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Frank Baum >> The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (page 16)


''And I shall get my courage,'' said the Lion thoughtfully.

''And I shall get back to Kansas,'' cried Dorothy, clapping her hands. ''Oh, let us start for the Emerald City tomorrow!''

This they decided to do. The next day they called the Winkies together and bade them Good-bye. The Winkies were sorry to have them go, and they had grown so fond of the Tin Woodman that they begged him to stay and rule over them and the Yellow Land of the West. Finding they were determined to go, the Winkies gave Toto and the Lion each a golden collar; and to Dorothy they presented a beautiful bracelet studded with diamonds; and to the Scarecrow they gave a gold - headed walking stick, to keep him from stumbling; and to the Tin Woodman they offered a silver oil - can, inlaid with gold and set with precious jewels.

Every one of the travelers made the Winkies a pretty speech in return, and all shook hands with them until their arms ached.

Dorothy went to the Witch's cupboard to fill her basket with food for the journey, and there she saw the Golden Cap. She tried it on her own head and found that it fitted her exactly. She did not know anything about the charm of the Golden Cap, but she saw that it was pretty, so she made up her mind to wear it and carry her sunbonnet in the basket.

Then, being prepared for the journey, they all started for the Emerald City; and the Winkies gave them three cheers and many good wishes to carry with them.

14. The Winged Monkeys

You will remember there was no road - not even a pathwaybetween the castle of the Wicked Witch and the Emerald City. When the four travelers went in search of the Witch she had seen them coming, and so sent the Winged Monkeys to bring them to her. It was much harder to find their way back through the big fields of buttercups and yellow daisies than it was being carried. They knew, of course, they must go straight east, toward the rising sun; and they started off in the right way. But at noon, when the sun was over their heads, they did not know which was east and which was west, and that was the reason they were lost in the great fields. They kept on walking, however, and at night the moon came out and shone brightly. So they lay down among the sweet smelling yellow flowers and slept soundly until morningall but the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman.

The next morning the sun was behind a cloud, but they started on, as if they were quite sure which way they were going.

''If we walk far enough,'' said Dorothy, ''I am sure we shall sometime come to some place.''

But day by day passed away, and they still saw nothing before them but the scarlet fields. The Scarecrow began to grumble a bit.

''We have surely lost our way,'' he said, ''and unless we find it again in time to reach the Emerald City, I shall never get my brains.''

''Nor I my heart,'' declared the Tin Woodman. ''It seems to me I can scarcely wait till I get to Oz, and you must admit this is a very long journey.''

''You see,'' said the Cowardly Lion, with a whimper, ''I haven't the courage to keep tramping forever, without getting anywhere at all.''

Then Dorothy lost heart. She sat down on the grass and looked at her companions, and they sat down and looked at her, and Toto found that for the first time in his life he was too tired to chase a butterfly that flew past his head. So he put out his tongue and panted and looked at Dorothy as if to ask what they should do next.

''Suppose we call the field mice,'' she suggested. ''They could probably tell us the way to the Emerald City.''

''To be sure they could,'' cried the Scarecrow. ''Why didn't we think of that before?''

Dorothy blew the little whistle she had always carried about her neck since the Queen of the Mice had given it to her. In a few minutes they heard the pattering of tiny feet, and many of the small gray mice came running up to her. Among them was the Queen herself, who asked, in her squeaky little voice:

''What can I do for my friends?''

''We have lost our way,'' said Dorothy. ''Can you tell us where the Emerald City is?''

''Certainly,'' answered the Queen; ''but it is a great way off, for you have had it at your backs all this time.'' Then she noticed Dorothy's Golden Cap, and said, ''Why don't you use the charm of the Cap, and call the Winged Monkeys to you? They will carry you to the City of Oz in less than an hour.''

''I didn't know there was a charm,'' answered Dorothy, in surprise. ''What is it?''

''It is written inside the Golden Cap,'' replied the Queen of the Mice. ''But if you are going to call the Winged Monkeys we must run away, for they are full of mischief and think it great fun to plague us.''

''Won't they hurt me?'' asked the girl anxiously.

''Oh, no. They must obey the wearer of the Cap. Good-bye!'' And she scampered out of sight, with all the mice hurrying after her.

Dorothy looked inside the Golden Cap and saw some words written upon the lining. These, she thought, must be the charm, so she read the directions carefully and put the Cap upon her head.

''Ep-pe, pep-pe, kak-ke!'' she said, standing on her left foot.

''What did you say?'' asked the Scarecrow, who did not know what she was doing.

''Hil-lo, hol-lo, hel-lo!'' Dorothy went on, standing this time on her right foot.

''Hello!'' replied the Tin Woodman calmly.

''Ziz-zy, zuz-zy, zik!'' said Dorothy, who was now standing on both feet. This ended the saying of the charm, and they heard a great chattering and flapping of wings, as the band of Winged Monkeys flew up to them.

The King bowed low before Dorothy, and asked, ''What is your command?''

''We wish to go to the Emerald City,'' said the child, ''and we have lost our way.''

''We will carry you,'' replied the King, and no sooner had he spoken than two of the Monkeys caught Dorothy in their arms and flew away with her. Others took the Scarecrow and the Woodman and the Lion, and one little Monkey seized Toto and flew after them, although the dog tried hard to bite him.

The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman were rather frightened at first, for they remembered how badly the Winged Monkeys had treated them before; but they saw that no harm was intended, so they rode through the air quite cheerfully, and had a fine time looking at the pretty gardens and woods far below them.

Dorothy found herself riding easily between two of the biggest Monkeys, one of them the King himself. They had made a chair of their hands and were careful not to hurt her.

''Why do you have to obey the charm of the Golden Cap?'' she asked.

''That is a long story,'' answered the King, with a Winged laugh; ''but as we have a long journey before us, I will pass the time by telling you about it, if you wish.''

''I shall be glad to hear it,'' she replied.

''Once,'' began the leader, ''we were a free people, living happily in the great forest, flying from tree to tree, eating nuts and fruit, and doing just as we pleased without calling anybody master. Perhaps some of us were rather too full of mischief at times, flying down to pull the tails of the animals that had no wings, chasing birds, and throwing nuts at the people who walked in the forest. But we were careless and happy and full of fun, and enjoyed every minute of the day. This was many years ago, long before Oz came out of the clouds to rule over this land.

''There lived here then, away at the North, a beautiful princess, who was also a powerful sorceress. All her magic was used to help the people, and she was never known to hurt anyone who was good. Her name was Gayelette, and she lived in a handsome palace built from great blocks of ruby. Everyone loved her, but her greatest sorrow was that she could find no one to love in return, since all the men were much too stupid and ugly to mate with one so beautiful and wise. At last, however, she found a boy who was handsome and manly and wise beyond his years. Gayelette made up her mind that when he grew to be a man she would make him her husband, so she took him to her ruby palace and used all her magic powers to make him as strong and good and lovely as any woman could wish. When he grew to manhood, Quelala, as he was called, was said to be the best and wisest man in all the land, while his manly beauty was so great that Gayelette loved him dearly, and hastened to make everything ready for the wedding.

''My grandfather was at that time the King of the Winged Monkeys which lived in the forest near Gayelette's palace, and the old fellow loved a joke better than a good dinner. One day, just before the wedding, my grandfather was flying out with his band when he saw Quelala walking beside the river. He was dressed in a rich costume of pink silk and purple velvet, and my grandfather thought he would see what he could do. At his word the band flew down and seized Quelala, carried him in their arms until they were over the middle of the river, and then dropped him into the water.

Title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Author: Frank Baum
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