The next morning the soldier with the green whiskers led the Lion to the great
Throne Room and bade him enter the presence of Oz.
The Lion at once passed through the door, and glancing around saw, to his surprise,
that before the throne was a Ball of Fire, so fierce and glowing he could scarcely
bear to gaze upon it. His first thought was that Oz had by accident caught on fire
and was burning up; but when he tried to go nearer, the heat was so intense that
it singed his whiskers, and he crept back tremblingly to a spot nearer the door.
Then a low, quiet voice came from the Ball of Fire, and these were the words
''I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?''
And the Lion answered, ''I am a Cowardly Lion, afraid of everything. I came to
you to beg that you give me courage, so that in reality I may become the King of
Beasts, as men call me.''
''Why should I give you courage?'' demanded Oz.
''Because of all Wizards you are the greatest, and alone have power to grant
my request,'' answered the Lion.
The Ball of Fire burned fiercely for a time, and the voice said, ''Bring me proof
that the Wicked Witch is dead, and that moment I will give you courage. But as long
as the Witch lives, you must remain a coward.''
The Lion was angry at this speech, but could say nothing in reply, and while
he stood silently gazing at the Ball of Fire it became so furiously hot that he
turned tail and rushed from the room. He was glad to find his friends waiting for
him, and told them of his terrible interview with the Wizard.
''What shall we do now?'' asked Dorothy sadly.
''There is only one thing we can do,'' returned the Lion, ''and that is to go
to the land of the Winkies, seek out the Wicked Witch, and destroy her.''
''But suppose we cannot?'' said the girl.
''Then I shall never have courage,'' declared the Lion.
''And I shall never have brains,'' added the Scarecrow.
''And I shall never have a heart,'' spoke the Tin of Woodman.
''And I shall never see Aunt Em and Uncle Henry,'' said Dorothy, beginning to
''Be careful!'' cried the green girl. ''The tears will fall on your green silk
gown and spot it.''
So Dorothy dried her eyes and said, ''I suppose we must try it; but I am sure
I do not want to kill anybody, even to see Aunt Em again.''
''I will go with you; but I'm too much of a coward to kill the Witch,'' said
''I will go too,'' declared the Scarecrow; ''but I shall not be of much help
to you, I am such a fool.''
''I haven't the heart to harm even a Witch,'' remarked the Tin Woodman; ''but
if you go I certainly shall go with you.''
Therefore it was decided to start upon their journey the next morning, and the
Woodman sharpened his axe on a green grindstone and had all his joints properly
oiled. The Scarecrow stuffed himself with fresh straw and Dorothy put new paint
on his eyes that he might see better. The green girl, who was very kind to them,
filled Dorothy's basket with good things to eat, and fastened a little bell around
Toto's neck with a green ribbon.
They went to bed quite early and slept soundly until daylight, when they were
awakened by the crowing of a green cock that lived in the back yard of the Palace,
and the cackling of a hen that had laid a green egg.
12. The Search for the Wicked Witch
The soldier with the green whiskers led them through the streets of the Emerald
City until they reached the room where the Guardian of the Gates lived. This officer
unlocked their spectacles to put them back in his great box, and then he politely
opened the gate for our friends.
''Which road leads to the Wicked Witch of the West?'' asked Dorothy.
''There is no road,'' answered the Guardian of the Gates. ''No one ever wishes
to go that way.''
''How, then, are we to find her?'' inquired the girl.
''That will be easy,'' replied the man, ''for when she knows you are in the country
of the Winkies she will find you, and make you all her slaves.''
''Perhaps not,'' said the Scarecrow, ''for we mean to destroy her.''
''Oh, that is different,'' said the Guardian of the Gates. ''No one has ever
destroyed her before, so I naturally thought she would make slaves of you, as she
has of the rest. But take care; for she is wicked and fierce, and may not allow
you to destroy her. Keep to the West, where the sun sets, and you cannot fail to
They thanked him and bade him Good-bye, and turned toward the West, walking over
fields of soft grass dotted here and there with daisies and buttercups. Dorothy
still wore the pretty silk dress she had put on in the palace, but now, to her surprise,
she found it was no longer green, but pure white. The ribbon around Toto's neck
had also lost its green color and was as white as Dorothy's dress.
The Emerald City was soon left far behind. As they advanced the ground became
rougher and hillier, for there were no farms nor houses in this country of the West,
and the ground was untilled.
In the afternoon the sun shone hot in their faces, for there were no trees to
offer them shade; so that before night Dorothy and Toto and the Lion were tired,
and lay down upon the grass and fell asleep, with the Woodman and the Scarecrow
Now the Wicked Witch of the West had but one eye, yet that was as powerful as
a telescope, and could see everywhere. So, as she sat in the door of her castle,
she happened to look around and saw Dorothy lying asleep, with her friends all about
her. They were a long distance off, but the Wicked Witch was angry to find them
in her country; so she blew upon a silver whistle that hung around her neck.
At once there came running to her from all directions a pack of great wolves.
They had long legs and fierce eyes and sharp teeth.
''Go to those people,'' said the Witch, ''and tear them to pieces.''
''Are you not going to make them your slaves?'' asked the leader of the wolves.
''No,'' she answered, ''one is of tin, and one of straw; one is a girl and another
a Lion. None of them is fit to work, so you may tear them into small pieces.''
''Very well,'' said the wolf, and he dashed away at full speed, followed by the
It was lucky the Scarecrow and the Woodman were wide awake and heard the wolves
''This is my fight,'' said the Woodman, ''so get behind me and I will meet them
as they come.''
He seized his axe, which he had made very sharp, and as the leader of the wolves
came on the Tin Woodman swung his arm and chopped the wolf's head from its body,
so that it immediately died. As soon as he could raise his axe another wolf came
up, and he also fell under the sharp edge of the Tin Woodman's weapon. There were
forty wolves, and forty times a wolf was killed, so that at last they all lay dead
in a heap before the Woodman.
Then he put down his axe and sat beside the Scarecrow, who said, ''It was a good
They waited until Dorothy awoke the next morning. The little girl was quite frightened
when she saw the great pile of shaggy wolves, but the Tin Woodman told her all.
She thanked him for saving them and sat down to breakfast, after which they started
again upon their journey.
Now this same morning the Wicked Witch came to the door of her castle and looked
out with her one eye that could see far off. She saw all her wolves lying dead,
and the strangers still traveling through her country. This made her angrier than
before, and she blew her silver whistle twice.
Straightway a great flock of wild crows came flying toward her, enough to darken
And the Wicked Witch said to the King Crow, ''Fly at once to the strangers; peck
out their eyes and tear them to pieces.''
The wild crows flew in one great flock toward Dorothy and her companions. When
the little girl saw them coming she was afraid.
But the Scarecrow said, ''This is my battle, so lie down beside me and you will
not be harmed.''
So they all lay upon the ground except the Scarecrow, and he stood up and stretched
out his arms. And when the crows saw him they were frightened, as these birds always
are by scarecrows, and did not dare to come any nearer. But the King Crow said:
''It is only a stuffed man. I will peck his eyes out.''
The King Crow flew at the Scarecrow, who caught it by the head and twisted its
neck until it died. And then another crow flew at him, and the Scarecrow twisted
its neck also. There were forty crows, and forty times the Scarecrow twisted a neck,
until at last all were lying dead beside him. Then he called to his companions to
rise, and again they went upon their journey.
When the Wicked Witch looked out again and saw all her crows lying in a heap,
she got into a terrible rage, and blew three times upon her silver whistle.