural, artless manners.”

“No wonder they call you the Wise Scarecrow,” replied Scraps.

“When you arrive at the Emerald City I will see you again,” continued the Scarecrow. “Just now I am going to call upon an old friend–an ordinary young lady named Jinjur–who has promised to repaint my left ear for me. You may have noticed that the paint on my left ear has peeled off and faded, which affects my hearing on that side. Jinjur always fixes me up when I get weather- worn.”

“When do you expect to return to the Emerald City?” asked the Shaggy Man.

“I’ll be there this evening, for I’m anxious to have a long talk with Miss Scraps. How is it, Sawhorse; are you equal to a swift run?”

“Anything that suits you suits me,” returned the wooden horse.

So the Scarecrow mounted to the jeweled saddle and waved his hat, when the Sawhorse darted away so swiftly that they were out of sight in an instant.

Chapter Fourteen

Ojo Breaks the Law

“What a queer man,” remarked the Munchkin boy, when the party had resumed its journey.

“And so nice and polite,” added Scraps, bobbing her head. “I think he is the handsomest man I’ve seen since I came to life.”

“Handsome is as handsome does,” quoted the Shaggy Man; “but we must admit that no living scarecrow is handsomer. The chief merit of my friend is that he is a great thinker, and in Oz it is considered good policy to follow his advice.”

“I didn’t notice any brains in his head,” observed the Glass Cat.

“You can’t see ’em work, but they’re there, all right,” declared the Shaggy Man. “I hadn’t much confidence in his brains myself, when first I came to Oz, for a humbug Wizard gave them to him; but I was soon convinced that the Scarecrow is really wise; and, unless his brains make him so, such wisdom is unaccountable.”

“Is the Wizard of Oz a humbug?” asked Ojo.

“Not now. He was once, but he has reformed and now assists Glinda the Good, who is the Royal Sorceress of Oz and the only one licensed to practice magic or sorcery. Glinda has taught our old Wizard a good many clever things, so he is no longer a humbug.”

They walked a little while in silence and then Ojo said:

“If Ozma forbids the Crooked Magician to restore Unc Nunkie to life, what shall I do?”

The Shaggy Man shook his head.

“In that case you can’t do anything,” he said. “But don’t be discouraged yet. We will go to Princess Dorothy and tell her your troubles, and then we will let her talk to Ozma. Dorothy has the kindest little heart in the world, and she has been through so many troubles herself that she is sure to sympathize with you.”

“Is Dorothy the little girl who came here from Kansas?” asked the boy.

“Yes. In Kansas she was Dorothy Gale. I used to know her there, and she brought me to the Land of Oz. But now Ozma has made her a Princess, and Dorothy’s Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are here, too.” Here the Shaggy Man uttered a long sigh, and then he continued: “It’s a queer country, this Land of Oz; but I like it, nevertheless.”

“What is queer about it?” asked Scraps.

“You, for instance,” said he.

“Did you see no girls as beautiful as I am in your own country?” she inquired.

“None with the same gorgeous, variegated beauty,” he confessed. “In America a girl stuffed with cotton wouldn’t be alive, nor would anyone think of making a girl out of a patchwork quilt.”

“What a queer country America must be!” she exclaimed in great surprise. “The Scarecrow, whom you say is wise, told me I am the most beautiful creature he has ever seen.”

“I know; and perhaps you are–from a scarecrow point of view,” replied the Shaggy Man; but why he smiled as he said it Scraps could not imagine.

As they drew nearer to the Emerald City the travelers were filled with admiration for the splendid scenery they beheld. Handsome houses stood on both sides of the road and each had a green lawn before it as well as a pretty flower garden.

“In another hour,” said the Shaggy Man, “we shall come in sight of the walls of the Royal City.”

He was walking ahead, with Scraps, and behind them came the Woozy and the Glass Cat. Ojo had lagged behind, for in spite of the warnings he had received the boy’s eyes were fastened on the clover that bordered the road of yellow bricks and he was eager to discover if such a thing as a six-leaved clover really existed.

Suddenly he stopped short and bent over to examine the ground more closely. Yes; here at last was a clover with six spreading leaves. He counted them carefully, to make sure. In an instant his heart leaped with joy, for this was one of the important things he had come for–one of the things that would restore dear Unc Nunkie to life.

He glanced ahead and saw that none of his companions was looking back. Neither were any other people about, for it was midway between two houses. The temptation was too strong to be resisted.

“I might search for weeks and weeks, and never find another six-leaved clover,” he told himself, and quickly plucking the stem from the plant he placed the prized clover in his basket, covering it with the other things he carried there. Then, trying to look as if nothing had happened, he hurried forward and overtook his comrades.

The Emerald City, which is the most splendid as well as the most beautiful city in any fairyland, is surrounded by a high, thick wall of green marble, polished smooth and set with glistening emeralds. There are four gates, one facing the Munchkin Country, one facing the Country of the Winkies, one facing the Country of the Quadlings and one facing the Country of the Gillikins. The Emerald City lies directly in the center of these four important countries of Oz. The gates had bars of pure gold, and on either side of each gateway were built high towers, from which floated gay banners. Other towers were set at distances along the walls, which were broad enough for four people to walk abreast upon.

This enclosure, all green and gold and glittering with precious gems, was indeed a wonderful sight to greet our travelers, who first observed it from the top of a little hill; but beyond the wall was the vast city it surrounded, and hundreds of jeweled spires, domes and minarets, flaunting flags and banners, reared their crests far above the towers of the gateways. In the center of the city our friends could see the tops of many magnificent trees, some nearly as tall as the spires of the buildings, and the Shaggy Man told them that these trees were in the royal gardens of Princess Ozma.

They stood a long time on the hilltop, feasting their eyes on the splendor of the Emerald City.

“Whee!” exclaimed Scraps, clasping her padded hands in ecstacy, “that’ll do for me to live in, all right. No more of the Munchkin Country for these patches–and no more of the Crooked Magician!”

“Why, you belong to Dr. Pipt,” replied Ojo, looking at her in amazement. “You were made for a servant, Scraps, so you are personal property and not your own mistress.”

“Bother Dr. Pipt! If he wants me, let him come here and get me. I’ll not go back to his den of my own accord; that’s certain. Only one place in the Land of Oz is fit to live in, and that’s the Emerald City. It’s lovely! It’s almost as beautiful as I am, Ojo.”

“In this country,” remarked the Shaggy Man, “people live wherever our Ruler tells them to. It wouldn’t do to have everyone live in the Emerald City, you know, for some must plow the land and raise grains and fruits and vegetables, while others chop wood in the forests, or fish in the rivers, or herd the sheep and the cattle.”

“Poor things!” said Scraps.

“I’m not sure they are not happier than the city people,” replied the Shaggy Man. “There’s a freedom and independence in country life that not even the Emerald City can give one. I know that lots of the city people would like to get back to the land. The Scarecrow lives in the country, and so do the Tin Woodman and Jack Pumpkinhead; yet all three would be welcome to live in Ozma’s palace if they cared to. Too much splendor becomes tiresome, you know. But, if we’re to reach the Emerald City before sundown, we must hurry, for it is yet a long way off.”

The entrancing sight of the city had put new energy into them all and they hurried forward with lighter steps than before. There was much to interest them along the roadway, for the houses were now set more closely together and they met a good many people who were coming or going from one place or another. All these seemed happy-faced, pleasant people, who nodded graciously to the strangers as they passed, and exchanged words of greeting.

At last they reached the great gateway, just as the sun was setting and adding its red glow to the glitter of the emeralds on the green walls and spires. Somewhere inside the city a band could be heard playing sweet music; a soft, subdued hum, as of many voices, reached their ears; from the neighboring yards came the low mooing of cows waiting to be milked.

They were almost at the gate when the golden bars slid back and a tall soldier stepped out and faced them. Ojo thought he had never seen so tall a man before. The soldier wore a handsome green and gold uniform, with a tall hat in which was a waving plume, and he had a belt thickly encrusted with jewels. But the most peculiar thing about him was his long green beard, which fell far below his waist and perhaps made him seem taller than he really was.

“Halt!” said the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, not in a stern voice but rather in a friendly tone.

They halted before he spoke and stood looking at him.

“Good evening, Colonel,” said the Shaggy Man. “What’s the news since I left? Anything important?”

“Billina has hatched out thirteen new chickens,” replied the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, “and they’re the cutest little fluffy yellow balls you ever saw. The Yellow Hen is mighty proud of those children, I can tell you.”

“She has a right to be,” agreed the Shaggy Man. “Let me see; that’s about seven thousand chicks she has hatched out; isn’t it, General?”

“That, at least,” was the reply. “You will have to visit Billina and congratulate her.”

“It will give me pleasure to do that,” said the Shaggy Man. “But you will observe that I have brought some strangers home with me. I am going to take them to see Dorothy.”

“One moment, please,” said the soldier, barring their way as they started to enter the gate. “I am on duty, and I have orders to execute. Is anyone in your party named Ojo the Unlucky?”

“Why, that’s me!” cried Ojo, astonished at hearing his name on the lips of a stranger.

The Soldier with the Green Whiskers nodded. “I thought so,” said he, “and I am sorry to announce that it is my painful duty to arrest you.”

“Arrest me!” exclaimed the boy. “What for?”

“I haven’t looked to see,” answered the soldier. Then he drew a paper from his breast pocket and glanced at it. “Oh, yes; you are to be arrested for willfully breaking one of the Laws of Oz.”

“Breaking a law!” said Scraps. “Nonsense, Soldier; you’re joking.”

“Not this time,” returned the soldier, with a sigh. “My dear child–what are you, a rummage sale or a guess-me-quick?–in me you behold the Body- Guard of our gracious Ruler, Princess Ozma, as well as the Royal Army of Oz and the Police Force of the Emerald City.”

“And only one man!” exclaimed the Patchwork Girl.

“Only one, and plenty enough. In my official positions I’ve had nothing to do for a good many years–so long that I began to fear I was absolutely useless–until to-day. An hour ago I was called to the presence of her Highness, Ozma of Oz, and told to arrest a boy named Ojo the Unlucky, who was journeying from the Munchkin Country to the Emerald City and would arrive in a short time. This command so astonished me that I nearly fainted, for it is the first time anyone has merited arrest since I can remember. You are rightly named Ojo the Unlucky, my poor boy, since you have broken a Law of Oz.

“But you are wrong,” said Scraps. “Ozma is wrong–you are all wrong–for Ojo has broken no Law.”

“Then he will soon be free again,” replied the Soldier with the Green Whiskers. “Anyone accused of crime is given a fair trial by our Ruler and has every chance to prove his innocence. But just now Ozma’s orders must be obeyed.”

With this he took from his pocket a pair of handcuffs made of gold and set with rubies and diamonds, and these he snapped over Ojo’s wrists.

Chapter Fifteen

Ozma’s Prisoner

The boy was so bewildered by this calamity that he made no resistance at all. He knew very well he was guilty, but it surprised him that Ozma also knew it. He wondered how she had found out so soon that he had picked the six-leaved clover. He handed his basket to Scraps and said:

“Keep that, until I get out of prison. If I never get out, take it to the Crooked Magician, to whom it belongs.”

The Shaggy Man had been gazing earnestly in the boy’s face, uncertain whether to defend him or not; but something he read in Ojo’s expression made him draw back and refuse to interfere to save him. The Shaggy Man was greatly surprised and grieved, but he knew that Ozma never made mistakes and so Ojo must really have broken the Law of Oz.

The Soldier with the Green Whiskers now led them all through the gate and into a little room built in the wall. Here sat a jolly little man, richly dressed in green and having around his neck a heavy gold chain to which a number of great golden keys were attached. This was the Guardian of the Gate and at the moment they entered his room he was playing a tune upon a mouth-organ.

“Listen!” he said, holding up his hand for silence. “I’ve just composed a tune called ‘The Speckled Alligator.’ It’s in patch-time, which is much superior to rag-time, and I’ve composed it in honor of the Patchwork Girl, who has just arrived.”

“How did you know I had arrived?” asked Scraps, much interested.

“It’s my business to know who’s coming, for I’m the Guardian of the Gate. Keep quiet while I play you ‘The Speckled Alligator.'”

It wasn’t a very bad tune, nor a very good one, but all listened respectfully while he shut his eyes and swayed his head from side to side and blew the notes from the little instrument. When it was all over the Soldier with the Green Whiskers said:

“Guardian, I have here a prisoner.”

“Good gracious! A prisoner?” cried the little man, jumping up from his chair. “Which one? Not the Shaggy Man?”

“No; this boy.”

“Ah; I hope his fault is as small as himself,” said the Guardian of the Gate. “But what can he have done, and what made him do it?”

“Can’t say,” replied the soldier. “All I know is that he has broken the Law.”

“But no one ever does that!”

“Then he must be innocent, and soon will be released. I hope you are right, Guardian. Just now I am ordered to take him to prison. Get me a prisoner’s robe from your Official Wardrobe.”

The Guardian unlocked a closet and took from it a white robe, which the soldier threw over Ojo. It covered him from head to foot, but had two holes just in front of his eyes, so he could see where to go. In this attire the boy presented a very quaint appearance.

As the Guardian unlocked a gate leading from his room into the streets of the Emerald City, the Shaggy Man said to Scraps:

“I think I shall take you directly to Dorothy, as the Scarecrow advised, and the Glass Cat and the Woozy may come with us. Ojo must go to prison with the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, but he will be well treated and you need not worry about him.”

“What will they do with him?” asked Scraps.

“That I cannot tell. Since I came to the Land of Oz no one has ever been arrested or imprisoned– until Ojo broke the Law.”

“Seems to me that girl Ruler of yours is making a big fuss over nothing,” remarked Scraps, tossing her yarn hair out of her eyes with a jerk of her patched head. “I don’t know what Ojo has done, but it couldn’t be anything very bad, for you and I were with him all the time.”

The Shaggy Man made no reply to this speech and presently the Patchwork Girl forgot all about Ojo in her admiration of the wonderful city she had entered.

They soon separated from the Munchkin boy, who was led by the Soldier with the Green Whiskers down a side street toward the prison. Ojo felt very miserable and greatly ashamed of himself, but he was beginning to grow angry because he was treated in such a disgraceful manner. Instead of entering the splendid Emerald City as a
respectable traveler who was entitled to a welcome and to hospitality, he was being brought in as a criminal, handcuffed and in a robe that told all he met of his deep disgrace.

Ojo was by nature gentle and affectionate and if he had disobeyed the Law of Oz it was to restore his dear Unc Nunkie to life. His fault was more thoughtless than wicked, but that did not alter the fact that he had committed a fault. At first he had felt sorrow and remorse, but the more he thought about the unjust treatment he had received–unjust merely because he considered it so–the more he resented his arrest, blaming Ozma for making foolish laws and then punishing folks who broke them. Only a six-leaved clover! A tiny green plant growing neglected and trampled under foot. What harm could there be in picking it? Ojo began to think Ozma must be a very bad and oppressive Ruler for such a lovely fairyland as Oz. The Shaggy Man said the people loved her; but how could they?

The little Munchkin boy was so busy thinking these things–which many guilty prisoners have thought before him–that he scarcely noticed all the splendor of the city streets through which they passed. Whenever they met any of the happy, smiling people, the boy turned his head away in shame, although none knew who was beneath the robe.

By and by they reached a house built just beside the great city wall, but in a quiet, retired place. It was a pretty house, neatly painted and with many windows. Before it was a garden filled with blooming flowers. The Soldier with the Green Whiskers led Ojo up the gravel path to the front door, on which he knocked.

A woman opened the door and, seeing Ojo in his white robe, exclaimed:

“Goodness me! A prisoner at last. But what a small one, Soldier.”

“The size doesn’t matter, Tollydiggle, my dear. The fact remains that he is a prisoner,” said the soldier. “And, this being the prison, and you the jailer, it is my duty to place the prisoner in your charge.”

“True. Come in, then, and I’ll give you a receipt for him.”

They entered the house and passed through a hall to a large circular room, where the woman pulled the robe off from Ojo and looked at him with kindly interest. The boy, on his part, was gazing around him in amazement, for never had he dreamed of such a magnificent apartment as this in which he stood. The roof of the dome was of colored glass, worked into beautiful designs. The walls were paneled with plates of gold decorated with gems of great size and many colors, and upon the tiled floor were soft rugs delightful to walk upon. The furniture was framed in gold and upholstered in satin brocade and it consisted of easy chairs, divans and stools in great variety. Also there were several tables with mirror tops and cabinets filled with rare and curious things. In one place a case filled with books stood against the wall, and elsewhere Ojo saw a cupboard containing all sorts of games.

“May I stay here a little while before I go to prison?” asked the boy, pleadingly.

“Why, this is your prison,” replied Tollydiggle, “and in me behold your jailor. Take off those handcuffs, Soldier, for it is impossible for anyone to escape from this house.”

“I know that very well,” replied the soldier and at once unlocked the handcuffs and released the prisoner.

The woman touched a button on the wall and lighted a big chandelier that hung suspended from the ceiling, for it was growing dark outside. Then she seated herself at a desk and asked:

“What name?”

“Ojo the Unlucky,” answered the Soldier with the Green Whiskers.

“Unlucky? Ah, that accounts for it,” said she. “What crime?”

“Breaking a Law of Oz.”

“All right. There’s your receipt, Soldier; and now I’m responsible for the prisoner. I’m glad of it, for this is the first time I’ve ever had anything to do, in my official capacity,” remarked the jailer, in a pleased tone.

“It’s the same with me, Tollydiggle,” laughed the soldier. “But my task is finished and I must go and report to Ozma that I’ve done my duty like a faithful Police Force, a loyal Army and an honest Body-Guard–as I hope I am.”

Saying this, he nodded farewell to Tollydiggle and Ojo and went away.

“Now, then,” said the woman briskly, “I must get you some supper, for you are doubtless hungry. What would you prefer: planked whitefish, omelet with jelly or mutton-chops with gravy?”

Ojo thought about it. Then he said: “I’ll take the chops, if you please.”

“Very well; amuse yourself while I’m gone; I won’t be long,” and then she went out by a door and left the prisoner alone.

Ojo was much astonished, for not only was this unlike any prison he had ever heard of, but he was being treated more as a guest than a criminal. There were many windows and they had no locks. There were three doors to the room and none were bolted. He cautiously opened one of the doors and found it led into a hallway. But he had no intention of trying to escape. If his jailor was willing to trust him in this way he would not betray her trust, and moreover a hot supper was being prepared for him and his prison was very pleasant and comfortable. So he took a book from the case and sat down in a big chair to look at the pictures.

This amused him until the woman came in with a large tray and spread a cloth on one of the tables. Then she arranged his supper, which proved the most varied and delicious meal Ojo had ever eaten in his life.

Tollydiggle sat near him while he ate, sewing on some fancy work she held in her lap. When he had finished she cleared the table and then read to him a story from one of the books.

“Is this really a prison?” he asked, when she had finished reading.

“Indeed it is,” she replied. “It is the only prison in the Land of Oz.”

“And am I a prisoner?”

“Bless the child! Of course.”

“Then why is the prison so fine, and why are you so kind to me?” he earnestly asked.

Tollydiggle seemed surprised by the question, but she presently answered:

“We consider a prisoner unfortunate. He is unfortunate in two ways–because he has done something wrong and because he is deprived of his liberty. Therefore we should treat him kindly, because of his misfortune, for otherwise he would become hard and bitter and would not be sorry he had done wrong. Ozma thinks that one who has committed a fault did so because he was not strong and brave; therefore she puts him in prison to make him strong and brave. When that is
accomplished he is no longer a prisoner, but a good and loyal citizen and everyone is glad that he is now strong enough to resist doing wrong. You see, it is kindness that makes one strong and brave; and so we are kind to our prisoners.”

Ojo thought this over very carefully. “I had an idea,” said he, “that prisoners were always treated harshly, to punish them.”

“That would be dreadful!” cried Tollydiggle. “Isn’t one punished enough in knowing he has done wrong? Don’t you wish, Ojo, with all your heart, that you had not been disobedient and broken a Law of Oz?”

“I–I hate to be different from other people,” he admitted.

“Yes; one likes to be respected as highly as his neighbors are,” said the woman. “When you are tried and found guilty, you will be obliged to make amends, in some way. I don’t know just what Ozma will do to you, because this is the first time one of us has broken a Law; but you may be sure she will be just and merciful. Here in the Emerald City people are too happy and contented ever to do wrong; but perhaps you came from some faraway corner of our land, and having no love for Ozma carelessly broke one of her Laws.”

“Yes,” said Ojo, “I’ve lived all my life in the heart of a lonely forest, where I saw no one but dear Unc Nunkie.”

“I thought so,” said Tollydiggle. “But now we have talked enough, so let us play a game until bedtime.”

Chapter Sixteen

Princess Dorothy

Dorothy Gale was sitting in one of her rooms in the royal palace, while curled up at her feet was a little black dog with a shaggy coat and very bright eyes. She wore a plain white frock, without any jewels or other ornaments except an emerald- green hair-ribbon, for Dorothy was a simple little girl and had not been in the least spoiled by the magnificence surrounding her. Once the child had lived on the Kansas prairies, but she seemed marked for adventure, for she had made several trips to the Land of Oz before she came to live there for good. Her very best friend was the beautiful Ozma of Oz, who loved Dorothy so well that she kept her in her own palace, so as to be near her. The girl’s Uncle Henry and Aunt Em–the only relatives she had in the world–had also been brought here by Ozma and given a pleasant home. Dorothy knew almost everybody in Oz, and it was she who had discovered the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion, as well as Tik-Tok the Clockwork Man. Her life was very pleasant now, and although she had been made a Princess of Oz by her friend Ozma she did not care much to be a Princess and remained as sweet as when she had been plain Dorothy Gale of Kansas.

Dorothy was reading in a book this evening when Jellia Jamb, the favorite servant-maid of the palace, came to say that the Shaggy Man wanted to see her.

“All right,” said Dorothy; “tell him to come right up.”

“But he has some queer creatures with him–some of the queerest I’ve ever laid eyes on,” reported Jellia.

“Never mind; let ’em all come up,” replied Dorothy.

But when the door opened to admit not only the Shaggy Man, but Scraps, the Woozy and the Glass Cat, Dorothy jumped up and looked at her strange visitors in amazement. The Patchwork Girl was the most curious of all and Dorothy was uncertain at first whether Scraps was really alive or only a dream or a nightmare. Toto, her dog, slowly uncurled himself and going to the Patchwork Girl sniffed at her inquiringly; but soon he lay down again, as if to say he had no interest in such an irregular creation.

“You’re a new one to me,” Dorothy said reflectively, addressing the Patchwork Girl. “I can’t imagine where you’ve come from.”

“Who, me?” asked Scraps, looking around the pretty room instead of at the girl. “Oh, I came from a bed-quilt, I guess. That’s what they say, anyhow. Some call it a crazy-quilt and some a patchwork quilt. But my name is Scraps–and now you know all about me.”

“Not quite all,” returned Dorothy with a smile. “I wish you’d tell me how you came to be alive.”

“That’s an easy job,” said Scraps, sitting upon a big upholstered chair and making the springs bounce her up and down. “Margolotte wanted a slave, so she made me out of an old bed-quilt she didn’t use. Cotton stuffing, suspender-button eyes, red velvet tongue, pearl beads for teeth. The Crooked Magician made a Powder of Life, sprinkled me with it and–here I am. Perhaps you’ve noticed my different colors. A very refined and educated gentleman named the Scarecrow, whom I met, told me I am the most beautiful creature in all Oz, and I believe it.”

“Oh! Have you met our Scarecrow, then?” asked Dorothy, a little puzzled to understand the brief history related.

“Yes; isn’t he jolly?”

“The Scarecrow has many good qualities,” replied Dorothy. “But I’m sorry to hear all this ’bout the Crooked Magician. Ozma’ll be mad as hops when she hears he’s been doing magic again. She told him not to.”

“He only practices magic for the benefit of his own family,” explained Bungle, who was keeping at a respectful distance from the little black dog.

“Dear me,” said Dorothy; “I hadn’t noticed you before. Are you glass, or what?”

“I’m glass, and transparent, too, which is more than can be said of some folks,” answered the cat. “Also I have some lovely pink brains; you can see ’em work.”

“Oh; is that so? Come over here and let me see.”

The Glass Cat hesitated, eyeing the dog.

“Send that beast away and I will,” she said.

“Beast! Why, that’s my dog Toto, an’ he’s the kindest dog in all the world. Toto knows a good many things, too; ‘most as much as I do, I guess.”

“Why doesn’t he say anything?” asked Bungle.

“He can’t talk, not being a fairy dog,” explained Dorothy. “He’s just a common United States dog; but that’s a good deal; and I understand him, and he understands me, just as well as if he could talk.”

Toto, at this, got up and rubbed his head softly against Dorothy’s hand, which she held out to him, and he looked up into her face as if he had understood every word she had said.

“This cat, Toto,” she said to him, “is made of glass, so you mustn’t bother it, or chase it, any more than you do my Pink Kitten. It’s prob’ly brittle and might break if it bumped against anything.”

“Woof!” said Toto, and that meant he understood.

The Glass Cat was so proud of her pink brains that she ventured to come close to Dorothy, in order that the girl might “see ’em work.” This was really interesting, but when Dorothy patted the cat she found the glass cold and hard and unresponsive, so she decided at once that Bungle would never do for a pet.

“What do you know about the Crooked Magician who lives on the mountain?” asked Dorothy.

“He made me,” replied the cat; “so I know all about him. The Patchwork Girl is new–three or four days old–but I’ve lived with Dr. Pipt for years; and, though I don’t much care for him, I will say that he has always refused to work magic for any of the people who come to his house. He thinks there’s no harm in doing magic things for his own family, and he made me out of glass because the meat cats drink too much milk. He also made Scraps come to life so she could do the housework for his wife Margolotte.”

“Then why did you both leave him?” asked Dorothy.

“I think you’d better let me explain that,” interrupted the Shaggy Man, and then he told Dorothy all of Ojo’s story and how Unc Nunkie and Margolotte had accidentally been turned to marble by the Liquid of Petrifaction. Then he related how the boy had started out in search of the things needed to make the magic charm, which would restore the unfortunates to life, and how he had found the Woozy and taken him along because he could not pull the three hairs out of its tail. Dorothy listened to all this with much interest, and thought that so far Ojo had acted very well. But when the Shaggy Man told her of the Munchkin boy’s arrest by the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, because he was accused of wilfully breaking a Law of Oz, the little girl was greatly shocked.

“What do you s’pose he’s done?” she asked.

“I fear he has picked a six-leaved clover,” answered the Shaggy Man, sadly. “I did not see him do it, and I warned him that to do so was against the Law; but perhaps that is what he did, nevertheless.”

“I’m sorry ’bout that,” said Dorothy gravely, “for now there will be no one to help his poor uncle and Margolotte ‘cept this Patchwork Girl, the Woozy and the Glass Cat.”

“Don’t mention it,” said Scraps. “That’s no affair of mine. Margolotte and Unc Nunkie are perfect strangers to me, for the moment I came to life they came to marble.”

“I see,” remarked Dorothy with a sigh of regret; “the woman forgot to give you a heart.”

“I’m glad she did,” retorted the Patchwork Girl. “A heart must be a great annoyance to one. It makes a person feel sad or sorry or devoted or sympathetic–all of which sensations interfere with one’s happiness.”

“I have a heart,” murmured the Glass Cat. “It’s made of a ruby; but I don’t imagine I shall let it bother me about helping Unc Nunkie and Margolotte.”

“That’s a pretty hard heart of yours,” said Dorothy. “And the Woozy, of course–“

“Why, as for me,” observed the Woozy, who was reclining on the floor with his legs doubled under him, so that he looked much like a square box, “I have never seen those unfortunate people you are speaking of, and yet I am sorry for them, having at times been unfortunate myself. When I was shut up in that forest I longed for some one to help me, and by and by Ojo came and did help me. So I’m willing to help his uncle. I’m only a stupid beast, Dorothy, but I can’t help that, and if you’ll tell me what to do to help Ojo and his uncle, I’ll gladly do it.”

Dorothy walked over and patted the Woozy on his square head.

“You’re not pretty,” she said, “but I like you. What are you able to do; anything ‘special?”

“I can make my eyes flash fire–real fire–when I’m angry. When anyone says: ‘Krizzle-Kroo’ to me I get angry, and then my eyes flash fire.”

“I don’t see as fireworks could help Ojo’s uncle,” remarked Dorothy. “Can you do anything else?”

“I–I thought I had a very terrifying growl,” said the Woozy, with hesitation; “but perhaps I was mistaken.”

“Yes,” said the Shaggy Man, “you were certainly wrong about that.” Then he turned to Dorothy and added: “What will become of the Munchkin boy?”

“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head thoughtfully. “Ozma will see him ’bout it, of course, and then she’ll punish him. But how, I don’t know, ’cause no one ever has been punished in Oz since I knew anything about the place. Too bad, Shaggy Man, isn’t it?”

While they were talking Scraps had been roaming around the room and looking at all the pretty things it contained. She had carried Ojo’s basket in her hand, until now, when she decided to see what was inside it. She found the bread and cheese, which she had no use for, and the bundle of charms, which were curious but quite a mystery to her. Then, turning these over, she came upon the six-leaved clover which the boy had plucked.

Scraps was quick-witted, and although she had no heart she recognized the fact that Ojo was her first friend. She knew at once that because the boy had taken the clover he had been imprisoned, and she understood that Ojo had given her the basket so they would not find the clover in his possession and have proof of his crime. So, turning her head to see that no one noticed her, she took the clover from the basket and dropped it into a golden vase that stood on Dorothy’s table. Then she came forward and said to Dorothy:

“I wouldn’t care to help Ojo’s uncle, but I will help Ojo. He did not break the Law–no one can prove he did–and that green-whiskered soldier had no right to arrest him.”

“Ozma ordered the boy’s arrest,” said Dorothy, “and of course she knew what she was doing. But if you can prove Ojo is innocent they will set him free at once.”

“They’ll have to prove him guilty, won’t they?” asked Scraps.

“I s’pose so.”

“Well, they can’t do that,” declared the Patchwork Girl.

As it was nearly time for Dorothy to dine with Ozma, which she did every evening, she rang for a servant and ordered the Woozy taken to a nice room and given plenty of such food as he liked best.

“That’s honey-bees,” said the Woozy.

“You can’t eat honey-bees, but you’ll be given something just as nice,” Dorothy told him. Then she had the Glass Cat taken to another room for the night and the Patchwork Girl she kept in one of her own rooms, for she was much interested in the strange creature and wanted to talk with her again and try to understand her better.

Chapter Seventeen

Ozma and Her Friends

The Shaggy Man had a room of his own in the royal palace, so there he went to change his shaggy suit of clothes for another just as shaggy but not so dusty from travel. He selected a costume of pea-green and pink satin and velvet, with embroidered shags on all the edges and iridescent pearls for ornaments. Then he bathed in an alabaster pool and brushed his shaggy hair and whiskers the wrong way to make them still more shaggy. This accomplished, and arrayed in his splendid shaggy garments, he went to Ozma’s banquet hall and found the Scarecrow, the Wizard and Dorothy already assembled there. The Scarecrow had made a quick trip and returned to the Emerald City with his left ear freshly painted.

A moment later, while they all stood in waiting, a servant threw open a door, the orchestra struck up a tune and Ozma of Oz entered.

Much has been told and written concerning the beauty of person and character of this sweet girl Ruler of the Land of Oz–the richest, the happiest and most delightful fairyland of which we have any knowledge. Yet with all her queenly qualities Ozma was a real girl and enjoyed the things in life that other real girls enjoy. When she sat on her splendid emerald throne in the great Throne Room of her palace and made laws and settled disputes and tried to keep all her subjects happy and contented, she was as dignified and demure as any queen might be; but when she had thrown aside her jeweled robe of state and her sceptre, and had retired to her private apartments, the girl– joyous, light-hearted and free–replaced the sedate Ruler.

In the banquet hall to-night were gathered only old and trusted friends, so here Ozma was herself–a mere girl. She greeted Dorothy with a kiss, the Shaggy Man with a smile, the little old Wizard with a friendly handshake and then she pressed the Scarecrow’s stuffed arm and cried merrily:

“What a lovely left ear! Why, it’s a hundred times better than the old one.”

“I’m glad you like it,” replied the Scarecrow, well pleased. “Jinjur did a neat job, didn’t she? And my hearing is now perfect. Isn’t it wonderful what a little paint will do, if it’s properly applied?”

“It really is wonderful,” she agreed, as they all took their seats; “but the Sawhorse must have made his legs twinkle to have carried you so far in one day. I didn’t expect you back before to-morrow, at the earliest.”

“Well,” said the Scarecrow, “I met a charming girl on the road and wanted to see more of her, so I hurried back.”

Ozma laughed.

“I know,” she returned; “it’s the Patchwork Girl. She is certainly bewildering, if not strictly beautiful.”

“Have you seen her, then?” the straw man eagerly asked.