Then the mice were unharnessed from the truck and scampered away through the
grass to their homes. The Queen of the Mice was the last to leave.
''If ever you need us again,'' she said, ''come out into the field and call,
and we shall hear you and come to your assistance. Good-bye!''
''Good-bye!'' they all answered, and away the Queen ran, while Dorothy held Toto
tightly lest he should run after her and frighten her.
After this they sat down beside the Lion until he should awaken; and the Scarecrow
brought Dorothy some fruit from a tree near by, which she ate for her dinner.
10. The Guardian of the Gate
It was some time before the Cowardly Lion awakened, for he had lain among the
poppies a long while, breathing in their deadly fragrance; but when he did open
his eyes and roll off the truck he was very glad to find himself still alive.
''I ran as fast as I could,'' he said, sitting down and yawning, ''but the flowers
were too strong for me. How did you get me out?''
Then they told him of the field mice, and how they had generously saved him from
death; and the Cowardly Lion laughed, and said:
''I have always thought myself very big and terrible; yet such little things
as flowers came near to killing me, and such small animals as mice have saved my
life. How strange it all is! But, comrades, what shall we do now?''
''We must journey on until we find the road of yellow brick again,'' said Dorothy,
''and then we can keep on to the Emerald City.''
So, the Lion being fully refreshed, and feeling quite himself again, they all
started upon the journey, greatly enjoying the walk through the soft, fresh grass;
and it was not long before they reached the road of yellow brick and turned again
toward the Emerald City where the Great Oz dwelt.
The road was smooth and well paved, now, and the country about was beautiful,
so that the travelers rejoiced in leaving the forest far behind, and with it the
many dangers they had met in its gloomy shades. Once more they could see fences
built beside the road; but these were painted green, and when they came to a small
house, in which a farmer evidently lived, that also was painted green. They passed
by several of these houses during the afternoon, and sometimes people came to the
doors and looked at them as if they would like to ask questions; but no one came
near them nor spoke to them because of the great Lion, of which they were very much
afraid. The people were all dressed in clothing of a lovely emerald - green color
and wore peaked hats like those of the Munchkins.
''This must be the Land of Oz,'' said Dorothy, ''and we are surely getting near
the Emerald City.''
''Yes,'' answered the Scarecrow. ''Everything is green here, while in the country
of the Munchkins blue was the favorite color. But the people do not seem to be as
friendly as the Munchkins, and I'm afraid we shall be unable to find a place to
pass the night.''
''I should like something to eat besides fruit,'' said the girl, ''and I'm sure
Toto is nearly starved. Let us stop at the next house and talk to the people.''
So, when they came to a good - sized farmhouse, Dorothy walked boldly up to the
door and knocked.
A woman opened it just far enough to look out, and said, ''What do you want,
child, and why is that great Lion with you?''
''We wish to pass the night with you, if you will allow us,'' answered Dorothy;
''and the Lion is my friend and comrade, and would not hurt you for the world.''
''Is he tame?'' asked the woman, opening the door a little wider.
''Oh, yes,'' said the girl, ''and he is a great coward, too. He will be more
afraid of you than you are of him.''
''Well,'' said the woman, after thinking it over and taking another peep at the
Lion, ''if that is the case you may come in, and I will give you some supper and
a place to sleep.''
So they all entered the house, where there were, besides the woman, two children
and a man. The man had hurt his leg, and was lying on the couch in a corner. They
seemed greatly surprised to see so strange a company, and while the woman was busy
laying the table the man asked:
''Where are you all going?''
''To the Emerald City,'' said Dorothy, ''to see the Great Oz.''
''Oh, indeed!'' exclaimed the man. ''Are you sure that Oz will see you?''
''Why not?'' she replied.
''Why, it is said that he never lets anyone come into his presence. I have been
to the Emerald City many times, and it is a beautiful and wonderful place; but I
have never been permitted to see the Great Oz, nor do I know of any living person
who has seen him.''
''Does he never go out?'' asked the Scarecrow.
''Never. He sits day after day in the great Throne Room of his Palace, and even
those who wait upon him do not see him face to face.''
''What is he like?'' asked the girl.
''That is hard to tell,'' said the man thoughtfully. ''You see, Oz is a Great
Wizard, and can take on any form he wishes. So that some say he looks like a bird;
and some say he looks like an elephant; and some say he looks like a cat. To others
he appears as a beautiful fairy, or a brownie, or in any other form that pleases
him. But who the real Oz is, when he is in his own form, no living person can tell.''
''That is very strange,'' said Dorothy, ''but we must try, in some way, to see
him, or we shall have made our journey for nothing.''
''Why do you wish to see the terrible Oz?'' asked the man.
''I want him to give me some brains,'' said the Scarecrow eagerly.
''Oh, Oz could do that easily enough,'' declared the man. ''He has more brains
than he needs.''
''And I want him to give me a heart,'' said the Tin Woodman.
''That will not trouble him,'' continued the man, ''for Oz has a large collection
of hearts, of all sizes and shapes.''
''And I want him to give me courage,'' said the Cowardly Lion.
''Oz keeps a great pot of courage in his Throne Room,'' said the man, ''which
he has covered with a golden plate, to keep it from running over. He will be glad
to give you some.''
''And I want him to send me back to Kansas,'' said Dorothy.
''Where is Kansas?'' asked the man, with surprise.
''I don't know,'' replied Dorothy sorrowfully, ''but it is my home, and I'm sure
''Very likely. Well, Oz can do anything; so I suppose he will find Kansas for
you. But first you must get to see him, and that will be a hard task; for the Great
Wizard does not like to see anyone, and he usually has his own way. But what do
YOU want?'' he continued, speaking to Toto. Toto only wagged his tail; for, strange
to say, he could not speak.
The woman now called to them that supper was ready, so they gathered around the
table and Dorothy ate some delicious porridge and a dish of scrambled eggs and a
plate of nice white bread, and enjoyed her meal. The Lion ate some of the porridge,
but did not care for it, saying it was made from oats and oats were food for horses,
not for lions. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman ate nothing at all. Toto ate a
little of everything, and was glad to get a good supper again.
The woman now gave Dorothy a bed to sleep in, and Toto lay down beside her, while
the Lion guarded the door of her room so she might not be disturbed. The Scarecrow
and the Tin Woodman stood up in a corner and kept quiet all night, although of course
they could not sleep.
The next morning, as soon as the sun was up, they started on their way, and soon
saw a beautiful green glow in the sky just before them.
''That must be the Emerald City,'' said Dorothy.
As they walked on, the green glow became brighter and brighter, and it seemed
that at last they were nearing the end of their travels. Yet it was afternoon before
they came to the great wall that surrounded the City. It was high and thick and
of a bright green color.
In front of them, and at the end of the road of yellow brick, was a big gate,
all studded with emeralds that glittered so in the sun that even the painted eyes
of the Scarecrow were dazzled by their brilliancy.
There was a bell beside the gate, and Dorothy pushed the button and heard a silvery
tinkle sound within. Then the big gate swung slowly open, and they all passed through
and found themselves in a high arched room, the walls of which glistened with countless
Before them stood a little man about the same size as the Munchkins. He was clothed
all in green, from his head to his feet, and even his skin was of a greenish tint.
At his side was a large green box.
When he saw Dorothy and her companions the man asked, ''What do you wish in the
''We came here to see the Great Oz,'' said Dorothy.