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Title: Kabumpo in Oz
Author: Thompson, Ruth Plumly
Language: English
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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.

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Hutcheson, University of Miami and the Online Distributed


                  [Illustration: This Book Belongs to]

                    [Illustration: PRINCESS DOROTHY]

[Illustration: Kabumpo, the Elegant Elephant swayed along grandly after
the Prince—_Page 18_]



                                KABUMPO
                                 IN OZ


                                   BY
                          RUTH PLUMLY THOMPSON
           _Founded on and continuing the Famous Oz Stories_
                                   BY
                             L. FRANK BAUM
                        “Royal Historian of Oz”

                     [Illustration: Publisher logo]

                             Illustrated by
                             JOHN R. NEILL

                          The Reilly & Lee Co.
                                Chicago


               _Printed in the United States of America_
                            Copyright, 1922
                                   By
                          The Reilly & Lee Co.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Dear Children:

Do you like Elephants? Do you believe in Giants? And do you love all the
jolly people of the Wonderful Land of Oz?

Well, then you’ll want to hear about the latest happenings in that
delightful Kingdom. All are set forth in true Oz fashion in “Kabumpo in
Oz,” the fifteenth Oz book.

Kabumpo is an Elegant Elephant. He is very old and wise, and has a
kindly heart, as have all the Oz folks. In the new book you’ll meet
Prince Pompa, and Peg Amy, a charming Wooden Doll. There are new
countries, strange adventures and the most surprising Box of Magic you
have ever heard of. Ruggedo, the wicked old Gnome King, does a lot of
mischief with this before Princess Ozma can stop him.

Of course Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Scraps, Glinda the Good, Tik-Tok, and
other old friends all are alive and busy in the new book. I am just back
from the Emerald City with the best of Oz wishes for everybody, _but
especially for you_.

                                                   Ruth Plumly Thompson.

  Philadelphia,
    Spring of 1922.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]


                      This book is dedicated with
                            all of my heart
                                To Janet
                My littlest sister but biggest assistor
                                                    Ruth Plumly Thompson

                    [Illustration: LIST OF CHAPTERS]



                            LIST OF CHAPTERS


                                                                    Page
  1 The Exploding Birthday Cake                                       15
  2 Picking a Proper Princess                                         30
  3 Kabumpo and Pompa Disappear                                       44
  4 The Curious Cottabus Appears                                      50
  5 In the City of The Figure Heads                                   62
  6 Ruggedo’s History In Six Rocks                                    78
  7 Sir Hokus And The Giants                                          95
  8 Woe in the Emerald City                                          105
  9 Mixed Magic Makes Mischief                                       114
  10 Peg and Wag to the Rescue                                       132
  11 The King of the Illumi Nation                                   145
  12 The Delicious Sea of Soup                                       160
  13 On the Road to Ev                                               174
  14 Terror in Ozma’s Palace                                         188
  15 The Sand Man Takes a Hand                                       205
  16 Kabumpo Vanquishes The Twigs                                    211
  17 Meeting the Runaway Country                                     226
  18 Prince Pompadore Proposes                                       240
  19 Ozma Takes Things in Hand                                       255
  20 The Proper Princess is Found                                    267
  21 How It All Came About                                           281
  22 Ruggedo’s Last Rock                                             292

                   [Illustration: Princess Ozma, of Oz]

                       [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 1
                      The Exploding Birthday Cake


“The cake, you chattering Chittimong! Where is the cake? Stirem, Friem,
Hashem, _where_ is the cake?” cried Eejabo, chief footman in the palace
of Pumperdink, bouncing into the royal pantry.

The three cooks, too astonished for speech, and with staring eyes,
pointed to the center table. The great, gorgeous birthday cake was gone,
though not two seconds before it had been placed on the table by Hashem
himself.

“It was my m-m-asterpiece,” sobbed Hashem, tearing off his cap and
throwing his apron over his head.

“Help! Robbers! Thieves!” cried Stirem and Friem, running to the window.

Here _was_ a howdedo. The trumpets blowing for the celebration to begin
and the best part of the celebration gone!

“We’ll all be dipped for this!” wailed Eejabo, flinging open the second
best china closet so violently that three silver cups and a pewter mug
tumbled out. Just then there was a scream from Hashem, who had removed
the apron from his head. “Look!” he shrieked. “There it is!”

Back to the table rushed the other three, Stirem and Friem rubbing their
eyes and Eejabo his head where the cups had bumped him severely. Upon
the table stood the royal cake, as pink and perfect as ever.

“It was there all the time, mince my eyebrows!” spluttered Hashem in an
injured voice. “Called me a Chittimong, did you?” Grasping a big wooden
spoon he ran angrily at Eejabo.

“Was it gone or wasn’t it?” cried Eejabo, appealing to the others and
hastily catching up a bread knife to defend himself. Instantly there
arose a babble.

“It was!”

“It wasn’t!”

“Was!” Rap, bang, _clatter_. In a minute they were in a furious
argument, not only with words but with spoons, forks and bowls. And dear
knows what would have become of the cake had not a bell rung loudly and
the second footman poked his head through the door.

“The cake! Where is the cake?” he wheezed importantly.

So Eejabo, dodging three cups and a salt cellar, seized the great silver
platter and dashed into the great banquet hall. One pink coat tail was
missing and his wig was somewhat elevated over the left ear from the
lump raised by the pewter mug, but he summoned what dignity he could and
joined the grand procession of footmen who were bearing gold and silver
dishes filled with goodies for the birthday feast of Prince Pompadore of
Pumperdink.

The royal guests were already assembled and just as Eejabo entered, the
pages blew a shrill blast upon their silver trumpets and the Prime
Pumper stepped forward to announce their Majesties.

“Oyez! Oyez!” shouted the Prime Pumper, pounding on the floor with his
silver staff, while the guests politely inclined their heads just as if
they had not heard the same announcement dozens of times before:

“Oyez! Oyez!

  “Pompus the Proud
  And Pozy Pink,
  King and Queen
  Of Pumperdink—
  Way for the King
  And clear the floor,
  Way for our good
  Prince Pompadore.
  Way for the Elegant
  Elephant—Way
  For the King and
  The Queen and the
  Prince, I say!”

So everybody _wayed_, which is to say they bowed, and down the center of
the room swept Pompus, very fat and gorgeous in his purple robes and
jeweled crown, and Pozy Pink, very stately and queenlike in her ermine
cloak, and Prince Pompadore very straight and handsome! In fact, they
looked exactly as a good old-fashioned royal family should.

                       [Illustration: Pumperdink]

But Kabumpo, who swayed along grandly after the Prince—few royal
families could boast of so royal and elegant an elephant! He was huge
and gray. On his head he wore jeweled bands and a jeweled court robe
billowed out majestically as he walked. His little eyes twinkled merrily
and his big ears flapped so sociably, that just to look at him put one
in a good humor. Kabumpo was the only elephant in Pumperdink, or in any
Kingdom near Pumperdink, so no wonder he was a prime favorite at Court.
He had been given to the King at Pompa’s christening by a friendly
stranger and since then had enjoyed every luxury and advantage. He was
not only treated as a member of the royal family, but was always
addressed as _Sir_ by all of the palace servants.

“He lends an air of elegance to our Court,” the King was fond of saying,
and the Elegant Elephant he surely had become. Now an Elegant Elephant
at Court might seem strange in a regular up-to-date country, but
Pumperdink is not at all regular nor up to date. It is a cozy,
old-fashioned Kingdom, ’way up in the northern part of the Gilliken
country of Oz; old-fashioned enough to wear knee breeches and have a
King and cozy enough to still enjoy birthday parties and candy pulls.

If Pompus, the King, was a bit proud who could blame him? His Queen was
the loveliest, his son the most charming and his elephant the most
elegant and unusual for twenty Kingdoms round about. And Pompus, for all
his pride, had a very simple way of ruling. When the Pumperdinkians did
right they were rewarded; when they did wrong they were dipped.

In the very center of the courtyard there is a great stone well with a
huge stone bucket. Into this Pumperdink well all offenders and law
breakers were lowered. Its waters were dark blue and as the color stuck
to one for several days the inhabitants of Pumperdink were careful to
behave well, so that the Chief Dipper, who turned the wheel that raised
and lowered the bucket, often had days at a time with nothing to do.
This time he spent in writing poetry, and as Prince Pompadore took the
place of honor at the head of the table the Chief Dipper rose from his
humble place at the foot and with a moist flourish burst forth:

  “Oh, Pompadore of Pumperdink,
  Of all perfection you’re the pink;
      Your praises now I utter!
  Your eyes are clear as apple sauce,
  Your head the best I’ve come across;
      Your heart is soft as butter.”

“Very good,” said the King, and the Chief Dipper sat down, blushing with
pride and confusion. Prince Pompadore bowed and the rest of the party
clapped tremendously.

“Sounds like a dipper full of nonsense to me,” wheezed Kabumpo, who
stood directly back of Prince Pompadore’s throne, leisurely consuming a
bale of hay placed on the floor beside him. It may surprise you to know
that all the animals in Oz can talk, but such is the case, and
Pumperdink being in the fairy country of Oz, Kabumpo could talk as well
as my man and better than most.

“Eyes like apple sauce—heart of butter! Ho-ho, kerrumph!” The Elegant
Elephant laughed so hard he shook all over; then slyly reaching over the
Prime Pumper’s shoulder, he snatched his glass of pink lemonade and
emptied it down his great throat, setting the tumbler back before the
old fellow turned his head.

“Did you call, Sir?” asked Eejabo, hurrying over. He had mistaken
Kabumpo’s laugh for a command.

“Yes; why did you not give his Excellency lemonade?” demanded the
Elegant Elephant sternly.

“I did; he must have drunk it, Sir!” stuttered Eejabo.

“Drunk it!” cried the Prime Pumper, pounding on the table indignantly.
“I never had any!”

“Fetch him a glass at once,” rumbled Kabumpo, waving his trunk, and
Eejabo, too wise to argue with a member of the royal family, brought
another glass of lemonade. But no sooner had he done so than the
mischievous elephant stole that, next the Prime Pumper’s plate and roll,
and all so quickly, no one but Prince Pompadore knew what was happening
and poor Eejabo was kept running backwards and forwards till his wig
stood on end with confusion and rage.

All of this was very amusing to the Prince, and helped him to listen
pleasantly to the fifteen long birthday speeches addressed to him by
members of the Royal Guard. But if the speeches were dull, the dinner
was not. The fiddlers fiddled so merrily, and the chief cook Hashem had
so outdone himself in the preparation of new and delicious dainties,
that by ice-cream-and-cake time everyone was in a high good humor.

“The cake, my good Eejabo! Fetch forth the cake!” commanded King Pompus,
beaming fondly upon his son. Nervously Eejabo stepped to the side table
and lighted the eighteen tall birthday candles. A cake that had
disappeared once might easily do so again, and Eejabo was anxious to
have it cut and out of the way—out of _his_ way at least.

Hashem, looking through a tiny crack in the door, almost burst with
pride as his gorgeous pink masterpiece was set down before the Prince.

“Many happy returns of your eighteenth birthday!” cried the Courtiers,
jumping to their feet and waving their napkins enthusiastically.

“Thank you! Thank you!” chuckled Pompadore, bowing low. “I feel that
this is but one of many more to come!” Which may sound strange, but
Pumperdink being in Oz, one may have as many eighteenth birthdays as one
cares to have. This was Pompa’s tenth and while the courtiers drank his
health the Prince made ready to blow out the birthday candles.

“That’s right, blow ’em all out at once!” cried the King. So Pompa
puffed out his cheeks and blew with all his might. But not a candle
flickered. Then he tried again. Indeed, he puffed and blew until he was
a regular royal purple, but nary a candle flame so much as wavered.

“Stubbornest candles I ever saw!” blustered King Pompus. Then _he_
puffed out his cheeks and blew like a porpoise; so did Queen Pozy and
the Prime Pumper; so did everybody. They blew until every dish upon the
table skipped and they all sank back exhausted in their chairs, but the
candles burned as merrily as ever.

Then Kabumpo took a hand—or rather a trunk. He had been watching the
proceedings with his twinkling little eyes. Now he took a tremendous
breath, pointed his trunk straight at the cake and blew with all his
strength.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Every candle went out—but _stars_! As they did, the great pink cake
exploded with such force that half the Courtiers were flung under the
table and the rest knocked unconscious by flying fragments of icing,
tumblers and plates.

“_Treason!_” screamed Pompus, the first to recover from the shock. “Who
dared put gunpowder in the cake?” Brushing the icing from his nose, he
glared around angrily. The first person to catch his eye was Hashem, the
cook, who stood trembling in the doorway.

“_Dip him!_” shouted the King furiously. And the Chief Dipper, only too
glad of an excuse to escape, seized poor Hashem. “_And him!_” ordered
the King, as Eejabo tried to sidle out of the room. “_And them!_” as all
the other footmen started to run. Forming his victims in a line the
Chief Dipper marched them sternly from the banquet hall.

“Oyez! Oyez Everybody shall be dipped!” mumbled the Prime Pumper, feebly
raising his head.

“Oh, no! Oh, no! Nothing of the sort!” snapped the King, fanning poor
Queen Pozy Pink with a plate. She had fainted dead away.

“What is the meaning of this outrage?” shouted Pompus, his anger rising
again.

“How should I know?” wheezed Kabumpo, dragging Prince Pompadore from
beneath the table and pouring a jug of cream over his head.

“Something hit me,” moaned the Prince, opening his eyes.

“Of course it did!” said Kabumpo. “The cake hit you. Made a great hit
with us all—that cake!” The Elegant Elephant looked ruefully at his silk
robe of state, which was hopelessly smeared with icing; then put his
trunk to his head, for something hard had struck him between the eyes.
He felt about the floor and found a round shiny object which he was
about to show the King when Pompus pounced upon a tall scroll sitting
upright in his tumbler. In the confusion of the moment it had escaped
his attention.

“Perhaps this will explain,” spluttered the King, breaking the seal.
Queen Pozy Pink opened her eyes with a sigh, and the Courtiers, crawling
out from beneath the table, looked up anxiously, for everyone was still
dazed from the tremendous explosion. Pompus read the scroll to himself
with popping eyes and then began to dance up and down in a frenzy.

“What is it? What is it?” cried the Queen, trying to read over his
shoulder. Then she gave a well-bred scream and fainted away in the arms
of General Quakes, who had come up behind her.

By this time the Prime Pumper had recovered sufficiently to remember
that reading scrolls and court papers was his business. Somewhat
unsteadily he walked over and took the scroll from the King.

“Oyez! Oyez!” he faltered, pounding on the table.

“Oh, never mind that!” rumbled Kabumpo, flagging his ears. “Let’s hear
what it says!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Know ye,” began the old man in a high, shaky voice, “know ye that
unless ye Prince of ye ancient and honorable Kingdom of Pumperdink wed
ye Proper Fairy Princess in ye proper span of time ye Kingdom of
Pumperdink shall disappear forever and _even longer_ from ye Gilliken
country of Oz.
                                                                _J. G._”

“What?” screamed Pompadore, bounding to his feet. “Me? But I don’t
_want_ to marry!”

“You’ll have to,” groaned the King, with a wave at the scroll. The
Courtiers sat staring at one another in dazed disbelief. From the
courtyard came the splash and splutter of the luckless footmen and the
dismal creaking of the stone bucket.

“Oh!” wailed Pompa, throwing up his hands. “This is the worst eighteenth
birthday I’ve ever had. I’ll never have another as long as I live!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 2
                       Picking a Proper Princess


“What shall we do first?” groaned the King, holding his head with both
hands. “Let me think!”

“Right,” said Kabumpo. “Think by all means.”

So the great hall was cleared and the King, with the mysterious scroll
spread out before him, thought and thought and _thought_. But he did not
make much headway, for, as he explained over and over to Queen Pozy,
who—with Pompadore, the Elegant Elephant and the Prime Pumper—had
remained to help him, “How is one to know where to find the Proper
Princess, and how is one to know the proper time for Pompa to wed her?”

Who was J.G.? How did the scroll get in the cake?

The more the King thought about these questions, the more wrinkled his
forehead became.

“Why! We’re liable to wake up any morning and find ourselves gone,” he
announced gloomily. “How does it feel to disappear, I wonder?”

“I suppose it would give one rather a gone feeling, but I don’t believe
it would hurt—much!” volunteered Kabumpo, glancing uneasily over his
shoulder.

“Perhaps not, but it would not get us anywhere. My idea is to marry the
Prince at once to a Proper Princess,” put in the Prime Pumper, “and
avoid all this disappearing.”

“You’re in a great hurry to marry me off, aren’t you,” said Pompadore
sulkily. “For my part, I don’t want to marry at all!”

“Well, that’s very selfish of you, Pompa,” said the King in a grieved
voice. “Do you want your poor old father to disappear?”

“Not only your poor old father,” choked the Prime Pumper, rolling up his
eyes. “How about me?”

“Oh, you—_you_ can disappear any time you want,” said the Prince
unfeelingly.

“It all started with that wretched cake,” sighed the Queen. “I am
positive the scroll flew out of the cake when it exploded.”

“Of course it did!” cried Pompus. “Let us send for the cook and question
him.”

So Hashem, very wet and blue from his dip, was brought before the King.

“A fine cook you are!” roared Pompus, “mixing gun powder and scrolls in
a birthday cake.”

“But I didn’t,” wailed Hashem, falling on his knees. “Only eggs, your
Highness—very best eggs—sugar, flour, spice and—”

“Bombshells!” cried the King angrily.

“The cake disappeared _before_ the party, your Majesty!” cried Eejabo.

Everyone jumped at the sudden interruption, and Eejabo, who had crept in
unnoticed, stepped before the throne.

“Disappeared,” continued Eejabo hoarsely, dripping blue water all over
the royal rugs. “One minute there it was on the pantry table. Next
minute—_gone!_” croaked Eejabo, flinging up his hands and shrugging his
shoulders.

“Then, before a fellow could turn around, it was back. ’Tweren’t our
fault if magic got mixed into it, and here we have been dipped for
nothing!”

“Well, why didn’t you say so before!” asked the King in exasperation.

“Fine chance I had to say anything!” sniffed Eejabo, wringing out his
lace ruffles.

“Eh—rr—you may have the day off, my good man,” said Pompus, with an
apologetic cough—“And _you_ also,” with a wave at Hashem. Very stiffly
the two walked to the door.

“It’s an off day for us, all right,” said Eejabo ungraciously, and
without so much as a bow the two disappeared.

“I fear you were a bit hasty, my love,” murmured Queen Pozy, looking
after them with a troubled little frown.

“Well, who wouldn’t be!” cried Pompus, ruffling up his hair. “Here we
are liable to disappear any minute and all you do is to stand around and
criticize me. _Begone!_” he puffed angrily, as a page stuck his head in
the door.

“No use shouting at people to begone,” said the Elegant Elephant
testily. “We’ll all begone soon enough.”

At this Queen Pozy began to weep into her silk handkerchief, which sight
so affected Prince Pompadore that he rushed forward and embraced her
tenderly.

“I’ll marry!” cried the Prince impulsively. “I’ll do anything! The
trouble is there aren’t any Fairy Princesses around here!”

“There must be,” said the King.

“There is—There are!” screamed the Prime Pumper, bouncing up suddenly.
“Oyez, Oyez! Has your Majesty forgotten Faleero, royal Princess of
Follensby forest?”

“Why, of course!” The King snapped his fingers joyfully. “Everyone says
Faleero is a Fairy Princess. She must be the proper one!”

“Fa—_leero_!” trumpeted the Elegant Elephant, sitting down with a
terrific thud. “That awful old creature! You ought to be ashamed of
yourself!”

“Silence!” thundered the King.

“Nonsense!” trumpeted Kabumpo. “She’s a thousand years old and as ugly
as a stone Lukoogoo. Don’t you marry her, Pompa.”

“I command him to marry her!” cried the King opening his eyes very wide
and bending forward.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Faleero?” gasped the Prince, scarcely believing his ears. No wonder
Pompadore was shocked. Faleero, although a Princess in her own right and
of royal fairy descent, was so unattractive that in all her thousand
years of life no one had wished to marry her. She lived in a small hut
in the great forest kingdom next to Pumperdink and did nothing all day
but gather faggots. Her face was long and lean, her hair thin and black
and her nose so large that it made you think of a cauliflower.

“Ugh!” groaned Prince Pompadore, falling back on Kabumpo for support.

“Well, she’s a Princess and a fairy—the only one in any Kingdom. I don’t
see why you want to be so fussy!” said the King fretfully.

“Shall I tell her Royal Highness of the great good fortune that has
befallen her?” asked the Prime Pumper, starting for the door.

“Do so at once,” snapped Pompus. Just then he gave a scream of fright
and pain, for a round shiny object had flown through the air and struck
him on the head. “What was that?”

The Prime Pumper looked suspiciously at the Elegant Elephant. Kabumpo
glared back.

“A—a warning!” stuttered the Prime Pumper, afraid to say that Kabumpo
had flung the offending missile. “A warning, your Majesty!”

“It’s nothing of the kind,” said the King angrily. “You’re getting old,
Pumper and stupid. It’s—why it’s a door knob! Who _dares_ to hit me with
a door knob?”

“It hit me once,” mumbled Kabumpo, shifting uneasily from one foot to
the other three. “How does it strike you?”

“As an outrageous piece of impertinence!” spluttered Pompus, turning as
red as a turkey cock.

“Perhaps it has something to do with the scroll,” suggested Queen Pozy,
taking it from the King. “See! It is gold and all the door knobs in the
palace are ivory. And look! Here are some initials!”

Sure enough! It was gold and in the very centre were the initials P. A.

Just at this interesting juncture the page, who had been poking his head
in the door every few minutes, gathered his courage together and rushed
up to the King.

“Pardon, Most High Highness, but General Quakes bade me say that this
mirror was found under the window,” stuttered the page, and before
Pompus had an opportunity to cry “Begone!” or “Dip him!” the little
fellow made a dash for the door and disappeared.

“It grows more puzzling every minute,” wailed the King, looking from the
door knob to the mirror and from the mirror to the scroll.

“If you take my advice you’ll have this marriage performed at once,”
said the Prime Pumper in a trembling voice.

“I believe I will!” sighed Pompus, rubbing the bump on his head. “Go and
fetch the Princess Faleero and you, Pompa, prepare for your wedding.”

“But Father!” began the Prince.

“Not another word or you’ll be dipped!” rumbled the King of Pumperdink.
“I’m not going to have my kingdom disappearing if I can help it!”

“You mean if _I_ can help it,” muttered Pompadore gloomily.

“This is ridiculous!” stormed the Elegant Elephant, as the Prime Pumper
rushed importantly out of the room. “Don’t you know that this country of
ours is only a small part of the great Kingdom of Oz? There must be
hundreds of Princesses for Pompadore to choose from. Why should he not
wed Ozma, the princess of us all? Haven’t you read any Oz history? Have
you never heard of the wonderful Emerald City? Let Pompadore start out
at once. I, myself, will accompany him, and if Ozma refuses to marry
him—well”—the Elegant Elephant drew himself up—“I will carry her
off—that’s all!”

“It’s a long way to the Emerald City,” mused Queen Pozy, “but still—”

“Yes, and what is to become of us in the meantime pray? While you are
wandering all over Oz we can disappear I suppose! No Sir! Not one step
do you go out of Pumperdink. Faleero is the Proper Princess and
Pompadore shall marry her!” said Pompus.

“You’re talking through your crown,” wheezed Kabumpo. “How about the
door knob and mirror? They came out of the cake as well as the scroll.
What are you going to do about them? Let’s have a look at that mirror.”

“Just a common gold mirror,” fumed Pompus, holding it up for the Elegant
Elephant to see.

“What’s the matter?” as Kabumpo gave a snort.

On the face of the mirror, as Kabumpo looked in, two words appeared:

                           Elegant Elephant.

And when Pompus snatched the mirror, above his reflection stood the
words:

                             Fat Old King.

Then Queen Pozy peeped into the mirror, which promptly flashed:

                             Lovely Queen.

“Why, it’s telling the truth!” screamed Pompa, looking over his mother’s
shoulder. At this the words “Charming Prince” formed quickly in the
glass.

The Prince grinned at his father, who was now quite beside himself with
rage.

“You think I’m fat and old, do you!” snorted the King, flinging the gold
mirror face down on the table. “This is a nice day, I must say! Scrolls,
door knobs, mirrors and insults!”

“But what can P. A. stand for?” mused Queen Pozy thoughtfully.

“Plain enough,” chuckled Kabumpo, maliciously. “It stands for perfectly
awful!”

“Who’s perfectly awful?” asked Pompus suspiciously.

“Why, Faleero,” sniffed the Elegant Elephant. “That’s plain enough to
everybody!”

“Dip him!” shrieked Pompus. “I’ve had enough of this! _Dip him_—do you
hear?”

“That,” yawned Kabumpo, straightening his silk robe, “is impossible!”
And, considering his size it was. But just that minute the Prime Pumper
returned and in his interest to hear what the Princess Faleero had said
the King forgot about dipping Kabumpo.

The courier from the Princess stepped forward.

“Her Highness,” puffed the Prime Pumper, who had run all the way, “Her
Highness accepts Prince Pompadore with pleasure and will marry him
to-morrow morning.”

Prince Pompadore gave a dismal groan.

“Fine!” cried the King, rubbing his hands together. “Let everything be
made ready for the ceremony, and in the meantime”—Pompus glared about
fiercely—“I forbid anyone’s disappearing. I am still the King! Set a
guard around the castle, Pumper, to watch for any signs of
disappearance, and if so much as a fence paling disappears”—he drew
himself up—“notify me _at once_!” Then turning to the throne Pompus gave
his arm to Queen Pozy and together they started for the garden.

“Do you mean to say you are going to pay no attention to the mirror or
door knob?” cried Kabumpo, planting himself in the King’s path.

“Go away,” said Pompus crossly.

“Oyez! Oyez! Way for their Majesties!” cried the Prime Pumper, running
ahead with his silver staff, and the royal couple swept out of the
banquet hall.

“Never mind, Kabumpo,” said the Prince, flinging his arm affectionately
around the Elegant Elephant’s trunk, “I dare say Faleero has her good
points—and we cannot let the old Kingdom disappear, you know!”

[Illustration: “Flinging his arms affectionately around the Elegant
Elephant’s trunk”]

“Fiddlesticks!” choked Kabumpo. “She’ll make a door mat of you,
Pompa—Prince Pompadormat—that’s what you’ll be! Let’s run away!” he
proposed, his little eyes twinkling anxiously.

“I couldn’t do that and let the Kingdom disappear, it wouldn’t be
right,” sighed the Prince, and sadly he followed his parents into the
royal gardens.

“The King’s a Gooch!” gulped the Elegant Elephant unhappily. Then, all
at once he flung up his trunk. “Somebody’s going to disappear around
here,” he wheezed darkly, “that’s certain!” With a mighty rustling of
his silk robe, Kabumpo hurried off to his own royal quarters in the
palace.

Left alone, Prince Pompa threw himself down at the foot of the throne,
and gazed sadly into space.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 3
                      Kabumpo and Pompa Disappear


Once in his own apartment, Kabumpo pulled the bell rope furiously.

“My pearls and my purple plush robe! Bring them at once!” he puffed when
his personal attendant appeared in the doorway.

“Yes, Sir! Are you going out, Sir?” murmured the little Pumperdinkian,
hastening to a great chest in the corner of the big marble room, to get
out of the robe.

“Not unless disappearing is going out,” said Kabumpo more mildly, for he
was quite fond of this little man who waited on him. “But I’m liable to
disappear any minute. So are you. So is everybody, and I, for my part,
wish to do the thing well and disappear with as much elegance as
possible. Have you heard about the magic scroll, Spezzle?”

“Yes, Sir!” quavered Spezzle, mounting a ladder to adjust the Elegant
Elephant’s pearls and gorgeous robe of state. “Yes, Sir, and my head’s
going round and round like—”

“Like what?” asked Kabumpo, looking approvingly at his reflection in the
long mirror.

“I can’t rightly say, Sir,” sighed Spezzle. “This disappearing has me
that mixed up I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Well, don’t start by losing your head,” chuckled Kabumpo. “There—that
will do very well.” He lifted the little man down from the ladder.

“Good-bye, Spezzle. If you should disappear before I should see you
again, try to do it in style.”

“Yes, Sir!” gulped Spezzle. Then taking out a bright red handkerchief he
blew his nose violently and rushed out of the room.

Kabumpo walked up and down before the mirror, surveying himself from all
angles. A very gorgeous appearance he presented, in his purple plush
robe of state, all embroidered in silver, and his head bands of shining
pearls. In the left side of his robe there was a deep pocket. Into this
the Elegant Elephant slipped all the jewels he possessed, taking them
from a drawer in the chest.

“I must get that gold door knob,” he rumbled thoughtfully. “And the
mirror.” Noiselessly (for all his tremendous size, Kabumpo could move
without a sound) he made his way back to the banquet hall and loomed up
suddenly behind the Prime Pumper. The old fellow was staring with
popping eyes into the gold mirror.

“Ho, Ho!” roared Kabumpo. “Ho, Ho! Kerumph!”

No wonder! Above the shocked reflection of the foolish statesman stood
the words “Old Goose!”

“A truthful mirror, indeed,” wheezed the Elegant Elephant.

“Heh? What?” stuttered the Prime Pumper, slapping the mirror down on the
table in a hurry. “Where’d you come from? What are you all dressed up
for?”

“For my disappearance,” said Kabumpo, sweeping the door knob and mirror
into his pocket. “I’m getting ready to disappear. How do I look?”

Before the Prime Pumper had time to answer, the Elegant Elephant was
gone.

Back in his own room, Kabumpo paced impatiently up and down, waiting for
night. “I do not see how she could refuse us,” he mumbled every now and
then to himself.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

That was an anxious afternoon and evening in the palace of Pumperdink.
Every few minutes the Courtiers felt themselves nervously to see if they
were still there. The servants went about on tip-toe, looking fearfully
over their shoulders for the first signs of disappearance. As it grew
darker the gates and windows were securely barred and not a candle was
lighted. “The less the castle shows, the less likely it is to
disappear,” reasoned the King.

The darkness suited Kabumpo. He waited until everyone in the palace had
retired, and a full hour longer. Then he stepped softly down the passage
to the Prince’s apartment. Pompadore, without undressing had flung
himself upon a couch and fallen into an uneasy slumber.

Without making a sound, Kabumpo took the Prince’s crown from a dressing
cabinet, slipped it carefully into the pocket of his robe, and then
carefully lifted the sleeping Prince in his curling trunk and started
cautiously down the great hall. Setting him gently on the floor as he
reached the palace doors, he pushed back the golden bolts and stepped
out into the garden.

The voices of the watchmen calling to each other from the great wall
came faintly through the darkness, but the Elegant Elephant hurried to a
secret unguarded entrance known only to himself and Pompadore and passed
like a great shadow through the swinging gates. Once outside, he swung
the sleeping Prince to his broad back and ran swiftly and silently
through the night.

“What are we doing?” murmured the Prince drowsily in his sleep.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Disappearing,” chuckled Kabumpo under his breath. “Disappearing from
Pumperdink, my lad.”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 4
                      The Curious Cottabus Appears


“Ouch!” Prince Pompadore stirred uneasily and rolled over. “Ouch!” he
groaned again, giving his pillow a fretful thump. “Ouch!” This time his
eyes flew wide open, for his knuckles were tingling with pain.

“A rock!” gasped the Prince, sitting up indignantly. “A rock under my
head! No wonder it aches! Great Gillikens! Where am I?” He stared about
wildly. There was not a familiar object in sight. Indeed he was in a
dim, deep forest, and from the distance came the sound of someone sawing
wood.

“Oh! Oh! I know!” muttered the Prince, rubbing his head miserably. “It’s
that wretched scroll. I’ve disappeared and this is the place I’ve
disappeared to.” Stiffly he got to his feet and started to walk in the
direction of the sawing, but had only gone a few steps before he gave a
cry of joy, for there, leaning up against a tree, snoring like twenty
wood-cutters at work, was Kabumpo.

“Wake up!” cried Pompadore, pounding him with all his might. “Wake up,
Kabumpo. We’ve disappeared!”

“Have we?” yawned the Elegant Elephant, opening one eye. “You don’t say?
Hah, Hoh, Hum!” With a tremendous yawn he opened the other eye and began
to chuckle and shake all over.

“We stole a march on ’em, Pompa. I’d like to see the King’s face when he
finds us gone. Old Pumper will be Oyezing all over the palace. He’ll
think we’ve disappeared by magic.”

“Well, didn’t we?” asked Pompadore in amazement.

“Not unless you call _me_ magic. I carried you off in the night. Did you
suppose old Kabumpo was going to stand quietly by while they married you
to a faggotty old fairy like Faleero? Not much,” wheezed the Elegant
Elephant. “I have other plans for you, little one!”

“But this is terrible!” cried the Prince, catching hold of a tree. “Here
you have left my poor old father, my lovely mother, and the whole
Kingdom of Pumperdink to disappear. We’ll have to go right straight
back—right straight back to Pumperdink. Do you hear?”

“Do have a little sense!” Kabumpo shook himself crossly. “You can’t save
them by going back. The thing to do is to go forward, find the Proper
Princess and marry her. No scroll magic takes effect for seven days,
anyway!”

“How do you know?” asked Pompa anxiously.

“Read it in a witch book,” answered Kabumpo promptly. “Now, that gives
us plenty of time to go to the Emerald City and present ourselves to the
lovely ruler of Oz. There’s a Proper Princess for you, Pompa!”

“But suppose she refuses me,” said the Prince uncertainly.

“You’re very handsome, Pompa, my boy.” The Elegant Elephant gave the
Prince a playful poke with his trunk. “I’ve brought all my jewels as
gifts and the magic mirror and door knob as well. If she refuses you and
the worst comes to the worst”—Kabumpo cleared his throat
gravely—“well—just leave it to me!”

After a bit more coaxing and after eating the breakfast Kabumpo had
thoughtfully brought along, Pompa allowed the Elegant Elephant to lift
him on his head and off they set at Kabumpo’s best speed for the Emerald
City of Oz.

Neither the Prince nor the Elegant Elephant had ever been out of
Pumperdink, but Kabumpo had found an old map of Oz in the palace
library. According to this map, the Emerald City lay directly to the
South of their own country. “So all we have to do is to keep going
South,” chuckled Kabumpo softly. Pompadore nodded, but he was trying to
recall the exact words of the mysterious scroll:

“Know Ye, that unless ye Prince of ye ancient and honorable Kingdom of
Pumperdink shall wed ye Proper Fairy Princess in ye proper span of time
ye Kingdom of Pumperdink shall disappear forever and even longer from ye
Gilliken Country of Oz. _J. G._”

Pompadore repeated the words solemnly; then fell a-thinking of all he
had heard of Ozma of Oz, the loveliest little fairy imaginable.

“She wouldn’t want one of her Kingdom to disappear,” reflected Pompadore
sagely. Now, as it happened, Ozma did not even know of the existence of
Pumperdink. Oz is so large and inhabited by so many strange and singular
peoples that although fourteen books of history have been written about
it, only half the story has been told. There are no Oz railway or
steamship lines and traveling is tedious and slow, owing to the magic
nature of the land itself, its many mountains and fairy forests, so that
Pumperdink, like many of the small Kingdoms on the outskirts of Oz, has
never been explored by Ozma.

Oz itself is a huge oblong country divided into four parts, the North
being the purple Gilliken country, the East the blue Munchkin country,
the South the red lands of the Quadlings, and the West the pleasant
yellow country of the Winkies. In the very center of Oz, as almost every
boy and girl knows, is the wonderful Emerald City, and in its gorgeous
green palace lives Ozma, the lovely little Fairy Princess, whom Kabumpo
wanted Pompadore to marry.

“Do you know,” mused the Prince, after they had traveled some time
through the dim forest, “I believe that gold mirror has a lot to do with
all this. I believe it was put in the cake to help me find the Proper
Princess.”

“Where would you find a more Proper Princess than Ozma?” puffed Kabumpo
indignantly. “Ozma is the one—depend upon it!”

“Just the same,” said Pompa firmly, “I’m going to try every Princess we
meet!”

“Do you expect to find ’em running wild in the woods?” snorted Kabumpo,
who didn’t like to be contradicted.

“You never can tell.” The Prince of Pumperdink settled back comfortably.
Now that they were really started, he was finding traveling extremely
interesting. “I should have done this long ago,” murmured the Prince to
himself. “Every Prince should go on a journey of adventure.”

“How long will it take us to reach the Emerald City?” he asked
presently.

“Two days, if nothing happens,” answered Kabumpo. “Say—what’s that?” He
stopped short and spread his ears till they looked like sails. The
underbrush at the right was crackling from the springs of some large
animal, and next minute a hoarse voice roared:

  “I want to know
    The which and what,
  The where and how and why?
    A curious, luxurious
  Old Cottabus am I!

  I want to know the
    When and who,
  The whatfor and whyso, Sir!
    So please attend, there is no end
  To things I want to know, Sir!”

“Aha!” exulted the voice triumphantly. “There you are!” And a great
round head was thrust out, almost in Kabumpo’s face. “Oh! I’m going to
enjoy this. Don’t move!”

Kabumpo was too astonished to move, and the next instant the Cottabus
had flounced out of the bushes and settled itself directly in front of
the two travelers. It was large as a pony, but shaped like a great
overfed cat. Its eyes bulged unpleasantly and the end of its tail ended
in a large fan.

[Illustration: The Cottabus was as large as a pony, but shaped like a
great overfed cat]

“Well,” grunted Kabumpo after the strange creature had regarded them for
a full minute without blinking.

“Well, what?” it asked, beginning to fan itself sulkily. “You act as if
you had never seen a Cottabus before.”

“We never have,” admitted Pompa, peering over Kabumpo’s head and
secretly wishing he had brought along his jeweled sword.

“Why haven’t you?” asked the Cottabus, rolling up its eyes. “How
frightfully ignorant!” It closed its fan tail with a snap and looked up
at them disapprovingly. “Will you kindly tell me who you are, where you
came from, when you came, what you are going for, how you are going to
get it, why you are going and what you are going to do when you do get
it!”

“I don’t see why we should tell you all that,” grumbled Kabumpo. “Its
none of your affair.”

“Wrong!” shrieked the creature hysterically. “It is the business of a
Cottabus to find out everything. I live on other people’s affairs, and
unless”—here it paused, took a large handkerchief out of a pocket in its
fur and began to wipe its eyes—“unless a Cottabus asks fifty questions a
day it curls up in its porch rocker and d-d-dies, and this is my fifth
questionless day.”

“Curl up and die, then,” said Kabumpo gruffly. But the kind-hearted
Prince felt sorry for the foolish creature.

“If we answer your questions, will you answer ours?”

“I’ll try,” sniffed the Curious Cottabus, and leaning over it dragged a
rocking chair out of the bushes and seated itself comfortably.

“Well, then,” began Pompa, “this is the Elegant Elephant and I am a
Prince. We came from Pumperdink because our Kingdom was threatened with
disappearance unless I marry a Proper Princess.”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Yes,” murmured the Cottabus, rocking violently. “Yes, yes!”

“And we are going to the Emerald City to ask Princess Ozma for her
hand,” continued the Prince.

“How do you know she is the one? When did this happen? Who brought the
message? What are you going to do if Ozma refuses you?” asked the
Cottabus, leaning forward breathlessly.

“Are you going to stand talking to this ridiculous creature all day?”
grumbled Kabumpo. But Pompadore, perhaps because he was so young, felt
flattered that even a curious old Cottabus should take such an interest
in his affairs. So beginning at the very beginning he told the whole
story of his birthday party.

“Yes, yes,” gulped the Cottabus wildly each time the Prince paused for
breath. “Yes, yes,” fluttering its fan excitedly. When Pompadore had
finished the Cottabus leaned back, closed its eyes and put both paws on
the arms of the rocker. “I never heard anything more curious in my
life,” said the curious one. “This will keep me amused for three days!”

“Of course—that’s what we’re here for—to amuse you!” said Kabumpo
scornfully. “Lets be going, Pompa!”

“Perhaps the Curious Cottabus can tell us something of the country
ahead. Are there any Princesses living ’round here?” the Prince asked
eagerly.

“Never heard of any,” said the Cottabus, opening its eyes. “Can you
multiply—add—divide and subtract? Are you good at fractions, Prince?”

“Not very,” admitted Pompadore, looking mystified.

“Then you won’t make much headway,” sighed the Cottabus, shaking its
head solemnly. “Now, don’t ask me why,” it added lugubriously, dragging
its rocker back into the brush, and while Kabumpo and Pompa stared in
amazement it wriggled away into the bushes.

“Come on,” cried Kabumpo with a contemptuous grunt, but he had only gone
a few steps when the Curious Cottabus stuck its head out of an opening
in the trees just ahead. “When are you coming back?” it asked, twitching
its nose anxiously.

“Never!” trumpeted Kabumpo, increasing his speed. Again the Cottabus
disappeared, only to reappear at the first turn in the road.

“Did you say the door knob hit you on the head?” it asked pleadingly.

Kabumpo gave a snort of anger and rushed along so fast that Pompa had to
hang on for dear life.

“Guess we’ve left him behind this time,” spluttered the Elegant
Elephant, after he had run almost a mile.

But at that minute there was a wheeze from the underbrush and the head
of the Cottabus was thrust out. Its tongue was hanging out and it was
panting with exhaustion. “How old are you?” it gasped rolling its eyes
pitifully. “Who was your grandfather on your father’s side, and was he
bald?”

“Kerumberty Bumpus!” raged the Elegant Elephant, flouncing to the other
side of the road.

“But why was the door knob in the cake?” gulped the Cottabus, two tears
trickling off its nose.

“How should we know,” said Pompa coldly.

“Then just tell me the date of your birth,” wailed the Cottabus, two
tears trickling off its nose.

“No! No!” screamed Kabumpo, and this time he ran so fast that the
tearful voice of the Cottabus became fainter and fainter and finally
died away altogether.

“Provokingest creature I’ve ever met,” grumbled the Elegant Elephant,
and this time Pompa agreed with him.

“Isn’t it almost lunch time?” asked the Prince. He was beginning to feel
terribly hungry.

“And aren’t there any villages or cities between here and the Emerald
City?” Pompa spoke again.

“Don’t know,” wheezed Kabumpo, swinging ahead.

“Oh! There’s a flag!” cried Pompa suddenly. “It’s flying above the tree
tops just ahead.”

And so it was—a huge, flapping black flag covered with hundreds of
figures and signs.

“Hurry up, Kabumpo,” urged the Prince. “This looks interesting.”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 5
                    In The City of The Figure Heads


“It reminds me of something disagreeable,” answered Kabumpo, as he eyed
the flag. Nevertheless he quickened his steps and in a moment they came
to a clearing in the forest, surrounded by a tall black picket fence.
The only thing visible above the fence was the strange black flag, and
as the forest on either side was too dense to penetrate and there seemed
to be no way around, Kabumpo thumped loudly on the center gate.

It was flung open at once, so suddenly that Kabumpo, who had his head
pressed against the bars, fell on his knees and shot Pompadore clear
over his head. Altogether it was a very undignified entrance.

“Oh! Oh! Now we shall have some fun!” screamed a high, thin voice, and
immediately the cry was taken up by hundreds of other voices. A perfect
swarm of strange creatures surrounded the two travelers. The Elegant
Elephant took one look, put back his ears and snatched Pompa from the
paving stones.

“Stop that!” he rumbled threateningly. “Who are you anyway?” The crowd
paid no attention to the Elegant Elephant’s question, but continued to
dance up and down and scream with glee. Clutching Kabumpo’s ear, Pompa
peered down with many misgivings. They were entirely surrounded by thin,
spry little people, who had figures instead of heads, and the fours,
eights, sevens and ciphers bobbing up and down made it terribly
confusing.

“Let’s go!” said Pompa, who was growing dizzier every minute. But the
Figure Heads were wedged so closely around them Kabumpo could not move
and they were shouting so lustily that the Elegant Elephant’s voice was
drowned in the hubbub. Finally, Kabumpo’s eyes began to snap angrily
and, taking a deep breath, he threw up his trunk and trumpeted like
fifty ferry-boat whistles. The effect was immediate and astonishing.
Half of the Figure Heads fell on their faces, and the other half fell on
their backs and stared vacantly up at the sky.

“Conduct us to your Ruler!” roared Kabumpo, in the dead silence that
followed.

“How’d you know we had a Ruler?” asked a Seven, getting cautiously to
its feet.

“Most countries have,” said the Elegant Elephant shortly.

“He’s got no right to order us around,” said a Six, sitting up and
jerking its thumb at Kabumpo.

“Yes—but!” Seven frowned at Six and put his hands over his ears. “This
way,” he said gruffly, and Kabumpo, stepping carefully, for many of the
Figure Heads were still on their backs, followed Seven.

If the inhabitants of this strange city were queer, their city was even
more so. The air was dry and choky and the houses were dull, oblong
affairs, set in rows and rows with never a garden in sight. Each street
had a large signpost on the corner, but they were not like the signs one
usually sees in cities. For these were _plus_ and _minus_ signs with
here and there a _long division_ sign.

“I suppose everything in this street’s divided up,” mumbled Pompadore,
looking up at a division sign curiously.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Hope they don’t subtract any of our belongings,” whispered Kabumpo, as
they turned into Minus Alley. “Look, Pompa, at the houses. Ever see
anything like ’em before?”

“They remind me of something disagreeable,” mused the Prince. “Why,
they’re _books_, Kabumpo, great big arithmetic books!” Pompa pointed at
one.

“You mean they are shaped like books,” said the Elegant Elephant. “I
never saw books with windows and doors!”

“A lot you know!” said Seven, looking back scornfully, but Kabumpo was
too interested to care. Out of the windows of the big book houses leaped
hundreds of the little Figure Heads, and they laughed and jeered at
Pompa and Kabumpo.

“Ho! Ho!” yelled one, leaning out so far it nearly fell on its Eight.
“Wait till the Count sees ’em. He’ll make an example of ’em!”

“What an awful country,” whispered Pompadore, ducking just in time, as a
Four snatched at his hair from an open window. But just then they turned
a corner and entered a large gloomy court. Sitting on a square and solid
wood throne, surrounded by a guard of Figure Heads, sat the Giant Ruler
of this strange city.

“What have you got there, Seven?” roared the Ruler.

“I am the Elegant Elephant and this is the Prince of Pumperdink,”
announced Kabumpo before Seven could answer. Pompadore, himself, could
say nothing for he had never before been addressed by a wooden Ruler in
his life. And that is exactly what the King of the Figure Heads was—an
ordinary school ruler, twice as large as a man, with arms and legs and a
great square head set atop of his thin flat body.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“I don’t care a rap _who_ you are. I want to know _what_ you are?” said
the Ruler.

“We are travelers,” spoke up Pompa, swallowing hard—“travelers in search
of a Proper Princess.”

“Well, you won’t find any here,” grunted the Ruler shortly. “We don’t
believe in ’em!”

“Would you mind telling me the name of your Kingdom,” asked Pompa,
somewhat cast down by these words.

“You have no heads,” announced the Ruler calmly, “or you would have
known that this is Rith Metic. _I_,” he hammered himself upon the wooden
chest—“I am its Ruler and every inch a King—King of the Figure Heads,”
he added, glaring around as if he expected someone to contradict him.

“All right! All right!” wheezed Kabumpo, bowing his head twice. “I knew
twelve inches made a foot rule, but I never knew they made a King Rule.
But could you give us some luncheon and allow us to pass peaceably
through your Kingdom?”

“Pass through!” exclaimed the King, standing up indignantly. “We don’t
pass anyone through here. You’ve got to work your way through. Pass
through, indeed! And when you’ve worked your way through we’ll put you
in a problem and make an example of you.”

“They’ll make a very good example, your Majesty,” said a tall thin
individual standing next to the Ruler. He eyed the two cunningly. “If a
thin Prince sets out on a fat elephant to find a Proper Princess, how
many yards of fringe will the elephant lose from his robe and how bald
will the Prince be at the end of the journey? I don’t believe anyone
could figure that out,” he murmured gleefully.

“It might be done by subtraction,” said the King, looking at the two
critically.

“Great hay stacks!” rumbled Kabumpo, glaring over his shoulder to see if
he had lost any fringe so far. “What have we gotten into?”

“Bald!” gulped Pompa, rubbing his head. “Do you mean to say you take
poor innocent travelers and make them into arithmetic problems?”

“Why not?” said the thin one, who looked exactly like a giant lead
pencil. “And please address me as Count, after this—Count It Up is my
name. What’s the matter with living in a problem, my boy? Life is a
problem, after all, and you will get used to it in time. I’ll try to
assign you to a comfortable book and you’ll find book-keeping a lot more
simple than house-keeping. This way, please!”

“Please go,” yawned the Ruler, waving his hand. “The Count will take you
in charge now.” And so dazed was the Elegant Elephant by all this
strange reasoning that he tamely followed the lead pencil person.

“Good-bye!” shouted the Ruler hoarsely. “Start them on simple
additions,” he said as they moved off.

The street ahead was filled with Figure Heads and as Kabumpo paused they
began forming themselves into sums. The first row sat down, the next
knelt behind them, the third stood up, the fourth nimbly leaped upon the
shoulders of the third, and so on, until a long addition confronted the
travelers.

“Now,” said Count It Up in his blunt way, “as you haven’t figures for
heads, let us see if you have heads for figures.” Kabumpo pushed back
his pearl headdress and drops of perspiration began to run down his
trunk. Prince Pompa, lying flat on Kabumpo’s head, started to add up the
first line of figures.

“Eighty-three,” he announced anxiously.

“Say three and eight to carry,” snapped Count It Up. “Here, Three!” A
Three stepped out of the crowd and placed itself under the line. “I’ve
got to be carried!” cried Eight, looking sulkily at Pompa.

“Carried!” snorted Kabumpo, snatching Eight into the air. “Well, I’ll
attend to you. You do the adding, Pompa, and I’ll do the carrying.”

He landed the Eight head down at the bottom of the line of Figure Heads
and swung his trunk carelessly while he waited for his next victim. So,
slowly and painfully, Pompa counted up the long lines and Kabumpo
carried and if they made the slightest mistake the Figure Heads shouted
with scorn and danced about till the confusion was terrible. When an
example was finished, the Figure Heads in it marched away but another
would immediately form lines ahead so that it took them a whole hour to
go two blocks.

[Illustration: Slowly and Painfully Pompa Counted up the Long Lines]

“Oh!” groaned Pompa at last, “We’ll never get through this, Kabumpo.
Look at those awful fractions ahead! Can’t I skip fractions?” he asked
looking pleadingly at Count It Up.

“Certainly not!” said the pencilly man stroking his shiny hair, which
was straight and black and grew up into a sharp point. “You shall skip
nothing!”

“That gives me an idea,” whispered Kabumpo huskily. “Why shouldn’t we
skip altogether? We’re bigger than they are. Why—”

“How are you getting on?” At the sound of that hoarse, familiar voice
both the Prince and Kabumpo jumped.

“You don’t mind me asking, I hope?” Clinging to the high picket fence
and looking anxiously through the bars was the Curious Cottabus.

“Have you found the Greatest Common Divisor yet?”

“Who’s he?” asked the Elegant Elephant suspiciously.

“Isn’t there any way out of Rith Metic but this?” wailed Pompa, looking
at the Cottabus pleadingly. He was too tired to mind being questioned.

The curious beast was delighted to have this new opportunity to talk to
the travelers.

“Will you answer a few questions if I tell you?” asked the Cottabus,
raising itself with great difficulty and looking over the palings.

“Yes—yes—anything,” promised Pompa.

“Do you care for strawberry tarts?” asked the Cottabus, twitching its
nose very rapidly.

“Of course,” said the Prince. “Oh! Do hurry. Count It Up will be back in
a moment!” He had run ahead to arrange a new problem and the rest of the
Figure Heads paid no attention to the queer creature clinging to the
palings.

“Are you going to invite the Scarecrow to your wedding?” gulped the
Cottabus.

“I don’t know any Scarecrow,” said Pompa, “so how could I?”

“Are you fond of that old elephant?” The Cottabus waved at Kabumpo, who
stamped first one foot then another and fairly snorted with rage.

“All right,” sighed the Curious Cottabus, “that makes my fifty
questions.”

Hanging on to the fence with one paw it waved the other backward and
forward as it chanted:

  “How many tics in Rith Metic?
  Tell me that and tell me quick!
  But if you can’t it’s not my fault,
  So simply turn a wintersault!”

The head of the Cottabus disappeared.

“Now isn’t that provoking,” gulped the Prince. “After it promised to
help us, too!”

“I meant summersault,” wheezed the Cottabus, reappearing suddenly—

  “And if you can’t it’s not your fault,
  So simply turn a summersault!”

it recited dolefully, and losing its balance fell off the fence and
landed with a thud on the ground below.

“Here! Hurry along!” scolded Count It Up, prodding Kabumpo with a sharp
pencil. “The next is a nice little problem in fractions.”

“I wonder if it meant anything?” mused Pompadore, as Kabumpo approached
the new problem. “’If you can’t its not your fault, so simply turn a
summersault.’ Anyway it wouldn’t hurt to try. Stop a minute, Kabumpo!”

Sliding down the Elegant Elephant’s trunk, the Prince put his head on
the ground and very carefully and deliberately turned a somersault. At
his first motion Count It Up gave a deafening scream, fell on his head
and broke off his point, while the Figure Heads began to run in every
direction.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Do it again! Do it again!” cried Kabumpo joyfully. So Pompa turned
another somersault and another, and another, and _another_, till not a
Figure Head was in sight. Even the Figure Heads at the windows of the
houses tumbled out and dashed madly around the corner. Before they could
return, Kabumpo snatched up Pompa and tore through the deserted streets
of Rith Metic till he came to the black iron gate at the other end of
the city. Butting it open with his head, the Elegant Elephant dashed
through and never stopped running till he was miles away from there.

“Have to rest a bit and eat some leaves,” puffed Kabumpo, at last
slowing down. “Whe—w!”

“Wish I could eat leaves,” sighed the Prince, as Kabumpo began lunching
off the tree tops. “But, never mind, we’re out of Rith Metic! Wasn’t it
lucky that Cottabus followed us? I never would have thought of getting
out of sums by somersaulting. Would you?”

“Only sensible thing it ever said, probably,” answered the Elegant
Elephant, with his mouth full of leaves. “There’s a lot more to be
learned by traveling than by studying, my boy. Somersaults for
sums—let’s always remember that!”

Pompa did not answer. He slid down Kabumpo’s trunk and began hunting
anxiously around for something to eat. Not far away he found a large nut
tree and, gathering a handful of nuts, he sat down and began to crack
them on a white marble slab near by. Next instant Kabumpo heard a thud
and a muffled cry.

The Prince of Pumperdink had vanished, as if by magic.

“Where are you?” screamed the Elegant Elephant, pounding through the
brush. “Pompa! Pompa! He’s disappeared,” gasped Kabumpo, rushing over to
the marble slab. There was not a sign of the Royal Prince of Pumperdink
anywhere, but carved carefully on the white stone were these words:

                    Please Knock Before You Fall In.

“Fall in!” snorted Kabumpo, his eyes rolling wildly. “Great Gooch!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 6
                     Ruggedo’s History In Six Rocks


On the same night that Prince Pompa and Kabumpo had disappeared from
Pumperdink, a little gray gnome crouched in a deep chamber, tunneled
under the Emerald City, laboriously carving letters on a big rock. It
was Ruggedo, the old Gnome King, carving and grumbling and grumbling and
carving, and pausing every few minutes to light his pipe with a hot coal
which he kept in his pocket for that purpose. A big emerald lamp cast a
green glow over the strange cavern and made the gnome look like a bad
green goblin, which he was.

“Wag!” screamed the gnome, suddenly throwing down his chisel. “Where are
you, you long-eared villain?” There was a slight stir at the back of the
cave and a rabbit, of about the same size as the gnome, shuffled slowly
forward.

“What you want?” he asked, rubbing one eye with his paw.

“Bring me a cup of melted mud, idiot!” roared the gnome, pounding on the
rock. “And serve it to me on my throne at once!”

“Now, see here,” the rabbit twitched his nose rapidly, “I’ll get you a
cup of melted mud, but don’t you call me an idiot. I don’t mind working
for one, nor digging for one and listening to his foolishness, but
nobody can call me an idiot—not even a make-believe King!”

“Oh, you make me tired!” fumed the gnome.

“Then go to sleep,” advised the rabbit with a yawn. “What’s the use of
trying to pretend you’re a King, Rug? Ho, ho! King over one wooden doll,
six rocks and twenty-seven sofa cushions! You may have been a King once,
but now you’re just a plain gnome and nothing else, and if you go and
sit quietly in your plain rocking chair I’ll bring you a cup of plain
mud.”

With a chuckle, the rabbit retired, and Ruggedo, spluttering with fury,
flounced into a doll’s broken rocker that was set in the exact center of
the cave.

“Here I give that rabbit everything I steal and he won’t even allow me
the little luxury of calling him an idiot or of pulling his ears. How
can I pretend to be a King without an ear to pull?” grumbled the gnome.

“What are you grinning at?” Bouncing out of his chair, Ruggedo flew at a
merry-faced wooden doll who sat propped up against the wall and shook
her till her head turned round backwards and her arms and legs flew
every which way. Then he hurled her violently into a corner. Quite out
of breath he sank back in his chair and stared angrily about.

When Wag returned the gnome snatched the tin cup of melted mud and
tossed it down with one gulp. Then, flinging the cup at the doll, he
went back to work.

The rabbit shook his head mournfully and, picking up the wooden doll,
straightened her out and placed her on a cushion. Then, yawning again,
he lit a candle and started for the passage at the back of the cave.

“How are you getting on?” he asked, pausing to look over the gnome’s
shoulder with a grin.

“Fine!” answered Ruggedo, forgetting to scowl. “I’m up to the sixth rock
and expect to finish to-night.”

“Who do you think will read it?” asked the rabbit, putting back both
ears and stroking his whiskers. Then he gave a great spring, just
escaped the chisel Ruggedo had flung at his head, and pattered away into
the darkness. For several minutes the gnome danced up and down with
fury. Then, as there was no one to pinch or shake, he started to work
harder than ever on the sixth rock of his history. There were six of the
great stones set in a row on one side of the cavern and the carving on
them had taken the old gnome King the best part of two years. The
letters were crooked and roughly chiseled, but quite readable. On the
first rock he had carved:

                    History of Ruggedo in Six Rocks

                  Ruggedo the Rough—King of the Gnomes

One time Metal Monarch, at other times a Limoneag, a goose, a nut, and
now a common gnome by order of
                                                           _Ozma of Oz._

The second rock told of Ruggedo’s magnificent Kingdom under the
mountains of Ev, of the thousands of gnomes he had ruled and the great
treasure of precious gems he had possessed, in those good old days
before he was banished from his dominions.

The third rock told of his transformation of the Queen of Ev and her
children into ornaments for his palace and of their rescue by a party
from Oz, through the cleverness of Billina, a yellow hen. It told of the
loss of his Magic Belt which was captured at this same time by Dorothy,
a little girl from Kansas.

The fourth rock related how Ruggedo had tried to conquer Oz and recover
his belt; how all of his plans failed and how he tumbled into the
Fountain of Oblivion and forgot all about his campaign.

The fifth rock had taken Ruggedo the longest to carve, for it gave the
story of his banishment by the Great Jinn Titihoochoo. You have probably
read this story yourself. How Tik Tok, Betsy Bobbin, Shaggyman and
Polychrome, trying to find Shaggy’s brother, hidden in the Gnome King’s
metal forest, were thrown down a long tube to the other side of the
world, and how the owner of the tube sent Quox, the dragon, to punish
Ruggedo by banishment from his Kingdom and how Kaliko was made King of
the Gnomes.

The sixth rock told of Ruggedo’s last attempt to capture Oz. Meeting
Kiki Aru, a Highup boy who knew a magic transformation word, Ruggedo
suggested that they change themselves to Limoneags—queer beasts with
lion heads, monkey tails and eagle wings—get all the beasts of Oz to
help and march on the Emerald City. But this plan failed, too. Kiki lost
his temper and changed Ruggedo to a goose, the Wizard of Oz discovered
the magic word and changed both the conspirators to nuts. Later on they
were changed back to their normal shapes, but again Ruggedo was plunged
into the Fountain of Oblivion and again forgot his wicked plans. This
ended the rock history, except for a short sentence stating that Ruggedo
now lived in the Emerald City.

But the magic of the Fountain of Oblivion had soon worn off and it was
not long before Ruggedo began to remember his past wickedness. That is
why he decided to carve his life story in rock, so that it would be
handy should he ever fall into the forgetful fountain again. And it had
taken six rocks to tell all of his adventures. He had not carved these
stories just as they had happened, nor ever called himself wicked, but
he had told most of the facts, leaving out the parts most unflattering
to himself. And now it was finished—his whole history in six rocks.
Throwing down his chisel for the last time, Ruggedo straightened up and
regarded his work with glowing pride.

“I don’t believe there’s another history like this in all Oz,” puffed
the gnome, tugging at his silver beard.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“It’s a good thing,” chuckled Wag, who had come back to eat a carrot.
“Oz would not be a very happy place if there were many folks like you.”

He seated himself quietly on the first rock of Ruggedo’s history, and
began nibbling his carrot.

“Get up! How dare you sit on my history?” Ruggedo stamped his foot and
started threateningly toward Wag.

“All right,” said the rabbit, “it’s too hard, anyway.”

“Of course it’s hard,” stormed Ruggedo. “I’ve had a hard life; hard as
those rocks. Everybody’s been against me from the very start, and all
because I’m so little,” he finished bitterly.

“No, because you are so wicked,” said the rabbit calmly. “Now, don’t
throw your pipe at me, for you know it’s the truth.”

Ruggedo glared at the rabbit for a minute, then rushed over to the
wooden doll, and began shaking her furiously. He always vented his rage
on the wooden doll.

“Stop that,” screamed Wag, “or I’ll leave upon the spot. You ought to be
ashamed of yourself. You old scrabble-scratch.”

“She’s not alive,” snapped Ruggedo sulkily.

“How do you know?” retorted the rabbit. “Anyway, she’s a jolly creature.
I’m not going to have her banged around. Here you’ve taken her away from
her little mother, and she hasn’t even anyone to rock her to sleep.”

“I’ll rock her to sleep,” screamed Ruggedo, maliciously. And flinging
the doll on the floor he began hurling small rocks at the helpless
little figure.

Scrambling to his feet, Wag rescued the wooden doll again, and Ruggedo,
who really was afraid the rabbit would leave him, subsided into his
rocking chair. Then reaching up to a small shelf over his head, he
pulled down an accordion. At the first doleful wheeze Wag gave a great
hop, dropped Peg and disappeared into his room in the farthest corner of
the cave.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

After his last attempt to capture Oz, the gnome had been given a small
cottage to live in, just outside the Emerald City. But Ruggedo could not
bear life above ground. The sunlight hurt his eyes, and the contented,
happy faces of the people hurt his feelings, for he was exactly what Wag
had called him—an old scrabble-scratch. So, while he pretended to live
in the little cottage, according to Ozma’s orders, he really spent most
of his time in this deep, dark cave. He entered it by a secret passage,
opening from his cellar.

Digging the long passage had been the hardest work Ruggedo had ever done
in his bad little life. While toiling one day, he had bumped into the
underground burrow of Wag, a wandering rabbit of Oz, and after a deal of
bargaining, the rabbit had agreed to help him. Wag was to receive a ruby
a month for his services, for the gnome still had a large bag of
precious stones, which he had brought from the old Kingdom. After the
bargain with Wag was made, the passage progressed rapidly, for the
rabbit was an expert digger.

It was Ruggedo’s idea to tunnel himself out a secret chamber, directly
under Ozma’s palace, and there establish a kingdom of his own. But when
they had almost reached the spot, the earth began to crumble away, and a
few strokes of Ruggedo’s spade revealed a great dark cavern, already
tunneled by someone else. It was huge and the exact shape of the royal
palace. This Ruggedo discovered by careful measurement, and also that it
was directly beneath the gorgeous green edifice, so that the footsteps
of the servants could be heard faintly, pattering to and fro.

This dark, underground retreat suited the former Gnome King exactly and,
without stopping to wonder to whom it had belonged, Ruggedo gleefully
took possession. For almost two years he had lived here without anyone
suspecting it, but so far his kingdom had not progressed very well. Wag
had tried to coax some of his rabbit relations to serve the old gnome as
subjects, but Ruggedo, besides his terrible temper, had a mean habit of
pulling their ears, so that the whole crew had deserted the first week.
He had pulled Wag’s ears once, but the rabbit tore out a pawful of his
whiskers, and bit him so severely in the leg that Ruggedo had never
dared to try it again.

Wag had stayed partly because Ruggedo amused him and partly because of
the bribes, for every day, in fear of losing his only retainer, Ruggedo
brought Wag something from the Emerald City—something he had stolen! In
return, Wag waited on the bad little gnome and listened to his
grumblings against everybody in Oz. All the furnishings of this strange
cave had been stolen from various houses in the Emerald City. The
twenty-seven brocade cushions had been taken, one at a time from the
palace; the green emerald lamp also. Every day Ruggedo ran innocently
about the city, pretending to visit this one and that, and every day
cups, spoons, and candlesticks disappeared.

The doll’s rocker, which Ruggedo insisted upon calling his throne, had
been taken from Betsy Bobbin, a little girl who lived with Ozma in the
palace. He had lugged it through the secret passage with great
difficulty. The wooden doll had been stolen from Trot, another of Ozma’s
companions. She was Trot’s favorite doll, for she had been carved out of
wood by Captain Bill, an old one-legged sailor, who was one of the most
celebrated characters in all Oz. He had carved her for Trot one day when
they were on a picnic in the Winkie Country, from the wood of a small
yellow tree, and as Captain Bill had old-fashioned notions, Peg was a
very old-fashioned doll. But she had splendid joints and could sit down
and stand up. Her face was painted and as pleasant as laughing blue
eyes, a turned-up nose, and a smiling mouth could make it. Trot had
dressed her in a funny, old-fashioned dress, with pantalettes, and then,
thinking Peg too short a name, the little girl had added Amy, because
she was so amiable, she confided laughingly to the old sailor. Captain
Bill had wagged his head understandingly, and Peg Amy had straightway
become the most popular doll in the palace; that is, until she
disappeared, for Ruggedo had found her one day in the garden and,
chuckling wickedly, had carried her off to his cave.

How Trot would have felt if she had seen her poor doll being shaken and
scolded by the old Gnome King! But Trot never knew. She hunted and
hunted for her doll, and finally gave up in despair. Fortunately, Peg
was well made, or she would have been shaken to bits, but her joints
held bravely, and nothing—not even the terrible scolding of the bad old
gnome—could change her pleasant expression.

Being the sole subject of so wicked a King, however, was wearing even
for a wooden doll, and Peg was beginning to show signs of wear. Her nose
was badly chipped, one pantalette was missing, and both sleeves had been
jerked from her dress by the furious old gnome. If the rabbit was
around, Ruggedo did not shake Peg as hard as he wanted to, but when the
rabbit was gone, he pretended she was his old steward, Kaliko, and
scolded and flung her about to his heart’s content.

[Illustration: Ruggedo scolded and flung Peg about furiously]

When not carving his history or shaking Peg, Ruggedo had spent most of
his time digging new tunnels and chambers, so that leading off from the
main cavern was a perfect network of underground passages. In the back
of Ruggedo’s head was a notion that some day he would conquer the
Emerald City, regain his magic powers and then, after changing all the
inhabitants to mouldy muffins, return to his dominions and oust Kaliko
from his throne. Just how this was to be done, he had not decided, but
the secret passages would be useful. So meanwhile he dug secret
passages.

Above ground the little rascal went about so meekly and pretended to be
so delighted with his life among the inhabitants of the Emerald City,
that Ozma really thought he had reformed. Wag, to whom he confided his
plans, would shake his head gloomily and often planned to leave the
services of the wicked old gnome. There was no real harm in Wag, but the
rabbit had a weakness for collecting, and the spoons, cups and odds and
ends that Ruggedo brought him from the Emerald City filled him with
delight. He felt that they were not gotten honestly, but his work for
Ruggedo was honest and hard, “and it’s not my fault if the old
scrabble-scratch steals ’em,” Wag would mumble to himself. In his heart
he knew that he was doing wrong to stay with Ruggedo, but like all
foolish creatures he could not make up his mind to go. So this very
night, while the old gnome sat playing the accordion and howling doleful
snatches of the Gnome National Air, Wag was gloating over his treasures.
They quite filled his little dug-out room. There were two emerald
plates, a gold pencil, a dozen china cups and saucers, twenty thimbles
stolen from the work baskets of the good dames of Oz, scraps of silk,
pictures and almost everything you could imagine.

“I’ll soon have enough to marry and go to house-keeping on,” murmured
the rabbit, clasping his paws and twitching his nose very fast. He
picked up a pair of purple wool socks that had once belonged to a little
girl’s doll and regarded them rapturously. Out of all the articles
Ruggedo had given him, Wag considered these purple socks the most
valuable, perhaps because they exactly fitted him and were the only
things he could really use. The squeaking of the accordion stopped at
last and, supposing his wicked little master had retired for the night,
Wag prepared to enjoy himself. Draping a green silk scarf over his
shoulders, he strutted before the mirror, pretending he was a Courtier
of Oz. Then, throwing down the scarf, he sat down on the floor and had
just drawn on one of the socks when a loud shrill scream from Ruggedo
made his ears stand straight on end in amazement.

“What now?” coughed the rabbit, seizing the candle. Ruggedo was on his
knees before the rocking chair.

“As I was sitting here, playing and singing,” spluttered the old gnome,
“I noticed a little ring in one of the rocks on the floor!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Well, what of it?” sniffed Wag, leaning down to pull up his sock.

“What of it?” shrieked the gnome. “What of it, you poor, puny earth
worm! Look!” Leaning over Ruggedo’s shoulder and dropping hot candle
grease down the gnome’s neck, Wag peered into a square opening in the
floor. There lay a small gold box. Studded in gems on the lid were these
words:

                      Glegg’s Box of Mixed Magic.

“Mixed magic!” stuttered Wag, dropping the candle. “Oh, my socks and
soup spoons!”

Ruggedo said nothing, but his little red eyes blazed maliciously.
Reaching down, he lifted out the box and, clasping it to his fat little
stomach, shook his fist at the high domed ceiling of the cave.

“Now!” hissed Ruggedo triumphantly. “Now we shall see what mixed magic
will do to the Emerald City of Oz!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 7
                        Sir Hokus And The Giants


“Oh!” sighed Sir Hokus of Pokes and Oz, stretching his armored legs to
the fire. “How I yearn to slay a giant! How it would refresh me! Hast
any real giants in Oz, Dorothy?”

“Don’t you remember the candy giant?” laughed the little girl, looking
up from the handkerchief she was making for Ozma.

“Not to my taste,” said the Knight, “though his vest buttons were vastly
nourishing.”

“Well, there’s Mr. Yoop—he’s a real blood-and-bone giant. There are
plenty of giants, I guess, if we knew just where to find them!” said the
little girl, biting off her thread.

  “Find ’em—bind ’em,
  Get behind ’em!
  Hokus Pokus
  He don’t mind ’em!”

screamed the Patch Work Girl, bounding out of her chair. “But why can’t
you stay peaceably at home, old Iron Sides, and be jolly like the rest
of us?”

“You don’t understand, Scraps,” put in Dorothy gravely. “Sir Hokus is a
Knight and it is a true Knight’s duty to slay giants and dragons and go
on quests!”

“_That_ it is, my Lady Patches!” boomed Sir Hokus, puffing out his
chest. “I’ve rusted here in idleness long enough. To-morrow, with Ozma’s
permission, I shall start on a giant quest.”

“I’d go with you, only I’ve promised to help Ozma count the royal
emeralds,” said the Scarecrow, who had ridden over from his Corn-Ear
residence to spend a week with his old friends in the Emerald City.

  “Giants, Sir, are bluff and rude
  And might mistake a man for food!

  Hokus Pokus, be discreet,
  Or you will soon be giant meat!”

chuckled the Patch Work Girl, crooking her finger under the Knight’s
nose.

“Nonsense!” blustered Sir Hokus, waving Scraps aside. Rising from his
green arm chair, he strode up and down the room, his armor clanking at
every step. Straightway the company began to tell about wild giants they
had read of or known. Trot and Betsy Bobbin held hands as they sat
together on the sofa, and Toto, Dorothy’s small dog, crept closer to his
little mistress, the bristles on his back rising higher as each story
was finished. “Giant stories are all very well, but why tell ’em at
night?” shivered Toto, peering nervously at the long shadows in the
corners of the room.

It was the evening after Ruggedo’s strange discovery of the mixed magic
and in the royal palace Ozma and most of the Courtiers had retired. But
a few of Princess Dorothy’s special friends had gathered in the cozy
sitting-room of her apartment to talk about old times. They were very
unusual and interesting friends, not at all the sort one would expect to
find in a royal palace, even in Fairyland. Dorothy, herself, before she
had become a Princess of Oz, had been a little girl from Kansas but,
after several visits to this delightful country, she had preferred to
make Oz her home.

Trot and Betsy Bobbin also had come from the United States by way of
shipwrecks, so to speak, and had been invited to remain by Ozma, the
little fairy Princess who ruled Oz, and now each of these girls had a
cozy little apartment in the royal palace. Toto had come with Dorothy,
but the rest of the company were of more or less magic extraction.

The Scarecrow, a stuffed straw person, with a marvelous set of mixed
brains given to him by the Wizard of Oz, was Dorothy’s favorite. In fact
she had discovered him herself upon a Munchkin farm, lifted him down
from his bean pole and brought him to the Emerald City. Tik Tok was a
wonderful man made entirely of copper, who could talk, think and act as
well as the next fellow when properly wound. You would have been amazed
to hear the giant story he was ticking off at this very minute. As for
Scraps, she had been made by a magician’s wife out of old pieces of
patch-work and magically brought to life. Her bright patches, yarn hair
and silver suspender button eyes gave Scraps so comical an expression
that just to look at her tickled one’s funny bone. Her head was full of
nonsense rhymes and she was so amusing and cheerful that Ozma insisted
upon her living with the rest of the celebrities in the Emerald City.

[Illustration: Just to Look at Scraps Tickled One’s Funny Bone]

Sir Hokus of Pokes was a comparative new-comer in the capital city of
Oz. Yet the Knight was so old that it would give me lumbago just to try
to count up his birthdays. He dated back to King Arthur, in fact, and
had been wished into the Land of Oz centuries before by an enemy
sorcerer. Dorothy had found and rescued him, with the Cowardly Lion’s
help, from Pokes, the dullest Kingdom in Oz. As there were no other
Knights in the Emerald City, Sir Hokus was much stared at and admired.
Even the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, the one and only soldier and
entire army of Oz—yes, even the soldier with the Green Whiskers saluted
Sir Hokus when he passed. Ozma, herself, felt more secure since the
Knight had come to live in the palace. He was well versed in adventure
and always courageous and courteous, withal.

But, while I’ve been telling you all this, Tik Tok had finished his
story of a three-legged giant who lived in Ev.

“And where is Ev?” puffed Sir Hokus, planting himself before Tik Tok.

“Ev,” began Tik Tok in his precise fashion, “is to the north-west of
here on the oth-er side of the im—” There was a whirr and a click and
the copper man stood motionless and soundless, his round eyes fixed
solemnly on the Knight.

“Pass-able des-ert,” finished the Scarecrow, jumping up and kindly
winding all of Tik Tok’s keys as if nothing had happened.

“Pass-able des-ert,” continued the Copper Man.

“That’s where the old Gnome King used to live,” piped Betsy Bobbin,
bouncing up and down upon the sofa, “under the mountains of Ev, and he
threw us down a tube and tried to melt you in a crucible, didn’t he, Tik
Tok?”

“He was a ve-ry bad per-son,” said the Copper Man.

  “Ruggedo was a wicked King,
  ’Tho’ now he’s good as pie,
  But none the less, I must confess,
  He has a wicked eye!”

burst out Scraps, who was tired of sitting still listening to giant
stories.

But Sir Hokus could not be got off the subject of giants. “To Ev!”
thundered the Knight, raising his sword. “To-morrow I’m off to Ev to
conquer this terrible monster. Large as a mountain, you say, Tik Tok?
Well, what care I for mountains? I, Sir Hokus of Pokes, will slay him!”

“Hurrah for the giant killer!” giggled Scraps, turning a somersault and
nearly falling in the fire.

“Let’s go to bed!” said Dorothy uneasily. She had for the last few
minutes been hearing strange rumbles. Of course it could not be giants;
still the conversation, she concluded, had better be finished by
sunlight.

But it never was, for at that moment there was a deafening crash. The
lights went out; the whole castle shivered; furniture fell every which
way. Down clattered Sir Hokus, falling with a terrible clangor on top of
the Copper Man. Down rolled the little girls and the Scarecrow and
Scraps. Down tumbled everybody.

“Cyclone!” gasped Dorothy, who had experienced several in Kansas.

“Giants!” stuttered Betsy Bobbin, clutching Trot.

The Wizard of Oz tried to reassure the agitated company. He told them
there was no cause for alarm, and that they would soon find out what was
the trouble. The soothing words of the Wizard were scarcely heard.

[Illustration: The Smiling Little Wizard of Oz]

What the others said was lost in the noise that followed.
Thumps—bangs—crashes—screams came from every room in the rocking palace.

“We’re flying! The whole castle’s flying up in the air!” screamed
Dorothy. Then she subsided, as an emerald clock and three pictures came
thumping down on her head.

What had happened? No one could say. Dorothy, Betsy Bobbin and Trot had
fainted dead away. The Scarecrow and Sir Hokus were tangled up on the
floor, clasped in each other’s arms.

The confusion was terrific. Only the Wizard was still calm and smiling.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 8
                        Woe In The Emerald City


The Soldier with the Green Whiskers finished his breakfast slowly,
combed his beard, pinned on all of his medals and solemnly issued forth
from his little house at the garden gates.

“Forward march!” snapped the soldier. He had to give himself orders,
being the only man, general or private in the army. And forward march he
did. It was his custom to report to Ozma every morning to receive his
orders for the day. When he had gone through the little patch of trees
that separated his cottage from the palace, the Soldier with the Green
Whiskers gave a great leap.

“Halt! Break ranks!” roared the Grand Army of Oz, clutching his beard in
terror. “Great Goloshes!” He rubbed his eyes and looked again. Yes, the
gorgeous emerald-studded palace had disappeared, leaving not so much as
a gold brick to tell where it had stood. Trembling in every knee, the
Grand Army of Oz approached. A great black hole, the exact shape of the
palace, yawned at his feet. He took one look down that awful cavity,
then shot through the palace gardens like a green comet.

Like Paul Revere he had gone to give the alarm, and Paul Revere himself
never made better time. He thumped on windows and banged on doors and
dashed through the sleeping city like a whirlwind. In five minutes there
was not a man, woman or child who did not know of the terrible calamity.
They rushed to the palace gardens in a panic. Some stared up in the air;
others peered down the dark hole; still others ran about wildly trying
to discover some trace of the missing castle.

“What shall we do?” they wailed dismally. For to have their lovely
little Queen and the Wizard and all the most important people in Oz
disappear at once was simply terrifying. They were a gentle and kindly
folk, used to obeying orders, and now there was no one to tell them what
to do.

At last Unk Nunkie, an old Munchkin who had taken up residence in the
Emerald City, pushed through the crowd. Unk was a man of few words, but
a wise old chap for all that, so they made way for him respectfully.
First Unk Nunkie stroked his beard; then pointing with his long lean
finger toward the south he snapped out one word—“GLINDA!”

Of course! They must tell Glinda. Why had they not thought of it
themselves? Glinda would know just what to do and how to do it. Three
cheers for Unk Nunkie! Glinda, you know, is the good Sorceress of Oz,
who knows more magic than anyone in the Kingdom, but who only practices
it for the people’s good. Indeed, Glinda and the Wizard of Oz are the
only ones permitted to practice magic, for so much harm had come of it
that Ozma made a law forbidding sorcery in all of its branches. But even
in a fairy country people do not always obey the laws and everyone felt
that magic was at the bottom of this disaster.

So away to fetch Glinda dashed the Grand Army, his green whiskers
streaming behind him. Fortunately the royal stables had not disappeared
with the palace, so the gallant army sprang upon the back of the Saw
Horse, and without stopping to explain to the other royal beasts, bade
it carry him to Glinda as fast as it could gallop. Being made of wood
with gold shod feet and magically brought to life, the Saw Horse can run
faster than any animal in Oz. It never tired or needed food and when it
understood that the palace and its dear little Mistress had disappeared
it fairly flew; for the Saw Horse loved Ozma with all its saw dust and
was devoted as only a wooden beast can be.

[Illustration: The Grand Army sprang upon the back of the Saw Horse]

In an hour they had reached Glinda’s shining marble palace in the
southern part of the Quadling country, and as soon as the lovely
Sorceress had heard the soldier’s story, she hurried to the magic Book
of Records. This is the most valuable book in Oz and it is kept
padlocked with many golden chains to a gold table, for in this great
volume appear all the events happening in and out of the world.

Now, Glinda had been so occupied trying to discover the cause of frowns
that she had not referred to the book for several days and naturally
there were many pages to go over. There were hundreds of entries
concerning automobile accidents in the United States and elsewhere.
These Glinda passed over hurriedly, till she came to three sentences
printed in red, for Oz news always appeared in the book in red letters.
The first sentence did not seem important. It merely stated that the
Prince of Pumperdink was journeying toward the Emerald City. The other
two entries seemed serious.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Glegg’s box of Mixed Magic has been discovered,” said the second, and
“Ruggedo has something on his _mind_,” stated the third. Glinda pored
over the book for a long time to see whether any more information would
be given but not another red sentence appeared. With a sigh, Glinda
turned to the Soldier with the Green Whiskers.

[Illustration: “Ruggedo Has Something on His Mind,” Read Glinda]

“The old Gnome King must be mixed up in this,” she said anxiously, “and
as he was last seen in the Emerald City, I will return with you at
once.” So Glinda and the Soldier with the Green Whiskers flew back to
the Emerald City drawn in Glinda’s chariot by swift flying swans and the
little Saw Horse trotted back by himself. When they reached the gardens
a great crowd had gathered by the Fountain of Oblivion and a tall green
grocer was speaking excitedly.

“What is it?” asked Glinda, shuddering as she passed the dreadful hole
where Ozma’s lovely palace had once stood. Everyone started explaining
at once so that Glinda was obliged to clap her hands for silence.

“Foot print!” Unk Nunkie stood upon his tip toes and whispered it in
Glinda’s ear and when she looked where Unk pointed she saw a huge,
shallow cave-in that crushed the flower beds for as far as she could
see.

“Foot print!” gasped Glinda in amazement.

“Uh huh!” Unk Nunkie wagged his head determinedly and then, pulling his
hat down over his eyes, spoke his last word on the subject: “_GIANT!_”

“A giant foot print! Why so it is!” cried Glinda.

“What shall we do? What shall we do?” cried the frightened inhabitants
of the Emerald City, wringing their hands.

“First, find Ruggedo,” ordered Glinda, suddenly remembering the
mysterious entry in the Book of Records. So, away to the little cottage
hurried the crowd. They searched it from cellar to garret, but of course
found no trace of the wicked little gnome. As no one knew about the
secret passage in Ruggedo’s cellar, they never thought of searching
underground.

Meanwhile Glinda sank down on one of the golden garden benches and tried
to think. The Comfortable Camel stumbled broken-heartedly across the
lawn and dropping on its knees begged the Sorceress in a tearful voice
to save Sir Hokus of Pokes. The Camel and the Doubtful Dromedary had
been discovered by the Knight on his last adventure and were deeply
attached to him. Soon all the palace pets came and stood in a dejected
row before Glinda—Betsy’s mule, Hank, hee-hawing dismally and the Hungry
Tiger threatening to eat everyone in sight if any harm came to the three
little girls.

“I doubt if we’ll ever see them again,” groaned the Doubtful Dromedary,
leaning up against a tree.

“Oh Doubty—how _can_ you?” wailed the Camel, tears streaming down its
nose.

“Please do be quiet,” begged Glinda, “or I’ll forget all the magic I
know. Let me see, now—how does one catch a marauding giant who has run
off with a castle?”

On her fingers Glinda counted up all the giants in the four countries of
Oz. No! It could not be an Oz giant; there was none large enough. It
must be a giant from some strange country.

When the crowd returned with the news that Ruggedo had disappeared
Glinda felt more uneasy still. But hiding her anxiety she bade the
people return to their homes and continue their work and play as usual.
Then, promising to return that evening with a plan to save the castle,
and charging the Soldier with the Green Whiskers to keep a strict watch
in the garden, Glinda stepped into her chariot and flew back to the
South. All that day, in her palace in the Quadling country, Glinda bent
over her encyclopedia on giants, and far into the night the lights
burned from her high turret-chamber, as she consulted book after book of
magic.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 9
                       Mixed Magic Makes Mischief


The Book of Records had been perfectly correct in stating that Ruggedo
had something on his mind. _He had!_ To understand the mysterious
disappearance of Ozma’s palace, we must go back to the old Ex-King of
the Gnomes. The whole of the night after he had found Glegg’s box of
Mixed Magic, Ruggedo had spent trying to open the box. But pry and poke
as he would it stubbornly refused to give up its secrets.

“Better come to bed,” advised Wag, twitching his nose nervously. “Mixed
Magic isn’t safe, you know. It might explode.”

“Idiot!” grumbled Ruggedo. “I don’t know who Glegg is or was, but I’m
going to find out what kind of magic he mixes. I’m going to open this
box if it takes me a century.”

“All right,” quavered Wag, retiring backward and holding up his paw.
“All right, but remember I warned you! Don’t meddle with magic, that’s
my motto!”

“I don’t care a harebell what your motto is,” sneered the gnome,
continuing to hammer on the gold lid.

When he reached his room, Wag shut the door and sank dejectedly upon the
edge of the bed.

“There’s no manner of use trying to stop him,” sighed the rabbit, “so
I’ve got to get out of here before he gets me into trouble. I’ll go
to-morrow!” resolved Wag, pulling his long ear nervously. With this good
resolution, the little rabbit drooped off asleep.

Very cautiously he opened the door of his little rock-room next morning.
Ruggedo was sound asleep on the floor, his head on the magic box, and
Peg Amy, with her wooden arms and legs flung out in every direction, lay
sprawled in a corner.

Been shaking you again, the old scrabble-scratch!” whispered the rabbit
indignantly, “just ’cause he couldn’t open that box. Well, never mind,
Peg, I’m leaving to-day and as surely as I’ve ears and whiskers you
shall go too!” Picking up the poor wooden doll Wag tucked her under his
arm. Was it imagination, or did the little wooden face break into a
sunny smile? It seemed so to Wag and, with a real thrill of pleasure, he
tip-toed back to his room and began tossing his treasures into one of
the bed sheets. He seated Peg in his own small rocking chair and from
time to time he nodded to her reassuringly.

“We’ll soon be out now, my dear,” he chuckled, quite as if Peg had been
alive. She often did seem alive to Wag. “Then we’ll see what Ozma has to
say to this Mixed Magic,” continued the bunny, wiggling his ears
indignantly. And so occupied was he collecting his treasures that he did
not hear Ruggedo’s call and next minute the angry gnome himself stood in
the doorway.

“What does this mean?” he cried furiously, pointing to the tied up
sheet. Then he stamped his foot so hard that Peg Amy fell over sideways
in the chair and all the ornaments in the room skipped as if alive.

The rabbit whirled ’round in a hurry.

“It means I’m leaving you for good, you wicked little monster!” shrilled
Wag, his whiskers trembling with agitation and his ears sticking
straight out behind. “_Leaving_—do you hear?”

Then he snatched Peg Amy in one paw and his treasures in the other and
tried to brush past Ruggedo. But the gnome was too quick for him.
Springing out of the room, he slammed the door and locked it. Wag could
hear him rolling up rocks for further security.

“Thought you’d steal a march on old Ruggedo; thought you’d tell Ozma all
his plans and get a nice little reward! Well, _think again_!” shouted
the gnome through the keyhole.

Wag had plenty of time to think, for Ruggedo never came near the
rabbit’s room all day. At every sound poor Wag leaped into the air, for
he felt sure each blow could only mean the opening of the dreaded magic
box. To reassure himself he held long conversations with the wooden doll
and Peg’s calm cheerfulness steadied him a lot.

“I might dig my way out but it would take so long! My ear tips! How
provoking it is!” exclaimed Wag. “But perhaps he’ll relent by
nightfall!” Slowly the day dragged on but nothing came from the big rock
room but thumps, grumbles and bangs.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“It is fortunate that you do not eat, Peg, dear,” sighed the rabbit late
in the afternoon, nibbling disconsolately on a stale biscuit he had
found under his bureau. “Shall you care very much if I starve? I
probably shall, you know. Of course no one in Oz can die, but starving
forever is not comfortable either.” At this the wooden doll seemed to
shake her head, as much as to say: “You won’t starve, Wag dear; just be
patient a little longer.” Not that she really said this, mind you, but
Wag knew from her smile that this is what she was thinking.

It was hot and stuffy in the little rock chamber and the faint light
that filtered down from the hole in the ceiling was far from cheerful.
At last night came, and that was worse. Wag lit his only candle but it
was already partly burned down and soon with a dismal sputter it went
out and left the two sitting in the dark. Peg Amy stared cheerfully
ahead but the rabbit, worn out by his long day of fright and worry, fell
into a heavy slumber.

Meanwhile Ruggedo had worked on the magic box and every minute he became
more impatient. All his poundings failed to make even a dent on the gold
lid and even jumping on it brought no result. The little gnome had eaten
nothing since morning and by nightfall he was stamping around the box in
a perfect fury. His eyes snapped and twinkled like live coals and his
wispy white hair fairly crackled with rage. Hidden in this box were
magic secrets that would doubtless enable him to capture the Whole of Oz
but, _klumping kaloogas_, how was he to get at ’em? He finally gave the
gold box such a vindictive kick that he almost crushed his curly toes;
then holding onto one foot, he hopped about on the other till he fell
over exhausted.

For several minutes he lay perfectly still; then jumping up he seized
the box and flung it with all his gnome might against the rock wall.

“Take that!” screamed Ruggedo furiously. There was a bright flash; then
the box righted itself slowly and sailed straight back into Ruggedo’s
hands and, more wonderful still, _it was open_! With his eyes almost
popping from his head, the gnome sat down on the floor, the box in his
lap.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

In the first tray were four golden flasks and each one was carefully
labeled. The first was marked, “Flying Fluid”; “Vanishing Cream” was in
the second. The third flask held “Glegg’s Instantaneous Expanding
Extract,” and in the fourth was “Spike’s Hair Strengthener.”

Ruggedo rubbed his hands gleefully and lifted out the top tray. In the
next compartment was a tiny copper kettle, a lamp and a package marked
“Triple Trick Tea.” So anxious was Ruggedo to know what was in the last
compartment that he scarcely glanced at Glegg’s tea set. Quickly he
peered into the bottom of the casket. There were two boxes. Taking up
the first Ruggedo read, “Glegg’s Question Box. Shake three times after
each question.”

“Great Grampus!” spluttered the gnome, “this is a find!” He was growing
more excited every minute and his hands shook so he could hardly read
the label on the last box. Finally he made it out: “Re-animating Rays,
guaranteed to reawaken any person who has lost the power of life through
sorcery, witchcraft or enchantment,” said the label.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Well, did anyone ever hear anything more magic than that? Ruggedo
glanced from one to the other of the little gold flasks and boxes. There
were so many he hardly knew which to use first. “Flying Fluid and
Vanishing Cream,” mused the gnome. Well, they might help after he had
captured Oz, but he felt it would take more powerful magic than Flying
Fluid and Vanishing Cream to capture the fairy Kingdom. Next he picked
up the bottle labeled “Spike’s Hair Strengthener.” Anything that
strengthened would be helpful, so, with one eye on the last bottle,
Ruggedo absently rubbed some of the hair strengthener on his head. He
stopped rubbing in a hurry and put his finger in his mouth with a howl
of pain. Then he jumped up in alarm and ran to a small mirror hanging on
the wall. Every hair on his head had become an iron spike and the result
was so terrible that it frightened even the old gnome. He flung the
bottle angrily on the ground. But stop! He could butt his enemies with
the sharp spikes! Comforting himself with this cheerful thought, Ruggedo
returned to the magic box.

“Instantaneous Expanding Extract,” muttered the gnome, turning the
bottle over carefully. “That ought to make me _larger_—and if I were
larger—if I were larger!” He snapped his fingers and began hopping up
and down. He was about to empty the bottle over his head when he
suddenly reflected that it might be safer to try this powerful extract
on someone else. But on whom?

Ruggedo glanced quickly around the cave and then remembered the wooden
doll. He would try a little on Peg Amy and see how it worked. Turning
the key he stepped softly into Wag’s room. Without wakening the rabbit,
Ruggedo dragged out the wooden doll. Propping her up against the wall,
the gnome uncorked the bottle of expanding fluid and dropped two drops
on Peg Amy’s head. Peg was about ten inches high, but no sooner had the
expanding fluid touched her than she shot up four feet and with such
force that she lost her balance and came crashing down on top of
Ruggedo, almost crushing him flat.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Get off, you great log of wood!” screamed the gnome, struggling
furiously. But this Peg Amy was powerless to do and it was only after a
frightful struggle that Ruggedo managed to drag himself out. He started
to shake Peg but as she was now four times his size he soon gave that
up.

“Well, anyway it works,” sighed the gnome, rubbing his nose and the
middle of his back. “I wonder how it would act on a live person? I’ll
try a little on that silly rabbit,” he concluded, tip-toeing back into
Wag’s room. Now Wag’s apartment was about seven feet square—plenty large
enough for a regular rabbit—but two drops of the expanding fluid—and,
_stars_! Wag was no longer a regular rabbit but a six-foot funny bunny,
stretching from one end of the room to the other. He expanded without
even waking up. Ruggedo had to squeeze past him in order to get out and,
chuckling with satisfaction, the gnome hurried back to his box of magic.
His mind was now made up. He would take Glegg’s Mixed Magic under his
arm, go above ground and with the Expanding Fluid change himself into a
giant. Then conquering Oz would be a simple matter.

It was all going to be so easy and amusing that Ruggedo felt he had
plenty of time to examine the rest of the bottles and boxes. He rubbed
some of the Vanishing Cream on a sofa cushion and it instantly
disappeared. The box of Re-animating Rays, guaranteed to reawaken anyone
from enchantment, interested the old gnome immensely, but how could he
try them when there was no bewitched person about—at least none that he
knew of? Then his eye fell on the Question Box. Why not try that? So,
“How shall I use the Re-animating Rays?” asked Ruggedo, shaking the box
three times. Nothing happened at first. Then, by the light from his
emerald lamp, the gnome saw a sentence forming on the lid.

“Try them on Peg,” said the box shortly. Without thinking of
consequences or wondering what the Question Box meant by suggesting Peg,
the curious gnome opened the box of rays and held it over the huge
wooden doll. For as long as it would take to count ten Peg lay perfectly
still. Then, with a creak and jerk, she sprang to her feet.

“How perfectly pomiferous!” cried Peg Amy, with an awkward jump. “I’m
alive! Why, I’m alive all over!” She moved one arm, then the other and
turned her head stiffly from side to side. “I can walk!” cried Peg. “I
can walk; I can skip; I can run!” Here Peg began running around the
cave, her joints squeaking merrily at every step.

At Peg’s first move Ruggedo had jumped back of a rock, his every spike
standing on end. Too late he realized his mistake. This huge wooden
creature clattering around the cave was positively dangerous. Why, she
might easily pound him to bits. Why on earth had he meddled with the
magic rays and why under the earth should a wooden doll come to life? He
waited till Peg had run to the farthest end of the cave; then he dashed
to the magic casket and scrambled the bottles, the Trick Tea Set and the
flasks back into place and started for the door that led to the secret
passage as fast as his crooked little legs would carry him.

But he was not fast enough, for Peg heard and like a flash was after
him.

“Stop! Go away!” screamed Ruggedo.

“Why, it’s the old gnome!” cried the Wooden Doll in surprise. “The
wicked old gnome who used to shake me all the time. Why, how small he
is! I could pick him up with one hand!” She made a snatch at Ruggedo.

“Go away!” shrieked Ruggedo, ducking behind a rock. “Go away—there’s a
dear girl,” he added coaxingly. “I didn’t shake you much—not too much,
you know!”

Peg Amy put a wooden finger to her forehead and regarded him
attentively.

“I remember,” she murmured thoughtfully. “You found a magic box, and
you’re going to harm Ozma and try to conquer Oz. I must get that box!”

Reaching around the rock she seized Ruggedo by the arm.

In a panic, he jerked away. “Help! Help!” cried the gnome King, darting
off toward the other end of the cave. “Help! Help!”

In his little rock room Wag stirred uneasily. Then, as Ruggedo’s cries
grew louder, he bounced erect and almost cracked his skull on the low
ceiling. Hardly knowing what he was doing he rushed at the door only to
knock himself almost senseless against the top, for of course he did not
realize he had expanded into a giant rabbit. But as the cries from the
other room became louder and louder he got up and rubbing his head in a
dazed fashion he somehow crowded himself through the door and hopped
into the cave. When he saw Peg Amy chasing Ruggedo, Wag fell back
against the wall.

“My wocks and hoop soons!” stuttered the rabbit. “She is alive! And he’s
shrunk!”

Wag’s voice rose triumphantly. “I’m going to pound his curly toes off!”
he shouted. With this he joined merrily in the chase.

“I’ll catch him!” he called, “I’ll catch him, Peg, my dear, and make him
pay for all the shakings he has given you. I’ll pound his curly toes
off!”

“Oh, Wag! Don’t do that,” cried the Wooden Doll, stopping short. “I
didn’t mind the shakings and gnomes don’t know any better!”

“Neither do rabbits!” cried Wag stubbornly, bounding after Ruggedo.
“I’ll pound his curly toes off, I tell you!”

The old gnome was sputtering like a firecracker. What chance had he now
with two after him? Then suddenly he had an idea. Without stopping, he
fumbled in the box which he still clutched under one arm and pulled out
the bottle of Expanding Fluid. Uncorking the bottle he poured its
contents over his head—_every single drop_!

This is what happened: First he shot out sideways, till Peg and Wag were
almost crushed against the wall. With a hoarse scream Wag dragged Peg
Amy back into his room, which was now barely large enough to hold them.
They were just in time, for Ruggedo was still spreading. Soon there was
not an inch of space left to expand in. Then he shot up and grew up and
grew and grew and groaned and grew till there wasn’t any more room to
grow in. So, he burst through the top of the cave, with a noise like
fifty boilers exploding.

No wonder Dorothy thought it was a cyclone! For what was on the top of
the cave but the royal palace of Oz? The next instant it was impaled
fast on the spikes of Ruggedo’s giant head and shooting up with him
toward the clouds. And that wretched gnome never stopped growing till he
was three-quarters of a mile high!

[Illustration: The royal palace of Oz impaled fast on the spikes of
Ruggedo’s giant head]

If the people in the palace were frightened, Ruggedo was more frightened
still. Being a giant was a new experience for him and having a castle
jammed on his head was worse still. The first thing he tried to do, when
he stopped growing, was to lift the castle off, but his spikes were
driven fast into the foundations and it fitted closer than his scalp.

In a panic Ruggedo began to run, and when a giant runs he gets
somewhere. Each step carried him a half mile and shook the country below
like an earthquake and rattled the people in the castle above like
pennies in a Christmas bank. Shaking with terror and hardly knowing why,
the gnome made for his old Kingdom, and in an hour had reached the
little country of Oogaboo, which is in the very northwestern corner of
OZ, opposite his old dominions.

The Deadly Desert is so narrow at this point that with one jump Ruggedo
was across and, puffing like a volcano about to erupt, he sank down on
the highest mountain in Ev. Fortunately he had not stepped on any cities
in his flight, although he had crushed several forests and about a
hundred fences.

“Oh, Oh, My head!” groaned Ruggedo, rocking to and fro. He seemed to
have forgotten all about conquering Oz. He was full of twinges and
growing pains. Ozma’s castle was giving him a thundering headache, and
there he sat, a fearsome figure in the bright moonlight, moaning and
groaning instead of conquering.

The Book of Records had been right indeed when it stated that Ruggedo
had something on his mind. Ozma’s castle itself sat squarely upon that
mischievous mind—and every moment it seemed to grow heavier.

No wonder there had been confusion in the castle! Every time Ruggedo
shook his aching head Ozma and her guests were tossed about like leaves
in a storm. Mixed magic had made mischief indeed.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 10
                       Peg and Wag To The Rescue


For a long time after the terrific bang following Ruggedo’s final
expansion, Wag and Peg Amy had been too stunned to even move. Crowded
together in the little rock room, they lay perfectly breathless.

“Umpthing sappened,” quavered the rabbit at last.

“That sounds rather queer, but I think I know what you mean,” said Peg,
sitting up cautiously.

“Something has happened. Ruggedo’s been blown up, I guess.”

“Mixed Magic!” groaned Wag gloomily. “I knew it would explode. Say, Peg,
what makes this room so small?”

“I don’t know,” sighed the doll in a puzzled voice, for neither Peg nor
Wag realized how much they had grown. “But let’s go above ground and see
what has become of Ruggedo.” One at a time and with great difficulty
they got through the door.

“Why, there are the stars!” cried Peg Amy, clasping her wooden hands
rapturously. “Real stars!” The top of the cave had gone off with the old
gnome King and the two stood looking up at the lovely skies of Oz.

“It doesn’t seem so high as it used to,” said the rabbit, looking at the
walls. “Why, I believe I could jump out if I took a good run and carry
you, too. Come ashort, Peg!”

“Aren’t you mixed, Wag dear? Don’t you mean come along?” asked Peg,
smoothing down her torn dress.

“Well, now that you mention it, my head does feel queer,” admitted the
rabbit, twitching his nose, “bort of sackwards!”

“Sort of backwards,” corrected Peg gently. “Well, never mind. I know
what you mean. But do let’s try to find that awful box of magic. You
know Ruggedo brought me to life, Wag, with something in that box!”

“Only good thing he ever did,” said Wag, shaking his head. “But I think
you were alive before,” he added solemnly. “You always seemed alive to
me.”

“I think so, too,” whispered Peg excitedly. “I can’t remember just how,
or where, but Oh! Wag! I know I’ve been alive before. I remember
dancing.”

Peg took a few awkward steps and Wag looked on dubiously, too polite to
criticize her efforts. He didn’t even laugh when Peg Amy fell down. Peg
laughed herself, however, as merrily as possible. “It’s going to be such
fun being alive,” she said, picking herself up gaily, “such fun, Wag
dear. Why, there’s Glegg’s box!” She pounced upon the little shining
gold casket. “Ruggedo didn’t take it after all!”

“Is it shut?” asked Wag, clapping both paws to his ears. “Look out for
explosions, say I.”

“No, but I’ll soon close it,” said Peg and, shutting Glegg’s box, she
slipped it into pocket of her dress. It was about half the size of this
book you are reading and as Peg’s pockets were big and old fashioned, it
fitted quite nicely.

“Come ashort,” said Wag again, looking around uneasily, for he was
anxious to get out of the gnome’s cave. So Peg seated herself carefully
on his back and clasped her wooden arms around his neck. Then Wag ran
back a few steps, gave a great jump and sailed up, up and out of the
cave.

“Ten penny tea cups!” shrieked the Soldier with the Green Whiskers,
falling over backwards. “What next?” For Wag with Peg on his back had
leaped straight over his head.

Picking himself up, and with every whisker in his beard prickling
straight on end, the Grand Army of Oz backed toward the royal stable.
When he had backed half the distance he turned and ran for his life. But
he need not have been afraid.

“What a funny little man,” chuckled Wag. “Why, he’s no bigger than we
are. He’s no—!” Then suddenly Wag clutched his ears. “Oh!” he screamed,
beginning to hop up and down, “I forgot all my treasures—my olden goop
soons. Oh! Oh! My urple sool wocks! I’ve forgotten my urple sool wocks!”

“Your what?” cried Peg Amy, clutching him by the fur. “Now Wag, dear,
you’re all mixed up. Perhaps it’s ’cause your ears are crossed. There,
now, do stop wiggling your whiskers and turn out your toes!”

But Wag continued to wiggle his whiskers and turn in his toes and roar
for his urple sool wocks.

“Stop!” screamed Peg at last, with both hands over her wooden ears. “I
know what you mean! Your purple wool socks!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Yes,” sobbed the rabbit, slumping down on a rock and holding his head
in both paws.

“Well, don’t you think”—the Wooden Doll shook her head jerkily—“Don’t
you think it’s just as well? Ruggedo stole all those things and you
wouldn’t want stolen soup spoons, now would you?”

Wag took a long breath and regarded Peg uncertainly. Then something in
her pleasant wooden face seemed to brace him up.

“No!” he sighed solemnly—“I s’pose not. I ought to have left Rug long
ago.”

“But then you couldn’t have helped me,” said Peg brightly. “Let’s don’t
think about it any more. You’ve been awfully good to me, Wag.”

“Have I?” said Wag more cheerfully. “Well, you’re a good sort, Peg—a
regular Princess!” he finished, puffing out his chest, “and anything you
say goes.”

“Princess?” laughed the Wooden Doll, pleased nevertheless. “I’m a funny
Princess, in this old dress. Did you ever hear of a wooden Princess,
Wag?”

“You look like a Princess to me,” said the rabbit stoutly. “Dresses
don’t matter.”

This speech so tickled the Wooden Doll that she gave Wag a good hug and
began dancing again. “Being alive is such fun!” she called gaily over
her shoulder, “and you are so wonderful!”

Wag’s chest expanded at least three inches and his whiskers trembled
with emotion. “Hop on my back Peg and I’ll take you anywhere you want to
go,” he puffed magnificently.

But the Wooden Doll had suddenly grown sober. “Wherever is the castle?”
she cried anxiously. She remembered exactly where it had stood when she
was an unalive doll and now not a tower or turret of the castle was to
be seen. “Oh!” groaned Peg Amy, “Ruggedo has done something dreadful
with his Mixed Magic!”

Wag rubbed his eyes and looked all around. “Why, it’s gone!” he cried,
waving his paws. “What shall we do? If only we weren’t so small!”

“We’ve got the magic box,” said Peg hopefully, “and somehow I don’t feel
as small as I used to feel; do you?”

“Well, I feel pretty queer, myself,” said the rabbit, twitching his
nose. “Maybe it’s because I’m hungry. There’s a kitchen garden over
there near the royal stables and I think if I had some carrots I’d feel
better.”

“Of course you would!” cried Peg, jumping up. “I forgot you had to eat.”
So, very cautiously they stole into the royal cook’s garden. Wag had
often helped himself to carrots from this garden before, but now sitting
on his haunches he stared around in dazed surprise.

“Everything’s different!” wailed the rabbit dismally. “You’re the same
and I’m the same but everything else is all mixed up. Look at this
carrot. Why, it’s no bigger than a blade of grass.” Wag held up a carrot
in disgust. “Why, it will take fifty of these to give me even a taste
and the lettuce—look at it! Everything’s shrunk, even the houses!” cried
the big funny bunny, looking around. “My wocks and hoop soons,
sheverything’s hunk!”

Peg Amy had followed Wag’s gaze and now she jumped up in great
excitement. “I see it now!” cried Peg. “It’s us, Wag. Everything’s the
same but we are different. Some of that Mixed Magic has made us grow.
We’re bigger and everything else is the same. I am as tall as the little
girl who used to play with me and you are even bigger and I’m glad,
because now we can help find the castle and Ruggedo and try to make
everything right again.”

Peg clasped her wooden hands. “Aren’t you glad too, Wag?”

The rabbit shook his head. “It’s going to take an awful lot to fill me
up,” he said doubtfully. “I’ll have to eat about six times as much as I
used to.”

“Well, you’re six times as large; isn’t that any comfort?”

“My head doesn’t feel right,” insisted Wag. “As soon as I talk fast the
words all come wrong.”

“Maybe it didn’t grow as fast as the rest of you,” laughed the Wooden
Doll. “But don’t you care, Wag. I know what you mean and I think you’re
just splendid! Now hurry and finish your carrots so we can decide what
to do.

“If Mixed Magic caused all this trouble,” added Peg half to herself,
“Mixed Magic’s got to fix it. I’m going to look at that box.” Wag,
nibbling industriously, had not heard Peg’s last speech or he would
doubtless have taken to his heels.

Sitting unconcernedly in a cabbage bed, the Wooden Doll took the gold
box from her pocket. Fortunately she had not snapped the magic snap and
it opened quite easily. Her fingers were stiff and clumsy and the moon
was the only light she had to see by, but it did not take Peg Amy long
to realize the importance of Glegg’s magic.

“I wonder if he rubbed this on the castle,” she murmured, holding up the
bottle of Vanishing Cream. “And how would one bring it back? Let me see,
now.” One after the other, she took out the bottles and boxes and the
tiny tea set. The Re-animating Rays she passed over, without realizing
they were responsible for bringing her to life, but the Question Box,
Peg pounced upon with eager curiosity.

“Oh, if it only would answer questions!” fluttered Peg. Then, holding
the box close to her mouth, she whispered, “Where is Ruggedo?”

“Who are you talking to?” asked Wag, looking up in alarm. “Now don’t
_you_ get mixed up, Peg!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“It’s a Question Box,” said the Wooden Doll, “but it’s not working very
well.” She shook it vigorously and held it up so that the light
streaming down from the stable window fell directly on it. In silver
letters on the lid of the box was one word—Ev!

“Ev—Ruggedo’s in Ev!” cried Peg Amy, rushing over to the rabbit. “Can
you take me to Ev, Wag dear?”

“Of course,” said Wag, nibbling faster and faster at his carrots. “I’ll
take you anywhere, Peg.”

“Then it’s going to be all right; I know it,” chuckled the Wooden Doll,
and putting all the magic appliances back into the box she closed the
lid with a snap. And this time the magic catch caught.

“Is it far to Ev?” asked Peg Amy, looking thoughtfully at the place
where the castle had once been.

“Quite a long journey,” said Wag, “but we’ll go a hopping. Ev is near
Ruggedo’s old home and it’s across the Deadly Desert, but we’ll get
there somehow. Trust me. And when I do!” spluttered Wag, thumping his
hind feet determinedly, “I’ll pound his curly toes off—the wicked little
monster!”

“Did you ask the Question Box where the castle was?” he inquired
hastily, for he saw Peg was going to tell him he must not pound Ruggedo.

“Why, no! How silly of me!” Peg felt in her pocket and brought out the
gold box. She tried to open it as she had done before but it was no use.
She pulled and tugged and shook it. Then Wag tried.

“There’s a secret to it,” puffed the rabbit at last. “Took Rug a whole
night and day to discover it. Can’t you remember how you opened it
before, Peg?”

The Wooden Doll shook her head sadly.

“Well, never mind,” said Wag comfortingly. “Once we find Ruggedo we can
make him tell. We’d better start right off, because if any of the people
around here saw us they might try to capture us and put us in a circus.
We are rather unusual, you know.” The rabbit regarded Peg Amy
complacently. “One doesn’t see six-foot rabbits and live dolls every
day, even in Oz!”

“No,” agreed Peg Amy slowly, “I s’pose not!”

The moon, looking down on the strange pair, ducked behind a cloud to
hide her smile, for the giant funny bunny, strutting about pompously,
and old-fashioned wooden Peg, in her torn frock, were enough to make
anyone smile.

“You think of everything,” sighed Peg, looking affectionately at Wag.

“Who wouldn’t for a girl like you? You’re a Princess, Peg—a regular
Princess.” The rabbit said it with conviction and again Peg happily
smoothed her dress.

“Hop on,” chuckled Wag, “and then I’ll hop off.”

Seating herself on his back and holding tight to one of his long ears,
Peg announced herself ready. Then away through the night shot the giant
bunny—away toward the western country of the Winkies—and each hop
carried him twelve feet forward and sent up great spurts of dust behind.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 11
                     The King of The Illumi Nation


While Ruggedo was working all this mischief in the Emerald City,
Pompadore and the Elegant Elephant had fallen into strange company.
After the Prince’s disappearance, Kabumpo stared long and anxiously at
the white marble stone with its mysterious inscription, “Knock before
you fall in.”

What would happen if he knocked, as the sign directed? Something
upsetting, the Elegant Elephant was sure, else why had Pompa called for
help?

Kabumpo groaned, for he was a luxurious beast and hated discomfort of
any sort. As for falling _in_—the very thought of it made him shudder in
every pound. But selfish and luxurious though he was, the Elegant
Elephant loved Pompa with all his heart. After all, he had run off with
the Prince and was responsible for his safety. If Pompa had fallen in he
must fall in too. With a resigned sigh, Kabumpo felt in his pocket to
see that his treasures were safe, straightened his robe and, taking one
last long breath, rapped sharply on the marble stone with his trunk.
Without a sound, the stone swung inward, and as Kabumpo was standing on
it he shot headlong into a great black opening. There was a terrific
rush of air and the slab swung back, catching as it did so the
fluttering edge of the Elegant Elephant’s robe of state. This halted his
fall for about a second and then with a spluttering tear the silk fringe
ripped loose and down plunged the Elegant Elephant, trunk over heels.

After the third somersault, Kabumpo, right side up, fortunately, struck
a soft inclined slide, down which he shot like a scenic railway train.

“Great Grump!” coughed Kabumpo, holding his jeweled headpiece with his
trunk. “Great—” Before he reached the second grump, his head struck the
top of the passage with terrific force, and that was the last he
remembered about his fall. How long he lay in an unconscious state the
Elegant Elephant never knew. After what seemed several ages he became
aware of a confused murmur. Footsteps seemed to be pattering all around
him, but he was still too stunned to be curious.

“Nothing will make me get up,” thought Kabumpo dully. “I’m going to lie
here forever and—ever—and ever—and—” Just as he reached this drowsy
conclusion, something red hot fell down his neck and a voice louder than
all the rest shouted in his ear. “_What are you?_”

“Ouch!” screamed Kabumpo, now thoroughly aroused. He opened one eye and
rolled over on his side. A tall, curious creature was bending over him.
Its head was on fire and as Kabumpo blinked angrily another red hot
shower spattered into his ear. With a trumpet of rage Kabumpo lunged to
his feet. The hot-headed person fell over backwards and a crowd of
similar creatures pattered off into the corner and regarded Kabumpo
uneasily. They were as tall as Pompa but very thin and tube-like in
shape and their heads appeared to be a mass of flickering flames.

“Like giant candles,” reflected the Elegant Elephant, his curiosity
getting the better of his anger. He glanced about hurriedly. He was in a
huge white tiled chamber and the only lights came from the heads of its
singular occupants. A little distance away Prince Pompadore sat rubbing
first his knees and then his head.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“It’s another faller,” said one of the giant Candlemen to the other.
“Two fallers in one day! This is exciting—an ‘Ouch’ it calls itself!”

“I don’t care what it calls itself,” answered the second Candleman
crossly. “I call it mighty rude. How dare you blow out our king?”
shouted the hot-headed fellow, shaking his fist at the Elegant Elephant.
“Here, some of you, light him up!”

“Blow out your King?” gasped Kabumpo in amazement. Sure enough, he had.
There at his feet lay the King of the Candles, stiff and lifeless and
with never a head to bless himself with. While the Elegant Elephant
stared at the long candlestick figure a fat little Candleman rushed
forward and lit with his own head the small black wick sticking out of
the King’s collar.

Instantly the ruddy flame face of the King appeared, his eyes snapping
dangerously. Jumping to his feet he advanced toward Pompadore. “Is this
your Ouch?” spluttered the King, jerking his thumb at Kabumpo. “You must
take him away at once. I never was so put out in my life. Me, the
hand-dipped King of the whole Illumi Nation, to be blown out by a bumpy
creature without any headlight. Where’s _your_ headlight?” he demanded
fiercely, leaning over the Prince and dropping hot tallow down his neck.

Pompa jumped up in a hurry and backed toward Kabumpo. “Be careful how
you talk to him,” roared the Elegant Elephant, swaying backwards and
forward like a big ship. “He’s a Prince—the Prince of Pumperdink!”
Kabumpo tossed his trunk threateningly.

“A Prince?” spluttered the King, changing his tone instantly. “Well,
that’s different. A Prince can fall in on us any time and welcome but an
Ouch! Why bring this great clumsy Ouch along?” He rolled his eyes
mournfully at Kabumpo.

“He’s not an Ouch,” explained Pompa, who was gradually recovering from
the shock of his fall. “He is Kabumpo, an Elegant Elephant, and he blew
you out by mistake. Didn’t you, Kabumpo?”

“Purely an accident—nothing intentional, I assure you,” chuckled
Kabumpo. He was beginning to enjoy himself. “If there’s any more trouble
I’ll blow ’em all out,” he reflected comfortably, “for they’re nothing
but great big candles.”

Seeing their King in friendly conversation with the strangers, the other
Candlemen came closer—too close for comfort, in fact. They were always
leaning over and dropping hot tallow on a body and the heat from their
flaming heads was simply suffocating.

“Sing the National Air for them,” said the Candle King carelessly and
the Candlemen, in their queer crackling voices, sang the following song,
swaying rhythmically to the tune:

  “Flicker, flicker, Candlemen,
  Cheer our King and cheer again!
  Neat as wax and always bright,
  Cheer’s the King of candle light!

  Kindle lightly—dwindle slightly,
  Here we burn both day and nightly,
  Here we have good times to burn
  Till each one goes out in turn.”

“Thank you,” said Pompa, mopping his head with his silk handkerchief.

“Thank you very much,” Kabumpo groaned plaintively, for the great
elephant was nearly stifled.

“How is it you are so tall and thin?” asked Pompa after an awkward
pause.

“How is it you are so short and lumpy and unevenly dipped?” responded
King Cheer promptly. “If I were in your place,” he gave Kabumpo a
contemptuous glance, “I’d have myself redipped. Where are your wicks?
And how can you walk about without being lighted?”

“We’re not fireworks,” puffed Kabumpo indignantly and then he gave a
shrill scream. Ten Candlemen tottered and went out, falling to the
ground with a great clatter. Then Pompa leaped several feet in the air
and his scream put out five more.

“Stop!” cried King Cheer angrily. “Stand where you are!” But Kabumpo and
Pompa neither stopped nor stood where they were. The Elegant Elephant
rushed over to the Prince and threw his heavy robe over his head. And
just in time, for Pompa’s golden locks were a mass of flames. Then the
Prince tore off his velvet jacket and clapped it to Kabumpo’s tail,
which also was blazing merrily.

“Great Grump!” rumbled the Elegant Elephant furiously, when he had
extinguished Pompa and Pompa had extinguished him. “I’ll put you all out
for this!” He raised his trunk and pointed it straight at the Candlemen,
who cowered in the far corner.

“I was only trying to light you up,” wailed a little fellow, holding out
his hands pleadingly. “I thought that was your wick.” He pointed a
trembling finger at Kabumpo’s tail and another at Pompa’s head.

[Illustration: “I was only trying to light you up,” wailed the
Candleman]

“Wick!” snorted Kabumpo in a rage—while the Prince ran his hand
sorrowfully through his one luxuriant pompadour, of which nothing but a
short stubble remained—“Wick! What would we be doing with wicks?”

“I don’t think he meant any harm,” put in Pompadore, whose kind heart
was touched by the little Candleman’s terror. “And it wouldn’t help us
any.”

“Thought it was my Wick,” shrilled Kabumpo, glaring over his shoulder at
his poor scorched tail. “He’s a wick-ed little wretch. He’s ruined your
looks.”

“I know!” Pompa sighed dismally. “No one will want to marry me now. It’s
all coming true, Kabumpo, just as Count It Up said. Remember? ‘If a thin
Prince sets out on a fat elephant to find a Proper Princess, how many
yards of fringe will the elephant lose from his robe and how bald will
the Prince be at the end of the journey?’ And we’ve scarcely begun!”

“Great hay stacks!” whistled Kabumpo, his little eyes twinkling. “So I
have lost every bit of fringe from my robe and my tail and half the back
of my robe besides. This is nice, I must say.”

“We only tried to give you a warm welcome,” said the King timidly.

“Warm welcome! Well I should think you did,” sniffed Kabumpo. “How do we
get out of here?”

“Oh, that’s very simple,” said the King, cheering up. “Tommy, go for the
Snuffer.”

Before Kabumpo or Pompa realized what this would mean a little Candleman
named Tommy Tallow had returned with a tall black candle person. He
stepped to the side wall, quickly jerked a rope and down over Kabumpo
dropped a great brass snuffer and over the Prince another.

“That ought to put the cross old things out,” Pompa heard the King say
just before his snuffer reached the floor.

“This is terrible,” fumed the poor Prince, thumping on the sides of the
huge brass dome. “I might as well have stayed at home and disappeared
comfortably. My poor old father and my mother! I wonder where they are
now?”

Sunk in gloomy reflection, Pompadore leaned against the side of the
snuffer. And one cannot blame him for feeling dismal. The fall down the
deep passage, the shock of losing his hair and now imprisonment under a
stifling brass dome were enough to extinguish the hopes of the stoutest
hearted adventurer.

“I shall never find a Proper Princess!” wailed Pompa, tying and untying
his handkerchief. But just then there was a creak from without and the
great dome lifted as suddenly as it had fallen—so suddenly in fact that
Pompa fell flat on his back. There stood Kabumpo winding up the long
rope with his trunk and grumbling furiously all the while.

“Takes more than a snuffer to keep me down,” wheezed the Elegant
Elephant, hurrying over and jerking the Prince to his feet. “Three humps
of my shoulders and off she goes! What makes it so dark?”

“The Candlemen have all gone,” sighed Pompa, brushing his hand wearily
across his forehead. “All except that one.”

In a distant corner sat Tommy Tallow and the light from his head was the
only light in the great chamber. He was reading a book with tin leaves
and looked up in surprise when he saw the Elegant Elephant and Pompadore
approaching. Then he started to sputter and ran toward a bell rope at
the side of the chamber.

“Stop!” shouted Kabumpo, “or I’ll blow off your head!” At that the
little Candleman trembled so violently that his flame head almost went
out.

“Now suppose you show us the way out,” snapped the Elegant Elephant,
stamping one big foot until the floor trembled.

“You could burn out!” gasped Tommy faintly. “That’s what we do!”

“Don’t say out,” whispered Pompa anxiously. “We want to go away from
here,” he explained earnestly. “Back on the top of the ground, you
know.”

“Oh!” whistled Tommy Tallow, his face lighting up. “That’s easy—this
way, please!” He almost ran to a big door at one side of the room and
tugging it open, waved them through.

“Good-bye!” he called, slamming the door quickly behind them.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Kabumpo and the Prince found themselves in a wide dim hallway. It
slanted up gradually and there were tall candle guards stationed about a
hundred yards apart all of the way.

“Are you going to a birthday party or a wedding?” asked the first guard,
as they passed him.

“Wedding,” sniffed Kabumpo. “Why?”

“Well, hardly any of the candles go out of here unless they’re needed
for a birthday or a wedding,” explained the guard, shifting his big
feet. “You’re mighty poorly made though. What kind of candles do you
call yourselves?”

“Roman,” chuckled Kabumpo with a wink. “We roam around,” he added
ponderously.

“Do all the candles used above ground come from here?” asked Pompa
curiously.

“Certainly,” replied the guard. “All candles come from Illumi—and they
don’t like to leave either because as soon as they strike the upper air
they shrink down to ordinary cake and candlestick size. Distressing,
isn’t it?”

“I suppose it must be,” smiled Pompadore. “Good-bye!” The guard touched
his flame hat and Kabumpo quickened his pace.

“I want air,” rumbled the great elephant, panting along as fast as he
could go. “I’ve seen and felt about all I care to see and feel of the
Illumi Nation.”

“So have I!” The Prince of Pumperdink touched his scorched locks and
sighed deeply. “I’m afraid Ozma will never marry me now, and Pumperdink
will disappear forever!”

“Don’t be a Gooch!” snapped the Elegant Elephant shortly. “Our
adventures have only begun.”

They passed the rest of the guards without further conversation, and
after about two hours came to the end of the long tiled passageway and
stepped upon firm ground again.

Kabumpo was terribly out of breath, for the whole way had been up hill.
For a full minute he stood sniffing the fresh night air. Then, turning
around, he looked for the opening through which they had come. Not a
sign of the passage anywhere!

“That’s curious,” puffed the Elegant Elephant. “But never mind. We don’t
want to go back anyway.”

“I should say not,” gasped the Prince wearily. “Where are we now,
Kabumpo?”

“Still in the Gilliken country, I think, but headed in the right
direction. All we have to do is to keep going South,” said the Elegant
Elephant cheerfully.

“But we’ve had nothing to eat since morning,” objected Pompadore.

“That’s so,” agreed Kabumpo, scratching his head thoughtfully, “and not
a house in sight!”

“But I smell something cooking,” insisted the Prince, sniffing hungrily.

“So do I,” said the Elegant Elephant, lifting his trunk, “and it smells
like soup. Let’s follow our noses, Pompa, my boy.”

“Yours is the longest,” laughed the Prince, as Kabumpo swung him upon
the elephant’s back. So, guided by the fragrant whiffs that came
floating toward them, Kabumpo set out through the trees.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 12
                       The Delicious Sea of Soup


“Strange that we don’t see any houses,” puffed Kabumpo, swinging along
rapidly.

“I hear water,” answered Pompa, peering out over Kabumpo’s head, “and
there it is!”

Rippling silver under the rays of the moon, which shone brightly, lay a
great inland sea. The trees had thinned out, and a smooth, sandy beach
stretched down to the shore. A slight mist hung in the air and all
around was the delicious fragrance of vegetable soup.

“Somebody’s making soup,” sighed the Prince, “but who, and where?”

“Never mind, Pompa,” wheezed the Elegant Elephant, walking down to the
water’s edge, “perhaps you can catch some fish, and while you cook them
I’ll go back and eat some leaves.”

With a jerk of his trunk, Kabumpo pulled a length of the heavy silver
thread from his torn robe and handed it up to Pompa. Fastening a jeweled
pin to one end, the Prince cast his line far out into the waves. At the
first tug he drew it in.

“What is it?” asked the Elegant Elephant, as Pompa pulled the dripping
line over his trunk.

“Oh, how delicious! How wonderful!” exclaimed the once fastidious Prince
of Pumperdink.

Kabumpo could hear him munching away with relish.

“What is it?” he asked again.

“A carrot! A lovely, red, delightful, tender carrot!”

“Carrot! Who ever heard of a sea carrot?” grunted Kabumpo. “I’m afraid
you’re not yourself, my boy. Let me see it.”

Snaps and crunches, as Pompa consumed his strange catch, were the only
answer, and in real alarm the Elegant Elephant moved away from the
shore, and in doing so bumped against a white sign, stuck in the sand.

“Please Don’t Fall In,” directed the sign politely, “_It Spoils The
Soup_.”

“Soup!” sputtered Kabumpo. Then another sign caught his eye: “_Soup
Sea—Salted To Taste—Help Yourself_.”

“Come down—come down here directly!” cried the Elegant Elephant,
snatching the Prince from his back. “Here’s the soup—a whole sea full.
Now all you need is a bowl.”

Swallowing convulsively the last bit of carrot, Pompa stood staring out
over the tossing, smoking soup sea. Every now and then a bone or a
vegetable would bob out of the waves, and the poor hungry Prince of
Pumperdink thought he had never seen a more lovely sight in his life.

“We’ll probably be awarded a china medal for this,” chuckled the Elegant
Elephant. “Won’t old Pumper’s eyes stick out when we tell him about it?
But now for a bowl!”

Swinging his trunk gently, Kabumpo walked up the white beach, and had
not gone more than a dozen steps before he came to a cluster of huge
shells. He turned one over curiously. “Why, it’s a soup bowl,” whistled
the Elegant Elephant. He rushed back with it to Pompadore, who still
stood dreamily surveying the soup.

“I never thought I’d be so thrilled by a common soup bowl,” thought
Kabumpo, staring at the Prince in amusement. He stepped out on a rock
and dipped up a bowl of the hot liquid.

“Here! Drink!” commanded the Elegant Elephant, handing the bowl to the
Prince. “Drink to the Proper Princess and the future Queen of
Pumperdink.”

“Don’t go,” begged the Prince between gulps, “I shall want
two—three—several!”

Kabumpo laughed good naturedly. “This is the pleasantest thing that has
happened to us. Here! Have another!”

Then both Pompa and the Elegant Elephant gasped, for out of the bubbling
waves arose the most curious figure that they had ever seen—the most
curious and the jolliest. He was made entirely of soup bones, and his
head was a monster cabbage, with a soup bowl set jauntily on the side
for a cap. For a cabbage head he sang very well and this was the song to
which he kept time by waving a silver ladle:

  “Ho! I am the King of the Soup Sea,
    Yes, I am the King of the Deep;
  My crown is a bowl and my sceptre a ladle,
  I fell in the soup when I fell from the cradle,
    And find it exceedingly cheap!

  I stir it up nightly, and pepper it rightly—
    A liquid perfection you’ll find.
  And here is a roll, sirs,
  So fill up your bowl, sirs,
    And think of me after you’ve dined.”

When he came to “dined,” the Soup King gave a playful leap and
disappeared backward into the waves.

Pompa rubbed his eyes and looked at Kabumpo to see whether he had been
dreaming.

“Oh!” cried Kabumpo, his eyes as round as little saucers. Floating
gently toward them were two large, crisp, buttered rolls.

“The most charming King I’ve ever met,” chuckled Kabumpo, scooping up
the rolls and handing them to Pompa.

Pompa, staring dreamily ahead, first took a drink of soup, then a nibble
of roll, too happy for speech. Four times the Elegant Elephant refilled
the bowl. Then, his stomach full for the first time since they had left
Pumperdink, the Prince stretched himself out on the sands.

“Now,” puffed the Elegant Elephant ceremoniously, “if you think you’ve
had quite enough, I’ll snatch a few bites myself.” Chuckling softly he
made his way back to some young trees, and dined luxuriously off their
tops.

When he returned to the beach, Pompa was fast asleep, and for a few
moments Kabumpo was inclined to sleep himself. “But then,” he reflected,
“Ozma may require a lot of coaxing before she consents to marry Pompa,
and two of our precious seven days are gone. It is plainly my duty to
save Pumperdink. Besides, when Pompa is married he will be King of Oz!
Then I, the Elegant Elephant, will be the biggest figure at Court.”

Kabumpo threw up his trunk and trumpeted softly to the stars. Then,
giving himself a big shake and a little stretch, he lifted the sleeping
Prince to his back and started on again. In about two hours he had
circled the Soup Sea and, guiding himself by a particularly bright and
twinkling star, ran swiftly and steadily toward the South.

As the first streaks of dawn appeared in the sky, Kabumpo passed through
a quaint little Gilliken village. He snatched a bag of rolls from a
doorstep and stuck them into his pocket, but he did not stop, and so
fast asleep was the little village that except for a few wideawake
roosters, no one knew how important a person had passed through.

The sky grew pinker and pinker. You have no idea how pink the morning
skies in Oz can be. Just as the sun got out of bed, the Elegant Elephant
came to the wonderful Emerald City itself, shining and fairylike as a
dream under the lovely colors of sunrise. Kabumpo paused and took a deep
breath. Even he was impressed, and it took a good bit to impress him. He
reached back and touched Pompa with his trunk.

“Wake up, my boy,” whispered Kabumpo in a trembling voice. “Wake up and
put on your crown, for we have come to the city of your Proper
Princess.”

Pompa sat up and rubbed his eyes in amazement. Without a word, he took
the crown Kabumpo handed up to him, and set it on his scorched, golden
head. Accustomed as Pompa was to grandeur, for Pumperdink is very
magnificent in its funny old-fashioned way, he could not help but gasp
at Ozma’s fair city. The lovely green parks, the houses studded with
countless emeralds, the shining marble streets, filled the Prince with
wonder.

“I don’t believe she’ll ever marry me,” he stuttered, beginning to feel
quite frightened at his boldness.

“Nonsense,” wheezed Kabumpo faintly. He was beginning to have misgivings
himself. “Sit up now! Look your best, and I’ll carry you straight into
the palace gardens.”

No one was awake. Even the Soldier with the Green Whiskers lay snoring
against a tree, so that Kabumpo stole unobserved into the Royal Gardens.

“I don’t see the palace,” Whispered Pompa anxiously. “Wouldn’t it show
above the trees?”

“It ought to,” said Kabumpo, wrinkling up his forehead. “But look! Who
is that?”

Pompa’s heart almost stopped, and even Kabumpo’s gave a queer jump. On a
golden bench, just ahead, sat the loveliest person either had seen in
all of their eighteenth birthdays.

“Ozma,” gasped the Elegant Elephant, as soon as he had breath enough to
whisper. “What luck! You must ask her at once.”

“Not now,” begged the Prince of Pumperdink, as Kabumpo unceremoniously
helped him to the ground. His knees shook, his tongue stuck to the roof
of his mouth. He had never proposed to a Fairy Princess before in his
whole life. Then all at once he had an idea. Slipping his hand into the
Elegant Elephant’s pocket, he drew out the magic mirror. “I’ll see if
she’s a princess,” stuttered Pompa.

The elephant shook his head angrily but was afraid to speak again lest
he disturb the quiet figure on the bench.

“And I’ll not propose unless she is the one,” said Pompa, tip-toeing
toward the bench. Without making a sound he suddenly held the mirror
before the startled and lovely lady.

“Glinda, good Sorceress of Oz,” flashed the mirror promptly.

“Great gooseberries!” cried Glinda, springing to her feet in alarm and
swinging around on Pompa. “Where did you come from?” After studying a
whole day and night in her magic books, Glinda had returned to the
Emerald City to try to perfect her plan for rescuing Ozma.

“From Pumperdink, your Highness,” puffed Kabumpo, lunging forward
anxiously. He, too, had seen the words in the mirror and the fear of
offending a Sorceress made him quake in his skin—which was loose enough
to quake in, dear knows!

“A thousand pardons!” cried the Prince, dropping on one knee and taking
off his crown. “We were seeking Princess Ozma, the Fairy Ruler of Oz.”

Glinda looked from Kabumpo to the Prince and controlled a desire to
laugh. The Elegant Elephant’s torn and scorched robe hung in rags from
his shoulders and his jeweled headpiece was dangling over one ear.
Pompa’s clothes were equally shabby and his almost bald head with a lock
sticking up here and there gave him a singular and comical appearance.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Pumperdink?” mused Glinda, tapping her foot thoughtfully. Then, like a
flash she remembered the entry in the Book of Records—“The Prince of
Pumperdink is journeying toward the Emerald City.”

“Why did you want to see Ozma?” asked Glinda anxiously. Perhaps these
two strangers could throw some light on the mysterious disappearance of
the Royal Palace.

“Our country was threatened with disappearance and I thought—”

“He thought Ozma might help us,” finished the Elegant Elephant
breathlessly. He did not believe in telling strange Sorceresses about
everything. Now if Glinda had not been so occupied with the
disappearance of the palace and all the dearest people in Oz, she might
have been more curious about the disappearance of Pumperdink. As it was
she just shook her head sadly. “I’m afraid Ozma cannot help you,” she
said, “for Ozma herself has disappeared—Ozma and everyone in the
palace.”

“Disappeared!” trumpeted the Elegant Elephant, sitting down with a thud.
“Great Grump! The thing’s getting to be a habit!”

What was to become of Pompa now? Would he never be King, nor he,
Kabumpo, ever be known as the most Elegant Elephant in Oz? Had they made
the long journey in vain?

“Where? When?” gasped Prince Pompadore.

“Night before last,” explained Glinda. “I’ve been consulting my magic
books ever since but have only been able to discover one fact.”

“What is that?” asked Kabumpo faintly.

“That they are in Ev,” said Glinda, “and that a giant carried them off.
I came here early this morning to see whether I could discover anything
new. Would you care to see where the castle stood?”

“Did he carry the castle off, too?” shuddered Pompa. Glinda nodded
gloomily and led them over to the great hole in the center of the
gardens.

For a minute she stood watching them. Then, glancing at a golden sun
dial set in the center of a lovely flower bed, she murmured half to
herself, “I must be off!” Next instant she clapped her hands and down
swept a shining chariot drawn by white swans.

“Good-bye!” called Glinda, springing in lightly. “I’m off to Ev to try
my magic against the giant’s. Wait here and when I’ve helped Ozma
perhaps I can help you!”

“Can’t we help? Can’t we go?” cried Pompa, running a few steps after the
chariot, but Glinda, already high in the air, did not hear him and in
the wink of an eye the chariot and its lovely occupant had melted into
the pink morning clouds.

“Now what shall we do?” groaned the Prince, letting his arms drop
heavily at his sides.

“Do!” snorted Kabumpo. “The thing for you to do is to act like a Prince
instead of a Gooch! There are other ways of getting to Ev than by
chariot.”

The thought of Kabumpo in Glinda’s chariot made Pompa smile in spite of
himself.

“There! That’s better,” said the Elegant Elephant more pleasantly.

“Now, what’s to hinder us from going to Ev and rescuing Princess Ozma?
She couldn’t help marrying you if you saved her from a giant, could
she?”

“But could I save her—that’s the question,” muttered the Prince, looking
uneasily at the yawning cavity where the castle had stood. “This giant
must be a terrible fellow!”

“Pooh!” said Kabumpo airily. “Who’s afraid of giants? I’ll wind my trunk
around his leg and pull him to earth. Then you can dispatch the villain.
We must get you a sword, though,” he added softly.

“All right! I’ll do it!” cried the Prince, throwing out his chest. The
very thought of killing a giant made him feel about ten feet high. “Do
you know the way to Ev, Kabumpo? We’ll have to hurry, because unless I
marry Ozma before the seven days are up my poor old father and mother
and all of Pumperdink will disappear forever.”

You see, even Pompa had now got it into his head that Ozma was the
Proper Princess mentioned in the scroll.

“We’ll start at once,” sighed the Elegant Elephant a bit ruefully. “I’ve
had no sleep and precious little to eat but when you are King of Oz you
can reward old Kabumpo as he deserves.”

“Everything I have will be yours,” cried the Prince, giving the
elephant, or as much of him as he could grasp, a sudden hug. Then each
took a long drink from one of the bubbling fountains and, munching the
rolls Kabumpo had picked up in the Gilliken village, the two adventurers
stole out of the gardens.

As they reached the gates, Kabumpo paused and his little eyes twinkled
with delight. There lay the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, snoring
tremendously and beside him was a long, sharp sword with an emerald
handle. “Just what we need,” chuckled Kabumpo, snatching it up in his
trunk. Then out through the gates and swiftly through the still sleeping
city swept the Elegant Elephant and the Prince of Pumperdink, off to
rescue Princess Ozma, a prisoner in Ev!

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 13
                           On The Road To Ev


In their journey to Ev, Peg and Wag had a night’s start of Kabumpo and
Prince Pompadore, but towards morning Wag’s ears began to droop with
sleep.

“Gotta natch a sap, Peg,” Wag muttered thickly, as they halted on a
little hill.

“Natch a sap? Whats that?” asked the Wooden Doll anxiously. Wag made no
answer—just flopped on his side and in a minute was asleep and snoring
tremendously.

“Oh!” whispered Peg, pulling herself gently from beneath the sleeping
rabbit. “He meant snatch a nap.”

She laughed softly and seated herself under a small tree. The birds were
beginning to waken and their singing filled Peg Amy with delight. “How
wonderful it all is,” she murmured, gazing up at the little ruffly pink
clouds. “How wonderful it is to be alive!”

“Hello! Mr. Robin!” she called gaily, as a bird flew to a low bush
beside her. “Are your children quite well?”

The robin swung backward and forward on his swaying branch; then burst
into his best morning song.

“Oh!” cried Peg Amy, clasping her wooden hands, “I’ve heard that before!
But how could I?” she reasoned, “I’m only a Wooden Doll and this is the
first morning I have been alive. But then, how did I know it was a
robin?”

Peg rubbed her wooden forehead in perplexity, for it was all very
puzzling indeed. Below their little hill stretched the lovely land of
the Winkies, with its great green forests and little yellow villages.
The wind sent the leaves dancing above Peg’s head and the early sunbeams
made lovely patterns on the grass.

“I’ve seen it before!” gasped the Wooden Doll breathlessly. “The trees,
the birds, the houses and everything!” Springing to her feet she ran
awkwardly from bush to tree, touching the leaves and bending over the
flowers as if they were old friends. Had it not been for the squeaking
of her wooden joints, Peg would almost have forgotten she was a Wooden
Doll, for at the sight of the lovely green growing things something warm
and sunny seemed to waken in her stiff wooden breast. “I’ve been alive
before,” said Peg Amy over and over.

Suddenly, through the still morning air, came a loud, shrill laugh. Peg,
who had been standing with her cheek pressed closely against a small
tree, swung around quickly—so quickly in fact that she fell over and lay
in a ridiculously bent double position before the new-comers.

It was Kabumpo and the Prince of Pumperdink. Traveling by the same road
Wag had chosen but much more rapidly, the Elegant Elephant had come at
sunrise to the little hill. He had been watching Peg for some time, and
when he saw her dance awkwardly over to the tree, he could no longer
restrain himself.

“Get out your mirror!” roared Kabumpo, shaking all over with mirth.
“Here is your Proper Princess, Pompa, my boy—as royal a maiden as the
country boasts. Ho, ho! Kerumph!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Don’t be ridiculous,” snapped Pompa, looking down curiously at the
comical figure of Peg Amy.

“But she’s so funny!” gasped Kabumpo, the tears rolling down his big
cheeks.

“Who’s funny?” demanded an angry voice and Wag, who had been awakened by
Kabumpo’s loud roars, hopped up, his ears quivering with rage.

“I’ll pull your long nose for you!” cried Wag, advancing threateningly.
“Don’t you dare make fun of Peg. What are you, anyway?”

“Great Grump!” choked Kabumpo, without answering Wag’s inquiry. “What
kind of a rabbit is this?”

“A clawing, chawing, scratching kind—as you’ll soon find out!” Wag drew
himself up into a ball and prepared to launch himself at Kabumpo’s head,
when Peg straightened up and caught him by the ear.

“Don’t, Wag, please,” she begged. “He couldn’t help laughing. I am
funny. You know I am!” she sighed a bit ruefully.

“You’re not funny to me,” blustered Wag, still glaring at Kabumpo. “Who
does he think he is?”

“I?” sniffed Kabumpo, spreading out his ears complacently, “I am the
Elegant Elephant of Pumperdink. Notice my pearls; gaze upon my robe.”

“You don’t look very elegant to me,” snorted Wag. “You look more like a
tramp. Says he’s a lelegant nelephant from Dumperpink,” he whispered
scornfully to Peg.

“And what’s that you’ve got on your back?” he called, with a wave of his
paw at Pompa. “A dunce?”

“Dunce!” screamed Kabumpo furiously. “This is the Prince of Pumperdink,
you good-for-nothing lettuce-eater! What do you mean by laughing at
royalty?”

“Royalty! Oh, ha, ha, ha!” roared Wag, rolling over and over in the
grass. “But he’s so funny!” He paused to take another look at the
Prince. At this Kabumpo lunged forward, his eyes snapping angrily.

“Stop!” begged the Prince, tugging Kabumpo by the ear. “You were rude to
his friend that—er—doll, so you must expect him to be rude to me. It’s
all your fault,” he added reproachfully.

“Are you a Prince?” asked Peg Amy, staring up at Pompa with her round,
painted eyes.

“Of course he’s a Prince. Didn’t I say so before? Who is that hoppy
creature?”

“That’s Wag—such a dear fellow.” Peg smiled confidently at Kabumpo and
he was suddenly ashamed of himself for laughing at her.

“Well, he needn’t get waggish with me,” grumbled the Elegant Elephant in
a lower voice.

“Oh, don’t quarrel!” begged Peg. “It’s such a lovely morning and you
both look so interesting.”

Kabumpo eyed the big Wooden Doll attentively. It was smart of her to
think him interesting. He cleared his throat gruffly.

“You’re not as funny as you look,” he admitted grandly, which was the
nearest to an apology he had ever come. “But what are you doing here and
why are you alive?”

“I don’t know,” explained Peg apologetically. “It just happened last
night.”

“It did? Well, where are you going?”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Wag still looked cross and his nose was twitching violently, but Peg
politely answered Kabumpo’s question.

“We’re on our way to Ev to try to help Ozma,” said the Wooden Doll,
folding her hands quaintly.

“Why so are _we_!” cried Pompa, sliding down Kabumpo’s trunk in a hurry.

“How do _you_ expect to help her?” grunted Kabumpo, looking at Wag and
Peg contemptuously.

“Don’t mind him,” begged Pompa, running up to Peg Amy. “Tell me
everything you know about Ozma. Is she pretty?”

“Beautiful,” breathed Peg, looking up at the sky. “Beautiful and lovely
and good. That’s why I want to help her.”

“Then I sha’n’t mind marrying her at all,” said Pompa, with a great sigh
of relief.

“Gooch!” roared Kabumpo angrily—“Telling everything you know!”

“Do you mean to say you think Ozma would marry _you_?” gasped Wag,
sitting up with a jerk. “Oh, my wocks and hoop soons!” His ears crossed
and uncrossed and with a final gurgle of disbelief Wag fell back on the
grass.

“Well, is there anything so strange in that?” asked Pompa in a hurt
voice. “I’ve _got_ to marry her,” he added, desperately appealing to Peg
Amy. And while Kabumpo stood sulkily swinging his trunk the Prince told
Peg the whole story of the magic scroll.

“I said you looked interesting,” breathed Peg, as Pompa paused for
breath. “Did you hear that, Wag? Unless he marries a Proper Princess in
a proper time his whole Kingdom will disappear—his Kingdom and everyone
in it!”

“But how do you know Ozma is the Proper Princess?” asked Wag, chewing a
blade of grass. “The scroll didn’t say Ozma, did it?”

“Kabumpo thinks Ozma is the Proper Princess,” explained Pompadore,
nodding toward the Elegant Elephant, “and he’s usually right!”

“Humph!” sniffed Wag. “Well, maybe you are a Prince. You’re not really
bad looking if you had some fur on your head,” he remarked more amiably.
“What happened? Somebody pull it out?”

“Oh, Wag!” murmured Peg Amy, in a shocked voice.

“Burned off,” sighed Pompa, and proceeded to tell of their fall into the
Illumi Nation. He even told them about the Soup Sea and of their meeting
with Glinda, the Good.

“Don’t you care,” said the big Wooden Doll, as Pompa mournfully rubbed
his scorched head. “It will soon grow again and I don’t see how Ozma
could help loving you—you’re so tall, and so polite.” This kind little
speech affected Pompa so deeply that he dropped on one knee and raised
Peg’s wooden hand to his lips.

“The creature has a lot of sense,” mumbled Kabumpo, with his mouth full
of leaves.

“Creature!” exclaimed Wag, sitting up straight and opening his eyes
wide. “Her name is Peg Amy, Mr. Nelegant Lelephant.”

“Oh, all right,” sniffed Kabumpo hastily. “But you’ll have to admit
she’s curious.”

“Of course she is,” said Wag complacently. “That’s why I like her. She
wasn’t cut out to be a beauty, but to be companionable, and she is. When
you’ve known Peg as long as I have”—Wag paused impressively—“you’ll be
proud to carry her on your back, Mr. Long Nose!”

“I’ve only known her a few minutes and I adore her!” said Pompa
heartily. “Mistress Peg and I are good friends already.” Peg curtseyed
awkwardly. “I’ve done this before,” she reflected curiously to herself.

“Shall we tell them about Ruggedo?” Peg asked aloud, turning to Wag.

“Yes, do!” begged Pompa. “Tell us something about yourselves. I never
saw so large a rabbit in my life as Wag and as for _you_!”—Pompa paused,
for Wag was eying him resentfully—“you are the largest, most delightful
doll I have ever met, the only alive one, I might say. How did you know
about Ozma’s disappearance and how were you going to help her?”

“Mixed Magic!” whispered Wag, crossing his ears and his eyes as well.
“Mixed Magic!”

“Magic?” gulped Kabumpo, swallowing a branch of sticky leaves whole.
“Have _you_ any magic?”

“A whole box full,” sighed Peg Amy, patting her pocket softly.

“In that box is the magic that brought Peg to life!” shrilled Wag,
pointing a trembling paw. “In that box is the magic that made us grow.
In that box is the magic that caused Ozma’s castle to disappear—!”

[Illustration: “In that box is the magic that brought Peg to life!”
shrilled Wag]

“Great Grump!” whistled Kabumpo. “How fortunate we fell in with them,
Pompa.” He held out his trunk. “Give me the box, my good girl, and you
shall be fittingly rewarded when Pompa is King of Oz.”

“That’s a long time to wait,” chuckled Wag, tickled by Kabumpo’s
outrageous impudence. “No, Peg and I will just keep the box, thank you.”

“Of course you will,” said Prince Pompadore, frowning at Kabumpo. “But
as we are both bound on the same errand, let us travel together. Kabumpo
and I are going to kill the giant who ran off with the castle.”

The Prince held up his long sword. “And if you can help us, I shall
thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Pompa stretched out his hand
impulsively.

“Well, that’s more like,” said Wag, pulling his ear thoughtfully. “And
four heads are better than two!”

“Of course we’ll help you!” cried Peg Amy. “The trouble is, we don’t
know ourselves how to open the magic box, but we do know that Ruggedo is
in Ev and when we get there we will make him open the box and undo all
this mischief.”

“You mentioned him before,” said Kabumpo, holding up his trunk. “Who is
Ruggedo and what has he to do with Ozma?”

“Ruggedo is a wicked little gnome,” explained Peg Amy gravely. “He used
to be King of the Gnomes but he was banished from his Kingdom and Ozma
gave him a little cottage in the Emerald City. He pretended to live
there, but instead he tunneled a cave right underneath the palace. Wag
helped him dig.” Peg waved her hand at the rabbit. “And he was the only
one who would stay with him. Then Ruggedo stole me. I was only a small,
unalive doll, belonging to Trot, a little girl who lives with Ozma.
Ruggedo stole me just to shake,” continued Peg shuddering.

“That’s why I’m going to pound his curly toes off!” screamed Wag,
beginning to hop about at the very thought of Ruggedo.

“But how did you come to be so large and alive?” asked Kabumpo, who was
growing more interested.

“Well, one night”—Peg dropped her voice to a whisper—“One night Ruggedo
found this box of Mixed Magic hidden in the cave and then—”

“Then,” screamed Wag hoarsely, “in some way we don’t understand, Peg and
I grew big, Peg came alive, the top blew off the cave—and depend upon
it, whatever’s happened to Ozma and her palace happened from something
in that box. It’s all Ruggedo’s fault. When I catch him”—Wag began to
wiggle his nose and paw his whiskers—“my wocks and hoop soons! I’ll
pound his curly toes off!”

“And I’ll help you!” cried Kabumpo heartily. He could not help but
admire such spirit. “Come on—let’s start. You may ride on my back with
Pompa if you care to,” finished the Elegant Elephant with a sidelong
glance at Peg.

“Oh, thank you,” smiled the Wooden Doll, “but Wag will carry me.”

“I always carry Peg,” said Wag jealously. “I’ve known her the longest.”

“Oh, all right,” sniffed Kabumpo, lifting Pompa up, “but if she ever
_wants_ to ride on my back she may.”

“Humph!” grunted Wag, as the Wooden Doll settled herself on his
shoulders. “Isn’t he generous!”

Peg pulled down one of Wag’s long ears. “It was kindly meant,” whispered
the Wooden Doll merrily.

“Ready?” puffed Kabumpo, backing out into the road. “We’ve no time to
lose, for if we lose time we lose our Kingdom too. Forward for
Pumperdink!”

“All right!” cried Wag, giving a great leap. “Follow me!” And off hopped
the giant bunny so fast that Kabumpo had to stretch his legs even to
keep him in sight.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 14
                        Terror In Ozma’s Palace


Meanwhile strange things had been happening in Ozma’s palace. For the
people inside it had been a very mean time indeed. During Ruggedo’s run
to the mountains of Ev, they had almost been shaken out of their wits
and when he sat down upon the mountain top there was not a person nor
piece of furniture standing in the whole palace. Courtiers and servants
who were not knocked senseless lay shaking in their beds or huddled in
corners and under sofas and chairs, just as they had fallen when the
first terrible crash lifted the palace into the air.

Ozma’s four poster bed had collapsed, pinning the little Fairy Princess
under a mass of silk hangings and curtain poles. Being a fairy, Ozma was
unhurt, but not being able to move, nor to reach her Magic Belt or even
make herself heard, she was forced to lie perfectly still and wait for
help.

In Dorothy’s sitting room there was not a sound but the ticking of the
Copper Man’s machinery. Trot and Betsy Bobbin had knocked their heads
together so smartly that they were unconscious. Sir Hokus had been
hurled violently against Tik Tok and the poor Knight had known nothing
since. Dorothy lay quietly beside him, an ugly bruise on her forehead,
where the emerald clock had landed.

“Scraps!” called the Scarecrow, sometime after the rumble and tumble had
ceased, “are you there?”

“No, here!” gasped the Patch Work Girl, sitting up cautiously. She had
bounced all around the room and finally rolled into a corner quite close
to the Scarecrow himself. She put out her cotton hand as she spoke and
touched him.

“How fortunate we are unbreakable,” said the Scarecrow, pressing her
cotton fingers convulsively and trying to peer out through the intense
blackness of the room. “What happened?”

“Earthquake!” shivered Scraps. “And maybe it’s not over!”

“Must have knocked everybody silly,” said the Scarecrow huskily.

“Except us,” giggled the Patch Work Girl. “We couldn’t be knocked silly
’cause we were silly in the first place.”

“Now, don’t make jokes, please,” begged the Scarecrow. “This is serious.
Besides, I want to think.”

“All right,” said Scraps cheerfully. “I don’t—but I’m going to feel
around and see if I can find the matches. There used to be some candles
on the mantel and—” As she spoke, Scraps fell headlong over Sir Hokus of
Pokes and as luck would have it her cotton fingers closed over a small
gold match box. Picking herself up carefully, Scraps struck a match on
Sir Hokus’ armor and looked anxiously around the room.

“They need water,” said the Patch Work Girl, wrinkling up her patchwork
forehead.

“So will you if you don’t blow out that match!” cried the Scarecrow in
alarm, for Scraps continued to hold the match till it burned to the very
end. He jumped up clumsily and puffed out the light just in time. Scraps
promptly lit another and as she did so the Scarecrow saw a tall blue
candle sticking out of the waste basket.

“Here,” said the Straw Man nervously. “Light this and stand it on the
mantel there.” By the flickering candle light the Scarecrow and Scraps
tried to set Dorothy’s room to rights. They dragged the mattress from
the bed-room and placed the little girls on it, side by side. Sir Hokus
was too heavy to move, so they merely loosened his armor and put a sofa
cushion under his head. Then, just as Scraps was going for some water,
the room began to tremble again.

“I told you it wasn’t over,” cried Scraps, flinging both arms about the
Scarecrow’s neck. And as they rocked to and fro she shouted merrily:

  “Shaker! Shaker! Who art thee,
  To shake a castle like a tree?
  Shaker! Shaker! Go away
  And come again some other day!”

“Now, Scraps,” begged the Scarecrow, steadying the Patch Work Girl with
one hand and catching hold of a table with the other, “everything
depends on us. Do try to keep your head!”

“Keep my head!” shrilled Scraps, as the room tilted over and slid all
the furniture sideways. “I’ll be lucky if I keep my feet. Whoopee! Here
we go!” And go they did with a rush into the farthest corner. Slowly the
room righted itself and everything grew quiet again.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“I know what I’m going to do,” said the Scarecrow determinedly. “Before
anything else happens I’m going to see what has happened already.”

“How?” asked Scraps, bouncing to her feet.

[Illustration: Dorothy and Toto]

“The Magic Picture,” gasped the Scarecrow. “You bring the candle,
Scraps, like a good girl. You’re less liable to take fire than I am.
Then we’ll come back and help Dorothy and the others.”

“Good idea,” said Scraps, taking the candle from the mantel.
Breathlessly the two tip-toed along the hall to Ozma’s apartment. On the
wall in one of Ozma’s rooms hangs the most magic possession in Oz. It is
a picture representing a country scene, but when you ask it where a
certain person is, immediately he is shown in the picture and also what
he is doing at the time.

“So,” murmured the Scarecrow, as they gained the room in safety, “if it
tells where other people are, it ought to tell us where we are
ourselves.”

Drawing aside the curtain that covered the picture the Scarecrow
demanded loudly, “Where are we?”

Scraps held the candle so that its flickering rays fell directly on the
picture. Then both jumped in earnest, for in a flash the face of
Ruggedo, the wicked old gnome King, appeared, on his head a great, green
towering sort of hat.

The Scarecrow seized the candle from Scraps and held it closer to the
picture. He squinted up one eye and almost rubbed his painted nose off.

“Great Kinkajous!” spluttered the Straw Man distractedly. “That’s a
palace on his head—an Emerald palace—Ozma’s palace!”

“But how?” asked Scraps, her suspender button eyes almost dropping out.
“He’s nothing but a gnome. He’s—”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Before Scraps could finish her sentence the palace began to tilt forward
and they both fell upon their faces. Then the picture jerked loose and
fell with a clattering slam on their heads, followed by such ornaments
as had not already tumbled down before. Through it all Scraps held the
candle high in air and fortunately it did not go out, despite the
turmoil.

In a few moments the palace stopped rocking and a muffled call from Ozma
sent the Scarecrow and Scraps hurrying to her bedside. After some
trouble, for they were both flimsily made, they managed to free the
little Princess of Oz from the poles and bed curtains.

“Goodness!” sighed Ozma, looking around at the terrible confusion.

“Not goodness, but badness,” said the Scarecrow, settling his hat
firmly, “and Ruggedo is at the bottom of it and of us.” He quickly
explained to Ozma what he had seen in the Magic Picture.

Slipping on a silk robe, Ozma followed them into the next room. When the
picture had been rehung, they all looked again. This time Ozma asked
where the palace was. Immediately the old Gnome King appeared and there
could be no mistake—the palace was set squarely on his head. The picture
did not show the real size of Ruggedo nor of the palace, but it was
enough.

“He must have sprung into a giant,” gasped Ozma, scarcely believing her
eyes. “Oh, what shall we do?”

“The first thing to do is to keep him quiet. Every time he shakes his
head it tumbles us about so,” complained the Scarecrow, plumping up the
straw in his chest. “And we must look after Dorothy and Betsy and Trot.”

“And Sir Hokus,” added the Patch Work Girl, flinging out one hand. “He’s
yearning to slay a giant. ’Way for the Giant Killer!”

Without waiting for the others Scraps ran back to Dorothy’s sitting
room. Lighting another candle, for all the lights in the palace were
out, Ozma and the Scarecrow followed.

“Odds Goblins!” gasped the Knight, as they entered. He was sitting up
with one hand to his head.

“Not goblins—giants!” cried the Patch Work Girl, with a bounce, while
Ozma ran for some water to restore her three little friends.

“Where?” puffed the Knight, lurching to his feet.

“Beneath you,” said the Scarecrow, clutching at a wisp of straw that
stuck out of his head. “Say! Some one wind up Tik Tok. There’s a lot of
thinking to be done here and his head works very well, even if it has
wheels inside.”

Sir Hokus, though still a bit dizzy, hastened to wind up all the Copper
Man’s keys.

“Thanks,” said Tik Tok immediately. “Give me a lift up, Ho-kus.” The
Knight obligingly helped the Copper Man to his feet. Then both stared in
amazement at the topsy turvy room. Even in the dim candle light they
could see that something very serious had occurred.

Jack Pumpkinhead picked himself up out of a corner, looking very much
dazed.

[Illustration: Jack Pumpkinhead]

Just then Dorothy opened her eyes, and Betsy and Trot, spluttering from
the water the Patch Work Girl was pouring on their heads, sat up and
wanted to know what had happened. In a few words Ozma told them what the
magic picture had revealed.

  “Ruggedo to a giant’s grown
    And set us on his head.
  We’ve made some headway, you’ll admit,
    Since we have gone to bed!”

—shouted Scraps, who was growing more and more excited.

“Rug-ge-do will nev-er re-form,” ticked the Copper Man sadly.

“But what are we going to do?” wailed Dorothy. “Suppose he leans over
and spills us all out?”

“I shall take my sword,” said Sir Hokus, speaking very determinedly, and
backing toward the window as he spoke, “climb down, and slay the
villain.” He threw one leg over the sill.

“Come back!” cried Ozma. “Dear Sir Hokus, don’t you realize that if you
kill Ruggedo he will fall down and break us to pieces? Besides, wicked
as he is, I could not have him killed.”

“Yes, we should be all broken up if you did that,” sighed the Scarecrow.
“We must try something else.”

Reluctantly, the Knight dropped back into the room. “Close the windows,”
ordered Ozma with a little shudder.

“I’ve thought of a plan,” said Tik Tok, in his slow, painstaking way. “A
ve-ry good plan.”

“Tell us what it is,” begged Dorothy. “And Oh, Tik Tok, hurry!”

“Eggs,” said the Copper Man solemnly.

“Oh!” gasped Dorothy, “I remember. Eggs are the only things in Oz that
Ruggedo is afraid of; for if an egg touches a gnome he shrivels up and
disappears.”

“Then where are the eggs?” demanded Sir Hokus gloomily. “In faith, this
sounds more like an omelet than a battle. But if we’re to fight with
eggs instead of swords, let us draw them at once.”

“You mean throw them,” corrected Dorothy. But Tik Tok shook his head
violently.

“Not throw them,” said the Copper Man slowly, “threat-en to throw them.”

“But how can we threaten a giant so far below us?” asked Ozma.

“Print a sign,” directed Tik Tok calmly, “and low-er it down to him.”

“Tik Tok,” cried the Scarecrow, rushing forward and embracing him
impulsively, “your patent-action-double-guaranteed brains are marvels. I
couldn’t have thought up a better plan myself.”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Now off ran Scraps to fetch a huge piece of cardboard, and the Scarecrow
for a paint brush, and Sir Hokus for a piece of rope.

“It’s growing lighter,” quavered Trot, looking toward the windows. The
sky was turning gray with little streaks of pink, and the three girls
huddled together on the mattress gave a sigh of relief; for nothing, not
even a giant, seems so bad by daylight.

“Perhaps someone has already started to help us,” said Ozma hopefully.
“But here’s the sign board. What shall we write?”

“How shall I begin?” asked the Scarecrow, dipping the brush into a can
of green paint. “Dear Ruggedo?”

“I should say not,” said Dorothy indignantly.

“Then I shall simply say, Sir,” said the Scarecrow.

“If you move or turn or shake your head a-gain, ten thou-sand eggs will
be hurl-ed from the pal-ace windows,” suggested Tik Tok.

As this message met with general approval, the Scarecrow set it down
with many flourishes and blotches of paint spilled between. Then Ozma
painted her name and the Royal seal of Oz at the end.

Meanwhile, with the help of a pair of field glasses, Sir Hokus had
located Ruggedo’s nose, sticking out like a huge cliff below the middle
window of Dorothy’s room. So, tying a long rope to each corner of the
sign, and rolling it up so it would go through the window, the Knight
let it down till it dangled directly in front of Ruggedo’s nose.

At first Ruggedo did not even see the sign, which was about as large as
the tiniest visiting card—compared to him. But it blew against his face
and tickled his cheek. He tried to brush it away. Then, suddenly
noticing it was dangling from above, he seized it in one hand and held
it close to his left eye. The words were so small for a giant that
Ruggedo had to squint fearfully before he could make them out at all,
but when he did he gave a bloodcurdling scream, and began to tremble
violently.

[Illustration: “Ruggedo gave a bloodcurdling scream and began to tremble
violently”]

Up in the palace the entire company fell over and twenty windows were
shaken to bits. Then everything grew quiet and there was perfect
silence; for Ruggedo, realizing his danger, grew rigid with fright.
Giant drops of perspiration trickled down his forehead. How long could
he keep from moving?

“Well,” said Dorothy after a few minutes had passed, “I guess that will
keep him quiet, but what next? Shall we let ourselves down with ropes?”

“We have none long enough,” said Sir Hokus.

“Then I’ll fall out and go for help,” said the Scarecrow brightly, and
started toward the window. When he reached it he paused in astonishment.
“Look,” he cried, waving excitedly to the others, “here comes someone,
walking right over the clouds.”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 15
                       The Sand Man Takes a Hand


Someone was coming toward the palace. A little gray-cloaked old
gentleman—a surprisingly quick and nimble old gentleman—springing from
cloud to cloud and pausing now and then to straighten a huge sack he
carried over his left shoulder. He was so busy admiring the lovely sky
colors behind him and waving merrily at the fluffy cloud figures above
his head, that he did not see Ozma’s shining palace until he was almost
upon it.

“Stars!” murmured the little old gentleman, balancing perilously on the
very edge of a silver cloud. “Another air castle! How delightful! I
shall jump right through it!”

Gathering himself together he leaped straight toward the window out of
which Dorothy and Ozma and the others were looking. With a soft thud he
struck the emerald setting just above the window, and down tumbled his
sack, opening as it fell and filling the air with clouds of silver sand.
Down tumbled the little old gentleman, turning over and over, and
finally landing on a blankety white cloud far below.

All of this Dorothy saw, and was about to ask Ozma what it could mean
when an overpowering drowsiness stole over her. Before she could speak
her eyes closed, and she sank backward into a big arm chair. Trot and
Betsy Bobbin with two little sighs crumpled down to the floor. The head
of Sir Hokus dropped heavily on the sill, and not even in Pokes had he
snored so lustily. Ozma slipped gently down beside Betsy and Trot, and
in a moment there was not a person awake in that whole big palace. Even
the little mice in the kitchen were fast asleep, with heads on their
paws.

Did I say everyone? Well, not quite everyone had fallen under the
strange spell. Tik Tok, Scraps, and the Scarecrow, who had never slept
in their lives, were still wide awake, and regarding their companions
with astonishment and alarm. The Tin Woodman was taking things calmly,
oiling up his joints and polishing his tin jacket with silver polish.

“This is no time to sleep,” cried the Scarecrow, shaking Sir Hokus. “I
say—wake up!” But all their efforts to arouse their companions were in
vain.

“En-chant-ment,” said the Copper Man. “Some—” With a click and a whirr
Tik Tok’s machinery ran down, and as Scraps and the Scarecrow were too
upset to think of winding him, he stood as silent and dumb as the rest.

“What shall we do?” cried the Scarecrow, seizing Scraps’ arm. “Jump out
of the window and go for help, or stay here and guard the palace?”

Scraps looked out of the window. “Stay here,” shuddered the Patch Work
Girl, drawing in her head quickly.

“Then,” said the Scarecrow, “let us arm ourselves and prepare to
withstand any attack.” He snatched up a pair of fire tongs and Scraps
grasped the poker. Falling into step, the two marched from the top to
the bottom of the palace. Everywhere the same sight met their gaze;
rooms turned topsy turvy, and spread over floors and sofas and chairs
the sleeping figures of Ozma’s once lively Courtiers and servants. The
effect was so distressing that Scraps and the Scarecrow found themselves
whispering and treading about on tip-toe. After inspecting the whole
palace they returned to Dorothy’s room and placed themselves
disconsolately in the doorway.

“Anyway, Ruggedo is quiet,” sighed the Scarecrow, “and that is
something.”

Scraps started to make a verse, but the silence and the ghostlike
atmosphere of the sleeping palace had dashed even the spirits of the
Patch Work Girl and she subsided with an indistinct mumble.

Ruggedo was silent for a very good reason. Ruggedo was asleep,
too—asleep sitting up as stiff as a stone image, for even in his sleep
he dreamed of the dreaded bombardment of eggs.

All this had happened because the little man in gray had taken Ozma’s
palace for an air castle, and who could blame him for that? Even the
Sand Man would not expect to find a regular palace set among the clouds.
There are plenty of dream castles, to be sure, and one of the Sand Man’s
chief delights is to jump through them and admire their lovely
furniture. But sure-enough castles—the little fellow could not get over
it. Sitting cross-legged on the white cloud, which floated close to
Ruggedo’s head, he stared and stared.

[Illustration: The Tin Woodman, oiling up his joints]

“Well, I never,” chuckled the Sand Man, and turned a somersault for very
amazement. Then, not knowing what else to do or think, he sensibly
decided to hurry home and tell the whole affair to his wife. His empty
bag he found on a tall treetop, and without one backward glance he
bounded into the air and disappeared. Really, it was quite lucky the
little old gentleman spilled his bag of sand where he did, for the only
safe giant is a sleeping giant, and while Ozma and her friends lay
dreaming they could not worry.

“Will they sleep forever?” sighed Scraps, after she and the Scarecrow
had sat silently for an hour.

“Seems likely,” said the Scarecrow gloomily. “But even if they do,” he
plucked three straws from his chest, “we shall stick to our post to the
very end.”

The Scarecrow regarded the sleeping figures of the little girls
affectionately.

“To the end of forever?” gulped Scraps, putting her cotton finger in her
mouth. “How long is that?”

“That,” said the Scarecrow resignedly and settling himself comfortably,
“that is what we shall soon see.”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 16
                      Kabumpo Vanquishes The Twigs


“Do you think you were alive before?” asked Kabumpo, squinting down his
long trunk at Peg Amy. She had begged him to take off his plush robe
and, spreading it on the grass, was beating it briskly with the branch
of a tree.

“Yes,” sighed the Wooden Doll, pausing with uplifted stick and regarding
Kabumpo solemnly, “I must have been alive before ’cause I keep
remembering things.”

“What kind of things?” asked the Elegant Elephant, rubbing himself
lazily against a tree.

“Well, this for instance,” said Peg, holding up a corner of the purple
plush robe. “I once had a dress of it. I’m sure I had a dress of this
stuff.”

“When you were a little doll?” asked Kabumpo curiously.

“No,” said Peg, giving the robe a few little shakes, “before that. And I
remember this country, too, and the sun and the wind and the sky. If I’d
only been alive one day I wouldn’t remember them, would I?”

“Queer things happen in Oz,” said Kabumpo comfortably. “But why bother?
You are alive and very jolly. You are traveling with the most Elegant
Elephant in Oz and in the company of a Prince. Isn’t that enough?”

Peg Amy did not reply but kept on beating the plush robe with determined
little thumps and staring off through the trees with a very puzzled
expression in her painted blue eyes. They had traveled swiftly all
morning through the fertile farmlands of the Winkies and had paused for
lunch in this little grove. Peg, not needing food, and Kabumpo, finding
plenty of tender branches handy, had remained together while Wag and the
Prince sought more nourishing fare.

Many a little Winkie farmer had stared in amazement as Peg and Pompa
passed that morning but so fast did Kabumpo and Wag travel that before
the Winkies were half sure of what they had seen there was nothing but a
cloud of dust to wonder over and exclaim about.

“If you had a pair of scissors, I could cut off the burned part of your
robe and make it more tidy,” said Peg, when she had finished beating the
dust out of Kabumpo’s gorgeous blanket.

“There might be a pair in my pocket,” said the Elegant Elephant. “Here,
let me get them,” he added hastily. “For suppose she should look into
the Magic Mirror,” he thought suddenly. “It might tell her something
terrible!”

Even in this short time Kabumpo had grown fond of queer wooden Peg and
careless as he was somehow he did not want to hurt her feelings again.
Sure enough, there was a pair of silver scissors in with the jewels he
had tumbled into his pocket before leaving Pumperdink. So Peg carefully
cut away all the scorched part of Kabumpo’s robe and pinned under the
rough edges with three beautiful pearl pins.

“Now lift me up into that small tree and I’ll drop it over you,” she
laughed gaily. This Kabumpo did quite easily and after Peg Amy had
smoothed and adjusted the robe, she crept out on the end of the branch
and straightened the Elegant Elephant’s pearl head dress and brushed all
the dust from his forehead with a handful of damp leaves.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“You’re a good girl, Peg,” said Kabumpo, sighing with contentment. “I
don’t care whether you never were alive before or not, you’ve more sense
than some people who’ve lived for centuries. I’m going to give that
gnome something on my own account. Dared to shake you, did he? Well,
wait till I get through shaking him!”

“It didn’t hurt,” said Peg reflectively, “but it ruined all my clothes.
Do you think Prince Pompadore minds having me look so shabby?”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Kabumpo shifted about uneasily. “Will this help?” he asked sheepishly,
pulling a lovely pearl necklace from his pocket. “Ozma doesn’t need
everything,” he muttered to himself.

“Oh! How perfectly pomiferous!” cried Peg. “Lift me down so I can try it
on.” In a trice Kabumpo swung her down from the tree and awkwardly Peg
Amy clasped the chain about her wooden neck. Then she flung both arms
round Kabumpo’s trunk. “You’re the biggest darling old elephant in Oz!”
cried Peg happily.

Kabumpo blinked. He was accustomed to being called elegant and
magnificent but no one—not even Pompa—had ever called him an old darling
before and he found he liked it immensely.

While Peg ran to look at her reflection in a small pool he resolved to
get the Wooden Doll a position at Court, for, in spite of her stiff
fingers, Peg was very deft and clever. “And she shall have a purple
plush dress too,” said Kabumpo grandly.

Just then Pompa and Wag returned in a high good humor. The Prince had
tapped on the door of a small farm house and the little Winkie lady had
been most hospitable. Not only had she given the Prince all he could
eat, but she had allowed Wag to go into the garden and pick two dozen of
her best cabbages. His size had greatly astonished her and she had
insisted upon measuring him twice with her yellow tape measure but
finally, without revealing the purpose of their journey, the two managed
to get away. As all were now refreshed and rested, they decided to start
on again.

“We ought to reach Ev by evening,” puffed Wag, between hops.

“But I wish we could open the Magic Box,” sighed Peg, holding on to
Wag’s ear, “for in that box there’s Flying Fluid!”

“We’d make a remarkably nice lot of birds,” chuckled Kabumpo, looking
over his shoulder, “now wouldn’t we?”

“You would,” laughed Pompa. “What else was in the box, Peg?”

It was hard to talk while they were being jolted along, but Peg, being
of wood, did not feel the bumps and Pompa, being a Prince, pretended not
to, so that they continued their conversation in jerky sentences.

“There’s Vanishing Cream, a little tea kettle and some kind of rays and
a Question Box,” said Peg, holding up her wooden hand. “A Question Box
that answers any question you ask it.”

“There is!” exclaimed Kabumpo, stopping short. “Well, I wish we could
ask it whether Pumperdink has disappeared.”

“And how to rescue Ozma, and who sent the scroll!” cried Pompa. “Oh, do
let me try to open it, Peg!”

So Peg handed over Glegg’s Magic Box and as they pounded along the
Prince tried to pry it open with his pearl pen knife. “It would save us
such a lot of trouble,” he murmured, holding it up and screwing his eye
to the keyhole.

“Better let it alone,” advised Wag, wiggling his ears nervously.
“Suppose you should grow as big for you as I am for me. Suppose you
should explode or vanish!”

“Vanish!” coughed Kabumpo. “Great Grump! Put it away, Pompa. Wait till
we reach Ev and make that wicked little Ruggedo open it for us. Who is
this Glegg, anyway?”

“A lawless magician, I guess,” said Wag, “or he wouldn’t have owned a
box of Mixed Magic. Ozma doesn’t allow anyone to practice magic, you
know.”

“Why, I’ll bet he was the person who sent the scroll!” exclaimed the
Prince suddenly. “Don’t you remember, Kabumpo, it was signed J. G.?”

“Not a doubt in the world,” rumbled Kabumpo. “I’ll throw him up a tree
when I catch him and Ruggedo, too!”

“Oh, please don’t,” begged Peg Amy. “Perhaps they are sorry.”

“Not half as sorry as they will be,” wheezed Kabumpo, plowing ahead
through the long grass like a big ferryboat under full steam.

Wag hopped close behind and Peg kept her eyes fixed upon Pompa’s back.
In spite of his scorched head, he seemed to Peg the most delightful
Prince imaginable.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“I’ll brush off his cloak and cut his hair all evenly,” thought Peg.
“Then, perhaps Ozma will say _yes_ when he tells her his story and asks
for her hand. But I wonder what will become of me,” Peg sighed ever so
softly and looked down with distaste at her wooden hands and torn old
dress. Nothing very exciting could happen to a shabby Wooden Doll.

“Why, I haven’t even any right to be alive,” she reflected sadly. “I’m
only meant to be funny. Well, never mind! Perhaps I can help Pompa and
maybe that’s why I was brought to life.”

This thought, and the gleam of the lovely pearls Kabumpo had given her,
so cheered Peg that she began to hum a queer, squeaky little song. The
country was growing rougher and more hilly every minute. The sunny
farmlands lay far behind them now and as Peg finished her song they came
to the edge of a queer, dead-looking forest. The trees were dry and
without leaves and there were quantities of stiff bushes and short
stunted little trees standing under the taller ones.

Peg had an odd feeling that hundreds of eyes were staring out at them
but the forest was so dim that she couldn’t be sure. There was not a
sound but the crackling of the dead branches under Wag’s and Kabumpo’s
feet.

“I don’t like this,” choked Wag. “My wocks and hoop soons! What a
pleerful chase!”

“It isn’t very cheerful,” shivered Peg. “Oh, look, Wag! That big tree
has eyes!” At Peg’s remark the tree doubled up its branches into fists
and stepped right out in front of them. At the same instant all the
other trees and bushes moved closer, with dry crackling steps.

“Now we have you!” snapped the tallest tree in a dreadful voice.

[Illustration: “Now we have you!” snapped the tallest tree in a dreadful
voice]

“Now we have you!” crackled all the other skitter-witchy creatures,
crowding closer.

  “Pigs, pigs, we’re the twigs;
  We’ll tweak your ears and snatch your wigs!”

they shouted all together. One taller than the rest leaned over and
seized Wag by the ear with its twisted fingers.

“Help!” screamed Wag, kicking out with his hind legs. Immediately
Kabumpo began laying about with his trunk.

“Stand back!” he trumpeted angrily, “or I’ll trample you to splinters.”

Pompa stood up on Kabumpo’s back and began to wave his sword
threateningly. At this the ugly creatures grew simply furious. They
snatched at the Prince with their long, claw-like branches, tearing at
his sadly scorched hair and almost upsetting him.

“Stop! Stop!” cried Peg Amy, waving her wooden arms frantically. “Don’t
hit him. He’s going to be married. Hit me, I’m only made of wood!”

“Don’t you dare hit her!” shrilled Pompa, slicing off the branch head of
the nearest Twig. “I am a Prince and she is under my protection. Don’t
touch her!”

By this time Kabumpo had cleared himself a space ahead and Wag a space
behind. Every time Kabumpo’s trunk flew out, a dozen of the queer
crackly Bushmen tumbled over forward and every time Wag’s heels flew out
a dozen crumpled over backward. Pompa kept his sword whirling and, after
several had lost top branches, the whole crowd fell back and began
grumbling together.

“Now then!” puffed Kabumpo angrily, “let’s make a dash for it, Wag. Come
on; we’ll smash them to kindling wood!”

“What’s all this commotion?” cried a loud voice. The Twigs fell back
immediately and a bent and twisted old tree hobbled forward.

“Strangers, your Woodjesty,” whispered a tall Twig, waving a branch at
Kabumpo.

“Well, have you pinched them?” asked the King in a bored voice.

“A little,” admitted the tall Twig nervously, “but they object to it,
your Woodjesty.”

“Well, what if they do?” rasped the King tartly. “Don’t be gormish
Faggots. You know I detest gormishness. It seems to me you might allow
my people a little innocent diversion,” he grumbled, turning to Pompa,
“they don’t get much pleasure!”

“Pleasure!” gasped the Prince, while Kabumpo and Wag were so astonished
that they forgot to fight.

“What does he mean by gormish?” whispered Peg uneasily to Wag. Before he
could answer, the Twigs, who evidently had decided not to be gormish,
made a rush upon the travelers. But Kabumpo was ready for them with
uplifted trunk. With a furious trumpet he charged straight into the
middle, Wag at his heels, with the result that the Twigs went crackling
and snapping to the ground in heaps.

“All we need is a match,” grunted Kabumpo, pounding along unmindful of
the scratching and clawing. “They’re good for nothing but kindling
wood.”

“Don’t be gormish,” he screeched scornfully, as he flung the last Twig
out of his way and Wag and he never stopped till they had put a good
mile between themselves and the disagreeable pinchers.

“Are you hurt?” asked Kabumpo, stopping at last and looking around at
Pompa. “If we keep on this way you won’t be fit to be seen—much less to
marry. Let’s have a look at you.” He lifted the Prince down carefully
and eyed him with consternation. The Prince had seven long scratches on
his cheek and his velvet cloak was torn to ribbons.

“I declare,” spluttered the Elegant Elephant explosively, “you’re a
perfect fright. I declare, it’s a grumpy shame!”

“Well, don’t be gormish,” said the Prince, smiling faintly and wiping
his cheek with his handkerchief.

“Let me help,” begged Peg Amy, falling off Wag’s back. “Ozma won’t mind
a few scratches and what do clothes matter? Anyone would know he was a
Prince,” she added, taking Pompa’s cloak and regarding it ruefully.

Pompa smiled at Peg’s earnestness and made her his best bow but Kabumpo
still looked anxious. “Everyone’s not so smart as you, Peg,” he sighed
gloomily. “But come along. The main thing is to rescue Ozma and after
that perhaps she won’t notice your scratches and torn cloak. She’ll
think you got them fighting the giant,” he finished more hopefully.

With a few more of Kabumpo’s jeweled pins Peg repaired Pompa’s cloak.
Then, after tying up Wag’s ear, which was badly torn, they started off
again.

“What worries me,” said Wag, twitching his nose very fast, “what worries
me is crossing the Deadly Desert. We’re almost to it, you know.”

“Never cross deserts till you come to ’em,” grunted Kabumpo, with a wink
at Peg Amy.

“Oh, all right,” sniffed Wag, “but don’t be gormish. You know how I
detest gormishness!”

While Pompa and Peg were laughing over these last remarks a most
terrible rumble sounded behind them.

“Now what?” trumpeted Kabumpo, turning about.

“Sheverything’s mixed hup!” gulped Wag, putting back his ears. “Hold on
to me, Peg!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 17
                      Meeting The Runaway Country


Everything was mixed up, indeed. Moving toward the little party of
rescuers was a huge jagged piece of land, running along on ten
tremendous feet and feeling its way with its long wiggly peninsula. The
feet raised it several yards above the ground.

“If we crouch down maybe it will run over us,” panted Pompa, sliding
down Kabumpo’s trunk.

“I don’t want to be run over,” shrilled Wag, beginning to hop in a
frenzied circle.

“Stop!” cried the Land in a loud voice, as Wag and Kabumpo started to
run.

“Better stop,” puffed Kabumpo, his eyes rolling wildly, “or it’ll
probably fall on us.” Trembling in spite of themselves, they stood still
and waited for the Land to approach.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“I’ve often heard of sailors hailing land with joy,” gulped Wag, “but
this—well, how did it get this way?”

As the Runaway Country drew nearer, its peninsula fairly quivered with
excitement and as it reached them it pulled up its front feet and tilted
forward to get a better view. Its eyes were two small blue lakes and its
mouth a broad bubbling river.

“I claim you by right of discovery,” cried the Land in its loud, river
voice and before they could make any objection it scooped them up neatly
and tossed them on a little hill.

“This is outrageous,” spluttered the Elegant Elephant, picking Peg out
of some bushes. “We’ve been kidnapped!”

“Let’s jump off!” cried Wag, beginning to hop toward the edge.

“I wouldn’t do that,” said the Land calmly, “because I’d only run after
you again. You might as well settle down and grow up with me. I’m not
such a bad little Country,” it added quietly, “just a bit rough and
uncultivated.”

“Well, what’s that got to do with us,” demanded Kabumpo, staring the
Country right in its lake-eyes. “We’re on an important mission and we
haven’t time for this sort of thing at all.”

“It’s a matter of saving a Princess,” cried Pompa impulsively. “Couldn’t
you, please—”

“Let someone else save her,” said the Country indifferently, beginning
to move off sideways like a crab. “You’re the first savages I’ve found
and I’m going to keep you. Not that you’re what I’d pick out,” it
continued ungraciously. “That wooden girl looks uncommonly odd and you
two beasts are even queerer. But I’m liberal, I am, and the boy looks
all right so far as I can see.”

“But, look here,” panted Wag, twitching his nose very fast, “this is all
wrong. Land is supposed to stand still, isn’t it? You’ve no right to
discover us. We don’t want to be discovered. Put us off at once—do you
hear?”

“Yes, I hear,” said the Runaway Country gruffly. “And I’ve heard about
enough. Don’t anger me,” it shrilled warningly. “Remember, I’m a wild,
rough Country.”

“You’re the wildest Country I ever saw,” groaned the Elegant Elephant,
falling up against a tree. “And of all ridiculous happenings this is the
worst!”

“Never mind,” whispered Peg Amy, standing on her tip toes to whisper in
Kabumpo’s huge ear, “it’s taking us in the right direction, and maybe,
if we were very polite—?”

“Go ahead and try it,” wheezed Kabumpo, rolling his eyes. “I’m too
upset.” He hugged the tree again.

So Peg climbed to the top of the little hill and, waving her wooden arms
to attract the Country’s attention, called cheerfully:

“Yoho, Mr. Land! Where are you going?”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

At first the Land only blinked his blue lake-eyes sulkily but, as Peg
paid no attention to his ill temper and began making him pretty
compliments on his mountains and trees, he gradually cheered up.

“I’m going to be an island,” he announced finally. “That’s where I’m
going. I’m tired of being a hot, dry old undiscovered plateau and I
don’t intend to stop till I come to the Nonestic Ocean.”

“Oh!” groaned Wag, falling over backwards. “We’re going to be cast away
on a desert island.”

Peg held up a warning finger. “What made you want to run away and be an
island?” she asked faintly for, even to Peg, things looked serious.

“Well,” began the Land, giving itself a hitch, “I lay patiently for
years and years waiting to be discovered. Nobody came—not even one
little missionary. I kept getting lonelier and lonelier. You see how
broken up I am!”

“Yes, we can see that, all right,” sniffed Kabumpo.

“And I’m ambitious,” continued the Country huskily. “I want to be
cultivated and built up like other Kingdoms. So, one day I made up my
mind I wouldn’t wait any longer but would run off myself and discover
some settlers. As I have ten mountains and each has a foot there seemed
to be no reason why I shouldn’t run away, so I _did_—and I _have_!”

The Country rolled its lakes triumphantly at the little party on the
hill. “I have found some settlers and I’m looking to you to develop me
into a good, modern, up-to-Oz Kingdom. I’m a progressive Country and I
expect you to improve and make something out of me,” it continued
earnestly. “There’s gold to be dug out of my mountains, plenty of good
farm land to be planted and cities to be built, and—”

“What do you think we are?” exploded Kabumpo indignantly. “Slaves?”

“He’ll get used to it in time,” said the Runaway Country, paying no
attention to Kabumpo, “and he’ll be useful for drawing logs. Now you,”
he turned his watery eyes full on Peg Amy, “you seem to be the most
sensible one in the party, so I think I shall bestow myself upon you. Of
course you’re not at all handsome nor regular, but from now on you may
consider yourself a Princess and _me_ as your Kingdom.”

“Thank you! Thank you very much!” said Peg Amy, hardly knowing what else
to say.

“Hurrah for the Princess of Runaway Island!” cried Wag, standing on his
head. “I always knew you were a Princess, Peg my dear.”

“Oh, hush!” whispered Pompa. “Can’t you see it’s getting more
reasonable? Maybe Peg can persuade it to stop.”

“If it doesn’t stop soon I’ll tear all its trees out by the roots,”
grumbled Kabumpo under his breath. “Logging, indeed! Great Grump! Here’s
the Deadly Desert!”

The air was now so hot and choking that Pompa flung himself face down on
the cool grass. The Runaway Country did not seem to notice the burning
sands and pattered smoothly along on its ten mountain feet.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Something has to be done, quick,” breathed Peg, clasping her hands,
“for soon we’ll be in Ev.”

Pompa, holding his silk handkerchief before his face, had come up beside
her and they both looked anxiously for the first signs of the country
that held Ruggedo and the giant who had run off with Ozma’s palace.

“Oh, Mr. Land,” called Peg suddenly.

“Yes, Princess,” answered the Country, without slackening its speed.

“Have you thought about feeding us?” asked the Wooden Doll gently. “I
don’t see any fruit trees or vegetables or chickens and settlers must
eat, you know. We ought to have some seeds to plant and some building
materials, oughtn’t we, if we’re going to make you into an up-to-Oz
Country?”

“Pshaw!” said the Runaway Country, stopping with a jolt, “I never
thought of that. Can’t you eat grass and fish? There’s fine fish in my
lakes.”

“Well, I don’t eat at all,” explained Peg pleasantly, “but Pompa is a
Prince and a Prince has to have meat and vegetables and puddings on
Sunday—”

“And I have to have lettuce and carrots and cabbages, or I won’t work!”
cried Wag, thumping with his hind feet and winking at Kabumpo. “I’ll not
dig a single mountain!”

“And I’ve got to have my ton of hay a day, too!” trumpeted the Elegant
Elephant, “or I’ll not lug a single log. Pretty poor sort of a Country
you are, expecting us to live on grass as if we were donkeys and goats.”

The Runaway Country rolled its lakes helplessly from one to the other.
“I thought settlers always managed to get a living off the land,” it
murmured in a troubled voice.

“Not us!” rumbled Kabumpo. “Not enough pie in pioneer to suit this
party!”

“Has your Highness anything to suggest?” asked the Country, looking
anxiously at Peg.

“Well,” said the Wooden Doll slowly, “suppose we stop at the first
country we come to and stock up. We could get a few chickens and seeds
and saws and hammers and things.”

“You’d run away,” said the Runaway Country suspiciously. “Not but what I
trust you, Princess,” he added hastily, “but them.” He scowled darkly at
Kabumpo and Wag. “I’ll not let them out of my sight.”

“How our little floating island loves us,” chuckled Wag, nudging the
Elegant Elephant.

“They won’t run away,” said Peg softly. “And if they did you could
easily catch them again.”

“That’s so; I’ll stop wherever you say,” sighed the Country, starting on
again.

“What are you going to do?” whispered Pompa, catching Peg’s arm.

“I don’t know,” said Peg honestly, “but perhaps if we can make it stop
something will turn up. We’re almost across the desert now and that’s a
big help.”

“You’re wonderful!” cried Pompa, eying Peg gratefully. “How can I ever
thank you?”

“Better get your sword ready,” said Peg practically, “for we may run
into that giant any minute now.” Even Kabumpo and Wag had stopped making
jokes and were straining their eyes toward Ev.

“Let’s all stand together!” gasped Wag breathlessly. Before Peg or Pompa
had time to plan, or Kabumpo to reply, the Runaway Country stepped off
the desert and swept over the border and into the Kingdom of Ev, making
straight for a tall purple mountain.

“Do you see anything that looks like a giant, or a palace?” asked Peg,
leaning forward.

“Oh, help!” screamed Wag just then, while Kabumpo gave an earsplitting
trumpet. Peg grasped Pompa and Pompa clutched Peg and no wonder!
Directly in front of them were the legs and feet of the most terrible
and tremendous giant they had ever imagined. He was sitting on the
mountain itself and only a part of him was visible, for his head and
shoulders were lost in the clouds.

[Illustration: Kabumpo gave an ear-splitting trumpet]

“What’s the matter? What’s the matter?” rumbled the Runaway Country,
tilting forward slightly so it could see. One look was enough. With a
frightened jump, that sent the four travelers hurtling through the air,
it began running backwards and in a moment was out of sight.

Peg was the first to recover her senses. Being wood, bumps didn’t bother
her. She rose stiffly and gazed around her. Pompa’s feet were waving
feebly from a small clump of bushes. Kabumpo stood swaying near by,
while Wag lay over on his side with closed eyes.

“Oh, you poor dears!” murmured Peg, and running over to the bushes she
pulled out the Prince of Pumperdink and settled him with his back
against a tree. He was much shaken by his high dive from the island, but
pulled himself together and patted Peg’s wooden hand kindly. By this
time Kabumpo had gotten his bearings and came wabbling over.

“You’ve got a black eye, I see,” wheezed the Elegant Elephant bitterly.

“Not so very black,” said Peg cheerfully. “Are you hurt, Kabumpo?”

The Elegant Elephant felt himself all over with his trunk. “Well, I’m
not used to being flung about like a bean bag,” he said irritably. Then
he lowered his voice hastily, as he caught another glimpse of those
dreadful giant feet. “I’ll go help Wag,” he whispered, backing away
quickly.

It took some time to rouse the giant rabbit, but finally he opened his
eyes. “I shought I thaw a giant,” he muttered thickly. “Hush!” warned
Kabumpo. “He’s over there.” He waved his trunk in the direction of the
mountain and began dragging Wag firmly away.

“C’mon over here,” he called in a loud whisper to Peg and Pompa. Leaning
heavily on Peg Amy the Prince came. Then he gave a cry of distress. “My
sword!” he gasped, staring around a bit wildly.

“I’ll find it,” said Peg obligingly. “You sit still and rest.”

“Where’s the Magic Box?” coughed Kabumpo, with an uneasy glance in the
giant’s direction.

Now that they were actually in Ev, the Elegant Elephant began to doubt
the wisdom of his plan for killing the monster.

“Gone!” wailed Pompa, feeling in his pocket. “I dropped it when I fell
off the Land. What shall we do, Kabumpo?”

“Don’t be a Gooch,” gulped the Elegant Elephant, but he said it without
spirit.

“It’s probably around here somewhere.” Moving quietly, Kabumpo began to
poke about with his trunk.

Just then Peg Amy came flying toward them, her ragged dress fluttering
in the breeze.

“Look!” whispered the Wooden Doll, dropping on her knees before them.

In her hands was Glegg’s Box of Mixed Magic and _it was open_!

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 18
                       Prince Pompadore Proposes


While Peg and Pompa and the Elegant Elephant eyed the box, Wag,
twitching his nose and mumbling very fast under his breath, backed
rapidly away. He was not going to run the risk of any more explosions.
So anxious was the big rabbit to put a good distance between himself and
Glegg’s Mixed Magic, that he never realized that he was backing toward
the giant till a sharp thump on the back of the head brought him up
short.

Trembling in every hair, Wag looked over his shoulder. _Stars!_ He had
run into the terrible, five-toed foot of the giant himself. At first Wag
was too terrified to move. But suddenly the hair on the back of his neck
bristled erect. He peered at the giant’s foot more attentively. His eyes
snapped and, seizing a stout stick that lay near by, he brought it down
with all his might on the giant’s toes.

“It’s Ruggedo!” screamed Wag, hopping up and down with rage. “And I’ll
pound his curly toes off. I don’t care if he is a giant! I’ll pound his
curly toes off!”

The stick whistled through the air and whacked the giant’s toes again.

Now of course we have known all along that the giant was Ruggedo, but it
was a great surprise for the rescuers. Ruggedo was bad enough to deal
with as a gnome—but a giant Ruggedo! _Horrors!_

“Stop him! Stop him!” cried Peg Amy, throwing up her hands and
scattering the contents of the box of magic in every direction.

“What are you trying to do?” roared Kabumpo, plunging forward. “Get us
all trampled on?”

A muffled cry came down from the clouds and, as Kabumpo dragged Wag back
by the ear, something flashed through the air and bounced upon the
Elegant Elephant’s head.

“It’s the Scarecrow!” chattered Wag, wriggling from beneath Kabumpo’s
trunk. Kabumpo opened his eyes and peered down at the limp bundle at his
feet. As he looked the bundle began to pull itself together. It sat up
awkwardly and began clutching itself into shape.

“Where’d you come from?” gasped the Elegant Elephant. Without speaking,
the Scarecrow waved his hand upward and rose unsteadily to his feet.
Then, catching sight of Peg Amy and Pompadore, the Straw Man bowed
politely. Meanwhile Wag, seeing that Kabumpo’s attention was diverted,
began to sidle back toward Ruggedo.

“Stop!” cried the Scarecrow, running after him. “Are you crazy? Don’t
you know Ozma’s palace is on his head? Every time he moves everyone in
the palace tumbles about. Was it you who stirred him up and made him
spill me out of the window?”

“I’ll wake him up some more, the wicked old scrabble-scratch,” muttered
Wag, but Kabumpo jerked him back roughly.

[Illustration: The Scarecrow waved his hand upward]

“Great Grump!” choked the Elegant Elephant, shaking Wag in his
exasperation. “Here we’ve come all this way to save Princess Ozma and
now you want to upset everything.”

“That’s the way to do it,” said the Scarecrow, rolling his eyes wildly.

“Please stop it, Wag,” begged Peg Amy, throwing her wooden arms around
the big rabbit’s neck, and as Pompa added his voice to Peg’s, Wag
finally threw down his stick.

“Who is that beautiful girl?” asked the Scarecrow of Kabumpo. The
Elegant Elephant looked at the Straw Man sharply, to see that he was not
poking fun at the Wooden Doll. Finding he was quite serious, he said
proudly, “That’s Peg Amy, the best little body in Oz. She’s under my
protection,” he added grandly.

Just then Pompa and Peg came over and Wag, who had often seen the
Scarecrow in the Emerald City, introduced them all.

“Did I understand you to say you had come to rescue Ozma?” asked the
Scarecrow, who could not keep his eyes off the Elegant Elephant.

“Did I understand you to say Ozma’s palace was on Ruggedo’s head?”
shuddered Kabumpo, glancing fearfully in the direction of the mountain.

The Scarecrow nodded vigorously and told in a few words of their
terrible journey to Ev and their present perilous position. How the
palace had gotten on Ruggedo’s head, he admitted was a puzzle to him.
Kabumpo and Pompadore listened with amazement, especially to the part
where they had threatened Ruggedo with eggs.

“And he’s kept still for two days just on account of eggs?” gasped the
Elegant Elephant incredulously.

“Well, no,” admitted the Scarecrow, wrinkling up his forehead. “A little
man came flying through the air the first morning and bumped into the
palace and instantly everyone except Scraps and me fell asleep. Ruggedo
was put to sleep, too; we could hear him snoring.”

“Why, it must have been the Sand Man,” breathed Peg Amy. “I have heard
he lived near here.”

“Are they asleep now?” asked Pompa, clutching the Scarecrow’s arm. How
romantic—thought the Prince of Pumperdink—to rescue and waken a sleeping
Princess!

But the Scarecrow shook his head. “A few minutes before I fell out they
began to wake up and I’d just gone to the window to look for Glinda when
Ruggedo gave a howl and ducked his head and here I fell.” The Scarecrow
spread his hands eloquently and smiled at Peg.

“Has Glinda been here?” asked Kabumpo jealously.

“Yes,” said the Scarecrow. “She came this morning and she’s been trying
all sorts of magic to reduce Ruggedo without harm to the palace.”

“Great Grump! Do you hear that?” Kabumpo rolled his eyes anxiously
toward the Prince. “If Glinda’s magic takes effect before ours then
where’ll we be? Peg! Peg! Where’s the box of Mixed Magic?”

“Would you mind telling me,” burst out the Scarecrow, who had been
examining one after another in the party with a puzzled expression,
“would you mind telling me how you happened to know about the palace
disappearing; how you got across the sandy desert; how you expect to
help us; how he (with a jerk at Wag) came to be too large; how she (with
a jerk of his thumb at Peg) came to be alive; and—”

“All in good time; all in good time!” trumpeted Kabumpo testily. “You
sound like the Curious Cottabus! The principal thing to do now is to
save Ozma. Will Ruggedo stay quiet a little longer?”

“If he’s not disturbed,” said the Scarecrow, with a meaning glance at
Wag.

“Well, my hocks and woop soons!” cried the rabbit indignantly. “Isn’t
anyone going to punish him? He shook and shook Peg and he meddled with
magic and blew up into a giant. He’s run off with the palace. Doesn’t he
deserve a pounding?”

“Friend,” said the Scarecrow, “I admire your spirit but my excellent
brains tell me that this is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth
a pound of cure. But have we the ounce of prevention?”

“Here’s the Question Box,” announced Peg, who had run off at Kabumpo’s
first call. “What shall we ask it first?”

“How to save the lovely Princess of Oz,” spoke up Pompa, running his
hand over his scorched locks. “Where’s my crown, Kabumpo?”

Kabumpo fished the crown from his pocket and Pompa set it gravely upon
his head as Peg asked the Question Box:

“How shall we save the lovely Princess of Oz?”

These maneuvers so astonished the Scarecrow that he lost his balance and
fell flat on his nose. When he recovered Peg was clapping her wooden
hands and Kabumpo was dancing on three legs.

“You’re as good as married, my boy!” cried Kabumpo, thumping the Prince
upon the back.

“What is it? What’s happened?” gasped the Scarecrow.

“Why, the Question Box says to pour three drops of Trick Tea on
Ruggedo’s left foot and two on his right and he will then march back to
the Emerald City, descend into his cave and, after the palace has
settled firmly on its foundations, he will shrink down to his former
size,” read Peg Amy, holding the Question Box close to her eyes, for the
printing was very small.

“Hurrah!” cried the Scarecrow, throwing up his hat. “Peggy, put the
kettle on and we’ll all have some tea! But where’d you get all this
magic stuff?” he asked immediately after.

“Out of a box of Mixed Magic,” puffed Kabumpo, his little eyes twinkling
with anticipation as he watched Peg. First she filled the tiny kettle at
a near-by brook; then she lit the little lamp and dropped some of the
Trick Tea into the kettle. Bright pink clouds arose from the kettle, as
soon as Peg had set it over the flame, and while they waited for it to
boil Pompa put another question.

“Has Pumperdink disappeared?” asked the Prince, in a trembling voice.

“N-o,” spelled the Question Box slowly, and Kabumpo settled back with a
great sigh of relief.

“I told you everything would be all right if you followed my advice,”
said the Elegant Elephant. “Stand up now and try to forget your black
eye. You are the Prince of Pumperdink and I am the Elegant Elephant of
Oz.”

“But why all the ceremony?” asked the Scarecrow, looking mystified.

Kabumpo only chuckled to himself and, as the Trick Tea was now ready,
Peg took the little kettle and began to tip-toe toward Ruggedo.

“I hope it’s red hot,” grumbled Wag resentfully. “He’s getting off easy,
the old scrabble-scratch! Getting off! Say, look here!” He gestured
violently to Kabumpo. “If Ruggedo returns to the Emerald City with the
palace on his head, where does Pompa come in?” He pointed a trembling
paw at the Prince, his nose twitching so fast it made the Scarecrow
blink.

“Stop!” trumpeted the Elegant Elephant, plunging after Peg Amy. He
reached her just in time.

“I’m no better than Pumper,” grunted Kabumpo, mopping his brow with the
tail of his robe. “Suppose, after all our hardships, I had allowed Ozma
and the palace to get away without giving Pompa a chance to ask her—”

“But we ought to save her as quick as we can,” ventured Peg. “Couldn’t
we hurry back to the Emerald City again?”

“It might be too late,” wheezed Kabumpo. “Let—me—see!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

“Hello!” cried the Scarecrow. “Here comes Glinda.” As he spoke the swan
chariot of the good Sorceress floated down beside the little party.

“Bother!” groaned Kabumpo, as Glinda stepped out.

“Some strangers,” called the Scarecrow, gleefully running toward Glinda,
“some strangers with a box of Mixed Magic trying to help.”

“If we could have a few words with Ozma,” put in the Elegant Elephant
hastily, “everything would be all right.”

Glinda looked at Kabumpo gravely. “It’s unlawful to practice magic. You
must know that,” said the Sorceress sternly.

“But it’s not our magic, your Highness,” explained Peg Amy, setting down
the little kettle. “We found it, and we’re only trying to help Ozma.”

“Well, in that case,” Glinda could not help smiling at the Wooden Doll’s
quaint appearance, “I shall be glad to assist you, as all of my magic
has proved useless.”

“Aren’t you the Prince of Pumperdink?” she asked, nodding toward Pompa.
The Prince bowed in his most princely fashion and assured her that he
was and, after a few hasty explanations, Glinda promised to bring Ozma
down in her chariot.

“Tell her,” trumpeted Kabumpo impressively, as the chariot rose in the
air, “tell her that a young Prince waits below!”

While Pompa was still looking after Glinda’s chariot, Peg Amy came up to
him and extended both her wooden hands.

“I wish you much happiness, Pompa dear,” said the Wooden Doll in a low
voice.

Pompa pressed Peg’s hands gratefully. “If it hadn’t been for you I’d
never have succeeded. You shall have everything you wish for now, Peg.
Why, where are you going?”

“Good-bye!” called Peg Amy, trying to keep her voice as cheerful as her
painted face, and before anyone could stop her she began to run toward a
little grove of trees.

“Come back!” cried the Prince, starting after her.

“Come back!” trumpeted Kabumpo in alarm.

“I’ll get her!” coughed Wag, hopping forward jealously. “I’ve known her
the longest.”

Pompa and Kabumpo both started to run, too, but just at that minute down
swooped the chariot and out jumped Ozma, the lovely little Ruler of Oz.

“At last!” gasped Kabumpo, pushing Pompa forward.

If Ozma was startled by their singular appearance, she was too polite to
say so, and she returned Pompa’s deep bow with a still deeper curtsey.

“Glinda tells me you have come a long, long way just to help me,” said
Ozma anxiously. “Is that so?”

“Princess!” cried Pompa, falling on his knee. “I know you are worried
about your palace and your Courtiers and your friends. Two drops of that
Triple Trick Tea (he waved at the small kettle) upon Ruggedo’s right
foot and three on his left will set everything right!”

“But where did you get it—and why?” Ozma looked doubtfully at the
Scarecrow.

“Might as well try it,” advised the Scarecrow.

“We will explain everything later,” puffed the Elegant Elephant. “Trust
old Kabumpo, your Highness, and everything will turn out happily.”

“I believe I will,” smiled Ozma. “Will you try the Trick Tea, Glinda?”

Glinda took the kettle and poured it exactly as directed. First Ruggedo
gave a gusty sigh that blew the clouds about in every direction.

“Look out!” warned Glinda.

Next instant they all fluttered down like a pack of cards, for Ruggedo
had taken a step—a giant step that shook the earth as if it had been a
block of jelly—and when they had picked themselves up Ruggedo was out of
sight, tramping like a giant in a dream, back toward the Emerald City.

[Illustration: Ruggedo, tramping like a giant in a dream, back to the
Emerald City]

“You wait here!” cried Glinda to Ozma. “And I’ll follow him!” She sprang
into her chariot.

“How do you know he’ll go back?” asked the little Ruler of Oz, staring
with straining eyes for a glimpse of the giant.

“Because the Question Box said so,” chuckled Kabumpo triumphantly.

“Good magic!” approved the Scarecrow. “But where is that charming Peg? I
think I’ll run find her.”

No sooner had the Scarecrow disappeared than Pompa, swallowing very
hard, again approached Ozma. But Ozma, still looking after Glinda’s
vanishing chariot, was hardly aware of the Prince of Pumperdink.

Poor Pompa dropped on his knee (which had a large hole in it by this
time) and began mumbling indistinct sentences. Then, as Kabumpo frowned
with disgust, the Prince burst out desperately, “Princess, will you
marry me?”

“Marry you?” gasped the little Ruler of Oz. “Good gracious, _no_!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 19
                       Ozma Takes Things In Hand


Prince Pompadore jumped up quickly.

“I told you she wouldn’t!” he choked, looking reproachfully at Kabumpo.
“I’m not half good enough.”

“He doesn’t always look so scratched up and Shabby,” wheezed Kabumpo
breathlessly. “We’ve been scorched and pinched and kidnapped. We’ve been
through every kind of hardship to save your Highness—and _now_!” The
Elegant Elephant slouched against a tree, the picture of discouragement.
He seemed to have forgotten the jewels that were to have won the
Princess for Pompa and his threat of running off with her should she
refuse him.

“Why, you don’t even know me,” cried Ozma, dismayed by even the thought
of marrying; for though the little Ruler of Oz has lived almost a
thousand years she is no older than _you_ are and would no more think of
marrying than Dorothy or Betsy Bobbin or Trot. Ruling the Kingdom of Oz
takes almost all of Ozma’s time and in any that is left she wants to
play and enjoy herself like any other sensible little girl. For Ozma is
only a little girl fairy after all.

“I’m not going to marry anybody!” she declared stoutly. Then, because
she really was touched by Pompa’s woebegone appearance, she asked more
kindly, “Why did you want to marry me especially?”

“Because you are the properest Princess in Oz,” groaned the Prince,
leaning disconsolately against Kabumpo. “Because if we don’t Pumperdink
will disappear and my poor old father and my mother and everyone.”

“Not to speak of us,” gulped the Elegant Elephant.

“But where is Pumperdink, and who said it would disappear?” asked Ozma
in amazement. “And how did you happen to have this Trick Tea and come to
rescue me?”

“The Prince always rescues the Princess he intends to marry,” said
Kabumpo wearily. “I should think you’d know that.”

“Well, I’m very grateful, and I’ll do anything I can except marry you,”
exclaimed Ozma, who was beginning to feel very much interested in this
strange pair.

“Thank you,” said Kabumpo stiffly, for he was deeply offended. “Thank
you, but we must be going. Come along, Pompa.”

“Don’t be a Gooch!” This time it was Pompa who spoke. “I’m going to tell
her everything!”

And Pompa, being as I have told you before the most charming Prince in
the world, made Ozma a comfortable throne of green boughs and, throwing
himself at her feet, poured out the whole story of their adventures,
beginning with the birthday party and the mysterious scroll. He told of
their meeting with Peg Amy and Wag and ended up with the ride upon the
Runaway Country.

Kabumpo stood by, swaying sulkily. He was very much disappointed in the
Princess of Oz. He felt that she had no proper appreciation of his or
Pompa’s importance.

“I’m going to find Peg,” he called finally. “She’s got more sense than
any of you,” he wheezed under his breath as he swept grandly out of
sight.

Ozma put both hands to her head as Pompa finished his recital and really
it was enough to puzzle any fairy. Scrolls, live Wooden Dolls, a giant
rabbit, a mysterious magician threatening disappearances and Ruggedo’s
wicked use of the box of Mixed Magic.

“Goodness!” cried the little Ruler of Oz. “I wish the Scarecrow would
come back. He’s so clever I’m sure he could help us; but first you had
better bring me the magic box.”

Pompa rose slowly and, picking up all the little flasks and boxes that
had spilled out when Wag pounded Ruggedo, he put them back into the
casket and handed it to Ozma. She examined the contents as curiously as
the others had done. The Expanding Extract was the only thing missing,
for Ruggedo had poured the whole bottle over his head. The Question Box
seemed to Ozma the most wonderful of all of Glegg’s magic.

“Why, all we have to do is to ask this box questions,” she cried in
excitement. “Has my palace reached the Emerald City?” she asked
breathlessly.

“Shake it three times,” said Pompa, as Ozma looked in vain for her
answer.

“Yes,” stated the box after the third shake, and Ozma sighed with
relief.

“I suppose you asked it if I were the Proper Princess mentioned in the
scroll,” she said, a bit shyly.

The Prince shook his head. “Knew without asking,” said Pompa heavily.

“Do you mean to say you never asked it that?” gasped Ozma in disbelief.
“Why, I am surprised at you.” And before Pompa could object she shook
the little box briskly. “Who is the Princess that Pompa must marry?” she
demanded anxiously.

“The Princess of Sun Top Mountain,” flashed the Question Box promptly.
Then, as an afterthought, it added, “Trust the mirror and golden door
knob!”

“Now, you see!” cried Ozma, jumping up in delight. “I wasn’t the Proper
Princess at all!”

Pompa smiled faintly, but without enthusiasm. The thought of hunting
another Princess was almost too much. “I wish I could just take Peg Amy
and Wag and go back to Pumperdink without marrying anybody,” he choked
bitterly.

“Now, don’t give up,” advised Ozma kindly. “It was very wrong of Glegg
to cause you all this trouble. I’m going to keep his box of Mixed Magic
and take away all his powers when I find him, but until I do, you’ll
have to follow directions. Oh mercy! What’s that?”

They both ducked and turned around in a hurry, as a terrific thumping
sounded behind them.

“It’s the Runaway Country again,” cried Pompa, seizing Ozma’s hands in
distress, “and it’s caught all the others.”

The Scarecrow had climbed a tree, and was waving to them wildly as the
Country galloped nearer. “Might as well come aboard,” he called
genially. “This is a fast Country—no arguing with it at all.”

Ozma looked helplessly at Pompa, and the Prince had only time to grasp
her more firmly when the Country scooped them neatly into the air. Down
they tumbled, beside Peg Amy and Wag and the Elegant Elephant.

“What do you mean by this?” demanded Ozma, as soon as she regained her
breath.

“Don’t you know this lady is the Ruler of all Oz?” cried Pompa
warningly.

“Peg’s the Ruler of me,” replied the Country calmly. “I nearly lost her
once, but now I’ve caught her and all the rest, and I am not going to
stop until I’ve reached the Nonestic Ocean—giants or no giants.”

Ozma had been somewhat prepared for the Runaway Country by Pompa’s
description, but she had never dreamed it would dare to run off with
her. While Peg Amy began to coax it to stop, she took out Glegg’s little
Question Box.

“How shall I stop this Country?” she whispered anxiously.

“Spin around six times and cross your fingers,” directed the Question
Box.

This Ozma proceeded to do, much to the agitation of the Scarecrow, who
thought she had taken leave of her senses. But next instant the Country
came to a jolting halt.

“Peg, Princess Peg!” shrieked the Island. “I am bewitched, I can’t move
a step!”

“Then everybody off,” shouted the Scarecrow, jerking a branch of a tree
as if he were a conductor. “End of the line—everybody off!” And they
lost no time tumbling off the wild little Country.

“It seems too bad to leave it,” said Peg Amy regretfully, picking
herself up.

“It threw us off without any feeling or consideration when it saw
Ruggedo,” sniffed Kabumpo. “Therefore it has no claims on us
whatsoever.”

“But couldn’t you do something for it?” asked Peg, approaching Ozma
timidly. “It’s so tired of being a plateau. Couldn’t you let it be an
island, and find someone to settle on it? I wouldn’t mind going,” she
added generously.

“You shall do nothing of the sort,” cried Kabumpo angrily. “You’re going
back to Pumperdink with Pompa and me.”

“She’s going with me,” cried Wag. “Aren’t you, Peg?”

“You seem to be a very popular person,” smiled Ozma. “While a Country
has no right to run away, and while I never heard of one doing it
before, I’ve no objections to its being an island. It’s running off with
people I object to.” She looked the Country sternly in its lake-eyes.

“But I can’t move,” screamed the Country, tears streaming down its hill,
“and I’ve got to have somebody to settle me.”

“Oh! Here’s Glinda,” shouted the Scarecrow, tossing up his hat. “Now we
shall know what’s happened to Ruggedo.”

Leaving the Country for a moment, they all ran to welcome the good
Sorceress of Oz. Glinda’s reports were most satisfactory. Ruggedo had
walked straight back to the Emerald City, stepped into the yawning
cavern, and immediately the palace had settled firmly upon its old
foundations. Then had come a muffled explosion, and when Glinda and
Dorothy ran through the secret passage, which had been discovered
meanwhile by the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, they saw Ruggedo,
shrunken to his former size, sitting angrily on his sixth rock of
history.

“I have locked him up in the palace,” finished Glinda, “and I strongly
advise your Highness to punish him severely.”

Ozma sighed. “What would you do?” she asked, appealing to the Scarecrow.
So many things had come up for her attention and advice in the last few
hours that the little fairy ruler felt positively dizzy.

“Let’s all sit down in a circle and think,” proposed the Scarecrow
cheerfully. This they all did except Kabumpo, who stood off glumly by
himself. Peg was looking anxiously at Pompadore, for the Elegant
Elephant had told her of Ozma’s refusal, and wondering sadly what she
could do to help, when the Scarecrow bounced up impulsively.

“I have it,” chuckled the Straw Man. “Let’s send Ruggedo off on the
Runaway Country. He deserves to be banished and, if Ozma makes the
Country an Island, he can do no harm.”

Here Ozma had to stop and explain to Glinda about the Country that
wanted to be an Island, and after a short consultation they decided to
take the Scarecrow’s advice.

“Just as soon as I reach the Emerald City I’ll put on my Magic Belt and
wish him onto the Island,” declared Ozma. “And I think we’d better go
right straight back,” she added thoughtfully, “for it’s growing darker
every minute and Dorothy will be anxious to hear everything that’s
happened.”

“Now you”—Ozma tapped Pompadore gently on the arm—“You must start at
once for Sun Top Mountain. I’m going to ask the Question Box just where
it is.”

Pompa sighed deeply, and when Ozma consulted the Question Box as to the
location of Sun Top Mountain, it stated that this Kingdom was in the
very Centre of the North Winkie Country. “That’s fine,” said Ozma,
clapping her hands. “I’ll have the Runaway country carry you over the
Deadly Desert, and as soon as you have married the Princess you must
bring her to see me in the Emerald City.”

“Whats all this?” demanded Kabumpo, pricking up his ears.

“The Question Box says I must marry the Princess of Sun Top Mountain,”
said Pompa, getting up wearily.

“Well, Great Grump, why couldn’t it have said so before?” asked Kabumpo
shrilly.

“You never asked it,” snapped Wag, twitching his nose. “I told you Ozma
wasn’t the Princess mentioned in the scroll!”

“Now don’t quarrel,” begged Peg Amy, jumping up hastily. “There’s still
plenty of time to save Pumperdink. Come along, Pompa.”

“That’s right,” said Ozma, smiling approvingly at Peg. “And when Pompa
finds his Princess you must come and live with me in the Emerald City,
for as Ruggedo was responsible for bringing you to life, I want to take
care of you always.”

Peg Amy dropped a curtsey and promised to come, but she didn’t feel very
cheerful about it. Then, as Ozma was anxious to get back to the Emerald
City, they all hurried to Runaway Country.

“You are to take these travelers across the Deadly Desert,” said Ozma,
addressing the Runaway Country quite sternly, “and you are to set them
down in the Winkie Country. If you do this I will restore your moving
power again and give you a little gnome for King. Then you may run off
to the Nonestic Ocean as soon as ever you wish.”

“I want Peg,” pouted the Country, “but if that’s the best you can do I
suppose I’ll have to stand it.” After a little more grumbling it agreed
to Ozma’s terms. Wearily, Kabumpo, Wag, Peg and Pompa climbed aboard and
then Ozma spun around six times in the opposite direction and
immediately the Country found itself able to move again.

“Good-bye!” called Ozma, as she and the Scarecrow jumped into Glinda’s
chariot. “Good-bye and good luck!”

“Good-bye!” called Peg, waving her old torn bonnet.

“Good riddance,” grumbled the Country gruffly and, turning sideways,
began running toward the Deadly Desert.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 20
                     The Proper Princess Is Found!


“Is the mirror safe, and have you still got the gold door knob?” asked
Pompa, as the Country swung out onto the Deadly Desert. “The Question
Box said I was to trust them, you know.”

“And by what right did Ozma take that box?” wheezed Kabumpo irritably,
as he felt in his pocket to see whether the magic articles were still
there.

“That’s gratitude for you! We find Glegg’s box of Mixed Magic and rescue
her, and off she goes with all our magic, leaving us to the tender
mercies of a Runaway Country!”

“You find the box!” shrilled Wag. “Well, I like that!”

“Oh, what difference does it make?” groaned Pompa, stretching out upon
the ground. They were all completely exhausted by the day’s adventures
and as cross as three sticks—all except Peg Amy, who never was cross.

“I shall marry this Princess and save my country, but I’m going away as
soon as the wedding is over and spend the rest of my life in travel,”
announced Pompa gloomily.

“Don’t blame you,” rumbled the Elegant Elephant with a sniff.

“Ah, now!” laughed Peg. “That doesn’t sound like you, Pompa. Why, maybe
this Princess will be so lovely you’ll want to carry her straight back
to Pumperdink.”

“I think Princesses are a great bore,” said Wag with a terrific yawn. “I
prefer plain folks like Peg and the Scarecrow.”

“You’re all hungry, that’s what’s the matter,” chuckled the Wooden Doll.
“When you’ve had some supper you’ll be just as anxious to find the
Princess of Sun Top Mountain as you were to find Ozma. Here’s the Winkie
Country now, and there’s a star for good luck.”

Peg waved toward the green fields with one hand and toward the clouds
with the other. It was dusk now and just one star twinkled cheerily in
the sky.

“I’ll set you down, but I’m not going away,” said the Runaway Country
determinedly, “for if that little old gnome doesn’t turn up I’m going to
catch you all again.”

“Ozma never forgets. She’ll keep her promise,” said Peg. “And you must
do just as she told you to do for she has some powerful magic and can
send you right back to where you came from.”

“Can she?” gulped the Country anxiously.

“You might wait a while, though,” suggested Pompa darkly. “After I’ve
seen this new Princess a Runaway Country might be a very good thing.”

“Well, you can’t expect her to marry you if you talk that way,” said Peg
warningly, as the Country came to a stop in a huge field of daisies.

“I’ll wait,” it said hopefully, as the four travelers swung themselves
down.

“I wonder if we are in the North Central part,” murmured Peg Amy,
looking around anxiously. Now it happened the Country had crossed the
Deadly Desert slantwise and although none of the party knew it they were
scarcely a mile from Sun Top Mountain.

“I see a garden!” cried Wag, twitching his nose hungrily. “Come on,
Prince, lets find some supper.” With head down and dragging his feet,
Pompa followed Wag. Kabumpo began jerking snappishly at some tree tops
and Peg Amy sat down to think.

“I wish,” thought the Wooden Doll, looking up at the bright star, “I
wish I might have asked the box one little question.” Peg Amy looked so
solemn that Kabumpo stopped eating and regarded her anxiously.

“What’s the matter?” asked the Elegant Elephant gruffly, for he quite
counted on Peg’s cheerfulness.

“I was thinking about it again,” admitted Peg apologetically. “About
being alive before. I’m sure I was alive before I was a doll, Kabumpo. I
think I was a person, like Pompa,” she continued softly.

“You’re much better as you are,” said the Elegant Elephant uneasily, for
it had just occurred to him that the Magic Mirror would tell Peg who she
was as well as the Question Box. But should he let her look in it? That
was the question. Poor, tired old Kabumpo shifted from one foot to the
other as he tried to make up his mind. Two huge drops of perspiration
ran down his trunk. What good would it do? he reasoned finally. Suppose
it told something awful! It couldn’t change her and it might make her
unhappy. No, he would not let Peg look in the mirror.

“How would you like to have this pearl bracelet?” he asked in an
embarrassed voice.

“Why, Kabumpo, I’d just adore it!” cried Peg, springing up in a hurry.
“And I’m not going to worry about being alive any more, for everyone is
so lovely to me I ought to be the happiest person in Oz.”

“You are,” puffed Kabumpo, clumsily slipping the bracelet on Peg’s
wooden arm, “and if we ever get back to Pumperdink you shall have as
many silk dresses as you want and—” The rest of the sentence was
smothered in a hug.

Peg Amy was growing fonder and fonder of pompous old Kabumpo and by the
time he had recovered his breath Wag and the Prince came ambling back
together. They had found an orchard and a kitchen garden and as they
were no longer hungry, both were more cheerful.

“Let’s play scop hotch,” suggested Wag amiably. “I’m tired of hunting
Princesses.” There was a smooth patch of sand under the trees and Wag
hopped over and began marking out the squares with his paw.

“Scop hotch!” laughed Pompa, While Peg gave a skip of delight.

“Play if you want to,” wheezed Kabumpo, shaking himself wearily, “I feel
about as playful as a stone lion. Besides, hop scotch isn’t an elephant
game.”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

Peg, Wag and Pompa began to hop scotch for dear life. Peg often tumbled
over, for it is hard to keep your balance on wooden legs, but it was Peg
who won in the end and Wag crowned her with daisies.

“I wish we could go on just as we are,” gasped Pompa, mopping his face
with his silk handkerchief. “We’re all good chums and, if it weren’t for
Pumperdink’s disappearing, we might travel all over Oz and have no end
of adventures together.”

“Speaking of disappearing,” said Kabumpo, opening one eye, for he had
dozed off during the game, “I suppose we’d better be starting if we’re
to save the Kingdom at all.”

“Good-bye to pleasure,” sighed Pompa, as Kabumpo lifted him to his back.
“Good-bye to everything!”

“Oh, cheer up,” begged Peg, settling herself on Wag’s back.

“Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!” A large yellow bird rose suddenly from a
near-by bush and flapped its wings over Pompa’s head. “Hurrah! Hurrah!”

“Shoo! Get away!” grumbled Kabumpo crossly. “What are you cheering
about?”

“She said to,” cawed the bird, darting over Peg Amy’s head. “Hurrah!
Hurrah! Hurrah! Let me teach you how to be cheerful in three chirps.
First, think of what you might have been; next, think of what you are;
then think of what you are going to be. Do you get it?” The bird put its
head on one side and regarded them anxiously.

“He might have been King of Oz, instead of which he is only a lost
Prince, and he’s going to be married to a mountain top Princess. Do you
see anything cheerful about that?” demanded Kabumpo angrily. “Clear out!
We’ll do our own cheering.”

“Shall I go?” asked the Hurrah Bird, looking very crestfallen and
pointing its claw at Peg Amy.

“Maybe you can tell us the way to Sun Top Mountain,” said Peg politely.

“You can see it from the other side of the hill,” replied the Hurrah
Bird. “I’ll give you a few hurrahs for luck. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!”

“Oh, go away,” grumbled Kabumpo.

“Not till you look at my nest. Did you ever see a Hurrah Bird’s nest?”
he chirped brightly.

“Let’s look at it,” said Pompa, smiling in spite of himself. The Hurrah
Bird preened itself proudly as they peered through the bushes. Surely it
had the gayest nest ever built, for it was woven of straw of many
colors, and hung all over the near-by branches were small Oz flags. In
the nest three little yellow chicks were growing up into Hurrahs and
they chirped faintly at the visitors.

“Remember,” called the Father Hurrah, as they bade him good-bye, “you
can always be cheerful in three chirps if you think of what you _might_
have been, what you _are_, and what you are going to be. Hurrah! Hurrah!
Hurrah!”

“There’s something in what you’ve said,” chuckled Wag. “Good-bye!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

The moon had come up brightly and even Kabumpo began to feel more like
himself. “There’s a lot to be learned by traveling, eh, Wag?” He winked
at the rabbit, who was just behind him. “Let’s see—somersaults for
sums—never be gormish—and now, how to be cheerful in three chirps.
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!” The Elegant Elephant began to plow swiftly
through the daisy field, so that in almost no time they reached the top
of the little hill and as they did so Peg gave a little scream of
delight. As for the others, they were simply speechless.

A purple mountain rose steeply ahead, and set like a crown upon its
summit was a glittering gold castle, the loveliest, laciest gold castle
you could imagine, with a hundred fluttering pennants. All down the
mountain side spread its lovely gardens, its golden arbors and flower
bordered paths.

[Illustration: At the top of the mountain the loveliest castle you could
imagine]

“I’ve seen it before!” cried the Wooden Doll softly, but no one heard
her. Pompa drew a deep breath, for the castle, shimmering in the
moonlight, seemed almost too beautiful to believe.

“Whe-ew!” whistled Wag, breaking the silence. “The Princess of Tun Sop
Wountain must be wonderful.”

“Shall we start up now?” gasped Kabumpo, swinging his trunk nervously.

“I don’t believe she’ll ever marry me. Lets don’t go at all,” muttered
the Prince of Pumperdink in a shaking voice.

“Oh, come on!” called Wag, who was curious to see the owner of so grand
a castle.

“But we mustn’t go, Wag,” gasped Peg Amy. “How would it look to have a
shabby old doll tagging along when he’s trying to talk to the Princess?”

“If Peg doesn’t go, I’m not going,” declared Pompa stubbornly.

“You’re just as good as any Princess,” said Kabumpo, “and I’m not going
without you, either.”

As the Elegant Elephant refused to budge and there seemed no other way
out of it, Peg Amy finally consented and the four adventurers started
fearfully up the winding path, almost expecting the castle to disappear
before they reached the top, so unreal did it seem in the moonlight.
There was no one in the garden but there were lights in the castle
windows. “Just as if they expected us,” said the Elegant Elephant, as
they reached the tall gates. Pompa opened the gates and next instant
they were standing before the great castle door.

“Shall we knock?” chattered Wag, his eyes sticking out with excitement.

“No! Wait a minute,” begged the Prince, who was becoming more agitated
every minute.

“Here’s the mirror and the door knob,” quavered Kabumpo. “Didn’t the
Question Box say to trust them? Why, look here, Pompa, my boy, it fits!”
Clumsily, Kabumpo held up the glittering door knob he had brought all
the way from Pumperdink; then he slipped it easily on the small gold bar
projecting from the door.

But instead of looking joyful Pompa groaned dismally. He started to
protest but Kabumpo had already turned the knob and they found
themselves in a glittering gold court room.

“Now for the Princess,” puffed Kabumpo, looking around with his
twinkling little eyes. “Here, take the mirror, Pompa.” The room was
empty, although brilliantly lighted, and the Prince stood uncertainly in
the very center. Suddenly, with a determined little cry, Pompa rushed
over to Peg Amy, who stood leaning against a tall gold chair.

“Peg,” choked Pompa, dropping on his knees beside the Wooden Doll, “I’ll
have to find some other way to save Pumperdink. I’m not going to marry
this Princess and have you taken away from me. You’re a proper enough
Princess for me and we’ll just go back to Pumperdink and be—”

“The mirror! Look in the mirror!” screamed Wag, who was sitting beside
Peg Amy.

[Illustration: There stood Peg Amy, the Loveliest Little Princess in the
world]

Unconsciously, Pompa had held out the gold mirror and Peg, leaning over
to listen, had looked directly into it. Above Peg’s pleasant reflection
in the mirror they read these startling and important words:

             This is Peg Amy, Princess of Sun Top Mountain.

While Pompa stared with round eyes the words faded out and this new
legend formed in the glass:

                      This is the Proper Princess.

“I always knew you were a Princess,” cried Wag, turning a somersault.

The big rabbit had just come right-side-up, when a still more amazing
thing happened. The wooden body of Peg melted before their eyes and in
its place stood the loveliest little Princess in the world. And yet,
with all her beauty, she was strangely like the old Peg. Her eyes had
the same merry twinkle and her mouth the same pleasant curve.

“Oh!” cried Princess Peg, holding her arms out to her friends. “Now I am
the happiest person in Oz!”

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 21
                         How It All Came About


Before Pompa had time to rise, a tall, richly clad old nobleman rushed
into the room.

“Peg!” cried the old gentleman, clasping the Princess in his arms. “You
are back! At last the enchantment is broken!”

For a moment the two forgot all about Pompa and the others. Then, gently
disengaging herself, Peg seized the Prince’s hands and drew him to his
feet.

“Uncle,” she said breathlessly, holding to Pompa with one hand and
waving with the other at Kabumpo and Wag, “here are the friends
responsible for my release. This is my Uncle Tozzyfog,” she explained
quickly, and impulsively Uncle Tozzyfog sprang to his feet and embraced
each in turn—even Kabumpo.

“Sit down,” begged the old nobleman, sinking into a golden chair and
mopping his head with a flowered silk kerchief.

Pompa, who could not take his eyes from this new and wonderful Peg Amy,
dropped into another chair. Kabumpo leaned limply against a pillar and
Wag sat where he was, his nose twitching faster than ever and his ears
stuck out straight behind him.

“You are probably wondering about the change in Peg,” began Uncle
Tozzyfog, as the Princess perched on the arm of his chair, “so I’ll try
to tell my part of the story. Three years ago an ugly old peddlar
climbed the path to Sun Top Mountain. He said his name was Glegg and,
forcing his way into the castle, he demanded the hand of my niece in
marriage.”

Peg shuddered and Uncle Tozzyfog blew his nose violently at the
distressing memory. Then, speaking rapidly and pausing every few minutes
to appeal to the Princess, he continued the story of Peg’s enchantment.
Naturally the old peddlar had been refused and thrown out of the castle.
That night as Uncle Tozzyfog prepared to carve the royal roast, there
came an explosion, and when the Courtiers had picked themselves up Peg
Amy was nowhere to be seen, and only a threatening scroll remained to
explain the mystery. Glegg, who was really a powerful magician,
infuriated by Uncle Tozzyfog’s treatment, had changed the little
Princess into a tree.

“Know ye,” began the scroll quite like the one that had spoiled Pompa’s
birthday, “know ye that unless ye Princess of Sun Top Mountain consents
to wed J. Glegg she shall remain a tree forever, or until two shall call
and believe her to be a Princess. J. G.”

The whole castle had been plunged into utmost gloom by this terrible
happening, for Peg was the kindliest, best loved little Princess any
Kingdom could wish for. Lord Tozzyfog and nearly all the Courtiers set
out at once to search for the little tree and for two years they
wandered over Oz, addressing every hopeful tree as Princess, but never
happening on the right one. Finally they returned in despair and Sun Top
Mountain, once the most cheerful Kingdom in all Oz, had become the
gloomiest. There was no singing, nor dancing—no happiness of any kind.
Even the flowers had drooped in the absence of their little Mistress.

“Why didn’t you appeal to Ozma?” demanded Pompa at this point in the
story.

“Because in another scroll Glegg warned us that the day we told Ozma,
Peg Amy would cease to even be a tree,” explained Uncle Tozzyfog
hoarsely.

“Then how did she become a doll? Tell me that, Uncle Fozzytog,” gulped
Wag, raising one paw.

“She’ll have to tell you that herself,” confessed Peg’s uncle, “for
that’s all of the story I know.”

So here Peg took up the story herself. The morning after her
transformation into a tree Glegg had appeared and asked her again to
marry him. “I was a little yellow tree, in the Winkie Country, not far
from the Emerald City,” explained Peg, “and every day for two months
Glegg appeared and gave me the power of speech long enough to answer his
question. And each time he asked me to marry him but I always said
‘No!’” The Princess shook her yellow curls briskly.

[Illustration: “Every day Glegg returned and asked me to marry him, but
I always said ‘No’!” explained Peg]

“One afternoon there came a one-legged sailor man and a little girl.”
Even Kabumpo shuddered as Peg Amy told how Cap’n Bill had cut down the
little tree, pared off all the branches and carved from the trunk a
small wooden doll for Trot.

“It didn’t hurt,” Princess Peg hastened to explain as she caught Pompa’s
sorrowful expression, “and being a doll was a lot better than being a
tree. I could not move or speak but I knew what was going on and life in
Ozma’s palace was cheerful and interesting. Only, of course, I longed to
tell Ozma or Trot of my enchantment. I missed dear Uncle Tozzyfog and
all the people of Sun Top Mountain. Then, as you all know, I was stolen
by the old gnome and after Ruggedo carried me underground I forgot all
about being a Princess and remembered nothing of this.” Peg glanced
lovingly around the room. “I only felt that I had been alive before. So
you!” Peg jumped up and flung one arm around Wag, “and you,” she flung
the other around Pompa, “saved me by calling me a Princess and really
believing I was one. And you!” Peg hastened over to Kabumpo, who was
rolling his eyes sadly. “You are the darlingest old elephant in Oz! See,
I still have the necklace and bracelet!” And sure enough on Peg’s round
arm and white neck gleamed the jewels the Elegant Elephant had
generously given when he thought her only a funny Wooden Doll.

“Oh!” groaned Kabumpo. “Why didn’t I let you look in the mirror before?
No wonder you kept remembering things.”

“But why did Glegg send the threatening scroll to Pumperdink three years
after he’d enchanted Peg?” asked Wag, scratching his head.

“Because!” shrilled a piercing voice, and in through the window bounded
a perfectly dreadful old man. It was Glegg himself!

[Illustration: “In through the window bounded a perfectly dreadful old
man”]

“Because!” screeched the wicked magician, advancing toward the little
party with crooked finger, “when that meddling old sailor touched Peg
with his knife I lost all power over her; because my Question Box told
me that Pompadore of Pumperdink could bring about her disenchantment and
he has. I made it interesting for you, didn’t I? There isn’t another
magician in Oz can put scrolls up in cakes and roasts like I can nor mix
magic like mine. Ha! Ha!” Glegg threw back his head and rocked with
enjoyment. “You have had all the trouble and I shall have all the
reward!”

Everyone was so stunned by this terrible interruption that no one made a
move as Glegg sprang toward Peg Amy. But before he had reached the
Princess there was a queer sulphurous explosion and the magician
disappeared in a cloud of green smoke. They rubbed their eyes and as the
smoke cleared they saw Trot, the little girl who had played with Peg Amy
when she was a Wooden Doll.

“Ozma,” explained Trot breathlessly, for she had come on a fast _wish_.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

After following the adventures of Pompa and Peg in the Magic Mirror, and
as the magician had tried to snatch the Princess, Ozma had transported
him by means of her Magic Belt to the Emerald City, and sent Trot to
bring her best wishes to the whole party.

“I’m sorry I didn’t make you a prettier dress when you were my doll,”
said Trot, seizing Peg Amy’s hand impulsively, “but you see I didn’t
know you were a Princess.”

“But you guessed my name,” said Peg softly.

There were so many explanations to be made and so many things to wonder
over and exclaim about, that it seemed as if they could never stop
talking.

Uncle Tozzyfog rang all the bells in the castle tower and stepping out
on a balcony told the people of Sun Top Mountain of the return of
Princess Peg Amy. Then the servants were summoned and such a feast as
only an Oz cook can prepare was started in the castle kitchen. The
Courtiers came hurrying back, for during Peg’s absence Uncle Tozzyfog
had lived alone in the castle. Yes, the Courtiers came back and the
people of Sun Top Mountain poured into the castle in throngs and nearly
overwhelmed the rescuers by the enthusiasm of their thanks.

Kabumpo had never been so admired and complimented in his whole elegant
life. As for Wag, his speech grew more mixed up every minute. At last,
when the Courtiers and Uncle Tozzyfog had run off to dress for the grand
banquet, and after Trot had been magically recalled by Ozma to the
Emerald City, the four who had gone through so many adventures together
were left alone.

“Well, how about Pumperdink, my boy?” chuckled Kabumpo, with a wave of
his trunk. “Are we going to let the old Kingdom disappear or not?”

“It is my duty to save my country,” said Pompa loftily. Then, with a
mischievous smile at Peg Amy, “Don’t you think so, Princess?” Peg Amy
looked merrily at the Elegant Elephant and then took Pompa’s hand.

“Yes, I do,” said the Princess of Sun Top Mountain.

“Then, you _will_ marry me?” asked Pompa, looking every inch a Prince in
spite of his singed head and torn clothes.

“We must save Pumperdink, you know,” sighed Peg softly.

“Three cheers for the Princess of Pumperdink! May she be as happy as the
day is short!” cried Wag in his impulsive way.

Uncle Tozzyfog was as pleased as Wag when he heard the news, and Pompa,
attired in a royal gold embroidered robe, was married to Peg Amy upon
the spot, with much pomp and magnificence.

Never before was there such rejoicing—a merrier company or a happier
bride. Kabumpo, arrayed in two gold curtains borrowed for the happy
occasion, had never appeared more elegant and Wag was everywhere at once
and simply overwhelmed with attention.

That same night a messenger was dispatched to Pumperdink to carry the
good news and the next morning Pompa and Peg set out for the Emerald
City, the Princess riding proudly on Wag and Pompadore on Kabumpo.
Knowing the whole four as you now do, you will believe me when I say
that their journey was the merriest and most delightful ever recorded in
the merry Kingdom of Oz.

After a short visit with Ozma and another to the King and Queen of
Pumperdink they all returned to Sun Top Mountain, where they are living
happily at this very minute.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                               Chapter 22
                          Ruggedo’s Last Rock


There are only a few more mysteries to clear up before we leave for a
time the jolly Kingdom of Oz. Ruggedo, much shaken by his terrible
experiences with Glegg’s magic, confessed everything to Ozma on her
return to the Emerald City. You can imagine the surprise of the little
Fairy Ruler on learning how her palace had come to be impaled upon the
spikes of the wicked old gnome’s gray head.

“He will nev-er re-form,” said Tik Tok mournfully, as Ruggedo finished
his recital. The bad little gnome assured Ozma that he had reformed and
begged for another chance, but this time Ozma knew better, and putting
on her Magic Belt she whispered a few secret words. Then they all
hurried over to the Magic Picture, for they knew that Ruggedo had been
transported to a safe place at last. The picture showed the Runaway
Country rushing along faster than an express train and dancing up and
down on its highest hill was the furious old King of the Gnomes. They
watched until the Country plunged joyfully into the Nonestic Ocean and,
when it was almost in the middle, Ozma stopped it by the magic spinning
process and it became Ruggedo’s Island.

“Well,” sighed Dorothy as they turned from the picture, “I guess that
will be Ruggedo’s last rock!”

“He’s rocked in the cradle of the deep now,” chuckled the Scarecrow.
“And I hope it quiets him down. They ought to make a good pair—that bad
little Island and that bad little King,” he added reflectively.

[Illustration: “I guess that will be Ruggedo’s last rock,” said Dorothy]

Then Ozma proposed that they follow the adventures of Peg and Pompa,
having so satisfactorily disposed of Ruggedo. How she transported Glegg
just in time to save the Princess you already know. But what happened to
Glegg himself is interesting. When the old magician had asked his
Question Box how to regain control over Peg again it had directed him to
bury his Mixed Magic under the Emerald City and in two years to send the
scroll to Pumperdink. So Glegg had tunneled out the cave under Ozma’s
palace and left his magic in what he supposed was a very safe place. It
had been a great hardship to do without it for two years, but he wanted
Peg so badly that he actually did this, never dreaming that Ruggedo had
moved in and discovered his treasures. The Question Box had told the
exact day Peg would be disenchanted and all that long two years Glegg
had waited, hidden in a forest near Sun Top Mountain.

As he knew nothing of the discovery of his magic box, no one was more
surprised than he to find himself, just as he was on the point of
seizing Peg, transported to the Emerald City.

While Sir Hokus of Pokes held the struggling Glegg, Ozma asked the
Question Box how to deal with him. Everybody crowded around the little
Fairy Ruler to hear what the wicked old magician’s fate was to be.

“Give him a taste of his own magic,” directed the Question Box. “Make
him drink a cup of his Triple Trick Tea.” This Ozma did, although it
took fourteen people to get Glegg to drink it. But, stars! No sooner had
the liquid touched his lips than the miserable old magician went off
with a loud explosion!

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

The box of Mixed Magic was carefully put away in Ozma’s gold safe and
then the whole company—Ozma, Dorothy, Sir Hokus, the Scarecrow and all
the celebrities—devoted themselves to setting the topsy turvy palace to
rights, for they knew by the Magic picture that Pompa and Peg Amy were
coming to visit them.

  “Glegg, Glegg, shake a leg
  And never more, Sir, bother Peg!”

shouted Scraps, as she swept up the black soot Glegg had left when he
exploded. And he never did.

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]

                      [Illustration: (unlabelled)]



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--Copyright notice provided as in the original—this e-text is public
  domain in the country of publication.

--Generated a cover image, based on graphic elements from the book, and
  released for free unrestricted use with this eBook.

--Relocated some images closer to the corresponding text.

--Silently corrected palpable typos; left non-standard spellings and
  dialect unchanged.

--In the text versions, delimited italics text in _underscores_ (the
  HTML version reproduces the font form of the printed book.)





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