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´╗┐Title: Glinda of Oz
Author: Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank), 1856-1919
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Glinda of Oz" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



GLINDA OF OZ


by

L. Frank Baum



  In which are related the Exciting Experiences of Princess
     Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy, in their hazardous journey
        to the home of the Flatheads, and to the Magic
           Isle of the Skeezers, and how they were
                rescued from dire peril by the
                    sorcery of Glinda the
                             Good

                        by L. FRANK BAUM
                     "Royal Historian of Oz"



  This Book
  is Dedicated to
  My Son
  Robert Stanton Baum



LIST OF CHAPTERS

   1  The Call to Duty
   2  Ozma and Dorothy
   3  The Mist Maidens
   4  The Magic Tent
   5  The Magic Stairway
   6  Flathead Mountain
   7  The Magic Isle
   8  Queen Coo-ee-oh
   9  Lady Aurex
  10  Under Water
  11  The Conquest of the Skeezers
  12  The Diamond Swan
  13  The Alarm Bell
  14  Ozma's Counsellors
  15  The Great Sorceress
  16  The Enchanted Fishes
  17  Under the Great Dome
  18  The Cleverness of Ervic
  19  Red Reera, the Yookoohoo
  20  A Puzzling Problem
  21  The Three Adepts
  22  The Sunken Island
  23  The Magic Words
  24  Glinda's Triumph



Chapter One

The Call to Duty


Glinda, the good Sorceress of Oz, sat in the grand court of her palace,
surrounded by her maids of honor--a hundred of the most beautiful girls
of the Fairyland of Oz. The palace court was built of rare marbles,
exquisitely polished. Fountains tinkled musically here and there; the
vast colonnade, open to the south, allowed the maidens, as they raised
their heads from their embroideries, to gaze upon a vista of rose-hued
fields and groves of trees bearing fruits or laden with sweet-scented
flowers. At times one of the girls would start a song, the others
joining in the chorus, or one would rise and dance, gracefully swaying
to the music of a harp played by a companion. And then Glinda smiled,
glad to see her maids mixing play with work.

Presently among the fields an object was seen moving, threading the
broad path that led to the castle gate. Some of the girls looked upon
this object enviously; the Sorceress merely gave it a glance and nodded
her stately head as if pleased, for it meant the coming of her friend
and mistress--the only one in all the land that Glinda bowed to.

Then up the path trotted a wooden animal attached to a red wagon, and
as the quaint steed halted at the gate there descended from the wagon
two young girls, Ozma, Ruler of Oz, and her companion, Princess
Dorothy. Both were dressed in simple white muslin gowns, and as they
ran up the marble steps of the palace they laughed and chatted as gaily
as if they were not the most important persons in the world's loveliest
fairyland.

The maids of honor had risen and stood with bowed heads to greet the
royal Ozma, while Glinda came forward with outstretched arms to greet
her guests.

"We've just come on a visit, you know," said Ozma. "Both Dorothy and I
were wondering how we should pass the day when we happened to think
we'd not been to your Quadling Country for weeks, so we took the
Sawhorse and rode straight here."

"And we came so fast," added Dorothy, "that our hair is blown all
fuzzy, for the Sawhorse makes a wind of his own. Usually it's a day's
journey from the Em'rald City, but I don't s'pose we were two hours on
the way."

"You are most welcome," said Glinda the Sorceress, and led them through
the court to her magnificent reception hall. Ozma took the arm of her
hostess, but Dorothy lagged behind, kissing some of the maids she knew
best, talking with others, and making them all feel that she was their
friend. When at last she joined Glinda and Ozma in the reception hall,
she found them talking earnestly about the condition of the people, and
how to make them more happy and contented--although they were already
the happiest and most contented folks in all the world.

This interested Ozma, of course, but it didn't interest Dorothy very
much, so the little girl ran over to a big table on which was lying
open Glinda's Great Book of Records.

This Book is one of the greatest treasures in Oz, and the Sorceress
prizes it more highly than any of her magical possessions. That is the
reason it is firmly attached to the big marble table by means of golden
chains, and whenever Glinda leaves home she locks the Great Book
together with five jeweled padlocks, and carries the keys safely hidden
in her bosom.

I do not suppose there is any magical thing in any fairyland to compare
with the Record Book, on the pages of which are constantly being
printed a record of every event that happens in any part of the world,
at exactly the moment it happens.  And the records are always truthful,
although sometimes they do not give as many details as one could wish.
But then, lots of things happen, and so the records have to be brief or
even Glinda's Great Book could not hold them all.

Glinda looked at the records several times each day, and Dorothy,
whenever she visited the Sorceress, loved to look in the Book and see
what was happening everywhere. Not much was recorded about the Land of
Oz, which is usually peaceful and uneventful, but today Dorothy found
something which interested her. Indeed, the printed letters were
appearing on the page even while she looked.

"This is funny!" she exclaimed. "Did you know, Ozma, that there were
people in your Land of Oz called Skeezers?"

"Yes," replied Ozma, coming to her side, "I know that on Professor
Wogglebug's Map of the Land of Oz there is a place marked 'Skeezer,'
but what the Skeezers are like I do not know. No one I know has ever
seen them or heard of them. The Skeezer Country is 'way at the upper
edge of the Gillikin Country, with the sandy, impassable desert on one
side and the mountains of Oogaboo on another side. That is a part of
the Land of Oz of which I know very little."

"I guess no one else knows much about it either, unless it's the
Skeezers themselves," remarked Dorothy. "But the Book says: 'The
Skeezers of Oz have declared war on the Flatheads of Oz, and there is
likely to be fighting and much trouble as the result.'"

"Is that all the Book says?" asked Ozma.

"Every word," said Dorothy, and Ozma and Glinda both looked at the
Record and seemed surprised and perplexed.

"Tell me, Glinda," said Ozma, "who are the Flatheads?"

"I cannot, your Majesty," confessed the Sorceress. "Until now I never
have heard of them, nor have I ever heard the Skeezers mentioned. In
the faraway corners of Oz are hidden many curious tribes of people, and
those who never leave their own countries and never are visited by
those from our favored part of Oz, naturally are unknown to me.
However, if you so desire, I can learn through my arts of sorcery
something of the Skeezers and the Flatheads."

"I wish you would," answered Ozma seriously. "You see, Glinda, if these
are Oz people they are my subjects and I cannot allow any wars or
troubles in the Land I rule, if I can possibly help it."

"Very well, your Majesty," said the Sorceress, "I will try to get some
information to guide you. Please excuse me for a time, while I retire
to my Room of Magic and Sorcery."

"May I go with you?" asked Dorothy, eagerly.

"No, Princess," was the reply. "It would spoil the charm to have anyone
present."

So Glinda locked herself in her own Room of Magic and Dorothy and Ozma
waited patiently for her to come out again.

In about an hour Glinda appeared, looking grave and thoughtful.

"Your Majesty," she said to Ozma, "the Skeezers live on a Magic Isle in
a great lake. For that reason--because the Skeezers deal in magic--I
can learn little about them."

"Why, I didn't know there was a lake in that part of Oz," exclaimed
Ozma. "The map shows a river running through the Skeezer Country, but
no lake."

"That is because the person who made the map never had visited that
part of the country," explained the Sorceress. "The lake surely is
there, and in the lake is an island--a Magic Isle--and on that island
live the people called the Skeezers."

"What are they like?" inquired the Ruler of Oz.

"My magic cannot tell me that," confessed Glinda, "for the magic of the
Skeezers prevents anyone outside of their domain knowing anything about
them."

"The Flatheads must know, if they're going to fight the Skeezers,"
suggested Dorothy.

"Perhaps so," Glinda replied, "but I can get little information
concerning the Flatheads, either. They are people who inhabit a
mountain just south of the Lake of the Skeezers. The mountain has steep
sides and a broad, hollow top, like a basin, and in this basin the
Flatheads have their dwellings. They also are magic-workers and usually
keep to themselves and allow no one from outside to visit them. I have
learned that the Flatheads number about one hundred people--men, women
and children--while the Skeezers number just one hundred and one."

"What did they quarrel about, and why do they wish to fight one
another?" was Ozma's next question.

"I cannot tell your Majesty that," said Glinda.

"But see here!" cried Dorothy, "it's against the law for anyone but
Glinda and the Wizard to work magic in the Land of Oz, so if these two
strange people are magic-makers they are breaking the law and ought to
be punished!" Ozma smiled upon her little friend.

"Those who do not know me or my laws," she said, "cannot be expected to
obey my laws. If we know nothing of the Skeezers or the Flatheads, it
is likely that they know nothing of us."

"But they ought to know, Ozma, and we ought to know. Who's going to
tell them, and how are we going to make them behave?"

"That," returned Ozma, "is what I am now considering. What would you
advise, Glinda?"

The Sorceress took a little time to consider this question, before she
made reply. Then she said: "Had you not learned of the existence of the
Flatheads and the Skeezers, through my Book of Records, you would never
have worried about them or their quarrels. So, if you pay no attention
to these peoples, you may never hear of them again."

"But that wouldn't be right," declared Ozma. "I am Ruler of all the
Land of Oz, which includes the Gillikin Country, the Quadling Country,
the Winkie Country and the Munchkin Country, as well as the Emerald
City, and being the Princess of this fairyland it is my duty to make
all my people--wherever they may be--happy and content and to settle
their disputes and keep them from quarreling. So, while the Skeezers
and Flatheads may not know me or that I am their lawful Ruler, I now
know that they inhabit my kingdom and are my subjects, so I would not
be doing my duty if I kept away from them and allowed them to fight."

"That's  a  fact,  Ozma,"  commented  Dorothy. "You've got to go up to
the Gillikin Country and make these people behave themselves and make
up their quarrels. But how are you going to do it?"

"That is what is puzzling me also, your Majesty," said the Sorceress.
"It may be dangerous for you to go into those strange countries, where
the people are possibly fierce and warlike."

"I am not afraid," said Ozma, with a smile.

"'Tisn't a question of being 'fraid," argued Dorothy. "Of course we
know you're a fairy, and can't be killed or hurt, and we know you've a
lot of magic of your own to help you. But, Ozma dear, in spite of all
this you've been in trouble before, on account of wicked enemies, and
it isn't right for the Ruler of all Oz to put herself in danger."

"Perhaps I shall be in no danger at all," returned Ozma, with a little
laugh. "You mustn't imagine danger, Dorothy, for one should only
imagine nice things, and we do not know that the Skeezers and Flatheads
are wicked people or my enemies. Perhaps they would be good and listen
to reason."

"Dorothy is right, your Majesty," asserted the Sorceress. "It is true
we know nothing of these faraway subjects, except that they intend to
fight one another, and have a certain amount of magic power at their
command. Such folks do not like to submit to interference and they are
more likely to resent your coming among them than to receive you kindly
and graciously, as is your due."

"If you had an army to take with you," added Dorothy, "it wouldn't be
so bad; but there isn't such a thing as an army in all Oz."

"I have one soldier," said Ozma.

"Yes, the soldier with the green whiskers; but he's dreadful 'fraid of
his gun and never loads it. I'm sure he'd run rather than fight. And
one soldier, even if he were brave, couldn't do much against two
hundred and one Flatheads and Skeezers."

"What then, my friends, would you suggest?" inquired Ozma.

"I advise you to send the Wizard of Oz to them, and let him inform them
that it is against the laws of Oz to fight, and that you command them
to settle their differences and become friends," proposed Glinda. "Let
the Wizard tell them they will be punished if they refuse to obey the
commands of the Princess of all the Land of Oz."

Ozma shook her head, to indicate that the advice was not to her
satisfaction.

"If they refuse, what then?" she asked. "I should be obliged to carry
out my threat and punish them, and that would be an unpleasant and
difficult thing to do. I am sure it would be better for me to go
peacefully, without an army and armed only with my authority as Ruler,
and plead with them to obey me. Then, if they prove obstinate I could
resort to other means to win their obedience."

"It's a ticklish thing, anyhow you look at it," sighed Dorothy. "I'm
sorry now that I noticed the Record in the Great Book."

"But can't you realize, my dear, that I must do my duty, now that I am
aware of this trouble?" asked Ozma. "I am fully determined to go at
once to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers and to the enchanted mountain of
the Flatheads, and prevent war and strife between their inhabitants.
The only question to decide is whether it is better for me to go alone,
or to assemble a party of my friends and loyal supporters to accompany
me."

"If you go I want to go, too," declared Dorothy. "Whatever happens it's
going to be fun--'cause all excitement is fun--and I wouldn't miss it
for the world!"

Neither Ozma nor Glinda paid any attention to this statement, for they
were gravely considering the serious aspect of this proposed adventure.

"There are plenty of friends who would like to go with you," said the
Sorceress, "but none of them would afford your Majesty any protection
in case you were in danger. You are yourself the most powerful fairy in
Oz, although both I and the Wizard have more varied arts of magic at
our command. However, you have one art that no other in all the world
can equal--the art of winning hearts and making people love to bow to
your gracious presence. For that reason I believe you can accomplish
more good alone than with a large number of subjects in your train."

"I believe that also," agreed the Princess. "I shall be quite able to
take care of myself, you know, but might not be able to protect others
so well. I do not look for opposition, however. I shall speak to these
people in kindly words and settle their dispute--whatever it may be--in
a just manner."

"Aren't you going to take me?" pleaded Dorothy. "You'll need some
companion, Ozma."

The Princess smiled upon her little friend.

"I see no reason why you should not accompany me," was her reply. "Two
girls are not very warlike and they will not suspect us of being on any
errand but a kindly and peaceful one. But, in order to prevent war and
strife between these angry peoples, we must go to them at once. Let us
return immediately to the Emerald City and prepare to start on our
journey early tomorrow morning."

Glinda was not quite satisfied with this plan, but could not think of
any better way to meet the problem. She knew that Ozma, with all her
gentleness and sweet disposition, was accustomed to abide by any
decision she had made and could not easily be turned from her purpose.
Moreover she could see no great danger to the fairy Ruler of Oz in the
undertaking, even though the unknown people she was to visit proved
obstinate. But Dorothy was not a fairy; she was a little girl who had
come from Kansas to live in the Land of Oz. Dorothy might encounter
dangers that to Ozma would be as nothing but to an "Earth child" would
be very serious.

The very fact that Dorothy lived in Oz, and had been made a Princess by
her friend Ozma, prevented her from being killed or suffering any great
bodily pain as long as she lived in that fairyland. She could not grow
big, either, and would always remain the same little girl who had come
to Oz, unless in some way she left that fairyland or was spirited away
from it. But Dorothy was a mortal, nevertheless, and might possibly be
destroyed, or hidden where none of her friends could ever find her. She
could, for instance be cut into pieces, and the pieces, while still
alive and free from pain, could be widely scattered; or she might be
buried deep underground or "destroyed" in other ways by evil magicians,
were she not properly protected. These facts Glinda was considering
while she paced with stately tread her marble hall.

Finally the good Sorceress paused and drew a ring from her finger,
handing it to Dorothy.

"Wear this ring constantly until your return," she said to the girl.
"If serious danger threatens you, turn the ring around on your finger
once to the right and another turn to the left. That will ring the
alarm bell in my palace and I will at once come to your rescue. But do
not use the ring unless you are actually in danger of destruction.
While you remain with Princess Ozma I believe she will be able to
protect you from all lesser ills."

"Thank you, Glinda," responded Dorothy gratefully, as she placed the
ring on her finger. "I'm going to wear my Magic Belt which I took from
the Nome King, too, so I guess I'll be safe from anything the Skeezers
and Flatheads try to do to me."

Ozma had many arrangements to make before she could leave her throne
and her palace in the Emerald City, even for a trip of a few days, so
she bade goodbye to Glinda and with Dorothy climbed into the Red Wagon.
A word to the wooden Sawhorse started that astonishing creature on the
return journey, and so swiftly did he run that Dorothy was unable to
talk or do anything but hold tight to her seat all the way back to the
Emerald City.



Chapter Two

Ozma and Dorothy


Residing in Ozma's palace at this time was a live Scarecrow, a most
remarkable and intelligent creature who had once ruled the Land of Oz
for a brief period and was much loved and respected by all the people.
Once a Munchkin farmer had stuffed an old suit of clothes with straw
and put stuffed boots on the feet and used a pair of stuffed cotton
gloves for hands. The head of the Scarecrow was a stuffed sack fastened
to the body, with eyes, nose, mouth and ears painted on the sack. When
a hat had been put on the head, the thing was a good imitation of a
man. The farmer placed the Scarecrow on a pole in his cornfield and it
came to life in a curious manner. Dorothy, who was passing by the
field, was hailed by the live Scarecrow and lifted him off his pole. He
then went with her to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz gave him
some excellent brains, and the Scarecrow soon became an important
personage.

Ozma considered the Scarecrow one of her best friends and most loyal
subjects, so the morning after her visit to Glinda she asked him to
take her place as Ruler of the Land of Oz while she was absent on a
journey, and the Scarecrow at once consented without asking any
questions.

Ozma had warned Dorothy to keep their journey a secret and say nothing
to anyone about the Skeezers and Flatheads until their return, and
Dorothy promised to obey. She longed to tell her girl friends, tiny
Trot and Betsy Bobbin, of the adventure they were undertaking, but
refrained from saying a word on the subject although both these girls
lived with her in Ozma's palace.

Indeed, only Glinda the Sorceress knew they were going, until after
they had gone, and even the Sorceress didn't know what their errand
might be.

Princess Ozma took the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon, although she was not
sure there was a wagon road all the way to the Lake of the Skeezers.
The Land of Oz is a pretty big place, surrounded on all sides by a
Deadly Desert which it is impossible to cross, and the Skeezer Country,
according to the map, was in the farthest northwestern part of Oz,
bordering on the north desert. As the Emerald City was exactly in the
center of Oz, it was no small journey from there to the Skeezers.

Around the Emerald City the country is thickly settled in every
direction, but the farther away you get from the city the fewer people
there are, until those parts that border on the desert have small
populations. Also those faraway sections are little known to the Oz
people, except in the south, where Glinda lives and where Dorothy has
often wandered on trips of exploration.

The least known of all is the Gillikin Country, which harbors many
strange bands of people among its mountains and valleys and forests and
streams, and Ozma was now bound for the most distant part of the
Gillikin Country.

"I am really sorry," said Ozma to Dorothy, as they rode away in the Red
Wagon, "not to know more about the wonderful Land I rule. It is my duty
to be acquainted with every tribe of people and every strange and
hidden country in all Oz, but I am kept so busy at my palace making
laws and planning for the comforts of those who live near the Emerald
City, that I do not often find time to make long journeys."

"Well," replied Dorothy, "we'll prob'bly find out a lot on this trip,
and we'll learn all about the Skeezers and Flatheads, anyhow. Time
doesn't make much diff'rence in the Land of Oz, 'cause we don't grow
up, or get old, or become sick and die, as they do other places; so, if
we explore one place at a time, we'll by-an'-by know all about every
nook and corner in Oz."

Dorothy wore around her waist the Nome King's Magic Belt, which
protected her from harm, and the Magic Ring which Glinda had given her
was on her finger. Ozma had merely slipped a small silver wand into the
bosom of her gown, for fairies do not use chemicals and herbs and the
tools of wizards and sorcerers to perform their magic. The Silver Wand
was Ozma's one weapon of offense and defense and by its use she could
accomplish many things.

They had left the Emerald City just at sunrise and the Sawhorse
traveled very swiftly over the roads towards the north, but in a few
hours the wooden animal had to slacken his pace because the farm houses
had become few and far between and often there were no paths at all in
the direction they wished to follow. At such times they crossed the
fields, avoiding groups of trees and fording the streams and rivulets
whenever they came to them. But finally they reached a broad hillside
closely covered with scrubby brush, through which the wagon could not
pass.

"It will be difficult even for you and me to get through without
tearing our dresses," said Ozma, "so we must leave the Sawhorse and the
Wagon here until our return."

"That's all right," Dorothy replied, "I'm tired riding, anyhow. Do you
s'pose, Ozma, we're anywhere near the Skeezer Country?"

"I cannot tell, Dorothy dear, but I know we've been going in the right
direction, so we are sure to find it in time."

The scrubby brush was almost like a grove of small trees, for it
reached as high as the heads of the two girls, neither of whom was very
tall. They were obliged to thread their way in and out, until Dorothy
was afraid they would get lost, and finally they were halted by a
curious thing that barred their further progress. It was a huge web--as
if woven by gigantic spiders--and the delicate, lacy film was fastened
stoutly to the branches of the bushes and continued to the right and
left in the form of a half circle. The threads of this web were of a
brilliant purple color and woven into numerous artistic patterns, but
it reached from the ground to branches above the heads of the girls and
formed a sort of fence that hedged them in.

"It doesn't look very strong, though," said Dorothy. "I wonder if we
couldn't break through." She tried but found the web stronger than it
seemed. All her efforts could not break a single thread.

"We must go back, I think, and try to get around this peculiar web,"
Ozma decided.

So they turned to the right and, following the web found that it seemed
to spread in a regular circle. On and on they went until finally Ozma
said they had returned to the exact spot from which they had started.
"Here is a handkerchief you dropped when we were here before," she said
to Dorothy.

"In that case, they must have built the web behind us, after we walked
into the trap," exclaimed the little girl.

"True," agreed Ozma, "an enemy has tried to imprison us."

"And they did it, too," said Dorothy. "I wonder who it was."

"It's a spider-web, I'm quite sure," returned Ozma, "but it must be the
work of enormous spiders."

"Quite right!" cried a voice behind them. Turning quickly around they
beheld a huge purple spider sitting not two yards away and regarding
them with its small bright eyes.

Then there crawled from the bushes a dozen more great purple spiders,
which saluted the first one and said:

"The web is finished, O King, and the strangers are our prisoners."

Dorothy did not like the looks of these spiders at all. They had big
heads, sharp claws, small eyes and fuzzy hair all over their purple
bodies.

"They look wicked," she whispered to Ozma. "What shall we do?"

Ozma gazed upon the spiders with a serious face.

"What is your object in making us prisoners?" she inquired.

"We need someone to keep house for us," answered the Spider King.
"There is sweeping and dusting to be done, and polishing and washing of
dishes, and that is work my people dislike to do. So we decided that if
any strangers came our way we would capture them and make them our
servants."

"I am Princess Ozma, Ruler of all Oz," said the girl with dignity.

"Well, I am King of all Spiders," was the reply, "and that makes me
your master. Come with me to my palace and I will instruct you in your
work."

"I won't," said Dorothy indignantly. "We won't have anything to do with
you."

"We'll see about that," returned the Spider in a severe tone, and the
next instant he made a dive straight at Dorothy, opening the claws in
his legs as if to grab and pinch her with the sharp points. But the
girl was wearing her Magic Belt and was not harmed. The Spider King
could not even touch her. He turned swiftly and made a dash at Ozma,
but she held her Magic Wand over his head and the monster recoiled as
if it had been struck.

"You'd better let us go," Dorothy advised him, "for you see you can't
hurt us."

"So I see," returned the Spider King angrily. "Your magic is greater
than mine. But I'll not help you to escape. If you can break the magic
web my people have woven you may go; if not you must stay here and
starve." With that the Spider King uttered a peculiar whistle and all
the spiders disappeared.

"There is more magic in my fairyland than I dreamed of," remarked the
beautiful Ozma, with a sigh of regret. "It seems that my laws have not
been obeyed, for even these monstrous spiders defy me by means of
Magic."

"Never mind that now," said Dorothy; "let's see what we can do to get
out of this trap."

They now examined the web with great care and were amazed at its
strength. Although finer than the finest silken hairs, it resisted all
their efforts to work through, even though both girls threw all their
weight against it.

"We must find some instrument which will cut the threads of the web,"
said Ozma, finally. "Let us look about for such a tool."

So they wandered among the bushes and finally came to a shallow pool of
water, formed by a small bubbling spring. Dorothy stooped to get a
drink and discovered in the water a green crab, about as big as her
hand. The crab had two big, sharp claws, and as soon as Dorothy saw
them she had an idea that those claws could save them.

"Come out of the water," she called to the crab; "I want to talk to
you."

Rather lazily the crab rose to the surface and caught hold of a bit of
rock. With his head above the water he said in a cross voice:

"What do you want?"

"We want you to cut the web of the purple spiders with your claws, so
we can get through it," answered Dorothy. "You can do that, can't you?"

"I suppose so," replied the crab. "But if I do what will you give me?"

"What do you wish?" Ozma inquired.

"I wish to be white, instead of green," said the crab. "Green crabs are
very common, and white ones are rare; besides the purple spiders, which
infest this hillside, are afraid of white crabs. Could you make me
white if I should agree to cut the web for you?"

"Yes," said Ozma, "I can do that easily. And, so you may know I am
speaking the truth, I will change your color now."

She waved her silver wand over the pool and the crab instantly became
snow-white--all except his eyes, which remained black. The creature saw
his reflection in the water and was so delighted that he at once
climbed out of the pool and began moving slowly toward the web, by
backing away from the pool. He moved so very slowly that Dorothy cried
out impatiently: "Dear me, this will never do!" Caching the crab in her
hands she ran with him to the web.

She had to hold him up even then, so he could reach with his claws
strand after strand of the filmy purple web, which he was able to sever
with one nip.

When enough of the web had been cut to allow them to pass, Dorothy ran
back to the pool and placed the white crab in the water, after which
she rejoined Ozma. They were just in time to escape through the web,
for several of the purple spiders now appeared, having discovered that
their web had been cut, and had the girls not rushed through the
opening the spiders would have quickly repaired the cuts and again
imprisoned them.

Ozma and Dorothy ran as fast as they could and although the angry
spiders threw a number of strands of web after them, hoping to lasso
them or entangle them in the coils, they managed to escape and clamber
to the top of the hill.



Chapter Three

The Mist Maidens


From the top of the hill Ozma and Dorothy looked down into the valley
beyond and were surprised to find it filled with a floating mist that
was as dense as smoke. Nothing in the valley was visible except these
rolling waves of mist, but beyond, on the other side, rose a grassy
hill that appeared quite beautiful.

"Well," said Dorothy, "what are we to do, Ozma? Walk down into that
thick fog, an' prob'bly get lost in it, or wait till it clears away?"

"I'm not sure it will clear away, however long we wait," replied Ozma,
doubtfully. "If we wish to get on, I think we must venture into the
mist."

"But we can't see where we're going, or what we're stepping on,"
protested Dorothy.  "There may be dreadful things mixed up in that fog,
an' I'm scared just to think of wading into it."

Even Ozma seemed to hesitate. She was silent and thoughtful for a
little while, looking at the rolling drifts that were so gray and
forbidding. Finally she said:

"I believe this is a Mist Valley, where these moist clouds always
remain, for even the sunshine above does not drive them away. Therefore
the Mist Maids must live here, and they are fairies and should answer
my call."

She placed her two hands before her mouth, forming a hollow with them,
and uttered a clear, thrilling, bird-like cry. It floated far out over
the mist waves and presently was answered by a similar sound, as of a
far-off echo.

Dorothy was much impressed. She had seen many strange things since
coming to this fairy country, but here was a new experience. At
ordinary times Ozma was just like any little girl one might chance to
meet--simple, merry, lovable as could be--yet with a certain reserve
that lent her dignity in her most joyous moods. There were times,
however, when seated on her throne and commanding her subjects, or when
her fairy powers were called into use, when Dorothy and all others
about her stood in awe of their lovely girl Ruler and realized her
superiority.

Ozma waited. Presently out from the billows rose beautiful forms,
clothed in fleecy, trailing garments of gray that could scarcely be
distinguished from the mist. Their hair was mist-color, too; only their
gleaming arms and sweet, pallid faces proved they were living,
intelligent creatures answering the call of a sister fairy.

Like sea nymphs they rested on the bosom of the clouds, their eyes
turned questioningly upon the two girls who stood upon the bank. One
came quite near and to her Ozma said:

"Will you please take us to the opposite hillside? We are afraid to
venture into the mist. I am Princess Ozma of Oz, and this is my friend
Dorothy, a Princess of Oz."

The Mist Maids came nearer, holding out their arms. Without hesitation
Ozma advanced and allowed them to embrace her and Dorothy plucked up
courage to follow. Very gently the Mist Maids held them. Dorothy
thought the arms were cold and misty--they didn't seem real at all--yet
they supported the two girls above the surface of the billows and
floated with them so swiftly to the green hillside opposite that the
girls were astonished to find themselves set upon the grass before they
realized they had fairly started.

"Thank you!" said Ozma gratefully, and Dorothy also added her thanks
for the service.

The Mist Maids made no answer, but they smiled and waved their hands in
good-bye as again they floated out into the mist and disappeared from
view.



Chapter Four

The Magic Tent


"Well," said Dorothy with a laugh, "that was easier than I expected.
It's worth while, sometimes, to be a real fairy. But I wouldn't like to
be that kind, and live in a dreadful fog all the time."

They now climbed the bank and found before them a delightful plain that
spread for miles in all directions. Fragrant wild flowers were
scattered throughout the grass; there were bushes bearing lovely
blossoms and luscious fruits; now and then a group of stately trees
added to the beauty of the landscape. But there were no dwellings or
signs of life.

The farther side of the plain was bordered by a row of palms, and just
in front of the palms rose a queerly shaped hill that towered above the
plain like a mountain. The sides of this hill were straight up and
down; it was oblong in shape and the top seemed flat and level.

"Oh, ho!" cried Dorothy; "I'll bet that's the mountain Glinda told us
of, where the Flatheads live."

"If it is," replied Ozma, "the Lake of the Skeezers must be just beyond
the line of palm trees. Can you walk that far, Dorothy?"

"Of course, in time," was the prompt answer. "I'm sorry we had to leave
the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon behind us, for they'd come in handy just
now; but with the end of our journey in sight a tramp across these
pretty green fields won't tire us a bit."

It was a longer tramp than they suspected, however, and night overtook
them before they could reach the flat mountain. So Ozma proposed they
camp for the night and Dorothy was quite ready to approve. She didn't
like to admit to her friend she was tired, but she told herself that
her legs "had prickers in 'em," meaning they had begun to ache.

Usually when Dorothy started on a journey of exploration or adventure,
she carried with her a basket of food, and other things that a traveler
in a strange country might require, but to go away with Ozma was quite
a different thing, as experience had taught her. The fairy Ruler of Oz
only needed her silver wand--tipped at one end with a great sparkling
emerald--to provide through its magic all that they might need.
Therefore Ozma, having halted with her companion and selected a smooth,
grassy spot on the plain, waved her wand in graceful curves and chanted
some mystic words in her sweet voice, and in an instant a handsome tent
appeared before them. The canvas was striped purple and white, and from
the center pole fluttered the royal banner of Oz.

"Come, dear," said Ozma, taking Dorothy's hand, "I am hungry and I'm
sure you must be also; so let us go in and have our feast."

On entering the tent they found a table set for two, with snowy linen,
bright silver and sparkling glassware, a vase of roses in the center
and many dishes of delicious food, some smoking hot, waiting to satisfy
their hunger. Also, on either side of the tent were beds, with satin
sheets, warm blankets and pillows filled with swansdown. There were
chairs, too, and tall lamps that lighted the interior of the tent with
a soft, rosy glow.

Dorothy, resting herself at her fairy friend's command, and eating her
dinner with unusual enjoyment, thought of the wonders of magic. If one
were a fairy and knew the secret laws of nature and the mystic words
and ceremonies that commanded those laws, then a simple wave of a
silver wand would produce instantly all that men work hard and
anxiously for through weary years. And Dorothy wished in her kindly,
innocent heart, that all men and women could be fairies with silver
wands, and satisfy all their needs without so much work and worry, for
then, she imagined, they would have all their working hours to be happy
in. But Ozma, looking into her friend's face and reading those
thoughts, gave a laugh and said:

"No, no, Dorothy, that wouldn't do at all. Instead of happiness your
plan would bring weariness to the world. If every one could wave a wand
and have his wants fulfilled there would be little to wish for. There
would be no eager striving to obtain the difficult, for nothing would
then be difficult, and the pleasure of earning something longed for,
and only to be secured by hard work and careful thought, would be
utterly lost. There would be nothing to do you see, and no interest in
life and in our fellow creatures. That is all that makes life worth our
while--to do good deeds and to help those less fortunate than
ourselves."

"Well, you're a fairy, Ozma. Aren't you happy?" asked Dorothy.

"Yes, dear, because I can use my fairy powers to make others happy. Had
I no kingdom to rule, and no subjects to look after, I would be
miserable. Also, you must realize that while I am a more powerful fairy
than any other inhabitant of Oz, I am not as powerful as Glinda the
Sorceress, who has studied many arts of magic that I know nothing of.
Even the little Wizard of Oz can do some things I am unable to
accomplish, while I can accomplish things unknown to the Wizard. This
is to explain that I'm not all-powerful, by any means. My magic is
simply fairy magic, and not sorcery or wizardry."

"All the same," said Dorothy, "I'm mighty glad you could make this tent
appear, with our dinners and beds all ready for us."

Ozma smiled.

"Yes, it is indeed wonderful," she agreed. "Not all fairies know that
sort of magic, but some fairies can do magic that fills me with
astonishment. I think that is what makes us modest and unassuming--the
fact that our magic arts are divided, some being given each of us. I'm
glad I don't know everything, Dorothy, and that there still are things
in both nature and in wit for me to marvel at."

Dorothy couldn't quite understand this, so she said nothing more on the
subject and presently had a new reason to marvel. For when they had
quite finished their meal table and contents disappeared in a flash.

"No dishes to wash, Ozma!" she said with a laugh. "I guess you'd make a
lot of folks happy if you could teach 'em just that one trick."

For an hour Ozma told stories, and talked with Dorothy about various
people in whom they were interested. And then it was bedtime, and they
undressed and crept into their soft beds and fell asleep almost as soon
as their heads touched their pillows.



Chapter Five

The Magic Stairway


The flat mountain looked much nearer in the clear light of the morning
sun, but Dorothy and Ozma knew there was a long tramp before them, even
yet. They finished dressing only to find a warm, delicious breakfast
awaiting them, and having eaten they left the tent and started toward
the mountain which was their first goal. After going a little way
Dorothy looked back and found that the fairy tent had entirely
disappeared. She was not surprised, for she knew this would happen.

"Can't your magic give us a horse an' wagon, or an automobile?"
inquired Dorothy.

"No, dear; I'm sorry that such magic is beyond my power," confessed her
fairy friend.

"Perhaps Glinda could," said Dorothy thoughtfully.

"Glinda has a stork chariot that carries her through the air," said
Ozma, "but even our great Sorceress cannot conjure up other modes of
travel. Don't forget what I told you last night, that no one is
powerful enough to do everything."

"Well, I s'pose I ought to know that, having lived so long in the Land
of Oz," replied Dorothy; "but I can't do any magic at all, an' so I
can't figure out e'zactly how you an' Glinda an' the Wizard do it."

"Don't try," laughed Ozma. "But you have at least one magical art,
Dorothy: you know the trick of winning all hearts."

"No, I don't," said Dorothy earnestly. "If I really can do it, Ozma, I
am sure I don't know how I do it."

It took them a good two hours to reach the foot of the round, flat
mountain, and then they found the sides so steep that they were like
the wall of a house.

"Even my purple kitten couldn't climb 'em," remarked Dorothy, gazing
upward.

"But there is some way for the Flatheads to get down and up again,"
declared Ozma; "otherwise they couldn't make war with the Skeezers, or
even meet them and quarrel with them."

"That's so, Ozma. Let's walk around a ways; perhaps we'll find a ladder
or something."

They walked quite a distance, for it was a big mountain, and as they
circled around it and came to the side that faced the palm trees, they
suddenly discovered an entrance way cut out of the rock wall. This
entrance was arched overhead and not very deep because it merely led to
a short flight of stone stairs.

"Oh, we've found a way to the top at last," announced Ozma, and the two
girls turned and walked straight toward the entrance. Suddenly they
bumped against something and stood still, unable to proceed farther.

"Dear me!" exclaimed Dorothy, rubbing her nose, which had struck
something hard, although she could not see what it was; "this isn't as
easy as it looks. What has stopped us, Ozma? Is it magic of some sort?"

Ozma was feeling around, her bands outstretched before her.

"Yes, dear, it is magic," she replied. "The Flatheads had to have a way
from their mountain top from the plain below, but to prevent enemies
from rushing up the stairs to conquer them, they have built, at a small
distance before the entrance a wall of solid stone, the stones being
held in place by cement, and then they made the wall invisible."

"I wonder why they did that?" mused Dorothy. "A wall would keep folks
out anyhow, whether it could be seen or not, so there wasn't any use
making it invisible. Seems to me it would have been better to have left
it solid, for then no one would have seen the entrance behind it. Now
anybody can see the entrance, as we did. And prob'bly anybody that
tries to go up the stairs gets bumped, as we did."

Ozma made no reply at once. Her face was grave and thoughtful.

"I think I know the reason for making the wall invisible," she said
after a while. "The Flatheads use the stairs for coming down and going
up. If there was a solid stone wall to keep them from reaching the
plain they would themselves be imprisoned by the wall. So they had to
leave some place to get around the wall, and, if the wall was visible,
all strangers or enemies would find the place to go around it and then
the wall would be useless. So the Flatheads cunningly made their wall
invisible, believing that everyone who saw the entrance to the mountain
would walk straight toward it, as we did, and find it impossible to go
any farther. I suppose the wall is really high and thick, and can't be
broken through, so those who find it in their way are obliged to go
away again."

"Well," said Dorothy, "if there's a way around the wall, where is it?"

"We must find it," returned Ozma, and began feeling her way along the
wall. Dorothy followed and began to get discouraged when Ozma had
walked nearly a quarter of a mile away from the entrance. But now the
invisible wall curved in toward the side of the mountain and suddenly
ended, leaving just space enough between the wall and the mountain for
an ordinary person to pass through.

The girls went in, single file, and Ozma explained that they were now
behind the barrier and could go back to the entrance. They met no
further obstructions.

"Most people, Ozma, wouldn't have figured this thing out the way you
did," remarked Dorothy. "If I'd been alone the invisible wall surely
would have stumped me."

Reaching the entrance they began to mount the stone stairs. They went
up ten stairs and then down five stairs, following a passage cut from
the rock. The stairs were just wide enough for the two girls to walk
abreast, arm in arm. At the bottom of the five stairs the passage
turned to the right, and they ascended ten more stairs, only to find at
the top of the flight five stairs leading straight down again. Again
the passage turned abruptly, this time to the left, and ten more stairs
led upward.

The passage was now quite dark, for they were in the heart of the
mountain and all daylight had been shut out by the turns of the
passage. However, Ozma drew her silver wand from her bosom and the
great jewel at its end gave out a lustrous, green-tinted light which
lighted the place well enough for them to see their way plainly.

Ten steps up, five steps down, and a turn, this way or that. That was
the program, and Dorothy figured that they were only gaining five
stairs upward each trip that they made.

"Those Flatheads must be funny people," she said to Ozma. "They don't
seem to do anything in a bold straightforward manner. In making this
passage they forced everyone to walk three times as far as is
necessary. And of course this trip is just as tiresome to the Flatheads
as it is to other folks."

"That is true," answered Ozma; "yet it is a clever arrangement to
prevent their being surprised by intruders. Every time we reach the
tenth step of a flight, the pressure of our feet on the stone makes a
bell ring on top of the mountain, to warn the Flatheads of our coming."

"How do you know that?" demanded Dorothy, astonished.

"I've heard the bell ever since we started," Ozma told her. "You could
not hear it, I know, but when I am holding my wand in my hand I can
hear sounds a great distance off."

"Do you hear anything on top of the mountain 'cept the bell?" inquired
Dorothy.

"Yes. The people are calling to one another in alarm and many footsteps
are approaching the place where we will reach the flat top of the
mountain."

This made Dorothy feel somewhat anxious. "I'd thought we were going to
visit just common, ordinary people," she remarked, "but they're pretty
clever, it seems, and they know some kinds of magic, too. They may be
dangerous, Ozma. P'raps we'd better stayed at home."

Finally the upstairs-and-downstairs passage seemed coming to an end,
for daylight again appeared ahead of the two girls and Ozma replaced
her wand in the bosom of her gown. The last ten steps brought them to
the surface, where they found themselves surrounded by such a throng of
queer people that for a time they halted, speechless, and stared into
the faces that confronted them.

Dorothy knew at once why these mountain people were called Flatheads.
Their heads were really flat on top, as if they had been cut off just
above the eyes and ears. Also the heads were bald, with no hair on top
at all, and the ears were big and stuck straight out, and the noses
were small and stubby, while the mouths of the Flatheads were well
shaped and not unusual. Their eyes were perhaps their best feature,
being large and bright and a deep violet in color.

The costumes of the Flatheads were all made of metals dug from their
mountain. Small gold, silver, tin and iron discs, about the size of
pennies, and very thin, were cleverly wired together and made to form
knee trousers and jackets for the men and skirts and waists for the
women. The colored metals were skillfully mixed to form stripes and
checks of various sorts, so that the costumes were quite gorgeous and
reminded Dorothy of pictures she had seen of Knights of old clothed
armor.

Aside from their flat heads, these people were not really bad looking.
The men were armed with bows and arrows and had small axes of steel
stuck in their metal belts. They wore no hats nor ornaments.



Chapter Six

Flathead Mountain


When they saw that the intruders on their mountain were only two little
girls, the Flatheads grunted with satisfaction and drew back,
permitting them to see what the mountain top looked like. It was shaped
like a saucer, so that the houses and other buildings--all made of
rocks--could not be seen over the edge by anyone standing in the plain
below.

But now a big fat Flathead stood before the girls and in a gruff voice
demanded:

"What are you doing here? Have the Skeezers sent you to spy upon us?"

"I am Princess Ozma, Ruler of all the Land of Oz."

"Well, I've never heard of the Land of Oz, so you may be what you
claim," returned the Flathead.

"This is the Land of Oz--part of it, anyway," exclaimed Dorothy. "So
Princess Ozma rules you Flathead people, as well as all the other
people in Oz."

The man laughed, and all the others who stood around laughed, too. Some
one in the crowd called:

"She'd better not tell the Supreme Dictator about ruling the Flatheads.
Eh, friends?"

"No, indeed!" they all answered in positive tones.

"Who is your Supreme Dictator?" answered Ozma.

"I think I'll let him tell you that himself," answered the man who had
first spoken. "You have broken our laws by coming here; and whoever you
are the Supreme Dictator must fix your punishment. Come along with me."

He started down a path and Ozma and Dorothy followed him without
protest, as they wanted to see the most important person in this queer
country. The houses they passed seemed pleasant enough and each had a
little yard in which were flowers and vegetables. Walls of rock
separated the dwellings, and all the paths were paved with smooth slabs
of rock. This seemed their only building material and they utilized it
cleverly for every purpose.

Directly in the center of the great saucer stood a larger building
which the Flathead informed the girls was the palace of the Supreme
Dictator. He led them through an entrance hall into a big reception
room, where they sat upon stone benches and awaited the coming of the
Dictator. Pretty soon he entered from another room--a rather lean and
rather old Flathead, dressed much like the others of this strange race,
and only distinguished from them by the sly and cunning expression of
his face. He kept his eyes half closed and looked through the slits of
them at Ozma and Dorothy, who rose to receive him.

"Are you the Supreme Dictator of the Flatheads?" inquired Ozma.

"Yes, that's me," he said, rubbing his hands slowly together. "My word
is law. I'm the head of the Flatheads on this flat headland."

"I am Princess Ozma of Oz, and I have come from the Emerald City to--"

"Stop a minute," interrupted the Dictator, and turned to the man who
had brought the girls there. "Go away, Dictator Felo Flathead!" he
commanded. "Return to your duty and guard the Stairway. I will look
after these strangers." The man bowed and departed, and Dorothy asked
wonderingly:

"Is he a Dictator, too?"

"Of course," was the answer. "Everybody here is a dictator of something
or other. They're all office holders. That's what keeps them contented.
But I'm the Supreme Dictator of all, and I'm elected once a year. This
is a democracy, you know, where the people are allowed to vote for
their rulers. A good many others would like to be Supreme Dictator, but
as I made a law that I am always to count the votes myself, I am always
elected."

"What is your name?" asked Ozma.

"I am called the Su-dic, which is short for Supreme Dictator. I sent
that man away because the moment you mentioned Ozma of Oz, and the
Emerald City, I knew who you are. I suppose I'm the only Flathead that
ever heard of you, but that's because I have more brains than the rest."

Dorothy was staring hard at the Su-dic.

"I don't see how you can have any brains at all," she remarked,
"because the part of your head is gone where brains are kept."

"I don't blame you for thinking that," he said. "Once the Flatheads had
no brains because, as you say, there is no upper part to their heads,
to hold brains. But long, long ago a band of fairies flew over this
country and made it all a fairyland, and when they came to the
Flatheads the fairies were sorry to find them all very stupid and quite
unable to think. So, as there was no good place in their bodies in
which to put brains the Fairy Queen gave each one of us a nice can of
brains to carry in his pocket and that made us just as intelligent as
other people. See," he continued, "here is one of the cans of brains
the fairies gave us." He took from a pocket a bright tin can having a
pretty red label on it which said: "Concentrated Brains, Extra Quality."

"And does every Flathead have the same kind of brains?" asked Dorothy.

"Yes, they're all alike. Here's another can." From another pocket he
produced a second can of brains.

"Did the fairies give you a double supply?" inquired Dorothy.

"No, but one of the Flatheads thought he wanted to be the Su-dic and
tried to get my people to rebel against me, so I punished him by taking
away his brains. One day my wife scolded me severely, so I took away
her can of brains. She didn't like that and went out and robbed several
women of their brains. Then I made a law that if anyone stole another's
brains, or even tried to borrow them, he would forfeit his own brains
to the Su-dic. So each one is content with his own canned brains and my
wife and I are the only ones on the mountain with more than one can. I
have three cans and that makes me very clever--so clever that I'm a
good Sorcerer, if I do say it myself. My poor wife had four cans of
brains and became a remarkable witch, but alas! that was before those
terrible enemies, the Skeezers, transformed her into a Golden Pig."

"Good gracious!" cried Dorothy; "is your wife really a Golden Pig?"

"She is. The Skeezers did it and so I have declared war on them. In
revenge for making my wife a Pig I intend to ruin their Magic Island
and make the Skeezers the slaves of the Flatheads!"

The Su-dic was very angry now; his eyes flashed and his face took on a
wicked and fierce expression. But Ozma said to him, very sweetly and in
a friendly voice:

"I am sorry to hear this. Will you please tell me more about your
troubles with the Skeezers?  Then perhaps I can help you."

She was only a girl, but there was dignity in her pose and speech which
impressed the Su-dic.

"If you are really Princess Ozma of Oz," the Flathead said, "you are
one of that band of fairies who, under Queen Lurline, made all Oz a
Fairyland. I have heard that Lurline left one of her own fairies to
rule Oz, and gave the fairy the name of Ozma."

"If you knew this why did you not come to me at the Emerald City and
tender me your loyalty and obedience?" asked the Ruler of Oz.

"Well, I only learned the fact lately, and I've been too busy to leave
home," he explained, looking at the floor instead of into Ozma's eyes.
She knew he had spoken a falsehood, but only said:

"Why did you quarrel with the Skeezers?"

"It was this way," began the Su-dic, glad to change the subject. "We
Flatheads love fish, and as we have no fish on this mountain we would
sometimes go to the Lake of the Skeezers to catch fish. This made the
Skeezers angry, for they declared the fish in their lake belonged to
them and were under their protection and they forbade us to catch them.
That was very mean and unfriendly in the Skeezers, you must admit, and
when we paid no attention to their orders they set a guard on the shore
of the lake to prevent our fishing.

"Now, my wife, Rora Flathead, having four cans of brains, had become a
wonderful witch, and fish being brain food, she loved to eat fish
better than any one of us. So she vowed she would destroy every fish in
the lake, unless the Skeezers let us catch what we wanted. They defied
us, so Rora prepared a kettleful of magic poison and went down to the
lake one night to dump it all in the water and poison the fish. It was
a clever idea, quite worthy of my dear wife, but the Skeezer Queen--a
young lady named Coo-ee-oh--hid on the bank of the lake and taking Rora
unawares, transformed her into a Golden Pig. The poison was spilled on
the ground and wicked Queen Coo-ee-oh, not content with her cruel
transformation, even took away my wife's four cans of brains, so she is
now a common grunting pig without even brains enough to know her own
name."

"Then," said Ozma thoughtfully, "the Queen of the Skeezers must be a
Sorceress."

"Yes," said the Su-dic, "but she doesn't know much magic, after all.
She is not as powerful as Rora Flathead was, nor half as powerful as I
am now, as Queen Coo-ee-oh will discover when we fight our great battle
and destroy her."

"The Golden Pig can't be a witch any more, of course," observed Dorothy.

"No; even had Queen Coo-ee-oh left her the four cans of brains, poor
Rora, in a pig's shape, couldn't do any witchcraft. A witch has to use
her fingers, and a pig has only cloven hoofs."

"It seems a sad story," was Ozma's comment, "and all the trouble arose
because the Flatheads wanted fish that did not belong to them."

"As for that," said the Su-dic, again angry, "I made a law that any of
my people could catch fish in the Lake of the Skeezers, whenever they
wanted to. So the trouble was through the Skeezers defying my law."

"You can only make laws to govern your own people," asserted Ozma
sternly. "I, alone, am empowered to make laws that must be obeyed by
all the peoples of Oz."

"Pooh!" cried the Su-dic scornfully. "You can't make me obey your laws,
I assure you. I know the extent of your powers, Princess Ozma of Oz,
and I know that I am more powerful than you are. To prove it I shall
keep you and your companion prisoners in this mountain until after we
have fought and conquered the Skeezers. Then, if you promise to be
good, I may let you go home again."

Dorothy was amazed by this effrontery and defiance of the beautiful
girl Ruler of Oz, whom all until now had obeyed without question. But
Ozma, still unruffled and dignified, looked at the Su-dic and said:

"You did not mean that. You are angry and speak unwisely, without
reflection. I came here from my palace in the Emerald City to prevent
war and to make peace between you and the Skeezers. I do not approve of
Queen Coo-ee-oh's action in transforming your wife Rora into a pig, nor
do I approve of Rora's cruel attempt to poison the fishes in the lake.
No one has the right to work magic in my dominions without my consent,
so the Flatheads and the Skeezers have both broken my laws--which must
be obeyed."

"If you want to make peace," said the Su-dic, "make the Skeezers
restore my wife to her proper form and give back her four cans of
brains. Also make them agree to allow us to catch fish in their lake."

"No," returned Ozma, "I will not do that, for it would be unjust. I
will have the Golden Pig again transformed into your wife Rora, and
give her one can of brains, but the other three cans must be restored
to those she robbed. Neither may you catch fish in the Lake of the
Skeezers, for it is their lake and the fish belong to them. This
arrangement is just and honorable, and you must agree to it."

"Never!" cried the Su-dic. Just then a pig came running into the room,
uttering dismal grunts. It was made of solid gold, with joints at the
bends of the legs and in the neck and jaws. The Golden Pig's eyes were
rubies, and its teeth were polished ivory.

"There!" said the Su-dic, "gaze on the evil work of Queen Coo-ee-oh,
and then say if you can prevent my making war on the Skeezers. That
grunting beast was once my wife--the most beautiful Flathead on our
mountain and a skillful witch. Now look at her!"

"Fight the Skeezers, fight the Skeezers, fight the Skeezers!" grunted
the Golden Pig.

"I will fight the Skeezers," exclaimed the Flathead chief, "and if a
dozen Ozmas of Oz forbade me I would fight just the same."

"Not if I can prevent it!" asserted Ozma.

"You can't prevent it. But since you threaten me, I'll have you
confined in the bronze prison until the war is over," said the Su-dic.
He whistled and four stout Flatheads, armed with axes and spears,
entered the room and saluted him. Turning to the men he said: "Take
these two girls, bind them with wire ropes and cast them into the
bronze prison."

The four men bowed low and one of them asked:

"Where are the two girls, most noble Su-dic?"

The Su-dic turned to where Ozma and Dorothy had stood but they had
vanished!



Chapter Seven

The Magic Isle


Ozma, seeing it was useless to argue with the Supreme Dictator of the
Flatheads, had been considering how best to escape from his power. She
realized that his sorcery might be difficult to overcome, and when he
threatened to cast Dorothy and her into a bronze prison she slipped her
hand into her bosom and grasped her silver wand. With the other hand
she grasped the hand of Dorothy, but these motions were so natural that
the Su-dic did not notice them. Then when he turned to meet his four
soldiers, Ozma instantly rendered both herself and Dorothy invisible
and swiftly led her companion around the group of Flatheads and out of
the room. As they reached the entry and descended the stone steps, Ozma
whispered:

"Let us run, dear! We are invisible, so no one will see us."

Dorothy understood and she was a good runner. Ozma had marked the place
where the grand stairway that led to the plain was located, so they
made directly for it. Some people were in the paths but these they
dodged around. One or two Flatheads heard the pattering of footsteps of
the girls on the stone pavement and stopped with bewildered looks to
gaze around them, but no one interfered with the invisible fugitives.

The Su-dic had lost no time in starting the chase. He and his men ran
so fast that they might have overtaken the girls before they reached
the stairway had not the Golden Pig suddenly run across their path. The
Su-dic tripped over the pig and fell flat, and his four men tripped
over him and tumbled in a heap. Before they could scramble up and reach
the mouth of the passage it was too late to stop the two girls.

There was a guard on each side of the stairway, but of course they did
not see Ozma and Dorothy as they sped past and descended the steps.
Then they had to go up five steps and down another ten, and so on, in
the same manner in which they had climbed to the top of the mountain.
Ozma lighted their way with her wand and they kept on without relaxing
their speed until they reached the bottom. Then they ran to the right
and turned the corner of the invisible wall just as the Su-dic and his
followers rushed out of the arched entrance and looked around in an
attempt to discover the fugitives.

Ozma now knew they were safe, so she told Dorothy to stop and both of
them sat down on the grass until they could breathe freely and become
rested from their mad flight.

As for the Su-dic, he realized he was foiled and soon turned and
climbed his stairs again. He was very angry--angry with Ozma and angry
with himself--because, now that he took time to think, he remembered
that he knew very well the art of making people invisible, and visible
again, and if he had only thought of it in time he could have used his
magic knowledge to make the girls visible and so have captured them
easily. However, it was now too late for regrets and he determined to
make preparations at once to march all his forces against the Skeezers.

"What shall we do next?" asked Dorothy, when they were rested.

"Let us find the Lake of the Skeezers," replied Ozma. "From what that
dreadful Su-dic said I imagine the Skeezers are good people and worthy
of our friendship, and if we go to them we may help them to defeat the
Flatheads."

"I s'pose we can't stop the war now," remarked Dorothy reflectively, as
they walked toward the row of palm trees.

"No; the Su-dic is determined to fight the Skeezers, so all we can do
is to warn them of their danger and help them as much as possible."

"Of course you'll punish the Flatheads," said Dorothy.

"Well, I do not think the Flathead people are as much to blame as their
Supreme Dictator," was the answer. "If he is removed from power and his
unlawful magic taken from him, the people will probably be good and
respect the laws of the Land of Oz, and live at peace with all their
neighbors in the future."

"I hope so," said Dorothy with a sigh of doubt

The palms were not far from the mountain and the girls reached them
after a brisk walk. The huge trees were set close together, in three
rows, and had been planted so as to keep people from passing them, but
the Flatheads had cut a passage through this barrier and Ozma found the
path and led Dorothy to the other side.

Beyond the palms they discovered a very beautiful scene. Bordered by a
green lawn was a great lake fully a mile from shore to shore, the
waters of which were exquisitely blue and sparkling, with little
wavelets breaking its smooth surface where the breezes touched it. In
the center of this lake appeared a lovely island, not of great extent
but almost entirely covered by a huge round building with glass walls
and a high glass dome which glittered brilliantly in the sunshine.
Between the glass building and the edge of the island was no grass,
flowers or shrubbery, but only an expanse of highly polished white
marble. There were no boats on either shore and no signs of life could
be seen anywhere on the island.

"Well," said Dorothy, gazing wistfully at the island, "we've found the
Lake of the Skeezers and their Magic Isle. I guess the Skeezers are in
that big glass palace, but we can't get at 'em."



Chapter Eight

Queen Coo-ee-oh


Princess Ozma considered the situation gravely. Then she tied her
handkerchief to her wand and, standing at the water's edge, waved the
handkerchief like a flag, as a signal. For a time they could observe no
response.

"I don't see what good that will do," said Dorothy. "Even if the
Skeezers are on that island and see us, and know we're friends, they
haven't any boats to come and get us."

But the Skeezers didn't need boats, as the girls soon discovered. For
on a sudden an opening appeared at the base of the palace and from the
opening came a slender shaft of steel, reaching out slowly but steadily
across the water in the direction of the place where they stood. To the
girls this steel arrangement looked like a triangle, with the base
nearest the water. It came toward them in the form of an arch,
stretching out from the palace wall until its end reached the bank and
rested there, while the other end still remained on the island.

Then they saw that it was a bridge, consisting of a steel footway just
broad enough to walk on, and two slender guide rails, one on either
side, which were connected with the footway by steel bars. The bridge
looked rather frail and Dorothy feared it would not bear their weight,
but Ozma at once called, "Come on!" and started to walk across, holding
fast to the rail on either side. So Dorothy summoned her courage and
followed after. Before Ozma had taken three steps she halted and so
forced Dorothy to halt, for the bridge was again moving and returning
to the island.

"We need not walk after all," said Ozma. So they stood still in their
places and let the steel bridge draw them onward. Indeed, the bridge
drew them well into the glass-domed building which covered the island,
and soon they found themselves standing in a marble room where two
handsomely dressed young men stood on a platform to receive them.

Ozma at once stepped from the end of the bridge to the marble platform,
followed by Dorothy, and then the bridge disappeared with a slight
clang of steel and a marble slab covered the opening from which it had
emerged.

The two young men bowed profoundly to Ozma, and one of them said:

"Queen Coo-ee-oh bids you welcome, O Strangers. Her Majesty is waiting
to receive you in her palace."

"Lead on," replied Ozma with dignity.

But instead of "leading on," the platform of marble began to rise,
carrying them upward through a square hole above which just fitted it.
A moment later they found themselves within the great glass dome that
covered almost all of the island.

Within this dome was a little village, with houses, streets, gardens
and parks. The houses were of colored marbles, prettily designed, with
many stained-glass windows, and the streets and gardens seemed well
cared for. Exactly under the center of the lofty dome was a small park
filled with brilliant flowers, with an elaborate fountain, and facing
this park stood a building larger and more imposing than the others.
Toward this building the young men escorted Ozma and Dorothy.

On the streets and in the doorways or open windows of the houses were
men, women and children, all richly dressed. These were much like other
people in different parts of the Land of Oz, except that instead of
seeming merry and contented they all wore expressions of much solemnity
or of nervous irritation. They had beautiful homes, splendid clothes,
and ample food, but Dorothy at once decided something was wrong with
their lives and that they were not happy. She said nothing, however,
but looked curiously at the Skeezers.

At the entrance of the palace Ozma and Dorothy were met by two other
young men, in uniform and armed with queer weapons that seemed about
halfway between pistols and guns, but were like neither. Their
conductors bowed and left them, and the two in uniforms led the girls
into the palace.

In a beautiful throne room, surrounded by a dozen or more young men and
women, sat the Queen of the Skeezers, Coo-ee-oh. She was a girl who
looked older than Ozma or Dorothy--fifteen or sixteen, at least--and
although she was elaborately dressed as if she were going to a ball she
was too thin and plain of feature to be pretty. But evidently Queen
Coo-ee-oh did not realize this fact, for her air and manner betrayed
her as proud and haughty and with a high regard for her own importance.
Dorothy at once decided she was "snippy" and that she would not like
Queen Coo-ee-oh as a companion.

The Queen's hair was as black as her skin was white and her eyes were
black, too. The eyes, as she calmly examined Ozma and Dorothy, had a
suspicious and unfriendly look in them, but she said quietly:

"I know who you are, for I have consulted my Magic Oracle, which told
me that one calls herself Princess Ozma, the Ruler of all the Land of
Oz, and the other is Princess Dorothy of Oz, who came from a country
called Kansas. I know nothing of the Land of Oz, and I know nothing of
Kansas."

"Why, this is the Land of Oz!" cried Dorothy. "It's a part of the Land
of Oz, anyhow, whether you know it or not."

"Oh, in-deed!" answered Queen Coo-ee-oh, scornfully. "I suppose you
will claim next that this Princess Ozma, ruling the Land of Oz, rules
me!"

"Of course," returned Dorothy. "There's no doubt of it."

The Queen turned to Ozma.

"Do you dare make such a claim?" she asked.

By this time Ozma had made up her mind as to the character of this
haughty and disdainful creature, whose self-pride evidently led her to
believe herself superior to all others.

"I did not come here to quarrel with your Majesty," said the girl Ruler
of Oz, quietly. "What and who I am is well established, and my
authority comes from the Fairy Queen Lurline, of whose band I was a
member when Lurline made all Oz a Fairyland. There are several
countries and several different peoples in this broad land, each of
which has its separate rulers, Kings, Emperors and Queens. But all
these render obedience to my laws and acknowledge me as the supreme
Ruler."

"If other Kings and Queens are fools that does not interest me in the
least," replied Coo-ee-oh, disdainfully. "In the Land of the Skeezers I
alone am supreme. You are impudent to think I would defer to you--or to
anyone else."

"Let us not speak of this now, please," answered Ozma. "Your island is
in danger, for a powerful foe is preparing to destroy it."

"Pah! The Flatheads. I do not fear them."

"Their Supreme Dictator is a Sorcerer."

"My magic is greater than his. Let the Flatheads come! They will never
return to their barren mountain-top. I will see to that."

Ozma did not like this attitude, for it meant that the Skeezers were
eager to fight the Flatheads, and Ozma's object in coming here was to
prevent fighting and induce the two quarrelsome neighbors to make
peace. She was also greatly disappointed in Coo-ee-oh, for the reports
of Su-dic had led her to imagine the Queen more just and honorable than
were the Flatheads. Indeed Ozma reflected that the girl might be better
at heart than her self-pride and overbearing manner indicated, and in
any event it would be wise not to antagonize her but to try to win her
friendship.

"I do not like wars, your Majesty," said Ozma. "In the Emerald City,
where I rule thousands of people, and in the countries near to the
Emerald City, where thousands more acknowledge my rule, there is no
army at all, because there is no quarreling and no need to fight. If
differences arise between my people, they come to me and I judge the
cases and award justice to all. So, when I learned there might be war
between two faraway people of Oz, I came here to settle the dispute and
adjust the quarrel."

"No one asked you to come," declared Queen Coo-ee-oh. "It is my
business to settle this dispute, not yours. You say my island is a part
of the Land of Oz, which you rule, but that is all nonsense, for I've
never heard of the Land of Oz, nor of you. You say you are a fairy, and
that fairies gave you command over me. I don't believe it! What I do
believe is that you are an impostor and have come here to stir up
trouble among my people, who are already becoming difficult to manage.
You two girls may even be spies of the vile Flatheads, for all I know,
and may be trying to trick me. But understand this," she added, proudly
rising from her jeweled throne to confront them, "I have magic powers
greater than any fairy possesses, and greater than any Flathead
possesses. I am a Krumbic Witch--the only Krumbic Witch in the
world--and I fear the magic of no other creature that exists! You say
you rule thousands. I rule one hundred and one Skeezers. But every one
of them trembles at my word. Now that Ozma of Oz and Princess Dorothy
are here, I shall rule one hundred and three subjects, for you also
shall bow before my power. More than that, in ruling you I also rule
the thousands you say you rule."

Dorothy was very indignant at this speech.

"I've got a pink kitten that sometimes talks like that," she said, "but
after I give her a good whipping she doesn't think she's so high and
mighty after all. If you only knew who Ozma is you'd be scared to death
to talk to her like that!"

Queen Coo-ee-oh gave the girl a supercilious look. Then she turned
again to Ozma.

"I happen to know," said she, "that the Flatheads intend to attack us
tomorrow, but we are ready for them. Until the battle is over, I shall
keep you two strangers prisoners on my island, from which there is no
chance for you to escape."

She turned and looked around the band of courtiers who stood silently
around her throne.

"Lady Aurex," she continued, singling out one of the young women, "take
these children to your house and care for them, giving them food and
lodging. You may allow them to wander anywhere under the Great Dome,
for they are harmless. After I have attended to the Flatheads I will
consider what next to do with these foolish girls."

She resumed her seat and the Lady Aurex bowed low and said in a humble
manner:

"I obey your Majesty's commands." Then to Ozma and Dorothy she added,
"Follow me," and turned to leave the throne room.

Dorothy looked to see what Ozma would do. To her surprise and a little
to her disappointment Ozma turned and followed Lady Aurex. So Dorothy
trailed after them, but not without giving a parting, haughty look
toward Queen Coo-ee-oh, who had her face turned the other way and did
not see the disapproving look.



Chapter Nine

Lady Aurex


Lady Aurex led Ozma and Dorothy along a street to a pretty marble house
near to one edge of the great glass dome that covered the village. She
did not speak to the girls until she had ushered them into a pleasant
room, comfortably furnished, nor did any of the solemn people they met
on the street venture to speak.

When they were seated Lady Aurex asked if they were hungry, and finding
they were summoned a maid and ordered food to be brought.

This Lady Aurex looked to be about twenty years old, although in the
Land of Oz where people have never changed in appearance since the
fairies made it a fairyland--where no one grows old or dies--it is
always difficult to say how many years anyone has lived. She had a
pleasant, attractive face, even though it was solemn and sad as the
faces of all Skeezers seemed to be, and her costume was rich and
elaborate, as became a lady in waiting upon the Queen.

Ozma had observed Lady Aurex closely and now asked her in a gentle tone:

"Do you, also, believe me to be an impostor?"

"I dare not say," replied Lady Aurex in a low tone.

"Why are you afraid to speak freely?" inquired Ozma.

"The Queen punishes us if we make remarks that she does not like."

"Are we not alone then, in this house?"

"The Queen can hear everything that is spoken on this island--even the
slightest whisper," declared Lady Aurex. "She is a wonderful witch, as
she has told you, and it is folly to criticise her or disobey her
commands."

Ozma looked into her eyes and saw that she would like to say more if
she dared. So she drew from her bosom her silver wand, and having
muttered a magic phrase in a strange tongue, she left the room and
walked slowly around the outside of the house, making a complete circle
and waving her wand in mystic curves as she walked. Lady Aurex watched
her curiously and, when Ozma had again entered the room and seated
herself, she asked:

"What have you done?"

"I've enchanted this house in such a manner that Queen Coo-ee-oh, with
all her witchcraft, cannot hear one word we speak within the magic
circle I have made," replied Ozma. "We may now speak freely and as
loudly as we wish, without fear of the Queen's anger."

Lady Aurex brightened at this.

"Can I trust you?" she asked.

"Ev'rybody trusts Ozma," exclaimed Dorothy. "She is true and honest,
and your wicked Queen will be sorry she insulted the powerful Ruler of
all the Land of Oz."

"The Queen does not know me yet," said Ozma, "but I want you to know
me, Lady Aurex, and I want you to tell me why you, and all the
Skeezers, are unhappy. Do not fear Coo-ee-oh's anger, for she cannot
hear a word we say, I assure you."

Lady Aurex was thoughtful a moment; then she said: "I shall trust you,
Princess Ozma, for I believe you are what you say you are--our supreme
Ruler. If you knew the dreadful punishments our Queen inflicts upon us,
you would not wonder we are so unhappy. The Skeezers are not bad
people; they do not care to quarrel and fight, even with their enemies
the Flatheads; but they are so cowed and fearful of Coo-ee-oh that they
obey her slightest word, rather than suffer her anger."

"Hasn't she any heart, then?" asked Dorothy.

"She never displays mercy. She loves no one but herself," asserted Lady
Aurex, but she trembled as she said it, as if afraid even yet of her
terrible Queen.

"That's pretty bad," said Dorothy, shaking her head gravely. "I see
you've a lot to do here, Ozma, in this forsaken corner of the Land of
Oz. First place, you've got to take the magic away from Queen
Coo-ee-oh, and from that awful Su-dic, too. My idea is that neither of
them is fit to rule anybody, 'cause they're cruel and hateful. So
you'll have to give the Skeezers and Flatheads new rulers and teach all
their people that they're part of the Land of Oz and must obey, above
all, the lawful Ruler, Ozma of Oz. Then, when you've done that, we can
go back home again."

Ozma smiled at her little friend's earnest counsel, but Lady Aurex said
in an anxious tone:

"I am surprised that you suggest these reforms while you are yet
prisoners on this island and in Coo-ee-oh's power. That these things
should be done, there is no doubt, but just now a dreadful war is
likely to break out, and frightful things may happen to us all.  Our
Queen has such conceit that she thinks she can overcome the Su-dic and
his people, but it is said Su-dic's magic is very powerful, although
not as great as that possessed by his wife Rora, before Coo-ee-oh
transformed her into a Golden Pig."

"I don't blame her very much for doing that," remarked Dorothy, "for
the Flatheads were wicked to try to catch your beautiful fish and the
Witch Rora wanted to poison all the fishes in the lake."

"Do you know the reason?" asked the Lady Aurex.

"I don't s'pose there was any reason, 'cept just wickedness," replied
Dorothy.

"Tell us the reason," said Ozma earnestly.

"Well, your Majesty, once--a long time ago--the Flatheads and the
Skeezers were friendly. They visited our island and we visited their
mountain, and everything was pleasant between the two peoples. At that
time the Flatheads were ruled by three Adepts in Sorcery, beautiful
girls who were not Flatheads, but had wandered to the Flat Mountain and
made their home there. These three Adepts used their magic only for
good, and the mountain people gladly made them their rulers. They
taught the Flatheads how to use their canned brains and how to work
metals into clothing that would never wear out, and many other things
that added to their happiness and content.

"Coo-ee-oh was our Queen then, as now, but she knew no magic and so had
nothing to be proud of. But the three Adepts were very kind to
Coo-ee-oh. They built for us this wonderful dome of glass and our
houses of marble and taught us to make beautiful clothing and many
other things. Coo-ee-oh pretended to be very grateful for these favors,
but it seems that all the time she was jealous of the three Adepts and
secretly tried to discover their arts of magic. In this she was more
clever than anyone suspected. She invited the three Adepts to a banquet
one day, and while they were feasting Coo-ee-oh stole their charms and
magical instruments and transformed them into three fishes--a gold
fish, a silver fish and a bronze fish. While the poor fishes were
gasping and flopping helplessly on the floor of the banquet room one of
them said reproachfully: 'You will be punished for this, Coo-ee-oh, for
if one of us dies or is destroyed, you will become shrivelled and
helpless, and all your stolen magic will depart from you.' Frightened
by this threat, Coo-ee-oh at once caught up the three fish and ran with
them to the shore of the lake, where she cast them into the water. This
revived the three Adepts and they swam away and disappeared.

"I, myself, witnessed this shocking scene," continued Lady Aurex, "and
so did many other Skeezers. The news was carried to the Flatheads, who
then turned from friends to enemies. The Su-dic and his wife Rora were
the only ones on the mountain who were glad the three Adepts had been
lost to them, and they at once became Rulers of the Flatheads and stole
their canned brains from others to make themselves the more powerful.
Some of the Adepts' magic tools had been left on the mountain, and
these Rora seized and by the use of them she became a witch.

"The result of Coo-ee-oh's treachery was to make both the Skeezers and
the Flatheads miserable instead of happy. Not only were the Su-dic and
his wife cruel to their people, but our Queen at once became proud and
arrogant and treated us very unkindly. All the Skeezers knew she had
stolen her magic powers and so she hated us and made us humble
ourselves before her and obey her slightest word. If we disobeyed, or
did not please her, or if we talked about her when we were in our own
homes she would have us dragged to the whipping post in her palace and
lashed with knotted cords. That is why we fear her so greatly."

This story filled Ozma's heart with sorrow and Dorothy's heart with
indignation.

"I now understand," said Ozma, "why the fishes in the lake have brought
about war between the Skeezers and the Flatheads."

"Yes," Lady Aurex answered, "now that you know the story it is easy to
understand. The Su-dic and his wife came to our lake hoping to catch
the silver fish, or gold fish, or bronze fish--any one of them would
do--and by destroying it deprive Coo-ee-oh of her magic. Then they
could easily conquer her. Also they had another reason for wanting to
catch the fish--they feared that in some way the three Adepts might
regain their proper forms and then they would be sure to return to the
mountain and punish Rora and the Su-dic. That was why Rora finally
tried to poison all the fishes in the lake, at the time Coo-ee-oh
transformed her into a Golden Pig. Of course this attempt to destroy
the fishes frightened the Queen, for her safety lies in keeping the
three fishes alive."

"I s'pose Coo-ee-oh will fight the Flatheads with all her might,"
observed Dorothy.

"And with all her magic," added Ozma, thoughtfully.

"I do not see how the Flatheads can get to this island to hurt us,"
said Lady Aurex.

"They have bows and arrows, and I guess they mean to shoot the arrows
at your big dome, and break all the glass in it," suggested Dorothy.

But Lady Aurex shook her head with a smile.

"They cannot do that," she replied.

"Why not?"

"I dare not tell you why, but if the Flatheads come to-morrow morning
you will yourselves see the reason."

"I do not think they will attempt to harm the island," Ozma declared.
"I believe they will first attempt to destroy the fishes, by poison or
some other means. If they succeed in that, the conquest of the island
will not be difficult."

"They have no boats," said Lady Aurex, "and Coo-ee-oh, who has long
expected this war, has been preparing for it in many astonishing ways.
I almost wish the Flatheads would conquer us, for then we would be free
from our dreadful Queen; but I do not wish to see the three transformed
fishes destroyed, for in them lies our only hope of future happiness."

"Ozma will take care of you, whatever happens," Dorothy assured her.
But the Lady Aurex, not knowing the extent of Ozma's power--which was,
in fact, not so great as Dorothy imagined--could not take much comfort
in this promise.

It was evident there would be exciting times on the morrow, if the
Flatheads really attacked the Skeezers of the Magic Isle.



Chapter Ten

Under Water


When night fell all the interior of the Great Dome, streets and houses,
became lighted with brilliant incandescent lamps, which rendered it
bright as day. Dorothy thought the island must look beautiful by night
from the outer shore of the lake. There was revelry and feasting in the
Queen's palace, and the music of the royal band could be plainly heard
in Lady Aurex's house, where Ozma and Dorothy remained with their
hostess and keeper. They were prisoners, but treated with much
consideration.

Lady Aurex gave them a nice supper and when they wished to retire
showed them to a pretty room with comfortable beds and wished them a
good night and pleasant dreams.

"What do you think of all this, Ozma?" Dorothy anxiously inquired when
they were alone.

"I am glad we came," was the reply, "for although there may be mischief
done to-morrow, it was necessary I should know about these people,
whose leaders are wild and lawless and oppress their subjects with
injustice and cruelties. My task, therefore, is to liberate the
Skeezers and the Flatheads and secure for them freedom and happiness. I
have no doubt I can accomplish this in time."

"Just now, though, we're in a bad fix," asserted Dorothy. "If Queen
Coo-ee-oh conquers to-morrow, she won't be nice to us, and if the
Su-dic conquers, he'll be worse."

"Do not worry, dear," said Ozma, "I do not think we are in danger,
whatever happens, and the result of our adventure is sure to be good."

Dorothy was not worrying, especially. She had confidence in her friend,
the fairy Princess of Oz, and she enjoyed the excitement of the events
in which she was taking part. So she crept into bed and fell asleep as
easily as if she had been in her own cosy room in Ozma's palace.

A sort of grating, grinding sound awakened her. The whole island seemed
to tremble and sway, as it might do in an earthquake. Dorothy sat up in
bed, rubbing her eyes to get the sleep out of them, and then found it
was daybreak.

Ozma was hurriedly dressing herself.

"What is it?" asked Dorothy, jumping out of bed.

"I'm not sure," answered Ozma "but it feels as if the island is
sinking."

As soon as possible they finished dressing, while the creaking and
swaying continued. Then they rushed into the living room of the house
and found Lady Aurex, fully dressed, awaiting them.

"Do not be alarmed," said their hostess. "Coo-ee-oh has decided to
submerge the island, that is all. But it proves the Flatheads are
coming to attack us."

"What do you mean by sub-sub-merging the island?" asked Dorothy.

"Come here and see," was the reply.

Lady Aurex led them to a window which faced the side of the great dome
which covered all the village, and they could see that the island was
indeed sinking, for the water of the lake was already half way up the
side of the dome. Through the glass could be seen swimming fishes, and
tall stalks of swaying seaweeds, for the water was clear as crystal and
through it they could distinguish even the farther shore of the lake.

"The Flatheads are not here yet," said Lady Aurex. "They will come
soon, but not until all of this dome is under the surface of the water."

"Won't the dome leak?" Dorothy inquired anxiously.

"No, indeed."

"Was the island ever sub-sub-sunk before?"

"Oh, yes; on several occasions. But Coo-ee-oh doesn't care to do that
often, for it requires a lot of hard work to operate the machinery. The
dome was built so that the island could disappear. I think," she
continued, "that our Queen fears the Flatheads will attack the island
and try to break the glass of the dome."

"Well, if we're under water, they can't fight us, and we can't fight
them," asserted Dorothy.

"They could kill the fishes, however," said Ozma gravely.

"We have ways to fight, also, even though our island is under water,"
claimed Lady Aurex. "I cannot tell you all our secrets, but this island
is full of surprises. Also our Queen's magic is astonishing."

"Did she steal it all from the three Adepts in Sorcery that are now
fishes?"

"She stole the knowledge and the magic tools, but she has used them as
the three Adepts never would have done."

By this time the top of the dome was quite under water and suddenly the
island stopped sinking and became stationary.

"See!" cried Lady Aurex, pointing to the shore. "The Flatheads have
come."

On the bank, which was now far above their heads, a crowd of dark
figures could be seen.

"Now let us see what Coo-ee-oh will do to oppose them," continued Lady
Aurex, in a voice that betrayed her excitement.

   *     *     *     *     *

The Flatheads, pushing their way through the line of palm trees, had
reached the shore of the lake just as the top of the island's dome
disappeared beneath the surface. The water now flowed from shore to
shore, but through the clear water the dome was still visible and the
houses of the Skeezers could be dimly seen through the panes of glass.

"Good!" exclaimed the Su-dic, who had armed all his followers and had
brought with him two copper vessels, which he carefully set down upon
the ground beside him. "If Coo-ee-oh wants to hide instead of fighting
our job will be easy, for in one of these copper vessels I have enough
poison to kill every fish in the lake."

"Kill them, then, while we have time, and then we can go home again,"
advised one of the chief officers.

"Not yet," objected the Su-dic. "The Queen of the Skeezers has defied
me, and I want to get her into my power, as well as to destroy her
magic. She transformed my poor wife into a Golden Pig, and I must have
revenge for that, whatever else we do."

"Look out!" suddenly exclaimed the officers, pointing into the lake;
"something's going to happen."

From the submerged dome a door opened and something black shot swiftly
out into the water. The door instantly closed behind it and the dark
object cleaved its way through the water, without rising to the
surface, directly toward the place where the Flatheads were standing.

"What is that?" Dorothy asked the Lady Aurex.

"That is one of the Queen's submarines," was the reply. "It is all
enclosed, and can move under water. Coo-ee-oh has several of these
boats which are kept in little rooms in the basement under our village.
When the island is submerged, the Queen uses these boats to reach the
shore, and I believe she now intends to fight the Flatheads with them."

The Su-dic and his people knew nothing of Coo-ee-oh's submarines, so
they watched with surprise as the under-water boat approached them.
When it was quite near the shore it rose to the surface and the top
parted and fell back, disclosing a boat full of armed Skeezers. At the
head was the Queen, standing up in the bow and holding in one hand a
coil of magic rope that gleamed like silver.

The boat halted and Coo-ee-oh drew back her arm to throw the silver
rope toward the Su-dic, who was now but a few feet from her. But the
wily Flathead leader quickly realized his danger and before the Queen
could throw the rope he caught up one of the copper vessels and dashed
its contents full in her face!



Chapter Eleven

The Conquest of the Skeezers


Queen Coo-ee-oh dropped the rope, tottered and fell headlong into the
water, sinking beneath the surface, while the Skeezers in the submarine
assist her and only stared at the ripples in the water where she had
disappeared. A moment later there arose to the surface a beautiful
White Swan. This Swan was of large size, very gracefully formed, and
scattered all over its white feathers were tiny diamonds, so thickly
placed that as the rays of the morning sun fell upon them the entire
body of the Swan glistened like one brilliant diamond. The head of the
Diamond Swan had a bill of polished gold and its eyes were two
sparkling amethysts.

"Hooray!" cried the Su-dic, dancing up and down with wicked glee. "My
poor wife, Rora, is avenged at last. You made her a Golden Pig,
Coo-ee-oh, and now I have made you a Diamond Swan. Float on your lake
forever, if you like, for your web feet can do no more magic and you
are as powerless as the Pig you made of my wife!

"Villain! Scoundrel!" croaked the Diamond Swan. "You will be punished
for this. Oh, what a fool I was to let you enchant me!

"A fool you were, and a fool you are!" laughed the Su-dic, dancing
madly in his delight. And then he carelessly tipped over the other
copper vessel with his heel and its contents spilled on the sands and
were lost to the last drop.

The Su-dic stopped short and looked at the overturned vessel with a
rueful countenance.

"That's too bad--too bad!" he exclaimed sorrowfully. "I've lost all the
poison I had to kill the fishes with, and I can't make any more because
only my wife knew the secret of it, and she is now a foolish Pig and
has forgotten all her magic."

"Very well," said the Diamond Swan scornfully, as she floated upon the
water and swam gracefully here and there. "I'm glad to see you are
foiled. Your punishment is just beginning, for although you have
enchanted me and taken away my powers of sorcery you have still the
three magic fishes to deal with, and they'll destroy you in time, mark
my words."

The Su-dic stared at the Swan a moment. Then he yelled to his men:

"Shoot her! Shoot the saucy bird!"

They let fly some arrows at the Diamond Swan, but she dove under the
water and the missiles fell harmless. When Coo-ce-oh rose to the
surface she was far from the shore and she swiftly swam across the lake
to where no arrows or spears could reach her.

The Su-dic rubbed his chin and thought what to do next. Near by floated
the submarine in which the Queen had come, but the Skeezers who were in
it were puzzled what to do with themselves. Perhaps they were not sorry
their cruel mistress had been transformed into a Diamond Swan, but the
transformation had left them quite helpless. The under-water boat was
not operated by machinery, but by certain mystic words uttered by
Coo-ee-oh. They didn't know how to submerge it, or how to make the
water-tight shield cover them again, or how to make the boat go back to
the castle, or make it enter the little basement room where it was
usually kept. As a matter of fact, they were now shut out of their
village under the Great Dome and could not get back again. So one of
the men called to the Supreme Dictator of the Flatheads, saying:

"Please make us prisoners and take us to your mountain, and feed and
keep us, for we have nowhere to go."

Then the Su-dic laughed and answered:

"Not so. I can't be bothered by caring for a lot of stupid Skeezers.
Stay where you are, or go wherever you please, so long as you keep away
from our mountain." He turned to his men and added: "We have conquered
Queen Coo-ee-oh and made her a helpless swan. The Skeezers are under
water and may stay there. So, having won the war, let us go home again
and make merry and feast, having after many years proved the Flatheads
to be greater and more powerful than the Skeezers."

So the Flatheads marched away and passed through the row of palms and
went back to their mountain, where the Su-dic and a few of his officers
feasted and all the others were forced to wait on them.

"I'm sorry we couldn't have roast pig," said the Su-dic, "but as the
only pig we have is made of gold, we can't eat her. Also the Golden Pig
happens to be my wife, and even were she not gold I am sure she would
be too tough to eat."



Chapter Twelve

The Diamond Swan


When the Flatheads had gone away the Diamond Swan swam back to the boat
and one of the young Skeezers named Ervic said to her eagerly:

"How can we get back to the island, your Majesty?"

"Am I not beautiful?" asked Coo-ee-oh, arching her neck gracefully and
spreading her diamond-sprinkled wings. "I can see my reflection in the
water, and I'm sure there is no bird nor beast, nor human as
magnificent as I am!"

"How shall we get back to the island, your Majesty?" pleaded Ervic.

"When my fame spreads throughout the land, people will travel from all
parts of this lake to look upon my loveliness," said Coo-ee-oh, shaking
her feathers to make the diamonds glitter more brilliantly.

"But, your Majesty, we must go home and we do not know how to get
there," Ervic persisted.

"My eyes," remarked the Diamond Swan, "are wonderfully blue and bright
and will charm all beholders."

"Tell us how to make the boat go--how to get back into the island,"
begged Ervic and the others cried just as earnestly: "Tell us,
Coo-ee-oh; tell us!"

"I don't know," replied the Queen in a careless tone.

"You are a magic-worker, a sorceress, a witch!"

"I was, of course, when I was a girl," she said, bending her head over
the clear water to catch her reflection in it; "but now I've forgotten
all such foolish things as magic. Swans are lovelier than girls,
especially when they're sprinkled with diamonds. Don't you think so?"
And she gracefully swam away, without seeming to care whether they
answered or not.

Ervic and his companions were in despair. They saw plainly that
Coo-ee-oh could not or would not help them. The former Queen had no
further thought for her island, her people, or her wonderful magic; she
was only intent on admiring her own beauty.

"Truly," said Ervic, in a gloomy voice, "the Flatheads have conquered
us!"

   *     *     *     *     *

Some of these events had been witnessed by Ozma and Dorothy and Lady
Aurex, who had left the house and gone close to the glass of the dome,
in order to see what was going on. Many of the Skeezers had also
crowded against the dome, wondering what would happen next. Although
their vision was to an extent blurred by the water and the necessity of
looking upward at an angle, they had observed the main points of the
drama enacted above. They saw Queen Coo-ee-oh's submarine come to the
surface and open; they saw the Queen standing erect to throw her magic
rope; they saw her sudden transformation into a Diamond Swan, and a cry
of amazement went up from the Skeezers inside the dome.

"Good!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I hate that old Su-dic, but I'm glad
Coo-ee-oh is punished."

"This is a dreadful misfortune!" cried Lady Aurex, pressing her hands
upon her heart.

"Yes," agreed Ozma, nodding her head thoughtfully; "Coo-ee-oh's
misfortune will prove a terrible blow to her people."

"What do you mean by that?" asked Dorothy in surprise. "Seems to me the
Skeezers are in luck to lose their cruel Queen."

"If that were all you would be right," responded Lady Aurex; "and if
the island were above water it would not be so serious. But here we all
are, at the bottom of the lake, and fast prisoners in this dome."

"Can't you raise the island?" inquired Dorothy.

"No. Only Coo-ee-oh knew how to do that," was the answer.

"We can try," insisted Dorothy. "If it can be made to go down, it can
be made to come up. The machinery is still here, I suppose.

"Yes; but the machinery works by magic, and Coo-ee-oh would never share
her secret power with any one of us."

Dorothy's face grew grave; but she was thinking.

"Ozma knows a lot of magic," she said.

"But not that kind of magic," Ozma replied.

"Can't you learn how, by looking at the machinery?"

"I'm afraid not, my dear. It isn't fairy magic at all; it is
witchcraft."

"Well," said Dorothy, turning to Lady Aurex, "you say there are other
sub-sub-sinking boats. We can get in one of those, and shoot out to the
top of the water, like Coo-ee-oh did, and so escape. And then we can
help to rescue all the Skeezers down here."

"No one knows how to work the under-water boats but the Queen,"
declared Lady Aurex.

"Isn't there any door or window in this dome that we could open?"

"No; and, if there were, the water would rush in to flood the dome, and
we could not get out."

"The Skeezers," said Ozma, "could not drown; they only get wet and
soggy and in that condition they would be very uncomfortable and
unhappy. But you are a mortal girl, Dorothy, and if your Magic Belt
protected you from death you would have to lie forever at the bottom of
the lake."

"No, I'd rather die quickly," asserted the little girl. "But there are
doors in the basement that open--to let out the bridges and the
boats--and that would not flood the dome, you know."

"Those doors open by a magic word, and only Coo-ee-oh knows the word
that must be uttered," said Lady Aurex.

"Dear me!" exclaimed Dorothy, "that dreadful Queen's witchcraft upsets
all my plans to escape. I guess I'll give it up, Ozma, and let you save
us."

Ozma smiled, but her smile was not so cheerful as usual. The Princess
of Oz found herself confronted with a serious problem, and although she
had no thought of despairing she realized that the Skeezers and their
island, as well as Dorothy and herself, were in grave trouble and that
unless she could find a means to save them they would be lost to the
Land of Oz for all future time.

"In such a dilemma," said she, musingly, "nothing is gained by haste.
Careful thought may aid us, and so may the course of events. The
unexpected is always likely to happen, and cheerful patience is better
than reckless action."

"All right," returned Dorothy; "take your time, Ozma; there's no hurry.
How about some breakfast, Lady Aurex?"

Their hostess led them back to the house, where she ordered her
trembling servants to prepare and serve breakfast. All the Skeezers
were frightened and anxious over the transformation of their Queen into
a swan. Coo-ee-oh was feared and hated, but they had depended on her
magic to conquer the Flatheads and she was the only one who could raise
their island to the surface of the lake again.

Before breakfast was over several of the leading Skeezers came to Aurex
to ask her advice and to question Princess Ozma, of whom they knew
nothing except that she claimed to be a fairy and the Ruler of all the
land, including the Lake of the Skeezers.

"If what you told Queen Coo-ee-oh was the truth," they said to her,
"you are our lawful mistress, and we may depend on you to get us out of
our difficulties."

"I will try to do that," Ozma graciously assured them, "but you must
remember that the powers of fairies are granted them to bring comfort
and happiness to all who appeal to them. On the contrary, such magic as
Coo-ee-oh knew and practiced is unlawful witchcraft and her arts are
such as no fairy would condescend to use. However, it is sometimes
necessary to consider evil in order to accomplish good, and perhaps by
studying Coo-ee-oh's tools and charms of witchcraft I may be able to
save us. Do you promise to accept me as your Ruler and to obey my
commands?"

They promised willingly.

"Then," continued Ozma, "I will go to Coo-ee-oh's palace and take
possession of it. Perhaps what I find there will be of use to me. In
the meantime tell all the Skeezers to fear nothing, but have patience.
Let them return to their homes and perform their daily tasks as usual.
Coo-ee-oh's loss may not prove a misfortune, but rather a blessing."

This speech cheered the Skeezers amazingly. Really, they had no one now
to depend upon but Ozma, and in spite of their dangerous position their
hearts were lightened by the transformation and absence of their cruel
Queen.

They got out their brass band and a grand procession escorted Ozma and
Dorothy to the palace, where all of Coo-ee-oh's former servants were
eager to wait upon them. Ozma invited Lady Aurex to stay at the palace
also, for she knew all about the Skeezers and their island and had also
been a favorite of the former Queen, so her advice and information were
sure to prove valuable.

Ozma was somewhat disappointed in what she found in the palace. One
room of Coo-ee-oh's private suite was entirely devoted to the practice
of witchcraft, and here were countless queer instruments and jars of
ointments and bottles of potions labeled with queer names, and strange
machines that Ozma could not guess the use of, and pickled toads and
snails and lizards, and a shelf of books that were written in blood,
but in a language which the Ruler of Oz did not know.

"I do not see," said Ozma to Dorothy, who accompanied her in her
search, "how Coo-ee-oh knew the use of the magic tools she stole from
the three Adept Witches. Moreover, from all reports these Adepts
practiced only good witchcraft, such as would be helpful to their
people, while Coo-ee-oh performed only evil."

"Perhaps she turned the good things to evil uses?" suggested Dorothy.

"Yes, and with the knowledge she gained Coo-ee-oh doubtless invented
many evil things quite unknown to the good Adepts, who are now fishes,"
added Ozma. "It is unfortunate for us that the Queen kept her secrets
so closely guarded, for no one but herself could use any of these
strange things gathered in this room."

"Couldn't we capture the Diamond Swan and make her tell the secrets?"
asked Dorothy.

"No; even were we able to capture her, Coo-ee-oh now has forgotten all
the magic she ever knew. But until we ourselves escape from this dome
we could not capture the Swan, and were we to escape we would have no
use for Coo-ee-oh's magic."

"That's a fact," admitted Dorothy. "But--say, Ozma, here's a good idea!
Couldn't we capture the three fishes--the gold and silver and bronze
ones, and couldn't you transform 'em back to their own shapes, and then
couldn't the three Adepts get us out of here?"

"You are not very practical, Dorothy dear. It would be as hard for us
to capture the three fishes, from among all the other fishes in the
lake, as to capture the Swan."

"But if we could, it would be more help to us," persisted the little
girl.

"That is true," answered Ozma, smiling at her friend's eagerness. "You
find a way to catch the fish, and I'll promise when they are caught to
restore them to their proper forms."

"I know you think I can't do it," replied Dorothy, "but I'm going to
try."

She left the palace and went to a place where she could look through a
clear pane of the glass dome into the surrounding water. Immediately
she became interested in the queer sights that met her view.

The Lake of the Skeezers was inhabited by fishes of many kinds and many
sizes. The water was so transparent that the girl could see for a long
distance and the fishes came so close to the glass of the dome that
sometimes they actually touched it. On the white sands at the bottom of
the lake were star-fish, lobsters, crabs and many shell fish of strange
shapes and with shells of gorgeous hues. The water foliage was of
brilliant colors and to Dorothy it resembled a splendid garden.

But the fishes were the most interesting of all. Some were big and
lazy, floating slowly along or lying at rest with just their fins
waving. Many with big round eyes looked full at the girl as she watched
them and Dorothy wondered if they could hear her through the glass if
she spoke to them. In Oz, where all the animals and birds can talk,
many fishes are able to talk also, but usually they are more stupid
than birds and animals because they think slowly and haven't much to
talk about.

In the Lake of the Skeezers the fish of smaller size were more active
than the big ones and darted quickly in and out among the swaying
weeds, as if they had important business and were in a hurry. It was
among the smaller varieties that Dorothy hoped to spy the gold and
silver and bronze fishes. She had an idea the three would keep
together, being companions now as they were in their natural forms, but
such a multitude of fishes constantly passed, the scene shifting every
moment, that she was not sure she would notice them even if they
appeared in view. Her eyes couldn't look in all directions and the
fishes she sought might be on the other side of the dome, or far away
in the lake.

"P'raps, because they were afraid of Coo-ee-oh, they've hid themselves
somewhere, and don't know their enemy has been transformed," she
reflected.

She watched the fishes for a long time, until she became hungry and
went back to the palace for lunch. But she was not discouraged.

"Anything new, Ozma?" she asked.

"No, dear. Did you discover the three fishes?"

"Not yet. But there isn't anything better for me to do, Ozma, so I
guess I'll go back and watch again."



Chapter Thirteen

The Alarm Bell


Glinda, the Good, in her palace in the Quadling Country, had many
things to occupy her mind, for not only did she look after the weaving
and embroidery of her bevy of maids, and assist all those who came to
her to implore her help--beasts and birds as well as people--but she
was a close student of the arts of sorcery and spent much time in her
Magical Laboratory, where she strove to find a remedy for every evil
and to perfect her skill in magic.

Nevertheless, she did not forget to look in the Great Book of Records
each day to see if any mention was made of the visit of Ozma and
Dorothy to the Enchanted Mountain of the Flatheads and the Magic Isle
of the Skeezers. The Records told her that Ozma had arrived at the
mountain, that she had escaped, with her companion, and gone to the
island of the Skeezers, and that Queen Coo-ee-oh had submerged the
island so that it was entirely under water. Then came the statement
that the Flatheads had come to the lake to poison the fishes and that
their Supreme Dictator had transformed Queen Coo-ee-oh into a swan.

No other details were given in the Great Book and so Glinda did not
know that since Coo-ee-oh had forgotten her magic none of the Skeezers
knew how to raise the island to the surface again. So Glinda was not
worried about Ozma and Dorothy until one morning, while she sat with
her maids, there came a sudden clang of the great alarm bell. This was
so unusual that every maid gave a start and even the Sorceress for a
moment could not think what the alarm meant.

Then she remembered the ring she had given Dorothy when she left the
palace to start on her venture. In giving the ring Glinda had warned
the little girl not to use its magic powers unless she and Ozma were in
real danger, but then she was to turn it on her finger once to the
right and once to the left and Glinda's alarm bell would ring.

So the Sorceress now knew that danger threatened her beloved Ruler and
Princess Dorothy, and she hurried to her magic room to seek information
as to what sort of danger it was. The answer to her question was not
very satisfactory, for it was only: "Ozma and Dorothy are prisoners in
the great Dome of the Isle of the Skeezers, and the Dome is under the
water of the lake."

"Hasn't Ozma the power to raise the island to the surface?" inquired
Glinda.

"No," was the reply, and the Record refused to say more except that
Queen Coo-ee-oh, who alone could command the island to rise, had been
transformed by the Flathead Su-dic into a Diamond Swan.

Then Glinda consulted the past records of the Skeezers in the Great
Book. After diligent search she discovered that Coo-ee-oh was a
powerful sorceress who had gained most of her power by treacherously
transforming the Adepts of Magic, who were visiting her, into three
fishes--gold, silver and bronze--after which she had them cast into the
lake.

Glinda reflected earnestly on this information and decided that someone
must go to Ozma's assistance. While there was no great need of haste,
because Ozma and Dorothy could live in a submerged dome a long time, it
was evident they could not get out until someone was able to raise the
island.

The Sorceress looked through all her recipes and books of sorcery, but
could find no magic that would raise a sunken island. Such a thing had
never before been required in sorcery. Then Glinda made a little
island, covered by a glass dome, and sunk it in a pond near her castle,
and experimented in magical ways to bring it to the surface. She made
several such experiments, but all were failures. It seemed a simple
thing to do, yet she could not do it.

Nevertheless, the wise Sorceress did not despair of finding a way to
liberate her friends. Finally she concluded that the best thing to do
was to go to the Skeezer country and examine the lake. While there she
was more likely to discover a solution to the problem that bothered
her, and to work out a plan for the rescue of Ozma and Dorothy.

So Glinda summoned her storks and her aerial chariot, and telling her
maids she was going on a journey and might not soon return, she entered
the chariot and was carried swiftly to the Emerald City.

In Princess Ozma's palace the Scarecrow was now acting as Ruler of the
Land of Oz. There wasn't much for him to do, because all the affairs of
state moved so smoothly, but he was there in case anything unforeseen
should happen.

Glinda found the Scarecrow playing croquet with Trot and Betsy Bobbin,
two little girls who lived at the palace under Ozma's protection and
were great friends of Dorothy and much loved by all the Oz people.

"Something's happened!" cried Trot, as the chariot of the Sorceress
descended near them. "Glinda never comes here 'cept something's gone
wrong."

"I hope no harm has come to Ozma, or Dorothy," said Betsy anxiously, as
the lovely Sorceress stepped down from her chariot.

Glinda approached the Scarecrow and told him of the dilemma of Ozma and
Dorothy and she added: "We must save them, somehow, Scarecrow."

"Of course," replied the Scarecrow, stumbling over a wicket and falling
flat on his painted face.

The girls picked him up and patted his straw stuffing into shape, and
he continued, as if nothing had occurred: "But you'll have to tell me
what to do, for I never have raised a sunken island in all my life."

"We must have a Council of State as soon as possible," proposed the
Sorceress. "Please send messengers to summon all of Ozma's counsellors
to this palace. Then we can decide what is best to be done."

The Scarecrow lost no time in doing this. Fortunately most of the royal
counsellors were in the Emerald City or near to it, so they all met in
the throne room of the palace that same evening.



Chapter Fourteen

Ozma's Counsellors


No Ruler ever had such a queer assortment of advisers as the Princess
Ozma had gathered about her throne. Indeed, in no other country could
such amazing people exist. But Ozma loved them for their peculiarities
and could trust every one of them.

First there was the Tin Woodman. Every bit of him was tin, brightly
polished. All his joints were kept well oiled and moved smoothly. He
carried a gleaming axe to prove he was a woodman, but seldom had cause
to use it because he lived in a magnificent tin castle in the Winkie
Country of Oz and was the Emperor of all the Winkies. The Tin Woodman's
name was Nick Chopper. He had a very good mind, but his heart was not
of much account, so he was very careful to do nothing unkind or to hurt
anyone's feelings.

Another counsellor was Scraps, the Patchwork Girl of Oz, who was made
of a gaudy patchwork quilt, cut into shape and stuffed with cotton.
This Patchwork Girl was very intelligent, but so full of fun and mad
pranks that a lot of more stupid folks thought she must be crazy.
Scraps was jolly under all conditions, however grave they might be, but
her laughter and good spirits were of value in cheering others and in
her seemingly careless remarks much wisdom could often be found.

Then there was the Shaggy Man--shaggy from head to foot, hair and
whiskers, clothes and shoes--but very kind and gentle and one of Ozma's
most loyal supporters.

Tik-Tok was there, a copper man with machinery inside him, so cleverly
constructed that he moved, spoke and thought by three separate
clock-works. Tik-Tok was very reliable because he always did exactly
what he was wound up to do, but his machinery was liable to run down at
times and then he was quite helpless until wound up again.

A different sort of person was Jack Pumpkinhead, one of Ozma's oldest
friends and her companion on many adventures. Jack's body was very
crude and awkward, being formed of limbs of trees of different sizes,
jointed with wooden pegs. But it was a substantial body and not likely
to break or wear out, and when it was dressed the clothes covered much
of its roughness. The head of Jack Pumpkinhead was, as you have
guessed, a ripe pumpkin, with the eyes, nose and mouth carved upon one
side. The pumpkin was stuck on Jack's wooden neck and was liable to get
turned sidewise or backward and then he would have to straighten it
with his wooden hands.

The worst thing about this sort of a head was that it did not keep well
and was sure to spoil sooner or later. So Jack's main business was to
grow a field of fine pumpkins each year, and always before his old head
spoiled he would select a fresh pumpkin from the field and carve the
features on it very neatly, and have it ready to replace the old head
whenever it became necessary. He didn't always carve it the same way,
so his friends never knew exactly what sort of an expression they would
find on his face. But there was no mistaking him, because he was the
only pumpkin-headed man alive in the Land of Oz.

A one-legged sailor-man was a member of Ozma's council. His name was
Cap'n Bill and he had come to the Land of Oz with Trot, and had been
made welcome on account of his cleverness, honesty and good nature. He
wore a wooden leg to replace the one he had lost and was a great friend
of all the children in Oz because he could whittle all sorts of toys
out of wood with his big jack-knife.

Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T. E., was another member of the council.
The "H. M." meant Highly Magnified, for the Professor was once a little
bug, who became magnified to the size of a man and always remained so.
The "T. E." meant that he was Thoroughly Educated. He was at the head
of Princess Ozma's Royal Athletic College, and so that the students
would not have to study and so lose much time that could be devoted to
athletic sports, such as football, baseball and the like, Professor
Wogglebug had invented the famous Educational Pills. If one of the
college students took a Geography Pill after breakfast, he knew his
geography lesson in an instant; if he took a Spelling Pill he at once
knew his spelling lesson, and an Arithmetic Pill enabled the student to
do any kind of sum without having to think about it.

These useful pills made the college very popular and taught the boys
and girls of Oz their lessons in the easiest possible way. In spite of
this, Professor Wogglebug was not a favorite outside his college, for
he was very conceited and admired himself so much and displayed his
cleverness and learning so constantly, that no one cared to associate
with him. Ozma found him of value in her councils, nevertheless.

Perhaps the most splendidly dressed of all those present was a great
frog as large as a man, called the Frogman, who was noted for his wise
sayings. He had come to the Emerald City from the Yip Country of Oz and
was a guest of honor. His long-tailed coat was of velvet, his vest of
satin and his trousers of finest silk. There were diamond buckles on
his shoes and he carried a gold-headed cane and a high silk hat. All of
the bright colors were represented in his rich attire, so it tired
one's eyes to look at him for long, until one became used to his
splendor.

The best farmer in all Oz was Uncle Henry, who was Dorothy's own uncle,
and who now lived near the Emerald City with his wife Aunt Em. Uncle
Henry taught the Oz people how to grow the finest vegetables and fruits
and grains and was of much use to Ozma in keeping the Royal Storehouses
well filled. He, too, was a counsellor.

The reason I mention the little Wizard of Oz last is because he was the
most important man in the Land of Oz. He wasn't a big man in size but
he was a man in power and intelligence and second only to Glinda the
Good in all the mystic arts of magic. Glinda had taught him, and the
Wizard and the Sorceress were the only ones in Oz permitted by law to
practice wizardry and sorcery, which they applied only to good uses and
for the benefit of the people.

The Wizard wasn't exactly handsome but he was pleasant to look at. His
bald head was as shiny as if it had been varnished; there was always a
merry twinkle in his eyes and he was as spry as a schoolboy.  Dorothy
says the reason the Wizard is not as powerful as Glinda is because
Glinda didn't teach him all she knows, but what the Wizard knows he
knows very well and so he performs some very remarkable magic. The ten
I have mentioned assembled, with the Scarecrow and Glinda, in Ozma's
throne room, right after dinner that evening, and the Sorceress told
them all she knew of the plight of Ozma and Dorothy.

"Of course we must rescue them," she continued, "and the sooner they
are rescued the better pleased they will be; but what we must now
determine is how they can be saved. That is why I have called you
together in council."

"The easiest way," remarked the Shaggy Man, "is to raise the sunken
island of the Skeezers to the top of the water again."

"Tell me how?" said Glinda.

"I don't know how, your Highness, for I have never raised a sunken
island."

"We might all get under it and lift," suggested Professor Wogglebug.

"How can we get under it when it rests on the bottom of the lake?"
asked the Sorceress.

"Couldn't we throw a rope around it and pull it ashore?" inquired Jack
Pumpkinhead.

"Why not pump the water out of the lake?" suggested the Patchwork Girl
with a laugh.

"Do be sensible!" pleaded Glinda. "This is a serious matter, and we
must give it serious thought."

"How big is the lake and how big is the island?" was the Frogman's
question.

"None of us can tell, for we have not been there."

"In that case," said the Scarecrow, "it appears to me we ought to go to
the Skeezer country and examine it carefully."

"Quite right," agreed the Tin Woodman.

"We-will-have-to-go-there-any-how," remarked Tik-Tok in his jerky
machine voice.

"The question is which of us shall go, and how many of us?" said the
Wizard.

"I shall go of course," declared the Scarecrow.

"And I," said Scraps.

"It is my duty to Ozma to go," asserted the Tin Woodman.

"I could not stay away, knowing our loved Princess is in danger," said
the Wizard.

"We all feel like that," Uncle Henry said.

Finally one and all present decided to go to the Skeezer country, with
Glinda and the little Wizard to lead them. Magic must meet magic in
order to conquer it, so these two skillful magic-workers were necessary
to insure the success of the expedition.

They were all ready to start at a moment's notice, for none had any
affairs of importance to attend to. Jack was wearing a newly made
Pumpkin-head and the Scarecrow had recently been stuffed with fresh
straw. Tik-Tok's machinery was in good running order and the Tin
Woodman always was well oiled.

"It is quite a long journey," said Glinda, "and while I might travel
quickly to the Skeezer country by means of my stork chariot the rest of
you will be obliged to walk. So, as we must keep together, I will send
my chariot back to my castle and we will plan to leave the Emerald City
at sunrise to-morrow."



Chapter Fifteen

The Great Sorceress


Betsy and Trot, when they heard of the rescue expedition, begged the
Wizard to permit them to join it and he consented. The Glass Cat,
overhearing the conversation, wanted to go also and to this the Wizard
made no objection.

This Glass Cat was one of the real curiosities of Oz. It had been made
and brought to life by a clever magician named Dr. Pipt, who was not
now permitted to work magic and was an ordinary citizen of the Emerald
City. The cat was of transparent glass, through which one could plainly
see its ruby heart beating and its pink brains whirling around in the
top of the head.

The Glass Cat's eyes were emeralds; its fluffy tail was of spun glass
and very beautiful. The ruby heart, while pretty to look at, was hard
and cold and the Glass Cat's disposition was not pleasant at all times.
It scorned to catch mice, did not eat, and was extremely lazy. If you
complimented the remarkable cat on her beauty, she would be very
friendly, for she loved admiration above everything. The pink brains
were always working and their owner was indeed more intelligent than
most common cats.

Three other additions to the rescue party were made the next morning,
just as they were setting out upon their journey. The first was a
little boy called Button Bright, because he had no other name that
anyone could remember. He was a fine, manly little fellow, well
mannered and good humored, who had only one bad fault. He was
continually getting lost. To be sure, Button Bright got found as often
as he got lost, but when he was missing his friends could not help
being anxious about him.

"Some day," predicted the Patchwork Girl, "he won't be found, and that
will be the last of him." But that didn't worry Button Bright, who was
so careless that he did not seem to be able to break the habit of
getting lost.

The second addition to the party was a Munchkin boy of about Button
Bright's age, named Ojo. He was often called "Ojo the Lucky," because
good fortune followed him wherever he went. He and Button Bright were
close friends, although of such different natures, and Trot and Betsy
were fond of both.

The third and last to join the expedition was an enormous lion, one of
Ozma's regular guardians and the most important and intelligent beast
in all Oz. He called himself the Cowardly Lion, saying that every
little danger scared him so badly that his heart thumped against his
ribs, but all who knew him knew that the Cowardly Lion's fears were
coupled with bravery and that however much he might be frightened he
summoned courage to meet every danger he encountered. Often he had
saved Dorothy and Ozma in times of peril, but afterward he moaned and
trembled and wept because he had been so scared.

"If Ozma needs help, I'm going to help her," said the great beast.
"Also, I suspect the rest of you may need me on the journey--especially
Trot and Betsy--for you may pass through a dangerous part of the
country. I know that wild Gillikin country pretty well. Its forests
harbor many ferocious beasts."

They were glad the Cowardly Lion was to join them, and in good spirits
the entire party formed a procession and marched out of the Emerald
City amid the shouts of the people, who wished them success and a safe
return with their beloved Ruler.

They followed a different route from that taken by Ozma and Dorothy,
for they went through the Winkie Country and up north toward Oogaboo.
But before they got there they swerved to the left and entered the
Great Gillikin Forest, the nearest thing to a wilderness in all Oz.
Even the Cowardly Lion had to admit that certain parts of this forest
were unknown to him, although he had often wandered among the trees,
and the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, who were great travelers, never had
been there at all.

The forest was only reached after a tedious tramp, for some of the
Rescue Expedition were quite awkward on their feet. The Patchwork Girl
was as light as a feather and very spry; the Tin Woodman covered the
ground as easily as Uncle Henry and the Wizard; but Tik-Tok moved
slowly and the slightest obstruction in the road would halt him until
the others cleared it away. Then, too, Tik-Tok's machinery kept running
down, so Betsy and Trot took turns in winding it up.

The Scarecrow was more clumsy but less bother, for although he often
stumbled and fell he could scramble up again and a little patting of
his straw-stuffed body would put him in good shape again.

Another awkward one was Jack Pumpkinhead, for walking would jar his
head around on his neck and then he would be likely to go in the wrong
direction. But the Frogman took Jack's arm and then he followed the
path more easily.

Cap'n Bill's wooden leg didn't prevent him from keeping up with the
others and the old sailor could walk as far as any of them.

When they entered the forest the Cowardly Lion took the lead. There was
no path here for men, but many beasts had made paths of their own which
only the eyes of the Lion, practiced in woodcraft, could discern. So he
stalked ahead and wound his way in and out, the others following in
single file, Glinda being next to the Lion.

There are dangers in the forest, of course, but as the huge Lion headed
the party he kept the wild denizens of the wilderness from bothering
the travelers. Once, to be sure, an enormous leopard sprang upon the
Glass Cat and caught her in his powerful jaws, but he broke several of
his teeth and with howls of pain and dismay dropped his prey and
vanished among the trees.

"Are you hurt?" Trot anxiously inquired of the Glass Cat.

"How silly!" exclaimed the creature in an irritated tone of voice;
"nothing can hurt glass, and I'm too solid to break easily. But I'm
annoyed at that leopard's impudence. He has no respect for beauty or
intelligence. If he had noticed my pink brains work, I'm sure he would
have realized I'm too important to be grabbed in a wild beast's jaws."

"Never mind," said Trot consolingly; "I'm sure he won't do it again."

They were almost in the center of the forest when Ojo, the Munchkin
boy, suddenly said: "Why, where's Button Bright?"

They halted and looked around them. Button Bright was not with the
party.

"Dear me," remarked Betsy, "I expect he's lost again!"

"When did you see him last, Ojo?" inquired Glinda.

"It was some time ago," replied Ojo. "He was trailing along at the end
and throwing twigs at the squirrels in the trees. Then I went to talk
to Betsy and Trot, and just now I noticed he was gone."

"This is too bad," declared the Wizard, "for it is sure to delay our
journey. We must find Button Bright before we go any farther, for this
forest is full of ferocious beasts that would not hesitate to tear the
boy to pieces."

"But what shall we do?" asked the Scarecrow. "If any of us leaves the
party to search for Button Bright he or she might fall a victim to the
beasts, and if the Lion leaves us we will have no protector.

"The Glass Cat could go," suggested the Frogman. "The beasts can do her
no harm, as we have discovered."

The Wizard turned to Glinda.

"Cannot your sorcery discover where Button Bright is?" he asked.

"I think so," replied the Sorceress.

She called to Uncle Henry, who had been carrying her wicker box, to
bring it to her, and when he obeyed she opened it and drew out a small
round mirror. On the surface of the glass she dusted a white powder and
then wiped it away with her handkerchief and looked in the mirror. It
reflected a part of the forest, and there, beneath a wide-spreading
tree, Button Bright was lying asleep. On one side of him crouched a
tiger, ready to spring; on the other side was a big gray wolf, its
bared fangs glistening in a wicked way.

"Goodness me!" cried Trot, looking over Glinda's shoulder. "They'll
catch and kill him sure."

Everyone crowded around for a glimpse at the magic mirror.

"Pretty bad--pretty bad!" said the Scarecrow sorrowfully.

"Comes of getting lost!" said Cap'n Bill, sighing.

"Guess he's a goner!" said the Frogman, wiping his eyes on his purple
silk handkerchief.

"But where is he?  Can't we save him?" asked Ojo the Lucky.

"If we knew where he is we could probably save him," replied the little
Wizard, "but that tree looks so much like all the other trees, that we
can't tell whether it's far away or near by."

"Look at Glinda!" exclaimed Betsy

Glinda, having handed the mirror to the Wizard, had stepped aside and
was making strange passes with her outstretched arms and reciting in
low, sweet tones a mystical incantation. Most of them watched the
Sorceress with anxious eyes, despair giving way to the hope that she
might be able to save their friend. The Wizard, however, watched the
scene in the mirror, while over his shoulders peered Trot, the
Scarecrow and the Shaggy Man.

What they saw was more strange than Glinda's actions. The tiger started
to spring on the sleeping boy, but suddenly lost its power to move and
lay flat upon the ground. The gray wolf seemed unable to lift its feet
from the ground. It pulled first at one leg and then at another, and
finding itself strangely confined to the spot began to back and snarl
angrily. They couldn't hear the barkings and snarls, but they could see
the creature's mouth open and its thick lips move. Button Bright,
however, being but a few feet away from the wolf, heard its cries of
rage, which wakened him from his untroubled sleep. The boy sat up and
looked first at the tiger and then at the wolf. His face showed that
for a moment he was quite frightened, but he soon saw that the beasts
were unable to approach him and so he got upon his feet and examined
them curiously, with a mischievous smile upon his face. Then he
deliberately kicked the tiger's head with his foot and catching up a
fallen branch of a tree he went to the wolf and gave it a good
whacking. Both the beasts were furious at such treatment but could not
resent it.

Button Bright now threw down the stick and with his hands in his
pockets wandered carelessly away.

"Now," said Glinda, "let the Glass Cat run and find him. He is in that
direction," pointing the way, "but how far off I do not know. Make
haste and lead him back to us as quickly as you can."

The Glass Cat did not obey everyone's orders, but she really feared the
great Sorceress, so as soon as the words were spoken the crystal animal
darted away and was quickly lost to sight.

The Wizard handed the mirror back to Glinda, for the woodland scene had
now faded from the glass. Then those who cared to rest sat down to
await Button Bright's coming. It was not long before hye appeared
through the trees and as he rejoined his friends he said in a peevish
tone:

"Don't ever send that Glass Cat to find me again. She was very impolite
and, if we didn't all know that she had no manners, I'd say she
insulted me."

Glinda turned upon the boy sternly.

"You have caused all of us much anxiety and annoyance," said she. "Only
my magic saved you from destruction. I forbid you to get lost again."

"Of course," he answered. "It won't be my fault if I get lost again;
but it wasn't my fault this time."



Chapter Sixteen

The Enchanted Fishes


I must now tell you what happened to Ervic and the three other Skeezers
who were left floating in the iron boat after Queen Coo-ee-oh had been
transformed into a Diamond Swan by the magic of the Flathead Su-dic.

The four Skeezers were all young men and their leader was Ervic.
Coo-ee-oh had taken them with her in the boat to assist her if she
captured the Flathead chief, as she hoped to do by means of her silver
rope. They knew nothing about the witchcraft that moved the submarine
and so, when left floating upon the lake, were at a loss what to do.
The submarine could not be submerged by them or made to return to the
sunken island. There were neither oars nor sails in the boat, which was
not anchored but drifted quietly upon the surface of the lake.

The Diamond Swan had no further thought or care for her people. She had
sailed over to the other side of the lake and all the calls and
pleadings of Ervic and his companions were unheeded by the vain bird.
As there was nothing else for them to do, they sat quietly in their
boat and waited as patiently as they could for someone to come to their
aid.

The Flatheads had refused to help them and had gone back to their
mountain. All the Skeezers were imprisoned in the Great Dome and could
not help even themselves. When evening came, they saw the Diamond Swan,
still keeping to the opposite shore of the lake, walk out of the water
to the sands, shake her diamond-sprinkled feathers, and then disappear
among the bushes to seek a resting place for the night.

"I'm hungry," said Ervic.

"I'm cold," said another Skeezer.

"I'm tired," said a third.

"I'm afraid," said the last one of them.

But it did them no good to complain. Night fell and the moon rose and
cast a silvery sheen over the surface of the water.

"Go to sleep," said Ervic to his companions. "I'll stay awake and
watch, for we may be rescued in some unexpected way."

So the other three laid themselves down in the bottom of the boat and
were soon fast asleep.

Ervic watched. He rested himself by leaning over the bow of the boat,
his face near to the moonlit water, and thought dreamily of the day's
surprising events and wondered what would happen to the prisoners in
the Great Dome.

Suddenly a tiny goldfish popped its head above the surface of the lake,
not more than a foot from his eyes. A silverfish then raised its head
beside that of the goldfish, and a moment later a bronzefish lifted its
head beside the others. The three fish, all in a row, looked earnestly
with their round, bright eyes into the astonished eyes of Ervic the
Skeezer.

"We are the three Adepts whom Queen Coo-ee-oh betrayed and wickedly
transformed," said the goldfish, its voice low and soft but distinctly
heard in the stillness of the night.

"I know of our Queen's treacherous deed," replied Ervic, "and I am
sorry for your misfortune. Have you been in the lake ever since?"

"Yes," was the reply.

"I--I hope you are well--and comfortable," stammered Ervic, not knowing
what else to say.

"We knew that some day Coo-ee-oh would meet with the fate she so richly
deserves," declared the bronzefish. "We have waited and watched for
this time. Now if you will promise to help us and will be faithful and
true, you can aid us in regaining our natural forms, and save yourself
and all your people from the dangers that now threaten you."

"Well," said Ervic, "you can depend on my doing the best I can. But I'm
no witch, nor magician, you must know."

"All we ask is that you obey our instructions," returned the
silverfish. "We know that you are honest and that you served Coo-ee-oh
only because you were obliged to in order to escape her anger. Do as we
command and all will be well."

"I promise!" exclaimed the young man. "Tell me what I am to do first."

"You will find in the bottom of your boat the silver cord which dropped
from Coo-ee-oh's hand when she was transformed," said the goldfish.
"Tie one end of that cord to the bow of your boat and drop the other
end to us in the water. Together we will pull your boat to the shore."

Ervic much doubted that the three small fishes could move so heavy a
boat, but he did as he was told and the fishes all seized their end of
the silver cord in their mouths and headed toward the nearest shore,
which was the very place where the Flatheads had stood when they
conquered Queen Coo-ee-oh.

At first the boat did not move at all, although the fishes pulled with
all their strength. But presently the strain began to tell. Very slowly
the boat crept toward the shore, gaining more speed at every moment. A
couple of yards away from the sandy beach the fishes dropped the cord
from their mouths and swam to one side, while the iron boat, being now
under way, continued to move until its prow grated upon the sands.

Ervic leaned over the side and said to the fishes: "What next?"

"You will find upon the sand," said the silverfish, "a copper kettle,
which the Su-dic forgot when he went away. Cleanse it thoroughly in the
water of the lake, for it has had poison in it. When it is cleaned,
fill it with fresh water and hold it over the side of the boat, so that
we three may swim into the kettle. We will then instruct you further."

"Do you wish me to catch you, then?" asked Ervic in surprise.

"Yes," was the reply.

So Ervic jumped out of the boat and found the copper kettle. Carrying
it a little way down the beach, he washed it well, scrubbing away every
drop of the poison it had contained with sand from the shore.

Then he went back to the boat.

Ervic's comrades were still sound asleep and knew nothing of the three
fishes or what strange happenings were taking place about them. Ervic
dipped the kettle in the lake, holding fast to the handle until it was
under water. The gold and silver and bronze fishes promptly swam into
the kettle. The young Skeezer then lifted it, poured out a little of
the water so it would not spill over the edge, and said to the fishes:
"What next?"

"Carry the kettle to the shore. Take one hundred steps to the east,
along the edge of the lake, and then you will see a path leading
through the meadows, up hill and down dale. Follow the path until you
come to a cottage which is painted a purple color with white trimmings.
When you stop at the gate of this cottage we will tell you what to do
next. Be careful, above all, not to stumble and spill the water from
the kettle, or you would destroy us and all you have done would be in
vain."

The goldfish issued these commands and Ervic promised to be careful and
started to obey. He left his sleeping comrades in the boat, stepping
cautiously over their bodies, and on reaching the shore took exactly
one hundred steps to the east. Then he looked for the path and the
moonlight was so bright that he easily discovered it, although it was
hidden from view by tall weeds until one came full upon it. This path
was very narrow and did not seem to be much used, but it was quite
distinct and Ervic had no difficulty in following it. He walked through
a broad meadow, covered with tall grass and weeds, up a hill and down
into a valley and then up another hill and down again.

It seemed to Ervic that he had walked miles and miles. Indeed the moon
sank low and day was beginning to dawn when finally he discovered by
the roadside a pretty little cottage, painted purple with white
trimmings. It was a lonely place--no other buildings were anywhere
about and the ground was not tilled at all. No farmer lived here, that
was certain. Who would care to dwell in such an isolated place?

But Ervic did not bother his head long with such questions. He went up
to the gate that led to the cottage, set the copper kettle carefully
down and bending over it asked:

"What next?"



Chapter Seventeen

Under the Great Dome


When Glinda the Good and her followers of the Rescue Expedition came in
sight of the Enchanted Mountain of the Flatheads, it was away to the
left of them, for the route they had taken through the Great Forest was
some distance from that followed by Ozma and Dorothy.

They halted awhile to decide whether they should call upon the Supreme
Dictator first, or go on to the Lake of the Skeezers.

"If we go to the mountain," said the Wizard, "we may get into trouble
with that wicked Su-dic, and then we would be delayed in rescuing Ozma
and Dorothy. So I think our best plan will be to go to the Skeezer
Country, raise the sunken island and save our friends and the
imprisoned Skeezers. Afterward we can visit the mountain and punish the
cruel magician of the Flatheads."

"That is sensible," approved the Shaggy Man. "I quite agree with you."

The others, too, seemed to think the Wizard's plan the best, and Glinda
herself commended it, so on they marched toward the line of palm trees
that hid the Skeezers' lake from view.

Pretty soon they came to the palms. These were set closely together,
the branches, which came quite to the ground, being so tightly
interlaced that even the Glass Cat could scarcely find a place to
squeeze through. The path which the Flatheads used was some distance
away.

"Here's a job for the Tin Woodman," said the Scarecrow.

So the Tin Woodman, who was always glad to be of use, set to work with
his sharp, gleaming axe, which he always carried, and in a surprisingly
short time had chopped away enough branches to permit them all to pass
easily through the trees.

Now the clear waters of the beautiful lake were before them and by
looking closely they could see the outlines of the Great Dome of the
sunken island, far from shore and directly in the center of the lake.

Of course every eye was at first fixed upon this dome, where Ozma and
Dorothy and the Skeezers were still fast prisoners. But soon their
attention was caught by a more brilliant sight, for here was the
Diamond Swan swimming just before them, its long neck arched proudly,
the amethyst eyes gleaming and all the diamond-sprinkled feathers
glistening splendidly under the rays of the sun.

"That," said Glinda, "is the transformation of Queen Coo-ce-oh, the
haughty and wicked witch who betrayed the three Adepts at Magic and
treated her people like slaves."

"She's wonderfully beautiful now," remarked the Frogman.

"It doesn't seem like much of a punishment," said Trot. "The Flathead
Su-dic ought to have made her a toad."

"I am sure Coo-ee-oh is punished," said Glinda, "for she has lost all
her magic power and her grand palace and can no longer misrule the poor
Skeezers."

"Let us call to her, and hear what she has to say," proposed the Wizard.

So Glinda beckoned the Diamond Swan, which swam gracefully to a
position near them. Before anyone could speak Coo-ee-oh called to them
in a rasping voice--for the voice of a swan is always harsh and
unpleasant--and said with much pride:

"Admire me, Strangers!  Admire the lovely Coo-ee-oh, the handsomest
creature in all Oz. Admire me!"

"Handsome is as handsome does," replied the Scarecrow. "Are your deeds
lovely, Coo-ce-oh?"

"Deeds?  What deeds can a swan do but swim around and give pleasure to
all beholders?" said the sparkling bird.

"Have you forgotten your former life? Have you forgotten your magic and
witchcraft?" inquired the Wizard.

"Magic--witchcraft? Pshaw, who cares for such silly things?" retorted
Coo-ee-oh. "As for my past life, it seems like an unpleasant dream. I
wouldn't go back to it if I could. Don't you admire my beauty,
Strangers?"

"Tell us, Coo-ee-oh," said Glinda earnestly, "if you can recall enough
of your witchcraft to enable us to raise the sunken island to the
surface of the lake. Tell us that and I'll give you a string of pearls
to wear around your neck and add to your beauty."

"Nothing can add to my beauty, for I'm the most beautiful creature
anywhere in the whole world."

"But how can we raise the island?"

"I don't know and I don't care. If ever I knew I've forgotten, and I'm
glad of it," was the response. "Just watch me circle around and see me
glitter!

"It's no use," said Button Bright; "the old Swan is too much in love
with herself to think of anything else."

"That's a fact," agreed Betsy with a sigh; "but we've got to get Ozma
and Dorothy out of that lake, somehow or other."

"And we must do it in our own way," added the Scarecrow.

"But how?" asked Uncle Henry in a grave voice, for he could not bear to
think of his dear niece Dorothy being out there under water; "how shall
we do it?"

"Leave that to Glinda," advised the Wizard, realizing he was helpless
to do it himself.

"If it were just an ordinary sunken island," said the powerful
sorceress, "there would be several ways by which I might bring it to
the surface again. But this is a Magic Isle, and by some curious art of
witchcraft, unknown to any but Queen Coo-ce-oh, it obeys certain
commands of magic and will not respond to any other. I do not despair
in the least, but it will require some deep study to solve this
difficult problem. If the Swan could only remember the witchcraft that
she invented and knew as a woman, I could force her to tell me the
secret, but all her former knowledge is now forgotten."

"It seems to me," said the Wizard after a brief silence had followed
Glinda's speech, "that there are three fishes in this lake that used to
be Adepts at Magic and from whom Coo-ee-oh stole much of her knowledge.
If we could find those fishes and return them to their former shapes,
they could doubtless tell us what to do to bring the sunken island to
the surface."

"I have thought of those fishes," replied Glinda, "but among so many
fishes as this lake contains how are we to single them out?"

You will understand, of course, that had Glinda been at home in her
castle, where the Great Book of Records was, she would have known that
Ervic the Skeezer already had taken the gold and silver and bronze
fishes from the lake. But that act had been recorded in the Book after
Glinda had set out on this journey, so it was all unknown to her.

"I think I see a boat yonder on the shore," said Ojo the Munchkin boy,
pointing to a place around the edge of the lake. "If we could get that
boat and row all over the lake, calling to the magic fishes, we might
be able to find them."

"Let us go to the boat," said the Wizard.

They walked around the lake to where the boat was stranded upon the
beach, but found it empty. It was a mere shell of blackened steel, with
a collapsible roof that, when in position, made the submarine
watertight, but at present the roof rested in slots on either side of
the magic craft. There were no oars or sails, no machinery to make the
boat go, and although Glinda promptly realized it was meant to be
operated by witchcraft, she was not acquainted with that sort of magic.

"However," said she, "the boat is merely a boat, and I believe I can
make it obey a command of sorcery, as well as it did the command of
witchcraft. After I have given a little thought to the matter, the boat
will take us wherever we desire to go."

"Not all of us," returned the Wizard, "for it won't hold so many. But,
most noble Sorceress, provided you can make the boat go, of what use
will it be to us?"

"Can't we use it to catch the three fishes?" asked Button Bright.

"It will not be necessary to use the boat for that purpose," replied
Glinda. "Wherever in the lake the enchanted fishes may be, they will
answer to my call. What I am trying to discover is how the boat came to
be on this shore, while the island on which it belongs is under water
yonder. Did Coo-ee-oh come here in the boat to meet the Flatheads
before the island was sunk, or afterward?"

No one could answer that question, of course; but while they pondered
the matter three young men advanced from the line of trees, and rather
timidly bowed to the strangers.

"Who are you, and where did you come from?" inquired the Wizard.

"We are Skeezers," answered one of them, "and our home is on the Magic
Isle of the Lake. We ran away when we saw you coming, and hid behind
the trees, but as you are Strangers and seem to be friendly we decided
to meet you, for we are in great trouble and need assistance."

"If you belong on the island, why are you here?" demanded Glinda.

So they told her all the story: How the Queen had defied the Flatheads
and submerged the whole island so that her enemies could not get to it
or destroy it; how, when the Flatheads came to the shore, Coo-ee-oh had
commanded them, together with their friend Ervic, to go with her in the
submarine to conquer the Su-dic, and how the boat had shot out from the
basement of the sunken isle, obeying a magic word, and risen to the
surface, where it opened and floated upon the water.

Then followed the account of how the Su-dic had transformed Coo-ee-oh
into a swan, after which she had forgotten all the witchcraft she ever
knew. The young men told how, in the night when they were asleep, their
comrade Ervic had mysteriously disappeared, while the boat in some
strange manner had floated to the shore and stranded upon the beach.

That was all they knew. They had searched in vain for three days for
Ervic. As their island was under water and they could not get back to
it, the three Skeezers had no place to go, and so had waited patiently
beside their boat for something to happen.

Being questioned by Glinda and the Wizard, they told all they knew
about Ozma and Dorothy and declared the two girls were still in the
village under the Great Dome. They were quite safe and would be well
cared for by Lady Aurex, now that the Queen who opposed them was out of
the way.

When they had gleaned all the information they could from these
Skeezers, the Wizard said to Glinda:

"If you find you can make this boat obey your sorcery, you could have
it return to the island, submerge itself, and enter the door in the
basement from which it came. But I cannot see that our going to the
sunken island would enable our friends to escape. We would only Join
them as prisoners."

"Not so, friend Wizard," replied Glinda. "If the boat would obey my
commands to enter the basement door, it would also obey my commands to
come out again, and I could bring Ozma and Dorothy back with me."

"And leave all of our people still imprisoned?" asked one of the
Skeezers reproachfully.

"By making several trips in the boat, Glinda could fetch all your
people to the shore," replied the Wizard.

"But what could they do then?" inquired another Skeezer. "They would
have no homes and no place to go, and would be at the mercy of their
enemies, the Flatheads."

"That is true," said Glinda the Good. "And as these people are Ozma's
subjects, I think she would refuse to escape with Dorothy and leave the
others behind, or to abandon the island which is the lawful home of the
Skeezers. I believe the best plan will be to summon the three fishes
and learn from them how to raise the island."

The little Wizard seemed to think that this was rather a forlorn hope.

"How will you summon them," he asked the lovely Sorceress, "and how can
they hear you?"

"That is something we must consider carefully," responded stately
Glinda, with a serene smile.  "I think I can find a way."

All of Ozma's counsellors applauded this sentiment, for they knew well
the powers of the Sorceress.

"Very well," agreed the Wizard. "Summon them, most noble Glinda."



Chapter Eighteen

The Cleverness of Ervic


We must now return to Ervic the Skeezer, who, when he had set down the
copper kettle containing the three fishes at the gate of the lonely
cottage, had asked, "What next?"

The goldfish stuck its head above the water in the kettle and said in
its small but distinct voice:

"You are to lift the latch, open the door, and walk boldly into the
cottage. Do not be afraid of anything you see, for however you seem to
be threatened with dangers, nothing can harm you. The cottage is the
home of a powerful Yookoohoo, named Reera the Red, who assumes all
sorts of forms, sometimes changing her form several times in a day,
according to her fancy. What her real form may be we do not know. This
strange creature cannot be bribed with treasure, or coaxed through
friendship, or won by pity. She has never assisted anyone, or done
wrong to anyone, that we know of. All her wonderful powers are used for
her own selfish amusement. She will order you out of the house but you
must refuse to go. Remain and watch Reera closely and try to see what
she uses to accomplish her transformations. If you can discover the
secret whisper it to us and we will then tell you what to do next."

"That sounds easy," returned Ervic, who had listened carefully. "But
are you sure she will not hurt me, or try to transform me?"

"She may change your form," replied the goldfish, "but do not worry if
that happens, for we can break that enchantment easily. You may be sure
that nothing will harm you, so you must not be frightened at anything
you see or hear."

Now Ervic was as brave as any ordinary young man, and he knew the
fishes who spoke to him were truthful and to be relied upon,
nevertheless he experienced a strange sinking of the heart as he picked
up the kettle and approached the door of the cottage. His hand trembled
as he raised the latch, but he was resolved to obey his instructions.
He pushed the door open, took three strides into the middle of the one
room the cottage contained, and then stood still and looked around him.

The sights that met his gaze were enough to frighten anyone who had not
been properly warned. On the floor just before Ervic lay a great
crocodile, its red eyes gleaming wickedly and its wide open mouth
displaying rows of sharp teeth. Horned toads hopped about; each of the
four upper corners of the room was festooned with a thick cobweb, in
the center of which sat a spider as big around as a washbasin, and
armed with pincher-like claws; a red-and-green lizard was stretched at
full length on the window-sill and black rats darted in and out of the
holes they had gnawed in the floor of the cottage.

But the most startling thing was a huge gray ape which sat upon a bench
and knitted. It wore a lace cap, such as old ladies wear, and a little
apron of lace, but no other clothing. Its eyes were bright and looked
as if coals were burning in them. The ape moved as naturally as an
ordinary person might, and on Ervic's entrance stopped knitting and
raised its head to look at him.

"Get out!" cried a sharp voice, seeming to come from the ape's mouth.

Ervic saw another bench, empty, just beyond him, so he stepped over the
crocodile, sat down upon the bench and carefully placed the kettle
beside him.

"Get out!" again cried the voice.

Ervic shook his head.

"No," said he, "I'm going to stay."

The spiders left their four corners, dropped to the floor and made a
rush toward the young Skeezer, circling around his legs with their
pinchers extended. Ervic paid no attention to them. An enormous black
rat ran up Ervic's body, passed around his shoulders and uttered
piercing squeals in his ears, but he did not wince. The green-and-red
lizard, coming from the window-sill, approached Ervic and began
spitting a flaming fluid at him, but Ervic merely stared at the
creature and its flame did not touch him.

The crocodile raised its tail and, swinging around, swept Ervic off the
bench with a powerful blow. But the Skeezer managed to save the kettle
from upsetting and he got up, shook off the horned toads that were
crawling over him and resumed his seat on the bench.

All the creatures, after this first attack, remained motionless, as if
awaiting orders. The old gray ape knitted on, not looking toward Ervic
now, and the young Skeezer stolidly kept his seat. He expected
something else to happen, but nothing did. A full hour passed and Ervic
was growing nervous.

"What do you want?" the ape asked at last.

"Nothing," said Ervic.

"You may have that!" retorted the ape, and at this all the strange
creatures in the room broke into a chorus of cackling laughter.

Another long wait.

"Do you know who I am?" questioned the ape.

"You must be Reera the Red--the Yookoohoo," Ervic answered.

"Knowing so much, you must also know that I do not like strangers. Your
presence here in my home annoys me. Do you not fear my anger?"

"No," said the young man.

"Do you intend to obey me, and leave this house?" "No," replied Ervic,
just as quietly as the Yookoohoo had spoken.

The ape knitted for a long time before resuming the conversation.

"Curiosity," it said, "has led to many a man's undoing. I suppose in
some way you have learned that I do tricks of magic, and so through
curiosity you have come here. You may have been told that I do not
injure anyone, so you are bold enough to disobey my commands to go
away. You imagine that you may witness some of the rites of witchcraft,
and that they may amuse you. Have I spoken truly?"

"Well," remarked Ervic, who had been pondering on the strange
circumstances of his coming here, "you are right in some ways, but not
in others. I am told that you work magic only for your own amusement.
That seems to me very selfish. Few people understand magic. I'm told
that you are the only real Yookoohoo in all Oz. Why don't you amuse
others as well as yourself?"

"What right have you to question my actions?"

"None at all."

"And you say you are not here to demand any favors of me?"

"For myself I want nothing from you."

"You are wise in that. I never grant favors."

"That doesn't worry me," declared Ervic.

"But you are curious? You hope to witness some of my magic
transformations?"

"If you wish to perform any magic, go ahead," said Ervic. "It may
interest me and it may not. If you'd rather go on with your knitting,
it's all the same to me. I am in no hurry at all."

This may have puzzled Red Reera, but the face beneath the lace cap
could show no expression, being covered with hair. Perhaps in all her
career the Yookoohoo had never been visited by anyone who, like this
young man, asked for nothing, expected nothing, and had no reason for
coming except curiosity. This attitude practically disarmed the witch
and she began to regard the Skeezer in a more friendly way. She knitted
for some time, seemingly in deep thought, and then she arose and walked
to a big cupboard that stood against the wall of the room. When the
cupboard door was opened Ervic could see a lot of drawers inside, and
into one of these drawers--the second from the bottom--Reera thrust a
hairy hand.

Until now Ervic could see over the bent form of the ape, but suddenly
the form, with its back to him, seemed to straighten up and blot out
the cupboard of drawers. The ape had changed to the form of a woman,
dressed in the pretty Gillikin costume, and when she turned around he
saw that it was a young woman, whose face was quite attractive.

"Do you like me better this way?" Reera inquired with a smile.

"You look better," he said calmly, "but I'm not sure I like you any
better."

She laughed, saying: "During the heat of the day I like to be an ape,
for an ape doesn't wear any clothes to speak of. But if one has
gentlemen callers it is proper to dress up."

Ervic noticed her right hand was closed, as if she held something in
it. She shut the cupboard door, bent over the crocodile and in a moment
the creature had changed to a red wolf. It was not pretty even now, and
the wolf crouched beside its mistress as a dog might have done. Its
teeth looked as dangerous as had those of the crocodile.

Next the Yookoohoo went about touching all the lizards and toads, and
at her touch they became kittens. The rats she changed into chipmunks.
Now the only horrid creatures remaining were the four great spiders,
which hid themselves behind their thick webs.

"There!" Reera cried, "now my cottage presents a more comfortable
appearance. I love the toads and lizards and rats, because most people
hate them, but I would tire of them if they always remained the same.
Sometimes I change their forms a dozen times a day."

"You are clever," said Ervic. "I did not hear you utter any
incantations or magic words. All you did was to touch the creatures."

"Oh, do you think so?" she replied. "Well, touch them yourself, if you
like, and see if you can change their forms."

"No," said the Skeezer, "I don't understand magic and if I did I would
not try to imitate your skill. You are a wonderful Yookoohoo, while I
am only a common Skeezer."

This confession seemed to please Reera, who liked to have her
witchcraft appreciated.

"Will you go away now?" she asked. "I prefer to be alone."

"I prefer to stay here," said Ervic.

"In another person's home, where you are not wanted?"

"Yes."

"Is not your curiosity yet satisfied?" demanded Reera, with a smile.

"I don't know. Is there anything else you can do?"

"Many things. But why should I exhibit my powers to a stranger?"

"I can think of no reason at all," he replied.

She looked at him curiously.

"You want no power for yourself, you say, and you're too stupid to be
able to steal my secrets. This isn't a pretty cottage, while outside
are sunshine, broad prairies and beautiful wildflowers. Yet you insist
on sitting on that bench and annoying me with your unwelcome presence.
What have you in that kettle?"

"Three fishes," he answered readily.

"Where did you get them?"

"I caught them in the Lake of the Skeezers."

"What do you intend to do with the fishes?"

"I shall carry them to the home of a friend of mine who has three
children. The children will love to have the fishes for pets."

She came over to the bench and looked into the kettle, where the three
fishes were swimming quietly in the water.

"They're pretty," said Reera. "Let me transform them into something
else."

"No," objected the Skeezer.

"I love to transform things; it's so interesting. And I've never
transformed any fishes in all my life."

"Let them alone," said Ervic.

"What shapes would you prefer them to have? I can make them turtles, or
cute little sea-horses; or I could make them piglets, or rabbits, or
guinea-pigs; or, if you like I can make chickens of them, or eagles, or
bluejays."

"Let them alone!" repeated Ervic.

"You're not a very pleasant visitor," laughed Red Reera. "People accuse
me of being cross and crabbed and unsociable, and they are quite right.
If you had come here pleading and begging for favors, and half afraid
of my Yookoohoo magic, I'd have abused you until you ran away; but
you're quite different from that. You're the unsociable and crabbed and
disagreeable one, and so I like you, and bear with your grumpiness.
It's time for my midday meal; are you hungry?"

"No," said Ervic, although he really desired food.

"Well, I am," Reera declared and clapped her hands together. Instantly
a table appeared, spread with linen and bearing dishes of various
foods, some smoking hot. There were two plates laid, one at each end of
the table, and as soon as Reera seated herself all her creatures
gathered around her, as if they were accustomed to be fed when she ate.
The wolf squatted at her right hand and the kittens and chipmunks
gathered at her left.

"Come, Stranger, sit down and eat," she called cheerfully, "and while
we're eating let us decide into what forms we shall change your fishes."

"They're all right as they are," asserted Ervic, drawing up his bench
to the table. "The fishes are beauties--one gold, one silver and one
bronze. Nothing that has life is more lovely than a beautiful fish."

"What! Am I not more lovely?" Reera asked, smiling at his serious face.

"I don't object to you--for a Yookoohoo, you know," he said, helping
himself to the food and eating with good appetite.

"And don't you consider a beautiful girl more lovely than a fish,
however pretty the fish may be?"

"Well," replied Ervic, after a period of thought, "that might be. If
you transformed my three fish into three girls--girls who would be
Adepts at Magic, you know they might please me as well as the fish do.
You won't do that of course, because you can't, with all your skill.
And, should you be able to do so, I fear my troubles would be more than
I could bear. They would not consent to be my slaves--especially if
they were Adepts at Magic--and so they would command me to obey them.
No, Mistress Reera, let us not transform the fishes at all."

The Skeezer had put his case with remarkable cleverness. He realized
that if he appeared anxious for such a transformation the Yookoohoo
would not perform it, yet he had skillfully suggested that they be made
Adepts at Magic.



Chapter Nineteen

Red Reera, the Yookoohoo


After the meal was over and Reera had fed her pets, including the four
monster spiders which had come down from their webs to secure their
share, she made the table disappear from the floor of the cottage.

"I wish you'd consent to my transforming your fishes," she said, as she
took up her knitting again.

The Skeezer made no reply. He thought it unwise to hurry matters. All
during the afternoon they sat silent. Once Reera went to her cupboard
and after thrusting her hand into the same drawer as before, touched
the wolf and transformed it into a bird with gorgeous colored feathers.
This bird was larger than a parrot and of a somewhat different form,
but Ervic had never seen one like it before.

"Sing!" said Reera to the bird, which had perched itself on a big
wooden peg--as if it had been in the cottage before and knew just what
to do.

And the bird sang jolly, rollicking songs with words to them--just as a
person who had been carefully trained might do. The songs were
entertaining and Ervic enjoyed listening to them. In an hour or so the
bird stopped singing, tucked its head under its wing and went to sleep.
Reera continued knitting but seemed thoughtful.

Now Ervic had marked this cupboard drawer well and had concluded that
Reera took something from it which enabled her to perform her
transformations. He thought that if he managed to remain in the
cottage, and Reera fell asleep, he could slyly open the cupboard, take
a portion of whatever was in the drawer, and by dropping it into the
copper kettle transform the three fishes into their natural shapes.
Indeed, he had firmly resolved to carry out this plan when the
Yookoohoo put down her knitting and walked toward the door.

"I'm going out for a few minutes," said she; "do you wish to go with
me, or will you remain here?"

Ervic did not answer but sat quietly on his bench. So Reera went out
and closed the cottage door.

As soon as she was gone, Ervic rose and tiptoed to the cupboard.

"Take care! Take care!" cried several voices, coming from the kittens
and chipmunks. "If you touch anything we'll tell the Yookoohoo!"

Ervic hesitated a moment but, remembering that he need not consider
Reera's anger if he succeeded in transforming the fishes, he was about
to open the cupboard when he was arrested by the voices of the fishes,
which stuck their heads above the water in the kettle and called out:

"Come here, Ervic!"

So he went back to the kettle and bent over it

"Let the cupboard alone," said the goldfish to him earnestly. "You
could not succeed by getting that magic powder, for only the Yookoohoo
knows how to use it. The best way is to allow her to transform us into
three girls, for then we will have our natural shapes and be able to
perform all the Arts of Magic we have learned and well understand. You
are acting wisely and in the most effective manner. We did not know you
were so intelligent, or that Reera could be so easily deceived by you.
Continue as you have begun and try to persuade her to transform us. But
insist that we be given the forms of girls."

The goldfish ducked its head down just as Reera re-entered the cottage.
She saw Ervic bent over the kettle, so she came and joined him.

"Can your fishes talk?" she asked.

"Sometimes," he replied, "for all fishes in the Land of Oz know how to
speak. Just now they were asking me for some bread. They are hungry."

"Well, they can have some bread," said Reera. "But it is nearly
supper-time, and if you would allow me to transform your fishes into
girls they could join us at the table and have plenty of food much
nicer than crumbs. Why not let me transform them?"

"Well," said Ervic, as if hesitating, "ask the fishes. If they consent,
why--why, then, I'll think it over."

Reera bent over the kettle and asked:

"Can you hear me, little fishes?"

All three popped their heads above water.

"We can hear you," said the bronzefish.

"I want to give you other forms, such as rabbits, or turtles or girls,
or something; but your master, the surly Skeezer, does not wish me to.
However, he has agreed to the plan if you will consent."

"We'd like to be girls," said the silverfish.

"No, no!" exclaimed Ervic.

"If you promise to make us three beautiful girls, we will consent,"
said the goldfish.

"No, no!" exclaimed Ervic again.

"Also make us Adepts at Magic," added the bronzefish.

"I don't know exactly what that means," replied Reera musingly, "but as
no Adept at Magic is as powerful as Yookoohoo, I'll add that to the
transformation."

"We won't try to harm you, or to interfere with your magic in any way,"
promised the goldfish. "On the contrary, we will be your friends."

"Will you agree to go away and leave me alone in my cottage, whenever I
command you to do so?" asked Reera.

"We promise that," cried the three fishes.

"Don't do it! Don't consent to the transformation," urged Ervic.

"They have already consented," said the Yookoohoo, laughing in his
face, "and you have promised me to abide by their decision. So, friend
Skeezer, I shall perform the transformation whether you like it or not."

Ervic seated himself on the bench again, a deep scowl on his face but
joy in his heart. Reera moved over to the cupboard, took something from
the drawer and returned to the copper kettle. She was clutching
something tightly in her right hand, but with her left she reached
within the kettle, took out the three fishes and laid them carefully on
the floor, where they gasped in distress at being out of water.

Reera did not keep them in misery more than a few seconds, for she
touched each one with her right hand and instantly the fishes were
transformed into three tall and slender young women, with fine,
intelligent faces and clothed in handsome, clinging gowns. The one who
had been a goldfish had beautiful golden hair and blue eyes and was
exceedingly fair of skin; the one who had been a bronzefish had dark
brown hair and clear gray eyes and her complexion matched these lovely
features. The one who had been a silverfish had snow-white hair of the
finest texture and deep brown eyes. The hair contrasted exquisitely
with her pink cheeks and ruby-red lips, nor did it make her look a day
older than her two companions.

As soon as they secured these girlish shapes, all three bowed low to
the Yookoohoo and said:

"We thank you, Reera."

Then they bowed to the Skeezer and said:

"We thank you, Ervic."

"Very good!" cried the Yookoohoo, examining her work with critical
approval. "You are much better and more interesting than fishes, and
this ungracious Skeezer would scarcely allow me to do the
transformations. You surely have nothing to thank him for. But now let
us dine in honor of the occasion."

She clapped her hands together and again a table loaded with food
appeared in the cottage. It was a longer table, this time, and places
were set for the three Adepts as well as for Reera and Ervic.

"Sit down, friends, and eat your fill," said the Yookoohoo, but instead
of seating herself at the head of the table she went to the cupboard,
saying to the Adepts: "Your beauty and grace, my fair friends, quite
outshine my own. So that I may appear properly at the banquet table I
intend, in honor of this occasion, to take upon myself my natural
shape."

Scarcely had she finished this speech when Reera transformed herself
into a young woman fully as lovely as the three Adepts. She was not
quite so tall as they, but her form was more rounded and more
handsomely clothed, with a wonderful jeweled girdle and a necklace of
shining pearls. Her hair was a bright auburn red, and her eyes large
and dark.

"Do you claim this is your natural form?" asked Ervic of the Yookoohoo.

"Yes," she replied. "This is the only form I am really entitled to
wear. But I seldom assume it because there is no one here to admire or
appreciate it and I get tired admiring it myself."

"I see now why you are named Reera the Red," remarked Ervic.

"It is on account of my red hair," she explained smiling. "I do not
care for red hair myself, which is one reason I usually wear other
forms."

"It is beautiful," asserted the young man; and then remembering the
other women present he added: "But, of course, all women should not
have red hair, because that would make it too common. Gold and silver
and brown hair are equally handsome."

The smiles that he saw interchanged between the four filled the poor
Skeezer with embarrassment, so he fell silent and attended to eating
his supper, leaving the others to do the talking. The three Adepts
frankly told Reera who they were, how they became fishes and how they
had planned secretly to induce the Yookoohoo to transform them. They
admitted that they had feared, had they asked her to help, that she
would have refused them.

"You were quite right," returned the Yookoohoo. "I make it my rule
never to perform magic to assist others, for if I did there would
always be crowd at my cottage demanding help and I hate crowds and want
to be left alone."

"However, now that you are restored to your proper shapes, I do not
regret my action and I hope you will be of use in saving the Skeezer
people by raising their island to the surface of the lake, where it
really belongs. But you must promise me that after you go away you will
never come here again, nor tell anyone what I have done for you."

The three Adepts and Ervic thanked the Yookoohoo warmly. They promised
to remember her wish that they should not come to her cottage again and
so, with a good-bye, took their departure.



Chapter Twenty

A Puzzling Problem


Glinda the Good, having decided to try her sorcery upon the abandoned
submarine, so that it would obey her commands, asked all of her party,
including the Skeezers, to withdraw from the shore of the take to the
line of palm trees. She kept with her only the little Wizard of Oz, who
was her pupil and knew how to assist her in her magic rites. When they
two were alone beside the stranded boat, Glinda said to the Wizard:

"I shall first try my magic recipe No. 1163, which is intended to make
inanimate objects move at my command. Have you a skeropythrope with
you?"

"Yes, I always carry one in my bag," replied the Wizard. He opened his
black bag of magic tools and took out a brightly polished
skeropythrope, which he handed to the Sorceress. Glinda had also
brought a small wicker bag, containing various requirements of sorcery,
and from this she took a parcel of powder and a vial of liquid. She
poured the liquid into the skeropythrope and added the powder. At once
the skeropythrope began to sputter and emit sparks of a violet color,
which spread in all directions. The Sorceress instantly stepped into
the middle of the boat and held the instrument so that the sparks fell
all around her and covered every bit of the blackened steel boat. At
the same time Glinda crooned a weird incantation in the language of
sorcery, her voice sounding low and musical.

After a little the violet sparks ceased, and those that had fallen upon
the boat had disappeared and left no mark upon its surface. The
ceremony was ended and Glinda returned the skeropythrope to the Wizard,
who put it away in his black bag.

"That ought to do the business all right," he said confidently.

"Let us make a trial and see," she replied.

So they both entered the boat and seated themselves.

Speaking in a tone of command the Sorceress said to the boat: "Carry us
across the lake, to the farther shore."

At once the boat backed off the sandy beach, turned its prow and moved
swiftly over the water.

"Very good--very good indeed!" cried the Wizard, when the boat slowed
up at the shore opposite from that whence they had departed. "Even
Coo-ee-oh, with all her witchcraft, could do no better."

The Sorceress now said to the boat:

"Close up, submerge and carry us to the basement door of the sunken
island--the door from which you emerged at the command of Queen
Coo-ee-oh."

The boat obeyed. As it sank into the water the top sections rose from
the sides and joined together over the heads of Glinda and the Wizard,
who were thus enclosed in a water-proof chamber. There were four glass
windows in this covering, one on each side and one on either end, so
that the passengers could see exactly where they were going. Moving
under water more slowly than on the surface, the submarine gradually
approached the island and halted with its bow pressed against the huge
marble door in the basement under the Dome. This door was tightly
closed and it was evident to both Glinda and the Wizard that it would
not open to admit the underwater boat unless a magic word was spoken by
them or someone from within the basement of the island. But what was
this magic word?  Neither of them knew.

"I'm afraid," said the Wizard regretfully, "that we can't get in, after
all. Unless your sorcery can discover the word to open the marble door."

"That is probably some word only known to Coo-ce-oh," replied the
Sorceress. "I may be able to discover what it is, but that will require
time. Let us go back again to our companions."

"It seems a shame, after we have made the boat obey us, to be balked by
just a marble door," grumbled the Wizard.

At Glinda's command the boat rose until it was on a level with the
glass dome that covered the Skeezer village, when the Sorceress made it
slowly circle all around the Great Dome.

Many faces were pressed against the glass from the inside, eagerly
watching the submarine, and in one place were Dorothy and Ozma, who
quickly recognized Glinda and the Wizard through the glass windows of
the boat. Glinda saw them, too, and held the boat close to the Dome
while the friends exchanged greetings in pantomime. Their voices,
unfortunately, could not be heard through the Dome and the water and
the side of the boat. The Wizard tried to make the girls understand,
through signs, that he and Glinda had come to their rescue, and Ozma
and Dorothy understood this from the very fact that the Sorceress and
the Wizard had appeared. The two girl prisoners were smiling and in
safety, and knowing this Glinda felt she could take all the time
necessary in order to effect their final rescue.

As nothing more could be done just then, Glinda ordered the boat to
return to shore and it obeyed readily. First it ascended to the surface
of the water, then the roof parted and fell into the slots at the side
of the boat, and then the magic craft quickly made the shore and
beached itself on the sands at the very spot from which it had departed
at Glinda's command. All the Oz people and the Skeezers at once ran to
the boat to ask if they had reached the island, and whether they had
seen Ozma and Dorothy. The Wizard told them of the obstacle they had
met in the way of a marble door, and how Glinda would now undertake to
find a magic way to conquer the door.

Realizing that it would require several days to succeed in reaching the
island raising it and liberating their friends and the Skeezer people,
Glinda now prepared a camp half way between the lake shore and the palm
trees.

The Wizard's wizardry made a number of tents appear and the sorcery of
the Sorceress furnished these tents all complete, with beds, chairs,
tables, flags, lamps and even books with which to pass idle hours. All
the tents had the Royal Banner of Oz flying from the centerpoles and
one big tent, not now occupied, had Ozma's own banner moving in the
breeze.

Betsy and Trot had a tent to themselves, and Button Bright and Ojo had
another. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman paired together in one tent
and so did Jack Pumpkinhead and the Shaggy Man, Cap'n Bill and Uncle
Henry, Tik-Tok and Professor Wogglebug. Glinda had the most splendid
tent of all, except that reserved for Ozma, while the Wizard had a
little one of his own. Whenever it was meal time, tables loaded with
food magically appeared in the tents of those who were in the habit of
eating, and these complete arrangements made the rescue party just
comfortable as they would have been in their own homes.

Far into the night Glinda sat in her tent studying a roll of mystic
scrolls in search of a word that would open the basement door of the
island and admit her to the Great Dome. She also made many magical
experiments, hoping to discover something that would aid her. Yet the
morning found the powerful Sorceress still unsuccessful.

Glinda's art could have opened any ordinary door, you may be sure, but
you must realize that this marble door of the island had been commanded
not to open save in obedience to one magic word, and therefore all
other magic words could have no effect upon it. The magic word that
guarded the door had probably been invented by Coo-ee-oh, who had now
forgotten it. The only way, then, to gain entrance to the sunken island
was to break the charm that held the door fast shut. If this could be
done no magic would be required to open it.

The next day the Sorceress and the Wizard again entered the boat and
made it submerge and go to the marble door, which they tried in various
ways to open, but without success.

"We shall have to abandon this attempt, I think," said Glinda. "The
easiest way to raise the island would be for us to gain admittance to
the Dome and then descend to the basement and see in what manner
Coo-ee-oh made the entire island sink or rise at her command. It
naturally occurred to me that the easiest way to gain admittance would
be by having the boat take us into the basement through the marble door
from which Coo-ee-oh launched it. But there must be other ways to get
inside the Dome and join Ozma and Dorothy, and such ways we must find
by study and the proper use of our powers of magic."

"It won't be easy," declared the Wizard, "for we must not forget that
Ozma herself understands considerable magic, and has doubtless tried to
raise the island or find other means of escape from it and failed."

"That is true," returned Glinda, "but Ozma's magic is fairy magic,
while you are a Wizard and I am a Sorceress. In this way the three of
us have a great variety of magic to work with, and if we should all
fail it will be because the island is raised and lowered by a magic
power none of us is acquainted with. My idea therefore is to seek--by
such magic as we possess--to accomplish our object in another way."

They made the circle of the Dome again in their boat, and once more saw
Ozma and Dorothy through their windows and exchanged signals with the
two imprisoned girls.

Ozma realized that her friends were doing all in their power to rescue
her and smiled an encouragement to their efforts. Dorothy seemed a
little anxious but was trying to be as brave as her companion.

After the boat had returned to the camp and Glinda was seated in her
tent, working out various ways by which Ozma and Dorothy could be
rescued, the Wizard stood on the shore dreamily eying the outlines of
the Great Dome which showed beneath the clear water, when he raised his
eyes and saw a group of strange people approaching from around the
lake. Three were young women of stately presence, very beautifully
dressed, who moved with remarkable grace. They were followed at a
little distance by a good-looking young Skeezer.

The Wizard saw at a glance that these people might be very important,
so he advanced to meet them. The three maidens received him graciously
and the one with the golden hair said:

"I believe you are the famous Wizard of Oz, of whom I have often heard.
We are seeking Glinda, the Sorceress, and perhaps you can lead us to
her."

"I can, and will, right gladly," answered the Wizard. "Follow me,
please."

The little Wizard was puzzled as to the identity of the three lovely
visitors but he gave no sign that might embarrass them.

He understood they did not wish to be questioned, and so he made no
remarks as he led the way to Glinda's tent.

With a courtly bow the Wizard ushered the three visitors into the
gracious presence of Glinda, the Good.



Chapter Twenty-One

The Three Adepts


The Sorceress looked up from her work as the three maidens entered, and
something in their appearance and manner led her to rise and bow to
them in her most dignified manner. The three knelt an instant before
the great Sorceress and then stood upright and waited for her to speak.

"Whoever you may be," said Glinda, "I bid you welcome."

"My name is Audah," said one.

"My name is Aurah," said another.

"My name is Aujah," said the third.

Glinda had never heard these names before, but looking closely at the
three she asked:

"Are you witches or workers in magic?"

"Some of the secret arts we have gleaned from Nature," replied the
brownhaired maiden modestly, "but we do not place our skill beside that
of the Great Sorceress, Glinda the Good."

"I suppose you are aware it is unlawful to practice magic in the Land
of Oz, without the permission of our Ruler, Princess Ozma?"

"No, we were not aware of that," was the reply.  "We have heard of
Ozma, who is the appointed Ruler of all this great fairyland, but her
laws have not reached us, as yet."

Glinda studied the strange maidens thoughtfully; then she said to them:

"Princess Ozma is even now imprisoned in the Skeezer village, for the
whole island with its Great Dome, was sunk to the bottom of the lake by
the witchcraft of Coo-ee-oh, whom the Flathead Su-dic transformed into
a silly swan. I am seeking some way to overcome Coo-ee-oh's magic and
raise the isle to the surface again. Can you help me do this?"

The maidens exchanged glances, and the white-haired one replied:

"We do not know; but we will try to assist you."

"It seems," continued Glinda musingly, "that Coo-ee-oh derived most of
her witchcraft from three Adepts at Magic, who at one time ruled the
Flatheads. While the Adepts were being entertained by Coo-ee-oh at a
banquet in her palace, she cruelly betrayed them and after transforming
them into fishes cast them into the lake.

"If I could find these three fishes and return them to their natural
shapes--they might know what magic Coo-ee-oh used to sink the island. I
was about to go to the shore and call these fishes to me when you
arrived. So, if you will join me, we will try to find them."

The maidens exchanged smiles now, and the golden-haired one, Audah,
said to Glinda:

"It will not be necessary to go to the lake. We are the three fishes."

"Indeed!" cried Glinda. "Then you are the three Adepts at Magic,
restored to your proper forms?"

"We are the three Adepts," admitted Aujah.

"Then," said Glinda, "my task is half accomplished. But who destroyed
the transformation that made you fishes?"

"We have promised not to tell," answered Aurah; "but this young Skeezer
was largely responsible for our release; he is brave and clever, and we
owe him our gratitude."

Glinda looked at Ervic, who stood modestly behind the Adepts, hat in
hand. "He shall be properly rewarded," she declared, "for in helping
you he has helped us all, and perhaps saved his people from being
imprisoned forever in the sunken isle."

The Sorceress now asked her guests to seat themselves and a long talk
followed, in which the Wizard of Oz shared.

"We are quite certain," said Aurah, "that if we could get inside the
Dome we could discover Coo-ee-oh's secrets, for in all her work, after
we became fishes, she used the formulas and incantations and arts that
she stole from us. She may have added to these things, but they were
the foundation of all her work."

"What means do you suggest for our getting into the Dome?" inquired
Glinda.

The three Adepts hesitated to reply, for they had not yet considered
what could be done to reach the inside of the Great Dome. While they
were in deep thought, and Glinda and the Wizard were quietly awaiting
their suggestions, into the tent rushed Trot and Betsy, dragging
between them the Patchwork Girl.

"Oh, Glinda," cried Trot, "Scraps has thought of a way to rescue Ozma
and Dorothy and all of the Skeezers."

The three Adepts could not avoid laughing merrily, for not only were
they amused by the queer form of the Patchwork Girl, but Trot's
enthusiastic speech struck them as really funny. If the Great Sorceress
and the famous Wizard and the three talented Adepts at Magic were
unable as yet to solve the important problem of the sunken isle, there
was little chance for a patched girl stuffed with cotton to succeed.

But Glinda, smiling indulgently at the earnest faces turned toward her,
patted the children's heads and said:

"Scraps is very clever. Tell us what she has thought of, my dear."

"Well," said Trot, "Scraps says that if you could dry up all the water
in the lake the island would be on dry land, an' everyone could come
and go whenever they liked."

Glinda smiled again, but the Wizard said to the girls:

"If we should dry up the lake, what would become of all the beautiful
fishes that now live in the water?"

"Dear me! That's so," admitted Betsy, crestfallen; "we never thought of
that, did we Trot?"

"Couldn't you transform 'em into polliwogs?" asked Scraps, turning a
somersault and then standing on one leg. "You could give them a little,
teeny pond to swim in, and they'd be just as happy as they are as
fishes."

"No indeed!" replied the Wizard, severely. "It is wicked to transform
any living creatures without their consent, and the lake is the home of
the fishes and belongs to them."

"All right," said Scraps, making a face at him; "I don't care."

"It's too bad," sighed Trot, "for I thought we'd struck a splendid
idea."

"So you did," declared Glinda, her face now grave and thoughtful.
"There is something in the Patchwork Girl's idea that may be of real
value to us."

"I think so, too," agreed the golden-haired Adept. "The top of the
Great Dome is only a few feet below the surface of the water. If we
could reduce the level of the lake until the Dome sticks a little above
the water, we could remove some of the glass and let ourselves down
into the village by means of ropes."

"And there would be plenty of water left for the fishes to swim in,"
added the white-haired maiden.

"If we succeed in raising the island we could fill up the lake again,"
suggested the brown-haired Adept.

"I believe," said the Wizard, rubbing his hands together in delight,
"that the Patchwork Girl has shown us the way to success."

The girls were looking curiously at the three beautiful Adepts,
wondering who they were, so Glinda introduced them to Trot and Betsy
and Scraps, and then sent the children away while she considered how to
carry the new idea into effect.

Not much could be done that night, so the Wizard prepared another tent
for the Adepts, and in the evening Glinda held a reception and invited
all her followers to meet the new arrivals. The Adepts were greatly
astonished at the extraordinary personages presented to them, and
marveled that Jack Pumpkinhead and the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman
and Tik-Tok could really live and think and talk just like other
people. They were especially pleased with the lively Patchwork Girl and
loved to watch her antics.

It was quite a pleasant party, for Glinda served some dainty
refreshments to those who could eat, and the Scarecrow recited some
poems, and the Cowardly Lion sang a song in his deep bass voice. The
only thing that marred their joy was the thought that their beloved
Ozma and dear little Dorothy were yet confined in the Great Dome of the
Sunken island.



Chapter Twenty-Two

The Sunken Island


As soon as they had breakfasted the next morning, Glinda and the Wizard
and the three Adepts went down to the shore of the lake and formed a
line with their faces toward the submerged island. All the others came
to watch them, but stood at a respectful distance in the background.

At the right of the Sorceress stood Audah and Aurah, while at the left
stood the Wizard and Aujah. Together they stretched their arms over the
water's edge and in unison the five chanted a rhythmic incantation.

This chant they repeated again and again, swaying their arms gently
from side to side, and in a few minutes the watchers behind them
noticed that the lake had begun to recede from the shore. Before long
the highest point of the dome appeared above the water. Gradually the
water fell, making the dome appear to rise. When it was three or four
feet above the surface Glinda gave the signal to stop, for their work
had been accomplished.

The blackened submarine was now entirely out of water, but Uncle Henry
and Cap'n Bill managed to push it into the lake. Glinda, the Wizard,
Ervic and the Adepts got into the boat, taking with them a coil of
strong rope, and at the command of the Sorceress the craft cleaved its
way through the water toward the part of the Dome which was now visible.

"There's still plenty of water for the fish to swim in," observed the
Wizard as they rode along. "They might like more but I'm sure they can
get along until we have raised the island and can fill up the lake
again."

The boat touched gently on the sloping glass of the Dome, and the
Wizard took some tools from his black bag and quickly removed one large
pane of glass, thus making a hole large enough for their bodies to pass
through. Stout frames of steel supported the glass of the Dome, and
around one of these frames the Wizard tied the end of a rope.

"I'll go down first," said he, "for while I'm not as spry as Cap'n Bill
I'm sure I can manage it easily.  Are you sure the rope is long enough
to reach the bottom?"

"Quite sure," replied the Sorceress.

So the Wizard let down the rope and climbing through the opening
lowered himself down, hand over hand, clinging to the rope with his
legs and feet. Below in the streets of the village were gathered all
the Skeezers, men, women and children, and you may be sure that Ozma
and Dorothy, with Lady Aurex, were filled with joy that their friends
were at last coming to their rescue.

The Queen's palace, now occupied by Ozma, was directly in the center of
the Dome, so that when the rope was let down the end of it came just in
front of the palace entrance. Several Skeezers held fast to the rope's
end to steady it and the Wizard reached the ground in safety. He hugged
first Ozma and then Dorothy, while all the Skeezers cheered as loud as
they could.

The Wizard now discovered that the rope was long enough to reach from
the top of the Dome to the ground when doubled, so he tied a chair to
one end of the rope and called to Glinda to sit in the chair while he
and some of the Skeezers lowered her to the pavement. In this way the
Sorceress reached the ground quite comfortably and the three Adepts and
Ervic soon followed her.

The Skeezers quickly recognized the three Adepts at Magic, whom they
had learned to respect before their wicked Queen betrayed them, and
welcomed them as friends. All the inhabitants of the village had been
greatly frightened by their imprisonment under water, but now realized
that an attempt was to be made to rescue them.

Glinda, the Wizard and the Adepts followed Ozma and Dorothy into the
palace, and they asked Lady Aurex and Ervic to join them. After Ozma
had told of her adventures in trying to prevent war between the
Flatheads and the Skeezers, and Glinda had told all about the Rescue
Expedition and the restoration of the three Adepts by the help of
Ervic, a serious consultation was held as to how the island could be
made to rise.

"I've tried every way in my power," said Ozma, "but Coo-ee-oh used a
very unusual sort of magic which I do not understand. She seems to have
prepared her witchcraft in such a way that a spoken word is necessary
to accomplish her designs, and these spoken words are known only to
herself."

"That is a method we taught her," declared Aurah the Adept.

"I can do no more, Glinda," continued Ozma, "so I wish you would try
what your sorcery can accomplish."

"First, then," said Glinda, "let us visit the basement of the island,
which I am told is underneath the village."

A flight of marble stairs led from one of Coo-ee-oh's private rooms
down to the basement, but when the party arrived all were puzzled by
what they saw. In the center of a broad, low room, stood a mass of
great cog-wheels, chains and pulleys, all interlocked and seeming to
form a huge machine; but there was no engine or other motive power to
make the wheels turn.

"This, I suppose, is the means by which the island is lowered or
raised," said Ozma, "but the magic word which is needed to move the
machinery is unknown to us."

The three Adepts were carefully examining the mass of wheels, and soon
the golden-haired one said:

"These wheels do not control the island at all. On the contrary, one
set of them is used to open the doors of the little rooms where the
submarines are kept, as may be seen from the chains and pulleys used.
Each boat is kept in a little room with two doors, one to the basement
room where we are now and the other letting into the lake.

"When Coo-ee-oh used the boat in which she attacked the Flatheads, she
first commanded the basement door to open and with her followers she
got into the boat and made the top close over them. Then the basement
door being closed, the outer door was slowly opened, letting the water
fill the room to float the boat, which then left the island, keeping
under water."

"But how could she expect to get back again?" asked the Wizard.

"Why the boat would enter the room filled with water and after the
outer door was closed a word of command started a pump which pumped all
the water from the room. Then the boat would open and Coo-ee-oh could
enter the basement."

"I see," said the Wizard. "It is a clever contrivance, but won't work
unless one knows the magic words."

"Another part of this machinery," explained the white-haired Adept, "is
used to extend the bridge from the island to the mainland. The steel
bridge is in a room much like that in which the boats are kept, and at
Coo-ce-oh's command it would reach out, joint by joint, until its far
end touched the shore of the lake. The same magic command would make
the bridge return to its former position. Of course the bridge could
not be used unless the island was on the surface of the water."

"But how do you suppose Coo-ee-oh managed to sink the island, and make
it rise again?" inquired Glinda.

This the Adepts could not yet explain. As nothing more could be learned
from the basement they mounted the steps to the Queen's private suite
again, and Ozma showed them to a special room where Coo-ee-oh kept her
magical instruments and performed all her arts of witchcraft.



Chapter Twenty-Three

The Magic Words


Many interesting things were to be seen in the Room of Magic, including
much that had been stolen from the Adepts when they were transformed to
fishes, but they had to admit that Coo-ee-oh had a rare genius for
mechanics, and had used her knowledge in inventing a lot of mechanical
apparatus that ordinary witches, wizards and sorcerers could not
understand.

They all carefully inspected this room, taking care to examine every
article they came across.

"The island," said Glinda thoughtfully, "rests on a base of solid
marble. When it is submerged, as it is now, the base of the island is
upon the bottom of the lake. What puzzles me is how such a great weight
can be lifted and suspended in the water, even by magic."

"I now remember," returned Aujah, "that one of the arts we taught
Coo-ee-oh was the way to expand steel, and I think that explains how
the island is raised and lowered. I noticed in the basement a big steel
pillar that passed through the floor and extended upward to this
palace. Perhaps the end of it is concealed in this very room. If the
lower end of the steel pillar is firmly embedded in the bottom of the
lake, Coo-ee-oh could utter a magic word that would make the pillar
expand, and so lift the entire island to the level of the water."

"I've found the end of the steel pillar. It's just here," announced the
Wizard, pointing to one side of the room where a great basin of
polished steel seemed to have been set upon the floor.

They all gathered around, and Ozma said:

"Yes, I am quite sure that is the upper end of the pillar that supports
the island. I noticed it when I first came here. It has been hollowed
out, you see, and something has been burned in the basin, for the fire
has left its marks. I wondered what was under the great basin and got
several of the Skeezers to come up here and try to lift it for me. They
were strong men, but could not move it at all."

"It seems to me," said Audah the Adept, "that we have discovered the
manner in which Coo-ee-oh raised the island. She would burn some sort
of magic powder in the basin, utter the magic word, and the pillar
would lengthen out and lift the island with it."

"What's this?" asked Dorothy, who had been searching around with the
others, and now noticed a slight hollow in the wall, near to where the
steel basin stood. As she spoke Dorothy pushed her thumb into the
hollow and instantly a small drawer popped out from the wall.

The three Adepts, Glinda and the Wizard sprang forward and peered into
the drawer. It was half filled with a grayish powder, the tiny grains
of which constantly moved as if impelled by some living force.

"It may be some kind of radium," said the Wizard.

"No," replied Glinda, "it is more wonderful than even radium, for I
recognize it as a rare mineral powder called Gaulau by the sorcerers. I
wonder how Coo-ee-oh discovered it and where she obtained it."

"There is no doubt," said Aujah the Adept, "that this is the magic
powder Coo-ee-oh burned in the basin. If only we knew the magic word, I
am quite sure we could raise the island."

"How can we discover the magic word?" asked Ozma, turning to Glinda as
she spoke.

"That we must now seriously consider," answered the Sorceress.

So all of them sat down in the Room of Magic and began to think. It was
so still that after a while Dorothy grew nervous. The little girl never
could keep silent for long, and at the risk of displeasing her
magic-working friends she suddenly said:

"Well, Coo-ee-oh used just three magic words, one to make the bridge
work, and one to make the submarines go out of their holes, and one to
raise and lower the island. Three words. And Coo-ee-oh's name is made
up of just three words. One is 'Coo,' and one is 'ee,' and one is 'oh.'"

The Wizard frowned but Glinda looked wonderingly at the young girl and
Ozma cried out:

"A good thought, Dorothy dear! You may have solved our problem."

"I believe it is worth a trial," agreed Glinda. "It would be quite
natural for Coo-ee-oh to divide her name into three magic syllables,
and Dorothy's suggestion seems like an inspiration."

The three Adepts also approved the trial but the brown-haired one said:

"We must be careful not to use the wrong word, and send the bridge out
under water. The main thing, if Dorothy's idea is correct, is to hit
upon the one word that moves the island."

"Let us experiment," suggested the Wizard.

In the drawer with the moving gray powder was a tiny golden cup, which
they thought was used for measuring. Glinda filled this cup with the
powder and carefully poured it into the shallow basin, which was the
top of the great steel pillar supporting the island. Then Aurah the
Adept lighted a taper and touched it to the powder, which instantly
glowed fiery red and tumbled about the basin with astonishing energy.
While the grains of powder still glowed red the Sorceress bent over it
and said in a voice of command: "Coo!"

They waited motionless to see what would happen. There was a grating
noise and a whirl of machinery, but the island did not move a particle.

Dorothy rushed to the window, which overlooked the glass side of the
dome.

"The boats!" she exclaimed. "The boats are all loose an' sailing under
water."

"We've made a mistake," said the Wizard gloomily.

"But it's one which shows we are on the right track," declared Aujah
the Adept. "We know now that Coo-ee-oh used the syllables of her name
for the magic words."

"If 'Coo' sends out the boats, it is probable that ee' works the
bridge," suggested Ozma. "So the last part of the name may raise the
island."

"Let us try that next then," proposed the Wizard.

He scraped the embers of the burned powder out of the basin and Glinda
again filled the golden cup from the drawer and placed it on top the
steel pillar. Aurah lighted it with her taper and Ozma bent over the
basin and murmured the long drawn syllable: "Oh-h-h!"

Instantly the island trembled and with a weird groaning noise it moved
upward--slowly, very slowly, but with a steady motion, while all the
company stood by in awed silence. It was a wonderful thing, even to
those skilled in the arts of magic, wizardry and sorcery, to realize
that a single word could raise that great, heavy island, with its
immense glass Dome.

"Why, we're way above the lake now!" exclaimed Dorothy from the window,
when at last the island ceased to move.

"That is because we lowered the level of the water," explained Glinda.

They could hear the Skeezers cheering lustily in the streets of the
village as they realized that they were saved.

"Come," said Ozma eagerly, "let us go down and join the people."

"Not just yet," returned Glinda, a happy smile upon her lovely face,
for she was overjoyed at their success. "First let us extend the bridge
to the mainland, where our friends from the Emerald City are waiting."

It didn't take long to put more powder in the basin, light it and utter
the syllable "EE!" The result was that a door in the basement opened
and the steel bridge moved out, extended itself joint by joint, and
finally rested its far end on the shore of the lake just in front of
the encampment.

"Now," said Glinda, "we can go up and receive the congratulations of
the Skeezers and of our friends of the Rescue Expedition."

Across the water, on the shore of the lake, the Patchwork Girl was
waving them a welcome.



Chapter Twenty-Four

Glinda's Triumph


Of course all those who had joined Glinda's expedition at once crossed
the bridge to the island, where they were warmly welcomed by the
Skeezers. Before all the concourse of people Princess Ozma made a
speech from a porch of the palace and demanded that they recognize her
as their lawful Ruler and promise to obey the laws of the Land of Oz.
In return she agreed to protect them from all future harm and declared
they would no longer be subjected to cruelty and abuse.

This pleased the Skeezers greatly, and when Ozma told them they might
elect a Queen to rule over them, who in turn would be subject to Ozma
of Oz, they voted for Lady Aurex, and that same day the ceremony of
crowning the new Queen was held and Aurex was installed as mistress of
the palace.

For her Prime Minister the Queen selected Ervic, for the three Adepts
had told of his good judgment, faithfulness and cleverness, and all the
Skeezers approved the appointment.

Glinda, the Wizard and the Adepts stood on the bridge and recited an
incantation that quite filled the lake with water again, and the
Scarecrow and the Patchwork Girl climbed to the top of the Great Dome
and replaced the pane of glass that had been removed to allow Glinda
and her followers to enter.

When evening came Ozma ordered a great feast prepared, to which every
Skeezer was invited. The village was beautifully decorated and
brilliantly lighted and there was music and dancing until a late hour
to celebrate the liberation of the people. For the Skeezers had been
freed, not only from the water of the lake but from the cruelty of
their former Queen.

As the people from the Emerald City prepared the next morning to depart
Queen Aurex said to Ozma:

"There is only one thing I now fear for my people, and that is the
enmity of the terrible Su-dic of the Flatheads. He is liable to come
here at any time and try to annoy us, and my Skeezers are peaceful
folks and unable to fight the wild and wilful Flatheads."

"Do not worry," returned Ozma, reassuringly. "We intend to stop on our
way at the Flatheads' Enchanted Mountain and punish the Su-dic for his
misdeeds."

That satisfied Aurex and when Ozma and her followers trooped over the
bridge to the shore, having taken leave of their friends, all the
Skeezers cheered them and waved their hats and handkerchiefs, and the
band played and the departure was indeed a ceremony long to be
remembered.

The three Adepts at Magic, who had formerly ruled the Flatheads wisely
and considerately, went with Princess Ozma and her people, for they had
promised Ozma to stay on the mountain and again see that the laws were
enforced.

Glinda had been told all about the curious Flatheads and she had
consulted with the Wizard and formed a plan to render them more
intelligent and agreeable.

When the party reached the mountain Ozma and Dorothy showed them how to
pass around the invisible wall--which had been built by the Flatheads
after the Adepts were transformed--and how to gain the up-and-down
stairway that led to the mountain top.

The Su-dic had watched the approach of the party from the edge of the
mountain and was frightened when he saw that the three Adepts had
recovered their natural forms and were coming back to their former
home. He realized that his power would soon be gone and yet he
determined to fight to the last. He called all the Flatheads together
and armed them, and told them to arrest all who came up the stairway
and hurl them over the edge of the mountain to the plain below. But
although they feared the Supreme Dictator, who had threatened to punish
them if they did not obey his commands, as soon as they saw the three
Adepts they threw down their arms and begged their former rulers to
protect them.

The three Adepts assured the excited Flatheads that they had nothing to
fear.

Seeing that his people had rebelled the Su-dic ran away and tried to
hide, but the Adepts found him and had him cast into a prison, all his
cans of brains being taken away from him.

After this easy conquest of the Su-dic, Glinda told the Adepts of her
plan, which had already been approved by Ozma of Oz, and they joyfully
agreed to it. So, during the next few days, the great Sorceress
transformed, in a way, every Flathead on the mountain.

Taking them one at a time, she had the can of brains that belonged to
each one opened and the contents spread on the flat head, after which,
by means of her arts of sorcery, she caused the head to grow over the
brains--in the manner most people wear them--and they were thus
rendered as intelligent and good looking as any of the other
inhabitants of the Land of Oz.

When all had been treated in this manner there were no more Flatheads
at all, and the Adepts decided to name their people Mountaineers. One
good result of Glinda's sorcery was that no one could now be deprived
of the brains that belonged to him and each person had exactly the
share he was entitled to.

Even the Su-dic was given his portion of brains and his flat head made
round, like the others, but he was deprived of all power to work
further mischief, and with the Adepts constantly watching him he would
be forced to become obedient and humble.

The Golden Pig, which ran grunting about the streets, with no brains at
all, was disenchanted by Glinda, and in her woman's form was given
brains and a round head. This wife of the Su-dic had once been even
more wicked than her evil husband, but she had now forgotten all her
wickedness and was likely to be a good woman thereafter.

These things being accomplished in a satisfactory manner, Princess Ozma
and her people bade farewell to the three Adepts and departed for the
Emerald City, well pleased with their interesting adventures.

They returned by the road over which Ozma and Dorothy had come,
stopping to get the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon where they had left them.

"I'm very glad I went to see these peoples," said Princess Ozma, "for I
not only prevented any further warfare between them, but they have been
freed from the rule of the Su-dic and Coo-ee-oh and are now happy and
loyal subjects of the Land of Oz. Which proves that it is always wise
to do one's duty, however unpleasant that duty may seem to be."



The Wonderful Oz Books

by L. Frank Baum:

  The Wizard of Oz
  The Land of Oz
  Ozma of Oz
  Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
  The Road to Oz
  The Emerald city of Oz
  The Patchwork Girl of Oz
  Tik-Tok of Oz
  The Scarecrow of Oz
  Rinkitink in Oz
  The Lost Princess of Oz
  The Tin Woodman of Oz
  The Magic of Oz
  Glinda of Oz





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