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´╗┐Title: The Magical Mimics in Oz
Author: Sbow, Jack
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Magical Mimics in Oz" ***

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                       THE MAGICAL MIMICS IN OZ

                BY JACK SNOW, FOUNDED ON AND CONTINUING
                THE FAMOUS OZ STORIES BY L. FRANK BAUM

                      ILLUSTRATED BY FRANK KRAMER


                         THE REILLY & LEE CO.
                                CHICAGO

       *       *       *       *       *

                       THE MAGICAL MIMICS IN OZ

                            COPYRIGHT 1946
                                  BY
                         THE REILLY & LEE CO.

                              PRINTED IN
                                  THE
                               U. S. A.

   [Transcriber's Note: Extensive research did not uncover any
  evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

       *       *       *       *       *



TO THE CHILDREN


As long as I can remember, I have been reading Oz books, and now I am
very proud and happy to have been permitted to write a book about the
latest happenings in the Land of Oz.

Mr. Kramer has made many delightful illustrations for this book, and I
know you will enjoy the fun and life that he has so skillfully put into
his pictures.

As for the Magical Mimics, I think you will agree with me that these
surprising creatures made things pretty exciting for our Oz friends
while they were in the Emerald City. Nevertheless, now that the Mimics
are powerless, I am inclined to forgive them; since, had it not been
for them, Dorothy and the Wizard would not have discovered winsome
little Ozana and her Story Blossom Garden.

I hope this story pleases you and that you will write me many
letters--all of which I promise to answer as soon as possible. I am
sure that your suggestions and ideas will be of great help to me in
writing future Oz books, and I am looking forward with much pleasure to
receiving them.

JACK SNOW.
January 10, 1946.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      _This Book Is Dedicated to_
                              _My Mother_
                          _Roselyn Hyde Snow_


"_... to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's
heart and brings its own reward._"

                                          --L. FRANK BAUM.

       *       *       *       *       *



        LIST OF CHAPTERS


        1. Toto Carries a Message

        2. Ozma and Glinda Go Away

        3. Mount Illuso

        4. The Mimics Mean Mischief

        5. Prisoners of the Mimics

        6. Dorothy and the Wizard Speak Strangely

        7. In the Cavern of the Doomed

        8. Toto Makes a Discovery

        9. Mr. and Mrs. Hi-Lo

       10. The Village of Pineville

       11. Princess Ozana

       12. Story Blossom Garden

       13. The Three Swans

       14. The Mimic Monarchs Lock Themselves In

       15. In the Chamber of Magic

       16. A Web Is Woven

       17. The Mimics in the Emerald City

       18. The Return of Ozma and Glinda

       19. Ozana's Fairy Arts

       20. In the Mirrored Ballroom

       21. The Shattering of the Mirrors

       22. What the Magic Picture Revealed

       23. The Grand Banquet



CHAPTER 1

Toto Carries a Message


"Toto," called Princess Ozma of Oz, as a small black dog trotted down
the corridor past the open door of her study in the Royal Palace of the
Emerald City, "Toto, will you do me a favor?"

"Certainly," answered the little dog, his bright eyes regarding the
Princess questioningly. "What can I do for your Majesty?"

Ozma smiled. "I wonder if you would go to Dorothy's rooms and ask her
to join me here as soon as possible."

"That'll be easy, Ozma," said Toto, "I was just on my way to see
Dorothy. It's time for our morning romp in the garden."

"Well," laughed Ozma, "I shall keep Dorothy for only a few minutes,
then she can join you in the garden for your play."

"Thank you, Ozma," replied Toto as he turned and trotted down the
corridor leading to Dorothy's suite of rooms.

As the little dog disappeared, the smile slowly faded from Ozma's face,
and the lovely little ruler of the world's most beautiful fairyland
looked unusually serious.

The truth was that Ozma was thinking of events that had happened many
years before in the history of the Land of Oz. Not always had Oz been
a fairy realm. In those olden times Oz had been nothing more than a
remarkably beautiful country of rolling plains, wooded hills and rich
farm lands. Indeed, Oz had not been so much different from our own
United States, except that it was surrounded on all sides by a Deadly
Desert. It was this desert which prevented curious men from the great
outside world from finding their way to Oz. For the fumes and gasses
that rose from the shifting sands of the desert were deadly poison
to all living things, and for a human to have set foot on the desert
would have meant instant and terrible death. Consequently, all living
things avoided the Deadly Desert, and it is no wonder that Oz was so
entirely secluded and went unnoticed by the rest of the world for so
many long years.

Meanwhile, the Oz people were happy and contented, living their simple
carefree lives without worries or troubles. The soil of Oz was fertile
and the people naturally industrious, so there was always an abundance
of everything for everyone. Hence destructive and terrible wars were
unknown in Oz even in the olden days.

One fine day Queen Lurline, Ruler of all the fairies in the world,
chanced to be flying over the Land of Oz with her fairy band. She was
greatly impressed with the beauty of the hidden country. The Fairy
Queen paused, flying in wide circles over the peaceful land. Here was
a country so entirely beautiful and charming that it deserved to be a
fairy realm.

Queen Lurline sought out the King of this favored land and found him
to be an old man with no son or daughter to whom he could pass on his
crown. With great joy the old King accepted the tiny, baby fairy whom
Queen Lurline placed in his care. When the baby fairy attained her full
age of girlhood (no fairy ever appears to be older than a young girl of
fourteen or fifteen) she was to be crowned Princess Ozma of Oz.

From the time of Lurline's visit, Oz became a fairyland, abounding in
enchantments and strange happenings. Indeed, several of the inhabitants
of Oz fell to studying the magic arts and became witches and magicians,
very nearly preventing Ozma from becoming the rightful ruler of the
fairyland.

Ozma was fully aware that she was a member of Queen Lurline's fairy
band, and she was justly proud of her immortal heritage. She knew, too,
that she owed allegiance to the powerful Fairy Queen, and that was the
reason she appeared so thoughtful this morning as she awaited Princess
Dorothy.

Ozma's reverie was broken by a gentle rap on the open door. Looking up,
she saw Dorothy standing in the doorway.

"Come in, my dear," said Ozma, "there is something I must discuss with
you."



CHAPTER 2

Ozma and Glinda Go Away


"What is it, Ozma?" Dorothy asked, as she sat down beside her friend.

"Dorothy," Ozma began, thoughtfully, "you have heard me tell the story
of how the good Queen Lurline left me here as a baby to become the
Ruler of the Land of Oz."

"Of course, Ozma, and how you were stolen by old Mombi, the witch,
and--"

"Yes," interrupted Ozma, smiling, "all that is true, but the important
fact is that now the day has arrived when I must answer the summons of
the great Fairy Queen. You see," continued the girlish ruler seriously,
"every 200 years all the members of Queen Lurline's fairy band gather
for a Grand Council in the beautiful Forest of Burzee which lies just
across the Deadly Desert to the South of Oz."

"Isn't that the forest where Santa Claus was found as an infant and
adopted by the Forest Nymph?" asked Dorothy eagerly.

"Yes," replied Ozma, "Burzee is indeed a famous forest. For untold
centuries its cool groves have been the meeting place of Queen Lurline
and her subjects. They gather to discuss and plan the work they will do
during the next two centuries.

"In the old days," Ozma's voice was musing and thoughtful as she
continued, "when mankind was simpler and gentler of nature, it was
easier for the fairies to do their good works and to aid the helpless
humans. But today few humans believe in fairies."

"The children do," Dorothy suggested.

"Yes," said Ozma, "but unfortunately as the children grow older and
become men and women, they forget all they ever knew about fairies. I
wish," she added wistfully, "that the men and women of the world would
keep a bit of their childhood with them. They would find it a valuable
thing."

"When will you be going, Ozma?" Dorothy asked softly.

"Tomorrow morning," Ozma replied. "And so important is this meeting
that I have asked Glinda the Good to accompany me, although she is not
a member of Queen Lurline's fairy band."

"Ozma," said Dorothy seriously, her chin cupped in her hand, "there
is one thing I have often wondered about. What did Queen Lurline do
_after_ she left you here to become the Ruler of Oz?"

"There is a story," Ozma began with a far-away look in her eyes, "that
after she made Oz a fairyland, Queen Lurline flew away to the Land of
the Phanfasms, that strange realm lying southeast of Oz, across the
Deadly Desert and bordering the Kingdom of the Nomes."

"I remember the Phanfasms," Dorothy nodded. "They are the wicked
creatures who came with the Nome King through his tunnel under the
Deadly Desert to conquer Oz."

"Yes, and thanks to the wisdom of our famous Scarecrow, we were able to
render them harmless," Ozma recalled with a smile.

"Did Queen Lurline go to see the Phanfasms after she left Oz?" asked
Dorothy.

"No," replied Ozma. "It seems that instead of going to Mount
Phantastico, where the Phanfasms dwell, Queen Lurline flew to the
second of the twin peaks--to Mount Illuso, home of the dread Mimics."

"I don't remember hearing about the Mimics before. Just who are they,
Ozma," asked Dorothy with interest.

"Not a great deal is known about them," replied Ozma seriously, "and
what we do know is so unpleasant that the Mimics are avoided as a
subject of conversation. They are not humans, nor are they immortals.
Like the Phanfasms, to whom they are closely related, they belong
to the ancient race of Erbs--creatures who inhabited the Earth long
before the coming of mankind. Both the Mimics and the Phanfasms hate
all humans and immortals, for they feel that mankind, aided by the
immortals, has stolen the world from them."

"They don't sound very nice to me," said Dorothy with a shudder. "Why
did Queen Lurline go to see such dreadful creatures?"

Ozma's voice was grave as she answered. "Queen Lurline knew that the
Mimics bitterly hated all that was good and happy and just in the
world. The wise Queen fully realized that now that Oz was so beautiful
and favored and its people so happy and contented a fairy folk, the
Mimics would lose no time in seeking to bring unhappiness to Oz. It was
to prevent this, that Queen Lurline paid her visit to Mount Illuso."

"And did she succeed?" asked Dorothy.

"Yes, my dear," replied Ozma. "Queen Lurline placed a fairy spell on
the Mimics to make it impossible for them to attack the inhabitants
of Oz. But let's not discuss the unpleasant Mimics any further," Ozma
concluded. "Thanks to good Queen Lurline we don't even have to think
about the creatures. Let us return to our conversation about you."

"About me?" asked Dorothy.

"Yes," replied Ozma. "Can't you guess why I asked you to see me this
particular morning?"

"Why, to tell me about the trip you and Glinda are planning," said
Dorothy.

"And something more, too," continued Ozma. "Who do you think will
rule the Emerald City and the Land of Oz, while both Glinda and I are
absent?"

"I suppose either the Little Wizard or the Scarecrow," ventured
Dorothy, remembering that in the past both the Wizard and the
Scarecrow had ruled the Land of Oz.

"No," replied Ozma calmly. "You, Dorothy, will be the ruler of the
Emerald City and the Land of Oz in my absence."

"I?" cried Dorothy. "Oh, Ozma, I'm only a little girl! I don't know the
first thing about ruling!"

"You are a Princess of Oz," stated Ozma with dignity. "I shall appoint
the Wizard as your Counselor and Advisor. With his wisdom and your
honesty of heart and sweetness of nature, I am confident the Land of
Oz will be well ruled."

Dorothy was silent, considering.

"Come, my dear," said Ozma with a smile. "I shall be gone only three
short days. I am sure once you have become accustomed to the idea, you
will enjoy the novel experience of being a real ruler, so do not worry."

Rising from the divan, Ozma concluded: "I must go now to inform the
Courtiers and Lords and Ladies of my journey. I will instruct them in
the regular affairs of state to be carried on in my absence, so that
you will not be annoyed with these routine matters."

Ozma kissed Dorothy on the cheek and the two girls left the room arm in
arm, parting a few minutes later as Ozma went about making preparations
for her journey. Dorothy joined Toto who was waiting patiently for her
in the lovely gardens of the Royal Palace.

The little dog quickly noticed that his mistress was not nearly so
carefree in her play as usual, but seemed more serious and thoughtful.
He wondered if this had anything to do with her conversation with Ozma,
but since Dorothy didn't mention the subject to him and seemed to be so
busy with her own thoughts, Toto, being a wise little dog, refrained
from troubling her with questions.

Dorothy had a long talk with the Wizard later in the day. The little
man pointed out that Dorothy's duties as a ruler would be very slight,
so well-governed was Oz and so well-behaved were the Oz people.
Nevertheless, Dorothy was greatly cheered and relieved when the Wizard
promised to help her, should any problem arise that she found troubling.

Ozma's time was so entirely taken up with affairs of state and the many
preparations for her absence from her beloved country, that Dorothy saw
nothing of the girlish ruler during the remainder of the day.

       *       *       *       *       *

The morning of Ozma and Glinda's departure dawned bright and clear,
with the sunlight shining brilliantly on the beautiful city of Emeralds.

Breakfast had been over for several hours when Glinda the Good
Sorceress arrived from her castle far to the South in the Quadling
Country of the Land of Oz. Glinda and Ozma went immediately to the
Royal Throne Room where the famous Oz personages waited to witness
their departure.

At exactly 10 o'clock Princess Ozma seated herself in her Emerald
Throne, while the stately Glinda stood at her right. Before them was
as strange and impressive an assemblage of Nobles, Courtiers and old
friends as ever gathered together in any fairy realm.

Among those present were: the famous Scarecrow of Oz with his highly
polished companion, Nick Chopper, the nickel-plated Tin Woodman;
comical Jack Pumpkinhead astride the wooden Sawhorse who was Ozma's
personal steed and earliest companion; Scraps, the jolly Patchwork
Girl; sweet little Trot and her faithful sailor friend, grizzled old
Cap'n Bill; Betsy Bobbin and her mule, Hank; the cheerful Shaggy
Man looking shaggier than ever; the Highly Magnified and Thoroughly
Educated Woggle Bug wearing his wisest expression for this important
occasion; the stately Cowardly Lion who was one of Dorothy's oldest
friends and his companion the Hungry Tiger who longed to devour fat
babies but never did because his conscience wouldn't permit him to;
that strange creature the Woozy whose eyes flashed real fire when he
became angry; Button Bright, the boy from Philadelphia who had been
Dorothy's companion on several wonderful adventures; Ojo the Lucky
and his Unc Nunkie; Dorothy's beloved Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, and of
course the Little Wizard, and many, many others.

Ozma stood before her throne and raised her hand. Immediately silence
settled over the assemblage in the vast Throne Room.

"As you all know," the Princess said, "Glinda and I are about to attend
an important Fairy Conference in the distant Forest of Burzee. We shall
be gone from Oz for a period of three days. During that time, Princess
Dorothy will be your sovereign and ruler."

Ozma removed her dainty fairy wand from the folds of her gown and
lifted it into the air. For a moment she smiled on all, then, with a
graceful wave of the wand and before the onlookers realized what was
happening, both she and Glinda had vanished.

But Dorothy knew that even at that moment Queen Lurline was greeting
the lovely Ozma and the stately Glinda in the depths of the enchanted
Forest of Burzee.



CHAPTER 3

Mount Illuso


On that far away day those many years ago, when Queen Lurline had left
the baby Ozma to become the ruler of Oz, Queen Lurline did not pause,
for she knew the most important part of her work was still to be done.
If the Land of Oz was to be the happy fairyland she hoped it would be,
she must protect it from the evil of the Mimics.

With this thought in mind, the good Queen left Oz and flew straight to
the bleak land of the Phanfasms. Signalling to one of her Fairy Maidens
to accompany her, Queen Lurline flew down to grim Mount Illuso, home of
the dread Mimics.

Pausing at the entrance to the great hollow mountain Queen Lurline
bade her fairy companion await her return. Then, taking the precaution
to make herself invisible to the eyes of the Mimics, the Fairy Queen
stepped into the enchanted Mountain.

The sight that met her eyes caused even the good Queen Lurline to chill
and falter momentarily on the rocky ledge on which she stood. Above
her rose the vast, cavernous walls of the hollow mountain. Spread out
below were the corridors burrowed into the rock by the Mimics. In dark
caverns deep below these corridors the monsters made their homes.

All of this scene was lighted by flaming torches set at intervals in
the walls of the cavern. The torches flared deep red, casting lurid,
flickering shadows and adding to the weird unreality of the scene.

As Queen Lurline gazed, the Mimics were moving through the rough-hewn
corridors or flying through the air. The most unusual thing about
the creatures was their strange habit of constantly changing their
shapes. They shifted restlessly from one form to another. Since they
were creatures of evil, the shapes they assumed were all forms of the
blackest evil and dread.

Even as Queen Lurline watched, fascinated by the strange spectacle,
the Mimics shifted and changed and flitted from one loathsome shape to
another. A monster bird with leathery wings and a horned head dropped
to the ground, and in another second assumed the squat body of a huge
toad with the head of a hyena, snarling with laughter. A crawling red
lizard, all of ten feet in length, turned into a giant butterfly with
black wings and the body of a serpent. A great, green bat with wicked
talons alighted on a ledge not far from Queen Lurline and in an
instant changed to a mammoth, hairy creature with the body of a huge
ape and the head of an alligator.

The good Queen shuddered in spite of herself. What she had seen had
only served to strengthen her resolution to protect the Oz people for
all time against the Mimics. Immediately she began weaving a powerful
incantation. In a few minutes the enchantment was completed. Queen
Lurline breathed a sigh of relief, for she knew that the Mimics were
now powerless to harm any of the fairy inhabitants of the Land of Oz.

Queen Lurline was well aware that the Mimics' strange habit of changing
their shapes was the least of their evil characteristics. Much more
dreadful was the power possessed by these creatures to _steal_ the
shapes of both mortals and immortals. A Mimic accomplished this simply
by casting himself on the shadow of his victim. Instantly the Mimic
arose, a perfect double in outward appearance of the person whose
shadow he had stolen. As for the unfortunate victim, he fell into a
spell of enchantment, unable to move or speak, but conscious of all
that was taking place about him.

No wonder Queen Lurline sighed with relief when she thought that her
powerful magic had made the Oz people secure against the dread evil of
the Mimics!

Queen Lurline slipped from the cavern through the stone portal of Mount
Illuso. For a moment she paused, breathing deeply and gratefully of the
fresh air. But she must not tarry now. She still had other important
work to do here. When she returned to her fairy companion, Queen
Lurline gave her brief instructions concerning the important part she
was to play at Mount Illuso in the coming years. Then they both spread
their fairy wings and flew straight to the very summit of the hollow
mount.



CHAPTER 4

The Mimics Mean Mischief


On the same morning that Ozma and Glinda left the Land of Oz for the
Forest of Burzee, events of equal importance were happening in Mount
Illuso, home of the Mimics.

The Mimics were ruled over by two sovereigns--King Umb and Queen Ra.
It is a question which was the more wicked and dangerous of this pair.
King Umb was bold and brutal, while his wife, Queen Ra, was clever and
cunning. Together they made a fitting combination to rule so wicked a
horde as the Mimics.

On this particular morning King Umb and Queen Ra secluded themselves
in a hidden cavern, deep in the underground caves that honeycombed
the depths of hollow Mount Illuso. Roughly hewn from the grey rock,
this cavern was circular in shape and was filled with ancient books
and strange and weird implements of sorcery and enchantment. King Umb
possessed little skill in magic arts, but Queen Ra was powerful in the
practice of conjuring and evil incantation.

After the visit of Queen Lurline to Mount Illuso and the casting of
the powerful enchantment that prevented King Umb and Queen Ra from
leading their Mimic subjects in the destruction of Oz, Queen Ra had
at first raged and fumed and wildly vowed vengeance on Queen Lurline
and Princess Ozma. Then, as the years passed by, the evil Queen spent
more and more time lurking in the secret cavern, studying the ancient
sorcery of the Erbs, employing her black arts to follow events in the
history of Oz and plotting the destruction of the fairyland.

Of course the Mimic King and Queen were free to lead their hordes in
attacks on people of other lands, and you may wonder why they didn't
forget all about Oz and content themselves with bringing misery to
other countries. The reason was that the wicked King and Queen of
the Mimics despised all that was good, and they could not endure
the thought of the Oz people living in peace and contentment, safe
from their evil-doing. So long as the Oz inhabitants remained the
happiest people in all the world, King Umb and Queen Ra could derive no
satisfaction in bringing misery to other less happy lands.

Queen Ra was well aware that Princess Ozma was one of the most powerful
fairy rulers in existence, and that her loyal friend, Glinda the
Good, was the mightiest and wisest of all sorceresses. Nevertheless,
through her own dark magic, Queen Ra had recently made two important
discoveries that raised her hopes so high that she believed she might
be able soon to defy both Ozma and Glinda.

First, she had discovered that Ozma and Glinda were about to depart on
a journey that would take them away from the Land of Oz. Second, she
had learned that in one of Ozma's books of magic records in the Royal
Palace of the Emerald City was written the charm that would break the
spell Queen Lurline had cast on the Mimics to protect Oz!

This morning Queen Ra had assumed the shape of a huge woman--almost
a giantess--with the head of a grey wolf. King Umb wore the form of
a black bear with an owl head. The Queen held in her hands a circlet
of dully gleaming metal. The red eyes of her wolf head gazed at it
steadily, while she muttered an incantation. As the wolf-headed woman
spoke, a wisp of grey mist appeared in the center of the metal ring.
The mist expanded into a ball, growing denser in appearance. Next it
became milky in hue, then opalescent, finally glowing as with an inner
light. Slowly a scene appeared in the metal-bound ball of shimmering
opal mist. While King Umb and Queen Ra watched, the Throne Room of the
Royal Palace in the Emerald City grew distinct in the milky depths of
the captive ball. Princess Ozma stood by her throne with Glinda the
Good at her side. The lips of the little ruler were moving, forming
words, although the Mimic Monarchs could distinguish no sound. Ozma
was addressing her subjects. Then the girl Ruler smiled and raised
her wand. In an instant both Ozma and Glinda had vanished. The ball
of glowing mist disappeared. With a clatter Queen Ra threw the metal
circlet to the stone floor of the cave and triumphantly faced the
owl-headed bear.

"They have gone!" she cried.

"You are positive that now is the time for us to act?" asked King Umb.

"Absolutely," said the wolf-headed woman. "We know that one of Ozma's
magic record books holds the secret of the enchantment cast on us.
We know that Ozma and Glinda will be absent from Oz for three days,
leaving the country and the Emerald City unprotected by their magic
arts. We know that those people who have in recent years come from
the great outside world to live in Oz, were not inhabitants of Oz
when Lurline made it a fairyland. Thus they are not protected by the
enchantment she cast on us. It will be simple for us to assume the
shapes of these people--of course they are mere mortals--" the Queen
added with a sneer, "but even so they will serve our purpose."

"You have a plan then?" asked the owl-headed King.

"A plan that will result in the utter destruction of Oz and the
enslavement of the Oz people," asserted the Queen with grim relish.

"Listen!" the wolf-headed woman commanded. "Tonight you and I, with
Styg and Ebo, will fly swiftly across the Deadly Desert to the Land of
Oz. We will go directly to the Emerald City. There we will seek out
the two mortals from the great outside world whose shapes will admit
us to every part of the Royal Palace. My magic arts have told me that
at a certain hour tomorrow morning these two mortals will be together
with no one else about to witness or interfere with our deed. After we
have stolen their shapes, the helpless mortals will be seized by Styg
and Ebo and returned here, where they will be our prisoners. Then we
will be free to search through Ozma's magic record books. As soon as
we locate the magical antidote to Lurline's enchantment, we will break
the spell binding our subjects. By the time Ozma and Glinda return,
Oz will be overrun by Mimics, and we shall be ready to give their
royal highnesses a proper reception!" Queen Ra smiled wickedly as she
finished this recital.

The owl eyes of King Umb had been regarding Queen Ra intently as she
revealed her plan. When she had finished, an evil leer spread over the
King's furry features.

"Ra," said King Umb, "you are the most wicked Queen who ever ruled the
Mimics!"

And that, by Mimic standards, was the highest compliment King Umb could
pay his Queen.

       *       *       *       *       *

Several hours after midnight, King Umb and Queen Ra, followed by the
two Mimics, Styg and Ebo, slipped outside the entrance of the hollow
mountain. Immediately all four assumed the shapes of giant birds, black
of plumage and with powerful wings. During the creatures' long flight
over the Deadly Desert to Oz, they changed shapes a number of times,
but always to another form of powerful bird.

As they mounted into the air and soared through the dark night over the
peak of Mount Illuso, King Umb cast a backward glance toward the summit
of the mountain.

"What about the Guardian?" he asked Queen Ra uneasily.

"Bah!" the giant bird that was Queen Ra croaked derisively. "Who cares
about her? Let her go on dreaming over her foolish flowers and sticks
of wood--that's all she has done all these years!"



CHAPTER 5

Prisoners of the Mimics


High in the top of the tallest tower of the Royal Palace was the
Wizard's apartment. In this secluded spot, the little man kept his
magical tools and apparatus and could work undisturbed for long hours
over difficult feats of magic.

The morning after Ozma and Glinda had left, Dorothy had climbed the
stair to the Wizard's quarters, and she and the Wizard were deep in a
discussion of matters of state.

Two sides of the room they occupied were composed of tall French
windows, rising from the floor to the ceiling and opening onto a
spacious veranda. The windows were flung wide open to admit the
refreshing breeze and the welcome sunlight.

Suddenly the air was filled with the flutter of powerful wings, and
four large, black-plumed birds, settled on the veranda and stepped into
the room.

Glancing up in surprise at this sudden interruption, the Wizard
exclaimed with annoyance, "Here, what's the meaning of this intrusion?"

(Since all birds and animals in the Land of Oz possess the power of
human speech, the Wizard naturally addressed the birds as he would
have spoken to human beings.)

But the birds made no reply. Instead, two of them stepped swiftly
toward Dorothy and the Wizard, who had risen in surprise and were
standing beside their chairs. The two birds flung themselves on the
shadows cast by the girl and the man. Instantly the birds vanished, and
Dorothy and the Wizard found themselves staring in amazement at exact
duplicates of themselves!

Sensing that he was confronted by some sort of evil magic, the Wizard
made an effort to reach his black bag of magic tools which rested on
a nearby table, but it was too late. Caught in the Mimic spell, the
little man was powerless to move. Dorothy's plight was the same; she
could not so much as lift her little finger.

All this had happened in much less time than I have taken to tell it,
and it was so sudden and unexpected that our friends had not even had
time to cry out.

Now the Mimic form of Dorothy, speaking in Dorothy's own voice, said
to the two remaining birds, "Seize them, Ebo and Styg, and see that my
commands are fulfilled!"

One black bird grasped the form of the helpless Wizard, the other that
of Dorothy. Then, flapping their powerful wings, the two birds passed
through the windows and soared aloft, bearing their captives high into
the heavens.

Swiftly they left the Emerald City. In a few minutes it was no more
than a lovely jewel set in the farmlands around it. The birds headed
southeast in the direction of the Deadly Desert.

At times in their flight, when the captives were able to exchange
glances, Dorothy read in the Wizard's kindly eyes a mute expression of
concern for his little comrade. The girl tried to reassure him, but
it was difficult to look brave when she was unable to move even an
eyelash--and besides, Dorothy had to admit to herself, she didn't feel
at all brave just now.

In another minute when Dorothy was gazing at the bird that was carrying
her so swiftly through the air, she was startled to see the form of
the creature shift and change. From a huge, eagle-like bird it changed
to an enormous condor. Strange birds these were, Dorothy thought, which
went about changing their shapes and stealing little girls and Wizards.

As they flew over the yellow land of the Winkies, the motion of the
bird's body occasionally permitted Dorothy to look downward. Once she
glimpsed, sparkling in the sunlight, the highly polished towers and
minarets of a handsome tin castle. This, she knew, was the home of
her old friend Nick Chopper the Tin Woodman, Emperor of the Winkies.
Dorothy found herself wondering what the kind-hearted Nick Chopper
would say if he could know that at this moment his dear friends were
being carried high in the air over his castle, prisoners of two giant
black birds! But there was no use speculating in this fashion. The Tin
Woodman was powerless to aid them, even if he had known their plight.

With a start Dorothy realized that the birds had crossed the border
of Oz and were now flying over the Deadly Desert. The fact that they
had left the Land of Oz behind them disturbed Dorothy greatly. Yet the
little girl did not give way to fright. She had experienced so many
strange and sometimes dangerous adventures in her lifetime, that she
had wisely learned never to despair.

The journey over the desert seemed endless. Despite the great height at
which the birds flew, Dorothy was beginning to feel faint and ill from
the evil fumes of the sands by the time they reached the border of the
Land of the Phanfasms. However, once past the desert, she was revived
by the fresh air.

Where were these great birds taking them? And why? As Dorothy pondered,
she noted a sharp mountain peak jutting suddenly out of the grey, grim
land of desolate waste and stone that lay below. Straight for the
mountain flew the birds. In a few more minutes they descended with
their victims to the entrance of the mountain. Passing through the
stone portal, the Mimics retained their bird shapes, circling through
the vast cavern of the hollow mountain. The cavern and corridors
were deserted now that the sun was in the heavens, and the Mimics
had returned to their underground caverns to rest after the night of
revelry.

Styg and Ebo flew to a ledge of rock that jutted out from the mountain
wall. Ebo muttered a magic word, and a rude stone door swung open,
revealing a lightless cavern. Dorothy was thrust into the cave, and
a moment later the Wizard was deposited beside her in the darkness.
Until now Dorothy had entertained a vague hope that in some way the
Wizard's magic powers would come to their rescue. But since the little
man had none of his magic tools with him, and could not speak to utter
an incantation, nor move to make the motions of a charm, Dorothy
realized that he was quite as powerless as she.



CHAPTER 6

Dorothy and the Wizard Speak Strangely


"OOOMPH!" puffed the Scarecrow.

"Whooosh!" gasped the Patchwork Girl.

Colliding suddenly as they met headlong at a sharp turn in the garden
path, both the Scarecrow and the Patchwork Girl tumbled in a heap on
the garden walk.

A moment later they had risen to sitting positions and were regarding
each other comically.

The Patchwork Girl was a sorry sight. The high-grade cotton in her
patchwork or "crazy quilt" body was bunched together in all the wrong
places. After running and dancing a great deal that morning--as she
always did--the Patchwork Girl's body had sagged and she had grown
dumpy in appearance. When this happened she always lay down and rolled
about until she had resumed her original plump shape. Now after her
abrupt meeting with the Scarecrow her figure was in bad need of
attention. The pointed toes of the red leather shoes sewn on her feet
stood straight up. Her fingers, carefully formed and fitted with gold
plates for finger nails, dug into the path on which she sat. Her shock
of brown yarn hair hung down over her suspender button eyes and over
her ears, which were made of thin plates of gold. Between the two rows
of pearls sewn in her mouth for teeth, her scarlet plush tongue stuck
out impudently at the Scarecrow.

The Patchwork Girl's brains were slightly mixed, containing among other
qualities a dash of poesy, which accounted for her habit of breaking
into rhymes and jingles when it was least expected. Now she was too
surprised to speak. She had been brought to life in the first place
by a magic powder, and since she was always jolly and good-natured,
the Patchwork Girl was a prime favorite among the Oz folks. Nicknamed
Scraps, the queer girl laughed at dignity and liked nothing better
than to dance and sing. It was impossible to be downcast for long in
the company of this merry, carefree creature.

"Why don't you look where you're going, Scraps?" said the Scarecrow
ruefully, as he brushed his blue Munchkin farmer trousers.

"Now that you mention it," replied the Patchwork Girl reprovingly, "I
don't have X-ray eyes, so I couldn't see through to the other side of
the hedge where I was going."

"All right," said the Scarecrow, as he rose to his feet. "Please accept
my humble apologies." The straw man gallantly assisted the Patchwork
Girl to stand. "There's no harm done. The spill was as much my fault as
it was yours. I was thinking so deeply that I didn't see you."

"What were you thinking about?" asked Scraps.

"Dorothy," replied the Scarecrow with a sigh. "Tell me, Scraps, have
you seen her today?"

"Not once," answered the Patchwork Girl, combing her yarn hair with her
fingers.

"Until a few minutes ago, I've spent the entire day with Aunt Em who
sewed tight some of my stitches that were coming loose, sewed on my
eyes with new thread, so I wouldn't lose 'em, and sewed on a new pair
of red shoes, as I'd worn holes in my old ones. Now I'm as good as new!"

"Well," replied the Scarecrow, with his broad smile, "that may be true,
but I'd say no matter in how good condition you are, you're always just
sew-sew."

The smile quickly faded from the straw man's painted face as he
continued seriously, "Scraps, I'm worried about Dorothy."

"Don't worry about Dorothy; she's able to take care of herself," said
practical Scraps.

"You don't understand," explained the Scarecrow. "You see, yesterday
after Ozma and Glinda left for the Forest of Burzee, Dorothy asked me
to help her plan a banquet to celebrate their return. Dorothy wanted me
to think up some ideas for the entertainment to accompany the dinner.
I agreed to set my famous brains to work on the problem and spent all
last night in deep thought. This morning, bright and early, I rushed
to Dorothy and started to tell her the ideas I had. You can imagine my
surprise when Dorothy stared at me as though she hadn't the faintest
idea what I was talking about, and then turned and walked away from me."

The Scarecrow paused, his brow wrinkled with perplexity. "I don't
understand it," he continued. "It isn't like our sweet little Dorothy
to be rude or absent-minded. She and the Wizard have been in Ozma's
Chamber of Magic all day and I tried twice to see her, but each time
she said she couldn't be disturbed."

"Come to think of it," replied Scraps quickly, "Aunt Em remarked that
she couldn't understand why Dorothy hadn't been in to see her. Dorothy
always visits her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry at least once a day. But
maybe she's busy ruling while Ozma's away."

This explanation failed to satisfy the Scarecrow. He was gazing in the
distance down the garden path. "Isn't that Trot and Cap'n Bill sitting
on that bench over there?"

    "Whoop ti doodle who?
    Cap'n Bill and Trot
    It is as like as not!"

sang the Patchwork Girl, turning a handspring and dancing toward the
bench.

The Scarecrow followed, and he and Scraps were warmly greeted by little
Trot and old Cap'n Bill. The Scarecrow repeated his story of the
strange manner in which Dorothy had been acting, but neither Trot nor
Cap'n Bill had seen Dorothy that day. The old sailor was silent for a
moment, considering. Then he said:

"You know, it's funny; but I was tellin' Trot only a minute ago that
the Wizard had me puzzled by the curious way he was behavin'."

"What do you mean?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Well," went on Cap'n Bill, "fer some time past I've been workin' on a
boat fer Ozma an' her friends, so they could go sailin' on that lake
jest outside the Emerald City. I had everythin' I needed 'cept fer
some tools, so the Wizard lent me some o' his thet get the work done
extra fast, 'cause they're magic tools. The boat's nearly finished--a
handsome craft if I do say so myself. All she needs to make 'er trim
is a coat o' paint. I thought it would be nice to have 'er finished
as a sort of surprise fer Ozma when she returns from this here fairy
conclave, so I asked the Wizard to lend me his magic paint bucket and
brush--the bucket always stays full, no matter how much paint you use
from it, an' the brush paints any color you want from the same bucket
o' paint. Well, the Wizard jest gave me a funny sort o' look and
walked away, mumblin' somethin' about bein' busy and havin' somethin'
important to do. 'Tain't like the Wizard at all. Somethin' ailin' him,"
concluded Cap'n Bill, wagging his grizzled head.

"Then it's the same thing that's ailing Dorothy," remarked the
Scarecrow sagely.

The four old friends were silent, each turning over the problem in his
own mind.

The bench on which Trot and Cap'n Bill were sitting was in front of a
high hedge--so high that none of them could see over it. On the other
side of the thick hedge ran another garden path. Suddenly they heard
footsteps, as if several people were hurrying down the garden path
which was hidden from their view. While they listened, wondering who it
could be, the footsteps halted just opposite them on the other side of
the hedge. Before they could call out a greeting, they recognized the
voice of the Wizard saying:

"We can talk here. There's no one about. Now tell me; why are we
wasting time in the garden?"

"Because," it was the voice of Dorothy replying, "it would look
suspicious if we did not leave the Chamber of Magic occasionally."

"Have you found the spell yet?" asked the Wizard's voice.

"Not yet," replied Dorothy's voice. "I've been through only half of
Ozma's magic record books. Give me time--it's there. And I'll find it!"

"Time!" replied the Wizard's voice, raised in excitement. "We have no
time to lose! Do you realize that Ozma and Glinda will be back in a day
and a half? We must find the spell before then if we don't want Ozma to
wreck our plans and rob us of the chance we have waited for!"

"Never fear," asserted Dorothy's voice. "I'll find the spell long
before Ozma and Glinda return. We'll be ready for those two when they
do come back!"

Gradually the voices subsided, as the two walked slowly down the garden
path toward the Royal Palace.

On the other side of the hedge, Trot, Cap'n Bill, Scraps and the
Scarecrow stared at one another in bewilderment. What could this mean?
It was incredible that Dorothy and the Wizard could be plotting against
their dearest friends, Ozma and Glinda.



CHAPTER 7

In the Cavern of the Doomed


Neither Dorothy nor the Wizard could tell how long they lay in their
cavern prison deep in hollow Mount Illuso, but it is certain that
minutes seemed like hours to them.

While the Wizard had recognized the country to which he and Dorothy
had been carried as the Land of the Phanfasms, he was not aware of the
existence of Mount Illuso and its Mimic dwellers. He was sure, however,
that the creatures who had captured Dorothy and him were not Phanfasms.
He had seen the Phanfasms when those evil creatures had once attempted
to invade Oz, and they bore no resemblance to the beings who had made
Dorothy and him captives.

Dorothy found some comfort in telling herself that as soon as Ozma and
Glinda returned to the Emerald City the imposters would be detected and
she and the Wizard speedily rescued. But what if Ozma and Glinda were
deceived? How long would she and the Wizard be kept in the cave? What
wicked plot was behind all this? And just how powerful and clever were
the creatures who had captured her and the Wizard?

Suddenly something happened that banished all these puzzling questions.
There was a light in the cavern! The two prisoners could see each
other! True, the light was feeble, but it was increasing steadily in
strength.

As the light grew more brilliant, Dorothy felt pleasantly warm and
glowing, as though she were lying in the bright sunlight. And then to
her intense joy the little girl realized that the spell cast on her was
broken. The light had released her. She was free to move about as she
pleased.

Dorothy jumped happily to her feet. The Wizard, too, was freed from
the spell, and a moment later was standing, smiling broadly with
satisfaction.

"Was the light your magic, Wizard?" asked Dorothy eagerly.

"No, my dear, I had nothing to do with the light," replied the Wizard.

"But I wonder who or what turned it on?" said Dorothy. "Could it be a
trick, do you think?" she asked after a moment's hesitation.

"No, I believe not," replied the Wizard. "There would be no point in
our captors' troubling themselves to enchant us and make us prisoners,
and then releasing us from the enchantment. I believe we will find this
light is a part of a greater mystery than we know anything about."

"Well, seems to me there's plenty of mystery about everything that's
happened today," said Dorothy. "What are we going to do now, Wizard?"

"Explore our prison," answered the little man promptly.

Dorothy looked about her. They were entirely surrounded by the solid
stone walls of the cavern, which was about one-hundred feet square. She
could detect no sign of the door by which they had entered.

"Look, Wizard," Dorothy exclaimed. "See how the light shines from one
small point in the far end of the cavern?"

"Yes," agreed the Wizard, "it's almost as if someone had built a
powerful flashlight into the stone wall. Come, let's examine the light
more closely."

The two walked to the opposite side of the cavern and found that, as
Dorothy had observed, the flood of light originated from one small
point. This point was a circular bit of stone, round and polished, and
no larger than a small button.

"Why," exclaimed Dorothy, "it looks 'zactly like the button of an
electric light switch! Wonder what would happen if I pressed it?"

Impulsively Dorothy reached out and pressed the button of rock with her
finger. In the deep silence that filled the cave, the two adventurers
detected a far-away humming sound, like the whirring of wheels in
motion. As Dorothy and the Wizard listened, the sound grew louder.

"What do you suppose it is?" whispered Dorothy.

"I haven't the faintest idea," said the Wizard, "but I don't think
we'll have to wait long to find out."

At last the whirring noise seemed to be just opposite them on the other
side of the stone wall. It stopped completely and there was silence. A
second later a section of the stone wall swung outward, and Dorothy and
the Wizard found themselves staring into a small room--much like the
car of an elevator. The car was painted bright blue, trimmed with red
and gold, and sitting on a small stool was a curious little man.



CHAPTER 8

Toto Makes a Discovery


"Where's Dorothy?" Toto asked pretty little Jellia Jamb, Ozma's maid,
as he paused outside the door of Dorothy's apartment early in the
morning of the day after Ozma and Glinda departed.

"She's gone up to the Wizard's rooms in the tower," replied Jellia Jamb.

"Thanks," said Toto. "I imagine Dorothy will have her hands full while
Ozma is gone."

With this, the little dog trotted down the corridor, philosophically
seeking some other amusement. He hadn't gone very far before he was
hailed by Betsy Bobbin, who appeared with a small wicker basket on her
arm.

"Hello, Toto!" Betsy called. "Want to go with Hank and me? I'm going
to pick wild flowers in the green fields outside the Emerald City and
Hank's coming along. I have a nice picnic lunch packed," the girl
added, indicating the basket she carried.

Now there were few things Toto liked better than to get out in the
country and frolic in the fields, so the little dog accepted the
invitation gratefully.

A short time later Betsy, her devoted companion, Hank the Mule, and
Toto arrived at the gates of the Emerald City and were greeted by Omby
Amby, the Soldier with the Green Whiskers. He was very tall and wore a
handsome green and gold uniform with a tall plumed hat. His long, green
beard fell below his waist making him look even taller. In addition to
being the Keeper of the Gates, Omby Amby was also the Royal Army of Oz,
Princess Ozma's Body-Guard and the Police Force of the Emerald City.
You might suppose that, holding all these offices, Omby Amby was a very
busy man. To the contrary, so seldom was there ever any breaking of
the Oz laws--which were all just and reasonable--that it had been many
years since the Soldier with the Green Whiskers had acted in any of his
official capacities other than that of Keeper of the Gates.

As Omby Amby unlocked the gates for them, Betsy promised to bring him a
bouquet of flowers for his wife, Tollydiggle.

Outside the Emerald City lay pleasant, gently rolling fields in which
buttercups and daisies grew in profusion. Sniffing the fresh country
air, Toto ran happily across the field. Hank hee-hawed loudly and fell
to munching the tall field grass. Betsy was delighted with the hundreds
of pretty flowers and gathered several large bouquets.

Shortly after noon the happy trio sought the shade of a large tree.
Nearby, a spring of cool, crystal-clear water bubbled from a mossy
bank and flowed across the field as a tiny brook. Betsy opened her
basket and took out sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, potato salad and
other picnic delicacies, which she and Toto shared. Betsy offered Hank
a peanut butter sandwich, but the Mule refused disdainfully, saying,
"No, thank you, Betsy, I much prefer this fresh green grass."

"Well, don't eat too much of it," advised the girl, "or you'll get the
colic."

The mule winked one eye at Toto and replied, "I'd be much more likely
to get the colic if I ate your strange human foods."

After they had eaten and refreshed themselves with the water of the
spring, they rested for a time in the cool shade of the tree, and then
leisurely made their way back to the Emerald City. At the city's gates,
Omby Amby welcomed them back and gratefully accepted the bouquet Betsy
gave him for Tollydiggle.

Arriving at the palace, the three friends said good-bye, Betsy going
to her apartment, while Hank made his way to the Royal Stables to talk
with his cronies, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger.

Jellia Jamb tripped down the palace steps on an errand, and Toto
called to her, "Is Dorothy still busy?"

"Yes," answered Jellia Jamb, "she and the Wizard have been in Ozma's
Chamber of Magic all afternoon."

This did not strike the little dog as strange. He knew Ozma might
have left instructions for Dorothy and the Wizard to carry out in the
Chamber of Magic.

As it was now nearly mid-afternoon, Toto decided to have a nap in the
garden. Curling up in the cool earth under a large rose bush, he fell
asleep, telling himself that he would awaken in time for dinner, when
he would surely see Dorothy. Toto knew that however busy Dorothy and
the Wizard might be, they would leave the Chamber of Magic and appear
for dinner--always a festive occasion in the Grand Dining Room of the
Royal Palace.

Promptly at seven o'clock, the inhabitants of the Royal Palace began
to gather in the Grand Dining Room. Cap'n Bill and Trot took their
accustomed places at the table, as did Betsy Bobbin, Button Bright, the
Shaggy Man, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. While the Scarecrow, the Patchwork
Girl and Tik-Tok the Machine Man were non-flesh and could not partake
of the food, nevertheless they had their places at the table. For these
dinners were as much occasions for the enjoyment of merry conversation,
as they were for satisfying hunger and thirst.

At the far end of the room was a separate table, shared by the animal
companions of the Oz people. At this table were set places with the
proper foods for Hank the Mule, the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger,
Billina the Yellow Hen, Eureka the Pink Kitten, the Woozy, Toto and the
Sawhorse. Although the Sawhorse was made of wood and required no food
and seldom took part in the conversation, nevertheless the odd steed
enjoyed listening to the table talk of the others.

Everyone was at his place except Dorothy, the Wizard and Toto--and of
course Ozma's chair at the head of the table was vacant. Dorothy's
place was at Ozma's right, while the Wizard sat at her left. A few
minutes later, King Umb and Queen Ra, having decided that it would
arouse too much comment if they were absent from the dinner, entered
the sumptuous dining room and took their places on either side of
Ozma's vacant chair. Now only Toto remained absent.

The truth was that the little dog had overslept and had awakened from
his nap to find the shadows lengthening across the garden. Realizing he
was late for dinner, Toto hurried to the nearest palace entrance and
ran as quickly as he could to the Grand Dining Room.

As he entered, the first course of the meal was being served, and a
ripple of conversation rose from the two tables. The Scarecrow and
Scraps were chatting together. Betsy was telling Trot about the lovely
wild flowers she had found, and the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger
were discussing a visit they planned to their old jungle home in the
forest far to the south in the Quadling Country.

In spite of the apparent atmosphere of gayety, this gathering was not
at all like the merry company that usually assembled in the dining room
for the evening meal. First of all, the absence of the radiant Ozma was
keenly felt by the entire gathering, and this automatically subdued the
spirit of the occasion. Next, no one at the table had failed to note
and wonder at the fact that Dorothy and the Wizard--usually so cheerful
and cordial--had merely nodded unsmilingly to their assembled friends
as they had taken their places at the head of the table. Finally,
Scraps, the Scarecrow, Trot and Cap'n Bill, unable to forget the
strange conversation they had overheard in the garden earlier in the
day, stole curious glances at Dorothy and the Wizard, seeking some clue
to their unusual behavior.

As Toto trotted into the dining room, his bright little eyes
immediately sought out his mistress. Toto stopped short; his body
became tense with excitement. He barked loudly and then growled,
"Where's Dorothy?"

In the silence that fell over the dining room at the dog's unusual
actions, Toto repeated his question. "Where's Dorothy?" he demanded.

The Scarecrow was staring earnestly at Toto. "Why, here's Dorothy," the
straw man answered. "Right here, where she always sits."

"You're wrong--all of you are wrong," growled Toto ominously. The
little dog was quivering with excitement. "Whoever that is sitting
there might fool the rest of you, but she can't deceive me. She's not
Dorothy at all. Something's happened to Dorothy!"



CHAPTER 9

Mr. and Mrs. Hi-Lo


"Step right in, folks! Watch your step, Miss. We're on our way up--next
stop the top! Only two stops--bottom and top. Next stop's the top!"

The little man spoke with an air of importance, as he smiled at Dorothy
and the Wizard from the stool on which he was perched in the car
which the opening in the stone wall had revealed. They peered at him
curiously.

"Shall we go in?" asked Dorothy, drawing a deep breath.

"To be sure," said the Wizard. "Anything is better than this stone
prison."

"Ah, a philosopher, and a wise one, too," remarked the little man.

As soon as Dorothy and the Wizard were in the elevator--for such it
proved to be--the stone door swung shut. At once the little man pressed
one of several buttons on the side of the car and again they heard the
whirring sound which had puzzled them in the cavern. Dorothy concluded
it was caused by the machinery that operated the elevator. The little
car was shooting upward with a speed that caused her ears to ring.

"Just swallow several times," advised the Wizard, sensing Dorothy's
discomfort. "That will make equal the air pressure inside and outside
your body. It's a trick I learned when I went up in my balloon to draw
crowds to the circus back in Omaha."

Dorothy did as the Wizard suggested and found the ringing sensation
disappeared.

"Who are you?" asked the Wizard gazing curiously at the little man.
"And where are you taking us?"

"You don't know who I am?" exclaimed the little man with surprise.
"After all, you know you did ring for the elevator, and since I am
the elevator operator, naturally I answered. Allow me to introduce
myself. My name is Hi-Lo and I am taking you to the only other place
the elevator goes except for the bottom--and that's to the top of Mount
Illuso. I assure you it's a far better place than the bottom!"

While he spoke, Dorothy had been regarding the little man who called
himself Hi-Lo. He was very short, his head coming only to Dorothy's
waist. He was dressed in a bright blue uniform with big, gold buttons.
A red cap was perched at a jaunty angle on his head. His face was round
and his cheeks as rosy as two apples. His blue eyes were very bright
and friendly. But the oddest thing about him was that his clothes
appeared to be a part of his body--as though they were painted on. And
Dorothy concluded he was most certainly made of some substance other
than flesh and blood.

"Ah, I see I've aroused your interest," remarked the little man with
satisfaction. "Well, I'm proud to tell you that I am made of the finest
white pine and painted with quick-drying four-hour enamel that flows
easily from the brush and is guaranteed not to chip, crack, craze or
peel. I'm easily washable, too; spots and stains wipe off in a jiffy
with a damp cloth or sponge--no rubbing or scrubbing for me! And I
suppose," Hi-Lo concluded vainly, "you've already admired my rich,
glossy finish and beautiful rainbow colors."

Dorothy smiled at this speech, and the Wizard asked, "Tell me, Hi-Lo,
do people live on the top of Mount Illuso?"

"Of course," Hi-Lo replied in his cheerful voice. "We have a thriving
community of folks--Pineville it's called. But we're all very happy and
contented," he went on hastily. "There's not a lonesome pine among us,
although there are several trails on the mountain top."

"But are there no flesh and blood folks, like us?" queried the Wizard.

Before Hi-Lo could answer, the elevator came to an abrupt stop.

"Well, here we are!" announced Hi-Lo cheerily. He pressed another
button. The door of the elevator swung open and Hi-Lo called, "All out!
All out! Top floor--all kinds of wooden goods, the best pine to be
had--pine tables, pine chairs, pine houses and pine people!"

Dorothy and the Wizard stepped from the elevator and surveyed the scene
before them. Yes, this was certainly the top of Mount Illuso. The
elevator exit was in a large stone wall, at least ten feet in height,
that appeared to circle the edge of the mountain top. Before them
spread a dense pine forest, while a small path led from the elevator to
a tiny cottage that stood nearby. The cottage was painted bright blue
with trim white shutters, and smoke was rising cheerily from its red
brick chimney.

"Right this way! Just follow me, folks," said Hi-Lo, trotting along
the path to the cottage, his little wooden legs moving with surprising
speed. "Mrs. Hi-Lo will certainly be surprised to see you. You are a
real event--the very first visitors we have ever had from down below."

As they approached the tiny cottage, the front door swung open, and a
little woman stood in the doorway. She was even smaller than Hi-Lo, and
like him was made of wood and painted with the same bright enamels. She
wore a blue and white apron over a red polka-dot dress. On her head was
a trim little lace cap.

"My goodness!" she beamed. "Visitors at last! Do come in and make
yourselves comfortable."

The Wizard found it necessary to bend over to get in the doorway,
so small was the cottage. Once inside, his head nearly touched the
ceiling. The cottage was neatly and attractively furnished with
comfortable pine chairs, tables and a large davenport drawn before a
fireplace on which a log fire crackled cheerfully. The air was sharp
on the mountain top, so the bright fire was a welcome sight to the
two wanderers. All the furniture glowed with the cheerful, gaudy hues
of glossy enamel. Dorothy thought that the wholesome aroma of pine
scent that filled the cottage was especially delightful.

"Great pine cones!" exclaimed Mrs. Hi-Lo. "You must be half starved.
I'll get you something to eat in no time at all. Tell me, would you
like a delicious cross cut of pine steak with pine-dust pudding, fresh,
crisp pine-needle salad with turpentine dressing and a strawberry pine
cone for dessert?"

Dorothy almost laughed aloud at this strange food, but the little
Wizard answered courteously, "You are most kind, Madame, but I fear our
systems would not be able to digest the delicacies you suggest. Perhaps
you have something that meat folks like us could eat?"

"Of course!" cried Mrs. Hi-Lo. "How stupid of me! You are meat
folks--too bad," she added critically. "It must be a terrible bother to
take off and put on all those clothes and to keep your hair trimmed and
your nails pared."

"Now, Mother, let's not draw unkind comparisons," cautioned Hi-Lo
diplomatically, as he settled himself into a comfortable chair. "None
of us is perfect, you know. Remember that spring when you sprouted a
green twig on your right shoulder?"

"You are right," said Mrs. Hi-Lo with a laugh. "We all have our weak
points." And with that the little lady bustled off into the kitchen.

Dorothy and the Wizard sat down gingerly on two of the largest chairs
the room contained. But small as the chairs were, they proved quite
sturdy and readily supported their weight.

"Is there any way," asked the Wizard, "that we can leave this mountain
top?"

Hi-Lo sat bolt upright in his chair and stared at the Wizard in
amazement. "Leave the mountain top?" he repeated as if he couldn't
believe his own ears. "Do I understand you to say that you want to
leave this delightful place--this most favored spot in the universe?"

"We do," said the Wizard emphatically. "Our home is in the Land of Oz,
and we desire to return there as quickly as possible."

"But why?" asked Hi-Lo. "No place could be as delightful as this
mountain top. Just wait until you have become acquainted with it--our
healthful, refreshing climate, our beautiful pine forest, our handsome
village of Pineville and its delightful people!"

"Have you ever been anywhere else?" asked the Wizard quietly.

"No, never--but--"

"Then permit me to say," replied the Wizard, "that you are not
qualified to judge. Little Dorothy and I have traveled in many strange
lands all over the world, and we prefer the Land of Oz for our home."

"Well, everyone to his own taste, of course," muttered Hi-Lo,
unconvinced and a trifle crestfallen.

Just then Mrs. Hi-Lo re-entered the room bearing a tray laden with
steaming hot foods. At her invitation Dorothy and the Wizard pulled
their chairs up to a table, and Mrs. Hi-Lo served the food on gleaming
white enameled pine platters and dishes. There was savory vegetable
soup, scrambled eggs, cheese, lettuce and tomato salad, chocolate layer
cake and lemonade. The food was delicious and as Dorothy and the Wizard
had not eaten since breakfast, and it was now nearly evening, they did
full justice to the meal. Mr. and Mrs. Hi-Lo looked on with polite
curiosity, marveling that the strangers could enjoy such odd food.

When they had finished the Wizard sighed with satisfaction and sat back
in his chair. "Where did you get this excellent food, if there are no
human beings on the mountain top?" he asked.

"Oh, but there is one meat person like yourselves on Mount Illuso,"
said Mrs. Hi-Lo. "She is our ruler, and many years ago she gave me the
magic recipe for the preparation of human food. As you are the first
human visitors we have ever had, this is the first time I have had
occasion to use the recipe."

"Who is this ruler of yours?" inquired Dorothy.

"She is a beautiful Fairy Princess, named Ozana," Hi-Lo replied.

"Ozana!" exclaimed Dorothy. "Wizard, did you hear that? Ozana--doesn't
that sound an awful lot like an Oz name?"

"It certainly does," agreed the little man. "May we see this Princess
Ozana of yours?" he asked Hi-Lo.

"I was about to mention," replied Hi-Lo, "that it was Ozana's orders
when she appointed me Keeper of the Elevator that I was to instruct any
passengers I might have to seek her out at her home in Pineville."

"Oh, let's go see her right away!" exclaimed Dorothy excitedly.

"Not tonight," objected Hi-Lo. "You would never find your way through
the Pine Forest in the dark. You may stay with us tonight and be on
your way to see Princess Ozana early in the morning."

Dorothy and the Wizard could offer no objection to this sensible and
kindly offer of hospitality. Since it was now quite dark outside, and
the little cottage was cheerful and cozy with the log fire casting
dancing reflections in the brightly enameled furniture, they were quite
content to spend the night there.

After several more questions about the ruler who called herself Ozana,
Dorothy and the Wizard decided that Hi-Lo and his wife knew nothing
more beyond the facts that Princess Ozana had created the pine folks
and built the village for them to live in.

"Have you and Hi-Lo always lived here alone?" Dorothy asked Mrs. Hi-Lo.

The little woman's expression was sad as she answered, "No. Once we
had a son. He was not a very good boy and was continually getting
into mischief. He was the only one of our wooden folks who ever was
discontented with life here on Mount Illuso. He wanted to travel and
see the world. We could do nothing at all with him." Mrs. Hi-Lo sighed
and continued, "One day a friendly stork paused in a long flight to
rest on Mount Illuso, and the naughty boy persuaded the stork to carry
him into the great outside world. From that time on we have never heard
anything more of him. I often wonder what happened to our poor son,"
the little woman concluded in a sorrowful tone.

"How big was your boy?" asked the Wizard. "Was he just a little shaver?"

"Oh, no," replied Mrs. Hi-Lo. "He was almost fully grown--a young
stripling, I should call him."

"And was his name Charlie?" inquired the Wizard thoughtfully.

"Yes! Yes, it was! Oh, tell me, Sir," implored Mrs. Hi-Lo, "do you,
perchance, know my son?"

"Not personally," replied the Wizard. "But I can assure you, Madame,
that you have nothing to worry about where your son Charlie is
concerned. That friendly stork knew his business and left Charlie on
the right doorstep."

The Wizard had a small radio in his apartment in the Royal Palace in
the Emerald City, which he sometimes turned on and listened to with
much curiosity. But he never listened for long, as he was subject to
headaches when listening to anything but good music.

"Oh, thank you!" exclaimed Mrs. Hi-Lo. "It is such a relief to know
that our Charlie turned out all right after all. There were times," the
woman confessed, "when I had a horrible suspicion that he was made from
a bad grade of pine--knotty pine, you know."

"There are those who share that opinion," murmured the Wizard. But Mrs.
Hi-Lo was so overjoyed to hear of her son that she paid no attention to
the Wizard's words.

Hi-Lo, who seemed totally uninterested in this conversation concerning
his wayward son, merely muttered, "A bad one, that youngster," and then
yawned somewhat pointedly and remarked that since their beds were far
too small for their guests to occupy, he and his wife would retire to
their bedrooms and Dorothy and the Wizard could pass the night in the
living room.

Mrs. Hi-Lo supplied them with warm blankets and soft pillows, and then
she and Hi-Lo bid them a happy good night. Dorothy made a snug bed on
the davenport, while the Wizard curled up cozily before the fire.

Just before Dorothy dropped off to sleep she asked, "Do you suppose
this Princess Ozana has any connection with Oz, Wizard?"

"It is possible, and then again, the name may be merely a coincidence,
my dear," the little man answered sleepily, "so don't build your hopes
too high."

A moment later Dorothy's eyes closed and she was sound asleep, dreaming
that Toto, in a bright blue uniform with big gold buttons and a little
red cap, was operating the elevator and saying, "Right this way,
Dorothy! Step lively, please. Going up--next stop, Princess Ozana!"



CHAPTER 10

The Village of Pineville


Dorothy and the Wizard awakened bright and early the next morning,
eager to pursue their adventures. Mrs. Hi-Lo prepared a hearty
breakfast for them from her magic recipe and, as they made ready to
leave the pretty little cottage, Hi-Lo advised them:

"Just follow the trail that leads through the Pine Forest and you will
come to the Village of Pineville where Princess Ozana lives. You can't
miss it, and if you walk steadily you should be there by noon."

Stepping from the cottage, Dorothy and the Wizard found the morning sun
bright and warm and the air filled with the pungent aroma of pine from
the forest.

"Good-bye!" called Mrs. Hi-Lo from the door of the cottage.

"Good-bye!" called Mr. Hi-Lo. "Don't forget to remember us to the
Princess!"

"We won't," promised Dorothy. "We'll tell her how kind you've been to
us."

In a short time the cottage was lost to their view, and the two
travelers were deep in the cool shade of the Pine Forest. The trail
over which they walked was carpeted with pine needles, making a soft
and pleasant path for their feet.

Once when they paused to rest for a few moments a red squirrel frisked
down a nearby tree and, sitting on a stump before Dorothy, asked
saucily, "Where to, strangers?"

"We're on our way to see Princess Ozana," said Dorothy.

"Oh, are you indeed!" exclaimed the squirrel with a flirt of his
whiskers. "Well, you are just halfway there. If you walk briskly you'll
find yourselves out of the forest in another two hours."

"How do you know we are just halfway there?" asked Dorothy.

"Because I've measured the distance many times," replied the squirrel.

"I should think you would prefer to live nearer the village of
Pineville," remarked Dorothy. "It must be very lonesome here in this
deep pine forest."

"Oho! That shows how unobserving you mortals are!" exclaimed the red
squirrel. "My family and I wouldn't think of living anywhere but here,
no matter how lonely it is. Know why?"

"No, I must say I don't," confessed the girl.

"Look at my tree--look at my tree!" chattered the squirrel, flirting
his big bushy tail in the direction of the tree from which he had
appeared.

"Of course!" chuckled the Wizard. "It's a hickory tree!"

"But I don't see--" began Dorothy in perplexity.

"What do squirrels like best of all, my dear?" asked the Wizard,
smiling with amusement.

"Oh, Wizard, why didn't I think of that? They like nuts, of course!"

"Exactly!" snapped the little red squirrel. "And since pine trees do
not bear nuts and hickory trees do--well, city life and fine company
may be all right for some folks, but I prefer to remain here in comfort
where I know my family will be well provided for."

And with that the wise little creature gave a leap and a bound and
darted up the trunk of the one and only nut tree in all the Pine Forest.

Dorothy and the Wizard followed the pine-needle trail on through the
Pine Forest until finally the trees thinned and they stepped out into
an open meadow, bright with yellow buttercups. The sun was almost
directly overhead by this time.

Below the two travelers, in a pretty green valley that formed the
center of the mountain top, lay a small village of several hundred
cottages, all similar to Hi-Lo's. The buildings were painted with
glossy blue enamel and shone brilliantly in the sun. They were grouped
in a circle about one large central cottage that differed from the
others in that it was considerably larger, and, from where Dorothy and
the Wizard stood, appeared to be surrounded by rather extensive gardens
and grounds.

Dorothy and the Wizard followed the trail over the meadow to a point
where it broadened into a street that led among the houses. The two
travelers set out on this street, which was wide and pleasant and paved
with blocks of white pine.

As Dorothy and the Wizard walked through the village, they saw that the
cottages were occupied by wooden folks, much like Hi-Lo and his wife.
A wooden woman was washing the windows of her cottage. A wooden man
with wooden shears was trimming the hedge around his house. Another
was repairing the white picket fence around his cottage. Tiny wooden
children, almost doll-like they were so small, played in the yards.
From one cottage a spotted wooden dog ran into the road and barked at
the strangers.

"I suppose he's made of dog-wood," observed Dorothy with a smile.

Dorothy and the Wizard aroused much curiosity among the little wooden
folk, most of whom paused in their work to stare at the strangers as
they passed. But none of them seemed to fear the meat people.

A wooden lady approached them, walking down the street with quick,
lively steps. On her arm was a market basket full of green pine cones.
Pausing, the Wizard removed his hat and in his most polite manner
addressed her.

"Pardon me, Madame. Can you tell me if this street leads to the palace
of Princess Ozana?"

"Palace? What's that?" asked the woman with a puzzled expression on
her face. "I don't know what a palace is, Sir, but if you follow this
street you will come to the cottage where our Princess Ozana dwells."

"Thank you, Madame," said the Wizard, and the little woman trotted
busily down the street.

In a few minutes more Dorothy and the Wizard had reached the central
part of Pineville. Here a trim, white picket fence encircled a large
area that seemed to be one huge flower garden with every sort of flower
imaginable growing in it. In the exact center of this enclosure stood
an attractive blue cottage, large enough to accommodate comfortably
full-sized human beings. Just in front of the cottage was a pond of
placid blue water. In the pond grew water lilies and all sorts of
flowering plants that one finds in lakes and ponds.

The path that led from the entrance of the cottage divided at the
pond's edge and encircled the water, meeting on the opposite side of
the pond and running again as a single path to a gate in the fence
before which Dorothy and the Wizard stood. Forming a bower over the
gate was a white wooden trellis covered with roses. From the center of
the pretty trellis hung a blue sign with these words in white enameled
letters:

                                WELCOME
                       COTTAGE OF PRINCESS OZANA
                                WALK IN

"Well, I guess that means us," said the Wizard with a smile, as he read
the sign and pushed open the gate.



CHAPTER 11

Princess Ozana


Dorothy exclaimed with delight as they stepped through the garden gate.
She had no idea any garden could be so beautiful. Flowers of every
known variety grew in profusion. Save for the mossy paths that wound
through the garden, there was not a spot of ground that was without
blossoming plants. As for the pond, it was like a small sea of lovely
blossoming water plants. At the far edge of the pond Dorothy noted
three graceful white swans, sleeping in the shade of a large flowering
bush that grew at the edge of the pond and trailed its blossoms
into the water. The air was sweet with the perfume of thousands and
thousands of flowers.

"Oh, Wizard," gasped Dorothy, "did you ever see anything so lovely?"

"It is indeed a beautiful sight," replied the little man admiringly.

Here and there, throughout the garden, a score or more of little wooden
men were busily at work. Some were watering plants from blue wooden
pails, others were trimming blossoming bushes and hedges, some were
digging out weeds, and others were building trellises for climbing
vines. None of them took the slightest notice of Dorothy and the
Wizard, so absorbed were they in their work.

Not far from where Dorothy and the Wizard stood, was a little maid, on
her knees, digging with a trowel in the soft earth about a beautiful
rambling rose bush that climbed above her on a blue trellis.

"Let's ask her where we can find Princess Ozana," suggested Dorothy.

A few steps brought them to the side of the maiden who wore a pretty
blue apron with a pink petal design. On her hands were gardening gloves
and her golden hair fell loosely down her back.

"I wonder," began the Wizard, "if you can tell us if the Princess Ozana
is in?"

The little maid looked up, regarding the strangers with friendly
curiosity. Dorothy saw that she was very lovely. Her eyes were as
soft as shy woodland violets, and of the same purple hue; her skin as
delicately colored as fragile petals, and her lips were like rosebuds.

"No," the maid replied with a suspicion of a smile in her voice,
"Princess Ozana is not in her cottage at the moment."

"Perhaps you know where we can find her," suggested the Wizard.

At this the little maid gave a silvery laugh and exclaimed, "You _have_
found her--I am Princess Ozana!"

"Of course, Wizard," said Dorothy, "Princess Ozana is the only flesh
and blood person on Mount Illuso 'cept for us, so this just must be
she. Besides," she added, "no one else could be so beautiful."

"Thank you, my dear," said Ozana graciously, as she rose to her feet.
"And you, Sir," she continued, turning to the Wizard and sweetly easing
the little man's embarrassment, "could scarcely be blamed for failing
to recognize a princess garbed so simply and digging in a garden."

"I most humbly ask your pardon," murmured the Wizard.

"Come," said Ozana, "let us go into my cottage, where we can talk at
ease. I must know all about you."

As they started for the cottage, a small voice called after them,
"Wait! Wait for me! Don't leave me here! It's time for my milk!"

Dorothy glanced behind her and saw, scrambling from under a bush, a
tiny kitten with pure white fur and china blue eyes.

"Oh, what a darling!" she cried.

"This is Felina, my pet kitten," announced Ozana as she knelt and
gathered the small bundle of fur into her arms.

Ozana led her guests to the living room of the cottage, an attractive
room, fragrant with pine scent and comfortably furnished with pine
chairs, divans and tables.

Pressing a button set in the pine-paneled wall, Ozana bid her guests
make themselves comfortable while she ordered lunch. A moment later
a little wooden maid in a blue dress and spotless white pinafore,
followed closely by a small wooden boy in a page's livery, appeared
smiling in the doorway. The maid curtsied gracefully and the boy bobbed
his head as Ozana said, "This is Dolly and Poppet, my maid and page.
Dolly, will you and Poppet please prepare sandwiches and refreshments
for us--my guests have traveled far and must be quite hungry."

"We are happy to serve your Highness," answered the wooden girl and boy
in unison. With another curtsy and bow the maid and page disappeared
from the room.

Ozana seated herself beside Dorothy and taking the little girl's hand
in her own, while she smiled warmly at the Wizard, the Fairy Princess
said, "Now, let us become acquainted."

"Well," began Dorothy, "this is the famous Wizard of Oz, and I am--"

"Princess Dorothy of Oz," Ozana finished for her.

"You know us?" asked Dorothy eagerly.

"To be sure, I know you," replied Ozana. "By my fairy arts I keep
myself informed of all that goes on in the Emerald City. I recall when
our Wizard first visited the Land of Oz in his balloon, and when the
cyclone lifted your house into the air and carried you, Dorothy, all
the way from Kansas to Oz."

"Why do you say 'our' Wizard?" asked the Wizard.

"Because I consider myself very close to the Land of Oz. I have a great
fondness for all its inhabitants and especially for the Wizard who
built the Emerald City and united the four countries of Oz," replied
Ozana earnestly.

The Wizard blushed modestly. "As for building the Emerald City,"
he remarked, "I have said many times before that I only bossed the
job--the Oz people themselves did all the work."

Dorothy nodded. "When I first heard your name, Ozana, I suspected it
was connected in some way with Oz."

"I am called Ozana," stated the violet-eyed maid simply, "because I am
a member of Queen Lurline's Fairy Band and first cousin of Princess
Ozma of Oz."

"Wizard, did you hear that? Princess Ozana is Ozma's cousin!"

At this moment Dolly and Poppet reappeared bearing trays heaped with
sandwiches and glasses of cool, fresh milk. Dorothy was so excited over
the revelation Ozana had just made that she could scarcely eat.

While they enjoyed their food, Ozana and her guests exchanged stories.
First Dorothy and the Wizard related their adventures.

"I have no doubt at all," said Ozana, "that the two strange birds who
took your forms were none other than King Umb and Queen Ra, the Mimic
Monarchs."

"Did you say Mimics?" exclaimed Dorothy.

"Yes, my dear, Mount Illuso is the home of the dread Mimics."

"Oh," said Dorothy thoughtfully, "that explains a lot of things. Why,
only the day before she left the Land of Oz, Ozma and I were discussing
the Mimics."

The Wizard, who knew nothing of the Mimics, listened with interest as
Ozana described the creatures.

"I don't understand," said the Wizard when Ozana had finished, "why you
should be living alone on the top of this mountain in which such evil
creatures as the Mimics dwell."

"That question is easily answered," replied Ozana. "Immediately after
Queen Lurline enchanted the Mimics so that they could not attack the
Oz inhabitants, she flew with me, her fairy companion, to the top of
Mount Illuso. Here she left me, giving me certain fairy powers over
the Mimics and instructing me that I was to remain here at all times
as the Guardian of Oz to prevent the Mimics from doing any harm to
the Oz people should the evil creatures ever succeed in lifting Queen
Lurline's spell. I was not even permitted to leave the mountain to
attend Queen Lurline's fairy councils in the Forest of Burzee."

"Then it must have been your fairy light that freed us from the Mimic
enchantment in the cavern prison," surmised Dorothy.

"Yes, it was," Ozana admitted. "You see, after Queen Lurline departed
from Mount Illuso and I was left alone, the first thing I did was to
place the button of light in that cavern which the Mimics call their
Cavern of the Doomed. I enchanted the light so that it would appear
soon after prisoners were placed in the cave. I gave the light power to
overcome the spell cast by the Mimics on their victims."

"Then you are responsible for the elevator and Hi-Lo, too," said the
Wizard.

"Yes," replied Ozana. "I placed the elevator in the mountain and
stationed Hi-Lo there to operate it. I did all this by my fairy arts.
Of course the Mimics have no knowledge of my arrangements to bring
about the release of their victims. I knew the escaped prisoners would
find their way to me and I could aid them if I judged them worthy. But
I never expected to find inhabitants of the Land of Oz in the Mimic
Cavern of the Doomed!"

"How is it," asked the Wizard, "that the Mimics were able to capture
Dorothy and me, despite the fact that we are inhabitants of the Land of
Oz?"

"You must remember," said Ozana, "that both you and Dorothy came to
Oz from the great outside world and neither of you was an inhabitant
of Oz when Queen Lurline cast her spell over the Mimics. Hence you
were not protected by that spell. It was for just such an unlooked-for
development as this that the wise Queen Lurline left me on this
mountain top."

"May I ask then," said the Wizard, "why you knew nothing of the flight
of the Mimic King and Queen to the Emerald City?"

Ozana's face flushed slightly at this question, and she replied
hesitatingly. "I must admit that I am fully responsible for all your
troubles. But I plead with you to consider my side of the story. I have
dwelt on this forsaken mountain top with no human companions for more
than two hundred years. At first I amused myself by creating the little
wooden people and building their pine village for them. But it was too
much like playing with dolls, and I soon tired. Then I busied myself
with my garden, growing in it every variety of flower that exists. This
occupied me for many long years.

"Please remember I had taken many precautions against the Mimics. I
believed I could rely on my fairy light to free any prisoners in the
Cavern of the Doomed, but apparently the Mimics took no captives they
thought important enough to occupy the Cavern of the Doomed until they
made you prisoners. And then my fairy light served me well. Can you
find it in your hearts to forgive me that I did not spend all my time
keeping guard over the Mimics through all those long years?"

"Of course. We understand, Ozana," said Dorothy, pressing the fairy
maid's hand affectionately.

"And I must confess," continued Ozana with a grateful smile at Dorothy,
"that had I not been so completely absorbed in my garden during the
last few days, I would surely have known of Ozma and Glinda's departure
from the Emerald City and your own plight."

The Wizard had been very thoughtful while Ozana was speaking. Now he
asked, "Just what do you believe to be the plans of the two Mimics who
are now masquerading as Dorothy and me in the Emerald City?"

Ozana was grave at this question. "It is evident," she replied, "that
King Umb and Queen Ra hope to take advantage of the absence of Ozma and
Glinda to search for the counter-charm that would release the Mimics
from Queen Lurline's enchantment and permit them to overrun Oz.

"Queen Ra must have discovered by her black arts that Queen Lurline had
given the secret of the magical antidote into Ozma's keeping, knowing
it would be safest with Ozma.

"It may be," added Ozana thoughtfully, "that if King Umb and Queen Ra
have not discovered the spell by the time Ozma and Glinda return, they
would even be so bold as to remain in the Emerald City, hoping they
could deceive Ozma and Glinda as they have the rest of the Oz folks."

"What do you think they will do if they find the magic spell?" asked
Dorothy fearfully.

The violet depths of Ozana's eyes darkened as she considered. "I don't
like to think about that, my dear," she answered slowly.

After a moment's silence Princess Ozana brightened. "Come, now, let's
not borrow trouble. The Mimic Monarchs have had so little time that I
am sure they could not have succeeded in their search! We have nothing
to fear now. However, I will spend the entire afternoon and evening in
study, and by use of my fairy arts I will be able to discover just what
King Umb and Queen Ra's plot is. With that knowledge we can act wisely
and quickly to defeat the Mimic Monarchs."

"Do you think we should wait that long?" asked the Wizard.

"It is necessary," replied Ozana firmly. "I must have time to study Ra
and Umb's actions during the past few days and to prepare myself to
fight them. Remember, they are powerful enemies. Unless I am mistaken
we shall be on our way to the Emerald City in the morning, and I shall
be fully armed with whatever knowledge is necessary to defeat the
Mimic Monarchs completely. Do not worry, my friends. I am confident I
can bring about the downfall of King Umb and Queen Ra before Ozma and
Glinda return to the Emerald City tomorrow."

"Of course you are right," assented the Wizard slowly.

"Now," said Ozana rising, "let me show you my garden of which I am
quite proud. I am sure you will find it so interesting that you will
regret you have only one short afternoon to spend in it. I have passed
countless days in it and found it ever more fascinating."

The White Kitten, Felina, had finished lapping up the milk from the
bowl placed on the floor for her by the little wooden maid. Dorothy
knelt, cuddling the tiny creature in her arms.

"May I take Felina in the garden with us?" Dorothy asked.

"To be sure," replied Ozana. "I shall be far too occupied this
afternoon to give her my attention."

As they stepped from Ozana's cottage into the garden, the Fairy
Princess said, "I believe you will find my garden different from any
you have ever seen. I call it my Story Blossom Garden."



Chapter 12

Story Blossom Garden


"Now I will show you why I call my garden Story Blossom Garden," began
Ozana as she advanced toward a rose tree laden with lovely blooms.

"You see, these are not ordinary flowers. They are fairy flowers that
I created with my fairy arts. And the soil in which they grow is magic
soil. Take this rose, for instance." Here Ozana cupped a large red rose
in her hands. "Look into its petals, Dorothy, and tell me what you see."

"Why, the petals form a lovely girl's face!" Dorothy exclaimed in
delight.

"And so it is with all the blossoms in my garden," said Ozana. "If you
look closely into them, you will see a human face. Now, Dorothy, put
your ear close to the rose and listen."

Dorothy did as she was bid and quite clearly she heard a small but
melodious voice say pleadingly, "Pick me, pick me, little girl, and I
will tell you the sweetest story ever told--a love story."

Dorothy looked at the rose in awe. "What does it mean?" she asked Ozana.

"Simply that all the flowers in my garden are Story Blossom Flowers.
Pick a blossom and hold it to your ear, and it will tell you its story.
When the story is done, the blossom will fade and wither."

"Oh, but I shouldn't like any of the beautiful flowers to die,"
protested Dorothy, "even to hear their lovely stories."

"They do not die," replied Ozana. "As I said, these are no ordinary
flowers. They do not grow from seeds or bulbs. Instead, as soon as
a blossom has told its story it fades and withers. Then one of my
gardeners plants it, and in a few days it blooms afresh with a new
story to tell. The flowers are all eager to be picked so that they may
tell their stories. Just as ordinary flowers give off their perfumes
freely and graciously, so my flowers love to breathe forth the
fragrance of their stories. A poet once said that perfumes are the
souls of flowers. I have succeeded in distilling those perfumes into
words."

"Can't the flowers tell their stories while they are still growing?"
asked Dorothy.

"No," replied Ozana. "Only when they are separated from their plants
can they tell their stories."

"Do all the roses tell the same love story?" Dorothy asked.

"No indeed," said Ozana. "While it is true that all the roses tell love
stories--for the rose is the flower of love--all roses do not tell the
_same_ love story. Since no two rose blossoms are identical, no two
blossoms tell the same story. It was my purpose in creating the garden
to supply myself with a never-ending source of amusement as an escape
from the boredom of living alone on this desolate mountain top. I was
reminded of the Princess in the Arabian Nights tales. You will recall
that she told her stories for a thousand-and-one nights. My story
blossoms," Ozana concluded with a smile, "can tell many, many more than
a thousand-and-one stories. There are many thousands of blossoms in my
garden, and each blossom has a different story."

"You are certainly to be congratulated on your marvelous garden," said
the Wizard. "It is a miraculous feat of magic," he added admiringly.

"Thank you," replied Ozana graciously. "And now I will leave you, as I
must form our plans for tomorrow. I must ask you to excuse me from the
evening meal. Dolly and Poppet will serve you, and when you are ready
they will show you to your sleeping rooms. Good-bye, for the present,
my friends."

Dorothy and the Wizard bid their lovely hostess good-bye and then
turned to the wonderful garden of Story Blossoms.

Putting Felina on the ground to romp beside her, Dorothy dropped to
her knees before a cluster of pansies. As she bent her ear over one of
the little flower faces, it murmured, "Pick me, little girl, pick me!
I'll tell you an old-fashioned story of once-upon-a-time about a wicked
witch and a beautiful princess."

The Wizard found himself admiring the flaming beauty of a stately
tiger-lily. Placing his ear close to the blossom, he listened and
heard the flower say in a throaty voice, "Pick me, O Man, and hear a
thrilling story of splendid silken beasts in their sultry jungle lairs."

Now Dorothy was listening to a purple thistle that spoke with a rich
Scotch burr, "Pick me, little girrrl, an' ye'll make naw mistake, for
I'll tell ye a tale of a Highland lassie for Auld Lang Syne."

Noticing a tawny blossom with gay purple spots, Dorothy placed her ear
close to it. This was a harlequin flower and it said, "Pick me, child,
and I'll tell you a wonder tale about Merryland and its Valley of
Clowns, where dwell the happy, fun-loving clowns who delight in making
children laugh." Dorothy remembered reading in a story book about
Merryland and the Valley of Clowns.

Next was a Black-Eyed-Susan that murmured to Dorothy, "Pick me, and I
will tell you the story of three things that men love best--black eyes
and brown and blue. Men love them all, but oh, black eyes--men love and
die for you!"

Dorothy smiled and moved on to a daisy which whispered to her in
halting, doubtful tones, "Does he really love her? I shouldn't tell,
but I know, I know--and I will tell if only you'll pick me, little
girl."

"And I thought daisies didn't tell," Dorothy said to herself. She
stopped before a rambling rose that spoke in a rapid, excited voice and
wanted to relate a story of vagabond adventure in far-away places. Then
a bright red tulip whispered about a tale of wind-mills and Holland
canals and pretty Dutch girls.

At last the little girl came to a sunflower so tall that she had to
stand on tip-toe to hear its words. "Pick me," the sunflower urged,
"and hear my story of sun-baked prairies and western farm homes and
great winds that sweep across the plains."

"I wonder," thought Dorothy, "if the sunflower would tell me a story
about my old home in Kansas. There used to be a great many sunflowers
on Uncle Henry's farm back there."

A tiny violet growing in a mossy bed caught the girl's eye, and as she
knelt to hear its words, a shrill, unpleasant voice exclaimed, "Pick
me! Pick me! Pick me immediately! I'll tell you a story that will burn
your ears off! All about Dick Superguy--greatest detective in the
world! He can't be killed--he's all-powerful!" Dorothy was sure the
shy little violet hadn't uttered these words. While she looked about
to see where the rude voice was coming from, one of the little wooden
gardeners stepped up and said apologetically, "Beg your pardon, Miss,
it's just a weed. They're always loud and noisy, and while we don't
care much for their stories, we feel they have as much right to grow as
any other plants. Even a magic fairy garden has its weeds."

The Wizard had strolled over to the pond of placid blue water, and
placing his ear close to a green pad on which nestled an exquisite
water lily, he heard these words, "Pick me, O Man, and I'll tell you
a tale of a magic white ship that sails the jeweled seas and of the
strange creatures that dwell in the blue depths."

Turning to a lotus blossom, the Wizard heard a sleepy voice murmur,
"Pick me, pick me. I'll carry you afar to the secret islands of the
never-ending nights, where the winds are music in the palm trees and
the hours are woven of delights."

Now that they had listened to the pleading voices of so many of the
blossoms, Dorothy and the Wizard decided to pick some of them and hear
their stories.

Dorothy's first selection was a Jack-in-the-Pulpit, which proved to be
an unfortunate choice as the story the blossom told was preachy and
sermon-like. She decided the blossom was a trifle green.

Next she tried a daffodil. The story this blossom whispered to her in
silver tones was about a lovely Spring Maiden who went dancing around
the earth, and at her approach all ugliness and coldness and bitterness
vanished. In the Spring Maiden's wake appeared a trail of anemones and
violets and daffodils and tulips, and gentle winds that caused new
hopes to arise in the hearts of the winter-weary people.

The Wizard selected a pink carnation. This spicily-scented blossom told
him an exciting story of intrigue and adventure in high places. It was
a romantic, dashing story, full of cleverness and surprises.

Then the Wizard plucked a cluster of purple lilacs. Each of the tiny
blossoms growing on the stem joined in a chorus to sing him a story of
home and love, of patience and virtue and all the common things of life
in which the poorest may find riches and happiness.

Almost before Dorothy and the Wizard realized it, the shadows of
evening were lengthening over the garden, and Dolly and Poppet appeared
to inform them the evening meal was awaiting them.

Dorothy picked up the White Kitten which had fallen asleep in the
shadow of a nearby hedge, and she and the Wizard followed the maid and
the page back to the cheery comfort of Ozana's cottage. They chatted
happily over the good food served them by Dolly and Poppet. Felina had
her bowl of milk on the floor, near Dorothy's chair.

Then, since they realized the next day was likely to be a busy and
exciting one, they followed Dolly and Poppet to the rooms Ozana had
prepared for them and said good-night at their doors. The rooms were
delightfully furnished with deep, soft beds and everything to make them
comfortable for the night.

As Dorothy pulled the covers over her, and Felina snuggled into a
small, furry ball at the girl's feet, Dolly reappeared with a poppy
blossom in her hand.

"Here, Princess Dorothy," the thoughtful little maid said, "Listen to
the story of the poppy blossom and you'll be sure to sleep well."

So Dorothy listened to the soft, slumbrous voice of the poppy and was
asleep almost before the tale was finished.

What kind of a story did the sweet poppy tell? Why, a bedtime story, of
course.



CHAPTER 13

The Three Swans


Dorothy was awakened by the sunlight streaming through the windows of
her bedroom. Refreshed and eager for the adventures that lay ahead, she
bathed and dressed and, with Felina in her arms, knocked on the door of
the Wizard's room.

The man was already awake and in excellent spirits as he greeted
Dorothy. A moment later Dolly and Poppet came to lead them to the
living room where Ozana was awaiting them for breakfast.

The Fairy Princess, radiant with loveliness, was dressed in a simple,
blue dress with a circlet of roses set in her golden hair. Dorothy
thought this an excellent crown for the Princess of Story Blossom
Garden.

When the meal was finished, Ozana said, "It will please you to learn
that my studies which I completed late last night revealed that the
Mimic King and Queen have accomplished no real harm in the Emerald
City. However, Queen Ra has succeeded in doing something that has
surprised me. She has thrown up a magic screen about her activities
which has made it impossible for me to discover whether she has
found the spell that would release the Mimics from Queen Lurline's
enchantment. It is logical to believe Ra has failed, since, if she had
discovered the spell, she would surely have used it to permit the Mimic
hordes to overrun Oz."

"But you cannot be sure. Is that it, Ma'am?" asked the Wizard.

"Yes, I am afraid so," Ozana admitted, frowning slightly.

"This magic screen that Queen Ra has devised baffles me and resists all
my efforts to penetrate it. For this reason I think it would be wise
for us to go as quickly as possible to the Emerald City. As you know,
Ozma and Glinda will return from the Forest of Burzee this morning at
ten o'clock. I would like to be present to greet them and to explain
what has happened. There is no use causing them undue alarm. After all,
I am responsible for the Mimics in regard to the Land of Oz," Ozana
concluded thoughtfully.

"Well," said Dorothy, "I'm ready to go. How about you, Wizard?"

The little man's expression was grave as he answered. "The quicker we
get back to Oz the better. I have an uneasy feeling that we are not
finished with the Mimics by any means."

"Then it is settled," announced Ozana. "Come, my friends, let us make
all possible haste. We have no time to lose."

"May I take Felina to Oz with us?" asked Dorothy.

Ozana smiled. "Certainly, my dear. Only let us hurry."

Dorothy and the Wizard followed Ozana to the cottage door and down the
path that led to the edge of the pond. The garden was fresh and lovely
in the early morning. The side of the cottage that faced the morning
sun was covered with blue morning glories. Dorothy regretted that there
was no time for her to pick one of the delicate blossoms and listen to
its story.

Standing at the edge of the pond, Ozana uttered a soft, musical
whistle. From under the low-hanging branches of a large bush that
trailed into the water on the far shore of the pond, emerged the three
graceful swans which Dorothy and the Wizard had admired the day before.
The snow white birds moved swiftly across the water in answer to
Ozana's summons.

"These are my swans which will carry us over the Deadly Desert to the
Emerald City," said Ozana.

"They don't look big enough to carry even you or me, let alone the
Wizard," said Dorothy doubtfully.

Ozana laughed. "Of course they are not large enough now, Dorothy, but
soon they will be."

The three swans were now at the pond's edge, just at Ozana's feet. The
Fairy Princess bent, touching the head of each of the birds gently with
a slender wand which she drew from the folds of her blue dress. While
Dorothy and the Wizard watched, the birds grew steadily before their
wondering eyes. In a few seconds they were nearly five times the size
of ordinary swans.

The Fairy Princess placed a dainty foot on the back of one of the
swans, and then settled herself on the bird's downy back, motioning to
Dorothy and the Wizard to do likewise.

Dorothy stepped gingerly to the back of the swan nearest her. She found
the great bird supported her easily. Holding Felina in her lap, the
little girl nestled comfortably among the feathers. The Wizard had
already mounted the third swan.

Seeing that the passengers were all aboard, Ozana signaled the swans,
and with mighty strokes of their great wings the birds soared into the
air. Dorothy looked behind her and saw Ozana's cottage growing smaller
as the birds climbed higher and higher into the heavens. In a short
time, they had left Mount Illuso so far in the distance that it was no
longer visible.

The soft feathers of the bird that carried her, and the gentle motion
with which it sped through the air made Dorothy think of riding through
the sky on a downy feather bed.

"Isn't it grand, Wizard!" Dorothy called.

"It certainly beats any traveling I ever did," admitted the Wizard.
"It's even better than my balloon back in Omaha."

Ozana's bird flew in advance, with the swans bearing Dorothy and the
Wizard slightly to her rear on either side of her.

They crossed the border of the Land of the Phanfasms and soared high
over the Deadly Desert. The swans flew even higher over the desert than
had the Mimic birds. For this reason none of the travelers suffered
from the poisonous fumes that rose from the shifting sands of the
desert.

As they approached the yellow Land of the Winkies, Dorothy noticed that
Ozana cast several anxious glances at the sun which was rising higher
and higher in the heavens. It seemed to the little girl that the Fairy
Princess was disturbed and anxious.

"Is anything wrong, Ozana?" called Dorothy.

"I cannot say for sure," replied Ozana. "Something has taken place in
Oz of which I was not aware. I can feel the change now that we are
actually over the Land of Oz. I am trying to discover what has happened
by means of my fairy powers. I am afraid, too, that the journey is
taking longer than I expected, and we shall not be able to arrive
before Ozma and Glinda."

At a signal from their mistress the three swans quickened their already
swift flight.

Again and again Ozana consulted the sun, and her appearance became
more grave and worried as they approached the Emerald City.

Suddenly the Fairy Princess's expression changed. A look of anger
and dismay clouded her face, and the next instant she cried out
beseechingly:

"Forgive me, my friends! I now understand all that has happened. The
Mimics have cunningly outwitted me!"



CHAPTER 14

The Mimic Monarchs Lock Themselves In


Back in the Emerald City a great deal had been happening while Dorothy
and the Wizard were adventuring on Mount Illuso.

You will recall that Toto had startled the Oz people by trotting into
the Grand Dining Room and declaring that it was not Dorothy who sat at
the head of the table. You see, in some ways animals are wiser than
human beings. King Umb and Queen Ra were able to fool the Oz people
just by _looking_ like Dorothy and the Wizard, but they couldn't
deceive the keen senses of the little dog so easily. Toto's animal
instinct warned him that this was not his beloved mistress Dorothy nor
his old friend the Wizard. When Toto made his astonishing assertion
every eye in the dining room turned questioningly upon the Mimic King
and Queen.

Suddenly Queen Ra leaped to her feet. Grasping King Umb by the arm and
hissing, "Hurry, you fool!" she pulled the Mimic King after her and the
two dashed from the dining room.

For a moment everyone was too startled to move--except Toto. He sped
like an arrow after the fleeing monarchs.

The quick-witted Scarecrow broke the spell by leaping to his feet and
following with awkward haste after the dog. Instantly there rose a
clamor of startled exclamations and bewildered questions from the Oz
people who were thrown into confusion by these strange happenings.

By the time the Scarecrow had reached the corridor, King Umb, Queen Ra
and Toto were nowhere in sight. But the straw man could hear Toto's
excited barking. Following in the direction of the sound, down one
corridor and up another, the Scarecrow arrived in the wing of the
palace usually occupied by Ozma, and found Toto barking before a closed
door. The little dog's eyes flashed angrily.

When Toto saw the Scarecrow, he stopped barking and said, "I was just
too late. They slammed the door in my face and now I suppose it is
locked." The Scarecrow attempted to turn the knob with his stuffed hand
and found that, as Toto suspected, the door was locked.

"Do you know what room this is?" Toto asked.

"Of course," replied the Scarecrow, "it's Ozma's Chamber of Magic."

"Yes," went on the little dog, "the same room where the imitation
Dorothy and Wizard have shut themselves in all day. Why? I want to
know! I tell you, Scarecrow, there's something awfully funny going on
here."

The straw man was thoughtful. "I agree with you, Toto. Something is
happening that we don't understand. We must find out what it is. I
believe the wisest thing we can do is to return to the dining room and
hold a council to talk this thing over. Maybe we will be able to find
an explanation."

Silently the little dog agreed, and a short time later a group of the
best-loved companions of Dorothy and the Wizard was gathered in a
living room adjoining the Grand Dining room. The Scarecrow presided
over the meeting.

"All we really know," he began, "is that Dorothy and the Wizard have
been acting very strangely today--the second day of the absence of Ozma
and Glinda. Toto insists that they are not Dorothy and the Wizard at
all."

"Lan' sakes!" exclaimed Dorothy's Aunt Em, "I'll admit the child ain't
been herself today, but it's down-right silly to say that our Dorothy's
someone else. I ought to know my own niece!"

"Em, you're a-gittin' all mixed up," cautioned Uncle Henry. "You jest
now said Dorothy ain't been herself today--that means she must be
somebody else."

"But who could look so much like Dorothy and the Wizard?" queried Betsy
Bobbin with a frown.

"And why should anyone wish to deceive us?" asked tiny Trot.

Now Cap'n Bill spoke up. "S'posin'," began the old sailor gruffly,
"that we admit fer the moment that this _ain't_ the real Dorothy and
the Wizard. Then the most important thing is--where _are_ the real
Dorothy and the Wizard?"

"That's the smartest thing that's been said yet," declared Toto
earnestly, with an admiring glance at Cap'n Bill. "Here we are, wasting
time in talk, when something dreadful may be happening to Dorothy and
the Wizard. Let's get busy and find them quickly."

"Maybe they're lost," suggested Button Bright. "If that's the case
there's nothing to worry about, 'cause I've been lost lots of times and
I always got found again." But no one paid any attention to the boy.

With her yarn hair dangling before her eyes, the Patchwork Girl danced
to the front of the gathering. "The trouble with you people," she
asserted, "is that you don't know how to add two and two and get four."

"What do you mean by that, Scraps?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Just this," retorted the stuffed girl, saucily making a face at the
Scarecrow. "What did we overhear Dorothy and the Wizard discussing
today in the garden? Magic! They were talking about a magic spell
which they hoped to find before Ozma and Glinda returned. All right.
Now where did Dorothy and the Wizard spend most of the day and where
have they fled just now to lock themselves in? To Ozma's Chamber of
_Magic_!" The Patchwork Girl concluded triumphantly, "Mark my words
there's magic behind all this, and the secret is hidden in Ozma's
Chamber of Magic."

With his chin in his hand, the Scarecrow was regarding Scraps in silent
admiration. "Sometimes," he said, "I almost believe your head is
stuffed with the same quality of brains the Wizard put in mine."

"Nope!" denied Scraps emphatically. "It's not brains--just a little
common sense." And with that the irrepressible creature leaped to the
chandelier suspended from the ceiling and began chinning herself.

"Yes," agreed the Scarecrow with a sigh as he regarded her antics, "I
guess I was wrong about your brains."

"But what are we going to _do_? That's what I want to know," demanded
Toto impatiently.

"I believe," declared the Scarecrow finally, "there is only one thing
we _can_ do. We must go to Ozma's Chamber of Magic and try to persuade
this strange Dorothy and the Wizard to admit us. If they refuse, then
we shall be obliged to break open the door and demand an explanation of
their mysterious behavior."

"Good!" exclaimed Toto. "Let us go at once."

They all filed out of the room and made their way to Ozma's Chamber of
Magic. The door was still locked. Several times the Scarecrow called to
Dorothy and the Wizard to open the door and admit them, but there was
no response. Then Cap'n Bill stepped forward. He knew what was expected
of him as the biggest and strongest of the group. He placed a shoulder
against the door and pushed. The door creaked and yielded. Again Cap'n
Bill pushed. This time the door yielded more noticeably. Upon the third
trial the door suddenly gave way before the old sailor man's weight,
and the Scarecrow followed by Scraps, Trot, Betsy Bobbin, Button Bright
and the rest crowded into Ozma's Chamber of Magic.



CHAPTER 15

In the Chamber of Magic


When Queen Ra seized King Umb by the arm and fled with him from the
dining room, the Mimic Queen was alarmed. She realized it was useless
to attempt to deceive Toto, and she greatly feared the little dog would
succeed in convincing the Scarecrow and the others that something had
happened to Dorothy and the Wizard.

Fear lent speed to the Queen's feet as she ran down the corridor,
dragging King Umb after her, with Toto in close pursuit. She slammed
the door of the Chamber of Magic and locked it just in time to prevent
Toto's entry. Then she flung herself in a chair, gasping for breath.

When King Umb, who was even more frightened than his Queen, had got his
breath and could speak, he said raspingly, "So this is the way your
plan works--a miserable dog robs us of success!"

"Silence!" commanded Queen Ra angrily. "We are far from defeated. We
still have time to find the magic spell. And we will! We were fools to
give up the search and go to that silly dinner," she concluded bitterly.

She turned to Ozma's magic books and began feverishly leafing through
them. For perhaps ten minutes she continued her search fruitlessly.
Flung carelessly on the floor at her side was a great pile of books
through which she had previously looked in vain for the magic spell.
Only four books remained to be searched through.

While King Umb watched nervously, the Queen continued her frantic
quest. Now only two books remained. The magic spell must be in one of
these two volumes. Suddenly Queen Ra leaped to her feet with a cry of
triumph. "I have found it!" she announced with exultation. She tore a
page from the book and cast the volume to the floor.

"Come," she urged, "Let us return to Mount Illuso as speedily as
possible. Soon we will come again to Oz. But we will not be alone!"
Both Ra and Umb laughed with wicked satisfaction.

Just then the Scarecrow called to Dorothy and the Wizard to open the
door and admit them.

"Fools!" muttered Queen Ra. "In a short time you will all be my slaves."

Pausing to pick up Dorothy's Magic Belt, Queen Ra walked to a large
French window that looked down on the palace court-yard. Turning to
King Umb, she said, "These hateful shapes can serve us no longer,
so let us discard them and be on our way." Instantly the figures of
Dorothy and the Wizard vanished and in their places appeared two great,
black birds with huge, powerful wings.

Just as Cap'n Bill burst open the door, and the Scarecrow and the rest
crowded into the room, the birds flew from the window.

The little group hurried to the window and looked out. High above
the palace and swiftly disappearing in the night, flew two enormous
bat-like birds. The night was too dark and the birds too far away
for any of the Oz people to see that one of the creatures clutched
Dorothy's Magic Belt. While Queen Ra had not yet learned how to
command the many wonderful powers of the Magic Belt (or she would most
certainly have used the belt to transport herself and Umb to the Mimic
Land in the twinkling of an eye), nevertheless she had no intention of
leaving the valuable talisman behind to be used by the Oz people.

More bewildered than ever, the Scarecrow and his companions turned from
the window.

"I told you so!" declared Toto excitedly. "You see--those creatures
were not Dorothy and the Wizard at all."

"You are right," said the Scarecrow, "those great birds must be the
same beings that we thought were Dorothy and the Wizard."

"Certainly," replied Toto. "You can see for yourself that Dorothy and
the Wizard are not here."

It was true enough. There was no trace of Dorothy or the Wizard in the
Chamber of Magic.

"But who were those creatures? And why did they want us to believe they
were Dorothy and the Wizard? And what has happened to the real Dorothy
and the Wizard?" the Scarecrow asked helplessly.

"Why not look in the Magic Picture and find out?" asked the Patchwork
Girl, as she danced about the room.

"Of course, the very thing!" exclaimed the Scarecrow. "Why didn't I
think of that myself?"

"Because your brains are of an extraordinary quality," retorted Scraps,
"and you can't be expected to think common-sense thoughts."

The Magic Picture which hung on a wall in Ozma's boudoir was one of the
rarest treasures in all Oz. Ordinarily the picture presented merely an
attractive view of a pleasant countryside with rolling fields and a
forest in the background. But when anyone stood in front of the picture
and asked to see a certain person--anywhere in the world--the painted
picture faded and was replaced by the moving image of the person named
and his or her surroundings at that exact time.

The Scarecrow and his companions gathered about the Magic Picture and
the straw man said solemnly, "I want to see Dorothy and the Wizard."
Instantly the painted scene faded and in its place appeared the
interior of Hi-Lo's little cottage. Dorothy and the Wizard were just
about to sit down to the food Mrs. Hi-Lo had prepared for them.

"I wonder who those two funny little people are?" murmured Trot,
fascinated by the quaint appearance of Mr. and Mrs. Hi-Lo.

"They are not familiar to me," observed the Scarecrow reflectively,
"nor have I ever seen a cottage quite like that one in the Land of Oz."

For a time the group watched in silence while Dorothy and the Wizard
ate their food and conversed with Mr. and Mrs. Hi-Lo. But at length, as
nothing of importance occurred, the Scarecrow said:

"Even though we don't know where Dorothy and the Wizard are, at least
the Magic Picture has shown us they are safe for the moment and we
don't need to worry about them."

"Why not use Dorothy's Magic Belt to wish Dorothy and the Wizard back
here in the palace?" Trot asked suddenly as she stared at the images in
the Magic Picture.

"An excellent suggestion!" agreed the Scarecrow, his face beaming.
"Trot, I believe you have solved our problem," he said admiringly.

The Scarecrow knew that when Dorothy was not wearing her Magic Belt
on a journey, it was always kept in Ozma's Chamber of Magic. So the
straw man went there himself to get the belt. A few minutes later he
returned and announced gloomily, "It's gone. The Magic Belt is nowhere
in the Chamber of Magic. Either Ozma took it with her, or it has been
stolen. The Magic Picture has shown us that Dorothy is not wearing the
belt."

Disappointment was reflected on everyone's face, and for a moment no
one spoke. Then the Scarecrow declared, "My friends, there remains only
one more thing for us to do."

"What is that?" asked Cap'n Bill.

"One of us must leave immediately for Glinda's castle in the Quadling
Country to consult Glinda's Great Book of Records. The book will
provide us with a complete account of all that has happened to Dorothy
and the Wizard."

"A wise suggestion," agreed Cap'n Bill. "Who will go?"

"I will," volunteered Dorothy's Uncle Henry quickly. "I want to do
everything possible to bring Dorothy back to us and it 'pears to me we
can't do much of anything until we know what has happened to her."

"Good!" exclaimed the Scarecrow. "You can leave at once. I will order
Ozma's wooden Sawhorse to carry you to Glinda's Castle and back. But
even though the Sawhorse is swift and tireless, you will not be able
to make the journey, consult the Great Book of Records and return to
the Emerald City before Ozma and Glinda come back day after tomorrow.
That is too bad. The disappearance of Dorothy and the Wizard and all
this mystery will not provide a very cheerful homecoming for Ozma and
Glinda. But at least we shall have the information contained in the
Great Book of Records, and then Ozma and Glinda will know best what to
do."

Uncle Henry kissed Aunt Em good-bye and hurried to the Royal Stable
where the Sawhorse was waiting for him.

"I understand," said the queer steed, whose body and head were made
from a tree trunk, "that we're going to Glinda's castle in the Quadling
Country."

"That's right," nodded Uncle Henry. "And this is no pleasure trip, so
go as fast as you can."

Glancing at Uncle Henry for a moment from one of his eyes which were
knots in the wood, the Sawhorse turned, as soon as Uncle Henry was
mounted, and dashed down the stable driveway into the street leading
to the gates of the Emerald City. Once outside the city, the Sawhorse
ran so swiftly that its legs, which were merely sticks of wood which
Ozma had caused to be shod with gold, fairly twinkled. It sped with a
rolling, cradle-like motion over fields and hills, and Uncle Henry had
to hold on for dear life.

Perhaps I should explain that Glinda's Great Book of Records is a
marvelous book in which everything that happens, from the slightest
detail to the most important event taking place anywhere in the world,
is recorded the same instant that it happens. No occurrence is too
trivial to appear in the book. If a naughty child stamps its foot in
anger, or if a powerful ruler plunges his country into war, both
events are noted in the book, as of equal importance.

The huge book lies open on a great table, occupying the center of
Glinda's study and is bound to the table by large chains of gold. Next
to Ozma's Magic Picture, Glinda's Great Book of Records is the most
valuable treasure in Oz. The Scarecrow knew that by consulting this
wonderful book, Uncle Henry would be able to discover exactly what had
happened to Dorothy and the Wizard.

The Scarecrow and Scraps, having no need for sleep, sat before the
Magic Picture all night long conversing quietly and occasionally
glancing at the images of Dorothy and the Wizard as the picture showed
them sleeping in Hi-Lo's cottage.

The rest of the Oz people retired to their bedrooms, but none of them
slept well that night. They were far too worried over the plight of
Dorothy and the Wizard to rest easily.



CHAPTER 16

A Web Is Woven


Arriving at Mount Illuso early the following morning, King Umb and
Queen Ra passed the day secluded in the secret cavern where the Queen
was accustomed to study the dark sorcery of the Erbs and practice her
evil magic. This cavern was so well hidden, far in the depths of Mount
Illuso, and its location was so closely guarded, that only a few of the
most faithful subjects of the Mimic King and Queen were aware of its
existence.

While Queen Ra's shape was that of a woman, her body was covered with
a heavy fur of a reddish-brown color, and her head was that of a fox
with a long snout and sharply pointed ears. Two green eyes blazed with
a fierce light from her furry face. In her hand the fox-woman held
a brass whistle on which she blew a shrill blast. In answer to this
summons came the Mimic known as Ebo. Ebo wore the body of a jackal with
the head of a serpent.

"Go to the Cave of the Doomed and bring the two prisoners to me at
once," the Queen commanded.

"Yes, your Highness," hissed Ebo as he swayed his serpent head in
obeisance and left the cavern.

"We might as well have a little fun while we wait for midnight,"
grinned the fox head of the woman evilly.

King Umb appeared as a great, grey ape with cloven hoofs and the head
of a man. From the center of his forehead projected a single horn. The
man-face was covered with a shaggy, black beard which fell to the hairy
chest of the ape-body.

"What do you intend doing with the girl and the man?" asked the grey
ape.

"I shall practice transformations on the man, giving him a number of
unusual shapes and then perhaps combine them all into one interesting
creature. It is amazingly easy to change the shapes of humans, so
it will not be much of a feat of magic. Then, just before we leave
for the Emerald City, I shall change him into a salamander--a green
salamander instead of the ordinary red kind, of course, since he is
from the Emerald City--and then when we are over the Deadly Desert I
shall drop him into the sands. Salamanders are the only creatures that
can exist in the desert, so it will really be a merciful fate, since it
will not stop him from living."

"And the girl?" prompted King Umb.

"I think I shall keep the girl chained in my cavern to amuse me when
the excitement of conquering and devastating Oz is over and I am in
need of diversion," said Queen Ra.

While the Queen was relating her wicked plans, Ebo made his way to the
Cave of the Doomed and was amazed and terrified to find it empty. How
could there be an escape from the cave from which there was no exit
save the single stone door which was always closely guarded? The jackal
body of Ebo trembled with fear of the punishment he knew Queen Ra would
be quick to inflict on him. But there was nothing else for him to do
but to report the mysterious disappearance of the prisoners to the
Mimic King and Queen.

Queen Ra received the news with a scream of rage. Blowing on her brass
whistle, she summoned two other Mimics. Pointing to Ebo who cringed
with fear, she cried, "Carry him away and cast him into the Pit of
Forked Flames."

King Umb was uneasy. "I don't like this," he said. "How do we know that
the two mortals will not interfere with our plans to conquer Oz?"

"Bah! What can two weak mortals do in the face of our might?" demanded
the Queen derisively.

Knowing his wife's temper, King Umb refrained from reminding Ra that
the mortals had somehow miraculously succeeded in escaping from the
Cave of the Doomed. Instead, he merely shrugged his ape shoulders and
said, "Just the same, I wish we were on our way to Oz now, instead of
waiting until midnight."

Queen Ra glared at her husband. "I have told you that Lurline's
enchantment can be broken only at midnight. Tonight at twelve, I will
cast the spell which Lurline foolishly left in Ozma's possession.
Since it is the antidote to the enchantment which protects Oz from
the Mimics, Lurline knew Ozma would guard it most carefully. But we
succeeded in stealing it. Once the spell is cast, the Mimics will be
free in all their power to attack Oz and enslave its people. I tell
you, Umb, the famous Land of Oz is doomed. In a few short hours it will
be a shambles. Nothing can save it!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A few minutes before the hour of midnight, the Mimic hordes assembled
in the vast domed cavern which forms that portion of hollow Mount
Illuso that towers above the earth.

In the center of the cavern on a stone dais stood King Umb and Queen
Ra. The Mimic Queen lifted her arms and immediately silence fell over
the shifting mass of evil beings.

The Queen held in her hand a small box of black enameled wood. Placing
the box on the stone dais before her, she raised the lid and muttered
an incantation. Immediately there crawled from the box a scarlet spider
as large as the Queen's hand. At the first word of the incantation
the spider began to grow. In a few seconds its body was four feet in
thickness, and its hairy legs sprawled to a distance of fifteen feet
from its body which was covered with a crimson fur.

"Now go," Queen Ra commanded the spider, "and weave the web that will
enmesh the fairy enchantment that hangs over us!"

The Mimic hordes parted to make a path through their midst for the
spider. The loathsome creature scuttled first to the wall of the
cavern, and then climbed up the side of the wall. In a few seconds it
had reached the top of the cavern.

Then, moving with incredible speed, it wove a monster spider web of
crimson strands as thick and tough as heavy rope cables.

Queen Ra watched silently until the fashioning of the scarlet web was
completed. At that moment she cried aloud for all to hear:

"So long as this web remains unbroken, the Mimics are freed from the
enchantment cast on them by Lurline! The web is a snare and a net for
Lurline's fairy enchantment and holds every remnant of it caught fast
in its coils."

The Queen spoke triumphantly, and well she might, for the magic spell
she had stolen from Ozma had worked perfectly.

"Come!" shouted Queen Ra. "Let us tarry no longer. We have waited too
many years for this hour!"

With this the Mimic King and Queen assumed the shapes of giant birds
and soared through the cavern to the stone portal. The throngs of their
Mimic subjects followed, beating the air with great, leathery wings as
they passed from the cavern into the night.

Soon the sky above Mount Illuso was darkened with the great numbers of
the Mimic horde, and the light of the moon was blotted from the earth
by the flapping wings.

Following the lead of King Umb and Queen Ra, they headed straight for
the Deadly Desert and the Land of Oz.



CHAPTER 17

The Mimics in the Emerald City


On the morning when the Mimic hordes swept over the border of the
Deadly Desert and the Winkie Country and on to the Emerald City, Button
Bright and the Patchwork Girl were playing leap-frog in the garden of
the Royal Palace.

Cap'n Bill was sitting nearby on a bench in the sun, carving on a block
of wood with his big jack-knife. The old sailor man worked slowly
and painstakingly, but when he finished he knew he would have a good
likeness of Princess Ozma's lovely features carved in the wood. This
he planned to mount as a figurehead on the prow of the boat he was
building as a surprise for Ozma.

Suddenly Button Bright, who had tumbled flat on his back, cried out:

"Look! Look at those birds!"

Scraps swept her yarn hair out of her button eyes and tilted her head
back. The sky was darkening with a great cloud of birds. And what
beautiful creatures those birds were!

    "Birds of a feather
      Flock together.
    Red, blue, green and gold
      Match my patches, bold.

    "Not a grey topknot
      In the whole lot!
    See the popinjay
      Flirt its colors gay..."

cried the Patchwork Girl, dancing about in wild excitement.

"Stop it, Scraps!" commanded Button Bright who was nearly as excited as
the stuffed girl.

"Trot, Betsy, Ojo, Scarecrow!" the boy called. "Come out and see the
pretty birds!"

Of course this taking the forms of gorgeous plumed birds was a clever
part of Queen Ra's cunning scheme. She knew the beauty of the birds,
instead of alarming the Oz people, would fascinate them. The Queen
hoped by this wily stratagem to take the Oz inhabitants completely by
surprise with no thought of danger in their minds.

The scheme worked even better than Queen Ra dared dream.

Ojo the Lucky, Aunt Em, the Scarecrow, Betsy Bobbin, Trot, Jellia Jamb,
and all the others came hurrying from the Royal Palace, while from the
Royal Stable came the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger, Hank the Mule,
the Woozy and others of the animal friends of the palace residents.
Gathering in the gardens and court-yard, they all stared up in wonder
at the beautiful birds.

Outside the grounds of the Royal Palace, much the same thing was
happening throughout the Emerald City. Those people who were out of
doors witnessing the spectacle called to those who were indoors, urging
them to hurry out and see the lovely visitors. It was no time at all
until every building in the city was emptied of its curious inhabitants.

This was just what the Mimics wanted. With the people of the Emerald
City standing in the daylight, plainly casting their shadows, Queen Ra
gave a signal and the Mimic birds ceased their slow circling in the
sky for the enjoyment of the Oz people and dropped down to the city.
King Umb and Queen Ra led those birds which settled in the palace
court-yard and gardens.

A bird with brilliant scarlet and royal purple feathers and a topknot
of gleaming gold alighted close to Trot. The little girl stepped
forward with delight to stroke the bird's lovely plumage. Instantly
the creature vanished and in its place stood a perfect duplicate of
Trot, while the real Trot was frozen in her tracks, unable to move.
Mystified at suddenly seeing _two_ Trots before him, Cap'n Bill rose
from his bench and started toward them. But he was confronted by one
of the giant birds and an instant later the old sailor man was unable
to move. He could only stare with amazement at an exact double of
himself--wooden leg and all. Button Bright was about to leap playfully
on the back of another bird when he fell to the ground powerless
to move. At the same moment the bird vanished and the boy's double
appeared in its place.

And so it went throughout the Emerald City. The friendly Oz people
were delighted that the lovely birds should approach so near that they
might be treated to a closer view of their gorgeous plumage, which,
it must be admitted, was exceedingly beautiful. Only the eyes of the
birds betrayed their true natures. They flamed a fierce red. One or
two of the Oz people, upon meeting the glare of those piercing eyes,
were alarmed and would have turned and fled. But it was too late. In a
few minutes, all the human inhabitants of the Emerald City were made
captives.

However, the Mimics were able to steal the shapes only of human beings.

The Scarecrow, the Patchwork Girl, Tik-Tok, the Glass Cat, Billina the
Yellow Hen, the Woozy, Toto, Hank the Mule, the Cowardly Lion and the
Hungry Tiger remained unchanged. Fearing the mule, the lion and the
tiger might prove dangerous because of their size, Queen Ra quickly
placed a magic spell on the three beasts that caused them to fall on
the court-yard lawn in a deep sleep.

The Scarecrow, Scraps, Tik-Tok and the others who had escaped the magic
of the Mimics were completely confused by these sudden and baffling
events. The stuffed girl rubbed her suspender button eyes and gazed
with disbelief at _two_ Button Brights--which one was it she had been
playing with only a few minutes before? And there were _two_ Aunt Ems
and _two_ Jellia Jambs! Wondering if the world had somehow suddenly
become double, the bewildered Patchwork Girl looked about for her own
twin.

Of all the horde of beautiful birds that had settled on the Emerald
City, only two remained in the Royal Gardens. These were King Umb and
Queen Ra. At this point the Mimic King and Queen cast off their bird
forms. A strange man and woman suddenly appeared in the midst of the
Oz people and the Mimic-Oz-people. The woman was big, raw-boned and
red-skinned. Her hair was twisted on her head in a hard black knot, on
which was set a small golden crown. The Scarecrow started with surprise
when he saw that the strange woman was wearing Dorothy's Magic Belt.
(Until now the belt had been concealed by the plumage of Ra's bird
form.) Queen Ra had brought the Magic Belt with her because of its
wonderful powers which she had been studying and which she felt would
be useful in carrying out the conquest of Oz. Beside the woman stood a
giant man with a flowing black beard and tangled black hair. His eyes
were fierce and hawklike.

Quickly Queen Ra uttered a command, at which a number of the
Mimic-Oz-people leaped forward and proceeded to bind the non-human
Ozites with strong ropes, which the magic of Queen Ra placed in their
hands.

To his amazement, the Scarecrow found himself being made captive by
Cap'n Bill and Ojo the Lucky. The straw man was wise enough to know
that these twin likenesses were not really his old friends, Cap'n Bill
and Ojo, so he resisted with all his might. But the poor Scarecrow's
body was so light that the Mimics had no difficulty in fastening the
ropes about him and pinning his arms to his sides.

Scraps was more of a problem. It required the combined efforts of the
Mimic Jellia Jamb, Aunt Em, Betsy Bobbin and Button Bright to bind her.
But even with these odds none of the Mimics escaped without scratches
on his face from Scraps' gold plated finger nails.

Tik-Tok, the Woozy, the Glass Cat and the rest were all securely bound
in a few more seconds.

While our friends were being made prisoners, King Umb and Queen Ra
hastened away to the Throne Room of the Royal Palace. There the
prisoners of the Mimics were carried into the presence of the Mimic
King and Queen. The Scarecrow and the others were shocked and outraged
at the spectacle of the harsh-looking woman brazenly occupying Ozma's
throne, while at her side stood the fierce-visaged man.

The Mimic Ojo and Button Bright lined up the captives before the
throne, while Queen Ra regarded them scornfully.

"A pair of stuffed dummies, an animated washing machine, and a
menagerie," she commented derisively.

"I demand," shouted the Scarecrow boldly, "that you release us
immediately!"

"Ah! The famous Scarecrow of Oz!" gloatingly exclaimed Queen Ra. "And
as brave as ever! I believe I will have your body destroyed by fire,
first removing your head so that you will be able to entertain me with
your wise thoughts. It would be a shame," she added with sarcasm, "if
such great brains were lost to the world."

Now the one thing in the world the Scarecrow feared was a lighted
match, so it is no wonder that, brave as he was, he shrank before so
terrible a fate as that proposed by the wicked Queen.

"You will not get a-way with this," warned Tik-Tok in his mechanical
voice. "You will sure-ly be pun-ish-ed for your wick-ed-ness and e-vil
do-ing."

"And you are Tik-Tok the Machine Man," said Queen Ra. "As useless a
pile of rubbish as was ever assembled. I shall have you carefully taken
apart, piece by piece, and amuse myself in my spare time by trying to
put you back together again like a jig-saw puzzle."

"My ma-chin-er-y does not per-mit me to fear," replied Tik-Tok calmly,
"e-ven when I am thor-ough-ly wound up, so you are wast-ing your
threats on me."

The evil Queen went down the line of captives, plotting terrible fates
for each of them. Billina, she predicted, would soon be roasted for
dinner. The Patchwork Girl would become a combination pin-cushion
and personal slave. The Glass Cat would be melted down into marbles.
Finally she came to the last of the prisoners--the square shaped
Woozy--whom Ra promised to have chopped into cubes for building blocks.

It was at this moment that the Scarecrow became aware that with the
exceptions of Hank the Mule and the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger,
who lay sleeping in the court-yard, all the animals of the Royal
Palace were present--save the Sawhorse, who was at that moment swiftly
bearing Uncle Henry back to the Emerald City from Glinda's Castle in
the Quadling Country--and one other.

That other was--Toto!



CHAPTER 18

The Return of Ozma and Glinda


After his first sense of joy at finding that Toto had somehow escaped
capture, the Scarecrow reflected more soberly that even though the
little dog was free there was nothing he could do to rescue his friends
from their desperate plight.

But the Scarecrow had been in dangerous situations before, so he did
not give up hope by any means. While Queen Ra was gloating over her
prisoners, the Scarecrow's famous brains were hard at work. Suddenly
it occurred to the straw man that Ozma and Glinda were to return to
the Emerald City at ten o'clock this morning. It was almost that time
now. If only he could engage the wicked Queen in conversation until
Ozma and Glinda appeared, then the Royal Ruler and the Good Sorceress
might take their enemies by surprise. The Scarecrow was confident that
Ozma would be able to deal with these usurpers to her throne.

With this plan in mind, the Scarecrow cried out in a bold voice: "I
demand to know what you have done with Dorothy and the Wizard!" When he
had witnessed the peculiar manner in which the gaudily plumed birds had
assumed the shapes of his human friends in the garden, the Scarecrow
had first suspected that these creatures were responsible for the
disappearance of Dorothy and the Wizard. Then the sight of Dorothy's
Magic Belt about the waist of the big woman had convinced him of the
truth of his suspicions.

Queen Ra answered the Scarecrow with a scornful laugh. "You are quite
brave, my blustering, straw-stuffed dummy, but your braveness will do
you no good. As for your Princess Dorothy and the man who calls himself
a wizard, you will never see them again. Furthermore," the Queen went
on, "as soon as I have suitably disposed of you and the rest of these
animated creatures and beasts, I will use the Magic Belt to transport
the helpless bodies of all the Oz people in the Emerald City to Mount
Illuso, where they will share the same fate as your Dorothy and her
wizard friend."

In spite of the assurance with which she spoke, the evil Queen was
uneasy when she recalled the disappearance of Dorothy and the Wizard
from the Cave of the Doomed. Had she underestimated the Wizard's powers
of magic? Queen Ra shrugged this thought from her mind. What had she
to fear from two mere mortals? What had she to fear from anyone now?
The Emerald City was hers and Oz was as good as conquered!

"Do not heed the threats of this wicked woman!" the Scarecrow called to
his captive companions. "She is boasting too soon!"

At these words Queen Ra turned angrily upon the Scarecrow.

"Enough of your insolence, miserable wretch!" she cried. "I will show
you who is boasting. Since you dare challenge me, I will destroy you
immediately!"

Her eyes flashing with rage, Queen Ra leaped from the throne and moved
toward the Scarecrow. When she was about six feet from him, Ra paused
and muttered an incantation. Instantly dancing flames of fire leaped
from the marble floor of the throne room, making a circle around the
Scarecrow. With a smile of satisfaction, Queen Ra resumed her place on
Ozma's throne to enjoy the spectacle in comfort.

The dancing circle of fire moved swiftly inward. As the blazing circle
grew smaller in circumference, the flames leaped ever higher and closer
to the helpless Scarecrow, who stood in the circle's exact center.
The leaping fire had moved so close to the Scarecrow that it almost
scorched his stuffed clothing. The friends of the Scarecrow watched in
horror. Prisoners themselves, there was nothing they could do to save
their old comrade from this terrible fate.

"Whish!"

There was a sudden rush of air, and in the center of the throne room
stood Princess Ozma and Glinda the Good on the exact spot from which
they had vanished three days before.

Ozma swept the throne room with a glance that instantly comprehended
the Scarecrow's great danger. In another moment her old friend would
be reduced to a pile of smoldering ashes. Quick as a flash, the little
Princess pointed her fairy wand at the flames that were licking the
straw man's boots. While the onlookers blinked, the flames vanished. A
long sigh of relief went up from the Scarecrow's friends.

Queen Ra was glaring with terrible rage at the Royal Ozma, who advanced
calmly toward the wicked Queen with an expression of stern dignity on
her girlish features.

"Who are you, and what are you doing on my throne?" Ozma asked.

"_Your_ throne no longer!" replied Ra harshly. "For you are no longer
ruler of the Land of Oz. Instead you are my prisoner, and soon I will
make it impossible for you to interfere with my plans as you have just
done."

The stately Glinda spoke now, her voice grave and thoughtful.

"I believe I know who you are," she said. "You must be the Queen of the
evil Mimics. I have read about you in my Great Book of Records."

"If this is true," said Ozma sorrowfully, "then your Mimic hordes are
these creatures who so closely resemble my own beloved subjects, while
the true Oz people are robbed of the power of motion by your evil
spell."

"Good!" sneered Ra. "I am glad you understand everything so well. You
have not a friend in the Emerald City to aid you. Everyone of your
subjects in the city is a victim of the Mimic magic. Soon this will be
true of all the Land of Oz. I am sure you will agree with me," Queen Ra
went on mockingly, "that it is only fair and just that you should share
your subjects' fate. Indeed I know you are so foolishly loyal that you
would not escape and leave your people to suffer even if you could. So
King Umb and I, ourselves, will oblige you by making it possible for
you to join your beloved subjects. Owing to your high rank as the two
most powerful persons in the Land of Oz, we will do you the honor of
taking your shapes."

Concluding this triumphant speech, Queen Ra grinned with malicious
satisfaction and said gloatingly, "At last the Royal Ozma and the Great
Glinda bow to a power greater than their own! Come," she called to King
Umb, "you take the form of Glinda, I will take that of Ozma."

With this the Mimic Monarchs advanced on Ozma and Glinda. The little
Ruler and Glinda the Good were silent. Both realized that Queen Ra had
spoken the truth when she had declared their powers to be useless
against the Mimics. Therefore the girl Ruler and the Sorceress made no
effort to combat their enemies, but stood bravely and proudly awaiting
their fate.

At that very moment when King Umb and Queen Ra were about to seize the
shadows of Ozma and Glinda, a small, black form streaked with the speed
of light from underneath Ozma's throne straight to the menacing figures
of the Mimic King and Queen. It was Toto! With fierce growls and barks
he began worrying and snapping at the ankles of the Mimic Monarchs.

The sudden appearance of the little dog and his desperate attack took
Ra and Umb completely by surprise. For a moment they entirely forgot
Ozma and Glinda and devoted all their efforts to freeing themselves
from the snapping jaws of the furiously snarling little dog.

This respite which Toto had so bravely won saved Ozma and Glinda from
sharing the fate of their subjects. A few seconds after Toto's attack,
there suddenly appeared in the entrance of the throne room three
figures, two of whom the Scarecrow joyfully recognized as Dorothy and
the Little Wizard. They were accompanied by a maiden who was unknown
to the Scarecrow but whose beauty was quite evident. For an instant
the trio stood in the doorway, surveying the strange scene that met
their eyes in Ozma's Royal Throne Room.



CHAPTER 19

Ozana's Fairy Arts


Swiftly Princess Ozana--for the maiden was she--advanced to the center
of the throne room. She was followed closely by the Wizard and Dorothy,
who bore in her arms the sleeping form of a tiny, white kitten.

At the appearance of Dorothy, Toto stopped worrying the ankles of King
Umb and Queen Ra and ran to meet the little girl. So happy was the
excited little dog to see his beloved mistress that he even ignored the
presence of the sleeping kitten. Dorothy knelt and caressed him.

Meanwhile, Queen Ra, recognizing Ozana, paled and gasped: "The Guardian
of Oz!"

"Yes," admitted Ozana calmly, "it is I, Princess Ozana."

King Umb was so terrified at the appearance of the little maiden that
the big fellow's knees knocked together and his face turned a sickly,
green hue.

But it cannot be said that Queen Ra lacked courage. After the first
shock of Ozana's appearance, the Queen summoned her spirits and faced
the fairy maid defiantly. Ra had determined not to give up her triumph
without a struggle.

Clasping her palms to Dorothy's Magic Belt, the Mimic Queen whispered a
command to it. But nothing happened.

Ozana divined what the Queen was about, but she only smiled.

In a rage, Queen Ra tore the useless belt from her waist and flung it
to the throne room floor.

"You should know better," Ozana gently chided the infuriated Queen,
"than to attempt to work such simple magic on me. Even if you had
succeeded in transforming me into a wooden doll, I would still have
retained my fairy powers and been able to defeat you."

Fright and realization that she was defeated mingled in Queen Ra's eyes
as she stared at Ozana. The unhappy Queen said not a word. She sat
spellbound, gazing with fearful fascination at the serene features of
her girlish opponent.

Ozana was speaking with an air of calm justice. "Because I appeared
absorbed in my own occupations," she addressed Queen Ra, "you counted
me harmless. You believed I would be unaware of your evil-doing. You
thought you could attack Oz without my knowing it. But you were wrong.
And now the time has come for me to fulfill the trust placed in me
by Queen Lurline when she made me Guardian of Oz. At that time she
imparted to me the same powers over the race of Mimics that only she,
of all fairies, possesses. I shall use those powers as Queen Lurline
would wish me to. I shall place her enchantment once more on the Mimics
so that they will be powerless to steal the shapes of all who dwell
in the Land of Oz. At the same time, the re-weaving of this fairy
enchantment will release all those Oz people whose shapes are now held
by the Mimics."

As Ozana completed this speech, she described a large circle in the air
before her with her fairy wand. Immediately that space was filled with
a silvery, cloud-like radiance that glowed and shimmered. Then, while
Ozma and the rest watched, a scene appeared in the cloud of silver
mist. Dorothy and the Wizard recognized it as the interior of the
Mimic cavern inside hollow Mount Illuso. Far in the top of the cavern
they saw a scarlet spider web, in the center of which squatted a huge
crimson spider. While those in the throne room watched with fascinated
interest, the spider, seeming to sense that it was being observed,
scuttled with a sudden, crab-like motion to the outer edge of the web.
There it squatted, its eyes glowing like dull, red coals.

With the tip of her wand, Ozana touched the head of the image of the
spider. Instantly, the creature leaped into the air and trembled
convulsively, as though it had received an electric shock. Then it
began slowly to dissolve before their eyes. First its legs wilted, grew
shapeless and melted away. Next its body collapsed inwardly, like an
over-ripe melon, finally shriveling and disappearing altogether.

Now the spellbound spectators in the throne room saw a spot of silver
light appear on the outermost strand of the crimson web. The light
raced over every coil of the immense web, progressing swiftly to the
web's center. As fast as the silver light flashed along the scarlet
coils, they vanished. In a few seconds more not a trace remained of the
vast web or its loathsome occupant. The point of cleansing silver light
winked out; the image of the Mimic cavern faded; and the silver mist
vanished from the throne room.

At this same instant, shouts of joy and exchanges of affectionate
greetings rang through the Royal Palace and were echoed throughout the
Emerald City. The sound of these happy voices told Princess Ozma that
her beloved subjects were no longer under the spell of the Mimics.
In the throne room itself, the Mimic-Oz people, who had bound the
Scarecrow and his companions and brought them before King Umb and
Queen Ra, vanished. In their places stood Mimics in their variety of
repulsive animal and bird shapes. While the startled Oz people watched,
the Mimics flitted and shifted about the Royal Throne Room, changing
their forms in the manner peculiar to these creatures.

But for the moment the Mimics were forgotten, as all eyes were fastened
with admiration and gratitude on Princess Ozana.

Ozana smiled happily. "Queen Ra," she said, "you are now quite
powerless to harm the people of Oz."

Queen Ra, who had watched Ozana's fairy magic with fascinated interest,
knew she was utterly defeated. All her old arrogance and overbearing
manner vanished. With bowed head, she refrained from meeting the eyes
of Ozana or those of any of her former victims.



CHAPTER 20

In the Mirrored Ballroom


Now Ozma stepped forward. With happy tears of gratitude sparkling in
her eyes, she grasped the hands of Princess Ozana. "How can I ever
thank you for what you have done?"

Ozana seemed embarrassed. "The truth is," she admitted, "had I done my
duty, as Queen Lurline instructed, and watched the Mimics more closely,
the creatures would never have dared to invade Oz. I owe all of you my
humblest apology for this neglect of duty. The least I could do," she
added soberly, "was to right the wrongs already committed."

"Well," said Dorothy happily, "all's well that ends well, an' we think
you're fine, Ozana."

"Thank you, my dear," smiled Ozana, affectionately stroking the little
girl's hair.

"I think we owe Toto a great debt of thanks," observed the wise Glinda.
"Had it not been for the little dog's bravery, you and I, Ozma, would
have undergone the unpleasant experience of becoming Mimic victims."

"You are right," agreed Ozma, turning to the dog. "I had not forgotten
your brave action, Toto. Nothing Glinda and I can say or do will
properly reward you. Nevertheless I shall have made for you a handsome
new collar studded with emeralds and bearing your name in gold letters
as a slight token of our gratitude."

"Thank you, your Highness," said Toto shyly. "It was nothing, really.
When I saw the big birds stealing the shapes of Trot and Betsy and
Button Bright and all the others out in the garden, I was frightened so
I ran and hid under your throne. I could peep out and see everything
that was going on, and when the Mimic King and Queen threatened you and
Glinda I became so angry that I just forgot about everything else."

"Good dog!" said the Wizard, patting Toto's head.

Dorothy beamed proudly at her little pet.

"Dear me!" exclaimed Ozma, gazing at the Mimics in the throne room.
"How are we ever to transport all these creatures to their cavern
home? We can't have them here to overrun Oz, even though they are now
harmless," she added, shuddering with revulsion at the shifting shapes
of evil assumed by the Mimics.

"That is simple," said Ozana. "Is there a room in the palace with a
great many mirrors?"

"Yes," replied Ozma, "the Grand Ballroom which adjoins the throne
room--its walls and ceiling are composed entirely of mirrors."

"Then let us go to the ballroom," said Ozana.

Ozma and Glinda led Ozana to the entrance of the Grand Ballroom.
Dorothy and the Wizard and Toto followed.

Ozana paused before the great door which was flung wide open. In her
bell-like voice she murmured the words of a powerful fairy spell.
Immediately King Umb and Queen Ra, followed by the other Mimics in the
throne room, advanced as though they were in a trance to the portal of
the mirrored ballroom. Then they passed into the room itself. Ozana
continued to chant her fairy spell. Now came a whole procession of the
Mimic creatures, first from all over the Royal Palace and finally from
every part of the Emerald City. They came trooping in by the hundreds,
wearing a myriad of fantastic shapes and forms. At length the very
last Mimic had entered the ballroom, and, huge though the room was, it
seemed to the onlookers that it must surely be filled to overflowing
with the Mimic horde.

By this time, the Scarecrow, Scraps, Tik-Tok and the rest who had been
bound with ropes by the Mimics were freed and they with Trot, Cap'n
Bill, Betsy Bobbin, Button Bright and the others all crowded about the
entrance to look curiously into the ballroom. Even the Cowardly Lion,
the Hungry Tiger and Hank the Mule crowded into the throne room. The
three beasts had awakened from the sleep cast on them by Queen Ra when
Ozana had re-woven the spell that protected the Oz inhabitants.

"Why," rumbled the Cowardly Lion, "the room's empty!"

In a sense the lion was right. There was no one in the Grand Ballroom,
it was true. But Dorothy and the others could plainly see the flitting,
shifting shadow shapes of the Mimics in the mirrors that paneled the
walls and ceiling of the great room--shadow creatures caught and
confined in the depths of the mirrors!

"I wonder," Dorothy whispered, "what will become of them."



CHAPTER 21

The Shattering of the Mirrors


"Now we can send the Mimics back to Mount Illuso at will," said Ozana
in answer to Dorothy's question. "All we need to do is shatter the
mirrors and the Mimics will return to their gloomy realm, banished
forever from Oz."

It was Ozma who followed Ozana's suggestion and brought about the
breaking of the mirrors. The dainty ruler lifted her wand and murmured
a fairy charm. Instantly every mirror in the Grand Ballroom shivered
and shattered with a vast, tinkling sound. Not one of the scores of
mirrors in the great chamber was left whole.

"It would be too bad," Ozana remarked, "to mar permanently the beauty
of your lovely ballroom." She lifted her wand, and while the onlookers
blinked the mirrors were whole again. In their gleaming depths was no
trace of the Mimic horde. The Grand Ballroom was as splendid as ever.

As it was now nearing noon, Ozma graciously invited Ozana to join her
and Glinda with Dorothy and the Wizard, Aunt Em, Trot, Cap'n Bill,
Betsy Bobbin, Button Bright, the Scarecrow, Scraps and others of her
friends for luncheon in the dining room of her own Royal Suite.

Dorothy and the Wizard related their adventures on Mount Illuso, and
then the Scarecrow tried to make clear to Ozma, Glinda and Dorothy and
the Wizard everything that had happened in the Emerald City during
their absence. Scraps helped him out, and Betsy Bobbin reminded him of
things he had forgotten, while Trot chimed in, and Button Bright wanted
to tell the story his way. There was such a chatter it was a wonder
Ozma and the rest understood anything.

Just as the meal was about to end, there was a knock on the door and
Uncle Henry breathlessly entered the room. After Aunt Em and Dorothy
had hugged and kissed Uncle Henry, Dorothy told him how she had got
back to the Emerald City. (He had read an account of the rest of her
adventures in Glinda's Great Book of Records the night before.) Scraps,
helped out by Aunt Em, filled in the details of what had happened in
the Palace since he and the Sawhorse had left.

When they had finished, Uncle Henry exhibited several sheets of paper
closely filled with writing. "Here's the whole story of the Mimics. I
copied everything the Great Book of Records had to say about 'em, and
then I left Glinda's Castle last night, travelin' all night long so as
to get here as early today as possible. But I guess," he concluded,
gazing ruefully at the papers he carried, "these ain't much use
anymore."

"Not one of us could have done better than you did, Uncle Henry," Ozma
consoled him. "Instead of regretting your trip," she added wisely,
"let us instead be grateful that there is no longer any need for us to
concern ourselves with what the Great Book of Records has to say about
the Mimics."

Glinda announced that she must return to her Castle in the Quadling
Country, from which she had been absent too long. Bidding good-bye to
all her friends, the Great Sorceress was transported in the twinkling
of an eye by her magic art to her far-away Castle.

With Glinda's departure the rest of Ozma's guests began to take their
leave, until finally the Girl Ruler was alone with only Dorothy and
Ozana.

Ozma had noticed that throughout the merry luncheon, Ozana had appeared
quiet and subdued, as though she were deeply occupied with thoughts of
her own.

"Tell me," Ozma said gently, taking Princess Ozana's hand in her own,
"is there something troubling you, my dear?"

With a smile, Ozana replied, "Yes, Ozma, there is. Truthfully, I
dread returning to lonely Mount Illuso. In the short time I have been
privileged to enjoy the companionship of Dorothy and the Wizard, and
the society of the Oz people here in the Emerald City, I have come to
realize more than ever what a terribly lonely life I lead on Mount
Illuso. And," she added, gazing affectionately at Dorothy, "I have
become very fond of little Dorothy. I shall be very sorry indeed to
leave her and all the rest of you for that forsaken mountain top."

Ozma laughed softly. "Everyone loves our Princess Dorothy. But,"
and the Little Ruler's expression grew serious as she continued,
"I sympathize with you, Ozana. Perhaps there is a way out of your
predicament. Is there any real reason why you should return to Mount
Illuso? The Mimics are harmless enough now. We can follow their actions
in the Magic Picture and the Great Book of Records. And you can use
your fairy powers to control the Mimics from the Land of Oz as easily
as you could from the top of Mount Illuso."

"You mean--?" exclaimed Ozana eagerly.

"That we would like nothing better than to have you make your home here
in the Land of Oz," said Ozma warmly. "Furthermore it is my belief
that through your long years of lonely vigil on Mount Illuso, and your
courageous rescue of the people of Oz from the Mimics, you have more
than earned a home in Oz."

"Oh, Ozma, thank you!" exclaimed Ozana. And then she added doubtfully,
"Do you think Queen Lurline will give her consent?"

"I see no reason why she should not," answered Ozma. "It so happens
that I am to speak with Queen Lurline within the hour. We made
arrangements to confer this afternoon on some important happenings in
the great outside world. During our conversation I will ask her about
your remaining in Oz."

"Thank you, Ozma," murmured Ozana. "I can't begin to tell you how
grateful I am."

"Now if you will excuse me," said Ozma, "I must prepare to establish
communication with Queen Lurline."

Arm in arm, Dorothy and Ozana made their way to Dorothy's rooms, where
they spent the next hour in conversation. Dorothy was well pleased with
the prospect of Ozana's making her home in Oz, for she believed the
Princess would be a delightful companion.

At last there came a gentle rap on the door, and Princess Ozma entered
Dorothy's room.

Ozana and Dorothy rose to their feet and looked questioningly at Ozma.

"It is all settled," the Girl Ruler announced with her brightest smile.
"Queen Lurline readily gave her consent. From this moment on, dear
cousin, you are no longer Ozana of Mount Illuso, but Ozana, Princess of
Oz."



CHAPTER 22

What the Magic Picture Revealed


After the first happy excitement over Ozma's news had subsided Ozana
grew serious and Dorothy thought she detected a note of sadness in the
Fairy Maid's voice as she said:

"There is one duty I must perform, Ozma, before I can begin my new
existence as an inhabitant of your lovely fairyland."

"What is that?" asked Ozma.

"I must restore the pine folk and their village to their original
forms, as part of the Pine Forest that covers the top of Mount Illuso.
Likewise, Story Blossom Garden must be returned to its original state,
that is, ordinary wild flowers blossoming in the forest."

"Why must you do that?" asked Dorothy.

"Since I am not to return to Mount Illuso, the pine folk and the garden
are left entirely to the mercy of the Mimics and other wicked creatures
who dwell in the Land of the Phanfasms. Quick transformation of the
mountain top to its original state is far better than destruction of
the village and the garden by creatures of evil."

Ozana's voice was tinged with real regret. "Ozma, may I look into your
Magic Picture to see the garden and the village just once more, before
I cause them to vanish forever?"

Ozma made no reply other than to nod and lead the way to her boudoir
where hung the Magic Picture. Dorothy was mystified by the expression
on the Little Ruler's face. She was sure Ozma was repressing a smile
and was secretly amused at something.

On the way to Ozma's boudoir, Dorothy, who had grown fond of Felina the
White Kitten, asked, "What about Felina, Ozana? Did you find her on
Mount Illuso?"

"No, indeed," Ozana explained. "Felina accompanied me when I first went
to Mount Illuso. She is my own pet. She is a fairy kitten and is as old
as I am--and that is many hundreds of years."

Standing before the Magic Picture, Ozana said quietly, "I wish to see
the Story Blossom Garden on Mount Illuso."

Instantly the Magic Picture's familiar country scene faded. In its
place appeared, not the lovely Story Blossom Garden, but a barren,
desert waste. Even the blue pond had disappeared. There was no sign of
any living thing in the dreary, desert scene.

"What can it mean?" Dorothy cried. "Ozma, do you think something's gone
wrong with the Magic Picture?"

Ozana paled slightly and her eyes were troubled as she spoke again, "I
wish to see the Village of Pineville on Mount Illuso."

This time the Magic Picture shifted only slightly to show a second
expanse of grey wasteland as gloomy and forbidding as the first.

"They are gone," cried Ozana in dismay. "The garden and the village are
gone!"

To the amazement of Ozana and Dorothy, Ozma met their consternation by
laughing merrily.

"Of course they are gone," the Little Ruler said, "because they are
here!"

"What do you mean?" asked Ozana.

"First of all," began Ozma, "you didn't think, did you, Ozana, that no
matter how much we wanted you to make your home with us, we would ask
you to sacrifice your lovely Story Blossom Garden and the quaint people
of your Village of Pineville? Queen Lurline and I discussed this matter
seriously and agreed we could not permit the garden and the village to
be destroyed. So, after I finished my conversation with Queen Lurline,
I consulted a map of the Land of Oz prepared by Professor Woggle Bug
and found just what I was looking for--a small mountain in the Quadling
Country, only a short distance to the south from the Emerald City and
not far from Miss Cuttenclip's interesting village. The top of this
mountain was about the same in area as the top of Mount Illuso, and it
was an uninhabited sandy waste. While you and Dorothy talked, I worked
a powerful fairy spell that transported the Pine Forest, the Village
of Pineville and the Story Blossom Garden to the Oz mountain top.
Hereafter that mountain will be known as Story Blossom Mountain. That
is why my Magic Picture showed only a desert waste when you asked to
see the pine village and the Story Blossom Garden on Mount Illuso. The
Magic Picture couldn't show them to you _on Mount Illuso_ for they are
no longer there!

"Instead," Ozma concluded, "they are here in the Land of Oz." Turning
to the Magic Picture, she said, "I wish to see Story Blossom Garden on
Story Blossom Mountain."

The image of the desert waste faded and in the frame of the Magic
Picture appeared the beautiful fairy garden. The vision was so real
that Dorothy could almost hear the blossoms whispering among themselves.

Bright tears of joy and gratitude sparkled in Ozana's violet eyes.

"What happened to Hi-Lo and his elevator?" Dorothy asked.

"They were transported, too," replied Ozma quickly.

"I imagine," the Girl Ruler went on, "that Hi-Lo will be a very busy
little man, carrying visitors up and down in his elevator. And you,
Ozana, will be able to live in your pretty cottage and work in your
wonderful garden without fear of ever becoming lonely. Every day will
bring you visitors from the Emerald City and all parts of the Land of
Oz who will be eager to see the pine folk and their village and to
enjoy Story Blossom Garden. Really, Ozana, it is we who are indebted to
you," Ozma concluded.

Dorothy beamed lovingly at Ozma. Then, turning to Ozana, the little
girl said, "Now I guess you understand Ozana, why you're just about the
luckiest person in the whole world to be invited to live in the Land of
Oz."



CHAPTER 23

The Grand Banquet


The next day was given over entirely to welcoming Ozana to Oz. Early
in the morning, the Sawhorse was hitched to the Red Wagon, and a merry
company of travelers rode out of the Emerald City to be the first
visitors to Story Blossom Mountain. In the front seat of the Red Wagon
rode Ozma, Ozana, Dorothy and Trot. In the rear seat were Betsy Bobbin,
Cap'n Bill, the Wizard and the Scarecrow.

The Sawhorse needed no reins to guide him, as this intelligent horse
responded to spoken commands. Being tireless and having no need for
oats or water, he was in many ways superior to ordinary horses.

As the Red Wagon pulled up near the entrance to Hi-Lo's elevator, the
party was met by flaxen-haired Miss Cuttenclip. Not far distant was
a pretty little paper village of paper people, ruled over by Miss
Cuttenclip, who had skillfully cut out the entire village and all its
inhabitants from "live" paper furnished her by Glinda the Good. Ozma
had communicated with Miss Cuttenclip before the journey, inviting
her to meet them and visit Story Blossom Mountain and afterwards to
accompany them to the Emerald City for the Grand Banquet to be given
that evening in Ozana's honor. Ozana and Miss Cuttenclip became friends
at once.

Hi-Lo greeted Ozana and the rest joyfully, but it was necessary for him
to make two trips to carry this large party to the mountain top. Ozana
showed the visitors around the Village of Pineville and Story Blossom
Garden. On the surface of the blue pond floated the three swans.
Knowing that Ozana would no longer need them to carry her back to Mount
Illuso, Ozma had thoughtfully transported the swans from the court-yard
of her palace to their pond when she had worked the fairy spell that
had brought the Story Blossom Garden to Oz.

After passing several happy hours in the Story Blossom Garden, Ozana
and her guests returned to the bottom of the mountain, where the
Sawhorse and the Red Wagon waited to carry them back to the Emerald
City.

The rest of the day was devoted to preparing for the Grand Banquet to
be given in Ozana's honor that evening in the Grand Dining Room of the
Royal Palace. All of Ozma's old friends and companions were invited.

Late in the afternoon the guests began arriving. The Tin Woodman
journeyed from his glittering Tin Castle in the Winkie Country. Jack
Pumpkinhead left his house, a huge, hollowed-out pumpkin in the middle
of a pumpkin field. The Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated Woggle
Bug traveled from the Royal Athletic College of Oz, of which he was
Principal.

Among other guests who came from great distances were Glinda the
Good, the Giant Frogman, Cayke the Cookie Cook, Dr. Pipt--the Crooked
Magician who was no longer crooked nor a magician, his wife Margolotte,
the Good Witch of the North and Lady Aurex Queen of the Skeezers.

Dorothy transported all of these visitors to the Emerald City by means
of her Magic Belt, except Glinda, who arrived by her own magic.

The Grand Banquet proved to be one of the most brilliant and delightful
occasions ever to be enjoyed in the Emerald City, and was long
remembered by all who were present. In addition to the delicious food,
there was music and special entertainment for the guests. The Scarecrow
made a gallant speech of welcome to which Ozana charmingly replied.
The Woggle Bug could not be restrained from reading an "Ode to Ozana,"
which he claimed he had composed on the spur of the moment, writing
it on the cuff of his shirt sleeve. A number of the guests thought
the composition sounded suspiciously like an "Ode to Ozma," which
the Woggle Bug had written some years before, but they were all too
kind-hearted to mention this. The Tin Woodman sang a love song, which
he had written especially for the occasion, and which he had titled
"You're My Tin Type." While the song was only moderately good, the Tin
Woodman sang in a metallic tenor with great feeling and the company
applauded politely.

Then the Little Wizard made them all gasp with a truly wonderful
display of magic. The Wizard opened his show by causing a fountain of
many colored flames of fire to appear in the center of the banquet
table. At his command, streamers of fire of different colors--red,
green, blue, rose, orange, violet--leaped out from the burning fountain
to touch the unlighted candles that stood at the place of each guest.
After this the fountain of fire vanished while the now-lighted candles
continued to burn throughout the banquet, each shedding the light
imparted to it by the colored fire.

The Wizard concluded his entertainment by tossing a napkin into the air
above the banquet table. Instantly the napkin disappeared and a storm
of confetti showered down on the guests, while band after band of what
appeared to be brightly colored paper ribbon fell over the party.
But it didn't take Button Bright long to discover and announce with
shouts of glee to the rest of the guests, that the confetti and the
many colored paper ribbons were really the most delicious of spearmint,
peppermint, clove, licorice, lime, lemon, orange and chocolate candies
and mints. This, of course, provided the perfect ending for the dinner.

At the table occupied by the animals, there was a great deal of talking
and merry-making. Toto received many compliments on his handsome new
red leather collar, embellished with clusters of emeralds and his own
name in solid gold letters. Princess Ozma, herself, had fitted the
collar about the proud little dog's neck that very afternoon as a
tribute to Toto's loyalty and bravery.

Just as the happy banquet was about to end, Toto, who had been so
absorbed in all the excitement and the Wizard's marvelous tricks, that
he had scarcely tasted his food, turned to his bowl of milk. He found
the tiny White Kitten Felina daintily lapping the last of the milk from
the bowl with her little, pink tongue.

Toto sniffed. "I never could understand," he growled, "what it is that
witches and fairies and little girls see in cats!"


The End





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