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daughters. My dears, I introduce to you Miss Scraps Patchwork, a lady who is traveling in foreign parts to increase her store of wisdom.”

The nineteen Horner girls all arose and made a polite curtsey, after which they resumed their seats and rearranged their robes properly.

“Why do they sit so still, and all in a row?” asked Scraps.

“Because it is ladylike and proper,” replied the Chief.

“But some are just children, poor things! Don’t they ever run around and play and laugh, and have a good time?”

“No, indeed,” said the Chief. “That would he improper in young ladies, as well as in those who will sometime become young ladies. My daughters are being brought up according to the rules and regulations laid down by a leading bachelor who has given the subject much study and is himself a man of taste and culture. Politeness is his great hobby, and he claims that if a child is allowed to do an impolite thing one cannot expect the grown person to do anything better.”

“Is it impolite to romp and shout and be jolly?” asked Scraps.

“Well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t,” replied the Horner, after considering the question. “By curbing such inclinations in my daughters we keep on the safe side. Once in a while I make a good joke, as you have heard, and then I permit my daughters to laugh decorously; but they are never allowed to make a joke themselves.”

“That old bachelor who made the rules ought to be skinned alive!” declared Scraps, and would have said more on the subject had not the door opened to admit a little Horner man whom the Chief introduced as Diksey.

“What’s up, Chief?” asked Diksey, winking nineteen times at the nineteen girls, who demurely cast down their eyes because their father was looking.

The Chief told the man that his joke had not been understood by the dull Hoppers, who had become so angry that they had declared war. So the only way to avoid a terrible battle was to explain the joke so they could understand it.

“All right,” replied Diksey, who seemed a good- natured man; “I’ll go at once to the fence and explain. I don’t want any war with the Hoppers, for wars between nations always cause hard feelings.”

So the Chief and Diksey and Scraps left the house and went back to the marble picket fence. The Scarecrow was still stuck on the top of his picket but had now ceased to struggle. On the other side of the fence were Dorothy and Ojo, looking between the pickets; and there, also, were the Champion and many other Hoppers.

Diksey went close to the fence and said:

“My good Hoppers, I wish to explain that what I said about you was a joke. You have but one leg each, and we have two legs each. Our legs are under us, whether one or two, and we stand on them. So, when I said you had less understanding than we, I did not mean that you had less understanding, you understand, but that you had less standundering, so to speak. Do you understand that?”

The Hoppers thought it over carefully. Then one said:

“That is clear enough; but where does the joke come in?'”

Dorothy laughed, for she couldn’t help it, although all the others were solemn enough.

“I’ll tell you where the joke comes in,” she said, and took the Hoppers away to a distance, where the Horners could not hear them. “You know,” she then explained, “those neighbors of yours are not very bright, poor things, and what they think is a joke isn’t a joke at all–it’s true, don’t you see?”

“True that we have less understanding?” asked the Champion.

“Yes; it’s true because you don’t understand such a poor joke; if you did, you’d be no wiser than they are.”

“Ah, yes; of course,” they answered, looking very wise.

“So I’ll tell you what to do,” continued Dorothy. “Laugh at their poor joke and tell ’em it’s pretty good for a Horner. Then they won’t dare say you have less understanding, because you understand as much as they do.”

The Hoppers looked at one another questioningly and blinked their eyes and tried to think what it all meant; but they couldn’t figure it out.

“What do you think, Champion?” asked one of them.

“I think it is dangerous to think of this thing any more than we can help,” he replied. “Let us do as this girl says and laugh with the Horners, so as to make them believe we see the joke. Then there will be peace again and no need to fight.”

They readily agreed to this and returned to the fence laughing as loud and as hard as they could, although they didn’t feel like laughing a bit. The Horners were much surprised.

“That’s a fine joke–for a Horner–and we are much pleased with it,” said the Champion, speaking between the pickets. “But please don’t do it again.”

“I won’t,” promised Diksey. “If I think of another such joke I’ll try to forget it.”

“Good!” cried the Chief Horner. “The war is over and peace is declared.”

There was much joyful shouting on both sides of the fence and the gate was unlocked and thrown wide open, so that Scraps was able to rejoin her friends.

“What about the Scarecrow?” she asked Dorothy.

“We must get him down, somehow or other,” was the reply.

“Perhaps the Horners can find a way,” suggested Ojo. So they all went through the gate and Dorothy asked the Chief Horner how they could get the Scarecrow off the fence. The Chief didn’t know how, but Diksey said:

“A ladder’s the thing.”

“Have you one?” asked Dorothy.

“To be sure. We use ladders in our mines,” said he. Then he ran away to get the ladder, and while he was gone the Horners gathered around and welcomed the strangers to their country, for through them a great war had been avoided.

In a little while Diksey came back with a tall ladder which he placed against the fence. Ojo at once climbed to the top of the ladder and Dorothy went about halfway up and Scraps stood at the foot of it. Toto ran around it and barked. Then Ojo pulled the Scarecrow away from the picket and passed him down to Dorothy, who in turn lowered him to the Patchwork Girl.

As soon as he was on his feet and standing on solid ground the Scarecrow said:

“Much obliged. I feel much better. I’m not stuck on that picket any more.”

The Horners began to laugh, thinking this was a joke, but the Scarecrow shook himself and patted his straw a little and said to Dorothy: “Is there much of a hole in my back?”

The little girl examined him carefully.

“There’s quite a hole,” she said. “But I’ve got a needle and thread in the knapsack and I’ll sew you up again.”

“Do so,” he begged earnestly, and again the Hoppers laughed, to the Scarecrow’s great annoyance.

While Dorothy was sewing up the hole in the straw man’s back Scraps examined the other parts of him.

“One of his legs is ripped, too!” she exclaimed.

“Oho!” cried little Diksey; “that’s bad. Give him the needle and thread and let him mend his ways.”

“Ha, ha, ha!” laughed the Chief, and the other Horners at once roared with laughter.

“What’s funny?” inquired the Scarecrow sternly.

“Don’t you see?” asked Diksey, who had laughed even harder than the others. “That’s a joke. It’s by odds the best joke I ever made. You walk with your legs, and so that’s the way you walk, and your legs are the ways. See? So, when you mend your legs, you mend your ways. Ho, ho, ho! hee, hee! I’d no idea I could make such a fine joke!”

“Just wonderful!” echoed the Chief. “How do you manage to do it, Diksey?”

“I don’t know,” said Diksey modestly. “Perhaps it’s the radium, but I rather think it’s my splendid intellect.”

“If you don’t quit it,” the Scarecrow told him, “there’ll be a worse war than the one you’ve escaped from.”

Ojo had been deep in thought, and now he asked the Chief: “Is there a dark well in any part of your country?”

“A dark well? None that ever I heard of,” was the answer.

“Oh, yes,” said Diksey, who overheard the boy’s question. “There’s a very dark well down in my radium mine.”

“Is there any water in it?” Ojo eagerly asked.

“Can’t say; I’ve never looked to see. But we can find out.”

So, as soon as the Scarecrow was mended, they decided to go with Diksey to the mine. When Dorothy had patted the straw man into shape again he declared he felt as good as new and equal to further adventures.

“Still,” said he, “I prefer not to do picket duty again. High life doesn’t seem to agree with my constitution.” And then they hurried away to escape the laughter of the Horners, who thought this was another joke.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Ojo Finds the Dark Well

They now followed Diksey to the farther end of the great cave, beyond the Horner city, where there were several round, dark holes leading into the ground in a slanting direction. Diksey went to one of these holes and said:

“Here is the mine in which lies the dark well you are seeking. Follow me and step carefully and I’ll lead you to the place.”

He went in first and after him came Ojo, and then Dorothy, with the Scarecrow behind her. The Patchwork Girl entered last of all, for Toto kept close beside his little mistress.

A few steps beyond the mouth of the opening it was pitch dark. “You won’t lose your way, though,” said the Horner, “for there’s only one way to go. The mine’s mine and I know every step of the way. How’s that for a joke, eh? The mine’s mine.” Then he chuckled gleefully as they followed him silently down the steep slant. The hole was just big enough to permit them to walk upright, although the Scarecrow, being much the taller of the party, often had to bend his head to keep from hitting the top.

The floor of the tunnel was difficult to walk upon because it had been worn smooth as glass, and pretty soon Scraps, who was some distance behind the others, slipped and fell head foremost. At once she began to slide downward, so swiftly that when she came to the Scarecrow she knocked him off his feet and sent him tumbling against Dorothy, who tripped up Ojo. The boy fell against the Horner, so that all went tumbling down the slide in a regular mix-up, unable to see where they were going because of the darkness.

Fortunately, when they reached the bottom the Scarecrow and Scraps were in front, and the others bumped against them, so that no one was hurt. They found themselves in a vast cave which was dimly lighted by the tiny grains of radium that lay scattered among the loose rocks.

“Now,” said Diksey, when they had all regained their feet, “I will show you where the dark well is. This is a big place, but if we hold fast to each other we won’t get lost.”

They took hold of hands and the Horner led them into a dark corner, where he halted.

“Be careful,” said he warningly. “The well is at your feet.”

“All right,” replied Ojo, and kneeling down he felt in the well with his hand and found that it contained a quantity of water. “Where’s the gold flask, Dorothy?” he asked, and the little girl handed him the flask, which she had brought with her.

Ojo knelt again and by feeling carefully in the dark managed to fill the flask with the unseen water that was in the well. Then he screwed the top of the flask firmly in place and put the precious water in his pocket.

“All right!” he said again, in a glad voice; “now we can go back.”

They returned to the mouth of the tunnel and began to creep cautiously up the incline. This time they made Scraps stay behind, for fear she would slip again; but they all managed to get up in safety and the Munchkin boy was very happy when he stood in the Horner city and realized that the water from the dark well, which he and his friends had traveled so far to secure, was safe in his jacket pocket.

Chapter Twenty-Five

They Bribe the Lazy Quadling

“Now,” said Dorothy, as they stood on the mountain path, having left behind them the cave in which dwelt the Hoppers and the Horners, “I think we must find a road into the Country of the Winkies, for there is where Ojo wants to go next.”

“Is there such a road?” asked the Scarecrow.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “I s’pose we can go back the way we came, to Jack Pumpkinhead’s house, and then turn into the Winkie Country; but that seems like running ’round a haystack, doesn’t it?”

“Yes,” said the Scarecrow. “What is the next thing Ojo must get?”

“A yellow butterfly,” answered the boy.

“That means the Winkie Country, all right, for it’s the yellow country of Oz,” remarked Dorothy. “I think, Scarecrow, we ought to take him to the Tin Woodman, for he’s the Emp’ror of the Winkies and will help us to find what Ojo wants.”

“Of course,” replied the Scarecrow, brightening at the suggestion. “The Tin Woodman will do anything we ask him, for he’s one of my dearest friends. I believe we can take a crosscut into his country and so get to his castle a day sooner than if we travel back the way we came.”

“I think so, too,” said the girl; “and that means we must keep to the left.”

They were obliged to go down the mountain before they found any path that led in the direction they wanted to go, but among the tumbled rocks at the foot of the mountain was a faint trail which they decided to follow. Two or three hours walk along this trail brought them to a clear, level country, where there were a few farms and some scattered houses. But they knew they were still in the Country of the Quadlings, because everything had a bright red color. Not that the trees and grasses were red, but the fences and houses were painted that color and all the wild-flowers that bloomed by the wayside had red blossoms. This part of the Quadling Country seemed peaceful and prosperous, if rather lonely, and the road was more distinct and easier to follow.

But just as they were congratulating themselves upon the progress they had made they came upon a broad river which swept along between high banks, and here the road ended and there was no bridge of any sort to allow them to cross.

“This is queer,” mused Dorothy, looking at the water reflectively. “Why should there be any road, if the river stops everyone walking along it?”

“Wow!” said Toto, gazing earnestly into her face.

“That’s the best answer you’ll get,” declared the Scarecrow, with his comical smile, “for no one knows any more than Toto about this road.”

Said Scraps:

“Ev’ry time I see a river,
I have chills that make me shiver, For I never can forget
All the water’s very wet.
If my patches get a soak
It will be a sorry joke;
So to swim I’ll never try
Till I find the water dry.”

“Try to control yourself, Scraps,” said Ojo; “you’re getting crazy again. No one intends to swim that river.”

“No,” decided Dorothy, “we couldn’t swim it if we tried. It’s too big a river, and the water moves awful fast.”

“There ought to be a ferryman with a boat,” said the Scarecrow; “but I don’t see any.”

“Couldn’t we make a raft?” suggested Ojo.

“There’s nothing to make one of,” answered Dorothy.

“Wow!” said Toto again, and Dorothy saw he was looking along the bank of the river.

“Why, he sees a house over there!” cried the little girl. “I wonder we didn’t notice it ourselves. Let’s go and ask the people how to get ‘cross the river.”

A quarter of a mile along the bank stood a small, round house, painted bright red, and as it was on their side of the river they hurried toward it. A chubby little man, dressed all in red, came out to greet them, and with him were two children, also in red costumes. The man’s eyes were big and staring as he examined the Scarecrow and the Patchwork Girl, and the children shyly hid behind him and peeked timidly at Toto.

“Do you live here, my good man?” asked the Scarecrow.

“I think I do, Most Mighty Magician,” replied the Quadling, bowing low; “but whether I’m awake or dreaming I can’t be positive, so I’m not sure where I live. If you’ll kindly pinch me I’ll find out all about it!”

“You’re awake,” said Dorothy, “and this is no magician, but just the Scarecrow.”

“But he’s alive,” protested the man, “and he oughtn’t to be, you know. And that other dreadful person–the girl who is all patches–seems to be alive, too.”

“Very much so,” declared Scraps, making a face at him. “But that isn’t your affair, you know.”

“I’ve a right to be surprised, haven’t I?” asked the man meekly.

“I’m not sure; but anyhow you’ve no right to say I’m dreadful. The Scarecrow, who is a gentleman of great wisdom, thinks I’m beautiful,” retorted Scraps.

“Never mind all that,” said Dorothy. “Tell us, good Quadling, how we can get across the river.”

“I don’t know,” replied the Quadling.

“Don’t you ever cross it?” asked the girl.

“Never.”

“Don’t travelers cross it?”

“Not to my knowledge,” said he.

They were much surprised to hear this, and the man added: “It’s a pretty big river, and the current is strong. I know a man who lives on the opposite bank, for I’ve seen him there a good many years; but we’ve never spoken because neither of us has ever crossed over.”

“That’s queer,” said the Scarecrow. “Don’t you own a boat?”

The man shook his head.

“Nor a raft?”

“Where does this river go to?” asked Dorothy.

“That way,” answered the man, pointing with one hand, “it goes into the Country of the Winkies, which is ruled by the Tin Emperor, who must be a mighty magician because he’s all made of tin, and yet he’s alive. And that way,” pointing with the other hand, “the river runs between two mountains where dangerous people dwell.”

The Scarecrow looked at the water before them.

“The current flows toward the Winkie Country,” said he; “and so, if we had a boat, or a raft, the river would float us there more quickly and more easily than we could walk.”

“That is true,” agreed Dorothy; and then they all looked thoughtful and wondered what could be done.

“Why can’t the man make us a raft?” asked Ojo.

“Will you?” inquired Dorothy, turning to the Quadling.

The chubby man shook his head.

“I’m too lazy,” he said. “My wife says I’m the laziest man in all Oz, and she is a truthful woman. I hate work of any kind, and making a raft is hard work.”

“I’ll give you my em’rald ring,” promised the girl.

“No; I don’t care for emeralds. If it were a ruby, which is the color I like best, I might work a little while.”

“I’ve got some Square Meal Tablets,” said the Scarecrow. “Each one is the same as a dish of soup, a fried fish, a mutton pot-pie, lobster salad, charlotte russe and lemon jelly–all made into one little tablet that you can swallow without trouble.”

“Without trouble!” exclaimed the Quadling, much interested; “then those tablets would be fine for a lazy man. It’s such hard work to chew when you eat.”

“I’ll give you six of those tablets if you’ll help us make a raft,” promised the Scarecrow. “They’re a combination of food which people who eat are very fond of. I never eat, you know, being straw; but some of my friends eat regularly. What do you say to my offer, Quadling?”

“I’ll do it,” decided the man. “I’ll help, and you can do most of the work. But my wife has gone fishing for red eels to-day, so some of you will have to mind the children.”

Scraps promised to do that, and the children were not so shy when the Patchwork Girl sat down to play with them. They grew to like Toto, too, and the little dog allowed them to pat him on his head, which gave the little ones much joy.

There were a number of fallen trees near the house and the Quadling got his axe and chopped them into logs of equal length. He took his wife’s clothesline to bind these logs together, so that they would form a raft, and Ojo found some strips of wood and nailed them along the tops of the logs, to render them more firm. The Scarecrow and Dorothy helped roll the logs together and carry the strips of wood, but it took so long to make the raft that evening came just as it was finished, and with evening the Quadling’s wife returned from her fishing.

The woman proved to be cross and bad-tempered, perhaps because she had only caught one red eel during all the day. When she found that her husband had used her clothesline, and the logs she had wanted for firewood, and the boards she had intended to mend the shed with, and a lot of gold nails, she became very angry. Scraps wanted to shake the woman, to make her behave, but Dorothy talked to her in a gentle tone and told the Quadling’s wife she was a Princess of Oz and a friend of Ozma and that when she got back to the Emerald City she would send them a lot of things to repay them for the raft, including a new clothesline. This promise pleased the woman and she soon became more pleasant, saying they could stay the night at her house and begin their voyage on the river next morning.

This they did, spending a pleasant evening with the Quadling family and being entertained with such hospitality as the poor people were able to offer them. The man groaned a good deal and said he had overworked himself by chopping the logs, but the Scarecrow gave him two more tablets than he had promised, which seemed to comfort the lazy fellow.

Chapter Twenty-Six

The Trick River

Next morning they pushed the raft into the water and all got aboard. The Quadling man had to hold the log craft fast while they took their places, and the flow of the river was so powerful that it nearly tore the raft from his hands. As soon as they were all seated upon the logs he let go and away it floated and the adventurers had begun their voyage toward the Winkie Country.

The little house of the Quadlings was out of sight almost before they had cried their good- byes, and the Scarecrow said in a pleased voice: “It won’t take us long to get to the Winkie Country, at this rate.”

They had floated several miles down the stream and were enjoying the ride when suddenly the raft slowed up, stopped short, and then began to float back the way it had come.

“Why, what’s wrong?” asked Dorothy, in astonishment; but they were all just as bewildered as she was and at first no one could answer the question. Soon, however, they realized the truth: that the current of the river had reversed and the water was now flowing in the opposite direction– toward the mountains.

They began to recognize the scenes they had passed, and by and by they came in sight of the little house of the Quadlings again. The man was standing on the river bank and he called to them:

“How do you do? Glad to see you again. I forgot to tell you that the river changes its direction every little while. Sometimes it flows one way, and sometimes the other.”

They had no time to answer him, for the raft was swept past the house and a long distance on the other side of it.

“We’re going just the way we don’t want to go,” said Dorothy, “and I guess the best thing we can do is to get to land before we’re carried any farther.”

But they could not get to land. They had no oars, nor even a pole to guide the raft with. The logs which bore them floated in the middle of the stream and were held fast in that position by the strong current.

So they sat still and waited and, even while they were wondering what could be done, the raft slowed down, stopped, and began drifting the other way–in the direction it had first followed. After a time they repassed the Quadling house and the man was still standing on the bank. He cried out to them:

“Good day! Glad to see you again. I expect I shall see you a good many times, as you go by, unless you happen to swim ashore.”

By that time they had left him behind and were headed once more straight toward the Winkie Country.

“This is pretty hard luck,” said Ojo in a discouraged voice. “The Trick River keeps changing, it seems, and here we must float back and forward forever, unless we manage in some way to get ashore.”

“Can you swim?” asked Dorothy.

“No; I’m Ojo the Unlucky.”

“Neither can I. Toto can swim a little, but that won’t help us to get to shore.”

“I don’t know whether I could swim, or not,” remarked Scraps; “but if I tried it I’d surely ruin my lovely patches.”

“My straw would get soggy in the water and I would sink,” said the Scarecrow.

So there seemed no way out of their dilemma and being helpless they simply sat still. Ojo, who was on the front of the raft, looked over into the water and thought he saw some large fishes swimming about. He found a loose end of the clothesline which fastened the logs together, and taking a gold nail from his pocket he bent it nearly double, to form a hook, and tied it to the end of the line. Having baited the hook with some bread which he broke from his loaf, he dropped the line into the water and almost instantly it was seized by a great fish.

They knew it was a great fish, because it pulled so hard on the line that it dragged the raft forward even faster than the current of the river had carried it. The fish was frightened, and it was a strong swimmer. As the other end of the clothesline was bound around the logs he could not get it away, and as he had greedily swallowed the gold hook at the first bite he could not get rid of that, either.

When they reached the place where the current had before changed, the fish was still swimming ahead in its wild attempt to escape. The raft slowed down, yet it did not stop, because the fish would not let it. It continued to move in the same direction it had been going. As the current reversed and rushed backward on its course it failed to drag the raft with it. Slowly, inch by inch, they floated on, and the fish tugged and tugged and kept them going.

“I hope he won’t give up,” said Ojo anxiously. “If the fish can hold out until the current changes again, we’ll be all right.”

The fish did not give up, but held the raft bravely on its course, till at last the water in the river shifted again and floated them the way they wanted to go. But now the captive fish found its strength failing. Seeking a refuge, it began to drag the raft toward the shore. As they did not wish to land in this place the boy cut the rope with his pocket-knife and set the fish free, just in time to prevent the raft from grounding.

The next time the river backed up the Scarecrow managed to seize the branch of a tree that overhung the water and they all assisted him to hold fast and prevent the raft from being carried backward. While they waited here, Ojo spied a long broken branch lying upon the bank, so he leaped ashore and got it. When he had stripped off the side shoots he believed he could use the branch as a pole, to guide the raft in case of emergency.

They clung to the tree until they found the water flowing the right way, when they let go and permitted the raft to resume its voyage. In spite of these pauses they were really making good progress toward the Winkie Country and having found a way to conquer the adverse current their spirits rose considerably. They could see little of the country through which they were passing, because of the high banks, and they met with no boats or other craft upon the surface of the river.

Once more the trick river reversed its current, but this time the Scarecrow was on guard and used the pole to push the raft toward a big rock which lay in the water. He believed the rock would prevent their floating backward with the current, and so it did. They clung to this anchorage until the water resumed its proper direction, when they allowed the raft to drift on.

Floating around a bend they saw ahead a high bank of water, extending across the entire river, and toward this they were being irresistibly carried. There being no way to arrest the progress of the raft they clung fast to the logs and let the river sweep them on. Swiftly the raft climbed the bank of water and slid down on the other side, plunging its edge deep into the water and drenching them all with spray.

As again the raft righted and drifted on, Dorothy and Ojo laughed at the ducking they had received; but Scraps was much dismayed and the Scarecrow took out his handkerchief and wiped the water off the Patchwork Girl’s patches as well as he was able to. The sun soon dried her and the colors of her patches proved good, for they did not run together nor did they fade.

After passing the wall of water the current did not change or flow backward any more but continued to sweep them steadily forward. The banks of the river grew lower, too, permitting them to see more of the country, and presently they discovered yellow buttercups and dandelions growing amongst the grass, from which evidence they knew they had reached the Winkie Country.

“Don’t you think we ought to land?” Dorothy asked the Scarecrow.

“Pretty soon,” he replied. “The Tin Woodman’s castle is in the southern part of the Winkie Country, and so it can’t be a great way from here.”

Fearing they might drift too far, Dorothy and Ojo now stood up and raised the Scarecrow in their arms, as high as they could, thus allowing him a good view of the country. For a time he saw nothing he recognized, but finally he cried:

“There it is! There it is!”

“What?” asked Dorothy.

“The Tin Woodman’s tin castle. I can see its turrets glittering in the sun. It’s quite a way off, but we’d better land as quickly as we can.”

They let him down and began to urge the raft toward the shore by means of the pole. It obeyed very well, for the current was more sluggish now, and soon they had reached the bank and landed safely.

The Winkie Country was really beautiful, and across the fields they could see afar the silvery sheen of the tin castle. With light hearts they hurried toward it, being fully rested by their long ride on the river.

By and by they began to cross an immense field of splendid yellow lilies, the delicate fragrance of which was very delightful.

“How beautiful they are!” cried Dorothy, stopping to admire the perfection of these exquisite flowers.

“Yes,” said the Scarecrow, reflectively, “but we must be careful not to crush or injure any of these lilies.”

“Why not?” asked Ojo.

“The Tin Woodman is very kind-hearted,” was the reply, “and he hates to see any living thing hurt in any way.”

“Are flowers alive?” asked Scraps.

“Yes, of course. And these flowers belong to the Tin Woodman. So, in order not to offend him, we must not tread on a single blossom.”

“Once,” said Dorothy, “the Tin Woodman stepped on a beetle and killed the little creature. That made him very unhappy and he cried until his tears rusted his joints, so he couldn’t move ’em.”

“What did he do then?” asked Ojo.

“Put oil on them, until the joints worked smooth again.”

“Oh!” exclaimed the boy, as if a great discovery had flashed across his mind. But he did not tell anybody what the discovery was and kept the idea to himself.

It was a long walk, but a pleasant one, and they did not mind it a bit. Late in the afternoon they drew near to the wonderful tin castle of the Emperor of the Winkies, and Ojo and
Scraps, who had never seen it before, were filled with amazement.

Tin abounded in the Winkie Country and the Winkies were said to be the most skillful tinsmiths in all the world. So the Tin Woodman had employed them in building his magnificent castle, which was all of tin, from the ground to the tallest turret, and so brightly polished that it glittered in the sun’s rays more gorgeously than silver. Around the grounds of the castle ran a tin wall, with tin gates; but the gates stood wide open because the Emperor had no enemies to disturb him.

When they entered the spacious grounds our travelers found more to admire. Tin fountains sent sprays of clear water far into the air and there were many beds of tin flowers, all as perfectly formed as any natural flowers might be. There were tin trees, too, and here and there shady bowers of tin, with tin benches and chairs to sit upon. Also, on the sides of the pathway leading up to the front door of the castle, were rows of tin statuary, very cleverly executed. Among these Ojo recognized statues of Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Wizard, the Shaggy Man, Jack Pumpkinhead and Ozma, all standing upon neat pedestals of tin.

Toto was well acquainted with the residence of the Tin Woodman and, being assured a joyful welcome, he ran ahead and barked so loudly at the front door that the Tin Woodman heard him and came out in person to see if it were really his old friend Toto. Next moment the tin man had clasped the Scarecrow in a warm embrace and then turned to hug Dorothy. But now his eye was arrested by the strange sight of the Patchwork Girl, and he gazed upon her in mingled wonder and admiration.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

The Tin Woodman Objects

The Tin Woodman was one of the most important personages in all Oz. Though Emperor of the Winkies, he owed allegiance to Ozma, who ruled all the land, and the girl and the tin man were warm personal friends. He was something of a dandy and kept his tin body brilliantly polished and his tin joints well oiled. Also he was very courteous in manner and so kind and gentle that everyone loved him. The Emperor greeted Ojo and Scraps with cordial hospitality and ushered the entire party into his handsome tin parlor, where all the furniture and pictures were made of tin. The walls were paneled with tin and from the tin ceiling hung tin chandeliers.

The Tin Woodman wanted to know, first of all, where Dorothy had found the Patchwork Girl, so between them the visitors told the story of how Scraps was made, as well as the accident to Margolotte and Unc Nunkie and how Ojo had set out upon a journey to procure the things needed for the Crooked Magician’s magic
charm. Then Dorothy told of their adventures in the Quadling Country and how at last they succeeded in getting the water from a dark well.

While the little girl was relating these adventures the Tin Woodman sat in an easy chair listening with intense interest, while the others sat grouped around him. Ojo, however, had kept his eyes fixed upon the body of the tin Emperor, and now he noticed that under the joint of his left knee a tiny drop of oil was forming. He watched this drop of oil with a fast-beating heart, and feeling in his pocket brought out a tiny vial of crystal, which he held secreted in his hand.

Presently the Tin Woodman changed his position, and at once Ojo, to the astonishment of all, dropped to the floor and held his crystal vial under the Emperor’s knee joint. Just then the drop of oil fell, and the boy caught it in his bottle and immediately corked it tight. Then, with a red face and embarrassed manner, he rose to confront the others.

“What in the world were you doing?” asked the Tin Woodman.

“I caught a drop of oil that fell from your knee-joint,” confessed Ojo.

“A drop of oil!” exclaimed the Tin Woodman. “Dear me, how careless my valet must have been in oiling me this morning. I’m afraid I shall have to scold the fellow, for I can’t be dropping oil wherever I go.”

“Never mind,” said Dorothy. “Ojo seems glad to have the oil, for some reason.”

“Yes,” declared the Munchkin boy, “I am glad. For one of the things the Crooked Magician sent me to get was a drop of oil from a live man’s body. I had no idea, at first, that there was such a thing; but it’s now safe in the little crystal vial.”

“You are very welcome to it, indeed,” said the Tin Woodman. “Have you now secured all the things you were in search of?”

“Not quite all,” answered Ojo. “There were five things I had to get, and I have found four of them. I have the three hairs in the tip of a Woozy’s tail, a six-leaved clover, a gill of water from a dark well and a drop of oil from a live man’s body. The last thing is the easiest of all to get, and I’m sure that my dear Unc Nunkie–and good Margolotte, as well–will soon be restored to life.”

The Munchkin boy said this with much pride and pleasure.

“Good!” exclaimed the Tin Woodman; “I congratulate you. But what is the fifth and last thing you need, in order to complete the magic charm?”

“The left wing of a yellow butterfly,” said Ojo. “In this yellow country, and with your kind assistance, that ought to be very easy to find.”

The Tin Woodman stared at him in amazement.

“Surely you are joking!” he said.

“No,” replied Ojo, much surprised; “I am in earnest.”

“But do you think for a moment that I would permit you, or anyone else, to pull the left wing from a yellow butterfly?” demanded the Tin Woodman sternly.

“Why not, sir?”

“Why not? You ask me why not? It would be cruel–one of the most cruel and heartless deeds I ever heard of,” asserted the Tin Woodman. “The butterflies are among the prettiest of all created things, and they are very sensitive to pain. To tear a wing from one would cause it exquisite torture and it would soon die in great agony. I would not permit such a wicked deed under any circumstances!”

Ojo was astounded at hearing this. Dorothy, too, looked grave and disconcerted, but she knew in her heart that the Tin Woodman was right. The Scarecrow nodded his head in approval of his friend’s speech, so it was evident that he agreed with the Emperor’s decision. Scraps looked from one to another in perplexity.

“Who cares for a butterfly?” she asked.

“Don’t you?” inquired the Tin Woodman.

“Not the snap of a finger, for I have no heart,” said the Patchwork Girl. “But I want to help Ojo, who is my friend, to rescue the uncle whom he loves, and I’d kill a dozen useless butterflies to enable him to do that.”

The Tin Woodman sighed regretfully.

“You have kind instincts,” he said, “and with a heart you would indeed be a fine creature. I cannot blame you for your heartless remark, as you cannot understand the feelings of those who possess hearts. I, for instance, have a very neat and responsive heart which the wonderful Wizard of Oz once gave me, and so I shall never–never– never permit a poor yellow butterfly to be tortured by anyone.”

“The yellow country of the Winkies,” said Ojo sadly, “is the only place in Oz where a yellow butterfly can be found.”

“I’m glad of that,” said the Tin Woodman. “As I rule the Winkie Country, I can protect my butterflies.”

“Unless I get the wing–just one left wing–” said Ojo miserably, “I can’t save Unc Nunkie.”

“Then he must remain a marble statue forever,” declared the Tin Emperor, firmly.

Ojo wiped his eyes, for he could not hold back the tears.

“I’ll tell you what to do,” said Scraps. “We’ll take a whole yellow butterfly, alive and well, to the Crooked Magician, and let him pull the left wing off.”

“No, you won’t,” said the Tin Woodman. “You can’t have one of my dear little butterflies to treat in that way.”

“Then what in the world shall we do?” asked Dorothy.

They all became silent and thoughtful. No one spoke for a long time. Then the Tin Woodman suddenly roused himself and said:

“We must all go back to the Emerald City and ask Ozma’s advice. She’s a wise little girl, our Ruler, and she may find a way to help Ojo save his Unc Nunkie.”

So the following morning the party started on the journey to the Emerald City, which they reached in due time without any important adventure. It was a sad journey for Ojo, for without the wing of the yellow butterfly he saw no way to save Unc Nunkie–unless he waited six years for the Crooked Magician to make a new lot of the Powder of Life. The boy was utterly discouraged, and as he walked along he groaned aloud.

“Is anything hurting you?” inquired the Tin Woodman in a kindly tone, for the Emperor was with the party.

“I’m Ojo the Unlucky,” replied the boy. “I might have known I would fail in anything I tried to do.”

“Why are you Ojo the Unlucky?” asked the tin man.

“Because I was born on a Friday.”

“Friday is not unlucky,” declared the Emperor. “It’s just one of seven days. Do you suppose all the world becomes unlucky one-seventh of the time?”

“It was the thirteenth day of the month,” said Ojo.

“Thirteen! Ah, that is indeed a lucky number,” replied the Tin Woodman. “All my good luck seems to happen on the thirteenth. I suppose most people never notice the good luck that comes to them with the number 13, and yet if the least bit of bad luck falls on that day, they blame it to the number, and not to the proper cause.”

“Thirteen’s my lucky number, too,” remarked the Scarecrow.

“And mine,” said Scraps. “I’ve just thirteen patches on my head.”

“But,” continued Ojo, “I’m left-handed.”

“Many of our greatest men are that way,” asserted the Emperor. “To be left-handed is usually to be two-handed; the right-handed people are usually one-handed.”

“And I’ve a wart under my right arm,” said Ojo.

“How lucky!” cried the Tin Woodman. “If it were on the end of your nose it might be unlucky, but under your arm it is luckily out of the way.”

“For all those reasons,” said the Munchkin boy, “I have been called Ojo the Unlucky.”

“Then we must turn over a new leaf and call you henceforth Ojo the Lucky,” declared the tin man. “Every reason you have given is absurd. But I have noticed that those who continually dread ill luck and fear it will overtake them, have no time to take advantage of any good fortune that comes their way. Make up your mind to be Ojo the Lucky.”

“How can I?” asked the boy, “when all my attempts to save my dear uncle have failed?”

“Never give up, Ojo,” advised Dorothy. “No one ever knows what’s going to happen next.”

Ojo did not reply, but he was so dejected that even their arrival at the Emerald City failed to interest him.

The people joyfully cheered the appearance of the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and Dorothy, who were all three general favorites, and on entering the royal palace word came to them from Ozma that she would at once grant them an audience.

Dorothy told the girl Ruler how successful they had been in their quest until they came to the item of the yellow butterfly, which the Tin Woodman positively refused to sacrifice to the magic potion.

“He is quite right,” said Ozma, who did not seem a bit surprised. “Had Ojo told me that one of the things he sought was the wing of a yellow butterfly I would have informed him, before he started out, that he could never secure it. Then you would have been saved the troubles and annoyances of your long journey.”

“I didn’t mind the journey at all,” said Dorothy; “it was fun.”

“As it has turned out,” remarked Ojo, “I can never get the things the Crooked Magician sent me for; and so, unless I wait the six years for him to make the Powder of Life, Unc Nunkie cannot be saved.”

Ozma smiled.

“Dr. Pipt will make no more Powder of Life, I promise you,” said she. “I have sent for him and had him brought to this palace, where he now is, and his four kettles have been destroyed and his book of recipes burned up. I have also had brought here the marble statues of your uncle and of Margolotte, which are standing in the next room.”

They were all greatly astonished at this announcement.

“Oh, let me see Unc Nunkie! Let me see him at once, please!” cried Ojo eagerly.

“Wait a moment,” replied Ozma, “for I have something more to say. Nothing that happens in the Land of Oz escapes the notice of our wise Sorceress, Glinda the Good. She knew all about the magic-making of Dr. Pipt, and how he had brought the Glass Cat and the Patchwork Girl to life, and the accident to Unc Nunkie and Margolotte, and of Ojo’s quest and his journey with Dorothy. Glinda also knew that Ojo would fail to find all the things he sought, so she sent for our Wizard and instructed him what to do. Something is going to happen in this palace, presently, and that ‘something’ will, I am sure, please you all. And now,” continued the girl Ruler, rising from her chair, “you may follow me into the next room.”

Chapter Twenty-Eight

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

When Ojo entered the room he ran quickly to the statue of Unc Nunkie and kissed the marble face affectionately.

“I did my best, Unc,” he said, with a sob, “but it was no use!”

Then he drew back and looked around the room, and the sight of the assembled company quite amazed him.

Aside from the marble statues of Unc Nunkie and Margolotte, the Glass Cat was there, curled up on a rug; and the Woozy was there, sitting on its square hind legs and looking on the scene with solemn interest; and there was the Shaggy Man, in a suit of shaggy pea-green satin, and at a table sat the little Wizard, looking quite important and as if he knew much more than he cared to tell.

Last of all, Dr. Pipt was there, and the Crooked Magician sat humped up in a chair, seeming very dejected but keeping his eyes fixed on the lifeless form of his wife Margolotte, whom he fondly loved but whom he now feared was lost to him forever.

Ozma took a chair which Jellia Jamb wheeled forward for the Ruler, and back of her stood the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and Dorothy, as well as the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger. The Wizard now arose and made a low bow to Ozma and another less deferent bow to the assembled company.

“Ladies and gentlemen and beasts,” he said, “I beg to announce that our Gracious Ruler has permitted me to obey the commands of the great Sorceress, Glinda the Good, whose humble Assistant I am proud to be. We have discovered that the Crooked Magician has been indulging in his magical arts contrary to Law, and therefore, by Royal Edict, I hereby deprive him of all power to work magic in the future. He is no longer a crooked magician, but a simple Munchkin; he is no longer even crooked, but a man like other men.”

As he pronounced these words the Wizard waved his hand toward Dr. Pipt and instantly every crooked limb straightened out and became perfect. The former magician, with a cry of joy, sprang to his feet, looked at himself in wonder, and then fell back in his chair and watched the Wizard with fascinated interest.

“The Glass Cat, which Dr. Pipt lawlessly made,” continued the Wizard, “is a pretty cat, but its pink brains made it so conceited that it was a disagreeable companion to everyone. So the other day I took away the pink brains and replaced them with transparent ones, and now the Glass Cat is so modest and well behaved that Ozma has decided to keep her in the palace as a pet.”

“I thank you,” said the cat, in a soft voice.

“The Woozy has proved himself a good Woozy and a faithful friend,” the Wizard went on, “so we will send him to the Royal Menagerie, where he will have good care and plenty to eat all his life.”

“Much obliged,” said the Woozy. “That beats being fenced up in a lonely forest and starved.”

“As for the Patchwork Girl,” resumed the Wizard, “she is so remarkable in appearance, and so clever and good tempered, that our Gracious Ruler intends to preserve her carefully, as one of the curiosities of the curious Land of Oz. Scraps may live in the palace, or wherever she pleases, and be nobody’s servant but her own.”

“That’s all right,” said Scraps.

“We have all been interested in Ojo,” the little Wizard continued, “because his love for his unfortunate uncle has led him bravely to face all sorts of dangers, in order that he might rescue him. The Munchkin boy has a loyal and generous heart and has done his best to restore Unc Nunkie to life. He has failed, but there are others more powerful than the Crooked Magician, and there are more ways than Dr. Pipt knew of to destroy the charm of the Liquid of Petrifaction. Glinda the Good has told me of one way, and you shall now learn how great is the knowledge and power of our peerless Sorceress.”

As he said this the Wizard advanced to the statue of Margolote and made a magic pass, at the same time muttering a magic word that none could hear distinctly. At once the woman moved, turned her head wonderingly this way and that, to note all who stood before her, and seeing Dr. Pipt, ran forward and threw herself into her husband’s outstretched arms.

Then the Wizard made the magic pass and spoke the magic word before the statue of Unc Nunkie. The old Munchkin immediately came to life and with a low bow to the Wizard said: “Thanks.”

But now Ojo rushed up and threw his arms joyfully about his uncle, and the old man hugged his little nephew tenderly and stroked his hair and wiped away the boy’s tears with a handkerchief, for Ojo was crying from pure happiness.

Ozma came forward to congratulate them.

“I have given to you, my dear Ojo and Unc Nunkie, a nice house just outside the walls of the Emerald City,” she said, “and there you shall make your future home and be under my protection.”

“Didn’t I say you were Ojo the Lucky?” asked the Tin Woodman, as everyone crowded around to shake Ojo’s hand.

“Yes; and it is true!” replied Ojo, gratefully.